Shaw TV video from The Passionate Life book launch at Embellish




Episode 71 – Mar. 1/2012

Be the Media

Hosted by Marian van der Zon and Niel Scobie. On the show: Marian interviews Lesley Fountain, author of The Passionate Life: Creativity, Connection, and Community (Cowichan Women Tell Their Stories), along with two of the women featured in the book, artist Pipi Tustian and writer/artist Carol Anne Shaw.


A Video Trailer For My Book

Wonderful new friends of mine recently collaborated to create this video trailer for The Passionate Life.

Thanks so much to talented husband and wife duo of Dan Martin and Cheryl Bakke Martin. You can see more of Dan’s video work here –

Cheryl is a talented artist that is proficient in a variety of mediums, from glass, to metal, to paint, who will be featured in my upcoming book The Passionate Life II.


Donation Day

Today I dropped off the clothing and toiletries that had been donated at the book launch. Wings IIIĀ  – Opportunity Store, is a treasure trove owned and operated by Marianna Schwab. If you haven’t been in before, make it your mission to pop in and see what is on offer. From excellent quality clothing to housewares, home furnishings and eclectic objects, Wings III has that special something you may not have even known you were looking for. Wings III is in downtown Duncan at the corner of Station and Jubilee.

W.I.N.G.S. stands for “Women in Need Growing Stronger.” W.I.N.G.S. III supports theĀ  CWAV Society and the Somenos Transition House. Donations of clothing and housewares often go to helping women who were formerly abused to start a new chapter in their lives.

After leaving Wings III, I headed over to the CWAV – Cowichan Women Against Violence Society on Ingram Street. The CWAV office is a sunny and welcoming place, as are the staff.

Through a range of programs, one of which is the Somenos Transition House, the CWAV Society is working to end violence and abuse against women both locally and globally. Somenos House provides free and confidential emergency shelter and support for abused women and their children.

Nadeane Nelson accepted the donations. The final total was 410.00, which will go to wherever the need is greatest. Many thanks again to all of you who bought artwork or contributed cash or cheques at the February 14th book launch. CWAV has the following suggestions for how you can help if you live locally:


In the course of your everyday shopping there are three ways that you can help without hardly any effort at all.

1. Save your Country Grocer Receipts and drop them off at CWAV Society office. Country Grocer gives us a donation based on the dollars you spend.

2. When you gas up at Peninsula Co-op put in CWAV Society’s member #48047 and they forward us the proceeds.

3. When your return your empties to the Cowichan Valley Bottle Depot tell them at the till that you would like to donate the refund to CWAV Society.

For additional information on how you can get involved:

Official Book Launch and HeART Party

February 14th is the traditional day to celebrate love and passion. What better day to launch a book about women who are living their passionate lives? Lesley Zurrer kindly offered her beautiful Duncan store Embellish Home Decor as the venue.

A little champagne helps with the pre-reading butterflies.

Lesley created a HeART gallery in a small nook, and many of the artists donated pieces to support the women of the Somenos Transition House.

The range of creativity displayed in the HeART Gallery was impressive, from paintings on canvas and wood to collage, felting, glasswork, woodwork, ceramics and bark!

The evening was a wonderful celebration of love, passion, friendship, community, creativity, books and art, with a flash mob dance thrown in for good measure.

Me with my Valentine!

Almost all of the copies of the book were sold that night, and we raised $400.00 for the Somenos Transition House from the sales of the artwork in the HeART Gallery. We also received many donations of clothing and toiletries, which are always appreciated by the women and families staying at the Transition House. To order copies of The Passionate Life: (search The Passionate Life.) The book sells for $43.95, and to save trees they are printed on demand. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book is donated to the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society. For more information on CWAV and the Somenos Transition House and how you can get involved:

Somenos means resting place in the language of the Cowichan people.

Many, many thanks to all of you who participated in this event. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.