Monday, November 22, 2010

Finding Owl

The Owls are not what they seem  . . . 

. . . or are they?? With apologies to Twin Peaks, I must mention the whole BCMA Conference 2010 Owl-stravaganza before it all flies out of my mind! 

BCMA Owl, as last seen in Richmond 2007
As I mentioned earlier, Owl is the beloved mascot of the BCMA and s/he has been missing since the Awards Night of the 2007 BCMA Conference in Richmond. One of my own personal goals as Program Chair, being the crazy owl lady that I am, was to see that Owl returned during the conference when it was in Nanaimo last month.

I sent the question "Where is our Owl?" out to the BCMA listserv, and got a lead the the old Owl was likely up north in the province. When I sent a follow up email, it was not answered . . . and all leads ended there.  So although I was not successful locating this last Owl, I worked with the Program Committee to do what we could to conjure up the spirit of our fella.
One of the committee members, Buddy Williams, was willing to put part of the Owl effort together. He and I identified that there was an animal rescue agency near Nanaimo called The North Island Wildlife Recovery Association. This fabulous group of people work to protect and rehabilitate wildlife that have been injured, and have public programs that help build awareness about the mighty creatures around us. It just so happens they have two barred owls that they use in their program, and that we could hire them to attend our BC Reports evening in the conference.

They. Were. Majestic. 
Bardo at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Bardo greeted people as they went towards the main gathering area, creating quite a bottleneck of adoring fans. We were also lucky enough to meet Oliver, later joined by Bardo, in a quiet room where we could get a little closer, and find out more information on the organization as well as the owls themselves.  (Bardo and Oliver nearly brought tears to the eyes of one of my colleagues, for they have such a presence!)
Bardo looked into my soul so intensely that I had to turn away!
. . . and take off my hat. (gulp - he got so wincey-eyed!)

Yes, for me, Owl was with us in these beautiful birds!

We had more than our fair share of BCMA fun with the Owl sub-theme, as Program Committee members Kate Kerr and Kristin Fairbairn made sure of it! Kristin brought a lot of energy, plus owl mask-making material for the Awards Dinner. Kate, who is an exhibition tech at the Royal BC Museum, made an Owl form and brought a whole lot of glue, glitter and art materials for us to decorate our new Owl 2.0. We set him up in the gift shop in the Nanaimo Museum from the opening reception on the Wednesday night until Awards night time, when he was moved up to the party. This is how he developed:
The plain form.
The beginnings . . .
.... interesting....
Getting dressed for dinner!
Owl 2.0 at the BCMA Awards Dinner 2010

Now maybe it's just me, but I thought this was a lot of fun to do these crafty things. : )


I am not sure this is The Next Owl for BCMA.

It was declared in the AGM at the conference that the Spirit of Owl had definitely returned / was here in Nanaimo. But as I was helping pack up our Owl 2.0, I was a little distressed that maybe he wasn't going to make it home. A colleague (actually the same one that was so moved by the live owls) assured me that Owl 2.0 would be safe, and that the next conference would have an Owl of sorts - maybe this one, maybe not, and that's okay.  She wisely told me that Owl will be what Owl needs to be for where the BCMA is at the time of conference - and to rest assured, s/he was here this year. And so with that, I let Owl free . . .
Me & Bardo

1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks for posting my blog on your blog! And thanks for the photos and writeup of the owls. I totally forgot about them. Gorgeous birds.....