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Friday, October 28, 2005

Townspeople Drop Their Drawersto Support the Arts

WELLS, B.C., October 26, 2005: Back (and front) by popular demand, Island Mountain Arts in Wells, British Columbia, Canada is proud to announce the publication of the 2006 Nude BC Gold Rush History Calendar. The 2006 edition is hot off the press! It features a whole new set of historic tongue-in-cheek gold rush poses, and reveals the naked truth about our often over-looked history.

The non-profit art gallery and school in the historic northern Cariboo town sold over 1400 Nude Cariboo History Calendars in 2004, and commissioned local artist, Bill Horne of Amazing Space Studio, to produce another nude calendar for 2006.

"Requests have been coming from across North America for us to make another calendar. Wells may only be a town of 200 people, but with its rich history associated with Barkerville and the search for gold, thousands of people have lived or visited our small town over the years and have great nostalgia for the place," says Artistic Director of Island Mountain Arts, Julie Fowler.

Not afraid to 'bare all' to support the arts, the good folks of Wells, including local celebrities like the mayor, a "blacksmith" and renowned artists, tastefully dropped their drawers in a variety of historic gold rush locations. From Barkerville and Stanley, to the 1930's Wells Community Hall and the tailings of the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine, the sepia-toned never-before-seen photographs reveal a lot more than just a window into our Canadian heritage. With its diverse range of ages, cultures and body types, the calendar gives a glimpse of some of the intimate details of the lives of the miners, merchants and entertainers who flocked to the gold fields.

"What distinguishes this calendar from others is its historic and satirical nature. I doubt there are many other calendars that have the kind of gender role reversals found in this one. Our intent has been to create a humorous visual challenge to the sexist stereotypes that usually depict women in submissive roles and poses. At the same time, we wanted to pay tribute to a history that's easily forgotten in today's consumerist, techno world. It is a history in which women, as well as men, played significant roles," explains calendar creator Bill Horne.
The calendar goes on sale starting October 27, 2005 and can be picked up at select locations around the province, on ebay, and by mail order through Island Mountain Arts. Join us at the Island Mountain Arts Public Gallery in Wells on Saturday, November 12 at 7pm for the official Calendar Launch Party and Coffeehouse.

For more information on where you can buy a calendar or to order one over the phone call Island Mountain Arts Society toll free at 1-800-442-2787. Calendars are $20 (incl. Taxes) with funds raised going towards the non-profit arts organization, Island Mountain Arts Society, established in Wells in 1977. For more information on courses in the arts, the public gallery, the ArtsWells Festival, the International Celtic Harp School, and the Wells Artists' Project for Professional and Emerging Artists, call
1-800-442-ARTS, visit or email

Julie Fowler
Artistic Director/Curator, Island Mountain Arts Society & The Artswells Festival
Box 65, Wells, BC, V0K 2R0
toll free:1-800-442-2787 local:250-994-3466 fax:250-994-3433

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Barely on holiday

"Look, that man’s got a nudie bum-bum," squealed my son, pointing so hard he nearly prodded the middle-aged monsieur into the recycling bins.
Cheeky chap: put on your birthday suit

It was early evening on the edge of a towering pine forest in south-west France and the man emptying his rubbish did indeed have a nudie bum-bum. In fact, as he turned round it was hard to avoid getting a good look at his nudie front-front as well.

Puzzled by the excited whoops from our four-year-old, Ben, and pathetic giggling from Mum and Dad, Mr Nudie Bum-Bum calmly finished his domestic duties and strode off into the forest.

He glanced back once to give us a pitying smile and an eyebrow expression like the one I use to ward off loopy street beggars. Clearly we were the ones who had got it wrong. Fully clothed and still grounded with giggling, we were here to see for ourselves what a naturist holiday was all about and judging from our first encounter the Morris family was not fully prepared for the week ahead.

Following a reader’s request for more coverage of naturist holidays in the Telegraph Travel pages, I had been volunteered to shed my clothes and some light on the subject. The trouble was that a solo fortysomething male snooping around a nudist camp with a notebook and camera was more likely to get a punch in the mouth than a true taste of holidaying au naturel .

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

A pool of naked ambition

The curtain will drop tomorrow night as the clothes come off at the Canada Games Pool for a two-hour nude swim.

To protect the splashing nudists from the lecherous gazes of voyeurs - or anyone else interested in gawking at bodies in the buff - the city's parks and recreation department required the Cariboo Nudist Society to draw the curtains for the duration of the event. From 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., the pool's windows will be blocked.

For a nudism greenhorn, Saturday's swim could be an experience that may liberate the novice from more than just the clothes. After all, human beings are born nudists, says Teddy van Geemen, an event organizer.

"It's a great sense of liberation and freedom when you first try it," he says, especially when it is done with a group.

"Social nudism is characterized by great acceptance. Nobody cares whether you are fat or skinny."

Van Geemen's friend, Connie Robson, was initiated about six years ago when she went skinny dipping in a lake.

"It was an exhilarating feeling of freedom," she recalls. "You can be yourself when you're clothes-free."

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Friday, October 14, 2005

5 myths about nude vacations

As a college student hiking through the French Alps many years ago, I accidentally uncovered one hotel's shocking secret.

I didn't mean to reveal it. It was a blistering hot day in Grenoble, and my traveling companion, Nate, wandered toward a swimming pool behind the resort while I stocked up on water and provisions. Moments later he returned, pale-faced.

"Chris," he said breathlessly, pointing toward the pool. "There are breasts in there."

Yes, there were. The French, like many Europeans, generally think nothing of baring breasts, butt - and more - at the beach, much to the surprise of visiting Yanks. I already knew this, because I had grown up in Europe. But my friend Nate, who was born and raised in the Bible Belt, didn't.

Nudity! There, I said it. If the thought of going au naturel on holiday makes you uncomfortable, please don't read on. You'll probably be offended.

Still with me? OK, here are the five leading myths about nude vacations.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bonjour, please take off ze clothes...

Back in the 1930s, early pioneering nudists settled on the remote and wildly beautiful Ile-du-Levant off the coast of Provence. Today, mod-cons such as electricity have come to the Mediterranean isle, but to save the environment there are still no street-lights at night.

Lying some 12 kilometres off the French coast, not far from the port of Toulon, the long skinny island covered in thick vegetation was electrified only 25 years ago.

A pirate haven in the sixth century and a penitentiary for child criminals in the 19th, the eight-by-two kilometre isle is 90-percent owned by the army, while also boasting one of the world's oldest nudist colonies, Heliopolis, which in ancient Greek means the city of sun.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Farmers Pose Nude For Calendar

A group of farmers in Cass County, Mich., are dropping their overalls to pose nude for a calendar to generate money for a conservation group, according to a Local 6 News report.

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