Whilst tidying up all Canucks Outsider-related ephemera, I’ve rounded up a few oddments of media coverage and Fanzone related stuff for posterity. There are more out there so i’ll gather photos by my Crazy Canucks colleagues and stash ’em here as possible.
My grassroots Canucks media coverage began with the “Pig Express” my own publication from 1979 – this edition featured then-GM Jake Milford flying to Sweden to recruit players
At the SLC 2002 Olympics came my anecdotal CBC HNIC appearance with Don Cherry, Ron McLean and Joe Neiuwendyk’s brother Gilles – Don Cherry wore my furry hat (thanks to brother Anders) which was featured in his montage for a few seasons – i spoke with Ron and Don about my daily photo journal of 28 events in 13 days
Vancouver Courier’ Mark Hasiuk wrote up the Canucks Outsider podcast during the playoff run on 2007 with special emphasis on my support of the international fans
I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.
I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant – inadequate train travel between here and points south as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear into the internet tubes like my previous photo appearance in this local newspaper. By the way, if someone could pick me up a paper copy, i’d be very pleased.
Slow train coming
Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.
However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.
However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.
For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.
That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.
In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.
The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.
Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”
She could not say when the matter would be resolved.
Dave Olson is stoked about the Canucks and raring to podcast.Photo-Dan Toulgoet
Hockey night in Canuck land a hit with overseas audiences
Local Man Provides Commercial-free Commentary to the World
By Mark Hasiuk-Staff writer
As local fans catch Canucks fever, Dave Olson is connecting with faraway fans around the world who don’t want to miss out on this year’s playoff run.
During the team’s last run to the final in 1994, the 36-year-old North Vancouver resident recognized a need for an information source for far-flung Canucks fans.
“I was living in Tottori, Japan as a mushroom farmer, so I missed all the Canucks coverage,” said Olson, who bills himself as the Canucks Outsider. “Although I could see the box score in the paper, I didn’t have that feeling and camaraderie with the rest of Canucks Nation.”
Two years ago, Olson decided to offer a podcast, or recorded audio monologue, on his website. Recorded at his home using his personal computer, the podcast recaps Canucks games and provides general information on the team’s progress.
Averaging 20 minutes in length, the podcast has grown in popularity, and Olson regularly attracts up to 1,000 listeners in countries like Japan, China, Australia, the United Kingdom and Denmark, who download free versions from his website or from iTunes.
Olson, a marketing coordinator for a Vancouver software company, is a longtime producer of fan-based media.
“I’ve been doing grassroots Canucks media since I was a kid, writing little Xerox newsletters and distributing them around my neighbourhood,” he said. His oldest-and most prophetic-newsletter was written in 1979 and details former Canucks GM Jake Milford’s first scouting trip to Sweden.
He said the positive reaction he received from the podcast prompted him to stage live videocasts from his office’s employee lounge during this year’s playoffs.
While he doesn’t show the Canucks television broadcast, Olson and a rotating panel of guests-mainly friends and local hockey enthusiasts-provide typical “living room” commentary about the game and discuss topics like Trevor Linden’s peaks and valleys, the 1982 and 1994 playoff runs and the whereabouts of former Canuck tough guy Gino Odjick. Olson also showcases his collection of Canucks memorabilia, including a Pit Martin hockey card and the Canucks Family Cookbook from 1981 that contains a perogie recipe from Stan Smyl’s mother.
“It’s not exactly Don Cherry, but we goof around and add a little Wayne’s World flavour to it,” said Olson, adding that his audience includes many multitasking local fans who use his videocast as a complement to television broadcasts. Viewers also join the discussion by chatting online.
Olson said his wife, a Florida native, was caught off guard by his puck passion-but she has learned to share her man with the Canucks.
“When we first got together, I told her she would never be number two-she’ll be tied for number one,” said Olson. “And over time she has turned into a pretty big Canucks fan.”
Olson staged a videocast last Tuesday during Game 4 of the Canucks/Ducks second round series, and he hopes to chronicle a Canucks playoff run that ends with a Stanley Cup championship this June.