Mermaids make a splash for lakes

A mystical sea creature is shining her lantern on a potentially devastating issue in the Okanagan.

Mermaids, the guardians of water, are bringing attention to some of the threats to our lakes, including invasive mussels. And they will be making a splash at the Vernon Boat Show this weekend. That’s right, there will be a mermaid at the Vernon Yacht Club for the weekend-long event, which goes Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Everyone loves them, and they attract attention,” said Bonnie Donovan, a Kelowna photographer who will be at the show with her mermaid, Martha and business Bonne Belle Photography. “She is an ambassador between us and our environment and a reminder of how precious our waters are.”

Using the alluring mermaids, Donovan photographs and films them to bring attention to issues that affect our lakes. Called Project Mermaid Okanagan, beautiful photographic art highlights real-life concerns such as mussels.

The project consists mainly of a series of one-minute commercials and print ads featuring portraits of mermaids on Okanagan beaches to circulate on social media and beyond.

The portraits draw attention to issues such as the invasive mussels which threaten our lakes.

“It’s not just Okanagan Lake we’re worried about,” said Donovan, who has photographed mermaids at Kalamalka, Mabel, Wood and more.

“I love our lakes,” said Donovan, who sees how important they are in the Okanagan’s economy. “People don’t realize how important it is.”

Donovan is pleased to see that stricter rules are being made and boat checks are in place, but after seeing how fast the mussels can spread she is hoping to do her part to do more to raise awareness.

“People need to talk about it. It’s horrible. That’s it, once you get it,” she said of the mussels which clog drinking water, cover lake floors with their sharp shells and ruin ecosystems. “We’d lose a lot of our tourism.”

Along with watching over the lakes, mermaids play another special role in Donovan’s life.

“My daughter is a paraplegic but she swims and she swims like a mermaid,” said Donovan of her now 28-year-old daughter. “So I got the tail and I put it on her. I told her she’s a real mermaid because real mermaids can’t walk either.”

And like the Okanagan’s Ogopogo, Donovan hopes the mermaids will attract attention to the Okanagan.

“It’s just another fun thing to have because we’re so water-minded here.”

Mermaids are just one of many attractions that will be at this weekend’s boat show. For more information visit vernonyachtclub.ca.

 

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Letter: LGBTQ2 are part of ‘our’ Canada

“It is all of our taxes that pay for all of us.”

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read