By Jenny Lee, Vancouver Sun February 23, 2014
Sometimes the unthinkable happens.
Kelly Oswald’s Whistler store burned down while she was away in Mexico leading her annual retreat on how to live a more peaceful life.
“Petty Ironic.” said Oswald whose spiritual gifts, clothing and services store, The Oracle, was hit with “a double whammy” last November.
“The fire on the Friday night took the building out — the electrical, fire alarms… everything,” she said. No one was hurt. “My amazing staff were able to salvage stuff and clean up. We were confident we could reopen.”
But a few hours later, a hot spot reignited the fire, dashing earlier hopes of rising from the ashes. “The second fire killed it. We’re still out.”
The fire affected six neighbouring businesses as well as Oswald’s 700-square-foot store.
In the meantime, rather than twiddle her thumbs while waiting for the Whistler location to be rebuilt, Oswald and her husband, James, are opening a new 1,000-square-foot store in North Vancouver where they have a new grandchild. “We look for silver linings.”
By Brandon Barrett, The Pique Newsmagazine
A pair of homegrown Whistler companies will vie for top honours at this month’s BC Small Business Awards after being named as a Top 5 finalist in two separate categories.
Kahuna Paddleboards, Canada’s largest stand-up paddleboard manufacturer, is up for an international trade award, while The Oracle, which offers unique handmade gifts and spiritual and holistic services, is competing for best workplace. The Oracle was also named a semi-finalist in the Best International Trade and Best Employer categories in December.
The Oracle is up for the Best Workplace award, which honours businesses that provide a happy and healthy work environment for staff.
The Oracle regularly gives back to the community through fundraisers, and works directly with the artisans that handcraft the store’s products in Mexico and Indonesia. The business also donates raised funds and a portion of profits to two social programs in those countries that support women and children in need.
Oswald could not be reached for comment by press time.
A fire that started on the upper floors of the Tyndall Stone Lodge on Main Street and spread to the roof area is still being investigated. Fire crews attended the scene twice, once on Friday afternoon when the initial report came in, and again on Saturday morning when the fire flared up — again in the roof area of the lodge. Fire chief Sheila Kirkwood reported that the fire likely started on a balcony.
The Question reached Kelly Oswald, owner of the Oracle, at a retreat in Mexico. She praised her staff for handling the situation in her absence, but was still waiting on Saturday afternoon to hear the full extent of the damage and how soon she can reopen for business. “I’m waiting to hear back,” she said. “Apparently there was a second fire and additional flooding after things were looking up. We are standing by, but it’s pretty messy.” The timing couldn’t be worse, less than one week out from the American Thanksgiving long weekend and the start of Christmas shopping season. “Christmas is huge for us,” Oswald confirmed. “So is American Thanksgiving. We are desperately hoping to be open for the weekend but we don’t know yet.” Oswald said the space and all of the contents of the store are insured. More updates to come.
Many people have asked me how they might more actively participate in the creation of a critical mass of consciousness. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. If you want to “be the change” in your community, I invite you to begin by hosting meetings to talk about how you can create a better world through personal and social transformation. Interested individuals can agree to meet once or twice a month to share a common vision and achieve many goals. Together we can make it happen. Thank you for being a part of this global effort.
Celebrating Change in BC: A Regional Community Celebration (2009)
Featuring: Deepak Chopra and distinguished guests and performers
An inspirational gathering dedicated to a vision to create a critical mass of consciousness to heal ourselves, our community and the planet through personal and social transformation.
Facilitators: Deepak Chopra, Pepe Danza, Kelly Oswald, Kali & Patrick Brauckman, and Rachel Andrew-Nelson
Generously supported and sponsored by: Whistler Wellness, Whistler Question, Tourism Whistler, AVW TelAV.
Experience: Workshops: Intuition – Live the Magic!
Sound Healing. The Key to Powerful Relationships, Tools For Accessing Your Life Purpose, The Spirit of Laughter in Daily Life, Miracle of Names: Numerology, The Power of Rhythm
Benefit: UNICEF’s relief efforts in Darfur, Africa
Venue: September 9/10, 2005, Maurice Young Millennium Place, Whistler BC
Kelly Oswald – Emcee, Lyndsay Smith – UNICEF, Cheryl Brewster, Baeleay Callister, Clayne Coning, Dolan Gadoury, Hugh McLelland, Shasta Martinuk, Brian Hoover, Zoey Wren
Goal: Two fold cause: To raise funds to assist the Tsunami relief efforts and to raise community consciousness
Experience: Meditation, dance, drumming, prayer
Benefit: UNICEF’s Tsunami Relief efforts in Southeast Asia
Venue: January 21, 2005, Maurice Young Millennium Place, Whistler BC
William Roberts – Host and Motivational speaker
Kelly Oswald – Guided Meditation
Lyndsay Smith – UNICEF
Anne Rowan – David Susuki Foundation
Hugh O’Reily – Mayor of Whistler
Lil’ Wat Hand Drummers, One Dance Creative Arts Company, Whistler Youth Center and Whistler High School/ Spring Creek Elementary School, Dave Smith, Cheryl Brewster