Publication: Finn Slough: An Off-Grid Urban Wilderness on the Fraser River

April 27, 2015 0 Comments

My profile article of Finn Slough resident and artist Glen Andersen is now up on The Tyee. It appeared as the main weekend feature from April 25-26.

I’m very grateful for this opportunity, especially for the help of my creative non-fiction instructor Deborah Campbell and all my classmates from that workshop. Also, I want to thank Robyn Smith and Jane Armstrong at The Tyee. Thank you.

Glen Andersen

Photo of Glen Andersen (provided by Andersen)

Here’s an excerpt:

On an Easter weekend in the 1990s, artist Glen Andersen collaborated with friends to re-enact the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a play that featured an artist-martyr nicknamed the ”artyr.” In the play, performed on a downtown Vancouver street, a female poet portrayed the ”artyr,” while actors playing journalists hounded her.

Decades later, Andersen’s life bears a similarity to the ostracized artist figure from that performance art piece.

He and his partner live in an off-the-grid riverside village in Richmond, B.C. called Finn Slough, which, more than 100 years after it was first founded by Finnish immigrants, still has a wild frontier feel to it.

And though he’s not chased by mobs, he does, at times, feel misunderstood and hunted. Many people have the mistaken belief that Finn Slough residents are squatters who don’t pay taxes and flush their toilets directly into the river.

To read more: Finn Slough: An Off-Grid Urban Wilderness on the Fraser River