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Here’s what brought Prince George residents joy in 2022

"Love is the key for a blissful life."
The attitude of gratitude and finding self-worth were some of the things that brough bliss to the lives of local residents this year.

With 2022 almost over and 2023 upon us, we asked some local residents to share their bliss list of what made them happy and helped maintain positive mental health during the past year. We hope they give you some joy and inspiration heading into the new year.

Ashley B

Books – Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew,  Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Self-sufficient knowledge is a wonderful tool!

Food – Hello Fresh/Chef’s Plate. Takes the guessing and prep work out of dinner. Has helped a lot during my recovery from surgery.

Movies – The Lost City is a light hearted funny show with some action.

Music – Country has stolen my heart in the past year. Bailey Zimmerman, Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers are all wonderful artists.

People – Everyone deserves love and kindness as you never know what battle someone is facing. I switched jobs from retail to working with the less fortunate. It has been a truly humbling experience and I am forever grateful.

Things I have changed that have helped my mental health – Meditation 10-30 mins a day before I go to bed. I am practicing being more mindful of all things that I consume, say or do.  I stopped drinking alcohol and have been spending more time in nature. It truly has changed my life for the better. I have also learned how to say no and it’s been life changing!

Darci Paice

The things that made me happy were placing value on myself, my three sons, my dogs and my bestie.

I kept busy with my sons, dogs and renovating my house which was exhausting and also incredibly empowering to tackle things on the “honey do” list as I’m the only one to take on those tasks. There is no “honey”, so I am doing all those “things” that needed doing because it makes me feel fantastic and like I am taking my life back. 

I will be leaving this home to move on with my life and want this home to have all those undone things complete before I walk away.  My house has about 26 years of “stuff,” most of which wasn’t mine so I was hard-pressed to know what to do with all the excess items. After discussing with my sons what they actually want to keep, I made a plan.  I was incredibly happy to be able to offer items on freecycle like 12 bags of clothing, an older couch, older TV, my older dinning set, and miscellaneous toys that were sitting unloved and taking up space. It was such a nice way to take back my space. The new owners came and picked up their goodies and left me feeling happy and relieved.

I attended the LEAP year conference for women, which was an amazing event and truly inspired me to reach for more and believe that it is never too late and Yes, I Can!  This is the second time I have attended this event and I can’t wait for next years event.

I have enjoyed watching a few too many shows on Netflix/Prime. Some of my favourites were: Anything Hallmark Christmas, even that bunch in July. Loved Hanna on Prime, Outlander is always a fave for me, and fell in love with the characters of Yellowstone, too.

I typically love romance novels but also really enjoyed Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life and a few other self help/empowerment reads.

So my huge win in 2022 was a dream I really didn’t know if I could ever see through and now it’s happening! This summer, I got past my fear of failure and I passed the owner builder exam, so I will be the general contractor in building my own dream home. There were many hoops and I truly underestimated how hard it would be to secure a framing crew.  After 40 plus calls reality hit and I was unable to secure a framing crew until spring 2023. 

In the meantime, I secured my plans, permit, septic plans, cleared the lot and learned about supply chain issues. The holdups also apply to overworked service providers and everything that was “promised to be 1-2 weeks” ended up taking four weeks to three months.  It was an eye opener but also has taught me many new skills and will give me more time to plan out the finished product. 

As a 52-year-old single mom who typically just lives for her kids, this was an exceptional project to give me the strength and courage to push forward.  All the things that go into this project will keep me very busy and focused over the next year.  This was huge for mental health because when I was married to my high school boyfriend, I allowed my ex to take credit for absolutely everything and never felt worthy or that I held much value.

By taking this project on and finding my way (even with many hiccups and an enormous learning curve), I felt incredibly good about myself and my abilities to provide a life for myself and my sons.

Claire Nielsen

I have thought about the meaningful times with family, friends, clients and customers, the joy of playing with my grandson, going into nature and realize there are too many to list.  However, the common denominator in all of the times that brought me to my happy place is when I am in a positive present state of mind.

I realized long ago that happiness is not dependent on circumstance, but on our level of gratitude. And having practiced gratitude for many years, I have found it to be the easiest energy to align with, in order to bring me to a present state of mind.

I have learned that no matter what is going on in life, not matter how distracting and stressful life situations may become, there is always something to have gratitude for. Gratitude is the best thing we can do for our mental health.  To help connect with gratitude, a journal is beneficial (a journal only for noting what we have gratitude for) and writing in it every day (I choose the evening) and reading it every day will move our mental state of mind from only being focused on past or future (fear) and bring us peace and happiness in the present moment.

We can’t control all life circumstances, but we can control our attitude about them. The attitude of gratitude is the secret to manifesting happiness. It takes our focus away from negativity, and with the onslaught of intense life challenges these past couple years, it is important that we take regular breaks to focus on the positive.

Arthur Williams

Pawn Stars. The reality TV series about a family-run pawn shop in Las Vegas is pure junk TV. But it’s fun to see the trash and treasures that get brought into the shop. A definite guilty pleasure.

The Curse of Oak Island. Another reality TV series, this one about the search for treasure on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Each season the “fellowship of the dig” dig up enough clues and half-baked theories to keep me hooked. A top pocket find for any history buff.

Bob’s Burgers. An animated sitcom about small-time restaurateurs Bob and Linda Belcher and their three kids, Tina, Gene and Louise. Bob’s Burgers doesn’t have the cult following of the Simpsons, the over-the-top humour of Family Guy or the madcap craziness of Rick and Morty. But the show’s charm is that the Belchers feel like a real family, which love and support each other despite their quirks. A feature-length film based on the show debuted this year as well.

Sharpe’s Assassin, by Bernard Cornwell. After a 15-year hiatus, historical fiction author Bernard Cornwell returned to his best-selling series about the adventures of Napoleonic-era British infantry officer Richard Sharpe. Fans of the series, or the BBC TV adaptation starring Sean Bean, will rejoice to find Sharpe once again hacking a swath through Napoleon’s henchmen in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo.

The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larsen. Larsen offers an intimate account of Winston Churchill’s first year as prime minister of Britain, as seen through the eyes of his family and inner circle. Larsen weaves together diary entries, personal accounts, official records and more to humanize the man who led Britain during its “finest hour.”

Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth, by Adam Frank. Astrophysicist Adam Frank delves into the history of humanity’s search for alien life, and what it has taught us about life on Earth. Frank makes the work of luminaries like Carl Sagan, Enrico Fermi, Nikolai Kardashev, Freeman Dyson and Frank Drake engaging and accessible for the average reader.

Ringing the bells for the Salvation Army. It always gives my Christmas spirit and faith in humanity a boost, at the time I need it most. Knowing that I helped those less fortunate, in my small way, and gave others a chance to help too by being there is a good for the soul.

Walking. It doesn’t matter if it is just a stroll around the neighbourhood or a hike through one of the city’s many parks, there is no substitute for a little fresh air and exercise.

Travelling B.C. Taking a couple road trips this year was a great reminder that we live in a truly beautiful province.

Jax Bailey

Graduating from UBC with my BEd and coming home to Prince George after three years in Vancouver to start a career was my top bliss item.

This summer, I got a personal mill and started milling my own lumber. I am really excited about making furniture and using my own milled Douglas fir for decking, trim and barn doors, and spruce for fencing.  I have a love of wood and am fascinated with working on my own projects. It brings a huge sense of happiness and pride for me.

I mostly read anime and enjoyed a few series, I also like watching anime on TV.  I haven’t really gotten into any shows because I had been so busy with post secondary that I really had no personal time. 

Close friends and family kept me on track, provided a sounding board (and I also provided that to them), a safe space, laughter and much happiness.

I enjoyed board game nights with friends, biking, walks and hanging out in general. The post-COVID in-person communication seems to be on a much deeper level and I find my friends and I talk about more personal things and just had deeper and more meaningful conversations.  Being in isolation with a ton of stress wasn’t good for anyone. 

I feel so much happiness in seeing my friends in person and being able to do things without restriction.  Simple things like going to the movie, a concert or swimming in a public place, dining in person at a friend’s house or at a restaurant, all seem like they are so much more valuable now.

Jenny Gremm

My biggest bliss item started out with something that made me very upset.

My beloved VW Beetle, named Trixie, died. I’m on a disability, so I had no money to fix her so I had her towed home. A friend of a a friend who was mechanical looked at her a couple of times and deemed her beyond his ability to fix. Trixie was 21 years old. I don’t know what that is in human years, but definitely a senior!

I had no money to fix her and certainly no money for another car. The guy who looked at Trixie gave me an amount that she was worth and I sold her to a very nice gentleman. In the course of our conversation, I said her name was Trixie. He couldn’t believe it, because years ago he had had a bug he named Trixie so it was meant to be.

I still had no car though. I was talking about it at a group I go to and one of the ladies had a reliable van that she hadn’t been able to sell. She had gotten a new vehicle a couple months before. She said I could have the van for less than I got for Trixie. She’s got rust on her but she’s reliable. I named her Edna. She’s five years younger than Trixie was, too. I feel very thankful and blessed.

Julie Celestino

1. My daughter moved from Ontario to Prince George after eight years of schooling and work. That makes me very happy and content because I know that I can see her everyday instead of every year.  The feeling of love and caring that I know my daughter is safer when she’s around us.

2. The citizens of Prince George who put together the drive for James and being a part of it makes me happy and to know that our community helps in various ways.

3. Listening to Christmas music and watching It’s a Wonderful Life or Christmas Chronicles are my favourites.

4. Helping people that needed help in terms of sharing food, paying forward and kind gestures is always big for me.

5. The Farmers Market shared their fresh bounty so we can live healthy.

6.  The people who served in the military to keep us free, the doctors, nurses and medical workers who help us when we are sick. The service providers who keep our city a better place.

7.  The people who care about other people in times of sorrow or pain overwhelmed my heart.

8.  The creator that we believed in to make us a better person and to know that we are loved.

9.  The appreciation of everything we have in this great country in spite of our challenges to keep us alive.

10.  The people like you and me and the connection that we have to make things happen in a positive way.

Love is the key for a blissful life.

Nancy Spensley

Just wanted to say how wonderful our green spaces are in this city. I love going for walks and or hikes into the parks and greenbelts. It is so amazing to be able to access real nature within just minutes from anywhere in the city.

This is the real “bliss” of our city and we should consider ourselves extremely lucky to be able to enjoy this wonderful asset of Prince George.

Ivan Paquette

Twas the night before Christmas all through the house

Not a creature was stirring except a mouse

There it was chewing on paper it found

Santa bent over, picked it up off the ground

It wasn’t easy for Santa being a bit round

On the paper it said Moments of Bliss

Santa pulled the note close to his heart,

Blessed it with a kiss

Saying to the reindeer we need more of this.

Blissful moments it said as he began to read

It was more about love than human greed

How one reaches out during crisis to his fellow man

The way the Creator designed us to show love, be kind and do our best to understand.

Santa read a little further

Then used his phone to phone Mrs. Claus

He asked her to take a moment and pause

To be grateful for what we have is what will be in the Christmas sack

Giving to those who need a little cheer

Oh and yes a treat for the reindeer.

This year was filled with many Moments of Bliss too many to list

I send this wish to friends, family in Prince George and surrounding community

Make the most of what you got, show love, do your best to be kind

This is what is best for your soul and mind

Share it with tender loving care

You make the list I wanted to share

See you all next year,

Peace and Love You All

You Know Your Friend, Ivan Ho

Christine Dalgleish

Ok, you have to start humming along with me like Julie Andrews as I talk about... a few of my favourite things.

2022 was a most interesting year. As it does for many people, life sometimes gets in the way of your best intentions. So for me it was a year about family and rekindled connections.

My dear sister and her equally dear husband came to visit us in Prince George. It wasn’t nearly long enough but it was so nice to have a sister near me. (We’re from Ontario and most everyone still lives there!)

We had a few adventures together and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Huble Homestead’s Potato Festival and their potato bacon soup. Yum! Still think about that! And although I could go on and on about my darling grandchildren, let me just say they are perfect and wonderful and kind and good and the most precious people on the planet.

I took on a few challenges, which I love because well, that’s pretty much how life works for me. Take on a challenge, fix what’s broken, overcome an obstacle, learn a thing, do a thing or make it so, then move on to the next. It keeps me motivated and on task because I’m a ‘squirrel!’ type of easily distracted woman.

I always have to give credit to my ‘voice of reason,’ my best friend, who happens to be my husband Bob who always keeps me on task and if I go too far off the beaten path he’s right there to take up the machete and join me at hacking away to find a new way forward! Thanks hunneeee!

Throwing is very therapeutic for me. Yes, you heard me - I throw things – in a sanctioned, controlled, socially acceptable way – well, OK, sometimes the hammer or discus gets away from me – sorry Elena for the close call!

I am a Masters Track & Field athlete and I throw hammer, discus, shot put, javelin and weight throw and this year I tried a new thing. The super weight owned me during one particularly crazy throw where I couldn’t let it go because I was afraid I was going to hit somebody – I didn’t, thankfully – and I did manage to wrangle it into submission on my last throw and break the BC record for chucking that 25 pound weight – just picture it: me swinging a metal ball by a handle attached by metal links over my head and it landed 6.40 metres away! I broke the indoor weight throw record, too, and my old outdoor weight throw record and a couple of local meet records and did the same at the 55+ BC Games but that one was just for a hot minute because the very next day it was broken by a very worthy competitor so I’m thinking I might have the record for shortest record held – about 23 hours - so all in all a pretty good throwing season.

And there’s plenty of room for improvement and that’s what I’m going to do while I still can. Because as you may already know, as we age it doesn’t get any easier!

And for you I wish that you can look back at so very many of your favourite things in 2022 and that, as I did here, can’t even begin to say all the things that were wonderful in this small space!

And may all our cups runneth over once again in 2023!

Heather Sapergia

1. Knowledge Network nature shows on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7 p.m.  We have seen so many interesting places and wildlife in those shows.  If we can’t watch them, we record them. Some I have watched multiple times.

2. Walking in various parks.  We have two puppies and they and us have met so many super friendly people and other dogs in the parks.  In particular, the dog park at 17th and Hemlock, Cottonwood Island and Ginter’s. As our daughter said, you get to know the names of so many lovely pooches in the parks, even if you don’t know the owner’s names.

Bernice Warner

Fresh flowers.

Warm homemade muffins.

Watching my two grandchildren play hockey.

Book shops and reading lots of books.

Wednesday walks with three friends along the two rivers and through city centre trying the different coffee shops.



Stuart Gairns

Visiting face to face with family and friends.

Worship services in person at my church and the  fellowship there.

XC skiing at Otway and Alpine skiing at Purden.

Hiking in the mountains, eg Viking Ridge.

Fishing at Fraser Lake.

Vacation in Austria to visit family and enjoying the beauty and culture of Austria and Northern Italy.

Theatre Northwest

Theatre NorthWest has so much to be thankful for. We have had an absolutely stunning three years. We have overcome so many obstacles that have been almost Herculean in their magnitude. And here we are, reimagining ourselves, and rising to a new set of challenges. 

The pandemic, for all its hardship and heartbreak, brought new and interesting opportunities and experiences to our organization. Firstly, our summer sewing camps – one of our only programs to continue running for the duration of the pandemic – was almost pure joy for us. Heidi Klepsch, TNW’s accessibility coordinator and sewing camp assistant, said her favourite part of the program was: “Seeing friendships develop between students in our sewing camps! The kids were so kind, open-minded and sweet with one another and there was so much laughter. One group of beginners, especially, really restored my faith in humanity with how well they treated each other. I cannot overstate how beautiful it was. I went home and cried tears of joy, one day, because of how much love, respect and joy was in our classroom.” Additionally, when this program was established, seven years ago, part of our goal was to inspire a group of young people to enter the costume design field. This year, one of those young people who attended our classes is now applying to design schools. For us, this is a dream coming true. 

Another item on our “bliss list” is the realization of our Theatre in the Pen program at Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. “I have wanted this program for almost a decade’, says Marnie Hamagami, Artistic Producer. Finally, since June of this year, we have held theatre classes in the jail almost every week. We receive calls and comments from family members about the positive impact we are having on the lives of their loved ones. “This work has been so rewarding,” says Bradley Charles, program coordinator and artistic associate at TNW. 

In the spring, another long-term dream was realized as we were able to support Shakespeare in the Vines, a presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Northern Lights Estate Winery. It was so great to see such dedication and talent from our local artists. “I have always, always wanted to do this,” says Melissa Glover, director of the production and one of our artistic associates. The play was great and the audiences were good sports when the weather was awful!

We have been enjoying our new series revolving around stage readings – an idea hatched by John Reilly, our production manager, during the pandemic. We have had the pleasure to work with many talented artists from our community, and to enjoy a wider range of plays on our stage.

Finally, the absolute best part of this year has been the reopening of our MainStage Series. At last, to be back in full production mode with our audiences in their seats has been sheer bliss for us. We have enjoyed stretching our artistic muscles and getting back into performance shape. Sure, there were some clunks as we hit our stride again. But – oh! – to be back at it, hearing the laughter and seeing the tears, has been wonderful. 

And with that, from all of us at TNW, we send a huge bunch of roses to all of you who have purchased tickets, made donations, sent sponsorships, taken posters to hang in windows, and reshared posts. It truly takes a village to support a theatre, and Prince George has been there for us. Thank you.

Roma Tingle

Mine is a shout out to all the great people who contributed to what was a very significant move for us this past year.

Two Cracker Jack young techies who did our new TV, Internet, phone connections, a professional and energetic young team from the moving company, great young fencing contractor, plumber, electrician, waste removal team, and the list goes on.

We are truly blessed with this community and the people who contribute to our everyday lives.

Gwen Reese

My bliss started at the end of last December (Dec. 27th, 2021, to Jan. 1st, 2022).

It was our first winter on Vancouver Island, after living in Prince George for almost 50 years. We love it here as we’re close to our youngest son and his family, but do miss our oldest son and his family in Prince George.

So, on Dec. 27th, 2021, our PG family came down. It was great with all our families together. We have 5 grandchildren.

Even though COVID was a concern, we all went to the Butchart Gardens Christmas Lights display. We all loved it. It was amazing. It was our Christmas highlight that took all of our minds off the COVID issue for a few hours. All the outdoor displays provided wonderful family memories that we all got to enjoy.

Family gatherings are so very special and so much fun. We love it.

Thank you for allowing me to share my blissful memory with you.

Neil Godbout

Here are the things that brought me joy and lifted me up when I was down in 2022:


I Don’t Live Here Anymore – The War On Drugs

Call Me Little Sunshine – Ghost

Inner Light – Elderbrook/Bob Moses

Of The New Day – Porcupine Tree

Free And Weightless – Billy Howerdel

Theorem (Live At Arcosanti) – Puscifer

A Beautiful Life – Dorothy

About Damn Time – Lizzo

Filthy – Ayron Jones

Adrenalize 1983 – In This Moment

Cracker Island – Gorillaz

Lonely Weather – Of Monsters And Men


The Sandman

All Of Us Are Dead

Sex Education

His Dark Materials

The Boys


Stranger Things





Creative writing project

Long walks through the Hart

Visiting my best friend from university in Toronto and seeing Porcupine Tree.

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