Tracey Bonneau gets wild about food

Local documentarian filming Quest outWest - Wild Food, in the Okanagan-Similkameen, to be aired on APTN.

Quest outWest — Wild Foods host and creator Tracey Bonneau on set of the APTN 13 episode TV series with guest host

Quest outWest — Wild Foods host and creator Tracey Bonneau on set of the APTN 13 episode TV series with guest host

Teetering on being diagnosed with diabetes, Tracey Bonneau knew her lifestyle of processed foods had to change.

Already she had lost an aunt from complications of the disease. It was one of the driving forces behind the Okanagan artist, filmmaker and documentarian’s idea for a travel-tourism food series. Quest outWest — Wild Food was one of three projects picked up for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network for 2013.

“One of the things that really bothered me was the level of diabetes killing aboriginal people, but it’s not just aboriginals, it’s a world-wide epidemic along with obesity in children. I thought about what I could do to make a difference and how we all can educate each other to make a difference,” said Bonneau. “These are things that are totally preventable. This show is not just a health and fitness program, it is practical things you can do that go back to restoring your natural system and presented in an interesting and fun way.”

Bonneau has 25 years of experience writing for print, radio and TV as a journalist and producing documentaries. Her TV series shows off the Okanagan-Similkameen and the champions of healthy eating and living.

Bonneau is about to hit post-production on her 13 episode TV series, each a half-hour, which wraps filming on June 12. Once that is complete, APTN will decide on the air dates.

“I hope people will learn something from it, get some good recipes and the most important thing is putting the Okanagan on the map,” said Bonneau. “We have an abundance of food culture here and we are all in this together. I’m really excited to bring this to air, not just for the First Nations, but it shows everyone we can all work together to be healthy.”

Among some of the people and places featured are John Terbasket who talks about grain-fed cattle, an episode at the Keremeos Grist Mill, and Cheyenne Kruger speaking about the community gardens on the Penticton Indian Band.  Each episode weaves together threads about growing up Okanagan, family, community, culture and health. Within that they gather and prepare traditional food.

Bonneau has also invited episode guests such as actor Nathaniel Arcand, known for his roles on the TV series Arctic Air, Heartland and Blackstone, and actor Justin Rain, who also was in Arctic Air, Blackstone and was in the film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Bonneau and Rain spent time in Oliver at Chef Chris Van Hooydonk’s Backyard Farm.

“We wanted to take positive role models and invite them on the show as well to learn about the things they know about aboriginal health and wellness,” said Bonneau. “We are very lucky to be living in the Okanagan and we want the world to know about it.”

This week, Bonneau finished filming an episode on the Penticton Indian Band with Chief Jonathan Kruger and his daughter Sage Kruger.

“We also want to feature community members who are heroes of healthy eating and living and Jonathan and Sage are some of those people doing that. Okanagan people have men as hunters but also women who want to be providers and Sage grew up wanting to be a hunter like her dad,” said Bonneau. “We talk about that, the rites of passage and make food like Okanagan people do at hunting camp. Camping is a Canadian tradition and these are things any person camping would find useful.”

Bonneau also has designs for a intricate digital media component that includes the website www.wildfood.com (not yet live) featuring businesses that she worked with while filming the series, recipes and an interactive component.

Bonneau has also created jobs with a 10-person film crew and local people working as interns, shooting on a $900,000 budget.

“It has been a great experience, even though the days can be long filming. I’m so glad to be able to have a couple of aboriginal interns that can learn new skills as well,” she said.

Just Posted

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read