The Summer Trip: Redbeard’s Great Canadian Glass Gathering

CANNABIS CULTURE – As soon as summer is in the air, I start getting itchy for the outdoors.

Since I was a small child, I’ve been addicted to camping. I was a Beaver, Cub, and Boy Scout. I used to set up a tent on my balcony in the winter and sleep in it just for fun. Every year, for me, must include at least one traditional summer camp-out in a wooded location.

Since I was a teenager, camping has gotten even more interesting thanks to the brain-bending assistance of my favourite entheogenic friends, like magic mushrooms, DMT, MDMA, MDA and LSD. These drugs can transform already-awesome camping activities like roasting hot dogs or sitting in lawn chairs into colourful, thought-expanding voyages across the inner cosmos.

Using psychoactive substances outdoors can be beneficial for a number of reasons, but it isn’t always easy to find the right location. Indulgence in these drugs can occasionally, in some users, lead to things getting a little wild or out of hand. The straight folks at family campgrounds and provincial parks can sometimes get startled or upset when their campsite neighbors look like drug-addled characters from Hunter S. Thompson stories, swinging hatchets and lighting large fires as they laugh like maniacs in the woody darkness.

Location is almost everything. The company you keep is the rest. That’s why it is well worth the three-hour drive from Vancouver to The Gone To The Dogs Ranch in Birken, BC, home of The Great Canadian Glass Gathering (GCGG), hosted annually by local glassblowing legend Redbeard of Redbeard Glass.

The Gathering brings together some of the most talented and interesting glassblowers in North America for a three-day camping event. The GCGG includes full access to glassblowing facilities in a safe outdoor environment, and entertainment by live musicians and DJs.

Redbeard – host of his own LIVE glassblowing show on Pot TV, The Redbeard Show – this year assembled more than 40 glassblowers with various levels of experience, and also a large crowd of non-glassblowers who were there, like me, for the fun and camping.

The torches blazed for three days and the display table filled up with dazzling heady glass pieces of all sorts.

Each day, the amazing cooks at the Naked Baby Cafe served up finely-crafted meals like organic cherry pancakes, fresh deep-fried corn dogs, bacon hamburgers and goat stew. And – oh yes – fresh pots of coffee and delicious deserts!

The bands and DJs bumped into the night as many of us consumed some of the aforementioned substances and went on a real summer trip.

This year, I was fortunate enough to reserve a plush cabin on The Ranch that I shared with my friend Mel Hempseed and her lovely dog Lucy. It was really great to spend some quality time with pot community friends from outside British Columbia – like Erin and Chris Goodwin, Opus, Tracy Curley and Jeff Lundstrom.

For heady glass addicts, like my friend Mel Hempseed, the GCGG was a place to hang out with some of her favorite artists and see them in action on the torches. It was also a place to dab delicious new yummies from some our favorite extract artists and try fresh strains from some master growers.


As usual, I had my camera with me. Check out my Cannabis Culture photo gallery of the 2014 Great Canadian Glass Gathering:


This year Pot TV aired a series of broadcasts from the GCGG, where we hung out with Redbeard and many of the glassblowers in attendance. Watch all seven parts here or below:

Friday – Part 1 – Cannabis Culture News LIVE

Friday – Part 2

Saturday – Part 1

Saturday – Part 2 – The Redbeard Show

Saturday – Part 3

Sunday – Part 1

Sunday – Part 2

See everyone in Birken again next year!

Jeremiah Vandermeer is editor of Cannabis Culture. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.