River House Artisan Showcase

Artisan Showcase for Telkwa & Smithers BC Canada


An Artisan is a skilled craft worker who imagines and creates things by hand that may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative arts, sculptures, clothing, jewelery, household items and tools or even mechanical mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker.

Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.

Early on, the term “artisan” was applied to those who just made things or provided services. Artisans were divided into two distinct groups: those who operated their own businesses and those who did not. Those who owned their businesses were called masters, while the latter were the journeymen and apprentices. One misunderstanding many people have about this group is that they picture them as “workers” in the modern sense: employed by someone. The most influential group among the artisans were the masters, the business owners. The owners enjoyed a higher social status in their communities.

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as cabinets, counters, stairs, and even entire homes.  Craftsmanship with imagination gives us an Artisan.

This Artisan Showcase is a list of just a few Canadian locals we call friends and Artisans.


artisan showcase peter erbel log homes master craftsman in smithers bc canadaPeter Erbel and wife Susanne, who is also a local artisan creating handcrafted jewelry, immigrated from Germany to the Bulkley Valley in 1987. In 1989 he established his own business ECO LOG HOMES and soon had a reputation as a quality builder. Throughout his career he designed and build numerous residential and community-based projects and received the “2009 Award of Excellence” for Best Commercial new Building from Town of Smithers.

 He earned an Engineering Degree in Architecture (Germany), worked for several architectural and engineering firms in Germany, Australia and Canada, specialized early in custom hands-on log and timber construction. Peter is in our estimation, not only the best custom log home builder in this area, he also produced architectural draft sketches, CAD drawings with 3D-renderings, construction plans with details and specification and tender documents. He worked closely  with us from the first design approach to the last finishing touch and assisted us professionally over several years to put our dreams into reality, – to create the ‘River House Estate’.

Peter is a trustworthy and faithful person and all his work was on time and budget without any surprises. Besides our project teamwork we grew a very close friendship with Peter, Susanne and his family. Countless dinner parties at their or our place, many travel and fishing trips will be everlasting memories.


artisan showcase roland oberlader master craftsman in Telkwa, BC CanadaROLAND’s JOINERY was highly recommended by a local contractor when we started looking for a competent local cabinet maker during the early stages of construction at River House. 

Our first contact with Roland Oberlander was when we started our kitchen project. We had worked on the plans for well over two years and had the plans reviewed by two kitchen designers, our builder and appliance supplier.

My wife, Judith, and I had poured over the plans for many, many hours. When Roland reviewed the plans he immediately made an interesting comment: “Don’t you want a microwave”? It was amazing that everyone else had missed the obvious. That cinched the deal; we knew we found our cabinet maker.

Roland finished the kitchen project ahead of schedule and on budget.

Not only did he build a beautiful kitchen he went on to do all the cabinetry in the rest of the house including designing and building Ed’s Place our lower level Game Room which includes a movie theater, office and areas for both a pool table and shuffle board.

Roland is easy to work with and he provides services way beyond cabinetry. Our project was running behind schedule and Roland jumped in and installed our beautiful random length, random width pine flooring and even made our unique front entry door.


artisan showcase riverhouse bc canada

Harry Hasselbach’s work in Chetwynd, BC Canada

Harry Hasselbach who did the rock work at River House Estate has continued to build a reputation as an Artisan by winning a recent Northern BC Building Award in the commercial building category for his work.  The Pinecone  Restraurant in Chetwynd, BC Canada was completely remodeled by his company in 2014.  The winners were announced July 27, 2014 in Prince George.

The remodeled Pinecone Restaurant was completely re-branded and re-opened as the *Pine Riverhouse Restaurant in Chetwynd.  The re-branded restaurant has successfully created an original establishment that uniquely represents the area.  The Pine Riverhouse owner, hired German artisan Harry Hasselbach to bring many unique features to the building.  Hasselbach and his assistant, Petra Krohmer, used locally sourced and unusual materials such as driftwood, fossils and river rocks to meet the challenge of bringing a unique look and feel to an existing building.

At the entrance, the unique chainsaw-carved “Nature Poles” result in a balance blend of rustic and modern design. The project took over a year to complete and the restaurant opened again in March of 2014.

*While the name, River House, is the same, the restaurant project in Chetwynd, BC is not affiliated in any way with River House Estate in Telkwa.


Chris Duncan videographer River House EstateCHRIS DUNCAN not only has proven to be a very good photographer and videographer while working on the marketing videos and photos for River House Estate’s upcoming sale but has also become a very good drone operator in record time. Ed Wright bought a DJI Phantom 4 drone and its not all that easy to fly it efficiently.

Chris is a professional photographer and videographer specializing in weddings, portraits, events, fine art and commercial imagery.  He has been an active photographer, filmmaker, and educator for over 15 years.

Synergy Arts serves the communities Northern British Columbia and the Bulkley Valley from Kitwanga to Houston including Gitsegukla, the Hazeltons, Gitanmaax, Kispiox, Moricetown, Smithers and Telkwa. He also ventures on occasion to Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, and Prince George. He welcomes invitations to destination weddings.  Chris may soon be offering a new prospective for your event with his new skill at flying a drone for overhead views of the event.



Frank Eberman provided the 2 beautiful sculptures at River House Estate. One is in a reflecting pool near the front entrance to the Lodge and the other is submerged in the aquarium pool next to Ed’s downstairs office.  Frank had a deep interest in painting, sculpting and carving early on.   At the age of 22, he left his native Germany to travel and he met his wife, Sophia in South America.  Looking for peace and solitude, the Ebermann’s finally settled with his family in the wilderness near Houston, British Columbia.

Always experimenting with different mediums, he went to Italy to study the work of Michelangelo and brought back Italian marble to sculpt.



 April VokeyAPRIL VOKEY    recently helped Ed and Judith Wright along with videographer Chris Duncan film a new River House Estate marketing video. April is a FFF certified casting instructor, a fly-tying instructor, an active conservationist, traveling speaker and now can add expert real estate marketing hostess to her extensive resume.  She has been featured on the Outdoor Channel’s Buccaneers and Bones series, 60 Minutes Sports, The Steve Harvey show, Discovery Channel’s Refined, Discovery’s/OLN’s Close Up Kings, and WFN’s Fly Nation TV.

Most recently, Vokey proudly wrote and hosted her own exclusive series, ShoreLines with April Vokey, as shown on the World Fishing Network.  The series focuses on fly-fishing’s rich history and the people it consists of.  Feeling limited by airtime, she has since branched out with her podcast, Anchored with April Vokey, an uncensored series dedicated to archiving the stories and personalities from some of fly-fishing’s most influential people.  The show is one of the only fishing podcasts solely recorded in a face to face environment where April ensures to ask questions apart from the norm.

In 2013, April chose to pursue her passion for saltwater species (and a blue-eyed Aussie bloke), and therefore surrendered her Canadian winters for Australia’s & New Zealand’s summers.  She now resides in Canada for six months of the year, and in Australia for the other six.  Her dog, Colby, travels with her between countries, keeping her safe from grizzlies and kangaroos alike.

In  2016, Vokey bought into the Swift Fly Fishing Company as director and shareholder.

Other Skilled Sub-Contractors

Skill Company Phone
Carpentry High Road Construction (250) 847-1348
Electrical HIS Electric (250) 847-2677
Plumbing Alpine Plumbing (250) 847-2820
Slate  Crazy Tiles (250) 847-1865