Big Dreams: The west coast premiere

By Jake Moe
Kaare Ness and Steinar Hybertsen smile at the premiere of Big Dreams

Kaare Ness and filmmaker Steinar Hybertsen smile at the premiere of Big Dreams. Photo: Jake Moe

A record attendance turned out at the Norwegian Commercial Club in Seattle, Wash., Thursday, Nov. 13 for the premier showing of the documentary “Big Dreams – from Karmøy to Hawaii.”

The filmed highlights the life and career of Kaare Ness, co-founder of North America’s largest fish company, Trident Seafood’s of Seattle.  Friends and relatives from all over the world flew in to to celebrate the premiere with Kaare and his co-partner Chuck Bundrant, the Chairman of Trident.

The crowd was moved by the showing of Kaare’s life and the inspiration and dedication he displayed to family, faith and work.  Kaare grew up as one of eight children in the poor island community of Karmøy, Norway.  Fishing was the only industry on the island and when the herring became fished out, there was virtually no work to be had.  Kaare immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s and started fishing in New Bedford, Mass.  After several years of success, he earned enough money to build his own boat.

When the fishery in the Northeast started to become depleted, Kaare took an exploration trip to Alaska to investigate the possibility of relocating there.  After a successful introduction to the fishermen in Alaska and seeing the prospects for a healthy business environment, Kaare had his boat shipped across country to the Bering Sea.  This was a big move because it meant that he and his wife, Sigrund would be relocating the family to the wilds of this untamed region.  It was in Alaska where he met a young, energetic fisherman by the name of Chuck Bundrant and together they formed a partnership.

It was in the early 1970s that these two fisherman innovated the entire industry by building the first fisher/processor boat. Today the boat is still the standard of the industry. Through hard work, integrity, clever management and some good luck, the two partners grew Trident Seafood’s to become the billion-dollar business it is today.

“Big Dreams” is a great documentary featuring the life of a truly outstanding Norwegian American, Kaare Ness.  This film, from The Norwegian American Classic Documentary Collection is now available for pre-order. To reserve your copy for $19.95 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling and sales tax where applicable, call Christy at (800) 305-0217.

This article was orginally printed in the Norwegian American Weekly on Nov. 21. 

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.