CHARGED Magazine - Issue 03
CHARGED is an asian lifestyle magazine focused on the promotion and cultivation of asian pop culture and entertainment around Vancouver!
LETTERS FROM THE DIRECTORS: It's no doubt that February has been another eventful and electrifying month for AX3. As we continue to further improve on each and every new issue of CHARGED, our company as a whole is off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2012. Aside from attending Inspire 2012 featuring Jason Chen, David Choi's Forever & Ever 2012 Tour, and CSA's Singing Contest featuring Kary Ng, we continue to increase the awareness of Asian entertainment by bridging the gap between different subcultures and ethnic groups within Vancouver. For those that have recently been introduced to AX3, don't overlook that an essential part of our multimedia company is our online blog, which features frequent updates on Asian pop culture, and also original editorial content. For those that are interested in exploring different styles of music, make sure you check out CHARGED Tunes, an online segment that introduces popular Chinese, Japanese and Korean pop music. I sincerely hope you will appreciate this issue of CHARGED, as it is not only a product of our hard work, but it is also an expressive medium that demonstrates how diverse talents across various parts of the world can end up being recognized in one magazine. Alan Ng, Creative Director February has been a month full of exciting events! Our team got to meet many inspiring artists such as Jason Chen, and David Choi and really learn about what drives them in doing what they love. Here at AX3, a similar passion drives us in delivering the best content to all our readers through our magazine and website. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the AX3 team and anyone who have helped in the process of creating this third issue for all their hard work. From the written content produced by our editorial team to the layout and visual composition of the magazine by our design team, we placed tremendous effort in every aspect of this magazine. So please take a good look through this issue and if you have comments or feedback, don't hesitate to contact us through email at staycharged@ ax3battery.com. Thank you for reading and hope the inspiring stories from this issue's features will drive you to also work hard in achieving what you love! Shun Lee, Director of Operations With March being the third issue, we've been able to interview and learn from a lot of successful people. Whether they're up-and-coming artists, or aspiring entrepreneurs, they all have an interesting story to tell. This month, we learned a lot from Jason Chen, Michelle Wong, and Tony Chen about their true passion for what they do and how they overcome their biggest obstacles, how each of them were on one path, but switched gears and are now doing what they love. We love hearing about what inspires people, what gets them CHARGED: which is why we ask everyone "What gets you CHARGED?". I would like to dedicate this March issue to those who are sort of "lost" in where they fit, to those who don't know what they want to do in life. Please take a read through this issue and find out how others found their passion and are doing what they love; this issue was crafted with you guys in mind. Oh, and this month for CHARGEDeats we explored the best food carts that Vancouver has to offer.. Thank you for reading, and until next time, #stayCHARGED, Justin Lee, Editor in Chief PUBLISHER AX3 Multimedia Inc. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Justin Lee MANAGING EDITOR Evelyn Wong WRITERS Will Chack Yan Lui Peter Tang Bernie Yee Benjamin Yong ART DIRECTOR Shun Lee ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Tiffany Ip DESIGNERS Venus Fung Peter Zhao Nicholas Sim PHOTOGRAPHERS Edwin Chan Ellick Lee Johanne Chow Norman Tam SALES & DISTRIBUTION Irvin Ho MARKETING MANAGER Carolyn Shum SALES Charmine Lau Kenny Chow Annie Chan Stephanie Ngo Kiki Pau PRODUCTION HOST Angela Chang Matthew Tse SPECIAL THANKS Albert Law Art Department I AM MADE Entertainment Horseshoe Press Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily intended to reflect those of the publisher. AX3 Multimedia Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate and complete on publication date. AX3 Multimedia Inc. reserves the right to limit lability for omissions and errors to a printed issue. Copyright � 2012 by AX3 Multimedia Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical or photographic without the permission of AX3 Multimedia Inc. Cover + Jason Chen Photoshoot INTERVIEW INHALE INSPIRATION, EXHALE CREATION Text: Justin Lee Photos: Johanne Chow, Ellick Lee Art, Design, Music, and Fashion: four essentials that reflect the modern lifestyle of today's youth. This is what A.D.F.M. founder Michelle Wong explains as the foundation of her online boutique. With a formal education in music and film production, Michelle left the industry to work for herself and to showcase the latest fashion trends to the world to help others realize their own uniqueness. In an exclusive interview with CHARGED Magazine, Michelle elaborates on A.D.F.M.'s growing success and the importance of standing out. 6 CHARGED | March 2012 INTERVIEW Could you introduce A.D.F.M to our readers? The A.D.F.M concept is a one stop shop for art, design, fashion and music, more focused on the modern lifestyle today, contemporary with a little bit of edge. The whole idea of the store is to get anything you need for your modern lifestyle today. What do you consider a modern lifestyle? For us it's definitely street with a contemporary edge, more forward; upscale, but not so pretentious. Speaking in fashion, we try to go a little more fashion forward instead of just doing what the norm is. That is what I consider as modern lifestyle, pushing the limits and being on the edge. ART - DESIGN - FASHION - MUSIC generation, to be themselves and be happy with that. It's upsetting to see kids being bullied and attempting suicide just because they aren't allowed to be themselves. I feel very deeply about having your own unique style while being yourself and not worrying about what other people think. When you have that mentality of loving yourself, you bring something else into this world that is beneficial to somebody else. For our generation, we put on a piece of clothing to say something about ourselves. Clothing may speak something about someone whether it be a t-shirt or a suit, but being comfortable with yourself and how you wear it is what will make you stand out. What's the process you go through when choosing what brands to carry and sell at A.D.F.M? In the beginning it's mostly brands I really like, that I've been following, and that I've been a fan of myself. We all have different tastes but you should back the products and be passionate about it. Really what I start with is a budget for each element and then we reach out to brands and see it in person to look at the details and feel the materials; I believe in the quality of the products and the unique piece of it. It's all about the quality and the feel of the clothing, if it feels good on you it will make you feel more confident and good about yourself. We only carry one quantity of size per style. You're not going to see another person close to you with the same article; it becomes an exclusive piece. From the brands we choose, we also look at other brands that are similar, and we get introduced to a lot of brands now from a lot of brand owners. Depending on how it looks and how it feels, we may or may not pick it up. We also do welcome local or independent designers to reach out as we're very passionate about helping others get noticed, people can always email us and we'll always reply. Art, Design, Fashion, Music - Why did you choose these four elements? It's the four things I'm most passionate about, they're elements that exists in our everyday life. Everyone experiences each differently; some elements may be more prominent than others. With design, look around you, everything is designed for a reason and with a purpose. Every day you put on clothes, and as much as some people don't want to consider themselves into fashion, you chose that piece of clothing for a reason. It's a way of expressing yourself, which in return is Art. And for music, we all love music, I don't think anyone can go a day without it. These four elements co-exist with each other no matter what. A.D.F.M aims to be a "haven undefined by borders of discrimination labels and the common." Why do you think that it's important to be different and willing to break these borders? If everyone were the same, it'd be a boring world. Everyone has their own different personality and has something different to bring to our society. Different is good and having your own uniqueness stands for itself, especially in this generation. I think it's really sad when young girls always imitate celebrities or models in magazines when they should try to be themselves. We should be teaching these kids, the next How has social media helped in expanding your customer base? Quite a bit, everyone nowadays uses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and all that kind of stuff. I myself have been comfortable with social media, and we definitely have reached out and gotten more customers CHARGED | March 2012 7 INTERVIEW "I BELIEVE EVERYONE EITHER LIVES OR NEEDS THOSE ELEMENTS, AND IT ONLY MAKES SENSE TO BRIDGE THE GAP." Michelle Wong, A.D.F.M internationally. It's easy for customers to talk to us, ask questions, or voice their concerns and feedback. It also helps to learn what is trending and seeing what others are interested in. It's hard to satisfy everybody but at least we're trying to satisfy most people, the majority. What are we going to see from A.D.F.M in the future? What are your goals for A.D.F.M? We want to be one of the top online stores internationally, having different locations shipping from different parts of the world for our customers to save on shipping. We want to be the go-to stop shop, and to share our inspiration. Our motto is "inhale inspiration, exhale creation". We want people to get inspired and to create something for themselves, whether it be a design or a piece of clothing, because like we mentioned we also pickup a lot of independent brands around the world. Speaking on that we've just picked up some amazing international brands that we're very excited to get in store. One is OGE (One Green Elephant), it's 100% organic japanese cotton denim line. I mean I don't think we need to say more, once we heard Japanese denim and organic cotton we had to have it. We'll also be the only online store in North America to carry it. It's things like that that we want to be known for, carrying amazing exclusive brands and introducing it to people that otherwise wouldn't have known. The whole vision is to build a community and a place for people to go to share their creation. It's not always about quantity: it's something about wearing nice material clothing whereas the cheap materials don't provide the same satisfaction. Something we're very excited about rolling out will be personal shopping, where people can book a personal shopping session, come in and try on anything they like and buy it on the spot. It's the in store feel but more VIP and more exclusive. It will be happening at our warehouse in Richmond, BC next month and it will be for those people that have been eyeing clothes and wanting to feel the materials and see themselves in it. makes me motivated to do more and do it better because there's always room for growth. It's great to know that customers acknowledge us, it tells us that we're doing our customer service right. I feel that customer service has gone downhill in the retail industry and that they don't care about their customers buying their products. On A.D.F.M, we have live chat on the website all the time and reply to emails within 24 hours; we believe in 100% customer satisfaction. It's encouraging and great to see all these international customers starting to notice us. Getting more international gets me motivated more. It shows that there is a demand and it may be growing and we need to push that to make sure people notice and have a venue to go to. Visit A.D.F.M's store at: theADFMstore.com facebook.com/theADFMstore twitter.com/theADFMstore Email: email@example.com Get 15% off your order by visiting ax3battery.com/ADFM CHARGED | March 2012 9 What gets you CHARGED? When customers tell us that they love their items, usually through social media. Having people enjoying their shopping experience EATS im Ter H ayo ot D og Text : Peter Tang & Bernie Yee Photos: Shun Lee & Justin Lee In the past couple of years, the street food scene in Vancouver has changed a lot. What used to consist of only hot dogs and chestnuts now include things such as tacos and pulled-pork sandwiches, to even oversized takoyaki. All this is made possible due to the legalization and rising trend of food carts, and there exists dozens just in Downtown Vancouver alone! But how does one know where to savour the best of the best? Don't worry, the team here at CHARGED took to the streets, and here are our reviews for a few of them. THE BEST... AND THE MEDIOCRE OF VANCOUVER'S FUSION STREET FOODS It's almost impossible to hunt for street food without hitting the Japadog stand. Already well known in Vancouver, Japadog in its lifetime has already had several celebrity customers such as Mark Zuckerberg, Ice Cube and Steven Segal. For those of you unfamiliar with this famous hot dog stand, Japadog offers a special selection of hot dogs mixed in with Japanese influences. This has resulted in their specialty items like the terimayo dog, yakisoba dog, and okonomi dog, all of which piques our curiosities. Since the terimayo hot dog ($5) is known as their signature dish, we just had to try it. As the name suggests, it consists of a hot dog with teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. It's topped with seaweed to finish. Though the combination of teriyaki, mayo and the hot dog did prove to be satisfying, the mayo was a bit too rich. The ratio of content to bread is well balanced, and results in a nice solid mouthful each bite. The seaweed is definitely a nice touch and adds to Japanese authenticity, as well as texture in the hot dog. Despite all the hype and praise that Vancouver citizens have for Japadog, overall we found the experience to be just satisfying. Though nothing really stands out in terms of taste, Japadog does offer some very unique combinations in fusion food culture. Located near the corner of West Georgia and Homer Street, Coma Food Truck is another unique fusion food cart. Featuring a wide variety of cuisines that combines Korean, American, and Mexican influences. When we went, we sampled the truck's miso soup, bulgogi beef burrito ($6), and kimchi quesadillas ($6). When ordering the bulgogi burrito, you can choose from varieties such as beef, spicy pork, or vegetable. The inside of our burrito consisted of beef, kimchi, tofu, Korean BBQ sauce and Jack Cheddar cheese all wrapped up in a tortilla. The flavour of the bulgogi and the BBQ sauce were very noticeable with each bite, and did well to complement the other contents. We also sampled the kimchi quesadilla, which we felt didn't have as good value for the price as the burrito. The quesadilla contained cheese, vegetables, kimchi, tofu and salsa. Despite the unique fusion, the quesadillas didn't quite fill us up as well as the burrito did, and we could hardly taste the kimchi inside as the cheese seemed too overpowering. The quesadillas may be better suited as a snack. Overall, Coma Food Truck does provide a hearty meal, and serves up a very unique style of fusion food. One thing we recommend when ordering is to ask for extra napkins. The food is very oily and easily falls apart. If you're looking to stop by, be quick as they're only opened for two hours a day during lunch time! Kimchi Quesadilla Bulgogi Burrito twitter.com/japadog Coma Food Truck Japadog twitter.com/ComaFoodTruck CHARGED | March 2012 11 EATS Since August of last year, Mangal Kiss has been offering authentic Middle Eastern grub in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. With a small but specialized menu of shishliks (a type of shish kebabs) as their main item, this food cart start-up is slowly changing the way people think about Middle Eastern cuisine. At Mangal Kiss, two types of shisliks are offered: beef made from Fraser Valley rib-eye steak, and chicken from Rossdown Farms. But the unique thing about ordering a shishlik from Mangal Kiss is that they don't just serve you the meat, they serve it on a taftoon, a traditional Iranian flatbread. Depending on the type of shishlik you order, different wholesome and fresh vegetables also accompany your shishlik combined with your pick of sauces. We ordered the lamb shishlik, a special offering at the time. As standard, it came with a taftoon loaded with greens, and boy, was this wrap big. Upon the first bite, we could really taste just how incredibly fresh the ingredients were. The lamb meat itself had a nice meatball-like texture with a well-rounded kick from the spices. The end result when mixed with their homemade fig and red pepper thousand island dressing was a very refreshing with a slightly sweet bite. Afterwards, Mark, the owner of Mangal Kiss gave us a chance to try the beef rib-eye wrap as well. Similar to the lamb shishlik, the meat was very tender and the spices added dimension. For this wrap, they used veggies such as purple cabbage, beets, pickled turnips and carrots, topped off with a hummus and couscous blend. It was slightly tangier than the lamb, but was just as excellent. With each shishlik priced at a fair $7, the quality of the food and exceptional customer service make the Mangal Kiss food cart very unique amongst all the other wrap food carts downtown. This is definitely one place you should stop at when you're hungry. Mangal Kiss Lamb Shishlik twitter.com/mangalkiss Although fusion seems to be a growing trend with food carts in Vancouver, none retains the authenticity as much as Ursu does with its Korean cuisine. Owned by a local Korean family, the Ursu food cart serves a variety of Korean fusion dishes such as kimchi hot dogs, kalbi burgers, and quesadillas. The service there also deserves a mention as Lee, the kind lady that served us was exceptionally friendly. For the price of $7, the kalbi burger we tried was a little disappointing. The bread to meat ratio was uneven as the burger bun was more than twice the size of the meat patty. The added onions and lettuce didn't do much justice either to complement what was already a mediocre burger. We felt that the veggies were stuffed in to simply add nutritional value. On the other hand, the kimchi hot dog was undoubtedly a very memorable meal. Although hot dogs are hardly a Korean dish, we felt that this fusion had the most authentic taste. Spicy food fanatics will definitely want to try this Korean-American delight. The sour and spicy taste of the kimchi went really well with the hot dog, and the level of spice was just ideal. Found just on the corner of West Georgia and Richards Street, Ursu is open during lunchtime on weekdays. If you're in the area and looking for some good Korean food, Ursu is a good place to hit up. Ursu Kalbi Burger Kimchi Hot Dog twitter.com/ursukoreantaco Follow these food carts on their twitter to get live updates, and locations. Download "Street Food" app on your smart phones to check out other famous street food all around Vancouver. Beef Rib-Eye Wrap 12 CHARGED | March 2012 INTERVIEW Simon Luu, Founder and Director of The Red Pocket ONLINE DEALS FOR EVERY GENERATION: INTERVIEW WITH THE RED POCKET ENTREPRENEURS Text & Photo: Benjamin Yong B y now, the convenience and costsavings of daily deal websites like Groupon and Living Social are no secret to most of the Internet-savvy generation. But the Asian-focused bargain-provider The Red Pocket has found a way to expand the appeal to even the parents of Gen X and Y'ers. The business, which launched in July of 2011 and is located in Burnaby, specializes in restaurant deals and is Canada's first bilingual (English and Chinese) deal site. In addition to heavy Internet marketing, what sets them apart from the competition is their physical presence as well, said Chinese marketing specialist Wai Lam Cheung. "We have been in Aberdeen for two consecutive years to promote our website through booths, and we do a lot of giveaways," says Lam, adding it has attracted a very diverse group of people. To the management's surprise and delight, what ended up happening was they were getting a lot of the over 50 immigrant population inquiring about their deals, says founder and director Simon Luu. "For example, we did (a deal for) Flo bubble tea. A lot of parents called, and after we got to know them some of them told us that, hey, this is a chance for them to hang out with their kids," says Luu. "They would buy 14 CHARGED | March 2012 10 bubble teas and they would take their kids after school. And it works out for them because it's cheap, because parents don't like paying $5 for a bubble tea all the time." Although described by some as an "Asian Groupon," Luu admits they still have a ways to go before they reach that status. Still, the company is growing by leaps and bounds � they were recently the first site to partner with Sunrise Soya, local producer of tofu and soy drink products, and also the first to feature Church's chicken, bringing the Western fried chicken chain to a whole new audience. All this success started when, coincidentally, Groupon approached Luu to feature a deal with his other company, Prestige Luxury Car Rentals. He said he "fell in love" with the online coupon idea and discussed the idea of starting something with a friend who was a computer programmer. Being Chinese-Canadian, Luu felt there was an opportunity to cater to the Asian segment. "Asians love deals more than anybody, and the other deal sites that were running weren't really Asian targeted. They were (offering) steaks and burgers and stuff like that." The site became live after bringing on board one more person to handle sales. The original business model of Red Pocket featured typical offerings like spa getaways and manicures, but Luu found that they weren't consistently popular. The one thing that almost always sold well? Food. While the direction of the business has become tailored towards epicures, there are plans to expand beyond that in the near future. Without revealing too much, Luu says they are in the process of partnering with distributors in Asia to bring the latest and trendiest knick knacks, gadgets and other "goodies" that are popular in places like Hong Kong. "We are expanding the shopping experience to everyone in North America so they can get up-to-date Asian products at a discount, and the shopping experience will be very easy and flexible," says Cheung. To find out more about The Red Pocket and what deals you can get, visit www.theredpocket.com facebook.com/TheRedPocket twitter.com/theRedPocket BRIDGEPORT ROAD GARDEN CITY ROAD H W Y 99 NO 4 ROAD ABERDEEN STATION CAMBIE ROAD NO 3 ROAD ALDERBRIDGE WAY NO 3 ROAD LANSDOWNE STATION WESTMINSTER HWY BRIGHOUSE STATION GRANVILLE AVE CAMBIE ROAD ABERDEEN STATION ABERDEEN CENTRE SHELL ROAD RICHMOND BUY 1 DRINK & GET 2ND DRINK FOR $1 604-299-8975 422 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5C 5G4 http://www.pearldropstea.com/ 10% OFF FOR DINE-IN BILL 778-395-8899 10209 - 10211 King George Hwy, Surrey, BC, V3T 2W6 FREE VIP CARD 778-297-1722 #3370 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, V6X 4J7 15% OFF NON SALE ITEMS firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.theadfmstore.com http://www.theadfmblog.com NO 5 ROAD 10% OFF 604-568-6988 1021 - 88 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 6N8 BUY 2 CROISSANTS AND GET 1 FREE 604-568-6500 820 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2W5 http://www.footodelights.com 10% OFF WITH THE PURCHASE OF 2 OR MORE ITEMS 604-278-8822 #3750 - 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC, V6X4J7 $50 TOWARDS STUDIO PROGRAMS & PRODUCTS. 778-822-0000 140 - 4140 NO. 3 Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 2C2 10% OFF. 604-327-6368 5556 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3A2 http://www.mimibuloveme.com/ ONE FREE CLASS 778-801-1679 6511 Buswell Street, Richmond, BC, V6Y 2G9 http://www.actimage.ca/ $5 OFF 604-821-1278 1018 - 8300 Capstan Way, Richmond, BC, V6X 4B7 FREE MINI USB WHEN YOU TEST DRIVE ANY MINI COOPER 10780 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 1K8 10% off for dine-in bill. 10% off your bill for dine-in only. Valid one coupon per table. Valid for only one bill if splitting of bills is requested. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Bubble88 reserves the rights to refuse the use of this promotion if the terms and conditions are not correctly met. Buy 1 drink, Get the 2nd drink for only $1 This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Pearl Drops reserves the right to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in-store promotion. DOWNTOWN CH RI A RD S ST 15% off non-sale items Visit http://www.ax3battery.com/adfm for full coupon details. Free VIP card. Available at their 2 locations: Crystal Mall and Aberdeen Centre. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Cube Inc reserves the rights to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in-store promotions. H SM O M IT ER H E Buy 2 croissants and get 1 FREE! This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Footo Delights reserves the right to refuse the use of this coupon if the terms and conditions are not correctly met. The one free croissant must be of equal value or less of the purchased croissants. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at the time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in store promotions 10% off. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. East Fusion Food () reserves the right to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. This coupon is not valid with any other promotions. ( ) VANCOUVER ST ST W 41ST AVE $50 towards Studio Programs and Products. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Artistic Space Studio reserves the rights to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This Coupon is for $50 towards Artistic Space Studios Membership Program for the year 2012 only. This Coupon can only be used towards Artistic Space Studios dance & music programs. All special events are not included. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any in-store promotions. 10% off with the purchase of 2 or more items. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Gacha Hobbies reserves the rights to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in-store promotions. OAKRIDGE CENTRE One Free Class Scholarship Certificate redeemable at ACTIMAGE Centre for Digital Arts for full-time program tuition deduction only. Not redeemable for cash. Offer expires on 3/31/2012. May not be combined with other scholarship certificates. Offer valid only with scholarship certificate. Limited to one certificate per person. May not be refunded for monetary value. Offer redeemed tuition is not refundable. If applied program is withdrawn, the offer will be deducted from the value of the refunding tuition prior to a refund/ credit being issued. Terms and conditions subject to change without notice. 10% off. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Mimibuloveme reserves the rights to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in-store promotions. SURREY Free MINI USB when you test drive any MINI Cooper. This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. Present this coupon when test driving any MINI Cooper and receive a MINI USB. Limit one coupon per customer. Coupon has no cash value and can only be used atMINI Richmond. Dealer reserves the right to decline any test drive.Must have a valid BC driver's license. Some conditions apply. $5 off This coupon expires on 3/31/2012. K Fever Karaoke reserves the right to refuse the use of this coupon if terms and conditions are not correctly met. Not applicable for all-you-cansing/other promotional offers or on holiday/ holiday eve. This coupon has no cash value. This coupon must be surrendered at time of use. The offer may not be combined with any other in-store promotions. INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE ABBOTT ST D U N SM U IR ST STADIUM CHINATOWN STATION IL TO N KEEF ST ER B LV D M W VPL H ES A T G EO ST RG O N ST ST AT T CA BS M RO BI E IA ST EX PO VD BL BE Y CAMBIE ST OAKRIDGE 41ST STATION BURNABY W 40TH AVE CONFEDERATION PARK WILLINGDON AVE ALBERT ST HASTING ST 134 ST SURREY CENTRAL STATION 135 ST KING GEORGE BLVD 140 ST DR IVE IVE RS ITY 102A AVE SFU + CENTRAL CITY SHOPPING CENTRE UN OLD YALE ROAD INTERVIEW JASON CHEN INSPIRES VANCOUVER TEXT: BENJAMIN YONG PHOTO: ALBERT LAW 20 CHARGED | March 2012 INTERVIEW E veryone has a friend or ten who graduated from business school and go on to practical, yet perhaps unglamorous careers in finance, or accounting. Taiwanese-American singer Jason Chen started down that path, but quickly realized he had a greater talent to share with the world. Jason studied business economics while attending UCLA (he graduated in 2010), and while in college his roommates saw his singing potential and encouraged him to sing cover songs and upload them to YouTube. It's a good thing he did -- he's tackled everything from Bruno Mars ("Grenade", "Just The Way You Are"), Nelly ("Just A Dream") and even Beyonce ("If I Were A Boy") to slightly less R&B and more eastern grooves like Wang Leehom ("Still In Love With You") and David Tao ("Regular Friends") netting him millions of views. He's even caught the eye of celebs like Ryan Seacrest who posted his collabocover of Eminem's Lighters on his website. Although gaining fame from creating unique renditions of other artists' songs, Jason says he wants to focus on his own music. "Long-term-wise, I want to get more into writing and also producing. I really want to stay away from `the guy who does covers,' says Jason. "Because I think everyone out there doing music would want to create original songs and not always get stuck with covers � so as soon as I felt like I got my own little following that cared about original music, I started doing them." Perusing the list of tracks that appear when you Google Jason Chen's name, it's clear he draws inspiration from urban and pop genres. He cites Bruno Mars, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown as influences, and even a familiar boy band from the 90s. "I really like [the] Backstreet Boys. I kind of denied it when I was younger, but I did like them." " I REALLY WANT TO STAY AWAY FROM `THE GUY WHO DOES COVERS'" On the other side of the spectrum, Jason says he would love the opportunity one day to work with Asian artists like his favorites Leehom, JJ Lin and Khalil Fong. The humble singer recently threw a concert in China in December and is looking forward to expanding more into that industry. "The only thing holding me back is I don't really understand the way things work [there] in the entertainment industry. I know it's a lot different compared to here so I am a little hesitant. But I would love to." When asked what gets him CHARGED, Jason says it is to one day to bump into a stranger who is playing his music in their car or on their iPod and truly enjoying it. "It's a great feeling for me to make a song and have a lot of people listening to it. That's what keeps me going." The following day, Jason Chen headlined "Inspire 2012", the third installment of the concert series that has previously seen performances by MC Jin and Jayesslee. Performing various songs such as Count on Me by Bruno Mars, Price Tag by Jessie J, No One by Alicia Keys, as well as a Chinese song by Leehom Wang called Wei Yi; Jason entertained an audience of over 800 fans that night. With a genuine soul, Jason Chen has won the hearts of all his fans, and continues to leave a mark inspiring many others. Check out Jason Chen's music: jasondchen.com youtube.com/miniachilles facebook.com/JasonChenMusic twitter.com/JasonDChen CHARGED | March 2012 21 EATS 10 SNACKS YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER TRIED BEFORE Text: Carolyn Shum Photos: Ellick Lee Whether you are studying for your next exam, or just craving for some munchies, there just has to be snacks you cannot go wrong with! We shopped at different stores across Vancouver and hand picked 10 unique snacks that you probably never tried yourself. So the AX3 team did the job for you. We carefully evaluated each snack based on its flavour, uniqueness and CHARGED factor (the degree to which it can energize you) and voted on which snack reigns supreme. You might be surprised by the results, so read on! 1 Ta Pasta Bolognese (Glico) 3 Taiwanese Oyster Omelette 4 Bolognese spaghetti aroma fills the air. The thin sticks are super crispy and crunchy, and are indeed true to taste. Compared to the regular PRETZ (salad flavour), it's less salty and much crunchier. For those who are always on the go, these are quite fragile due to its packaging so store them carefully! Definitely worth a try. Flavour: 10/10 Uniqueness: 9/10 CHARGED Factor: 8/10 Where to buy: Konbiniya Chips (Hwa Yuan) Oyster Omelette is one of Taiwan's popular street food, but who would've thought this could turn into potato chips? Although its taste does resemble the dish to a certain extent, the oyster flavour is not too strong. This makes it a perfect snack for those who do not normally enjoy the "fishy" taste of seafood. They do get greasy after a few so have some tissues handy! Flavour: 7/10 Uniqueness: 8/10 CHARGED Factor: 6/10 Where to buy: Candyland Salty Peppery Chicken Nugget Chips (Bo De Duo) We've probably all had the famous "salty peppery chicken" snack at our nearby Taiwanese restaurant, so we gave this a try. At the first bite, it may taste a bit too salty, but the peppery taste kicks in right after. However, the taste isn't too special - in fact, some of the flavours from "Calbee" or "Lays" may offer even more interesting flavours. Get this only if you are very hungry. Flavour: 5/10 Uniqueness: 6/10 CHARGED Factor: 5/10 Where to buy: Candyland 2 Zhang Jun Ya Xiao Mei Mei Bon Manger Tidbits () Taiwanese brand Zhang Jun Ya definitely brings childhood memories back. These balls of dried instant noodles may give a false first impression, but are actually pretty irresistable. However, these tiny crunchies are high in sodium and makes you thirsty after a couple of bites. Flavour: 8/10 Uniqueness: 7/10 CHARGED Factor: 7/10 Where to buy: Smart N Save 5 Mac & Cheese Corn Puffs (Meiji) This is the strongest smelling snack out of all. Its rich cheesy smell makes one quite overwhelmed at first, but when you grab a bite, the cheese flavour dissolves and dies off quickly. It's more like a chip than a puff as it is quite crispy. This snack will make you thirsty so be sure to grab a drink! Flavour: 7/10 CHARGED Factor: 6/10 Uniqueness: 8/10 Where to buy: Konbiniya 22 CHARGED | March 2012 EATS 9 Pineapple Chocolate Pie (Crown) This definitely tastes like Taiwanese pineapple pastries but it doesn't taste good as we expected. Individual wrappers make it an easy grab-and-go, but its loose crumbs do make a mess when you bite into it. The pineapple taste overshadows the chocolate, causing the cominbation of flavours to be imbalanced for the tastebuds. But if you're a pineapple fan, you've got to try this! Flavour: 5/10 Uniqueness: 6/10 CHARGED Factor: 5/10 Where to buy: H-Mart 6 Every Burger Chocolate (Bourbon) Shaped like real burgers, this chocolate cookie makes a great treat for your friends and family. There are two layers of filling (chocolate and cream) between the crunchy, sesame-topped "buns". It isn't too sweet and the textures match well with each other. It may be an Asian version of Oreo, but much cuter. Flavour: 8/10 Uniqueness: 9/10 CHARGED Factor: 7/10 Where to buy: H-Mart 8 Sour Candy Hard Balls (Kanyo) This hard candy offers a playful twist to the regular sour candies we may be used to eating. Instead of turning sweet after a layer of sourness, this candy actually doesn't taste sour until you're near the centre. It's a long-lasting fruity- flavoured candy (comes in lemon, green apple and strawberry) that gets you wanting more. Definitely get this if you need a quick recharge! Flavour: 8/10 Uniqueness: 3/10 CHARGED Factor: 6/10 Where to buy: Konbiniya 10 Ice Cream Candy (Four Seas) The shape of this hard candy is very uniquely cute, but other than that, it's nothing special. In fact, the flavours are not outstanding at all and tastes overly sweet. But for those who has a sweet tooth, or if you're just that adventurous- it's not a bad choice! Flavour: 3/10 Uniqueness: 8/10 CHARGED Factor: 4/10 Where to buy: Konbiniya 7 Earl Grey Chocolate (Meiji) Although Earl Grey tea may be familiar to many of us, this unique combination of flavours is surprisingly very good and fresh to the senses. Not only is the chocolate velvety smooth, it isn't too sweet and has a great blend of tea and cocoa flavours. 6 sticks in the box just wasn't enough to satisfy our tastebuds- we definitely crave for more. Flavour: 9/10 Uniqueness: 9/10 CHARGED Factor: 10/10 Where to buy: Candyland 7. Locations: Smart N Save (#616 Lansdowne Centre, 5300 No.3 Rd, Richmond) Konbiniya (1238 Robson Street, Vancouver) Candyland (Crystal Mall - 4500, Kingsway, Burnaby) H-Mart (590 Robson Street, Vancouver) CHARGED | March 2012 23 HH( MARCH EVENTS SAT SAT FRI 10 17 23 --JIN AKANISHI: JAPONICANA TOUR 13TH ANNUAL YOURS CHARITY SINGING CONTEST Time: 8.00pm to 10.30pm Location: River Rock Show Theatre, 8811 River Road, RIchmond YOURS Student Association will once again be hosting their annual singing contest, showcasing some of Vancouver's best voices. This show will also feature the winners of TVB's The Voice 2 Mag Lam () and Hubert Wu (). Do not miss your chance to meet Hong Kong's hottest singing talents at the autograph session on March 16, and watch them perform on March 17. For more information, visit http://singyours.com. 2012 YTF CONCERT TOUR: VANCOUVER LEGO CASTLE ADVENTURES AT SCIENCE WORLD Time: 8.00pm to 10.30pm Location: The Centre for Performing Arts, 777 Homer Street, Vancouver As an ex-member of J-pop group KAT-TUN, the multi-talented Jin Akanishi has established his name successfully in the entertainment industry. Not only has he topped national charts in Japan with his hit singles, but also sold out his first US tour in 2010. With the up-and-coming acoustic artist Joseph Vincent as his opening act, fans must not miss this opportunity to see the talented duo perform live. Check out http://jinakanishiusa.com/tour/ for more information and ticket sales. Time: 6.00pm open doors, 7.00pm show Location: The Center for Performing Arts, 777 Homer Street, Vancouver YouTube's best entertainers will be making their only Canadian stop in Vancouver this month. The YTF crew will be showcasing forte in singing, dancing and sketch comedy all in a single show. Be star-stuck by talents like Ryan Higa, Kevin Wu (KevJumba), Dominic Sandoval, Chester See, JR Aquino and much more. For more information and ticket sales, visit http://ytfglobal.com. Time: Mon to Fri: 10am to 5pm. Sat, Sun, Holidays: 10am to 6pm Location: Science World, 1455 Quebec Street Vancouver, Reignite your inner child at Science World's latest hands-on exhibition with everybody's favourite toy. Check out castles, thrones and armours all made out of LEGO, and learn how realworld fortresses are built. Visit http://scienceworld.ca/lego for more information. CHARGED | March 2012 25 ASK Guys that check their hair every time they see a mirror or reflective surface. Guys that wear UGG boots! Girls who wear a lot of fur on their shoes People who wear socks with sandals. WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE PET PEEVE? Text: Bernie Yee Design: Venus Fung One of the greatest things about being human is that we're all different. We all have our own personal likes and dislikes, and this includes our own unique list of nuisances. While body odour is definitely something that none of us like, there are things that certain people will personally find more annoying than others. For this issue of CHARGED, we went around asking your fellow Vancouverites a simple question. Take a look at the list below to see what they considered to be their ultimate pet peeves! 26 CHARGED | March 2012 When people talk with their mouth full When people go "Eww, why are you creeping?" If you upload stuff onto the Internet , it's for everyone to see. When people cough and make that hacking noise People that post pictures without rotating them to the correct orientation. People that take infinite amount of food pictures and upload them onto Facebook. People with terrible oral hygiene People that leave half glasses of water (or any kind of liquid) anywhere People in groups or couples walk in the dead center of a sidewalk People that are all talk Couples that sit on the same side of the booth when there is no one on the other side. ... and people that walk super slow! People who try to be a smartass When people shake their leg while sitting. People that crowd around Skytrain/bus doors, they block people trying to get on and off CHARGED | March 2012 27 INTERVIEW ACTIMAGE CENTER FOR DIGITAL ARTS : Text: Justin Lee Photos: Shun Lee digital media curators, preparing them for the growing industry. We sat down with Tony to learn more about this school and what it has to offer. So tell us how you started Actimage. Four years ago we started a website called 3Danimationtutor.com. I created it while working full time. The website essentially was for students of all expertise to come and get tutored by professionals after hours. Our students had quality one-onone time with the tutors, and as a result we got really good testimonials from the students. We thought why not make a full time school out of it to help more students from beginning to end. VANCOUVER'S NEWEST DIGITAL MEDIA SCHOOL Tell us more about the Programs you offer at Actimage. Our school currently has two programs: 3D Animation & Visual Effects, and Architectural Visualization. 3D Animation & Visual Effects is a 12-month program where students learn the basics of 3D animation. We start with the fundamentals: art, sculpting, color theory, painting, traditional animation (frame by frame), and then we move onto anatomy. Students graduate with a portfolio that can be used to apply to jobs in the video game, film and TV industry. We teach the entire process, from concept art, to modeling, to texturing, to rigging, to animation, to special effects, lighting, rendering, and finally compiling. Architectural Visualization is a sevenmonth intensive course that involves 3D rendering. We teach students how to take blueprints and render them into buildings. These renders are shown to investors so that they can visualize what a building looks like before it's built. Work of Marco Menco (left), Chris Nichols (right), Actimage Center for Digital Art. M Tony Chen, founder of Actimage Center for Digital Arts eet Tony Chen, the founder of Actimage Center for Digital Arts. After spending two years studying for a Computing Science degree, Tony left to pursue an education and career in 3D animation. Tony since then has worked for numerous companies as a Lead Animator and Lead Rigger, participating in projects such as Duke Nukem Forever and Prince of Persia. Discovering that helping others succeed brings more satisfaction than working on these awesome projects, Tony created the Actimage Center for Digital Arts. This new school aims to provide a fresh experience to aspiring animators and What do you think Actimage offers that other schools do not? First of all, we offer a small class size that is no greater than 15 students per class. In addition, the instructors we have here are top-notch in the industry; we only hire the senior/lead artists or higher. Some instructors are even recruiters from major studios. For example, we have artists from Pixar, Rainmaker, EA, Digital Domain and other big companies teaching at our CHARGED | March 2012 29 INTERVIEW school. Our students benefit because the instructors know how students work and their work ethics. If the students perform well, it's pretty much an interview right there and they have a foot in the door. Actimage also offers a mentorship program. In the last semester, the students focus on completing their portfolio and demo reel. During this time, we have mentors come in each week to see the progress of the students. Because 3D animation is a huge industry filled with many specialties, we encourage students to focus on one aspect of it. We pair up specialized mentors with students to match specific expertise. Because we are a new school, we are very flexible and can adapt to the new environment. All our instructors know what they're doing. We don't hire professional teachers, because they don't have much industry experience. Are there any films that you really admire for the animation work? I really love Pixar's work, especially Up and Ratatouille. A lot of people say Up's first eight minutes with no dialogue drew a lot more tears than most movies do in their entire length. Also with Ratatouille, the care they put into the animation is really admirable. have huge companies such as Ubisoft, EA, and DigitalDomain (animators for movies such as Thor, District 9, Twilight, and The Thing) here in Vancouver, providing lots of opportunities. Visit Actimage Center for Digital Arts: 6511 Buswell Street Richmond, BC, V6Y 2G9, Canada actimage.ca twitter.com/ActimageArt facebook.com/ActimageArt What do you think of the Digital Media Industry in Vancouver? It's really great; a lot of big studios set their office here. Vancouver is nicknamed "Hollywood North" because lots of movies are outsourced here. It's competitive, but at the same time still growing. For instance, Pixar in Vancouver is the only Pixar office outside of the US, so I guess there's a good reason they're here. We also CHARGED | March 2012 31