FREE | JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
Volume 54 | Number 2711
JOY JOHNSON SFU’s next president
WONDERWOMBS Sex-positive circus
INSTANT REWIND A decade in music
Dine Out Vancouver Wildebeest’s Ian McHale is one of several culinary experts from Vancouver and other cities who will participate in the fifth annual World Chef Exchange
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2 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 3
January 9-16 / 2020
Dine Out Vancouver’s World Chef Exchange features culinary stars such as Wildebeest’s Ian McHale. By Gail Johnson Cover photo by Jonathan Norton
The publisher and founder of the Georgia Straight explains why he plans to sell the paper to Media Central. By Dan McLeod
SFU’s next president, Joy Johnson, is keen to promote reconciliation, inclusion, and better student services.
COME SEE US IN 2020
By Charlie Smith
21 ARTS GASTOWN 315 W Cordova St. Vancouver, BC
MAIN STREET 2539 Main St. Vancouver, BC
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Playwright Jenn Griffin included humour in House and Home because local real estate has become such a farce. By Janet Smith
In which we carefully assemble some of the most memorable moments in music of the past decade.. By John Lucas and Mike Usinger
e Start Here 13 THE BOTTLE 8 COMMENTARY 8 HEALTH 12 HOROSCOPES 14 I SAW YOU 28 MOVIE FEATURE 27 MOVIE REVIEWS 31 SAVAGE LOVE
e Online TOP 5
Here’s what people are reading this week on Straight.com.
1 2 3 4 5
e Listings 26 ARTS 29 MUSIC
e Services 29 CLASSIFIEDS
Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly Volume 54 | Number 2711 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 T: 604.730.7000 F: 604.730.7010 E: firstname.lastname@example.org straight.com
DISPLAY ADVERTISING: T: 604.730.7020 F: 604.730.7012 E: email@example.com
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Ming Wo will close original shop after more than 100 years. Ministry of Health reveals top baby names in B.C. in 2019. Francisco Higareda will bring Mexican cuisine to Dine Out Vancouver. Driver rams truck into several buildings and vehicles in Nanaimo. The CW renews six Vancouver-shot TV programs.
The Georgia Straight is published every Thursday by the Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. Copies are distributed free every week throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond. International Standard Serial Number ISSN 0709-8995. Subscription rates in Canada $182.00/52 issues (includes GST), $92.00/26 issues (includes GST); United States $379.00/52 issues, $205.00/26 issues; foreign $715.00/52 issues, $365.00/26 issues. Contact 604-730-7087 if you wish to distribute free copies of the Georgia Straight at your place of business. Entire contents copyright © 2019 Vancouver Free Press, Best Of Vancouver, Bov And Golden Plates Are Trade-Marks Of Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. SUBMISSIONS The Straight accepts no responsibility for, and will not necessarily respond to, any submitted materials. All submissions should be addressed to email@example.com. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40009178, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to The Georgia Straight, 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C, V6J 1W9
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JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 5
New owner will retain Straight’s spirit
by Dan McLeod
o after almost 53 years as publisher of the Straight, I’ve decided to pack it in and turn it over to a new owner, Media Central. Although I will still be hanging around the office a while longer. And Yolanda and I couldn’t be happier with this new owner. That’s because these are tough times for newspapers, especially for the Straight. But perhaps it’s destiny that we will survive longer than so many others who have fallen, along with so many lost jobs in the media in recent years. There was a time when the Straight was an early member of a revolutionary movement. It was in the ‘60s, when we were part of the Underground Press Syndicate, a loose, anarchistic worldwide network of 250 papers that was operated out of New York by Tom Forçade. The Straight was the only Underground Press paper that survived those wild days and the suppression of the free press during the Vietnam War. And, of course, we survived the peaceful Gastown Smoke-In, which was attacked without warning by clubwielding police on horseback and later dubbed the “Gastown Riot”. I say all this because I think some of the same revolutionary spirit lives in Media Central, only in a smarter, more constructive sense. And these are different days. Media Central is working to build a network of alternative newspapers capable of battling and disrupting and growing amid the most dominant tech players today. We’ve been through tough times before, starting with the very first issue, back in May of 1967. The mayor was a narcissistic individual who loved nothing more than seeing himself on TV as often as possible. He saw our first issue, with its hippies on the cover, and figured going to war against the Straight could help him win at least two more terms in office. Sound familiar? And he did win those terms. The very next day, he sent two police detectives to the office of our printer to threaten the owner with closure if he printed our second issue. But Vancouver had other printers who believed in freedom of the press. And we went through most of them, with police threats following close behind. Eventually, we ran out of local printers. Then we found a printer in Victoria who had no qualms about printing the paper. By this time, our circulation was up to 60,000, so I had to hire a big truck and take the ferry to Victoria with one or two staff members to pick up the paper. We
Publisher Dan McLeod (right) was determined to distribute the Georgia Straight in the late 1960s despite repeated harassment from the mayor and his political cronies.
Media Central is preparing to fund the purchase of dozens of alternative papers. – Dan McLeod
weren’t going down easy. Now the mayor could no longer threaten our printer because Victoria was outside his jurisdiction. So he raised his game by coming up with dozens of trumped-up criminal offences to charge us with. Fast forward to 1972 and 52 criminal charges later. By this time, the courts had grown tired of adjudicating the mayor’s seemingly endless list of “offences”, with him losing every case. And so were the voters. In December of 1972, he retired from politics and was replaced by a moderate mayor, Art Phillips. The previous mayor had won his
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HSBC EQUITY FUND INVESTIGATION Toronto law firm Investigation Counsel is investigating a potential class action on behalf of Canadian investors, including residents of British Columbia, who currently own or who previously owned HSBC Equity Fund (fund code: HKB497). Investors who have owned this mutual fund might not have received adequate disclosure about the fund manager’s investment strategies and may have paid excessive management fees. Canadian mutual fund investors pay amongst the highest fees in the world. Canadians deserve full disclosure about mutual fund investment strategies and associated costs. Excessive fees should be paid back to affected investors. If you are a B.C. resident who, at any time since 2010, owned HSBC Equity Fund, please contact Investigation Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.637.3152. 6 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
war, but slow and steady won our race. I’d received several offers to buy the Straight over the years, but none of them had made sense to me until I met the CEO of Media Central. Here is a group that appreciates the contributions the Georgia Straight has made to local independent journalism and the cultural lives of our readers—the people they like to call the creative class. Most of all, they have the enthusiasm and the resources and the revolutionary thinking to take the paper to greater heights. Media Central is preparing to fund the purchase of dozens of alternative papers in Canada and the U.S.—each one serving its own unique community—and uniting them under one alternative umbrella. Toronto NOW and the Georgia Straight are the first two such papers. All of our current staff will be coming along for the ride for this new beginning in the history of the Straight. But this won’t be another bland megamerger, far from it. Each paper will retain its own identity and editorial freedom, just as the Georgia Straight has now, and our future achievements will be more ambitious than ever. So please join Yolanda and me in welcoming our new publisher as of February 28: Media Central. g
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JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 7
Why B.C. NDP needs to watch its back Personal trainers can help beat January blues
by Charlie Smith
his week, I reflected on how frustrating it must be for some members of the B.C. NDP as they watch their government in action. Teachers have learned that Premier John Horgan isn’t seriously committed to upsetting the status quo that was established in public education through 16 years of rule by the B.C. Liberals. People who think about the climate every day recognize that this NDP government is thoroughly and utterly committed to supporting the LNG carbon bomb in Kitimat that will rely on fracked natural gas. The government is also not going to pull out all the stops to try to prevent the Trans Mountain pipeline project from being built, even though its annual downstream emissions will exceed the entire total of greenhouse gases generated each year in B.C. Party members who spent decades opposing the Site C hydroelectric dam saw their government give it a green light. Horgan committed to this $10.7-billion expenditure over the objections of First Nations in the area. And he did this in the midst of a renewable-energy revolution that has rendered the project even less economically viable than before. Meanwhile, those who cry out for a safe drug supply to stem the hundreds of annual illicit-drug overdose deaths this year know in their hearts that this premier is going to ignore them. He’ll also continue ignoring research into overdoses from B.C.’s top universities, preferring to pander to those who are too ignorant to know what’s truly in the public interest. Plus, the finance minister, Carole James, isn’t prepared to introduce radical changes to the tax system to seriously address income inequality.
by Charlie Smith
When Premier John Horgan announced that his government would complete the $10.7-billion Site C dam, it created a rift with some long-time members of his party.
Admittedly, the Horgan government has taken many steps to make life more affordable for average British Columbians. And for that, it should be commended. It also implemented long-overdue campaign-finance reforms and appears committed to improving public transit, notwithstanding the financially and environmentally reckless decision to eliminate bridge tolls. But surely, government is more than simply a dollars-and-cents proposition, particularly when we’re facing an environmental apocalypse in this century. Many of the key decision makers in Victoria were also front and centre in the NDP government of the late 1990s. Horgan and his chief of staff, Geoff Meggs, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, and Environment and Climate Change Minister George Heyman have demonstrated that on the whole, they’re not prepared to seriously rock the boat, especially if it’s going to result in criticism from the mainstream media. The big question facing progressive voters is if they deserve to be reelected
8 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
despite their failures around education, climate, and drug overdoses. There will be another option for people to park a protest vote. A new party, the B.C. Ecosocialists, includes some former NDP activists on its board. It states on its website that it’s possible to feed everyone without subjecting them to the humiliation of food banks. “We want to better tax rich people and corporations to fund better policies, like building tens of thousands of units of social housing, building new green energy and transportation infrastructure while putting a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure including all LNG,” the party proudly declares. “By the way, we are anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, antitransphobia and against legislated poverty. We believe in returning power and land to Indigenous people. Not to be ‘politically correct’, but because it’s the right thing to do. The buck of Colonialism stops here.” It could be an appealing option for those thirsting for dramatic changes as opposed to the B.C. NDP’s preference for incremental adjustments. g
ancouver fitness pioneer Ron Zalko has seen a lot since he opened his business in Kitsilano in 1980. Celebrities ranging from Jane Fonda to Ryan Reynolds, and from Amanda Seyfried to Lady Gaga have worked out in his facility. Thirty years ago, he founded the Canadian Ironman triathlon in Penticton—and this year, as he prepares for his 40th year in business, this event will return to the Okanagan Valley. More importantly, though, he’s seen what is necessary to help members of Ron Zalko Fitness & Yoga regain their health—and better waistlines—after indulging over the holiday season. “As far as fitness goes, they need to see results,” Zalko says in an interview at his 20,000-square-foot gym. “Nothing will happen unless you make it happen.” Newcomers sometimes find it difficult to stick with their exercise regimens, so this year he’s offering three sessions with personal trainers to anyone who buys a one-year membership. “We provide them with the best trainers in Canada—not only in Vancouver,” he says. “I screen them. I make sure that they know 100 percent what they’re doing.” There are specialists in helping people recover from injuries and for those hoping to lose weight. Another specialist addresses other issues. He says that these trainers will design workout programs that are fun and help members achieve their goals, while ensuring that they’ll keep coming to the gym year-round. “I wanted to create something for the new year to inspire them and help cure the January blues,” he says. Zalko is under no illusions that
Exercise guru Ron Zalko says personal trainers make fitness more enjoyable.
exercise is a panacea. That’s why he also emphasizes the importance of a proper diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. No cheese for him—because it’s not good for the arteries. “I stay away from sugar, fat, and salt,” he adds. He realizes that women sometimes want to exercise away from men, so his gym includes a separate area restricted to women. It happens to be adjacent to a room where many celebrities have left their autographs and personal messages. In addition, Zalko emphasizes the importance of avoiding injuries while exercising. That’s why he installed what he calls a “body-friendly floor”, costing $140,000. It has recycled rubber underneath the wood to provide a better cushion when people are taking classes. “People want to sweat,” he says. “They want a hard workout. They want to feel good about that.” g
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Version 1.2 May 30, 2019
SFU announces next president
Joy Johnson hopes to advance reconciliation, inclusion, and student services
by Charlie Smith
imon Fraser University’s vision is to be Canada’s leading engaged university. And its incoming president, Joy Johnson, hopes to carry on fulfilling this when she replaces Andrew Petter on September 1. Johnson was appointed to the top position on Wednesday (January 8) after serving the past five years as SFU’s vice president, research and international. Before that, she was scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health and a professor of nursing at UBC. “I think the vision of SFU has really brought us so far in terms of engaging with our communities and industry partners,” Johnson told the Straight by phone. SFU has the fastest-growing research income of any university in Canada, which is where her focus has been. As president, she’s looking forward to engaging more with students—in particular, by ensuring that their education remains as relevant as possible. “There’s a lot we can do to continue to strengthen our learning environments here at SFU: making sure that our work-integrated learning and our co-op opportunities continue to grow,” Johnson said. She acknowledged that students face financial strains. And she expressed a commitment to address the role that stress might be playing in their lives. “Those will be the areas that I’ll be thinking about, for sure,” she noted. As for her top priorities, she mentioned the importance of strengthening student services so they can have vibrant experiences
SFU research income shot up after Joy Johson became vice president in 2014.
We are thinking about issues related to equity and diversity for faculty, staff, and students. – Joy Johnson
inside and outside classrooms. A second goal is to have campuses that are as inclusive as possible. “We are thinking about issues related to equity and diversity for faculty, staff, and students. That makes for an excellent university.” She’s also hoping that SFU will
deliver on its commitments around reconciliation with Indigenous people. The university created an Aboriginal reconciliation council to move forward on recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “There’s still some work to be done on that file, so I’d like to see progress being made there,” she said. In 1974, former NDP and Liberal MP Pauline Jewett became the first woman president of SFU. Johnson will become the second. She looks forward to the day when it’s not news that a woman becomes the head of one of the country’s major academic institutions. “But I do recognize that it is important for women to also step up in leadership roles,” she stated. “That’s partly why I also put my hand up, because I think it’s important for us who have skills and ability to do so.” She consulted with others who have been top university administrators, including Martha Piper, who was president of UBC. “One thing she said to me is ‘You’ve got to stay focused. There are a lot of distractions out there. Every day, there will be a new opportunity to really think about what your university needs.’ And to stay focused and deliver on the vision. I think that was great advice,” Johnson said. Her partner, Pam Ratner, and her mother are both very excited about Johnson becoming president of SFU. Her mother, in particular, is in awe of the enormity of the job. “My mom is 84 and she is very proud,” she said. “But she also did say to me that she wished my dad was alive. He died about a year ago. She wishes he was alive to see this opportunity.” g
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JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 11
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o much can change in the blink of an eye. Friday delivers a lunar eclipse in Cancer (11:21 a.m. PST). There are three things to know about eclipses: they speed up the action; they always hold an element of the unexpected; and there is no reverse course for the change they bring. A lunar eclipse will bring to a peak that which has already been in development but has stayed mostly out of full view. In Cancer, the eclipse dials up matters to do with family, the vulnerable, home, real estate, roots, the past, nourishment, and nurturing. It also puts added emphasis on matters to do with safety and security, both personal and national. Fridayâ€™s eclipse is a trigger for the string of important Capricorn transits taking place during the next couple of days. Most noteworthy is the Saturn/Pluto conjunction that happens on Sunday. Both Uranus in Taurus and Eris in Aries end retrograde on eclipse Friday. Watch for a delayed reaction, â€œnothing to somethingâ€?, or pedal-tometal action. Saturn/Pluto put the reality into play in some undeniable way. They bring something of major significance to an end while mixing the cement for the new long-term reality. Saturn/Pluto is a shrinking, hardening, belt-tightening, and crystallizing combination. They are a signature for war, hard times, and severe redesign. Despite the rampant fear and negativity that claims so much of our attention, there is a more important call to arms. It is imperative to face reality. You have a choice: steer your own life or be subjected to it. There is no getting around the tough stuff; put courage into action. Do the work willingly and the stage will be set for substantial later reward.
March 20â€“April 20
Youâ€™ll feel the fullest impact of Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse if you are born March 29 or April 10 to 14. Of course, the transits are significant for all. Long in the works or long anticipatedâ€”the past, the future; an ending, a beginningâ€”the reality now hits home. It is a time-has-come moment for your personal life, your career, or a family member.
April 20â€“May 21
Held up no longer, Friday onward sets you or it on go, one way or another. Need more help and support? Ask for it. Coinciding with the lunar eclipse in Cancer, you stand to gain from the end of Uranus in Taurus and the empowering Saturn/Pluto conjunction. These transits set the future into play in some timely, opportune, and more substantial way. May 21â€“June 21
Itâ€™s the end of a long haul, but an important next chapter starts now. Thereâ€™s no choice but to get it under better control. A goodbye or hello, a tough decision, a hard pull on the heart, a relationship or professional status now made official, downsizing or more responsibility, healthâ€”reality sets into play in some significant, no-turning-back way.
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12 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020
JANUARY 9 TO 15, 2020
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June 21â€“July 22
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Youâ€™ll take a direct hit from Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse if you are born on or close to July 12 to 16. Of course, the stars are so momentous, theyâ€™ll impact all. There may be little choice, but thereâ€™s great opportunity in facing the reality head-on. Act now. It will make a world of difference.
July 22â€“August 23
Get to work and put those New Yearâ€™s resolutions into action. Put serious effort toward health
improvement, studies, and debt reduction. Time-wasting may lead to major later regret. Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse can hit a raw emotional chord or uncover something deep-seated or long buried. Once revealed, itâ€™s an opportunity to solve it, end it, or move to higher ground.
August 23â€“September 23
You have been on hold long enough! Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse sets the timer on goâ€”this regarding your new realityâ€”along with the new goals, attitude, and lifestyle change it requires. A departure, an arrival; a goodbye or helloâ€”someone or something key springboards this next chapter. Seven planets in Capricorn give you a sense of the karmic importance or destiny at play. September 23â€“October 23
Youâ€™ve been working your way toward it for quite some time. Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse and the momentous Saturn/Pluto conjunction mark this moment along the timeline as the official start of the rest of your life. Yes, thatâ€™s quite a statement. Youâ€™ll feel it as truth at the inner conscious/emotional level or regarding the outer-world interface. Thursday through Tuesday can be life-altering for some. October 23â€“November 22
Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse could put something big into play. It could be a project or goal you have been working on for a long time or it could take you by surprise. Someone long-distance or from your past can be a newsmaker or catalyst. Endings and beginnings of significance are intertwined. Itâ€™s an auspicious time for a new career or personal-life chapter. November 22â€“December 21
There is a time to everything. Whatâ€™s set into play by Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse can give you a sense that fate or destiny is working the clock. Saturn/Pluto are on a wrap-up of the past while laying the groundwork for this next stage of your life. Someone you love or someone from your past is also on a major move-along. December 21â€“January 20
Seven planets in Capricorn are currently joining forces. Aligned with Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse, they position you at the threshold of a next phase of your life. Perhaps it is one you have been working on for some time or that you have already tried to jump-start. Saturn/Pluto resurrect it or catapult you in some life-altering way. January 20â€“February 18
Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse can dish up something unfinished from your past. Itâ€™s an opportunity to fill in a missing blank, to say goodbye, or to move it to higher ground. Something unexpected may need fixing, reworking, or an upgrade. Deep-seated emotions can surface. Worthwhile opportunities can too. Potentials now colour themselves in or are soon made real. February 18â€“March 20
Perhaps it is a natural progression or perhaps it takes you by surprise. Accompanied by seven planets in Capricorn and the end of Uranus retrograde, Fridayâ€™s lunar eclipse brings something long in the works to a finish or to a new level. Goodbye, hello: on a freshcement pour, Saturn/Pluto now define/cement the shape of things to come. g
What does 2020 hold for you? Book a reading or sign up for Roseâ€™s free monthly newsletter at rosemarcus.com/.
Festival features plenty of British Columbia wine
a different kind of food store
by Kurtis Kolt
G IN HIR FAIR FOR
This year’s edition of Dine Out Vancouver includes the Great Big Taste event, showcasing wines from Clos du Soleil, Culmina Family Estate Winery, and others.
anuary is no longer a quiet time of year on the culinary front, and this year’s version sees Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival return to the city for its 18th edition. The evergrowing fest is centred around prix fixe menus being offered at 300-plus restaurants (at $15, $25, $35, or $45) around the city, but there’s much more programming worth diving into. Everything from a BBQ, fried chicken, and a brewery tour to a dumpling master class in Chinatown fills the hearty roster of happenings, with many components that are certain to be highlights for local wine enthusiasts. The Great Big Taste event kicks off the festival on January 16 at the Rocky Mountaineer Station. It’s a grazing-style event where 20 local restaurants—including Café Medina, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market, La Mezcaleria, and Tuc Craft Kitchen—will be serving up the goods alongside an array of local craft breweries, cideries, spirit producers, and wineries. The lineup of British Columbia wineries looks fantastic, 18 of them at last count, and it appears that they will be pouring their best and brightest. I’ve pored over the selections that will be swirled in many a glass, and I recommend hitting up this handful of personal favourites. With every one, I am including a can’t-miss label worth tasting, each of which should also be added to any vinous shopping list to start your new year off right.
CLOS DU SOLEIL
Since 2006, this Similkameen Valley winery has been focusing on Bordeauxinspired whites and reds from organic and biodynamically grown vineyards steeped in limestone-rich soils. A powerful afternoon wind howls through the valley daily, keeping pests and moisture at bay, leaving fruit to grow on the vine with minimal intervention. It’s that wind that has made the Similkameen the organic farming capital of Canada. Winemaker and managing director Michael Clark harnesses that and builds elegant, charismatic wines that all offer purity of fruit and brilliant structure with natural acidity. Clos du Soleil Capella 2017 ($24.26, ClosDuSoleil.ca) is a nod to white Bordeaux, composed of 74 percent local Sauvignon Blanc, along with 26 percent Sémillon coming from Oliver. Sixty percent of the wine is aged in French oak, which frames all that Granny Smith apple, pink grapefruit, and white peach quite well. CULMINA FAMILY ESTATE WINERY
The Triggs family, who founded the winery, took plenty of time precisionmapping and -planting every single nook and cranny of their Oliver vineyard before producing wine and opening their doors in 2013. For me, the most site-specific, expressive wine in their lineup is the Culmina Dilemma 2016 ($31, Culmina.ca). It’s a Chardonnay that’s certainly among the best in the valley, coming from
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see page 15
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Exchange has hyperlocal focus Dine Out event pairs Vancouver chefs with peers from around the world by Gail Johnson
Authentic Greek Food
Extensive Wine & Bar List 1830 Fir St. Vancouver | 604.736.9559
www.apolloniagreekrestaurant.com C L O S E D M O N D AY S L U N C H • W E D N E S D AY to F R I D AY 11:30A M ͳ 2:30 P M D I N N E R • T U E S D AY to S U N D AY 4:30 ͳ 9:30 P M
At Dine Out Vancouver, Wildebeest’s Ian McHale (pictured) will team up with Ireland’s Ahmet Dede. Photo by Jonathan Norton
> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < R5 BEAUTY
CANADA LINE BRUSH
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JANUARY 6, 2020 WHERE: R5 to Burrard Station We both got on the R5 at the Kootenay Loop just past 10 pm. We ended up sitting near each other. So as not to seem like the weirdo I am, I started playing games on my phone. When I stopped, I looked up, and we made eye contact. That happened a few times before you got off at Granville. I went on to Burrard. And to work. Coffee, drinks, or dinner if you read this?
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JANUARY 4, 2020 WHERE: Earls Yaletown You gave me your number on a piece of paper before you left.
PAUL @ LONSDALE BLENZ, 4 COMFY CHAIRS FOR 2
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 6, 2019 WHERE: Blenz Lonsdale Paul, in early December we shared 4 comfy chairs and chatted about your recent return from Ecuador, travels in Ethiopia, PR forest canoe route, my time in Peru and job training and so much more. I keep looking in at Blenz, hoping to casually bump into you again. Would you be up for meeting again? Happy 2020! Carrie
BARBER SHOP ON DAVIE STREET
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 31, 2019 WHERE: Celebrities Barber Shop on Davie St Vancouver We chatted each other up while you were waiting for your friend to get his hair cut. Your friend was visiting from Nashville, TN. Your originally from Penticton but recently moved here from Abbotsford. You were a Mormon and a former school teacher. You work for a furniture store. I should have given you my number, it sounded like you needed a local friend.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JANUARY 2, 2020 WHERE: Canada Line I wore a grey beanie, super puff, glasses. You had long, wavy brown hair. We were in the mid section, between compartments of Canada Line heading to Waterfront. I noticed you immediately boarding, wanted to stand across from you but stood beside instead. Let me know if you’d like to grab coffee, or something stronger.
SIMILAR DOGS AT PACIFIC SPIRIT PARK
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 31, 2019 WHERE: Pacific Spirit Park I saw you walking westward on the Imperial Trail; I was walking eastward and talking on my phone while our dogs sniffed one another; I remarked they looked very similar and you said you were thinking the same. Had I not been on my phone, I certainly would have liked to strike up a convo with you. Here’s to having the chance to have that convo...
LOOKS AT THE LIDO
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 28, 2019 WHERE: Lido A few looks, a peace sign and a wave through the window. Should have mustered up the courage to come talk but I didn’t. Drinks?
MASHED POTATOES FOR 12
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 23, 2019 WHERE: Granville Island Market, Fruit and Vegetable Stands Christmas Eve eve, Granville Island Market. You were mashed potatoes for 12. I was mashed potatoes for 6. You were beer braised beef. I was standing rib. Long-haired brunette, wondering how yours turned out.
BLARNEY STONE DANCING
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 14, 2019 WHERE: Blarney Stone Pub You: roughly 6’5”, excellent beard, awesome dancer. Me: long black hair, pale, wearing all black. I was with a friend. You introduced yourself, and you asked me to dance. I was clumsy and awkward but you complimented my dancing. We kissed, and it was one of the best kisses I’ve had. I ended up making a b-line for the bathroom because I felt sick and left the pub right after. I regret not getting your number; text me sometime?
CHILDREN OF BODOM
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 26, 2019 WHERE: Number 9 Bus You were listening to Children of Bodom on the number 9 bus. I was wearing overalls and waved as I got off. I really like your vibe.
THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 26, 2019 WHERE: Chapter’s Pinetree You were waiting in line at Chapter’s Pinetree on Boxing Day, a few minutes before closing. You were wearing Blundstones, dark Levi’s, and a denim jacket, and you were buying Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. I was the brunette in workout clothes and a ponytail standing behind you in line. Would be curious to know what you thought of the book. Perhaps we can chat about it over coffee sometime?
GIRL @ METROTOWN STATION ESCALATOR ON CHRISTMAS EVE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 24, 2019 WHERE: Metrotown Station Escalators You stared at a couple, a blonde girl with an Asian guy going down the escalators, while I was staring at you. Then our eyes met.
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14 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
an McHale’s decision to pursue professional cooking goes back to a conversation over tequila he had with two friends while snowed in during a blizzard in his native Maryland: they would all go to culinary school. A decade later, McHale is the only one still in whites. “I got hooked,” says the executive chef of Wildebeest. After graduating from his state’s Lincoln Culinary Institute in 2011, McHale made use of his Irish passport, with a six-month visit turning into six years of revelatory and intense on-the-job training. After 16 months at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, McHale became chef de partie at the Michelin-starred Chapter One Restaurant in that city. Through his experiences abroad, he developed a style rooted in simplicity. “My whole philosophy I attribute to my time over there,” McHale tells the Georgia Straight by phone. “That’s where I honed my craft. At Chapter One, I learned about provenance. Everything on the menu is grown locally. There’s that integrity of ingredients.” McHale made his way back to the States, and—while waiting for his Canadian visa to be processed so he could follow the woman he loved back to her Vancouver home in 2016—worked at a whole-animal butcher shop. His time there deepened lessons learned in Ireland. “The butcher shop really drove home the point that there’s no sacrificing anything: everything has no less than two uses, and that’s something we do at Wildebeest: minimal waste,” he says. “We use the wagyu fat that comes off the whole animal to fry potatoes in, baste our steaks in, finish pasta, make infused butters, and basically replace butter altogether if we can. The carrot peelings go into a stock, the tops go into garnish, and trim bits go the bar. We do our best to close the loop.” Things are coming full circle for McHale in other ways, namely through the upcoming Dine Out Vancouver Festival. Featuring a range of culinary experiences and threecourse prix fixe dining deals, the event is now in its 18th year. Wildebeest is participating in World Chef Exchange, a fest highlight wherein select local restaurants host culinary talents from all over the map for elaborate, collaborative, one-nightonly dinners. On January 27, McHale will reunite with chef Ahmet Dede, whom he met at Chapter One. Originally from Turkey, Dede worked at several highly rated dining establishments in Ireland, Holland, and Norway before taking on the role of executive
chef at Mews Restaurant, a hyperlocal Michelin-rated spot in West Cork. Sourcing exclusively from the tiny region of the southwest tip of Ireland, Dede cooks with ingredients such as pine, cod, seaweed, and sorrel. (The restaurant shuts down in winter.) “Our ethos is similar,” McHale says of his long-time friend. “We had the same kind of upbringing, working at Chapter One. We get all excited about seasonality.” The pair’s Dine Out menu showcases Pacific Northwest cuisine, from sablefish and shore greens to quail and smoked duck. “We have been planning this menu for months, working with farmers, ranchers, and fishmongers to help us highlight B.C.’s best,” McHale says. “Dine Out is a fantastic food festival that gives people a taste of what we do. You can get a rockin’ meal, and we get to tell our story.”
You can get a rockin’ meal, and we get to tell our story. – Ian McHale
Elevating Vancouver’s culinary profile internationally is one of the goals of World Chef Exchange, which Dine Out launched five years ago. Since its inception, the crosscultural initiative has hosted leading chefs from England, Australia, China, Japan, and beyond. The hope is that those visiting chefs will share their take on Vancouver’s diverse dining scene back home. Sometimes the invites are reciprocated, with local chefs going on to participate in culinary events elsewhere, shining a light on Pacific Northwest cuisine. The collaborations are also a way of cultivating connections. “World Chef Exchange is really all about relationships,” says Lucas Pavan, Dine Out Vancouver’s festival coordinator. “There’s the relationship between the chefs themselves, but there’s also the relationship between guests and servers, between two people at the dinner table, between chefs and ingredients, between chefs and suppliers, wineries, vintners, and distilleries… The whole idea of relationships and community is a key part of the entire festival.”
Three other dinners round out the World Chef Exchange. Chicha’s Shelome Bouvette will join forces with PEI native Charlotte Langley for a seafood meal. (It’s an all-female team at the Chicha dinner, with wine pairings by Heidi Noble of Naramata’s Joie Farms Winery.) Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro, Vancouver’s only Indigenous restaurant, hosts Maori chef Rewi Spraggon from Auckland, New Zealand, and Edmontonbased Enoch Cree Nation chef Shane Chartrand for Off the Hook, an Indigenous feast. WildTale executive chef Francisco Higareda will share the Yaletown seafood restaurant’s kitchen with Monterrey’s Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain, a star chef whose portfolio includes 10 restaurants. The pair are developing a menu that will highlight authentic Mexican cuisine, complete with mezcal, tequila, and wine pairings. (See straight.com for more about the WildTale collab.) Festivalgoers will be able to experience all sorts of new tastes at this year’s Dine Out, which is presented by Tourism Vancouver with its festival partner, Wines of British Columbia. There are 315 restaurants offering three-course meals—a new record. Brunch, lunch, and dinner menus are $15, $25, $35, or $45 per person, not including beverages, taxes, and gratuity. (Participating restaurants will be revealed January 9.) Although the prix fixe meals are what started it all back in 2002, the festival also features an array of culinary experiences. Beer and food tours, day trips to Fraser Valley wineries, farm-to-table pop-up dinners, pizza- and dumpling-making classes, and Street Food City 9—the city’s original street food festival— are among the other offerings. Dine Out’s overarching sense of community extends to the festival’s charity partner, the B.C. Hospitality Foundation. The organization supports industry workers in financial need due to health conditions and also provides a range of food-, wine-, and hospitality-based scholarships. “Dine Out Vancouver Festival gives our charity an opportunity to reach a new audience of both hospitality workers and consumers,” says the foundation’s executive director, Dana Harris. “Personally, I love that it keeps the hospitality workers and owners busy at what used to be a slow time of year, gets consumers out trying new places, and has lots of fun events added to the program to attend outside of dining.” g Dine Out Vancouver Festival takes place at various venues from January 16 to February 2. For more information, visit dineoutvancouver.com/.
Meet Dine Out’s yummy newcomers
by Tammy Kwan
he 18th annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 17 to February 2) is fast approaching, and more than 300 restaurants will be offering highly anticipated, prix fixe dinner menus priced at $15, $25, $35, and $45. It can be overwhelming trying to decide which eateries to book a reservation at during Canada’s largest food-and-drink celebration, but we’ve made it a little easier by rounding up some new and notable spots to check out this year. From tasty plant-based fare to West African–meets–Pacific Northwest fla- Making their Dine Out debuts are Amaranthus (left) and Bufala Edgemont (Jonathan Norton photo). vours, and from hearty Italian food to Japanese hand-formed beef patty and aged cheddar), bites, here are six restaurants to keep on your ARIKE RESTAURANT & COCKTAIL BAR (1725 Davie Street, $25) veggie burger (quinoa, almond-and-chickpea radar for Dine Out Vancouver 2020. When this Nigeria-meets–Pacific Northwest patty, and feta), crispy chicken burger, and 1931 GALLERY BISTRO dining spot opened in English Bay last an all-day breakfast burger. You can’t leave (750 Hornby Street, $45) spring, it created a lot of curious chatter. The without a soft-serve twist cone, made with ice The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new in-house res- cuisine is not the usual grub you’d find on cream from Foothills Creamery. taurant made its debut in November 2019, com- any other block in the city, but its menu has plete with an interior facelift that features a chic attracted fans. Check out its Dine Out offer- BUFALA EDGEMONT and contemporary setting. The focus is on fresh ings, which include: an oxtail boudin taster (3280 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver; and seasonal ingredients, and guests will find with cured pork belly, pickled veggies, and $35) Dine Out dishes like short-rib ravioli, heirloom spicy agege crouton; fried jollof rice served Kerrisdale pizza joint Bufala’s sister spot on salads, soy sablefish, and more. Finish off your with suya-beef skewers or marinated prawns; the North Shore has attracted plenty of attenmeal with desserts like crème brûlée, chocolate and Milo ice cream with salted caramel and tion. The spacious but cozy Italian restaurant will be offering a Dine Out menu filled with mousse, or carrot cake. peanut crumb. some of its top dishes, like meatballs, arancini AMARANTHUS BELLS & WHISTLES with mushroom risotto, kale Caesar salad, (112–810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster; $25) (3296 Fraser Street, $25) Margherita pizza, finocchiona pizza (made This vegetarian and vegan eatery in New West It has been serving up no-fuss grub for a few with fennel sausage, caramelized onions, opened in May 2019, and food lovers have years, but this Fraserhood burger joint is a and smoked provolone), and funghi pizza been eating there ever since. Its Dine Out din- newcomer to this year’s Dine Out festival. Find with mushrooms and arugula. Pastas like ner menu will feature plant-based creations satisfying Canadian bites like pretzel buns rigatoni (made with six-hour beef-and-pork like fried Brussel sprouts, arugula salad, beet served with honey mustard, butternut squash bolognese) and spaghetti are also tasty oprisotto, and cauliflower steak, among others. soup, and Caesar salad to start. The stars of tions. For dessert, guests will tuck into FootSweet tooths will enjoy desserts like vegan the show are undoubtedly its popular bur- hills Creamery vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate pie, fig cheesecake, and more. gers, with options like the classic burger (with chocolate sauce. from page 13
vines grown on rugged sand- and gravel-laden soils on one of the highest-altitude vineyards in B.C. A cornucopia of tropical fruit—including guava, young pineapple, and citrus—is bolstered by an amiable undercurrent of roasted hazelnuts and a wisp or two of fresh sage. HESTER CREEK ESTATE WINERY
The folks at Hester Creek are the guardians of some of the oldest grapevines in the Okanagan Valley, with a host of them planted in 1968. Some of those plantings are behind Hester Creek Reserve Block 3 Cabernet Franc ($25.99, HesterCreek.com), an opulent gathering of red and black berry fruit served up on a pedestal of toasty gingerbread. Those wanting to geek out a little bit should enjoy a tipple of Hester Creek Old Vines Block 16 Trebbiano 2018 ($20.99, HesterCreek.com), a vibrant and juicy take on the Italian grape variety, shimmering with fresh lime, lemon curd, and a spot of buckwheat honey on the finish. OSOYOOS LAROSE
Still tasty after all these years. Since its first vintage in 2001, Groupe Taillan of Bordeaux (initially partnering with Constellation Brands
Canada) have had a tight focus on making red Bordeaux blends from estate fruit grown in Osoyoos, the southernmost, and hottest, part of the Okanagan Valley. There’s been a consistency of style with these broadshouldered, lavish reds, shown yet again with Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2016 ($47.99, B.C. Liquor Stores). Expect a multilayered, carnivorefriendly wine with plenty of complexity. Ticks many a box we expect with the style: currants, plums, cocoa, mint, and some nice grippy tannins, too.
THIS YEAR’S Dine Out festival is offering some hands-on events for food lovers.
c CHINATOWN DUMPLING MASTER CLASS (January 19 to February 2 at 156 East Pender Street) Learn how to make traditional Chinese dumplings after getting a behind-the-scenes tour of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. c SHUCKING CLASS AT FANNY BAY (January 20 and 27 at 762 Cambie Street) Learn how to shuck oysters from Fanny Bay’s renowned shucking team while sipping on craft cocktails. c GET CRAFTY-KITSILANO (January 21 at 1876 West 1st Avenue) Enjoy a three-course meal paired with craft beer while learning how to make your own artisan pizza at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in Kitsilano. g
(854 Denman Street, $35) There is a lot more to Vancouver’s Japanese cuisine than sushi and sashimi. Izakaya Gon’s is known for its teishoku (set meals), which include various dishes that range from salads to proteins to sweets. Some of the picks available on its Dine Out dinner menu include salmon carpaccio, savoury egg custard, fried oysters, wagyu-beef sukiyaki and steamed rice, and deep-fried skewers. End your meal with desserts like green-tea tiramisu, yuzu sorbet and yuzu jelly, coffee jelly and soft-serve ice cream, and more. g
FEBRUARY 5, 2020
Singletree’s Etsell family have recently expanded their Fraser Valley winery, adding a Naramata Bench location in early 2018. However, they’re keeping a focus on what they’re growing right here in Metro Vancouver, with Singletree Grüner Veltliner 2018 ($17.30, Singletree Winery.com) being a local fave. One of the only British Columbian wines made from the famous Austrian variety, its fresh lime, green grape, and young almond characteristics make it a seafood-friendly gem. g For more information on the Great Big Taste and the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, visit DineOutVancouver.com.
Fab food, friends and philanthropy at Flourish VCC’s green-tie gala fundraiser features delicious creations by Vancouver’s leading culinary artists accompanied by Naramata Bench wines, fashion, music, and more.
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18 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
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Over 300 Restaurants to choose from!
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BREWHALL Chutney Villa Clough Club Gino’s Restaurant MRKT East Neptune Chinese Kitchen Popina Canteen Timber
Acqua Restaurant & Bar Ampersand Bistro & Bar Arms Reach Bistro Arriva Ristorante Baci Ristorante Beehive Restaurant Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant Boathouse Restaurant (The) - Kitsilano Boathouse Restaurant (The) New Westminster Boathouse Restaurant (The) - Port Moody Boathouse Restaurant (The) - Richmond Boathouse Restaurant (The) - White Rock Bravo Cucina Ristorante Bridges Restaurant, Bistro & Bar Bufala Bufala Edgemont Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse C|Prime Modern Italian Steak & Wine Cabrito Tapas & Bebidas Cactus Club Cafe - Ash Cactus Club Cafe - Bentall Cactus Club Cafe - Byrne Road Cactus Club Cafe - Coal Harbour Cactus Club Cafe - Delta Cactus Club Cafe - English Bay Cactus Club Cafe - North Burnaby Cactus Club Cafe - North Vancouver Cactus Club Cafe - Park Royal Cactus Club Cafe - Richmond Centre Cactus Club Cafe - Robson Cactus Club Cafe - Station Square Cactus Club Cafe - West Broadway Cactus Club Cafe - Yaletown Cafe One Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel Campagnolo Restaurant Cardero’s Restaurant Carthage Cafe Catch Kitchen + Bar CAVU Kitchen Bar - Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel Centro Ristorante Charcoal & Woodz - Holiday Inn Surrey Cloverdale Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar - Coal Harbour Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar - Kitsilano Chi Modern Vietnamese Kitchen Chicha Restaurant Chickpea Cibo Trattoria - Moda Hotel Colette Grand Cafe Cuchillo Davie Dosa Company Deepwater Micro Eatery Distillery Bar + Kitchen (The) Dosanko Restaurant Dunn’s Famous Restaurant BC Earls Kitchen & Bar - Ambleside Beach Earls Kitchen & Bar - Fir Street Earls Kitchen & Bar - Robson Earls Kitchen & Bar - Test Kitchen Earls Kitchen & Bar - Yaletown Edible Canada El Santo Ember Indian Kitchen Espana Restaurant Fat Cow and Oyster Bar (The) Feast Neighbourhood Table Fishworks Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ - Downtown Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ West Broadway H Tasting Lounge H2 Rotisserie & Bar Harold’s Kitchen & Bar Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hawksworth Restaurant Hendricks - Westin Grand Vancouver Honey Salt Hook Seabar Horizons Restaurant House Special Vietnamese Restaurant Izakaya Gon’s Jamjar on Granville JOEY Bentall One JOEY Burrard
$25 menu Afghan Horsemen Restaurant Afghan Kitchen South Surrey Amaranthus Arike Restaurant & Cocktail Bar Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine in Kitsilano Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine on Broadway Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine on Davie Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine on Denman Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine on Robson BC Kitchen Bells & Whistles Bin 4 Burger Lounge Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar (The) Bogart’s Bar & Restaurant Bombay Kitchen + Bar Britannia Brewing Steveston Butcher & Bullock Cactus Club Cafe - Kingsway Caffe Barney Cazba Restaurant Charles Bar (The) Cheshire Cheese (The) Fable Diner Famoso Italian Pizzeria + Bar Flying Beaver Bar & Grill (The) Gramercy Grill Granville Room Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen Gyoza Bar Hwaro Korean Steakhouse & Raw Bar InGrain Pastificio Italian Tomato Restaurant Kitanoya Guu Garden Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba - Downtown Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba - North Vancouver La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Lamplighter Public House (The) Las Margaritas Restaurante Y Cantina Lucky Taco Mahony and Sons - Stamps Landing Marcello Ristorante and Pizzeria Maria’s Taverna Maru Korean Bistro MASA Japanese Restaurant Max’s Restaurant Cuisine of the Philippines Milltown Bar & Grill New Oxford (The) Nonna’s Table Old Spaghetti Factory (The) RiverHouse Restaurant and Pub Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. - Kitsilano Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. - Main Street Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. - Surrey Spicy6 Indian Cuisine Stages Bistro & Lounge Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre Sula Indian Restaurant Tap & Barrel - Convention Centre Tap & Barrel - Olympic Village Tap & Barrel - Shipyards The Loft Lounge The Yale Saloon Three Brits Public House (The) Trattoria - Burnaby Trattoria - Kitsilano Trattoria - Park Royal Tuc Craft Kitchen Unwind Restaurant and Lounge UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar - Moda Hotel Vaades The Indian Restaurant Village Taphouse Yaletown Brewing Co.
Lobby Restaurant at Pinnacle Hotel At The Pier Malone’s Social Lounge & Taphouse MIXT Lobby Lounge Moxie’s Grill & Bar - Abbotsford Moxie’s Grill & Bar - Davie Street Moxie’s Grill & Bar - Guildford Moxie’s Grill & Bar - Langley Moxie’s Grill & Bar - Richmond Nammos Estiatorio Nuba in Gastown Nuba in Kitsilano Nuba in Mount Pleasant Nuba in Yaletown Oceans 999 Old Beijing Roast Duck Olive & Anchor P2B Bistro & Bar Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel Pacifico Pizzeria & Ristorante Davie Street Pacifico Pizzeria & Ristorante Smithe Street Papi’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar Pier 7 Restaurant Pizzeria Spacca Napoli Prestons - Coast Coal Harbour Hotel Rangoli Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery Moda Hotel Romer’s - Kitsilano Romer’s - Port Moody Romer’s - River District Sai Woo Sandbar Seafood Restaurant (The) Seasons in the Park Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill Ltd. Shaughnessy Restaurant Showcase Restaurant & Bar Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Smoke & Bones BBQ Sopra Sotto Pizzeria - Burnaby Sopra Sotto Pizzeria - Commercial Drive Stanley Park Brewing Restaurant & Brewpub Stanley’s Bar & Grill Teahouse Restaurant (The) The Deck Kitchen + Bar The Ellis The Flying Pig - Gastown The Flying Pig - Olympic Village The Flying Pig - Yaletown The French Table The Greek Gastown The Rise Eatery The Shoestring Cafe Trump Champagne Lounge (The) Union (The) Water St. Cafe Whiskey Six BBQ Wild Fig (The) WildTale - Olympic Village WildTale - Yaletown
$45 menu 1931 Gallery Bistro 75 West Coast Grill Acorn Al Porto Ristorante Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio Ambleside Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio False Creek AnnaLena ARC Restaurant The Fairmont Waterfront Atlas Steak + Fish - Burnaby Atlas Steak + Fish - Langley Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge Wedgewood Hotel & Spa Baru Latino Restaurante Bishops Bistro Sakana Black + Blue Blossom Dim Sum & Grill Blue Hat Bistro Blue Martini Jazz Cafe Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Brix & Mortar
Burnaby Riverway Clubhouse Cafe Il Nido Chambar Restaurant Chop Steakhouse & Bar CinCin Ristorante + Bar COAST Restaurant Copper Chimney Executive Hotel Le Soleil DIVA at the Met Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver Dockside Restaurant Granville Island Hotel Don Francesco Ristorante Italia East is East Chai Lounge - Broadway East is East Chai Lounge - Main Street Fable Kitchen Fanny Bay Oyster Bar Federico’s Supper Club Forage GLOWBAL at Telus Garden Gyu King Teppanyaki Hart House Restaurant Holy Crab (The) Hotpot Palace Hydra Italian Kitchen (The) Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Abbotsford (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Alberni (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Burnaby (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Coquitlam (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Dunsmuir (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar Granville Island (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Langley (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Maple Ridge (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Morgan Creek (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Park Royal (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar Richmond South (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Scott Road (The) Keg Steakhouse + Bar - Yaletown (The) Kobe Japanese Steak House La Mezcaleria La Pentola - Opus Hotel L’Abattoir Restaurant LIFT Bar Grill View Maenam Mak N Ming Minami Restaurant Notch 8 Restaurant & Bar The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Observatory Grouse Mountain Resort (The) Paella Guys Pepino’s Spaghetti House Pidgin Poor Italian Ristorante Portobello Ristorante Pourhouse Restaurant Provence Marinaside Restaurant Yugo Robba da Matti - West End Robba da Matti - Yaletown Royal Dinette Roy’s Indian Restaurant Saigon Xua Salmon House on the Hill Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro Seaside Provisions Silk Dinner Lounge & Restaurant Sylvia Restaurant & Lounge - Sylvia Hotel Tasty Indian Bistro Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant Torafuku Tramonto Ubuntu Canteen Vancouver Fish Company Restaurant & Bar (The) Victor (The) Vij’s Vitality Steam Seafood West Oak Restaurant Wildebeest Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant Zen Japanese Restaurant
JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 19
Credit: Morgan Asoyuf, Photo by Jordana Luggi, 2019
On view to January 19, 2020 639 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC billreidgallery.ca
20 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020
House and Home unpacks real-estate crunch
by Janet Smith
y any measure, Vancouver’s real-estate crisis is a serious matter. But local actor-playwright Jenn Griffin was not about to pen a tragic play about the situation—mostly because the idea of million-dollar-plus shoeboxes and $2,200-per-month apartments has reached such absurd heights. “We find ourselves in such an exaggerated circumstance right now,” Griffin says with a wry laugh over the phone from her Vancouver home. “For me, I don’t think it befits a drama. We’re in farce with the realestate crisis. “With comedy at its best, fingers crossed, then we’re at the peak of stress,” adds the woman behind plays like Drinking With Persephone and Via Beatrice, “and in crisis there’s a lot of humour, because the filters are gone. That’s where the humour is earned: in crises.” The hard question her new play House and Home, which originated as an Arts Club Silver Anniversary Commission, really poses to the overstretched inhabitants of the second-most-unaffordable city in the world is: How far are you willing to go to own a house, or just to put a roof over your head? In the case of her cash-pinched protagonists Hilary and Henry, the answer means abandoning their values. It also encompasses a foray into the lucrative short-term rental market, packing up their entire house, and a backyard yurt. Throw an all-too-familiar rat infestation into the mix and you’ve got the makings of the kind of existential meltdown Samuel Beckett might have appreciated. Griffin drew inspiration from her
Clockwise from left, Kim Ho, Andrew Wheeler, Jillian Fargey, and Darian Roussy in House and Home. Photo by Reznek Creative
own life, starting with a string of crappy rentals over the Edmontonraised artist’s first 25 years in Vancouver, from about 1981 to 2005. “It was a series of evictions, terrible landlords, and crazy rents,” she recalls. “We’re talking about guys that would come in with keys before having to kick them out. I lived in this place in Gastown where we had to wear business clothes so other people would think it was an office. There were evictions and couch surfing and actual homelessness.” Then, Griffin and her partner found themselves unlikely homeowners. “By hook and by crook, my partner and I got a down payment together and got in under $500,000 at a time when the West Side was cheaper than the East Side,” she
I’m looking at how we’ve abandoned our values—it becomes like a treadmill. – playwright Jenn Griffin
marvels. “And like your average Vancouverite, we didn’t know that it would triple [in value].” As a homeowner, Griffin suddenly found herself feeling like she’d sold
out. As an artist, she had felt like a change-maker, and now she felt awkward to be “part of the owning class”. In her play, the central couple, Hilary and Henry, are struggling to reconcile their values. The obsessively altruistic Hilary is a former waitress-poet who now does social work, but she’s getting burned out and is going on stress leave. “She’s off her axis and the Earth is off its axis,” Griffin explains. Meanwhile, Henry is a lawyer who has a single, bankrupt client. They are house rich, cash poor. “They’ve overspent, and a lot of it was emotional spending,” Griffin says. “The selfish people they’ve become is nothing they’re happy about.” The solution involves that backyard shack, built with the last of
Hilary’s RRSPs. But Griffin recognizes that their “plight” poses the kind of problems that pale in comparison to those of, say, their tenant, who has to give notice because of rodents, or those of House and Home’s homeless character. Hilary and Henry are landowners, after all. “I’m writing about our privilege as it relates to Generation Z, who face such an uncertain future,” says Griffin. “I’m looking at how we’ve abandoned our values—it becomes like a treadmill, and we’re all on it.…One’s domicile becomes one’s future. It’s our retirement fund.” How do you manage without real estate, mortgages, and sky-high rents ruling your life? Director Donna Spencer has assembled a strong, diverse team of actors to navigate the crisis that builds on-stage—including Jillian Fargey, Andrew Wheeler, Sam Bob, Sebastien Archibald, Kimberly Ho, and Darian Roussy. And know that, as much as Griffin allows you to laugh at the situation in House and Home, she empathizes with your pain. We’re here, largely, she suggests, because the powers that be didn’t take care of us soon enough. And she tries to suggest there’s hope amid the mortgage madness. “By the play’s end, Hilary has to come to an understanding that her form of altruism—to look out for other people—is the way through,” she hints. In other words, the answers lie far beyond Airbnb and a back-yard yurt. g The Firehall Arts Centre presents House and Home from Saturday (January 11) to January 25.
Jennifer Butler messes with Messiaen
by Alexander Varty
hen is it right for a new-music festival to focus on the past? “Now” might be the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s response, and that’s entirely understandable. With the orchestra on the verge of entering its second century, and with music director Otto Tausk putting his personal stamp on its annual New Music Festival for the first time, it’s appropriate to breathe deep, take stock, and prepare for the future. As the festival’s subtitle, (re)-creations, indicates, there’s more renovation than reminiscing going on in the VSO’s house. Antonio Vivaldi’s ageless and undeniably overfamiliar The Four Seasons, for instance, will get a sparkling coat of postmodern paint from Germanborn composer Max Richter, while the conventions of opera are overturned in Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face, with help from music director emeritus Bramwell Tovey. There are many other genuinely groundbreaking works on the program, including a revised version of Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s percussion concerto Perxploitation, which won a long and loud standing ovation when it debuted here last year. The premise, though—looking at the past in order to find a path forward—might be as old as music itself. “Composers have always borrowed and used other composers’ material,” says Jennifer Butler, a former flute virtuoso who’s moved on to become one of Vancouver’s most accomplished compositional voices. “I think that the reasons for doing it have changed, partly because now we have recordings, and we can expect our audience to be familiar with things in a different way. I mean, there’s borrowing and hiding things, like when you think ‘Oh, that’s a really good idea. That’s something I would like to use in my music.’ And then there’s taking something when you want it to be recognizable as not your own. I’ve done that on several occasions, for various reasons; I wrote a piece which inserted quotations from Clara Schumann’s piano music
ure has a different number of beats in it—and it’s always off-kilter. The pulse is constantly shifting in very subtle ways, so it’s very, very demanding on the performers.” Butler points out that her Messiaen arrangeAs I got my hands dirty in ment combines three of her passions: flute, comit, it turned out to be very position, and the natural world; like Messiaen, she often uses natural elements in her pieces. challenging. Le Merle Noir, originally written in 1952, rep– composer Jennifer Butler resents the first time that the French musician and ornithologist worked from recorded birdsong, in this case that of the European blackbird. And nature’s presence here might be a nod to another New Music Festival subtheme: that with a laugh. “But as I got my hands dirty in the purportedly ivory-tower art of composition it, it turned out to be very challenging, just in is always viscerally engaged with past, present, terms of how I was going to get the sextet to be future, and the world at large. g Jennifer Butler joins the VSO new music fest. able to perform this incredibly intricate music The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s New Music into my own, because I wanted to reach out to that was originally written for two people. another female composer from the past and try “It’s a very interesting piece,” she adds, “in Festival takes place at various Vancouver venues from and find a shared space, which was interesting.” that there’s no time signature, and every meas- Saturday to next Thursday (January 11 to 16). With many of the borrowings and recontextualizations in the New Music Festival’s six concerts, Butler continues, the composers are aiming to engage with the past, the present, the audience, and the performers in a kind of The fest kicks off with a spectacular trio polyphonic exchange. “It’s about a conversaof female composers: Korea’s celebrated tion with or a commentary on the music that Unsuk Chin (shown here), with her glinting, you’re stealing or quoting or using,” she says, percussive Violin Concerto; Finland’s Kaija in a telephone interview from her East VanSaariaho, with the evocative “D’om le vrai couver home. sens”; and Canadian new-music superstar Butler’s own contribution to (re)-creations is a Nicole Lizée, creating soundscapes inspired by The Sound of Music. reworked and expanded version of Olivier Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir, a flute-and-piano favourc VSONMF02 CARTE BLANCHE: NICOLE ite of hers since her undergraduate days of flute LIZÉE (January 12 at the Orpheum Annex) VANCOUVER SYMPHONY Orchestra recitals and compositional studies. (Vancouver Lizée is back for a full afternoon of work, maestro Otto Tausk has assembled ensemble Standing Wave will perform it, alongincluding a much-anticipated return to a dazzling program of cutting-edge her hit Perxploitation, which gives VSO side Jared Miller’s riff on John Adams’s China compositions for this year’s edition of percussionist Vern Griffiths the spotlight. Gates and Jordan Nobles’s homage to Claude the VSO New Music Festival, titled “(re)Debussy’s Des Pieds dans le Neige, in (re)flection, c VSONMF05: WALTZ WITH BASHIR creations”, from Saturday to next Thursday at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday (Janu(January 15 at the Waterfront Theatre) (January 11 to 16). Here are some of the ary 14). The arrangement is proof, she notes, that The concert’s a must-hear for cinephiles, most enticing programs: recomposition can be just as creative—and taxnamed as it is for the knockout 2008 film c VSONMF01 (RE)-CREATIONS (January 11 whose soundtrack won composer Max ing—as working from scratch. at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) Richter so much acclaim. g “When I first took it on, I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be great. I love this piece,’ ” she says
New Music Fest TIP SHEET
JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 21
WonderWombs rethinks women and the circus by Janet Smith
The WonderWombs explores sex-positivity and body image. Photo by Creative Futures
SINGIN’ THE BLUES WITH BRIA SKONBERG JAN 17/18, 8PM | ORPHEUM
London Drugs VSO Pops With a voice compared to Anita O’Day and trumpet skills reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, Chilliwack native Bria Skonberg brings her energy and music to the VSO.
THE MAJESTY OF BRUCKNER
VSO NMF (re)creation
circus show that tackles gender politics and bodyshaming amid aerials, comedy, and spoken word? Why not? New Zealand’s genre- and now gender-busting Dust Palace company has been “renovating” circus since its beginnings in 2009. The troupe brought its grittily spectacular The Goblin Market, an adult exploration of sexuality and addiction, here in 2017. Now, to kick off the Cultch’s annual winter Femme Series, it’s bringing The WonderWombs, an acrobatic creation that upends the traditional foundation of its art form: the highly gendered roles in acrobatics that have seen muscular artists swinging and catching sequin-clad women for more than a century. “You’ve got the strongman and the tiny ballerinalike aerialist—that would be the dynamic from the past,” says Dust Palace cofounder and performer Eve Gordon, speaking to the Straight from her home in Auckland, where she reports the orange-glowing sky being caused by smoke from Australian bush fires has finally dissipated. “It’s the assumption that you need the man in the story to make the skills hard and the tricks difficult and the circus of it exciting. There’s a feeling working in circus that you need the men’s power to make the thing right. “We said, ‘Okay, you don’t have that dynamic of a very heteronormative relationship that the audience can cling on to, so what stories can come out of that?’ ” Ironically, she points out, even in the old days of travelling circuses, any women doing these athletic feats would have to be “tough cookies”. And here’s where body image comes into the story. “We were definitely interested in exploring the physicality and the fact that all these amazing circus women are incredibly muscular and are often still considered by society as masculine,” Gordon explains. “Interestingly, many of us [in the show] came through our childhoods wanting to be tomboyish for a variety of reasons. So we were wanting to be very clear about the construction of gender and what that is and
how we each choose to express that.” The end product is a show that manages to merge feminist ideas and sex-positivity with the magic of circus, with seven female and nonbinary performers mashing together acrobatics, burlesque, dance, and spoken word. There’s a lot of laughter amid the silk, hoop, and cyr-wheel work, but the show takes you into some darker territory as well. One rope act ventures into a story of sexual assault; an empowering aerial number takes pole dance out of the strip-club. Look also for sendups of male posturing in gyms, and a mock fashion show where one participant tries to “wear” both virgin and whore stereotypes. Gordon says the mix was the result of a unique process that brought the group together in late 2018 with newcomers like director Jess Holly Bates and choreographer Hannah Tasker-Poland. They spent as much time in discussions as they did defying gravity in Dust Palace’s studio. “We really wanted to make sure that everything came directly out of us,” Gordon explains. “So we talked a lot in an honest way about our pasts— things that made us the way we were and why we’d chosen to be aerialists and what that means in society.” That emotional honesty is at the root of The WonderWombs’ messages, Gordon says. Her troupe is known for presenting its interdisciplinary circus on an intimate scale that makes it even more awe-inducing. But there’s something unique to circus that opens viewers up to connect emotionally, she suggests. “The spectacle of it—the adrenaline, the fear, the possibility of something going awry—those things are what can strip away an audience’s filters....You can affect an audience more in circus. “This show came out of some of the rawest parts of all of us as people,” she adds. “And it’s very reallife stuff.” In other words, these are real women—ones who just happen to be able to pull off unreal acts. g The Cultch presents The WonderWombs at the York Theatre from Tuesday (January 14) to January 19.
HANSEL & GRETEL
STARTS JAN 11
The 2020 VSO New Music Festival takes for its theme (re)creation opening with a concert of concerti performed by the artists who commissioned them.
JAN 30, 6:30PM | ORPHEUM
Enjoy pre-concert cocktails at 5:30 and romantic music at 6:30. Maestro Tausk leads the orchestra playing Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. MEDIA SPONSOR
CARTE BLANCHE: NICOLE LIZÉE
JAN 12 | ANNEX
Nicole Lizée curates a concert featuring a kaleidoscopic selection from her inventive catalogue.
SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE: MÄRKL CONDUCTS BERLIOZ, RAVEL, SAINT-SAËNS
JAN 24/25, 8PM & JAN 26, 2PM | ORPHEUM
Guest Maestro Jun Märkl leads the orchestra in an exciting program that traces the evolution of the French sound. Featuring Ravel’s gorgeous Pavane pour une infante défunte. Cellist István Várdai tackles Saint-Saëns’ beloved Concerto No. 1. JAN 12 VSO AT THE ANNEX SERIES SPONSOR
JAN 12 FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE ANNEX SERIES PROVIDED BY
JAN 17/18 VSO POPS SERIES SPONSOR
JAN 17/18 VSO POPS RADIO SPONSOR
22 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley ISTVÁN VÁRDAI JAN 24/25 MASTERWORKS DIAMOND SERIES SPONSOR
JAN 26 SYMPHONY SUNDAYS SERIES SPONSOR
JAN 30 VSO AFTERWORK SERIES SPONSOR
Directed by MFA Director Luciana Silvestre Fernandes
January 16—February 1, 2020, 7:30 pm Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts Tickets: theatrefilm.ubc.ca
t h e at r e
JAN 21 — FEB 9, 2020 P U S H F E S T I VA L . C A
JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 23
Image by Alexandre Galliez
Jan 22-25, 2020 | 7pm & Jan 25, 2020 | 2pm TICKETS FROM $20 DANCEHOUSE.CA THECULTCH.COM
MEDIA AND IN-KIND SPONSORS:
24 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020
BLENDING CIRCUS ARTS, MUSIC, THEATRE, AND VIDEO IN A GROUNDBREAKING PERFORMANCE
Bagby finds the magic in epic Beowulf
by Alexander Varty
istorically informed performance—the practice of reviving older styles of music through the close examination of their social context, as well as surviving manuscript scores—has been the norm in early music for decades. But what can performers do when they’re working with something that survives only in text form? That’s the task Benjamin Bagby has faced in bringing the 10th-century Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf to the stage. No one knows how it would have been presented, a thousand years ago. Would it have been highly theatricalized, or delivered as straight recitation? Would it have been accompanied by music and, if so, which instruments would have been featured? The historical record is mute. Consequently, over the course of his almost 30-year intimacy with this archetypical hero’s journey, Bagby has proceeded through, as he’s written, “a veil of conjecture and intuition”. So far, listeners have concurred, the results are stunning. They are also, the singer, scholar, and founder of the esteemed Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music adds, ever-evolving. “My first steps were of course hesitant and stumbling—trying things and discarding things and keeping others,” Bagby tells the Straight in a telephone interview from his home in Paris. “And in a way I’ve developed with time a sort of oral tradition of my own.…I’m now just a singer who is working within an oral tradition, and I’m respecting my elders, as it were—but my elders happen to be the younger me. So it’s paradoxical. “I don’t feel like I’m a composer or an arranger or anything like that— anything intellectual,” he continues. “I think of myself as following a set of procedures that developed organically
Sequentia Ensemble’s Benjamin Bagby uncovers the spooky and the strange.
over time in years past, and my impression is that I’m staying very true to the tradition. But, again, I may be departing from it without knowing. And, indeed, that’s a factor in any oral tradition. There are influences that come in; one changes something by complete happenstance one evening in a performance and it seems to work well and then that gets installed and it remains forever. Other things that one has worked out intellectually are discarded for no apparent reason and replaced with something else. It’s a living, organic process, and I try to not get in the way of what the text is trying to tell me as I tell it, as I speak the text. And that way, the performance is always something new.” In bringing Beowulf out of the historical mists, Bagby credits a fortuitous encounter with the Japanese vocalist and biwa player Kinshi Tsuruta, singing the 14th-century epic The Tale of the Heike, with helping to shape his own approach to longer texts. “Seeing that—I think I was 14 or 15—really made an impression on me, and I sort of filed it away somewhere very deep,” he recalls. “And as I began working on Beowulf many, many years after that, certainly the memory of how that felt came back to me. I was very
inspired by the way she could use time, the way she could use the instrument, the way she could make language work to give a feeling of authority. ” A variety of shorter poetic forms— including an excerpt from Beowulf—factor into Charms, Riddles & Elegies, the concert that the four members of Sequentia will deliver the night before Bagby’s solo show. The connection is that the ensemble performance is based around a set of Anglo-Saxon elegies that Sequentia’s leader had been introduced to by one of his Beowulf mentors, the American medievalist John Miles Foley. “We had a long-term project that I might perform and record some of these, and then he died, unfortunately, about five years ago,” Bagby explains. “So I moved ahead with the project, but I found that just singing these incredibly sad elegies doesn’t make for much of a concert program.…So this is a concert with lots of little things. The riddles are spoken, the charms are sung, and nothing is very long. But they swirl around these big boulders—four of the great Anglo-Saxon elegies—that serve as the main points of reference.” The charms in particular, Bagby adds, bring a magical element to the program that should prepare listeners for the supernatural events related in Beowulf. “Some of them are extremely weird,” he says. “They’re really strange, some of them, and spooky. They’re not very logical, and they’re certainly not anything you would call scientific. They’re really on the dark side—and yet sometimes quite funny.” g Early Music Vancouver presents the Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music in Charms, Riddles & Elegies at Christ Church Cathedral on Friday (January 10), and Benjamin Bagby’s Beowulf at the Vancouver Playhouse on Saturday (January 11).
MAR 8, 2020
“WITTY, INVENTIVE AND UNEXPECTEDLY MOVING TWISTS ON FEMALE STEREOTYPES." THE SUNDAY TIMES Organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery
Major support provided by
TICKETS AT VANARTGALLERY.BC.CA [Left to right] Cindy Sherman, Untitled #588, 2016/2018 (detail), dye sublimation metal print; Untitled #415, 2004 (detail), chromogenic print; Untitled #602, 2019 (detail), dye sublimation metal print; Untitled #574, 2016 (detail), dye sublimation metal print. All images: Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures, New York.
Cathy Zuo Generously supported by
Additional support from
Artworkers Retirement Society
Sheahan and Gerald McGavin
JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 25
ARTS LISTINGS ONGOING INFINITY A new comedy-drama about love, sex, and math. To Jan 19, Historic Theatre. From $26.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8
THE COMIC STRIP Standup comedy featuring headliner Yumi Nagashima. Jan 11, 9-11 pm, Tyrant Studios. $18.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10
BEETHOVEN AND BEYOND Chamber music concert features works by Beethoven and his admirers. Jan 12, 2 pm, St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Free.
CHARMS, RIDDLES, AND ELEGIES Featuring Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music. Jan 10, 7:30 pm, Christ Church Cathedral. From $36. TEEN ANGST NIGHT Sara Bynoe hosts a comedic reading series where brave souls share their teenage notebooks. Jan 10, 8-10 pm, Fox Cabaret. $12-15. ENCORE An improvised TV-show pilot featuring standup comedy by Aaron Read. Jan 10, 9 pm, Little Mountain Gallery. $8/10.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 HOUSE AND HOME A comedic take on Vancouver’s current housing crisis. Jan 11-25, Firehall Arts Centre. From $20. CORNELL UNIVERSITY GLEE CLUB & CHORUS Choral group performs on its Pacific Northwest tour. Jan 11, 7-9 pm, Canadian Memorial United Church. $15-25.
“Staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression” — The Washington Post
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26 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
SODA FOUNTAIN Comedy show with improv, standup, and sketch, hosted by Graeme Achurch and Nathan Hare. Jan 11, 9 pm, Little Mountain Gallery. $8/10.
WICKED WEDNESDAY: NERDLESQUE EDITION Monthly burlesque show featuring Kitty Glitter, Ginger Femmecat, Diamond Minx, and Rosie Thornbush. Jan 8, 7 pm, Falconetti’s East Side Grill. Suggested donation $10.
WEN WEI DANCE STUDIO SHOWING Dance Centre artist in residence Wen Wei Wang shares excerpts from his latest work in an informal studio showing. Jan 10, 4 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre. Free.
BEOWULF: THE EPIC IN PERFORMANCE Benjamin Bagby dramatizes the poem in the original Anglo-Saxon. Jan 11, 7:30 pm, Vancouver Playhouse. From $36.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 12
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 THE WONDERWOMBS New Zealand’s Dust Palace presents a feminist circus party for adults. Warning: explicit language, nudity, sexual content, strobe and smoke effects. Jan 14-19, York Theatre. From $26. ARTISANAL INTELLIGENCE Comedy with new music about robots and hipsters. Jan 14-18, 7:30-8:30 pm, Havana Theatre. $17/15. FRENCH ENCHANTMENT Stellar Lincoln Center piano quartet led by pianist Wu Han playing with grace and charm a selection of French music: a piano trio of Saint-Saëns, a Faure piano quartet, and the unique Ravel sonata for violin and cello. An opportunity to hear a set of infrequently played music. Jan 14, 8 pm, Vancouver Playhouse. $60 early, $70 at door.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15 COMIC NIGHT WITH TY BOISSONNAULT Ty Boissonnault hosts standup comedy by Adam
THE CHANGELING (January 16 to February 1 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) Who knew that a play from the 17th century could get so lurid, dark, and bloody? UBC Theatre and Film takes on Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s still-disturbing Jacobean story of murder, lust, madness, and blackmail—a tragedy undercut with comedy of the blackest variety. g
Jacobson, Jeremiah Ukponrefe, Hui Wong, Robin, Bobin Monga, Nico Gruzling, Jay R, and ET Starchild. Jan 15, 7-9 pm, Hood 29. $5.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 BEST CANADIAN POETRY A night of readings from some of the best contemporary Canadian poets. Jan 16, 7-9 pm, Massy Books.
see next page
Fox News misogyny ignites Bombshell REVIEWS
Starring Charlize Theron. Rated 14A
by Ken Eisner
AND THE BIRDS RAINED DOWN
Starring Gilbert Sicotte. Rated PG
d LOUISE ARCHAMBAULT’S gently paced and unexpectedly deep new film has a kind of tenderness you don’t often experience in the movies.
Margot Robbie and Kate McKinnon suffer under Roger Ailes in Jay Roach’s new film.
That sensitivity isn’t just apparent in the way the French-Canadian director shoots the conifer forests and the rippling lake where her story’s central trio of grey-bearded hermits like to bathe, bare-assed. It’s the way she eases into their unhurried rhythms and gives the characters the quiet time to breathe and connect. It’s slow going, but the payoff resonates all the more for the patience Archambault puts into this poetic and melancholy little chamber piece, one that’s based on the equally smallscaled novel by Jocelyne Saucier. In its nuanced way, the film manages to encompass ideas of time, aging, love, loneliness, euthanasia, and our eco peril, often movingly so. Each of the three men has come to live in these shacks in the bush for his own reasons: Charlie (Gilbert Sicotte) fled a cancer diagnosis, bar singer Tom (Rémy Girard) may be trying to distance himself from booze, and Ted (Kenneth Welsh) retreated after losing his family to the Great Fires that ravaged the region unspecified decades ago. They also happen to farm a little weed on the side. These men don’t like outsiders. But their bucolic world gets disrupted when visitors arrive, brought by Steve (Éric Robidoux), a young single guy who owns a near-empty hunting lodge hotel nearby and delivers supplies. He brings in his elderly aunt Gertrude (Andrée Lachapelle), who’s refusing to return to her longtime psychiatric facility, and Raf (Ève Landry), a young female photographer looking to take portraits of Great Fire survivors (and thus, Ted). Some of the scenario strains believability, not least the supplies and setup the gents enjoy in the woods. But the most touching moments belong to Charlie and Gertrude, who gradually form a bond, him gently showing her how to live life outside the walls of an institution and the pair slowly revealing their backstories at bedtime by a fireplace. Their pairing is nicely offset by the younger Raf and Steve, two other misfits who find a comfortable, if not sexual, bond over pot and horror movies. Montreal indie-folk band Will Driving West adds atmosphere to the moody visuals. But what stands out most is the fully fleshed old folks here—figuratively as well as literally. With few words, Sicotte and Lachapelle show stirrings rarely portrayed in the elderly, and not just the erotic kind. The octagenarians’ subtle lessons about living in the moment should translate easily to anyone decades younger. by Janet Smith
THE WHALE AND THE RAVEN A documentary by Mirjam Leuze. Rating unavailable
d ALMOST EXACTLY 40 years ago, newly elected President Ronald Reagan unceremoniously removed the solar panels Jimmy Carter had placed on the roof of the White House, part of an effort to redirect his country’s effort towards alternative energy sources. The mind boggles as to where we could be now, after so many decades of dedicated research. But hey, those big petro companies like to make money the way they’ve always made money, and they know where their public subsidies are coming from.
Exxon et cetera likewise understand that the vast cost of disaster mitigation—along with all that free land and water—will be borne by the public. But can you really put a price tag on entire eco-systems once they are gone? That’s one of the main questions asked by anxious observers in The Whale and the Raven, written, directed, and shot by Mirjam Leuze, born in what used to be West Germany. As you might surmise, this new National Film Board effort, made in conjunction with German TV, makes a special effort to view the blue-green Pacific Northwest through Indigenous eyes—that is, the people who have been observing the delicate dance of feathers, fins, and firs for millennia. The transit patterns of humpback whales, orcas, and other ocean-going mammals are particularly useful to watch in the still waters of the Kitimat area of B.C., which the filmmaker first visited as a teenager—on a fluke, as it were—also about four decades ago. Family friend Hermann Meuter and his then-partner Janie Wray later washed up in that area, specifically on Whale Point, at the bottom of Gil Island, in traditional territory of the Gitga’at First Nation. Their whale research centre was an important point of reference for the battle against oil tankers, as it is now in a renewed bid to let LNG vessels through the area, assuredly disrupting the quiet realm of these great beasts, who use sonar to stay connected. Adopted into the Blackfish and Raven clans for their tireless efforts, Meuter and Wray are two of the principal subjects here, among mostly First Nations residents. Parallels between human clans and the cetaceous kind are obvious, without being hammered home. Some prosaically shot scenes linger just a little past their cinematic usefulness, but you can’t fault Leuze and friends for wanting to spend extra time in a place where people are humble enough to take their cues from nature. And the overhead shots of this gorgeous, if precarious, landscape are worth the price of your passage.
Coast Salish textile art, music, and history. Jan 18, 1-5 pm, Museum of Vancouver. $100/90.
COMEDY AT THE PARK Standup comedy by Cory Lupovichi, Andrea Jin, and headliner Darcy Boon Collins. Jan 16, 7:30-9:30 pm, Park Pub. $15.
THE COMIC STRIP Standup comedy featuring headliner Jane Stanton. Jan 18, 9-11 pm, Tyrant Studios. $18.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19
VANCOUVER CHALLENGE CUP Ballroomdance competition featuring couples from Canada and the U.S. Jan 17-18, 11 am–11:30 pm, Hellenic Community Centre. $45-55. LINDEN CARROLL Author signs and talks about her historical novels Full Circle and Olive. Jan 17, 6-9 pm, North Vancouver City Library. OF/F/ THE MOUNTAIN Readings by poets Shazia Hafiz Ramji and Arleen Paré. Jan 17, 7 pm, Massy Books. THE COMIC STRIPPERS A fictitious male stripper troupe played by a cast of improvisational comedians. Jan 17, 8 pm, Centennial Theatre. $44. COMEDY HERE OFTEN? Standup comedy by Jake Spencer, Henok Meresa, Ola Dada, and headliner Emily Bilton. Jan 17, 8:30 pm, 604 Studios. $10.
d “FAR-RIGHT women surprised to find that far-right men treat them badly.” If Bombshell, with its doublebarrelled title, was a single news story, that could be the headline. But this timely and cleverly engaging film comprises many stories, some so new they haven’t even happened yet. Still, it smartly focuses on verifiable horrors that happened recently enough to colour everything we’re seeing now. Even more cogently, it takes place inside Fox News—licensed as an entertainment channel but smirkily pretending to deliver “fair and balanced” information—where a number of women had the genuine courage to speak out in an environment designed to confine them to the narrowest space possible. Obviously, there has since been no shortage of bad behaviour at more liberal outlets. But at Fox we encounter an army of bottle blonds in tight skirts, and gender conformity in a purely Caucasian climate of reactionary fear is the main subject of a tale that initially centres on two hard-working flag-wavers for the cause. Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) gets the #MeToo ball rolling by filing a sexual harassment suit against Fox mastermind Roger Ailes (a Churchill-padded John Lithgow) in 2015, when Bombshell begins. Played here by Charlize Theron, who miraculously disappears into the role with light prosthetics and exactly the right depth-charge voice, Megyn Kelly caused even more of a stir by challenging prenomination Donald Trump on his rampant misogyny, and was rewarded by the ascendant candidate with accusations of, as she puts it, “anger menstruation”. This leads to death threats, and no small amount of self-doubt for a woman who discovered that, in the rightosphere, loyalty is a one-way street and even the slightest challenge is viewed as a capital crime. Kelly’s standing is uncertain for a while, as Ailes’s boss, Rupert Murdoch (Malcolm McDowell), is still testing the wind as to Trump’s chances to lead the whitey righties. In the midst of all this, the abuse machine clicks on, with randy Roger’s secretary (Holland Taylor) actively procuring “fresh talent” for him and his supercilious wife (Connie Britton). And thus the movie—written by Charles Randolph, who dissected the 2008 financial crisis in The Big Short—brings us the fictional Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), a brighteyed evangelical Midwesterner who takes us through the semi-invalid boss’s sultanic predilections, which include having the newbies lift their skirts and “twirl”. The fact that these three women, and others, have such a hard time joining forces, or even connecting the dots, is the most biting subtext for director Jay Roach, equally adept at broad comedy, as in the Austin Powers flicks, and political satire, like HBO’s prescient Game Change. There’s a lot of fourth-wall breaking here, some elements are too bluntly drawn, and Kidman somehow gets lost in the breezy shuffle. Kayla’s emotional growth feels too rushed at times, but she does get a lot of good lines. When she lets her guard down and sleeps with a closeted coworker played by SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Kayla notices a Hillary Clinton poster on her new friend’s wall, and says, without irony, “I could never take you home to meet my parents!”
from previous page
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18 COASTAL LUNAR LANTERNS Eight giant lanterns created by local Indigenous artists. Jan 18–Feb 9, 8 am–11 pm, Jack Poole Plaza. Free. TEXTILE ART WORKSHOP WITH AY LELUM Join the Ay Lelum family for an afternoon of
SILLINESS Erato Ensemble presents a family-friendly concert featuring bouncing divas, singing cats, and crazy costumes. Jan 19, 3 pm, Holy Trinity Anglican Church. $15-30. ROEDDE HOUSE CLASSICAL SERIES PRESENTS: RISING STARS Performance by the Artemesia Duo, composed of flutist Emily Richardson and pianist Susan Xia. Jan 19, 4-5 pm, Roedde House Museum. $15/12.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 21 PUSH INTERNATIONAL PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL Annual interdisciplinary arts fest features 27 works from 24 companies, including six world premieres by local artists. Jan 21–Feb 9, various Vancouver venues. ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
by Ken Eisner
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF EURÍDICE GUSMÃO
Starring Carol Duarte. In Portuguese and Greek, with English subtitles. Rated 18A
d JUST AS the average Brazilian no longer notices crumbling favelas butting up against gated villas, misogyny is so ingrained in Latin America’s largest nation that the public has become inured to such inconveniences as 15 women being murdered every day, or somebody’s female partner being beaten every few seconds. Having a president who laughingly extolls rape and torture doesn’t help (in any country). This background is a crucial impetus for making films like The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, which attempt to illuminate the more regressive aspects of everyday life in Brazil, noting their roots in colonialism and slavery. Domestic violence is a passing part of this family saga, which takes place over something like five decades, but the subject, per the title, is really the medium-firm bigotry of low see next page
JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 27
Cinematheque salutes the decade’s best films
by Adrian Mack
he Cinematheque looks back at the 2010s with an epic series of screenings beginning this week. Artistic director Jim Sinclair and programming associate Shaun Inouye each picked 10 titles to represent the best of the decade. Here’s the opening week’s lineup:
TONI ERDMANN (2016) An unhappy overachiever is forced to deal with her prankster dad in Maren Ade’s woolly comedy-drama. Universal acclaim followed its Cannes debut, but the Georgia Straight dissented. Ken Eisner wrote: “the cast is terrific, but many improvisations drag, dulling the few inspired moments that pop up along the way. Essentially, Toni Erdmann is a bleak look at the virtues of indiscipline. But that’s a message this ‘comedy’ takes far too seriously.” Sunday, January 12 (7 p.m.) THE ACT OF KILLING (2012) It asks a great deal of the viewer, certainly more than some are prepared to give. In Joshua Oppenheimer’s doc, the genocidal thugs of Indonesia’s antiCommunist purge of the mid-’60s participate in increasingly surreal Hollywood-style reenactments of their bloody crimes. Oppenheimer told the Straight’s Allan MacInnis: “There was this shamelessness that came from feeling like the whole world supported them, and this openness because they were still in power and had never been forced to admit what they did was wrong. It was as though I’d wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust and the Nazis were still in power.” Thursday, January 9 (6:30 p.m.); Monday, January 13 (8 p.m.) ZAMA (2018) The first feature from
Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel in almost a decade, this haunting, elliptical period drama—based on Antonio di Benedetto’s novel about a colonial officer stuck in liminal South America—was worth every moment of the long wait. Wrote Eisner: “the merging of raw nature and well-researched colonial history with magic realism tinged by Kafka, Camus, and Borges is fascinating throughout.” Thursday, January 9 (8:45 p.m.); Saturday, January 11 (6:30 p.m.) UNDER THE SKIN (2013) Alien Scarlett Johansson cruises Glasgow for human flesh in Jonathan Glazer’s spellbinding flick. In a film stuffed with risks, the most audacious might have been the decision to send the star into the general public, with hidden cameras monitoring Johansson’s seductive game with unwitting nonactors. In an interview with the Straight, Glazer declined to reveal which scenes were “real”, adding: “I think the fact that you’re asking me the question is a good sign.” FORCE MAJEURE (2014) Nothing in
the last 10 years aced the comedy of discomfort as effectively as Ruben Östlund’s feature, in which a flash act of cowardice shatters the perfect family. The Straight described Östlund as “a sadistic behavioural scientist” with a “wicked sense of humour”. In a recorded speech sent to the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, the filmmaker expressed the purpose behind Force Majeure. “To increase the percentage of divorce in society,” he said. g
The Cinematheque’s Best of the Decade series runs until February 17. See the full schedule at www.thecinematheque.ca/.
MUSIC from previous page
expectations placed on working-class women. Too bad the movie doesn’t reach its admirable goals. The streets of early-1950s Rio de Janeiro make an intriguing, if underused, backdrop to a tale of institutional sexism mostly told in repetitive close-ups and coincidental plot elements that don’t hold up to scrutiny, not at an indulgent two hours and 20 minutes. The acting is uneven, the sets slapdash. But the biggest problem, especially for a director as experienced as Madame Satã’s Karim Aïnouz, working from Martha Batalha’s book of the same name, is that its characters aren’t convincingly developed. The most impressive thing about late-teen Eurídice (soap veteran Carol Duarte) is her aspiration to be a concert pianist. But we’re given no clue as to how her love of classical music flowered in a household run by a milquetoast mom (the coincidentally named Flávia Gusmão) and a stern patriarch (António Fonseca) who views the arts as even more useless than daughters. Her beloved older sibling Guida (Julia Stockler) is far more headstrong, and heads off with a hunky Greek sailor for a European sojourn. When she returns, with child but sans husband, Dad kicks her out of the house. And Eurídice, now attending music school in Vienna, keeps sending letters to Greece, with no response. She also accepts it when her parents shove her into early marriage to a deceptively meek prig more into chauvinism than Chopin. The story lopes along with awkward rhythms and iffy coincidences until the late entry of nearly-90 Fernanda Montenegro offers the only real emotional punch. In the end, the film’s unspoken issue isn’t inbred sexism, it’s the Internet. Yes, Brazil still has plenty of social injustice, and now less public funding to address it. But if they’d had Facebook way back when, this family never would have broken up.
A decade of memorable pop-culture moments
by Mike Usinger and John Lucas
echnically, 2020 is the last year of a decade, not the first year of a new one. We get that. That inconvenient fact didn’t stop anyone else from publishing a 2010s retrospective, however, and it ain’t gonna stop us. From the ascendance of mumble rap and country trap to the last wheezing breaths of the compact disc as a commercially viable format, it was an eventful 10 years. We can’t possibly cover everything that happened, but we can share some of the most memorable moments.
d 2010 YOU MIGHT SAY Justin Bieber had an okay year. In April, his first fulllength studio album, My World 2.0, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. This made the 16-year-old with the appalling haircut the youngest male solo artist to top that chart since Stevie Wonder did so with Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius in 1963. Before the year was out, Bieber had picked up the MTV Video Music Award for best new artist, four American Music Awards (including artist of the year), and two Grammy nominations. He’s done pretty well for himself since then, too, although he did have his, uh, wild years. (We’re not even going to mention that time in 2013 when he pissed in a restaurant’s mop bucket while inexplicably cussing out Bill Clinton.)
d 2011 IT HAS BEEN described as “a perfect tear-jerker”. And for sure, just the lyrics of Adele’s 2011 hit “Someone Like You”—in which the singer pays a surprise visit to her ex, only to realize by Ken Eisner that he’s much happier without her— are enough to make the song a threeKleenex affair. To find out what else makes “Someone Like You” (which Adele wrote with Dan Wilson) a guaranteed heartbreaker, the Wall Street Journal turned to UBC psychologist Martin Guhn, who cited the singer’s vocal modulation and the song’s use of tension-creating dissonance as factors. Hell, the damn thing even works on Adele herself, who was famously in tears by the end of her performance of it at the 2011 Brit Awards. TO THOSE WHO weren’t there, it’s hard to convey how important R.E.M. was as a creative force. The Athens, Georgia, four-piece started out as an underground cult fave and slowly blossomed into one of the first “alternative” acts to conquer the mainstream, all without ever compromising its founding principles. The genius of Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry was in how they never forgot their weirdo roots as they evolved musically. Think of 1992’s “Man on the Moon” paying tribute to Andy Kaufman, Elvis Presley, and Sir Isaac Newton (not to mention Twister and Risk), or the way that “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” shouted out to everyone from Lester Bangs and Lenny Bruce to Leonid Brezhnev and Leonard Bernstein. On September 21, just months after releasing the critically praised Collapse Into Now, R.E.M. announced it was done, citing a determination to go out on a high note. And just like that, the band was gone. Somewhere up in heaven, Kurt Cobain—who openly stated that his dream was to write the kind of songs R.E.M. did—spun Automatic for the People and wept.
28 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020
d 2012 NOTHING ABOUT THE Beastie Boys made any sense on paper. How did three upper-middle-class Jewish kids with punk-rock backgrounds not only transition seamlessly into hip-hop, but also earn the legitimate respect and admiration of the black artists who invented and defined the genre? And let’s not even get started
In 2018, rapper Kendrick Lamar’s album DAMN. earned him a Pulitzer Prize.
on how Mike “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch, and Adam “AdRock” Horovitz shocked the world by following up what seemed like a onehit-wonder (“Fight for Your Right”) with the wildly layered landmark that was Paul’s Boutique. An implausible and endlessly inventive run came to a sudden and unexpected end on May 4 when Yauch died after a three-year battle with cancer that started out on a salivary gland. Out of respect for their fallen comrade, Diamond and Horovitz did the right thing by announcing they wouldn’t be carrying on, and that they’d honour Yauch’s dying request that the Beastie Boys’ music never be used in advertisements. IN RETROSPECT, “Gangnam Style” had everything going for it, but there were arguably three key factors in its massive success. First of all, it came with an eye-poppingly over-the-top video, complete with a signature dance move—by the end of the year, “Gangnam Style” had become the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube. Second, Psy’s monster single was part of a cultural wave (Kpop) that was on the verge of crashing into the North American mainstream. Third, and perhaps most importantly for an international hit, it had a catchy refrain in English. All together now: “Heeeey, sexy lady.”
d 2013 IT’S HARD TO SAY who had a more controversial 2013: Miley Cyrus or Robin Thicke? The former did her best to demolish her squeaky-clean Disney image by releasing the “Wrecking Ball” video. Directed by unrepentant creepy uncle Terry Richardson, said video featured the birthday-suited singer swinging on a wrecking ball and performing unsimulated oral sex on a sledgehammer. Meanwhile, Thicke released “Blurred Lines”, which also featured naked ladies. When it was suggested that the song and video might be a wee bit sexist, Thicke told GQ, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman.” Oops. As if to prove that there need be no competition when it comes to tastelessness, Thicke and Cyrus teamed up for a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, which was roundly criticized as being not just lewd and raunchy, but also appallingly racist. Let’s call this one a tie. EVER WONDER WHY getting along is hard for those lucky enough to be in successful bands? Rising out of the great emo boom of the early ’00s, My Chemical Romance hit the ground gunning for something more than a Victory Records deal. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge set the table by injecting the sound that made Fall Out Boy famous with nuclear posthardcore and bruised-knuckle punk. The Black Parade elevated MCR to platinum-shifting stars by adding glitter-bomb glam, gothic cabaret, and lightning-strike metal to the mix. And then, at the height of its powers, My Chemical Romance disbanded on March 22, while rumours flew that the band’s members see next page
had been fighting in the green room, the studio, and first-class between Champagne refills. Time has a way of making people forget why they once hated each other, which explains a reformation this past Halloween, with tour dates and a new album in the works. That Black Parade uniform you’ve had mothballed for the past decade is suddenly cool again— unlike your Victory Records hoodie and matching hat. d 2014 WHETHER YOU’RE TALKING Ozzy Osbourne snorting up ant colonies or GG Allin flinging his own feces at fans, the people who make hardedged music aren’t always the most balanced of folks. As I Lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis proved this in the most brutal of ways by attempting—after months of domestic turmoil—to arrange the murder of his wife in 2013. The metalcore singer—and formerly self-proclaimed Christian—pleaded guilty to the charge on February 25, 2014, did a couple of years in prison, and then returned to As I Lay Dying upon his release, presumably declining all requests to cover My Chemical Romance’s “You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison”. d 2015 REMEMBER BACK IN 2009, when Kanye “Jackass” West interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech to argue that Beyoncé should have been the winner? He did it again on February 8, 2015, only this time his target was Beck. West jumped on the stage while Beck was accepting the albumof-the-year Grammy for Morning Phase, but the rapper then departed without a word, leaving a baffledlooking Beck at the microphone. In an interview after the incident, West said, “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.” In Yeezy’s defence, after someone pointed out that Beck wrote, arranged, produced, and contributed most of the instrumental work to Morning Phase, West backpedalled, telling the Sunday Times, “I was inaccurate with the concept of a gentleman who plays 14 instruments not respecting artistry.” It probably didn’t hurt that, despite the album-of-the-year upset, Beyoncé still picked up more awards than Beck did that night. d 2016 WHEN IT CAME to bad blood between former bandmates, Guns N’ Roses was the one band that made everyone from the Eagles and Pink Floyd to the Ramones and the Dead Kennedys look like sane and happy families. Back in 1996, when they were indisputably the biggest rock stars on the planet, Axl Rose and Slash launched one of the most legendary intra-band feuds in the often ugly history of rock ’n’ roll, with fallout that sank the band for the next 20 years. (Sorry, as entertaining as it was to watch a guitarist play with a KFC bucket on his head, the 2.0 edition of Guns N’ Roses that spent six ice ages working on Chinese Democracy doesn’t count for anything.) The groundwork for a reunion was
one of Canada’s most popular rock bands, the multiplatinum-selling Hedley, was hit with accusations of sexual misconduct with fans. On February CONCERTS JUST ANNOUNCED 25, an Ottawa woman accused singer THE SPACE LADY Outsider musician from Jacob Hoggard of sexual assault; on San Francisco, with guests Stephen Hamm: July 23 he was arrested and charged Theremin Man and Michael & the Slumberwith one count of sexual interference land Band. Jan 16, 7 am, Fox Cabaret. $15. and two counts of sexual assault caus- DAVID BOWIE TRIBUTE Local bands playing Bowie hits and deep cuts. Jan 16, 7 pm, ing bodily harm. Hoggard’s trial is set Biltmore Cabaret. $12.50/20. to begin in January 2021. It’s a sad story WEST COAST CHICAGO Tribute to hornin many ways, but the upside for music driven ‘70s rock band Chicago. Jan 17-18, 7 pm, fans is that Hedley hasn’t released any 9:15 pm, Blue Frog Studios. $49.50. new music since it all began. THE STARLING EFFECT Vancouver indie-rock
Last year, maverick pop star Billie Eilish made it okay to be a complete weirdo.
laid when Rose reached out to Slash (whom he once described as a “cancer”) on the phone in 2015, and then suggested he was interested in hashing out old grievances face to face. Flash forward to April 1, 2016, and two of the most iconic figures in rock ’n’ roll found themselves on-stage together at the 500-capacity Troubadour in Los Angeles, with Guns N’ Roses cofounder Duff McKagan holding down the bass. During the show Rose fell off an on-stage monitor and broke his foot, which would have been fine if Guns N’ Roses hadn’t scheduled a massive Not in This Lifetime… world tour for the rest of the year. Rose performed many of the shows sitting on a makeshift throne gifted to him by Dave Grohl, which at least stopped him from leaping into the audience wearing a fur coat and nut-hugging Spandex. d 2017 AND THEN THERE was one. One of the most famous hallmarks of the Seattle grunge scene was the way depression was viewed not as a curse, but rather as an inspiration. The downside of that was the toll said depression took on those who became legends for turning their angst into art. The Emerald City’s big-four alternative acts were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain decided he’d had enough of living in 1994, and used a shotgun to commit suicide at his Seattle home. After years of self-medicating with heroin and cocaine, AIC’s Layne Staley died alone of an overdose in his Seattle condo, his body going undiscovered for two weeks. Chris Cornell was seemingly in a good place in 2017; after fruitful years as a solo artist and a member of the supergroup Audioslave, he’d spent the better part of the decade reunited with his Soundgarden bandmates, making music, and touring the world. Then, after a May 17 show, the 52-year-old hanged himself in a room in Detroit’s MGM Grand hotel. Today, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder remains the only big-four frontman still flying the flannel. d 2018 WE CAN THANK those brave souls who created the #MeToo movement with helping many women find the courage to speak out about the abusive misogyny that sadly still runs rampant in the entertainment industry. In 2018,
ANYONE CAN WIN a Grammy or MTV Video Music Award, but scoring something like a Pulitzer Prize is a whole other matter. Rapper Kendrick Lamar pulled off the previously unheard-of when he was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his work on DAMN., becoming the first nonjazz and nonclassical artist to receive the award. Dana Canedy—the first woman and first person of colour to be Pulitzer administrator—told Lamar, “Congratulations, we’re both making history this year.” Before you go wondering what the hell the world is coming to, listen to “DNA” and marvel at what Kendrick Lamar Duckworth hath created.
d 2019 BY ANY MEASURE, 2019 was Lil Nas X’s year. The record-breaking musical event that was “Old Town Road” didn’t come out of nowhere, mind you. Roughly a quarter of the cowboys active in the American West between the 1860s and 1880s were black, and the reclaiming of that legacy in fashion and music had been bubbling under to the extent that, in September 2018, Texan “pop-culture archivist” Bri Malandro coined the term “the yeehaw agenda” to explain it. While Lil Nas X is the most obvious beneficiary of this movement, one can’t forget about Blanco Brown, whose “The Git Up” achieved something even “Old Town Road” could not—it got a trap beat onto country radio.
band plays tunes from self-titled debut EP, with guests Mully & Sculder and Hotel Empress. Jan 17, 8 pm, Princeton Pub & Grill. No cover. PARK SOUND PRESENTS Monthly concert series features performancesby Noble Son, Dusknote, and Jay Gavin. Jan 18, 7-11 pm, Park Sound Studio. $10.
CHADWICK STOKES & THE PINTOS Boston musician and human-rights activist, frontman for Dispatch and State Radio. Jan 18, 7:30 pm, Fox Cabaret. $33.50. BONNIE SCOTT Female-fronted AC/DC tribute band, with guests the James Shepherd Band. Jan 18, 7:30-11:30 pm, Tsawwassen Legion #289. $20. HOT CLUB SWING Swing jazz by Swing Patrol, plus dance lessons. Jan 18, 8 pm, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. $15. QUIET CITY Ten-year anniversary concert features performances by François Houle with Kenton Loewen, Martijn Comes, and Wire Mother/Cloth Mother. Jan 18, 8 pm, VIVO Media Arts. $15. THE BIG COAST Blue Light Sessions presents indie soul-pop band. Jan 18, 8 pm, Blue Light Studio. $15. JAZZ IN THE FORT Performance by local blues and soul singer Dalannah. Jan 18, 8-11 pm, Fort Pub & Grill . GZA American rapper and member of Wu-Tang Clan. Jan 20, 8 pm, Fortune Sound Club. $35. ADRIAN BELLUE Acoustic fingerstyle-guitar virtuoso. Jan 25, 7-10 pm, Horizon School Of Music. $30. TOMMY EMMANUEL Acoustic-guitar wizard from Australia, with guest Joe Robinson. Apr 2, 7 pm, Vogue Theatre. Tix $47.25-60.90. POST ANIMAL Chicago-based rock band. Apr 10, 8 pm, Fox Cabaret. Tix on sale Jan 10, 10 am, $17.50. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB U.K. indie quartet, with guests Sports Team. Apr 29, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Jan 10, 10 am. SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE Psych-folk musician Ben Chasny. May 11, 8 pm, Fox Cabaret. Tix on sale Jan 10, 10 am, $15.
GOD HELP FUTURE generations—we THURSDAY, JANUARY 9 mean that in the best of ways. For years BERNIE ARAI TRIO Jazz trio composed of and years, America wanted its female drummer Bernie Arai, saxophonist Chad pop stars bold, bright-eyed, and glit- Makela, and pianist Chris Gestrin. Jan 9, ter-spackled; think of the lineage that 7-9 pm, Roedde House Museum. $15/12. STEVE KOZAK BAND Local blues-rock veterincludes Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Brit- ans. Jan 9, 7-10 pm, Fairview Pub. $5. ney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift. Last year FRIDAY, JANUARY 10 saw Billie Eilish bring her own fantas- JIM CUDDY Member of Blue Rodeo performs tically fucked-up blueprint to the table. on his Countrywide Soul Tour. Jan 10, 7:30-10 The now 18-year-old rocketed out of pm, Clarke Theatre . $49.50. her bedroom with a brand of dark- BLONDE DIAMOND Local dream-pop quinwave pop targeting those who prefer tet, with guests Phono Pony, Devours, and DJ everything black: their nails, clothes, Wmnstudies. Jan 10, 8 pm, Astoria Pub. $14. DAVID FRANCEY Scottish-born Canadian hair, and world-view. Forget strut- folk poet and singer. Jan 10-11, 8-10:30 pm, ting around the halls of high school St. James Hall. $32/28. like the prom queen: Eilish came on THE STRUMBELLAS: POSTPONED like the girl who spends Friday nights Canadian indie-rock/alt-country band, with curled up under the covers in the dark guests Neon Dreams. Jan 10-11, 9 pm, Comin a boiler room, listening to tortured modore Ballroom. Refunds available. mix tapes loaded with Lana Del Rey, SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 Amy Winehouse, Lorde, the Knife, ELEVATE MUSIC PROJECT SEMIFINAL and Tyler, the Creator. The message? Performances by Noble Son, Strange Breed, It’s okay to be totally fucking weird, Michaela Slinger, Lunchtime, CamBlake, and whether that means dressing in six- Broken Islands. Jan 11, Imperial Vancouver. $10. sizes-too-big clothes or dyeing your RANDY HANSEN—JIMI HENDRIX LIVES ON hair three shades of Kool-Aid green. Tribute to guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Jan 11, Nerds, freaks, and geeks of the world: 7 pm, Blue Frog Studios. $49.50. SOLD OUT. BARNEY BENTALL B.C. folk-roots singerthe future now belongs to you. g songwriter. Jan 11, 7:30 pm, Genesis Theatre. $50.
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A MDABC peer-led support group
is a safe place to share your story, your struggles and accomplishments, and to listen to others as they share similar concerns. Please Note: Support groups are not intended to provide counselling/therapy. ? Please visit www.mdabc.net for a list and location of support groups or call 604-873-0103 for info. AL-ANON FAMILY GROUPS Does someone else's drinking bother you? Al-Anon can help. We are a support group for those who have been affected by another's drinking problem. For more information please call: 604-688-1716 Anorexics & Bulimics Anonymous 12 Step based peer support program which addresses the mental, emotional, & spiritual aspects of disordered eating Tuesdays @ 7 pm @ Avalon Women's Centre 5957 West Blvd - 604-263-7177 Battered Women's Support Services provides free daytime & evening support groups (Drop-ins & 10 week groups) for women abused by their intimate partner. Groups provide emotional support, legal information & advocacy, safety planning, and referrals. For more information please call: 604-687-1867
SUNDAY, JANUARY 12 KRISTIAN ALEXANDROV & SHANNON GAYE QUARTET Jazz Vespers concert with readings by Rev. Brian Fraser. Jan 12, 4-5 pm, Northwood United Church. By donation. JOHNNY A—JUST ME & MY GUITARS American electric-guitar virtuoso. Jan 12, 7 pm, Blue Frog Studios. $44. SOLD OUT. THEO KATZMAN American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with guest Rett Madison. Jan 12, 8 pm, Venue. $30.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 IDER Electronic pop duo composed of Lily Somerville and Megan Markwick. Jan 14, 9 pm, Fox Cabaret. $16.50.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15 FOG LAKE Canadian indie-rock singersongwriter Aaron Powell, with guests Foxes in Fiction. Jan 15, Biltmore Cabaret. $16.50. HALF MOON RUN Indie-rock band from Montreal, with guest Taylor Janzen. Jan 15, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. $52.50/39.50/29.50. RIVKY Folky NYC singer-songwriter, with guests Chelsea D.E Johnson and Richard Glen Lett. Jan 15, 9-11 pm, Café Deux Soleils. $10.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 KING PRINCESS Pop singer-songwriter from Brooklyn. Jan 16, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. $59.50/55/39.50/29.50. TEBEY Canadian country singer-songwriter. Jan 16, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. FRED EAGLESMITH Canadian alt-country singer-songwriter. Jan 16, 8-10:30 pm, St. James Hall. $36/32.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17 ZION I American hip-hop project founded by Baba Zombi. Jan 17, Biltmore Cabaret. $20. YBN CORDAE American hip-hop artist. Jan 17, 7 pm, Fortune Sound Club. $25-30. PHARIS AND JASON ROMERO Junowinning duo performs old-timey songs. Jan 17, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. $35/32. THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW Rock ’n’ roll duo from the States. Jan 17, 9 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. $20.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18 CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR! Toronto-based pop choir. Jan 18, Vogue Theatre. $24.50. JON BRYANT Dream folk singer-songwriter. Jan 18, 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret. $15.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19 TORD GUSTAVSEN TRIO Jazz pianist from Norway. Jan 19, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. $30/27. COLD WAR KIDS Indie-rock band from Long Beach, California. Jan 19, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $36.50. MUSIC LISTINGSare a public service provided free of charge. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight. com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
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Not everyone needs to see anal porn by Dan Savage
b I HAVE A question about porn, and I can’t think who else I can ask that will give me an intelligent, educated answer. In modern porn, anal on women is gaining popularity. I’m a fan of anal with my boyfriend. However, in porn, it seems like the gaping asshole is a thing, a soughtafter thing, a desired thing. And I guess my boyfriend and I don’t get it. We can get quite vigorous when we have anal sex, but my butthole never gapes open like that—my boyfriend assures me that when he pulls out, it goes back to its cute little flowerlike effect. Why is the gaping asshole so popular? I promise this is not a frivolous question or just for titillation. We really do wonder: what gives? - Gaining Anal Perspective Entails Serious Question It’s funny how a chief fear about anal sex—that your asshole would gape open afterward and poop would fall out while you walked down the street—became eroticized. (The asshole-gaping-open part, not the poopfalling-out part.) Did I say funny, GAPESQ? I meant predictable. Because a big part of the collective human subconscious is always at work eroticizing our fears, and the gapingopen, just-been-fucked, completely “wrecked” asshole many people feared inevitably became something some people found hot. And as more people began experimenting with anal sex—as anal went mainstream over the past two decades—people realized that the anal sphincter is a muscle and the secret to success-
ful anal intercourse is learning to relax that muscle. Situationally, not permanently. You could relax, get loose, gape after, post the video to a porn tube, and then tighten back up. Now, not everyone thinks a wideopen, gaping asshole is desirable. And not everyone, in the immortal words of Valerie Cherish, needs (or wants) to see that.
b HONEST QUESTION: If you, being a homosexual, don’t die from HIV, will you have to wear a diaper before the age of 42? Optional question: what does a prolapsed rectum look like? I bet you can describe it without doing an image search. b MY SIGNIFICANT other wants me - Sickening Homosexuals Are to delete any NSFW pictures of my Malignant Errors exes, but I don’t feel comfortable with that. I don’t have an emotional Honest answers: I know you meant attachment to my exes or really look this to be hate mail, SHAME, but at these photos anymore, but I feel I’m just thrilled someone out there that old pictures saved on old comthinks I’m not 42 yet. Also, I’m HIV- puters aren’t doing any harm and negative—last time I checked—but deleting them won’t fi x my partner’s even if I were to seroconvert (go insecurity. - Personal Images Causing Strife from HIV-negative to HIV-positive), a person with HIV who has access to meds can expect to live as long as a Accommodating a partner’s irrationperson without HIV. Also, a person al insecurity is sometimes the price with HIV who is on meds and has a we pay to make an otherwise healthy zero viral load (no trace of the virus and functional relationship work, can be detected in their blood) can- PICS, as I recently told another readnot infect another person. So even if er. But one possible workaround— I were to contract HIV after all these one possible accommodation—is years, SHAME, I would likely live telling your insecure partner what long enough to die of something else, they want to hear even if it isn’t true. and, once I got on meds, I couldn’t Telling a partner who is concerned pass HIV on to anyone else. And about safety that you’re using conquickly: I’m way past 42 and not in doms with others when you’re not a diaper yet, thank you very much. isn’t okay, of course, just as telling a
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And while some people think a prolapsed rectum looks like a rosebud, I happen to think a prolapsed rectum looks like a ball of lean hamburger. And the first one I ever saw—and, no, I didn’t need to do an image search because it makes a real impression—was in straight porn, not gay porn. P.S. If you can’t think about gay men without thinking about our poops and the diapers you hope we’re wearing and our meaty prolapsed rectums, SHAME, that says a lot more about you than it does about gay people.
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condoms do NOT mix, period,” said Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, an online condom shop, and a condom expert. “Using an oil-based lubricant with a condom can cause the condom to leak and/or break. And unlike waterbased lubes, oils do not evaporate readily. While oil is absorbed over time, that absorption rate likely varies based on many factors, including age. Oiling up internally? Now we’re talking vaginal versus anal absorption rates! The bottom line: we have not found sufficient studies to issue a reliable recommendation on what an overall safe time frame might be. So here’s the deal: oil or condoms— choose one.” I would add only this: condoms made out of polyurethane are more expensive, but you can safely use them with oil-based lube.
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isn’t impossible, SAS, it rarely leads to long-term love. Being kept hidden because you’re trans (or you’re gay or you’re big) and the person you’re dating hasn’t gotten over their shame about being attracted to trans people (or members of their own sex or bigger people)…Well, it sucks to be someone’s dirty secret. And a healthy trans (or gay or big) person— the kind of person you might be able to fall in love with—isn’t going to put up with that shit. So it’s a catch-22: so long as you keep the women you date a secret, none of them are going to stay in your life for long. They’ll be either so damaged you want them out of your life or not damaged enough to want you in theirs. g On the Lovecast, the truth about human trafficking: savagelovecast.com. Email: email@example.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage.
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JANUARY 9 – 16 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31
Jan 10 Jan 11 Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 14 Jan 17 Jan 17-Feb 9 Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 20 Jan 22 Jan 24 Jan 25 Jan 26 Jan 27 Jan 28 Jan 29 Jan 30 Jan 31 Feb 1 Feb 2 Feb 3 Feb 4 Feb 7 Feb 8 Feb 9 Feb 10 Feb 11 Feb 14 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 18 Feb 21 Feb 22 Feb 23 Feb 24 Feb 25 Feb 28 Feb 29
32 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JANUARY 9 â€“ 16 / 2020
Big Dirty Boots Big Dirty Boots Jazz Sundays - David Sikula Quartet Soul Mondays - Odd Trio Mo West Trio John Marvin Scott Dine Out Vancouver Dylan Cramer Jazz Sundays - Laura Crema Soul Mondays - SOULTRAX Jonathan Tobin Trio Hot Tin Lid Torben Brown Trio Jazz Sundays - David Sikula Trio Soul Mondays - Tristan Paxton Trio Eugene Smith 1st show Eugene Smith 2nd show Joshua Capri Trio IIhan Safeali Trio Cherry Tree Serenade Jazz Sundays - Karin Plato Trio Soul Mondays Brad Shigeta Swingtime Trio Big Dirty Boots Big Dirty Boots Jazz Sundays - David Sikula Trio Soul Mondays Brad Shigeta Swingtime Trio Paul Pigat Trio Jazz Sundays - Oliver Cannon Trio Soul Mondays Tom Amtzen Trio Maria Ho Trio Leonard and the Lab Rats Jazz Sundays - Kristian Braathen Trio Soul Mondays Brad Shigeta Swingtime Trio Shannon Scott Trio Dylan Cramer