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Photos are for illustrative purposes only. Pricing in effect Friday Feb. 16 to Thursday Feb. 22, 2018. Overwaitea Food Group LP, a Jim Pattison business. Proudly BC Owned and Operated.


2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018


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This year’s DTES march for action on overdose deaths will focus on decriminalization of drugs; also, Ottawa won’t promise a local MP that the Kinder Morgan pipeline will be soldier-free in B.C. > BY TRAVIS LUPICK AND CARLITO PABLO

11

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New England singer-songwriter Jake Klar and Vancouver spoken-word star Barbara Adler join forces at the Chutzpah Festival. > BY MIKE USINGER

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A B.C. MP has dared Liberal ministers to guarantee that the military and police will not be used against opponents of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline-expansion project. Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart issued the challenge as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged that the $7.4-billion twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline will be completed. Stewart first hurled the question at Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr during debates in the House of Commons last Monday (February 12). “Will he stand in the House today and say that he will never do this, that it would never be considered, that he would not use the army and the police forces against British Columbians in their own communities, on the reserves, and in their municipalities?” Stewart asked. Stewart prefaced his question by noting that Carr told business leaders in the past that “he would use military defence and police forces to push this pipeline through.” The Burnaby South MP was referring to a December 1, 2016, comment by Carr in Edmonton about the military and police dealing with nonpeaceful protests, for which he later apologized. Responding to Stewart, the Liberal minister said he was “disappointed” that the issue was being brought up again. “Within a few days of having said it, I realized it would invoke images that were not healthy to the debate, and I apologized to Indigenous leaders,” Carr said. “I will say again, as I have said many times over many months, that I apologized and misspoke.” At another point during the debates, Stewart made the same challenge to Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi. “Will he guarantee British Columbians that he will not use the military or police forces to ram this pipeline through our beautiful province?” Stewart asked. Sohi replied that the pipeline expansion will “go ahead, because this project will create thousands of jobs for Alberta families as well as for British Columbian and Canadian families”. Stewart was not satisfied with the

EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS

Janet Smith (Arts/Fashion) Mike Usinger (Music) Steve Newton (Time Out) Adrian Mack (Movies) Brian Lynch (Books) Amanda Siebert (Cannabis)

Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS

Tammy Kwan, Lucy Lau, Travis Lupick, Carlito Pablo, Craig Takeuchi, Kate Wilson SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Jennie Ramstad PROOFREADER Pat Ryffranck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Gregory Adams, Nathan Caddell, David Chau, Jack Christie, Jennifer Croll, Ken Eisner (Movies), George Fetherling, Tara Henley, Michael Hingston, Ng Weng Hoong, Alex Hudson, Kurtis Kolt,

8 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018

OVERDOSE-DEATHS MARCH TARGETS CRIMINALIZATION

One of the largest demonstrations to march through the Downtown Eastside in recent years occurred in February 2017, when hundreds of people called for government action on overdose deaths. The crowd was motivated by an unprecedented number of fatal overdoses, from 518 in 2015 to 993 in 2016. Since then, the climb has continued, to 1,422 last year. Jordan Westfall, president of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD), told the Straight that organizers expect an even bigger turnout this Tuesday (February 20). “The last few years, thousands of people have died of an overdose,” he said in a telephone interview. “We tackled the pubic-health aspect of that last year with the national day of action. This year, we want to change the focus to the Ministry of Justice.” Specifically, Westfall said that drug users are calling for decriminalization: for the federal government to remove criminal penalties for the personal possession of all illegal narcotics. “Criminalization impacts every aspect of a person using drugs,” he

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ADVENTUROUS, RIGOROUS, INTERDISCIPLINARY.

responses he got from Carr and Sohi, which he later described as “disturbing”. The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, will triple daily capacity to 890,000 barrels and lead to a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic on the West Coast. > CARLITO PABLO

The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 52 Number 2614

EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Doug Sarti

GLS.SFU.CA

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart wonders if the military will quell pipeline protests.

said. “Criminalization pushes people into the shadows, into the darkness, where they don’t disclose their drug use.…It makes it much more difficult to access services.” The idea might once have sounded impossibly radical. But last September, Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP, said his party supports decriminalization because members believe it will help reduce overdose deaths. Then, on February 2, Don Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, formally raised the proposal in the House of Commons and asked the Liberals: “When will this government abandon the failed war on drugs and adopt a health-based approach to addiction and drug use?” Decriminalization likely won’t come before a change in government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said his government will not discuss the idea. In the immediate term, Westfall said demonstrators will also call for an end to so-called red-zoning, a term that refers to when someone has been charged with an offence and not yet convicted but is released with strict rules about where they are not allowed to travel. An October 2017 study by researchers with Simon Fraser University and the University of Ottawa found that red-zoning often equates to a denial of social services. “We’ve found people being excluded from safe-injection sites, making it harder for them to access clean needles, which then places them in greater risk of negative health outcomes,” SFU’s Nick Blomley told the Straight then. Westfall argued that in the middle of an overdose epidemic, red zones are killing people. He said people participating in the national day of action are therefore asked to wear red on February 20. “In Ottawa, they’re going to wear red to the attorney general’s office, the minister of justice’s office, and redzone it,” he added. Vancouver’s march for Canada’s national day of action on overdose deaths will begin on February 20 at 12:30 p.m. at Victory Square (West Hastings and Cambie streets). Rallies are also planned for Victoria, Prince George, and, across Canada, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. > TRAVIS LUPICK

Robin Laurence (Visual Arts), Mark Leiren-Young, John Lekich, Amy Lu, Bob Mackin, Michael Mann, Rose Marcus, Beth McArthur, Verne McDonald, Allan MacInnis, Guy MacPherson, Tony Montague, Kathleen Oliver, Ben Parfitt, Vivian Pencz, Bill Richardson, Gurpreet Singh, Jacqueline Turner, Andrea Warner, Jessica Werb, Stephen Wong, Alan Woo CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

Alfonso Arnold, Rebecca Blissett, Trevor Brady, Louise Christie, Emily Cooper, Randall Cosco, Krystian Guevara, Evaan Kheraj, Kris Krug, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kevin Langdale, Shayne Letain, Matt Mignanelli, Mark “Atomos” Pilon, Carlo Ricci, William Ting, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER

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hen I moved to Vancouver in 2016, I was jumping between Airbnbs and hostels. A friend hooked me up with a Facebook group called Vancouver Collective Houses Network. I liked the idea of living with lots of people, and I had an image in my head of moving into a heritage house that was really cute and colourful, and it would be at the top of a hill so I could look over the mountains. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. “I saw a post in the group advertising a room in a two-bedroom for $650. I emailed the lead tenant right away, and she replied asking when I could come and look round. “When I went to view the place, there were a few problems. There was mould everywhere, and the plug sockets were practically falling out of the walls. On top of that, there was a gaping hole in my bedroom door, like someone had just punched straight through it. But I had to weigh up the fact that it was so cheap and I would only have to share with one person. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up, financially, so I decided to take the place. “The first time I met the lead tenant, I thought she was cool. We were about the same age, and she said that she was a DJ and worked in film. I figured she’d be easygoing and that we’d get along. That was not the case. “When I moved in, the red flags went up immediately. Firstly, she said that she would have a friend staying in the lounge for a bit. When I got there, it was a French-Canadian guy who had rented out the lounge off Craigslist to live in. We actually got on really well, and he acted as a buffer between me and the lead tenant—so once he moved out two or three months later, our relationship got strained. “The first thing she did was send me an email with a cleaning list that I had to adhere to—things that were commonsense, like drying the dishes after I’d finished washing them. She had a pretty high standard for cleanliness and said that I needed to sweep the flat every couple of days. I decided just to go with the flow and enjoy the fact that the place would be clean. “Then one day she came home with a dead bat in her hand. She walked in while I was sitting on the couch and was like, ‘Oh, I just wanted to ask you a question: do you know how to dry this bat?’ She said, ‘This might sound weird, but I really like collecting dead things. I collected a dead bumblebee and a dragonfly once, and I dried them.’ “That was true. In the lounge, there was a massive mirror set up, which

W YE NE AR

Renters of Vancouver takes an intimate look at how the city’s residents are dealing with the housing crisis. Tenants choose to remain nameless when sharing their stories.

acted as her meditation centre. She had a written list of her goals, and had lots of photographs stuck on it. She had added the dragonfly and bumblebee and said that she was hoping she could dry out the bat so she could put it on display. I said that she should get it away from me—I didn’t want a bat decomposing in the house. At that moment, all its organs were leaking out. “She said that she would doublebag it and just put it in the freezer. At first I found the situation hilarious, and then I realized that it might actually be a health hazard. “Then she started getting really controlling. One evening, I had some friends over to do some meal preparation for a trip. She sent a message saying that she couldn’t sleep with all the cooking smells that were going on. Then she put a ban on using the kitchen after 10:45 on Monday through Friday. “At this point she was working shifts, and she’d keep sending me any updates to her schedule. She expected me to reply with my working schedule, so we could make sure that we would be out of the house at different times. She wanted the place to herself. “I let her know that it wasn’t fair to impose all these rules on me, especially when I wasn’t doing the same to her. We sat down and had a powwow. She had a really patronizing tone—she talked to me as if I was an employee. She said, ‘I don’t want you to feel like I’m micromanaging you, but I just feel like you’re not hearing me. I just feel like that you need to understand my needs.’ “She then said that instead of my boyfriend coming over every weekend, he should come over every second weekend, because Saturday and Sunday were her free time and she needed to ‘defrazz’. “I blew up. I said, ‘I live in this place. I pay rent to live here. I’m not a guest in your house. I don’t want to walk around on eggshells just in case I disturb your delicate ears or your delicate nostrils.’ I said I was moving out. She said she thought it was a good idea. “I wanted to leave as soon as possible, but she said that if I didn’t give her one month’s notice, she wouldn’t guarantee that I’d get my deposit back. She told me those were the rules in Canada. That’s not true for people who were subletting like I was, but she wasn’t budging. She had this condescending attitude and this superior sense of self-worth. “I ran into one of the people who rented the f loor above ours outside. I asked him about my roommate and how many people had lived there before I moved in. He said that everybody who lived in the property thought she was rude and manipulative. Every two months, there would be someone new who moved in the suite. “Vancouver is a tough city to find a place to live, and it’s even harder when you don’t have any rights as roommate. The lead tenant has all the power.” -

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FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 9


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s Vancouver residents prepare for the arrival of the Year of the Dog on Friday (February 16), they can look forward to three more weeks— rather than one weekend—of festivities across the region. That’s because this year, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Richmond have worked together to showcase a list of Lunar New Year events that have deliberately been spaced out, beginning at the start of the month. For instance, the LunarFest celebration on the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza will take place next Saturday and Sunday (February 24 and 25). Unlike in previous years, it won’t occur on the same weekend as the huge Chinatown Spring Festival Parade. “It’s all coordinated,” Asian-Canadian Special Events Association managing director Charlie Wu told the Georgia Straight in an interview. “I think it will actually help Vancouver gain some tourism.” LunarFest, which is organized by Wu’s team, is also hosting events on other days and at other locations, such as The Butterfly Lovers, which is a Josh Beamish–choreographed dance performance of one of China’s four great folk tales. (For details, see page 24.) And on the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza on Sunday (February 18), LunarFest will host a celebration for dogs and dog lovers. “It’s actually a market for those who want to play with dogs,” Wu said. “We’ve also invited people with therapy dogs.” Here’s a list of some Lunar New Year events taking place in Vancouver and Richmond:

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Hazelbridge Way, Richmond) On Thursday (February 15), there will be two live stage shows, performances by Miss Chinese Vancouver pageant winners, and a countdown right before midnight.

SHERMAN TAI CHARITY FORTUNE READING AT RIVER ROCK CASINO (River Rock Casino, 8811 River

Puppy lanterns at LunarFest pay homage to the Year of the Dog.

Road, Richmond) Feng shui master Sherman Tai will be telling people’s fortunes to raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital this Thursday and Friday, as well as next Friday (February 23) and Sunday. Lion dancers will also be at River Rock this Friday.

memorabilia continues until Friday THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS (Vancou(February 16) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street) Choreographed by Josh Beamish, SOAR OVER CHINA (FlyOver Can- this is a love story for the ages perada, 201–999 Canada Place) The formed on Friday (February 16) by Flight of the Dragon returns with a Vancouver’s Coastal City Ballet. Lunar New Year–themed show that includes a six-minute simulated LUNARFEST: A CELEBRATION flight over China as well as an eight- FOR DOGS! (…AND DOG LOVERS!) minute coast-to-coast ride over Can- (Vancouver Art Gallery plaza) From ada. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 9 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (February 18), the pooches will be out in force, p.m. until Sunday (February 18). along with a giant inflatable “Space LUNARFEST AT OAKRIDGE CENTRE Husky” dog. (Oakridge Centre, 650 West 41st Avenue) Hundreds of sky lanterns CHINATOWN SPRING FESTIVAL are hanging from the arches and PARADE (Chinatown) The annual there’s a display of 10 golden dogs parade through Chinatown begins at in the East Galleria until next Sun- 11 a.m. on Sunday (February 18). day (February 25) during regular LUNARFEST (Vancouver Art Galmall hours. lery plaza) Taking place on February $1,000,000 YEAR OF THE DOG 24 and 25, LunarFest features a banGIVEAWAY (Parq Vancouver, 39 quet of Asian dishes, crafts, beauty Smithe Street) Through February secrets, an exhibit called Who’s 28, Vancouver’s new casino offers Leashed, and a supersized ball pit opportunities to win $1 million for kids of all ages. The celebration by choosing four lucky lanterns includes presentations from the local among those that are on display. Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese, PhilLion dancers will be on the prem- ippine, Mongolian, Indonesian, and ises on Friday (February 16). Slovak communities. -

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10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018

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Houseplant business blooms in Vancouver > BY L UC Y LA U

E

ntering the Bloom Room Botanical Garden at the bustling corner of Kingsway and Fraser Street is like waltzing into an urban jungle. Spider plants—hung generously from plant brackets—greet guests immediately at the door, their slender blades slinking delicately toward the painterly Brasil philodendron, lush ivies, and vibrant crotons potted below. To the left, succulents of all sorts sit in abundance on circular trays like desserts on a platter, and indoor tropicals such as birds of paradise, kentia palms, and Congo philodendrons—their large, glossy leaves catching the sunlight that pours in from the store’s sizable window—inch gently toward the ceiling. With its well-loved Persian rug, clean white walls, and pair of minimalist wood chairs that offer guests a place to kick back and relax, the greenfilled space could easily pass as your very hip friend’s Main Street loft. In fact, the look is not far off from that of Bloom Room owner Sarah Spencer Tannahill’s abode. “Our house is pretty jungle-y. It’s getting a little out of control,” the fine-art grad, who’s provided flora for Savio Volpe, Bells and Whistles, and other nearby businesses, tells the Straight during an interview at the East Van shop. “I actually got rid of my kitchen table to put more shelves in so we could put in more plants.” That Tannahill operates one of the city’s most happenin’ plant-and-flower spots should tell you plenty about her commitment to playing plant mama at home. But it’s not just green thumbs, the horticulture-obsessed, and selfdescribed “plant nerds” packing their cribs with foliage these days. Around the globe, people—especially young folks—seem to have embraced houseplants with wide-open arms, watering cans and brass misters at the ready as they carefully tend to the dazzling

Indoor botanicals are trending more than ever, says Bloom Room owner Sarah Spencer Tannahill. Lucy Lau photo.

pinstripe calathea, chestnut vines, and prickly cacti that, in recent years, have become as integral to a beautiful and livable space as a well-designed sofa. The trend has gained so much traction that the Washington Post, in an article published last fall, claimed that “millennials”—for lack of a better word— were attempting to fill the “voids in their hearts” by loading as much greenery into their homes as possible. “I think houseplants are trending now more than they have in decades,” notes Tannahill, who’s known for carrying and propagating hard-tofind “plants that don’t look like plants” such as lithops, a South African succulent that’s evolved in a way to mimic the appearance of stone, at the Bloom Room. Although it’s difficult to refute the influence of Instagram, where, as the Post mentions, hashtags like #monsteramonday and #urbanjungle have all become embedded in our so-

cial-media lexicon, Tannahill credits a desire to, conversely, put down our phones as one reason houseplants have experienced an intense surge in popularity. “I think that plants are the opposite of technology,” she says. “And, you know, our modern world is kind of arranged in such a way that eliminates nature and nurture. And I think people are needing that.” OVER AT FIGARO’S Garden, a Victoria Drive shop that’s been operating for more than two decades, coowner Hartley Rosen can hardly keep tropical plants like towering fiddleleaf figs and Monstera deliciosas— better known as Swiss-cheese plants, thanks to the holes that form in their massive leaves—in stock. Other bestsellers at the long-standing institution include structural snake plants and air plants, both of which are lowmaintenance in that they are tolerant

of minimal light and water levels. Like Tannahill, Rosen sees the fever surrounding indoor greenery as related to our innate need to nurture a living being. “I think, deep down, it’s because we really enjoy taking care of things,” he explains. “And it’s so exciting when you bring a plant home and that little new leaf shoots out from the base of the plant or you get a tropical to flower.” While garden shops like these and others in Metro Vancouver, such as the West Side’s Southlands Nursery, Art Knapp, and Main Street’s Flower Factory, have undoubtedly seen a spike in botanical sales in the past few years (“If you came in here at 2 or 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, you would see, like, upwards of 20 people in here looking for plants,” says Rosen), perhaps the surest sign that the houseplant craze has reached its pinnacle is that decorative blooms can now be

found front and centre at businesses— restaurants, cafés, and unassuming dollar stores—that were formerly detached from the gardening scene. Such is the case with the Federal Store, a quaint luncheonette and grocer in Mount Pleasant that opened in 2016. Offering a selection of house-baked goods, coffee, and cool Vancouvermade products, the neighbourhood spot introduced houseplants to its hyperlocal inventory last year after a pop-up shop that included a small variety of indoor foliage saw a lineup of customers out the door. “We were absolutely blown away by the response,” co-owner Colette Griffiths recalls at the establishment. Shortly after, the full-time restaurant manager, who considers herself passionate about plants, began making regular trips to the Burnaby Lake Greenhouses, bringing back everything from turtle vines and fuzzy purple inch plants to anthuriums and sprawling areca palms to sell. Arranged tidily along windowsills and placed artfully in nooks and on shelves alongside boxes of gourmet bacon salt, lemon-and-lavender marmalade, and other foodstuffs, the plants serve as décor pieces at the Federal Store until they inevitably find their forever homes. “It keeps it fresh, keeps the space changing,” says Griffiths, who visits the greenhouses for restocks at least once a month. “We always like to have one or two larger plants in the centre section, and then when those go, we get something in a completely different shape and they kind of redefine the space in an interesting way.” That idea of keeping things fresh—in a literal and metaphorical sense, thanks to the air-purifying properties of Mother Nature’s tots—is exactly what makes houseplants so appealing. “You put a plant in a room, it changes the room,” states Tannahill. “It changes your psyche. It has physical effects on people, superpositive physical effects.” -

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Locals big on tiny houses > BY L UC Y LA U

W

hat happens when a real-estate agent and a construction worker get together in the midst of Vancouver’s housing crisis? In the case of Shannon and Brian Persse, the answer came in an environmentally conscious, downsizing movement that’s been sweeping North America in recent years: tiny houses. Or, more specifically, mobile detached homes generally less than 500 square feet in size that may be used as primary residences, rental suites, office spaces, and more. A Vancouver native, Shannon says her Irish-born husband, a general contractor, was “gobsmacked” by Vancouver’s real-estate prices when he moved to the city in 2013. (He’s likely even more taken aback now.) So when they spotted a tiny house in Point Roberts, Washington, where Shannon’s brother owns a vacation home, the couple were instantly intrigued. “We thought it was the cutest thing we’d ever seen,” she recalls by phone. After conducting some research, the pair got to work on their first miniature house in 2013: a 210-square-foot abode that Shannon’s brother would use as a guesthouse at his southof-the-border property. Soon, they began fielding inquiries from others. “We started off building one and then another one and another one,” Shannon explains, “and then we started getting a bit of traction. So it was something that we sort of decided we were going to do full-time.” The pair launched Mint Tiny House Company in 2014, and four years later have produced over 100 homes. The Delta-based business builds four “editions” of tiny houses, ranging from 200 to just under 400 square feet, though Shannon says the Loft model, available from 24 to 36 feet in length, has proven most popular with clients, many of whom

Compact homes may offer dwellers more freedom. James Alfred photo.

hail from B.C. and Ontario. Boasting a living room with a 10-foot-high ceiling, a fully outfitted kitchen, a bathroom, and three separate sleeping areas, the house—the biggest of Mint’s offerings—helps make downsizing a little easier. Prices start at $50,500. “A lot of the larger ones kind of help people transition from, say, a 3,000-square-foot house down to 380 square feet,” says Shannon. Built to be certified as RVs so that they may be parked wherever bylaws allow it, all Mint structures come equipped with modern conveniences and features like attractive wood panelling, soft-closing doors and drawers, and laminate flooring. Many of Mint’s customers, who range from young couples and families to retirees looking to simplify their living situations, are choosing green elements to reduce their ecological footprints even further. “A lot of our clients are going more off the grid,” Shannon shares. “We do install a lot of composting toilets, rainwater-collection systems, and some homes are going solar.”

Although diminutive houses have their pros—they’re customizable and movable, and use significantly less energy and produce less waste than traditional homes—municipal bylaws and general unfamiliarity with the structures have prevented them from becoming a viable mainstream housing option in many urban centres, notes Shannon. In Vancouver, residents are forbidden from living in such “RVs”—one of a handful of bylaws that local advocacy groups such as the B.C. Tiny House Collective have been working to overturn— leading many to place them in more rural areas or recreational parks. For the Persses, who hope to move into a tiny house in the near future (the pair had constructed their own, but then decided to sell it to a client who wanted one right away), the homes are worth embracing. And not only because they offer one solution for tackling Vancouver’s housing problem: “You can take them anywhere, right?” says Shannon. “And that’s sort of what tugs at our heartstrings a little bit: you’re not stuck in one location. Oftentimes, you have to set down roots…whereas with this, you can design a house that works for you—or you and your significant other or whomever—and you can take it anywhere.” At the B.C. Home + Garden Show, which happens at B.C. Place from next Wednesday to Sunday (February 21 to 25), Vancouverites will be able to see and walk through three of Mint’s small houses, each of which will be fully furnished. They’ll also be able to ask the Persses any lingering questions they have about small-scale living. It’s all part of Mint’s plan to get more people talking about and into tiny homes. “It’s hard to kind of picture ‘Could I actually live in that?’ ” says Shannon. “So this kind of gives you the chance to see that and find out that they’re not actually as small as you think they are.” -

HOME SHOW MUST-SEES

> BY LUCY LAU

over 425 exhibitors and 2 With appearances by HGTV Canada

designer superstars such as Danielle Bryk (right), the B.C. Home + Garden Show is Vancouver’s one-stop show for everything home-improvementand DIY–related. Below, find a roundup of top features at this year’s 47th annual event, which happens at B.C. Place from next Wednesday to Sunday (February 21 to 25).

MAIN-STAGE STARS Take in home-renovation and landscaping tips straight from the pros at the Main Stage, where celebrity builders and designers such as Backyard Builds’ Brian McCourt and Sarah Keenleyside, Home to Win’s Carson Arthur, and Love It or List It Vancouver’s Kenny Gemmill will all be on hand to dish their best advice for making the best of your home. Local names such as Sarah Gallop and Kathy Yuen are slated to make appearances too. FEATURE GARDENS It’s the exhibit that gives the B.C. Home +

Garden Show its name: over 3,000 square feet of imaginative, immaculately groomed garden spaces that will rev up motivation and get your creative juices flowing when it comes to overhauling your own outdoor space. Design companies include Great Canadian Landscaping and No Limit Landscaping, which will be using everything from synthetic turf to succulents and blooms to craft the gardens of your wildest (or wellpruned) dreams. COOKING STAGE It’s not all greenery, tools, and paint chips at the BC

Home + Garden Show. Brush up on your culinary game with a slew of seminars and live demonstrations at the Cooking Stage, where you can learn to perfect plant-based foods, traditional Italian baked goods, and more. Presenters include chef Kurtis Perry of Fable Kitchen and chef Ian Makris of the Greek by Anatoli, who will be preparing a porcini-cream tagliatelle and rustic Greek lamb chops, respectively.

THE GREAT CRATE CHALLENGE Rudimentary wooden crates are reimagined as storage units, footstools, and chic bedside tables at this upcycling exhibit that tasks five local style bloggers with transforming the boxes using spray paint and a little elbow grease. Visitors will be able to see the creations up close, vote for their favourite entry, and enter a contest for their chance to take one home. DINING ALFRESCO Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look ahead to warmer, sunnier days when having a drink outside won’t mean sporting a raincoat, water-resistant shoes, and an umbrella. Enter local designer Jamie Banfield’s Dining Alfresco display, which will showcase four outdoor-dining spaces that range from the contemporary to the masculine to the boho. Your only job? Deciding which look you’d like to emulate for the summer at home. -

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Clockwise from top, Montauk Sofa’s new Valcucine showroom carries Genius Loci designs from Italy; IKEA’s Fintorp space savers; and a La Cornue stove.

Sleek or traditional, kitchens go European Sleek is the word as Montauk Sofa (228 Abbott Street) moves into kitchen design, opening the first Valcucine showroom here—and allowing Vancouverites to achieve the clean lines they’ve seen in European cucinas. Amid the Italian designer collections, look for Artematica and Genius Loci’s smooth, seamless contemporary cabinets and open shelving, or Riciclantica’s modular hits of colour. The lines emphasize sustainable materials and come with systems so advanced they verge on the futuristic: with Valcucine’s V-motion system, you can cue cabinets to slide open and alter the hue of serenely glowing back panels with the wave of a hand. Ergonomics, maximized storage, and even sound considerations are worked into every high-end detail, including the New Logica System’s touch-triggered doors that tuck everything away behind panels. See more at www.montauksofa.com/ or valcucine.com/.

EURO KITCHENS

SPACE SAVER It’s an ongoing prob-

lem for Vancouver condo owners and apartment dwellers: a desperate lack of cupboard and counter space. If you have a spare bit of room on the wall beside the stove, over the sink, or on the end of the cabinets, look to IKEA’s (various locations) hanging systems to store everything from pots and pans to tea towels and utensils. The matte black Fintorp rail ($9.99, 57 centimetres long) pairs with hooks

to attractively hang whatever you need handy—a colander, wooden spoon, copper pot, or little pail full of forks and knives—while the Fintorp magnetic knife rack ($11.99, 38 centimetres long) beats a big, blocky wooden holder that takes up valuable counter space. A TASTE OF FRANCE It’s the kind of luxury stove that makes home chefs say “Ooh la la”; in fact, French-trained Julia Child once sang her La Cornue oven’s praises. Vancouver’s Midland Appliances (2015 Columbia Street) now carries France’s most charismatic stove line, with pieces that look straight out of a Provençal country kitchen. The company, founded just over a century ago by Albert Dupuy, a Parisian herbalist and perfumer, enjoys Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) status in its home country. The line boasts a range of features, from heat-dispersing vaulted ovens to French plaque burners, for serious gourmet cooks. But we love these high-end stoves for their Old World looks, complete with knobs and framing in copper, brass, or chrome (burnished or shiny), and hues that range from antique ivory and pistachio green to south-ofFrance sky blue and rich Beaujolais red. Prices start at about $10,000, but we know some serious cooks who would forgo a sports car to have one of these heirlooms.

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ith the City of Vancouver having just unveiled temporary modular housing in South Vancouver, Marpole continues to make headlines. The neighbourhood has been in the spotlight for several months now, ever since the project was announced and drew protests from some local residents. One of the city’s oldest boroughs, Marpole might still be perceived as an area with single-family homes on large lots with manicured lawns. But as the new project to bring some of the city’s most vulnerable residents indoors shows, the riverfront community around the foot of Granville, Oak, and Cambie streets is evolving. Improving the availability of social and supportive housing for those in need was just one of the priorities the city outlined in its 2014 Marpole Community Plan. So was boosting affordable housing for families with children. The term affordable is relative, of course; with Vancouver’s realestate market being one of the most expensive on the entire planet, it’s next to impossible for people just starting out in their careers or who want to have a family to buy a detached home. As a result, more are turning to condominiums and townhomes in neighbourhoods beyond those within walking distance of the city centre. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, townhouse and condo sales this year were above the 10-year January average in its jurisdiction by 14.3 and 31.6 percent, respectively, while detached homes fell 24.8 percent below it. “Marpole is changing a lot,” says Yosh Kasahara, director of sales and marketing for Alabaster Homes, which has four current developments in the area. “It’s Vancouver’s next prestigious neighbourhood. There’s prestige around Kerrisdale and Shaughnessy, but what’s happening with development in the city is that it’s moving south. “When you look at other areas— downtown or areas like Kitsilano— people find themselves priced out of the market,” he says. “Marpole still has opportunities for families to purchase, and there are a lot of great things happening here.” Higher densities and a mix of uses close to transit, notably the Canada Line, are inevitable in Marpole, which is situated on traditional Musqueam territory and is bounded by Angus Drive, West

57th Avenue, Ontario Street, and the Fraser River. The community is home to many young families: according to the City of Vancouver, 38 percent of all households in Marpole had children, compared with 30 percent citywide, in 2011; 68 percent of those families had children living at home in 2011, compared with 58 percent citywide. Marpole is anticipated to grow by about 12,500 residents, to about 36,500 people, within the next three decades. Developments are already appearing, from Alabaster’s spacious Shaughnessy Residences, which are nearing completion at 8123 Shaughnessy Street, to the planned townhomes at Tudor House by Formwerks Boutique Properties on West 63rd Avenue, and Tria Homes’ forthcoming condo development called 8888 Osler. The community plan requires that new multi-unit developments (except for seniors and supportive housing) have two- and three-bedroom units for families as both market and social housing. The area’s amenities and wellregarded schools are among the reasons it appeals to families. Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, for instance, is known for its International Baccalaureate and Frenchimmersion programs. The MarpoleOakridge Community Centre, which opened in 1949 as the city’s first, is in the process of being rebuilt, with a stunning light-filled new design by Patkau Architects. Marpole Oakridge Family Place, meanwhile, promotes the health and well-being of parents, caregivers, and kids. The nearby, mixed-use Marine Gateway on the Canada Line, with shops, restaurants, and a movie theatre, is another draw. Then there is the growth of the neighbourhood’s diverse food scene. Besides several sushi, pho, and noodle spots, the area is home to J Crepe (which shares a space with Yoshida Shoten and Ramen Raijin Express), Ipoh Beansprout Malaysian Café, Applause Japanese Restaurant, and many others. The neighbourhood has come a long way since the first permanent White Spot Restaurant—then called the White Spot Barbeque—opened in the summer of 1928 at West 67th Avenue and Granville Street. Before it launched, owner Nat Bailey sold snack food to motorists off the back of his truck. The old eatery is gone, and now the question is whether Marpole can hang on to some of its character while changing its face. -


FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15


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straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS

February 15 to 21, 2018

A

nd now for something fresh, new, perhaps out of the blue, too. It remains to be seen if Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partial solar eclipse will pack as much of a punch as the recent total super lunar eclipse did, but when Aquarius is the headliner, it is sure to produce something beyond the ordinary! Adding extra turbo to the start of the Chinese New Year of the Earth Dog, which begins on Friday, Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse is auspicious for all fresh starts, reinvention programs, and contract undertakings (actual, karmic). Think outside of the box; try something different, even radically different. Risk is in the mixâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but, hey, when is it not? Mercury and Juno, the contract asteroid, are major players of Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse. Watch for a key someone to be an agent of change, perhaps unexpectedly so. A brainstorm, flash of inspiration, or sudden insight is well worth the follow-through. News, an invitation, first look-see, talk, negotiation, or spontaneous impulse could trigger something opportune, perhaps even something exceptional. Watch for more to unfold and/or be exposed in the days following the eclipse. Keeping the action moving along a fluid track, Mercury enters Pisces on Saturday evening and the sun does so on Sunday morning. Use the weekend to create, play up the romance, relax, take in a movie, or enjoy some other escape. On another note: pump up on the vitamins; protect your immune system; and be especially careful regarding alcohol consumption and drug use. To summarize, potential is at a peak. Put courage into action and go for it with all your heart.



ARIES



TAURUS



GEMINI

March 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;April 19

Whether you have been thinking about it or are actively going for it, Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eclipse is a springboard for so much more to come. A big reveal, surprise news, a windfall, something completely unexpectedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the exceptional could come to pass! Someone you know or someone you are about to meet can thrust the action switch on a whole new reality. April 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;May 20

Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse can bust up the concrete and jettison you into a completely altered reality. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a shake-up or wake-up time. Held up no longer, watch for the eclipse to fast-track a career trajectory, a necessity, or a lifestyle change. Off with the old, on with the new. The time is right for a major revamp, and you know it.

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16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22 / 2018

May 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;June 21

Opportunity comes knocking. Try your luck. Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse can inspire your special brand of genius or surprise you with something unexpected. Someone enters or exits, opens a door, or delivers news. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an auspicious time for all fresh starts, including a new relationship chapter or social or public-life reinvention. Relocation, travel, study, a legal undertaking, or speculative investment are also favoured.



CANCER

June 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;July 22



LEO

July 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;August 22

Over this next couple of days, someone you meet or something you hear, see, or read could make a significant impression or impact. Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse could burst onto the scene, produce a quick response or reaction, or thrust the action switch. An instant hit or a first attempt could be the â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;? ticket. Jump on it quick. Fast is where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at.



VIRGO



LIBRA



SCORPIO



SAGITTARIUS



CAPRICORN



AQUARIUS



PISCES

August 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 22

Starting a new job or training program, a new line of work, or a health regime? Volunteering your time and/or expertise? Thanks to Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse, better-than-average potential is up for grabs regarding all new beginnings and investments. On another note, extra freedom, independence, and time to yourself also serves you very well. Through next Wednesday, one thing leads to the next. September 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;October 23

Ready for something new? Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s auspicious solar eclipse can produce a special event, great synchronicity, a teaming of heart and mind, or an exceptional opportunity. Someone could make an entrance or act as a major instigator of change. Rely on instinct, intuition, or first impression. Try a first date. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hesitate to act on a sudden flash or spur of the moment. Sign the contract. October 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;November 21

A new home-life or livingwith-yourself chapter begins now. If you have already been at it, this eclipse can feel more like a settling-in period and/or the start of a next phase. Renovations of all kinds or a new selfemployment venture is well-timed. Of direct or indirect influence, a family member can face something major. November 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;December 21

Feeling inspired, refreshed, and/or excited? Lighting a fresh spark and keeping you especially quick on the ball, Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new-moon solar eclipse launches you on your way. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something new to talk about or to do, someplace new to visit, somebody new to share with. A change of mind or plan, a fresh perspective or attempt makes the grade. Opportunity is for the taking. December 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;January 19

A significant self-discovery process is under way, one that uncovers feelings, resources, talents, and capacities you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know you had. Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse can strike flint on a profitable new idea or investment, a new relationship or relationship status. Saturday through midâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;next week, more unfolds. When opportunity or instinct rings the bell, act fast. January 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;February 18

You are at the start of so much more to come! A notable, perhaps exceptional, year lies ahead, especially if your birthday falls on or near Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s auspicious solar eclipse. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the to-do list, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a result well earned, or it shows up out of the blue. Your future now moves on to a faster go. February 18â&#x20AC;&#x201C;March 20

A premonition or a sudden flash is worth heeding. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dwell on things beyond your control. Instead, pour yourself into a creative project or a new romantic interest, or immerse yourself in a retreat, workshop, or spa weekend. Time out or time away is refreshing. Watch for this next week to reveal or to instigate more. -

Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new-moon solar eclipse can spark something lucrative; you might call it a lifesaver. Perhaps thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a certain someone who fulfills that role (an agent, specialist, lover, good friend, et cetera). As of the weekend, Mars/Neptune clears it up or opens it up for you further. Both Mer- B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r cury and the sun into Cancer go easier Roseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free monthly newsletter at rosemarcus.com/. on you. Both stir up fresh prospects.


FOOD

Bad Dog creates good bread

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hile he was living in Squamish for a few years and working in pest control, Vadim Mugerman happened to start baking, discovering a passion for making fresh bread. The Moscow native decided he wanted to learn from the masters, so he booked a plane ticket to France, bought a cheap car once he got there, and went knocking on doors. Sleeping in his vehicle at night, he would offer to work at small bakeries for free so that he could pick up techniques and tips from people who know what it takes to make good bread. “The first woman I met, in Albertville, was milling her own flour right there,” Mugerman tells the Georgia Straight. “I knew at that moment that not only would I open a bakery but that I would also have to mill my own flour. The flavour just blew me away.” Nowadays, Mugerman runs Bad Dog Bread. The recently opened organic, artisan bakery in North Vancouver shares a space with Orto ArtiWith recipes based on freshly milled flour, the naturally leavened loaves san Pasta. (The Italian restaurant is from North Vancouver’s Bad Dog Bread take about 26 hours in total to make. run by Brigitte Rayé—formerly of West Vancouver’s La Régalade and La Cigale makes different versions of the lat- he is using are grown and by whom. in Kitsilano—and her son Steeve. Like ter with olives, oregano, hot pepMugerman sources organic wheat Bad Dog Bread, it has quickly become pers, and other ingredients. Loaf var- from True Grain on Vancouver Isa favourite of the locals.) ieties include fresh rosemary, pecan land and mills it in a small stone mill The bakery takes its name from and fig, whole-wheat coriander-and- that he purchased in Idaho. He hopes Mugerman’s girlraisin, rye, sesame, to expand his current space soon and friend’s rescue and sourdough. add two more. “My dream is to have dog, Tommy, who He also makes my own silo,” he says. ate an entire orsweets such as Prices range from $4 for a rustic Gail Johnson ganic loaf Mugercinnamon buns, baguette to $8 for a hearty freshman had purchased at Victoria’s chocolate brioche buns, and sea-salt- rosemary loaf. In addition to the Fol Epi bakery (“gone in a matter of and-chocolate-chip cookies. North Van spot, which serves cofminutes”). The next week, the pup The first step toward making all fee, tea, sweets, and breakfast toast took a full bag of freshly milled flour of those baked goods is milling the with toppings, Bad Dog Bread can right out of the baker’s bag and con- flour. Avoiding conventional gro- be found at local farmers markets, sumed it just as quickly. cery-store flour that can sit on shelves including those at Lonsdale Quay, Mugerman’s naturally leavened for years and is a highly processed Ambleside, and Burnaby. artisan loaves of bread take about 26 food, Mugerman appreciates freshly hours in total to make. His products milled flour for its taste, charac- BAD DOG BREAD (1600 Mackay vary from day to day but include bri- ter, texture, aroma, and nutritional Road, North Vancouver) is open Wedoche and fougasse, a flat, leaf-shaped value. He also likes being able to know nesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 bread that originated in France; he exactly how and where the grains p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < WAY BACK WHEN. NEW YEAR'S DAY ON THE SEAWALL.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WHERE: Vancouver Was back in the day. New Year's day on the seawall in Stanley Park. Early eighties. Was a beautiful day we both walking the seawall. We caught each other’s eye and eventually struck up a conversation. You from Nanaimo ( I think ) an actress, me just a kid from Vancouver. We spent several hours talking and walking. You got cold I gave you my jean jacket. We said our good byes and I watched you walk away. Have been curious all these years who you are. You blonde beautiful and confidant. Wonder if you remember.... I want my jacket back.

BAR HOPPING ON SUNDAY

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 11, 2018 WHERE: Alibi Room and The Diamond I noticed you, tall, dark haired, exotic guy at the Alibi room having beers. As I was leaving my sister told me that you had wished me good night but I was totally deaf and oblivious! Luckily I went to the Diamond bar after and as I was going down the stairs to leave you were walking up them! What were the chances! You smiled and I at least got to say HEY! We had the same idea that night :) Next time drinks together?

BUSKING ON COMMERCIAL DRIVE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 8, 2018 WHERE: Commercial Drive You played your guitar outside of Choices, funny choice I thought? Very skilled by the way. I was walking past on the other side of the street with a friend. I was hoping you would look up once last time. I thought you were so dang handsome!

NEIGHBOUR WHO LIVES ACROSS FROM ME

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2018 WHERE: Olympic Village Wall Centre False Creek Towers I see you in your apartment from time to time. Tonight at 5pm you were walking around shirtless, got dressed into a grey shirt and red ball cap. I tried not to stare but you look amazing. Me, slim, pretty brunette who is always working on her computer. Would like to meet the man who lives 50 ft from me. If single and interested... coffee? If not, be well.

CAFE LOKAL SATURDAY INDOOR TIRE EXPLOSION: POP GOES MY HEART

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 10, 2018 WHERE: Cafe Lokal Sitting in Cafe Lokal Kits, reading. You were staring at your computer, your brunch date was staring at his. Suddenly a loud explosion, puzzled patrons looking everywhere for the source. A stroller tire was the culprit. I left on a done-up vintage mountain bike. Just before, I looked back, and we locked eyes. Was it just a silly meaningless flirtation, a deeper catalytic curiosity, or... Meet me in Lisbon?

OAKRIDGE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 8, 2018 WHERE: Oakridge Mall Never done this before but I felt a connection, so I’m hoping this works. I saw you at the kids play place just as my son and I were about to leave. You: Caucasian, very handsome dad (I’m assuming, as you were with a little girl). Me: Asian, hair tied back wearing all black. We exchanged glances a few times as you were waiting for your little girl to put on her shoes. No words exchanged as I would never have the courage to start a conversation. If you’re unattached, send me a note.

CUTE TREES ORGANIC COFFEE GIRL

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 8, 2018 WHERE: Trees Organic Coffee I noticed you on your break in the window before I walked in to play for the open mic that night. Noticed you looking at me out the window. You are Asian (Korean maybe?) with a slightly visible tattoo on your right tricep. You prepared the key lime cheesecake slice for me and my friend, the one with the line in it. There was some whipped cream on our forks and I said it was ok. Throughout the night we shared some glances at each other. I played a couple songs late and was nervous. Didn’t know what to say to you 1: because you were working and 2: because I was playing. Hope to see you again soon at the open mic hopefully I can I say hi and ask you about your tattoo.

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GIRL ON THE 240 BUS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 6, 2018 WHERE: 240 Bus I saw you on the 240 bus going from downtown to North Van. I was the guy wearing all black on the bus. You were wearing the black Adidas sweater and blue jeans. You were also with your friend on the bus, but when your friend got off the bus you walked over and stood right beside me. I wanted to talk you but I had to get off at my stop. I hope you're out there looking at this.

I PROMISE...

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 5, 2018 WHERE: Katy Perry ...that you definitely got me thinking about you along with my own happiness & desire for passion. I would like to continue our discussion over a drink sometime soon. You were a stunning blonde & you will know me by my grey beard.

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17


FOOD

Eleven can’t-miss choices at this year’s fest At this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival, organizers are showcasing exceptional vintages from Spain and Portugal

E

ven though we’re still a few NIEPOORT, PORTUGAL The Nieweeks out from the Van- poort family has been in the wine couver International Wine biz since 1842, and they craft Festival’s international tast- lovely odes to the Douro region ing sessions (running March 1 to 3), by way of indigenous varieties like I’m opting this week to share my top Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Touwinery tables for a couple of reasons. riga Nacional, Tinta Amarela, and With 173 wineries in the room, it’s Tinta Barroca. Those are the grapes good to have a plan in Niepoort Dialogo when you’re going 2015 ($21.99, B.C. in so you can covLiquor Stores), er as much ground which is not so Kurtis Kolt as you’d like and much about the intaste the widest variety of wines pos- dividual components but a harmonisible. It is wise to plan early, and to ous blend, juicy with dark berry fruit purchase tickets well in advance. The and charm. Thursday-night edition always sells out fast, as organizers only sell the QUINTA VALE D. MARIA, PORTUroom to 70-percent capacity in order GAL Family proprietor Cristiano van to allow extra elbow room and face Zeller recently sold this historic ventime with visiting principals. It’s best ture, but we needn’t worry about any to head to VanWineFest.ca soon to en- drop in Vale D. Maria’s quality, as it was his wine-producing cousins from sure all options are still available. Portugal and Spain are this year’s Aveleda in Vinho Verde who took over theme countries, so they weigh heav- the reins of the business. Quinta Vale ily on my 11 picks of can’t-miss win- D. Maria Douro 2013 ($55.99, B.C. Lieries. I’ve also added a recommended quor Stores) is a field-blend red made wine from each that you can purchase from old-vine grapes, generous with around the city and enjoy in advance— Italian plums, currants, dark cherries, and plenty of polish. all in the name of research, of course.

The Bottle

ÁLVARO PALACIOS, SPAIN Mr. Palacios is a modern legend, had a major hand in putting regions like Priorat and Bierzo on the map. Álvaro Palacios Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos 2015 ($36.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) is made from Mencia grown in Bierzo; it’s lively and fresh, with red fruit, anise, and a good crack of mineral character. LES VINS BONHOMME, SPAIN It’s rare to see Nathalie Bonhomme, the gregarious winemaker and négociant behind the brand, behind her table at the wine fest. She’s way more likely to be in front of it with the people, eager to share lovely wines like her El Petit Bonhomme Rueda Verdejo 2016 ($13.49, B.C. Liquor Stores), a crisp and refreshing white laden with green apple and fresh lime. GONZÁLES BYASS, SPAIN Do take advantage of all the sherry f lowing in the room, like Gonzáles Byass Oloroso Nutty Solera ($16.99, B.C. Liquor Stores), a delectable mouthful of toffee-coated hazelnuts and figs.

PARÉS BALTÀ/GRATAVINUM, SPAIN These are the folks behind

some of my very favourite Spanish sparkling wines. You can’t get much more consistent and dependable than Parés Baltà Cava Brut Organico ($22 to $26, private liquor stores), teeming with citrus, apples, and pears, with a pinch of white pepper.

Napa Valley, zippy and bright with red fruit and herbs. VIÑA MONTES, CHILE This family

producer is known for some of the most elegant, site-specific wines coming out of Chile. Montes Alpha Colchagua Syrah 2015 ($25.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) often has a spot on my table, dizzy with purple fruit, baking ALPHA BOX & DICE, AUSTRALIA spices, and an opulent nature. The boys are back in town. Expect crowds around the table of char- LAURENT-PERRIER, FRANCE Beismatic brothers Dylan and Justin cause Champagne. Need I say more? Fairweather, with everyone supping Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé ($88.99 on their unique takes on modern until March 3, B.C. Liquor Stores) Australian wine. Alpha Box & Dice is 100 percent Pinot Noir and 100 Dead Winemakers Society Dolcetto percent lovely, effervescent with 2015 ($32.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) car- huckleberries and red currants. ries plenty of cherries and plums and is fresh as a daisy from start to finish. MICHELE CHIARLO, ITALY Michele Chiarlo La Vespa Monferrato Rosso NARRATIVE, CANADA Those in- 2013 ($17.99, B.C. Liquor Stores), with terested in the continuing natural- its herb-driven red and purple fruit, is wine phenomenon will be fascinated a good start to get a feel for the region by these minimal-intervention wines of Piedmont. Then while you’re in the coming out of Okanagan Crush Pad swing of things, you can step right up in Summerland. Narrative Caber- and try some of their fancy-pants Banet Franc 2016 ($21.99, B.C. Liquor rolos, brimming with classic notes of Stores) is more Loire Valley than balsam, anise, tar, and roses. -

THE 10 th ANNUAL HARJIT KAUR SIDHU MEMORIAL PROGRAM

THE OPEN

18

24

HOURS

2015

Celebrating Punjabi Language and Culture at UBC

Film screenings and discussion with special guest, award-winning Punjabi language filmmaker Gurvinder Singh

Friday March 2 7:30–9:00 p.m.

Awazzan “Voices” (2016) J UBC Asian Centre On the UK-based Punjabi language poet, Amarjit Chandan.

Saturday March 3 Anhe Godhe da Daan “Alms for a Blind Horse” (2011) J UBC Robson Square 7:30–9:30 p.m. Exploring the experience of caste & class marginalization in Indian Punjab today. Sunday March 4 4:30–8:00 p.m.

Chauthi Koot “The Fourth Direction” (2015) J Surrey Centre Stage A portrait of individuals and families amidst the violence in 1980’s Punjab, India.

Naam Restaurant

Golden Plate Awards Best Vegetarian 20 years running Winner Winner Winner Winner

Best Vegetarian Best Restaurant for a 3am meal Best Veggie Burger Most Vegan Friendly

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The Gursharan Singh Memorial Lecture

Made possible by the generous support of the Sidhu family, in loving memory of Harjit Kaur Sidhu (nee Gill)

VISIT ASIA.UBC.CA TO REGISTER

Vancouver 24/7 #GeorgiaStraight 18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018


ARTS

Expect to hear poetic songs and see some pretty eclectic props when Barbara Adler (Jorge Posada photo) performs in a double bill with New England singer Jake Klar (right, Alex Pines photo),

Kindred spirits share the stage

Pushed to label their collaborative songs, she worries that she’s going to sound glib, and then takes a stab at things anyway, starting with “meticulously crafted folk songs”. “I dunno—you could also call them glum parks-and-rec songs, with At the Chutzpah fest, spoken-word artist Barbara Adler and occasional rhythmic secsinger-songwriter Jake Klar bring multiple art forms together tions and odd time signatures,” she adds with a Barbara Adler and Jake Klar have laugh. “Come for the glumness—stay for the odd never met, but there’s plenty to suggest that their time signatures.” BY M IKE US IN G ER upcoming Chutzpah Festival performance will Decoy has its roots in last year’s Accordion Noir bring together two people who see the world in Festival in Vancouver, where, after taking part, the same way. Adler was given a beaten-up, painted plastic owl In Adler we get a multidisciplined Vancouver- destined for the landfill. A promo-shoot photo of ite noted for her poetry, various musical endeav- the owl—usually used for scaring away pigeons—on ours, spoken-word performances, and dalliances the web led a friend to note similarities to a series of in dance and visual arts. Her willingness to tackle repainted duck decoys created by a Winnipeg artist. anything is conveyed by the fact she’s chosen Ten “So I got really into the idea of how cool it could Thousand Wolves as an umbrella moniker for her be to transform these plastic nature objects and various projects. make them even more absurdly artificial,” Adler Klar, from America’s East Coast, is equally says. “I found, by total luck, that somebody was comfortable pushing himself. He’s perhaps best- selling their huge collection of plastic decoys for known as a singer-songwriter whose style sug- pretty cheap on Craigslist. So I snapped them up, gests Jack Johnson and Ben Harper if they’d come and when I got them the bag had the name of the up in the Texas troubadour tradition. A passion person who had owned the decoys on it. for photography and visual arts is traceable to a “I also had a little bit of information from the childhood obsession with skateboarding culture. person who had bought them—basically that A love of storytelling steered him toward not just someone had died, given the decoy collection to observational songwriting but also poetry. his son, and his son hadn’t wanted them and sold Tellingly, the two artists aren’t worried about their them,” she continues. “So there was a fragment of Chutzpah Fox Cabaret double bill, where they’ll per- a narrative already in the objects. I don’t hunt, so form separately before collaborating at the end of the the whole thing was going through these bags and night. Adler and Klar share a fascination with what seeing random goose heads and duck parts. There makes their fellow human beings tick. The fact that was this morbid story already in the objects and it neither sticks to one discipline in their quest to make spiralled out into something bigger.” sense of the world is a bonus. Decoy touches on everything from humanity’s Reached at home in Pelham, Massachusetts, complex relationship with nature to the fetishizaKlar quickly cites a deep admiration for Just Kids, tion of vintage objects to the way people interact a memoir by iconic poet, musician, and visual art- with each other. ist Patti Smith. “What Decoy is,” she says, “is a series of songs “She’s someone that I’ve always really respected and stories about a father who hunts and a son who in that she’s an artist in the holistic sense,” he mar- doesn’t, and about 70 duck decoys. The decoys are vels. “It’s not about being specialized, or dressed up in the show both in projection form and a bunch as one thing. Some people are—musicians, I guess. of them are going to be used as props. It’s not a But I know I could never do just one thing.” musical—there are no songs about duck hunting, Adler is also a fan of coming at things through although no judgment about such a musical if it multiple media. does exist. The songs are more poetic explorations “I’m really interested in the way that artifacts of the setting and the scene, with a narrative eleand performances and the visual stuff that people ment about a father and a son and plastic ducks.” put together all try and get to something real,” she EXPECT KLAR’S PART of the show to draw says, on the line from East Vancouver. Fittingly then, Adler’s part of the Fox show- heavily on his latest album, Until the Wild Fire case will revolve around a piece called Decoy, Becomes Paradise. Klar has dabbled in street phowhich incorporates storytelling, visuals, props, tography over the years, loving the way that it capand original music performed with an eight-piece tures average people in unstaged situations. Like band. Many of the songs Ten Thousand Wolves Decoy, his record is in many ways inspired by the will perform are from Adler’s weekly writing ses- everyday, namely interactions between the singer sions with highly respected Vancouver musician and people he encountered during an extended and composer Ron Samworth. Adler, whose past trip across North America. “Human beings are what interest me,” Klar says. music projects have included Fugitives and Proud Animal, gushingly credits her musical foil with “Street photographers wander around doing hip teaching her to be unafraid of embarrassing her- shots, where they grab these moments of someone self and, at the same time, willing to take chances. who doesn’t know they are being witnessed. You “Writing with him has made me try to incor- get these amazing expressions—a woman walkporate some of the things that he does in my own ing down the street maybe in fancy furs and a hat, writing,” Adler says. “He takes so much care when maybe with a bum on the side of the street. They arranging things like harmonies, and I don’t have are very genuine moments.” Until the Wild Fire aims to capture such the same musical knowledge to be able to do that.”

moments. The record’s beginning can be traced to the tiny community of Sointula on British Columbia’s Malcolm Island; Klar ended up in the town for his brother’s wedding, that leading to a weeklong stay in Vancouver and then a two-month trip on the road across the line. After working his way down the West Coast, he eventually made his way to Austin and Brooklyn. “I’d started writing songs for the record, but I realized that it was characters that I was looking for, and that I had to go out and travel on sort of a solo mission,” Klar says. “It was a good excuse that I was going to be out there to go to his wedding. Now I realize that I was going for the street-photographer mentality. But instead of a camera, I was using a notebook and pen, trying to observe and mull over these characters that came from meeting all these different kinds of people on the road. I didn’t have a car—I was travelling by bus and train the entire time so that I would have to interact with people and learn their stories.” That eventually led to a record that dips into everything from reverb-bathed country (“Over & Over”) to breezy pop (“Rosy”) to laid-back, country-tinged soul (“Oo La La”). Klar wants relatable snapshots of everyday people to shine through—a mission he accomplishes with lines like “She hit the floor like a bottle broken over the bar/She had a mouth like the front end of a moving car,” from the paisley-kissed grunge-pop standout “Eleanor”. “In my head I was trying to kind of see what America is like right now, and where I fit into it,” he says. “I wanted to look at the different ways that people live and what they go through.” During the travels that became part of the writing process, people would invite Klar into their homes for short stays, and the singer would thank them by hauling out the guitar. “What I started to see when I’d hang out with folks was sort of the same thing,” Klar says. “Everyone’s confused and just trying to make ends meet.” AND THAT, ONE MIGHT argue, suggests that making new friends is more important than ever. It’s not lost on either Adler or Klar that art helps people connect at a time when an increasingly divided world seems content to interact on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Indeed, Adler has in the past been vocal about her disdain for living out one’s life online. “I’m not that interested in myself,” she says, laughing, “so having another person to bounce off of usually leads to a really great spark.” It should be noted being teamed for Chutzpah was neither artist’s idea—it was proposed by festival organizer Mary Louise Albert, who has long had a knack for matching up performers in her programming. Given their similarities, the two figure it won’t take long to make a valuable connection. “We were put on the bill together because we’re both poets and songwriters and visual artists,” Klar says. “I’ve never met Barbara, but we’re going to get together two days before the show and work something out. Collaboration has always been important to me—it teaches me about the craft that I’m doing, but also learning the way that other people approach things. It’s all about letting go of what you might be comfortable with.” Ten Thousand Wolves and Jake Klar play the Fox Cabaret next Saturday (February 24) as part of the Chutzpah Festival.

FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19


ARTS

Ballet BC creates a striking new Romeo + Juliet > BY JA NET SM IT H

F

or years, dance artist Medhi Walerski purposely avoided story ballet, immersed as he was in the more abstract, cutting-edge works of Nederlands Dans Theater, where he’s performed and choreographed for more than a decade. That’s hard to believe when you see him in the Ballet BC studio today, conjuring his own Romeo + Juliet. The French-born choreographer walks intently amid a swirl of more than 20 dancers, quietly guiding Emily Chessa’s Juliet as she contemplates a glass vial of poison and then descends into emotion as she watches a foreshadowing of her own death unfold. Walerski is telling a story. And he’s in his element. “Funny enough, and I said it this morning, I am so happy that I got the chance—that I got offered a story ballet. Because first of all it challenged me, but also because I realize I enjoy it!” Walerski says on a break, sitting in an empty studio at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. “I feel connected now. Maybe I didn’t feel brave enough to enter that before—to talk about love, to talk about death, to talk about conflict. It’s so relevant and I just feel connected to it today, more than I could have in the past.” In preparing the piece he’s been crafting with the troupe since last summer, Walerski has immersed himself in research. He’s watched the seminal 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film, the bombastic ’90s Baz Luhrmann movie, and plays and other ballets on video. He’s also read Shakespeare—mostly in his more comfortable French. And he’s found a way to make the story his own. “It’s almost like opening a door that hasn’t been opened with what I’ve seen done before. This is where I bring my own interpretation,” Walerski says of his first full-length narrative

Brandon Alley and Emily Chessa (Cindi Wicklund photo) dance Romeo + Juliet for Medhi Walerski (Four Eyes Portraits photo).

work. “I wanted to stay close to the story, but I wanted to develop certain parts that caught my interest.” The tale of the two tragically starcrossed lovers will feel familiar to audiences, and so will the score. In talks with Ballet BC, Walerski, who’s staged the shorter pieces Petite Cérémonie, Prelude, and Natus for the company, decided immediately to use the lush, classical-ballet score by Sergei Prokofiev. “It was like a gene, like the DNA of the piece,” he says. BUT THIS BALLET will look starkly

different from other versions—and that’s apparent even from rehearsals, where the performers are moving

in, around, and through three giant, black, hollow rectangles that roll around the stage on wheels—almost like dancers themselves. Expect a stage that plays with stark black-andwhite and geometric touches. “I knew that I wanted it to be timeless and not in a specific place,” says Walerski, who worked with Dutch set and lighting designer Theun Mosk on Romeo + Juliet’s visual world. “I wanted something pure, something universal, so that you could connect with the emotions and feelings and psychology of the characters, more than being in Italy or Renaissance time. I got inspired as well with the Elizabethan aesthetic—I just use it as just a flavour. I designed the costumes, and

they are contemporary, but they have just a hint of the Elizabethan—the high collars, and the men have these little doublets. “The look also relates to Shakespeare: what I connected to with him was this idea of dark and light, and day and night. There’s this constant duality in his work that I wanted to use in the aesthetics of this piece. It’s very simple—but simplicity is not easy.” Perhaps most challenging for Walerski was delving into and developing each of the characters—a task that isn’t required in the more conceptual group pieces he regularly stages, from NDT to the Göteborg Ballet. He says Rumble Theatre artistic director Stephen Drover (who has worked extensively

in Shakespeare and directed Romeo and Juliet for Theatre Newfoundland Labrador) stopped in to give advice. The work goes far beyond the lovelorn, emotion-drenched roles of Chessa’s Juliet and fellow standout Brandon Alley’s Romeo. “I’ve never worked with so many characters!” Walerski says. “Usually, I do group pieces. Here, they all belong to the same story, but they all have a very specific role. So the way I’m going to choreograph and search for movement with someone that feels much more anger is going to be different than someone who is 14 and full of joy and hope and so fresh. So it’s so demanding.” But for Walerski, perhaps the most compelling thing personally and professionally is that this ambitious Ballet BC story ballet—its first full-evening one since José Navas’s Giselle in 2013—so perfectly brings together the disparate elements of his own background. Before becoming one of NDT’s bright lights, Walerski danced for the Paris Opera Ballet. And though at one point in his life, he admits, he was focused on blazing his own path, he now welcomes its influence on his contemporary dance. “I am classically trained, and it is part of my heritage and it is part of my language, even though my movement is contemporary. And it is not something I reject now; it’s something I embrace,” he emphasizes. “It doesn’t mean that it’s dated or dusty.…I’ve been a contemporary dancer for so many years as well, so how can I use the two [forms] to help each other, to challenge each other? And all these dancers here have wonderful ballet technique and they’re wonderful modern dancers— so let’s use all that.” Ballet BC presents Romeo + Juliet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from next Wednesday to Saturday (February 21 to 24).

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Mahler memories drive epic Bach Choir concert > B Y A LE XAN DER VAR TY

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a lot of Renaissance polyphony and chant, and of course the whole first movement, ‘Veni creator [spiritus]’, is based on that,” he explains. “So in terms of the text and the musical landscape, that was quite familiar. It was the second part, based on the last scene of Goethe’s Faust, which seemed very foreign at the time.…The first part just blew by, and the second part was more of a mystery—but it had corners that I just found so remarkably beautiful.” Since that first encounter, Dala adds, he has only fallen more completely in love with the work. But while his initial attraction was to Mahler’s dense web of highly charged melody, he has since gained a deeper understanding of the Austrian composer’s mastery of complex musical form. “I was just saying to the choir the other night, in rehearsal, that only Mahler can do the sorts of things that he does in this piece, where he’ll stretch out a harmony and then make a massive colour change, either with orchestration or with a big crescendo, and only one note which has been in suspension of something gets resolved. There’s this incredible feeling of the building of tension and then release.” There’s another, less purely musical reason why Dala is looking forward to the Bach Choir’s upcoming performance of the Symphony No. 8: it’ll mark his son Andreas’s first on-stage experience of singing Mahler, as a member of the Vancouver Bach Choir’s children’s chorus. “He’s just about to turn 12, so it’s kind of a nice passing-on of the torch,” the proud parent confides. “He’s been listening to the piece and he said it just hit him like a tidal wave, at the beginning. It certainly has that effect!” -

ustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 changed Leslie Dala’s life when he was just 12 years old—and apparently the work’s transformative power is still potent. “I had been singing for a number of years, and I’d also been playing the piano and the violin,” the Vancouver Bach Choir’s music director recalls in a phone interview from his Vancouver home. “So I was very much surrounded by music, and music of a fairly high level of artistry. But being involved in this piece completely opened my eyes to the possibilities of what is really out there. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, if one can make a living doing this, if one can make this one’s life, then there can’t be anything better,’” Dala adds. “That really stuck with me.” The year of the multitalented musician and conductor’s “point of entry” to his professional career? 1983. The place? Toronto, where the Bach Choir had joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for the Canadian premiere of Mahler’s magnum opus. And not only does Dala still remember this formative moment, he revisits it every time he performs the sprawling work, which requires a minimum of a symphony orchestra, adult and children’s choirs, and eight vocal soloists. “The rush is always there,” he notes. “I just find it truly remarkable. The form, and the content… I mean, it’s so inspired. And the fact that Mahler wrote, in his letters, that this symphony took a lot less time to write than the others, I just find incredible.” That Dala should have been drawn to the 80-minute work is not entirely The Vancouver Bach Choir presents surprising. “In my education at St. Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Michael’s, in the choir school, we sang Orpheum on Saturday (February 17).

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East courts West in The Butterfly Lovers

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> B Y JAN ET SMITH

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CANTUS MISSAE: RHEINBERGER AND THE ROMANTICS Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:30pm

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For more information and tickets visit vancouvercantatasingers.com or call 604-730-8856

hat happens when you take one of China’s most famous folk tales, pair it with the equally renowned, Asian-inflected concerto it inspired, and then give it to a western ballet company and a Vancouver choreographer to interpret? That’s the intriguing cross-cultural project unfolding at LunarFest this week, as dance artist Joshua Beamish creates The Butterfly Lovers for the Coastal City Ballet Company. Beamish had never heard the 1,700-year-old tragic love story, a sort of Chinese Romeo and Juliet, before he was approached by Coastal artistic director Li Yaming and LunarFest to tackle the ballet. The choreographer, who has created work for everything from his own MOVE: the company to Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature, admits it took him a while to find his way with the challenging commission. “At first I had no idea how I was going to approach the story. It’s a big story to tell in 26 minutes,” says Beamish over the phone before rehearsal. “But I allowed myself to each day only work on the things that inspired me. Also I gave myself time.” Charlie Wu, managing director of the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association, which runs LunarFest, explained the project in a separate interview. “We thought this was such an interesting connection to bring the East and West together,” he said. “We’re hoping this may have a different way to bring people in—the Chinese community that know this story, and people who love the ballet and people who perhaps are into Romeo and Juliet.” Now, in the week before its debut, Beamish finds himself consumed by the overwhelming score and the complicated tale that inspired it. It’s helped that Yaming has given him permission to tackle the cherished story in his own way. “He’s been kind of like my cultural adviser,” explains Beamish, who has made his name with more abstract, contemporary pieces. “This is the LunarFest presents The Butterfly first realized story ballet that I have Lovers at the Vancouver Playhouse ever made. I don’t necessarily think on Friday (February 16).

Pss Pss celebrates clowns without clichés > B Y TO NY MON TAGUE

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24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018

that I could go and choose a Chinese story on my own. I was sought out because they were intrigued with what they thought I would do with the story. “It was the idea that another culture came to me and said, ‘This is something very prevalent in our culture and we’d like to see what you can do with it.’ It was them saying, ‘We want this entity to evolve and to bring it to new people.’” Beamish was immediately drawn to the gender play in the story. In The Butterfly Lovers, Zhu, danced here by Yoko Kanomata, disguises herself as a boy so that she can go to school, at a time when women weren’t allowed to study. There she falls in love with Liang, but he can’t understand his feelings toward his friend—until he travels with her on her way home and finally discovers she’s a woman. “That’s fascinating coming from this folk tale from long ago, and it gave an intriguing entry point into gender and love outside of gender,” says Beamish, adding the story has added practical challenges that have required even more role reversal in his casting: “The story is set in an all-boys school but I’m working with a ballet company that is predominantly female, and I’ve had to find ways to use pointe.” The lush, romantic violin concerto by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang has also posed some challenges for Beamish. “The music gets epic—just when the music gets to 100 and you think it can’t go further, it hits 250 with super big, big orchestral sound. It’s so joyful. But then there’s quite intimate love music that really appeals to me.” With the help of Yaming, Beamish has drawn inspiration from Chinese traditions, from the costuming to the symbolism of colours, from red’s wedding connotations to the white that foreshadows death. And all the while, he says, he’s tried to remember the occasion he’s creating the ballet to mark. “It’s Lunar New Year and people are there to celebrate. They want to see people move and they want to see virtuosity,” he says. -

T

of you, in the other it’s 360 degrees or so around and you have to play larger. In theatre there’s room for greater subtlety in corporeal and facial expression, you can do more poetic things, and the pace can be slower.” Pessi sees elements of the traditional and the contemporary clown in the company’s unique style. “We’ve kept certain old traditions, like those represented by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, or [Swiss clown] Grock. We’ve renewed things in our own way to bring them closer to our on-stage characters.” Pss Pss premiered at the celebrated Avignon Festival in France in 2011. The intention was to create a show that would appeal to people regardless of age, sex, culture, or class, and break down some of the clichés surrounding clowns and clowning. “Too often the clown is associated with red noses, fright wigs, and all that,” argues Pessi. “We wanted to defend our own approach, which is more like Chaplin and Keaton, who wore little makeup and had a great simplicity in their way of doing things. We wanted to get close to that simplicity, which is very potent and comes from character, and from relations with others and with objects.…We invite adults to discover the world of clowning and clown personalities. It’s a universal spectacle, open to anybody.” -

he advantage of creating a silent theatrical show is that you can take it to audiences anywhere. Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari of Switzerland’s Compagnia Baccalà, masters of the universal language of the body and face, have toured their two-hander Pss Pss to more than 50 countries on six continents, drawing rave reviews. “We make music, we do balancing tricks, and there’s slapstick, juggling, trapeze, acting, and clown play,” says Pessi, reached on the island of Sardinia, and speaking in French. “Clown work, as here, often has no real narrative thread. Our two characters arrive in the theatre and discover there’s an audience—which they hadn’t expected—and they have to make something up. There’s a kind of crescendo to the piece, played out in the relationship between the characters. We don’t have male and female roles, or the traditional whiteface clown and the auguste.” After meeting at theatre school in 1998, Pessi and Fassari went their separate ways. But they got back together seven years later to form Compagnia Baccalà, based in Locarno. From then until 2010 the two worked in circuses and cabarets, developing parts of Pss Pss. Pessi notes the differences between clown play in the theatre and in the circus ring. Pss Pss is at the York Theatre from “In one the audience is right in front Tuesday (February 20) to March 4.


ARTS

Jabberwocky gets wonderfully inventive using characters and imagery from Lewis Carroll’s books. Jason Stang photo.

Warped Jabberwocky dazzles TH E AT RE JABBERWOCKY Created by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Friends. An Old Trout Puppet Workshop production, presented by the Cultch. At the York Theatre on Wednesday, February 7. Continues until February 17

Jabberwocky explores the prieternal recurrences in life’s journey: the urge to mate, the call to adventure, the inevitable disappointment, and the passing of the torch. Because it deals in archetypes, the story is simple—but its presentation is anything but. The performers, from Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop, begin by trading off lines—sans puppets!— in a dramatic recitation of Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem, from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, savouring the delicious absurdity of made-up words like vorpal and galumphing. This is followed by a sequence that illustrates natural cycles—flowers, bees, plants, animals, digestion, reproduction—using a dizzying array of techniques: lights, two-dimensional puppets, and scrolling backgrounds. This sequence is full of surprises: in one memorable image, a human performer dressed in white represents the mother’s milk making

2 mal,

its way from her nipple to the mouth of a hungry baby. The story then settles in on one family. Father, mother, and son wear headpieces resembling the March Hare from the Alice book’s celebrated illustrations. When the father returns, disappointed, from his own attempt to kill the Jabberwock (or slay the proverbial dragon), the son steals his “vorpal sword” and heads out on his own adventure. Characters and imagery from Carroll’s books make occasional cameos, but most of the world is invented. As the son heads out, the backdrop changes from a bucolic landscape to a gritty urban setting, the horizon obliterated by skyscrapers. In one of the show’s most immersive sequences, our hero gets a job alongside two-dimensional rabbits in business attire, repeatedly rubberstamping documents to a rhythmically complex soundscape. (There’s no composer credit in the program for the sinewy music, but throughout the show, Jonathan Lewis’s sound design contributes as much to the adventure as the visuals.) In the “Jabberwocky” poem, the Trouts have found not only a new way to dress up their favourite themes (birth, death), but inspiration for the work’s underlying mechanics. Scrolling panoramas are a Victorian-era theatre technology; scenic painters (headlines theatre)

Katie Green, Pityu Kenderes, Dawna Mark, and Chelsea Teller display their loving attention to detail in everything from rich red theatre curtains to striped-wallpaper domestic backdrops and dark, earthy skyscrapers. Performers Nicolas Di Gaetano, Teddy Ivanova, Kenderes, and Sebastian Kroon work their butts off handling the show’s countless moving parts. There’s a wonderfully inventive scene of the son watching his parents fool around: as the boy crouches upstage outside their door, the parents chase each other while another performer holds up a cutout of a keyhole in front of them. It’s a bit like live cubism: we assemble the layers into the whole. Familiar story? For sure. But the presentation gives it a fresh, wholly original spin.

> KATHLEEN OLIVER

MY FUNNY VALENTINE By Dave Deveau. Directed by Cameron Mackenzie. At the Scotiabank Dance Centre on Thursday, February 8. Continues until February 18

“The play forgoes props, costumes and set pieces, creating

something simply beautiful - a love story between two humans.”

Ten years ago, nearly to the day,

2 15-year-old Larry King was shot

– Broadway World

twice in the back of the head by his classmate Brandon McInerney, whom King had asked to be his Valentine. Kept on life support for two days, he died on Valentine’s Day 2008. see next page

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What does reconciliation mean to YOU? Mayko Nguyen & Kawa Ada Photo: Joseph Michael

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Firehall Arts Centre 280 E. Cordova St. Vancouver March 2 to 10, 2018 Tue-Sun @ 7:30pm 2 x 1 matinee March 7

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FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


My Funny Valentine

from previous page

That tragedy and the surrounding court case are the inspiration for Vancouver-based playwright Dave Deveau’s My Funny Valentine, which has been remounted in a new, touring production by Zee Zee Theatre for the company’s 10th anniversary. But it’s the 1998 murder of another young gay man, Matthew Shepard, that’s at the root of My Funny Valentine. More specifically, it’s Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project’s The Laramie Project, a documentary-style play from 2000 based on hundreds of interviews with inhabitants of the titular college town where Shepard was killed. Like Laramie, Valentine is performed as a series of monologues by people peripherally affected by the murder: a local teen who longs to escape her small-town California life for New York City and celebrity, an enraged father whose son was sexually harassed by the murdered boy

In a marathon performance in My Funny Valentine, Conor Wylie brings to life numerous characters affected by a homophobic murder. Dahlia Kat photo.

in the school locker room, a journalist who owes his career to the tragedy, an older gay man who can’t fathom the dead boy’s open sexuality, a teacher who seems to imply with a shrug that

the boy got what he deserved, and a precocious little girl who receives a liver transplant from the victim. Our lodestar is an effervescent do-gooder English teacher (and the only character

to recur) who, over the course of the intervening years, is beaten down by the incident and the seemingly neverending stream of school shootings. In a marathon performance, Conor Wylie ably inhabits each character over the course of 85 minutes, pausing only for breath or the occasional, rehearsed sip of water. Dressed in neutral jogging pants and an open button-down over a T-shirt, he uses a totemlike prop such as a notebook or a candy bar to channel each character, alternating between high camp and quiet earnestness, rage, and helplessness. It’s an impressive display that’s spurred on by the playwright’s finesse with character-building. Although it’s more in evidence in the comedic sections, Deveau is an adept of the little details. Teenage Gloria hides her baby-sitting money in a Doritos bag, where her parents would never find it; the young transplant recipient engages in a delightfully loopy mental calculus with her gay dads “Dad One” and “Dad Two”; a father convincingly recalls his

daughter Georgia’s all-too-convenient love of peaches, and a subsequent family vacation to the Peach State. It’s also to Deveau’s credit that Valentine doesn’t devolve into preachiness, nor does it seek to lionize the unseen victim at its centre. Valentine knows that King’s shooting wasn’t simply a senseless, isolated, black-and-white incident. It’s one that, thanks to political polarization and cable news, eventually became a complex series of events with more than enough blame to go around and nowhere to place it. And maybe that, alongside a dead teenager and one who will spend 21 years in adult prison, is the real tragedy.

> STEVEN SCHELLING

NO FOREIGNERS Created by Hong Kong Exile and fu-GEN Theatre. Produced in association with Theatre Conspiracy. At the Cultch’s VanCity Culture Lab on Thursday, February 8. Continues until February 17

No Foreigners is bursting at the with interesting ideas and cool ways of presenting them. But in trying to accommodate too many threads, the show becomes a frustrating viewing experience. The text, by David Yee, follows a character called the Foreigner who lives in an Asian mall, a Canadian who’s trying to learn how to be Chinese enough to satisfy the Hong Kong shopkeeper who wouldn’t let him into her store. He meets a woman named Sodapop who becomes his sifu, providing inspirational quotations and prescribing a “diet for optimal chi” that includes Dan Dan noodles and chicken feet. He also stands to inherit a fortune from his Hong Kong grandfather if he can discover a secret password. That’s the skeleton of the story, but the show tries to pack enough meat for at least three bodies onto those bones. There’s a lot of self-mocking wit in the Foreigner’s quest, along with informational sidebars and visits to specific businesses at the mall, like the electronics store trying to drum up business by creating a website that lists all its inventory as “out of stock online—available in store”. And there are supernatural elements like the Moth Museum, where the central character communes with the dead. But there’s very little to connect with emotionally. Performers Derek Chan and April Leung are disembodied voices and technologists for most of the show, creating various tableaux by manipulating miniature figures, two video cameras, and five downstage monitors, and then compiling and projecting the images onto one big screen. These projections are handsome, but static: the human figures are always shadows, and they don’t move. The text is sometimes spoken into microphones, sometimes projected onto the screen for us to read. It’s only late in the play, when the Foreigner comes into the audience for an over-the-top karaoke performance, that we finally see a human face. Yes, the emotion is ironic, but it’s a refreshing break from the alienating technology we’ve been immersed in. Experimentation is clearly a priority for the creators of this play; the program doesn’t credit a director, but lists Milton Lim as “project lead”. Natalie Tin Yin Gan and Remy Siu designed the miniatures and the media apparatus, respectively, but the show could have used an outside eye and ear to solve the pacing problems that plague a number of scenes, where dialogue is broken up by inexplicably long pauses. Lim and Siu designed the projections, which make effective use of simple elements, as well as the sound, which evokes the mall setting through electronic Muzak that is sometimes maddeningly chirpy and sometimes soporific. (Cue instrumental version of “Careless Whisper”.) No Foreigners addresses topics— identity, authenticity, the longing for a sense of home—that many Vancouverites will relate to. It’s innovative, and it offers many aesthetic pleasures. But in trying to incorporate too many ideas, it sacrifices the satisfactions of a clear, heartfelt story.

2 seams

> KATHLEEN OLIVER

26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018


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FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27


ar ts/ timeout THEATRE 2OPENINGS SALT-WATER MOON Gateway Theatre presents director Ravi Jainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of

THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS

< PSS PSS Compagnia Baccalà â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pas de deux of mishaps and acrobatics, inspired < by Chaplin and Keaton. Feb 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Mar 4, < York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix from < $22, info thecultch.com/events/pss-pss/. < 2ONGOING < < JITTERS The Arts Club Theatre

David Frenchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story of love, loss, and reconciliation. Feb 15-24, 8 pm, Gateway Theatre (6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond). Info www.gatewaytheatre.com/.

POURQUOI TU PLEURESâ&#x20AC;¦? Comedy perfomed in French, with English surtitles, marks the return to Vancouver of Christian Bégin and the company Les Ã&#x2030;ternels Pigistes. Feb 16-17, 8 pm, Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St., Granville Island). Tix $39, info www.seizieme.ca/ pourquoi-tu-pleures/?lang=en/.

Company presents a comedy about four actors, a director, and a playwright with one grand dream of Broadwaybound success for their new Canadian play. To Feb 25, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/shows/ 2017-2018/jitters/.

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH Studio 58 continues its 52nd season with Thornton Wilderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pulitzer Prizeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;winning comedy, directed by Sarah Rodgers. To Feb 18, 8 pm, Studio 58 (Langara College, 100

W. 49th). Tix $25/21/20/14.50/12.50, info www.ticketstonight.ca/.

Cultch, 1895 Venables). Tix $27, info www. thecultch.com/events/no-foreigners/.

LEGALLY BLONDE Align Entertainment presents the Broadway musical about a woman who thwarts stereotypes and sorority-sister scandals to become a Harvard law graduate. To Feb 17, 8-10 pm, Michael J. Fox Theatre. Tix from $15, info www.alignentertainment.ca/tickets/.

FUN HOME The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a musical about a woman who struggles to understand her father while also dealing with her own coming out. To Mar 10, Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston, Granville Island). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/ shows/2017-2018/fun-home/.

JABBERWOCKY New puppet extravanganza for adults about the journey of a young male hare. To Feb 17, 8 pm, York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix from $22, info www.thecultch.com/events/jabberwocky/.

donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out!

NO FOREIGNERS Multimedia performance investigates malls as racialized spaces of cultural creation and clash where fashion, food, and commodity tether communities to a vital sense of home. To Feb 17, Vancity Culture Lab (the

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BROKEN TAILBONE Writer and performer Carmen Aguirre leads a Latin-American dance lesson that flows into her stories of intimacy, politics, culture, and the forgotten origins of the salsa. Feb 13-24, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $35, info thecultch. com/events/broken-tailbone/.

DANCE 1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL

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2THIS WEEK THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS LunarFest and Ballet Productions Canada Society present a performance by Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coastal City Ballet, choreographed by Joshua Beamish. Feb 16, 7:30-9 pm, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Tix $45/30, info www.lunarfest.org/. ROMEO + JULIET Ballet BC presents choreographer Medhi Walerskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take on Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classic tragedy. Feb 21-24, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Info www.balletbc.com/.

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LIVING ON SOULSP³,W¶VJRLQJWREHYHU\KDUGIRU\RXVWD\LQ\RXUVHDWIRUWKLVRQH´ The Playlist Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley DQGWKHUHVWRIWKH'DSWRQH5HFRUGVIDPLO\IHDWXUH LQWKLVK\EULGGRFXFRQFHUWILOPILOPHGODUJHO\GXULQJWKHLUWKUHHQLJKWVROGRXWUHVLGHQF\DWWKH KLVWRULF$SROOR7KHDWHULQ+DUOHPLQ REIGN CITY CABARET6HWVDWSPSPSP%HOO\GDQFHUVGUDJSHUIRUPHUV FRPHG\OLYHVWXQWVFRQWRUWLRQLVWVEXUOHVTXHDQGUDQGRPKLODULRXVQHVVÄ&#x192;DOOLQRQHVKRZ7KLVLQWHU DFWLYHSHUIRUPDQFHLQYLWHV\RXWRVKLQHRQVWDJHZLWKDXGLHQFHFKDOOHQJHVLQFOXGLQJDGRQXWHDWLQJ FRPSHWLWLRQOLSV\QFEDWWOHDQGPRUH

MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 8 The Vancouver Bach Choir presents a concert featuring soloists, conductor Leslie Dala, the West Coast Symphony, and members of the Vancouver Bach Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chorus. Feb 17, 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Info www.vancouverbachchoir.com/. MAESTRO: THE ANNUAL CONDUCTORSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CONCERT The Vancouver Chamber Choir, conductor Jon Washburn, and five guest conductors present music by Mozart, Bruckner, Durufle, Foss, Enkhbayar, Healey, Adams, and Washburn. Feb 17, 8-10 pm, Dunbar Ryerson United Church (2205 W. 45th). Tix $29-33 at www.ticketmaster.ca/.

COMEDY 2ONGOING THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, 604684-5050, www.thecomedymix.com/. Comedy club with pro-am night Tue at 8:30 pm, showcase Wed at 8:30 pm, and featured headliners Thu at 8:30 pm and Fri-Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm. 2JESSIMAE PELUSO Feb 15-17 YUK YUKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COMEDY CLUB 2837 Cambie, 604-696-9857, www.yukyuks.com/ vancouver/. Comedy club with Top Talent Tue at 8 pm, amateur night Wed at 8 pm, and professional headliners Thu-Fri at 8 pm and Sat at 7 and 9:30 pm. 2JOHN BEUHLER Feb 15-17 VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri, Sat, 11:15 pm); Romance Week (Tue, Wed, 7:30 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30 pm; Fri, Sat, 9:30 pm). Feb 14-21, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.

ET CETERA

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STORY STORY LIE GAME SHOW6PRRWK&ULPLQDOSP7ZRWUXWKVDQGDOLHZLWKDWZLVW,QWKLV VWRU\WHOOLQJJDPHVKRZWKHFLW\ VEHVWUDFRQWHXUVVKDUHLQWLPDWH\HWGXELRXVVWRULHVWKDWVHHPWRRVWUDQJHWREH WUXHDQGVRPHRQH¶VO\LQJ6SRWWKHOLDUWRZLQ:LWK Morgan Brayton, Ian Boothby, Kwasi Thomas GET OUT SP%HVW'LUHFWRU2VFDUQRPLQHHJordan Peeleâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s WHUULI\LQJVRFLDOVDWLUHLVFXUUHQWO\ QRPLQDWHGIRUIRXU2VFDUVLQFOXGLQJ%HVW3LFWXUHDQG%HVW$FWRUIRUDaniel Kaluuya

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Dread Central PresentsTHE LODGERSSPBrian Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Malleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s H[TXLVLWHO\VHQVXDOFKLOOHU VHWLQV,UHODQG MOM AND DADSPNicolas CageDQG Selma BlairVWDULQWKLVGDUNKRUURUFRPHG\VRFLDOVDW LUHDVSDUHQWVDIIOLFWHGZLWKDQLQH[SOLFDEOHKRXUGLVRUGHUWKDWFDXVHVWKHPWRWXUQDJDLQVWWKHLUFKLOGUHQ RAISING ARIZONASPNicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, DQG John GoodmanVWDULQWKH Coen Brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; FODVVLFVFUHZEDOOFDSHUZKLFKNLGQDSVRXUVFUHHQDVD)ULGD\/DWH1LJKW0RYLH SEE WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS & UPDATED CALENDAR

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Call or email: 604.730.7020 | sales@straight.com 28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22 / 2018

TALKING STICK FESTIVAL Seventeenth annual festival focuses on the diversity of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, powwow, and film in both traditional and contemporary formats. Feb 14-24, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). Tix $5-90, info www.fullcircle.ca/. 18TH ANNUAL CHUTZPAH FESTIVAL International, Canadian, and local artists present dance, theatre, comedy, and music. Feb 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Mar 15, Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st). Tix $24-55, info www.chutzpahfestival.com/.

GALLERIES VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2TAKASHI MURAKAMI: THE OCTOPUS EATS ITS OWN LEG (the first-ever retrospective of Murakamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in Canada) to May 6

MUSEUMS THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-822-5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2THE FABRIC OF OUR LAND (exhibition covers the past 200 years of Salish wool weaving) to Apr 15

TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.


MOVIES REVIEWS OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORTS: ANIMATION Rating unavailable

Themes of loss, growth, and childhood dominate this unusually satisfying collection of animated shorts, most of which clock in at seven minutes or less, with one half-hour exception. We reviewed Kobe Bryant’s ambitious “Dear Basketball” out of a recent travelling ’toon fest. This career-summing exercise in B-ball nostalgia is marred only by an overbearing John Williams score (seriously), and perhaps by unpleasantries circulating about the athlete himself. The French-made “Negative Space” was directed by Japan’s Ru Kuwahata and American Max Porter, who work together as Tiny Inventions. They’ve crafted playful stop-motion ads for Ben & Jerry’s and others, and here expand a short poem about a father and son who say little but bond over suitcase-packing techniques. The puppets are simple, the mood introspective, and yet this has the best punch line (in English) of the bunch.

2 memory

The short and the short of it A strong program of lesser-known Oscar nominees gets the point across with style, smarts, and time to spare France also backed the spectacular “Garden Party”, directed by a team of six students, as it happens. It evolves from amazingly realistic nature study into a kind of frog noir, as a number of delightfully individuated amphibians make their way through a seemingly deserted villa, with clues gradually revealed as to how the place fell into disrepair. The rippling water alone makes this an unforgettable thrill. “Revolting Rhymes”, the long one here, is a fabulous BBC rendering of Roald Dahl’s twisted take on familiar fairy tales, as filtered through a CGI update on Quentin Blake’s nutty drawings. (Pro tip: the seven dwarves are all ex-jockeys.) It’s a cliffhanger, though. So, good to know that Part 2 can be found on Netflix. Unlike last year’s scintillating “Piper”, Pixar’s new “Lou” is such an on-the-nose bulletin about bullying, based on a playground ogre and his war with a lost-and-found locker, it can only really work on kids. (It’s currently touring with Coco.) That’s the last and least of five official nominees, but its focus on human detritus carries over to “Lost Property Office”, a beautifully sepia-toned study of loneliness and reinvention fashioned entirely from cardboard by obsessive sculptor Dan Agdag. It’s the best of three honourable mentions, but the remainders are also worthwhile. One person’s “Weeds” is another’s delight in a very brief look at what flora will do to survive desert conditions— and it carries an unexpected whiff of the immigrant spirit. And the tale of a dragon who sneezes fireworks, “Achoo”, is set in ancient China. But it was made by a different team of talented students in France. Vive les cartoons! > KEN EISNER

Kobe Bryant looks back in “Dear Basketball”, one of the toons in this year’s batch of Academy Award–nominated animated, live action, and documentary shorts.

OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORTS: LIVE ACTION Rating unavailable

The one bit of light stuff

2 among five live-action

shorts nominated for Academy Awards comes as much-needed comic relief from the rest. The fun one, also the briefest, is “The Eleven O’Clock”, named after a psychiatrist’s first patient of the day, carrying delusions that he’s the doctor in charge. One of the verbally battling twosome is played by Josh Lawson, who also wrote the just-right Australian short, and the other is Damon Herriman. They’re frequent sketch partners, as can be seen online in shorts like “Pet” and “Smithston”. The others here all clock in at about 20 minutes each, with the heaviest burden borne by “My Nephew Emmett”, a re-creation of events leading up to (but not including) the notorious lynching of a Chicago teen murdered for vaguely offending a white woman while visiting his relatives’ town in—where else?—Mississippi. The slow-burning drama is all the more remarkable for having been made by a film student, Kevin Wilson Jr. He includes testimony made by the real uncle at the time, and that part could have been just a tad longer. The result of another half-century’s neglect of basic justice is seen in Reed Van Dyk’s unsensationalized re-creation of a real incident, in which a disturbed young man entered a neighbourhood school with an automatic weapon. “DeKalb Elementary” finds the intruder confronted by a spectacularly patient bookkeeper, played by The Help’s Tara Riggs, underlining the desperation facing a U.S. with its moral bearings adrift. Mania of a different kind—the religious sort, exacerbated by extreme poverty and neglect—is depicted in “Watu Wote (All of Us)”, a likewise fact-based tale and another student project, this time from Germany’s Katja Benrath, and the

only film not in English. It takes place in Swahilispeaking Kenya and follows a young Christian woman on a long, harrowing bus ride toward the border with Somalia, where Muslim terrorists have been known to attack “infidels”. It’s a tense journey with an ultimately uplifting message. The sole British entry resembles the first installment of a first-rate TV series, although “The Silent Child” is a stand-alone drama written by actor Rachel Shenton, known for the Yank show Switched at Birth. She plays a speech and signlanguage therapist tasked with assessing a young deaf girl (unforgettable Maisie Sly) who seems to have been ignored by her rural but upscale family. Shenton built the tale on her own, unrelated family experience, and if there were more episodes of this, you’d want to watch them.

> KEN EISNER

OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY Rating unavailable

Unlike the other Oscar-nominated short

2 subjects, these filmlets are long enough—at

least a half-hour each—to require two separate showings. The first has three offerings, all touching on issues of marginalization. To Mindy Alper, “Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”. That’s because a major slowdown can give her a chance to draw people in their cars. Alper has a host of social and learning disabilities. Her cramped apartment is a virtual pharmacy of daily meds, and she speaks in odd locutions, saying her possibly abusive father “would louder his sound” when talking to her, and recalling something that happened “when I am one-nine” years old. But these barriers haven’t stopped her from making dramatic art, most stunningly in papier-mâché. (She prefers the Wall Street Journal to the flimsy L.A. Times.) Some childhood drawings are animated for the film, and that gets a little busy, while minor-key thuds

K D O CS TA KES ON THE “S I X TI E S SC O O P” >>> Between 1955 and 1985, more

2 than 20,000 Indigenous chil-

dren were taken from their mothers and placed inside the child-welfare system. The devastation and trauma resulting from what came to be known as the “Sixties Scoop” is incalculable, although the story isn’t entirely without a happy ending—or four. In the NFB’s Birth of a Family, we’re introduced to three sisters and one brother, all in their 50s, who gather together for the first time during a weeklong trip to Banff. Betty Ann Adam calls it “the best-ever vacation/photo album anybody ever had”. “All four of us were fortunate in that we were all placed, some of us immediately, some of us eventually, in stable homes that made us part of their families,” she tells the Straight in a call from Saskatoon. But this wasn’t the case for many, and Betty Ann further acknowledges that her own family summit pivots, with often gutting effect for the viewer, between joy and grief. (This movie

is a weeper, for sure.) “Certainly, we’re all aware, as [brother] Ben expressed very poignantly, that we missed a lot,” she says. Betty Ann is a journalist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, and it was her tireless and yearslong dedication to the endeavour that finally got everyone into the same room together, presided over by a portrait of their mother, Mary Jane, that hangs on the hotel-room wall. (There have been two more reunions since, the most recent in Southern California, where Esther lives.) Betty Ann calls it an effort “to lead my siblings home”, or to connect with a Dene heritage that all four of them lost through assimilation. A visit with an elder is particularly affecting, while the group’s easy humour and affection with each other suggest the survival of an almost preternatural bond. (Their joint 212th birthday celebration is especially cute.) Of the four, Betty Ann, the eldest, was the only one to spend any time with their mother, who was

Betty Ann Adam’s search for siblings ends with the Birth of a Family.

living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside when they finally met in the early ’90s, and whose defining quality, she says, was grace. “It was almost as if she didn’t

see next page > BY ADRIAN MACK

want to burden me by telling me the things that had been difficult in her life,” Betty Ann recalls. “She accepted the circumstances of her life and bloomed where she was planted. She preferred to focus on the positive, and I see that so much, especially in [sister] Rosalie. She’s unstoppable that way.” Meanwhile, the darker aspects of the story don’t go unacknowledged. In one key moment, Esther confides to Betty Ann that she’s grappling with an inability to forgive. “I think a lot of kids who were adopted wonder, ‘Why did our parents let us go?’ ” she says. “And if I seem diplomatic, what I was trying to explain was that these were unilateral government policies imposed upon Indigenous people. These are acts of oppression on our people. It just demonstrated how little information was given to Indigenous people who were separated from their culture and family through this practice.” In this moment, Birth of a Family speaks for all the children of the Scoop.

Filmmaker Tasha Hubbard—who turned some 80 hours of footage into an unhurried and exquisitely sensitive 79 minutes—will be at the Vancity Theatre for a panel discussion following the film when Birth of a Family screens as part of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s KDocs Documentary Film Festival, on Saturday (February 17). Postfilm events are planned for a number of the titles coming to the justice-oriented fest, covering topics that include the global arms business (Shadow World), workers’ rights (Dolores), food activism (Modified), housing (Vancouver: No Fixed Address), and the West’s covert role in terrorism (Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS), while an opening-night program called Sustainable Futures offers three short docs on the subject of extreme resource extraction. The KDocs Documentary Film Festival runs at the Vancity Theatre from Thursday to Sunday (February 15 to 18). More information is at www.viff.org/.

FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29


Oscar-nominated shorts

from previous page

March 8th

International Women’s Day Free film screenings and events all day

At VIFF’s Vancity Theatre

Anatomy of Violence (Canada)

Deepa Mehta’s latest film interrogates the mentality that fuels male entitlement over women and their bodies and examines the circumstances that enable them. Wednesday, March 8, 11:00am

River of Silence (Canada)

A family is forced to navigate the horror of their daughter going missing and found murdered. This film explores an important topic with depth and sensitivity. Wednesday, March 8, 2:30pm

resound on the soundtrack when bad events are introduced, and the camera works too hard to act out her phobias. But the film gets under Alper’s skin, and the viewer’s. The newlyweds profiled in “Edith + Eddie” got married at the ages of 95 and 96, after they split a winning lottery ticket. Some subsequent drama is built around the absurd term interracial—he’s white, she isn’t—but most of the standard problems come from Edith’s family, who seem more worried about her property than her happiness. It’s a touching, if somewhat TV-like, production. Race figures more heavily in “Traffic Stop”, not made available in time for review. This HBO production, from veteran PBS director Kate Davis, tackles the timely issue of frequently fatal encounters between black motorists and white police officers. But it does this by focusing on one woman who survived her ordeal. In “Heroin(e)”, the first of two 40-minuters in the second program, we follow three women in Huntington, West Virginia: a judge, a pastor, and a medical examiner—and eventually a county fire chief dealing with the opioid crisis. Last year, their small town saw 28 overdoses in a single day. “I can’t even fathom what

Surrounded by her creations, learning-disabled artist Mindy Alper tells her story in the Oscar-nominated short documentary, “Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”.

it will look like when this plateaus,” the ME states, “but we know it will be broken.” It’s heartening to see addicts, firefighters, doctors, and legal advocates all pulling in roughly the same direction. But there’s a nagging sense that official compassion is more easily attached to the process when the word white precedes “working class”. One of the most rarely looked-at aspects of mass incarceration of the mostly minority side of the American

I Know How to Knit (Russia)

The quietly determined Tanya struggles with the oddities of existence in contemporary St. Petersburg, Russia, as themes of healing, happiness, compassion, and hope emerge. Wednesday, March 8, 9:00pm

equation is the vast amount of talent that’s wasted when millions of people are locked up. Ex-cons get to show off their “Knife Skills”, a straightforward, fly-on-the-kitchen-wall affair from director Thomas Lennon, another PBS veteran and not the comic actor. If there were more fine restaurants like Edwin’s, in Cleveland, giving society’s outcasts a real shot at redemption, we wouldn’t need so many documentaries.

> KEN EISNER

OPEN TIL MARCH 10TH KARAOKE 7 DAYS A WEEK

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Details at womeninfilm.ca #viwiff 56 films from around the world + panels, parties and more

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FOOD. DRINK. LIVE ENTERTAINMENT. *** VISIT US ONLINE FOR UP TO THE MINUTE LISTINGS, DRINK SPECIALS AND MORE www.thebackstagelounge.com ***

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Don’t Look Now・The Man Who Fell to Earth Walkabout・Performance・Eureka・Bad Timing Insignificance・The Witches

FEB 17 Opening Night

MAR 4 Refreshments & Programmer’s Introduction 6:30 pm – Don’t Look Now with Intro 8:45 pm – The Man Who Fell to Earth

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MUSIC

At the risk BY MIKE US IN G ER

of sounding overly esoteric, it wasn’t the radio hits or famously hypnotic live shows that made the Tragically Hip Canada’s greatest-ever band. Instead, it was the way frontman Gord Downie was in some ways a historian as much as a rock star. The singer and lyricist was fascinated by the decidedly Canadian stories of figures like doomed hockey player Bill Barilko, iconic painter Tom Thomson, and famed explorer Jacques Cartier. The Hip’s greatest triumphs—“Locked in the Trunk of a Car”, “Bobcaygeon”, “Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)”—were in many ways reflections on the past. It makes sense, then, that the new hardcover book Gord Downie serves as a loving and often insightful rumination on one of the country’s most beloved treasures. The book was written by long-time Georgia Straight music critic Steve Newton, who, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve had the pleasure of working with for 20 of his 35 years at the paper. Newton was a Tragically Hip fan right from the beginning, which is to say the group was on his radar long before the rest of Canada discovered early hits like “Blow at High Dough” and “New Orleans Is Sinking”.

Honouring a Canuck hero

In his book Gord Downie, Straight scribe-turned-author Steve Newton (right) takes a personal look at the legacy of iconic Canadian band the Tragically Hip.

performing to his songwriting process. Discussing the band’s masterful and lyrically complex Fully Completely, Downie More than a simple Tragically Hip history lesson, says, “Because on this album, especially, I basicGord Downie makes it clear why the band mattered ally let the music do the As Newton notes in Gord Downie, he started writ- talking, try and sit and listen to a groove estabing about music at a time when artists didn’t have lished—maybe even a whole song—and let the the Internet as a means of building an audience. music decide what the lyrics should be, you know, “Nowadays, everyone and their dog has a blog let the music evoke images, and then basically try and can become an instant music critic,” Newton and capture those images on paper before you writes, “but back in the ’80s not so much. Luckily ruin them with too much thought.” for me, the Straight was a major publication in a Downie goes on to discuss his famously outmajor city, one where a lot of major bands wanted there stage mannerisms: “Well it really depends to play. They also wanted to sell tickets to those on the sort of situation, I find. Generally, when the shows, and maybe a few albums to boot. So a lot of band is feeling good and the music is feeling good, touring recording artists wanted to talk to some- I go in and out.…It’s an interesting thing for me, body at an established newspaper, and I was more and…yeah, special to me.” than happy to listen (if I liked them).” Gord Downie also serves up a trove of photos, He liked the Tragically Hip a lot, and the feeling including obscurities like an early shot of the was mutual. Newton interviewed Downie numer- vaguely Bowie-ish–looking singer fronting a preous times over the years, starting in 1989, when Hip band called the Slinks. Also included are the frontman called in from a Brantford, Ontario, excerpts from concert and record reviews that payphone to chat about Up to Here, which would be- Newton did over the years as the Hip went from come the band’s breakthrough. Kingston bar band to national treasure. Those interviews are woven throughout Gord Downie’s story—which is also the TragicDownie, Newton drawing on their numerous ally Hip’s story—is told chronologically, starttalks for chapters that deal with everything ing with the chapter “Straight Outta Kingston”, from the group’s small-town Kingston roots where the singer recalls playing a lot of shows to the Hip’s famous difficulties conquering the in desolate Ontario locales. (“When we put the American market. band together we found that we were gravitatAs a result, we get the singer, in his own words, ing to a lot of Yardbirds, early Stones covers, breaking down everything from his approach to that kinda stuff,” the singer relates. “Not new,

but sort of [new] to that era in time.”) The book traces things to the height of the band’s powers, with career-defining albums like Fully Completely, Trouble at the Henhouse, and Day for Night all covered in the section titled “On Stage, On Record, On Fire”. And it deals with the death of Downie and the legacy he left, in the section titled “Courage (For Gord Downie)”. Prepare to be moved by full-colour concert shots of the band on its final tour, as well as shots chronicling the reconciliation work he was so passionate about as he slowly succumbed to brain cancer. Gord Downie is by no means exhaustive— someday someone will give the singer, who died last year at 53, the detailed biographical treatment Kurt Cobain got with Charles Cross’s Heavier Than Heaven. In many ways, what it is is a personal look back at the past. Newton’s line “(if I liked them)” at the beginning of the book is important. What comes through in Gord Downie is that he doesn’t just like the band, but instead understands that the Hip has been woven into the very fabric of his life. In the acknowledgments, where he notes his daughter Tess experienced the Hip live in utero two months before her birth, Newton writes, “First off, I’d like to thank Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip for all the interviews they gave me between 1989 and ’97, which became the foundation for this book. But mostly, I’d like to thank them for the music. What a frontman. What a band. What a legacy!” It’s a legacy that Gord Downie is now a part of. -

TROKER LEFT HOME TO TRU LY MAK E IT IN ME XICO After a rough start at home in

2 Guadalajara, where audiences

had zero idea what to make of the band, Troker has gradually established itself as one of Mexico’s most lauded musical exports. Four adventurous albums into a career that started in 2004, the six-piece has won raves around the world, wowing Glastonbury, sharing stages with indie icons like Beirut, and performing in prestigious showcases like NPR’s excellent Tiny Desk concert series. Not bad for a group that, in the early years, fielded confused questions after live performances. “The hard part, in the beginning, was that we failed in Mexico,” says Troker bassist Samo Gonzalez, speaking through a translator when reached in Guadalajara. “Everyone kept asking us, ‘Where is your vocalist?’ They come up questioning why there was no singer in the band. Festivals would tell us, ‘Sorry, we don’t book instrumental bands.’ ” “Instrumental jazz” is a label that today doesn’t begin to do Troker justice. (Evidently aware of that, the band has its own considerably more evocative summation: “If Salvador Dali ever made a heist movie, then Mexico’s Troker would have been the soundtrack.”) The group was founded when Frankie Mares and Gonzalez decided getting out and playing music was preferable to studying it at the classical-oriented Conservatorio de Las Rosas in Mexico.

“When I was 13 I was in a traditional Mexican band in my hometown,” Gonzalez says. “That convinced me that I wanted to dedicate my life to music. So I knew that I needed to study, and the closest place to do that was the conservatory of music in Morelia. So I went there, but found out that it was completely specialized in classical music, which was not my goal as a musician.” So Gonzalez dropped out and did time in a rock ’n’ roll band for a while. His world changed when he discovered New York improv underdogs Sex Mob, and then Combustication—Medeski Martin & Wood’s groove-heavy collaboration with DJ Logic. Grunge-era oddballs Morphine and jazz giant Charles Mingus would also reshape how he and Mares thought about music. Recordings eventually followed. Troker’s 2007 debut, Jazz Vinil, played out like a late-’90s Ninja Tune offering, Mares and Gonzalez— along with DJ Sonicko—serving up a downtempo strain of urbane-cool jazz made for chill-out rooms. Things have got progressively more adventurous and thrillingly chaotic since then. Crimen Sonoro (2014) delivered a dizzying rush of woozy mariachi, depth-charge house, pimptastic soul, and frenetic free jazz. After years of providing live accompaniment at screenings of the 1919 Mexican silent movie El Automóvil Gris, Troker captured its work in the studio for the 2016 soundtrack 1919

and Guadalajara. Troker had to find ways to play live. We started convincing owners of restaurants and bars to open up space for live music. Those places are still doing live music. There’s a live scene for jazz again like in the ’60s—the bands have venues and an audience. Because of that, festivals are booking the bands. All we had to do was prove our music had value outside of Mexico.” > MIKE USINGER

The Chutzpah Festival presents Troker at the Rickshaw Theatre on Saturday (February 17).

Troker no longer has to answer questions about having no singer.

Música Para Cine. From the opening drum roll and snake-charmer horns of “1919” to the sepia-toned sax and tidal washes that finish things off in “Fusilados a Su Natural Horror”, Troker creates the kind of journey perfect for making vintage black-andwhite movies in your mind. The early challenge for Troker was finding a place that would book the band. That’s no longer a problem for the band, which has discovered that sometimes the best way to make it in your home country is to build your career abroad. “When we started out, there were no venues, but there was a jazz scene,” Gonzalez says. “That started in the ’60s, mostly in Mexico City

Fast-working Jay Som adds polish to indie pop At eight years old, Jay Som— Melina Duterte, to her family—had better taste in music than most adults. “I started seriously listening to songs when I was really young,” she tells the Straight on the line from her Los Angeles home. “I liked a lot of tracks by Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Donnas. I expressed a lot of interest in playing guitar to my mom, and eventually she got me an acoustic for my birthday.” The guitar would be the first instrument Duterte mastered. Next came the trumpet, bass, keyboards, drums, and vocals—and a penchant for songwriting. Penning her first tracks at the tender age of 12, the youngster made

2 or

music throughout her teens as a way to deal with the angst of high school. Soon after graduation, she created Turn Into, a nine-track collection recorded in her bedroom that would put her on the radar of cult indie label Polyvinyl Records. “Before I made that mix tape, I would write just for myself,” she says. “Instead of putting it out into the world on Bandcamp or SoundCloud, I was just sending the songs to friends—it was a very personal thing between a small circle. I uploaded what would be Turn Into on a whim— it was just meant to be a set of demos. Now I’ve had to become much more aware of my audience.” Inking a deal with Polyvinyl in 2016, the artist set off on a coast-tocoast tour for seven months before settling down to create her first official album, Everybody Works. It took her just three weeks to complete. “I’ve always written all the parts myself,” she says. “I think that’s my safe place—being on my own and being able to call the shots and make decisions, and ultimately trusting my gut. I need an outlet to express myself. I definitely find it hard sometimes to use my words to explain my emotions, whether they’re very sad or happy. “I’m really proud of how fast I worked,” she continues. “Not in an ‘Oh, I did it so quickly’ kind of way. But last week I had the chance to listen through the full album, and I thought, ‘Damn—I can’t believe I did all of that see next page

FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31


The Georgia Straight Confessions, an outlet for submitting revelations about your private lives—or for the voyeurs among us who want to read what other people have disclosed.

Scan to confess Cat Person Confession Every morning when my cat jumps onto my bed to wake me up, I pretend to be asleep! When he gets close, I grab him and tuck him in and cuddle him like a teddy bear. I love it/he hates it.

Bitcoin All of the articles and videos trying to explain Bitcoin are eerily similar to the videos and articles trying to explain the existence of God. I just watched a bitcoin video and it has all of the flim flam of Bernie Madoff’s schemes... occult and complex with no real answers.

iPhones vs Androids I have a Samsung Galaxy cellphone, I got it thinking “I don’t need a iPhone, I’m different, I’m alternative”, well it just occurred to me that Samsung isn’t exactly a small Mom & Pop local company, it’s a big mega corporation like Apple lol

Smackdown

Jay Som

from previous page

in just a few weeks.’ I didn’t have any human interaction during that time. I was only drinking coffee. My schedule was all over the place. I was writing songs and feeling like a mad scientist. It’s exciting to me that I was able to create, record, produce, mix, and track all of it in that span of time.” She’s not the only person impressed with the record. Charting in multiple Top 50 year-end lists for 2017, Duterte gained nods from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Pitchfork with her sleek indie pop. It’s easy to see why. Gone are the rough edges of Turn Into, with the artist trading in her lofi aesthetic for bouncy, Yo La Tengo– inspired tracks like “One More Time, Please” and “Baybee”. Heavier numbers like grunge-fuelled “Take It” and “1 Billion Dogs” sport high-quality production without losing their endearing DIY feel. “There was a pretty big buffer between Turn Into and Everybody Works,” she says. “On the first record, I was a 19-year-old kid who wrote about being angry and sad. That one was my emo album. Everybody Works is a more realized effort. I took a more traditional approach, and my playing is much sharper. Most of my ideas and tracks now are getting more cohesive, and they sound a little bit different. It’s natural for things to change, and I feel like I’m progressing.” > KATE WILSON

Sometimes, no often when I’m walking down the street, I have the most irresistible urge to smack all the cell phones out of people’s hands. “Look up you fools!”, I’d chant as I did it.

Jay Som plays the Biltmore Cabaret on Friday (February 16).

Hi! I think you are smart and funny!

Bad Plus drummer is King of staying royally busy

Let’s do something fun! I really want someone to ask me on a date. Using the word “date” so I don’t think it’s an ambiguous networking drink.

2 King seems animated by an in-

Visit

to post a Confession

Like all the best drummers, Dave

ner spark—but while a lot of his peers save their inspiration for the sticks and skids, his finds expression in many curious ways. Not only does he play with jazz innovators the Bad Plus, he’s part of five other bands, including two

of his own, the extroverted, sax-heavy Dave King Trucking Company and the somewhat more traditional, pianobased Dave King Trio. On top of that, he’s a radio host, with a weekly show on Minnesota Public Radio, and a YouTube star, primarily for the wildly funny “instructional videos” he issues under the Rational Funk banner. (Should you ever find yourself auditioning for Lady Gaga, make sure to check out Episode 21 first.) Just where, your slothful scribe wants to know, does he find the energy? For once, King seems momentarily fazed. On the line from the Bad Plus bus, somewhere on the snowy roads between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, there’s an audible pause as he contemplates his essence. “I think it’s just more the pursuit of a life of creativity. How about that?” he says, finally. “That’s really all I can do!” Vancouverites—some of whom might have been lucky enough to catch the Trucking Company at an ill-advertised gig last fall—will have two more opportunities to enjoy King’s take on music and the world this weekend, with the drummer presenting his trio as well as hosting an admission-free Rational Funk Live workshop the afternoon of his Frankie’s Jazz Club show. The latter, he says, will be relatively straightforward compared with the high jinks and sight gags of the video version. “I do a lot of workshops, and they typically are a lot more reasonable than Rational Funk was,” King explains. “I mean, I typically will just play a bit and talk about improvising and take questions. They’re much more framed in that sort of educational background. But I do like talking about the music, and I prefer talking about things in a way that demystifies them. That’s what I always liked when I went to master classes as a young musician: when it was less about somebody soloing, and more about what they were thinking about—how we all can discuss mindsets and different conceptual spaces and how to unlock yourself from dif-

SPACE PROVIDED BY

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PRESENTS

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

HOSTED BY

JANN ARDEN & BOB ROCK SUNDAY, MARCH 25 AT NOON ORPHEUM + MORE ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED Friday, March 23, 7:30pm Bill Copeland Sports Centre Burnaby #JUNOS junoawards.ca

ROCKERS NHL GREATS Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) Dallas Smith Chad Brownlee Craig Northey (Odds) Devin Cuddy Grant Lawrence Many more players to be announced!

Cliff Ronning Dave Babych Kirk McLean Troy Crowder Brad Dalgarno

PROCEEDS BENEFITING

PROCEEDS BENEFITING

ferent things you’re locked into. So when I do a master class, I try to get a dialogue going about ways you can enhance your way of hearing—and, from there, your way of playing.” The conceptual framework behind the Dave King Trio is not only simple, but classic: take three brilliant musicians and set them loose on ageless tunes by jazz composers like Thelonious Monk and songwriting greats like Cole Porter. “A lot of it is the idea of reimagining and reconstructing jazz standards, some more obscure than others—and having people that can play with the kind of elasticity and spontaneity that reimagining the standard material fits,” King says. “You need a certain skill set to do that—and with my trio, all of us come from this background of learning the music through sort of traditional means.” > ALEXANDER VARTY

The Dave King Trio plays Frankie’s Jazz Club on Sunday (February 18). King presents his Rational Funk Live workshop at the same venue at 3 p.m.

Guitar hero Tinsley Ellis shows his Winning Hand The last time yours truly inter-

2 viewed American blues-rocker

Tinsley Ellis was 10 years ago, when he called the Georgia Straight in advance of a gig at the Yale Hotel, Vancouver’s top blues venue for decades. Sadly, the Granville Street joint hasn’t been a real home of the blues for years now, a fact not lost on Ellis. “Aw, we miss the Yale,” he says, on the line from his home in Atlanta, Georgia. “I actually played [Vancouver] a few times since then in different places, and whenever we play it’s almost a reunion of people that used to come and see me at the Yale. We have been fortunate to have moved up to where we’re playing more theatres, but the shows become somewhat of a reunion for places that are no longer there.” Ellis—who released his debut album, Georgia Blue, 30 years ago—is touring behind a new disc called Winning Hand that showcases his smokin’ hot guitarwork and impressive songcraft. The only tune he didn’t write on the 10-track disc is “Dixie Lullaby”, a song from Leon Russell’s self-titled debut of 1970. “I wanted to do a Leon Russell song ’cause we lost him a year or two ago,” explains Ellis, “and he was my biggest songwriting influence. He had produced albums by people like Freddie King and Jimmy Rogers, so we did it in the tradition of the Freddie King albums that he produced.” Since turning pro in 1977, Ellis has wowed blues fans far and wide with his intense six-string skills, leading Rolling Stone magazine to proclaim that “he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.” And speaking of Clapton, that’s the name that immediately pops up when Ellis is asked which guitarist he’d most like to jam with, if he could choose anyone in the world. “He’s an old favourite of mine,” says the 60-year-old picker. “I got onboard with him—and I’m sure you did too— when Cream came out. They were just so great. And through that I got into Derek and the Dominos, and his solo stuff. So I was such a big Eric Clapton and such a big Allman Brothers fan, I figured that if I wanted to get that sound, I better get their producer. So we were able to have Tom Dowd produce one of my albums.” Legendary knob-twiddler Dowd— a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee noted for his work with everyone from the Allman Brothers to Otis Redding to Aretha Franklin—produced Ellis’s 1997 Fire It Up album, one of the bluesman’s top sellers. “He would talk about Derek and the Dominos,” recalls Ellis, “and he’d talk about the Allman Brothers, and he’d talk about Cream, and he’d talk about Aretha Franklin. I’d listen to him tell so many stories we had a hard time getting to the album ’cause he was so full of stories.” > STEVE NEWTON

Tinsley Ellis plays the Rio Theatre on Sunday (February 18).

32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018


VANCE JOY Australian indie-pop singersongwriter performs on her Nation of Two World Tour. Jun 30, Deer Lake Park (6344 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby). Tix on sale Feb 23, 10 am, at www.livenation.com/.

music/ timeout

WYE OAK American indie-rock duo tours in support of fifth album The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs. Jul 14, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale Feb 16, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

2THIS WEEK CONCERTS < CLUBS & VENUES < OUT OF TOWN <

CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED DEE DANIELS WITH NITECAP Capilano University’s NiteCap accompanies Daniels, who, with her four-octave range, is “as close to a modern-day Sarah Vaughan as you’re likely to get.” [JazzTimes]. Feb 23, 7 pm, Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Info www.capilanou.ca/centre/. LENNIE GALLANT Capilano University presents the beloved PEI singer-songwriter known for his emotive and lively performances, fresh off the run of his acclaimed musical, Searching for Abegweit. Feb 23, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). Info www.capilanou.ca/centre/. GEORGE COLLIGAN TRIO WITH BUSTER WILLIAMS AND LENNY WHITE George Colligan is one of the most original and compelling multi-instrumentalists of his generation. Touring with two jazz legends, Buster Williams and Lenny White. Presented by Coastal Jazz. Feb 23-24, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $25, info www.coastaljazz.ca/. HAYLEY KIYOKO American actor and dream-pop singer-songwriter performs on her Expectations North American Tour. Apr 18, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Feb 15, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. I MOTHER EARTH AND FINGER ELEVEN Canadian alt-rock bands coheadline. May 2, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Feb 16, 10 am, $65/45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. LISSIE American country-folk rocker tours in support of upcoming fourth album Castles. May 8, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Feb 16, 10 am, $22.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. MOUNT KIMBIE English electronica duo tours in support of latest release Love What Survives. May 17, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Feb 16, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/. GOOGOOSH Iranian pop singer-songwriter performs on her Memory Makers Tour, with guests Hassan Shamaizadeh and Ardalan Sarfaraz. May 26, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix on sale Feb 16, 10 am, $179/139/99/59 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. DAMIEN JURADO American indie-rock singer-songwriter performs on his Over Rainbows Tour. Jun 4, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince

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WALK THE MOON American indierock band tours in support of new album What If Nothing. Feb 15, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). The concert also runs Feb 19 at the Vogue Theatre. Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL American emo band performs on its We Fight Tour 2018. Feb 21, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB California-based garage-rock band tours in support of upcoming album Wrong Creatures, with guests Night Beats. Feb 19, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JAKE SHIMABUKURO American ukulele virtuoso and composer combines elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco in his music. Feb 20, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www. livenation.com/.

2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS JUNO AWARDS Annual Canadian music awards show, hosted by Vancouver pop superstar Michael Bublé. Mar 25, 5 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix from $79.95 to $875 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.

TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge. Submit listings 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.

Sat Feb 17 NO COVER

Edward). Tix on sale Feb 14, 6 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketfly.com/.

ET FEB 16 RHYTHM STREET FEB 17 68 LIPS FEB 18 SONS OF THE HOE FEB 19 GUNG HAY FAT CHOY DANCING DRAGONS

WEDNESDAY KARAOKE DAILY DRINK/FOOD SPECIALS 1038 Main Street IVANHOE PUB

THE SHEEPDOGS Saskatoon-based rock band tours in support of new album Changing Colours. Feb 15-16, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $38.75 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. DUA LIPA English synth-pop singer-songwriter performs on her Self-Titled Tour. Feb 16, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

don’t miss out!

FRI FEB 23

For up-to-the-minute, searchable Music Time Out listings, visit

www.straight.com

JACOB SARTORIUS American pop singer-songwriter performs on his Left Me Hangin’ Tour. Feb 17, doors 4:30 pm, show 5:30 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. AVENGED SEVENFOLD American heavymetal band performs on its Stage World Tour, with guests Breaking Benjamin and Bullet for My Valentine. Feb 17, doors 5 pm, show 6 pm, Pacific Coliseum (Hastings Park, 100 N. Renfrew). Tix $89.50/79.70/69.50/49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. ILLUMINATION Caravan World Rhythms and Vashaan Music Society present an evening of Persian and Turkish music. Feb 17, 8 pm, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Tix $30-60 (plus service charges and fees), info www.caravanbc.com/.

SAT FEB 24

Toddcast Podcast presents

la chinga w. special guests 1pm-4pm

Blues brunch w. rob montgomery 4:30pm-8:30pm

saturday sessions the original jam session 9pm-late | Live Agency presents

EMILY IN THE HEADLIGHTS w. special guests SUN FEB 25 Phenix Warren w. SAM LYNCH & GUESTS The Railway Stage presents

The Railway presents

MON FEB 26 THE TAKE BACK W. EMCEES KHINGZ & MIC FLONT

TROKER The Chutzpah! Festival and Cap Jazz presents Mexico’s Troker, known for blurring jazz, rock, mariachi, metal, funk and hip-hop. NPR describes their music as “a fierce huge sound”. Feb 17, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix from $25, info www.capilanou.ca/centre/.

Mar 02 - Live Acts presents FUNK IN THE TRUNK Mar 03 - Live Agency presents RAMPANT LION Mar 04 - Live Acts presents BAREFOOT MOUNTAIN

MATISYAHU American hip-hop artist, beatboxer, and alt rocker, with guests Eminence Ensemble. Feb 18, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat Records and www.rickshawtheatre.com/. TINSLEY ELLIS The Canadian Pacific Blues Society presents Atlanta-based blues-rock guitar hero, with guests Rocky Milino Jr. and the 4CD Band. Feb 18, 7 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $30 at Zulu, Red Cat, Highlife, Neptoon, Beat Merchant, and www.riotheatretickets.ca/. GOGOL BORDELLO American Gypsypunk band tours in support of latest album Seekers and Finders. Feb 18, doors

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12-step program for families and friends of addicts, meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 pm 176 2nd Street East in North Van.

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offers over 50 volunteer-led support groups throughout BC. These provide people with Parkinson’s, their carepartners & families an opportunity to meet in a friendly, supportive setting with others who are experiencing similar difficulties. Some groups may offer exercise support. For information on locating a support group near you, please contact PSBC at 604 662 3240 or toll free 1 800 668 3330.

Sex Addicts Anonymous

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www.saavancouver.org

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) Do you have a problem with sex and love relationships. You are not alone. SLAA is a 12 Step 12 Tradition oriented fellowship for those who suffer from sex and love addiction. Leave a message on our phone line and somebody will call you back for meeting time and locations. 604 515-5423

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FEBRUARY FEBRUARY15 15––22 22//2018 2018 THE THEGEORGIA GEORGIASTRAIGHT STRAIGHT 33


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savage love I’m a 24-year-old nonbinary person living in Florida. I have two wonderful girlfriends. One I have been with for four years (we live together). The other I have been with for a year-and-a-half. They’re both brilliant, interesting, and kind. Both relationships have their issues, but they are minor. They know each other but aren’t close. Neither is interested in people besides me right now, although my longer-term girlfriend identifies as poly. They have both said that they see a future with me, but something doesn’t feel right. I’ve been having fantasies about leaving them both. It’s not about wanting to find someone I like better—if I met someone I really liked, I could pursue it. I just feel like neither relationship can progress while both exist. My other friends are getting married. I don’t think I want to stay in this setup indefinitely. Even if my girlfriends liked each other, which they don’t, I don’t want sister wives or two families. But I also can’t imagine choosing between them. I feel like a scumbag for even thinking about it. I’ve talked to them, and they are both having reservations about the current situation. Neither of them wants some kind of threeperson family structure either. The only thing I can think to do (besides running away) is wait and see if one of these relationships fizzles out on its own. Are my fantasies of escape normal? Is wanting to be with “the one” just straight nonsense? > ENGAGED NOW BUT YEARNING

“The one” is nonsense, ENBY, but it’s not straight nonsense—lots of queer people believe that “the one”,

> BY DAN SAVAGE

their perfect match, is out there somewhere. But despite the fact that there are no perfect matches, people are constantly ending loving relationships that could go the distance to run off in search of “the one” that doesn’t exist. As I’ve pointed out again and again, there are lots of .64s out there and, if you’re lucky, you might find a .73 lurking in the pile. When you find a serviceable .64 or (God willing) a spectacular .73, it’s your job to round that motherfucker up to “the one”. (And don’t forget that they’re doing the same for you— just as there’s no “the one” for you, you’re no one’s “the one”. Everyone is rounding up.) Zooming in on your question, ENBY, you say what you have now— two girlfriends who can’t stand each other—is working. Are you sure about that? While fantasies of escape are normal—we all spend time thinking about the road we didn’t take, the door we didn’t try, the ass we didn’t eat—it’s odd to hear someone with two girlfriends wish for one or both to disappear. Perhaps it’s not who you’re doing that’s the problem, ENBY, but what you’re doing. The kind of polyamory you’re practising—concurrent and equal romantic partnerships—may not be right for you. I’m not trying to YDIW you here (“You’re doing it wrong!), but if you’re envious of your friends who are settling down with just one partner, perhaps you’d be more comfortable in an open-not-poly relationship (sex with others okay, romance with others not okay) or a hierarchical poly relationship (your primary

Your kids may not yet exist, MFKS, but your young nieces, nephews, and cousins do—and your abuser has access to them. So the drama you fear creating isn’t unnecessary—it’s incredibly necessary. And since you were planning to tell your parents eventually, the drama is inevitable. But let’s say you wait to tell your parents until you have children of your own—how will you feel if you learn, after the curtain goes up on this drama, that this relative had sexually abused another child in your family (or multiple children in your family, or children outside your family) in the weeks, months, or years between your decision to tell your parents and the moment you told them?

partner comes first, your secondary partner[s] come, well, second). Finally, ENBY, it could be the stress of having two partners who don’t like each other that has you fantasizing about escape and/or one of your partners evaporating. Each of your girlfriends might make sense independently of each other, but if having to share you doesn’t work for them, it’s never going to work for you.

I’m 27 years old and I’ve been

married to my partner for two years. I’m facing a conundrum: a relative sexually abused me when I was younger. It happened a handful of times, and I’ve never told anyone other than my partner. I’m now struggling to decide not whether I should tell my parents (I should) but when. The abuse fucked me up in some ways, but I have been working through it with a therapist. The problem is my siblings and cousins have started having their own children, and seeing this relative—a member of my extended family—with their kids is dredging up a lot of uncomfortable memories. I see this relative frequently, as we all live in the area and get together as a family at least once a month. I don’t have children of my own yet, but my partner and I have already decided that this relative will never touch or hold the ones we do have. So do I tell my parents now? My extended family is tightly knit, and I fear the issues that sharing this secret will inevitably create. Am I starting unnecessary drama since I’m not even pregnant yet?

My partner does phonesex work. A lot of the calls are from “straight” guys who ask to be “forced” to suck cock. (We assume the forced part is because they think there’s something wrong with being gay.) We’re wondering if there is a sex-positive word we should be using to describe these guys. If not, your readers should coin one, so all us straight dudes who love dick can take pride in our desires. Fill in the blank: “_______: a 100-percent straight guy who also loves sucking dick (and perhaps taking it in the ass).” > COCKSUCKERS NEED NOUN

The kink you describe already has a name—forced bi—and a forced-bi scene usually goes something like this: a guy who would never, ever suck a cock because he’s totally straight gets down on his knees > MY FAMILY KINDA SUCKS and sucks cocks on the orders of

his female dominant. Since this totally straight guy sucks cock only to please a woman, there’s nothing gay and/or bi about all the cocks he puts in his mouth. It’s one very particular way in which male bisexuality is expressed—think of it as male bisexual desire after hetero fragility, gay panic, denial, religion, gender norms, and football get through kicking the shit out of it. Paradoxically, CNN, by the time a guy asks a woman to force him to suck a cock, he’s allowing himself to suck a cock and therefore no longer in denial. (And, yes, guys into forced bi are free to identify as straight—indeed, they have to keep identifying as straight, since identifying as bi would fatally undermine the transgression that makes their perfectly legitimate kink arousing.) But what to call these guys? Well, CNN, some people into BDSM call themselves “BDSMers.” But “forcedbi’ers” doesn’t trip quite so easily off the tongue—so maybe we go with “cocksuckers”? It’s an emasculating slur, one that straightidentified men throw around to get, um, a rise out of each other. (Call an out-and-over-it gay man a cocksucker and all you’ll get in return is a “No shit.”) But while “you’re a cocksucker” may be fighting words for a straight guy, they’re highly arousing ones for a straight-identified guy into forced bi. On the Lovecast , a scientific study on gay cuckolding: savagelove cast.com. Email: mail@savage love.net . Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.

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FEBRUARY 15 – 22 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 35


36 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22 / 2018

The Georgia Straight - I Saw You - Feb 15, 2018  

Issue #2614

The Georgia Straight - I Saw You - Feb 15, 2018  

Issue #2614