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Eden Robinson’s latest novel, Son of a Trickster, launches a projected trilogy about a dreamlike world where telepathic powers and monstrous human-otters exist.
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ime, notes Eden Robinson, offers its own creative energy. “One of the gifts of getting older,” she says, “is that I’ve rediscovered my sense of humour. It was always there, but when I was writing my first collection of short stories [Traplines, from 1996] I really was a goth. And then, with Monkey Beach, I was very earnest and very serious.” The writing of her recently released third novel, Son of a Trickster, she adds, “was less intense, but it was the same kind of immersion.…This is as sunny as I get.” A riff on the “sometimes scandalous, but always funny” Trickster myths she heard growing up, the book tracks 16-year-old Jared Martin through his exploits in and around Kitimat, B.C. Loyal to his divorced and addicted parents, Jared occupies a narrative landscape where his soughtafter marijuana baking coexists alongside telepathy and monstrous human-otters. According to Robinson, Trickster tales were traditionally “designed to teach children about our protocols, about what it was to be a good Haisla person. By breaking all of the rules, and showing you how horrific the results could be,” she says by phone from her Kitamaat Village home, “the Trickster was a bad example.” The recipient of the 2016 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award, Robinson garnered wide acclaim for her debut novel, Monkey Beach, which won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and was a fi nalist for both the 2000 Giller Prize and Governor General’s Award. Reflecting the banes and boons of family, her portraits of youths at hinge moments are marked by their claustrophobic moods and flares of violence. (Once, at an event, after she read a passage from her 2006 novel, Blood Sports, “it was dead silent. And no one asked questions,” she says, laughing. “Everyone ran away. It wasn’t what they were expecting.”) Like her other novels, Trickster began as a short story. Told from the point of view of the Trickster Wee’git, “our transforming raven”, the vignette described his dalliance with a girl at the All Native Basketball Tournament. This 2,500-word project “was going to be just a really light, f luffy story to amuse people,” Robinson says. “And then I just kept going and going and things kept adding on, and I realized it was a novel.
“I was like, ‘Ah, okay.’ Then about 400 pages into it, I realized that I hadn’t even got to the heart of the story.” The current book focuses on Jared and is the initial volume of a trilogy on the adolescent’s misadventures. Robinson compares her daily efforts on the manuscript, and its forthcoming installment, Trickster Drift, to “watching your favourite TV program. I had a lot of fun writing it,” she says. “It was a hoot. When it got crazy, it was probably undercaffeination.” Just as her aesthetic tone has shifted, so too has Robinson’s method of writing fiction. Forgoing cigarettes and 14-hour stretches at her keyboard, she now rises early and works for an hour or two, postcoffee, before attending to obligations away from her desk. “Usually, I had a whole ritual—things I ate, things I drank— but when you’re compressed, you don’t have that luxury. I’d read a bit and then hop right in.” As the plot progresses, and Jared faces the ill health of his kind neighbours and encounters an old woman who is more than she appears, the magical elements emerge. Explaining the fantastic, Robinson writes, “Did you ever pour a little Elmer’s glue onto your hand, spread it around, wait for it to dry and then peel it off ? Once it dries, the glue holds a clear imprint of the lines of your palms. Imagine our universe is the dried glue. All the beings on earth and in the sky, all the endless blackness of space, all the heavens in their great spinning chaos, everything we know exists in this thin copy of a completely different layer of reality.” While Monkey Beach followed a teenage girl’s search for her missing brother and flitted between the terrestrial and spirit realms, Trickster giddily embraces its supernatural streak. Experimenting with self-invented and established cosmologies, Robinson suggests, was her primary motivation for writing the novel. Still, “the things that I’m interested in haven’t really changed, but my approach to them has,” she says. “The books that I’m writing now grew out of that person [who wrote those previous books]. They’re reflecting the same material through different lenses, and the different lenses are my different ages and my different life experiences.” Eden Robinson will discuss Son of a Trickster at a Vancouver Writers Fest Incite event on Wednesday (February 22) at the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library.
DRUG REFORM DAY OF ACTION PLANNED
On Tuesday (February 21), exactly 914 feathers will hang from the trees in Oppenheimer Park. They will symbolize the 914 people who died of an illicit-drug overdose in B.C. in 2016. The feathers will be carved out of wood and as many as possible will bear the name of somebody who died after taking drugs. The Vancouver demonstration is part of a national day of action that is so far planned for seven cities across Canada. In B.C., events are also planned for Victoria and Nanaimo. In a telephone interview, Karen Ward, an organizer with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), said the event will begin in the Downtown Eastside at Oppenheimer Park at noon. From there, drug users and anyone who wants to participate will march along East Hastings Street to Granville Street. The group will then double back and return to the park, where people will hang the feathers. “Our overarching demand is to end the war on drugs and for decriminalization, working towards legalization and regulation,” Ward told the Straight. Decriminalization could happen relatively quickly, she explained. The government could simply amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to end criminal penalties for the personal possession of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Then, in the longer term, Ottawa could create a new regulatory system for the legal supply and distribution of those substances, bringing them under government control to minimize the risk of more toxic drugs like fentanyl contaminating what people put in their bodies. “If there is a regulated market, people will know what they are getting,” Ward said. In 2016, about 60 percent of illicit-drug overdose deaths in B.C. involved fentanyl. That’s up from 31 percent the previous year and from just five percent in 2012. On February 1, the provincial government confirmed that another synthetic opioid called carfentanil is present in B.C. drugs. That substance is significantly more dangerous than fentanyl. Jordan Westfall is president of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD), which has a presence in nine provinces across the country. “Federally, we want to
see immediate exemptions for all proposed supervised-consumption sites across the country,” he said in a telephone interview. Vancouver’s Insite is still the only low-barrier supervisedinjection facility in North America. On February 6, Health Canada approved three applications for supervised-injection sites in Montreal. Another 10 applications remain under review. Two of those were submitted for Vancouver, two for Surrey, and one for Victoria. > TRAVIS LUPICK
B.C. GREEN CANDIDATES BACK SCIENCE
An antiscience movement has developed in North America. You see it in hostile skepticism expressed toward accepted research on vaccines and climate change, and in the rise of politicians like U.S. president Donald Trump and former prime minister Stephen Harper, both of whom clamped down on government scientific research for political reasons. In response, scientists are fighting, some of them by entering politics. The most notable of these in British Columbia is Andrew Weaver, leader of the provincial Green party and the MLA for Oak Bay–Gordon Head. In a telephone interview, Weaver said the team of candidates he’s putting together for the May 9 election already includes six people who hold PhDs. (That’s about 19 percent of the 31 Green candidates announced so far.) “They are concerned about a move towards more decision-based evidence-making as opposed to evidence-based decision-making,” Weaver told the Straight. Weaver himself holds a PhD in applied mathematics; Janet Fraser, the Green candidate for VancouverLangara, has a PhD in organic chemistry; Peter Hallschmid, the candidate for Burnaby North, has a PhD in computer engineering; Chris Maxwell, the candidate for Victoria–Swan Lake, is a medical researcher who specializes in childhood diseases; Allison Shaw, the candidate for Kelowna–Lake Country, has a PhD in sustainability and climate-change science; and Michael Markwick, the candidate for West Vancouver– Capilano, has a PhD in communications (applied sciences). In a separate interview, Fraser told the Straight that experience
with the scientific method reinforces sound decision-making. “It helps me to remember that while some issues are simple, many issues are very complex,” she said. > TRAVIS LUPICK
MLA STILL SUPPORTS LEGALIZING HARD DRUGS
In the late 1990s, Sam Sullivan, today the Liberal MLA for Vancouver–False Creek, paid for a 20-year-old sex worker’s heroin habit for a period of three weeks. He was a city councillor at the time. The story was front-page news in 2005, when Sullivan made a successful run for mayor. In a February 7, 2017, interview with the Straight, Sullivan said that he gave the woman money so she wouldn’t have to resort to prostitution to support her habit. Today, that sort of intervention is called harm reduction. Since November 2014, for example, more than 100 entrenched addicts have received pharmaceutical-grade heroin three times a day at a clinic in Vancouver, paid for by taxpayers. One of the program’s benefits is that a number of its female clients have stopped engaging in sex work. Sullivan said that for more than 20 years, he’s believed that many of the harms associated with an addiction to hard drugs could be alleviated by legalizing and regulating those substances. “I do believe that we would solve a lot of problems,” he said. Sullivan placed the idea in the context of B.C.’s overdose epidemic. Last year, 914 people in B.C. died of an illicit-drug overdose. The synthetic opioid fentanyl was detected in about 60 percent of those deaths. “It’s just so hard to think about 900 people, British Columbians, who are no longer with us,” Sullivan said. Asked what difference it could have made if drugs were legal, Sullivan replied: “Most of those people would probably be alive right now. “When you have a product that is regulated and when people know what is in it, that will be safer for everybody,” he said. Sullivan described the arrival of fentanyl as a “game changer”. He added that in this crisis, there is an opportunity to jump-start an overdue debate on drug-law reform. “Public attention is here,” he said. “Will we use that for good?” > TRAVIS LUPICK
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The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 51 Number 2563 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: email@example.com Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: email@example.com Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS
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FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 7
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8 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017
In the search for housing alternatives, shipping containers, which can be turned into work or living spaces, can prove to be cost-effective modular options. (Right: Jason Babakaiff photo.)
Thinking and living in a box
ed to be able to take Good Company Lager, a startup headquartered in the building with us,” Railtown, serves its craft beer. says Bens, referring to a Daniel Engelman, cofounder of the Edmontonmove to a larger site in based Honomobo, which produces prefab shipthe near future, “and we ping-container homes for clients across Western really liked the durabil- Canada, believes container dwellings are a response ity of the steel box.” to the lack of affordable housing options plaguing While Bens’s back- many urban centres. Since launching the company yard office may seem last spring, Engelman says he’s received more than innovative, shipping- 12,000 inquiries from 74 countries. container spaces have “I see it as being part of a generational shift In a shift to smaller, more efficient homes and offices, buyers long been employed by that’s happening in housing, where people have a are increasingly considering converted shipping containers Vancouverites. For ex- focus on efficient spaces and they want to live close ample, ContainerWest to the action,” he explains by phone. “I think a Contrary to the experience of most Lower has been providing container offices for industry modular build like this, which is efficient and costMainlanders, Randy Bens has seen little effect workers in B.C. and Alberta since 1977. But the effective in that it’s a smaller house, is the future.” BY LUCY LAU from Snowmageddon on his daily commute. concept is becoming much more popular: last year, Honomobo operates showrooms in both EdThe New Westminster–based architect estimates the company unveiled a customizable container monton and Kelowna, where residents have that, on an average day, it takes him 30 seconds garden suite in response to consumer demand. thus far embraced the startup’s compact, 207- to to reach his place of work—two minutes with Measuring up to 460 square feet, the rooms 1,380-square-foot homes, says Engelman. heavy foot traffic. may be used as a guesthouse, home gym, The studios and one- to three-bedroom Since November, Bens has been running his and more. buildings, which may be used for anyCheck out… eponymous building-design business from a Dean Olund, president of ContainerSTRAIGHT.COM thing from laneway homes to rental 350-square-foot container office situated in his West, chalks the new interest up to a properties to multigenerational housHave an opinion? back yard. Boasting a sizable window, warm birch need for additional space at a fair cost. ing, are crafted using recycled shipVisit our website to comment on panelling, and a fully functioning powder room “In the Lower Mainland, it’s definitely ping containers that arrive from China this story and kitchenette—with an equally decked-out ex- the price,” he says by phone. “People are carrying third-party goods like furniterior clad in yellow cedar—the cozy, light-filled looking for an increase in density, which ture and electronics. space regularly plays host to meetings between I think most municipalities are in favour of.” The 40-by-8-foot boxes are transformed Bens, his colleagues, and a rotating roster of clients. In 2013, Vancouver welcomed the country’s first at a factory in Edmonton, where they’re outfitted “It’s a very pleasant place to work, for sure,” he tells multidwelling container project when the Atira with medium-quality to high-end finishes, efficient the Straight by phone. “It’s very calm, super quiet.” Women’s Resource Society opened Oneesan, a HVAC systems, and even solar-ready capabilities Bens sourced the 28-foot case—which he had 12-unit development in the Downtown Eastside that may facilitate net-positive energy returns. Over shaved down from its original length of 40 feet— that houses vulnerable women aged 55 and over. 95 percent of every home is manufactured infrom Richmond-based ContainerWest Manufac- The local nonprofit has a larger, seven-storey so- doors, which minimizes waste, improves the qualturing Ltd., which offers new, castoff, and modified cial-housing complex planned for the Strathcona ity of construction, and reduces assembly times shipping containers for residential and commercial neighbourhood, which is slated to open next year. significantly by removing unpredictable variables use. After comparing the costs of private, on-site Like Oneesan, its construction will involve the such as weather conditions and product deliveries. office solutions such as prefabricated coach houses incorporation of recycled shipping cases obtained All the buyer has to do is secure the necessary perand a renovation that entailed adding a separate from the Port of Vancouver. mits, lay down the foundation, and prepare access entrance to his basement, he found that a converted Other outside-the-box usages of shipping con- to water, sewage, and power services. shipping container proved least expensive. tainers include the “Green Tank”, a pair of sham“That’s kind of the triad of construction,” says The architect was also drawn to the vessel’s rock-green vessels at East Van’s Trillium North Park Engelman. “You can only have two of three: quality, modular nature—he designed the interior him- where community-oriented classes and workshops build, and price. Hence, one of them has to suffer. self—and the sturdiness of its material. “We want- are held, and the mobile receptacle bar from which see next page
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Container dwellings help to divert boxes from junkyards. Jason Babakaiff photo.
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from previous page
But in markets like Vancouver, we can actually win on all three fronts.” Engelman and his crew are preparing to showcase their popular HO4 model—a roomy, two-bedroom unit that features floor-to-ceiling windows—at the BC Home + Garden Show, which takes place at BC Place from next Wednesday to Sunday (February 22 to 26). There, Honomobo will also debut the Obo, a 100-squarefoot studio that, according to Engelman, doesn’t require permits and can be employed as a self-contained office, studio, or fitness space, for example. While shipping containers have their benefits, they haven’t been immune to criticism. Michael Geller, a local property developer, architect, and urban planner, notes that, although container homes show promise, it can be expensive to clean and insulate the metal boxes and bring them up to code. Oftentimes, he explains, multiple shipping containers must be welded together during construction, which may heighten the final price tag. “When you look at the cost of doing all of this and the end product, many people have found that it ends up making more sense to simply go into a factory and create a purpose-built module,” he says by phone. Case in point: a city-operated modular microsuite development nearing completion at 1500 Main Street that
will accommodate up to 80 homeless people as they await permanent housing. Although a shipping-container design was among the proposals submitted by various building companies, civic bosses ultimately selected a prefab model erected from scratch due to its cost-effectiveness. Geller also cautions that container dwellings should not be considered the be-all and end-all of affordablehome solutions. Tackling Vancouver’s housing crisis in a meaningful way, he argues, requires a diverse building supply, action from all levels of government, and partnerships between private and public sectors. “In my opinion, they [shipping containers] are not the answer to creating a significant stock of affordable housing,” he says. Still, Geller acknowledges the appeal of shipping-container spaces and the role they may play in helping to ease the city’s real-estate woes. In addition, he reveals that he, like many others, is fascinated by the upcycling potential of shipping containers, which may help divert millions of decommissioned boxes from junkyards around the world. It’s this same preoccupation that, in part, inspired Bens to look to the industrial casings when constructing his home office. “It’s hard not to find them interesting,” says Bens, “taking these steel shipping cans and changing them into something they were never intended to be used for.” -
More than ever, the world needs courageous Canadians [VKLÄUL^OV^LHYLNSVIHSS` That means you Who Needs Canada?
Monday, February 27 @ 7pm
What value can Canada offer the world?
Wednesday, March 1 @ 7pm
A celebration of artists shaping Canada’s relationship with China. Presented in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The Anger of Nations
Thursday, March 2 @ 7pm
How people-driven movements are putting pressure on Canada.
The Middle East and the Refugee Crisis Tuesday, March 7 @ 7pm
10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
The on-the-ground story of the ongoing crisis. FEATURING: Roland Paris, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Senator Yuen Pau Woo, Shuvaloy Majumdar, Mark Rowswell (Dashan/大山), Jan Walls, Nik Nanos, Robert Fisk, Nelofer Pazira, Catherine Boura, Laura Lynch, Mark Pickup, Mike Meneer, Jeff Peterson, and more!
Image: Tony Webster
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DAYTIME RELAXATION SUMMER SWING A modified iteration of Mexico’s iconic, hammock-inspired Acapulco chair, Innit’s Condesa seat ($399) screams summer. Supple vinyl meets at the perfectly round base to provide surprisingly comfortable support for the body, while a powder-coated steel foundation—available in standing and rocking versions—exudes a modern edge. Place it on your patio or back-yard deck in anticipation of a season of alfresco entertaining or toss a blanket or a few throw pillows atop to create your new go-to Netflixbinging spot. (Fun fact: Innit’s madein-Canada model was originally employed as seating at a beachside cinema in Mexico.) Find it at Vancouver Special (3612 Main Street). > LUCY LAU
Everything’s gone Greenery Here are some interior-design tips on how to incorporate the colour of the year > B Y LU C Y LA U
ew year, new me” may be the mantra of choice for friends, family, and acquaintances f looding your social-media feeds this time of year, but may we suggest you take the path less published of “new year, new space” instead? For one thing, it doesn’t require you to set foot on a StairMaster, and given the recent crowning of Pantone’s colour of the year—a delicious celery-green hue dubbed Greenery that evokes visions of rolling pastures, readyto-eat veggies, and acres of tropical foliage—a fresh start has never looked so good. “I think it’s bright, clean, and crisp,” Jamie Deck, director and interior designer at the locally based Shift Interiors, tells the Georgia Straight by phone. “Vancouver is so grey, so it’s nice to incorporate Greenery for that constant-summer feeling.” To help you embrace Pantone’s shade du jour, we asked Deck for her expert tips on introducing the colour into your own home. WORK
Greenery is “nature’s neutral”, so it makes sense to integrate the hue the way Mother Earth intended: through the use of living and breathing plants. Deck suggests opting for air plants, cacti, and sucRING THE ALARM Wake up bright and bushy-tailed with Tivoli Audio’s culents if you suffer from a black Albergo clock radio ($299) by your bedside. The punchy, easy-to-use thumb and, if you’re working with alarm—available in a range of eye-catching hues like this year’s trending minimal square footage, keeping Greenery—includes all the functions of your standard timepiece, plus the the greens off high-traffic surfaces. conveniences of 21st-century living. Think crisp sound quality, two separ“People always think, ‘Oh, put ate alarm settings, and wireless technology that allows you to stream tunes the plants on the table,’ ” she says. from your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled gadget in a snap. “But you can put them on the wall A handy remote offers control at a distance, while headphone and auxiliary or hang them from the ceiling.” ports further ensure you’ll be working the device long after your 6 a.m. Olive-tree branches and other wake-up call. Find it at the Sound Room (2025 West Broadway). > LUCY LAU forms of foliage, which can be sourced
The easiest way to introduce Greenery into your interior design scheme is to use real greenery that can be hung from walls or the ceiling. Tracey Ayton photo.
from the garden, also make budgetfriendly accents when housed in a jar or vase. “There are all sorts of things we can do with plants that look very beautiful and not like a bad ’80s kind of thing,” Deck adds.
DECK THE WALLS While drenching an entire surface in such a bold, “highenergy” hue can be, in Deck’s word, “shocking”, employing patterned wall coverings that use the shade is see next page
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FREEHOLD MEANS FREEDOM Hints of colour, can help unify greenthemed rooms. mariapogony photo.
from previous page
an approachable alternative. â€œI think it needs to be in a space thatâ€™s small, somewhere nice and simple, where you can really appreciate the colour,â€? the designer notes. â€œIf you put it in a cluttered space or where thereâ€™s too much going on, it may overpower it.â€? Look to cozier rooms such as a bathroom, powder room, or kitchen where you can transform an area using wallpaper adorned with funky geometrics, oversize banana leaves, or a more traditional damask print, for example. For a softer feel, select wall coverings that feature multiple tints of green. FRAME THE SHADE A more prac-
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12 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017
tical solution for those not equipped for plant parenthood? Decorating your walls with greenery through art. Deck recommends looking for handmade prints at local artistsâ€™ hubs and online shops, where you can source visuals of various plants and tones. â€œYou can have one image of the forest and one image of cacti or tropical palm trees,â€? she says. â€œI think you can totally mix them that way.â€? Showcase your prints in vintage frames as part of a gallery wall or opt for more minimal casings that will keep all eyes on Greenery. You can also DIY artworks by pressing leaves and other foliage.
THINK TEMPORARY A tint as strik-
ing as Greenery works best in bite-size hits. â€œItâ€™s a little bit bold to do a big couch, in my personal opinion,â€? Deck says. â€œBut small pieces can be really quirky and cute.â€? Accessorize an office area with a lime-green chair, for example, or swap out your table light for a lamp saturated in the cheery hue. Incorporating green toss cushions is also a safe betâ€”especially when theyâ€™re paired with neutral tones such as grey, offwhite, or navyâ€”and helps tie together other green elements in a space, such as plants and art. â€œItâ€™s nice to buy objects in this colour and accent the room that way,â€? Deck says. â€œAnd then you can remove it when youâ€™re tired of it.â€? -
Clockwise from upper left: Cross Decor and Design’s footstool, Briers’ Juno Mirror, Moe’s Home’s gold grid trays, and a Pillow Fight Factory cushion.
Décor accents worth their weight in gold
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To add a touch of glitz to your interior spaces, these chic pieces help sustain a gleam theme > BY JA NET SM IT H
ronze, brass, or gold touches will bring a bit of bling to your rooms this spring. The key, as always with metallics, is not to go overboard. Here are a few chic local finds that will add the right amount of sheen to your digs without it looking like a certain president’s New York penthouse.
STYLISH STOOL This handcraft-
of exotic extra seating. Intricately stitched and embroidered, it makes a fun accent everywhere from the bedroom to the living room, giving a warm offset to all-white rooms or a cool counterplay to new hues of pink, teal, or green, mixing as well with sleek contemporary pieces as antique ones. Find it at the Cross Decor and Design (1198 Homer Street) for $395.
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE Blomberg® introduces the most energy-efficient dryer in its class, which is 50% more energy-saving than compact air-vented dryers. The Ventless Heat Pump Dryer features a special woolen cycle for longer garment life, and it measures just 24 inches wide, making it the perfect dryer for small-space living. It truly is in harmony with nature, your home, and your life.
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SEEING STARS We love the mix
of natural and glitz on this handed Moroccan pouf, a gold leather made cushion by Vancouver’s see next page footstool, offers small spaces a bit
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FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13
from previous page
For more information please call GRACE HANN or CHARLES LEIBOVITCH at 604-267-1555.
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3755 Main St @ 22nd Ave
604.568.8538 1521 W. Broadway @ Granville
Pillow Fight Factory. Made from Tuscan linen, it features a whimsical, gold lambskin appliqué in the corner. Measuring 16 by 16 inches, the pillows mix designer Erika Pantages’s love of East Van street art (the same inf luence we saw on her Dirty Laundry Tshirt company) with her penchant for luxurious fabrics ($80 at www.pillowfightfactory.com/). TRAY CHIC We’re crushing on the retro feel of the gold grid trays from Moe’s Home (1728 Glen Drive, Vancouver, and 1305 Welch Street, North Vancouver), with lines that fall somewhere between art deco and Sean Connery–era James Bond movie. The metal-rectangle version comes in a set of two ($165), inset with a mirror and making a classy accent for a coffee table, buffet, or dresser. The round version (on sale for $59) plays nicely off the straight lines of modular furniture.
Provide Home (1805 Fir Street) has just added some extra gleam to its collection with new pieces from Hawkins New York, a line that manages to mix the artisanal with the cuttingedge-contemporary. Set off a stark BOWLED OVER
Provide Home’s Hawkins New York brass bowls are ultra-shiny; Starbust Orbs, available at Indigo Chapters, can add a burst of bling to white walls.
room with these ultra-shiny brass bowls ($100 to $190), created from brass-plated spin steel and lined with coloured enamel—we love clean white—that’s safe for serving food. Leave one out on a white marble countertop or show it off on a shelf. SPUNKY SPIKES Make your walls
explode with these sculptural Starburst Orbs from Indigo Chapters (various locations), in burnished gold. Smaller six-inch wall-art versions ($14.50 on sale) hang in spiny groups, while bigger ones, at 10 inches in diameter ($39.50), make
a cool mix with black-and-white photos in matching lustrous-gold frames. Or set an array of spiky round versions ($14.50 on sale) along a mantel. STARRY NIGHTS The Juno Mirror
in antique gold from Briers (briers. ca/) makes a Pinterest-worthy focal point over a bed or bureau, with just the right nostalgic feel for your mix of midcentury and contemporary furnishings. The big-time statement piece, in painted tin, plays nicely off of white linens and complements other antique-gold trim ($405.99). -
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2724 W. 4th Ave. / 738-7151 / www.thenaam.com 14 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
Soul food for cold weather From dumplings to fried chicken and waffles, this nosh will warm you up
E XC E P T I O N A L I TA L I A N C U I S I N E
ilent, soft, and slow”: the snow may have stopped falling, but that doesn’t mean winter is done with us yet. Slush, cold, and rain call for comfort food, and Vancouver’s restaurant scene has endless options for the kind of stuff that warms the belly and the soul. COMFORTING CONGEE A favourite for late-night cravings, Mount Pleasant’s Congee Noodle House (141 East Broadway) isn’t known for its ambiance but rather its piping-hot rice-broth bowls abundant in ginger, studded with peanuts, and brimming with flavour. The House Special consists of prawns, scallops, squid, and fish, while hardier options include pork liver and kidney; pork stomach, clam, and white pepper; and the ever popular barbecued duck. MELTING POT From bouillabaisse
with a sunny-side egg and green onions at Jam Café (556 Beatty Street). The popular brunch spot offers a twist on this dish, with that fried chicken served on brioche French toast with tomatoes and pickled cabbage, drizzled with Tabasco honey and jalapeño sour cream.
860 BURRARD ST. VANCOUVER • 604.685.7770 Across from the Sutton Place Hotel
SPANISH SOUL FOOD With an extensive sherry selection, España (1118 Denman Street) serves up a daily paella as well as tapas that will transport you to Barcelona. After a wet walk home from work, tuck in for some crispy anchovy-stuffed olives, Ibérico salchichon de bellota, patatas bravas, and grilled octopus and chorizo with white-bean-and-potato purée, caper berries, dill, and cumin. CANUCK CHARM Put a little Can-
adiana in your comfort food with a visit to Oakwood Canadian Bistro (2741 West 4th Avenue). The resto makes one of the best burgers in town, with bacon, aged cheddar, alfalfa sprouts, garlicky dill pickles, and Gulf Islands dressing, while it also offers classics such as poutine with brisket and more elevated warming dishes like a beef short rib that’s been cooked for 48 hours. Bonus points: Oakwood participates in the Mealshare program, which provides one meal to someone in need every time certain dishes are ordered; here, it’s the buttermilk-fried confit lamb belly with honey ginger, roasted-garlic aioli, and grilled-redpepper sauce. -
Shop and dine for the DTES
Limited time offer. Reservations recommended. Coupon must be presented.
During Vancouver’s cold-weather season, dipping apple, grapes, and bread in cheese fondue at Burgoo offers belly-heating satisfaction. Robert Shaer photo.
to merguez couscous, French and Tunisian cuisines share the spotlight at Carthage Café (1851 Commercial MEAT-FREE APPEAL There’s no Drive), an intimate spot with linen need for meat to meet your comforttablecloths and exquisite Tunisian food needs. Three-bean chili with hanging lamps as well as a decent se- cashew sour cream and corn fritters lection of B.C. wines and house-made is just one warming, vegan-friendly dish at MeeT (12 sausages. Warm up Water Street and with classic start4288 Main Street). ers such as French Addictive beeronion soup or Gail Johnson battered cauliflower buttery escargots, then dig into the hearty chicken tagine, comes with tamarind-chili-ginger which has olives, potatoes, and peas in glaze while mac ’n’ cheese has a cashew sauce and the option of adding marina lemon-saffron-cilantro broth. ated portobello mushroom or Italian DUMPLING DELIGHTS Consistently vegan sausage. If it’s a hangover that recognized by the Chinese Restaurant has brought you in, order one of five Awards, Dinesty Dumpling House types of fries, including a version with (1719 Robson Street, with other loca- cashew gravy and green onion or altions in Richmond and Burnaby) has mond satay sauce and chipotle mayo. perfected xiaolongbao, or steamedDrawing pork-soup dumpling—which goes MALAYSIAN ALLAY down awfully nicely when you’re feel- from Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, ing down yourself. The dough for the and Indian cuisines, the food of the dumplings is hand-kneaded; fresh (not Malay Peninsula bursts with flavour, frozen) pork is ground at least twice; and bold, budget-friendly options can be found at Hawkers Delight and the chicken broth is all natural. (4127 Main Street). A popular choice DIPPING FOR JOY With three is laksa with shredded chicken, fish locations in Vancouver and one in cake, egg, prawns, dried shrimp, North Van, Burgoo has comfort at and sprouts in a mild coconut-curry its very heart. Dishes that soothe the sauce. Nasi goreng can be served soul include beef bourguignon, jam- spicy or not, with yu choy, tomatoes, balaya, butter chicken, and maca- tofu, potatoes, onion, and egg. roni and cheese, but it’s hard to beat cheese fondue for shared satisfaction. SOUTHERN COMFORT Dating Served with apple, grapes, and bread back centuries, fried chicken and for dipping, choices are Brie with waffles are a southern classic and a roast garlic, honey, and white wine, Vancouver trend. Find buttermilkor a mix of molten Gruyère and Em- fried chicken breast topped with pork gravy atop a full waffle along mental with white wine and kirsch.
> BY L U CY LAU
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will be teaming up with local beekeeping initiative Hives for Humanity, the Atira Women’s Resource Society’s Enterprising Women Making Art, and employment support service EMBERS, respectively. Meanwhile, the Pint Public House (455 Abbott Street) will be donating $1 from every burger sold during the event to Mission Possible, which helps Vancouverites facing homelessness and poverty, and Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary (154 West Hastings Street) will be offering free spin classes to those who bring in a nonperishable food item or a piece of warm apparel for the Union Gospel Mission. On Friday (February 17), Lost + Found Café (33 West Hastings Street) will donate $1 from every coffee sold to the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective. From Friday to Sunday (February 19), Hey Jude (315 Abbott Street) will donate a piece of clothing to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre for every pair of jeans sold. Other participating businesses include Academie Duello, Pidgin, Save On Meats, Smallflower Café and Bakeshop, and Super Champion Cycle Shop. On Friday, local coworking space HiVE (210–128 West Hastings Street) will host Island Vibes: A Caribbean Fête, a celebration of Caribbean culture that will give guests the chance to mix and mingle with the teams behind various socially minded businesses and nonprofits. Hoyt hopes that the event will become an annual function for the neighbourhood. “We want to help build connections between new businesses and nonprofit and social enterprises,” he says, “and increase awareness of these organizations among the public.” -
lthough many Vancouverites have less than sparkling visions of the city’s Downtown Eastside, the neighbourhood is home to an impressive number of successful, locally owned businesses— not to mention various nonprofit organizations that serve vulnerable residents of the area and beyond. In an effort to help shine a light on these groups—and the relationships between them—the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association (HxBIA) is conducting the Hastings Crossing Experience, a nine-day event taking place until Sunday (February 19) that sees almost 20 businesses situated in and around the Downtown Eastside raising funds and collecting canned food items and clothing for local charities. “The overall goal for this, really, is two things,” Landon Hoyt, executive director of the HxBIA, tells the Georgia Straight by phone. “One is to build new partnerships and celebrate existing ones. Secondly, it’s to really show the good work that’s going on in the Downtown Eastside.” According to civic designations, Hastings Crossing is bounded loosely by West Pender Street and West Cordova Street, and Gore Avenue and Richards Street. It is between Gastown and Chinatown and adjacent to Strathcona. “We are not rebranding the neighbourhood,” Hoyt says. “We are simply the organization that represents the businesses and property owners within a certain area that the city designates for us.” Businesses participating in the Hastings Crossing Experience include Cartems Donuterie (534 West Pender Street), Opus Art Supplies (100–207 West Hastings The Hastings Crossing Experience takes place until Sunday Street), and Purebread (159 West Hastings Street), which (February 19). For more information, visit www.hxbia.com/.
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FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
Tasting wine abroad isn’t always so easy
MARCH 1– 2 5
2017VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL DANCEFESTIVAL
lthough I’m completely aware intervention. The outdoor walkthat what I do for a living isn’t around tasting (and pizza-eating) was exactly breaking rocks under as casual as could be, no fussiness or the sun, there are, indeed, pretence; it was simply shooting the days that can be quite exhausting. The shit with some winemakers who are times I find most draining—yet get making some of the most honest, the least sympathy for (not that I’m intriguing wines in the country. looking for any, really)—are when I’m Everything hit the spot. Their wines travelling for work. were all particularly refreshing and As an example, when I was on a bright, not bogged down by additives trip with Wine Australia a few weeks or too much oak. They were sipped, back—visiting dozens of wineries slurped, and sometimes gulped, each and attending many events over nine one a breath of fresh air. These were days—it proved quite challenging. some of the wines that lift an industry We’d started in that can occasionSydney, then flew ally collapse under to Adelaide in the the weight of its south to tackle a own seriousness Kurtis Kolt few regions, then or stodginess. flew to Perth on the west coast for furHere are four from a couple of prother travels, and then back to Sydney ducers I quite enjoyed. In the middle before heading home. The land cov- of a few heavy work days? Get some ered was pretty much equivalent to good pizza, crack open one (or two) beginning in Nova Scotia, then on to of these bottles, and let them carry Toronto, Vancouver, and back to the you away. Maritimes. The days were as full as possible. I OCHOTA BARRELS “GREEN ROOM” usually got picked up by 7 a.m., with GRENACHE SHIRAZ 2014 (Mcthe first winery visit of the day hap- Laren Vale, Australia; $29.99, B.C. Lipening by 9 a.m., then about three or quor Stores) Taras and Amber Ochota four vineyard stops after that. These decided to start the Ochota Barrels provisits usually entailed some sort of ject after many years of wine-industry winery or vineyard tour, then a sit- experience and a little downtime on down tasting with the winemaker, various surf trips. This blend is bright which could involve anywhere from a and almost crunchy, with plenty of half-dozen to 24 wines, with me tak- purple fruit, cherries, and a good crack ing notes diligently throughout. Yes, of clove. Looks like the only bottles there is certainly spitting going on in Vancouver are at the Jericho Vilduring these tastings. No, the spitting lage liquor store. Grab a bottle and hit doesn’t happen 100 percent of the the beach! time. (I’m looking at you, Penfolds Grange [South Australia; $750, B.C. OCHOTA BARRELS “I AM THE OWL” SYRAH 2014 (Adelaide Liquor Stores] .) Again, not looking for sympathy Hills, Australia; $42.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) Fresh-cracked-peppery here. After a good handful of days plums and blooming with violets. tasting through upward of 150 This is a fine balance of Aussie Shiwines, taking notes, interviewing raz and French Syrah yet confident winemakers, keeping focus, and in its own spicy, floral persona. Hit squeezing in as much travel and the Robson Street liquor store near sleep as possible, it truly gets a little Denman for this one. intense. That, coupled with being self-employed, finds me working BK WINES “SKIN ‘N BONES” on various projects upon returning PINOT NOIR 2013 (Adelaide Hills, to my accommodations around 11 Australia; $36 to $40, private liquor p.m. or midnight. (Perhaps now stores) After time spent in New Zeais a good time to apologize to my land, Argentina, and California, Breneditors at the Straight for the col- don and Kirstyn Keys have settled in umn I filed a few weeks back at South Australia and we’re all better for about 3 a.m. after a very full day of it. What a stunning, bright, fresh, and lively Pinot Noir, overflowing with wine and hoopla.) The small breaks or lighter mo- huckleberries, mulberries, nutmeg, ments on these trips are remark- and thyme. Spotted at Everything ably valuable. They are a chance Wine in North Vancouver. to catch breath and to recharge. One of these moments on the fifth BK WINES “CULT” SYRAH 2013 day of our trip wasn’t a break for (Adelaide Hills, Australia; $36 to some frosty lagers on a patio or a $40, private liquor stores) So your little downtime on the beach but a friends think all Australian Shirazes tasting with a flock of winemakers (or Syrahs) are gonna be jammy fruit bombs with no character? Good. from Adelaide Hills. We’d driven up to a rural artisan Then you can keep this elegant, pizza joint called Lost in the Forest, savoury little number to yourself. situated in a repurposed church, and Blackberries, sun-dried tomato, the winemakers we visited specialized bacon fat, and perfection. This in what are casually known as natural one also recently spotted at North wines, or wines made with minimal Vancouver’s Everything Wine. -
Featuring... Dance artists from Canada, Japan, the United States, and Denmark at the Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Studio 1398, Woodward’s Atrium and KW Studios.
INFO & BOX OFFICE: 604.662.4966 · VIDF.CA
Alonzo King LINES Ballet photo of Michael Montgomery by RJ Muna
SPECIAL EDITION | MARCH 2 Contact The Georgia Straight to help shine a spotlight on Vancouver women who are trying to improve and enrich our city in a multitude of different ways. #BeBoldForChange email@example.com | 604.730.7020
16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
Sarah Silverman is many things: standup
B Y GUY M A C PHER SO N
comedian, actor, activist, political animal, goofball. Above all, though, she is a standup. And a very influential one at that. The comedy landscape is full of comedians who affect the arrogant ignoramus persona Silverman perfected (and has since abandoned) while broaching hot-button, or otherwise taboo, subjects. Before Silverman (BS on the comedy timeline), one didn’t often hear female comics casually joke about abortions. Or poop. They weren’t ironically racist. One of the biggest names in the business now—Amy Schumer—is a direct descendant, and she, in turn, has influenced others. In her 2005 special, Jesus Is Magic, Silverman famously joked, “A couple nights ago, I was licking jelly off my boyfriend’s penis and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m turning into my mother!’ ” This past December, Saturday Night Live’s hilarious Kate McKinnon, playing her Ms. Rafferty character, said, “I am still pantsless, so I’m spending Christmas morning in the back of a squad car with my grassy knoll and my gassy hole hanging out, and I’m thinking, ‘Damn it, Colleen, you’re becoming your mother.’ ” Essentially the same joke, right? Silverman was ahead of her time.
The evolution of Sarah Silverman
Standup star Sarah Silverman, seen here at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, is still drawn to hot-button topics. Ali Shaker photo.
politics, which is more When it blew up in the harshly divided political what I’m interested in: climate, she tweeted out a mea culpa the next day. people.” She hasn’t said much about it to date, but did tell the The trail-blazing comic says she’s moved on from her When she brings her Straight she has no plans to abandon her homeland. act to the Queen Eliza“I really love this country,” she says. “It’s where “arrogant ignoramus” act to being “aggressively dumb” beth as part of the JFL I’ve always lived. I think that people on the left are Fellow L.A.–based standup Natasha Leggero Northwest Comedy Fest on February 25, just easily generally like, ‘If you voted for Trump, you’re saw Silverman’s influence firsthand. “A lot of before shooting a one-hour special for Netfl ix, in the KKK!’—I mean, definitely, they all voted for my friends started out just basically doing Sarah it will have been nine years since she last head- Trump—but a lot of hard-working people who were Silverman impressions,” she says on the phone from lined here. So don’t expect the same old song promised jobs by this famous businessman they California. “As soon as I started [in 2002], I had a and dance this time around. had heard of voted for him because, listen, they’ve manager who was like, ‘You have to see Sarah “I’ve changed, the world’s changed,” she says. “I’ve been ignored. The Democrats were supposed to be Silverman, you have to see Sarah Silverman!’ She never been someone to be like, ‘I’m this character for the party of the working class and they have been was pretty much all people were talking about.” my whole life.’ I change and my act changes. People ignoring the working class. Having all this globalBut as one of the most impactful comedians are either still fans or they’re not anymore. Or ization and jobs being gone, these people of her generation, Silverman doesn’t give it much different people are fans. It has nothing to didn’t feel listened to. I think a lot of them thought. “I’ve seen comics before me be very frus- do with me. I love standup and to me it’s are now feeling very betrayed. If you Check out… trated and kind of destroyed by the fact that other about expressing how I’m feeling now STRAIGHT.COM go to @Trump_Regrets, it just goes on people have kind of taken what they have started and talking about the stuff that I think forever. My heart goes out to them, Visit our website and gotten rich from it,” she says on the phone is funny now.” because they deserve to be listened to. for morning-after from her home in Los Angeles. “I’ve seen it destroy Leggero concurs. “I feel like she’s They’re the heart of this country. This is reviews and local arts news people, but really it’s something that should be a transitioned and started to get more a divided country where each side is getpoint of pride. Like, why did we do this if not to personal. She’s so bold, but she’s always ting their facts from different places and influence people and push other artists farther?” changing and evolving, and I think that’s they’re not the same, you know?” Anyone who knows Silverman talks about what inspiring because the hardest thing to do is to get Her act won’t be one long harangue, though. a kindhearted person she is (ex-boyfriend Colin out of your old shtick and come up with something She’s still a goofball who loves both high and low Quinn told me in a separate interview “She’s so authentic.” comedy. “On Twitter I’m way more political, begreat!”), so her magnanimous response doesn’t surSilverman has been at the centre of the news cause I feel an urgency,” she says. “I don’t know how prise. She adds: “Sometimes it’s frustrating when I’m cycle several times throughout her career. In her any citizen can consider themselves not political just sitting on my couch and I see my own reflection, excellent 2010 memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of anymore.” (She also admits that she never missed and I don’t have my own washer and dryer—I share Courage, Redemption, and Pee, she recounts the an episode of Celebrity Apprentice or the original it with my floor!—but at the same time, I want for media storms over three jokes: one that had her The Apprentice, both hosted by you-know-who.) nothing. I love my life, and the rest has nothing to do shirking jury duty by filling out a form with an People will hear what they want to hear, though, with me. To get tied up in that shit, one, it ages you, inappropriate racial epithet, one about Paris Hil- no matter what her subject matter is. That’s the and two, it’s just no way to live. But if I’ve influenced ton, and one about Britney Spears. People love to nature of the comedy business these days, and people, that’s a good thing, I think, you know?” be outraged and the mainstream media eats it up. Silverman knows this as well as anyone. Silverman has been a standup for 29 years… Silverman weathered those storms. On February 1, “That’s the thing if you want to do something Wait. That can’t be right. Twenty-nine years?! She she found herself in the middle of another one, this in the arts: you cannot control how people infer doesn’t seem much older than 29 herself. But she time involving Donald Trump, when she tweetily what you put out,” she says. “Maybe they’re wrong does the math for us. suggested the military aid in the resistance (as if the about it; maybe you’re wrong about yourself, “I’ve been a standup since I was 17,” she says. military takes orders from celebrity comedians). I don’t know. I mean, you gotta get a little Zen “I’m 46. That’s 29 years.” Like any good comic, A passionate liberal who supported Barack Obama, about it. We’re literally in outer space. How sershe continues to evolve. Gone are the ironic ra- Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, Silverman iously can you take it all?” cism and the arrogant ignoramus. She’s got a new has been outspoken on Twitter about the seemdescriptor for her act. “It’s aggressively dumb,” ingly unhinged demagogue who himself tweets out Sarah Silverman is at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next Saturday (February 25). she says. “And then there’s a lot of other social inflammatory messages day and night.
THINGS TO DO
ARTS High five
Editor’s choice MINDFUL MASHUP Here’s what happens not only when you put two great brains together, but when you put them together in a piece about brains—or, more specifically, about the ever-expanding world of neuroplasticity. Choreographer-performer Amber Funk Barton has been the source of edgy, form-fusing work like The Art of Stealing; theatre director Mindy Parfitt has helmed buzzworthy productions like The Hooker Monologues and the all-female Corleone. In the new piece am a, these bold young talents meld theatre, dance, spoken word, song, and more, in a work that doesn’t just explore the brain’s capacity for change but puts it into action. See it during the forward-thinking Femme February series at the Cultch. Am a is at the Cultch from Tuesday (February 21) to March 4.
Five events you just can’t miss this week
TELEMETRY (February 18 to 21 at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre) Shay Kuebler hits his stride as one of the city’s coolest choreographers.
TREVOR NOAH (February 23 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) There may be no smarter comedian taking on Trump these days.
NORDIC VOICES (February 18 at the Annex) Journey to strange and ethereal sonic landscapes.
42ND STREET (To February 26 at Studio 58) We all need a little singin’ and dancin’ in our lives these days.
NEOINDIGENA (February 15 to 19 at the Cultch) Santee Smith ranks as one of the boldest indigenous voices in contemporary dance.
In the news
SUMMER FEST ANNOUNCED Ensemble Theatre Company artistic director Tariq Leslie (shown above in 2015’s Frost/Nixon) has announced the lineup for the company’s fifth Summer Repertory Festival. Shows will run at the Jericho Arts Centre from July 13 to August 18. The roster includes playwright Simon Bent’s adaptation of John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany; In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), Sarah Ruhl’s cheeky script about a doctor who used vibrators to cure women’s “hysteria” in the Victorian era; and Master Class, David Pownall’s darkly funny play about the 1948 meeting of Josef Stalin, his culture minister, and two of the 20th century’s most famous composers. ETC’s festival pass is on sale for 60 bucks; single tickets go on sale April 1. See www.ensembletheatrecompany.ca/. -
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17
FEBRUARY 16 to MARCH 13
Tickets from $23
SHAY KUEBLER/RADICAL SYSTEM ART CANADA > explosive dance World Premiere of full-length version of Telemetry Feb. 18 - 21 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
THE KLEZMATICS 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Grammy-winning superstars < USA “captivated the audience, bewitching it with their singing, passion, and sound.” Feb. 23 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
TARA CHEYENNE FRIEDENBERG & SILVIA GRIBAUDI CANADA/ITALY > a fun, fascinating journey World Premiere of empty.swimming.pool Feb. 16 – 18 > Scotiabank Dance Centre
DAVID BROZA & MIRA AWAD IN CONCERT charismatic & energetic < ISRAEL “(Broza) plays with all his heart, with all his body.” “(Awad’s) music...was intensely seductive.” Feb. 28 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
YOSSI BERG & ODED GRAF DANCE THEATRE ISRAEL > provocative & poignant dance Canadian Premiere of 4Men, Alice, Bach, and the Deer Feb. 25 – 27 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
MARBIN with MNGWA opening jazz, rock & global music < ISRAEL/USA/CANADA “Eclectic band with a fascinating sound.” March 3 > Biltmore Cabaret, 19+
SPELLBOUND CONTEMPORARY BALLET
MAYA AVRAHAM BAND
ITALY > extraordinary dancing North American Premiere of Carmina Burana March 4 -6 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
singer from Idan Raichel Project < ISRAEL “Avraham...left the audience blown away.” March 7 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
EXIT - SHALOM HANOCH with Moshe Levi KYLE ABRAHAM/ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION USA > sensual and dynamic fusion of jazz, African forms & modern dance March 11 – 13 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
“The King of Israeli Rock” < ISRAEL “... a bona fide rock ‘n’ roll star” March 8 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
LYLA CANTÉ incredible world fusion < USA/ARGENTINA/JAPAN/ISRAEL “Music that is sensuous, passionate & infectious!” March 9 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
BIRDS SING A PRETTY SONG. CANADA/ISRAEL/USA/ARGENTINA > exhilarating performance Canadian Premiere seamlessly fuses dance, live music and interactive media May 13 & 14 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
contemporary musical theatre < CANADA April 2 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
FOLK LORDZ CANADA > world-renowned Rapid Fire Theatre high-speed, hilarious theatre improv “One of the most interesting, compelling and viscerally thrilling pieces of theatre you’ll see this season” Feb. 22 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
WRESTLING JERUSALEM USA > brilliant and provocative theatre written and performed by Aaron Davidman “Remarkable solo performance…yearning beauty…” March 1 & 2 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
INFLECTION Alternative Assets Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
MARK SCHIFF USA > stand-up comedy “…one of the funniest, the brightest, and best stage comics.” — Jerry Seinfeld
Feb. 20 > Norman Rothstein Theatre
ALI HASSAN & JUDY GOLD CANADA/USA > hilarious comedy double-bill (Hassan) Bitingly-funny solo show Muslim, Interrupted and (Gold) “fiercely funny, honest and moving” stand-up comedy Feb. 24 > York Theatre
(MONTREAL) WORKS BY FONIADAKIS, GALILI AND PEDERNEIRAS Comedian Jim Gaffigan’s dry wit on everything from loving Hot Pockets to raising five kids has led to Netflix specials and best-selling books. Alan Gastelum photo.
Gaffigan’s busy career belies his lazy image > BY JA NET SM IT H
York house in recent years. He says the standup game has changed a lot from what it was when he started out three decades ago, and the teen years he spent listening to Steve Martin, George Carlin, and Bob Newhart on vinyl. His audience now reaches far beyond comedy-club die-hards, thanks to his hit Netflix specials, books, and the based-on-his-real-family TV series, The Jim Gaffigan Show. “It’s kind of expanded the type of people I perform for, and I think this is the same for all comedians,” he observes. “Look at the experience of a 15-year-old today: he has access to an entire library of material. I mean, I have five specials on Netflix. So it’s pretty fascinating how standup comedy has changed in 10 years. And it’s fascinating because I think it will still change again. It was [Jerry] Seinfeld who said comedians are being paid more not to be in movies. Before, if they were lucky, they’d take the path of Steve Martin. Now you’ll make more money doing standup.” Those Netf lix standup specials do, however, tax an already busy comedian who’s expected to come up with new bits. “There’s a certain liberation that comes from ending the special. Like a panic,” says Gaffigan, who finished taping Cinco in September before turning his mind to his live tour. “I said to my manager, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write a show.’ I do have a new hour now—and it’s a good hour. But I’ve been so busy writing books and TV shows, and having that lifted off me provided me with material that I really like. I’ve been doing standup for 100 years, so it should come easily to me.” The comic is enjoying his success, but in a candid moment, the inner Hot Pocket–popping homebody briefly reveals himself. Gaffigan loves the creative side of the biz, but he’s not about to up and move his family to Hollywood anytime soon. “I’m not interested in being more famous,” he says. “In my 20s I think I would have been more excited about this level of fame.” Today, though, it’s all about that freezer full of Ben & Jerry’s. -
omedian Jim Gaffigan has carefully perfected a slothlike image as a guy who eats Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by the tub before bed, considers Hot Pockets and McDonald’s fries major food groups, and proudly trumpets laziness as his life’s work. But the truth is that Gaffigan, these days, is a seriously busy dude. Amid his Fully Dressed world tour, which hits the upcoming Just for Laughs comedy fest, he’s juggling talk-show appearances, TV ads, a role in Season 3 of FX’s cult-hit Fargo series, and a new Netflix standup special called Cinco. Over the past few years, he’s also written two best-selling books (Dad Is Fat and Food: A Love Story), stepped into Darrell Hammond and Norm Macdonald’s old shoes as Col. Sanders in KFC TV ads, and appeared in a bunch of movies. Oh, and you know he has five kids, right? “Look, sometimes they travel with me, but sometimes I gotta sleep,” quips the comedian, whose brood is well-known to TV viewers thanks to his dryly witty Chrysler Pacifica commercials. (You know, the ones in which he feigns forgetting one kid’s name, presumably because he has so many.) “It’s mostly my wife, right? But there’s a lot of logistics to figure out and we have a lot of help. When we just had three, my career was at a different point. With five, it’s so overarching that you’re in some crazy zone the entire time. “My kids are understanding,” he continues, speaking to the Straight over the phone from the Big Apple. “When I’m in Vancouver, I’m missing a father-daughter dance, but I’m able to take that daughter to a concert she wants to see.” As noted, Gaffigan seems to pop up everywhere you look. The night after we talk to him, he appears on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, rocking the old-school ’stache he’ll be wearing for the Fargo role of police deputy Donny Mashman. Gaffigan says he loves acting, but standup is clearly where his heart is, and he’s amazed that it has become such a viable career. Among other things, comedy has famously allowed Gaffigan to move his seven-mem- JFL Northwest presents Jim Gaffigan ber family out of a two-bedroom at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next apartment and into a bigger New Friday (February 24).
“ADDICTIVE.” THE GLOBE & MAIL
FEBRUARY 24 & 25, 8PM VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE TICKETS & INFO: DANCEHOUSE.CA
TICKETS FROM S E A S O N PA R T N E R S
SPEAKING OF DANCE CONVERSATIONS Identity and Location: Immigration and Cultural Integration Janet Smith (moderator) in conversation with Rosario Ancer, Henry Daniel & Chengxin Wei
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 • 7pm • FREE Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodward’s
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19
Women give funny new flair > B Y G U Y M A C P HE R S O N
MOONLODGE by Margo Kane
AN INDIGENOUS CANADIAN CLASSIC
Feb 16 - Feb 25 2017 Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre
“Powerful...rich, captivating” - Ottawa Citizen
Presented at THE TALKING STICK FESTIVAL
ne of the great pleasures of a festival is getting to revisit some of your favourite artists. Another is to check out performers making their first foray into the local market. Who doesn’t want to see Jim Gaffigan, Trevor Noah, Sarah Silverman, Moshe Kasher, Tom Segura, Iliza Schlesinger, Brian Posehn, Andy Kindler, or Chris D’Elia? But they’ve all been here before. A trio of rising stars playing the Biltmore Cabaret highlight some of the new faces coming to the JFL Northwest Comedy Festival. Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Fortune Feimster have something else in common: they’re all hilarious. And hilariously unique. Oh, and they’re all women. Nancherla and Wolf both have been staff writers on Late Night With Seth Meyers, while Feimster wrote for Chelsea Lately. But performing is more fun. “I just learned that I write in a pretty specific voice that doesn’t necessarily cover, like, a middle-aged white male’s perspective,” says Nancherla, who wrote monologue jokes for Meyers. “Which is, you know, not a good or bad thing; it just is what it is.” Wolf has a new writing gig on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, as well. She came to comedy after a banking job on Wall Street. It’s been a quick and steady rise for her since she started doing improv in 2008 before transitioning to standup. “I worked at a job where I was working 12 to 14 hours a day, six to seven days a week, and doing comedy at night,” she says. “I eventually switched over to standup because I didn’t like how after an improv show you were just done with it.” After only a couple of years, she was hired by Late Night. Feimster, who started out in sketch comedy, was introduced to North America on Season 7 of Last Comic Standing, when she was but two-anda-half years into her career. “I got an amazing opportunity very early on in standup to show people that I could tell jokes and be funny, but I did not have the material to go any further than that. So they gave me a platform and the perfect amount of time. Anything more than that would have been a disservice to me.” All three cast a wide net with their comedy, attracting fans from outside their own racial, sexual, or political groups. The quirky Nancherla is the offspring of Indian immigrants to the U.S., both doctors. But she doesn’t make race a big part of her
Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Fortune Feimster are a few of the new faces in a strong female contingent bringing big laughs to JFL Northwest.
act. “I never really felt inclined to talk about racial stuff,” she says. “I grew up in a pretty diverse area right outside of D.C. I feel like I was sheltered from a lot of racial issues. I talk about it a little bit more but I would say it wasn’t something I gravitated toward from the beginning. It’s something I don’t lead with in my day-to-day life, so I think that crosses over into how I present myself in standup.” Nancherla likes to end her set with a PowerPoint presentation. “It’s just a medium I think is funny; the seriousness with which it takes itself is funny to me,” she says. “The more anxietyridden side of that is that it’s a nice way to break up talking to people for an hour. I feel like I tend to hit a wall around 40 minutes where I’m tired of hearing my own voice.” Feimster, who also starred in The Mindy Project, is a lesbian but isn’t doing agenda-driven comedy. “I would say my audiences are about 60 percent straight people and about 40 percent gay people,” she says. “I never wanted to be a comedian that only appealed to one type of person; I always wanted my comedy to be relatable to everybody. I get plenty of love from the gay community, which is really awesome, but thanks to Chelsea Handler and Mindy Kaling, I get a lot of straight audiences coming to my show as well.” She doesn’t shy away from the topic, but also tells stories of her family and growing up in the South, among other things. “I’m a big girl so I
talk about being a chubby comedian,” she says. “I just tell stories that I think are funny and hope that people find them funny as well.” And if you follow Wolf on Twitter (@michelleisawolf ), you’ll see she doesn’t avoid politics, and you know where she stands. But she welcomes both sides to her live shows. “If I’m doing political stuff, I try to write jokes where it doesn’t matter who you support or voted for, you would still find funny,” she says. “Because if you go too far in one direction, you’ve alienated potentially half your audience. I wouldn’t want to do that. You never know why someone voted for Trump. There’s a good portion of people that voted for Trump because it was a Hail Mary pass. They might not have had jobs for years and they need food on the table and they thought, ‘This is different and I’m desperate.’ So you can’t blame those people for wanting something to change.” She says her show goes from broad social issues to more personal ones. “We’ll cover a lot of fun stuff. Some politics, some terrorism stuff, some dating stuff. You know, the whole gamut.” See Fortune Feimster on Friday (February 17), Michelle Wolf on Sunday (February 19), and Aparna Nancherla next Saturday (February 25) at the Biltmore Cabaret as part of the JFL Northwest Comedy Festival.
A guide to finding the big, and unexpected, laughs at JFL Northwest comedy fest With so much to see and so little time (and some shows competing against each other) at this year’s JFL Northwest, the comedy consumer will have to make some hard choices in the next two weeks. Here are some strong contenders to consider as the fest rolls out the laughs from Thursday (February 16) to February 25.
THE COMEDY MIX Down on Burrard Street you can catch the laid-back comedy stylings of Brian Posehn from Thursday to Saturday (February 16 to 18), the Sirius Top Comic competition on February 23, and the always cheeky Jon Dore on February 24 and 25. YUK YUK’S The Cambie Street comedy club hosts Toronto’s scorching-hot K. Trevor Wilson, self-proclaimed Mountain Man of Comedy, from Thursday to Saturday (February 16 to 18), a JFL showcase on February 22, and the manic Todd Glass from February 23 to 25. THE VOGUE THEATRE The now apparently one-named Iliza (Schlesinger) takes the stage on Friday (February 17), TV’s Chris D’Elia has two shows next Friday (February 24), and club favourite Tom Segura wraps up the fest’s last day on February 25. PODCASTS These days, comedy and podcasts go hand in hand. Game Grumps Live! is the big one, playing the Queen E. on Friday (February 17). Fans of true crime and comedy can watch a live taping of My Favorite Murder at the Vogue on Saturday (February 18). And Canada’s podcast kings Graham Clark and Dave Shumka bring Stop Podcasting Yourself, with guest Jon Dore, to the Biltmore next Thursday (February 23). PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON It’s rare for a magician to cross over to the judge-y world of comedy, but Britain’s John van der Put found a way. Dressed in a bad dragon outfit and armed with his trusty sidekick Chihuahua named Mr. Piffles, Piff has taken the comedy/magic world by storm. He plays the Vogue Theatre on Saturday (February 18). BARRY CRIMMINS The Boston legend has been speaking comedy truth to power since the Reagan era. He’s the subject of the riveting Bobcat Goldthwait documentary Call Me Lucky, available on Netflix. The political satirist is at the Biltmore next Thursday (February 23). THE ALTERNATIVE SHOW A mainstay at JFL Montreal, the self-referential and opinionated Andy Kindler brings his Alternative Show, with a lineup of guests you might have missed elsewhere, to the Rio on February 24 and 25. > GUY M AC PHERSON
20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
Mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital says his project wtih the Dover Quartet has forced him to reach out to composers to write new works for his instrument.
SUSAN POINT SPINDLE WHORL OPENS SAT FEB 18 Major Sponsor
Generously supported by
Visionary Partner for BC Artist Exhibitions
The McLean Foundation
Susan Point, Behind Four Winds, 2012, screenprint on paper, Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery
Mandolinist and string quartet join forces > BY ALEXANDER VAR TY
here are challenges, cellist Camden Shaw admits, to combining the bowed strings of the Dover Quartet with the plucked mandolin of Israeli virtuoso Avi Avital. And, on the surface, the most daunting of these would appear to be that the mandolin, in contrast to the resonant tenor of a cello or the violin’s piercing soprano, has a relatively small voice, with relatively limited dynamic range. In practice, however, a skilled mandolinist can turn the instrument’s limitations into strengths. “What we’ve found, interestingly enough, is that the tonal colour is so different from the bowed instruments that, in a way, it can pretty much be heard in every dynamic scenario,” Shaw notes, in a telephone interview from Detroit. “There’s a certain immediacy to the sound that helps it come to the forefront.” A more serious issue, he and Avital concur, is that there simply isn’t much extant repertoire for their unusual combination of instrumental forces. Although he initially made his name interpreting Johann Sebastian Bach’s works for violin— and he’ll include some of that in his upcoming Vancouver Recital Society–sponsored appearance with the Dover Quartet—Avital is just as interested in contemporary music. “And there’s next to none,” he says with a laugh, in a separate telephone interview from Toronto. “Which has forced me, in the most positive way, to reach out to composers and convince them to write new, amazing pieces for the mandolin.” In addition to Avital’s arrangement of six short pieces by the late Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze and the
Dover Quartet’s take on Bedrich Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1, the project’s touring program includes one of those commissioned works: Cymbeline, by British composer David Bruce. “The initial inspiration for the piece came through long conversations that I had with David,” Avital explains. “The first question that I like to ask a composer before he starts to write is ‘What does the mandolin mean to you? What does it say to you?’ And David thought of the colour gold, actually. When he imagined the sound of the mandolin together with the string quartet somehow the colour of gold came into his mind, and that led him to think about the sun.” Cymbeline, the mandolinist continues, depicts the sun’s journey from dawn to dusk—although there’s more to it than that. “The outer movements, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sunset’, are similar, in a way,” he says. “ ‘Sunrise’ starts from nothing and grows into a big forte at the end, like if the music brought the sun from the darkness into the middle of the sky. The last movement does exactly the opposite: it ends very quietly, with the same note that the first movement starts with. “And of course this is also a metaphor for the circle of life. There’s birth, the introduction to the different sounds and the different elements in life. ‘Noon’, the middle movement, is very powerful, very fast, representing youth and the middle of life. And then there’s ‘Sunset’, which, according to David, is time to reflect, time to look back. It’s a very atmospheric piece.” Avi Avital and the Dover Quartet play a 3 p.m. matinee concert at the Vancouver Playhouse on Sunday (February 19).
BITTERGIRL: THE MUSICAL TUES. FEB. 21 @ 8 PM
The howlingly funny show about getting over getting dumped
LAILA BIALI WITH NITECAP FRI. FEB. 24 @ 8 PM
JUNO-nominated vocalist, pianist and songwriting wonder with Capilano U’s own NiteCap
VILLALOBOS BROTHERS FRI. MAR. 3 @ 8 PM
Mexican virtuoso violinists blend folk music with classical and jazz
Tickets: 604.990.7810 • Online: capilanou.ca/centre Capilano University • 2055 Purcell Way • North Vancouver
22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23
Elle excels with story of “headstrong” woman TH E AT RE
otherwise carefully constructed, cleverly crafted narrative. Hines’s performance is wonderful, but the real magic here is her writing. Crawlspace is full of incredible details and observations. “The crazy sign goes in a circle for a reason,” she says, illustrating her growing obsession in trying to deal with every new inadequacy of her home. “He looked like a snowboarder, only more so,” she says of her realtor, who is also “attractive in that cruel way”. One of Hines’s most poignant lines might be this gorgeous assessment of humanity: “A weird logic swirls around everyone’s capacity to do nothing.” What happened to Hines could have happened to anybody. But it didn’t, it happened to her. And she turned her homeowner hell into something darkly comedic and emotionally daring. Crawlspace is resistance theatre and it’s nothing short of inspiring.
ELLE Adapted by Severn Thompson from the novel by Douglas Glover. Directed by Christine Brubaker. A Theatre Passe Muraille production, presented by the Firehall Arts Centre. At the Firehall Arts Centre on Thursday, February 9. Continues until February 18
Elle is a polished slice of im-
2 aginary history.
Playwright and performer Severn Thompson adapted this script from a Governor General’s Award–winning novel by Douglas Glover, based on the life of a real 16th-century Frenchwoman, Marguerite de La Rocque de Roberval, who was turfed from a French ship and marooned on an island off the coast of Atlantic Canada, where she managed to survive two winters before returning to France. In Thompson’s play, the cause of Elle’s ejection from the ship is her lover, a tennis champion, and at the top of the play we meet the pair in flagrante delicto below deck. “I have been driven to this desperate expedient by the onset of a toothache,” she tells us as she writhes and grinds, desperate to find a satisfying position, while her seasick lover grows greener. It’s a terrifically vivid kickoff: a striking portrait of a “headstrong” woman who takes action to satisfy her appetites. But once the heroine is sent packing, with her beloved Richard and a maid, Bastienne, her agency largely disappears. “We wait for something to happen,” she says when they first arrive on the Isle of Demons. (Skip to the next paragraph to avoid spoilers.) Richard (fancifully) builds a tennis court, then dies, followed swiftly by Bastienne. Elle discovers she is pregnant. Winter comes and brings salvation in the form of a spirit bear, and later, Itslk, an indigenous hunter who speaks French. But things happen to
> ANDREA WARNER
KINKY BOOTS Book by Harvey Fierstein. Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. A Broadway Across Canada presentation. At the Queen Elizabeth Jonathan Fisher and Severn Thompson star in Elle’s story of a woman ejected from a French ship. Michael Cooper photo. Theatre on Tuesday, February 7. No Elle; her headstrong nature seems to cloth becomes a sail, a hut, a fire, a reign, with lots of ribbing about her remaining performances
have abandoned her. The textually dense narration of this passive heroine makes the story drag at times, but the language is beautiful and Elle’s observations are often wry. “It occurs to me he will eat a lot of salt fish,” she notes when she realizes that her lover will be joining her as a castaway. Thompson is a riveting performer with a rich voice and big emotional range, and director Christine Brubaker’s minimalist approach to the staging offers many pleasures. In Jennifer Goodman’s set, a structure of bent bars looms at the back of the stage, and a single piece of
The Firehall Arts Centre presents dumb instrument Dance’s
THE MARS HOTEL & KWAN YIN Choreography:
Ziyan Kwan, Noam Gagnon and Lihuen Kwan
Wed - Sat 8pm Tickets from $23
280 E Cordova St Ken Blaschuk, Noam Gagnon & Ziyan Kwan David Cooper Photography
24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
bear cub, and so much more. Lyon Smith’s spare, otherworldly music is performed live by Jonathan Fisher, who also plays Itslk. And Goodman’s textured lighting enhances the magic-realist qualities of Elle’s story. For its exquisite production values and its playful approach to history, Elle is well worth seeing.
refusal to abdicate the throne and her age, as well as the increasing criticism of the Royal Family and questions about its relevance. But The Audience still feels a bit like propaganda, particularly in Canada, as this country celebrates its 150th anniversary while contending with decolonization and indigenous rights. For all that works > KATHLEEN OLIVER well in The Audience—the performances, set, costumes, and real, live THE AUDIENCE corgis(!)—the play offers up British history, the Empire, and the sovereign By Peter Morgan. Directed by as both entertainment and lofty ideals Sarah Rodgers. An Arts Club of western civility. But those are hard Theatre production. At the Stanley pills to swallow when there’s little acIndustrial Alliance Stage on Thursday, February 2. Continues until February 26 knowledgment of the fallout and consequences of colonialism. Anglophiles, monarchy mega> ANDREA WARNER fans, and political buffs rejoice: the Arts Club’s production of Peter CRAWLSPACE Morgan’s The Audience is almost A Boca del Lupo production. At the everything you could possibly want in Fishbowl on Granville Island on an evening of theatre. Wednesday, February 8. Continues The Audience’s framework is clev- until February 18 er: every week since her coronation, Turning one’s trauma into art Queen Elizabeth II has met with the isn’t just a coping mechanism prime minister on Tuesday evenings. It is a courtesy on the part of the PM, for creatives—it’s a survival skill. we’re told, not an obligation. The Karen Hines’s mostly one-woman play jumps backward and forward in show, Crawlspace, is a blisteringly time, and though we meet just eight funny and fraught act of catharsis, of the 13 PMs (so far) of the Queen’s revenge, and consumer advocacy. Around 2006, Hines, an actor, reign, these vignettes offer a sweeping glimpse of a changing Britain, as writer, and clown (she’s one half of well as a fascinating portrait of the the clown comedy duo Mump and Smoot), bought a “condo alternawoman behind the crown. Erin Ormond relishes her role tive” in Toronto. Within 18 months, as Margaret Thatcher, arguably the she’d lost her life savings and what most contentious and destructive felt like her sanity, racked up tens of PM of the 20th century, and embod- thousands of dollars in credit-card ies Thatcher’s larger-than-life pres- debt, and learned firsthand just how ence with aplomb. David Marr is crooked some realtors can be. Hines sets out the parameters for excellent as Harold Wilson, the PM who secretly becomes the Queen’s fa- Crawlspace early on: the approxivourite. Marr shows off some pretty mately 100-minute show is inspired impressive skills as his character by true events, and her “character” recites the numerical value of pi as is inspired by herself. The intimacy proof of his photographic memory. between Hines and her audience is He also does a beautiful job with one amplified by the fact that this is microof The Audience’s most poignant and theatre, with just 20 people (divided heartbreaking scenes, when Wilson into “homeowners” and “renters”, depending on ticket price and seatresigns amid a health crisis. Anna Galvin is fantastic as Her ing) on hand to witness the unspoolRoyal Majesty. It’s a huge task to em- ing of Hines’s modern horror story as body a character of this stature and she learns that her small dream home significance, but Galvin lives up to is built on lies, misinformation, and the challenge. The extent to which she a shoddy foundation. Her character’s relative privilege rehumanizes Elizabeth II is admirable, with ample help from Morgan’s script, veals itself insidiously in certain mowhich offers some nice, believable mo- ments, but never more so than when ments of resolve, courage, humility, she recalls contemplating prostitution hubris, weakness, and humour. But as a means of getting out of debt. Hines the physicality of her performance is very quickly confesses it’s something also inspiring. Galvin makes subtle she’d never actually do, which makes changes to her voice, posture, and the “joke” even more tone-deaf. For all body, perfectly capturing the Queen’s that this tiny home tries to break her, journey from wide-eyed, determined, she’s relatively safe in the knowledge freshly crowned young woman to ma- that she has a support system that will help rescue her from this money pit ture, matter-of-fact matriarch. Still, there’s something about the and health hazard. It’s a small jolt that temporarplay itself that nags. Morgan’s script frequently refers to the Queen’s lengthy ily pushes one outside Crawlspace’s
The moral of Kinky Boots— be who you want to be”—doesn’t seem so radical in a contemporary urban climate, even if who you want to be is a big, black drag queen. But given that hatred and intolerance seem to be on the rise very close to home, we can’t hear this message enough. Kinky Boots might not be as transgressive as the title suggests, but it’s wellintentioned and fun. You can almost hear the storytelling machinery creaking as the plot of Harvey Fierstein’s script (based on the 2005 movie) slowly winds into gear. The opening number introduces the Price and Son shoe factory in Northampton, but the latest son, Charlie, grows up to defy his father’s expectation that he’ll run the business. The minute Charlie runs off to London to become a real-estate agent, however, he’s called back home with the news of his father’s death, whereupon he also learns that the factory is f loundering. A chance encounter with a drag queen, Lola, leads to a brainwave for a niche market: ultrasexy boots that are strong enough for a man to walk in. Or maybe not so niche: this production’s boots—sans wearer—earned at least two rounds of enthusiastic applause from the opening-night audience. The paintby-numbers plot finally gains traction as Charlie hires Lola to design the extra-large heels he’ll debut at a high-powered Milan fashion show and Lola tries to make space for herself among the small-town, working-class folks at the factory. The performances are solid. J. Harrison Ghee’s Lola is a tower of charisma, in or out of drag, who deploys his booming voice to great effect. Curt Hansen’s Charlie is immensely likable, and his singing is full of emotional depth. Rose Hemingway’s rubbery, self-deprecating gestures and sweet voice make Lauren, a factory worker who unwittingly develops a crush on Charlie, one of the show’s comic highlights. And the visual highlights often come from the Angels, Lola’s backup troupe of acrobatic drag queens. Cyndi Lauper’s songs are more melodic than much of the music on Broadway these days, ranging from gorgeous ballads like “Not My Father’s Son” to the exultant calland-response of “Everybody Say Yeah”, which closes the first act. The message—we’re more alike than we realize—may be as subtle as a pair of scarlet thigh-high stilettos, but it’s still one worth celebrating. Especially now.
> KATHLEEN OLIVER
The Firehall Arts Centre presents a Theatre Passe Muraille production
in collaboration with Journeys Around the Circle
ELLE Adapted by Severn Thompson from the novel by Douglas Glover
“Theatre for Living creates theatre that reaches out and connects… fascinating and profoundly theatrical.” –David C. Jones
Firehall Arts Centre 280 E. Cordova St. Vancouver
March 3 to 11, 2017 | Tue-Sun @ 7:30pm 2 x 1 preview March 2
280 E Cordova St Severn Thompson
Michael Cooper Photography
Paula Kremer, Artistic Director
SAT FEB 25, 2017 AT 7:30 PM
HOLY ROSARY CATHEDRAL
BY MICHEL TREMBLAY
Palestrina to Pizzetti
With the support of
Tickets: vancouvercantatasingers.com 604.730.8856
English surtitles on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
L IMI T E D TICKE T S AT BLE AVAIL A OR! THE DO
“..A VISUAL AND RHYTHMIC FEAST. ” TARA CHEYENNE PERFORMANCE | SILVIA GRIBAUDI
- KATHL EEN OLIVER THE GEORGIA STR AIG , HT
empty.swimming.pool A Canadian-Italian Cultural Collision
Photo: Wendy D Photography
February 16-18, 2017 | 8pm Scotiabank Dance Centre Tickets 604.684.2787 | ticketstonight.ca | thedancecentre.ca
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25
TOP TALENT SHOWCASE EVERY TUES AT 8:00
EVERY WEDS AT 8:00
FEATURED HEADLINERS THURS & FRI AT 8:00 SAT AT 7:00 & 9:30 THIS WEEKEND FEATURING (FEB 16-18)
K. TREVOR WILSON www.yukyuks.com 2837 Cambie (at 12th)
A MONTH OF
TUESDAYS RETURNS TO THE
Queen Elizabeth Theatre balletbc.com | ticketmaster.ca GOLD SEASON SPONSOR
COMMUNITY BALCONY SPONSOR
2321 Main Street, Vancouver
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Raging Against the Machine:
SUPPORT FOR BALLET BC HAS BEEN GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY
DANCER PETER SMIDA. PHOTO MICHAEL SLOBODIAN.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28
Anne La Berge,
THE MUSIC OF BRAHMS WITH BRAMWELL TOVEY
flute & electronics
TUESDAY, MARCH 7
Gabriel Kahane voice & piano
TUESDAY, MARCH 14
TUESDAY, MARCH 21
& GARRICK OHLSSON
Plumes Ensemble deconstructs Grimes’ Vision BAR OPENS AT 7PM MUSIC STARTS AT 8PM | 19+
Tickets just $25 Get yours at musiconmain.ca or call 604.879.9888
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24 & 25
We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia
8PM, CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, UBC Bramwell Tovey conductor
Garrick Ohlsson piano*
BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 4 in F-sharp minor BRAHMS 3LDQR&RQFHUWR1RLQ%ȵDW0DMRU BRAHMS 6\PSKRQ\1RLQ'0DMRU Maestro Bramwell Tovey conducts the music of one of the greatest of composers, Johannes Brahms, both the last great Classicist and a Romantic at heart. You will hear his powerful Second Piano Concerto performed by one of the world’s most commanding pianists, Garrick Ohlsson, a famous Hungarian Dance, and the extraordinary Second Symphony. @VSOrchestra
26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
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Ali Hassan takes the stage with a Jewish comedian at the Chutzpah fest.
Ali Hassan turns culture into comedy > BY GUY M A C PHERSON
he Chutzpah Festival has a long tradition of bringing in top comedy talent. This year is no exception, with Americans Mark Schiff playing the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre on Monday (February 20) and Judy Gold at the York Theatre next Friday (February 24). Add to this Ali Hassan, who joins Gold at the York on a double bill. One of these things is not like the others, you’re thinking. And you’re right. Hassan is Canadian. He’s also of Pakistani descent, and Muslim. “I’ll tell you what chutzpah means,” he says on the phone from his home in Toronto. “It means having a Muslim guy at your Jewish arts-and-culture festival. That’s chutzpah!” Hassan brings an abridged version of his one-man show Muslim Interrupted, which he’s performed all across Canada. The title gives a clue to where he stands with the religion he grew up with. “I’ve had numerous ups and downs and ins and outs with my faith,” he says. “Part of what I talk about is the inspiration from a number of my Jewish friends who are cultural Jews. In hearing that so many times and looking into it, I realized I am a cultural Muslim.” The show isn’t some sort of sermon with Hassan telling us what’s what. He chronicles his life and talks about raising his children as nonpractising Muslims. He’ll talk about the questions his daughters grill him with, like “Are we Muslim? How come we don’t pray? Why is there chorizo in the back of the freezer?” “They go to school with kids who are like, ‘How come you don’t go to the mosque?’ and then they’re like, ‘Uh, we’ll be right back with an answer.’ And then they come to me: ‘How come we don’t go to the mosque?’ ” He stumbles, then says: “ ‘I don’t know what to tell you; I tried to get out of that racket, you know? Papa’s more of a freelance Muslim; he doesn’t really do that kind of stuff.’ ” In a world with Donald Trump, it ain’t easy being Muslim. Not that it ever was. “Muslims are caught between a rock and a hard place because we suffer the racism from the non-Muslims when it comes our way, and then we also suffer equally from the extremism within our religion,” he says. “As I’m sure you’re aware, no terrorist ever said, ‘Well, let’s wait until all the Muslims clear out of the building and then we’ll go in.’ They don’t care. They have this sick, twisted relationship with God where they think they’re doing something that will be of benefit to us, too. So we lose out on both sides.” As host of Laugh Out Loud and Canada Reads on CBC Radio, Hassan can be himself without having to take a sociopolitical stance. But these days, he does what he feels he has to do. “I never wanted to be known as an ethnic comedian or a Muslim comedian or a Pakistani or whatever it was,” he says. “I just wanted to be known as a comedian. I wanted to be a great comedian. That was the goal. Now that things have taken a little bit of a left turn, it’s hard for me not to be known as a Muslim comedian. But I’d rather still be called a comedian.” Ali Hassan and Judy Gold play the York Theatre next Friday (February 24) as part of the Chutzpah Festival.
ar ts/ timeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
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THEATRE 2OPENINGS BITTERGIRL: THE MUSICAL The Arts Club on Tour presents a musical that charts the romantic breakups of three women and the lively antics that ensue. Feb 16-17, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $50/43/15, info kay meekcentre.com/on_stage/2338/. MOONLODGE Urban Ink presents an indigenous Canadian play by Margo Kane, in association with the Arts Club Theatre Company and Talking Stick Festival. Feb 16-25, 8 pm, Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre (162 W. 1st). Tickets from $20, info urbanink.ca/moonlodge/.
2ONGOING THE AUDIENCE The Arts Club Theatre Company presents Peter Morgan's play that explores imaginary glimpses into the audiences between Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her prime ministers. To Feb 26, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/.
straight choices A REAL TRIP We can’t tell you conclusively whether French composer Hector Berlioz really wrote his famous Symphonie Fantastique under the influence of opium— though he did have a penchant for laudanum at the time he created it. However, we can assure you the orchestral work holds a hallucinatory power that’s even more heady when you hear it live. Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra is offering up just such an opportunity in a concert on Sunday (February 19) at the Orpheum, pairing it with a new commission from Vancouver composer Benton Roark. Called A Stitch in Time, it’s said to echo Symphonie’s phantasmagorical feel. 42ND STREET Studio 58 presents the song-and-dance fable of Broadway that features songs like “We’re in the Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway”, "Shuffle Off to Buffalo”, “Dames”, “I Only Have Eyes for You” and, of course, “42nd Street”. To Feb 26, Studio 58 (Langara College, 100 W. 49th). Tix from $10, info www.studio58.ca/. THE LITTLE MERMAID Align Entertainment presents the large-scale musical about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea and risks everything to find love. To Feb 18, Michael J. Fox Theatre (7373 MacPherson Ave., Burnaby). Info www.alignentertainment.ca/.
PITCH PERFECT A new play by local writer Anosh Irani is always cause for excitement, but this one, which channels his well-known love of cricket, looks like it’s going to be a must-see. The Men in White, which premieres at the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage on Wednesday (February 15) and runs until March 11, tells the story of a losing cricket team that decides to recruit the brother of one of its players, flying him in from Mumbai. Along the way, this play, mixing joy and heartbreak, looks at what Hasan will have to leave behind in India, and how much the brothers will have to sacrifice to reunite. The show is brought to life by a crack artistic team, including accomplished director Rachel Ditor and set designer Amir Ofek, who reportedly houses the various locations (from a Mumbai chicken shop to a Vancouver cricket pitch) in a cream-coloured room that reaches out toward the audience. CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER Classic Chic presents a tale of power, destiny, betrayal, and honour that combines Shakespearean drama and Coppola's movie masterpiece. To Feb 25, 8-10 pm, Pacific Theatre (1440 W. 12th). Tix $34.95, info www.pacifictheatre.org/. SPRING AWAKENING The rock-tinged musical tells a story of adolescent sexual awakening among a group of school children living in a socially repressive setting. To Feb 19, PAL Theatre (8th floor, 581 Cardero). Tix $50/25/20, info www.tomo suruplayers.com/spring-awakening/. CRAWLSPACE As part of Boca del Lupo's Micro Performance Series, creator-performer Karen Hines presents a darkly comedic, cautionary tale about the brutal battleground of real estate. To Feb 18, The Fishbowl on Granville Island (100-1398 Cartwright). Tix $40/25, info www.bocadellupo.com/. ELLE Theatre Passe Muraille presents the story of a young French noblewoman who is abandoned on a deserted island off the coast of Newfoundland in 1542. Based on the book by Douglas Glover. To Feb 18, Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova). Tix from $23, info www.firehallartscentre.ca/.
DANCE 2THIS WEEK TELEMETRY Vancouver dance artist Shay Kuebler presents the world premiere of the full-length version of a dance work that portrays the human body as an antenna and satellite for sound, energy, and memory. Part of the Chutzpah Festival. Feb 18-21, Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st). Tix $29.50/25.50/23.50 (plus service charges), info chutzpahfestival.com/performancestickets/dance/shay-kuebler-radicalsystem-art/. THE MARS HOTEL: KWAN YIN Evening of dance and live music that explores motifs of love and compassion. Includes performances by Ziyian Kwan, Noam Gagnon, Handmade Blade, Lihuen Kwan, and Peggy Lee. Feb 22-25, 8 pm, Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova). Tix from $23, info www.firehallartscentre.ca/.
MUSIC 2THIS WEEK BREATH & HAMMER Klezmer musician David Krakauer and pianist Kathleen Tagg reimagine the traditional clarinet and piano recital and integrate folk and improvisation-based music with classical masterworks. Presented by Music in the Morning. Feb 15-17, 10:3011:30 am, Vancouver Academy of Music (1270 Chestnut). Tix $38/35/17, info www.musicinthemorning.org/. CARMEN Burnaby Lyric Opera presents Bizet's classic opera about a fiery Gypsy who seduces a lovesick soldier. Sung in French with English surtitles. Feb 18-25, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (6450 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby). Tix $15-38, info tickets. shadboltcentre.com/. VANCOUVER ACADEMY OF MUSIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The local classical ensemble performs Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, a world premiere by Benton Roark, and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2. Feb 19, 2-4:30 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix $10, info www.vam.ca/.
COMEDY 2ONGOING THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 604-684-5050, 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. Cover $8 Tue, $10 Wed, $15 Thu, $18 Fri, $20 Sat. 2GINA BRILLON Feb 9-11 2BRIAN POSEHN Feb 16-18 2JON DORE Feb 24-25
straight choices FILM AS PERFORMANCE Alex MacKenzie calls it “expanded cinematic performance”; you could also think of it as film in stereo. The veteran Vancouver film artist wields not just dual projectors, but colour gels, masking, lens interference, and physical movement in his new piece, Apparitions. MacKenzie, the brilliant force behind the late, great Blinding Light!! Cinema, works mostly with 16-mm analog film equipment (remember what that is in this digital age?) and hand-processed imagery. Expect a dreamlike montage that will push you to think of film in new ways. The screening takes place at the Western Front on Thursday (February 16) at 7 p.m.
BENJAMIN BEILMAN violin YEKWON SUNWOO piano
Ticke start ats t
in a great program of Schubert. Janáček. Cage and Mozart. “Mr. Beilman’s handsome technique, burnished sound and quiet confidence showed why he has come so far so fast” - New York Times
SUN FEB 26 at 3pm I VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE Visit vanrecital.com or call 604 602 0363
Hear the Best Before the Rest! SEASON SPONSOR:
The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller
Board of Directors of the Vancouver Recital Society
YUK YUK'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. Cover Tue $10, Wed $7, Thu $10, and Fri-Sat $20.
2THIS WEEK JFL NORTHWEST Comedy festival features performances by Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah, Chris D'Elia, Iliza, Tom Segura, Brian Posehn, Jon Dore, Nate Bargatze, Aparna Nancherla, K. Trevor Wilson, Jim Gaffigan, Colin Quinn, Michelle Wolf, Todd Glass, and Barry Crimmins. Other program highlights include SiriusXM's Top Comic Showcase, Comedy Short Shorts, Piff the Magic Dragon, My Favorite Murder, the Just for Laughs Showcase, and the Best of the West Series, which showcases local comic talent. Feb 16-25, various Vancouver venues. Tix at www.jflnorthwest.com/.
see next page
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
Arts time out
from previous page
ET CETERA 2THIS WEEK ODYSSEO Cavalia presents a multimedia performance that uses equestrian arts, stage arts, and high-tech theatrical effects to examine the centuries-old relationship between human and horse. To Mar 5, Under the white big top at Olympic Village. Tix $29.50-204.50 (plus service charges and fees), info www.cavalia.net/. TALKING STICK FESTIVAL Indigenous performing-arts festival features 11 days of film, theatre, dance, talking circles, workshops. Feb 16-26, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). Tix $10-100, info www.talkingstickfest.ca/.
CHUTZPAH FESTIVAL Celebration of Jewish performing arts features dance, theatre, comedy, and music by local, Canadian, and international artists. Feb 16–Mar 13, various Vancouver venues. Tix $23-50 (plus service charges and fees), info www.chutzpahfestival.com/.
GALLERIES VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2VANCOUVER SPECIAL: (explorations of surrealism, abstraction, atemporality, and conceptual practices) to Apr 17
For up-to-the-minute, searchable Arts listings on your phone, visit
WINTERRUPTION Mid-winter celebration of Vancouver culture and arts features live music, theatre, dance, street performance, art, film, crafts, family activities, and food. Feb 17-19, Granville Island. Tix free to $25, info www.granvilleisland.com/ winterruption/.
THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, www.moa. ubc.ca/. 2LAYERS OF INFLUENCE (exhibition features more than 130 diverse cultural garments, from Japanese kimonos, to colourful Indian saris) to Apr 9
TIME OUT ARTS 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 will appear on the website.
March 8 – 12, 2017 at the VIFF Vancity Theatre
BREATH (Iran) A young girl negotiates childhood and issues beyond her years amidst the tumult of the Iranian Revolution. Wednesday, March 8, 7:30pm International Women’s Day
ON THE FARM (Canada) In Vancouver, when the criminal justice system fails them, a woman and her community fight to bring a serial killer to justice. Thursday, March 9, 6:00pm
LUTINE (France) A documentarian’s exploration of polyamory disrupts the norms of relationships… and filmmaking. Friday, March 10, 9:00pm
Visit: womeninfilm.ca #viwiff Over 30 other films + panels, parties, and more. 28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
MOVIES REVIEWS DANCER A documentary by Steven Cantor. Rated PG
Right from a maniacal opening montage set
2 to the dirge-doom guitars of Black Sabbath,
you know you’re about to watch a different kind of ballet movie with Dancer. That’s because Sergei Polunin, dubbed the “bad boy of ballet”, is a different kind of dance star. The youngest artist ever crowned principal dancer at London’s Royal Ballet, he’s as well known for the tattoos that emblazon his hands, shoulders, and torso as he is for tweeting about drugs and parties. On-stage, he has a dark, dramatic flair many have compared to Rudolf Nureyev’s. How magnetic is he? One headline in this riveting new biopic reads “Giselle who?” Where most dance films briskly map out the meteoric rise of their subjects (think last year’s A Ballerina’s Tale), this one tracks the fall. The opening sequence, with its brash pastiche of newspaper headlines, autograph signings, and mind-blowing on-stage jetés, leads you to believe the film will take the bent of a flashy U.K. TV doc. That’s followed by a clip of the unthinkable: Polunin getting high before a performance. Thankfully, director Steven Cantor goes on to dig far deeper than the sensationalistic, finding a wealth of archival footage and insights from friends, family, and Polunin himself. All this helps build a portrait of a boy whose angular cheekbones, liquid limbs, and seeming ability to fly led those around him to push him too hard, too young. It’s rare that a ballet doc appeals to those who wouldn’t know a pirouette from a plié. The brilliance of Dancer is that its story speaks not only
The burden of genius
Sergei Polunin achieved international recognition for his performance in Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” video, but his troubled legend was already sealed in the world of ballet.
tacky Russian TV shows to Siberian opera houses to rolling around in the snow naked to going viral on YouTube. It’s an amazing story Ballet superstar Sergei Polunin is the beautiful, if complex, about a tortured soul who has developed a bitter lovesubject of filmmaker Steve Cantor’s fine profile, Dancer hate relationship with his art to the lengths parents will go to better their chil- form—and the people who sacrificed so much for dren’s lives but the damage that demanding noth- his success.“I never chose ballet; it was my mom’s choice,” he says petulantly at one point. “I always ing less than perfection can ultimately inflict. Polunin and his family constantly toted a hoped that I would get injured.” Amid all this we witness some breathtaking, handheld camera around their poor hometown of Kherson, Ukraine. Through this footage, we get weightless dance, but not too much. Cantor is to know an exuberant boy of already amazing tal- much more interested in why Polunin dances. ent, pushed obsessively by his mother. He smiles And for Polunin, the answer, ultimately, lies in who he’s dancing for. widely in every clip. > JANET SMITH Things start to change when she moves to Kiev with him to further his ballet studies, his father taking a job in Portugal and his grandmother re- JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 locating to Greece to earn money to pay the tuition. Starring Keanu Reeves. Rated 14A The family starts to fracture, and things only get In a clear nod to its instant-cult-classic first worse when Polunin is accepted at London’s Royal installment, John Wick: Chapter 2 opens Ballet School, landing him in a country where he can’t speak the language and his parents can’t get with a genuinely scary, finger-tattooed Rusvisas to visit. For the next six years he suffers the sian gang boss quaking in his boots because his pains of adolescence without them, and it clearly underling has stolen a certain someone’s beloved leaves some scars. It also leaves him, on many oc- ’69 Mustang. “It is not just a car! It is John Wick’s casions, passed out drunk, with marker all over his car!” he scolds. “He once killed three men in a face. (Yes, he is still carrying his handheld camera bar with a fuckin’ pencil!” We are now in the realm of self-parody and around with him and his newfound classmates deadpan comedy. We feel in-the-know: we’ve aren’t afraid to use it.) Chances are, you don’t know where things go seen what Wick can do, and we witnessed what from here, and you won’t be able to predict them. the loss of that car—and a puppy—made him do The journey takes the headstrong dancer from in the last movie.
WEEK IN WIDESCREEN
CINEMA KABUKI Courtesy of the Japan Foundation in asso-
ciation with the Consulate General of Japan, here’s your chance to see two historic works of kabuki theatre, shot in high definition for the big screen and coming to the Cineplex Odeon International Village on Sunday (February 19). Dating from 1751, Kumagai’s Camp is billed as “a samurai tragedy”, and was recorded at the Kabuki-za Theatre in Tokyo in 2010. It’s followed by 1860’s Three Thieves Named Kichisa, captured at Tokyo’s Theatre Cocoon in 2014.
What to see and where to see it
GEORGE WASHINGTON Before
Pineapple Express and Our Brand Is Crisis, filmmaker David Gordon Green became an instant hero with this alluringly strange and poignant debut from 2000, screening at the Cinematheque on Saturday (February 18).
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA The Rio
EMERGENCY ROOM: LIFE + DEATH AT VGH The award-winning Knowledge
see next page
So, tonally, stuntman turned director Chad Stahelski is on the right track here. He knows he has to accept the outrageousness of the first film, just like he has to up the stylized violence in this much-anticipated follow-up. And for the most part, the bullet-riddled formula works again. The setup is that Keanu Reeves’s former assassin is forced out of retirement a second time. He still owes a debt to the villainous Santino D’Antonio (the sinister Riccardo Scamarcio), who sends him to Rome to kill his sister so he can take over an international crime syndicate. As in John Wick, the wooden Reeves is given a merciful minimum of dialogue when he isn’t kung-fu fighting, slice-and-dicing, or closerange shooting his way through crowds of bad guys. (“Never one to waste words,” quips D’Antonio.) The magical golden coins and secret mob hotels are back too. But the sequel has gone wildly over the top with its own mythology. The story wanders into elaborate underground panhandler kingdoms, huge hall-of-mirrors museum installations, and luxurious mobster dens set in Roman catacombs. Chapter 2 lacks the clean cause-and-effect tension of the first. It’s gone grandiose and baroque in the style department, and lost some of the taut, film-noir edge as a result. Some of the details are absurdly amusing. Check out the hotel sommelier who’s hawking guns instead of Gewürztraminer, or the kick-ass female assassin who speaks in sign language. And what if all those homeless people in New York City were actually an intricate network of operatives?
offers some major hipster cred with a sneak peek on Tuesday (February 21) at comic artist Dash Shaw’s animated feature, starring Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, and Reggie Watts.
Network series comes to an end after two seasons with a twofer shot during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, 2015. Airing Tuesday (February 21) and again on February 28.
APPARITIONS One of Vancouver’s most prominent experi-
mental filmmakers, Alex MacKenzie, brings some recent work to the Western Front on Thursday (February 16). Using colour gels and other forms of lens interference, along with the physical manipulation of two 16mm projectors, “Apparitions” amounts to a 55-minute act of live cinema, which MacKenzie will take on tour across the States and Canada in March and April. FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29
1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR
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Keanu Reeves glowers again in the overamped John Wick: Chapter 2.
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Stupidly enjoyable as all this is, by the time this Wick burns out, you might actually be wondering if there is such a thing as too muchâ€” too many bullets, too many chases, and, especially, too many times a dude can be run over and stand up again. In the first film, the â€œgunfuâ€? was rooted in a guy acting out his grief for his wife and his mutt. Here, all the bombast might leave you feeling coldâ€”and only partly because all John Wick seems to care about is that â€™69 Mustang.
Check theatre directories for showtimes
A MAN CALLED OVE Starring Rolf LassgĂĽrd. In Swedish, with English subtitles. Rated PG
7 s1 lm
6 BRAND NEW SHORT FILMS MADE IN JUST 8 DAYS BY VANCOUVERâ€™S HOTTEST NEW FILMMAKERS!
JFL Comedy Presents THE CRITICAL HIT SHOW:A LIVE IMPROVISED EPIC FANTASY SP-RLQ VRPHRI9DQFRXYHUÂśVEHVWFRPHGLFSHUIRUPHUVDVWKH\TXHVWIRUJORU\DQGVQDFNV LQDVSHFLDOFifth Anniversary SHUIRUPDQFHRIWKHLUVPDVKKLWHSLFFRPHG\ #DNDLive
The Gentlemen Hecklers & JFL Comedy Present THE PLANET OF THE APESSP7DNH\RXU VWLQNLQJSDZVRIIPH\RXGDPQHGGLUW\DSH The Gentlemen Hecklers DUHWDNLQJRQCharlton Heston, Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter,DQGDSODQHWIXOORIVLPLDQVLQWKLVVFLILFODVVLF
MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEASPThe Rio TheatreDQGJFL Northwest DUHSOHDVHGWRSUHVHQWDRQHQLJKWRQO\VQHDNSHHNRIJUDSKLFQRYHOLVWDash Shaw's (New School) DXGDFLRXV GHEXWWKDWLVHTXDOSDUWVGLVDVWHUFLQHPDKLJKVFKRROFRPHG\DQGEORFNEXVWHUVDWLUHWROGWKURXJKDGUHDPOLNH PL[HGPHGLDDQLPDWLRQVW\OHWKDWLQFRUSRUDWHVGUDZLQJVSDLQWLQJVDQGFROODJH6WDUULQJWKHYRLFHVRIJason Schwartzman, Reggie Watts, Lena Dunham, Maya Rudolph DQG Susan Sarandon.
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30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017
From Sweden, with grouchicomes a culture-clash comedy that tries a little too hard to please the back rows. This overstuffed adaptation of a popular Swedish novel boasts a memorable lead job from Rolf LassgĂĽrd, whom arthousegoers will recognize from After the Wedding and other Swedish and Danish outings. Underneath the aging makeup, he plays grumpy old Ove, who looks back on his better years with the help of colourful, time-jumping f lashbacks. The dude fills his days enforcing the fine-print rules of his suburban housing co-op, when not exploring different ways to kill himself, and failing. For one thing, the rowdy, mixed-ethnicity family who just moved in next door keep interrupting him. And then there are all those memories to remind him of how good he used to have itâ€”that is, until something just awful would happen. Does thinking about lost love keep him alive or make it easier to go? Compared with some of the other Scando comedies that have come our way recently, Ove hits one darkly farcical note too insistentlyâ€”think Latin American magic realism, but with snow and meatballs. And the parade of disasters is more predictable than funny or heartwarming. For one thing, pitting him against â€œwhite shirtsâ€?, as our antihero calls faceless bureaucratic villains, is pretty obvious stuff from veteran director Hannes Holm, scripting from Fredrik Backmanâ€™s whimsical book. On the other hand, the movie entertains well enough when sticking to character shtick and neighbourhood atmosphere, both repped by the running rivalry between Ove and his lifelong neighbour (BĂśrje Lundberg) and their respective automotive loyalties to Saab and Volvoâ€”tested, like everything else, by the ups and downs of unavoidable globalization.
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> JANET SMITH
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from previous page
> KEN EISNER
BY KATE WI LSON
and male-pattern baldness, aptitude for music, apparently, is a genetic predisposition. Virtuoso bass player Thundercat—or Stephen Bruner, to his family—comes from excellent stock. His mother a flutist and father a drummer with artists such as the Temptations, Gladys Knight, and the Supremes, Bruner had two impressive role models. In fact, those looking for a place to nurture their children’s musical talents could do a lot worse than Bruner’s parents’ front room. Not just laying the foundation for Stephen’s talent, Ronald Sr. and Pam Bruner raised Grammy Award–winning jazz drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., performer in the Stanley Clarke Band, and Grammy-nominated keyboardist Jameel “Kintaro” Bruner, former member of R&B group the Internet. The bassist’s brothers helped catapult Stephen into the spotlight. At 15, Bruner had a minor hit in Germany as a member of the boy band No Curfew. A year later, the musician joined seminal crossoverthrash group Suicidal Tendencies with Ronald Jr., playing with them for nearly a decade. Now in heavy demand for session work, Bruner credits his focus on the bass guitar to his family environment. “It just kind of came natural in the house I grew up in,” he tells the Straight on the line from Los Angeles. “Because everyone around me was a musician, everybody was very creative and open to artistic stuff. So we would always be listening to different music. Ultimately, because my dad and
The power of great genes
Thundercat at the moment he came to the horrified realization that the last thing that will make America great again is yet another guy in a red hat.
Bruner’s fourth individual offering, is even more unconventional. A shining example of a record that is both experiLong before he was convinced to pick up a mike, mental and highly listenThundercat was already a Grammy-nominated star able, Drunk was inspired, older brother played drums, I feel like it just came the artist mischievously quips, by drinking. “Alcohol is an undercurrent of what exists in natural to pick the bass. It wasn’t a super conscious decision. Every time I look at old pictures, I see music, or the entertainment industry,” said Brunimages of me holding a guitar of some sort, or a er of the record’s moniker. “It’s something that stringed instrument, you know? It’s really weird.” everyone experiences and it touches you in difCutting his teeth by playing on records for ferent ways. This record is just me observing and stars like Erykah Badu and Bilal, Bruner soon reporting, so to speak.” Showcasing Bruner’s tendency to intersperse gravitated towards production, earning credits on Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, Ty short pieces with fuller songs, Drunk is a meandDolla Sign’s debut offering, Free TC, and Mac ering journey through a huge range of genres, Miller’s GO:OD AM. In 2016, Bruner became the emotions, and thoughts. Featuring 23 tracks— third member of his family to be nominated for each of which runs for an average time of just over a Grammy, for working with Kendrick Lamar on two minutes—the record represents the musician’s aim to create an honest representation of the interhis award-winning To Pimp a Butterfly. Despite having a wealth of talent in the studio section between his mind and recording process. “The whole idea behind the album is to create a and behind the sound desk, however, it wasn’t until Bruner met Flying Lotus that he even enter- train of thought,” Bruner says. “I was trying hard to create a stream of consciousness. I would dance tained the idea of making his own records. “It was Lotus’s suggestion that I sing,” the back and forth about what kind of album to make, bassist recalls. “It was him being like, ‘You have because it easily could have gone so many other to sing in front of people, man. You can do it.’ ways. Every sound is so different from song to And he introduced me to the idea of me being song, and it’s consistently changing in very weird an artist like that. I took it very serious. It wasn’t manners. I wanted people to see how this stuff my goal before to sing in front of people—it’s not comes out of my brain, rather than trying to make something I set out to do. But it just became part the perfect album where it’s all hit records. “I always say this quote that Flying Lotus told me,” of the package of me.” Bruner’s solo records are nothing if not eccentric. he continues. “ ‘You have to be honest in your music, Building on his densely layered debut, The Golden and that’s your job as a person who creates this stuff.’ Age of Apocalypse—an album that weaves an eclectic That’s what I’ve used as a pillar for how I write. I don’t collection of electronic, pop, and jazz tropes, pro- try to play off of certain people’s emotions. Someduced by Flying Lotus—Bruner next created 2013’s times you can feel that when someone makes pop jazz- and R&B–infused Apocalypse, and 2015’s un- music, they’re just manufacturing a feeling—and usual The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam. Drunk, that’s part of the business. So I’ve tried to step outside
that and look at how I’m influenced by the world. That’s the true beauty about writing music.” Th u n d e rc a t p l a y s t h e R i c k s h a w o n Fr i d a y (February 17).
in + out
On the trouble with Macs: “The one thing I really hate is when it updates, it just screws your iTunes library over really, really hard. A lot of the time, with my playlists, I would record something and put it in an order—and Mac just completely shot that idea to hell. You would have thought that Apple would try to enhance creativity, but somehow it’s doing the opposite. I’m gonna blame it on Trump.” On his strangest collaboration offer: “I don’t think any style of music is weird. It’s all good. I mean, if someone called me to try and do polka music—if they were a rising polka star—I would be apt to listen.” On the artists featured on Drunk: “They’re all very natural. It’s all people that I’ve spent time with outside of the studio. Like Wiz Khalifa. I remember one time Wiz gave me a Qur’an and sat me down and said, ‘Yo man, read some of this.’ It’s hard to find a guy you can drink with and talk to about God, and at the same time share so much of life. You think that because these people are public figures, you’ve seen everything. But there’s still the inner workings of what makes a dude tick, and I feel like the features are people that I’ve spent time ticking with in real life.”
ONLY A VISITOR INVITES HIP S TE RS TO THE NE W MU S IC PART Y Most of the time, Only a Vis-
2 itor’s songs take listeners to a
deeply mysterious place. Yet what goes on in Robyn Jacob’s mind is rarely, if ever, fully explained, her enigmatic lyrics made even more puzzling by deliberate obfuscation. “They’re, like, encrypted,” the singer and keyboardist says, reached at her East Van home shortly before heading into the recording studio to work on Lines, her band’s sophomore release. “I have struggled most with lyrics, to be honest. I read a lot of poetry, and I have a lot of friends who are poets, and I go to their readings and I’m like, ‘I could never write anything.’ That’s sort of the monologue, internally: ‘Oh, I wish…’ Whereas I can sit down at the piano and create a riff that I’m super happy with easily. Music is so intuitive, compared to writing lyrics.” “Bird Sanctuary”, one of the new tracks audible in demo form on Only a Visitor’s Bandcamp page, does suggest, however, that Jacob is beginning to lift the veil on what her songs really mean. Instead of
gazing at her inner life, it takes us into the glorious outdoors—more specifically, Delta’s scenic George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, with its shorebirds, sandhill cranes, and duck-strewn lagoons. “One of my oldest friends took my partner and I there,” she explains, “and I just had so much fun! It came at a time when I was getting pretty bogged down by everything around me—people moving away, people struggling to make a living—and it was like, ‘Oh, yeah!’ I just needed to get out and enjoy some beings that were having a good time being beautiful in the marsh. It was wonderful.” Jacob plans to get even more specific on the third Only a Visitor release, which she’s already writing. The theme, she says, is as much historical as it is personal, and it should have particular resonance in this city of immigrants. “My mom, her family is from Canton [Guangzhou], and her grandfather came here in 1912, I think,” she explains. “But the
whole family wasn’t able to live together in Canada until 1968, so that was, like, 50 years of separation that spanned generations. “That’s the legacy of our very racist history—the [Chinese] Exclusion Act, and all that—and people have no idea that it even happened. So I feel like there’s a responsibility, for me, to talk about that with this new material.” Jacob’s biracial identity—her father is a “Germanic, white Canadian”—is the underlying reality behind Only a Visitor’s music. “I never felt like I fit in anywhere,” she says of her childhood, and she’s now determined to use that to her advantage, given that we live in a time when music is increasingly hard to define. “People are trying to write what they want to write, irrespective of where they fit in a specific genre,” she notes. “We’re seeing a lot of genre-hopping, or people who sort of stand beyond the genres. I really like artists who can bring a new-music audience out, but can also bring the hipster audience
Thundercat sounds off on the things that enquiring minds want to know.
out. I feel like that’s very much a current phenomenon.” How that plays out in her band is that bassist Jeff Gammon and drummer Kevin Romain provide an elastic, jazz-inflected pulse, over which Jacob laces intricate piano lines that reveal her classical training. (She was well on her way to a career as an interpreter of new music, until a repetitive-strain injury threw her off the virtuoso’s path.) The most intriguing thing about Only a Visitor, though, is that it boasts three singers: Jacob, Emma Postl, and Celina Kurz. Sometimes the pianist takes the lead and the other two provide spinetingling harmonies; elsewhere, Jacob will assign a different character or viewpoint to each individual voice. Unique is a word that’s all too easily thrown about, but this city has never heard anything quite like it. > ALEXANDER VARTY
Only a Visitor plays a free afternoon concert at Performance Works on Sunday (February 19), as part of the Winterruption festival.
☞ Tennyson soundtracks movies for your mind
As escape strategies go, few
2 would have picked Tennyson
as a vehicle to take siblings Luke and Tess Pretty out of Edmonton and around the world. The duo’s most recent six-track outing, Like What, is the kind of record best filed under “screamingly unique”. Consider “7:00 AM”, which starts with the sound of an alarm going off and then mixes easy-jazz synths and drunk-trumpet horns with what may or may not be toast being crunched, coffee running through a percolator, and orange juice being slurped. (If such a reading is entirely off base, don’t blame Tennyson for the movies they get you creating in your mind.) Elsewhere, “Like What?” starts with waves lapping a shoreline and postclassical string swells, and then veers off into electro-glitch territory, marked by screeching monkeys and panicattack breathing. see page 33
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31
JACKN IFE SOUN D PRESE NTS
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Remembering Rob Stewart > B Y C R A IG TA K EU C HI
cean conservation was dealt a major blow when the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart near the Florida Keys. The 37-year-old Stewart had gone missing while on his third dive of the day near the Alligator Reef in the Upper Florida Keys on January 31. Tragically, his body was located on February 3 at a depth of 220 feet. Stewart was lauded internationally for his 2006 documentary Sharkwater, which sounded the alarm on how sharks were being hunted to extinction, fuelled by everything from shark-fin soup demand in Asia to poaching in Guatemala and Costa Rica. He also illustrated that because sharks have been demonized by fearfuelled depictions, their decimation has been overlooked. “An elephant falls for ivory in Africa and the whole world goes crazy,” Stewart told the Georgia Straight in a 2007 interview. “Elephants kill 200 people a year. We kill 100 million sharks a year and nobody notices or cares. Nobody wants to fight for the protection of sharks because people view them as dangerous predators of people. Yet sharks kill five people a year, on average.” In Sharkwater, Stewart pointed out that as apex predators, sharks help to manage sea-life populations. Consequently, the demise of sharks is contributing to an imbalance in ocean ecosystems that will
Free screenings of the documentary Sharkwater will honour the legacy of conservationist Rob Stewart, who died while filming in the Florida Keys.
eventually prove catastrophic. After the release of his film, the shark-conservation movement gained momentum around the world. In Vancouver in 2009, Stewart helped to set up Shark Truth, a local organization that has been raising awareness in Chinese communities of the negative impact of shark-fin soup and encouraging “fin-free” alternatives for celebrations. In fact, Stewart was on a dive to shoot footage for Sharkwater: Extinction when he went missing. In the film, Stewart planned on following the trail of money involved in shark slaughters all the way to the pirate fishing industry.
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Stewart also made the 2012 documentary Revolution, which addressed environmental crises around the world—including Alberta’s tar sands, climate change, species extinction, and ocean acidification—and what people could do about them. For those who want to learn more about Stewart’s ever-relevant work, Entertainment One and the Stewart family are hosting screenings of Sharkwater across Canada on February 25, including at the Park Theatre in Vancouver. Admission is by donation to WFF-Canada, with all funds going toward supporting Stewart’s conservation work. -
17 THUNDERCAT SOLD OUT 18 JUST CAUSE WITH DEAD ASYLUM, AGGRESSION & OBSIDIAN 19 Q DOT, SQUARE BIZZ, TRE NYCE, UNIVERSOUL 26 DESERT DAZE TOUR: TEMPLES, NIGHT BEATS, DEAP VALLY, FROTH, JJUUJJUU 28 ANDY BLACK WITH WILLIAM CONTROL, PALAYE ROYALE
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DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL February 16-19, 2017 Vancouver International Film Centre 1181 Seymour Street Open to all! Opening night and closing night receptions, speakers, panels, Q&As, and more! For more information and to purchase tickets visit KDocsFF.com facebook.com/KDocsFF @KDocsFF | #KDocs FESTIVAL PARTNER:
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32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
Some have written Tennyson off as a too-clever-by-half gimmick, the Guardian noting “You’ll either find it infuriating or intoxicating.” Others have deservedly praised Like What for stitching all manner of found sound into something that’s as mesmerizing as it is out-there. What everyone can agree on is that the Pretty siblings have become a thing. When the Georgia Straight reaches them via conference call, they’re hunkered down in a Los Angeles B&B, getting set for a swing up the West Coast. Last fall found them crisscrossing North America as the opening act for French electro-gaze giants M83. And in a couple of weeks Tennyson will head overseas to Asia for the first time, to tour the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia. Right at the top of the list of people who’ve been surprised by all this are the Prettys themselves. “I was uploading music online for nobody pretty much for three years,” Luke says. “It took a long time to realize that I could make music with the goal of getting people’s attention. And after people started paying attention, I realized that I could kind of do my own thing. But even today, all this has been strange—it’s hard to look at our music from the outside.” Tennyson began as a bedroom project, with Luke meticulously cutting and pasting everything from car alarms to video-game beeps and boops and then weaving in jazz-king percussion and swooping synths. That he ended up reshaping the songs with Tess for live performances was perhaps inevitable, seeing as how the two were playing around Edmonton as a two-piece jazz unit back when most kids their age were glued to the Cartoon Network. Still, when Tennyson began to take off, it took the siblings a while to realize that people were taking notice. “It was weird, because growing up I always expected that I would go to college,” says Tess. “It was only in my last two years of high school that I realized, ‘Oh, that probably isn’t going to happen.’ It was all really strange. I know a lot of kids in my school listened to Tennyson. We went to art school, so there were people in the dance program choreographing stuff to our songs. But it wasn’t like I got a lot of attention—it was more that people stopped knowing who I was, because eventually I wasn’t going to school anymore.” These days, Tennyson finds itself championed by the likes of Ryan Hemsworth and collaborating with Skrillex and White Sea. Edmonton may still be home, but the duo clearly has its sights set high even after escaping. “I’m working on six songs for release really soon,” Luke offers. “And I’m pretty stoked on them.” > MIKE USINGER
Tennyson plays Fortune Sound Club on Saturday (February 18).
More than ever, Klezmatics find that they are relevant There’s a clue to the Klezmatics’ longevity hiding in plain sight on the New York City band’s website. Next to capsule biographies of its six members are their respective autographs, all of which incorporate a caricature of the player and their instrument. It’s a hint, perhaps, that while the klezmer virtuosos have strong personal identities, they share a common sense of humour and strength of purpose. It’s an idea that certainly amuses singer and accordionist Lorin Sklamberg, a 30-year veteran and founding member of the group. “No one’s ever mentioned that before, so thanks for noticing,” he says, interviewed on the phone from his home in Brooklyn. “Those just kind of developed over time…but it’s not like we consciously sat down and said, ‘Okay, you have to do something that has your signature and your favourite instrument.’ Everyone just saw what everyone else was doing, and it just morphed into that.”
Perfection about the only option for optimistic Roy
from page 31
There’s aiming high, and then
2 there’s shooting for standards
Tennyson refused to see a back doctor until it was entirely too late.
And there’s another clue to this band’s staying power: its willingness to evolve. Today, the Klezmatics are seen as one of the most significant contributors to the worldwide klezmer revival and as a band that’s able to merge historical music with progressive politics. When the group formed, however, its mandate was simple: having fun. “It was pretty much just people wanting to play tunes, and then wanting to make some extra money by playing parties and such,” Sklamberg recalls. “The idea of making it something more, and it becoming much more personal, was something that came a little bit later.” Just as the sextet’s sound has diversified, so has its constituency. The Klezmatics still focus on the music of Eastern Europe’s Jewish communities, but two of the group’s main composers, trumpeter Frank London and multireed player Matt Darriau, bring avantjazz fire to the mix, while relatively new addition Lisa Gutkin specialized in Celtic fiddle music before deciding to explore her roots. Collaborations with poet Allen Ginsberg, the Woody Guthrie estate, the Pilobolus Dance Theater, classical violinist Itzhak Perlman, and Moroccan trance specialists the Master Musicians of Joujouka illustrate the Klezmatics’ adaptability, which is further strengthened by a strongly progressive political bent. All those elements—a willingness to explore, an openness to collaboration, a strong sense of history, and a passion for social justice—come together on the group’s latest release, Apikorsim. As Sklamberg points out, it’s especially notable for reviving Catalan songwriter Lluís Llach’s antifascist anthem, “L’Estaca”, in translated and retitled form. “It’s about fighting for your right to exist as a people, as the transmitters of culture through your songs and your language,” he says of the tune the Klezmatics now call “Der Yokh”. “I thought it would make a really great Yiddish song, so we had a friend of ours who’s a Yiddish scholar adapt it for us.…Just last week we performed the song in Spain for the first time, right in the middle of Catalonia, and the audience just went berserk. It was just such a fantastic thing to bring ‘L’Estaca’ back to the place where it was created, and basically say ‘Thank you for giving us the gift of this song.’ ” The timeliness of the gesture is not lost on the members of the Klezmatics, even though Apikorsim—which takes its title from the Yiddish word for “heretic”—was recorded two years before fascists seized control of their own country’s government. “We didn’t plan this,” Sklamberg says. “But it turns out that these songs, which are sort of on the continuum of what we’ve been doing for 30 years, have a slightly bigger resonance now then they did when we came up with the repertoire and recorded the CD. So that’s very exciting, too.” > ALEXANDER VARTY
The Klezmatics play the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre next Thursday (February 23), as part of the Chutzpah Festival.
that separate the world’s elites from the also-rans. Thanks to his lineage, Jonathan Roy went into his career as a singersongwriter determined to challenge himself. And he’s unafraid to admit that, at first, it was hard meeting his own expectations. “I’ll always remember the first time that I got up on-stage,” Roy says, on the line from his adopted home of Toronto. “I was in Quebec City at a place called Le Casbah. It was pretty much karaoke—I was singing my original songs to a soundtrack, and there was maybe 250 people there. I didn’t know if I could do it. I was in this little hallway and completely freaked out. It wasn’t that there was 250 people there. It was more ‘What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t pull this off?’ That was the stress—it wasn’t being in front of people. It was more the wanting to perform at a high level.” Roy has done that—shot for perfection in front of an audience— pretty much his entire life. “When I was a kid I used to do shows in front of my parents and family at Christmas with my little brother and sister on my right and left,” he says. “So I was always very comfortable performing for people from when I was young. I was also really comfortable when I was playing junior hockey in Quebec City in front of 15,000 people every night. I just loved being on a stage. So to be there singing and talking to people was a really natural thing for me.” The singer indeed comes across as a natural on his new album, Mr. Optimist Blues, the songs on which would fit right in on a mix tape salted with the best of Sam Roberts, Paolo Nutini, and John Mayer. Working with Canadian pop legend Corey Hart—who was filling hockey rinks in the Great White North in the ’80s—Roy has crafted a record that smartly nods to blue-eyed soul (“New Shoes”), sunsplashed pop (“Daniella Denmark”), and even ganja-bonged Studio One reggae (“Beautiful Day”). Interestingly, Roy calls Mr. Optimist Blues his official debut, despite the fact that with a little bit of digging you can unearth three previous releases, including the smoky-andstripped-down 2009 effort What I’ve Become, and a French-language follow-up, La Route. Chalk that up to Mr. Optimist Blues showcasing him as the singersongwriter that he’s always wanted to be. In the past, the 27-year-old found himself straddling two worlds. Hockey fans might know him better as the son of Patrick Roy, and a former goalie for the Quebec Remparts. Jonathan Roy was good between the pipes, but not world-beating great like his Hall of Fame father. That led Roy Sr. to sit him down in his 20s and suggest that maybe something other than hockey would be worth pursuing. Rather than feel like he’d somehow failed, Jonathan Roy redirected his energies, showing a mindset that sheds some valuable light on the album title Mr. Optimist Blues. When you’re determined to do something no less than gold-standard in your life, dwelling on the past isn’t an option. “Look, we all have ups and downs in our lives, but I’ve always been an optimist,” Roy says. “I’ve always looked at a glass that some people would say is half empty and seen something half full. I really see the positive in everything. I grab the positive out of everything that happens to me in life and then I move on, determined to better myself. That’s what you have to do. If we focus on the negative stuff in this world, we’ll never get anywhere. Maybe we’re all made so that the negative stuff hits us harder. But for me, it’s more of a case of ‘Okay, that was bad, I lived it—now what did I learn?’ ” > MIKE USINGER
Advance Tickets $20 from www.brownpapertickets.com or from The Wise Lounge ($25 at the door) 19+ event (sorry no minors)
C e l e b r at i n g
ic Festival presents The Va ncouver Folk Mus
with Special Guest Luke Wallace
Thursday, February 23 8pm Doors 7:00pm Fox Cabaret Alt/folk with rowdy rock ‘n’ roll spirit
with Special Guests Port Cities
sunday, march 19 8pm Doors 7:00pm The WISE HAll Stark, impeccably written songs
with Special Guest Rachel Sermanni
Saturday, April 8 Biltmore Cabaret
Touring her new album “Paradise”
Info and tickets : thefestival.bc.ca
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Jonathan Roy plays the Fox Cabaret on Monday (February 20).
FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33
MUSIC STEPHEN LYNCH American comedian, musician, and actor performs on his My Old Heart Tour. May 17, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $30 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
When spillage doesn’t matter
o you thought electronic music was all about brobangers and bass drops? Wrong. House and techno DJ Joel Armstrong has made it his mission to celebrate patience—and if that means looping the same minimal beat for eight minutes until the tension is just right, Armstrong has the discipline to do it. Or he’s just gone to the washroom to take a leak. Currently holding a residency at the city’s best underground-but-not-quite Gastown venue, MIA, the DJ often DJ Joel Armstrong is just a cloak spins music from local artists alongaway from a perfect Obi-Wan. side tracks rarely found in typical set lists. He’s famed for playing songs that a bit like Car Free Day on Commercial baffle Shazam—and now the truth is Drive in Vancouver, but all along the out. Officially revealing to the Straight banks of the River Main in Frankthat he is one half of Moosefly—one furt. It was three days, three million of electronic music’s most innovative people, and an absolutely wild party. duos, whose tracks have been issued And then my most recent favourite by labels in the U.K., Germany, and was when I opened for andhim at MIA. They were New York—Armsuch rad dudes, strong says he So Many DJs and somehow we once played an managed to perentire set of his Kate Wilson suade them to come own music, and got zero complaints. That’s a first-class with us to [afterhours club] Gorg-OMish. My really good friend Jared producer. That Armstrong has earned such a Love and I were playing back to back, stellar reputation in electronic music and they just decided to tag in and is surprising, given that he literally play their tracks too. Together we all grew up in the Indonesian jungle. closed out the night. I was glowing for And despite being struck by light- a whole week. ning in a tropical thunderstorm as a child (true story), Armstrong has no A SONG THAT CLEARED THE qualms about mixing alcohol and DANCE FLOOR electrical equipment. Now with zero I don’t remember the song but I refear of electrocution, Armstrong is member the situation. There was an the only DJ in Vancouver who won’t artist who was playing right before let a little beer spillage on the decks me, and he had a lot of friends on the dance floor. He was playing really ruin a dazzling performance. epic music—all this big-room EDM. BEST GIG EVER He amped up the crowd so much, I have two that are hard to choose be- and I just didn’t have anything to tween. One of them was this show in follow. I had to reset the dance floor, Frankfurt called Museumsuferfest, and my first track literally cleared with my Moosefly production part- everyone out. Don’t worry, though— ner, DJ Skai. It was an outdoors thing, I got them all back.
FAVOURITE VANCOUVER PRODUCER
Easy. It’s Iain Howie—he’s just amazing. And a close second is Jared Love. I’m so excited to support them because they’re talented, and they understand that the scene is bigger than themselves. They both represent the kind of thing I want to see happen in Vancouver more often: people with little ego but huge artistic talent, and the drive and the patience to work through the mire of production. WHAT’S UP WITH DJING AS OBIWAN KENOBI?
music/ timeout CONCERTS < CLUBS & VENUES < OUT OF TOWN <
FUTURE Multiplatinum hip-hop artist from Atlanta performs on his Nobody Safe Tour, with guests Migos, Tory Lanez, and A$AP Ferg. Jun 9, 7 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix on sale Feb 17, noon, at www.livenation.com/. PERFUME GENIUS Seattle indie-pop artist Mike Hadreas. Jul 15, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $21 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JACK JOHNSON Singer-songwriter, actor, filmmaker, and activist from Hawaii, with guest John Craigie. Jul 23, doors 5 pm, show 6:30 pm, Deer Lake Park (6344 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby). Tix on sale Feb. 17, 10 am, $59.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
I was playing on Halloween at Celebrities. The Empire Strikes Back is ac- 2JUST ANNOUNCED tually the first movie I ever watched, CELTICFEST VANCOUVER Celebration because (unsurprisingly) there weren’t of all things Celtic features live music and For up-to-the-minute, searchable too many theatres in Indonesia, and dance, family activities, artisan vendors, trucks, and beer gardens. Performers Music Time Out listings, visit Star Wars is my favourite story of all food include Delhi 2 Dublin, the Paperboys, www.straight.com time. Am I ever going to bring the Tiller's Folly, Wheat in the Barley, Pat costume back? We’ll see! I bought Chessell Band, Simon Fraser University Pipe it cheap online and got it shipped Band, North Shore Celtic Ensemble, Jocelyn 2THIS WEEK Pettit Band, and Sharon Shannon. Mar 10-18, super-speed—you might even say various Vancouver venues. Tix and info CLOUD NOTHINGS American rock band light-speed—through eBay. I feel like if www.celticfestvancouver.com/. tours in support of upcoming release I really wanted a good one, I’d work up Life Without Sound. Feb 16, doors 8 pm, SUSTO Indie-rock band from Charleston, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince some serious bank to actually invest. South Carolina. Apr 3, doors 8 pm, show Edward). Tix $18 (plus service charges and But now I don’t have the beard any- 9 pm, Cobalt (917 Main). Tix on sale Feb fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/. 17, 10 am, $12 (plus service charges and more, I’d have to plan ahead.
on the web!
fees) at www.livenation.com/.
ODDEST REQUEST YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED
I was DJing when Shine nightclub was still a thing, and the dance f loor was packed. Everyone was having a great time to some nudisco and deep house music. And this person comes up to me, and he says “Hey, dude. You know what would really get this crowd going? Gangnam Style.” I’m like, “Man, what are you here for?” I found it so strange that he couldn’t tell the difference between those genres at all. And he just kept pushing the issue, and asking again and again. That guy was plain weird. Joel Armstrong plays at MIA on Saturday (February 18).
WIRE English rockers perform tunes from new album Silver/Lead. Apr 7, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $25 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/. GOOD CHARLOTTE American pop-punk band, with guests Silverstein, Waterparks, and Movements. Apr 10, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $46.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. LAURA MARLING English folk-rock singersongwriter. Apr 26, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. NIGHTLANDS AND THE BUILDING Coheadlining bill of American indie/ alt acts. May 8, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $12 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
MATTHEW GOOD Local alt-rock singersongwriter, guitarist, and former Matthew Good Band frontman tours in support of new EP I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited, with guest Craig Strickland. Feb 16-18, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $42.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
THE MOJO STARS Vancouver blues-rock band performs at an album-release concert, with guests the Heels. Feb 17, 7-10:30 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $20, info www.themojostars.com/. CAMARO 67 Vancouver funk-groove band hits the stage with guests Bigfate. Presented by Coastal Jazz as part of Winterruption. Feb 17, doors 7:30 pm, show 8:30 pm, Performance Works (1218 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $25 at www.coastaljazz.ticketfly.com/. THE BIG SOUND VANCOUVER Celebration of the glory days of classic
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EVERY 2ND FRIDAY Feb 24th ■ Mar 10th, 24th ■ Apr 7th, 21st
F RI DAY
THANKS FOR VOTING US BEST STRIP CLUB!
MALE DANCERS: 8:30-10PM FEMALE DANCERS: 10PM-CLOSE
34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
HOUSING soul and the Motown sound features a 25-piece band performing hits and deep cuts of the era. Feb 18, 8 pm, WISE Hall (1882 Adanac). Tix $20 in advance, $25 at the door , info www.facebook.com/ events/1620712754905231/.
PIERCE THE VEIL American experimental-rock band performs on its Rest in Space Tour, with guests Falling in Reverse and Crown the Empire. Feb 20, doors 6:30 pm, show 7:30 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JONATHAN ROY Canadian singer-songwriter, son of hockey legend Patrick Roy. Feb 20, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. LOS CAMPESINOS! Welsh indie-pop band tours in support of upcoming release, with guests Crying. Feb 21, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/. WILLIAM SINGE Australian pop-R&B singer-songwriter and producer performs on his Changes Tour, with guest Alex Aiono. Feb 22, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $30 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. DIANNE REEVES American jazz-R&B vocalist performs with pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Terreon Gully. Feb 22, 8 pm, Chan Shun Concert Hall (6265 Crescent Rd., Chan Centre at UBC). Tix at www.chancentre.com/. CLIPPING. Los Angeles experimental hip-hop band tours in support of latest release Splendor & Misery, with guest Baseck. Feb 22, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $16 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
CLUBS & VENUES BACKSTAGE LOUNGE 1585 Johnston, Granville Island, 604-687-1354. Hot Jazz Jam night on Tue. 2FIESTA AFRICANA Feb 22 BILTMORE CABARET 2755 Prince Edward, 604676-0541. 2CLOUD NOTHINGS Feb 16 2FORTUNE FEIMSTER Feb 17 2NATE BARGATZE Feb 18 2MICHELLE WOLF Feb 19 2CLIPPING. Feb 22 COMMODORE BALLROOM 868 Granville, 604-7394550. 2MATTHEW GOOD Feb 16-18 FORTUNE SOUND CLUB 147 E. Pender, 604-569-1758. 2ART D'ECCO Feb 16 2THE STAVES Feb 17 2UGLY GOD Feb 17 2TENNYSON Feb 18 FOX CABARET 2321 Main. 2FOX HOLE STAND UP COMEDY Feb 15 2THE MOJO STARS Feb 17 2JONATHAN ROY Feb 20 2THE ORCHID CLUB— HEARTBREAKERS EDITION Feb 21 FRANKIE’S JAZZ CLUB 765 Beatty, 778-727-0337. 2FROM NEW YORK: EMMET COHEN TRIO Feb 16 2SIOBHAN WALSH GROUP Feb 18 THE IMPERIAL 319 Main, 604-868-0494. 2LOS CAMPESINOS! Feb 21 2WOLF PARADE Feb 22-24 IVANHOE PUB 1038 Main, 604-608-1444. 2RHYTHM ST. Feb 17 2FULL MOON Feb 18 2SONS OF THE HOE Feb 19 RICKSHAW THEATRE 254 E. Hastings, 604-681-8915. 2THE BITTER END WITH SIMON KING: LIVE TAPING Feb 15 2THE BITTER END WITH SIMON KING—FREE LIVE TAPING Feb 15 2THUNDERCAT Feb 17 2JUST CAUSE Feb 18 2Q DOT + SQUARE BIZZ Feb 19 THE ROXY 932 Granville, 604-331-7999. 2THE COUNTY LINE, ROLLIN' TRAINWRECK Feb 19
2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS KATIE THIROUX Bandleader and recording artist has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing, and compelling compositions. Presented by Coastal Jazz. Mar 3-4, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $15, info www.coastaljazz.ca/. U2 Irish rock quartet kicks off its Joshua Tree Tour 2017 by performing the 1987 album in its entirety, with guests Mumford & Sons. May 12, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Boulevard). Tix from $35 to $280 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. METALLICA Heavy-metal legends from the States ("Enter Sandman", "Master of Puppets"), with guests Avenged Sevenfold and Gojira. Aug 14, doors 4 pm, show 6 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Boulevard). Tix on sale Feb 17, 10 am, $183/135/81/55.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
ST. JAMES HALL 3214 W. 10th, 604-736-3022. 2OLD MAN LUEDECKE Feb 17 VOGUE THEATRE 918 Granville, 604-569-1144. 2ILIZA Feb 17 2PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON Feb 18 2MY FAVORITE MURDER Feb 18 2PIERCE THE VEIL Feb 20 2WILLIAM SINGE Feb 22 WISE HALL 1882 Adanac, 604-254-5858. 2THE BIG SOUND VANCOUVER Feb 18 2FEBRUARY VISUAL ARTIST SHOWCASE FEAT. CR AVERY Feb 22
OUT OF TOWN 2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS
GUNS N' ROSES Los Angeles hard-rock band ("Sweet Child o' Mine", "November Rain") performs on its Not in This Lifetime Tour. Sep 1, doors 6 pm, show 7:30 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Boulevard). Tix $275/150/115/35 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. COLDPLAY British rock band led by Chris Martin performs on its A Head Full of Dreams Tour 2017. Sep 29, doors 5 pm, show 7 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Boulevard). Tix $199.50/139.50/89.50/59.50/29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
SNOWBOMBING CANADA Music by Kaskade, Ludacris, Bob Moses, Duke Dumont, Getter, Netsky, Oliver Heldens, Pete Tong, Soul Clap, Tennyson, the Funk Hunters, Dre Morel, Expendable Youth, Flipout, Kris Harvey, Mat the Alien, and Yurie. Apr 6-10, Sun Peaks Resort. Tix at www.snow bombingcanada.com/.
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Retail area faces threat from redevelopment
he local shopping area at MacKenzie improvement of local shopping areas like the Street and West 33rd Avenue means one at MacKenzie and West 33rd. a lot to Deborah Henderson and her “Kerrisdale Village, 33rd and MacKenzie, and Vancouver West Side neighbours. Macdonald and Alamein should be enhanced to This is where they often buy bread, or- serve as the heart of their surrounding neighder coffee, get their hair and nails done, bourhoods,” according to the document. The community document also states that pick up f lowers, take out insurance, and receive other services, all in walking distance. these “small local shopping areas could be enhanced by making improvements to the pubThere’s also a dental clinic there. “It’s so busy, it’s like the centre of the com- lic realm and encouraging increased community,” Henderson related in a phone interview mercial activity within the boundaries of the existing shopping areas”. with the Georgia Straight. However, Henderson Henderson is also worried and her neighbours in the that the redevelopment of single-family-home oriented the northeast corner will put Carlito Pablo MacKenzie Heights area pressure on the opposite side worry that they may lose many shops in their vi- of MacKenzie Street, where other local shops, brant commercial district. The northeast corner like a grocery and a learning centre for children, of MacKenzie Street and West 33rd Avenue are located. She said residents are not against has been sold, and a developer wants to put a adding new homes in the neighbourhood. “Our three-storey residential building on the spot. concerns are loss of retail, mainly,” she said. Last fall, an open house was held for the According to Henderson, the new developproject, and according to Henderson, she and ment at West 57th Avenue and East Boulevard her neighbours were disappointed. could be a good template for the commercial Henderson recalled that based on the initial area in MacKenzie Heights. renderings, only two or three new retail spaces She was referring to Shannon Station, a bouat ground level will replace the nine shops that tique condominium project that features homes are currently at the corner. set back—through decks and terraces—on top As for the homes on the upper floors, she of several shops in Kerrisdale. “You hardly nosaid they go straight up from the sidewalk, tice it’s three levels,” Henderson said. with no setbacks to make them less intrusive. Henderson also said that she and her neigh“It’s not sensitive to the neighbourhood,” bours have alerted city hall that they are not Henderson said. happy with the proposed development plan. According to her, it’s a simple case of “maxiHenderson noted that a zoning change is remizing” potential returns. quired for the project, and this is where the city “What we object to…is developers, who might have “some leverage” to get a development don’t live in the area, who don’t use the area, that is a “little more neighbourhood-friendly”. are making these decisions about developing A media statement sent out by Henderson the city based on their profit, not based on and another resident, Beverley Kort, noted what’s good for the neighbourhood,” she said. that only the “right kind of development on The importance of MacKenzie Heights’ lo- this site…will ensure that MacKenzie Heights cal commercial area has been recognized by continues to serve the needs” of its residents. the City of Vancouver. In 2005, city council The statement continued: “In a city where approved the long-range vision of what Ar- green, affordable and sustainable are cornerbutus Ridge, Kerrisdale, and Shaughnessy stones of municipal policy, the proposal for this (ARKS) residents want for their community. building needs to be revisited and redesigned Part of the ARKS Community Vision before it is too late and we finish up with yet andocument endorsed by council is the other Vancouver Zombie zone.” -
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FEBRUARY FEBRUARY16 16––23 23//2017 2017 THE THEGEORGIA GEORGIASTRAIGHT STRAIGHT 35
> BY ROSE MARCUS
February 16 to 22, 2017
interview, presentation, or marketing to percolate. Tuesday morning, make the call; set wheels in motion. Start to venture shows great promise. hursday/Friday, give your What’s launched at the beginning finish, Wednesday’s a full-on big push. fullest attention to the here of the week hits full steam ahead by CANCER and now—make the most Wednesday. June 21–July 22 of what you have going for ARIES Take advantage of Thursyou—and satisfaction is your ready March 20–April 20 day/Friday while the stars offer you reward. The Scorpio moon sets a As of Saturday, the sun in an easier go. The sun’s trek into Pisces fruitful tone for a good-for-you power play and/or a close encounter. Don’t Pisces will submerge you more deep- on Saturday can also lift some of the let the clock run the show. Spend your ly right where you are. Privacy can stress or disconnectedness you’ve felt time; enjoy your time. Don’t rush be productive or replenishing. Gift of late. Take the weekend off and aim yourself with more time and less dis- to hit it fresh on Monday/Tuesday. through the juicy stuff. The sun’s advance into Pisces on traction. Monday/Tuesday, Mercury Wednesday’s a mixed bag. You’re hot, Saturday can soften a cranky mood stimulates an insight and/or an oppor- then you’re not. Grab your moments. or shave off a rough edge. In general, tunity to speak your mind. Building to By day’s end, you hit an upswing. Pisces month tends to turn the tap to a midweek peak, Mars/Pluto thrusts LEO an easier, more fluid pace. Even so, you full tilt into full steam ahead. July 22–August 23 Venus, Mars, and Uranus continuing Wednesday, act fast; be decisive; make Keep it to yourself and/or in Aries keep the energy and action it happen. stay under the radar Thursday/Friday. on a fast-and-ready, any-moment, TAURUS Saturday/Sunday, have it/do it your anything-goes trigger. April 20–May 21 way. Wander; conjure; go by feel. The Saturday, leave well enough alone. It’s one eclipse down and sun’s trek into Pisces can prompt an Go on to something fresh rather than rehash. Don’t force it; let the day sort one more to go before the month ends. indulgent, romantic, or lazy mood. itself out. Sunday is best for chilling Whether it happens in an obvious way, Don’t expect to chill out for long. out. The day can evaporate quickly. by choice, in more subtle form, or by Monday/Tuesday, put your best effort Evening could produce a bit of an complete serendipity, the stars set a forward. Mercury and Mars keep the energy spike as the Sagittarius moon prime backdrop for moving yourself dialogue and the action going strong turns attention to thinking and plan- to higher ground. Over this next week, through midweek. you’ll witness or learn something that ning for the week ahead. VIRGO Monday’s start and the finish offer can change your mind, perspective, August 23–September 23 the best stars, but overall, the whole day heart, plan, or expectation. Thursday/Friday, go by feel. is for the taking. On a major upswing, GEMINI Your observational, intuitive faculMercury, the communications planet, May 21–June 21 ties are at peak. You’ll read people and lights a spark with Uranus on Monday Through Monday, aim to situations, spot advantage, negotiate night and mobilizes with Jupiter on Tuesday morning. Follow through on wind it down, finish off, clear it away. a deal, and absorb information with a good idea, conversation, impulse, or Saturday/Sunday, a change of scenery great skill. Saturday/Sunday, the Pisces intuitive hit. Tuesday is best for travel, or change of pace does you plenty of sun shifts your attention and eases up getting yourself better educated and good. Get your entertainment fill how- on you. Use the stellar advantage to get informed. Talk it up; take it further; ever it suits you best. As of Monday up to speed. Monday through Wedexplore more; ask for more. A meeting, evening, ideas or conversations start nesday helps you to do that.
September 23–October 23
Improvement on your mind? Starting Saturday, the sun in Pisces shares that sentiment. Take the weekend off if you like, but as of Monday, plan to be up and rolling. Monday evening through Tuesday, Mercury brings something fresh to the table. Don’t hesitate to try it on, talk it out, pitch it, or negotiate it. Wednesday is something of a challenge, but results look good.
October 23–November 22
A Scorpio moon finishes off the workweek, so you should feel well on top of it Thursday/ Friday. These are your best days to drive the bus. Saturday/Sunday, a switch of momentum or attention is where it’s at. Monday/Tuesday, you can accomplish plenty. Wednesday is an intense, under-pressure push-through-it day. Something can crop up that requires immediate attention or response. Act rather than react.
November 22–December 21
December 21–January 20
A fresh perspective, solution, or better idea could sneak up on you. Take advantage of the moment Thursday/Friday. The sun in Pisces, starting Saturday, helps you to find better options and to express what’s in your heart and mind more freely. Monday/Tuesday, get moving; take control. Wednesday’s push-comes-toshove is a productive game changer.
January 20–February 18
The sun leaves your sign on Saturday, but you can still bank on Venus, Mars, and Uranus to keep inspiration going strong. Give yourself extra time to catch up, unwind, and enjoy this weekend. Plan to get at it Monday/Tuesday. Mercury/Jupiter favours travel, sales, communications, negotiations, paperwork, putting talk into action, and mobilization efforts. Wednesday is decision day.
February 18–March 20
Saturday brings a sense that a wait or a holding pattern is now surpassed, that somehow you have turned a corner. Sunday comes and goes. Monday gives a better feel for how it’s shaping up. Let intuition, heart, and impulse be your go-to. Wednesday is beyond control, but Tuesday and next Thursday are optimal for connecting the dots. -
You have more going on inside you than you let on. Keep decisions or plans open-ended and feel your way along. Answers come of their own accord. Over this next week, you’ll readily absorb and retain information, gain a deeper impression, hear more than is spoken, and pinpoint with better precision. B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r It all adds up. By mid next week, it’s Rose’s free monthly newsletter at www.rosemarcus.com/astrolink/. on to next, pronto quick.
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SUPPORT GROUPS Healing Our Spirit B.C. First Nations AIDS Society has volunteer opportunities for hospital visitation, information booths, office assistance & preparation of pamphlets & condoms for distribution. We offer volunteer orientation, training & recognition & bus tickets. If interested, please call 983-8774 Ext. 13. We are dedicated to preventing and reducing the spread of HIV in the aboriginal communities of B.C. Equal Parenting Group - North Vancouver Support group for fathers going through the divorce process needing help. Call 604-692-5613 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
36 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017
Vancouver Society for Sexuality, Gender & Culture Educational group with monthly meetings are planned for: 1st Tuesday of each month, 6:30 PM 8:30 PM Vancouver Public Library - Firehall Branch 1455 W 10th Ave (by Granville St next to the Firehall) All are welcome, and we are looking for Board Members from the Health, Counseling, Education, and Business Professions Info: Michael or Darren: VSSGC@yahoogroups.ca
SUPPORT GROUPS We have peer-led support groups all over the Lower Mainland for people with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety led by well-trained facilitators. Group sessions during days, evenings, or Saturdays. For location and times of groups:
www.mdabc.net 604-873-0103 Parkinson Society BC 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. Fertility Support Group Discover new perspectives make positive changes and learn simple tools to take charge of your reproductive wellness while connecting with other women. The meetings provide a space for open discussion. 2nd Tuesday of each month 7:45 - 8:45pm (Sign up required) Reg & Info call: 604-266-6470 or www.familypassages.ca IBD Support Group Suffer from Crohn's and ulcerative colitis? Living with IBD can often be overwhelming, but you're not alone! 3rd Wed of each month the GI Society holds a free IBD support group meeting for patients & their families to come together in an open, friendly environment. 7:00pm at RavenSong Community Health Centre (2450 Ontario St). or more information call 604-875-4875. WLIVING THROUGH LOSS COUNSELLING facilitated support group for people who are grieving the death of a significant person. Monthly drop-in- last Wed of every month YLTLC #201 – 1847 W. Broadway Van. 604-873-5013 www.ltlc.bc.ca
Nar-Anon North Van 12-step program for families and friends of addicts, meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 pm 176 2nd Street East in North Van.
Info: nar-anonbcregion.org Drug & Alcohol Problems? Free advanced information and help on how quit drinking & using drugs. For more information call Barry Bjornson @ 604-836-7568 or email me @email@example.com
Sex Addicts Anonymous 12-step fellowship of men & women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from their sexual addiction. Membership is open to all who desire to stop addictive sexual behaviour. For a meeting list as well as email & phone contacts go to our website at
............................................................................................................................................................... CLASSIFIEDS WAVAW - Rape Crisis Centre has a 24-hour crisis line, counselling, public education, & volunteer opportunities for women. All services are free & confidential. Please call for info: Business Line: 604-255-6228 24-Hour Crisis Line: 604-255-6344
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Always Hiring | Accepting all major CC’s FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 37
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savage love I’ve been reading
your advice column in the Coast in Halifax for a while, and it seems that most solutions to relationship problems revolve around sex. Everyone wants it or needs it, we should fuck before dinner, or we can spice up our sex life in this certain way to be happy. What about someone who doesn’t want to have sex, ever? I’ve asked other people for advice, and the answer is usually “take one for the team,” have sex to keep them happy. Is that the only way I could find happiness in a relationship? It’s not something I want to do—but at this point, I don’t see any other options. > ALL ALONE ACE
I’m a sex-advice columnist. Consequently, AAA, people tend to write me when sex (needing it, wanting it, getting it but not the kind you want, etcetera) is the problem, and sex (in some new and improved form) is often, but not always, the solution. I also get and respond to questions from asexuals, and I’ve urged sexuals not to regard asexuals as defective—or, for that matter, to view committed but sexless relationships as defective. So long as both people in the relationship are content and happy, it’s a good and healthy and functional relationship, whether the sex is vanilla or spicy or nonexistent. Strictly companionate marriages can be good marriages. As for “taking one for the team”, that’s not advice given only to asexuals. A woman who’s married to a foot fetishist, for instance, may be
advised to “take one for the team” and let her husband perv on her feet. A vanilla guy married to a woman corrupted by Fifty Shades of Grey (it’s baaaaaack) may be advised to “take one for the team” and tie the wife up once in a while. And while there are certainly lots of asexuals out there taking one for the team—having sex to please/keep/shut up their partners (or allowing their partners to seek sex elsewhere)—do you know who doesn’t have to take one for the team, ever? Asexuals with other asexuals. Dating another asexual is the other option, the obvious option, and may be the best option for you, AAA. (Don’t want to take one for the team, ever? Don’t draft anyone onto your team who wants one, ever.) A quick Google search brings up several asexual dating sites: Asexualitic.com, AsexualMatch. com, Ace-Book.net, AsexualPals.com. You can also choose to identify as asexual—and search for other asexuals— on mainstream dating sites like OkCupid and Match. I can already hear you composing your response, AAA: asexuals are just one percent of the population. There are 400,000 people in Halifax, which means there are 3,999 other asexuals. Sounds like a lot, but most will be too young, too old, or unappealing for political or personal reasons (loves Kevin O’Leary, hasn’t seen Moonlight, picks their nose with an oyster fork). And a significant chunk of that number may not be aware—yet—that they’re asexual. So, realistically, AAA, your local dating pool is much smaller than 3,999.
> BY DAN SAVAGE But! Good news! There are 7.5 billion people on the planet! And 75 million of them are asexual! I have a good friend with a unique array of kinks—a crazy, specific, and rare constellation of kinks—and he cast a wide net on kink dating apps. After he met someone on the other side of the world with all the same kinks and they hit it off via Skype and the guy provided my friend with references (put my friend in touch with friends who could vouch for him), my friend flew to the other side of the world to go on a first date. Two months later, he went back, stayed for a few months, and then moved abroad to be with Mr. Kink Match On the Other Side of the World. My friend did things people are typically advised against—who gets on a 12-hour flight to go on a first date?— because he knew there weren’t many lids out there for his particular pot. Asexuality isn’t a kink, I realize, but you can and should cast a wide net, AAA, like my kinky expat friend. Don’t let geography limit you in your search. You may not be able to afford to do what my friend did—fly halfway around the world for a first date—but you can get your ass to the next province over if you hit it off with an asexual in New Brunswick or Quebec. Good luck.
I’m a 22-year-old lesbian living
in Utah. I’m finally going back to college this fall. I have autism (high functioning), and I couldn’t handle going to school full-time while working. Thus I will be stuck living at my parents’ house, as I couldn’t afford rent and
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.
living expenses on my own. The problem is, my parents are super Republican and religious. While I live at home, I can’t date (they are against me being gay), I can’t drink, and I can’t watch movies with swears. They also force me to participate in daily scripture study, which I hate. I don’t know what to do. I can’t be myself or have any fun while I live at home because I’m afraid my parents will kick me out. But I can’t afford to move out, either. I’m shy and socially nervous, so I don’t have any friends who could help me out, and I can’t see living with roommates who are strangers. I’ll be 29 by the time I graduate, and I don’t want to live like this for that long. Any advice? Maybe I could work something out with my parents, but they are set in their ways and I don’t want to hurt them. > UNDER THEIR AUTHORITARIAN HOMOPHOBIA
If they were just enforcing “their rules” about booze in their house, that would be one thing. But requiring your adult daughter not to date anyone, or not to be a lesbian at all, is just mean. (A lot of insane religious people believe homosexuality is an act, not an identity, so someone who isn’t currently having gay or lesbian sex isn’t actually gay or lesbian. By that standard, I haven’t been gay for hours.) And leveraging their daughter’s autism and social isolation and economic dependence against her in order to control her? Meaner still. You say you don’t want to hurt your parents—you’re a good daughter—
My Dear Countess Another Valentine’s Day is here again but sadly this year it will be just like any other day. The sweet garden of love we once shared now is left neglected and forlorn. You say look to the future, forget the past. But how do these arms forget our loving embraces? How do these hands forget the feel of your skin, how does this mouth forget the touch of your lips, the taste of you? How can this heart stop loving you? How do I forget heaven, my love?
Dream time We were in the bedroom, lying on the floor and you handed me a muffin. I literally stood you up and looked long and deep into your face. That beautiful face of the yours. Happy Valentine’s.
I’m so lost And broken and I’m afraid no one can fix me and that I’m going to be alone having casual sex forever. I just want to get married and have kids but no one wants to marry a wreck like me :-( the older I get the less hopeful I feel that there is someone perfect for me.
I have 4 serious mental illnesses that, put together, give me agoraphobia (social anxiety so bad I’m afraid to leave the house) because I’m so sensitive, that even the slightest remark that I interpret to be at all rude can mess me up for hours, days, weeks, even years. I’m very good at keeping it together, you would never guess how much of a mess I am inside. I’m permanently disabled in all respects, but I seem perfectly fine. So please, be kind to strangers. You never know what’s going on with them.
to post a Confession
I saw you at the southeast end of Sunset Beach Park walking your cute sausage dog. You were wearing a black coat with a furry hood. You are a beautiful brunette and you took my breath away as I walked by you. I saw you again later sitting on a log at the beach and you gave me a glance as you got up and left. I was wearing shades, black jacket and pants, nearly shaved head and a beard. We were walking the same direction and I thought about catching up to you and saying hi, but you disappeared just around the corner at “tap shack”. I would love to meet you, maybe take you out sometime. Who knows maybe I’ll bump into you again around there...
I first saw you and your amazing tortoise shell glasses at the Ben Rogers show Saturday night, then again at brunch Sunday morning at Fable. I was the guy who looked overdressed for both occasions. Would love to grab a coffee sometime!
ATTRACTIVE WOMAN AT STARBUCKS PATIO AT LOUGHEED MALL
RIVERS REACH PUBNEW WESTMINISTER
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 11, 2017 WHERE: New Westminister, B.C. I was having lunch by myself, you were having lunch with your son. I couldn’t stop looking your way. You had a pink sweater on with black pants and black boots. You were having fish tacos, wanted to talk with you but chickened out as your son was with you. Grab a drink sometime?
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2017 WHERE: Patio of Starbucks lougheed mall
99 BLINE - YOU: BLACK HATTED, REDHEAD, CHARMING EAVESDROPPER
We had a brief chat on the patio in the sunshine and was wondering if you would like to go out for a drink sometime?
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 8, 2017 WHERE: 99 BLine Westbound, Commercial Broadway Station
BEAUTY IN BLACK.
We locked eyes. Then I couldn’t keep mine off of you. Once I noticed you were free, I cleared my bill and requested a pen. I had written my number down on paper, but when I glanced up and you were gone. Timing is a virtue.
RED HEADED BEAUTY
If you want to take photos of a stranger , at least have the balls to ask. It’s creepy when you whip out your cell phone , act like you’re surfing the net but are actually taking random photos of people you don’t know. Have decency and tact. People are not objects.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2017 WHERE: Ben Rogers Show
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 11, 2017 WHERE: Walmart Guildford
Taking photos of strangers
BEN ROGERS AND BRUNCH
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2017 WHERE: Sunset Beach Park
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2017 WHERE: Granville Island.
Be kind to strangers
On the Lovecast, two tricky pregnancies: savagelovecast.com . Email: email@example.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage.
> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < BRUNETTE WITH SAUSAGE DOG
Scan to confess
but it’s clear your shitty parents don’t care if they hurt you. Typically, my advice would be to tell your mean and shitty parents what they want to hear—to feel free to lie to them under duress—and then lean on your friends, do your own thing outside of the house, and be careful not to get caught. But that’s not an option for you. So you’ll have to ask yourself what you value more: freedom now or getting your degree sooner rather than later. If it’s your freedom, move out, get a job, go to community college, and take your time getting that degree. If it’s getting your degree before turning 30, knuckle under, spend a lot of late nights “studying in the library”, and go to the student resource centre on your campus and ask if there are any campus services/support groups for students with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Who knows? You might meet some people who you could see yourself living with, as roommates and friends, and be able to get out of your parents’ house sooner rather than later. P.S. You’re in Utah, UTAH. If there’s an LGBT student group on your campus, go to the meetings and share your story. You might meet a gay Mormon boy with parents like yours—shitty and mean—who could use a fake girlfriend until he graduates, and you could use a fake boyfriend until you move out of Mom and Dad’s. -
Saturday Feb. 11 at Walmart in Guildford. You are a beautiful red headed woman wearing all black in the electronics section. I was wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans. I just wanted to say that you are the most beautiful women I have ever seen.
Boarding the 99 BLine at Commercial/Broadway this morning just after 11am, my friend and I were the last to scramble on because I was loading my bike. You were sitting in the articulatedhips section of the bus, and as we walked past you, I was laughing and said something to my friend about how I wasn’t *that* hungover. You said something complimentary and I told you how much nicer you are than my friend, and then I commended you for such a lovely black and grey hat. Sadly you got off well before the end of the line -clearly I was hungover enough that my reaction time was tooooo slooooow to ask you for your number. Want to go somewhere and eavesdrop together? I like your chutzpah. [Me: black jacket + toque, grey tights, clunky snowboots, hangover glasses]
HARRY SHUM JR.-LOOK ALIKE CHASING TODDLER THROUGH AISLES OF SHOPPERS DRUG MART
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 9, 2017 WHERE: Shoppers Drug Mart, Granville + W 13th I couldn’t not notice you chasing a curly-haired toddler through the aisles of the Shoppers Drug Mart at Granville and 13th. You seemed to be helping the kid’s parents as they shopped and having fun while doing so. You shyly offered up a few apologetic smiles when you scrambled by, dodging other customers, and trying to keep up with your energetic kiddo friend. He was definitely having a good time. In addition to being impressed with your child minding skills, was immediately struck by my attraction to you. You were a slender asian man in a baseball cap and possibly leather shoes. Maybe late 20’s to early 30’s? Beyond being incredibly handsome, your face seemed really kind, too. My friend mistook you for the actor Harry Shum Jr from Glee, though a second glance said probably not. Maybe the baseball cap look had you giving off celebrity vibes. And me? I was the young asian woman wearing a dark knee-length coat, purple hood, and short rainboots. I was shopping with a friend. Let me know if you noticed me too. Maybe we can chill with your kid friend at a park or meet up for some other kind of city adventure on our own.
70 YR SNOW RECORD
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 9, 2017 WHERE: Elevator We talked about the snow during a short elevator ride. Continue stats sharing over coffee?
SHARED A CAB FROM THE BUS STOP BROADWAY AND NANAIMO
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 6, 2017 WHERE: Broadway and Nanaimo Stuck waiting for the 7... we split a cab with someone else. We introduced each other. I thought you where very cute!
BEAR SIZED BOUNCER
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 3, 2016 WHERE: Rio Theatre I think I’ve seen you a few times at the Rio. You might be security for venue shows? You have long hair, often wear curb stomper boots and your built like a damn mountain. Hello, greetings, this is just a message to let you know you’re so handsome. Last time I saw you was Hari Kondabolu’s show. I wanted to get up and say hi to you walking up and down the aisle in front of the stage but I couldn’t think of anything witty to say beyond the strong need to climb you like a tree.
YOU DROPPED YOUR PHONE.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 3, 2017 WHERE: Renfrew SkyTrain Station Hey. You slipped in the snow at the crosswalk. I noticed your cell and ran it back to you as you were getting onto the bus. I wanted to introduce myself but I didn’t really have the time to while the bus was leaving, sorry about that.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 3, 2017 WHERE: Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay Ferry You are a beautiful blonde woman. We were on the Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay Ferry. We were just docking and everyone was heading to their cars. I was sitting behind you talking with my friends about how I thought it was colder here and warmer on the Island. You got up, looked at me, smiled and said something... I was so captured by your smile so I didn’t catch it but I think you said "yes, it was". You walked away with your carry on and, although I really wanted to talk to you, all I could do was look at you in awe. You have an amazing smile and great energy. I had a black jacket with the faux-fur around the neck and a black hat on. I would like to have a coffee or drink with you and hang out. Hope you look at these.
Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ FEBRUARY 16 – 23 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 39
40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 16 â€“ 23 / 2017