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FREE | APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021 Volume 55 | Number 2774

SHARED MORTGAGES Homeownership solutions?

As National Film Day approaches, we’re highlighting five potent voices from across the country, including Vancouver’s Valerie Tian

INDIGENOUS INNOVATOR Sandra Laronde’s cultural mission

RISING SCREEN STARS PATIO BEERS

KHARI WENDELL McCLELLAND

FESTIVAL DU BOIS


CONTENTS

COMMENTARY

Be kind, as Dr. Henry says, and return Gusto’s licence

April 15 – 22 / 2021

11

COVER

Vancouver’s Valerie Tian is one of five rising Canadian screen stars featured as we approach National Film Day on April 21. By Kelsey Adams, Radheyan Simonpillai, Glenn Sumi, Craig Takeuchi, and Norman Wilner

by Charlie Smith

Cover photo by Jennifer Gauthier

4

REAL ESTATE

Affordable homeownership is achievable through a “sharedappreciation mortgage”, according to one housing expert. By Carlito Pablo

9

DANCE

Red Sky Performance is not only reinventing contemporary Indigenous dance, it’s also trying to set the country on a new course. By Charlie Smith

Gusto owner Federico Fuoco (right) joined his father, Gianni, in a heartfelt rendition of “Volare” in the Vancouver council chamber to kick off Italian Heritage Month in June 2019. Photo by Charlie Smith.

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ecently, the owner of a restaurant in the Olympic Village came under criticism for defying a public health order to shut down. Federico Fuoco’s eatery, Gusto: A Taste of Italy, only had four tables at the time. But he broke the rules and the city temporarily suspended his licence until April 20. Prior to the licence suspensions, Fuoco spoke at a rally for small businesses. It bothered Fuoco that operators of other enclosed spaces, including on ferries and patios and in wineries, were able to continue providing service to patrons. Meanwhile, restaurateurs lost thousands of dollars worth of inventory because of the lack of notice. Fuoco is been a political activist in the past. When he was operating Federico’s Supper Club on Commercial Drive, he irritated cycling advocates with his vocal opposition to a separated bike lane. Nowadays, Fuoco is part of the NPA board that is suing Mayor Kennedy Stewart for defamation. But there’s another side of Fuoco that isn’t well known outside the Italian community. And that has been his willingness to support various charitable initiatives. He, along with businessman Carmen D’Onofrio, resurrected Italian Day in Vancouver in 2010, which has brought joy and pride ever since to the East Side of the city. Last year during the pandemic, there was no Italian Day celebration on the Drive. So instead, Fuoco and the other organizers created a float with live music to go up and down the street with music in a fundraiser for Coast Mental Health. The “Drive for Courage” concerts generated $10,000. The previous year, Italian Day on the Drive’s theme was comunità, or community in English. The businesses in Little Italy along Commercial Drive, including Fuoco’s former supper club and other Italian Day partners, helped raise $10,000 for the East End Boys and Girls Club. The club was created by long-time Templeton secondary teacher Jimmy Crescenzo 2

THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

and built upon by another teacher, Tanya Zambrano. Fuoco and other key organizers honoured these wonderful educators in front of a massive crowd on Commercial Drive. That’s comunità! Over the years, Fuoco has performed for free at fundraisers for the Michael Cuccione Foundation to fight childhood cancer. When Fuoco owned a supper club on Commercial Drive, he encouraged staff to feed the homeless who knocked on the back door. Fuoco is also a gifted singer who brought live music back to the Drive. That talent was on display inside the council chamber in 2019 when he and his father, Gianni, serenaded the gallery with a stunning version of “Volare” to kick off Italian Heritage Month. Back in 2018, I interviewed Fuoco before he was given the Italian Canadian Man of the Year award by Confratellazana, which was created by lawyer and judge Angelo Branca. At that time, Fuoco talked about the sacrifices that his parents and others made after coming to Vancouver as poor immigrants. “They worked their butts off and sacrificed for the kids and their families,” Fuoco told me back then. “That’s who I admire and honour. That’s who I want to pay homage to.” It’s understandable that some are very upset at Fuoco for violating a public health order. But if we look at the sum of Fuoco’s life—and what he’s contributed to the city as well as his readiness to comply when inspectors showed up—it’s worth remembering the first part of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s dictum “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.” I would argue that on April 20, if not earlier, kindness is in order and the city should give him back his licence. I highly doubt he will break the health rules again. What’s to be gained from driving him out of business? More hardship for him and his staff ? Fewer community fundraisers for worthwhile causes? As the Italians like to say, ama molto. Love in abundance. We need a lot more of that in this pandemic. g

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

e Start Here 8 ARTS 6 BEER 14 CLASSIFIEDS 2 COMMENTARY 5 HOUSING 7 MUSIC 14 SAVAGE LOVE

Khari Wendell McClelland will bring forward The Essentials. Photo by Andrew Querner.

Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly Volume 55 | Number 2774 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 T: 604.730.7000 F: 604.730.7010 E: gs.info@straight.com straight.com

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EDITOR Charlie Smith GENERAL MANAGER (ACTING) Sandra Oswald SECTION EDITORS Mike Usinger (ESports/Liquor/Music) Steve Newton SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy STAFF WRITERS Carlito Pablo (Real Estate) Craig Takeuchi SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT Jeff Li

e Online TOP 5

Here’s what people are reading this week on Straight.com.

1 2 3 4 5

Vancouver real estate: Halfduplex on Kitsilano’s Golden Mile sells for $9 million. COVID-19 in B.C.: Nearrecord hospitalizations and a surge at Sun Peaks. Artigiano to take over former Starbucks locations with help from mural fest. Strathcona Park tent city resident releases music video. Patti Bacchus; Vaccinate teachers or close the damn schools. @GeorgiaStraight

ART DEPARTMENT MANAGER Janet McDonald GRAPHIC DESIGNER Miguel Hernandez PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Mike Correia ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Glenn Cohen, Catherine Tickle, Robyn Marsh (On-Leave), David Pearlman (On-Leave) CONTENT AND MARKETING SPECIALISTS Alina Blackett, Rachel Moore CREDIT MANAGER Shannon Li ACCOUNTING SUPERVISOR Tamara Robinson

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS NEWSPAPER.


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THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

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REAL ESTATE

Shared equity brings homes into reach for many

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by Carlito Pablo

omeownership presents a difficult hill to climb for many. But as Michael Geller explains, that ascent doesn’t always mean having to do it in one go. The summit can be reached by what the Vancouver-based architect, urban planner, and housing and development expert describes as “staircasing”. “You can climb up the stairs as you go from a 20 percent ownership to 50 percent, and then, eventually, you own the whole thing,” Geller told the Straight in a phone interview. It’s a concept based on what is referred to as shared-equity homeownership. The way this works is that a buyer purchases a share in a residence and pays rent on the rest. It’s done in the U.K., where some homes are partly owned by housing associations and banks provide the mortgage. As English bank Barclays explains online, one can buy between 25 percent and 75 percent of a property that is managed by a housing association. Geller said that this is an idea worth exploring locally. Housing is a passion of Geller’s, who has done it all with the many hats he has worn over the years. He started as an architect in Toronto, went on to work with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, managed developments for a private company, led the SFU Community Trust, and formed his own Geller Group. In addition to his current consulting work, Geller is also part of the adjunct faculty of SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Development. With an experience spanning more

There is no reason that alternative financing such as shared equity cannot be adopted by Canadian financial institutions, according to a local housing expert. Photo by Feverpitched/Getty.

Think about how long it took before they started putting wheels on luggage. – Michael Geller

than four decades, he has studied many different ways of reducing housing and development costs. This is why Geller says with confidence that affordable housing is achievable. He likes delivering talks on this subject. He noted that one way of getting housing within the means of people is to look at alternative financing, saying that one example is shared equity. He also calls it a “shared-appreciation mortgage”. To illustrate, let’s say someone approaches Geller and the person wants to buy a home but does not have the required

down payment of $300,000. Geller then lends the money. There will be interest on the loan. When the person sells the home, Geller gets back his $300,000 plus interest; on top of this, he receives a 50 percent share in the appreciation of the home’s value. “Now, some people would say, ‘Well, why I would agree to that?’” Geller noted. “And the answer is, ‘Because if I don’t lend you the $300,000, you can’t buy that house.’ ” He said that this can work well with relatives and even trusted friends. But there’s no reason why financial institutions like credit unions cannot do it as well. Geller mentioned the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, or Vancity. “What Vancity could do is say, in theory, ‘We’ll give you a 100 percent loan provided we get interest on the loan, and because we’re giving such a high-ratio loan, we’re going to share in the appreciation when you sell it,’ ” he said. Geller said that the scheme makes

sense, although he doesn’t know whether financial institutions are thinking of things like this. The federal government introduced as part of its 2019 budget a program called First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. Under the FTHBI, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides homebuyers with a loan. The money covers 10 percent of the cost of a newly constructed home or five percent of the cost of an existing home. The loan comes in exchange for an equity stake in the property. It’s a sharedequity mortgage, or a shared investment. “As a result, the government shares in both the upside and downside of the property value,” CMHC explains online. A home buyer doesn’t have to save as much for a down payment. As well, a bigger down payment means a smaller mortgage, hence, lower monthly payments. The homeowner will have to repay the loan based on the property’s fair market value at the time of repayment, which is after 25 years or when the property is sold. Based on latest numbers available online as of April 12, CMHC has approved more than 10,600 applications, representing $193.4 million in shared-equity mortgages. Here’s the regional breakdown of these mortgages: 355, B.C.; 2,975, Alberta; 1,307, Prairies and the North; 810, Ontario; 4,284, Quebec; and 917, Atlantic. If shared homeownership or equity or mortgages are such good ideas, Geller noted, some people may ask why it is taking so long to do these things. “The answer is, ‘Think about how long it took before they started putting wheels on luggage,’ ” Geller said. g

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THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

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HOUSING

Ottawa mortgage cooldown could spark market activity

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by Carlito Pablo

he chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association has weighed in on a move to tighten mortgage rules. Brendon Ogmundson doubts whether the proposed increase of the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages will significantly cool down the redhot housing market. Ogmundson also anticipates a further increase in market activity this spring as some buyers may try to beat the new rules that could come into effect on June 1, 2021. “You might see a ramp-up of activity before that to get ahead of that change,” Ogmundson told the Straight in a phone interview. The BCREA economist added that this could “actually increase demand throughout the spring and then slow in the summer”. Last week, the federal banking regulator announced that it is tweaking mortgage rules. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions wants to increase the qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages amid concerns about an overheated housing market. “The current Canadian housing market conditions have the potential to put lenders at increased financial risk,” the OSFI said in an April 8 media release. The regulator explained that a higher qualifying rate “adds a margin of safety that ensures borrowers will have the ability to make mortgage payments in the event of change in circumstances”. These include events like a “reduction of income or a rise in mortgage interest rates”. The current qualifying rate is 4.79 percent, which is the five-year conventional mortgage rate by the Bank of Canada. The OSFI is proposing a new qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, which is the higher of either the mortgage contract rate plus two percent or 5.25 percent. Uninsured mortgages are loans with down payments of 20 percent or more of a home’s purchase price. The proposed change does not affect insured mortgages, where lenders have to qualify for the higher of either the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year mortgage rate or the interest rate negotiated with the lender. Insured mortgages are loans by borrowers who have a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home price. In 2012, the OSFI introduced a guideline for mortgage underwriting known as B-20, and this has been amended over time. BCREA’s Ogmundson is not enthused by the latest tweak. “The proposed change to the B-20 mortgage stress test, which would set a minimum qualifying rate of 5.25 per cent,

B.C. Real Estate Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson wants housing supply.

is unlikely to have a significant impact as it only lowers a buyer’s purchasing power by about four percent compared to the existing qualifying rate of 4.79 percent.” For comparison, Ogmundson noted that the “initial impact of the B-20 stress test in 2018…lowered purchasing power by more than 20 percent”. It was in 2018 when the stress test that previously applied only to insured mortgages was extended to uninsured mortgages. Ogmundson added that although the OSFI’s proposed measure is “not going to be as big” as what happened in 2018, it “certainly is a tightening”. He noted that the current stress test is “already quite stringent”. “I would assume that this will be followed by a similar policy for insured mortgages,” the economist speculated. Tightening mortgage rules is an example of measures that dampen demand. Overall, Ogmundson is not a big fan of demand-side measures, which he said produce only temporary relief. “I think we already have done about a dozen demandside interventions in the past 10 years.” What Ogmundson wants to see are policies on the supply side. “I think we need to send a signal to market that we’re going to be supplying markets with enough units that we’re not going to see price accelerations,” he said. Ogmundson also noted that one reason the market gets “some speculation” is that “investors are smart”. “They look at places that have a lot of demographic demand and not very much supply and not enough future supply.” Ogmundson said that a healthy housing market is one where prices grow with inflation, or a little bit more. “We won’t get there if we don’t have listings,” the economist said. g

It can be a lot of different things. But it can’t be nothing. Shop at stores owned by people of colour, hire with purpose, attend workshops and events focused on anti-racism and look for other ways to support racialized people.

Learn more at antiracist.gov.bc.ca

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

5


BEER

Craft beer patios worth seeking out in East Van

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by Mike Usinger

ere’s the East Vancouver version of mission impossible when it comes to a COVID-19 Spring Vol. 2: getting a spot on a craft-brewery patio. To go searching for a table between the hours of 2 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and all day weekends, is to go home convinced that you live in a city where everyone else has what you don’t. Like a house, apartment, or windowless walk-out “garden suite” that rents for less than $1,500 (plus utilities) a month. But mostly, the thing everyone but you seems to have is a seat in the sun at Parallel 49 Brewing, East Van Brewing Company, Powell Brewery, or Off the Rail Brewing. It’s an eternal optimist who strolls down to the local watering hole at happy hour thinking that there’ll be a frosty pitcher of Hillbilly Ninja Pale Ale, Blackberry Saison, or Dive Bomb Porter in their immediate future. And then there’s grim reality for the rest of us. Yes, nothing says “the glass is halfempty instead of half-full” like two hours of standing curbside on a waiting list. “Curbside” is the key word there. There’s a reason brewery patio seats in East Van this spring have been harder to find than a sane person at an antimask rally.

Andina features a menu that helps take the sting out of the fact you’re not going to any of the seven countries (Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia) that touch the Andes Mountains any time soon. Come for the beer, and stay for the authentic plantain nachos, empanadas, chifles, and ceviche de pescado. (andinabrewing.ca) LUPPOLO BREWING COMPANY

Andina Brewing’s patio is where you might actually get a seat to enjoy truly innovative beer.

Two weeks ago, British Columbia halted all indoor dining and drinking at restaurants, bars, and pubs to try and slow down a pandemic we all could not be more sick of. Obviously, the timing could have been better. This being the West Coast, the arrival of spring is supposed to mean the official end of five months that are more grey and depressing than Joy Division’s “Walk In Silence” and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The reward for enduring an endless West Coast winter of staying home and drinking

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in the dark was supposed to be an end to the hibernation season. For the beer drinkers among us, that meant heading to the mecca known as Yeast Van and soaking up the sun on a patio. The wrinkle no one predicted has been everyone else in the city lounging on those patios because no one can sit indoors. The goal now? That would be finding a spot that hasn’t turned into a wildly busy magnet for those who’ve been trapped in their living rooms since last September. We’re here to help. Should you find yourself in East Van in the coming sun-soaked days, by all means try to land a table at Parallel 49, East Van Brewing Company, Powell Brewery, or Off the Rail. There’s a reason they are packed, and that’s because they’re great at what they do. But should you strike out, you’ve got options. The following craft breweries have a few things in common. First, they make some of the best, which is to say most imaginative, beer in the city: Extraña-Mango Ghost Pepper IPA, Hedgerow Sour Cherry Wild Ale, Albicocchin Barrel Aged Sour with Apricots, and Indulgeousness #3 Imperial Stout. Because their patios seemed to have suddenly popped up as a response to indoor-imbibing being banned, they aren’t yet go-to destinations for outdoor drinking. That explains why we’ve always been able to get a seat with zero problems this spring. So looking to not only getting out of the house but also finding a place other than Dude Chilling Park to sit down and have a beer? Try the following locales. And please don’t tell anyone but your closest friends that they exist. Unless, that is, you enjoy standing curbside on the outside looking in. ANDINA BREWING COMPANY

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THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

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1507 Powell Street Clever folks make the most of what they’ve got. At Andina that meant turning an adjacent parking lot into a pop-up patio. Those who love beers that take chances will love not only the Extraña-Mango Ghost Pepper IPA but the Cocada Coconut Lime Sour and Oscura Black Cherry Stout. As an added bonus,

1123 Venables Street The beauty of Luppolo’s outdoor patio is the way that it’s been set up for more than sunny weather. Half the tables are covered by a canopy and feature overhead heaters that are going to come in handy during the endless monsoon of June-uary. Coming at things from an Italian perspective that reflects the background of its owners, Luppolo’s offerings run from La Piazza Italian Pilsner to Passeggiata Vienna Lager to the namecheckedabove Albicocchin Sour. Whisk yourself away to the Old Country with Puglia-style Italian pretzels, and capricciosa, funghi, and Siciliana pizzas. (luppolobrewing.ca) STRANGE FELLOWS BREWING

1345 Clark Drive Few things are more satisfying than kicking back with a beer while watching the bridgeand-tunnel rat-race folks of Greater Vancouver navigate the major traffic artery known as Clark Drive. Indoor seating has always been limited at Strange Fellows, which explains why, in more normal times, the place was perpetually packed despite being in the middle of a nondescript industrial strip. Score a seat and settle in with Old World–inspired offerings like Jongleur Belgian Style Wit, Habitude-Foudre Aged Wild Ale, and the cherrylicious Hedgerow Sour. Recent pop-ups have given beer fans the chance to shop for B.C.–made ceramics and cosmetics after ordering from a food menu that includes chicken pot pie, Jamaican patties, and charcuterie boards. (strangefellowsbrewing.com) SUPERFLUX BEER COMPANY

505 Clark Drive The craft brewery with the best beer labels in show business deserves some sort of award for acting quickly in a crisis. It’s almost as if Superflux pulled together a patio overnight after the March 29 indoor-seating ban. Need a reason to pop by after a shopping spree at the nearby Gourmet Warehouse? Start with the Indulgeousness #3 Imperial Stout with Tahitian, Madagascar, and Mexican vanilla beans. Or an Colour & Shape IPA or Easy Tiger Pale Ale. Foodwise the hot dogs are well on their way to becoming cult faves in Vancouver, with the Funyun made with Two Rivers all-natural dry-aged beef and sour cream, and the Smokie served with Avonlea cheddar and zucchini mustard pickles. (superfluxbeer.com) g


MUSIC

Fest celebrates francophone culture à la cabane by Charlie Smith

The festival will also feature Manitoba’s Jocelyne Baribeau, who was Francophone artist of the year at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards. Also appearing will be the Prince Edward Island singing-songwriting duo of Sirène et Matelot, with Patricia Richard and Lennie Gallant. The latter are both Acadians. “Lennie is so great,” Dumas declared. “He’s always reinventing himself.” There’s also a healthy serving of B.C. musicians at this year’s Festival du Bois, including fiddle star Pierre Schryer, who will perform Irish traditional and Québécois folk music with guitarist-vocalist Andy Hillhouse. Other B.C. musicians are up-and-coming fiddler and singer-composer Jocelyn Pettit

Le Winston Band, which is based in Montreal, has fun not only playing zydeco music infused with rock and Cajun influences but also hanging with llamas. Photo by Marc-André Dupaul.

T

here’s a very funny scene in one of the videos that will be presented as part of this year’s Festival du Bois. It shows the host of this celebration of French-Canadian culture, Monique Polloni, speaking from her home with Yann Falquet, the acoustic guitarist in the traditional Québécois band Genticorum. Falquet is sitting in front of the fireplace and he reveals that he’s in quarantine. That’s because he has recently returned from the United States. Then the musician cheerfully mentions that everything is good in his “cabane”—and he even has a friend. At that point, he holds up a big piece of firewood, causing Polloni to erupt in laughter. But it doesn’t end there. Falquet turns his camera toward a window, where Genticorum’s flautist, Nicholas Williams, is seen cavorting outside in winter clothes, waving at Polloni and Falquet. It’s a ridiculous scene and a reminder of the comedy so prevalent in La Belle Province. So it goes with this year’s Festival du Bois, which is being offered entirely for free online. This year, it’s being billed as Festival à la Cabane, with performers sharing their music, dance, and upbeat chatter with the audience from their homes. The executive and artistic director of the nonprofit Société francophone de Maillardville, Johanne Dumas, told the Straight by phone that videos of the performers will be available for free on demand from April 16 to 30. This means that there’s no need to be in front of your computer at a specific time to catch a specific act. “We wanted, really, to have people watch it at their leisure,” Dumas said. “You want to watch it? Rewatch it? That’s okay. Just have fun for two weeks.” The festival’s various musical acts

come from four provinces. Dumas explained that this was her rule for Festival du Bois when it was held live in Mackin Park in the historic French-Canadian enclave of Maillardville in Coquitlam. The pandemic has forced the change to a virtual setting, but it hasn’t squashed the joyful spirit of a celebration that’s as much about audience interaction as it is about listening to traditional FrenchCanadian fiddle and accordion music. In the videos, the host asks musicians what they’ve been doing in their “two square metres”—a playful twist on square dances that are a traditional aspect of Québécois culture. “Also, what we’re doing is asking every artist participating at Festival du Bois what have they been doing in their cabane,” Dumas said. She added that the funniest video was made by Le Winston Band, a Montrealbased zydeco group that intersperses Cajun and rock music with its French-Canadian sounds. And next year, when Festival du Bois returns to hosting live performances, she promised that Le Winston Band will be in the lineup. Another Quebec-based act at this year’s event is the Juno Award–winning Innu folk-country musician Florent Vollant, who is half of the Kashtin duo. His latest album is Mitsha Meshkenu (The High Road), which includes Tex-Mex influences. Another musician from Quebec is Joseph Edgar, who originally hailed from New Brunswick. According to Dumas, Edgar’s Acadian rhythms are well suited to a “spectacle en salle”, i.e., an indoor show in a small venue. “Having this event online gave us the opportunity to be able to share that,” she said.

and transplanted Brittany native and French electropop songwriter Loig Morin. That’s not all. Dumas pointed out that Festival du Bois will include plenty of children’s programming, including Monseiur André (André Thériault) in the sugar shack, as well as accordionist Roger Dallaire and Frenchie the Clown. She added that Seattlebased Sue Truman will show kids of all ages how to make “crankies”. And if you don’t know what a crankie is, you’ll have to turn on your computer and go to festivaldubois. com to find the answer. g Festival du Bois will stream performances on demand from April 16 to April 30.

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THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT

7


ARTS

McClelland uses art to present needed Essentials

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by Steve Newton

hari Wendell McClelland is clearly psyched about the array of musicians, poets, and thinkers he’s got lined up for The Essentials, a show streaming online from Vancouver’s York Theatre April 16 to 18. As well as his own group, gospel-roots trio the Sojourners, performers include folk duo Twin Bandit, oud specialist Gordon Grdina, soul/R & B vocalist Tanika Charles, Inuit-style throat singers PIQSIQ, and horndriven dance band Queer as Funk, all of whom he regards as associates and friends. But as he plugs the gig on the phone from his home in Strathcona, the singer also feels compelled to share the news about his new song and video, “Feels Real Good”, which he’ll present each night. McClelland sourced the lyrics for the tune by asking people on social media what they were doing in these challenging times to help themselves feel better. “It was probably the most response I ever received for any single post on Facebook,” he notes. “They said, ‘I go to the forest.’ ‘I eat meals with friends.’ ‘I sing in a choir.’ ‘I just hang out with my kids.’ I took all of those answers and made a song, and I think it’s incredibly moving.

I don’t think that we’re the shining city on the hill. There’s still work to do. – Khari Wendell McClelland

Khari Wendell McClelland hopes that the three nights of music, poetry, and thought that he is curating for the Cultch helps people understand what’s needed now. Photo by Andrew Querner.

“A goal for me as a person,” he adds, “but also as an artist, is to connect with the community and to feel like I’m really responding to what people are feeling and thinking and needing, and this song really does that in a powerful way.”

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Sun Xun: Mythological Time is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery on behalf of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program, curated by Diana Freundl, Interim Chief Curator/Associate Director. Sun Xun, Mythology or Rebellious Bone, 2020 (detail), ink, gold leaf, natural colour pigment on paper, Courtesy of the Artist and ShanghART Gallery Stories that animate us is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Zoë Chan, Assistant Curator and Diana Freundl, Interim Chief Curator/Associate Director. Jérôme Havre, Cauleen Smith and Camille Turner, Triangle Trade, 2017 (detail), HD video, Courtesy of the Artists Pictures and Promises is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with Capture Photography Festival and co-curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, and Emmy Lee Wall, Executive Director, Capture Photography Festival. O Zhang, We are all the Future of the Earth, 2008 (detail), inkjet print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Artist Major Sponsor:

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McClelland has been connecting well with the Vancouver arts community since moving here from Detroit in 2004. He first hooked up with the Sojourners—which also includes founding members Marcus Mosely and Will Sanders—at the Vancouver Folk Festival three years later. “I was actually singing with another group,” he recalls, “but I went up to them and immediately was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, these are the guys that are doing the thing that I really want to do.’ I started singing to them, like an old Sam Cooke gospel song, and the rest is history. Very soon after that, we ended up joining forces and singing together.” Growing up in Detroit, McClelland was influenced by a wide range of Black artists and different genres. Gospel, soul, R & B, hip-hop—even pop and electronic music—were all very popular as he was growing up and foundational in his listening. The first artist that he truly loved as a kid was Prince; today, he cites Leon Bridges and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes among his faves. “I’m often just looking for something that’s true,” he says, “something that affects and moves me.” He says that the music of the Sojourners falls under that category. “They represent a history that’s lived,” he says. “Both Will and Marcus are from the [American] south, living there through fierce segregation. I think they speak to the traditions that African Americans—and African Canadians, Black folks—come from, the early Black settlers and folks who were escaping enslavement, those early communities. “But also they sing in a way that is kind of a lost art. The type of harmony singing and storytelling that is present in their songs isn’t particularly popular right now.

So it feels like being part of an institution, in some ways, and like shepherding history.” Speaking of history, the monumental events of the past year—including the global pandemic, the turmoil of the U.S. presidential election, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement fuelled by the death of George Floyd and his killer’s current trial—have led to much soul-searching. Coming to grips with what needs to be done in the face of rampant racism and social injustice is part of McClelland’s aim with The Essentials. “I feel like, overall, the feeling is that we want to be better and do things differently on the other side of all of this madness,” he ponders. “I feel like in some ways, some things had bubbled to the surface because of the pandemic, because there was this pause that allowed some things to come forward, things that are courageous and beautiful but also things that are really ugly and nasty—thinking about the attempted insurrection and all that stuff. It’s all there, kinda underneath the surface. “But the hope is that we can come out the other side more deeply engaged in our common humanity and sorta learn how to love better. The pandemic has allowed us to spend more time with our families than we have in our entire lives; people look out for their neighbours in a way that they never have before. I feel like people are really attempting to form deeper bonds during this time, and it’s my hope that we do come out of this being changed, and we do remember what’s essential and what’s needed at this time.” As hopeful as he is for the future, McClelland’s current wardrobe doesn’t include rose-coloured glasses. He’s not expecting MLK’s famous wish from 1963, that people be judged by character and not colour, to come true tomorrow. “That’s still a dream,” he says. “It’s not like all of a sudden [racism] disappeared or something. I mean, I don’t want to disparage what I think of Vancouver, because in many ways it has been a beautiful place for me to be. I have a lot of friends, and it’s the only place that I’ve been racially profiled by police—both of those things are true. So I don’t think that we’re the shining city on the hill. There’s still work to do.” g


ARTS

Innovator Sandra Laronde shifts Canadian narrative by Charlie Smith

Trace is one of the Red Sky Performance shows that will be presented in a new film, More Than Dance, We Are a Movement, which is being made available by Digidance. Photo by David Hou.

An Anishinaabe origin story about a journey from the Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes inspired Red Sky Performance’s Miigis in More Than Dance, We Are a Movement. Photo by Joanna Stoga.

ed Sky Performance executive and artistic director Sandra Laronde seized upon the idea for one of her landmark shows while staring at the night sky. As a member of the Teme-Augama Anishinabai (People of the Deep Water) in northern Ontario, she was well aware of how important the cosmos is to her people. “As Anishinaabe, we call ourselves the star people,” Laronde told the Straight by phone from her home in Toronto. “We believe that we came from the star world and we go back there after our time on Earth.” Yet in Canadian schools, students learn far more about Greek and Roman stories about the night sky than those at the heart of Laronde’s culture. So she decided to remedy this with a multimedia contemporary dance show called Trace, which is inspired by her people’s star stories rather than those imported from ancient European cultures. “What I would really love to see is that audiences become a lot more aware of the Indigenous narrative in Canada—Indigenous stories, Indigenous culture and artistry,” Laronde said. “Our stories matter. Our stories are in the centre of who Canada is. I mean, you can’t get more deeply Canadian than Indigenous people.” Laronde, one of Canada’s leading Indigenous creators, has been at the forefront of a First Nations cultural resurgence in Canada during the past two decades. She was hoping to take Red Sky Performance on a 20th anniversary tour, but that plan was scotched by the pandemic. In lieu of this, Digidance—a collaborative effort of four organizations, including Vancouver’s DanceHouse—will release a 55-minute film, More Than Dance, We Are a Movement. It includes showings of Trace and another Red Sky Performance show, Miigis, as well as an interview with Laronde.

world”, Laronde emphasized. She also noted that human beings are not at the top of the hierarchy in the Indigenous worldview. “Obviously, humans are very important—clearly—but there is so much more to the world: other sentient beings, other intelligences,” Laronde explained. “And I would

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As Anishinaabe, we call ourselves the star people. – dance innovator Sandra Laronde

Trace has won two Mavor Moore awards. Miigis, which features another Anishinaabe origin story of travelling from the Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes, won a Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for excellence in conservation. “Miigis is basically this tiny shell that is the symbol of the perfect breath of life,” Laronde said. The show features many connections to water, reflecting the journey that her people took from saltwater to freshwater. Laronde said her company is hoping to shift the narrative of Canada, both consciously and unconsciously, through its performances. “We can advance Indigenous truth and advance Indigenous knowledge and advance Indigenous artistry,” she declared. “Because the narrative of us to date is a colonial narrative—a mainstream narrative—that is ultimately a false narrative. And so we need to tell our own stories and be at the centre of our own stories to tell the truth of our narratives.” Laronde is also known as Misko Kizhigoo Migizii Kwe, which is translated into “Red Sky Eagle Woman” in the Anishinaabemowin language. She said Indigenous stories, history, metaphysics, and artistry can help Canadians become more rooted to the land and the environment. That, she suggested, can help people feel less isolated. Red Sky Performance is “very much interested in going beyond a human-centric

love to see that Indigenous intelligence is not erased by the Canadian canon but that it’s embraced and held and celebrated.” g Digidance will stream Red Sky Performance’s More Than Dance, We Are a Movement on demand from April 14 to 20.

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MOVIES

Vancouver’s Valerie Tian speaks up—and acts out

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by Craig Takeuchi

s simple as it sounds, staying silent while conveying there’s something simmering beneath the surface isn’t something that all actors can pull off. Some have failed. Others (like France’s Isabelle Huppert) have elevated it into an art. Vancouver actor Valerie Tian succeeds in the task, making quite the understated impression in Karen Lam’s atmospheric horror The Curse of Willow Song. As the titular character, an ex-convict attempting to rebuild her life in the Downtown Eastside, the Vancouver neighbourhood known as Canada’s poorest postal code, Willow is someone whom those around her—her probation officer, her boss, her unlikely allies—talk at, not with. Her eyes, however, say what she does not. Facing too many pressures and being too inexperienced to speak up is something that Tian can relate to. That’s because she grew up as a child actor, shuttling back and forth between Vancouver and Los Angeles since age 10. “All the people who were micromanaging my life…[were] talking about me as if I’m not there,” she says in a phone interview. Tian says she realized that in their efforts to turn her into an “overnight sensation”, they were just after money. That recognition was a killjoy moment, because she pursued the business thinking the work would be fun. As a child, she desperately wanted to have a job. Consequently, her mom (“to

Valerie Tian, whose first starring film role was in Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum’s 2002 Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity, had her latest lead in local director Karen Lam’s The Curse of Willow Song.

shut me up”) got her into a talent agency to be a model. In a twist of fate, the shy Valerie accidentally signed up for acting classes, despite fearing public speaking. “But that ended up being good for me,”

she says. “Now I can’t shut up.” She started off doing background work in films like Saving Silverman and Air Bud. But Tian says her agent wasn’t confident about submitting Asian actors for roles because he

didn’t think they would sell. Then a prime opportunity popped up: Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum’s 2002 comedy-drama Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity. Tian prepared hard for the audition (she chalks up her drive to having a “tiger mom”) and it paid off: she bagged the role of earnest 12-year-old Mindy Ho, with Sandra Oh playing her mother. She has since appeared on TV shows such as Motive, iZombie, and The Magicians, and the role she says she gets most recognized for is pro-life protester SuChin in 2007’s Juno. Her recent work has been proving that she has more to offer. In addition to Willow Song, one of her only other lead roles in film was her portrayal of a Chinese woman in Trinidad who is coerced into sex work to pay off a “smuggler tax” in the 2017 feature drama Moving Parts. But like others in her situation, the odds are stacked against her. During her 20-year career, Tian says, she has seen the industry move beyond offering nonwhite actors roles as “human props”. Nonetheless, she thinks there’s still a lack of lead roles for Asian Canadian talent. Although she hid her kung fu ability as a child actor because she didn’t want to be stereotyped, she would now love to do a Jackie Chan-style, over-the-top comedic role. After all, since she’s come into her own, she’s clearly ready to kick ass—and laugh about it. g

Violation partners defer to each other’s passions

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by Norman Wilner

ot a lot of filmmakers have been lucky enough to spend the past year sheltering in place with their principal collaborator. Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli are the exception. The personal and professional partners’ inventive and unnerving short films “Slap Happy”, “Chubby”, and “Woman In Stall” led to last year’s devastating first feature, Violation, which stars Sims-Fewer as a woman working her way through trauma as methodically and horribly as possible. They’ve been enduring the pandemic together, shepherding Violation through the mostly virtual festival circuit and trying to figure out their next thing. “The beauty of working with a collaborator is that I feel like we’ll never run out of ideas,” Mancinelli says. “We literally don’t have enough time to develop all the ideas.” The pair had been working separately in Toronto for almost a decade before they met at the 2015 TIFF Talent Lab. Which doesn’t sound especially interesting, until

Personal and professional partners Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli share the roles of writer, producer, and director in the making of their shorts and, now, feature projects.

we pull back a little. “We both went to York, just a year apart, and never met each other,” Sims-Fewer says. “So we’re both going to Talent Lab, and we had all our friends saying, ‘Oh, Dusty’s there too! You guys should meet each other!’ And I watched Dusty’s films—we all got the chance to watch each other’s work before

the lab—and just really loved the films he was making. We just had so much to talk about, right from the first day.” “We were both discovering the kinds of filmmakers we wanted to be,” Mancinelli says, “both in terms of the stories we were interested in telling and the aesthetic that we were drawn to. And there’s almost a

similarity to self-actualization as a human being as you try to get comfortable in your own skin and figure out who you are. I feel like I didn’t really know who I was as a filmmaker, really, until we started.” “That’s something we discovered together,” Sims-Fewer adds. The pair work in concert as writers, producers, and directors, though that can be complicated by the fact that SimsFewer is also acting in most of their projects—and frequently doing something very, very intense. “We have certain rules that kind of help us negotiate or mitigate any potential conflict on-set,” Sims-Fewer says. “Simply: the most passionate idea always wins. We carry that forward in the writing process, too.” “If Madeleine rewrites me and then I put something back, she can see that I really like it and leaves it,” Mancinelli says. “Or she’ll try to rewrite it again and I’ll rewrite her. But we try to avoid the idea of ego and negotiating each other’s own desires, rather making it about the work itself.” g

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

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MOVIES

Canadian director’s short films have a big impact

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by Kelsey Adams

elly Fyffe-Marshall calls herself an “impact filmmaker” because her short films and upcoming debut feature are created with the purpose of shedding light on unsung stories. “Make ripples where you are” is the advice that the Brampton, Ontario–based writer and director gives to anyone who asks for guidance. Her short films “Haven”, “Black White Blue”, and “Black Bodies”—which have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, and Sundance—tackle childhood sexual assault, police brutality, and anti-Black racism through a visceral but often poetic lens. “Black Bodies” was one of six Canadian projects in this year’s Sundance Festival, out of 118 total films. In February, FyffeMarshall tweeted about the Canadian media’s relative disinterest in the film, a tweet that caught the attention of American director and producer Ava DuVernay. After she reposted it, the tweet went viral and Fyffe-Marshall was invited to speak with numerous Canadian outlets. “I told every interviewer that they were proving that what I said was correct. I got the American co-sign and now I’m being asked about my film.” “Black Bodies” is a metaphorical interpretation of an experience Fyffe-Marshall

Ontario-based writer-director Kelly Fyffe-Marshall made a conscious decision to remain in her home country to make her films, despite a lack of financial support for Canadian filmmakers.

had in 2018 in San Bernardino, California. She and friends rented an Airbnb to attend Kaya Fest, the Marley family’s annual festival. On their last day, as they were loading the car with luggage, seven police cars and a helicopter swarmed them. An elderly white woman called the cops because she assumed they were breaking and entering. “She called the police on us because we were Black people in that neighbourhood.” Fyffe-Marshall wrote “Black Bodies” immediately after the traumatizing incident.

She often heals through her filmmaking. “It’s definitely a way for me to push things out. I’ve realized that I start a lot of my movies, not with ideas, but with emotions,” she said. “Something will happen and I’m like, ‘That would be interesting to write a movie around.’ ” She’s been working with producer Tamar Bird and director of photography Jordan Oram since they met as production assistants on the same set eight years ago. Their next venture together is a set of feature films, When Morning Comes and

Summer Of The Gun. The former is an immigration story about a young boy from Jamaica. The latter finds the same protagonist implicated in events during the summer of 2005 in Toronto, which was rife with gun violence. Both are deeply homegrown stories, but of a kind that the Canadian film industry hasn’t been so willing to accommodate. In her 10 years in the industry, FyffeMarshall has worked mainly on American productions. She attributes this to it being very difficult to secure funding for Canadian projects. “We’re very heavily dependent on grants here, so all of our filmmaking goes through gatekeepers,” she said. “The infrastructure of Canadian film means that we’ve gradually become this service machine for American film production. There’s no support here for Canadian creatives to flourish and to build their career here.” Earlier on in her career, mentors warned Fyffe-Marshall that if she stayed in Canada she would become a martyr. “I told them I’m going to be the one who stays here, because if we continue to leave, the problem is going to continue. What we’re trying to do is figure out how not to hinder our own careers and also create a new trajectory for those coming up behind us.” g

Young breakout star gets a strong start in Beans

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by Glenn Sumi

racey Deer’s debut feature, Beans, begins and ends with the film’s 12-year-old Mohawk protagonist introducing herself to white people. The contrasting scenes show the huge dramatic and personal journey that Tekehentahkhwa (nicknamed Beans) has travelled. But none of this would register without the committed, authentic performance by its young actor, Kiawentiio. The film is a coming-of-age picture set against the 1990 Oka crisis, in which some of Quebec’s Indigenous communities faced off against police, the military, and citizens because of the proposed expansion of a golf course onto Mohawk burial grounds. Deer experienced the brutality and racism of the Oka crisis firsthand as a 12-year-old, something she obviously brought to the film. “It was a huge help that it was Tracey’s story,” Kiawentiio says on a Zoom call from her home in Akwesasne, Ontario. “But it was two-sided. I felt pressure because it was her story and I wanted to get it exactly right. But it was helpful because it was her experience and she could tell me exactly what she was feeling.” The film recounts some horrific scenes.

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Kiawentiio got started in acting with a role on TV’s Anne With an E but is also a visual artist and a singer-songwriter with a song that was used in her feature-film debut, all by the age of 14.

In one, Beans, her mother (Rainbow Dickerson), and sister (Violah Beauvais) are in a car when Québécois throw rocks through the windows. “Tracey’s number-one priority was making us feel comfortable on-set,” the young actor says about those scenes. “For the drivers in front of us, some of the actors driving had probably lived through it, too, or had family members affected by the crisis. Tracey didn’t want

APRIL 15 – 22 / 2021

anybody to be retraumatized. Every time we would reset, the actors would cheer at us and smile, because they didn’t want us to think they were actually like the people they were portraying.” In terms of emotional scenes, Deer helped lead Kiawentiio through the mix of feelings. “She’d say to me, ‘Oh, and you’re so mad about this…and this…,’ ” the actor says. “She’d talk me through these emotions.”

Although only 14—she turns 15 at the end of the month—Kiawentiio, like the aspiring-artist character she plays, has many talents. Besides acting—her breakthrough came when she was cast in the third season of Anne With an E—she’s also a visual artist and a singer-songwriter. She released her first EP, In My Head, last month. During the making of Beans, she wrote a song called “Light At The End”; the creative team was so impressed with it that they included it as the film’s closing-credits music. She has a small role in the new sitcom Rutherford Falls, which begins airing on April 22. One of the highlights from that was meeting Indigenous actor Michael Greyeyes, whom she calls “nice and sweet and funny—a really cool role model.” Although she’s busy as a Grade 10 student and isn’t sure what artistic practice to follow, she does have one acting fantasy. “It would be a dream if I could work on Avatar: The Last Airbender,” she says. “I’m dying to be Katara.” I google the character and learn about her fierce, heroic journey. Oh, yeah. It’ll happen. g


MOVIES

Director’s film and art share roots but not venues

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by Radheyan Simonpillai

aroline Monnet is speaking to NOW over Zoom from her Montreal studio while keeping an eye on Quebec’s COVID-19 announcements. The Algonquin-French multimedia artist, whose work is featured on both international screens and galleries, is preparing her latest solo show, which is set to open at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on April 21. The pandemic has already delayed the premiere of Monnet’s debut feature film, Bootlegger. The film, which won a screenplay prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation, stars Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs as a young woman returning to her reserve during a referendum on prohibition laws. Principal photography wrapped in December 2019, but COVID-19 stretched the postproduction schedule. “We tried to edit at a distance, but it was just too difficult,” Monnet says. She’s a handson artist, as the installations behind her attest. She tends to discover her films in the editing room, so the virtual-collaboration thing isn’t exactly her tempo. “It stops all spontaneity, just being able to sit in the same room as my editor and share and jam with ideas.” Bootlegger, which is now complete, also

Caroline Monnet’s first feature film, Bootlegger, completed its principal photography more than a year ago, but the pandemic forced the multimedia artist to work virtually with her film editor.

feels like a huge divergence from her other work, just because of the nature of collaboration. The film had Monnet working with the whole film-business apparatus (producers, distributors, etcetera) on a feature that is relatively conventional compared to her other work. Her film and fine-art career were forged in the same fire—experimental video shorts and installations like Ikwé (2009)—but Mon-

net says they splintered into two callings. Hypnotic and exhilarating films like “Roberta” (2014), “Mobilize” (2015) and “Creatura Dada” (2016) were playing film festivals like TIFF and Sundance while taking on more narrative qualities along the way. Meanwhile, the fine art became sculptures and installations that would show in galleries. “It’s two very different brains and industries,” Monnet says. “They don’t really mix.”

But Monnet’s entire career has been about bridging disparate identities. Her installations merge modern art with Indigenous tradition. For her 2017 exhibition Memories We Shouldn’t Speak Of, Monnet made sculptures from hair dripping with tar—a nod toward the tar sands and Indigenous beliefs that hair holds onto memories. Her short films often feature Indigenous people going on a journey of some kind, reaching back into their heritage in modern times, or connecting their history with their future. For Monnet—whose father is French and whose mother is from the Anishinabeg First Nation’s Kitigan Zibi in Quebec—these are expressions of the space she occupies and a reclamation, finding a sense of pride in her identity and heritage. Even Bootlegger, which is the first feature to be shot in Kitigan Zibi, was an opportunity to connect with the distant cousins and community she only visited during family occasions and powwows. “It was really, really important for me to spend time there,” Monnet says, “to work with the community, for them to get to know me better, for me to know them better.” g

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SAVAGE LOVE

Gay, bi, or straight: no excuse for cruel behaviour by Dan Savage

b I’M A FEMALE in my late 20s. I broke up with a toxic ex about a year ago and I’ve been walking around (my house) thinking I was over it. I never missed him and rarely thought about him. A brief backstory: in the final months of us living together, we started having more discussions about children and making a lifelong commitment. He told me he wanted both, yet at this exact time his moderate depression became more severe and he refused to get help. I tolerated his cruel behaviour because I knew how badly he was hurting. This ranged from icing me out to berating me and demanding I leave the home that we shared— my house—citing his need for “alone” time. One time he demanded I get up and leave in the middle of the night and go to a friend’s house! My self-esteem suffered. I finally left. Fast forward to now. I find out he’s been dating a man. I can barely cope with the anger I feel about this. I feel like a casualty of his shame. We have progressive friends! His sister has dated women! His parents are accepting! None of the reasons you list as appropriate ones for staying closeted apply to him, Dan! His inability to accept himself caused me the most severe emotional trauma of my life and I just feel enraged. I logically know this is not about me. It’s about him. So why does this retroactively bother me so much? Part of me wants to say something to him but I’m not sure that would make me feel better. I’d be very appreciative of any guidance you may have. Not sure what to think. - Bitterly Enraged And Really Distressed

to add to your rage, BEARD, but that night he made you go to a friend’s house? It wasn’t “alone time” he was after. Dude was hosting. Before I tell you what to do about your rage, BEARD, there’s something I wanna clear up: I

I don’t want

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Dan Savage advises a mistreated reader to unload on her toxic ex. Photo by Antonio Guillem.

don’t think having the opposite of everything your ex-boyfriend had—I don’t think having conservative friends instead of progressive friends, straight sisters instead of bi or heteroflexible sisters, shitty parents instead of accepting parents—are appropriate reasons for a grown-ass man in his 30s to stay closeted. When people are young and dependent on their parents, sure, having shitty parents and no support from friends or siblings is good reason to stay closeted in high school and maybe until after college. But it’s no excuse for remaining closeted into your thirties— and it’s certainly no excuse for using someone the way your ex appears to have used you, i.e., as a beard, BEARD. (Urban Dictionary: “The girlfriend or boyfriend of a closeted homosexual, used to conceal their homosexuality.”) All right, BEARD, you have every right to be angry. You put a lot of time and effort into this relationship, and if turns out your ex is gay, well, that means he was lying to

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you and using you and wasting your time. It’s possible he’s bisexual, however, in which case he wasn’t being fully honest with you but may not have been using you or wasting your time. But gay or bi, your ex treated you very poorly and the news that he’s dating a man now is making you reassess your relationship and his depression, to say nothing of that night he threw you out of your own apartment because he needed “alone time”. I think there are two things you need to do now: resolve never make excuses for someone who treats you with cruelty again. We all have our moments, of course, but someone who can’t treat their partners with some modicum of respect and compassion even when they’re struggling isn’t in good enough working order to be in a relationship in the first place. And I think you should write him a letter and really unload on him. Tell him you’re angry; tell him why. You may or may not get a response—you may or may not want one—but you’ll feel better after writing the letter. And who knows? If he responds with a heartfelt apology, BEARD, you may feel even better. b CIS MALE HERE. A number of years ago, I saw a woman for a few months and then we parted ways. NBD. However, I later learned she was pregnant and I’ve always wondered if the child was mine. We haven’t talked for years but we’re still friends on FB, so I see periodic updates and pics of the kid. It’s always just pics of my ex and her son and I don’t ever see pics of anyone that could be the father. However, this morning I saw a post saying that her son will be turning seven in May, which would mean he was born May 2014 and was conceived approximately August of 2013. We stopped sleeping together the late July of 2013, so it’s probably outside the realm of possibility that this could be my kid. We didn’t have a

Solodko Ukrainian Bakery Inc.

o/a Kozak Homemade Ukrainian Food is looking for Food Service Supervisors. Job location: 5077 Victoria Dr, Vancouver BC, V5P 3T9. Perm, F/T, Shifts, Weekends $17.30/h, extended health benefits. Requirements: Good English, several years of experience, high school. Main duties: Supervise the activities of workers; Prepare work schedules; Hire and train employees, assign workers to duties; Order supplies; Oversee quality control standards, sanitation and safety procedures; Prepare and submitreports; Resolve customer complaints; Maintain records of stock. Company’s business address: 444 Sixth St, New Westminster, BC V3L 3B3 Please apply by e-mail: employment@solodko.ca

tumultuous breakup and she’s independently wealthy, and we were in our mid-30s when we were together and it’s possible she went the sperm-bank route shortly after we broke up. At any rate, do you think I should ask her if the child is mine? I can see how that would be rude, but on the other hand, I kind of want to know. What do you think? - The Kid Is Not My Son (Probably)

the child is yours, TKINMSP, but then I don’t think the child is hers, either. I mean, your ex is definitely this kid’s mother and you may have a biological tie this kid—you might be his biological father—but ultimately this kid belongs to himself, TKINMSP, and he might like or need to know who his biological father is someday. Backing up for a second. If you were fucking your ex without protection in late July of 2013 and she gave birth in early May of 2014, TKINMSP, there’s a small chance you could be this kid’s biological father. Sperm can linger in the vaginal canal for a few days before a woman ovulates; some babies arrive a week or two late. I’m not saying it’s likely, TKINMSP, I’m just saying it can’t be ruled out and only your ex knows for sure. So send her a letter. Open by reassuring her that you have no desire to reenter her life or enter the life of her child but that you’ve always wondered. Then tell her that if you are the biological father and they ever need a family medical history from you or if this child should want to meet his biological father someday—and if that biological father is you—you’re open to providing medical info and/or meeting up once her son is an adult—if you’re the biological father, TKINMSP, which you might not be. g

I don’t think

Email: mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan at Twitter @ FakeDanSavage. Website: www.savagelovecast.com.

Velgor Construction Inc.

is HIRING a Marketing Specialist. Perm, F/T (40 hrs/wk). Salary - $29.00 /hr Requirements: work experience in marketing at least 3-5 years, completion of a college program. A bachelor's degree is an asset. Main duties: Conduct market research, undertake competitor research and analyses; Develop marketing plans and promotional strategies; Generate results-focused marketing concepts; Develop and implement creative advertising campaigns; Establish goals and objectives; Create marketing materials; Analyze data;Report marketing campaigns results. Company’s business address and job location: #102-2131 Hartley Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6X3 Please apply by e-mail: velgorconstruction@gmail.com

Amra Bakery Inc. o/a European Breads Bakery is hiring a Baker. Shifts, Weekends, Perm, Full-Time (40 h/w)

Wage: $ 15.20 /h

Job requirements: Good English, Previous experience as a baker is an asset. On-thejob training will be provided by employer. Education: High school. Main duties: Measure and combine fl our and other ingredients according to recipes; Prepare dough for breads and other baked goods; Prepare and operate equipment for baking; Set and monitor temperatures and bake items; Ensure product freshness and food safety; Keep work area clean and tidy. Company’s business address and job location:

4320 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4G3 Please apply by e-mail: european.breads.amra@gmail.com


Aqua Painting Co. Ltd. Is hiring Drywall Installers and Finishers Greater Vancouver, BC

Wage - $ 27.50 /hour, Perm, F/T

Requirements: good English, exp. 2-3 years, high school Main duties: Measure interior walls and ceilings; Prepare drywall sheets for installation; Position and secure drywall sheets; Measure, cut and install metal corner beads; Fill joints, holes and cracks; Tape over joints and apply successive coats of drywall compound; Sand seams and joints, completely prepare surfaces for priming/painting. Company’s business address:

14-4160 Bond St., Burnaby BC V5H 1G2 Please apply by e-mail: aqua.painting.co@gmail.com

Artebuz Holdings INC is looking for Carpenters Greater Vancouver, BC.

Perm, F/T, Wage - $ 28/h

Requirements: experience 3-4 years, good English, high school. Main duties: Read and interpret blueprints; Measure, cut, shape, assemble, and join lumber and wood materials; Layout and framing of buildings wall structures; Cut, fi t and install trim items; Build decks, flooring, fences and other wooden structures; Operate measuring, hand and power tools; Supervise helpers and apprentices. Company’s business address:

111-625 Como Lake Ave, Coquitlam BC V3J 3M5 Please apply by e-mail: artebuzgroup@gmail.com

Golden Owl Construction Inc. is looking for Carpenters Greater Vancouver, BC.

Perm, F/T, Wage - $ 28 per/h

Requirements: Experience 3-4 years, good English, high school. Main duties: Read and interpret blueprints; Prepare layouts; Operate and maintain measuring, hand and power tools; Build, repair and renovate wooden forms and structures; Measure, cut and join lumber and wood materials or lightweight steel; Install structures and fi xtures; Supervise helpers and apprentices; Follow established safety rules.

Company’s business address: 12721 227 Street, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 6K5 Please apply by e-mail: hrgoldenowl@gmail.com

Apartments For Rent. West End

Professional EMPLOYMENT Services Dating Services

Milano Dating Services Lonely? Don't Give up! Date Local Russian & Ukrainian Ladies 604-805-1342

Mind EMPLOYMENT Body & Soul Support Groups A MDABC peer-led support group is a safe place to share your story, your struggles and accomplishments, and to listen to others as they share similar concerns. Please Note: Support groups are not intended to provide counselling/therapy. Please visit www.mdabc.net for a list & location of support groups or call 604-873-0103 for info. AL-ANON FAMILY GROUPS Does someone else's drinking bother you? Al-Anon can help. We are a support group for those who have been affected by another's drinking problem. For more information please call: 604-688-1716 Anorexics & Bulimics Anonymous 12 Step based peer support program which addresses the mental, emotional, & spiritual aspects of disordered eating Tuesdays @ 7 pm @ Avalon Women's Centre 5957 West Blvd - 604-263-7177

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Distress Line & Suicide Prevention Services NEED SOME ONE TO TALK TO? Call us for immediate, free, confidential and non-judgemental support, 24 hours a day, everyday. The Crisis Centre in Vancouver can help you cope more effectively with stressful situations. 604-872-3311

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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

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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 @livinghumility@live.com

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Battered Women's Support Services provides free daytime & evening support groups (Drop-ins & 10 week groups) for women abused by their intimate partner. Groups provide emotional support, legal information & advocacy, safety planning, and referrals. For more information please call: 604-687-1867

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ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION Looking to start a parent support group in Kitsilano. Please call Barbara 604-737-8337

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APRIL 15 –25 22–/JULY 20212 / 2020 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT JUNE THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15 3


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