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A proposed East Side 10-storey complex that will contain a drug-rehab centre and social-housing units is being challenged by Grandview-Woodland residents as contrary to their community plan. > BY CARLITO PABLO
Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins is wellknown as abstaining from using drugs, so why is he such a champion for legal weed? > BY PIPER COURTENAY
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The Bottle I Saw You Pop Eye Savage Love Straight Stars Straight Talk Style Technology Theatre
We celebrate Italian Day with articles about the fete, Italian foods and drink, fashion, the history of The Drive and Italians in the city, and legendary singer Edoardo Bennato.
As the Bard on the Beach festival gets set to open, a dream team of theatre artists comes together to make Macbeth their own. > BY ANDRE A WARNER
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With a fresh face behind the kit for Pinned, A Place to Bury Strangers finds new life; She Stole My Beer goes beyond the groove; Mohsen Namjoo goes on a global journey.
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straight talk NPA POLITICO ACCUSES VISION OF COLLUSION
A city councillor with the centreright Non-Partisan Association (NPA) says “political collusion” is underway to keep Vision Vancouver in power. NPA councillor George Affleck described the electoral agreements struck by Vision and other left-leaning parties with the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) as an attempt to “pull the wool over voters’ eyes”. “It’s disappointing that there’s a political collusion that’s going on,” Affleck told the Straight by phone. “Vision has run this government into the ground, and now the other parties who call themselves progressives are putting together a regressive plan.” According to Affleck, it’s another example of Vision’s ability to pull a ruse on other parties. “They [Vision] have masterminded the way to be in power for 10 years by, you know, relegating the other political parties into pretty much oblivion by fooling them and tricking them,” Affleck said. The VDLC has stated that it will endorse a maximum of four candidates for council for each party that is running a mayor, and five for a party that does not have a mayoral candidate. But Vision will field five candidates for council, plus a mayor. If all of them win, the party retains control of city hall. Even though the VDLC may normally only endorse a maximum of four council candidates for Vision, the party could have the highest number compared to the other parties. The Green Party will run three candidates; OneCity, two; the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), two, plus Jean Swanson, if the antipoverty activist seeks a COPE nomination. There are 10 seats in council, and the VDLC will not support more candidates than there are seats, which means that not everyone will get endorsed. Former COPE councillor Tim Louis is a critic of Vision, which he doesn’t consider a progressive party. He described COPE’s deal with VDLC as a “good arrangement”. “I’m hopeful that between the Green Party and Jean Swanson
“vacancy” rate is 3.8 percent. That’s slightly higher than Quebec, at 3.7 percent, and significantly above Ontario (3.2 percent), Manitoba (2.7 percent), Alberta (2.4 percent), and Saskatchewan (2.1 percent). High job-vacancy rates existed in personal services (4.8 percent) and construction (3.6 percent), the report noted. > CHARLIE SMITH
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The NPA’s George Affleck says Vision tricks other parties to stay in power. and COPE, there will be a true progressive majority,” Louis told the Straight by phone. VDLC president Stephen Von Sychowski explained by phone that each agreement was a result of discussions with a given party that considered several factors, including previous election results. According to Von Sychowski, Vision “pushed strongly” for five council candidates and VDLC “ultimately agreed” even though it may endorse only a maximum of four. “If it was critical for them [Vision] to run those…numbers, then so be it,” Von Sychowski told the Straight. > CARLITO PABLO
JOB VACANCIES HIGHEST IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Local residents are quite accustomed to hearing about B.C.’s dismally low rental-apartment vacancy rate. But not nearly as many are aware that this province had the highest job-vacancy rate in the first quarter of 2018. That’s according to the latest Help Wanted report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It reveals that in the first quarter of the year, 407,000 private-sector jobs remained unfilled for at least four months across the country. In B.C., 68,100 jobs in the private sector were vacant over a four-month period, meaning its
West Vancouver police have issued a warning to alert residents about scam phone calls that falsely appear to be from a law-enforcement officer. Several West Vancouver residents have reported receiving calls from a man who claims to be a West Vancouver police constable. Const. Jeff Palmer told the Straight by phone that they have received 30 to 40 reports about such calls. Police continued to receive reports until June 5 as the Straight was ready to go to press. The caller has used a variety of false surnames for his calls as well as a badge number starting with a 9. He also refers to a file number, and after telling residents that their debit card has been used fraudulently, he asks for personal information. In addition, the calls falsely appear to be coming from the West Vancouver police nonemergency number. Police advise anyone receiving these calls to offer no personal or financial information to the suspect, hang up, and either visit their financial institution in person or contact their financial institution or police from a different phone line to check on any concerns about individual cards or accounts. Palmer explained that they recommend using a different phone line or visiting in person to ensure that the line has been properly disconnected from the scam call. Police are also warning residents not to make any financial transfers or transactions that are requested by unsolicited phone calls, email, or online messages, and they are reminding residents that police, banks, and financial institutions do not ask people to transfer funds to external accounts, for security reasons. > CRAIG TAKEUCHI
The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 52 Number 2630 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: email@example.com Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith PRODUCT DIRECTOR
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6 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
Rehab site riles residents
he size of a proposed East Vancouver development is raising questions about the value of community plans. The project in question is a 10-storey complex that will contain a drug-rehabilitation centre and socialhousing units. The site—occupying a whole city block on East 1st Avenue between Clark Drive and McLean Drive—is in Grandview-Woodland. In 2016, city council approved a plan to guide future growth in the neighbourhood. It was the product of four years of staff work and The CIty of Vancouver owns land on East 1st Avenue where a 131,234-square-foot, engagement with the neighbour10-storey drug-recovery and social-housing project has been proposed. hood, including the formation of The city owns the land, and the a citizens’ assembly that provided Mary Clare Zak is the managing 131,234-square-foot development will director of the city’s social-policy recommendations. According to Dana Cromie, be undertaken by B.C. Housing. Van- and projects division. She attended chair of the Grandview-Woodland couver Coastal Health will operate the a June 4 panel discussion hosted Area Council (GWAC), a grass- drug-rehabilitation centre comprising by GWAC regarding the developroots advocacy group, the com- 54,896 square feet. ment. Zak said she recalls counting Nathalie Baker is a lawyer who about 30 people at the meeting and munity plan laid out a different direction for the site, which is for specializes in municipal law. Accord- that only two of the attendees supa smaller, six-storey development. ing to Baker, many people do not ported the project. “It’s one thing to have a commun- know that community plans are sim“What we’re trying to do, of ity work together for years on a plan ply statements that are not binding. course, with all city lands is to try to “They give people a sense that maximize the amount of use out of and come together and you have this they’ve had input the space that we have available,” Zak plan, and then into how they like told the Straight by phone. everything that their area to deseems to come She also maintained that the velop, but at the project’s size does not contradict up now that the Carlito Pablo end of the day, coun- the Grandview-Woodland complan’s approved wants something more than what’s cil can ignore the plans,” Baker told the munity plan. in the plan,” Cromie told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. Zak explained that although the Baker explained that community plan provides for up to six storeys Straight in a phone interview. “For us as residents, it’s frustrating plans are different than Official De- along East 1st Avenue, the western because it’s like, you know, we worked velopment Plans (ODPs), which have edge at Clark Drive is zoned as light hard for the plan and there was a lot of the force of bylaws. She cited Section industrial, which permits 10 storcompromise to arrive at the plan and 563 of the Vancouver Charter, which eys in the area. then the city is going to start issuing re- prohibits council from authorizing or A group called Community 1st, zoning permits for all these new build- undertaking “any development con- which opposes the project, will host ings that are beyond the plan,” Cromie trary to or at variance with the official a meeting with residents and the said. “It really makes us wonder why development plan”. development partners on Thursday we have the plan in the first place.” Had council adopted an ODP (June 7) starting at 7 p.m. at the Prado Perhaps adding to the frustration is with the same provisions as the Café (1938 Commercial Drive). the fact that the City of Vancouver is Grandview-Woodland community On June 11, an open house will both one of the three partners in the plan, Baker said, it could not ap- be held at Vancouver Community development and the authority that prove a 10-storey development un- College (1155 East Broadway) from will approve the project. less council revised the official plan. 5 to 7:30 p.m. -
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FansUnite is betting on blockchain tech The Vancouver company is hoping to restore trust in the sports-wagering industry > B Y K ATE WILSON
Henry Rollins doesn’t use cannabis himself, but he has become one of the community’s most outspoken advocates.
Rollins on decriminalization > B Y PIPER CO U R TE NAY
t was April 1987 in Trenton, New Jersey. In an apartment on Hamilton Avenue, the rhythm section of the newly formed Rollins Band sparked up an afternoon joint as they wrapped up one of the group’s first jam sessions. “I was so bored, so I said: ‘Let me try that,’ ” says Henry Rollins, one of America’s punk-rock pioneers and the longest-serving frontman of the group Black Flag. “I don’t know how much I smoked, not much, but it didn’t take much. I couldn’t even put a glass of water down on the table.” From then on, barring one time when he unintentionally got high during some cloudy interviews for a pot-focused episode of 10 Things You Didn’t Know, a History Channel show, Rollins has had no interest in smoking weed—or doing any other drugs, for that matter. “I just sat there feeling extremely self-conscious and it just wasn’t fun. And that’s kind of been my experience with almost every stimulant I have ever tried,” he says over the phone to the Georgia Straight. Channelling his trademark stage rage into a more digestible denunciation of the 21st-century drug war, Rollins hasn’t let his substance-free lifestyle stop him from becoming one of the cannabis community’s fiercest advocates. He is the keynote speaker for the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC)—a two-day industry-focused event coming to Vancouver on June 24 and 25—and his message is not a far cry from his poetic and politically laden lyrics. But instead of a sweaty mosh pit of thrashing fans, his audience now is a room full of steamed suits and budding entrepreneurs. The actor, author, and radio-show host, now 57, says he was aware when young of the stigma that accompanied a skunky waft of pot. He recounts early memories of his mother hurrying him—a third-grader observing the counterculture of the peace-loving 1960s—past the “dope fiends and hippies” smoking in parks in Washington, D.C. It wasn’t until he was fully immersed in the punk-rock scene during U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs, after joining Black Flag in 1981, that pot became politicized and he began questioning inaccuracies fuelling the propaganda of the era.
He says popular depictions of drug-addled rock stars placed him in the fight despite his being widely known for not actually partaking. Political attitudes haven’t really changed since those days, he adds, except that now some prosecutions for weed-related offences are facing fullblown civil-rights fights. “It’s a constitutional issue,” he says. “Decriminalization [of cannabis] is pushing back against the rampant bigotry and levers that law enforcement has to keep…[putting] African-American males into the penal system.” He notes that drug-related convictions disproportionately target marginalized communities across North America. “Discrimination and trauma lodges in people’s DNA and bone marrow. When America goes legal, all [of] your Jeff Sessions will have lost a major handle on their wheel.” Dubbing this a time of “aggressive progressive change”, Rollins says his fight now lies in wrestling the pot community from the clutches of Big Pharma and chipping away at toxic misinformation prolonging legalization efforts. “We have this century to get it right, and don’t you want to be one of the people they talk about in classrooms years from now, going: ‘They were part of the century that figured it out’?” he asks. It was in 1988 that Leonard Cohen told Rollins his challenge would be surviving the balance between art and commerce. Although he says it took him a decade to really decode the icon’s warning, it is now a sentiment that he passes on in his speeches to the business-minded crowd at ICBC. (He has provided opening remarks for the conference several times in the past, including the most recent event in Berlin.) “[Because of that] I immediately taught myself to forget I had any money and just kept living my life and doing my work,” he says. “If all you want is money, then what are you doing dicking around with a bunch of [cannabis] plants?…We are supposed to be the good guys in all this, and if you are just going to be the money guy, you are not being the good guy. You are being a capitalist schmuck. We have no use for you.” Having travelled to the Great White North many times, Rollins says he’s excited about the warming of Canada’s cultural and political attitudes toward pot. “Canadians are so inherently good anyway…I think legalization in Canada will make a really cool country even better,” he says. -
ports betting is a famously frustrating venture—and not just when players fail to sink the basket at the buzzer. Taking part in an industry known for its notoriety, hopefuls can be stung by shady antics that prop up the practice. Touts—people who publicize their bets and encourage others to follow them—often talk about hot streaks but are not required to show bettors the history of their picks. Certain individuals remove bad choices from their record, causing bettors to lose money. Sportsbooks, too—the establishments that set odds and take bets— can be guilty of dishonesty. Disputes over the resolution of wagers are not uncommon, and businesses sometimes renege on a bet after the fact, or fail to pay out on time or in full. According to Vancouver company FansUnite, there’s a simple solution to those problems. Currently, FansUnite exists as a social platform designed to create transparency in the touting industry. Offering users the chance to play with virtual currency, the website encourages individuals to place bets while the platform tracks and analyzes their history. As a result, it’s possible to find trusted experts and make more money through betting. Now, cofounders Darius Eghdami and Duncan McIntyre want to develop the concept further using blockchain technology. “It’s quite a new idea,” Eghdami, the company’s CEO, tells the Georgia Straight on the line from his Yaletown office. “Because of that, there are some limitations and challenges for building a platform out, but we’ve assembled a great team and we’re hoping to launch before the end of this year.” Eghdami wants to convert FansUnite’s virtual currency into tokens that have financial value—or, in other words, create their own cryptocurrency. To spend the tokens, an individual would log in to the app and place their bets online. Those picks would then be locked into a “smart contract”: a way to exchange money in a conflict-free way without a middleman. Smart contracts cannot be tampered with. Written onto the blockchain (a database copied onto multiple computers), they exist in many different places all over the world and require a consensus to execute—meaning that if the terms of the contract look different on
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(This article is sponsored by Vestis Fashion Group Inc.)
o say that fashion is in Harriet Guadagnuoloâ€™s blood is an understatement. Her family has been in the business for more than 35 years and she has grown up watching her mother, who launched Vestis Fashion Group with the opening of the first Max Mara store in Vancouver. It was when Guadagnuolo was going to university at 18 years of age that the group opened its own multibrand boutique, Blubird. And now the style destination is celebrating its 10th birthday, while Guadagnuolo continues the family legacy and has taken the reins as creative director and buyer. Travelling the world and scouting out the next big trends in Milan, Paris, and New York, Guadagnuolo aims to fulfill the Blubird mandate of bringing a curated selection of beautiful, contemporary pieces to women in Vancouver. Every season, Blubird presents more than 65 collections from brands like Red Valentino, Herno, ALCâ€”to name but a few. Guadagnuolo has created a sophisticated approach to merchandising, which identifies five different groups, or â€œthemesâ€?, that tell a fashion story. â€œItâ€™s really the only way that we can maintain a consistent aesthetic and curate the best for our clients,â€? she says. â€œWhen Iâ€™m creating the themes, Iâ€™m really keeping the end consumer in mind.â€? According to Guadagnuolo, the Blubird woman is polished, confident, and looking for high-quality, welldesigned pieces that say something about who she is. But for her, the main goal at Blubird is to make sure that everyone who comes in the store, regardless of their age or style, leaves feeling like the best version of themselves. â€œThe common thread is the idea that you can put yourself together in a way that is unique to you,â€? she says. If this sounds overwhelming for some, Guadagnuolo praises her team of style expertsâ€”many of whom are â€œlifersâ€?â€”for working with every customer to make sartorial choices that suit their personalities and lifestyles. â€œOn top of everything, it really is the people,â€? she says. â€œOur clients are very close to their stylists and they have a deep connection with them.â€? To mark the boutiqueâ€™s 10th birthday, Blubird is opening its large flagship at a brand-new location in Vancouverâ€™s upscale fashion hub on Alberni Street. The stunning new space has been designed to make the shopping experience as pleasant and easy as possible. And Guadagnuolo is proud that, after a decade, the
E N T E R TA I N E R S â€™ F L O O R P L A N
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At the new Blubird store on Alberni Street, customers can find a beautifully curated selection of seasonal looks.
family-owned Vancouver boutique is holding its own in the midst of big designers like Versace, Prada, and Gucci in the area. â€œItâ€™s our own brand that we started from the ground up, and to see it grow and continue to flourish is just so exciting. Itâ€™s a testament to all the hard work that goes into it,â€? she adds. In talking to Guadagnuolo, itâ€™s hard to imagine a better example of a lady boss, which, as it happens, is reflected in many of the pieces in this seasonâ€™s Down to Business theme. Talk about living the brand. â€œSometimes people ask me what drives us to do this, and itâ€™s really about helping women feel confident and happy,â€? she says. â€œItâ€™s that reciprocal happiness of seeing people come out feeling good about themselves and really shining.â€ŚThat energy canâ€™t be replaced by anything elseâ€”itâ€™s amazing to see.â€? Yes, this bird is ready to fly. The gorgeous new Blubird boutique (1108 Alberni Street) is open now, and visitors who come in-store from June 14 to 17 can enter for the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. -
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JUNE 7 â€“ 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 9
invests in our local and organic food sectors to promote a healthier future. Thanks to our members, we can support Italian Day: Musica on The Drive bringing people together and making our community a better place to be. MANGIAMO! Let’s eat and celebrate in the Italian spirit.
vancity.com Make Good Money (TM) and Good Money (TM) are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.
We are pleased to invite you to
June 10th, 2018
Italian Day on the Drive @ Grant St/Commercial With your 20$ ticket you will receive 12 coupons to spend in the area: Fresh pasta, prosciutto, cheese, panini, fine wines, aperitivi and much more!! Limited spots, buy your ticket now on www.iccbc.com or Eventbrite Only 20 CAD$ (+ taxes)!! # t r u e i t a li a n t a s t e # i f f o o d c o u l d t a l k # e x t r a o r d i n a r y i t a li a n t a s t e CHICAGO / HOUSTON / LOS ANGELES / MIAMI / NEW YORK / MONTREAL / TORONTO / VANCOUVER / MEXICO CITY An event brought to you by 10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
Promoted and financed by
Venice-born Vancouverite Ilaria Baldan, the executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada–West, misses her home country’s aperitivo culture. Shimon Karmel photo.
Authenticity on your table
zone will have premium Italian wines and aperitivi to sample, as well as authentic Italian food products, some flown in for the celebration. Guests will get to try up to 12 items for a single ticket price ($20). Hosted by the ICCC, the Authentic Italian Table puts the emphasis on authentic, Local food and beverage vendors will be delivering shining a light on items that have helped make the naa genuine slice of Italian life to Vancouverites on Sunday tion’s cuisine one of the most Ilaria Baldan came to the West Coast from popular around the globe. her native Venice three years ago, the cherry blosThese are foods that are recognized by the EuroBY GAIL JOHN SON soms in full bloom being just one Vancouver element pean Union as PDO (protected designation of orithat made her fall for the place. Although the execu- gin) or PGI (protected geographical information). tive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in PDO (or DOP, denominazione origine protetta, in Canada–West (ICCC) loves the city’s natural beauty Italy) requires that agrifoodstuffs be produced in and its fit-and-healthy focus, what she finds herself a geographically defined area by local farmers and missing is her home country’s aperitivo culture. artisans in rigorous compliance with a specific Unlike North American happy hour, it’s not method derived from a traditional recipe or proabout finding cheap cocktails; rather, unwinding cess. This mark, which is found on the label or the after a long day with food, drink, and friends is an product itself, takes into account characteristics of integral part of Italians’ lifestyle. the product’s territory and the craftsmanship and “In Italy, it’s really something very important to technique in making it, resulting in an item that’s meet up with your friends after work and have some considered inimitable anywhere else. small tastings of food and a little bit of wine and talk Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP has about your day,” Baldan says in a phone call from information pressed into it about the factory, the her office. “What I miss from Italy most is the social cheese maker, and even which cow the milk came environment. I miss the social part, the cultural life. from. Similar to Champagne in that only sparkBeing with family and friends, the aperitivo culture, ling wines produced in that area of France can is something I would like to bring to Vancouver.” use the prestigious title, products with the DOP Delivering a genuine slice of Italian life to Van- and PGI (or IGP, indicazione geografica protetta) couverites is at the heart of the Authentic Italian marks lay claim to being the real thing. Prosciutto Table, an anchor event at this year’s Italian Day. di Parma, mortadella Bologna, pancetta di CaImagine Grant Street just east of Commercial labria, aceto balsamico di Modena, mozzarella Drive transformed into a bustling piazza: a tasting di bufala Campana, San Marzano tomatoes,
YOUR GUIDE TO ITALIAN-S TY LE S TRE E T E ATS >>> Vancouver loves a great street festival,
2 and one of the most highly anticipated
outdoor celebrations of the year returns to the city this week. Italian Day on the Drive (June 10) runs from noon to 8 p.m. and will bring a host of attractions along the 14-block stretch. Expect family-friendly activities, music and entertainment, and plenty of gourmet eats at this full-day fete. Aside from the Italian foods that we’re used to seeing and eating (such as meatballs, pasta, and tiramisu), a large selection of lesser-known dishes will be available. You’ll be able to try everything from pizzette montanare (miniature fried pizza) to granita al caffè (iced espresso slushie)—it will feel like you’ve been transported to the streets of Italy for the afternoon. Here are eight food and drink items to try at this year’s Italian Day on the Drive.
ARANCINI FROM MR. ARANCINO Based
on a traditional Sicilian recipe, Mr. Arancino’s arancini (deep-fried risotto balls fi lled with various ingredients) satisfy all types of taste buds. They’re available in meat, vegetarian, and vegan options; you’ll find flavours like quinoa-ragu, bacon-pesto, and pizza. We’re sure cheese lovers will appreciate the warm, melted mozzarella with every bite.
SICILIAN CANNOLI FROM CANNOLI KING You can’t go to Italian Day without
eating one of the most iconic Italian treats: cannoli. Check out the authentic handcrafted
and certain olive oils… The list goes on. The Authentic Italian Table is part of a larger global project called True Italian Taste. Spearheaded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, it’s designed to enlighten people on the background of many ingredients and how they’re made, to give the foods more context. “If you educate people and they understand the process and the story and the history behind certain products, it’s fascinating,” Baldan says. “Italians would say food is always a process for us, from the making of the product to the act of eating. And you can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t eat it with your family or enjoy it with your friends with a good paired glass of wine, it’s not the same. The atmosphere and the story and the history behind it all go together.” Vendors participating in the Authentic Italian Table include Sciué Italian Bakery Caffè, which will be serving panini with porchetta, and De Benedetto Import Foods, with bruschetta, olives, pickled vegetables, and taralli, a breadstick-style snack from southern Italy. Catalia Import will dish up tortellini, while Valoroso Foods will have a spread of prosciutto di Parma DOP, mortadella IGP, and several Italian cheeses. Long-standing Burnaby Italian deli and meat market Cioffi’s will be there with prosciutto di Norcia IGP, balsamic vinegar IGP, and an assortment of Italian cheeses. To drink: premium red and white wine, Campari, espresso, Cedrata Tassoni soda (a nonalcoholic beverage made from the citron fruit), and more. As an Italian proverb says, A tavola non si invecchia: “At the table, one does not age.” Italian Day takes place on Commercial Drive on Sunday (June 10). Tickets for the Authentic Italian Table can be purchased in advance at www.iccbc.com/. > BY TAMMY KWAN
chance. Gusto’s will be serving up pizzette montanare (miniature fried pizza), made with a tasty dough covered with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and basil. They are small, leaving you with room to try other food creations at Italian Day. NEAPOLITAN SALTIMBOCCA FROM VIA TEVERE PIZZERIA Besides its specialty wood-
fired-oven pizzas, Via Tevere also makes great Neapolitan saltimbocca. Made with charred yet soft bread baked in a 900-degree wood oven, these sandwiches are filled with mouthwatering ingredients like meats, cheeses, fresh tomato, and crisp arugula (veggie option also available).
LEMONCOCCO FROM LEMONCOCCO Inspired by cold refreshments found in kiosks on the streets of Italy, Lemoncocco is a canned beverage made with Sicilian lemon flavours and coconut cream. This drink pays homage You can’t go to Italian Day without eating one of the most iconic Italian treats, cannoli (left); to grattachecca, which is a dessert made of the canned beverage Lemoncocco pays homage to grattachecca, a shaved-ice dessert. shaved ice sweetened with Italian syrups. We don’t know about you, but a lemon-coconut Sicilian cannoli at Cannoli King—made with berry syrup. However, granita al caff è (iced libation on a hot summer day sounds perfect. a sweet ricotta fi lling, chocolate chips, and al- espresso slushie) is one of the most popular monds. For nut lovers, pistachio cannoli will options, as Italians have a renowned love GELATO FROM DOLCE AMORE No sane also be on the menu. for caffeine. Grab one to quench your thirst person skips gelato at an Italian-themed celewhile you stroll through the annual festival. bration, because this universally loved frozen GRANITA AL CAFFÈ FROM FEDERICO’S treat is delicious. The folks at Dolce Amore will TO GO Granitas are a semifrozen Italian PIZZETTE MONTANARE FROM GUSTO’S be scooping up their small-batch gelato at the treat made with sugar, water, and various fla- Fried pizza is a niche category in the food festival, offering flavours like strawberry, toastvourings that can range from lemon juice to sphere—if you’ve never tried it, here’s your ed almond, Nutella, and various sorbettos. -
JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11
Clockwise from top: M.S.F d’Italia society celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1930; the Young Italians softball team, 1933; Italian grandmother in Strathcona, 1962. City of Vancouver Archives photos.
The city’s Italian immigrants saw their share of hardship
> B Y D O U G S A R TI
f it’s June in Vancouver, it’s time to break out the green, white, and red. For many years at this time, Commercial Drive has come alive during the neighbourhood’s annual Italian Day street party—and what a time it’ll be again this year, with an expected 300,000 guests arriving on June 10. With all the celebration, however, it’s easy to forget that the story of Italian immigration to Vancouver is one that saw much hardship along with the joy. Following Italy’s unification in 1871, the southern part of the country was impoverished and overpopulated. With little opportunity to better themselves, the resulting diaspora saw almost nine million Italians depart for the Americas in search of pane e lavoro, or “bread and work”. Scores of these southern Italians found their way to British Columbia in the 1880s, lured by railroad, mining, and forestry work. “The railroad brought a lot of jobs for immigrants,” says author Ray Culos, a local historian and an expert on Italian immigration. “Italians came here looking for a better opportunity to rear their children and find happiness for themselves. When they were successful, they’d put out the call to others back home, and then those people would come over too.” By 1900, there were about a thousand Italians in Vancouver, with that number growing to about 4,500 by 1940. During this time, a close-knit enclave formed in Strathcona. “Sacred Heart, on the corner of Keefer and Campbell, was an Italian-language parish, and it became the dominant cultural centre of its time,” recalls Culos, who attended the church’s elementary school. “You’d see a thousand people there for Mass on a Sunday.” Of course, the Second World War—in which fascist Italy was part of the RomeBerlin-Tokyo Axis—changed everything. During this time, Canada declared all Italian nationals, as well as those naturalized after 1922, to be enemy aliens. Locally, this would affect about 40 percent of Italians. To make matters worse, many who had signed a loyalty oath—often unwittingly— pushed by the local Italian consul found themselves in deeper trouble. “My dad read it,” Culos recalls, “and it said that the person signing it would support the fascist cause, if necessary, with blood. And my dad said, ‘But we’re Canadian!’ and refused to sign.” Under the War Measures Act, 44 Vancouver Italians, including many who signed the oath, were interned, on average, for 15-and-ahalf months in camps in Kananaskis, Alberta, and Petawawa, Ontario, along with about 600 others across the country. 12 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
The allegiance of most local Italians, though, lay firmly with Canada. During this time, Culos’s father, Marino, along with a rising young lawyer, Angelo Branca, founded an antifascist group that asked members to reaffirm their loyalty to Canada and the king. Branca—an amateur middleweight boxing champion in 1934—would go on to have a storied career as a lawyer and prosecutor and would eventually be appointed to the B.C. Supreme Court and later to the B.C. Court of Appeal. “Branca was well loved in the community,” Culos says. “He was the first Canadian of Italian origin in the city to become a defence lawyer.” After the war, the community’s population grew quickly—this time with immigration from northern Italy—and began to shift from Strathcona toward Commercial Drive. And although they all came from the same country, Culos notes, local Italians didn’t always share a common interest. “People spoke different dialects, their values were different, they looked different, they didn’t always mix well. In fact, I used to tell people I was from a mixed marriage because my father and immediate family came from the area north of Venice and my mother’s family came from a small town between Rome and Naples.” Culos says that last part with a laugh, but regional differences are an important part of the Italian identity. Indeed, by the mid-1960s, there were 35 Italian social organizations in Vancouver, each representing the interests of different regions and towns. Once again, Branca provided a calming inf luence. Creating the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese, he provided an umbrella organization for everyone of Italian descent. From there, a new wave of Italian immigrants established the Italian Cultural Centre in 1977, which serves today as the cultural hub of a united community. “Things were changing by the ’60s,” Culos says. “It wasn’t just north and south; it was about being Italian.” With a community that now numbers almost 75,000 and stretches all the way into Coquitlam, Culos is very satisfied to see that Lower Mainlanders of Italian descent have finally reached true assimilation, with many Italian names—like Bosa, Aquilini, Bucci, De Cotiis, Capozzi, De Genova, Terrana, and Gaglardi—involved in the high-powered worlds of business and politics. “We’ve assimilated in almost every way except our surnames,” he says, “and I’m happy to carry on the traditions, but my main focus is to honour the immigrants who made it possible for the next generations. They came and worked at anything—now we have accountants, journalists, lawyers, and doctors, just like any other ethnic group who had to establish themselves and grow with Canada.” -
22 AMAZING BLOCKS TO EXPLORE
Come on over to The Drive. It’s so easy to get here. Have a pint, do some patio-gazing, get a great dinner – or make it dinner and dancing – and then sit back and enjoy live music at one of our many large or small venues. The Drive is the cultural heart of the East Van and the home of Little Italy. You’ll find 22 amazing blocks to explore with over 300 shops, restaurants and bars. We like to do things differently here and stay fiercely independent. So we invite you to be part of our diversity and creativity because simply put, the more the merrier. Welcome to The Drive.
THE HEART OF EAST van
From downtown to The Drive: 25 min
thedrive.ca JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13
Bennato’s not content to repeat himself > B Y M IKE USING E R
talian living legend Edoardo Bennato has never been to Vancouver in a career that spans an incredible half-century, but like a true professional he understands how to win over an audience. Reached in Italy, the Naples-born 71-year-old says the closest he’s ever gotten to Canada’s West Coast is Toronto, where he held concerts in both 1990 and 2010. That—along with an undying love for a certain Canuck icon—has been enough to make him fall for a country halfway around the world from him. “I love Canada for what it represents: the green lung of North America, not only for its pristine wildlife, but for the welcoming spirit of the Canadian people as well,” he says. “Moreover, one of my favourite songwriters is Canadian Neil Young.” That Bennato admires the man known as Shakey makes sense, the two having carved out careers with more than a few similarities. The big ones are of course their longevity and their determination to play by no one’s rules but their own. Like Young, Bennato got his start in the ’60s, obsessed with early rock ’n’ roll while growing up in Naples, which, postwar, was home to the biggest U.S. naval base in the country. “I was soon exposed to the American rock ’n’ roll music broadcast by the U.S. armed forces radio network, whose music was totally different from the Italian radio: Elvis, the Platters, Gene Vincent, Sinatra, Paul Anka, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and sometimes B.B. King or Bo Diddley. That’s how I started playing rock ’n’ roll.” Like artists ranging from Young to the Beatles, Bennato realized early on that he had little interest in making the same record over and over again. That was clear right from the beginning, his 1973 debut
From raw R&B tracks to politically minded concept albums, Naples-born Edoardo Bennato has done it all in a career that started in the 1960s.
Non Farti Cadere le Braccia moving easily from raw R&B (“Mm”) to easygoing country (“Campi Flegrei”) to orchestral pop (“Detta Tra
Noi”). In the years that followed, Bennato was throwing himself into everything from politically minded concept albums (the allegorical,
Pinocchio-inspired Burattino Senza Fili) to dalliances with the classical world (Quartetto d’Archi). “I started out with rock ’n’ roll and blues, which is my greatest inspiration—I was even lucky enough to play with both B.B. King and Bo Diddley,” he relates. “I later started exploring other genres, especially opera music. I studied Rossini thoroughly and discovered his genius and modernity. Had Rossini been born later, he would have definitely been the sixth Rolling Stone. Jamaican reggae is another genre that inspired me and I have often used its musical structure. All of this has given me the basic tools to convey my thought through my music and my lyrics.” Those lyrics have, in true rock ’n’ roll rebel fashion, poked fun at authority figures from all walks of life, from the holiest of the holy to Italy’s famously colourful politicians. “I find humour and irony the best means to challenge the establishment and to reveal the hidden games of those in power,” he says.
FESTIVAL FEATURES OPERA TO ROCK Edoardo Bennato is one 2 While of the main attractions at Italian Day, he’s not the only one taking one of the festival’s multiple stages. From DJs to rock bands to traditional artists to opera singers, the music will start at noon and go well into the evening. Here’s a list of who’s playing and when. (For full details go to italianday. ca/italian-day-performances/.) 2ND AVENUE STAGE
12:00 Opening ceremony 1:30 Gianni Fuoco 2:30 Stephen Scaccia 3:30 Federico Fuoco 5:00 City Opera
6:00 Antonio Larosa 7:15 David Pacini 7:55 Raffle draw
5:00 David Pacini 6:30 Patrizia Coletta PIAZZA MODA FASHION SHOW
GRANDVIEW PARK STAGE
AND ENTERTAINMENT STAGE
12:30 Coro Folcloristico Trevigiano 1:20 Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (swing/big band) 2:20 Lisa Petrucci 3:15 Luna Rossa 4:45 Edoardo Bennato 6:30 Dennis Mayer 7:05 Jany Barucci NAPIER GREENWAY
2:30 Venetian Opera 4:15 Dennis Mayer
1:15 1:35 2:00 2:45 3:45 4:15 4:45 5:30 6:15 6:45
Mariah Crudo Stephen Scaccia JAC fashion show David Pacini Jany Barucci Cassandra D’Amato JAC fashion show Venetian Opera Mariah Crudo JAC fashion show
“My favourite targets have been the Pope and Italian presidents—I took great risks in talking about the ‘untouchables’. But they were not the only ones: I have used irony above all with myself.” On that latter front, he cites his 1978 single “Rock ’n’ Roll Hero”, which finds him winkingly delivering such lines as “You’re good, you’re honest, you’re modest, you’re kind” and “You have no hang-ups, commit no sins.” “I have often disguised my criticism,” he adds, “using the characters of tales such as Pinocchio, Peter Pan, and the Pied Piper.” Now in his 70s, Bennato has every reason to be content with reflecting on a past that’s seen him not only be an enduring superstar at home, but also headline landmarks like New York’s Apollo Theater on this side of the pond. Major career highlights have included packing Naples’s 60,000-seat San Paolo stadium. Instead, he remains determined to keep busy, with projects on the go including teaming up with American folk vet Jono Manson and reworking his Peter Pan–inspired 1980 album Sono Solo Canzonette for English-speaking audiences, with the hope it might one day make a musical. And, even more importantly, there’s an upcoming first visit to the West Coast, where he’ll be taking the stage at Grandview Park as one of the featured stars at this year’s Italian Day. He probably doesn’t have to, but that doesn’t stop him from taking a first step to connecting with Lotusland music fans he’s about to meet up close. “I can’t wait to be in Vancouver,” he enthuses. “An Italian rock-and-blues fest, not just for Italians.” Edoardo Bennato plays the Grandview Park Stage at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday (June 10) as part of Italian Day.
The Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver
a unique concert by
ITALIAN DAY ON THE DRIVE
SUNDAY, JUNE 10 4:30PM • GRANDVIEW PARK COMMERCIAL DRIVE Photo: Daniele Barraco 14 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
THE DRIVE – HOME TO VANCOUVER’S LITTLE ITALY
A TUTTI MEET YOUR ITALIAN NEIGHBOURS Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar
thedrive.ca PROUD TO BE THE HOME OF ITALIAN DAY ON THE DRIVE SUNDAY JUNE 10, 2018
+ SPIRITS + TREATS + SMALL PLATES
JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
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16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
Little Italy reflects heritage of the Drive > BY C HA RL IE SM I TH
at well. Laugh often. Love in abundance. Or as they say in Italian: “Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto.” That’s the tag line on emails sent by the executive director of the Italian Day Festival Society, Brunella Gaudio. It also sums up the mood that she and other Italo-Canadian community leaders are trying to create this Sunday (June 10) on Italian Day in Vancouver on Commercial Drive. But what if it were Italian Day all year round on the Drive? Imagine piazzas where locals could take a leisurely stroll in open areas on summer evenings. Or beautiful giant archways, like you see in Rome or Milan. Or statues outside buildings, like in Florence. And all over the place, the green, white, and red bands of the Italian f lag along with all that tasty pizza, luscious gelato, and fine Italian restaurants on the Drive. Over lunch at the Italian Cultural Centre (Il Centro), Randy Rinaldo, the son of Italian immigrants, can barely contain his enthusiasm as he describes what Vancouver’s Little Italy could become. “I want it to look like Italian Disneyland,” Rinaldo tells the Georgia Straight. “I want the fire hydrants painted green, white, and red. I want it to feel warm and fuzzy when you go down there.” In 2016, Rinaldo, Gaudio, Il Centro’s Mauro Vescera, and Nick Pogor of the Commercial Drive Business Society spoke to city council to support a motion by Melissa De Genova to designate eight blocks Little Italy to ref lect the neighbourhood’s deep Italian heritage. It came after Rinaldo obtained the consent of community leaders to create a Facebook page calling for a Little Italy in Vancouver,
This year’s Italian Canadian Man of the Year, Federico Fuoco, helped bring Little Italy to life. Barcelona Media Design photo.
which generated more than 500 likes within a couple of days. When De Genova brought the issue before council, it was approved. In a recent phone interview with the Straight, De Genova says there’s a good chance that the green, white, and red colours of the Italian flag will be seen on the crosswalks at East 1st Avenue and Commercial Drive. This is because FortisBC is digging up East 1st to replace its underground gas line, which means new pavement will have to be laid down by the end of the summer. “That’s an option I’ve discussed with staff,” De Genova says. “I’m hoping I won’t have to bring a motion forward.” Little Italy isn’t a new idea, according to Federico Fuoco, owner
of Federico’s Supper Club on the Drive. In a phone interview with the Straight, he notes that the notion gained momentum after Italian Day was resurrected in 2010 by him and Commercial Drive Business Society president Carmen D’Onofrio. They were helped by Il Centro president Michael Cuccione and Italian Day Festival Society president Beppe De Lucio. “Coun. Kerry Jang approached me and we were talking about the Little Italy designation,” Fuoco recalls. “We thought it would be great to have it.” Fuoco’s parents immigrated from Calabria in southern Italy and he grew up near Commercial Drive and East 2nd Avenue. He says he
SET YOUR SIGHTS ON ITALY
METTEZ LE CAP SUR L’ITALIE
Air Canada is a proud be a community partner of the Italian Day on The Drive.
Air Canada est fier d’être un partenaire communautaire du Italian Day on The Drive.
Experience everything Italy has to offer with convenient connections to our year round service to Rome and Milan and our seasonal service to Venice. And, with our Star Alliance partners, we offer more Italian destinations with convenient connections in Frankfurt.
Découvrez tout ce que l’Italie a à offrir grâce à nos liaisons à l’année pour Rome et Milan et notre service saisonnier à Venise. De plus, avec nos partenaires Star Alliance, nous offrons plus de destinations italiennes grâce à des liaisons à Francfort.
Learn more at aircanada.com.
En savoir plus aircanada.com.
can remember when Italian immigrants in the area used to “dress to the nines just to go shopping”. His musician father regularly played at the annual Confratellanza banquet, which was founded by legendary jurist Angelo Branca to bring Italian Canadians together. “They worked their butts off and sacrificed for the kids and their families,” Fuoco says. “That’s who I admire and honour. That’s who I want to pay homage to.” D’Onofrio also grew up on the Drive. His mother was from the Abruzzo region, east of Rome, and his father was from Molise in the south. “They went on a honeymoon to Italy, which was their first buying trip for Kalena’s Shoes,” D’Onofrio
tells the Straight by phone. “The business, the family—everything started from there.” Kalena’s celebrated 50 years of continuous operation in 2017. But it’s just one of more than 30 ItaloCanadian–owned businesses in Little Italy, which extends four blocks north and four blocks south of East 1st Avenue on Commercial Drive. “It’s a neighbourhood that is Little Italy,” D’Onofrio emphasizes. He acknowledges that it might be challenging to create an archway because it might interfere with overhead wires for trolley buses. But at the very least, D’Onofrio says, a “Welcome to the Drive” sign would reinforce the neighbourhood’s authentic Italian identity. According to Gaudio, the Buonassisi family, which owns Magnet Home Hardware, has been doing business in the 1500 block of Commercial Drive for more than 80 years. When asked to name Italian gathering spots, Gaudio first mentions coffee bars, including Cafe Calabria and Toscani, for soccer games and other sporting events. “Then there are the pizzerias and there’s lots of them, from Marcello, Lombardo’s, Famoso, and also Sopra Sotto,” she says. “Then you’ll have restaurants like Arriva and Federico’s. Federico’s is the only dine and dance in the city, really, so lots of tourists find out about that.” For Fuoco, this is a special year because Federico’s will celebrate its 20th anniversary in December. He also noted that new Little Italy street signs have been installed on the Drive in advance of Italian Day. And on October 6, he will be celebrated as Italian Canadian Man of the Year by Confratellanza. “I remember as a kid just getting excited going to that banquet and watching my father perform,” Fuoco says. “It’s a real honour.” -
Italian Film Fest Vancouver
JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17
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Proud Sponsors of Italian Day on The Drive At the Port of Vancouver, we are proud to support the communities in which we live and work. For us, that means promoting diversity in our own workplace and supporting community initiatives that do the same. portvancouver.com
18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 â€“ 14 / 2018
JAC by Jacqueline Conoir’s summer 2018 collection features flowy shirt dresses, lightweight culottes, and sheer cardigans—all coated in an earthy palette—that are meant to be layered.
Local designer dreams up garb for a new generation > BY L UC Y LAU
ot many of us can say we discovered our life’s calling while on the floor of a public restroom—desperately clutching onto a toilet whilst taking deep, heaving breaths during some sort of stress-induced breakdown—but that’s exactly where RozeMerie Cuevas realized she wanted to pursue fashion full-time. First, some much needed context. The year was 1980. Cuevas—a crafty, self-taught seamstress who enjoyed making clothes for herself and friends in her spare time—was asked by her cousin to participate in a locally produced fashion show at the now defunct Richard’s on Richards. The budding designer, then just 18 years old, agreed, but was soon overwhelmed when she arrived at the downtown-Vancouver nightclub with her handmade threads stowed in garbage bags. “All the real designers arrived with their clothes in garment bags,” she recalls for the Straight by phone. “And I just thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing here?’ ” Nevertheless, Cuevas powered through, showcasing a collection of sophisticated mens- and womenswear that accentuated the drama, structure, and big, boxy shoulders rife in ’80s fashion. The women’s line was dominated by black-and-white jackets and sexy, business-inspired evening apparel—each piece with an haute couture edge— while the men’s side consisted of tailored suits in softer, more muted hues. The range was well received—a fact that was confirmed when Cuevas, overcome by a mix of strain and exhilaration in a bathroom stall after the show, overheard two women praising the “black-and-white scene” she had presented on the runway. “I thought, at that very moment, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna become a real fashion designer,’ ” says Cuevas. The feeling was strong enough for the Vancouver native to ditch her plans to study commerce at Langara College in favour of a fashion program at Paris’s esteemed École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode, otherwise known as ESMOD. Thirtyfive years later, and with two successful womenswear lines under her belt, Cuevas is one of Vancouver’s most respected and forward-thinking designers. She now splits her time between Canada and China, where her brand, JAC by Jacqueline Conoir, has seen exponential growth—think 100 brick-andmortar stores and counting—since entering the market a mere four years ago. “Every woman has multiple personalities inside—it’s just a matter of bringing them out,” notes Cuevas, who describes the JAC woman as “modern, urban, edgy, and confident”. “And I think clothing has a way of giving us a voice to show what we have inside. Sometimes we feel sexy, sometimes we feel cool, sometimes we feel feminine. And the JAC brand allows us to bring that character and personality out.”
An evolution of Jacqueline Conoir—Cuevas’s first label, which was named after the designer’s late mother and produced and sold for over 25 years at Cuevas’s now shuttered South Granville boutique, Esmode, and a Mount Pleasant studio—JAC takes the quality and careful construction that made its predecessor so beloved in the city’s most stylish professional circles, and applies them to apparel for a new generation. Whereas Jacqueline Conoir emphasized feminine, formfitting suits for the everyday businesswoman, JAC draws inspiration from three fashion capitals—Paris, Milan, and Los Angeles—to craft light and airy garb that’s designed to be lived in and layered. JAC’s summer 2018 collection, for example, features effortless shirtdresses, ruff led tops, and sheer cardigans in fabrics such as cotton, silk, and chiffon that glide over, rather than cling to, the body. Like most JAC creations, the line is coated in a palette of earth tones—everything from dusty blue and lavender to the alwaysreliable black and white—which offer more versatility for the modern woman and, as plant-based dyes, are easier on the environment. Even the moniker JAC—an acronym for the names of Cuevas’s mom and two daughters, Andrea and Celine—signals a new direction and more youthful demographic for the brand. “After 25 years, our existing customer base had really grown up and was now out of their careers, and retiring or doing other things,” says Cuevas. “Also, fashion changes a lot. So in order to stay fresh and innovative, we needed to do a refresh and rebrand.” In addition to JAC’s rising presence in China, Cuevas has re-established hometown roots with a f lagship at Oakridge Centre, where new and long-time fans can shop the locally designed label’s full array of contemporary womenswear. Vancouverites can also see JAC’s spring and summer 2018 collections at this Sunday’s (June 10) Italian Day on the Drive, where Cuevas will present three fashion shows—with footwear provided by East Van institution Kalena’s Shoes—at East 3rd Avenue and Commercial Drive, an intersection that will be dubbed Piazza Moda for the alfresco affair. This will be Cuevas’s fourth time participating in Italian Day; the multiblock cultural extravaganza is a perfect fit for JAC, given the line’s Italian inf luence. “Italy is where I’ve always travelled to find inspiration and fabrics,” says Cuevas. After a significant amount of time spent in China, the designer is looking forward to reconnecting with the city that first offered a platform for her ambitious, thoughtfully hewn fashions nearly four decades ago. “I have customers who have been with us 25, 30 years, and they still show up in the vintage, 20-year-old Jacqueline Conoir dress,” she says. “And that’s so rewarding. That is one of the reasons I love what I do.” JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19
LERIA ITALI CEL AN A M A
M E A T
M A R K E T
“La Boutique Della Carne” Serving the Community since 1991
1310 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver t: 604.253.2242 | f: 604.253.2260 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
columbusmeatmarket.com 20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
Parker Street Piazza
Napier Piazza William St
BMO Human Foosball
Venables V enables St
Parker S St
Your map to just some of the highlights at the festival along Commercial Drive, shown here in three sections.
Remax Children’s Zone
BIA Bocce Court
E 3rd Ave Av
E 2nd Ave Av
E 1st Av Ave
Fashion Show and Entertainment Piazza
Av E 4th Ave
Graveley St S
Italian Chamber of Commerce Long TTable Event
E 6th Ave Av
E 7th Av Ave
E 5th Ave Av
COMMERCIAL DRIVE Av E 5th Ave
McSpadden Ave Av
Av E 4th Ave
Italian Design on Wheels
Fortis Stage Transit Museum Bus
3 KALENA’S Italian Shoes & Accessories Celebrates 51 years on the Drive. Come celebrate with us on Italian Day as we offer Instore Specials and a large selection of Clearance items.
RE/MAX Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley agents are proud to support Italian Days
MADE IN ITALY
SSHOES & ACCESSORIES
KALENA’S SHOES & ACCESSORIES 1526 Commercial Dr., Vancouver 604.255.3727
JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS
June 7 to 13, 2018
he emotional barometer continues to stay heightened. Venus has one more week to go before exiting Cancer. The focus remains on family, home, real estate, money, personal and public safety, and security. Placing us at critical threshold-crossing and evaluation time, Venus is now stimulating the degree of the July 12 eclipse. Do not underrate a thing. Everything holds greater-than-average karmic potency, potential, and meaning. Thanks to the upcoming eclipses, we are heading onto an acceleration track. From now through the end of the month, the stars will be installing the software package for the July and August eclipses and the upcoming Mars retrograde cycle that begins at the end of June. Thursday to Saturday, the Aries moon keeps the action on a brisk and mostly straightforward movealong. As of Tuesday, Mercury enters Cancer for a quick two-week run. Including the list mentioned above, Mercury also highlights trade, commerce, trends, nationalism, and protectionist issues. Coinciding with a historic summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un, July 12 and 13 delivers a super new moon in trendsetting Gemini. It is an apt, perhaps even an auspicious, time for talks, negotiations, exploring, brainstorming, and creative solutions. Mercury/Uranus also favours spontaneity and social activity. (It should be noted that Gemini can also be a dualistic, double-talk, or trickster archetype.) Venus in Leo, launching on Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon, can be confidence-generating, happymaking, or a generous inf luence. Itâ€™s also a good transit for putting on a show or for loving them up.
July 22â€“August 22
Go exploring; try it on for size; keep looking ahead. Aim to finish what you can: clear your time; clear your mind as best you can. Monday through Wednesday should prove to be a smooth go. Go by feel; go by heartâ€”the mind will readily team up. Social, romantic, or lucrative, Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon can get you going on something fresh and opportune.
August 22â€“September 22
The stars maintain a mostly smooth and easy pace through midâ€“next week. Mercury in Cancer, starting Tuesday, loans you better focus and good concentration. Youâ€™ll find that you can absorb information readily, that your intuitive radar and instincts are quicker on the uptake. Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon is an ideal day to meet up, talk it out, sign it, or get moving. September 22â€“October 23
Communications, study projects, and sales tracks run at optimum through next Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon in Gemini. Set the plan or intention in motion; go exploring: you should find you gain better-than-average result or reward. Monday through Wednesday are built for ease. Samepage accord can be readily found. Pay close attention to first impressions and intuitive clues. October 23â€“November 21
While the stars are mostly on a smooth run through midâ€“next week, Mars in Aquarius keeps it stirred up regarding personal-security issues, a lifestyle change, family, home, and real-estate matters. You are likely to sense a karmic undercurrent regarding endings, beginARIES nings, and transitions. Change is March 20â€“April 19 where it is at. Donâ€™t second-guess it. The moon in Aries tops up Try something new on for size. your energy and sets you onto a fresh SAGITTARIUS track Thursday and Friday. Come November 21â€“December 21 the weekend, the Taurus moon can A change is as good as a slow you down, but only a little: youâ€™ll shift from one thing to the restâ€”perhaps it does you a one-up. next, covering a range of emotions, Over the next few days, something moods, and topics as you go. Pay said, seen, or downloaded can light the price for the added convenience. a fresh spark. The weekend will be as Monday through Wednesday are productive as you make it. Mercury in Cancer, starting Tuesday, pumps smooth-running. up emotional sensitivity. Venus in TAURUS Leo, starting on Wednesdayâ€™s super April 20â€“May 20 new moon, gives you a reboot. One way or another, the CAPRICORN weekend will keep you on the go. December 21â€“January 19 Expect to stay full to the brim. For Entertain all possibilities. the most part, it all comes naturally. Monday begins a relatively Explore; experiment; think outside smooth-running move-along week. of the box. Now through the end of Mercury in Cancer, starting Tues- September, Mars in Aquarius will day, and Venus into Leo, starting prompt you or force you to break on new-moon Wednesday, dial it new ground. Tuesday/Wednesday, up on money matters and affairs of give it a first or a second try. The mobilizing super new moon in Gemini the heart. supports fresh effort. Add; subtract; GEMINI switch; replace; or revise.
May 21â€“June 21
Mercury in Gemini keeps you on an agility track, this regarding your moving your body, your mind, the conversation, and the action piece, too. Saturday to Wednesday, good timing is on your side. Monday can be especially easygoing. Sign it; say it; do it: Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon favours a fresh start, a first date, or a new venture. Spontaneity delivers.
June 21â€“July 22
Stay creative; explore potentials; dream bigger. If you can see it in your mindâ€™s eye first, thereâ€™s a better chance of making it happen (within reason, of course). Saturday/Sunday takes you through an evaluation process. Mercury in Cancer, starting Tuesday, and Venus in Leo, starting on new-moon Wednesday, set wheels in motion. They can dish up something more, fresh, better, and/or heartwarming. 22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 â€“ 14 / 2018
January 20â€“February 18
A new reality now sets into play. Over the next few days, you may feel a strong sense of dĂŠjĂ vu or of karmic wheels in motion. Stay observant; pay close attention to instincts and intuition; feel your way along. Wednesdayâ€™s super new moon in Gemini makes for an auspicious time to sign it, say it, or do it. February 18â€“March 20
The sun and Mercury in Gemini keep you well on the go. Home can be a place you visit or it can be a hub of activity. Tuesday/Wednesday produces an energy, attention, or conversation shift. Watch for news. Use the super new moon to have a talk, visit/remeet, sign a contract, file paperwork, or renew terms. Book a reading or sign up for Roseâ€™s free monthly newsletter at rosemar cus.com/.
here are restaurants, bars, bistros, and cafés all around us, each moniker conveying an image of an expected setting. So what, many may ask, is a “workshop”? Over on Commercial Drive, Merchant’s Workshop has been a buzzy neighbourhood spot pretty much since it opened as Oyster Bar back in 2012. As the joint and locals became increasingly entwined over the years, the whimsy and play of chef and owner Doug Stephen’s nightly features, craftbrewery tap takeovers, and occasional wine-soaked special events resonated with the community. The Oyster Bar concept, though, Merchant’s Workshop on Commercial Drive will be primed for Italian Day with was eventually nixed in favour of the wines from you know where—including this Elisabetta Foradori 2015 Teroldego. trade-focused and well-crafted output implied by the word workshop, provid- nage, crispy rice cake, and a ginger tomato sauce with mozzarella and ing more opportunity for adventure. scallion sauce, with which this writer basil, and an Italian take on the house In short, Stephen, partner Lindsey can’t imagine many finding fault. Merch burger, featuring a fennel-andMann, and manager and wine direcThis spirit and spin extends to the chili-studded patty, basil mayo, totor David Back can now do whatever ever-changing wine program. When mato sauce, mozzarella, and pancetta. the hell they want as they ply their the Alberta government recently put I’ve had a sneak peek at the trade—without being reined in by a temporary hold on importing B.C. wine list, which features a dozen any conceptual lexicon. wines to protest our province’s aver- by-the-glass gems, and it’s a good A concept like this is indeed mal- sion to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline traverse across the country. Ferrari leable, if not abstract, which could project, the Merchant’s crew opted Brut, a traditional-method sparkprovide an avenue to swap to an all– ling Chardonnay from Trentinofor arrogance in B.C. wine list for Alto Adige, will be a great way to the wrong hands. the duration of the start things off before diving into Under this scenban to support an aromatic white like the lemonKurtis Kolt ario, however, the home team. grass-and-lime driven Natale Verga the team have gotten to know the As a guy who used to run restau- Grillo out of Sicily or the Monasexpectations and desires of their rant wine programs around town, I tero Suore Cistercensi Coenobium, neighbourhood clientele and in no can’t tell you how envious I am of a crunchy, apple-laden blend of way want to jeopardize the dedica- how much fun it must have been Trebbiano, Malvasia, and Verdiction of their fans. to change an entire wine list on a chio made by a group (a gaggle, a “Yeah, we’re gonna do fresh whim, bringing automatic excite- f lock?) of nuns just north of Rome. halibut because it’s in season and ment to staff and guests via a slew On the red side of things, my first kinda expected,” Stephen told me of new pours. glass will undoubtedly be Elisabetta when I popped in during a recent It’s almost a no-brainer, then, that Foradori’s 2015 Teroldego. It’s a SyrahSunday brunch. “But I’m not doing it the team is inspired by this Sunday’s esque floral and peppery wonder, a with asparagus, even though most as- (June 10) Italian Day on Commer- fast favourite for many first-timers sume they share a season and should cial Drive and is going all-in on Italy getting to know the cult-favourite progo together, because, honestly, I don’t for its wine selection throughout ducer. Should those enjoying the Merthink they’re a good match.” the day’s festivities. The kitchen will chant’s Italian Day revelry find wines Instead, his take involves fenu- echo the theme with plates including they need to follow up on, everything greek-braised collard greens, clam duck meatballs in San Marzano DOP see next page
(with the purchase of beverages)
2 FOR 1
Italy meets B.C. on the Drive
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(second entrée of equal or lesser value) up to $15. (se Val Valid until June 30, 2018. Not valid with other cou coupons or other in-house offers or event nights. Gra Gratuities based on TOTAL bill before discount.
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JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23
Italy meets B.C.
from previous page
being poured can also be found at the B.C. Liquor Stores or Liberty Wine Merchants locations down the street. While we’re on the Italy-meetsB.C. beat, I recently had the chance to try a trio of new releases from LaStella Winery, our very own ode to Italian-styled wines set in Osoyoos, the sunbaked region in the very south of the Okanagan Valley. LaStella Vivace Pinot Grigio 2017 ($22.99; www.lastella.ca/) has a lovely touch of river-rock briney character meeting fresh, crisp citrus and sage, while the pretty-in-pink LaStella Rosato 2017 ($22.99; www.lastella.ca/)
dash of white pepper to the glass. I had the privilege of tasting their LaStella Arioso Sangiovese Grosso 2014 ($39.99; www.lastella.ca/), which is a wine club exclusive and, uh, it makes one damned tempted to join their wine club. Pitch-perfect Tuscan notes of violets, currants, fresh herbs, and earthy character mingle with hallmark Okanagan ripeness, acidity, and minerality. Although their wines can be ordered direct, they can also be found at outlets like Kitsilano Wine CelLaStella Vivace Pinot Grigio 2017 is lar, Sutton Place Wine Merchants, Italian-styled wine from Osoyoos. local B.C. VQA stores, and so on. blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, So let’s say “Salute” or “Cin Cin”! and Sangiovese brings boatloads of It’s so nice to enjoy la bella vita in our rhubarb, strawberries, and a hearty own backyard. -
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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < WE MET AT A PARTY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 9, 2018 WHERE: somewhere in north van at a party I don‚Äôt remember the exact day I met you, so this really is a long shot. Drinking games were played. Lots of laughters, Flirty eye contact, You walked over and kissed me...it's been a couple weeks, andI highly doubt we would bump into each other by chance. I'm short, with blonde hair! And if that isn't vague enough I was wearing blue aha
NEW PUPPY DAD AT 1ST AVE VETS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 31, 2018 WHERE: 1st Avenue Vets You were there with your new jack-chi, who was wearing the cutest jean jacket. I was there picking up two cats. We talked about getting patches on your dogs jacket. I went to bring one cat into the car, and when I came back in you had gone in for your appointment. Feel like I missed my chance ...
BLACK GUY WITH FRECKLES ON THE VIVA BAKERY PATIO
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 29, 2018 WHERE: Viva Bakery Kitsilano
,4,9.,5*@ 5,>7(;0,5;:>,3*64, OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAYOPEN >,+656; */(9.,()6=, )*+(-,,.<0+,
>,(**,7;46:; 4(169+,5;(3 05:<9(5*,73(5:
MONDAY TO SATURDAY
5,>7(;0,5;: ,4,9.,5*0,: (3>(@:>,3*64,
24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
You were working on your laptop and and I walked past you with my bike, then rode back past a few minutes later. I would have loved to distract you from your work but I was running late. Beers?
CUTE GUY ON 22 BUS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: APRIL 4, 2018 WHERE: Broadway & Clark I was the girl waiting for the bus. You approached me and began talking to me. I just went shopping, and you were going home. We continued to chat for the entire bus ride. I wish we would have exchanged numbers. I always hope to see you again. Maybe you’ll see this!
STARBUCK W BROADWAY & CAMBIE- CUEING UP FOR THE WC
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 30, 2018 WHERE: Starbucks on West Broadway You beautiful darked skinned girl on a blind date. We chatted and flirted as we cue for the WC. I said, “There are plenty of fish for a beauty like u.” Hope your blind date didn’t quite work out. Maybe we can have coffee and more giggles. Should have given u my number or atleast a ticket for being so beautiful. The ticket guy.
CINCO DE SPARROW
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 5, 2018 WHERE: Howe Street
Still smiling over our encounter the night of Cinco de Mayo. We met on Howe street, we took a walk, we held hands, we salsa danced on Davie. Then to be lost at Lickerious (not intentional). I really enjoyed our energy, let’s hold hands again.
FIREMAN AT FIREHALL 13
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 29, 2018 WHERE: East 24th Avenue at Prince Albert Street, behind the firehall How long have we been spotting one another? Ages. Mostly at Steve Nash on Cambie. Another time on the corner of W.8th and Heather; you were with a beautiful dog. Most recently - last night, as you stood out the back of firehall 13. I walked by heading to Earnest in hopes of salvaging a garbage day. Learning you worked in my ‘hood definitely helped ;) Me: long bright magenta hair. Tattoos. Appear taller than I am. You: tall, darkhaired n’ handsome, seem to possess a vast collection of trainers. Can’t believe I’m doing this but hey, you only live once, right? Don’t be a stranger the next time you see me. I’ll do the same.
CAUGHT YOUR EYE AT NOOK
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 29, 2018 WHERE: Nook on Yew
I was having dinner with a couple friends and caught your eye through the window while you were locking up your bike (I think), and then again as I was leaving. Me: a tall redhead who wishes she said hi. Interested in grabbing a coffee or a patio drink sometime?
JOGGING THROUGH THE CEMETERY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 28, 2018 WHERE: Prince Edward @ 31 You were jogging across Prince Edward @ 31st and you passed right in front of me and cut through the cemetery. Anyone who jogs in a graveyard is my type of person. You - shoulder length dark hair and purple jogging pants. Me - Dark hair, beard. Go for a run sometime?
GREEK ANARCHY IS REAL
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 28, 2018 WHERE: Tocadero’s Pizza & Steak House In honour of your dork mom and her search. Here’s one for you. Andrew- Met you (again) at the the janky Greek spot on Nanaimo. I was in your spot but you apologized for being in mine. If Tocadero’s in your favourite Greek restaurant, Your Favourite Band Sucks.
BRITTANY - YOU WERE STUDYING FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE EXAM AT PLATFORM 7 KITS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: MAY 17, 2018 WHERE: Platform 7 Coffee Kitsilano You were ‘trying’ to study for your upcoming exam at Platform 7 in Kits. We chatted for a bit about different ways of studying, environmentally sound buildings, real estate stuff and your next career move.
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Moya O’Connell has
BY ANDREA WAR N ER
ARTS never aspired to
play Lady Macbeth. Until now. “I haven’t wanted to play the part until this production with these people in this way,” she says. O’Connell is referring to the man who plays her on-stage husband and coconspirator, Ben Carlson, and their director, Chris Abraham. Carlson and Abraham nod in agreement. All three wanted to do Macbeth and they wanted to do it with each other. Bard on the Beach is where they’re executing their vision of one of William Shakespeare’s most compelling and transfixing tragedies. The trio are taking a break from rehearsing on-site at Bard a few weeks before opening night, and are seated next to each other in the main-stage tent to talk to the Straight. Of the three, only O’Connell calls Vancouver her part-time home. The annual festival’s artistic director, Christopher Gaze, offered O’Connell her first job out of theatre school (Miranda in The Tempest), and she stayed at Bard for six seasons before heading to the Shaw Festival in Ontario for 10. Carlson and Abraham are based in Toronto. Abraham is the 2013 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize, one of the largest theatre awards in the country, and artistic director of Crow’s Theatre in Toronto. In 2015, he directed Carlson and Deborah Hay, spouses in real life, in The Taming of the Shrew at Stratford. And in 2017, Abraham directed The Wedding Party, which O’Connell cocreated and starred in. Macbeth marks the first time all three of them are working together.
Making the most of Macbeth
At Bard on the Beach, Moya O’Connell and Ben Carlson are trying to go beyond the usual villains (David Cooper photo); below left, director Chris Abraham.
with people that cross “It’s the magical thinking that arrives in the over that line and find wake of tragedy,” Abraham says, crediting the HBO themselves suddenly in TV show The Leftovers with sparking this thought the dark.” process. “What the opening of the prophetic aperChris Abraham, Moya O’Connell, and Ben Carlson all wanted to “It’s like how a dream ture does is create a context for meaninglessness to take on the Scottish Play—but only if they could do it together becomes a nightmare,” suddenly become meaningful. Tragedy and emptiO’Connell says. ness take on another hue.” “It’s a play I have a lot of respect for, and it has “Shakespeare is great at a very particular vibraThis kind of analysis and dialogue is exactly some of the best poetry in Shakespeare, so it re- tion in the relationship between what’s going on in why Abraham, Carlson, and O’Connell wanted quires incredibly versatile, smart, gutsy, talented a moment and what kind of poetry it produces on to tackle Macbeth together, and even though actors who know how to speak the verse properly the page,” Abraham says. “It’s very innovative.… their production is set around the same year the and who can do next-level stuff,” Abraham says. The way in which you get a mental state in extre- play would have been staged for the first time, its In the play, a Scottish general, Macbeth, receives mis, like madness, the way he writes madness in themes make it particularly relevant in 2018. a prophecy from three witches that he will become the verse, it’s amazing.” “People’s need to make sense of their lives at king. Overcome with greed and ambition, and One of the best examples of that madness is all costs hasn’t really changed, and neither has, urged on by his wife, Lady Macbeth, he murders Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, in which, from an entertainment perspective, a lust for venthe king and takes the crown. To keep their crime tortured by guilt, she utters the famous geance,” Carlson says. a secret and protect their position, he continues to line “Out, damned spot.” O’Connell’s “And a lust for transgression,” kill people he views as a threat. As the body count reluctance to pursue the role had to O’Connell adds. “To watch other Check out… climbs, the Macbeths begin to unravel in their do not with taking on one of Shakepeople transgress and to sit in view.” STRAIGHT.COM own complicated and toxic hierarchy of power, speare’s most iconic characters, but “This play really asks us to look at Visit our website guilt, and madness. rather with ensuring that she was the problem of men,” Abraham says. for morning-after This will be Carlson’s second time tackling involved in a production that would “And not just ambition, but the way in reviews and local the titular character, and he says that of all offer a more nuanced analysis of the which ambition is interlaced with the arts news Shakespeare’s plays, there’s something unique Macbeths’ motivations—something whole idea of patriarchy and kingship.” about the language of Macbeth. It’s been deeper than just Lady Macbeth as vil“That is a recurrent thing in all of his at least a decade since he took on the role, and lain and ambitious puppet master who conplays,” Carlson says. “Men don’t do well without yet stepping into the character in 2018, Carlson vinces her husband to do the dirty work. women. Whenever there’s a play without a strong found that his lines were still buried deep inside “What we’re working with is a woman and a female force, it’s usually a tragedy. Now, this one his subconscious. man who suffered a great loss in their life through does have a strong female force so it’s interesting—” “I have a good memory, but I’m not a Mensa guy the loss of a child and are just on the brink of “But she does a bunch of things that only a man or anything like that,” Carlson says. “The stuff is in chaos,” O’Connell says. “Then she gets news of would do. It begins with ‘unsex me,’ ” Abraham there, and that’s a testament to the writing.” the prophecy and there’s a sort of ripping open, an interjects. “A lot of people talk about it being the proto- idea of hope. What can someone with chaos at bay “ ‘Take my milk from me,’ ” O’Connell adds. “See, it’s right there in the poetry,” Carlson says. type for noir thrillers, like a certain genre of crime do with a glimmer of hope?” storytelling,” Abraham adds. “Five hundred years “You described it once as there must be some kind ago, he was able to really give his audience that of cosmic thing that makes the loss of the child make Macbeth runs until September 13 at Bard on the Beach. kind of complicit experience of what it’s like to be sense,” Carlson says, turning to Abraham.
THINGS TO DO
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Editor’s choice COTTAGE COUNTRY The Vancouver Art Gallery is opening a show custom-made for everyone counting down the days to summer and trying to find a rustic paradise in the woods. Cabin Fever opens Saturday (June 9) with an ode to the iconic abode by way of photography, video, and more. Seventeen architectural models trace North American cabin design through the years, alongside two installations by James Benning and a full-size cabin by Liz Magor. You’ll see high-design cabins of your dreams (a University of Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabin [Jesse Kuroiwa photo] shown here) and the humblest of shacks. Catch this before you get outta town. Cabin Fever is at the Vancouver Art Gallery from Saturday (June 9) to September 30.
Five events you just can’t miss this week
C’MON, ANGIE! (To June 9 at the Firehall Arts Centre) A one-night stand takes on ripped-fromthe-headlines relevance.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (To June 23 at the Havana Theatre) Fighting Chance takes you into the attic in what’s been called a transcendent new adaptation.
ONCE (June 14 to July 29 at the Granville Island Stage) The stage version of the movie, for anyone who knows love is a bittersweet duet.
MIA—MIXED IMPROV ARTS (Thursdays at the Improv Centre) Competition always makes improv funnier, so this weekly cage match should be fierce.
KERRY JAMES MARSHALL: COLLECTED WORKS (To November 3 at the Rennie Museum) P. Diddy made him famous, but he’s one of the most important African-American artists around.
In the news STRATHCONA STREET PARTY The folks at Create Vancouver Society —organizers of the Vancouver Mural Festival—have announced the family-friendly Strathcona Street Party will return to East Van on June 23. Art, music, food trucks, and a craft-beer garden by Vancouver Craft Beer Week will bring the intersection of East Cordova Street and Campbell Street to life from noon to 8 p.m. Look for DJs by Chapel Sound, the Oasis Lounge by Public Disco, turntable lessons for kids by Table Tutors, and dance battles by the Vancouver Street Dance Festival. Live painting and interactive art will also accompany the unveiling of four new murals produced by the VMF. Made in Strathcona, which is staging the 10 Blocks of Passion event this July in the same neighbourhood, is partnering on the day. The street party will get you in the mood for the mural fest this August in Mount Pleasant. JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25
Victim Impact digs into fraud
ON TIC SA KE LE TS NO W
OVER 30 PERFORMANCES OVER 30 INNOVATIVE CHOREOGRAPHERS 10 DAYS OF DANCE
DANCING ON THE EDGE 30TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE
Alexandra Elliott Dance • Alexandra Elliott All Bodies Dance Project • Carolina Bergonzoni Company 605 • Lisa Gelley/Josh Martin Co.ERASGA • Alvin Erasga Tolentino/Kasandra Lea Crimson Coast Dance • Holly Bright Dab Dance Project • Hoyeon Kim Fortier Danse-Création • Paul-André Fortier Gail Lotenberg/LINK Dance Foundation • Gail Lotenberg Hannay Henney Hilary Maxwell • Josh Martin Inverso Productions • Lesley Telford Jennifer Aoki Karen Flamenco Kate Franklin Kinesis Dance somatheatro • Paras Terezakis Kokoro Dance • Barbara Bourget/Jay Hirabayashi Lara Kramer Danse • Lara Kramer Liz Kinoshita Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien MascallDance • Jennifer Mascall Meredith Kalaman Diamonds in the Rough • Natasha Gorrie O.Dela Arts • Olivia C. Davies Rob Kitsos • Rob Kitsos/Yves Candau/Martin Gotfrit Sarah Formosa Sweett Moves • Ashley Sweett the response. • Amber Funk Barton Vision Impure • Noam Gagnon Wen Wei Dance • Wen Wei Wang
> B Y JA NE T S M ITH
ast week, in a news story buried under the latest follies of Donald Trump, the nationalization of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the Ontario election circus, a former Vancouver notary who ran a staggering $110-million Ponzi scheme was ordered to surrender herself. Canada’s highest court had just dismissed Rashida Samji’s last attempt at an appeal. She had been out on bail since being convicted of fraud charges for scamming almost 300 investors. It was the final chapter in one of the most far-reaching white-collar crimes in the province’s history. But the vast majority of residents here know little beyond the headlines—if even that. Now Theatre Conspiracy’s latest documentary-theatre project, Victim Impact, delves deep into the story, with playwright Tim Carlson digging into transcripts to expose the vast scale of the fraud, the absurd turns of its journey through the courts, and the mind-blowing amount of money Samji’s friends, family, and associates lost in the ordeal. More than anything, director Jiv Parasram tells the Straight over the phone during a rehearsal break at the Progress Lab, his team wants to capture the scale of the human fallout—not something that usually gets tracked in tales of white-collar crime. “With the victims’ stories we get emotional connections,” says Parasram, a multidisciplinary artist who just won the Toronto Arts Foundation’s emerging-artist award, and who is artistic producer at Hogtown’s politicized, buzz-creating Pandemic Theatre. “We’re trying to give a voice to the collective. It’s not just Samji, it’s an entire system. We want to look at the court systems, the justice systems, the economic systems that allowed this to happen.
JULY 5 - 14, 2018
604.689.0926 Sun and the Moon - Crimson Coast Dance Choreographer: Holly Bright Dancers: Nicola Jackson, Genevieve Johnson Photographer: Cara McKenna of Salish Sea Sentinel Photo Design: Sofina Johnson
Spatial Poetics XVII
ONCE LOST Friday June 15th, 2018 7:30pm Vancouver Maritime Museum 1905 Ogden Avenue Featuring: Naomi Horii Mayumi Yoshida Hide Ebina Fish Mark Wickstead Curated by LeanNe Dunic Tickets: $11 on Eventbrite Presented by the PowelL StreEt Festival Society and Vancouver Maritime Museum as part of the Lost FleEt Speaker Series
SAVE THE DATE Saturday, August 4 & Sunday, August 5 11:30AM TO 7:00PM 26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
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The cast of Theatre Conspiracy’s live documentary Victim Impact sorts through the facts of Rashida Samji’s $110-million Ponzi scheme. Chris Randle photo.
“In white-collar crime, they’re often let off within a year or two, and the impact that has on a larger scale is huge,” Parasram continues. “So it’s not a petty crime; it’s treated almost with respect. The people [charged] have access to a lot of resources for lawyers, and then there’s the sheer bureaucracy of the court system.” Based on Carlson’s research and interviews, Victim Impact mirrors the live-documentary feel of previous Theatre Conspiracy works like Foreign Radical and Extraction. Starring Nimet Kanji as Samji, joined by Jenn Griffin, Risha Nanda, Allan Morgan, and Munish Sharma in multiple roles, it’s brought to life with multimedia effects by visuals designer Milton Lim and sound designer David Mesiha. The show has murder-mystery elements and even film-noir touches, Parasram says. Film noir reflects the era depicted in Victim Impact, he points out: in its original form, the style grew out of the Depression, and often reflected people trying to pull themselves out of poverty. The Ponzi scheme came to light in 2012, and had been under way for about a decade; a lot of its action
happened amid the aftermath of the great recession of 2007 to 2009. With Samji at the helm, investors were told they could receive returns as high as 35 percent as a winery group needed collateral to pay for its expansion into South Africa and South America. In the scheme, though, investors were actually just paying each other. The show is complemented by a podcast series called Victim Impact: The Fraudcast at conspiracy.ca/ fraudcast, where Carlson dives even deeper into the case. “You can find out all the gritty details there that you can’t get to in the finite space of the theatre,” Parasram says. The multifaceted approach has helped tackle the vast quantity of facts gathered over an intense threeyear period. “What I think audiences will get is the scope of how large it is,” Parasram says. “It’s so far above what anyone can fathom in terms of the amount of money that has been lost. To me, the idea of losing $20,000 is a lot. Here, it’s $110 million.” Theatre Conspiracy presents Victim Impact at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre from Friday (June 8) to June 17.
Body Language tracks reawakening of tattoo culture “For me, recovering the process of Nlaka’pamux tattooing was remembering—not only who I am, but that I’m connected to the community and to geography,” Kaszas says.
> BY JA NET SM IT H
ion Kaszas started getting tattoos at 17, as he puts it, “in the western tradition, just with the machine—pick something off the wall and go for it”. Then, in 2006, while he sat in a shop waiting to get his latest ink, he spotted a pamphlet about the tattooing and body painting of the “Thompson River Indians”. “My head almost popped off that we had this tattooing tradition,” says Kaszas, whose mixed heritage includes the Nlaka’pamux—an Interior B.C. Salish community in the Thompson River region. “I didn’t realize that my ancestors had a tattooing tradition. I knew the Maori had and the folks in Borneo and Tonga and Fiji did, but I didn’t know about it here.” That moment would plant the seed, not only for Kaszas’s own reawakening to his culture, but for a revival of Indigenous tattooing here. Kaszas, who’s also a painter, went on to apprentice as a tattoo artist and eventually helped establish the Earthline Tattoo Collective, dedicated to promoting Indigenous tattoo practices in Canada. Kaszas went on to get his master’s in Indigenous studies at UBC Okanagan, focusing his research on Indigenous tattooing. And now he’s come to Vancouver to guest-curate the new exhibit Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest. The show marks the reopening of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art after a six-month renovation. Body Language brings together the work of Kaszas with that of Nisga’a artist Nakkita Trimble, Tlingit artist Nahaan, Haida artist Corey Bulpitt, and Heiltsuk artist Dean Hunt. Each will display tattoo work alongside clothing, basketry, rock art, and other works that reflect similar motifs from their regions. Tattooing and piercing were used
Clockwise from left, a Chilkat robe and hand tattoo (Bill Reid Gallery photo); Dion Kaszas uses the skin-stitching technique (Tia Taurere-Clearsky photo); and at Body Language, Nakkita Trimble’s Laxmihl: Where the Fire Ran Out (Kenji Ngai photo).
widely among the First Nations of the Northwest, with motifs signifying everything from status to important life events and guardian spirits. They were integral marks of identity that were banned, alongside potlatches, in an 1885 amendment to the Indian Act. For Kaszas, whose own academic research took him on hikes deep into the wilderness to find his people’s pictographs, it’s important to show the traditional tattoos alongside the wider cultural practices. “I’m trying to dispel the myth that tattooing is disassociated from the rest of our culture,” he tells the Straight. “For academic reasons, people have wanted to become experts in different things—an expert on basketry, or an expert on rock art. But by doing that, it’s a strategy that people don’t see the full view of what
we are as Indigenous people.” Kaszas has insisted on a diverse Indigenous curatorial steering committee for Body Language, giving it final say on what could be shared in the show, and what could not. “The exhibit is less my own vision than the vision of the community,” he explains. “There’s a history of appropriation of Indigenous voice in terms of experts and I didn’t want to continue that—even though I’m an Indigenous person.” KASZAS BRINGS A similar amount of rigour to his own practice, returning to the hand tools and techniques of his ancestors—albeit with new stainless-steel hygiene. He does hand poking—piercing the skin with a needle to create imagery dot by dot—and skin stitching, in which a
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY MULTIDISCIPLINARY ART
needle with thread creates small trails or lines of ink under the skin. Although he supports Indigenous people getting their identifying tattoos any way they can, he finds his ancient tecÝique an often more meaningful process than machine tattooing. “With the machine, you’re connected to electricity,” he explains. “The hand tools are a more intimate experience; there’s no buzzing of the machine, it’s a slower process, but also I would say it’s different because the tattoo machine is connected to a monetary system that’s postcontact.” Often, he says, he will use the older barter or trade system for his hand-poke or skin-stitch tattoos. Kaszas sees the symbols as a way for Indigenous youths to reclaim their heritage, taking inspiration from the Maori tenet that there is power in identity and knowing who you are.
BECAUSE OF THEIR cultural significance, there are strong issues around the appropriation of Indigenous tattoos. Kaszas hopes the Body Language show will raise the awareness of those who might consider an Indigenous design as a casual tattoo. “When we look at tattooing of the Northwest Coast, one thing they emphasize is these designs are not just artwork,” he clarifies. “Of course those marks are beautiful, but you don’t know that person or who sanctioned those powerful marks. My concern is those people who are making money off designers and are not Indigenous and don’t have a significant or reciprocal relationship with our community. “And I would say it has to be looked at in the history of cultural genocide,” he adds, “as a continuation of the theft of land and the theft of children, a form of violence that takes away our culture.” It’s clear that Body Language is tied not just into the history of the Northwest Coast, but to what is happening today with reconciliation and the broader reawakening to Indigenous rights. For Kaszas and his practice, it’s very much about what happens tomorrow, too. “We are actually losing young people very quickly,” he says. “They’re deciding that struggle with a fractured identity isn’t worth it.…These tattoos connect them to this place and to their culture—but also bring responsibility with that connection.” Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest is at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art from Friday (June 8) to January 19, 2019.
TICKETS AND FLEX PASSES AVAILABLE NOW!
Transfixed | June 18 | 7pm WITH VIMAF Media art program. Works by Trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming artists curated by Fallon Simard with VIMAF.
Image: Lee Su-Feh, Everything Photo: Yvonne Chew
Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) |
Visual Art Exhibition
June 16 I 7PM
Preview June 19 | June 20-23 | 7pm | June 23 | 2pm WITH the frank theatre company The premiere of LESLEY EWEN’s fantastic imaging of trail-blazing multi-media provocateur PAUL WONG’s early years.
Skin & Metal | June 24 | 7pm
Homoerotic Music Theatre Work by BARRY TRUAX, 30 year retrospective.
Valérie d. Walker
Everything | June 26 | 8:30pm
Dancer LEE SU-FEH negotiates an environment of smoke and numbers, flying objects.
(MALISEET SONGS) | June 27 | 7pm
Operatic tenor JEREMY DUTCHER performs traditional songs of his Wolastoqiyik ancestors.
...and more We Acknowledge the Financial support of the Province of British Columbia
This project has been supported by the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Dare to be challenged Risk being changed
queerartsfestival.com JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
Dark rumour pursues seafaring Peter Grimes > B Y A LE XAN DER VAR TY
hat’s often called “England’s national opera”, Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, ends with a lonely death at sea. And there were probably times when the tenor who will star in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concert version, David Pomeroy, thought he might suffer a similar fate. He was probably never in any real danger. But having been 16, in an open boat on the cold North Atlantic, and labouring in the last gasp of Newfoundland’s fabled cod fishery has surely given the St. John’s–born singer some unique insights into the character of Britten’s operatic antihero, a gruff fisherman suspected by his neighbours of murder or worse. Granted, Pomeroy grew up in a musical rather than a maritime family. His first singing teacher and mentor was his grandfather Ignatius Rumboldt, organist and music director of Newfoundland’s largest Catholic church. But an early girlfriend’s people made their living from the water, and it was thus that he found himself getting up before dawn to brave the waves. “It was a brutal job,” the Torontobased Pomeroy tells the Straight in a phone call from his Vancouver hotel. “I would wake up at about 4:30 in the morning and go to Petty Harbour, which is very close to my hometown of Goulds, where I grew up. I’d meet them down at the dock, and we’d go out around 5 a.m., in the dark, and the sun would come up, and we’d be so far out to sea in this little fishing dory that you could hardly even see the land. I was amazed. I thought, ‘My god, we’re so far out!’ So I spent a summer cod-jigging, and it was
very taxing—but I made some good money, and I really had a taste of the sea in that regard.” His singing career soon won out over the call of the cod, however, and Pomeroy ended up gaining further insights into Peter Grimes’s setting when he spent two summers studying at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, England—the composer’s long-time home, and the model for his opera’s insular Borough, whose inhabitants persecute Grimes, implicating him in the accidental deaths of his two young apprentices. There’s a darker subtext, too: Britten and his partner, the singer Peter Pears—for whom the role of Grimes was written—were a gay couple at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the U.K., and must themselves have felt the lash of rumour and prejudice. “In the original libretto, there were insinuations that Peter Grimes was either a homosexual or maybe even a pedophile,” Pomeroy says. “Those things were taken out of the libretto as the opera was being composed,” he adds, but they’re easily read back into the work, along with a dash of 21st-century relevance: Peter Grimes now speaks to an age in which trial by social media can be even more destructive than village scorn. “Things haven’t changed,” Pomeroy notes. “At some point in their life, everyone deals with some kind of bullying.” So you don’t need to have gone to sea in a small boat to have an affinity for the greatest of Benjamin Britten’s operatic works; an interest in the stormy waters of human nature will suffice. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents Peter Grimes at the Orpheum on Saturday and Monday (June 9 and 11).
We Three is tailored to wee audience > B Y JAN ET SMITH
SATURDAY, JUNE 16 10AM - 5PM U N O L A N G M A N N L I M I T E D - K I M OTO G A L L E R Y - E L I S S A C R I S TA L L G A L L E R Y P E T L E Y J O N ES G A L L E R Y - H E F F E L F I N E A RT AU C T I O N H O U S E - I A N TA N G A L L E R Y D O U G L A S R E Y N O L D S G A L L E R Y - M A R I O N S C OT T G A L L E R Y K U R B ATO F F G A L L E R Y - B AU -X I G A L L E R Y
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28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
takes the simple concept of three characters named for a number and two letters—3, M, and E—to delve into deeper ideas about how we’re all different yet can all coexist. “It’s about how letters are different from numbers and we need both of them,” Gardiner says. “My son is really breaking a lot of moulds about what boys are and who girls are. In terms of who they are at their core, they need to show us and we need to let them. He’s fascinating every day with his joy and his wants. His favourite colour is pink. And I think it’s important that kids are allowed to be themselves. “So here are three separate characters celebrating each other,” she adds, “and encouraging each other to find their truth and their voice.” Gardiner communicates all this with much more than words, using lo-fi live music, props the audience can touch, and a well-lit, interactive atmosphere that’s the inviting opposite of a dark theatre with strict rules about sitting quietly. Seating is on f loor mats. Her other challenge has been to write material that will appeal equally to the adult parents and caregivers who accompany the kids to the show. “I just like when pieces are crafted that way,” Gardiner says. “I’ve layered in a whole bunch for the adults. It’s entirely possible to engage everybody.” And, as you might expect, she’s excited about Fraser’s reaction to it. “I have kind of written it for him,” she admits, “and I can’t wait to have him come see it.” -
s a mom, veteran Vancouver actor-playwright Meghan Gardiner moved naturally into the role of creating a script for theatre’s tiniest audiences. For years, she had been taking her five-year-old son, Fraser, to Carousel Theatre for Young People’s intimate Bee Stage shows, even bringing him as a test-audience member for its first foray into musicals for babies and toddlers a few years ago. At the same time, she had been penning productions for younger and younger audiences, starting with the intense one-woman show Dissolve, which toured universities and high schools; Blind Spot, which was a hit at the secondary level; and then Role Call, for elementaryschool ages (the last two produced by Green Thumb Theatre). But it turned out writing We Three for the Bee Stage was more difficult than she expected. “This is deceiving because you think it’s going to be really simple, because it has to be straightforward—two-year-olds don’t really pick up on double-entendres,” Gardiner says with a laugh, speaking to the Straight from her Vancouver home before heading to rehearsal. “But putting it together was anything but simple. I would write too much, and I had to pull back and think, ‘These little beings are just starting to learn about life and to discover their senses.’ ” In the end, she says, Fraser was her guide. She not only used all her firsthand experience with what he responded to as a toddler, but We Three is at Carousel Theatre found inspiration in her son for her for Young People’s Bee Stage until subject matter as well. We Three June 17.
Vital, vulgar—and painfully real C’mon, Angie! dissects a #MeToo moment with a woman who refuses to wear the blame TH E AT RE C’MON, ANGIE! By Amy Lee Lavoie. Directed by Lauren Taylor. A Touchstone Theatre production, in association with the Firehall Arts Centre. At the Firehall Arts Centre on Friday, June 1. Continues until June 9
“It’s so simple. I need to know
2 that you’re listening to this.
To me.” It’s not much to ask of the person who assaulted you, and yet it’s everything. In the world premiere of C’mon, Angie!, Amy Lee Lavoie’s brilliant and necessary new play, this is all Angie (Kayla Deorksen) wants from Reed (Robert Moloney), and we spend 80 incredible minutes in an intense and honest dialogue that illustrates just how difficult it will be for Angie to get what she needs. It’s the morning after a one-night stand, and when Angie confronts Reed about violating her, he is blindsided. It’s impossible to say whether it’s willful or feigned ignorance on Reed’s part that he’s so outraged and
shocked by her accusation, and the power dynamics between the two are a bit more complicated than if they were two strangers. Reed is older than Angie, rich and suburban, a father to a little girl, and married to Angie’s boss. Angie is poor, lives in a small studio apartment downtown, and is single. She’s been to Reed’s home. He’s fantasized about having sex with her. In fact, at one point he tells her, “You can’t control fantasy. And you were my fantasy.” Lavoie’s script is intelligent and vital, vulgar and funny, and exhaustingly, painfully real. There’s a reason that so many women were laughing at Angie’s cutting sarcasm, and gasping and muttering to themselves under their breath so often in recognition and shared frustration. It was also jarring to hear so many men laughing at Reed’s entitlement and his refusal to take accountability for his actions over and over. For example, when Reed says, “I’m never going to be spontaneous again,” it’s him demonstrating yet again that he’s not listening to Angie and that he still doesn’t get it—and
everyone laughing in the audience doesn’t get it either. Director and dramaturge Lauren Taylor cultivates the intensity of C’mon, Angie! without ever exploiting it. Taylor makes the space as safe as possible—considering the triggering material—for both the audience and the actors by staging the play in such a way that Angie always seems in control. It’s cathartic and a bit of wish fulfillment to witness the clarity with which Angie’s able to articulate her anger and hurt, her exasperation and fear. She’s had her share of #MeToo moments, and refuses to take the blame Reed keeps trying to push back onto her, and she won’t be manipulated or gaslighted or feel sorry for him. Moloney is masterful as Reed, and Deorksen is a revelation as Angie. Her delivery is by turns bone-saw sharp and heartbreaking. C’mon, Angie! is visceral, important, lifechanging theatre, and could play a critical role in helping advance the cultural conversation around sexual assault, consent, and coercion. > ANDREA WARNER
June 8, 2018 to January 13, 2019
LANGUAGE Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Corey Bulpitt Dean Hunt Dion Kaszas Nahaan Nakkita Trimble
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Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub. com/shows/2017-2018/mamma-mia/.
TOLKIEN The tale of how Narnia and Middle-earth came to be is chronicled in a new play by Pacific Theatre artistic director Ron Reed. To Jun 9, 8-10:40 pm, Pacific Theatre (1440 W. 12th). Tix $20-36.50, info www.pacifictheatre.org/season/20172018-season/mainstage/tolkien/.
ar ts/ timeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
Câ€™MON, ANGIE! Kayla Deorksen and Robert Moloney star in Touchstone Theatreâ€™s presentation of Amy Lee Lavoieâ€™s play about questions of consent after a one-night stand. To Jun 9, Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova). Tix and info www.touchstonetheatre.com/productions/ cmon-angie/.
< DANCE < < 2THIS WEEK < A MIDSUMMER NIGHTâ€™S DREAM < Coastal City Balletâ€™s full-length version of < the adventurous tale features lavish sets, < spritely costumes, and Felix Mendelssohnâ€™s enchanting score. Jun 8, 8 pm, Surrey Arts < Centre (13750 88th Ave., Surrey). Tix from
by Roger Parton. Jun 9, 7-9 pm, White Rock Community Church (15280 Pacific Ave). Tix from $18 to $28, info www.ope raopulenza.ca/.
PASTORALE: WINDSONG TRIO Soprano Catherine Laub, clarinetist Julie Begg, and pianist Rita Attrot perform works by Bach, Handel, Schumann, Vaughn Williams, Quilter, and Schubert. Jun 10, 4-5 pm, Roedde House Museum (1415 Barclay). Tix $15/$12, info www.roeddehouse.org/.
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. 2QUINN DAHLE Jun 7-9
YUK YUKâ€™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. 2LORI FERGUSON-FORD Jun 8-9
GAYS OF OUR LIVES The Vancouver Menâ€™s Chorus presents a musical journey about idols, icons, struggles, and triumphs. Jun 8-16, Performance Works (1218 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $45-$90, info www.vancouvermenschorus.ca/.
MAMMA MIA! The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a feel-good musical featuring the music of ABBA. To Aug 12, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750
OPERA ARIAS AND ART SONGS Opera Opulenza presents operatic tenor Sunny Shams singing popular opera arias and art songs, with piano accompaniment
THE BRETT MARTIN SHOW Brett Martin and his trusty sidekick Sam Tonning perform a comedy show that also features Jonathon Gagnon, Michelle Falck, and Jake Reid. Jun 8, 10:30 pm, Yuk Yukâ€™s Comedy Club (2837 Cambie). Tix $15, info yukyuks.com/vancouver/.
$25, info www.coastalcityballet.com/.
THEATRE 2OPENINGS VICTIM IMPACT Theatre Conspiracy presents the world premiere of a play based on the largest Ponzi scheme in B.C. history. Jun 8-17, The Cultch (1895 Venables). $34, info www.conspiracy.ca/.
COMEDY SHOCKER XVII Sam Tonning hosts a night of comedy with Mark Hughes, Yumi Nagashima, Stuart Jones, Kyle P.
He said. She knew.
Ferris, and headliner Brett Martin. Jul 7, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $12/15/20, info www.rickshawtheatre.com/.
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2BOMBHEAD (thematic exhibition explores the emergence and impact of the nuclear age as represented by artists and their art) to Jun 17 2CABIN FEVER (exhibition traces the cabinâ€™s evolution through renderings, artworks, and commercial products, as well as architectural models, plans, and full-scale installations) Jun 9â€“Sep 30
LITERARY EVENTS 2THIS WEEK 105 HIKES Stephen Hui, author of 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, will join the B.C. Mountaineering Club for a slideshow presentation and book signing. Jun 12, 7-9:30 pm, ANZA Club (3 W. 8th Ave). Info www.105hikes. com/2018/05/01/bcmc-slideshow/.
MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER 1100 Chestnut Street, 604-736-4431, www. museumofvancouver.ca/. 2HAIDA NOW: A VISUAL FEAST OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION (exhibition guest-curated by Kwiaahwah Jones features more than 450 works by carvers, weavers, photographers, and printmakers, collected as early as the 1890s) to Jun 15
2THIS WEEK DOUGLAS COUPLANDâ€™S VORTEX Douglas Couplandâ€™s new radical art installation takes an imaginative journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, immersing viewers in the ocean-plastic pollution crisis. To April 30, 2019, Vancouver Aquarium (845 Avison Way, Stanley Park). $22 - $39, info www.vanaqua.org/.
THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-8225087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2ARTSÂ OF RESISTANCE: POLITICS AND THE PAST IN LATIN AMERICAÂ (exhibitionÂ illustrates how Latin-American communities use traditional or historic art forms to express contemporary political realities) to Oct 8
2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS SOUTH GRANVILLE ART WALK Wander up and down South Granville Street and take in artist talks, artist demos, pop-up shops, and art exhibitions. Jun 16, 10 amâ€“ 5 pm, South Granville Gallery Row (3045 Granville Street). Info www.southgranville. org/artwalk/.
TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. We canâ€™t guarantee inclusion, and we give priority to events taking place within one week of publication. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that donâ€™t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
BILL REID GALLERY REOPENING The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art reopens its doors with a weekend of family-friendly events, including storytelling, tea and bannock, and live performances. Jun 16-17, 10 amâ€“5 pm, Bill Reid Gallery (639 Hornby). Free, info billreid gallery.ca/.
ON NOW â€œA major auteur and eloquent leading light of the New Argentine Cinema.â€? - New York Times
THE HEADLESS WOMAN - JUNE 8-10 ZAMA - JUNE 8-9 THE HOLY GIRL - JUNE 10
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LISTEN TO VICTIM IMPACT PODCAST AT CONSPIRACY.CA, iTUNES, STITCHER
â€” THE PLAYLIST
VICTIM IMPAC T
THE FALLOUT OF RASHIDA SAMJIâ€™S FRAUD
JUNE 8-17, 2018
THE CULTCH HISTORIC THEATRE
JUNE 10 & 12, 8PM| JUNE 16, 2PM:
$10+fees ticket in advance online or by donation at door
3 SHOWS ONLY!
VANCITY THEATRE 9 , ) ) 2 5 * A FILM BY
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See the Trailer â€˘ ÂžOPVZHOLNHFRP
30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 â€“ 14 / 2018
1181 SEYMOUR ST â€˘ VANCOUVER
Francine and the Guardians of the Gauloises
> KEN EISNER
HEREDITARY Starring Toni Collette. Rated 14A
Hereditary has been generating
2 a lot of buzz lately as the scariest horror flick in years, and I gotta admit that itâ€™s pretty damn frightening in spots. Itâ€™s also brutally unsettling throughout, so be warned. The movie opens with a shot of a typewritten obituary, and the fact that it doesnâ€™t include one positive word about the deceased in its three paragraphs sets the tone for writer-director Ali Asterâ€™s punishing portrait of grief, psychological trauma, and Satanism. Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense) stars as Annie Graham, a diorama artist working on a project for an upcoming big-city gallery exhibit. Thanks to the exquisite camerawork of cinema-
> STEVE NEWTON
HOTEL ARTEMIS Starring Jodi Foster. Rated 18A
Itâ€™s 2028 L.A., and the Hotel
2 Artemis is a fortress against
the violence outside: streets exploding in a bloodbath of rioting, police decked out like RoboCop, and nonstop gunfire and explosions. Vaulted off to anyone but members, the high-rise is a secret high-tech hospital for wounded criminals. And did we mention itâ€™s a grand altar to the art-deco movement? So it is with the strange, stylized directorial debut of Drew Pearce (who wrote Iron Man 3): over-the-top art design meets over-the-top violence and characters. The filmâ€™s marketing geniuses have aptly coined the look â€œdigital decoâ€?; think dim sepia lighting and computer screens. Wounded assassins, bank robbers, and arms dealers are assigned rooms with the names of exotic placesâ€” Honolulu, Nice, Hollywoodâ€”with giant murals to match. At the centre of it all is Jodi Foster, the gruff and frumpy septuagenarian Nurse who runs this establishment under strict rules. Foster is in her element here, in orthopedic shoes, hospital whites, and reader glasses. Her character heals criminals with the latest computer technology and 3-D printers, but loves playing the Mamas & the Papas on her old vinyl-record player. She (perhaps understandably) suffers paralyzing agoraphobia. Flashbacks hint that a loss in her own life has pushed her to devote herself to healing othersâ€”though why sheâ€™s helping these miscreants is hard to reconcile.
Veteran docmaker Sara Driver, who interviews long-time partner Jim Jarmusch alongside numerous other survivors of the Lower East Side art scene of New York Cityâ€™s hellacious 1970s, could have dropped her Basquiat. As a breezy, often compelling overview of that period, when the murder rate was high and rents were low, Boom for Real clicks. As biography, less so. Driver is taking for granted that her film will mostly attract viewers who already know the late artistâ€™s back story, possibly via other docs or contemporary Julian Schnabelâ€™s biopic. Still, at 78 minutes, the film could have recapitulated a little of the background that made Jean-Michel Basquiat such an instigating outsider in an already volatile milieu. Although he was born in Brooklyn, his erudite father was Haitian and his mother, who had serious mental problems, was Puerto Rican, and the young Basquiat was trilingual. After a childhood car accident, he recuperated while learning the clarinet and studying a copy of Grayâ€™s Anatomyâ€”things that would show up later in his paintings, and in his art-rock bands. He arrives here at the age of 16, as a high-school dropout and incipient graffiti artist. His erstwhile tagging partner, Al Diazâ€”one of the most interesting interview subjects hereâ€”shared with him the pseudonym SAMO, short for â€œSame Old Shitâ€?. Their mysterious afterlife on the subway cars and buildings of Lower Manhattan made them the Banksy of their
lines of the First World War, but the women left behind to run the farms and businesses as increasingly pointless trench fighting drags on. Thatâ€™s the focus of The Guardians, a beautifully wrought, if vexingly inconsistent, depiction of faraway lives and times. Adapting Ernest PĂŠrochonâ€™s 1924 novel with two other writers, director Xavier Beauvois initially homes in on a mother and daughter struggling to keep up with the family farm. Stern Hortense and frustrated Solange Sandrail are played by a grey-wigged Nathalie Baye and Laura Smet, her real-life offspring with Johnny Hallyday. (Coincidentally, the Gallic rocker died the day this was released in France.) The movieâ€™s true centre, though, is the emblematically named female farmhand theyâ€™re forced to hire when the work piles up. Twenty-year-old orphan Francine (Iris Bry, in a striking screen debut) labours hard, keeps to herself, and is gradually accepted as part of the only family sheâ€™s ever known. But that changes, first for the better and then for far worse, when Hortenseâ€™s youngest son, Georges (Cyril Descours), home on leave, takes an active interest in this sturdy peasant with the flame-red hair and milk-white skin. The movie veers into melodrama after this happens, and at two-anda-quarter hoursâ€”covering the years 1915 to 1920â€”it spends too much time on repetitive reaction shots and languorous close-ups to convey otherwise suppressed emotions. This leisurely approach works best at capturing the different sense of time experienced by rural and deeply prejudiced folk a century ago; in fact, the story is most compelling when dwelling on small details of farm lifeâ€”how charcoal and butter are made, and the genuine excitement of getting oneâ€™s first tractor (a Fordson). Elsewhere, the director (who also plays Juliette Binocheâ€™s antagonist in Let the Sunshine In) makes a number of errors, the most egregious of which has the traumatized Georges dreaming of a slow-motion battle with German soldiers, culminating with one removing a gas mask to revealâ€Ś his own face! This film-noir clichĂŠ is jarring in a home-front tale otherwise delivered with naturalistic grace. And when the Yanks show up, in 1917, they are cartoon doughboys, not real characters. Still, these missteps donâ€™t mitigate the movieâ€™s other potent virtues. In this sense, its real star is veteran cinematographer Caroline Champetier, who also shot Beauvoisâ€™s Of Gods and Men, as well as the phantasmagorical Holy Motors. Her widescreen depiction of shifting seasons and moods on an unchanging landscape tells you everything you need to know about whatâ€™s worth defending.
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Starring Nathalie Baye. In French, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable
numerous bus-throwing incidents, although the various girlfriends, gallerists, and musical partners captured on-screen have long since forgiven the charmingly opportunistic wraithâ€”even if his tendency to blast EinstĂźrzende Neubauten at 3 a.m. still rankles a bit. Our shaggy-haired antihero eventually attached himself to godhead Andy Warhol and took off like a heroin-fuelled rock star before hitting the 27 Club, in 1988. But Boom (again based on something Basquiat liked to say) really just uses him as ghostly tour guide of the hothouse environment that gave rise to the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads. The main subject seems almost an With the men on the frontlines, Nathalie Baye tends the farm in Xavier Beauvoisâ€™s First World War drama, The Guardians. afterthought at times. But as one of tographer Pawel Pogorzelski, we are Any cast that dares to mix the day, but Diaz was later pushed out these heads puts it, â€œHe liked to put taken right inside the meticulously mighty Foster with Dave Bautista as when Basquiat claimed the project his asterisk on everything!â€? > KEN EISNER crafted rooms of the miniature homes a no-shit orderly and Jeff Goldblum as his own. This was the first of Annie buildsâ€”faithful re-creations as a gang boss named the Wolf King of the ones in her own house, a beauti- should have potential. Add in Sofia ful wooden mansion in a forest. (The Boutella as a red-gowned, martialfilm was shot in Utah.) Sheâ€™s joined arts-master assassin and Charlie in a mostly joyless existence there by Day as an insecure, half-crazed dour husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), arms dealer and you should be 1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR typical teenage son Peter (My Friend well on your way to fun, retroDahmerâ€™s Alex Wolff), and odd futuristic excess. 2017 13-year-old daughter Charlie (enigBut for all its deco-dystopian ANNIHILATIONSPÂł'LUHFWRUAlex Garland EOHQGVKLJKFRQFHSWVFLILZLWKVWXQQLQJYLVXDOV matic newcomer Milly Shapiro). f lair and cartoon-scale characDQGDGDVKRIKRUURUIRUDQH[FLWLQJIHPDOHOHGILOPÂ´Screen Rant $OVR-XQHDWSP At the funeral for her motherâ€” ters, Hotel Artemis lacks one key SUPER TROOPERS 2 SP(YHU\RQH VIDYRULWHODZHQIRUFHPHQWWHDPLVEDFNE\SRSXODU the subject of the terse obitâ€”Annie ingredient: momentum. In a brief GHPDQGZLWKWKHORQJDQWLFLSDWHGIROORZXSWRWKHFXOWFRPHG\FODVVLF6XSHU7URRSHUV reads a harsh eulogy that portrays the setup outside the hotel, Sterling matriarch as secretive, eccentric, and K. Brownâ€™s bank robber ends up THE DEATH OF STALINSP7KHRQHOLQHUVIO\DVIDVWDVSROLWLFDOIRUWXQHVIDOOLQArmando anything but the ideal mom. Soon stealing a priceless item that beIannucci's9HHS XSURDULRXVZLFNHGO\LUUHYHUHQWVDWLUHFRPELQLQJSDODFHLQWULJXHZLWKUDSLGILUH IDUFHLQDELWLQJO\IXQQ\WDNHGRZQRIEXUHDXFUDWLFG\VIXQFWLRQSHUIRUPHGWRWKHKLOWE\DVSDUNOLQJ after the dead womanâ€™s grave is dese- longs to the ruthless Wolf King. HQVHPEOH:LWKSteve BuscemiPaddy ConsidineRupert Friend $OVR-XQHDWSP crated, a tragic and shocking car acci- Thatâ€™s meant to set off ample terdent cloaks the family in despair. The ror when theyâ€™re trapped together A QUIET PLACE SP,IWKH\KHDU\RXWKH\KXQW\RXJohn Krasinski 7KH2IILFH DQG UHDOOLIHZLIHEmily BluntVWDULQWKH\HDU VPRVWTXLHWO\WHUULI\LQJWKULOOHU $OVR-XQHDWSP Grahams seemed pretty messed up to in the building. And, admittedly, it begin with, but the recent events take leads to one ingenious bit of nasty Dario Argento'sSUSPIRIARemaster! SP6DOXWH,WDOLDQ+HULWDJH0RQWKLQ things to a whole new level of anguish. business, in which the 3-D printer 9DQFRXYHUZLWKD)ULGD\/DWH1LJKWVFUHHQLQJRIDario Argento'sJLDOORLQIXVHGFDQG\ FRORXUHGSKDQWDVPDJRULFQLJKWPDUHJRUHJHRXVO\UHPDVWHUHGLQN \UHPDVW In obvious need of help, Annie turns into a weapon. But the bulk is befriended by Joan (Ann Dowd), of the tension seems to stem from a woman from the grief-support whether the Nurse will be able to group she occasionally attends, who keep a lid on her unruly patients. raves about the therapeutic benefits So come for the outrageous setup, of holding a sĂŠance to communicate come for the eye candy, and come for with lost loved ones. But Annieâ€™s Fosterâ€™s thoroughly nontraditional guilt-driven attempt to contact the heroine. Just donâ€™t expect to be glued other side only proves that you should to your seat for the wild ride the trailnever, ever mess with the occult. ers are promising. Unless you have a INDIAN HORSESP$GDSWDWLRQRIRichard Wagameseâ€˜sEHVWVHOOHUDERXWDQ2MLEZD\ER\LQ With so much real-life emotional serious thing for art-deco fixtures. V2QWDULRWRUQIURPKLVIDPLO\DQGSODFHGLQUHVLGHQWLDOVFKRRO0LQRUV2. $OVR-XQHDWSP > JANET SMITH torment going on, by the time HerERIC NAMSP:LWKVSHFLDOJXHVWLoote7LFNHWVJRLQJIDVW editaryâ€™s supernatural set pieces THE WIZARD OF OZSP/LRQVDQGWLJHUVDQGEHDUVRKP\)ROORZWKH\HOORZEULFNURDG arrive youâ€™ve already been horri- BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE DQGMRLQXVIRUDfree\HV)5(( IDPLO\IULHQGO\VFUHHQLQJRID+ROO\ZRRGFODVVLF fied to the max. The wrath of Satan TEENAGE YEARS OF JEANseems pretty tame compared to the MICHEL BASQUIAT Studio Ghibli Double Feature!-RLQXVIRUDQRWKHUFODVVLFDQGIDPLO\IULHQGO\ GRXEOHELOOIURP PDVWHUVWRU\WHOOHUHayao MiyazakiPORCO ROSSODWSPDQGPRINCESS MONONOKE DW suffering that damaged family mem- A documentary by Sara Driver. SP.LGV2.(QJOLVKGXEV bers can inflict on one another. Rated PG
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THE MUSIC OF SILENCESPMichael Radfordâ€˜s,O3RVWLQR HQJDJLQJGUDPDWL ]DWLRQRIWKHOLIHRIRQHRIWKHPRVWEHORYHGVLQJHUVRIRXUDJHAndrea Bocelli6WDUULQJ Antonio BanderasToby Sebastian*DPHRI7KURQHV The Gentlemen Hecklers PresentTHE GREEN LANTERN SPThe Gentlemen HecklersUHWXUQZLWKDVXUSULVHJXHVW+HFNOHU WRULIIRQRyan ReynoldsRWKHUVXSHUKHURPRYLH CINDERELLA THE CAT SPÂł:LWKLWVVOLFNFUHDWLYHDQLPDWLRQDQGHQMR\DEOHWXQHV &LQGHUHOODWKH&DWLVRQHRIWKHEHVW,WDOLDQDQLPDWHGILOPVRIUHFHQW\HDUVÂ´Variety 3DUHQWDOGLVFUHWLRQDGYLVHG(QJOLVKVXEV Federico Fellini's8 1/2 SP+HUHLVDSLHFHRIHQWHUWDLQPHQWWKDWZLOOUHDOO\PDNH \RXVLWXSDQGWKLQNDPRYLHHQGRZHGZLWKWKHFKDOOHQJHRIDIDVFLQDWLQJLQWHOOHFWXDOJDPH NY Times Marcello MastroianniVKLQHVLQRQHRIWKHPDHVWUR VEHVW (QJOLVKVXEV AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBERSP<HDKEDE\Mike MyersMichael Caine DQGBeyoncĂŠ VWDULQRXU)ULGD\/DWH1LJKW0RYLH SEE WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS & UPDATED CALENDAR
JUNE 7 â€“ 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31
Primal Hereditary drops audience into hell For his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster taps grief and family trauma to produce the most disturbing horror flick we’ve seen in years > BY L UC Y LA U
ost standard horror fare relies on the presence of some makebelieve being—a bloody, chainsaw-wielding ghoul or murderous extraterrestrial with an appetite for human flesh, for example—to instill terror in both its on-screen victims and its audiences. But Ari Aster, writer and director of the highly anticipated Hereditary, knows that the most petrifying flicks take aim at the primal: the familiar, deep-rooted fears that eat away slowly, assiduously at our psyches—the kinds of unspeakable frights that can’t be cushioned with a comforting “Well, none of this is real” air because
and trauma,” Aster says of his feature-length debut, on the line from Toronto, “and I see it as being a sort of existential horror film that’s preying on what I imagine are universal fears, like the fear of death, the fear of somebody you love dying, and the fear of being responsible for harming someone you love and being blamed for that.” While it certainly deals with familial ties, Hereditary, opening Friday (June 8), doesn’t shy away from conventional scary-movie motifs. After the death of 78-year-old Ellen Taper Leigh, her artist daughter, Annie (Toni Colette), begins seeing strange In a film that its director compares to Don’t Look Now, Toni Colette plays a apparitions in their mountainside, diorama artist whose family starts to unravel after the death of her mother. seemingly situated-in-the-middlethe circumstances, in some weird, close to home. of-nowhere abode. Annie’s teen“It is a film that is about grief age kids, soft-spoken stoner Peter twisted manner, hit a little too (Alex Wolff) and the unnervingly creepy Charlie (Milly Shapiro), have a few off experiences of their own that suggest that Grandma may not be all gone. But it’s what happens next—in a devastating and almost unbearably disturbing act that Annie later depicts in one of her miniature dioramas—that really sends the clan spiralling. “That scene is designed to basically operate as a chute that opens up underneath the audience and drops them to hell,” explains Aster. “And the hope is that people walk into it complacently, thinking that they know, more or less, where
the movie might be going because they’ve seen films of its kind. And, hopefully, that scene jolts them into engaging in a deeper way.” Horrorheads will undoubtedly see notes of genre classics throughout Hereditary—early reviews of the Sundance favourite have compared it to everything from The Babadook to The Exorcist—though, with its supernatural and sorrowstricken turns, it’s not a stretch to say that the production stands on its own. In fact, Aster fancies the picture a family drama more than a horror f lick. “I feel like the film is kind of working in a tradition that’s not far from Rosemary’s Baby, Don’t Look Now, and Jack Clayton’s Innocents, which is an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, so there’s some Henry James in there,” he notes. “But, ultimately, it’s playing with tropes and conventions, and is aiming to upend them in compelling ways and ways that still feel true to the story it’s telling.” If anything, crafting the feature served as a cathartic exercise in confronting Aster’s darkest, most intrinsic phobias. “I’m a hypochondriac; I’m afraid of death; I have abandonment fears,” he admits. “Maybe not more than your average person, but I feel like these are things we spend our entire lives wrestling with and either coming to terms with or not.” -
HAVE YOU BEEN TO...
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts picachef.com 32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018
A Place to Bury Strangers likes spontaneity A Place to Bury Strangers’ live
2 shows have been branded as
“unpredictable”, “bewildering”, and “dangerously loud”. In frontman Oliver Ackermann’s view, that’s an accurate assessment. “We definitely work ourselves up into a frenzy,” he tells the Straight, on the line from an Austin tour stop. “You sort of want that to happen. At that point, when you’ve reached your limit and gone beyond what is normal or controllable for yourself, that’s when something magical happens. That’s the point at which, all of a sudden, there are these weird accidents or these moments of pure energy that occur. It’s very exciting.” Over its 16-year history, the band has built a reputation as one of the most explosive touring groups in North America. Despite boasting five full-length albums’ worth of material, the three-piece doesn’t write set lists, often opens up songs for lengthy improvisation, and has a tendency to make up entire songs on the fly. For Ackermann, a selfdescribed gearhead and sound explorer, that impulsiveness sets A Place to Bury Strangers apart. “Being a lover of music, you want to hear something new—something that you haven’t heard before, and that you can be excited about,” he says. “When you’re spontaneous, it’s better in many ways than anything you planned to bring to the table. To be open to the environment and the people, and to what is happening with the state of your equipment— that’s stronger than anything you’ve previously set up. Last night, for example, I handed out my guitar to the crowd, and some kids were banging on it. It sounded pretty cool.” That innovation also informs the group’s records. Releasing the 12-track noise-rock album Pinned in April this year, the group called on new drummer Lia Simone Braswell to punctuate its raw, reverbed sound with haunting backing vocals and thumping rhythms. Anointed as a full-fledged member of the band by Ackermann, Braswell arrived at the perfect time for the group. “Lia has such great natural rhythm, and her own personal voice and experience of where she comes from is so different and foreign from what [bassist] Dion [Lunadon] and I have grown up with,” Ackermann says. “It just brings up this whole different angle to our music that neither of us would have expected to embrace. She’s so in tune with what’s going on—it’s perfect. When we found her, we were ready to destroy what we’d been doing for so long, and she was there to bring something new out of the whole thing. It’s driven us to a whole new place. “We do different things all the time,” he continues. “Part of that stuff is just through repetitive playing. You start to strip things down when you’ve been doing something for a really long time, and it becomes almost subconscious. I think that comes from the root of creation, where you suspend your mental capacity, and then
A Place to Bury Strangers relishes “weird accidents” in creating its “dangerously loud” brand of experimental rock.
you just hear and enjoy the beauty of the sound of feedback, or a vibrating string, or the sound of a beating drum. It can go to all sorts of places.”
> KATE WILSON
A Place to Bury Strangers plays the Fox Cabaret on Wednesday (June 13).
She Stole My Beer takes fans on a nostalgia trip Before interviewing Tom Taylor, for ’90s West Van rock band She Stole My Beer, a little refresher is in order. A quick search on YouTube delivers a tune called “Sparks Off the Guardrail”, which shows six guys crowding into a baby-blue convertible for a goofy road trip, Taylor at the wheel. The video is intercut with footage of the band performing the Grateful Dead–like song for an enthusiastic crowd. When Taylor calls during a break from his construction job, building homes in Vancouver, he’s asked how he feels when he sees that clip— since it was released over a quartercentury ago. “Oh, nostalgia!” he cheerfully replies. “It was such a great, great time. Boy, we really had so much fun—and we still do. We’re such close friends, it’s almost like the band is a sideline for friendship, in a way.” Five of the six SSMB members from the early days—Taylor, singer-guitarist Chad Chilibeck, drummer Dean Waisman, bassist David Hughes, and keyboardist Jordan White—are still playing with the band, which now also includes long-time percussionist Franco Diligenti and the newest member, drummer Liam MacDonald, who joined last year (replacing Geoff Hicks). The group’s ongoing habit of boasting two drummers was something they picked up from a couple
of famous American jam bands. “Yeah, the Allmans and the Grateful Dead,” says Taylor. “We got comparisons to the Dead—we got called a Grateful Dead cover band. It’s funny, we played as many John Prine songs, and we never got called a John Prine cover band. I wish we did!” She Stole My Beer released two albums in the ’90s—1992’s cassetteonly Sparks Off the Guardrail and 1994’s The Mule—before succumbing to the realities of the music biz, as far as recording goes. “We ended up at the end with our second album on MCA Records,” recalls Taylor, “sort of a distribution deal, and some support here and there. We started to make our third record, and the plan was to do it with Mike Wanchic, who was John Mellencamp’s guitar player and producer. We were gonna go down to Mellencamp’s studio in Bloomington, Indiana, and I guess the record company got wind of the budget and they cancelled the whole thing. That sort of took the wind out of our sails.” Not the type of band to call it quits, though, SSMB continued playing gigs—especially up in Whistler, where it thrives—and is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album, 13 tracks recorded with local producer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Reed, Barney Bentall’s long-time guitarist. Taylor says the group’s music is “a little different” now than it was way back when. “I think a quarter-century ago we were really listening to a ton of Little Feat, and it was more of that groovy stuff. There’s still a little bit of that today, but it’s slightly harder-edged, sort of Black Crowes–y in a way, some of it, maybe more Ryan Adams–ish, kinda. It’s got everything goin’ on.” She Stole My Beer will showcase some new material this weekend at its first Vancouver show in three
years, mixing originals with possible covers by the Band, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, and John Prine. They might even bang out some good old-fashioned Aussie boogie. “Brendan [Raftery] from BC/DC may get up and do an AC/DC song if he’s there,” says Taylor. “Hopefully, he’s there.” Come on B.R.—a.k.a. Brian “Bon” Johnscottson. Ya gotta be there! > STEVE NEWTON
She Stole My Beer plays the Imperial on Saturday (June 9).
Namjoo and Faraualla chart a soul’s journey westward Mohsen Namjoo’s wildly ambi-
2 tious On the String of the Tear’s
Asia, during which he taught himself a variety of singing techniques that are far from the keening, melismatic style that he grew up in. “As a singer, I was thinking of why, in our regions—like Turkey, Iran, and the Arab countries—the artistic value of a singer is in having a very high-frequency sound,” he tells the Straight, speaking from his New York City home. “And I was wondering why, in Mongolian music or Tibetan music, it’s the opposite; they have a very low-frequency sound. That’s why, for getting these techniques, I went through this journey.…And then the idea of mourning came up.” Namjoo realized that he’d hit on something universal. Joining forces with the Iranian-American photographer Shirin Neshat and the Italian performing-arts impresario Franco Laera, he first developed On the String of the Tear’s Bow as an interdisciplinary art piece: part vocal recital, part installation, part multichannel audio extravaganza. His newly released CD followed, and now he’s putting a somewhat pared-down version of the project on the road—minus the visual component and elaborate sound system, but with his accomplished band and the Italian women’s vocal quartet Faraualla, whose contributions to On the String of the Tear’s Bow are integral to the record’s success. Namjoo credits Laera with instigating this very fortuitous part of the collaboration. “He told me ‘This project is much too eastern. It needs something from the West, from the western part of the Silk Road.’ And so he introduced me to these four ladies, and I was amazed from the first time I heard them,” he says. “Their own music is a mix of some Italian folk songs from the Renaissance to now, and they have their own modern a cappella pieces, and also they do a lot of classical music. They’re amazing! So I thought of using them as a bridge, to complete this concept about a journey between East and West.” Namjoo admits that he was thinking primarily about their sound when he invited the four members of Faraualla onboard. But by adding women’s voices to his mix, he’s come up with something that’s even more universal than he’d intended. “That was not in my mind, at the inception,” he says with a laugh. “But after that, I thought, ‘Okay, why not? That’s great!’ ” Based on an initial run of shows in February, audiences have thought it great too. “It’s 62 minutes of music without any breaks, and we asked people to not take videos or photos, just sit there and listen to this journey,” Namjoo explains. “And at the end of the day, they were happy with that. We didn’t have any bad comments.”
Bow deserves to come with its own tour guide, or perhaps a treasure map. Although soundly rooted in the passionate rhythms and metaphorical poetry of the singer-songwriter’s native Iran, it also encompasses the overtone-singing traditions of Central Asia, liturgical music from Italy, and what sounds like a Sufi zikr, or ecstatic prayer ceremony. African drumming underpins medieval hurdy-gurdy; field recordings of chanting monks are woven in and out of full-band performances; and Namjoo’s song titles reference such disparate sites as the Persian city of Isfahan, the historic kingdom of Sind, and Baluchistan, which straddles the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Unsurprisingly, the recording has an underpinning theme: a soul’s voyage from east to west, along the an> ALEXANDER VARTY cient trade route known as the Silk Road. But for the 42-year-old Namjoo, On the String of the Tear’s Bow is also a Mohsen Namjoo and Faraualla play document of his own private research the Vancouver Playhouse on Monday into the vocal traditions of Europe and (June 11).
NOFX FINAL LY SURRENDE RS ITS P U NK CRE D >>>
When Fat Mike is sitting in a front-porch rocking history of the genre to understand what the Pistols were trying to do by taking aim at the Queen, wearas the year he finally lost his punk-rock credentials. ing swastika T-shirts, and puking on old ladies at Give the man born Michael John Burkett credit Heathrow: destroy everything. Or, at the least, piss for hanging on as long as he did. For his first 51 off the world. years on the planet, the singer and bassist for NOFX NOFX not only did just that for the first 35 years was famous for getting away with of its existence, but did so mastereverything, from Holocaust jokes fully. on the Warped Tour to using And then it totally pussied out. The truly shocking thing is that the between-songs banter to explain Mike Usinger band’s punk-rock Waterloo came felching to 13-year-old fans. NOFX shows are where audiences wait for the right after the most punk thing it has ever done. For that, back up to May 27 in Las Vegas, where band to single out someone in a wheelchair and then announce “Let’s hear it for lazy people.” To watch NOFX was headlining the annual fast-and-loud NOFX backstage interviews is to marvel at jokes three-day blowout known as the Punk Rock Bowling like “How do you get a gay guy to screw a girl? Shit & Music Festival. How punk Punk Rock Bowling is in 2018 is up for in her vagina.” NOFX gradually became the biggest pure-punk band debate; can you imagine the management of the 100 Club or the Masque or the Smilin’ Buddha warning since the Sex Pistols by refusing to give a, ahem, shit. It’s almost as if Fat Mike was the first person in the see next page
2 chair 40 years from today, he’ll look back at 2018
Long-running punk-rock act NOFX is known for its intentionally offensive humour, but even the band had to admit that recent jokes went too far.
JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33
from previous page
people “The noise volumes can get loud the closer you are to a stage, so it’s advised to take earplugs in case you stand near a speaker or close to a stage”? Nonetheless, the festival—started by Mark and Shawn Stern of Youth Brigade—has grown into something of a mega-event, with thousands from across the country making the pilgrimage every year. On Sunday, NOFX did what it’s been doing for years: rolling out stage banter designed to offend. But instead of explaining what a chili dog is (“[It’s] when you shit on a
girl’s tits and then titty-fuck her”), the band zeroed in on the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy in Vegas last October. You’ll remember that as the event where a gunman in a hotel room opened fire on an outdoor concert featuring country singer Jason Aldean, killing 58 people and injuring over 800 others. It remains the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. After ripping through “72 Virgins”, NOFX went into “comedy” mode. Fat Mike announced, “We played a song about Muslims and we didn’t get shot. Hooray.” When guitarist Eric Melvin responded with “I guess you only get
shot in Vegas if you are in a country band,” Fat Mike continued with “That [the massacre] sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk-rock fans.” Both jokes were about as totally fucking offensive as one can get in modern America. They were also indefensible. Kind of like making jokes about the Holocaust. Or singling out people in wheelchairs. Or explaining what a chili dog is to a 13-year-old. But, despite years of intentionally outraging audiences, NOFX somehow decided that, for once, it shouldn’t be offending people. That might have something to do with the group being dropped by beer
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sponsors, criticized by others in the punk-rock community (including the Stern brothers), and removed from the lineup of upcoming festivals, including the Camp Punk in Drublic Festival, which, ironically, Fat Mike created. But it’s more likely that the band thought long and hard about what it was like to be in the crosshairs of a psychopath in Vegas last October. And to have gotten a phone call that a son, daughter, wife, husband, or parent was among the victims at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. So the band first reached out on Twitter to state “What we said in Vegas was shitty and insensitive and we are embarrassed by our remarks.”
That was followed up by a formal apology, which included: “There’s no place here to backpedal. What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civility.” The band couldn’t be more correct, earning bonus points for refusing to blame its idiocy on alcohol or Ambien. Instead, it stood up and made it clear that it went too far. And by doing so, pretty much announced, for the first time in its career, that sometimes there’s such a thing as being too punk. Wave goodbye to your hardearned punk cred, Fat Mike. And, more importantly, be proud that, at the age of 51, it’s finally gone. -
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KING PRINCESS Pop singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. Jul 20, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. YELAWOLF Rapper from Alabama. Aug 18, doors 8 pm, show 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.live nation.com/. IDLES U.K. punk band, with guests Bambara. Oct 4, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $16 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/. BANNERS Indie-rock singer-songwriter from Liverpool, England. Oct 26, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED MICHAEL ZILBER QUARTET A true master of modern jazz, San Francisco–based saxophonist Michael Zilber returns to his Vancouver roots at Frankie’s Jazz Club. Joined by Seattle greats Marc Seales and Jeff Johnson with Bernie Arai. Presented by Coastal Jazz. Jun 15, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $15 at www.coastaljazz.ca/.
Avant Garde Service Solutions Inc. o/a Tricom BuildingMaintenance, is looking for Cleaning supervisor. Greater Vancouver, BC. (3 positions available). Permanent, full-time job Wage - $ 23.60 per/h. When needed, commuting to job locations is paid for by employer. Skills requirements: good English, customer service oriented. Previous experience as a cleaner or similar position is required. Previous experience as a cleaning supervisor is an asset. Education: Secondary school. Main duties: Supervise and co-ordinate the activities of cleaners; Hire and train new cleaning staff; Resolve work-related problems and customer complaints; Periodically inspect job locations before and after the cleaning; Prepare work schedules and co-ordinate activities with other cleaning teams. Company’s business address: #1115-207 West Hasting St, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2N4 Our website: http://tricomcanada.ca/ Please apply by e-mail: email@example.com
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MITSKI Indie-rock singer-songwriter performs tunes from new album Be the Cowboy, with guest Jessica Lea Mayfield. Oct 30, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The
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FIDLAR Punk band from L.A., with guests Dilly Dally. Oct 29, 9 pm, Vogue Theatre. Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $28.50 (plus service charge) at www.ticketfly.com/.
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WILD NOTHING American pop musician performs tunes from new album Indigo. Oct 31, 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Jun 8, noon, $25 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
CALEXICO Tex-Mex indie-rock band, with guest Julia Jacklin. Jun 8, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.rick shawtheatre.com/.
TYLER CHILDERS Country singer-songwriter from Kentucky. Nov 1, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
BREAKOUT FESTIVAL Outdoor hip-hop and R&B festival features Migos, Tory Lanez, 6lack, Lil Pump, A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Ski Mask the Slump God, Ybn Nahmir, Kodie Shane, Pressa, Wondagurl, Brevner, Manila Grey, Illyminiachi, and 2hunnit. Jun 9-10, doors 2 pm, show 3 pm, PNE Amphitheatre (2901 E. Hastings). Tix $269/149/129/99 (plus service charges and fees) at www.breakout-festival.com/.
TENACIOUS D American comedy-rock duo composed of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, with guests Wynchester. Dec 13, 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix on sale June 8, 10 am, $79.50/59.50/39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. DWEEZIL ZAPPA American rock guitarist, son of Frank. Dec 13, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Jun 8, 10 am, $79 (VIP) and $49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
2THIS WEEK SUBHUMANS (UK) Legendary punk band from the U.K., with guests Vicious Cycles and Real Sickies. Jun 7, 7:30 pm,
ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION Looking to start a parent support group in Kitsilano. Please call Barbara 604 737 8337 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 BC Balance & Dizziness provides information & support for persons with balance, dizziness & vestibular disorders. Bi Monthly info meetings @ St. Paul's Hospital. Call for info. 604-878-8383 www.BalanceAndDizziness.org 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 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 @firstname.lastname@example.org Equal Parenting Group - North Vancouver Support group for fathers going through the divorce process needing help. Call 604-692-5613 Email:email@example.com SEXAHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Vancouver, BC For those desiring their own sexual sobriety, please go to www.sa.org for meetings times and places. We are here to help you from being overwhelmed. Newcomers are gratefully welcomed. Heart of Richmond - AIDS Society operates a confidential support group for persons with HIV/AIDS, or persons affected (family, friends or care givers) by the disease. For info - 604-277-5137 www.heartofrichmond.com
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JONATHAN RICHMAN American singersongwriter, founder of the Modern Lovers. Jun 12, 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix $25 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
JANELLE MONAE American singer-songwriter and rapper, with guest St. Beauty. Jun 12, 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tix at www.livenation.com/.
HAMMERFALL Swedish heavy-metal band, with guests Flotsam and Jetsam, Hellchamber, and Medevil. Jun 9, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $75/35 (plus service charges and fees) at www.rickshawtheatre.com/.
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SOCIAL DISTORTION Punk-rock band from California, with guests Aaron Lee Tasjan and Jade Jackson. Jun 9-10, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Jun 9 SOLD OUT, tix for Jun 10 $55 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
THE LONGSHOT New band led by Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, with guests Frankie and the Studs. Jun 13, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. Tix $27.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
SHE STOLE MY BEER Local rockers play their first gig since 2015, featuring new songs and fan favourites. Jun 9, 8:30 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). $20, info www. shestolemybeer.com/.
XAVIER RUDD Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performs tunes from latest album Storm Boy. Jun 9, doors 6 pm, show 7 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
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savage love I’ve been married to my husband for two years. Five months into our relationship (before we got married), he confessed that he was an adult baby. I was so grossed out, I was literally ill. (Why would this great guy want to be like this?) I told him he would have to choose: diapers or me. He chose me. I believed him and married him. Shortly before the birth of our child, I found out that he’d been looking at diaper porn online. I lost it. He apologized and said he’d never look at diaper porn again. Once I was free to have sex again after the birth, it was like he wasn’t into it. When I asked what the deal was, he told me he wasn’t into sex because diapers weren’t involved. I broke down, and he agreed to talk to a counsellor. But on the day we were supposed to go, he was mad about every little thing I did and then said he wasn’t going! I went crazy and called his mom and told her everything, and she said she found a diaper under his bed when he was seven! After this crisis, he agreed to work things out, but then I found adult-size diapers in the house—and not for the first time! I took a picture and sent it to him, and he told me that he was tired of me controlling him and he is going to do this when he wants. He also said he was mad at me for telling his mom. I told him no, absolutely not, he cannot do this. Then I found adult-size diapers in the house again this morning and freaked out. He says he never wants to discuss diapers with me again, and I’m afraid he might choose them over me! Please give me advice on how to make him understand that this is not
“The common misconception him! This is who he chooses to be! with ABDL (adult baby diaper And he doesn’t have to be this way! > MARRIED A DISGUSTING lovers) is that they are into inapproDIAPER LOVER priate things—like having an interest in children—and this couldn’t First, MADDL, let’s calmly discuss be more wrong,” said Pup Jackson, this with a shrink. a twentysomething diaper lover and “There’s a fair bit of controversy kink educator. “AB is not always sexover whether people can suppress ual. Sometimes it’s a way for a perfetishistic desires like this—and son to disconnect from their adult whether it’s healthy to ask them to life and become someone else. With do so,” said David Ley, a clinical DLs, they aren’t necessarily into age psychologist, author, and AASECT- play—they enjoy diapers and the way certified sex therapist. “Personally, they feel, much like people enjoy I believe in some cases, depending rubber, Lycra, or other materials. To on the support of their environment understand her husband, MADDL and personal relationships, it is pos- needs to ask questions about why her sible, but only when these desires are husband enjoys diapers and figure relatively mild in intensity.” out how to deal with it—because a lot Your husband’s interest in dia- of people want/need these kinds of pers—which would seem to go all the outlets in their life.” way back to at least age seven—can’t Okay, MADDL, now it’s time for be described as mild. me to share my thoughts with you, “Given the apparent strength and but—Christ almighty—I hardly persistence of her husband’s interest, know where to begin. I think it unlikely that suppression “Great guys” can be into diacould ever be successful,” said Ley. pers; this is not who your husband “In this case, I think MADDL’s desire “chooses to be”, since people don’t for her husband to have sexual desires choose their kinks any more than she agrees with in order for her to be they choose their sexual orientation; married to him is a form of sexual outing your husband to his mother extortion, i.e., ‘If you love me and was unforgivable and could ultimwant to be with me, you’ll give up this ately prove to be a fatal-to-yoursexual interest that I find disgusting.’ marriage violation of trust; a counWithout empathy, mutual respect, sellor isn’t going to be able to reach communication, unconditional love, into your husband’s head and yank and willingness to negotiate and ac- out his kink. (“I absolutely hate that commodate compromises and win- therapists are seen as sexual enforwin solutions, this couple is doomed, cers who are supposed to carve away regardless of diapers under the bed.” any undesirable sexual interests and Now let’s bring in a voice you make people ‘normal’,” said Ley.) rarely hear when diaper fetishists You’re clearly not interested in are being discussed: an actual diaper understanding your husband’s kink, fetishist. per Jackson’s advice, nor are you open
> BY DAN SAVAGE to working out an accommodation that allows your husband to explore his kink on his own, per Ley’s advice. Instead, you’ve convinced yourself that if you pitch a big enough fit, your husband will choose a spouse who makes him feel terrible about himself over a kink that gives him pleasure. And that’s not how this is going to play out. Your husband told you he was into diapers before he married you—he laid his kink cards on the table at five months, long before you scrambled your DNA together—and he backed down when you freaked out. He may have thought he could choose you over his kink, MADDL, but now he knows what Ley could’ve told you two before the wedding: suppressing a kink just isn’t possible. So if you can’t live with the diaper lover you married—if you can’t accept his kink, allow him to indulge it on his own, and refrain from blowing up when you stumble onto any evidence—do that diaper-loving husband of yours a favour and divorce him. Follow David Ley on Twitter @DrDavidLey and Pup Jackson on Twitter @pupjacksonbitez.
I’m a 33-year-old man, and for years I’ve practised edging. Recently I’ve experimented with long-term edges, where I’ll withhold coming for days or weeks while still maintaining a daily masturbation practice. I love living on that horny edge, and I’ve even learned to love the ache in my balls. But is this safe? Am I setting myself up for prostate/testicular trouble down the road? > PRIAPUS PRECIPICE
A study conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that men who masturbated at least 21 times per month—masturbated and ejaculated—were at lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men who ejaculated less than 21 times per month (“Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer”, European Urology). Read the study, PP, weigh the slightly increased risks against the immediate (and horny) rewards, and make an informed (and horny) choice. HEY, EVERYBODY: We’ve got rainbow ITMFA T-shirts and tank tops in time for Pride, and you can order them at ImpeachTheMotherFuckerAlready.com! ITMFA T-shirts and tanks—and buttons and hats and lapel pins—are a great conversation starter. Wear one to a party or bar or parade, and people will ask you what ITMFA stands for—and then you get to tell them: impeach the motherfucker already! (If they laugh, take them home! If they frown, tell them off !) All proceeds from the sale of ITMFA merch go to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the International Refugee Assistance Project. We’ve already donated more than $200K to those three great orgs and another $15K to hurricanerelief efforts in Puerto Rico. Go to ITMFA.org to get your ITMFA tees and tanks in time for Pride! O n t h e L ov e c a s t , S l a t e ’s E v a n Urquhart on dating a trans guy: savagelovecast.com . Email: mail@ savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.
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1807 West 1st, Kitsilano, Vancouver | 604.737.4355 JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 39
BUONA GIORNATA ITALIANA! Masterful Italian craftsmanship is everywhere in this city — and our father was proud to be part of that. Today, Boffo Properties continues his legacy of creating exceptional places to live within great neighbourhoods, seen here in our two newest home collections.
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40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT JUNE 7 – 14 / 2018