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2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017


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CONTENTS

Abbotsford Air Show. Doug Sarti photo.

13

REAL ESTATE

A local developer’s controversial plan for a condo project in Chinatown is in its fifth incarnation and awaiting city approval, but this time the public isn’t being invited to the consultation process. > BY CARLITO PABLO

16

COVER

Postsedondary students are finding it tougher than ever to find housing—and some are looking to the NDP government for solutions. > BY CHARLIE SMITH

23

FOOD

Avocado on toast is becoming a ubiquitous menu item in Vancouver, and some local chefs divulge why their avo is the best. > BY GAIL JOHNSON

START HERE 15 24 12 35 17 11 23 14 39 22

Books The Bottle Commentary Confessions Education Green Living I Saw You Renters of Vancouver Savage Love Straight Stars

r

TIME OUT 29 Arts 37 Music

25

ARTS

Haisla hip-hop duo the Snotty Nose Rez Kids offer rhymes to an ailing Mother Earth at the eco-minded Vines Art Festival. > BY JANE T SMITH

31

SERVICES 37 Careers 13 Real Estate

MOVIES

Logan Lucky is sublimely entertaining fare: Nocturama’s confused nihilism exhilarates; mean-spirited Ingrid teaches bad lessons; Dave Made a Maze is not really amazing.

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MUSIC

When he couldn’t find enough musicians to start a band, iamforest’s Luke Forest Hartle realized he could just do everything himself. > BY K ATE WILSON

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The B.C. NDP government hopes to have a poverty-reduction strategy in place by next year. That’s according to Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson. He also told the Straight at this month’s Vancouver Pride parade that the province has had flat wage growth for well over a decade. In the meantime, he said, about 500,000 British Columbians are living in poverty—and they’re not all on income assistance or disability benefits. “Half of those people are the working poor,” Simpson stated. “They’ve got a full-time paycheque coming into the house.” The government plans to address this by increasing the minimum wage in the hope that it will encourage employers to raise their workers’ pay. “Others have taken the trickledown approach to economic benefits being distributed,” Simpson noted, referring to the Gordon Campbell government’s decision to cut everyone’s income tax by 25 percent when it took power in 2001. “We’re going to push it from the bottom up.” One of the NDP government’s earliest moves was increasing income-assistance rates by $100 per month. Simpson said there will soon be a public-consultation process in advance of introducing legislation on a poverty-reduction strategy. The objective, according to Simpson, is to involve all ministries that can play a role, including those that oversee housing, childcare, income assistance, and education. “We’ll bring them all together and, hopefully, be able to develop some strategies working with people in the community to start to break the cycle of poverty that captures people and captures families,” he said. “It’s incredibly hard for them to break that. It tends to go on for generations.” Simpson stressed the importance of providing meaningful opportunities for poor people to participate in government consultations. “We’re going to craft a way to do that,” Simpson promised. He also said that the NDP government is committed to creating and measuring the results of a basicincome pilot project in B.C. The minister suggested it might take three years to generate sufficient data for

the government to draw conclusions. There’s a similar pilot under way in Ontario. But one of the challenges is how to deal with public pensions, which fall under federal jurisdiction. Advocates of a basic-income guarantee say it will provide everyone with sufficient money to meet basic needs and live in dignity, regardless of their employment status. “Some people are quite supportive of it, others are a little more skeptical about whether it can work,” Simpson said. “I’m not certain one way or the other, but I think it’s worth a look.” > CHARLIE SMITH

VISION WILL APPOINT BY-ELECTION CANDIDATES

The ruling Vision Vancouver party will not hold a nomination contest for the fall by-election. Instead of having party members choose candidates through a vote, the Vision board of directors will decide who will run for council and school board. Former Vision school-board chair Mike Lombardi said that aspirants like him have to submit an application and undergo an interview. “The time line doesn’t allow for a traditional nomination process, so the board of directors came up with a shorter process,” Lombardi told the Straight in a phone interview Tuesday (August 15). According to Lombardi, the Vision board is expected to decide on a lineup before the end of August. Vancouver will have a by-election for one city councillor and nine school-board trustees on October 14. The council seat was vacated by Geoff Meggs, who was hired in June this year as chief of staff to B.C. NDP premier John Horgan. In 2016, the Vancouver school board was fired by the province for its failure to adopt a balanced budget. Former Vision school trustee and ex–board chair Patti Bacchus is not running in the by-election. According to Lombardi, he has heard that Allan Wong, Joy Alexander, and Ken Clement are seeking the endorsement of the Vision executive to run as candidates for school board. Lombardi said Vision officials will decide how many candidates will run for the school board. Meanwhile, park commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung of the Non-Partisan

Association said that her party will hold a nomination meeting in early September. “It will be a contest and members will vote in a competitive race,” Kirby-Yung told the Straight by phone. The Green Party of Vancouver is scheduled to acclaim Pete Fry on Wednesday (August 16) as its council candidate. Former Green school trustee Janet Fraser is expected to be nominated on August 26. OneCity and the Coalition of Progressive Electors will hold nominations on August 27 and August 29, respectively. > CARLITO PABLO

MASS CYCLING RIDE TO BE LAUNCHED ON WEEKEND

There’s an upcoming event in Vancouver that will undoubtedly bring the city’s biking community closer than ever. Our Cityride—a noncompetitive and inclusive mass-participation ride that takes place in several global cities—will be launching in Vancouver on August 19 (from 3 to 9 p.m.). Founded by five-time Olympic runner Charmaine Crooks and former elite cyclist Mark Ernsting, Our Cityride celebrates the spirit of local communities and aims to cater to people of all ages and abilities. The family-friendly biking activity will kick off in David Lam Park (1300 Pacific Boulevard), with the actual bike ride taking place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thousands of participants will be riding through different communities and landmarks around downtown (Stanley Park, Gastown, Chinatown, West End). The Yaletown park will be transformed into a festival area, complete with an entertainment stage, a kids’ zone with obstacle courses, an expo area, a beer garden, food trucks, and a bike valet. Besides encouraging active and healthy lifestyles, this inaugural bike ride should provide a fun atmosphere for those who don’t usually get a chance to participate in largescale sports events. Registration details ($20 per person, plus taxes and fees) for participants 18 years and above can be found online. Cyclists who are under 18 years old can register for free. For more information, visit www.ourcityride.com/. > TAMMY KWAN

The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 51 Number 2589 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: gs.info@straight.com Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: sales@straight.com Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: classads@straight.com Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS

Janet Smith (Arts/Fashion) Mike Usinger (Music) Steve Newton (Time Out) Adrian Mack (Movies) Brian Lynch (Books) Amanda Siebert (Cannabis) EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Doug Sarti ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS

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

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

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

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

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10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017


GREEN LIVING

Local firm links cities with sustainable future The nonprofit Vancouver organization Wavefront helps wireless technology–based companies connect with urban decision makers The third is to help larger organizations take advantage of all the innovation that’s coming hat do self-driving cars, lighting out of small companies. All the businesses we that adapts to people walking deal with are looking at how to use wireless past, and zero-emission vehicles technology creatively. Together, we aim to have in common? They’re all help advance the digital economy in Vancoutechnologies that will revolutionize our urban ver, British Columbia, and across Canada— centres—and they’re all about to launch into and on this project, to identify the needs of the mainstream. In other cities and match them to words, we’re on the cusp emerging technologies.” Green Living of living in “smart cities”. For Maynard, it was Presented by Why do we need to an obvious choice for adopt those transformaWavefront to focus on tions? Right now, 3.7 bilsmart cities. An importlion people—more than ant player in helping foster half the world’s population—call a city home. the Internet of Th ings—a network that conAccording to conservative estimates, that nects the computers embedded in everyday number is set to double by 2050—so if you objects—the company realized how linking think the traffic is bad now, just wait another everything from heating and air-condition30 years. As more and more people move into ing machines to sensors in parkades and urban areas, greater burdens are placed on the population-density counters can help betphysical and digital infrastructure of cities. ter use our fi nite energy resources. In other It’s not all bad news, though. That pressure words, Wavefront wants smart cities to help is encouraging numerous companies to come the planet become more sustainable. up with interesting tech solutions to improve “If we just switch to smart lighting, we vital factors like light pollution, reducing can have a direct reduction of our environenergy usage in buildings, and dealing with mental impact,” Maynard says. “If you build our wastewater—all important for reducing a smart building, you can probably take costs, pollution, and emissions. 20 percent out of a city’s carbon footprint. Despite their applicability, however, those By putting that same infrastructure in place, businesses often find it hard to connect with it becomes a better place to work, a better the city officials who can implement their solu- place to live, and—because most of our ecotions—and that’s where Vancouver company nomic activity comes from cities—a better Wavefront comes in. Creating a forum for place to generate business.” businesses to showcase their products, the notLinking together companies and city offifor-profit organization links urban decision- cials at a recent conference, Wavefront put its makers with tech creators. philosophy into action. After it invited B.C. “Wavefront is an organization that focuses tech organizations to discuss their innovations on three things,” CEO James Maynard tells with representatives from the City of Vancouthe Straight on the line from his office. “One ver and the City of San Diego—chosen for its is that we help small early-stage companies sociological, cultural, and ecological similarget started by helping them focus their ideas ities to the Canadian hub—over 100 people and energy. Secondly, we help those compan- came together to discuss best practices and ies who are a little down the road grow in size. shared opportunities. > B Y KATE WI LSO N

Offers valid until August 31, 2017. See toyota.ca for complete details. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between Toyota prices, rates and/or other information contained on www.getyourtoyota.ca and that contained on toyota.ca, the latter shall prevail. Errors and omissions excepted. Lease example: 2017 Prius c Automatic KDTA3P-A, MSRP is $23,815 and includes $1,840 freight/PDI and fees leased at 0.99% over 60 months with $1,555 down payment, equals 260 weekly payments of $55 with a total lease obligation of $15,706. Applicable taxes are extra. Lease 60 mos. based on 100,000 km, excess km charge is $.07. $1,000 in incentives to cash customers is available on 2017 Prius c models and cannot be combined with advertised lease offer. Incentives for cash customers on 2017 Prius c models are valid until August 31, 2017 and may not be combined with Toyota Financial Services (TFS) lease or finance rates. If you would like to lease or finance at standard TFS rates (not the above special rates), then you may be able to take advantage of cash incentive offers by August 31, 2017. Cash incentives include taxes and are applied after taxes have been charged on the full amount of the negotiated price. See toyota.ca for complete details on all cash incentive offers. Weekly lease offers available through Toyota Financial Services (TFS) on approved credit to qualified retail lease customers of new and demonstrator Toyota vehicles. Down payment and first weekly payment due at lease inception and next weekly payment due approximately 7 days later and weekly thereafter throughout the term. Visit your Toyota Dealer or www.getyourtoyota.ca for more details. Some conditions apply; offers are time limited and may change without notice. Dealer may lease/sell for less. Each specific model may not be available at each dealer at all times; factory order or dealer trade may be necessary.

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“One of the most important things in the startup economy is being able to connect the needs of the customers with the capabilities and vision of a small company,” Maynard says. “What we were able to do in that room was allow San Diego and the City of Vancouver to talk about what their needs were, and some of the issues that they wrestle with. Then we had large and small businesses discuss their experiences. Out of that came a shared understanding of how we can capitalize on opportunities and solutions to help those companies become successful, and how we can help markets all over the world.” As with anything associated with the Internet of Things, there are potential challenges. In October last year, for instance, hackers took over devices connected to the IoT by using their unchanged default passwords, and used that powerful network to bring down websites like Twitter, PayPal, Spotify,

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AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11


B.C.’s NDP government feels like…progress

I

was ruminating on the week that was in B.C. politics—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly it was a week of undoing bad decisions that never should have been made in the first place. Sometimes making progress is as simple as reversing backward thinking and direction. • Restoring the B.C. Human Rights Commission. • Eliminating tuition fees on adult basic education (ABE) and Englishlanguage-learning programs (ELL). • Taking decisive new steps to combat the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and its unconscionable threats to our environment, our atmosphere, our coastal economy, and Aboriginal people. • Reviewing the B.C. Liberals’ “professional reliance” system, which replaced public-service professionals with industry-hired private contractors in assessing the environmental risks of logging, mining, and other activities. It’s all good. It’s all aimed at preventing or remedying a slew of bad decisions that were largely taken to cut corners, cut budgets, and/or curry favour with B.C. Liberal party backers. It feels like… progress. Which is why it was so frustrating Premier John Horgan received a warm welcome at a Victoria college when he scrapped tuition fees on adult basic education. to see those announcements largely overshadowed by the kerfuffle sur- from the handful of Liberals who in 2015 to eliminate funding to school can be made in the ministers’ quietly rounding Gordon Wilson’s badly have dared to say anything in their districts for tuition-free upgrading waiting danishes, catered meals, and courses for adults who already hold a assorted desserts. mishandled termination as B.C.’s new role in purgatory. LNG ambassador. These are the bad decisions that Horgan was gracious in responding high-school diploma. Since the Liberals introduced beg for good and better governTalk about ugly. to Clark’s resignation. He has refused The imprudent slight on Wilson to be baited by Rich Coleman’s barbs that change, which imposed tuition ance, focused first and foremost on by the minister responsible, Bruce on the cancellation of the proposed fees of up to $1,600 per semester of the material impacts that elected Ralston, which was unwisely reiter- Pacific Northwest LNG project. He full-time studies for ABE and ELL, decision-makers are empowered to ated by Premier John Horgan, was has declined to dignify the ludicrous enrollment in those programs has influence. Not only as they affect the personal and petty. Threatened with assaults from the likes of Andrew Wil- plummeted by almost 35 percent. province’s balance sheet; but also as It fell from 10,244 full-time- they affect the real lives and welfare legal action, both men were rightly kinson and Jas Johal. And he has wiseobliged to apologize. ly avoided getting down in the muck equivalent spaces in 2013-14 to 6,692 of real people and, equally, the health spaces in 2016-17. What should have been a perfunc- with the Liberals’ most vocal allies. of our environment and the goal of a Think of what that really meant. tory and welcome measure in movsustainable economy. For the most part, B.C.’s new preIt meant that thousands of Briting beyond the Clark government’s mier has let his government’s actions I know why the decision was made costly patronage appointment in- speak louder than words: show- ish Columbians could no longer in 2002 to eliminate the Human stead generated several days of nega- ing real leadership on the softwood upgrade their skills or obtain the Rights Commission. You can read tive media stories file; helping rural proficiency in English they needed the rationale here. that embarrassed I was there. And it was wrong, c o m m u n i t i e s to realize their dreams and employthe NDP and culmuch as it may have saved a few shekcope with B.C.’s ment aspirations. They simply could not afford to els, might have reduced some comminated in a huravaging wildMartyn Brown miliating apology. fires; providing a pay the exorbitant tuition required plaint and investigation waiting times New governments often tend to long overdue increase in income- to enhance their education. and backlogs, and certainly made In many cases, that change meant many B.C. Liberal donors very happy. learn the hard way that gleefully assistance rates; launching a promrubbing salt into the wounds of the ised economic review of the Site C that they were denied the most criticIt was supposedly intended to al tool needed to lift themselves and “streamline” and “expedite” the vanquished and deposed is rarely a project; and more. wise strategy. All in all, it has been a stellar their families out of poverty, or low- complaints process under a solitary In any case, what really hurts launch that has mostly showcased paid, dead-end jobs. tribunal that, among other things, esTheir dreams were instantly shat- sentially cut the important function their newly impotent political foes the new cabinet’s strength of talent is meting out rough justice with dig- and maturity, its readiness to gov- tered, by the stroke of a minister’s pen. of public-interest human-rights advoAnd all to save the government cacy out of the picture altogether. nity, class, and sugary indifference, ern, and Horgan’s leadership skills, maybe $10 million a year—a drop in not the opposite. Restoring the Human Rights at home and abroad. Such conduct typically elicits pubCommission and its mandate to It is an impressive start that has the bucket on a $49-billion budget. Meanwhile, the Liberals wasted research, advocate, investigate, and lic kudos, as it also rots the socks of honoured the NDP’s campaign those who are left with no legitim- pledges and its formal commitments $15 million last fiscal year on their report on needed improvements to ate avenue for complaint. They are to the B.C. Greens in respect of Site pre-election partisan advertising enhance all forms of human rights condemned to quietly seethe at their C, Kinder Morgan, funding for ABE campaign. If that’s not scandalous, is a good thing. own fair treatment, as it is applauded and ELL, and revitalizing the en- I don’t know what is. It is something that will only hapAs someone who participated in pen because there are now elected even by some of their assumed allies. vironmental-assessment process. If nothing else, this fiasco should Such is the hopeful promise of Treasury Board and other cabinet people in government who are comremind the Horgan government that the GreeNDP alliance, for which we meetings for a decade, I well know mitted to those objectives. there is no percentage in twisting owe a huge debt of thanks to its three how little regard is often given to the That, too, stands to be a life-altermaterial impacts on people’s lives ing decision for untold thousands of knives and engendering sympathy Green silent partners. for those who are already so widely All 44 of those NDP and Green that flow from so many shortsighted British Columbians who can only ridiculed, scorned, or crushed by MLAs should take some time before budgetary decisions. benefit from the government’s acBudget decisions too easily get tive support to help them combat their own example. the legislature reconvenes to reflect on It should be enough for the gov- what they have already accomplished divorced from their substantive ef- discrimination as it also promotes erning MLAs to know that their and yet stand to achieve for the benefit fects on the individuals, families, greater societal equality, social jusgroups, and social imperatives they tice, tolerance, and understanding. newly neutered enemies in oppos- of so many British Columbians. ition are now all feeling the hollow You want to know why change is Through the power they now hold tend to compromise. I can only imagine how that cal- necessary? A cogent critique that Shereality of being suddenly “irrel- and the changes they are committed evant”—as Christy Clark so crassly to making, they have given our prov- lous policy change on ABE and ELL lagh Day penned way back in 2002, as went down. put it, when the tables were reversed. ince a new lease on life. one of Canada’s foremost experts on The minister and senior bureau- human rights, explained why There is a fine line between forcing the Liberals to own the errors of SOME OF THE CHANGES already crats filing ominously into the cabinet Her analysis didn’t matter a damn their ways—which is politically cru- announced, like the decision to room, ready to face the star chamber to the government that killed the cial for the NDP—and taking par- eliminate the Liberals’ punitive tu- of other ministers and officials who sit commission. But it’s still relevant tisan potshots that risk defining the ition fees on adult basic education on or advise Treasury Board. and it should inform the new govThe forum is oppositional and ernment’s effort to make the value government as spiteful and uncouth. and English-language-learning, are Indeed, ever since the election, Hor- literally life-defining decisions for sometimes confrontational. It readily of human rights the public priority the thousands of British Columbians neglects the real bottom-line impacts it should be in any truly progressive gan has walked that line very well. on the people most directly affected by liberal democracy. From his response to the Clark they stand to benefit. Think that’s hyperbole? those Treasury Board members’ overgovernment’s desperate deathbed Undertaking that enterprise was If you read even a few of the per- whelming concern for “fiscal disci- only one of the four important decithreats and machinations through its demeaning fall from power to sonal testimonies on the Vancouver pline”, “restraint”, and “prudence”. sions noted above in the course of a Ministers’ budget “asks” get the roy- single week. his new administration’s swearing- school board website highlighting in ceremony and senior staffing ap- the value of adult-education pro- al thumbs up or thumbs down as real The announcement by Environpointments, Horgan has set a fine grams, you might change your mind. lives hang in the balance of those split- ment and Climate Change Strategy The same is true if you read a piece second decisions that decide the fate Minister George Heyman and Attorexample that does his office proud. His tone, then and since, has from former VSB chair Patti Bac- and shape of government programs. ney General David Eby on actions to Funding for priorities like ABE defend B.C.’s interests in the face of been spot-on. It stands in stark chus on the harm done to students contrast to the hysterical brickbats by the Clark government’s decision and ELL can get axed before a dent the Kinder Morgan project was also

Commentary

12 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

monumental. It left no doubt that the Horgan administration is not willing to roll over and play dead for a Big Oil project that many predicted it would passively resist, at best. Hiring Thomas Berger, QC, OC, OBC as the government’s external counsel to support the province’s new legal efforts to help others challenge federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil-tanker traffic off B.C.’s coast in court was a stroke of brilliance. The insights, knowledge, and expertise that Berger will uniquely bring to the government in effectively protecting Aboriginal interests, rights, and title cannot be overstated. They may prove pivotal in winning the fight to stop that project, which also so threatens B.C.’s coastline, ecosystems, and climate-action imperatives. Ditto for the government’s new hard line on evaluating future permits and work plans. Heyman and Eby’s new measures will ensure that Indigenous people’s constitutional rights are duly respected, in keeping with the broader goal of reconciliation, while also significantly strengthening environmental protection. For the marine life, coastal communities, industries, and workers whose lives or livelihoods all stand to be negatively impacted by a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic, the GreeNDP alliance’s efforts on Kinder Morgan are massively important. The point is, all of these changes— including the government’s review of the so-called professional reliance system—are all good decisions that have only one purpose in mind: doing public good. The latter, for instance, is something that B.C.’s ombudsperson also raised concerns about in a 2014 report. The review of that contractingout practice, which some say is akin to putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse, is long overdue. It should result in strengthened environmental protections, greater accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayers’ money, and many more functions being retransferred to professional public servants, who are more appropriate to perform those tasks. This is the power of public service, for those in positions of power. It is the capacity to initiate, secure, and properly administer needed and valuable change that can only be achieved by those who choose to run for public office and devote their lives to public service. This is what many of us hoped the NDP or Greens would do in government, directly or indirectly. Namely, act with confidence and resolve to reverse the mistakes made by others and to answer what was bad with what is demonstrably good. There will be no shortage of Liberal partisans, corporate interests, or other GreeNDP detractors who will want to make doing that as ugly as possible. Yet six weeks in, the new government I voted for is, if anything, exceeding my expectations—which were pretty darn high to begin with. That bolsters my confidence in the elected decision makers now sitting on the various cabinet committees, who now hold the power we gave them to advance the progress our province so richly deserves. So far, so good. Take a bow, you agents of change. And know that your efforts are valued and widely supported by so many who voted for the policies you are now actually delivering. In my books, you get an A for the first impressions you have earned with your good deeds. Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s chief of staff, the top strategic adviser to three B.C. party leaders, and deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He was also the B.C. Liberals’ public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2009.


HOUSING

Chinatown advocates fight new development proposal

A

new fight is brewing over a iteration before council rejected Chinatown parking lot that the submission on June 13, 2017, has become ground zero for the proposal was for a 12-storey one of the most contentious building with 106 condos and 25 development battles in Vancouver. housing units to be purchased from The latest proposal for 105 Keefer the developer by B.C. Housing. Street has generated a fresh wave of On July 14, Beedie Living, opposition from advocates of the his- through Houtan Rafii, vicetoric neighbourhood. president for residential developOn its fifth atment, announced tempt to get a plan that it had filed a approved by the new application city to redevelop responding to Carlito Pablo the property into what the company a condo building, builder Beedie Liv- had heard from the public. ing appears to be in the same situaThis time, the proposed ninetion in which it found itself when it storey condo building falls within made an initial application in 2014. the maximum height limit set by The developer has yet to win existing zoning in the area. over a community fearful about the Rafii did not grant the Straight loss of the livability and character an interview. of their neighbourhood. Unlike in a rezoning that requires “We’re disappointed,” Jannie a public hearing and approval by Leung of the Chinatown Action council, the current application Group told the Georgia Straight will be reviewed by the developabout the new submission. ment-permit board, which is comAccording to Leung, the latest pro- posed of senior City of Vancouver posal involving a nine-storey build- executives. ing with 111 condo units will not do Anita Molaro, assistant directhe community any good amid the tor of urban design with the City housing crisis in Vancouver. of Vancouver, explained that the “We need 100 percent social board administers existing zoning housing at that site,” Leung said. regulations. In order to deliver housing at “They are not creating policy welfare and seniors’ pension rates, like council does,” Molaro told the Chinatown Action Group or- the Straight in a phone interganizer said that the city can either view about how the developmentbuy the property or make a land permit approval process works in swap with the developer. general, without reference to any Three years ago, Beedie Liv- specific project. ing applied for rezoning of the According to Molaro, most project northeast corner of Keefer and proposals are recommended by staff Columbia streets for the develop- for approval by the developmentment of a 13-storey building with permit board. 137 condos. Michael Tan is a volunteer dirThe application was revised ector with a clan society that owns three times before it went to coun- and operates the Chau Luen Tower cil for public hearing. In its last at 325 Keefer Street, which provides

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below-market housing for seniors. Tan noted that market-condo developments push up property values in the neighbourhood, which, in turn, increases property taxes. For operators of nonprofit housing facilities such as the Chau Luen Tower, this means increased costs. “Our operating costs are already very high, and when you add on increasing property-tax assessments on top of that, it makes it very difficult to operate a nonmarkethousing complex,” Tan told the Straight by phone. Fred Mah, chair of the Chinatown Society Heritage Buildings Association, has taken a look at the latest proposal by Beedie Living. According to Mah, the location of the property will become one of the major approaches from the south to Chinatown when the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts are finally removed, and so any new development there should make a statement about being a part of the gateway to the historic neighbourhood. From what he has seen so far, Mah told the Straight by phone, the current proposal doesn’t provide a good fit with its surroundings, which include the Chinatown Memorial Plaza, Chinese Cultural Centre, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Although Chinatown advocates were successful in defeating the previous attempt by Beedie Living to rezone the site, Mah acknowledged that the odds are different this time. The matter is now out of the hands of politicians in council, and public opinion may no longer trump the forces of development. -

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HOUSING Land Act: Notice of Intention to Apply for a Disposition of Crown Land Take notice that Neptune Equipment Corp. from Vancouver, BC, has applied to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO), Surrey for an Investigative Use License (2 years maximum tenure) for scientific instruments to test wave actions for renewable wave energy devices situated on Provincial Crown land located at Lat: 49.278337; Log: -123.266848 which is 910 Meters NNW (128 deg.) from head of UBC Trail 3 and 1,277 Meters South (186 deg.) from the Point Grey Bell Buoy. The Lands File Number for this application is 2411922. COMMENTS ON THIS APPLICATION MAY BE SUBMITTED IN TWO WAYS: 1) Online via the Applications and Reasons for Decision Database website at: www.arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/index.jsp 2) By mail to the Senior Land Officer at 200 –10428 153RD St., Surrey, BC V3R 1E1 Comments will be received by the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations until September 18, 2017. Comments received after this date may not be considered. Be advised that any response to this advertisement will be considered part of the public record. For information, contact Information Access Operations at the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services in Victoria at: www.gov.bc.ca/citz/iao/.

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SUNSET SATURDAYS

Skateboard commune ends When a landlord goes back on a verbal agreement, tenants are faced with eviction > BY KATE WILSON

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

“M

y friends have lived in a house that’s worldrenowned in our skateboarding scene for eight years. I’ve been there for two, which is a pretty long time. It was completely out of the blue when we got an eviction notice. “The house is famous among skaters. We normally have between nine and 11 people there year-round, but in our skateboarding season it can go up to about 26 for a few months because individuals come to crash at our place. A lot of people don’t really have enough money to be staying in hotels for things like competitions, so the house is a big part of the community. “We’ve had a verbal agreement for the last seven years that the landlord won’t take care of anything that breaks—we fix everything ourselves and use our own money—and in return he turns a blind eye to the amount of people who live there. When we took over the house, there was a pretty bad mould problem, and mice, and the basement f loods. The house didn’t really have locks, either. The agreement was that we’d have the property until it was torn down. “That all changed one day. I came outside and the landlord’s father was walking around our yard. I’d never seen him before, so I went down to say hello and asked if he needed any help. He kept repeating things like ‘Where is the gate?’—there used to be a gate in the

back yard but it was broken and the landlord didn’t want to fix it, so we threw it out. He then started saying how he was worried about a tree in the front yard and how it might affect the foundations. We thought everything would be fine at that point because if he was concerned about sturdiness of the house, it would mean that the family wasn’t ready to tear it down. “The next day, he walked back into our home with his son, completely unannounced. He took some pictures, and an hour later he came back with an eviction notice. “That eviction wasn’t legally

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valid, so we filed our papers with the Residential Tenancy Branch to stop him. But soon after he gave us another eviction order which did comply with the tenancy act, based on the fact that a lot of people live here. “He’s now emailing us regularly, asking us to do tasks like repainting the whole house or fixing the floor of the balcony. These are all problems that we’ve been telling the landlord about for years, and he’s never asked us to repair them, nor has he done a single thing about it himself. Now they’re trying to get us to foot the bill for it, even though the son has known

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BOOKS

Stranger illuminates Reid’s literary legacy RE VIEW A TEMPORARY STRANGER: HOMAGES, POEMS, RECOLLECTIONS By Jamie Reid. Anvil, 158 pp, softcover

Jamie Reid, who died in 2015,

2 age 74, was an important figure in the volcanic Vancouver writing scene of the 1960s and 1970s. He was one of the original editors of Tish, the historic poetry newsletter that ushered in a new school of poetry (called “projectivist verse” and many other names) that was antimetrical and closer to real speech: a movement that would always be associated with the West Coast and helped make many writers’ reputations. He was admired as a quiet, serious figure: a dedicated artist, not a mover and shaker. Nor was he prolific, but this fine memorial volume, edited by Karl Siegler, highlights three phases of Reid’s writing. The first is a section called “Homages”, a series of poems paying tribute mostly to familiar names from French literature, such as Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, André Breton, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Jacques Prévert, and Tristan Tzara. “There is no doubt,” Siegler writes, “that during the middle of his life Jamie experienced, not a crisis of faith…but a loss of direction.” Writing for years and years that it’s been this way, and it’s not our responsibility to repair structural damage to the house. We tried to have a conversation with the landlord lots of times when things broke that we didn’t have the skills to repair, but he didn’t seem to care. “There are also a lot of problems with our lease. There’s no date on it. It doesn’t have an address. The amount that we are paying in rent is different to what is on the agreement. On top of that, there are technically two suites in the house, so there are two signatories on the lease. Now the landlord is saying that he didn’t give us permission to sublet out any rooms, as if only two people were allowed to live in this giant property—even though

these poems evidently allowed him to regain his momentum and push on with a very different kind of work that he called “fake poems”. No relation to “fake news”, of course. Reid used the term because, as Siegler puts it, he realized “that in the making of poetry, like that of history, we are bound to create not a reproduction of the past, which has become lost to us forever, but simply what the present requires—a reenactment of the past”. In Reid’s own words: “Any poem is an impossibility of language that does not end, a remain, a survivor, something that has appeared [but] is always unfinished, unconcluded, and free.” The third and fi nal section, taking up more than half the book, is a collection of heartfelt prose pieces, most of them previously published (and never forgotten). They recall some of Reid’s contemporaries in the nascent Vancouver arts scene of 50 years ago. He lists a great many names. Those who seem to stand out include Warren Tallman of UBC, the professional dilettante Curt Lang, the sui generis bill bissett and his blew ointment press, and Patrick Lane’s brother Red, also a poet, who died much too early. That fi ne poet and reviewer Heidi Greco stands out as a representative of the present generation. > GEORGE FETHERLING

he knew there were more than that staying there. “I’ll be the first to admit that no one really wants their house to look like what it does now. But at the same time, we always thought that we’d have the place until it was torn down, like the landlord said. We never thought people would live in the house after us. Now we’ve been told that they want to renovate the property and, obviously, increase the rent. “I’m not sure what we’re all going to do next. It’s very competitive to find a new place to live, and none of us are the best candidates—we’re all quite young and don’t have the biggest incomes. Everywhere we look is at least $1,200 more for 1,000 square feet less. ” -

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604.730.7020 | sales@straight.com AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15


EDUCATION

This is certainly not the best of times for

BY CHARL IE SM IT H

Lower Mainland students looking for a place to live for the school year. Just ask Flavia Santia, a second-year student in the UBC graduate school of journalism. “I’m looking on websites such as Craigslist, PadMapper, Rent Hello, stuff like that,” Santia told the Georgia Straight by phone from Italy. “I’m basically sending out a lot of emails to ask for availability and price and whatever.” She’s also made calls but only received two replies—both from what she believes are fake accounts. She came to this conclusion after a weird message saying that the respondents wanted her to look after one apartment with some sporting equipment already in the place. The same message mentioned that “we left Canada to go to a humanitarian mission,” but they were willing to take the payment and they would send the keys and documentation. Santia is from Rome, where there are far more housing options, and she said she could smell something rotten in this transaction. So she didn’t go any further. “Well, I feel pretty desperate, you know,” Santia said with a laugh. “Because this is the second time I have to go to Canada—which is more or less 10,000 kilometres away from home—without a house.” On the upside, she has friends this year, which means she could always crash on a friend’s couch. One of her classmates, Saher Asaf, finds herself in a similar bind. She’s on the wait list for student housing but she’s not optimistic that a place on campus will become available. Asaf told the Straight that she’s subletting in August but she won’t sign a long-term lease until she gets a chance to view the unit. “I think, right now, I would say I’m willing to pay $1,000 [per month], up to $1,200,” Asaf said. “That’s my maximum, but ideally something less.” Because she would prefer a place that’s furnished, she feels there’s a “huge chance” that she won’t be able to remain in Vancouver.

Who will house B.C. students?

Alliance of B.C. Students chairperson Caitlin McCutchen stands by UBC’s newest student residence, while wait lists for homes grow longer. Amanda Siebert photo.

said. “So I’m hoping she holds up to this. I mean, that’s a great win for A shortage of decent accommodation and the rising cost of students.” The ministry did not rent has some looking to the NDP government for solutions make Robinson availThe Canada Mortgage and Housing Corpora- able for an interview with the Straight. tion pegged Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate at In addition to the statement about student housa measly 0.7 percent for purpose-built bachelor, ing, Robinson’s mandate letter from Premier John one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments in Horgan mentioned that he expects her to “make its last survey in November 2016. At that time, substantive progress” in a number of other areas. average rents were up 6.4 percent over the previ- They include delivering a $400 annual rebate to ous year, reaching $1,223. rental households and amending the Residential Apartment prices tend to be far higher on Tenancy Act “to provide stronger protections for Vancouver’s West Side, close to UBC’s Point renters, and provide additional resources for the Grey campus, and they’re also not cheap along Residential Tenancy Branch”. rapid-transit routes. This has Caitlin McLast September, while serving as leader of the Cutchen, chairperson of the Alliance of B.C. Opposition, Horgan joined Alliance of B.C. StuStudents, calling on the new provincial govern- dents members on the lawn of the legislature when ment to make it easier for colleges, institutes, they were holding a demonstration calling for and universities to build more housing for those more student housing. McCutchen recalled that attending their institutions. the NDP and the B.C. Greens both endorsed the “Right now, 30 percent of renters live in in- group’s campaign. adequate housing, whether it’s the conditions, Jill Atkey, director of research and education size, or the cost of the unit,” McCutchen said. “A with the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, large percentage pay 50 percent of their income said her organization also wants the government into rent.” to look at potential changes in legislation to free Last year, the Alliance of B.C. Students re- up postsecondary institutions to build more stuleased a research paper maintaining that if $18 dent housing. million were allocated to student housing per “We’ve developed a number of rental-housing year over a decade, this would create 21,300 new supply projections for the next 10 to 25 years, and residence spaces in B.C., including 13,500 in the we know this crunch is only going to get worse,” Lower Mainland. But many postsecondary in- Atkey told the Straight. “It will get worse before it stitutions haven’t been able to borrow money to gets better. And we do need more supply coming build housing because the Budget Transparency into the major urban centres.” and Accountability Act requires this debt to be She added that the government needs to give included in the overall provincial debt. This is serious consideration to having nonprofit housing the case even though those loans would rightly providers form partnerships with postsecondary be considered self-supporting debt because they institutions to bring about more affordable houswould be repaid through the rents paid by stu- ing on campus. dents and not through general revenue. “The provincial government has, in the past, IN THE MEANTIME, the University of B.C. has defended the restrictions as a means to ensure been adding significant amounts of new student the province’s high credit rating is maintained,” housing, but it’s not having any impact on its wait the research paper stated. The alliance, however, list. The most recent student residence, Tallwood argued that it’s unlikely that debt repaid by resi- House, is an 18-storey wood-frame structure at Brock Commons with 404 beds for upper-year dence fees would have this effect. McCutchen is in her final year studying polit- students. It happens to be the tallest mass-timber ical science at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. building in the world. And in two weeks, 358 beds She said that if more student residences were will open for first-year students in Totem Park on built, it would relieve pressure on the existing the Point Grey campus. UBC’s managing director of student housing rental market. She also argued that more of this housing on campus or close to campus would and hospitality services, Andrew Parr, told the enhance students’ safety because more of them Straight by phone that another 600 beds will be wouldn’t have to commute great distances by bus added in Phase 2 at Brock Commons, which is expected to be completed in 2019. or other forms of transit. “In the last seven years, we’ve actually built “The minister of municipal affairs and housing [Selina Robinson] has been mandated with 3,000 new bed spaces on this campus with mulcreating new student housing by removing un- tiple projects that have opened,” Parr said. Despite all this construction, the wait list has necessary rules that prevent universities and colleges from building that housing,” McCutchen risen from about 3,000 at the peak time in the

16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

summer of 2010 to 6,000 this summer. Parr said part of the reason is the growing number of international students, who are more likely to want to live on campus for the duration of their studies. Another factor is the tight housing market and high cost of shelter in Vancouver. Thirdly, he said, as the population has grown on the Point Grey campus, it’s become a more vibrant community, making it a more desirable place to live. “If you know UBC from the past, it was pretty much a commuter campus with not much activity in the evenings or weekends or during the summer,” Parr noted. “Now it’s an incredibly busy place to be. There are all kinds of amenities and activities.” So how can UBC afford to develop student residences when so many other postsecondary institutions can’t? Parr explained that UBC is lucky because its market-housing funds build up the university’s endowment. This has enabled UBC to become the largest provider of student housing in the country, as well as to guarantee student housing to all first-year undergrads who want it. “We borrow from the endowment and pay it back with a slightly above-market interest rate,” he said. “It’s quite a smart system and allows us to build [student residences] while other schools can’t because they don’t have access to those resources at this point.” The director of residence and housing at Simon Fraser University, Tracey Mason-Innes, told the Straight by phone that there are 1,600 student housing spaces on Burnaby Mountain and another 68 beds in downtown Vancouver. The next student residence at SFU is expected to open in the summer of 2020. In mid-August, 733 students were on the wait list. “We encourage them to use our off-campus website,” Mason-Innes said. “It’s made up of landlords who really do want to rent to students.” Capilano University has also opened its first student residence, at 2420 Dollarton Highway. It’s a collection of three buildings that house approximately 250 students. But according to McCutchen, other colleges and universities haven’t been able to help address a housing shortfall that’s wreaking havoc on students’ lives. “I can use myself as an example,” she said. “My lease is coming up at the end of October and there’s nothing I can afford unless I want some awful basement suite. The last time I looked for housing was 2014. Now there’s even more scams. People are taking advantage of students.” She’s thought about returning to her hometown of Kelowna but said the housing crunch is just as bad there. “They have people that camp out in tents around the [UBC] campus when they can,” McCutchen said. “There’s just no housing.” With files provided by Holly McKenzie-Sutter and Carlito Pablo.


EDUCATION

The executive director of the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, Kris Archie, credits SFU’s dialogue and engagement certificate for giving her greater appreciation of intercultural fluency.

School makes the difference

Archie told the Straight by phone. “This is not all just theory. The second piece is it solidified for me the importance of dialogue to action. And it solidified for me the role that we can play in increasing civic engagement and leadership development in communFinding the right educational program not only boosts ities through asking quesyour career, it has the potential transform your life tions that matter.” To obtain a certificate, Next month, hundreds of thousands of a student must complete 10 courses and a practipostsecondary students will be arriving on cam- cum that cover theoretical aspects of dialogue and puses across B.C. at institutions both large and engagement, as well as offering practical experismall. This week, we’re highlighting 10 different ence. They study part-time at SFU’s Vancouver programs for anyone thinking about starting or campus and must complete the program and the changing their career. practicum within two years. “I did the certificate because I actually just SFU DIALOGUE AND ENGAGEMENT wanted a credential that would value the existCERTIFICATE ing work I had been doing,” Archie explained. “In addition to that, they had incredibly strong faculty.” Kris Archie describes herself as a mother, sisArchie had been consulting for years and already ter, auntie, and Secwepemc and Seme7 woman had a great deal of respect for one faculty member, from the Tsq’escen First Nation. She’s also the re- facilitation consultant Chris Corrigan, before enrolcently appointed executive director of the Circle on ling. Archie also spoke very highly of faculty memPhilanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. ber Peter Boothroyd, a professor emeritus in UBC’s It’s a registered charity that aims to build stronger school of community and regional planning, whom and healthier First Nations, Inuit, and Métis by she described as a “masterful kind of teacher”. building bridges between Indigenous communities “They weren’t afraid of posing and/or inviting and philanthropic organizations. uncomfortable conversations either about our proArchie credits a certificate in dialogue and en- cess as consultants, about the way we work with gagement from SFU for boosting her skills and power dynamics, and/or the requirement of having understanding of different perspectives, which to confront our own discomfort or ego or concern helped her succeed in her last position as senior and worry about our work,” Archie recalled. manager of the Vancouver Foundation’s Fostering She also appreciated an Indigenous instructor, Change initiative. Rain Daniels, for emphasizing that dialogue often That job involved engaging both young involves interacting with people with very differpeople who had been through foster care and ent world-views. According to Archie, this helped the broader community in embracing chan- students recognize the importance of interges to the system to give those youths a better cultural fluency and how equity can be increased chance of succeeding in life. through the ways that they engage with people. “With everything we were learning, I felt that It’s valuable nowadays as Canada is in the process there was a clear, direct application to my work,” of implementing 94 recommendations from the

2

Raj made the Dean’s List 3 times coded websites from scratch achieved MS Office mastery and has travelled over 45 countries BUT HIS REAL

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “There is an openness and a desire for coming to know our whole actual history—as uncomfortable as that can be when we have for so long believed in this narrative of Canada being this happy-go-lucky, everyone-is-welcome kind of place,” she said. However, she suggested that coming to terms with the reality will enable Canada and its communities to become more equitable. She also thinks the country will benefit as more people from marginalized communities become leaders of public institutions. “It will also inf luence the narrative that we hold as British Columbians, as Canadians, about who we are,” Archie stated. “So long as the people in positions of power maintain the dominant narrative of white-male dominance in those spaces, the longer we will continue to lose out on the beauty and the diversity of our province and our country.” CANADIAN TOURISM COLLEGE

Career-training entrepreneur Feroz Ali says

2 he’s only lived in Canada for 20 months, but

the former New Zealand resident already owns three private postsecondary schools, including the 36-year-old Canadian Tourism College. CTC, as it’s also called, has a new 11,500-squarefoot campus opening next month at 1111 Melville Street in downtown Vancouver. It will triple the capacity of the existing Hornby Street campus, which is being relocated there, and will be part of a career school that also has campuses in Surrey and Victoria. “We are taking Canadian Tourism College through its new growth phase,” Ali told the Straight by phone. The new Melville Street campus will also be home to Sterling College, formerly known as Stewart College, which will offer postgraduate certificates in nursing. This will provide foreigntrained nurses with more education so that they can apply to be licensed to work in this country. see next page

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AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17


School

gram is delivered on weekends. It is school-district based, which means that courses are adjusted to reflect idiosyncrasies and demographics of particular areas where students are employed. “That’s proven to be of tremendous value to them,” Hanley said.

from previous page

Ali noted that there are forecasts of looming nursing shortages as the baby-boom generation moves into retirement. “We have a global strategy of recruiting really high-calibre nurses to practise nursing in Canada.” Meanwhile, CTC offers face-toface instruction to up to 250 students annually who are trained to work in hospitality, adventure tourism, and aviation (as flight attendants). The new campus will include a nursing lab, flight lab, and hospitality lab. This reflects Ali’s view that students become job-ready when they are able to simulate the work environment. “We don’t just want to teach people out of theory books and textbooks,” Ali said. “We want them to practise skills.” At the new campus, tourism students will learn how to work as a barista, deal with guests at a hotel front desk, and master the intricacies of housekeeping, table-setting, and fine dining. “The flight-attendant students will be able to practise using two different types of aircraft doors for exits and emergencies: an [Airbus] A320 door and a Boeing 737 door,” Ali noted. “They’ll also have a full galley so they can learn how to prepare food.” The founder of Asia Pacific Education Corporation revealed that his wife was born and raised in Vancouver. The couple decided to move with their children to Canada when Ali’s company sold its New Zealand school and bought CTC in 2015. “The whole point of me being in Canada now is bringing the international experience from New Zealand,” Ali said. “Perhaps I can do things slightly differently here and challenge the norm.” He said that he also owns a company called Sterling Aviation, which supplies flight attendants to corporate jets across Canada. This offers the opportunity to not only educate students but also employ them after they graduate. “We don’t train them to be flight attendants in economy class or business class or first class,” Ali emphasized. “We say that ‘You’re treating every passenger as a first-class passenger, and the service that you’re going to provide them with is always first-class, irrespective of which cabin they’re sitting in.’ It’s about changing the attitude about how we create the next level of employees in the aviation sector.” Asia Pacific Education Corporation also bought a majority interest in the New Westminster–based CG

NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Technology is big business, and

2 Americans who want to work in

The New York Institute of Technology’s campus in Vancouver is on the cutting edge of cybersecurity in Canada.

Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX. Ali described it as a “finishing school” for those with the skills to work in this industry who want to become more employable by learning about what companies expect and demand. That includes mastering personal communication skills necessary to work collaboratively in teams. He pointed out that CG Masters isn’t a school with typical classrooms. Rather, it’s a “studio”, which is what spurred his interest. “I plan on taking this school and making it much bigger in scale,” Ali said. “I want to take it global.” CITYU IN CANADA GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN COUNSELLING AND EDUCATION

There are practitioners of vari-

2 ous disciplines in the working

world. And there are scholars of various disciplines in academia. But at City University of Seattle in Vancouver, the principal of Canadian programs says his school’s graduate programs in counselling and education are taught by “practitioner scholars”. These are lifelong learners who remain engaged in their fields on a practical and a theoretical level. “They’re the people who you see presenting at conferences, giving workshops, publishing papers, and so forth, as well as being a practitioner because they’ve got to keep learning,” Arden Hanley told the Straight by phone. “This has led to some in-

Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate Professional Development Program and Courses Part-time | SFU Vancouver

sfu.ca/civic-engagement 18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

teresting thinking—and the thinking is called ‘deliberative practice’. We’re going to make that a focus of our graduate programs. “Here’s a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that introduces the concept: ‘An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching,’ ” Hanley added. Hanley has 35 years of experience as a family therapist, so he knows whereof he speaks. His professional career has imbued him with a passion for social justice to go along with his relentless curiosity about how people learn. He said research has demonstrated that passive learning—such as by reading about a topic or listening to someone speak—is not the optimal way to improve a practitioner’s performance as a counsellor. Along similar lines, he noted, passive learning wouldn’t necessarily help someone master a violin or perform better in track and field. “What does improve performance? Well, you have to establish a baseline of strengths and weaknesses,” Hanley said. “And then you have to provide the learner with feedback in terms of the strengths and weaknesses. Then, having identified weaknesses, you have to practise solutions to the identified weaknesses.” Just as with professional athletes, sometimes the best approach is designing role-play exercises. He pointed out that a counselling or educational instructor can also videotape a student overseeing a therapy session or a class. This enables the student to benefit even more from the feedback provided.

“Our graduates know what to do on Monday morning,” Hanley stated emphatically. “You’re not looking at somebody who knows about counselling and then you have to train them how to perform counselling. Our graduates know about counselling but they are also performance-ready.” The master’s degree in counselling is designed to help students meet the requirements to become a registered clinical counsellor or a Canadian certified counsellor. At CityU, counselling education is delivered in three ways. There’s a Saturday-only program, which is well suited for working professionals and takes three years to complete. Then there’s a “mixed mode”, which is 49 percent online and 51 percent face-to-face instruction. It also takes three years. The face-to-face classes take place in intensive fourday sessions on a quarterly basis. “We designed that with the thought in mind that we could extend our geographical reach,” Hanley explained. “To a certain extent, that’s true, but the other thing we found that was so interesting is it’s well suited for single parents.” That’s because some find it easier to arrange for childcare over fourday periods four times a year rather than having to find someone to mind their kids every Saturday. There’s also a traditional weekday format, primarily offering face-toface instruction, which takes two years to complete. Hanley said that virtually all of the master’s of education students are working full-time, so this pro-

this field have no shortage of educational options. New York Institute of Technology, Texas Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Georgia Tech are but five examples. Here in Canada, however, technology institutes don’t have quite the same cachet, which might explain why NYIT’s Vancouver campus in the Pacific Centre complex has flown under the radar of many local residents. “The international market knows about us and they’re beating down our doors,” the Vancouver campus dean, Irene Young, told the Straight by phone. NYIT in Vancouver initially offered a master’s of business administration specializing in finance or management. It’s since added a master’s degree in information, network, and computer security and a master’s degree in energy management. “Our cybersecurity program here is incredible,” Young said. “There is no one offering anything like it in the entire province—and, probably, you would have to go pretty far east to get something similar to it.” NYIT is now in the process of launching new master’s programs in instructional technology for educators and for workplace trainers. In addition, NYIT is preparing an application to the Ministry of Advanced Education for new master’s degrees in computer sciences and electrical and computer engineering. She hopes they can be offered within a year to 18 months, noting that UBC and SFU “have a limited number of spaces and unmet demand”. “This fall, we anticipate having as many as 350 students, and that’s not including any students for instructional technology,” Young said. This growth has Young examining options for expanding the Vancouver campus by adding a satellite location, perhaps just out of downtown but still accessible by SkyTrain. Young pointed out that in a bygone era, people would enter a master’sdegree program, write a thesis, and see next page


then move on to obtain a PhD. This would enable them to teach at university or find a job as a researcher. “But the workplace is now requiring and needing more people with advanced-level degrees,” she said. “So we’re here to address that need.” NYIT has other campuses in Arkansas, United Arab Emirates, and China. About a year ago, the school decided to set tuition rates in Vancouver in Canadian dollars, which has made NYIT more competitive. “We’re now more affordable than we were a couple of years ago,” Young said. “Also, it’s easier to price-compare.” The majority of NYIT’s education is face to face in classrooms, but the dean emphasized that the school still tries to provide sufficient flexibility for students who are working full-time. “They may not have the time to take six months or a year off to do a degree,” she acknowledged. “We factored that in with the energymanagement degree because all the courses are offered in the evening. It’s designed for working professionals.” Young revealed that students at NYIT’s Vancouver campus come from 21 different countries. In many instances, it’s their ultimate desire to remain in Canada and gain employment in their chosen fields. “They have identified our degree program as preparing them for the workforce,” she said. “So whether you come from China or Mexico or Vancouver, we have programs that are in demand by the local employers.” VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE UNIVERSITY TRANSFERS

Nowadays, one of the biggest

2 challenges for Grade 12 students

is obtaining high enough marks to get into university. A student’s average has to be in the mid- to high 80s for them even to be considered for the UBC engineering program, according to the UBC website. The SFU website states that an average has to be in the high 80s for applied sciences, including engineering. The dean of arts and sciences at Vancouver Community College, David Wells, says his school can help students who don’t meet those criteria to still achieve their career dream. That’s because VCC offers a first-year transfer engineering certificate that prepares students to enter second-year engineering at both of B.C.’s largest universities. “They have to do it within a 16-month period, but most times that’s quite easily achieved,” Wells told the Straight by phone. He emphasized that the courses

RED Academy looks and feels like a digital agency, and students sometimes interact with instructors like they’re managers.

have been designed to align with what’s being offered at SFU and UBC. As long as students achieve the required grade-point average, they’re guaranteed admission to year two of these universities’ engineering programs. “This relationship started with SFU about four years ago,” Wells explained. “It was really born out of their interest in having more students coming into the second year [engineering] because there was fairly significant attrition.” He added that UBC also loses engineering students in second year because some find it “quite demanding” attending a large research university with large classes. “That was the motivation to look at a guaranteed-transfer certificate,” Wells said. “We’ve, of course, developed it to align with SFU and UBC.” One of the advantages of studying engineering at VCC is the price. Many of its courses cost less than $100 per credit hour, which is significantly lower than what’s being charged at B.C.’s research universities. Most of the courses are taught at VCC’s Broadway campus, which is near the western terminus of the Millennium Line, but one is at the downtown campus to make use of computer-lab technology at that location. Wells said there’s a good faculty mix of talented young PhDs with a great deal of energy along with experienced instructors who have “built tremendous competencies in supporting student learning”. And they

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don’t only teach university-transfer credit courses in engineering. VCC also has a first-year university-transfer computing-science and software-systems certificate. There are also university-transfer certificates in environmental studies, arts, science, and health sciences. The credits can be applied not only to research universities but also to B.C.’s teaching universities, including Capilano and Kwantlen. “There’s a lot of development work that we’re doing in the development of credentials, with the target of having students be really well prepared to transfer into degree-granting institutions,” Wells said. The next information session is at 5 p.m. next Wednesday (August 23). For more information, visit www.vcc.ca/info/. RED ACADEMY

There are boot camps that

2 teach coding skills in up to

12 weeks. And there are technical schools that students enroll in for one to four years. Then there’s RED Academy, which offers three- to six-month programs in web and app development, userinterface and user-experience design, and digital marketing. Ciara Hamagishi, admissions and events manager at RED Academy, told the Straight by phone that one of the “unique things” about her school is the length of its digitaleducation programs.

“The other unique thing is that we really give back to the community,” she added. “Our students are working on projects for nonprofits and startups while they’re in the program.” The school on West Broadway uses capital letters for RED, which is short for “redefining education”. That’s because cofounders Colin Mansell and Mandy Gilbert felt there was a need to change the way digital education is delivered in order to provide greater opportunities for young creators, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs. Mansell is also a cofounder of Drive Digital. According to Hamagishi, he found that graduates of other schools still required a lot of training after they were hired to work at his digital agency. “There was this student who said he learned more in his first three months working at Drive Digital than he did in his four-year undergrad and his two-year technical program,” Hamagishi said. “The fact that there wasn’t that level of learning in the education system is what inspired Colin and also Mandy, who owns a technical recruiting agency in Toronto, to found RED to fill that gap.” The school opened in Vancouver in 2015 and there are now campuses in Toronto and London, England. Instructors are from industry, and— according to Hamagishi—academic director David Kohler provides them with “in-depth training” to enhance their teaching skills. The school mimics a work en-

vironment, even in its appearance, which means there are whiteboard walls, communal working spaces, and even beer on tap. Hamagishi said that instructors act like managers and students are taught to be strong employee leaders and how to work collaboratively. When a client’s project comes in, design students will work with a developer. She added that instructors rarely speak for more than 15 or 20 minutes in the morning before students are practically applying the skills that they’ve learned. Afternoons are spent meeting with clients and working on projects. The web- and app-development program can be taken over three or six months. The first three months covers HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hamagishi said graduates will be able to work for a digital agency creating websites for clients. Digital-marketing students learn about analytics and Google AdWords. They’re also taught how to create a strategic campaign covering social to inbound marketing and generating paid and unpaid messages. They also master search-engine optimization (SEO) and search-engine marketing. In addition, Hamagishi said, professional development is integrated into the educational programs, which entails everything from learning how to perform better in job interviews to enhancing the SEO of a LinkedIn profile. “We have a team of career coaches who assist the students throughout,” Hamagishi said “They’re like advocates for the students.” RED Academy hosts a career fair where students can show their creativity to recruiters. She even recalled one student making an entire keyboard out of cookies. “Our guarantee is that we will work with every student until they’re placed in a job, as long as they go to class and put in their effort,” Hamagishi said. CITYU IN CANADA BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MANAGEMENT

Back in 1964, singer-songwriter

2 Bob Dylan captured the mood of

millions when he released his anthem for his generation, “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ”. And some might feel it’s as fresh today as it was back then, given the magnitude of transformations taking place right now. “We have the prime minister on the cover of Rolling Stone,” City University of Seattle in Vancouver’s Arden Hanley, told the Straight by phone. “British Columbians elected see next page

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vcc.ca/cs AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19


School

from previous page

a government that’s supported by the Green party. We’re about to renegotiate NAFTA, and the outcomes are uncertain. “We know we’ve got to reach the two-degree [Celsius] level in terms of climate change,” Hanley continued, “and if we let it go over that, the results will be catastrophic.” Then there are dizzying developments in technology, nanotechnology, and quantum computing, not to mention the rising influence of artificial intelligence. “So from our point of view, this demands a fresh approach and a new sensitivity and awareness in business and management,” Hanley said. This is the backdrop for CityU in Canada creating a new bachelor of arts in management degree, also known as the BAM. It enables people with a two-year college or technicalinstitute education or two years of undergraduate university training to leverage those credits to complete a four-year degree at CityU in Canada. The school operates on a quarterly system and offers small class sizes—typically 12 to 15 students in the BAM program. “There’s going to be lots of opportunity to interact not only with the instructor but also with your fellow students,” Hanley said. As with CityU in Canada’s graduate degrees in counselling and education, ethics and environmental sustainability are embedded in the BAM curriculum. Instructors are practitioners in their fields, and the faculty includes a marketing expert and a former chief financial officer. According to Hanley, program director Tom Culham worked for years in senior management in the lumber industry before obtaining a PhD in education. His thesis formed the basis for his 2013 book, Ethics Education of Business Leaders: Emotional Intelligence, Virtues, and Contemplative Learning. “Historically, ethics has been thought of as a rational decision-mak-

At Vancouver Community College, students can earn university transfer credits in a growing number of programs.

ing process,” Hanley said. “But what research in neuroscience has shown is that our emotional lives play an important role in decision-making.” That’s because during periods of stress, signals from the emotional centre of the brain—the limbic system—can override the prefrontal cortex, which governs rational thought. Hanley emphasized that it’s important for managers to understand the importance of “self-regulation” to deal with these episodes. “Tom has incorporated emotional awareness in his ethical-decisionmaking model and instruction,” he added. “I think that’s really cool.” So who is best suited for the BAM program? Hanley cited the example of a person with a two-year diploma who has progressed to a supervisory position or started their own business. “You need to know the basics of management: how to read a financial statement, market a service, or get to know the key HR issues in hiring. A degree makes sense to you now,” he said. “And you want to manage in a fair and ethical way. The BAM is for you.”

Then he cited another example: a person with a sociology degree who is supervising a program for at-risk youth for a small nonprofit organization. This person knows that the employer sees him or her as management material. “You want to learn how it’s done by professionals,” Hanley said. “You also ride your bike to work and you care deeply about climate change. The BAM is for you.” The program also deals with employment standards and other labour-relations issues. “We’re going to provide people with the basics so that if they become a leader or a supervisor, they know what the basics are and they know where to find them,” Hanley said. VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONTINUING STUDIES

Two years after its 50th an-

2 niversary, in 2015, Vancouver Community College unveiled a new mission statement—“VCC: The first

choice for innovative, experiential learning for life”. The dean of continuing studies, Gordon McIvor, clearly takes the aims and values encapsulated in this slogan very seriously. McIvor noted in a phone interview with the Straight that this hands-on approach is not only reflected in the 23 programs under his jurisdiction but is also embodied on the cover of the VCC continuing studies fall program guide, which features photos of students actively engaged in various pursuits. Two programs, in particular, embody experiential learning: certificates in counselling skills and a diploma or certificate in fashion design and production. The addiction-counselling-skills certificate is offered at VCC’s downtown campus. “The reality of the Downtown Eastside and the fact that our program has a focus on addictions gives students an opportunity to really roll their sleeves up and work with high-risk populations,” McIvor explained. It’s a self-paced part-time program

offered in the evenings, which means students could take anywhere from a year to three years to complete it, though most finish in one-and-a-half to two years. “Some students go many evenings a week,” he said. “Most of them are doing something else in the day and they might take one or two courses in the evening and they really go at their own pace.” The community-counselling-skills certificate offers the same level of flexibility. Claire Sauvé, a senior coordinator with VCC continuing studies, told the Straight by phone that this can prepare students for a wide variety of work, including working for homeless shelters, dropin centres, immigrant-support agencies, and halfway houses. “Some of the courses that are offered within the program are accepted as prerequisites in master’s-in-counselling programs at SFU, UBC, and Adler University,” Sauvé added. The instructors all have active counselling practices, so they bring real-world experience into the classrooms. And according to Sauvé, some students who are in either the addiction-counselling or community-counselling stream end up completing the other stream because they have many classes in common. So who is most likely to enroll in the certificate programs in counselling skills? “We know, for example, the average age of a student in this program is 41 years old—predominantly female, definitely adult learners,” McIvor responded. “There may be a difference in addictions vis-à-vis the community counselling in terms of the gender makeup. Nevertheless, it is open to both groups of people.” Meanwhile, the fashion-andproduction diploma and certificate programs at VCC continuing studies have recently undergone a makeover to better reflect the school’s mission statement. “Students basically get five sales cycles during their diploma,” McIvor said. They will make a bag, which is sold in a retail store, then they will see next page

www.cityuniversity.ca

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November 23rd, 5:00pm CityU Canada in Vancouver 789 W. Pender Street, Suite 310, Vancouver

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to fit your education around your life. Most CityU students are working professionals like you; eager to add to their skills and open up new career possibilities. And like you, they have other obligations. So at CityU Canada we offer flexible schedules and a choice of part-time or full-time studies. Open to your possibilities at CityU.

An Affiliate of the National University System. This program is offered under the written consent of the Minister of Advanced Education effective April 11, 2007 having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the minister. Nevertheless, prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs.

20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017


design a T-shirt that is marketed online. Then they might create a whole fashion line for a nonprofit charity, and on it goes. “It’s not just about designing clothes,” he said. “It’s the whole process of production, sales, and design together.” It also enhances students’ understanding of e-commerce. Field trips to local clothing manufacturers help students understand what’s taking place on the factory floor. The diploma program takes 18 months to complete and is offered full-time during weekdays. There’s an exit point midway for people who want to stop with a certificate, leaving them eligible to return to complete a diploma at a future date. In addition to the diploma and certificate programs, VCC continuing studies also offers one-off courses for those interested in learning about everything from fashion illustration to corsetry to fashion-show production. WORKBC EMPLOYMENT SERVICES CENTRES

Being unemployed doesn’t mean you’re on your own when trying to find work. That’s because the B.C. government’s employment program, WorkBC, offers job seekers a variety of free services to increase their chance of getting hired. Cindy Reeves is a case manager at the Career Zone in downtown Vancouver, one of the WorkBC employment-services centres located in Metro Vancouver. At these WorkBC centres, people are screened to determine what services they’re eligible for. Anyone looking for work has access to free computers and photocopying. “There’s someone working on the floor who can help connect people to resources,” Reeves said. “If someone is feeling a bit stuck in their job search, we might have some advice and tools that help to encourage them.” Job seekers are eligible for casemanagement services if they’re permanent residents—though refugee claimants may also qualify—and not full-time students. WorkBC cen-

2

City University of Seattle in Vancouver has embedded an ethical framework in its bachelor of arts in management degree.

tres can also provide transit fares to those who require this assistance to attend an employment interview. That’s not all. “If they have a job offer but they need transportation supports to their first paycheque, we can provide that as long as they come in and show us a confirmed job offer,” Reeves said. “Or if the employer is saying you have to show up with a hard hat and construction boots, for example—if they have evidence of that—we can provide them vouchers in order to go out and get those things.” The Career Zone is one of the WorkBC youth centres and is restricted to those between 16 and 30 years of age, but there is no upper age limit at the other centres. Reeves said that WorkBC can also create training plans for people in three categories: those who have had an employment-insurance claim in the past, have a disability, or are on income assistance. It’s also possible to have the cost of books subsidized. “We can cover up to $7,500 in tuition,” Reeves stated.

The overarching goal is to help job seekers find lasting employment. And Reeves acknowledged that Vancouver is a very expensive city, which is why training is sometimes the key to surviving economically over the long term. But even for those who don’t enter WorkBC–funded training programs, there are short-term measures that can help their odds of being hired. “Sometimes, even just coming and meeting with a case manager and then attending a workshop on selfmarketing, for example, can be the missing piece to give somebody a little bit of motivation and a little bit of edge over other job seekers,” Reeves said, “because we’re giving them the latest on how to be competitive in those interviews.” So what does Reeves like best about her job? She responded that it’s when someone gets back on their feet with a new occupation. “It’s really fantastic when their selfesteem goes up and they realize that they can get a job and they achieve

that,” Reeves said. “It’s awesome. But my favourite thing is when somebody does the training plan and completes it successfully and then gets a job.” There are 13 WorkBC employment-services centres in Vancouver and on the North Shore. Home addresses determine which centre to visit, and there is a map showing the closest to you at www.vancouverworkbc.ca/. LIGHTHOUSE LABS

There are many reasons why

2 someone might want to attend

an eight-week Lighthouse Labs Web Development Bootcamp in downtown Vancouver. The data-driven curriculum provides an intense and fully immersive introduction to coding in JavaScript and Node.js. There’s even some exposure to Ruby. Altogether, there are more than 550 hours of instruction and coursework at its Gastown location. And they’re compressed into a time frame that

works for people who want to become job-ready in a hurry in the rapidly evolving world of web development. But perhaps most importantly, Lighthouse Labs offers pathways to employment. Jeffrey Ling is the chief technology officer of thisopenspace, a Canadian startup employing 20 people. It offers short-term rental space for popup shops, events, photo shoots, and other events. He’s also one of many mentors at Lighthouse Labs, offering guidance in the evenings to bootcamp students. “I like that a real community has formed,” Ling said. “They get a lot of contact with people actually in the industry through mentorship. I find that more valuable than anything else.” Ling revealed that thisopenspace has already hired one student from Lighthouse. He said that when he worked at Bench, a rapidly growing Vancouver-based accounting-solutions company, several other Lighthouse Labs grads were hired. “Almost all of them turned out great,” Ling said. “One is even the team lead now at Bench.” Lighthouse Labs graduates often start their careers as junior web developers. Although Ling said that it’s conceivable that someone could learn the technical skills online, it really helps having peers to push students forward. Moreover, industry professionals can explain what a junior webdevelopment job actually entails. “People come out with more practical experience,” Ling said. “And often they continue learning afterward because they really buy into this development culture.” There’s one other benefit that comes from the industry mentors at Lighthouse Labs. Ling and other industry veterans can offer students advice on salary negotiations and on the legitimacy of prospective employers. “That’s the sort of community you wouldn’t be able to get if you were just going on forums and asking online,” Ling said. -

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AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS

August 17 to 23, 2017

H

ere comes the big one! Monday’s total solar eclipse marks the here, now, and next as a pivotal, history-shaping portal. Holding shake, rattle, and roll influence over an extended length of time, eclipses serve as acceleration agents. What they produce can be abrupt, but the changes that result tend to be of lasting impact. While the ancients viewed eclipses as ominous (death to the king), they are wild cards that can also bring the auspicious and/or exceptional into being. People of significance can enter or exit our lives, or the planet. Aiming for the heart and centre—yours, theirs, ours—Monday’s total solar eclipse in Leo is bursting with an especially vibrant create-it energy. It can bring you, it, or them back to life in a strike-it-hot, lifealtering way. Endings and beginnings warehouse much greater potency and impact. You will see the workings of this eclipse in some obvious way only if it makes a direct contact to your natal chart. Otherwise, you’ll witness through your outer-life and outer-world events. Leo is a confidence-building and success-generating archetype. It fans all creative fires, including careerbuilding, artistic production, desire, and your progeny. Fortune can bless you with a special love and/or bless you in journeys of the heart. Mercury in Virgo continues in retrograde to September 5. Keep vigilant, especially regarding safety, security, fact-checking, paperwork, communications, transportation, and health. See repair work or a revelation as a blessing in disguise. It’s always better to address it early and get it out of the way.

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Something special, perhaps even exceptional, is about to overtake you. It could feel like oncein-a-lifetime opportunity, or perhaps you are actively working on your next great adventure. Occupying one of the best positions of your chart, Monday’s solar eclipse holds exceptional potential for personal success, career success, and matters of heart, especially for those born April 16 to 18.

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22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

April 20–May 21

You are about to catapult into a new life and/or living-with-yourself chapter. Monday’s solar eclipse blesses all fresh starts, especially those pertaining to home, family, creative projects, newly found freedom, or independence. While Mercury retrograde can add extra work or cause a rethink or temporary backtrack, if it has merit you’ll see it fall into place quite readily and well.



GEMINI

May 21–June 21

A conversation, brainstorm, or synchronistic meeting could be the start of something major. Monday’s solar eclipse could see you make an exceptional connection with a special someone or strike it hot on a great plan, idea, or creative project. If your chart doesn’t align with eclipses directly, it’s still a great time to enjoy it to the fullest. Make the most of it!



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March 20–April 20

CANCER

June 21–July 22

A new financial or career track can be a reality or an evolving necessity, but either way, better prospects are on the road ahead. You are at the start of a six- to eight-month lifestyle reinvention and living-withyourself intensification cycle. There’s new ground to break; the eclipse requires you to open up to the experience. Experiment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Something ventured, everything gained.



LEO

July 22–August 23

Monday’s solar eclipse sets you up for the exceptional, especially so if your birthday is on or near it. Whatever shows up in your life hits a fast and solid track right from the get-go. Mars/ Saturn brings a sense that timing is just right or things are working out for the best. A strong sense of dÊjà vu is a hint of momentous karmic recall.



VIRGO



LIBRA



SCORPIO



SAGITTARIUS



CAPRICORN



AQUARIUS



PISCES

August 23–September 23

You may feel the effects of Monday’s solar eclipse as subtle influence, a background happening, or perhaps unnoticeable unless your chart receives a direct hit. If it does, the big reveal can take you by surprise. No matter what, how, or who, potentials are optimized. Someone or something could become a tour de force in your life. Tuesday’s Mars/Saturn is optimum for manifesting. September 23–October 23

Want more joy in your life? Monday’s solar eclipse wants you to have your heart’s desire. It launches a more vibrant social-life trend and holds great potential for financial prosperity, especially when you get a new goal, course, or project. A new love can be on the horizon, too. Sunday to Tuesday, connect, convey, create. October 23–November 22

Yesterday is a done deal; tomorrow is on a major dial-it-up. You’re on the launchpad of so much more to come. Career-, reputation-, and/or status quo–wise, Monday’s auspicious solar eclipse officially sets the timer on a new reality base. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but it’s all onward and upward! Sunday through Tuesday, the getting is good, perhaps great! November 22–December 21

Go with all your heart! Sunday through Tuesday puts you on a great upswing. What’s good is very good. Travel, perform, love ’em up, try your luck, have fun. News, a special event, fresh adventure, or reconnection makes your day. Mercury retrograde and Monday’s solar eclipse can help you to reclaim yourself or rekindle something of significance. December 21–January 20

What you want, what you deserve: love, happiness, prosperity—if you aren’t getting the goods yet, don’t despair. There’s much more on the road ahead. Take heart. Monday’s confidence-building solar eclipse sets an auspicious backdrop for the start of a fresh fulfillment track. Starting now, all creative and make-it-happen endeavours hold better-than-average prospects. January 20–February 18

Someone of significance can exit or enter your life. A flash of inspiration, conversation, or introduction could be the start of something momentous. Monday’s solar eclipse can strike flint on a new project, career, or moneymaking prospect. Too, it can springboard you into a new relationship with yourself, another, or the world around you. February 18–March 20

Mercury retrograde and Monday’s solar eclipse contribute extra turbo to all self-improvement, work, repair projects, and health-related matters. Sunday through Tuesday are optimum for feeling your way along and for a major turn-it-around. While extra care and due diligence are wise, strike while the iron is hot. The eclipse could provide a saving-grace opportunity. R e a d m o re a b o u t t h e e c l i p s e, book a reading, or sign up for Rose’s free monthly newsletter at www.rosemarcus.com/astrolink/.


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t’s practically everywhere. On We design a complete personalized restaurant menus all over town, all-natural weight management program it has become a quintessential Vancouver dish. We’re not talkThis program has been clinically proven with ing ramen, poké, sushi, tacos, acai over 20 of years research and development bowls, or kale caesar salad. Rather, No Cravings No Hunger what’s increasingly hard to escape is avocado on toast. Never mind that the humble numLMhomeopath@gmail.com ber is delicious in a comforting way; it’s also loaded with nutrients. In fact, www.metabolic-balance.com avocados are the only fruit that prolittlemountainhomeopathy.com vides a hefty dose of monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good fats”. Sometimes referred to as alligator pear or butter fruit, the creamy stone fruit also contains almost 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6 and C, riboflavin, and folate, as well as fibre and protein. Plus, they’re heart-healthy, containing a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol that’s associated with Not your average avo toast: Café Medina’s version features avocado slices with keeping cholesterol levels in check. salsa, sprinkled with olive oil and fleur de sel, and perched atop grilled focaccia. Here, a few local chefs dish on their spin on the avo-toast combo— our fresh tomato salsa, made with has quickly become a staple in many ig @kpat18 and divulge when they like to enjoy our own harissa paste, pomegranate fit foodies’ diets. Perfect for any time molasses, and Turkish black chilies. of the day, it’s quick to prepare and a it themselves. Then we top it off with some really combination that is tough to top. REUBEN MAJOR, the Belgard nice olive oil and fleur de sel. And, of Kitchen at the Settlement Building course, you can always opt to put an JEFF KOOP, Mamie Taylor’s (251 (55 Dunlevy Avenue) What’s it got? egg on it! What makes yours delish? East Georgia Street) What’s it got? We start with a delicious grilled sour- (See previous answer.) It’s not your It’s very simple, but delicious, really: dough. Since the average avo toast. we take grilled house-made focaccia avocado is so soft You’d love some and spread it with a mix of smashed and creamy, there when? I enjoy avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon needs to be a texhaving avocado juice, fresh oregano, parsley, salt, and Gail Johnson tural contrast. By on toast right after pepper, then sprinkle on some soft grilling the bread, you create a nice the gym, with a couple poached eggs goat cheese and serve it with an aruSaturdays & Sundays gula-and-cherry-tomato salad tossed contrast between crispy, chewy, and and a protein shake. with apple-cider vinaigrette. The arusoft ’n’ creamy. The char from the grill adds a little smokiness as well. Then, DAVID ROBERTSON, Dirty Apron gula and apple-cider vinegar really Reservations recommended. we brush the bread with confit gar- (540 Beatty Street) What’s it got? help to add depth to the smoothness (Vegetarians, not so much...) lic oil, season with sea salt, and then The Dirty Apron’s avocado toast of the avocado. What makes yours spread the avocado over the toast. To is served on lightly buttered sour- delish? It’s unique because we bake keep the avocado vibrant green, we dough toast with a smoky sun-dried– our bread fresh for our avo toast. Our 337 E. Hastings St. fold in a touch of lime juice, which tomato tapenade, pressed avocado, bread is enriched with lots of olive oil. (just east of Gore St.) 778-379-4770 also adds some acidity and brightens olive-oil-poached cherry tomatoes, The goat cheese adds richness, and the up the flavour. Then, we garnish using fresh watercress, and topped with a arugula salad adds sharp acidity and Sky Harvest microgreens and some soft-boiled egg. What makes yours freshness to the dish. You’d love some shaved radishes. What makes yours delish? Our take is an elevated take when? The ideal time to eat avocado delish? We like to give our guests an on the standard recipe. We found fla- toast would be right before a long bike opportunity to get creative with their vours that add to the dish and com- around the seawall or through the city. avocado toast. We offer versions that plement each other. You’d love some The healthy fats in avocados provide include burrata, soft poached egg, and when? For me, it’s a perfect morning an abundance of energy that other our house-cured salmon gravlax. We meal. It’s my choice for breakfast on vegetarian dishes sometimes lack. > Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < use artisan organic breads made by the go and works perfectly as fuel for BLONDE GIRL ON THE KITS LONDON DRUGS ROXY SUNDAY ALESSANDRO VIANELLO, Wilde- 20 A Bread Affair and also offer a gluten- my midday workout. beest (120 West Hastings Street) free version, presenting our toast on a I SAW A: s I AM A: r I SAW A: s I AM A: r SAW A: r I AM A: s WHEN: AUGUST 7, 2017 WHEN: AUGUST 10, 2017 sprouted-seed bread from East Village CAITLIN MARK, H2 Rotisserie and What’s it got? We use a sourdough IWHEN: AUGUST 13, 2017 WHERE: Roxy Cabaret WHERE: London Drugs on Kits Bakery. The char from the grill adds a Bar (1601 Bayshore Drive) What’s toast as a base and top it with home- WHERE: Hastings and Commercial unique element that you wouldn’t get it got? We use a rustic, toasted sour- made guacamole consisting of jalaI was picking up a photo at Met at Roxy Sunday. Exchanged glances in the queue. You from simply toasting. And the confit dough, ripe avocado, two free-range peño, cilantro, green onion, and a You were wearing all black and London Drugs. You were wait- bought me yam fries, and told white shoes. Your hair was ing in the Canada Post section garlic oil adds a subtle, savoury layer of soft-poached eggs, frisée-and-arugula generous amount of fresh lime juice. blonde and, with a face like an and you had a 4-band tattoo on me I scared you because of my I took off a bit too flavour. You’d love some when? I like salad, and confit tomatoes, topped We finish it with a sous-vide egg angel, it seemed like you were your right arm. I noticed you. I honesty. to walk into me. I backed think you looked up to see me early in the morning like a true it anytime, really. But I find it a nice with a balsamic glaze for an added and a torched slice of five-year-old going up, I don't know if you said during my transaction. I was 21st century woman. Let me light breakfast with the addition of an flavourful dimension. What makes aged cheddar. We serve our avocado sorry but I just wanted to say too nervous to do or say any- make it up to you and buy you coffee sometime. Signed, the egg or two. All the good fats keep my yours delish? The creaminess of the toast with a side of fresh, organic that you are the prettiest girl thing. Maybe you’ll read this. midnight drifter. I’ve seen in a long time. You are energy level stable for several hours eggs and the avocado are a match greens tossed in a lemon-lime- completely gorgeous. SKYTRAIN FROM TRANSIT FROM THE made in heaven. The balsamic glaze grapefruit-and-orange vinaigrette. after eating. GRANVILLE! SOUTH TERMINAL and greens make for a fun twist while What makes yours delish? We pack RICHMOND HOME DEPOTLIGHT BULBS 101 I SAW A: r I AM A: s I SAW A: r I AM A: s ADAM PERRIER, Café Medina (780 contributing to the presentation. (It’s a whole bunch of flavour into the WHEN: AUGUST 10, 2017 WHEN: AUGUST 9, 2017 Richards Street) What’s it got? We Instagrammable!) You’d love some avocado and take the time to serve I SAW A: r I AM A: s WHERE: SkyTrain WHERE: South Terminal AUGUST 12, 2017 start by grilling our house-made fo- when? The best thing about this dish it with a perfectly cooked sous- WHEN: WHERE: Richmond Home Depot I have never done this before, You struck up a conversation caccia to get a nice crisp layer for the is its versatility. Avocado toast is great vide egg, which adds a deliciously in the light bulb section, and every time I read some- about my shoes and how you avocado to sit on. We don’t smash the anytime! Whether you’re recovering unctuous texture. You’d love some You: confused over wattages and one's post, I wonder does it had a pair and were catching avocado into the bread; instead, we from a run or bike ride through Stan- when? I’d say anytime between 10 colour temperatures, lovely ever work? I mean what is flack from your friends. We talkthe possibility of two random until you had to get off after carefully slice it and lay it on top of ley Park, joining friends for brunch, a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Sun- hazel eyes, sensibly casual, strangers checking these ed one stop on the SkyTrain. Wish I smelling wonderful. Me: out! But I would like to give it the focaccia upside down. This en- or are simply craving something nu- days, and holidays—i.e., when you Canucks hat, painting work had given you my number but for clothes and a tad embarrassed a shot! You: A gorgeous some reason it didn’t occur to ables us to garnish the avocado with tritious and delicious, avocado toast should join us for brunch! blonde, wearing a black

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by appearance. I tried to explain the equivalencies in light bulb wattages, colour temperatures. You said (jokingly) that you had my name and number but I (sadly) didn’t offer it. Regretting that oversight now. I thought I saw a little beam of light (pun intended) and wondered if it could shine a little brighter?

s

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JULY 14, 2017 WHERE: Orpheum

r

You were sitting behind me at the Orpheum and we hadn’t seen each other in years. I am the blind girl with purple and pink hair. I overheard you telling someone about the fact that if you had contacted me 3 weeks earlier all those years ago that you would be the one sitting with me, not my current bf. I was in tears and wanted to talk to you, but you never got up the nerve to say hi, either did I. I have never forgotten you nor forgiven myself for choosing him over you. I don't have any way of contacting you, so I hope that you read this and contact me. I am sorry, please forgive me.

dress with a denim jacket. Me: Just another guy. I saw you first at Granville station waiting for the SkyTrain. We happened to get in the same car and as it was very busy we were standing quite close. I was pretty annoyed by the call that I was on, and the reason was that I was distracted by you. I couldn’t stop looking at you every few seconds. Pretty sure you noticed and you looked a few times too. But I think it was because you were probably just thinking, “why is this weirdo looking at me” lol. I did put my phone down, so I could start a conversation but then gave up - do I stand a chance! Later I got off at the same station, but you went the other way. I have been kicking myself since. Honestly speaking, I have never been into blondes but you were simply beautiful! I am sure a girl like you can’t be single. Well, if you read this, coffee? I work near Granville station, maybe you work around there too? Please reply with where we got off?

me in the moment.

I TRIED TO LET YOU CROSS

s

r

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 8, 2017 WHERE: Superstore Grandview East Van I’ve never posted anything like this but I couldn’t believe how cute you were. I feel like such a freaking desperate idiot but here goes nothing. Saw you in Superstore as I was B-lining it for the bagged salad section in a black and white dotted dress. I thought, oh that guy was cute... But then I saw a sale on spiralized beets and forgot to turn around to see if I was just imagining you. BUT then I was driving out of the parking lot and saw you about to cross, I tried to let you cross even though I had the right of way but like the dumb idiot that I am, I just blocked the road. You let me drive off as you should have. If you aren’t completely freaked out by my seemingly desperate post... tell me what colour or type of car was i driving?

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23


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t came up, as it often does, when having dinner with a few international wine writers during my recent time in Italy. It usually goes something like this: “I really haven’t had the chance to try many Canadian wines, but I recently tasted some Rieslings and Chardonnays from Tawse, and I was quite impressed. Is it mainly limestone soils in their vineyards?” “Oh, awesome,” I’ll typically respond. “But, yeah, I actually don’t know. I’m based in Vancouver, and we really don’t see Ontario wine in British Columbia.” An incredulous reaction is usually what follows. There are numerous reasons why Ontario wine has virtually no presence in our market, aside from the tiniest smattering of selections. Out of more than 3,300 wines available at B.C. Liquor Stores, there are only four listed as hailing from Niagara. There’s an abundance of excellent Left to right: Tawse Unoaked Chardonnay 2015, Pearl Morissette 2013 Cuvée wine being made back east, so there’s Dix-Neuvième Chardonnay, and Hinterland Wine Company Sacrament 2011. certainly no issue when it comes to quality. Of course, we are remarkably While winemakers everywhere vineyards. This Chardonnay, grown supportive of our homegrown British from Champagne to West Aus- in red-clay soil, is very dry and crisp, Columbian product, but that dedica- tralia were on hand to share their with lime zest, lemon curd, and chalky tion isn’t the culprit either. bottlings, it was the Ontario wines notes, but nicely fleshed out with I’ve had some recent chats with lo- I was looking forward to the most, tropical fruit and a hint of marzipan cal importers and wasn’t surprised as they’re the wines I’ve had the in the middle, due to its time in tank spent on the lees. (Also, I’m happy to to hear that it really comes down to least experience with. taxation, red tape, and an often inThe weekend started out with a report that Tawse has cleared many surmountable level of logistics ne- keynote address by Karen MacNeil, of the obstacles mentioned above cessary for Ontario wines to break author of The Wine Bible, who pro- and we can look forward to some of into our market. vided a mini dis- their wines appearing around town in First off, Onsertation on the coming months.) tario wines are state of Chardontaxed akin to nay in today’s PEARL MORISSETTE 2013 CUVÉE Kurtis Kolt imported wines, market. Much of DIX-NEUVIÈME CHARDONNAY which can make the shelf price un- the talk was about balance, which ($38; pearlmorissette.com/) Most of realistic for most local wine enthusi- is key in any wine, and how we’ve the cool-kid sommeliers in Toronto asts, especially for wines with which seemed to move on from those over- adore the wines of François Moristhey may be unfamiliar. The greater oaked and overripe Chardonnays that sette, and it’s easy to see why. His wildissue, though, is that—unlike inter- were wildly popular not too long ago. fermented, unfined, unfiltered, natnational wines being brought into our Those heavier styles of Chardon- ural wines are in the driver’s seat from market—wines from Ontario must be nay, yes, provide a big mouthful of fla- vineyard to bottle, his hand barely presold (to restaurants and retailers) vour, but lovely nuances of freshness, touching them along the way. A touch before they even land, which involves acidity, and minerality are lost in the of old oak frames everything well here, a lot of footwork, paperwork, and, in process. It was while on the tail of the including young almond, hazelnut, hisome cases, blind faith. Convincing a subject that MacNeil offered a great biscus, key lime, and nougat. Wonderrestaurant to commit to eight cases of quote, by famed American importer ful complexity and integration. a wine untested in our market can be Kermit Lynch: “Music isn’t better beHINTERLAND WINE COMPANY a tall order. It’s easy to see why most cause you play it louder.” wineries wouldn’t want to bother, I encountered some very worthy SACRAMENT 2011 ($55; www. given these obstacles. wines during my time in Ontario, hinterlandwine.com/) Hinterland It’s because of all of this that I found and for those willing to pull out their is a small-batch sparkling house, my recent trip to Ontario to be both credit card, one way of enjoying them and after tasting through many illuminating and maddening. I was around here is to order winery-direct. of its wines, I have to say that this in Niagara-on-the-Lake for i4C, the This week, a flight of three favourites: 2011 field blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is easily the star of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. The annual three-day TAWSE UNOAKED CHARDONNAY show. Five years on lees before disconference is for both wine consumers 2015 ($20.15; www.tawsewinery.ca/) gorgement brings plenty of freshand the wine trade, and it’s chock-full Winemaker Paul Pender has been at baked sourdough, which is then of seminars, tastings, dinners, and the helm of Tawse for almost a doz- topped with grapefruit marmalade, more. Should you find yourself in the en years now, and his stewardship lemon peel, and a sprig of mint. It’s neighbourhood next July, I’d recom- brings us quality, pristine wines from drinking well now but will only get mend pencilling it in on your calendar. certified organic and biodynamic better with a few years of age. -

The Bottle

TICKETS FROM

21

$

Opera & Arias – Photo by David Blue

Season Sponsor

OPERA & ARIAS: The Barber of Seville Rossini’s masterpiece of the comic opera stage!

The music you know and love, in a costumed concert staging featuring the UBC Opera Ensemble and accompanied by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Hosted by Christopher Gaze.

Mondays, August 28 and September 4 | 2pm and 7:30pm (both dates) • Global BC Youth Price available

604-739-0559 • bardonthebeach.org Buy Early for Best Seats! 604.581.2827 www.thornleycreative.com 24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017


ARTS

Haisla hip-hop MCs Young D and Yung Trybez of the Snotty Nose Rez Kids aim to educate listeners about Mother Earth, which makes them a perfect fit for the eco-minded Vines Art Festival.

Tapping into deeper roots

swimming pools; we music-and-movement-infused Saving Mother with the Only Animal’s Generation Hot mentorhad the ocean.” Tapping into those ship program at the Vancouver Fringe Festival deep roots with Mother last year. She draws from the eastern Indigenous Earth is now, Young D myth about Wendigo, the cannibal monster that explains, simply a part roams the northern forest and can take human of the SNRK identity— form. The evil creature embodies insatiable greed along with ample doses and environmental destruction, and in Smith’s of irreverent humour. “It story, created with her writing mentor Mia Amir took for us to leave home and performed with dancer Arash Khakpour, it The Vines Art Festival combines arts and activism in to figure out who we are. attacks a mother and child. a celebration aimed at reconnecting us to the land “Saving Mother is about the interrelatedness Now when we look at the Listen to “The Water” on the Snotty Nose bigger picture, we figure it’s our job and our respon- of Indigenous women’s bodies and the land, Rez Kids’ upcoming album The Average Savage, sibility to try to educate—and what better way than and the violence being inf licted on both here,” and you’ll hear the two MCs rapping about their through music?” Smith explains, using assimilation, extractive BY JANET S M IT H “mama”, about how she’s in pain, how they can’t “To me, you can’t really talk about politics industries, and the legacy of residential schools believe the way she’s been treated. “Where would without talking about the environment, espe- as examples. “When I heard this story, my first instinct was, we be without our matriarch?” they howl to the cially when you’re talking about First Nations driving backbeat. politics. And you can’t really talk about coloniz- ‘This is colonialism.’ Yes, it’s a story from the past, but But the Haisla hip-hop duo isn’t just reciting a ing without talking about the land,” Trybez adds. it’s very present in our daily lives. I feel like my ancestors told stories in a way which could be forever.” rapid-fire letter to an ailing mom; the rhymes are Echoing the words of Trybez and Young D, directed at Mother Earth. The environment, pipe- THE MCS ARE PART of new programming the Tsimshian-Haisla artist adds: “Mother lines, nature: they’re big subjects for the fast-rising called Resilient Roots at the third annual is the land; she’s trying to speak to us. Vancouver MCs, who are part of the next wave of eco-arts fest. Artistic director Heather Th roughout the play, she is the lifepoliticized Indigenous hip-hop crews in B.C. And Lamoureux, working with political giver, trying to help us remember it makes them a perfect fit for the big outdoor eco- organizer and spoken-word perCheck out… STRAIGHT.COM our connection.” arts-and-activism-minded Vines Art Festival at former Valeen Jules, has brought Visit our website together artists and activists in six It reminds her of something she Trout Lake this Saturday (August 19). for morning-after heard on Ojibwa-Métis comedian “About one-and-a-half years ago we started partnerships to create new collabreviews and local Ryan McMann’s podcast: “One of talking about Mother Earth, the land, the water, orative works. In the case of Snotty arts news the things he said is the worst thing the beauty of it, while we were going through a Nose Rez Kids, the hip-hop duo will colonialism has done to us is sever our growth as artists,” Yung Trybez (aka Quinton perform with emerging Secwepemc connections to each other and the land. Nyce) says, speaking over the phone with his activist-artist Jaz Whitford. Lamoureux is excited about the potential of I’m trying to go back to that space—that we’re partner Young D (Darren Metz). “For me, it came especially from seeing things like Standing Rock activists meeting and working with artists. “The all connected and that the land is very much and the battle of our nation against Enbridge, put- idea is to bring those two worlds together a bit our mother.” more and use each other’s skill sets to propel For its part, the Vines fest will allow dozens of ting our bodies on the line.” Their activism also stems from being raised them forward a bit. They’re all learning a lot other artists and the public to reconnect to that in Kitimat, Young D adds. “Growing up back in from each other, and we’re all going to each space too, hosting performances and eco-minded art installations throughout the grassy fields and Kitimat village, me and Trybez, I was able to look other’s events through the summer.” Many, but not all, of the Resilient Roots par- treed groves of Trout Lake Park. out my back window and see the ocean and the “Our stage is going to be just beautiful, working mountains and he was able to look out his kitchen ticipants come from Indigenous backgrounds. and see the mountains. That’s what I love about Among them, artist Crystal Smith is calling on out there,” Smith says. Mother Earth too, but in a very different way being back home: it’s so soothing and calming. “We didn’t have a playground growing up; than do the Snotty Nose Rez Kids: she works The Vines Art Festival runs at Trout Lake from 1 to we had the mountain trails. We didn’t have through theatre. The playwright developed her 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (August 19).

THINGS TO DO

ARTS High five

Editor’s choice FUNNY GIRL It ain’t easy doing standup comedy, but Erica Sigurdson makes it seem that way. Her natural style belies the work that must go into her act. You don’t get as prolific as she is by winging it. And Sigurdson seemingly has new, fully formed material every time she hits the stage. It’s no wonder she’s been on CBC’s The Debaters more than anyone else. Earlier this month she performed in Iceland with host Steve Patterson, so no doubt she’ll spin some of those stories into comedy gold. Maybe even this weekend. Erica Sigurdson headlines five shows at the Comedy MIX Thursday through Saturday (August 17 to 19).

Five events you just can’t miss this week

1

NOMADIC TEMPEST (To September 3 on False Creek) When else will you get to see a multimedia acrobatic rock opera on a river barge, anyway?

2

THE WINTER’S TALE (To September 22 at Vanier Park) Real magic happens on-stage in this strong Bard on the Beach highlight.

3

MARY POPPINS (To August 26 at Malkin Bowl) Theatre Under the Stars has extended the run for this high-flying hit for good reason.

4

IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT (To spring 2019 at the Museum of Anthropology) Marvel at the richness of Northwest Coast art.

5

CLAUDE MONET’S SECRET GARDEN (To October 1 at the Vancouver Art Gallery) The Impressionist master’s lily pads, weeping willows, and ponds will put you in a trancelike state.

In the news IN TUNE Vancouverites can now channel their inner Ludwig van Beethoven on one of 31 public pianos across the Lower Mainland. The tuned instruments have been installed as part of the eighth season of Pianos on the Street, an initiative founded by the Piano Teachers Federation that offers a creative outlet and community space for locals. This year, the pianos can be found around and outside destinations such as the Orpheum, North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, Richmond’s Britannia Shipyards, the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre, and Port Coquitlam’s Hyde Creek Community Centre. Other locations include the HastingsSunrise neighbourhood, the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, and City Square. Supplied by Pacey’s Pianos, each keyboard is handpainted by members of a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization, including Kids Up Front and Studio in the City. The pianos will be on-site at their designated locations until September 15. AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


ARTS

Hatfield makes major magic > B Y HO LLY M C K E NZIES U TTE R

M

urray Hatfield’s career trajectory was set back at his childhood home in Calgary, when he saw a 13-year-old magician perform at his younger brother’s birthday party. “Well, I’m in my 50s now, and I still haven’t had a real job,” the Victoria-based magician tells the Straight over the phone. Starting this week, Hatfield is producing and performing in Unbelievable! A Magical Experience, with nightly shows at the PNE’s Pacific Coliseum. He’ll be joined on-stage by colleagues Chipper Lowell, Shawn Farquhar, and Danny Cole—as well as his wife, Teresa, Hatfield’s on-stage partner and creative collaborator. Producing a magic show in a 10,000-seat venue isn’t new for Hatfield—in fact, he was asked to bring the show back for a second year, after receiving strong audience reaction in 2016. He may have been inspired to take up the craft after seeing a small-scale performance, but Hatfield knows from experience that large audiences are equally enthralled by seeing skilled illusions play out on a big stage. “There is a feeling that magic is a kids’ show. Everyone has an Uncle Bob who pulls a coin [from] behind a kid’s ear, or you see it at a birthday party,” says Hatfield. “When you go to the PNE, the curtain opens up and it’s wham, in your face. All of a sudden these people sitting back with their arms crossed forget their inhibitions.” For this year’s show, Hatfield is going even bigger with technical elements—incorporating large screens and introducing new illusions that he says may challenge the laws of physics. “We had to take a magic show, put it in an arena, and make it feel

Murray Hatfield and his wife/on-stage partner, Teresa, have developed a magic show scaled up for 10,000-seat venues, complete with large screens.

personal to an audience of 10,000 people. Obviously, you need to have screens to make people in the nosebleeds feel like they’re involved,” he says. “Last year, it kind of felt like you were in a live television studio.” While the Hatfields’ act is known for classic physical illusions with boxes and swords, their supporting acts can be counted on for a diversity of material, ranging from chatty comedy magician Lowell to L.A.– based Cole, whose act employs minimal language because of his years performing internationally. “I do very visual magic, just one effect after another, with stories that are relatable,” Cole tells the Straight over the phone. “For example, I try to pick a tie and the hanger breaks, these kinds of struggles. I would say it’s magical and lighthearted.” Cole is also joined on-stage by his wife, Stacey. And although his act is cheerful, his tours of the globe have offered him some real perspective on magic’s universal appeal. He was especially impacted by a once-in-alifetime trip to North Korea with a group of American magicians.

“They were so excited to see North American magicians perform,” says Cole. “Magic is about enjoying life and smiling. It showed me that people are the same.” Cole’s delegation was set to visit a North Korean magic school, only to have the meeting cancelled as they arrived. Walking past one room, Cole saw a group of teenage magicians practising a trick they had seen in his earlier performance—an image he says he’ll never forget. That trick—involving a record player and CDs—is one that audiences can expect to see at the PNE. Unbelievable! promises world-class illusions from magicians who have inspired audiences around the globe. Hatfield says he’s most looking forward to seeing the nightly responses from audience members of all ages, as they’re caught up in the show’s spell. “It’s why performers love performing.” Unbelievable! A Magical Experience runs nightly at the Pacific Coliseum from Saturday (August 19) to September 4.

201 7/201 8

Welcome to the VSO's 99th Anniversary Season Bramwell Tovey

Storm Large

Lang Lang

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Ray Chen

Jann Arden

Sarah Chang

Chris Hadfield

Otto Tausk

Ingrid Fliter

ALL Single Concert Tickets On-Sale Monday, August 21st at 10am From the Classical treasures of Masterworks Gold and Diamond, to the introductory Classics of Musically Speaking; from swinging, jazzy VSO Pops concerts, to concerts for children and families; from Orpheum concerts to series concerts at the Chan Centre, Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver, and Bell Centre in Surrey — the VSO’s new season has something for everyone!

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26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

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Nomadic Tempest THE CITY OF VANCOUVER PRESENTS THE CARAVAN STAGE COMPANY PRODUCTION OF

FR

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A CLIMATOPIAN SPECTACLE

EXPERIMENTAL ROCK OPERA PERFORMED ON A TALL SHIP N SUNG I IC, S I E C MAN ARAB PERFOR ENQEMINEM, ISH. PAN H, H ENGLIS DARIN, AND S 100 MAN ES 10 FOR AG

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Location: The shore of South East False Creek just east of the Cambie St Bridge AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27


ARTS

Singing the role of the Evangelist in Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion, tenor Thomas Hobbs displayed mastery of both projection and delicacy.

Performers bring light to Bach’s dark Passion M U S IC ST. JOHN PASSION By Johann Sebastian Bach. With the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, and Gli Angeli Genève. A Vancouver Bach Festival presentation. At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, August 11. No remaining performances

The world is too much with us

2 when it creeps into the concert

MUSÉE MARMOTTAN MONET

CL AUDE

MONET

Secret Garden Jun 24 – Oct 1, 2017

Presenting Sponsor

Major Sponsor

Collaboratively organized by the Musée Marmottan Monet and the Vancouver Art Gallery

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Claude Monet, Nymphéas, 1903, oil on canvas, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, Photo: © Bridgeman Giraudon/Press

28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

hall—as was the case, for this listener at least, on the closing night of the Vancouver Bach Festival. We generally think of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music as an escape from the everyday, a chance to exist for a while in a world of the mathematical and the divine. But that pertains to the great German’s instrumental music, and while his mastery of melody and counterpoint carries over into his text-driven, liturgical offerings, these can at times pose difficulties for contemporary sensibilities. On Friday, it took less than a minute before I knew I was going to be troubled. Not by any deficiencies in the performance—which was sublime, and we’ll get to that—but by Bach’s intent in writing the St. John Passion, which surveys Jesus Christ’s last day on earth. The fervent darkness of its instrumental prologue sounded less like music that glorifies God than the soundtrack for an 18th-century pogrom—or a torchlit march by white supremacists who’d kill to have a modern-day pogrom of their own. This intuitive response was underlined by the sung text that followed, in which Bach kowtows to authority by making the Roman governor Pontius Pilate a sympathetic character, while laying blame for Christ’s martyrdom on Jerusalem’s Jewish population. Which Jews? All Jews, and therein lies the problem. Christ, assuming he did in fact exist, was betrayed by the moneylenders outraged by his protosocialism, not by the Jewish craftsmen and street women who were his flock. To his credit, Bach hints at this in his text: the crowd baying for Christ’s blood is made up of servants, doing the

bidding of their rich masters. But the more general libel has stuck, and we know the consequences. Searching for loopholes, one might point to the choral passage, “Wäre dieser nicht ein Übeltäter”, that comes early in the Passion’s second half. Here, the aforementioned crowd rises to peaks of gibbering madness; it’s one of the most terrifying moments in the Bach canon, and one could well imagine that the composer was warning against mob rule. But it doesn’t entirely dispel the feeling that this oratorio is an ugly piece of work—a sensation only slightly undercut by extraordinary performances from almost everyone on-stage. Much credit must go to the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s music director Alexander Weimann, who conducted band, choir, and soloists with dancing intensity. One of the few sonic disappointments of the night was that the Chan Centre tends to swallow harpsichords, making it difficult to hear his no doubt equally impassioned contributions at the keyboard. Thomas Hobbs, as the Evangelist, made running this musical marathon look as easy as walking to the corner store for ice cream. Blessed with uncommon clarity and projection, he proved capable of consummate delicacy as well, especially when breaking the news of Christ’s death. His fellow singers from Gli Angeli Genève mostly kept up; Sumner Thompson was almost endearing in his relaxed portrait of Pilate, while Stephan MacLeod, as Christ, was musically impeccable but surprisingly short on charisma. The Vancouver Cantata Singers were magnificent whether they were being called upon to provide resplendent harmonies or bloodthirsty shrieking. And while it seems unfair to single out any members of the uniformly excellent Pacific Baroque Orchestra, flutists Janet See and Soilke Stratkauskas, along with Linda Melsted on viola d’amore, impressed in their brief duet and solo features. Does it make sense to say that while I don’t much care for the St. John Passion, I enjoyed this performance immensely? So it goes.

> ALEXANDER VARTY


TICKETS FROM

2THIS WEEK SWING DANCING IN THE STREET Learn how to swing dance to the live music of Van Django. Aug 20, 1-4 pm, Roundhouse Turntable Plaza (Davie at Pacific). Free admission, info www.facebook.com/ events/124638628088978/.

< < < < < < <

THEATRE 2OPENINGS THE COMMEDIA TALES OF KING ARTHUR Beach House Theatre presents a kid-friendly play about the adventures of King Arthur and his knights. Aug 16-20, Blackie Spit Park (3136 McBride Ave., Surrey). Info www.beachhousetheatre.org/.

2ONGOING MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s comedy set in 1959 Italy, where a group of actors and filmmakers celebrates the wrap of their latest movie. To Sep 23, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www. bardonthebeach.org/2017/much-adoabout-nothing/. THE WINTER’S TALE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s drama in which the love of two young people becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption, and a family’s healing. To Sep 22, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/the-winters-tale/. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s drama, set in modern-day Venice, that exposes the consequences of how we treat outsiders in our midst. To Sep 16, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/the-merchant-of-venice/.

ELOQUENT DREAMS Fans of esteemed, B.C.–based painter Toni Onley can look forward to visiting Dunbar’s VisualSpace Gallery for Eloquence, a show displaying over 30 original works from private collectors, many of which have not yet been seen by the public. Opening on Thursday (August 17), the show runs until September 9 and boasts a varied collection of Onley’s work. The English-born painter’s imagery is known for its abstract quality and soft, dreamy depiction of B.C.’s landscapes. The opening reception will take place on Saturday (August 19) from 1 to 5 p.m. THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s tale of two best friends who are in love with the same woman. To Sep 17, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardonthebeach.org/2017/the-twogentlemen-of-verona/. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Theatre Under the Stars presents director Gillian Barber’s staging of the musical that sees characters spring to life in a Jazz Age journey of love, laughter, and libation. To Aug 25, 8 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $30-49, info www.tuts.ca/. MARY POPPINS Theatre Under the Stars presents director Shel Piercy’s staging of the musical about a magical nanny who teaches the Banks family a lesson in love and imagination. To Aug 26, 8 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $30-49, info www.tuts.ca/. ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY’S SUMMER FESTIVAL Ensemble Theatre Company presents productions of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or The Vibrator

MUSIC 2THIS WEEK BLUERIDGE CHAMBER FEST: LET THEM EAT CAKE Soprano Dorothea Hayley, flutist Paolo Bortolussi, clarinetist Jeanette Jonquil, violinist Jasper Wood, cellist Rebecca Wenham, pianists Alejandro Ochoa and Manuel Laufer, and percussionist Katie Rife perform Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos and Davies’s Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot. Aug 16, 7 pm, ANNEX (823 Seymour). Tix $10-65, info www.blueridgechamber.org/.

Howard Family Stage

Images: David & Emily Cooper

THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS

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Play), John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, and David Pownall’s Master Class. To Aug 18, Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery). Info www.ensemble theatrecompany.ca/.

BLUERIDGE CHAMBER FEST: I THEE DREAD Violinists Jasper Wood and Ashley Plaut, violist Emilie Grimes, cellists Cristian Márko and Rebecca Wenham, and pianist Manuel Laufer perform Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, Harman’s Midnight With the Stars and You, and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op 57. Aug 18, 7 pm, ANNEX (823 Seymour). Tix $10-65, info www.blueridgechamber.org/.

PLUS

(limited run in September)

Tickets Selling Fast!

Season Brochures at

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COMEDY

outlets

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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. 2ERICA SIGURDSON Aug 17-19 2TOBY HARGRAVE Aug 24-26 2DAVE WILLIAMSON Aug 31-Sep 2.

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YUK YUK’S COMEDY CLUB 2837 Cambie, 604-696-9857, www.yukyuks. com/vancouver/. Comedy club with Top Talent Tue at 8 pm, amateur night Wed at 8 pm, and professional headliners Thu-Fri at 8 pm and Sat at 7 and 9:30 pm. Cover Tue $10, Wed $7, Thu $10, and Fri-Sat $20. 2ADAM CHRISTIE Aug 18-19 2JOHN CULLEN Aug 25-26.

AUGUST 24

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AUGUST 31

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SEPTEMBER 7

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see next page

TERRA AND BEYOND, WITH

CHRIS HADFIELD AND DANNY MICHEL Chris Hadfield

Danny Michel

TICKETS ON-SALE MONDAY, AUGUST 21ST AT 10AM! FRIDAY & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 & 7 8PM, ORPHEUM William Rowson conductor

Chris Hadfield vocals/guitar

Danny Michel vocals/guitar

Share Colonel Chris Hadfield’s viewpoint “Beyond the Terra,” with music and inspiring images from the International Space Station, performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. As a special guest, Chris welcomes acclaimed singer/songwriter Danny Michel. Together, they explored the High Arctic aboard the Russian ice-breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, resulting in an album that features Hadfield and Michel in collaboration on multiple songs, which will also be featured in this unique and exciting Pops concert. @VSOrchestra

VSO POPS SERIES SPONSOR

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AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29


2THIS WEEK OH, CANADA: THE TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FUNNY The Vancouver TheatreSports League presents a show that pokes fun at Canadian stereotypes through a series of vignettes and improv games. To Sep 2, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/. ERICA SIGURDSON Vancouver comedian known for performing at festivals across Canada. Aug 17-19, The Comedy MIX (1015 Burrard). Tix $20/18/15, info www.thecomedymix.com/. ADAM CHRISTIE Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;based comedian and writer performs a solo show. Aug 18-19, Yuk Yukâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Comedy Club

BONUS STAGE 3 Evening of videogame comedy, burlesque, music, contests, and prizes featuring Geeks vs. Nerds Vancouver, missingNo, the Runaway Four, Rainbow Glitz, and Roe Butts. Aug 18, 6:30-10:30 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $10-15, info www.facebook.com/ events/189076674952220/.

ET CETERA

South East False Creek). Free admission, info www.caravanstage.org/portfolio/ nomadic-tempest-2017/.

VIETFEST 2017 The VietnameseCanadian community-heritage day uses cultural arts and live performances to re-establish and re-affirm the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural identity. Aug 19, 12-5 pm, Fraser and Broadway (2455 Fraser). Free admission, info www.vietfest.org/.

on the web!

2THIS WEEK VINES ART FESTIVAL The third annual eco-arts festival sees visual and performing artists, along with eco-conscious community leaders, herbalists, urban farmers, and woodcarvers, celebrate the Coast Salish landscape through earth-inspired art and performance. To Aug 19, various Vancouver venues. Info www.vinesartfestival.com/. NOMADIC TEMPEST Caravan Stage Company presents a show that celebrates the mythical saga of monarch migrants searching for a refuge on a drowned planet. Performance is sung in English, Henqeminem, Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish. To Sep 3, 9:45-11 pm, Shore of South East False Creek just west of Olympic Village. (West of Hinge Park on

For up-to-the-minute, searchable Arts listings on your phone, visit

www.straight.com

GALLERIES BILL REID GALLERY OF NORTHWEST COAST ART 639 Hornby, 604-682-3455, www.billreidgallery.ca/. 2XI XANYA DZAM (diverse presentation includes works by Primrose Adams, Dempsey Bob, Rena Point Bolton, Mandy Brown, Joe David, Robert Davidson, Alvin Mack, Mary Michell, Earl Muldon, Susan Point, and Norman Tait) to Sep 4 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/.

AUBREY PLAZA ELIZABETH OLSEN AND Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;SHEA JACKSON JR.

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FUNNYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

2PICTURES FROM HERE (photographs and video works by Vancouver-based artists Roy Arden, Karin BubaĹĄ, Christos Dikeakos, Stan Douglas, Greg Girard, Rodney Graham, Mike Grill, Arni Haraldsson, Fred Herzog, Barrie Jones, Evan Lee, and N.E. Thing Co.) to Sep 4 2CLAUDE MONETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SECRET GARDEN (exhibit showcases 38 paintings that span the career of the French artist who is regarded as a master of the impressionist movement) to Oct 1 2STEPHEN SHORE: THE GIVERNY PORTFOLIO (25 works by contemporary American photographer Stephen Shore complement the exhibition Claude Monetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Secret Garden) to Oct 1 2ELAD LASSRY (first major Canadian exhibition of photographs, collages, drawings, sculptures, and films by the Tel Avivâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;born, Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;based artist) to Oct 1 2PERSISTENCE (exhibition draws together three recent contemporary installations by Canadian artists Julia Feyrer, Tamara Henderson, Shelagh Keeley, and Germaine Koh) to Oct 1

MUSEUMS MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER 1100 Chestnut Street, 604-736-4431, www. museumofvancouver.ca/. 2UNBELIEVABLE (exhibition assembles iconic artifacts, storied replicas, and contested objects for

an exploration of the role stories play in defining lives and communities) to Sep 24

THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-822-5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2AMAZONIA: THE RIGHTS OF NATURE (exhibition features Amazonian basketry, textiles, carvings, feather works, and ceramics both of everyday and of ceremonial use, representing Indigenous, Maroon, and whitesettler communities) to Jan 28 2TRACES OF WORDS: ART AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM ASIA (multimedia exhibition examines the physical traces of words, both spoken and recorded, that are unique to humans) to Oct 9 2IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: REFLECTING ON NORTHWEST COAST ART (exhibition presents more than 110 historical Indigenous artworks and explores what we can learn from these works and how they relate to Indigenous peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; relationships to their lands) to spring 2019

TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

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AUG 17

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VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE Some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most daring and innovative improv. #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Oh, Canada: The True North Strong and Funny (Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7:30 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri and Sat, 11:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Tue and Wed, 7:30 pm; Wed, 9:15 pm; Fri, 9:30 pm). Aug 16-23, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.

(2837 Cambie). Tix $19.05, info www. yukyuks.com/vancouver/.

AUGUST 18

Arts time out

AUBREY ISCollider INCREDIBLEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

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SEE WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS & UPDATED CALENDAR


MOVIES REVIEWS LOGAN LUCKY Starring Channing Tatum. Rated PG

Who among us predicted that Channing

2 Tatum would become a major actor, equally

adept at light-fingered comedy and low-key contemporary dramas? Well, Stephen Soderbergh did, for one. The veteran writer-director took the athlete turned model turned dance-movie guy and found a way to harness all his skills for the casually crowd-pleasing Magic Mike movies. Soderbergh raises the stakes for Tatum in the sublimely entertaining Logan Lucky by giving him a meaty lead that also anchors a sly-eyed yet compassionate look at America in its twilight. He plays Jimmy Logan—everyone just calls him by that last name, vaguely associated with a family curse—an Iraq War veteran with a bad knee and a crappy West Virginia coalmining job he’s sorry to lose when the owners learn of his “pre-existing condition”.

Left behind but still lucky

Bail Bond? Daniel Craig plays a safecracker hoping to bust out of the big house in Logan Lucky, the latest romp from director Stephen Soderbergh.

on the heels of the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan theatre massacres, with all the confused binaries that came with those events. While we’re busy trying to figure out the mysterious force behind Bonello’s crazy, mixed-up radicals, state vioChanning Tatum shines again in the wildly entertaining if lence and the discarding of due process go unmelancholy latest from Stephen Soderbergh, Logan Lucky > KEN EISNER questioned. Testing the viewer’s position on who or what the victims are here is partly what makes Logan’s kid brother, Clyde (Adam Driver, hilNocturama such a horribly exhilarating and rearious, but sporting a different accent), likewise NOCTURAMA warding piece of cinema. lost part of his arm in that benighted conflict, Starring Laure Valentinelli. In French, with English > ADRIAN MACK which hangs over Trump country like an un- subtitles. Rating unavailable named disease that everyone has got used to. A group of youths, their ethnicity and gender STEP Clyde runs a dive bar, but it’s not that hard for mixed, move with silent purpose through A documentary by Amanda Lipitz. Rated PG Logan to talk him into an almost impossibly complicated scheme to rob a nearby racetrack the streets of Paris. For the first half of Bertrand Step is about dance like Hoop Dreams was during a NASCAR event. It seems there are sink- (Saint Laurent) Bonello’s transfixing anatomy of about basketball. Both films document the holes opening under the track, and with his min- a multiple bombing—significantly, it’s eventuing experience… Well, you have to just go with ally deemed an act committed by “enemies of the struggles of African-American kids in urban Amerstate”, not terrorists—Nocturama unfolds like a ica, but this new girl-powered film is much zippier, the flow in a heist show like this. One of the main intricacies involves bust- Jean-Pierre Melville thriller gone techno, with an more inspiring, and more energetically hopeful. From the outset, director Amanda Lipitz ing a safe-blowing specialist called Joe Bang, accretion of enigmatic details, elastic time lines, shows the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore Leaderplayed by a peroxided Daniel Craig. Joe, who’s and an expertly wrought sense of dread. By the time these opaque but not unsympa- ship School for Young Women, as the step team already in jail, wants his hillbilly brothers (Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson, sons of Dennis and thetic kids converge at a high-end mall, holing is known, living in a volatile city with major Brendan, respectively) to help pull off the job, up through the night and enjoying free access racial tension. The film opens with Black Lives and Logan’s sexy sister (Riley Keough, Elvis’s to all its luxury items while Paris burns outside, Matter protests around the police-custody death we find ourselves inside an entirely different and of Freddie Gray. Inside their charter school, the granddaughter) is in on it too. One of the main pleasures in this multi- equally fascinating kind of film. As they watch a girls are held to a tall task by a team of support generational family affair is watching how news report about their actions on a wall of TVs, workers, teachers, counsellors, and coaches: much the whole cast enjoys the two-hour ride. it takes mere seconds for conversation to turn to every one of them must go to college. Lipitz shows how achieving the marks they need (Its numerous cameos include Seth MacFarlane the killer sound quality of Willow Smith’s “Whip in a fright wig and a silly cockney accent.) But My Hair” pumping out of next door’s audio de- is insanely difficult, given the pressures they face the film has a melancholy side, capturing the partment. If this is a critique of the deadening ef- in homes wracked by poverty and dysfunction. class and regional tension building just before fects of late-stage capitalism, then Nocturama is As Blessin, the Beyoncé-beautiful but beleaguered Charlottesville. A sense of desperate tribal- audaciously on the nose. All the better to throw central character, puts it early in the film: “My ism hangs over the story (credited to fictitious any political motivation for the act into sharper community is poisonous—I ain’t even gonna lie.” In her case, her single mother deals with descreenwriter Rebecca Blunt), with the NASCAR relief, of which there seems to be precisely none. crowd standing for a heavily militarized open- These bombers are driven by something like an bilitating depression, to the point where there’s ing ceremony and another audience singing a industrious form of nihilism, scantily couched in no food in the fridge for her smaller siblings. John Denver ditty along with Logan’s preco- some pretty watery ideology. Sarah (Laure Val- Elsewhere, bookish, bespectacled Cori dreams of cious daughter (adorable Farrah Mackenzie) at entinelli) appears to be a half-assed leftist; class- earning a scholarship to a $60,000-a-year univerprivileged André (Martin Petit-Guyot) thinks sity, but the electricity’s been cut off in an aparta backwoods pageant. Dashed dreams weigh down this would-be the end of civilization is “cool”; cross-dressing ment she shares with six little brothers and sisters. gang—ironically dubbed Ocean’s 7-11 by local presumed Muslim Yacine (Hamza Meziani) Sometimes Lipitz doesn’t reveal all that’s dragging the girls down—there’s always a sense of some wags—but Soderbergh makes time for a seem- doesn’t expect to go to heaven. Gus Van Sant’s devoutly nonjudgmental high- holding back, possibly in the name of protecting ingly endless string of sharp twists and wacky side jokes, as when a prison riot turns into an school-shooting film Elephant (2003) is a clear her young subjects. Step resolutely refuses to be bleak. The girls argument pitting the Game of Thrones book touchstone, and Bonello obviously aspires to the series against the TV version. These quirks same kind of flat affect. But these are very differ- seem to feed off love at home, whether it’s from ramp up the fun, aided by David Holmes’s killer ent times, and this (much better) movie arrives see next page score and lots of obscure ’60s and ’70s tunes. And they don’t get in the way of the director’s, or our, affection for these left-behinds who refuse to stay down.

2

2

WEEK IN WIDESCREEN

MOVIES

The projector

1

Vintage Americana INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS Don Siegel’s sci-fi classic from 1956 holds up better than ever, offering postwar paranoia at its finest and a nice reminder that U.S. political derangement is nothing new. Coming to the Cinematheque’s ever provocative Noir Sidebar series for three nights starting Saturday (August 19).

What to see and where to see it

Vintage Canadiana

RADIOHEAD: MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY Actually, meeting people kinda

sucks if you’re Radiohead on a PR tour in 1998. Watch Thom and the boys suffer at the Vancity Theatre starting Friday (August 18).

2

KISS ME DEADLY One of the most gonzo entries in the Cinematheque’s Film Noir series is essential for anyone still curious about what was inside the Pulp Fiction briefcase. Starts Saturday (August 19) for three nights.

3

LE PARADIS Via Cinema Salon, DOXA programmer Dorothy Woodend hosts a rare chance to see this intimate work from acclaimed French master Alain Cavalier, at the Vancity Theatre on Tuesday (August 22).

MEATBALLS Fans of Wet Hot American Summer, this is where it began. Fully mulleted Bill Murray was soaring as SNL’s newest cast member when this low-budget comedy from the Canadian-tax-shelter era went mega. Camp would never look the same again. See it at the Cinematheque on Sunday (August 20). AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31


Step

from previous page

Cori’s enthusiastically supportive mom, who has been homeless and in women’s shelters, or Tayla’s prison-guard single mother, who serves as a kind of overly involved matriarch to all of them—much to her daughter’s embarrassment. What’s most moving and inspirational, though, is the dedication of the school staff, always pushing them hard to do better. In one scene, Paula, a counsellor devoted entirely to getting the kids into college, tearfully pleads one girl’s case to an admissions board—before apologizing for being unprofessional. Cynics might wonder how the students will fare in college without a team of cheerleaders. But by the end of the movie, even they won’t be able to help rooting for the Lethal Ladies just as hard as that counsellor. As for the scenes of step, where the girls push themselves to make the national championships, the hip-hop–

infused, fiercely boot-stomping dance becomes a powerful physicalization of strength and resilience. (“It’s a complete erase from home,” says Blessin.) In Charlottesville and beyond, these are dark times for race relations in the U.S. Step stands as a film strong enough to stomp out those divides. > JANET SMITH

INGRID GOES WEST Starring Aubrey Plaza. Rated 14A

There’s a lot to be said about

2 the corrosive effects of modern

technology, and Ingrid Goes West hits that shizzle in fitfully amusing ways. But in his feature debut, writer-director Matt Spicer has identified some basic problems without really finding a way to get past the obvious. Aubrey Plaza is aptly cast as Ingrid Thorburn, a young Pennsylvanian who, in the film’s thinly backgrounded setting, has spent too long caring for her invalid mother. Presumably, she never got properly

Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza disappear inside the hollow universe of social media in writer-director Matt Spicer’s fitully amusing Ingrid Goes West.

socialized and, being a product of her times, turned to social media instead. When we meet her, she’s attacking a bride in the midst of a wedding to which she wasn’t invited. By the time she’s sentenced to a mental hospital, we realize she only knew the victim through Instagram. Montage sequences show Ingrid getting better, through group

therapy et cetera, but Spicer’s script (written with David Branson Smith) isn’t interested in what she learned, but only in how she can turn her smartphone sights on bigger game. The mousy easterner gets her chance when Mom dies, leaving enough cash for her to drop everything and f ly to L.A. There, she stumbles onto Taylor Sloane

(Elizabeth Olsen), a paid media “inf luencer” with a seemingly golden Venice Beach lifestyle. Ingrid soon finagles her way into Taylor’s actual life, and that of the latter’s wearily hipsterized husband, Ezra (the excellent Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt and Goldie). This ingratiation is wittily staged, shot, and edited. (Interesting that the meta-clever score is by someone named Nick Thorburn.) And it has a standout performance by O’Shea Jackson Jr. (who played his own father, aka Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton) as a Batman-obsessed would-be screenwriter. He’s also her new landlord and inexplicably smitten by her beyond-awkward ways. Spicer taps into the peculiarly tremulous vacuity at the centre of Olsen’s still-undeveloped appeal, and if the movie had stuck to its Bridesmaids-for-millennials wackiness, it probably could have hit all its targets while remaining a fun ride. see page 34

A shot at higher aducation is what’s at stake for the girls of the Lethal Ladies dance team in Step, filmed at Baltimore’s Leadership School for Young Women.

Street-dancing Ladies take a giant Step > B Y JAN ET SMITH

T

stay connected @GeorgiaStraight 32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

he Lethal Ladies of Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women knew that watching Step, opening Friday (August 18), would be difficult. Amanda Lipitz’s new doc, after all, isn’t just a light look at their streetdance team, one that practises step, a wild hybrid of thunderous footstomping and hip-hop. The movie also tracks the most crucial year in the African-American girls’ lives, the one that would determine whether they got into college or university— their ticket to escape generations of poverty, making them the first in their families ever to get a higher education. But added to that enormous pressure at their specialized Baltimore charter school were the private challenges of home life, from the battles Blessin Giraldo’s single mother had with debilitating depression to Cori Grainger witnessing her family’s electricity getting cut off amid her studies. “I definitely think it was hard to watch it the first time,” cops Tayla Solomon in a group interview with her costars over the phone from a press stop in Toronto. “We watched it all together as a group.” “It wasn’t so much painful as uncomfortable, to see the scenes when Blessin didn’t have food inside her house, or when I didn’t have lights,” says Grainger, who’s shown as a studious type in the film, supported by a loving mother who was a teenager when she had her. “But I don’t want people to see me with pity.” For Giraldo, a scene where a counsellor scolds her for missing 53 days of classes brought back a close call with falling out of school. “I was shocked about the scenes when she mentioned the exact amount of days I missed,” admits Giraldo. “But then Amanda helped portray me as a determined, creative person, a resilient person. “For me, there’s inspiration in the film. I like to appreciate the progress I made since the film—I wouldn’t say I regret anything.”

Inspired is definitely the mood Lipitz is after with Step, but never at the expense of her subjects. “I really had two things I kept in my mind whenever I was lost or questioning,” she tells the Straight in a separate phone interview. “It was ‘What is the best for the girls?’ ” It was that kind of empathy and devotion that gained Lipitz the trust she needed for an inside look at the girls’ lives. It helped that her mother founded the school; Lipitz, who’s also a Broadway producer, had been visiting the site and had been making short films there for years. “We’re definitely a family. I’ve known them since they were 11 years old,” she says. “They knew my family, they knew my mom, they saw me have babies. I was around a lot when there weren’t cameras around.” “She definitely had our trust,” Giraldo concurs. “She was always interested in being a mentor and helping us socially and academically. She genuinely cared about us. And we were also all excited about putting stepping on the map—there’s such a rich culture of where it comes from.” When the riots over Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody in Baltimore in 2015, broke out, Lipitz started seeing a larger importance for her film to her beleaguered hometown. The girls’ successes felt like an essential burst of positivity and progress amid chaos—a message of hope that’s now taken on even more significance in Trump’s America. As for the young women, who have gone on to college and continued to do step, they hope by revealing some of the hardest moments in their lives that they can make a difference. “I just want the audience to take away being courageous and resilient. You have to control what you can control. Sometimes things are out of your hands. Let yourself define what success is,” Giraldo says. Adds Grainger: “Never cut yourself short—you never know what’s going to be possible. So often we talk ourselves out of our dreams.” -


MUSIC

Luke Forest Hartle, who records as iamforest, used modern technology to make his forthcoming EP, Bridges, but says he wanted it to sound as warm and gritty as something recorded in the ’70s.

He can go his own way

sounds into rich tapestries of noise. “Electronic music allows a person the most freedom to manipulate sound waves,” he says. “You can take control of the whole project, so if you’re an introverted person like I am, you can sit Vancouver’s iamforest pursued solo electronic in your room and create sounds after failing to find musicians to play with these whole soundscapes that would otherwise take Local boy iamforest—or Luke Forest 50 musicians. Electronic music is just thousands Hartle, to his mom—came to electronic music of tiny decisions. Moving a slider or a knob by a BY KATE WI LSON for the same reason that many have been trading tiny degree changes everything. In an instant you their guitars for laptops. Flash back to the ’70s, might mess everything up entirely, or create a and every kid on the block spent their evenings whole new kind of music.” strumming a hand-me-down Gibson in the garGiven the thought that goes into every composage. Nowadays, it’s decidedly trickier to line up a ition—the producer’s soon-to-be-released fourguitarist, bassist, drummer, and singer, and find track EP, Bridges, for instance, took a year and a a rehearsal spot with better soundproofing than half to complete—it’s little surprise that Hartle’s a glass condo. songs boast a complex arrangement of parts. “Growing up in North Van, I found it really Broadly working in the chillwave genre, the arthard to locate an indie-rock scene,” the producer ist breaks from tradition by injecting elements tells the Straight over an afternoon coffee. “For of indie rock into his tracks, mixing downtempo some reason, people didn’t seem to play instru- grooves with lively guitar lines and deep, ethereal ments, and if they did, they were very secretive vocals. For Hartle, that blend of textures defines about it. I felt like I was the only one who wanted his sound. to pursue music as a career, and I couldn’t find the “I like bridging the gap between the inhuman right people to work with. That’s when I started perfection that you can get from technology, figuring out that I could do it on my own with just and the human imperfections that come from a computer.” playing guitar or singing,” he says. “I started Dedicated to entering the industry, Hartle put putting my vocals on tracks when I realized that himself through school to become an audio en- the instrumentals I wrote were not as unique as gineer—but after working for a short period in I wanted them to be. When you’re working in Bryan Adams’s Gastown recording studio, he de- that style, you’re competing with prolific comcided to call it quits. Recognizing that he’d rather posers who spend a lot of time making incredmake his own music than put others’ down on ible beats. You have to have something very wax, the budding artist made a pivot to focus en- unique in the grain of your synths or your writtirely on his iamforest project. Hartle has no hard ing processes to make people recognize your feelings about exiting the industry, though, cred- music—like Ratatat or Tycho. Deciding to initing his school’s teaching for his ability to weave corporate vocals really opens people up to fall

in love with your music more strongly—but it also allows the possibility that people might hate it more. I’ve been told my voice is quite similar to Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie, which definitely polarizes people. Ultimately, you have to keep doing the things that you like in your music. Everyone is so dialled in to what they enjoy these days that making songs that you like yourself needs to come first.” Unlike most producers, who thrive on the possibility that their latest track will be the next summer banger, Hartle isn’t a fan of the club scene. Finding it frustrating that electronic music is so tightly tied up with bars and festivals—and, by extension, drinking and partying—the musician has made a point of making Bridges a record for quieter hours, catering to an audience of listeners rather than dancers. “I wanted the EP to sound like it was made in the late ’70s, but with all the technology we have today,” he says. “It needed to be a little dirty and kind of gritty—but also very warm. The idea is that it has a really earthy sound to it, and you can put it on without it being too intrusive. I really like the vibe of Tame Impala and Washed Out and Toro y Moi, and I’ve put elements of their sound in there while adding noise to make it sound older. “The line between inspiration and discouragement is very fine when you listen to other producers,” he continues. “You can either be inspired by it or you can get down and think, ‘Why do I even try when their stuff is so good?’ Most of the time I get inspired—especially when I’ve met or know the person. I get stoked on that, because when you talk to each other you realize that they’re exactly like you are, and they feel the same way about inspiration or discouragement. And a lot of the time you’re both thinking the same thing: ‘How did you do that?’ ” iamforest plays a release party for Bridges at the Biltmore Cabaret next Friday (August 25).

VANCOUVER IS IN SONREAL’S HE ART >>> SonReal’s 2015 release, For the

2 Town, might have had noth-

Aaron Hoffman, a.k.a. SonReal, said he had just as much fun touring in a cramped van and eating fast food as he does now that he’s more successful.

ing to do with Vancouver—but his debut album, One Long Dream, has the city etched into every song. That might come as little surprise to those familiar with his story. Taking up MCing at 15, the performer—born Aaron Hoffman in Vernon—moved to Vancouver after high school. Working his way up from small-time open mikes at the ANZA Club and Café Deux Soleils, the fledgling artist booked his first show at Gastown’s Lamplighter. Monday-night gigs were Hoffman’s bread and butter until he landed his first headline concert at Fortune Sound Club. Now—despite boasting a major-record-label deal, a platinum-selling single, and an impressive social-media following—the local boy is still more excited to talk about Vancouver than his achievements.

“This city literally birthed me,” he tells the Straight on the line from a Commercial Drive taqueria. “It’s where it all started. I split my time now between here and Los Angeles, but I have this city in me. I rep Vancouver and Canada everywhere I go.” Given the subject matter of his long-awaited first full-length record, Hoffman’s enthusiasm for discussing his roots is fitting. The second in a two-part project, One Long Dream builds on the rapper’s 2014 mix tape—the similarly named One Long Day—to spotlight details from his past. “We’ve gone through so much to get to where we are,” he says. “I remember being stuffed in the back of a van with eight people, doing shows in front of a crowd of 15 in America, eating McDonald’s and staying in dingy hotels where there were drug dealers selling crack outside our

door. I remember those moments, and I look back now and think, ‘That was so epic.’ We had so many laughs. Now we’re in a bus, and we’ve got more money, and we’ve got a crew, and sold-out crowds, and we don’t have to eat McDonald’s anymore, and it’s all really fun too—but which did I enjoy more? I couldn’t tell you. It’s all part of the journey. You have to fall in love with the whole trip.” Like Hoffman’s success, his sound has undergone a steady transformation across the two records. Trading the soft, piano-infused melodies and smooth beats of the feature-filled One Long Day for the up-tempo, hook-laden earworms of One Long Dream, the performer has embraced a more pop-oriented sound that loses none of its bite. Full of personality and swagger, One Long Dream sees Hoffman at his finest, hootsee page 35

AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33


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1038 Main Street IVANHOE PUB Dave Made a Maze and you’ll never believe what’s hanging out in there.

Ingrid Goes West

from page 32

But he also goes for a Single White Female vibe—referenced in the dialogue, along with other ’90s touchstones—and after introducing a rival sociopath in the form of Taylor’s frat-hole brother (Billy Magnussen), the tale becomes increasingly meanspirited, heading toward a finale that teaches all the wrong lessons about wanting to be “liked”.

Affair in Trinidad Dark Passage Phantom Lady Kiss Me Deadly

> KEN EISNER

DAVE MADE A MAZE Starring Nick Thune. Rating unavailable

An inspired half-hour’s worth visual invention is spread out over a forced 80 minutes in Dave Made a Maze, a tribute to ’80s horror-fantasy flicks that never quite decides what tone it wants to take. Working from a script he wrote with Steven Sears, first-time director Bill Watterson takes too long to set up his simple plot, which hinges on 30ish businesswoman Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) coming home from a work trip to discover that her partner, struggling artist Dave (Nick Thune), has forgone his chores. Instead, he’s built an elaborate-looking fort out of refrigerator boxes. It takes up much of their small apartment’s living room, but “It’s much bigger inside,” as he insists from somewhere in its bowels. Apparently, Dave got carried away, and now can’t get out. He warns of “obstacles and booby traps” and asks that she call bearded best bud Gordon (Adam Busch) for some bro-sultation. Gordon in turn calls a lot of random people seemingly chosen for their wacky (if entirely white) variety. Some, like a documentary filmmaker (indie veteran James Urbaniak) and crew, are chosen to provide a little meta self-mockery, even if the device of showing his TV-format footage is dropped early on. The others, we soon learn, are there to be picked off, in old-school fashion, after they enter his corrugated labyrinth. This gives us a reason to explore production designers Trisha Gum and John Sumner’s resourceful use of 30,000 square feet of cardboard, variously painted, moulded, and shaved into myriad shapes and colours, in increasingly adventurous ways. They also offer clever uses of puppetry, animation, and charmingly basic special effects. The best of these, odd to say, come when the wanderers get killed and out spring oodles of red yarn instead of blood. This supports the idea that the maze is a projection of Dave’s inner demons. But this philosophical spin doesn’t really find its way through a pedestrian script that consists mostly of wan sitcom punch lines, woodenly delivered by a cast of pros who seem committed but dazed. In short, this Maze cries out a little too eagerly for midnight-cult status. In fact, this DIY effort would be most inspiring for younger children, but they won’t be able to see it, due to the F-bombs that blow up every exchange. Still, it does deserve a place in film schools, as a study in what to do on a tight budget, and how to avoid getting lost.

2 of

THEM!・INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERs・aug 19-24

SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 13, 2017 AUG 28

VIFF Pass + Packs on sale at viff.org SEP 7

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In Person Box Office opens at

The Vancouver International Film Centre MON-SAT: 12PM - 7PM, SUN: 2PM-7PM

> KEN EISNER

34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017


SonReal

from page 33

ing and hollering over punchy and dynamic beats while ably transitioning to the album’s more sentimental tracks, putting his velvety vocal tones to good use on songs like “All I Got”. “I definitely always wanted my debut album to be more victorious, have bigger sonics, and generally sound more epic,” he says. “You always want to be massive when you drop your first album. I wanted 10 million followers on Instagram before I got to this point. But everyone has a different path, and I know my music is in the right place to speak for itself. I’ve got the best fans in the world, and I’m bigger than I’ve ever been right now. I’ve just been live on Sway in the Morning doing the 5 Fingers of Death. I’m ready for this. I’m ready for this album. I’m ready for everything.” > KATE WILSON

SonReal’s debut album, One Long Dream, is out now.

Kline processes her life in Frankie Cosmos songs Shockingly, given the amount

2 of material she’s penned dur-

ing her 22 years on the planet, Greta Kline claims that writing songs isn’t something that comes easy. “I had one this morning that came really quickly—it came from a dream,” says the artist who performs as Frankie Cosmos, on the line from her apartment in New York. “I woke up and I had a bunch of lyrics, which was really weird. So I wrote the song and then went back to sleep. But that’s pretty rare. Usually, the songs don’t come anywhere near that easy. There’s a little more processing involved and thinking through what I’m trying to say.” The payoff for the effort is a cavalcade of old Bandcamp releases, and two Frankie Cosmos full-lengths

Singer-songwriter Greta Kline (left) describes the second full-length Frankie Cosmos release, last year’s Next Thing, as “an angry album”.

that have positioned Kline as a New York underground artist to watch. The singer’s blend of whip-smart antifolk, vulnerable twee-pop, and gold-soundz college rock has led to profiles everywhere from Pitchfork to NPR. On the day we speak, she’s just returned from a three-week tour of Europe, highlights including a magical beach show on the sunparched shores of Croatia. “It’s been really crazy—I meet a lot of people after shows and I have to say it’s pretty intense,” Kline says. “I also like that I’m still that person who’s in the audience watching, having my mind blown. So it’s been really nice to experience both sides of things.” The daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, Kline was obsessed in her early teens with the all-ages scene in New York, leading her to embrace the maverick spirit of DIY. After teaching herself guitar, Kline spent her later adolescence making bedroom recordings she’d dutifully post to Bandcamp, eventually forming Frankie Cosmos, which is sometimes a solo

project and sometimes a band. A well-received 2014 debut, Zentropy, caught the attention of legendary American indie label Sub Pop, which also released last year’s stellar Next Thing. Songs on the sophomore outing are culled from various times in Kline’s life, the singer originally describing the album as a look back at her 16-year-old self. “I knew that Next Thing was an angry album while I was making it,” she says. “But I thought that it was angry the way that you get in a fight, not angry as a huge life change. It’s funny; now, when I play the songs it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, this is something that I feel really bitter about.’ That gives me a new feeling and perspective, one that’s different from the first six months that we toured the record.” If it seems like there was significant upheaval in Kline’s life after the release of Next Thing, that’s something she doesn’t deny. With that information, standouts like the pixie-grunge wonder “Too Dark” provide a decidedly personal window into her life when she sings “If see next page

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

Scan to confess Put your phone down I was walking down the street last week and saw a guy, sitting with people who looked to be his parents, staring at his phone and completely ignoring them. They looked at him and his phone hopelessly and waited for some interaction. I’m sure I’m guilty of this and I found it heartbreaking to see. Your parents aren’t going to be around forever - put down your phone :-)

Women Love It is Saturday night in Vancouver. I spent the whole day recording and editing videos and needed get out. I had dinner alone in a beautiful Italian spot. It felt lonely. I wished there was a handsome man witnessing that I exist, looking at me intently and asking me questions. A group of girlfriends in a far table waved to me. ‘Come join us!’ My heart turned a full moon. It is Vancouver after all. And that women love has made all the difference.

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AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 35


Frankie Cosmos

from previous page

your love was strong as my shame/ I’d marry you and take your name/ But it’s not, you’ll never get it/So I guess I’ll just forget it.” In hindsight, Kline realizes she was working through some stuff while writing Next Thing. And even if the songs don’t always come easy, the payoff is that they sometimes help her get to a better place. “If I could have a record that represents every stage of my life, I’d be putting out one a month,” she says with a laugh. “Everything is always changing, and so is the way that I feel about stuff. Next Thing was a really weird, unique moment where I was feeling jaded, in a weird way, when I was writing it. Not about my job, but about my relationship. “I was in a weird situation where I thought I was a grownup in a long relationship where I was like, ‘This has to be the rest of my life and I’m just going to suffer, because that’s

what adults do.’ Then I was like, ‘Wait, I actually don’t have to. I can be happy.’ I definitely have had a rebirth since I wrote the album. It’s funny: Next Thing was written in a time of my life when I was actually really naive and thought that I was wise.” > MIKE USINGER

Frankie Cosmos plays the Cobalt next Thursday (August 24).

Danish band Mew makes the most of life as a trio The art-rock gods giveth, and

2 the art-rock gods taketh away.

In 2015, veteran Danish band Mew gave fans several reasons to rejoice. The first was +-, its first album in six years. The second was the return of the quartet’s original lineup, with bassist Johan Wohlert rejoining after a nine-year hiatus. Now comes the “taketh away” part: after completing work on +-,

founding guitarist Bo Madsen announced that he was leaving. Once again, the mighty Copenhagen foursome became a trio. Mew’s latest LP, Visuals, is the first to feature none of Madsen’s signature six-string work, which has always been light on blazing solos but heavy on slippery rhythms and unexpected phrasing. “The initial writing and recording was very much like we’ve always done it, pretty much, regardless of whether I was out of the band or Bo was out of the band or whatever,” says Wohlert when the Straight reaches him on a day off in Boston. “It felt very similar, but obviously with any group of people, if you remove one element it’s going to sound different. I think that’s one of the main reasons that we were able to take the band in yet another direction, or at least try out new things.” Throughout a career spanning over two decades, Mew has forged a unique aesthetic based on Jonas Bjerre’s stratospheric vocals and the canny interplay between Madsen,

Wohlert, and drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen. The group has flirted with everything from dreamy indie rock to the sort of mind-bending prog that other musicians love to geek out over. Visuals isn’t a major departure for Mew, although Madsen’s absence is palpable on “85 Videos”, a shimmering modern-pop concoction that wouldn’t sound out of place on an M83 record. (A good M83 record, that is. Not necessarily Junk.) There are guitars on Visuals, of course, notably the grunge-caked riff that opens “Candy Pieces All Smeared Out” and the quirky jangle of “Twist Quest”. According to Wohlert, many of the six-string sounds come courtesy of Mads Wegner, who has been Mew’s touring guitarist since Madsen’s departure. “It was mostly Mads,” the bassist confirms. “We wanted him to do it because a fresh outside perspective is good, and technically he’s a way, way better guitar player than me and Jonas. Also, you invest a little

: G N I R U T A FE

more of yourself if you’re a part of the record-making process, and it reflects in your relationship with the material when you go out on the road afterwards.” His contributions notwithstanding, Wegner is not officially a member of Mew. Nor, for that matter, is keyboardist-guitarist Nick Watts, who has been touring with Mew since 2001 and has played on several of the group’s LPs. “With a band like us, you have to understand that we’ve been going at it for 20-something years,” Wohlert says. “The band was me, Jonas, Silas, and Bo. And whenever somebody leaves, that doesn’t mean that you can get somebody in to take their place. It just means that you get somebody in to play shows. That just feels natural, and that’s how we prefer it, to be honest. It’s just the three of us now, and that’s cool.”

> JOHN LUCAS

Mew plays the Rickshaw Theatre on Friday (August 18).

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CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED COBI American folk-rock singer-songwriter tours in support of singles “Don’t You Cry for Me” and “Prophet Story”. Sep 8, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. HOCKEY DAD Australian rock band tours in support of debut full-length release Boronia. Oct 28, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Cobalt (917 Main). Tix $14 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/. 6LACK Atlanta hip-hop artist tours in support of debut release Free 6lack, with guest Sabrina Claudio. Nov 3, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 17, 10 am, $110/35 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.

GWAR American heavy-metal band tours in support of upcoming studio album The Blood of Gods, with guests Ghoul, He Is Legend, and U.S. Bastards. Nov 13, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 18, 10 am, $32.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

PNE SUMMER NIGHT CONCERTS Featuring performances by Mother Mother (Aug 19), Billy Currington (Aug 20), the Pointer Sisters (Aug 22), and High Valley (Aug 23). Aug 19 to Sep 4, PNE Amphitheatre (2901 E. Hastings). Free with PNE admission (reserved seats available), info www.pne.ca/.

DEATH FROM ABOVE Canadian punkrock band tours in support of upcoming fulllength album Outrage! Is Now, with guests the Beaches. Nov 21, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 18, 10 am, $49 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS

THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE Canadian indie-rock band tours North America, with guests Yukon Blonde. Nov 24, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Aug 18, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. BRIT FLOYD British Pink Floyd tribute act performs its new stage show Immersion World Tour 2017. Dec 5, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix on sale Aug 18, 10 am, $79.50/59/39 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

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RAILWAY STAGE AND BEER CAFÉ 579 Dunsmuir, 604-564-1430. 24 taps of local craft beer. Comedy Tue, darts Wed, live music Wed, Thu, Fri, and all day/night Sat. $3 Beers til 3, $5 beers til 5. 2X PRESIDENTS, MARK WOODYARD Aug 17 2BOOGIE NIGHTS Aug 17 2KYOTO Aug 18 2TANGLERS, IAN CAMPBELL BAND Aug 19 2TANGLERS Aug 19 2DRAG SHOW Aug 22

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VOGUE THEATRE 918 Granville, 604-5691144. Entertainment venue specializing in all-ages concerts by touring acts from around the world. Tix at www. voguetheatre.com/. 2LLOYD BANKS Aug 17 2DEAD CROSS Aug 25 2NATHAN FOR YOU SNEAK PEEK Sep 4

IVANHOE PUB 1038 Main, 604-608-1444. Pub with live bands on weekends and open jam night Sun from 4 to 8 pm. Open at 9 am with breakfast and daily food specials. Pool tourney Thu. No cover.

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COMMODORE BALLROOM 868 Granville, 604-739-4550. General admission venue with 900-person capacity features live performances by touring bands and musicians from across North America and around the world. Tix at www.commodoreballroom. com/. 22 CHAINZ Aug 18 2DESCENDENTS Aug 24 2JEDI MIND TRICKS Aug 26

THE IMPERIAL 319 Main, 604-868-0494. Vancouver’s newest midsize music venue features live bands and DJs. 2QUANTIC Aug 19 2POKEY LAFARGE Aug 24

ROCK AMBLESIDE PARK Festival features Canadian rock acts Randy Bachman, April Wine, Platinum Blonde, Honeymoon Suite, Glass Tiger, Headpins, Harlequin, Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd, Helix, and Prism. Aug 18-20, Ambleside Park (13th and Marine Dr., West Van). Info www.rockamblesidepark.com/.

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BACKSTAGE LOUNGE Arts Club Theatre, 1585 Johnston, Granville Island, 604-6871354. Vancouver’s only live-music venue on the water, with music nightly. Hot Jazz Jam night on Tue. 2TOY ZEBRA Aug 17 2INDIE VANCITY Aug 18

MBS

BLUE MARTINI JAZZ CAFE 1516 Yew, 604428-2691. Live jazz, soul, and blues. Closed on Mondays. 2TOQUE FLAMENCO Aug 17

FUNKY WINKER BEANS 37 W. Hastings. Evil Bastard Karaoke Experience seven days a week.

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

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS American rockers perform on their 40th anniversary tour, with guests the Lumineers. Aug 17, doors 6:30 pm, show 7:30 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $49.50-175 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

EMPLOYMENT

CAREERS

WESTWARD MUSIC FESTIVAL Music by Gov’t Mule, Vince Staples, A Tribe Called Red, Dear Rouge, Charlotte Day Wilson, Pup, Hannah Georgas, Touché Amoré, Watsky, Too Many Zooz, Busty and the Bass, Bliss n Eso, Youngblood, Beach Season and Neon Dreams, DD Dumbo, Ralph, and Midnight Sister. Sep 14-17, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). The event also runs at Biltmore Cabaret, Imperial Theatre, Fox Cabaret, and Red Truck Brewery. Tix $59.50-224.50, info www.westwardfest.com/.

on the web!

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TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. We can’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 don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

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savage love I’ve been wondering: since there are lesbians out there who occasionally crave cock, does the reverse also happen? Are there gay men who occasionally crave pussy? > THIS POSSIBLE?

There are gay men who watch football—hell, I have it on good authority that some gay men play football, TP. So anything is possible. (Also, there are lots of lesbian-identified bisexual women out there, a smaller number of gay-identified bisexual men, and a tiny handful of bisexual-identified football fans.)

I’ve been seeing a lot of arti-

cles in the media about men “dropping out of the dating-and-marriage game”, and the conclusions always point to porn as the culprit. This seems like a simplistic explanation. Do you have an opinion on the effect of porn on men? > PONDERING PORN

I dropped out of the formingopinions-about-porn game—far too busy consuming porn these days, PP. It’s the only way to keep myself sane here in Trumpsylvania.

I’m a 26-year-old

woman. I started dating a fantastic guy a month ago—blah, blah, blah—we’ve already talked about marriage. The problem is that his dick isn’t up to par sizewise or staying-hard–wise. He was aware of this before I came along, and it made him an enthusiastic and skilled

oral performer to make up for it. So for now everything’s great, plenty of orgasms, and we’re lovey-dovey. But eventually I’ll need that fi lled-up feeling and I’ll have to ask for some dildo/extender/strap-on action. The question is when to ask. He’s a secure guy, and we’ve both been honest about our flaws. If I wait too long to ask, it might make him think I’ve been faking the whole time. And if I ask too soon, I could scare him off or make his performance anxiety worse! How do I know when the right time is? > HALF FULL

> BY DAN SAVAGE It would be considered wrong by some—but those people aren’t you, your brother, or the girl and guy you hope to pick up together. Personally, BB, I can barely get an erection if one of my siblings is in the same zip code; I can’t imagine getting one with a sibling in the same room. But if you’re comfortable doing oppositesexual-preferencey things in close proximity to your brother, go for it.

I am a bisexual man and recently

I’m already dealing with my shitty eating disorder telling me that I’m fat, ugly, and not good enough for anyone, anything, or even a decent meal. Now it’s taking sex away from me, too? I also feel terrible for my boyfriend, who is endlessly patient and understanding but wants to have sex. I’ve suggested opening up the relationship for his sake, but he doesn’t want to do that. I feel guilty and sad and frustrated. Any thoughts? > PROZAC LOVER/HEALER

divorced my wife of 30 years. I am currently seeing a very beautiful lady. I satisfy my bisexual desires by going to sex clubs and I always practise safe sex. I don’t have an issue; I just wanted to tell you I remember one time when you had a column about two guys performing fellatio on another man at the same time. I found it to be such a turn-on and even fantasized I was doing it to you. Hope that doesn’t offend you.

nauseating discussion over dinner, I did actually give it some thought.

> LIBERAL GRANDMA

Mike Pence, as awful as he is, oscillates within a predictable band of Republican awfulness. The reason no one is getting any sleep these days—not even folks who don’t wake up next to Trump supporters—is because no one can predict what Trump will do next. Not even Trump. That’s what makes his presidency such an existential nightmare. As for your husband, LG, your choices are binary and rather stark: either you divorce his ass and spare yourself the grief of listening to his bullshit, or you stay put, learn to tune out his bullshit, and cancel out his vote in 2018 and 2020.

If the benefits of Prozac (helping you make better choices and aiding your recovery process) are cancelled out by the side effects (leaving you so sexually frustrated, it’s harming your recovery process), PLH, you should talk to your doctor about other options—other drugs you could try or a lower dose of Prozac. If you doctor What’s the best dating site dismisses your concerns about the for a slightly cynical, tattooed, 40sexual side effects of the drug they’ve something woman looking for a guy? > LOVING LIFE got you on, get a new doctor. > TATTOOED LADY

If you were talking about marriage after a month, HF, odds are good this relationship is doomed anyway. So go ahead and ask for dildo/extender/strap-on action now. Don’t say: “Circling back to your subpar dick, darling, I’m gonna need some compensatory dildo action soon.” Instead say: “I’m into penetration toys and I’m looking forward to getting into them with you—getting them Um, thanks for sharing? into me, getting them into you. Anything you want to put on the menu, I’m having an extremely difficult time getting intimate with darling?” my boyfriend of four years. I’m in Two friends can hook up with recovery for an eating disorder, and a girl or two girls from a bar and have part of my treatment is Prozac. It’s a threesome or a foursome. But can working great and helping me make two brothers—with opposite sexual healthier choices. However, the Propreferences—hook up with a girl and zac is severely affecting my sex drive. a guy from a bar? Would this be con- I have little to no desire to have sex. sidered wrong? No touching between And when we do have sex, I rarely orsiblings would occur. gasm. This is frustrating and, frank> BASIC BROS ly, harmful to my recovery process.

I have only one concern about Donald Trump getting impeached: do we get Mike Pence? Is he not just as bad? Or worse? On a more personal note: I don’t think I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep since Trump got elected. I wake up every morning next to an avid, Fox News–watching Trump supporter. I’m married long-term (35 years!) to a man who pulled a political 180. This is about to make me crazy. Really. I’m not kidding. Do you have any suggestions for me? I don’t want to DTMFA. Although after a most

It depends on the kind of guy you want. Closet case? ChristianMingle. Fuck boy? Tinder. Trump voter? Farmers Only. Compulsive masturbator? Craigslist. Unfuckable loser who is now and will always be a socially maladapted virgin? Return of Kings. On the Lovecast, Dr. Samantha Joel on the psychology of ending relationships: savagelovecast.com . Email:mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage . ITMFA.org.

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Register Today GrosvenorPacific.com Illustration is an artist’s interpretation only and may not be accurate. This is not an offering for sale. E&OE.

40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT AUGUST 17 – 24 / 2017

The Georgia Straight - Back to School - Aug 17, 2017  

Issue #2589

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