2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018
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SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 3
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For four decades the Party Bazaar (originally Bazaar & Novelty) has been outfitting Vancouverites for Halloween and other celebrations, but the fun will end after a massive two-month blowout sale. > BY CHARLIE SMITH
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4 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
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SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 5
COPE WANTS SWANSON IN MAYORAL DEBATES
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Jean Swanson may not be running for mayor of Vancouver, but she should have a place in debates among candidates for the top job in the city. That’s according to Rider Cooey, cochair of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), the party with which the celebrated antipoverty crusader is running for council in this year’s October 20 civic election. “It would be best for Vancouver voters to have a chance to consider Jean Swanson’s responses in any mayoral debates that are scheduled,” Cooey told the Straight in a September 11 phone interview. According to Cooey, the inclusion in public forums featuring mayoral contenders of a candidate not running for mayor has been done in the past. The COPE cochair cited as example the panel discussion organized by the Urban Development Institute (UDI) in the lead-up to the last election. The October 7, 2014, event included Green council candidate Adriane Carr, who joined then mayoral aspirants Meena Wong of COPE and Kirk LaPointe of the NonPartisan Association. Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vision Vancouver did not attend. The UDI forum was followed two days later with a forum (run by the Metro Vancouver Alliance) wherein Carr was also present alongside mayoral candidates Robertson, LaPointe, and Wong. According to Cooey, Swanson’s participation in the mayoral debates would advance concrete solutions to the pressing issues in the city, particularly housing. “It would raise the discussion about housing out of the muck of platitudes and generalities and put some meat on the bones, if I may use a metaphor, put some substance, inject some substance into those discussions, some sorely needed substance beyond the anodyne boilerplate that tends to come from politicians,” Cooey said. Among the policies being promoted by Swanson and COPE is a four-year rent freeze. They also want to tax luxury homes to raise funds to build public housing. Their platform likewise includes working toward free transit, starting with children and people with incomes below $50,000 a year. In the interview, Cooey also said that it’s possible COPE will
not endorse either of the two independent candidates for mayor: namely, Kennedy Stewart and Shauna Sylvester. “We think that we have such a strong threesome of candidates for council,” Cooey said, referring to Swanson, Anne Roberts, and Derrick O’Keefe. > CARLITO PABLO
PARK BOARD CONSIDERS INDIGENOUS NAMES
When, in 1792, Capt. George Vancouver named the body of water that today flows beneath the Lions Gate Bridge the Burrard Inlet (after his friend Harry Burrard), Vancouver did not actually name it but, more accurately, renamed it. By the time the British explorer arrived, the Tsleil-Waututh people had lived in this area for thousands of years. And to them, the Burrard Inlet was called seĺilẃet (spelled Sleilwaut using the English alphabet, according to the Bill Reid Centre). On September 17, the Vancouver park board will consider a motion to learn the names that the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people called areas that today fall under the jurisdiction of the board. From there, the civic body would work with members of the three Coast Salish nations to “acknowledge those names at parks, beaches, and other public spaces within the jurisdiction of the Park Board, in a way deemed most appropriate by the Nations”. In a telephone interview, the motion’s author, Green party parkboard chair Stuart Mackinnon, said these acknowledgments should become a part of Vancouver’s reconciliation process. “Part of the colonization of Vancouver was the changing of traditional names,” he told the Straight. “My motion is part of reconciliation in Vancouver, to recognize that these Indigenous people have been here forever and that they had place names long before we were here.” Mackinnon emphasized that the motion does not specify what actions might be taken next. “No one, at this point, is talking about renaming anything,” he said. “But I was heartened during the  Olympics that on the Sea to Sky Highway, that they had road signs that were in both English and Squamish. I think something like that could be done in various places in Vancouver.” K –álk–alilh Deanna Lewis is a councillor for the Squamish Nation and a member of the council’s committee
on language, culture, and heritage. She worked on those signs that Mackinnon mentioned, which place Squamish names alongside English ones from Vancouver International Airport through the city and up the Sea to Sky corridor to Whistler. “Identifying and letting the broader community know about them [Squamish names], it feels like our cultural heritage is alive again,” Lewis said in a telephone interview. “It’s reconciliation and having ownership back.” She explained that the signs spark questions, leading to conversations that acknowledge and create a larger understanding of B.C.’s colonial past and the Indigenous people who lived in B.C. before Europeans arrived. “To understand the people, you need to speak their language,” Lewis said. “Revitalizing these languages, we’re bringing back a sense of belonging and a sense that we should respect that history and culture.” > TRAVIS LUPICK
PARK-BOARD MOTION TO ENSURE PUBLIC ACCESS
A Vancouver park commissioner wants to ensure that plazas created as public amenities in private developments are open to all. These are called privately owned public spaces—POPS for short— and Sarah Kirby-Yung has brought forward a motion to guarantee that they are accessible. “Oftentimes, as part of the development project or zoning rights that the property owner is given, part of the arrangement is to have a publicly accessible space, but sometimes they have been closed off and they haven’t been truly available to the public, and that’s not the intent,” KirbyYung told the Straight by phone September 11. Kirby-Yung’s measure follows a motion passed on July 20 this year by the seniors’ advisory committee of the City of Vancouver that asks council to prohibit private-property managers from restricting access to these places. “One of the things that we can do is simple measures like ensuring that there is signage for people that says that this is open to the public and that they are welcome,” Kirby-Yung said. Kirby-Yung’s motion is included in the agenda for the September 17 park-board meeting. > CARLITO PABLO
The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 52 Number 2643 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: email@example.com Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: email@example.com Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith PRODUCT DIRECTOR
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6 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
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Bremner’s supply-side fix
ne of the 20th century’s great urban planners, Harland Bartholomew, left a lasting mark on Vancouver. He prepared the city’s first comprehensive town plan in the late 1920s, making recommendations for the streetscape, parks, schools, and zoning. His plan also incorporated Point Grey and South Vancouver into the urban framework, setting the stage for the growth of these single-family neighbourhoods. It’s a blueprint that served Vancouver well in the 20th century, but now one of the city’s mayoral candidates says it’s time for a radical rethink to prepare residents for “the next 70 years”. According to Yes Vancouver’s Hector Bremner, Hector Bremner says providing homes the reluctance of previous councils for seniors is a sign of character. to seriously amend Bartholomew’s plan is at the root of the city’s housParis is home to more than 21,000 ing-affordability problem. The Yes residents per square kilometre, Vancouver standard-bearer likens making it one of the densest big it to driving around in the 21st cen- cities in the world. But it maintury in a Model T, because the type tains spectacular livability, due in of housing does part to its extranot suit the needs ordinary publicof the public. t r a n s p or t at ion “It’s unequivosystem and its Charlie Smith cal that we’re thin streets, which building less housing today than leave more land available for housat any time in the last 40 years,” ing. As a result, the city isn’t filled Bremner tells the Straight during an with skyscrapers, yet the streets are interview in the Gallery Café. “And bustling with commercial activity. our population has been increasing Bremner is calling for 50,000 steadily the whole time. to 75,000 housing units to be ap“Economic prosperity has also proved within the first three years been increasing the whole time,” after he’s elected mayor. This, he he adds. “That means that a higher adds, would include a nonprofit number of people have had more component in every building. On buying power. Yet we’ve had less False Creek Flats and elsewhere, housing choice. That’s directly led to city-owned land would be leased this housing crisis.” for 99-year terms with no strataBremner has prepared a detailed title ownership. He thinks more plan to respond, one that is rooted small businesses can be encourin sharply increasing the supply of aged if the city can persuade the homes in Vancouver. He thinks city province to allow split assessments, politicians must think boldly about which would value commercial how to integrate services, jobs, re- spaces at lower rates than condos creation, and affordable housing for the purpose of taxation. into neighbourhoods. He emphaMoreover, he wants to name a sized that this isn’t going to be ac- senior bureaucrat who can work complished by simply adding more across departments to ensure that duplexes, though he suggests that’s a social-housing projects get through step in the right direction. the system with a minimum of fuss “We need to be looking at a model and no fees. that looks more like Paris than Sas“We’ve been told I’m attacking katoon,” Bremner says. the character of neighbourhoods,”
Bremner volunteers. “Character is not the spindle of a porch or the slope of a roof. It’s defined by the people who live there.” To him, character is building housing to accommodate seniors close to their families rather than forcing them to move to a suburb. But he insists that this isn’t happening. “We force you out of the city you’ve known and built your entire life,” he says. “And I think that affects our character. We need to be thinking about how we keep grandparents closer to their grandchildren.” To accomplish all of this, Bremner’s housing plan is anchored in the idea of “four storeys and a corner store in every neighbourhood”. By four storeys and a corner store, he’s talking about looking through previous plans and examining where it’s possible to add density “in a reasonable way”. Then, he hopes, council will pass a zoning plan for the entire city based on this research. When asked if that means fourstorey buildings on all streets, he demurs, saying this would be determined after public consultation. Ultimately, he hopes to end spot rezonings, in which developers negotiate density in return for community-amenity contributions (CACs). Instead, they would know the rules in advance and would build accordingly. Bremner acknowledges that this could present financial challenges for the city, which has become heavily reliant on CACs to fund operations. “We’ve got a practical problem and an ethical problem,” he says of CACs. “A practical problem is onethird of our budget is CACs. But we have an ethical problem in that we are doing this illegally.” That’s because, according to Bremner, taxation cannot be a subject of negotiation, which is what’s taking place now between developers and the city in return for additional density. “What we need to make sure is that the f lat-rate CAC is put into place that accurately projects and is regularly reviewed, based on our needs,” he says. “It generates the revenue and captures the land lift to a point that’s fair.” -
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10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018
Bench on lookout for talent > B Y K ATE WILS O N
F Party Bazaar owner Wynne Gorman will close her Vancouver landmark in November because it’s going to be redeveloped into an office building.
Party Bazaar prepares for final Halloween > BY C HA RL IE SM I TH
or four decades, the Party Bazaar (formerly Bazaar & Novelty) has been the place to buy Halloween costumes in Vancouver. Over the years, it’s been visited by the Sedins, former premier Christy Clark, and goalie Roberto Luongo, as well as many thousands of lesser-known local residents. The Party Bazaar was launched in 1977 when pioneering female entrepreneur Wynne Gorman bought the carnival business from Neonex, which was previously owned by Vancouver businessman Jimmy Pattison. The store has been at 1296 Station Street for seven years, and before that it was on West 2nd Avenue close to what is now the Olympic Village. In an interview in her second-floor office just east of SkyTrain’s Main Street–Science World Station, Gorman recalls times when customers would be lined up around the block at the former location in anticipation of purchasing their Halloween outfits. Nowadays, that isn’t a problem, because there’s a large parking lot in front of the 12,000-square-foot building. “I know that we were really the first Halloween store in Vancouver,” Gorman says. But Gorman decided to close the Party Bazaar on November 4 because the property is being redeveloped into an office building. “We are going to have a big sale and a big Halloween—and then we’re going to have a big party,” she says. That closing sale has already started, with 25 percent off everything. Some seasonal items have been marked down 80 percent, and all children’s costumes are 50 percent off. “We want those kids to have the
best Halloween,” Gorman says. “We’re basically going to blow that stuff out of here as quickly as we can.” She isn’t singing the blues. That’s because she’s too busy preparing for the final two months in advance of vacating the site on November 15. She concedes that it was impossible to find another Vancouver location affordable enough for her to continue. “It’s bittersweet,” Gorman says. “I’ve been working since I was 10, so I did my 60 years. I’ll miss the people and I really will miss Halloween.” She praises her 20 staff members for their loyalty and many years of service, noting that half of them have been with her for at least 15 years. Over the Halloween season, she generally hires another 20 people. “I’ve been very lucky with the staffing,” Gorman emphasizes. “They’ve made this business, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be in business.” In the 1970s and 1980s, Gorman sold ink dabbers and other products used in bingo, as well as party supplies. When the government set up the B.C. Lottery Corporation in the mid-1980s, she ramped up the costume business, as well as the sale of balloons and other carnival items. The Party Bazaar has done a brisk business in costumes for a range of events, including St. Patrick’s Day parties, Vaisakhi, and Oktoberfest. She has also witnessed Halloween evolve over the years into much more of an adult celebration. In fact, customers who visited the store with their parents and grandparents are all grown up and are buying for themselves. She adds that the Party Bazaar has also had very good New Year’s business. But the favourite item of them all is balloons, which are sold year-round. “That really has been expanding.” -
ew people love their first job. Ian Crosby, cofounder and CEO of Bench accounting, was no different. As an 18-year-old aiming to get into the video-gaming industry, he called the CEO of a Vancouver company to tell him what was wrong with his organization and how he could improve it. Crosby’s go-getter attitude caught the attention of the business, and he was hired to fill the only open role—bookkeeping. He quickly found, however, that it wasn’t a particularly fun job. “I wanted to beta-test the video games, because that’s what everyone wants to do,” he tells the Georgia Straight with a laugh, sitting across a table at Bench’s downtown office. “I taught myself Visual Basic for Excel so I could automate as much of the bookkeeping job as I could so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time on it. But the bigger question was: ‘Why was hiring me your best option?’ It seemed crazy that there wasn’t a thing where you could go online and get a standard financial package.” The idea became the foundation of what would become Bench. Rallying his best friend from UBC, Jordan Menashy, childhood pal Adam Saint, and Siberian coder Pavel Rodionov, Crosby aimed to create a standardized product that would do all the bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses or freelancers. “Bench does the simple, sensible basics in terms of accounting,” Crosby says. “So you don’t have to know anything; you don’t have to think about it—you just come to us and know that you’re going to get taken care of and not have to worry about the IRS [or CRA] breathing down your neck. “A lot of small businesses or freelancers view finance with anxiety,” he continues. “There’s this not-knowing
Bench’s Ian Crosby aims to hire 100 staff in four months. Will Perkins photo.
aspect. You can go and teach yourself on the Internet, but then you’re wondering if that article was even right. You can hire someone but, typically, it’s really expensive. A small business can’t spend $10,000 on accounting, and accountants won’t work for that kind of money. So we really fill that gap.” Bench differentiates itself from other accounting software by automating the laborious parts of the process and relying on humans to handle the more individual elements of a business’s finances. The company uses machine learning to better organize its customers’ debits and credits and become more efficient over time. “A lot of people talk about efficiency and automation, but it’s like an engineer’s rendition of efficiency,” Crosby says. “They don’t really understand the problem, but they’ve connected two systems together and it’s now automated. The way we look at automation is by looking at a person
and working out that they spend eight hours doing a job. How can we turn that into six hours? That’s how we’ve managed to create the cheapest offering but with high quality.” Shortly after Bench launched in New York, the company made the choice to move back to Vancouver—a decision that afforded it more financial leeway. Returning to the city, however, had its own challenges. The Lower Mainland’s tech industry is rapidly expanding, boasting a startup ecosystem ranked among the top 15 in the world. As a result, local businesses have to compete because of an increasing talent shortage. Bench—now America’s largest bookkeeping service for small businesses and a growing player in the Canadian market—has set an ambitious target to hire 100 people by Christmas. Defying the city’s labour shortage, it’s well on the way to hitting that number. “In the last month, we’ve made 30 offers,” Crosby says. “We’ve got another 70 to go. We’re hiring across the board, so sales, marketing, engineering, design, and a lot of bookkeepers. “Bench has this unique program where you can come in no matter what your background is and learn the skills—so for bookkeepers, you can learn how to do bookkeeping. We’ve found there’s no correlation between things that society traditionally rewards and who’s actually going to do a good job—even more so in this bookkeeping world, because there’s almost no relation between an outside bookkeeping job and bookkeeping at Bench. “We’re not looking for people who look a certain way or talk a certain way or have a particular background,” he continues. “We’ve had philosophy-diploma grads that are way more successful than topinstitution accounting grads. What we look for a lot more is just attitude and people who are just excited to go build something together.” -
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SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11
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How to make the most of your South Okanagan getaway (This story is sponsored by Travel Penticton.)
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ummer might be almost over, but that doesn’t mean that the adventures have to come to an end. That’s because off-season, between September and November, can actually be the perfect time to get away. Apart from the opportunity to score some great deals, you can also avoid the crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience with the chance to meet the locals. And living in Vancouver, you don’t have to go very far to find some of the very best that B.C. has to offer. In fact, within a four-hour car journey along Highway 97, you can be in the beautiful South Okanagan, which makes it the ideal destination for a shorter stay or even just a weekend. The region is home to more than 70 local wineries, five craft breweries, three distilleries, and more than 30 annual festivals— all surrounded by pristine lakes, stunning beaches, an extensive trail network, and rugged mountain terrain. So all that’s left for you to do is figure out what you want to do first!
And now, Travel Penticton, Tourism Summerland, and Discover Naramata, with funding and support from Destination British Columbia, have collaborated to launch the new Chain of Events campaign— making it easier than ever to plan your next city escape. As Jo Charnock, project coordinator, explains, “We have developed a series of itineraries and signature experiences for each community, geared toward four specific traveller types: The Adventurer, The Athlete, The Foodie, and The Family.” The idea was born out of a program to promote cycling, until organizers realized that the area had a lot more to offer and a far broader appeal. “We soon learned that the cycling enthusiasts visiting were also interested in other activities, such as culinary, arts and culture, or wine touring, so we decided to expand the concept,” said Thom Tischik, executive director of Travel Penticton. The Chain of Events program has been created so that you can plan a vacation schedule based on your interests. For those who like to sample fresh local produce, or indulge in new
and extraordinary gastronomy, the Foodie Experience could be the one for you. Or perhaps you get more of a thrill from high-adrenaline, physical challenges. In these cases, you might consider the Athlete or the Adventurer Experiences, which can include taking part in one of the region’s many sporting events or getting wet in some of the lake-based activities like kite surfing or wakeboarding. And even if you have the kids in tow, the Chain of Events program also has a Family Experience itinerary, featuring mini-golf, go-karting, trampolining, and a ride on the Kettle Valley Railway. So you’re sure to keep the little ones entertained, too. The beauty of the program is that you can tailor it to your interests and how much time you have. And as Charnock adds, “Many of the visitors to our region only have a few days to spend here and this is a great way to help them get the absolute most out of their stay.” For more information or to plan your next trip in the South Okanagan visit the Chain of Events website at www. okchainofevents.com/.
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SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13
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SCHEDULE of EVENTS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Segal Centre 10:00 - 10:45 AM
THE ORIGIN STORY: A brief history of cannabis Jamie Shaw Despite the recent spike in mainstream popularity, cannabis has roots dating back thousands of years. From spiritual worship in nomadic societies to the resourcefulness born from hemp, weed has played an integral role in many cultures. A blend of activism, tradition, economics, therapeutic application, and recreational enjoyment has brought cannabis to the forefront—but where did it all start and how did it grow into a dominating plant driving conversation today? Join renowned advocate, lobbyist, and political consultant, Jamie Shaw, as she takes guests on a guided tour through one plant’s incredible and complex history.
11:00 AM - 11:45 PM
HIGHER LEARNING: The science of cannabis Enid Chen | Adolfo Gonzalez What’s the difference between a sativa and indica? Is CBD really non-psychoactive? What are terpenes? If you’re starting your weed knowledge from scratch, or just need a refresher, this mini course if run by two of the top cannabis educators in the country. Enid and Adolfo have developed a comprehensive beginner’s guide to understanding the fundamentals of the plant, including helpful resources and tools to enhance your learning.
12:00 - 12:45 PM
MARIJUANA AND MATTERS OF MENTAL HEALTH Salimeh Tabrizi | Dr. Zach Walsh
and approach regulation. Chief Robert Gladstone discusses why cannabis is an Indigenous issue and tells the story of one village’s journey out of prohibition.
perceptions, parents and educators need tools now. A local expert will build a framework of myths, concerns, and age-appropriate conversation topics to touch on while talking to youth.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Weedshop Series | Theatre
11:00 AM - 11:45 PM
10:15 - 11:00 AM
THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Joint rolling 101 Craig Ex Say goodbye to stockpiling dispensary pre-rolls or begging your nimble-fingered friends to wrap up your weed. Craig Ex of the webcast Expert Joints is here to teach you to master the tricks and technique of rolling the perfect joint.
11:15 - 12:00 PM
THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Edibles 101 Brandon Wright What once was relegated to homemade box-mix hash brownies has transformed into a diverse array of sophisticated edibles products. For those who aren’t partial to the smokier consumption methods, edibles provide a longlasting and dose-controlled solution—a benefit that is appeals especially to medical users. Although the federal government has said the regulations on edibles will have to wait until a year after flower and oils are legalized, it hasn’t stopped pioneers from pushing forward with creating innovative and responsible products. Join Brandon Wright, the Director and CEO of Baked Edibles Inc., for a comprehensive look into the use, history, and science behind cannabis-infused edibles.
12:15 - 1:00 PM
THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Consumption tools 101 Puff
Is the jury still out on cannabis and mental health? While some research states that cannabis use can increase a person’s risk for mental illness, many patients struggling with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other related conditions have found significant relief with cannabis. A panel of industry experts help explain where this powerful plant fits into society’s ongoing conversation about mental health.
There is so much more to cannabis consumption than joints and gummy bears. Join a local budtender as they breakdown the basics of the cool tools you’ll find in your local head shop—bongs, dab rigs, pipes, and more. This workshop is designed to help you find your favourite consumption method—highlighting everything from usage tips to cleaning and maintenance of your glassware.
1:00 - 1:45 PM
1:15 - 2:00 PM
COUPLES AND CANNABIS: Building a support system Sandra Colasanti | Remo Colasanti
We find strength in our teammates. Whether you are a patient suffering from a medical condition or a partner supporting their healing, exploring alternative treatments can be an incredibly difficult journey. Remo and Sandra know what it means to work together through a different set of challenges: They have built one of the industry’s most respected brands, but not without the battles that come with working in the grey market. Join these two cannabis couples as they share their stories of strength, communication, and how a strong support system helped them conquer the stigma that comes with cannabis.
2:00 - 2:45 PM
ASK A CANNABIS LAWYER: An interactive legal panel John Conroy | Kirk Tousaw Finding it hard to keep up with the tricky details of legalization? Come ready with questions! Two industry-defining lawyers, John Conroy and Kirk Tousaw, are here to answer your burning canna-queries and clarify the hazy misinformation surrounding the new laws and your rights as a consumer.
3:00 - 3:45 PM
GREEN AND CLEAN: An organic approach to growing weed Sarah Lane | Travis Lane
The organic movement has won the hearts and minds of Vancouverites when it comes to food and health products—but what about our weed? As cannabis moves into the mainstream and mass production continues to grow, the question of what goes into our weed is fresh on the minds of many consumers. Join cannabis specialists and expert growers Sarah and Travis Lane as they breakdown the science and importance behind cultivating and consuming clean, unadulterated pot.
5:00 - 5:45 PM GROWTH AND RECONCILIATION: Indigenous leadership in the cannabis industry Chief Robert Gladstone As Canada’s political and cultural attitudes shift, Indigenous leaders are fighting to secure a place for their communities in the cannabis conversation. From the traditional understandings of plant medicines to new economic opportunities, legalization affords the country’s First Nations a leadership role in defining the way we understand
THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Extractions 101 Philip Kwong With the rising demand for cannabis products, technologies and methods used for extracts are becoming more and more sophisticated. Despite their popularity, however, there is still a great deal of misinformation and confusion surrounding concentrates and how they play a role in consumption. Join Philip Kwong—the founder of the extraction companies Holistek Solutions and 3 Carbon Extracts—as he explains the fundamentals of cannabis concentrates, breaks down the extraction methods, and highlights the benefits of dabbing.
2:15 - 3:00 PM
THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Sex and Cannabis 101 Laska Maria Freeman Let’s talk about sex, baby! From enhancing sexual experiences and boosting your sex drive to managing pain and treating STDs, cannabis plays an important role in the bedroom. Laska Maria Freeman—host and founder of Sex Ed with a Twist—is accustomed to breaking through the stigma and getting right to the important information in a fun and educational way. Whether it’s about using cannabis between the sheets with a partner or exploring it for your own personal pleasure, this workshop will have you laughing, learning, and loving weed in a whole new way.
3:15 - 4:00 PM THE WEEDSHOP SERIES: Higher Learning (This session takes place at KPU in the concourse) Want to work with weed but don’t know where to start? From budtenders and dispensary managers to consultants and analysts, the first wstep is knowledge. Join Kwantlen Polytechnic University and CanMar as they highlight the educational and career opportunities awaiting Canadians in the newly legal industry.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 Segal Centre
GROUNDWORKS CONSULTING: Starting your own small canna-business Courtland Sandover-Sly | Jamie Shaw | Travis Lane From the basics of filing taxes to intricacies of navigating legal landmines, the tean at Groundworks Consulting is equipped to answer all your questions about starting a cannabis business of your own. With decades of combined knowledge, these three industry leviathans know the ins-and-outs of building a framework for success. After years spent establishing individually powerful profiles within the industry, Jamie Shaw, Travis Lane, and Courtland Sandover-Sly have combined forces to help growers, entrepreneurs, and budding businesses find their foothold in the cannabis space.
12:00 - 12:45 PM
A NEW ERA: Health Canada’s guide to the new cannabis regulations David Brown
After thousands of consultations and hundreds of hours dedicated to hearings, expert testimonies, and debates, the Cannabis Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This new legal framework was a major step in fulfilling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to enact a public health approach to legalizing adult-use cannabis in Canada. Join David Brown, a senior Policy Advisor with Health Canada’s Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Branch, for a comprehensive presentation on the federal government’s journey to legalization and how the new regulations will shape the country come October 17.
1:00 - 1:45 PM DOWN TO THE DNA: Cannabis genetics 101 Ryan Lee These days cannabis connoisseurs have a virtually limitless selection of strains to choose from. How did we get here? Cannabis researcher and breeder Ryan Lee takes us on a genetics journey, from the fundamentals of hybridization to the huge scope of phenotype matter expressions we see today.
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
GET IN THE GAME: The role of cannabis in sports and an active lifestyle Angelina Blessed | Dave Weale You may have heard that cannabis can help treat medical conditions, but did you know athletes also use cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, to optimize their wellness routines? While some strains and consumption methods are great for chilling out, others can actually empower your active lifestyle. Join a panel of athletes and fitness instructors to discover how they use cannabis as an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, energy booster, and more.
WEED BEHIND THE WHEEL: Cannabis and impaired driving Sarah Leamon | Grant Gottgetreu
As the Cannabis Act made its way through the legislative process, so did the less publicized Bill C-46, which redefined the laws surrounding impaired driving. Sarah Leamon, a trained drug recognition expert and cannabis lawyer, breaks down impairment, risks, field sobriety tests, and your legal rights when it comes to driving and consuming.
MY LOCAL DISPENSARY: WHAT’S HAPPENING INSIDE YOUR LOCAL POT SHOP? Andrea Dobbs | Walter Sorto | Liam Oster | Caitlin Hurely
With new regulations going into effect on October 17, consumers are going to see several dramatic shifts across the dispensary landscape. New stores will open, neighbourhood mom-and-pops will transition from “illicit” to “legal”, and some local favourites will inevitably close their doors. With municipalities asking for public feedback, it is now more important than ever to understand how local pot shops play a role in your community. Join a panel of dispensary owners and legal experts for a peak inside the brick-and-mortar cannabis shops as they move into a new era.
2:00 - 2:45 PM
THE OTHER POT TALK: Navigating cannabis with parents and seniors Adam Greenblat | Camille Ritchie Shifting a mindset that was raised during a staunch prohibition can be a tricky conversation - one that Hilary Black is well-accustomed to having. As the director of patient advocacy at Canopy Growth and with over two decades of advocacy under her belt, she will guide you though the steps of deconstructing myths and creating a safe place for a responsible introduction to cannabis use for parents and seniors.
3:00 - 3:45 PM
BEYOND THE WHITE NOISE: The impact of legalization on minority communities Julie Domingo | Barinder Rasode | Bella Sie | Natasha Raey Each individual has a unique relationship with cannabis—this is mirrored in the mosaic of different communities across Vancouver. Often the narrative of a white, middle-class perspective takes centre stage in the media, but rarely is it asked how various minorities experience the cultural and therapeutic impact of the plant. A handful of thought leaders from an assortment of cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds come together to discuss the impact of legalization on their community.
THE EXIT DRUG? The role of cannabis in the opioid crisis Dr. M-J Milloy | Sarah Blythe | Dr. Philippe Lucas While much of North America is mired in an opioid crisis, Vancouver is at the forefront of harm reduction efforts that are changing the way people think about addiction. In Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a number of grassroots organizations have come together to offer users an alternative to hard drugs: cannabis. Local experts and advocates will come together for a thoughtful and informative discussion on how cannabis can serve as a subsitute for opioids, alcohol, and more.
AN L-PEAK INSIDE: The inner workings of a licensed cannabis producer Annaliese Kibler | Allison Wood The only cannabis set to supply the legal market come fall will come from federally authorized licensed producers (LP). The select organizations must adhere to strict guidelines on distribution, packaging, advertising, grow conditions, reporting practices, and more. Join Annaliese and Allison for a look inside the inner workings of one of the countries leading LPs and the process legal cannabis goes through before hitting shelves in October.
4:00 - 4:45 PM MOVE THE MOVEMENT: A non-profit with a story to tell Mark Hauk With no place to collect or find medical success stories, Mark Hauk, the founder of The Saskatchewan Compassion Club, decided patients needed a place to come together— a support system to host a dialogue around therapeutic cannabis use. Move the Movement is a non-profit organization building a digital database of testimonials, one story at a time. Join the founders, advocates, and team leaders as they share the powerful and captivating story of one organization’s goal to tear down 95 years of stigma and shame.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 Theatre
10:00 - 10:45 AM
10:15 - 11:00 AM
As cannabis moves from an illicit drug to a medicine and recreational substance, it can be difficult to communicate that shift to a child. While schools are racing to keep up with the shifting social
Come October 17, British Columbians will be able to grow up to four plants in the comfort of their own home. Interested in flexing your green thumb?
THE POT TALK: Breaking down cannabis for kids Judith Renaud | Dr. Jenna Valleriani
Tom Ulanowski, the President of Nextleaf Labs Ltd., explains the fundamentals of indoor cultivation, from lighting and watering to nutrients and grow mediums. You’ll be growing beautiful, healthy buds of your own in no time!
GROW LIKE A PRO: Home cultivation for beginners Tom Ulanowski
Got Questions? Get them answered at Grassroots
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
Clockwise from left, OVO’s LAMP submission (Adrian Fisher photo); and B.C.– based designer Michel DuVernet’s Orbital series (barn-barn designs photos).
LAMP finalists shed light on balance at IDS
he letters OVO may be most associated with Canadian rapper Drake’s record label and owl-festooned sportswear line—OVO Sound and October’s Very Own, respectively—but, in the name of local engineer Adrian Fisher’s submission to the latest installment of LAMP (Lighting Architecture Movement Project), they embody the international lightingdesign competition’s theme for 2018 perfectly: balance. “I tried to go as literal as possible,” Fisher says on the phone of his entry, “everything from the name—a palindrome—right down to the materials.” OVO, a symmetrical lighting object shaped like a supersized Tylenol tablet and crafted primarily from concrete and silicone, is one of 10 finalists in the “established” category in this year’s LAMP. Like the Os in its name, the piece itself is reminiscent of an ingredient found by the dozen in supermarkets around the world: the humble and ever-versatile egg. In fact, it was the clucking from a next-door neighbour’s chickens that inspired the designer to dream up the ovoid luminaire. “It was all kind of a funny coincidence,” notes Fisher, who worked as a mechanical-special-effects technician in the local film industry before diving into product development, “but it seemed to work out well.” In addition to its smooth, rounded form, the OVO stands upright like an egg thanks to its delicate and balanced construction. A dark, rigid cement base—cleverly strengthened with coconut fibre—is juxtaposed with a flexible silicone shade that scatters light from energy-efficient LEDs. Powdered eggshells were even fused into the silicone, creating a soft, frosted façade while demonstrating Fisher’s commitment to environmentally conscious design. “That’s always at the forefront [of my mind],” he says, “like, ‘Okay, how can we reduce the amount of materials we’re using? Or use more ecofriendly materials? Or how can we recycle this down the road?’ ” Mother Earth was also a key concern for Michel DuVernet, owner of B.C.’s barn-barn designs, whose Orbital series is another finalist in LAMP’s “established” group for 2018. The Nelson-based builder wanted to pay tribute to his home in the Kootenays—where logging makes up a significant portion of the community’s economy—by employing regionally sourced wood. “I have access to a small mill that a friend owns,” he shares, “so some of it is stuff I’ve milled up myself, getting my hands dirty with local materials.”
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16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
> B Y L UCY LAU
In the solid-wood version of Orbit, glue-laminated red cedar and Sitka spruce meet in a chandelier-mobile hybrid, its slender, curving arms meant to mimic blades of grass while the globular diffusers dripping from their ends are stand-ins for dew or droplets of water after a fresh rainstorm. A proprietary mechanism ensures that each part rotates with ease—both independently and in sync with the others as needed. “It actually works really well in a living space, given the versatility of it—being able to move,” DuVernet notes. “So it really adds a nice variable component; it’s not a static, fixed thing. Functionally, you can rotate the lights so that they’re mainly aimed at one spot.” Besides executing the balancing act that a functioning mobile requires— and melding a contemporary style with one that’s more organic—DuVernet sought to embody LAMP’s theme through a contrast of manmade metal and natural woods. There’s also a CNC–cut version of the Orbit that’s crafted from Quebec maple plywood, as opposed to the more commonly imported Baltic or Russian varieties, and a floorstanding model dubbed the Floorbit that uses the same combination of elements—and that appears to defy gravity. “It was really about having a nice relationship with the materials and balancing through in that sense,” DuVernet says. Both the OVO and Orbital series will be on show at LAMP’s Balance Exhibition Awards Gala, the first of eight talks, installations, and soirees happening as part of IDS Vancouver’s off-site programming for 2018. The event—open to those who purchase a wristband ($30) for IDS Vancouver’s Offsite programs—will showcase lighting-design prototypes from 20 finalists in LAMP’s “established” and “emerging” categories. Vancouver is well represented in the latter category, too, with Ricardo Gomez’s sculptural Tilt and Romney Shipway’s scalelike Median in the top 10. Finalists in the student class will have their renderings published in LAMP’s printed program. LAMP—founded in Vancouver in 2013 as a group exhibition displaying light and form with an emphasis on architectural design—is an annual contest that challenges designers, engineers, and other creatives around the world to build an original lighting object in keeping with a certain theme. This year’s competition received more than 140 submissions from 85 countries. The LAMP Balance Exhibition Awards Gala takes place at Inform Contract (405 Railway Street) on Tuesday (September 18).
AfterWord is clearing new space for women > BY L UC Y LA U
s in the realms of film, TV, and music, those who exist outside the accepted standard within the Canadian literary sphere—or, to put it frankly, those who, for the most part, aren’t heterosexual, cis white men—often face heightened harassment, obstacles, and scrutiny in their paths to success. It’s an unfortunate reality built on decades of systemic discrimination that has wrongfully sidelined many writers who identify as women, people of colour, or LGBT, or are otherwise marginalized for far too long. Locally, though, we’re lucky to have grassroots festivals like Room magazine’s feminist Growing Room to help centre these voices, and this fall, Vancouver will welcome another inclusive literary event to its calendar: AfterWord. Spearheaded by Room’s managing editor, Chelene Knight, the free oneday function features a lineup of more than a dozen established and up-andcoming novelists, playwrights, poets, librettists, and other writers living and working in Vancouver. All of them identify as women, and many are Indigenous or people of colour, and fall somewhere on the LGBT spectrum. In other words, they’re people who have historically been denied space in Canada’s literary arena—and are now reclaiming these spaces as they share written works that touch on everything from ’90s Canadian pop and queer relationships to one’s lived experiences of growing up as a “free-spirited tomboy” in Whitehorse, Yukon. “The Canadian literary community is so small already, and so these spaces are quickly dwindling, I find,” Knight tells the Straight by phone. “There are people who come in and quickly take over, but let’s remember there are also people who need that uplifting. They need someone to come behind them and give them kind of a little nudge, and say, ‘You know what? This is a space for you. You can totally occupy this space.’ ” AfterWord was conceived after Knight resigned from her role as executive director of Word Vancouver in June. The local poet and memoirist was appointed to the position earlier that same month, though chose to leave due to “undisclosed financial issues” involving the annual event’s organizers. Knight, who had already begun curating a lineup of writers for Word, then decided to launch AfterWord as a “postfestival celebration” that would still offer a platform to the essayists, screenwriters, and others she had reached out to. Word Vancouver is scheduled to take place at venues around Vancouver from September 24 to 30. “Because we programmed an entire festival in two-and-a-half weeks, we thought, ‘Okay, now we’re kind of leaving these authors in the lurch.
9:30PM - 1:30AM Chelene Knight has an eye for up-andcoming authors. Greg Ehlers photo.
And we still want to be able to provide that space for them, so what can we do?’ ” explains Knight, who adds that, with AfterWord scheduled following Word Vancouver’s last day of readings, participants still have the opportunity to appear at both events. AfterWord follows Room’s mandate of spotlighting only writers who identify as women, though attendance is open to all. Among the names featured are past Vancouver Book Award recipient Amber Dawn; broadcaster, podcaster, and Georgia Straight theatre critic Andrea Warner; and Indigenous writer and two-spirit warrior Jaye Simpson, who Knight says has an energy that is “mind-blowing”. There are also emerging talents like ChineseCanadian poet Isabella Wang, who holds the title of youngest writer to be shortlisted for the New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. For Knight, it was important to support such authors who are early in or just starting their careers. “We’re always talking about new books coming out; we’re always talking about this up-and-coming author who might not have this big Twitter following or a big publicist or publisher behind them,” she says. “We’re always in the nooks and crannies, having conversations.” At AfterWord, organizers will accept donations toward Room’s Growing Room festival for 2019 and the Indigenous Brilliance reading series, which the magazine coproduces. The reading will also include a free buffet; the venue, meanwhile, is fully accessible and includes nongendered restrooms. Attendees may come and go from the event, which takes place from 6 to 9:30 p.m., as they please. Knight hopes that this relaxed atmosphere, in addition to the diverse lineup of readers, will help facilitate meaningful dialogue between writers and attendees. “That’s really what I’m really looking forward to as well,” she says. “Not just the readings, but the conversations that will take place once we’re all in that space together.” -
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AfterWord takes place at the Native Education College on September 30, from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17
straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS
September 13 to 19, 2018
Saturday, 22 Septâ€‚|â€‚8:00-11:00 pmâ€‚|â€‚Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre Wanna dance with somebody? Feeling footloose? If you lived through the â€˜80s, were born then, or are simply nostalgic, the Awesome â€˜80s Dance Party is for you! Start your evening with an â€˜80s-inspired menu of culinary creations. Then, dance the night away with a retro VJ screening of iconic â€˜80s anthems and videos, and Vancouverâ€™s top house band Dr. Strangelove. Tickets are just $50. Includes food, two drinks (cash bar for additional drinks), a whole lot of dancing, and much more.
Hosted by former MuchMusic and Electric Circus VJ, Monika Deol and Man About Town, Fred Lee, BAâ€™88. attire: â€˜80s inspired. Legwarmers, headbands and shoulder pads â€“ prizes for the best dressed.
for more info and to purchase tickets:
o doubt you have noticed the shift of Venus and Mars on fresh sign changes. Venus in Scorpio sets something very potent into lock-and-load regarding a specific relationship or relationship matter. Emotions run the show. Trust is a big issue. Relationship value and relationship survival are too. Venus in Scorpio also puts an added premium on sex, money, life, death, and regenerative potential. The transit is a biggie, not only for intimate and personal relationships, but for outer-world dealings too. Expect personal finances, money markets, big business, the black market, the dark web, and everything to do with oil (a Scorpio archetype) to be even more dialled-up. The propensity for manipulation, for abuse of power or position, and for succumbing to temptation, obsession, or addiction is great when Venus in Scorpio pulls from the dark side. While none of the above is new, thanks to Mars, it is on a next level up. Although it is revisiting what it covered in May, Mars in Aquarius is completely focused on game-changing and acceleration. An innovation-andimprovement expert, this transitâ€™s first instincts are for taking a risk on something new. Remember this when you find yourself struggling with a tough decision. Cut yourself loose; look for better options and relationships. There are many ways to create and to thrive in life. Finishing up in Virgo through the end of next week, Mercury picks up good steam with Pluto on Saturday (trine), Jupiter on Sunday (sextile), and the sun next Thursday (superior conjunction). Itâ€™s a great week to say it, do it, sign it, or show up for it.
July 22â€“August 22
Creativity, intuition, and instincts are in fine form through the weekend. Youâ€™ll feel whatever you are feeling even more deeply while Venus moves through Scorpio. Through the start of the week, the scales are tipping in the direction of self-honouring rather than meeting the (spoken or unspoken) expectations of others. Trust yourself; go by heart and itâ€™s a win for all.
Mercury in Virgo keeps you and opportunity going strong. Increasing a sense of hopefulness despite the uncertainty, Thursday is full of potential in the making. The weekend is a good one for giving yourself licence. Seek adventure; put yourself out there and max out on the best the moment has to offer. Monday begins a positive upswing. A productive and fruitful week ahead.
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18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018
October 23â€“November 21
Thursday, youâ€™ll find a great knack for reading between the lines, picking up on whatâ€™s missing, or spotting a good bargain. The evening is a good one for a romance or relaxation top-up. Along with Venus, Mercury keeps the motivation, conversation, good ideas, and stimulation going ARIES strong through the weekend. Tuesday/ March 20â€“April 19 Wednesday, Mars/Uranus jump-start Thursday is good for a something fresh, something more. top-up, for getting better clued in, or SAGITTARIUS for finding whatâ€™s missing. You can November 21â€“December 21 make good headway with a creative Thursday could see you project. Through Sunday, the more you do and the further you take it, check off something important or the more youâ€™ll get out of it. Monday, find a missing element. Enjoy indoor, the work runs smooth; the results are outdoor, social, or intimate sports; the good. Tuesday/Wednesday, Mars/ Sagittarius moon keeps the weekend Uranus sparks something fresh. Go going strong. On the go with Pluto on Saturday, Jupiter on Sunday, and the with spontaneity. sun next Thursday, Mercury assists TAURUS you to make great strides regarding April 20â€“May 20 unfinished personal matters, converVenus is ramping up in sations, negotiations, career ambiScorpio. As such, watch for all your tions, work, and problem-solving. sensory faculties to be significantly CAPRICORN heightened. What they transmit are December 21â€“January 19 vital clues. Crossing the intersecDonâ€™t push what isnâ€™t tion of what was and what is yet to be, Venus prompts a profound inner coming naturally, but donâ€™t give up; shift regarding thinking, feeling, voi- keep going and stay hopeful. What cing, engaging, inventing, and solu- falls by the wayside simply clears the tion-finding. Progressâ€”itâ€™s a natural space for something better to show up. Get away from it all this weekevolution. end. Monday, youâ€™re off to a great GEMINI start. The Capricorn moon puts you May 21â€“June 21 in good control and command. TuesMercury in Virgo is in day/Wednesday fast-tracks it. high gear with Neptune on ThursAQUARIUS day (opposition), Pluto on Saturday January 20â€“February 18 (trine), Jupiter on Sunday (sextile), What a difference a week and the sun next Thursday (superior conjunction), keeping you at your can make. Mars, freshly into Aquarcreative, social, intuitive, and com- ius, is picking up speed. Venus and munications best. Now through Uranus have just lit a match. Next the end of next week is an excellent Tuesday, Mars/Uranus will be on cuttime to put yourself out there, feel to-the-chase. Between now and then, your way along, and work your way Mercury is going strong. What does it all mean? Opportunity is on the rise. through it. Make the most of it. Seize the day! CANCER June 21â€“July 22 PISCES Donâ€™t let it slide. Aim for a February 18â€“March 20 Stay creative and hopeful. good head start; stay on top of what you need to. The week ahead sets Relax and go by feel; trust that you a productive backdrop for making are getting to where you need to and better inroads and gaining results. want to be. You are. A good run of Thursday/Friday, your flow is good, stars between now and the end of especially regarding stream of con- next week gets you up and running. sciousness, creativity, and romance. The unexpected is in the mix, but Monday, stay practical and get down overall the getting is good. to business. Tuesday/Wednesday, a fresh wind, fresh approach, or fresh Book a reading or sign up for Roseâ€™s free newsletter at rosemarcus.com/. diversion hits it right.
! S E S S A P N N SEASO
September 22â€“October 23
Venus has just left Libra for Scorpio, but it will be back in November. Venus in Scorpioâ€”a resourcesrich, cash-in transitâ€”now positions you at springboard time. Along with Mercury on the move, and with Mars and Uranus in spark-it mode, now through midâ€“next week should get you up and running with plenty to show for it. Onward and upward!
August 22â€“September 22
healthy > B Y PIPER C OUR TE NAY
f we can thank U.S. president Donald Trump for one thing, it’s for giving Los Angeles–based comedian Chelsea Handler incentive to find a healthier alternative to manage politics-induced anxiety. “The first time I smoked weed I was probably 16 or 17 years old and it was a disaster because… Well, not a disaster, but I coughed for about an hour,” Handler tells the Georgia Straight by phone, adding that it wasn’t until later in life that she discovered an appreciation for cannabis. “Around the time Trump was elected, I had to find another avenue to suppress my rage and harness it into something useful instead of something toxic. I turned to cannabis…and I realized what it could do for other women like me.” During the past year, Handler has ramped up her pot advocacy across the U.S., and with the help of a Canadian company, she’s bringing it north of the border just in time for legalization. In June, Handler delivered the keynote speech at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick, presented by Civilized, a digitalmedia and lifestyle brand focused on weed. Shortly after the presentation, the brand’s founder and CEO, Derek Riedle, approached her with the idea of taking the cannabis conversation cross-country. The five-time New York Times bestselling author says she jumped at the opportunity, adding: “They [Civilized] talk about marijuana use in a cultural context and normalize it as a way of life, and I just thought: ‘This is incredible. We have to educate people.’ ” The tour, a speaking series modelled after the town-hall events Handler
Comedian Chelsea Handler is talking up the benefits of cannabis across Canada in advance of personal use being legalized.
Handler ramps up advocacy has hosted in cities across the States, will start in Alberta on September 20 and end in Nova Scotia on October 6. Handler and Riedle will be in Vancouver on September 21 at UBC’s Chan Centre to talk political activism, legalization, and her personal journey to cannabis use. Speaking on the phone from London, England, she says that once she experienced success with cannabis for sleep, she began experimenting with the vast array of products available in California’s newly legalized recreational market. “I was taking sleep aids way too frequently. And it was a great
alternative to that, because I didn’t want to be on any of those medications that pharmaceutical companies are peddling,” she says. “I realized it [cannabis] is so different than what it used to be. Now with microdosing, you are able to control what you are taking in…it’s much more of a controlled experience.” Handler is known for her guineapig approach to exploring new substances and experiences, particularly when it comes to drugs. One episode of her four-part Netflix special, Chelsea Does, is dedicated entirely to exploring the benefits and harms of a mix of drugs, from over-the-counter
pills like Adderall and Ambien to black-market weed and psychedelics. In it, she mixes booze and prescription medication (under supervision) and dines on THC–infused feasts, with the episode culminating in Handler participating in a traditional Peruvian ayahuasca (a psychoactive plant medicine historically used by Indigenous communities) ceremony—all in the name of education. Since taking a step back from her high-profile entertainment career, Handler now only uses small doses of cannabis to deal with the stress that accompanies her activism. “For me, it is more about getting off
anti-anxiety medication and getting away from sleeping pills and being a more functional person…and making everybody a lot less annoying,” she says, laughing. “It helps me not lose my temper, it helps me be a lot less reactive, and it just makes everybody just a little bit cooler.” Since embarking on her normalization campaign, she has smoked with the cream of the pot crop, from rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg to the weed legend himself, country singer Willie Nelson. “Smoking weed with Willie Nelson was a seminal moment. It was great,” she says. “After I smoked a joint with him, I was, you know…let’s just say I was not able to drive afterwards. It was a situation. He’s got some potent stuff.” Getting stoned off of a canna celebrity’s superstash may be quite the experience, but she says a line of products for the everyday cannabis consumer is in the works. In February, Handler teased her pot-friendly fans with an Instagram post indicating an interest in starting a line of weed products. When asked for an update, she says she’s still in the research phase but is certain of one thing: any company she creates will have a focus on bringing female consumers into the fold. “Women really need to be reintroduced to marijuana,” she says. “There is a joke in L.A.: whoever has the best plastic surgeon never reveals it, because they don’t want anyone else to have a good facelift. And I’m here pushing against that when it comes to marijuana. Girls need to share information, they need to embolden and empower other women to own their marijuana use.” -
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Broadcaster finds key to work-life balance > B Y P IP E R COUR TEN AY
ver the weekend, TEDx Vancouver took over the Chan Centre at UBC to present 19 educational and inspiring talks by community leaders, entrepreneurs, and internationally renowned activists. The theme was “how to”: step-by-step workshops on success and overcoming adversity, presented by masters of their craft. Some of the ideas were theoretical frameworks for tackling global problems, like former prime minister Kim Campbell’s call for action on environmental sustainability and journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s plea to protect press freedom. Thought leaders provided provocative concepts that challenged the status quo, like Daryl Fontana’s push to lower the voting age to 16. And some were purely instructional, like Breakfast Television host Riaz Meghji’s How to Make a Toast. One of the more applicable howtos, presented by award-winning producer and director Andrea Griffith, took on the constant struggle to maintain stability between professional demands and personal desires: the work-life balance. Faced with increasing distractions, establishing a sustainable work-life balance is a circus highwire act of juggling time, energy, and attention—an act Griffith has learned to master by repurposing skills garnered from 19 years working in television. As a production executive for Corus Entertainment, a Torontobased broadcaster, Griffith has brought to life a handful of popular lifestyle shows, including Moving the McGillivrays, Holmes and Holmes, and the new fashion-competition series Stitched. “How do you divide work and life when it’s all life?” Griffith asked the audience. “And if you’re balancing, that means you’re putting equal weight on those two things. That’s almost impossible.” She attributes her shift in thinking to what she called an out-ofbody experience: a drone shot taken as she and her husband struggled to affix a Christmas tree onto the roof of their car several years ago. The couple had taken their two children to pick out a tree for the holidays, only to discover they’d forgotten the straps needed to mount the festive greenery to the vehicle. The children grew restless. Griffith and her husband got frustrated. Chaos ensued. In that moment, Griffith thought to herself: “This would never happen at work.”
She explained that her professional life got the organized, proactive planner while her home life suffered. “I wasn’t feeling guilty; I don’t do guilt,” she said. “I felt empowered because I knew what I had to do.” Griffith decided to adapt four strategies she relied upon in her career to create balance in her family time. The first strategy, she said, is simple: write it down. “You probably have good ideas that you’re not using,” she said. “In TV, we write it down. We have brainstorm sessions, we have meetings. Every idea is either implemented immediately or we store it away for next season.” Taking her own advice, she wrote down that she needed a “strap thingy”—later to discover it was called a ratchet strap—which she bought and used for a much smoother jaunt to the Christmastree farm the following year. Griffith calls the second strategy “pulling a mepeat”—her playful adaptation of the word repeat. “In TV, when a show does well, we commission a second season. If it works once, it’ll work again. It’s a heck of a time saver,” she said. Griffith said she pulls “mepeats” all the time. For example, she designated a “summer uniform”: an outfit she wears to run errands and taxi her children around to activities after work. “Three white oxford shirts, three jean shorts. I rotate them. I get home from work, change into the summer uniform, and we’re gone. And I get compliments!” she said. “Same outfit, y’all. Mepeat.” Thirdly, Griffith said, start earlier. “Having what you need, or what your family needs, when you need it alleviates stress. At work, we’re two years ahead. It’s not possible in your personal life, but you could plan one month ahead, two months ahead, a few weeks. It’s doable.” Lastly, she said, visualize. “Visualization is a powerful tool. If you see the entire scene all the way through, you’ll plan properly,” she told the audience, adding that in the reality-TV industry, although scenes aren’t scripted, the production team walks through every scene from opening titles to closing credits long before filming begins. “The reality is the work-life balance isn’t always attainable. It just isn’t. Every day is different. Don’t be discouraged,” she concluded. “You are your own best resource. You have skills. You have ideas. Capture them, use them, and when they work for you, pull a mepeat!”-
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SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
New group addresses issues for LGBT seniors Rainbow Roundtable will hold weekly meetings at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre can be challenging in 2 Aging itself, but as openly LGBT elders
increase in number, more attention is turning toward how LGBT senior citizens can sometimes experience additional or unique issues that non–LGBT individuals may not. The first few generations of openly LGBT people—who fought for the rights and equality that younger generations are benefiting from today—are now entering new territory in increasing LGBT baby boomers led the way for numbers. According to estimates by the more equality, but now they need help. Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver and provide a social environment that Coastal Health, there were approxican help to counter isolation. mately 26,000 LGBT seniors in the Lower Mainland in 2012. Rainbow Roundtable, faciliIn some cases, LGBT seniors feel tated by Travis Jones, starts on Friday that they need to go (September 14) at back into the closet the Roundhouse when they relocate Community Arts to predominantly and Recreation Craig Takeuchi heterosexual and Centre (181 cisgender care faciliRoundhouse Mews). ties among other seniors or caregivers This weekly group, which will be held who may be homophobic, transphobic, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays until or intolerant. December 14, is designed for LGBT Others, such as those whose social adults and elders who are 55 years and networks may have been devastated above. The cost is $5 per drop-in session. by the onset of the AIDS crisis or who The group will allow participants to have been rejected by their families share stories, experiences, and knowand friends, may face social isolation ledge about the challenges of aging in or limited social circles. In addition, LGBT communities. many LGBT elders may not have chilIn addition, speakers from various dren or partners and face the prospect local organizations and service providof aging alone. ers will talk about a range of topics Still others, who faced discrimination related to health and well-being in or rejection while seeking employrelation to the aging process. ment, may have had limited or minimal For more information about Rainbow incomes over their lifetime, which has Roundtable, visit their Facebook web an impact upon retirement budgets. page (www.facebook.com/groups/rain However, a new weekly discussion bowroundtable/ ) or the Roundhouse and activity group in Vancouver will Community Centre’s Older Adult help participants to learn and talk Programs web page (roundhouse.ca/ about the issues that LGBT elders face programs/older-adult/ ). -
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Dr. Peter Centre puts stigma on the table > BY SC OTT ELL IO TT
tigma is defined as a mark of disgrace. Despite advances in treatment that can make HIV virtually undetectable in humans, clients of Vancouver’s Dr. Peter Centre—which provides inclusive, compassionate care for those living with HIV—still face persistent and ongoing stigmas that affect them almost every moment of their lives. And it’s not only due to their HIV status: many of the centre’s clients live with multiple and intersecting stigmas, such as cultural background, mental illness, addiction, and history of trauma. In 2017, Casey House—a Torontobased program that serves a clientele similar to that of the Dr. Peter Centre— launched a pop-up restaurant. This initiative was in response to a study that found that only 50 percent of Canadians
would eat a meal prepared by an HIVpositive person. When Casey House learned about this deep-seated stigma, it responded by organizing June’s HIV+ Eatery, which only employed chefs who were HIV-positive. Besides raising funds, the goal was to address people’s fears relating to HIV and to provide information about ways in which HIV is and isn’t transmitted. Food is always a powerful way to connect—and a powerful equalizer. We know this to be true because every day clients come to the centre for healthy meals and conversation. We serve 80,000 meals each year, but the conversations are innumerable. As another way to bring people together around a shared meal, the Dr. Peter Centre is taking part in the Vancouver Foundation’s On the Table initiative, which aims to create a sense of welcome and belonging by sparking
The centre’s executive director, Scott Elliott, says stigma isn’t always visible.
conversation over food. Our topic of conversation is stigma and the event will take place as part of our annual general meeting. Board members, clients, staff, and supporters will come together around a shared table for a family-style meal where we will discuss
the stigmas we all face and gain a better understanding of how they affect us as individuals and as a community. Stigma isn’t always visible, but it is traumatic and affects us in our work, families, and relationships. It stands in the way of us leading rich and fulfilling lives. It can sit like a stone in the bottom of our stomach, lay heavy on our chests, and rattle around in our minds. The people who use the Dr. Peter Centre are more than their HIV diagnoses, more than the stigmas that affect them, but, like a shadow, stigma follows them as they go about their day. Stigma can be hard to talk about: with deep roots steeped in shame and discrimination, it feels like no one will understand or that it is simply off-limits for conversation. Sometimes it can seem like if the stigma is just ignored, it will quietly go away. It doesn’t. Stigma does not easily go
away. And I know this firsthand, as someone who has dealt with significant stigma my whole life—of being a gay man and a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Fear of being rejected, ostracized, and “different” has dramatically affected my worldview and set me on a path to overcome the stigma that is both societal and self-imposed. The On the Table conversation will provide the space and opportunity to discuss stigma in an open, compassionate space. By raising our shared understanding of the impacts of stigma, we will be stronger as an organization, stronger as a community. Because the only thing that can make shadows disappear is shining a light. Scott Elliott is the executive director of the Dr. Peter Centre, located in Vancouver’s West End.
Your health matters. Let’s make it a top priority.
Celebrated local chef Karen Barnaby has developed a recipe for a Goodly Foods–branded soup to be distributed by the food bank. Vairdy Andrew photo.
Our love affair with healthy foods abides
e’re not exactly saints here in Metro Vancouver when it comes to diet, with our passion for poutine, Belgian waffles, fried chicken, doughnuts, ice cream, and other trending not-exactlygood-for-us foods. But, overall, we still pride ourselves on our healthconscious, clean-eating ethos. Poké, acai bowls, kombucha on tap, green (and blue) smoothies, greens of any kind, tofu, quinoa, and tempeh… Name your wholesome food or beverage and you’ll find it here. Here are a few signs that our love of healthy foods is here to stay.
IT’S FINALLY OPEN! If you walked, biked, or drove along Nelson Street in the past few years, you probably noticed an empty storefront with papers on the windows for Heirs Pears, those signs eventually saying things like “Opening soon…seriously!” The spot has opened its doors at last, serving “slow food, fast”. Its concept is “hackable” meals made from ethically sourced ingredients; its goal is to “raise the consciousness of our systems with human and ecological well-being in mind”. That all means high-quality products for people who believe they are what they eat, whether they follow a vegan, keto, paleo, vegetarian, or omnivore diet. GOODLY TIMES Earlier this year, A partnership with Teaja, a global the Greater Vancouver Food Bank organic tea company, Heirs Pears launched Goodly Foods, a social en- takes its name from an old English terprise addressing saying: “Plant pears wasted food in for your heirs.” B.C. The pilot pro(Pear trees take gram takes surseveral years to Gail Johnson plus produce and mature before they turns it into new, nutritious, and de- bear fruit; it’s a fitting moniker, since licious dishes and products, then dis- Heirs Pears itself was literally years in tributes it to GVFB members and sells the making.) it to the public via buying partners. Suppliers include the Gluten Free The goal is to reduce the amount of Epicurean (all sandwiches are served excess food in the local system and of- on gluten-free bread), Hoochy Booch fer members fresh foods by repurpos- kombucha, East Village Bakery, and ing produce or finding new uses for it Pallet Coffee Roasters. Menu opwhen it would otherwise go to waste. tions are deliciously diverse: cumin(Think surplus or brown bananas and-black-bean salad with kohlrabi, used in a healthy banana bread.) plum, and roasted yam; harissa-spice All of the food is produced by the cod with carrot, fennel, and cured Potluck Café Society at a licensed and lemon; duck hash with beet greens; certified cooking facility at Commis- tempeh cabbage rolls in house-made sary Connect’s entrepreneur-focused basil-tomato sauce, and more. commercial kitchen in South Vancouver. The society hires residents of EXPANDING EATERIES Subway the Downtown Eastside, who com- used to be the spot for a cheap lunch; now that company has fallen on hard monly face barriers to employment. Celebrated local chef Karen Bar- times, and other darlings have stepped naby developed a recipe for the in and are taking over. Consider Goodly-branded soup, which will be Freshii: described on its website as the distributed via the food bank and for fastest-growing health-and-wellness brand in the world, it offers healthy sale to the public later this year. The program came about, in part, fast food and opened its first location as a result of a $1-million grant to the in 2005 before launching its next 100 see page 25 GVFB by the Walmart Foundation.
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Rieslingfreak No. 8 is a lighter, off-dry white that will come in handy with any spicier dishes on the table.
Rieslings to freak out over
uring the past few years, I’ve been rather taken naming of each label is simply numeric, I’ve tweaked the with the new wave of wines coming out of Aus- logical order, preferring to list them from driest to sweetest. tralia. It’s refreshing that many of us are now viewing the country as a gathering of unique, RIESLINGFREAK NO. 4 2017 ($31.99) Bone-dry and exciting regions rather than a single entity known for almost effervescent with lemon zest and juniper, this Eden Valley product offers a chalky palate, carrying oaky Chardonnay and gloopy Shiraz. There are plenty of exceptional stories being told, plenty of fresh lemon and lime notes all the way through whether we’re talking elegant, traditional-method spar- the clean and zippy finish. kling wines from Tasmanian producers like Jansz; coolclimate Pinot Noirs from the likes of Soumah or Cold- RIESLINGFREAK NO. 3 2017 ($31.99) The Clare Valstream Hills in the Yarra Valley; or single-vineyard, ley vineyard for this one has red-clay soils believed to alminimal-intervention geekery from producers like BK low for a more fruit-forward style. There was significant pink grapefruit and lime character in the aromatics, but Wines in Adelaide Hills. There’s also a new story for fans of Aussie wine here in I found apples and pears to tumble forward on the palVancouver, particularly the Riesling enthusiasts among ate, with just a touch of orange marmalade on the finish. us, with a fresh lineup just now hitting shelves. There’s no messing around when it comes to the mon- RIESLINGFREAK NO. 2 2017 ($39.99) This Riesling out of Polish Hill River is built almost as dry iker of proprietor John Hughes’s nineas the two previous wines, but perhaps year-old South Australian venture. it’s due to the limestone-heavy soil that The wines are called Rieslingfreak, a we see a completely different flavour nickname Hughes had in university Kurtis Kolt profile. On the nose there’s salty sea air due to his adoration of the stuff, an adoration he gained while growing up in and around the and river-rock character, which is reflected by briny notes in the first few sips, mingling with lemongrass and maybe Clare Valley vineyards his father had tended. When one thinks of premium Australian Riesling, even a hint of fennel on the finish. It’ll pal around with fresh Clare Valley is likely the region they’ll go to first, oysters and other shellfish dishes, no problem. closely followed by the neighbouring Eden Valley and Polish Hill River. Ocean breezes and chilly evenings RIESLINGFREAK NO. 5 2017 ($34.99) We’re back in make for prime cool-climate growing conditions in the Clare Valley here, with the first of the lot to be classified off-dry. Fear not: at a smidge under 15 grams per which the variety can thrive. These are the areas to which Hughes has chosen to de- litre of residual sugar, it’s by no means cloying; genervote his project, with each of his Riesling labels offering ous acidity balances things out well. While I noticed that fresh, salty sea air on the nose here as well, the palate a different style and take on terroir. Tasting the five locally available wines side by side, I threw me a curveball. Juicy peaches and a handful of was impressed by how differently each vineyard expressed PEZ candy sailed across the palate with ease. itself in the bottle. Although these are five Rieslings from a relatively small corner of the world, they each sang their RIESLINGFREAK NO. 8 2017 ($39.99) A return own song. I’m particularly looking forward to organiz- to Polish Hill River takes us to the “Kabinett” style, ing a get-together with pals, picking up the quintet, and referencing the German category for lighter, off-dry ordering a pile of takeout from places like Phnom Penh, Rieslings. This charmer is f loral on the nose, with Vij’s Rangoli, Maenam, or Jang Mo Jib and playing around plenty of apple blossoms and violets, then a hearty slurp takes in waves of nectarine, Bosc pear, and some with them all, seeing what they do with various dishes. These are small-batch, single-vineyard premium wines, ginger and a spot of orange-blossom honey on the kinso they don’t come cheap. If we look at Pinot Noirs and da sweet finish. This one will come in handy with any Chardonnays around the world of similar quality, though, spicier dishes on the table. these are a bargain (and highly cellarable). Autumn rains be damned. Let’s keep things bright Kitsilano Wine Cellar on West 4th Avenue has the exclusive on them, at prices I’ve listed below. Although the and get our Riesling on! -
Authentic Greek Food
Healthy food bites
from page 23
outlets faster than McDonald’s. At the end of 2017, it had more than 300 locations in more than 85 cities worldwide—including about 20 in Vancouver alone. You’ll find superfood soup, a kale caesar salad and other leafy greens, smoothie bowls, chia pudding, frozen yogurt, quinoa and rice bowls, and many other energizing meals. Tractor Everyday Health Foods is another business that’s rapidly expanding here. Having opened its first outlet in Kitsilano in 2013, it now has five locations in Vancouver (and one in Toronto). The owners describe “everyday” health foods as a “balance of veggies, lean meats and fish, whole intact grains, and heart-healthy nuts and fats”. Look for bowls with power greens and brown rice with tofu, grilled avocado, seared albacore tuna, or other options; soups (like Thai veggie or tomato fennel) and stews (such as chipotle pulled pork or Moroccan chicken); all sorts of sides, from kimchi and lemon kale to curried cauliflower and mushroom ditalini pasta; and more. “HEALTHY MUFFINS”: NOT AN OXYMORON You know that muf-
fin is a six-letter word for cake, right? Pick these up at the vast majority of grocery stores, coffee shops, and bakeries and you’re bound to help blow your recommended daily in-
take of fat, sugar, and calories. (The ones for sale at Costco or on B.C. Ferries? Don’t even go there.) Although we could still do better when it comes to the healthiness of these popular on-the-go snacks, healthier options exist and are becoming more prevalent. Consider Tartine Bread & Pies’ sugar-free Morning Glory; East
Village Bakery’s vegan blueberrychai muffins and no-sugar-added banana-coconut muffins; Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery’s Hello Sunshine gluten-free muffins; Red Square Bakery’s low-carb cranberry muffin tops; and Railtown Café’s glutenfree tomato-basil-quinoa muffins, to name a few. -
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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < FRASER AND BROADWAY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 WHERE: Fraser and Broadway I saw you the most beautiful woman I have ever seen on Broadway and Fraser at 3:30 on the Holiday Monday of Labour Day I was going to approach you at the Bus Stop but the B Line picked you up before I could get your number. Me: Black Dress shirt and brown dress pants and wearing a fedora. You: Asian with blonde hair wearing an all black outfit. I need a date for my holiday in Hawaii and next year and I would love to bring you with me. Get back to me.
SKOOKUM FESTIVAL DANCE TO BE CONTINUED....
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 WHERE: Skookum Festival At the end of the Arkells Friday night, I wanna dance with somebody was playing to rap up the night. I was at the back of the Mountain stage and you looked amazing in a long tan or gold dress. You came up to me and we danced for the rest of the song. I think I dipped you and we swung around. Amazing! Then your friend reminded you that you had to get going. Then we sort of said goodbye. Can we meet again to laugh about that night and see if you and my dance steps realign?
STUNNING BLONDENEWPORT VILLAGE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 WHERE: Newport Village-Port Moody I saw you crossing the parking lot as I was leaving my truck. You were a stunning blonde in a skirt and blouse with heels. You were getting fruits/vegetables at Kins market. Our eyes connected a few times. Should have asked you for a drink at St. James Well Pub. Would like to have a drink and conversation.
CARMEN AT THE BELMONT
LADY OF THE GENE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2018 WHERE: The Belmont Bar We spent Saturday night together at the Belmont after locking eyes and then dancing the night away. You have tattoos on both your arms. You said you’d give me your number but next thing I knew we were kissing goodbye and I lost track of how to get a hold of you. Let’s see where this connection takes us.
BUCKET LIST CROWD SURFER AT FRANK TURNER
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 WHERE: Frank Turner - Vogue Theatre We spoke briefly at the Frank Turner concert at the Vogue Theatre on Saturday night both before and after you and your friend went crowd surfing during Photosynthesis. You said it was a bucket list thing for you to do. Your smile made it clear you had an awesome time. I wanted to ask for your number or invite you out for drinks; but didn’t wanna interrupt your joyful dancing at the end of the night (and was too bloody nervous to ask as well). Glad you enjoyed the show and hope you crowd surf again.
TANNED, FIT LADY IN A BLACK XTRAIL, MURRAY STREET / ESPLANADE STREET, PORT MOODY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 WHERE: Murray Street at Esplanade, Port Moody Tuesday afternoon, you were walking on Murray Street at Esplanade and got into a black XTrail with a cargo bin on the roof rack. I was behind you in a black Ram, we checked each other out, smiled and waved. You were then behind me and beside me in traffic, and you waved at me as I turned down a side street. Let’s make eyes at each other over a drink, not just in traffic.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2018 WHERE: Gene Café - Main You: dark hair in ponytail, tattooed, beautiful smile, distracted work flow ;) Me: red shirt, reading, had two coffees but should have only had one, distracted by you. Could stop glancing your way; would have loved to ask you for a walk under the rain today.
RAINY CAFE HANDSOME GUY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2018 WHERE: Gastown You came in to the cafe where I work and we had a nice chat at the counter. You ended up making friends with a couple from Texas. We walked by each other a few times outside afterwards and I really wanted to ask you out. Better luck here?
PHARMACY CUTIE WITH AN ACCENT
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 WHERE: Macdonald’s Pharmacy You work at Macdonald’s Pharmacy and have a cute accent. You helped me find vitamin D. I’ve seen you a few times and it makes me look forward to picking up prescriptions. I had a neck brace on from a crash. It’s off now! Let me know if you would want to grab a non pharmaceutical beverage sometime.
SATURDAY NIGHT SAFEWAY ON COMMERCIAL BROADWAY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 WHERE: Safeway Commercial Drive I saw you in Safeway on Commercial Drive. I was wearing a blue top and grey jeans. I could not make a final decision about what to buy. You have either giggled or smiled - I was in a hurry and didn’t take enough time to look. If you want more awkward and unintentional humour, let’s meet up.
Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25
Rhum and Clay Theatre Company and Kit Redstone (UK)
PHOTO BY LUKE FORSYTH
Multi-layered and gripping physical theatre… this is a refreshing, genuinely smart piece of work, full of undercutting humour”—The Guardian
Oct 02– Oct 13, 2018 TICKETS AVAILABLE AT
Written by Kit Redstone
With an adoption of a gender comes a history.
26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
([FOXVLYH2ƀHU $29 for Premium (SEC A) seats with Promo Code: IDENTITY* *Valid for performances from Oct 02–07 2ƀHUH[SLUHV6HSWHPEHU at midnight
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Above, Patricia Piccinini has formed a special bond with her sculpture Kindred, which is showing here; below left, her self-described “maternal relationship” comes through in her work. Hilary Walker photos.
Finding beauty in monsters
of beauty that draws you in—for example the human eyes. There’s even a sense of sentience, and that brings you in. But it also pushes you away because it’s an aberration, a monster, not something you know. And we’re kind of hard-wired to be that wary of difference. In her exhibit Curious Imaginings, Australian artist Patricia Piccinini “So that push-pull poses provocative questions about empathy, biotech, and nature opens up a space in the viewer to ask ‘What do She’s a mutant and a mistake. She is an aber- I feel here? What do I think here?’ ” ration—a creature who falls somewhere between Your first reaction to seeing her strange mamBY JANET S M IT H orangutan and human, a misguided DNA experi- mals, with their eerily lifelike hair follicles, wrinment. And yet you can see the beauty in her. You’re kles, and faint blue veins, might be a mix of alarm drawn to this orange-haired creature, with her and empathy. But the sculptures carry deeper polgentle brown eyes. There is love in the way she itical and environmental meaning as well. reaches one pink-skinned, opposable-thumbed The most obvious issue Piccinini explores is hand up to a pale human baby climbing up the our fiddling with genetics and biotechnology. One back of her shoulder, the other clutching an ape- sculpture, The Young Family, depicts human-hog like infant to her chest. hybrids, a mother with curled pink toes instead of The sculpture is called Kindred, one of the hooves, her babies suckling at her teats. Piccinini hyperreal creations Patricia Piccinini is bring- has said it’s inspired by the idea of genetically modiing here as part of the upcoming exhibit Curi- fied pigs being bred to provide organs to humans. ous Imaginings, spread over 18 rooms of the “It’s obviously changed—it’s not human, it’s not Patricia Hotel. Using silicone, fibreglass, and animal, it’s something in between,” she explains. real hair, the Australian art star and her team “And we ask ourselves, ‘Is this natural? Is this part conjure human-animal hybrids that both at- of evolution, and how do I feel about it? Should it tract and repel. With them, Piccinini seeks serve us or does it deserve our love?’ ” to tap viewers’ “empathetic imagination”, she Piccinini is fascinated by the natural world, and tells the Straight in an interview from her by the ever-growing threats against it. But she is Melbourne studio as she gets ready to head still working out her own feelings on how much here for her Vancouver Biennale showing. we should be able to alter nature for human needs. “That’s an incredibly powerful thing to enHer work Kindred refers to endangered orgage,” the acutely articulate artist says with angutans, whose habitat is disappearing, purpalpable passion. “To do that is a delicate balance. posely asking us to relate to them. “When we If you look at my work, there’s always an element look at this work, we’re in her presence and she
THINGS TO DO
FOR HER VANCOUVER SHOW, Piccinini has
created a new merged being called The Builder— this time a humanoid beaver, in a nod to the important environmental tasks Canada’s national animal handles. As ever, the deep research the artist has done into her subject shows. “I’m absolutely enamoured by the idea that they’re land caretakers,” Piccinini enthuses. “The dams they build are very important to how the land is nurtured and, in fact, the way they retain water in different spaces can even help in times of drought.” She hopes mutants like The Builder will prompt people to move beyond a sense of doom about our planet. “I read a lot of literature around the environment and I find this literature really, really overwhelming. And I do feel quite despondent,” Piccinini admits. “I’m not optimistic. I don’t think everything is going to be all right. But I’m hopeful. Even though things are dark, I am hopeful we can get through all this together—and it has see next page
Four fall arts festivals to fete
CAPFEST (September 22) A free day of performances and concerts from 2 to 9 p.m. at the North Vancouver campus to celebrate Capilano University’s 50th anniversary.
B.C. CULTURE DAYS (September 28 to 30) Hundreds of activities citywide allow you to get hands-on and/or behind the scenes with artists and designers.
EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL (November 15 to 18) Five hundred–plus visual artists in every conceivable medium open their studios, amid demos, food trucks, craft beer, and more.
looks at us back,” Piccinini explains. “She’s allowing us to experience her vulnerability while we experience her strength and beauty. We say, ‘Oh, she has one child more human than her and another that is completely human.’ But the work is not about that difference. It’s about their connection and that’s what gives her strength. That’s what gives life sometimes to a moment of elucidation and you go, ‘Oh yeah, they are a lot like us.’ “All of my work is about our duty of care to the nature we have around us,” she stresses. “So I ask the question, ‘When we create new life— and it’s not science fiction anymore, it actually is happening—what will that life be and what place in our lives will it take and what will our relationship be to it?’ ”
DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL (October 24 to November 4) More than 100 events in theatre, dance, visual arts, and more, all celebrating the diversity of the neighbourhood; look for Vancouver Moving Theatre’s East End Blues & All That Jazz.
Four must-see museum shows
1 Editor’s choice HOP ON THE BUS This is one bus ride you won’t want to miss. Presentation House Theatre is kicking off its season by heading out on the road: with Tales of an Urban Indian, Royal Canadian Air Farce’s Craig Lauzon tells his character’s darkly comic stories on a moving transit bus. In it, the actor of Ojibwa descent plays Simon Douglas, an Indigenous man raised on a reserve and in 1970s Vancouver—giving a raw, intimate, and unforgettable look at his journey into the city. The show’s nabbed several Dora Mavor Moore Awards and been turned into a film, but this will be its premiere in Vancouver. Tales of an Urban Indian runs from next Wednesday (September 19) to September 30, starting in the Presentation House Theatre parking lot in North Vancouver.
2 3 4
IN/FLUX: ART OF KOREAN DIASPORA (September 28 to January 6, 2019, at the Museum of Vancouver) Vancouver-based Korean-Canadians make traditional arts compellingly contemporary. GUO PEI: COUTURE BEYOND (October 13 to January 20, 2019, at the Vancouver Art Gallery) Marvel at the opulence of gowns by the Chinese talent who’s broken into Parisian haute couture’s closed world. INTERFACE: THE WOVEN ARTWORK OF JAAD KUUJUS (September 18 to January 9, 2019, at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art) Breathtakingly intricate baskets and textiles by the Kakwaka’wakw and Haida artist otherwise known as Meghann O’Brien. MARKING THE INFINITE (November 1 to March 31, 2019, at the UBC Museum of Anthropology) A smashing look at how Aboriginal Australian women have been stirring up the contemporary art scene Down Under.
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
Above, Patricia Piccinini works in her Melbourne studio (Hilary Walker photo); below, A Young Family as displayed in a Patricia Hotel room (Lucy Lau photo).
Beauty in monsters
contemporary-art event of the year, drawing 1.4 million visitors.
to be born out of a kind of feeling of being able to value other creatures and needing to relate to them. I don’t think my works embody the solutions; I don’t think we’re going to make these specific creatures and I don’t think we should.”
FOR AT LEAST TWO DECADES,
from previous page
PICCININI IS EVEN more intrigued by the new layers of meaning Curious Imaginings’ unexpected, nonmuseum setting here—East Hastings Street’s Patricia Hotel— will bring to her sculptures. She is installing them in noticeably livedin rooms. The setting will feel intimate, private, and domestic, with a chance for audiences to gaze at her creatures close up. Again, Piccinini turns to Kindred to illustrate. “What does this mean for her to be in this particular hotel? Is she a refugee? Is she homeless? So I think there’s a sort of rich space for that,” she observes. “It’s like the creatures have just inhabited the rooms naturally. And what do hotels mean? Sometimes they mean a holiday, sometimes luxury, sometimes a place to be when you don’t have a home. Sometimes they’re a place you’re moving through when you don’t have a space of your own. So there’s this narrative built between the artwork and the viewer and me. And the viewer’s background will affect the meaning.” Curious Imaginings, in fact, marks the first time Piccinini’s sculptures will be seen outside of a museum or gallery, where Piccinini builds full installations with environments for the figures. The artist works across photography, drawing, and video, but made her big name internationally when she showed her lifelike sculptures in the Australian pavilion’s exhibition We Are Family at the 50th Venice Biennale, in 2003. (The Young Family was its centrepiece.) Since then, she’s caused a buzz with whatever she’s done. Recent projects include 2013’s giant Sky Whale, a 100-foot-long, orange hotair balloon in the shape of a mammalian turtle with 10 dangling teats, floated above Canberra to mark its centenary. And in 2016, an exhibit of her sculptures in São Paulo, Brazil, became the world’s best-attended
28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
Piccinini, who was born in Sierra Leone but grew up in Canberra, has been pursuing these themes. In her studio, she’s been developing an ever-more sophisticated process to bring her human-animal hybrids to breathtakingly realistic life. “Kindred took 18 months of work— and that’s with a whole team of people,” she relates. “My studio in Australia— we’ve been working together for 15 years and we’ve perfected the way of making them over time.” Their biggest challenge, and biggest success, has been creating realistic skin. “Initially, we would pour the silicone in and we would paint on top. Then we realized it didn’t act like skin,” she explains. “Skin is quite translucent and we wanted to replicate that in the work. What we do now is different layers, different levels of translucency. What happens is light travels through the first few layers of silicone and it bounces back when it hits the opaque layers. We can do it well with paler skin.… But how do we get the beautiful glowing dark skin? We’re working on that now.” Meticulous care and love get poured into every step of the process, and somehow that warmth emanates from her sculptures. But in the end, she admits, some people will still want to turn away. Her work has, after all, been called “grotesque” by those who are perhaps unable to see the larger picture. “I don’t make anything out there for people to hate and despise and pity. You could say it’s a very maternal relationship,” says Piccinini, who is a mother of two. “There’s a lot of love in this work. But sometimes people don’t see that. They see it as a freak show. And that happens if you’re very invested in the idea of nature as it is now and the idea of normalcy and you’re not open to difference.” For a few viewers, the mother in Kindred will remain a monster, but Piccinini, who so clearly cares for her, has come to terms with that: “I have to accept,” she says simply, “this work isn’t for everyone.” The Vancouver Biennale presents Curious Imaginings at the Patricia Hotel from Friday (September 14) to December 15.
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Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Habib Koité and Bassekou Kouyate SOLD OUT APR 11 Cristina Pato Quartet APR 17 Mariza APR 27 Anoushka Shankar BEYOND WORDS SERIES
OCT 3 Kealoha FEB 24 No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
Cristina Pato I’m With Her
chancentre.com SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29
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© Photo : Marc Montplaisir | Artistes/Artists : Benjamin Mitchell, Yosmell Caldéron, Mark Sampson, Céline Cassone, Jeremy Coachman, Andrew Mikhaiel, Pier-Loup Lacour, Alexander Hille
2018/19 Season Program 1 Nov 1 2 3 Choreography Medhi Walerski | Emily Molnar | William Forsythe
Program 2 Feb 28 Mar 1 2 Choreography Jorma Elo | Adi Salant | Cayetano Soto
Program 3 May 9 10 11 Choreography Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar | Serge Bennathan | Ohad Naharin
30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
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FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH
Bharata natyam virtuoso Arno Kamolika and contemporary dancer Stéphanie Cyr have both found home. Emily Cooper photo.
Two dancers’ surprising journeys ARNO KAMOLIKA
From afar, Indian classical
2 dance is easily perceived as a
homogeneous art form marked by dramatic facial expressions, articulated hand gestures, and sparkling costumes. In this context, it might not be at all surprising to hear a story about a Bengali girl who fell in love with bharata natyam. But in Bangladesh, a largely Muslim country, that dance was a rare pursuit when Arno Kamolika was young. After all, the storytelling form has its roots in totally different cultures—Buddhist and Hindu ritual and mythology. Other classical styles like odissi and manipuri were much more popular in Bangladesh, and Kamolika studied those in a fine-arts school as a girl. However, when she was about 16, a bharata natyam guru came to lead a two-month workshop, and Kamolika says she was hooked for life. “It was the storytelling of it,” she says with passion over the phone to the Straight from her home here. “And that was when I decided I won’t do any other dance. What triggered me about bharata natyam was I could see the artists who were getting so emotionally involved with their character— and I always have been a great fan of movies and theatre. I thought, ‘This dance lets me become a dancer and at the same time a character as well.’ ” Flash forward to Vancouver, the last place Kamolika expected to pursue her art form when she arrived here from Bangladesh in 2010 to continue her architecture studies. But soon she found Mandala Arts’ bharata natyam master Jai Govinda here, and delved even further into the classical dance, touring to festivals everywhere from India to Germany and the U.S. This fall, watch for her to take her specialty to wider audiences, pushing bharata natyam into new territory with her most ambitious project to date—one that ties her beloved Indian dance to the heritage of her homeland. Shyama—which debuts at Diwali in Vancouver on October 27 at the York Theatre, in a copresentation with the Vancouver Tagore Society and the Mandala Arts & Culture Society—tells Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore’s epic dance drama through bharata natyam dance. The Nobel laureate’s 1939 work follows a courtesan who saves the hero from the scaffold and runs away with him. Shyama is the fruition of almost three years of work, featuring direction by Rohit Chokhani,
original choreography by Jai Govinda, a score by Bengali-Canadian composer Shankhanaad Mallick, and four other bharata natyam dancers. “I feel so close to both these things,” she says of the dance and Tagore’s poetry, which her parents often read while she was growing up. “I was a bit nervous when I started. But bharata natyam is not an ancient form; it has its roots in ancient text and temples, but it is as contemporary as any other dance,” she adds, likening the style to ballet. Kamolika hopes to expose new audiences to the dance’s beauty and technique, as well as to Bengali literature and music. “It’s been such a journey to make this production. It’s so Canadian,” she says, referring to the mix of cultures the show brings together, including its French-Canadian choreographer, dancers from diverse parts of India, and a director from Mumbai. “So bharata natyam is connecting all of us. It makes me very happy.” > JANET SMITH
Stéphanie Cyr knows there
2 really is no place like home—
something it took the dancer several years of searching to appreciate. Now that she’s back in Vancouver, however, things have never been better. The magnetic performer with the striking dark, cropped hair and expressive, muscular style is set to perform in Action at a Distance’s Never Still at the Firehall Arts Centre from September 26 to 29, and in projects with choreographers from Lesley Telford to Wen Wei Wang soon after. But this wasn’t where her professional career started. Right out of graduation from Arts Umbrella’s training program in 2013, Cyr landed a dream job. Italian choreographer Walter Matteini had come to the school to work with its students, and he handpicked her to come back to his and Ina Broeckx’s buzzedabout imPerfect Dancers Company in historic Pisa. It was an amazing experience: a chance to tour through Italy, Germany, and South America while taking on physically challenging, cutting-edge dance. But it was also a severe culture shock to the young Cyr, who hails from small Shawville, outside of Ottawa, and who had never travelled to Europe before. “At that age, you don’t know much about yourself,” admits the artist, sitting in a Chinatown café before heading to rehearsals with Action
at a Distance’s Vanessa Goodman. “And it’s a huge learning curve to move away from home and be on your own with new roommates and language barriers and cultural differences. You pick yourself up and put yourself in another petri dish.” After a year and a half, “I just knew Italy wasn’t my home,” she says, pausing thoughtfully. “I was also questioning whether to keep dancing or not.” Cyr packed up and headed back to Ontario to live with her parents—the ones who had so devotedly driven her to dance lessons in Ottawa five nights a week. She spent the time resting, reflecting, and dancing back at the capital’s School of Dance. “I needed to figure out what kind of work I should be doing,” she explains. It worked. After her break, Cyr enjoyed a short stint in Montreal, then made the trek back to Vancouver, a place that had welcomed her before. “I knew I had a community here, even though it’s smaller,” she says, adding she wanted to be part of a scene that was on the upswing. “There’s definitely some kind of wave happening—I remember being in Montreal and thinking, ‘I need to be there for it.’ But I was also ultimately attracted to the people here. There’s a work ethic in Vancouver, for sure.” Those people have included Ballet BC alumna Rachel Meyer, who cast Cyr as a mothlike creature in her midnight showings of the hypnotic Transverse Orientation this summer; and Ballet BC alumnus Christoph von Riedemann, with whom Cyr performed an outdoor Dance Deck work in August. Her work this fall will be diverse: Action at a Distance finds her performing in and around giant strips of Tyvek that act as projection surfaces for Loscil’s atmospheric audio-visuals in Goodman’s water-themed Never Still. A reworking of Telford’s duet My tongue, your ear sets an ironic poem about lovers parting against composer Nico Muhly’s angular viola. Expect to see Cyr fiercely commit to each work—both physically and emotionally, in performances where she connects openly with her audience. “I like to feel something about the project that’s slightly out of reach, or that includes something I haven’t attempted before,” says Cyr, who’s finding what she needs here. “I definitely want to create a space where the performance aspect and the audience can meet in the middle…where I’m not forcing them to feel or see the work in one way.”
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> JANET SMITH
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31
FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH
A phoenix-head harp and a philosopher-musician MUSIC NATHANIA KO
If Nathania Ko is awed by her fabled history, she doesn’t show it. Nor is she overwhelmed by the responsibility of being Canada’s only professional konghou player, and one of only a handful in North America. But once the 22-yearold Burnaby native discovered her life’s purpose, she took to it in a big way. “I’ve played piano since I was five, and I played French horn for eight years in elementary and high school,” Ko tells the Straight in a telephone interview from Burnaby General Hospital, sounding composed despite waiting for her mother to emerge from eye surgery. “When I was in Grade 10 I started the Chinese zither, the guzheng, and then after I passed my levels for that, my mom was asking me, ‘Hey, do you want to start another instrument?’ So I checked online. There’s this Chinese eBay called Taobao, and I just typed in ‘Chinese instrument’, and then I came across this weird-looking harp with a chicken head, and I was like, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ So I searched on YouTube, and I heard my first teacher play a piece called ‘Tears of the Concubine’. I called her right after I saw that video and I said, ‘Do you teach?’ And she said ‘Yes.’ ” Three weeks later, Ko was on a plane to Beijing for her first lesson—and now, after further studies in China, she’s starting work on her master’s at UBC, the only konghou player ever accepted into the harp program. The “chicken head” that decorates her instrument actually depicts a phoenix, symbolizing the konghou’s resurrection after centuries. “Four hundred years ago, this instrument went extinct, because in the imperial court, the emperor of the Ming Dynasty loved the konghou so much that he made it forbidden for commoners to play it,” Ko explains. “It was only
Matthew Ariaratnam plays with soundscapes and musical forms; Nathania Ko’s konghou cuts a swath. Emily Cooper photo.
allowed to be played and heard by the royals and their court musicians.” After wars and political upheaval, the konghou tradition was lost and any surviving instruments destroyed. “But Japan and Korea preserved it very well,” Ko adds. “A few hundred years back, China gave them this instrument as a present, and in the museums there we can still see very well-preserved ancient konghous.” The modern instrument that Ko plays is quite different than those historic examples. The contemporary konghou is a hybrid of the pedal harp and the guzheng: it’s fully chromatic, with foot pedals like its European cousin, but paired strings and a guzheng-style bridge allow for even more expressive pitch-bending. Ko—who’ll play the West Coast Harp Society’s annual Harp Day concert at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver on October
20, before joining China-based pipa player Xu He for a Roy Barnett Hall recital on February 8—is looking forward to incorporating contemporary composed music, North Indian percussion, and improvisation. And she’s acquired a couple of useful mentors in that regard: in addition to her studies with VSO harpist Elizabeth Volpe Bligh, she works part-time as personal assistant and translator for pipa virtuoso Wu Man, a member of cellist YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. You may have never heard the konghou, but you’ll soon be hearing more from Ko.
> ALEXANDER VARTY
Any discussion of Matthew Ari-
2 aratnam’s music is necessarily going to be reductive, because he’s already created a vast and varied body of work.
Deceptively placid guitar quartets that mix shimmering abstraction with very prettily plucked notes. Slowly unfurling soundscapes that can, at times, sound quite literally like a walk in the woods. Electronic dirges that hint at tectonic plates shifting below a calm surface. And then there’s dumbpop, his home-studio “rock band”, which specializes in one-minute melodies that make the Ramones look loquacious. At 26, it’s possible that he’s still finding his way, slowly developing a signature sound. But it’s more likely that Ariaratnam has already discovered his own sound world—one marked by discovery, along with the different creative opportunities afforded by duration and concision. “They are opposites, but I think they both function as ways of being in the world,” Ariaratnam tells the Straight in a wide-ranging phone call from his
East Van home. “I’m really trying to think about my musical practice being more expansive: not ‘I’m a composer who writes chamber music’ or ‘I’m a composer who just writes pop music,’ but having my primary focus be setting up listening. “I see dumbpop as using what I’ve learned being a songwriter and my skills as a composer,” the former classical guitarist continues. “I’m trying to put that all into one thing, and distill it as fast as possible. How strong a song can I make with just a minute of material? It’s kind of a compositional challenge. The long, unfolding things are also a compositional challenge, but there I’m more thinking about landscape…and about working with groups of people in different ways— not just in a compositional way.” That Ariaratnam is as much a philosopher as a musician is readily apparent. When he composes, he’s thinking as much about sound’s function in the world as he is about note placement, and he brings an improvisational aesthetic to his work that is also a reflection of how he navigates life itself. Improvisation, he says, “is kind of a practice that I feel like I do just for survival, because it really brings you to a present moment, where you don’t have to think about the future and you’re not thinking about the past. It’s very meditative, I guess, and it’s been central to all of my work. Anything I’ve composed, I will improvise first.” Which makes it hard to predict just what Ariaratnam will do at the Fox Cabaret on April 26 of next year, when he’ll join percussionist Julia Chien and composer Alex Mah as part of Music on Main’s Emerge on Main showcase of new artists to watch. “There’ll be some music, that’s for sure,” Ariaratnam says with a laugh. “Definitely some sound stuff. It might not even be guitar; it could be many other things.”
“Without question he is a phenomenal pianist, a deeply intuitive and sensitive musician” — The New York Times
> ALEXANDER VARTY
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34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
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FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH
Theatre artists find new freedom on-stage TH E AT RE
2 with musical theatre as a child
Amanda Sum’s first experience
The great thing about theatre is
2 that it can absorb all kinds of ex-
periences—even following your wildlife-photographer dad around while he tries to get up close and personal with polar bears and wild wolves. That’s one project the multitalented Shizuka Kai is currently working on: a puppet-theatre take on her unconventional upbringing—which, she says, made a definite impact on her unconventional art. “Watching him follow his dreams head-on has helped me be like, ‘I need to follow my dreams, and keep pushing forward, no matter what,’ ” Kai tells the Straight, on the line from the West End. There’s no date set for the as-yetuntitled puppet production, but Kai has no shortage of work lined up for the coming season. The Jessie Award–winning creator is doing set design for several local productions, including Carousel Theatre for Young People’s Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” and Rice & Beans Theatre’s Chicken Girl. Other projects are in the works for Boca del Lupo and Théâtre la Seizième—and that’s just the setdesign aspect of Kai’s life. She’s also a musician, a singer, a mask-maker, a playwright, an illustrator, an actor… If it can be done on-stage or in the studio, she’s probably tried it. “Theatre gives you a freedom to do different things and try different things,” the 36-year-old explorer comments. “So I think that’s kind of where I am—and that’s how I’ve been, not to be cocky or anything, fairly successful in that sense. Most people that are successful in theatre generally do more than one thing.” Also contributing to her success has been her training, in Japan and at Studio 58. “A work ethic: that’s
Amanda Sum (left) readies for the teen-soccer hit The Wolves, while Shizuka Kai puts her own, personal spin on puppets. Emily Cooper photo.
what they teach you there,” Kai says of the Langara College theatre program. “And Japanese people tend to be really hard workers.…When you see artworks that are very, very detailed and would take, you know, a bajillion hours, I usually find that the artists are Japanese. ’Cause they’re very good with the small, teeny-tiny details that they just sit there and work at forever.” There’s another side of her Japanese heritage that she thinks is
significant. Her father, who’s working on a documentary about Japanese wolves—once thought to be extinct, but now rumoured to be alive—has recently discovered the Kai family crest. A pair of wings crossed within a circle, it denotes samurai ancestry. “It makes me more passionate about things, definitely, because ‘I am a samurai warrior,’ ” Kai says with a laugh. “It’s good motivation.” > ALEXANDER VARTY
got her rolling toward a promising career—but it almost didn’t happen. She was six in 2003 when her mom heard about auditions for a Gateway Theatre production of The King and I. Sum readied “Zipa-Dee-Doo-Dah” for the audition, while her year-older sibling prepared a song from My Fair Lady. “But I got too nervous and said I couldn’t do it,” she recalls, speaking to the Straight over the phone from a Hastings-Sunrise café. “My mom auditioned and so did my sister, and both got the parts.” It wasn’t until another little girl could only perform half-time that Sum was able to step in as one of the royal children. “So that’s how I got my first show without auditioning,” she says with a laugh. “Auditions still freak me out, in a sense, but I kind of know how to prepare for them now!” Clearly, she’s right. Sum is still in the midst of SFU’s theatre-performance program, yet she’s already creating a buzz on local stages. She appeared in director Chris Lam’s uniquely double-cast musicals Dogfight in 2016 and Spring Awakening in 2017, both on the Pacific Theatre stage. Then, in 2017, she tackled Alley Theatre and Neworld Theatre’s absurd, sprawling rendition of the Apocalypse Now satire The Ridiculous Darkness at the Annex Theatre. The part, which actually consisted of multiple roles, earned her praise as “a source of constant delight” in the Straight’s review. But The Wolves, the all-female play she’ll revisit this fall at Pacific Theatre, may be the work that most excites her. It had a short run at the venue last spring, and tells the hormonally charged coming-of-age story of a teen girls’ soccer team. Sum, who had performed an early
reading of the script, went to great lengths to nab the part. “I don’t have a soccer background per se,” she explains. “I didn’t know what to expect. So I thought, ‘If they’re going to ask me to dribble the ball for a couple hundred metres, I don’t know if I’m gonna get the part.’ ” Her solution? Heading out to the field with a friend who could run her through drills. It turned out she needn’t have worried: she won the role, and the show generated such excitement that Pacific Theatre is bringing it back from October 19 to November 10 (in a production by Spoon Theatre, in association with Rumble Theatre). “To this day I tell people this is my favourite show I’ve done,” Sum enthuses. “The script itself is very true to not just the teenage female experience, but also to the human experience. When you watch it, you see your high-school self. “And then there’s this shared feeling of ‘We know that we’re an all-female team and we’re doing this together,’” she adds, pointing out that the show has taken off, earning a Pulitzer Prize drama nomination for playwright Sarah DeLappe in 2017. “I feel like teenage girls portrayed in the media are sort of one-dimensional. These ones feel super complex and they’re navigating joy and loss together. But, at the same time, they’re so young and they want to laugh and have fun.” Amid that project, and starting up her fourth and final year at SFU, Sum is looking to challenge herself in other ways. Look for her to perform her first solo live music show at Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive on October 6—another step into the unknown. Could it be that, on some level, she’s still trying to encourage that kid inside her who was too shy to audition? “I think it will feed me and make me vulnerable and push me with what I’m comfortable sharing.” > JANET SMITH
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 35
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36 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH
When giving comedy a crack finally pays off COM E D Y FATIMA DHOWRE
It’s not often a snap decision in the bathroom can change your life. But that appears to be the case for Vancouver standup comic Fatima Dhowre. The 32-year-old, who moved here from Toronto at the age of 15, spent her youth devouring all forms of comedy. “I was the weird kid growing up that would go to the library and take out a bunch of comedy records and movies and watch them obsessively at home,” she tells the Straight at a Broadway café. “Comedy’s always been a huge part of my life. Somali people in general are constantly roasting each other. I love being around my family for that reason. I was raised with humour all around me.” She took the plunge and started performing standup five years ago and has been honing her craft at clubs and small rooms around the city since then. She has branched out from standup and is performing sketches as a member of The Lady Show, along with Morgan Brayton, Katie-Ellen Humphries, and Diana Bang. She says the four-year-old show has inspired her to “think more outside the box and not be held down to a notepad and a mike. It brings me joy every time we get to do a show.” She says standup is still number one, but her experience with The Lady Show will stand her in good stead. Which brings us to the aforementioned loo. Seeing her fellow comics get festival spots across the country, Dhowre had doubts she was ready for bigger stages but finally decided to send a tape to the Winnipeg Comedy Festival anyway, figuring she’d never be selected. “I applied on the last day while I was in the washroom,” she says. She didn’t think anything of it. Then came the news that she was
accepted, and all she could think was “Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit!” It would be her first TV spot. “The whole experience was so surreal,” she says. “I stepped on the stage, my name’s on the big screen behind me, there’s a crowd, people were laughing, and I honestly can’t remember the actual set itself. I was so nervous. Right as I was going on the stage, I felt dual drips of sweat going down my neck.” The crowd loved her. She felt satisfied. Then she had to wait for a year for it to air on CBC, which it did in April. And then things got really surreal. “For whatever reason, it just blew up on the Internet,” she says. “When it first started to happen, I was like, ‘What is going on?! Why is this going viral? It’s just my stupid jokes!’ ” She has received messages from all over the world. But even better, she inked a deal with 604 Records and got offers for road work, writing gigs, and
Provincial Government Support
Chris Griffin is preparing for a new comedy special; Fatima Dhowre juggles standup and sketch. Emily Cooper photo.
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auditions for leading roles on American networks. And she signed with her sister Sabrina’s old acting agent. Sabrina, who recently got engaged to superstar Idris Alba, no longer acts. Things are happening for Dhowre. Maybe not yet to the point that Sabrina will be green with envy, but close. “I don’t think she’s jealous at all,” Dhowre says. “She’s riding first-class planes and going to Ibiza every weekend, so I think she’s doing okay.”
> GUY M AC PHERSON
Chris Griffin knows what it
2 means to sacrifice for his art.
The 37-year-old Albertan was living large in his 20s. With jobs at a newspaper and an academic publishing company, he was able to save up and buy a condo, which led to a house. He eventually started his own company.
But he just wasn’t fulfilled. “There was a feedback element missing,” he says now, sipping beer at the Vancouver Art Gallery Café. “And it was a bit lonely. It was just hours and hours alone in front of the computer.” Griffin would take his computer to the bar to edit just to feel people around him. While taking time away from his job to drive a van following the tour bus of Tucker Max, the infamous author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Griffin was inspired by L.A.– based comedian Bill Dawes, who was hosting the tour’s Q&A. On his return to Calgary, he gave standup a try. He was 29. That was it. “I was like, ‘Holy shit!’ ” he says. “You get the feedback immediately and you still have an opportunity to put a bit of a message across and also be funny. And it’s the best thing in the world when you get laughs.”
He was getting them, too. A selfstarter, he wasn’t afraid of putting in the work, saying he’d practise his five minutes for eight hours on the day of a show. After three years of hitting open mikes and touring around the province, he sold the house, left his company, and moved to Vancouver. He didn’t realize just how expensive a proposition that was. He lost all his money chasing his dream here and went into crippling debt. “I couldn’t even take the bus,” he says. “Couldn’t even afford two dollars.” But his talents on-stage, and his resolve off it, helped ease the pain. In 2016, he made it to the finals of the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Festival, finishing fifth overall, and taking home US$1,400. The grind of that festival helped him tighten up his already compelling storytelling and helped propel his win in Yuk Yuk’s Yuk Off competition back in Vancouver. “When I did the Yuk’s finals, it was the only time where I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve won,’ ” he says. “I felt like Mike Tyson. ‘Nobody is going to beat me. I’m going to go out guns blazing.’ I’d been doing pressure sets. It sounds arrogant, but I really just felt it.” Griffin’s talents will be on full display as he shoots a comedy special over two shows at the Biltmore Cabaret on October 18. He could have recorded an album, but is going all-in with a 4K camera shoot. “There are so many times I’d listen to great comedy albums but then I’d see the video and I just love it so much more,” he says. Griffin doesn’t own his own home here yet. He’s got no regrets, though. “It would have been paid off when I was 33,” he says. “I think about it every single day. And I think about it in a positive way. If I have a good show, I think, ‘Thank God you did that to get to this.’ ” > GUY M AC PHERSON
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SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 37
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Shifting roles and sounds mark music scene MUSIC
Rūmī, sophisticated compositions, and one of Iran’s greatest voices. Target Audience: Hate resisters.
ECM+ GENERATION 2018 (At the
Change is good, and for that
2 reason alone we’re looking at
another remarkable year in the realm of classical and contemporary music. In 2018-19, we get to see what the new leader of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has to offer—and the signs already suggest that Otto Tausk is up to the job of replacing the dynamic Bramwell Tovey. On a smaller level, the Western Front has found the perfect person to replace 24-year veteran DB Boyko as its new-music curator: Aram Bajakian is internationally respected as a musician and composer, and has a deep knowledge of art forms both historic and avant-garde. We’ll also be following the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s search to replace artistic director Jon Washburn, and we can already say that any of the candidates will be an asset to this city and its culture. So let’s remember that “May you live in interesting times” is not always a curse!
Orpheum Annex on October 28) Not a celebration of the famed German record label ECM, but Quebec’s Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, presenting a cross-country survey of emerging composers. Our own Turning Point Ensemble presents. The Draw: Vancouver will be represented by former resident James O’Callaghan, whose star shone exceedingly brightly during the ISCM World New Music Days Festival last year. Target Audience: Futurists.
The Danish String Quartet returns to VRS, while Eve Egoyan brings solo-piano magic to Modulus (Sam Barnes photo).
production promises brainy Jungian thrills. The Draw: Baritone Tyler Duncan and the fetchingly named soprano Sarah Vardy star, backed by a percussion-heavy chamber ensemRENÉE FLEMING (At the Orpheum ble. Target Audience: Film-noir on September 20) Otto Tausk’s for- fans. mal debut as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s new music direc- ELEKTRA WOMEN’S CHOIR (At tor takes place over the following two the Shadbolt Centre on September nights, but first he’ll be on the po- 21) Vancouver’s premier women’s dium to usher in famed soprano Re- choir kicks off its season with a pronée Fleming. The Draw: One of the gram that’s heavy on new Canadian warmest voices on the planet tackles compositions. The Draw: Works by the deep waters of Richard Strauss’s rising star Kathleen Allan and ElekFour Last Songs. Target Audience: tra pianist Stephen Smith. Target Everyone. With a selection of Broad- Audience: Admirers of cool choral way hits also on the program, this elegance. has something for all tastes. NIGREDO HOTEL (At the Cultch’s
Historic Theatre from September 20 to 22) With music by the late Nic Gotham and libretto by Ann-Marie MacDonald, this City Opera Vancouver
VANCOUVER CHAMBER CHOIR
(At Pacific Spirit United Church on September 28) The Vancouver Chamber Choir’s season offers an extended farewell to long-time artistic director Jon Washburn
and a chance to vet several candidates for his job. The Draw: The Heart’s Reflection finds Finland’s Kari Turunen conducting a Nordicfocused program; other applicants who’ll be featured later on in the season include Chor Leoni’s Erick Lichte and composer-conductorsoprano Kathleen Allan. Target Audience: Anyone grateful for Washburn’s tireless contributions to the local choral scene. VOX LUMINIS (At Christ Church
Cathedral on October 13) Early Music Vancouver presents a Belgian choir that has been winning much acclaim in Europe, in a program capped by Henry Purcell’s Funeral Sentences and Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. The Draw: Despite their sombre titles, Purcell’s works are things of great beauty and elegance. Target Audience: Admirers of the English Orpheus.
(At the Orpheum Annex from October 18 to 20) The Black Dog String Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Quartetto Maurice, Mivos Quartet, Quartetto Noûs, the Penderecki String Quartet, and the ever-astonishing JACK Quartet will all contribute to this international survey of contemporary chamber ensembles, assembled by Vancouver New Music. The Draw: Unbridled brilliance, but special mention should be made of innovative Navajo composer Raven Chacon, who’ll develop new repertoire in workshops with local Indigenous youth. Target Audience: Those who think they’ve heard it all. They haven’t.
JEN SHYU (At the Western Front
on October 19) Guitarist and composer Aram Bajakian’s first booking as the venerable Western Front’s new-music curator is an auspicious beginning: Nine Doors draws on Jen Shyu’s careful study of several traditional Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese instruments, in the service of a poetic tribute to a friend and fellow artist killed in an automobile accident. The Draw: Traverse the spirit world in a performance that’s part shamanic ritual and part avantgarde music concert. Target Audience: Mystics and explorers.
SHAHRAM & HAFEZ NAZERI (At
the Orpheum on October 28) The father-and-son team of Shahram and Hafez Nazeri revisit their groundbreaking Rumi Symphony, with an ensemble of Persian all-stars. The Draw: Deathless poetry from 13th-century Sufi mystic Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad
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JERUSALEM QUARTET WITH PINCHAS ZUKERMAN VIOLA & AMANDA FORSYTH
SUN OCT 14 at 3pm I CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 3 great string sextets plus 6 incredible musicians equals a wondrous afternoon of music and music making. A rare treat for Vancouver music lovers!
STRAUSS I SCHOENBERG I TCHAIKOVSKY TICKETS: 604 602 0363 I VANRECITAL.COM
FESTIVAL (At the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, the Western Front, Studio 700, and the Post at 750 from November 2 to 6) Music on Main’s annual festival of the new returns, with likely highlights including an Eve Egoyan solo-piano recital featuring the music of, among others, John Oswald, Michael Snow, and MoM composer in residence Nicole Lizée. The shape-shifting Lizée will also offer a new work for the flute-and-harp duo of Claire Marchand and Alberta Chan, with Standing Wave tackling her works as well. The Draw: MoM artistic director David Pay’s rare ability to offer intellectual stimulation in a convivial setting. Target Audience: Bons vivants.
38 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
WHEN THERE IS PEACE (At St.
Andrew’s–Wesley United Church on November 10, and West Vancouver United Church on November 11) Chor Leoni has upped the ante on its traditional Remembrance Day shows by commissioning a new work from composer Zachary Wadsworth. The Draw: The wonderful Borealis String Quartet and other guests join the lions. Target Audience: Realists, because war is simply unsustainable.
CENTUM CORPORA (At Mountain
View Cemetery on November 11) The Little Chamber Music Series That Could commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by placing 100 musicians next to the graves of 100 veterans in an outdoor sound installation. The Draw: LCMSTC managing artistic director and composer Mark Haney’s gift for mixing the sombre, the celebratory, and the significant. Target Audience: Anyone whose family has been touched by war—which, sadly, means most of us. see next page
PAUL LEWIS (At the Vancouver Playhouse on December 9 and March 3) The great English pianist offers the third and fourth installments of his Vancouver Recital Society–sponsored four-part investigation of Joseph Haydn, Johannes Brahms, and Ludwig van Beethoven. The Draw: There’s a reason why this repertoire is at the core of European music, and Paul Lewis is one of its most insightful interpreters. Target Audience: Contemporary classicists. VSO NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL (At
VANCOUVER CANTATA SINGERS (At the Blusson Spinal Cord
Centre on February 23) Musica Universalis: Music of the Spheres surveys cosmic choral music from the classical to the contemporary. The Draw: The Blusson Spinal Cord Centre’s atrium is a freakishly lively acoustic space. Target Audience: Astronomers and other curiosity seekers.
DANISH STRING QUARTET (At
the Vancouver Playhouse on February 24) If these four Danes are becoming a Vancouver Recital Society staple, that can only be a good thing. Their local debut was one of the finest concerts of 2014, and their recordings indicate that they’ve only gotten better since then. The Draw: The enduring beauty of Ludwig van Beethoven, and a selection of new sounds from the Nordic lands. Target Audience: Lovers of the clean lines of Scandinavian design.
the Orpheum on January 18 and 19, 2019) There will be further details to come about the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s annual celebration of the new, but the two concerts already announced feature a well-curated blend of midcareer Canadians and international stars. The Draw: John Luther Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Become Ocean has been hailed as “the loveliest apocalypse in musical history”. Target Audience: Deep-sea NOSFERATU (At the Orpheum on March 23) Jazz composer Andrew divers and other explorers. Downing debuts a new score for the EHNES QUARTET (At the Van- 1922 silent-film version of the horcouver Playhouse on January 22) ror classic, featuring the Vancouver Friends of Chamber Music’s season Bach Choir and a band of improv is full of top-tier string quartets, and new-music heavyweights. The with violinist James Ehnes’s ensem- Draw: Having already scored The ble being one of the best. The Draw: Phantom of the Opera, Downing’s An intimate look at a violinist more proven that he’s got a gift for makoften found fronting internation- ing old images sound new. Target al orchestras. Target Audience: Audience: Halloween campers (in Friends of chamber music, natch. March). LA BOHÈME (At the Queen Eliza-
beth Theatre on February 14, 16, 19, 21, and 24) The Canadian designer-and-director team of André Barbe and Renaud Doucet drew raves for their 2017 production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, and now Vancouver Opera has invited them back to tackle the Italian master’s La Bohème. The Draw: What our own Janet Smith described as Barbe and Doucet’s “bold, unusually dazzling vision”. Target Audience: Dazzle devotees.
Closes September 30
ARTS OF RESISTANCE Politics and the Past in Latin America
SHANKAR (At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on April 27) Anoushka Shankar has emerged as the natural heir to her famous father Ravi’s place at the centre of North Indian classical music’s pantheon. The Draw: Shankar’s new band draws on the raga tradition, but also takes on the complex rhythms of South Indian music, along with cello and piano. Target Audience: Fusion fanciers.
> ALEXANDER VARTY
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 39
music...." "....world class artists..."
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40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
The Late Edwina & Paul Heller
The Board of Directors of the Vancouver Recital Society
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Dance travels to watery depths, hip-hop heights D ANC E
THIS DUET WE’VE ALREADY DONE (SO MANY TIMES) (At the Cultch’s
Historic Theatre from November 27 to December 1) The rock ’n’ roll bad boy of dance is back. This time out, Montreal’s Frédérick Gravel strips things down for a fierce duet with muse Brianna Lombardo, their props an iPad for music, projectors, a chair, shoes, whisky, water, and glasses. The Draw: As we’ve seen here with pieces like Usually Beauty Fails, Gravel has the unique ability to raise laid-back banalities to transcendental levels. Target Audience: By now, the musician-choreographer has built a solid fan base here.
It is a good time to be a dance
2 fan in Vancouver. First, we have a wealth of fresh local talent creating cutting-edge new work (see the likes of Vanessa Goodman and Julianne Chapple, below, not to mention superstar Crystal Pite). Second, we have truly exciting world-class work touring here—from French hip-hop aerialists to a lavish ode to Leonard Cohen. Find time for what you can.
SARA CALERO COMPANY (At the
Vancouver Playhouse on September 22) As part of the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, the Spanish troupe presents a timely piece on migration and displacement. Petisa Loca looks at the experiences of the female diaspora when thousands of Spaniards were forced to emigrate to America in the mid-20th century. The Draw: A chance to see one of the foremost dramatic talents in Spain’s flamenco scene outside of the Iberian Peninsula. Target Audience: Rain-soaked Vancouverites who would rather be sitting in a Madrid tablao right now.
NEVER STILL (At the Firehall Arts
Centre from September 26 to 29) Rising choreographer Vanessa Goodman, of Action at a Distance, takes her inspiration from water and plays with social, environmental, and biological themes. Here, she works with a topnotch team of talent—Shion Skye Carter, Stéphanie Cyr, Bynh Ho, Alexa Mardon, James Proudfoot, and Lexi Vajda—and atmospheric audio-visuals by Loscil. The Draw: Few build multimedia worlds like Goodman, and the rippling Tyvek sheets that work as set pieces here should create a flowing new universe. Target Audience: Swimmers, divers, environmentalists, and the thirsty.
KATIE DUCK: CAGE (At the Scotia-
bank Dance Centre on September 28) The legendary, Amsterdam-based improviser makes her first visit here in 30 years. The constants here are a black dress, a chair, three wigs, and a sharply feminist viewpoint on the horrors of our world, but the sound and soundtrack change. For Vancouver’s show, she’s joined by musicians Ben Brown, James Meger, and Roxanne Nesbitt. The Draw: Unpolished, raw life. Target Audience: Dance risk-takers who like the adrenaline rush of spontaneity.
REVISOR (At the Vancouver Playhouse
Dance Me is BJM’s large-scale ode to Leonard Cohen (left); Company Wang Ramirez mashes forms (Frank Szafinski photo).
city’s most exciting young artists has a new full-length work. Expect Suffix to coolly meld dance, video, sound, light, and sculpture to explore the effects of our high-tech world and our drive toward immortality. The Draw: Chapple’s ability to conjure striking, surreal imagery. Target Audience: Techies and visual artists. BALLET BC: PROGRAM 1 (At the
lets Jazz de Montréal—pays grand homage to Leonard Cohen. Begun with the legend’s blessing before the revered singersongwriter-poet’s 2016 death, the half-million-dollar multimedia production debuted last December for Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Three European choreographers—
Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Ihsan Rustem—created works for each of his songs here. The Draw: The songs, of course, matched by what is probably the most technically honed troupe in the country. Target Audience: Fans of the Bard of the Boudoir will say “Hallelujah”.
from February 20 to 23, 2019) Kidd Pivot’s Crystal Pite and Electric Company Theatre’s Jonathon Young—the local dream team whose Betroffenheit won a British Olivier Award and stunned houses across Europe—are back with a lighter new dance-theatre work that plays with satire, absurdity, and farce. DanceHouse presents. The Draw: Hands down the most anticipated dance event of the entire calendar. Target Audience: Anyone who saw Betroffenheit and will never forget it. > JANET SMITH
Queen Elizabeth Theatre from November 1 to 3) The company kicks off its artistic director’s 10th-anniversary season with some new work and an old favourite. Company head Emily Molnar gets a case of the blues, working with the musical form for her driving new untitled creation. She’s also brought back quirky audience favourite Petite Cérémonie—an appeal to the crowds who enjoyed Romeo + Juliet by the same choreographer, Medhi Walerski. And she closes out the program with a coveted work by her former mentor at Ballett Frankfurt: the Canadian premiere of William Forsythe’s physically demanding 1989 piece Enemy in the Figure, a piece that pushed ballet to new extremes. The Draw: Forsythe’s choreography was seminal; Walerski’s delightful. Target Audience: Contemporary ballet fans—with a capital C. ANN VAN DEN BROEK: THE BLACK PIECE (At the Scotiabank
Dance Centre from November 6 to 8) The Dutch-Flemish talent explores all our fears and fascination with the dark, using film-noir touchstones (rushing footsteps; flashlight reveals) in a work with five dancers and a camera operator. The Draw: SeducJOE: A SOLO SHOW (At the Scotia- tive, elegant dance that taps all your bank Dance Centre from October 18 to senses. Target Audience: People who 20) For Vancouver dance veteran Joe aren’t afraid of the dark. Laughlin’s first full-evening solo show, the Joe Ink artistic director turns to PUBLIC AND PRIVATE (At Left of three vastly different choreographers Main from November 13 to 17 and for new works—and voice-overs from November 20 to 24) Dumb Instrument those artists to accompany them. Am- Dance presents the premiere of Ziyian ber Funk Barton, Gioconda Barbuto, Kwan’s new full-length work, featuring and South Africa’s Vincent Mantsoe video and a team of strong female danare on tap. The Draw: Seeing the cha- cers: Delia Brett, Hayley Gawthrop, meleonlike Laughlin morph between Erika Mitsuhashi, and Deanna Peters. creations. Target Audience: Anyone The Draw: Live taiko music drives the action. Target Audience: Empowered who likes a three-for-one special. females, and those who know and love COMPANY WANG RAMIREZ (At Kwan’s penchant for the quirky, the the Vancouver Playhouse on October 26 personal, and the kinetic. and 27) In this dynamite DanceHouse season opener, the revolutionary AKRAM KHAN COMPANY: CHOTTO French company brazenly mixes mad DESH (At the Vancouver Playhouse hip-hop skills with Wuxia martial from November 21 to 24) The U.K. katharts—the latter’s superhuman soaring ak virtuoso who has wowed the world feats courtesy of rigging and bungee with his choreographic innovation ropes. Created by choreographic duo presents a family-friendly show that Sébastien Ramirez—a former Red Bull will sweep you away. Interacting with BC One B-boy champ—and German- richly drawn, storybooklike animation, Korean Honji Wang, the gravity- the inspired artist tells a dreamlike defying five-dancer Borderline should tale of a boy exploring his British and blow your mind. The Draw: Ghostlike Bangladeshi roots. It’s copresented by white hanboks, Crouching Tiger, Hid- SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, den Dragon flying, and badass break DanceHouse, Théâtre la Seizième, and dancing, all in a single show. Tar- 149 Arts. The Draw: The chance to get Audience: Avid members of this reclaim your sense of wonder—and watch your own child unleash his or world’s massive cultural melting pot. hers. Target Audience: Those who JULIANNE CHAPPLE: SUFFIX want to believe in magic again. (At the Scotiabank Dance Centre on October 26 and 27) Thanks large- LEONARD COHEN’S DANCE ME ly to the Iris Garland Emerging (At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on LBJ—Les BalChoreographer Award, one of the November 22) SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 41
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Stage roster tackles identity, gender norms From two large all-female casts to East Van Panto’s Non-Binary Tin Person, plays this fall are having fun challenging traditions THEATRE CRITICS’ PICKS
Identity is a big theme on Van-
2 couver stages this fall, and so is
upending gender norms: two of the plays highlighted here have doubledigit all-female casts. There are also shows that question the gender binary (the Cultch’s Testosterone, Pi Theatre’s Hir), and some that tackle issues of race and racism in unconventional settings (Presentation House’s Tales of an Urban Indian on a bus, and a remount of Universal Limited’s site-specific Japanese Problem at Hastings Park). For techDaniel Martin, Lisa C, Ravensbergen, A Brief History of Human Extinction (Matt Reznik photo); Melissa Oei, France Perres, Agnes Tong, Les Belles-soeurs (David Cooper photo). nical dazzle and an excellent cast and creative team, check out new Corcoran’s directorial debut at the Dog in the Night-time—already open ally every show at the Cultch this fall through the lens of a high-school Arts Club artistic director Ashlie Stanley, The Curious Incident of the by the time you read this. And virtu- looks fantastic: if you’re looking to girls’ soccer team—made the New York Times’ list of the top 25 Amersubscribe, start there. ican plays since Angels in America. KAMLOOPA (At the Cultch’s His- Director Jamie King helms an outtoric Theatre from September 25 to standing cast of young women actors October 6) Described as a ceremony who deserve to be seen more often. rather than a conventional play, The Draw: Watching nine women Kamloopa seeks to empower and kick a soccer ball around on Pacific celebrate Indigenous women with Theatre’s tiny stage while delivering its story of two sisters and a trickster dialogue that perfectly captures the figure on a literal and metaphorical inarticulate awkwardness of teenage journey of self-discovery. The Draw: hopes and heartbreaks. Target AudiWriter-director Kim Senklip Harvey ence: You don’t have to like soccer to has established herself as an actor appreciate this play, but it helps if over the past decade. This, her first you’ve been through adolescence. script, is supported by no fewer than five theatre companies from across SWEAT (At the Stanley Industrial the country. Target Audience: Those Alliance Stage from October 24 to who see themselves in the work and November 18) Valerie Planche directs this Arts Club/Citadel coprothose who want to witness. SEPT 21 & 22 ORPHEUM duction of Lynn Nottage’s timely LES BELLES-SOEURS (At the exploration of racial and class tenOtto Tausk, VSO Music Director Gateway Theatre from September 27 sions among a group of drinking Lucas & Arthur Jussen, Piano* to October 6) It’s been half a cen- buddies who work at a Pennsylvania EDWARD TOP Helix tury since the Montreal premiere factory. The New York production is of Michel Tremblay’s groundbreak- currently on tour in the Midwestern POULENC ing classic, about a community states, offering free performances in Concerto for Two Pianos* of women who gather to help a advance of the U.S. midterm elecSTRAVINSKY Firebird working-class housewife paste her tions. The Draw: The script, for windfall of food stamps into book- which Nottage won the 2017 Pullets. But incredibly, this production, itzer Prize. The New York Times’ Ben from Ruby Slippers, will be the play’s Brantley called it “the first work from first professional treatment in Metro a major American playwright to Vancouver. Diane Brown directs. summon, with empathy and without The Draw: The talent. There are 15 judgment, the nationwide anxiety amazing women—some emerging, that helped put Donald J. Trump in some very established—in the cast. the White House”. Target Audience: Target Audience: The fortunate and Bridge builders, not wedge drivers. the jealous. BACKBONE (At the Vancouver PlayA BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMAN house from October 30 to NovemEXTINCTION (At the Cultch’s His- ber 4) Australian circus company toric Theatre from October 10 to 20) Gravity & Other Myths blew away Playwright Jordan Hall teams up Vancouver audiences in 2015 with A with shadow puppet wizards Mind Simple Space, a show in which they of a Snail for this Upintheair The- gleefully tossed each other’s bodatre production, set 160 years from ies around on a tiny portion of the now as the last humans on Earth try York Theatre’s stage. This new, bigto salvage some part of the planet’s ger show (presented by the Cultch at now uninhabitable environment. the Playhouse) focuses on strength. The Draw: Brains and innovation. The Draw: When these acrobats use WITH THE VSO Jordan Hall’s smart scripts don’t su- the word strength, they’re measurSEPT 28, 29 & 30 SEPT 20 ORPHEUM garcoat environmental doom, and ing it in terms most of us can only ORPHEUM Mind of a Snail created one of last imagine. Target Audience: Anyone year’s most innovative shows, Mul- who paid 10 bucks to try hanging tiple Organism. Target Audience: by their arms for two minutes at the OTTO TAUSK, VSO MUSIC DIRECTOR People who compost. And make art PNE—and everyone who watched. from their compost.
COMING UP AT THE VSO
OTTO TAUSK AND THE JUSSEN BROTHERS
BEETHOVEN, BARTÓK & KODÁLY
TCHAIKOVSKY & COUNTRYMEN
KILL ME NOW (At the Firehall Arts
OCT 4 BELL CENTRE, SURREY OCT 5 ORPHEUM OCT 6 ORPHEUM YEGOR DYACHKOV, CELLO
TEA & TRUMPETS:
A BRITISH SERENADE
OCT 11 ORPHEUM CHRISTOPHER GAZE, HOST
TICKETS: vso.ca 604-876-3434 MASTERWORKS GOLD SERIES SPONSOR
MASTERWORKS GOLD RADIO SPONSOR
SYMPHONY SUNDAYS SERIES SPONSOR
42 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
INSIDE THE SYMPHONY SERIES SPONSOR
TEA & TRUMPETS SERIES SPONSOR
Centre from October 13 to 27) Brad Fraser’s new play—about a father whose role as caretaker for his disabled 17-year-old son is knocked sideways when he himself develops a serious illness—has been wellreviewed in earlier productions in London and New York. Touchstone Theatre’s Roy Surette directs an impressive cast. The Draw: Moral ambiguity. Target Audience: Grownups.
EAST VAN PANTO: WIZARD OF OZ (At the York Theatre from Nov-
ember 28 to January 6) Theatre Replacement and playwright Marcus Youssef take this year’s East Van Panto beyond the Brothers Grimm to the silver screen, with a politically charged take on The Wizard of Oz, replacing the Kansas tornado with a Poco pipeline explosion that sends Dorothy and Toto off in search of the Greenest City. The Draw: Veda Hille’s music, and Youssef’s wit. Dorothy’s companions include a NonTHE WOLVES (At Pacific Theatre Binary Tin Person. Target Audifrom October 19 to November 10) ence: Pipeline protesters and pipeline Sarah DeLappe’s script—a nuanced owners—oh wait, that’s everyone. > KATHLEEN OLIVER exploration of female adolescence
HAVE YOU BEEN TO...
Cibo Trattoria cibotrattoria.com
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Standup spans big stars and hidden gems COM E D Y
their respective acoustic axes, ham their way through original heavymetal-ish tunes with lyrics even more ridiculous than actual heavy metal. It’s a send-up and a homage all at once. These guys have both musical and comedic chops. Target Audience: Where else can you go to a comedy show and blow out your eardrums at the same time?
Something is missing in this picks. This is the first time you won’t see a Just For Laughs multicomic, gala-style Comedy Tour in the Fall Arts Preview. A tradition has ended, it seems. But comedy is still in full swing, as evidenced by the upcoming shows itemized for your reading pleasure below.
LETTERKENNY LIVE: THE ENCORE
JIM JEFFERIES (At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on September 14 and 15) Jimmer just keeps getting bigger and better. It wasn’t that long ago that he was playing midnight shows at the Rickshaw Theatre. Now he’s packing them in over two nights at the QE. The Draw: This raw Aussie doesn’t seem suited to sitting behind a desk, but it somehow works on Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show. He’s still himself, but the real deal is seeing him in the flesh on-stage. Target Audience: The whole village of Whistler might be shut down for the two nights he’s here. But Jefferies doesn’t just appeal to his own people. He’s got an army of fans who love his ballsy humour.
“offensively funny” podcast Talkin’ Shit, the only podcast, his website tells us, to be banned from iTunes for offensive content. And unlike Jefferies, Ifft still flies under the radar. Target Audience: Real comedy nerds know the score. He’s like the cool alternative band no one’s heard of.
MOSHE KASHER (At Yuk Yuk’s on
ROY WOOD JR. (At Yuk Yuk’s on
September 28 and 29) The honeymoon is over! You saw Kasher and newish wife Natasha Leggero’s threepart Netflix special, The Honeymoon Stand Up Special, but he’s ditched the old ball-and-chain and is heading to the Vancouver club solo. The Draw: Kasher is quick, sardonic, and hilarious, with or without his equally hilarious better half. Target Audience: You can blow your budget on an A-lister at a theatre show, or you can spend a fraction of that to see an even better comic at a club.
“Offensively funny” Eddie Ifft still flies under the radar to all but comedy nerds; Jerry Seinfeld definitely doesn’t.
October 12 and 13) Wood came to national prominence in the seventh season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, finishing third. Since then, he’s gone back to his roots: news reporting. Only now he does it for laughs on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. The Draw: With a bachelor of science in broadcast journalism, Wood may be the most legit of all Comedy Central correspondents. But he’s also a helluva stand-up comic. Target Audience: Put another notch in your comedy belt and check off someone who’s never JERRY SEINFELD (At the Queen played Vancouver before. Elizabeth Theatre on October 4 and 5) Anyone who watches Seinfeld’s GAD ELMALEH (At the Chan Centre incredible series Comedians in Cars for the Performing Arts on November Getting Coffee knows his absolute love 8) It’s hard enough making stranof and allegiance to standup comedy. gers laugh in your native tongue— Then again, anyone who has been try doing it in your fourth lanpaying attention to his career since guage. Elmaleh has got it down pat. the ’80s already knew that. The guy The Moroccan-born French comic lives for, and oozes, funny. The Draw: performed in French, Arabic, and He won’t be driving on-stage in a vin- Hebrew before giving English a go. tage car, or sipping a cuppa joe with a The Draw: Elmaleh didn’t become pal. But it will be vintage Jerry, telling France’s top comedian through mugjokes with wryly observed detail, old ging and mime; he’s a real wordsmith. and new. Target Audience: Forget his Plus, that suave Parisian charm helps. sitcom, one of the best of all time. For- Target Audience: If you took French get his Netflix series too. All you need immersion and are yearning for some to know about Jerry Seinfeld you’ll see listening practice… This might not be live on-stage. If you care at all about the show for you. Elmaleh performs standup, and you haven’t seen him al- en anglais seulement. ready, this is the show to catch. SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO (At the EDDIE IFFT (At the Comedy MIX from Queen Elizabeth Theatre on DecemOctober 4 to 6) A couple weeks after ber 2) One of the hottest comedians his former roommate and podcast in the game right now, Maniscalco partner Jim Jefferies plays the Queen was Just For Laughs’ standup comE, standup comic Ifft makes his debut edian of the year in 2016. He’s since at the Comedy MIX. The Draw: Just released a book, sold out Toronto’s like Jefferies, Ifft is a bit of a bad boy. Scotiabank Arena, and done five Unlike Jefferies, Ifft still does the shows at Radio City Music Hall.
The Draw: Sebastian doesn’t just tell jokes; his whole body exudes jokes. His larger-than-life Italian style is perfect for the big stages he plays. Target Audience: He’s a mainstream act, for sure, so bring your whole family. Sometimes that’s code for “lame”, but not in this case.
D (At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 13) There was a time not too long ago when Jack Black was seemingly in every other movie. His omnipresence has faded, which allows him to get back to rawkin’. The Draw: Black and his bestie Kyle Gass, with
(At the Orpheum on December 18) Wasn’t the gang from Crave TV’s Letterkenny just here? Yeah, well, this is the encore. Jared Keeso, Nathan Dales, Mark Forward, and K. Trevor Wilson did a mammoth cross-country tour from February through April. They apparently couldn’t get enough—or we couldn’t get enough of them. The Draw: They promise sketches and videos you didn’t see on the earlier tour. And the two standups in the group—Forward and Wilson—will also do sets, presumably new too. Target Audience: Bridges will be crossed and tunnels driven through to get to this show, guaranteed. > GUY M AC PHERSON
CHOR LEONI MEN’S CHOIR ERICK LICHTE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
WHEN THERE IS PEACE AN ARMISTICE ORATORIO BY ZACHARY WADSWORTH
LIBRETTO CREATED BY ERICK LICHTE & PETER ROTHSTEIN 27TH ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE DAY CONCERTS with ARWEN MYERS, soprano | LAWRENCE WILIFORD, tenor | BOREALIS STRING QUARTET
November 10 ST. ANDREW’S-WESLEY UNITED CHURCH, VANCOUVER
November 11 WEST VANCOUVER UNITED CHURCH
CHRISTMAS WITH CHOR LEONI December 14, 16, 17 ST. ANDREW’S-WESLEY UNITED CHURCH, VANCOUVER
December 15 WEST VANCOUVER UNITED CHURCH
Single tickets now available — but save money and choose your A-level reserved seats with a flexible ticket package! Offer ends October 1. TicketsTonight.ca | 1.877.840.0457 chorleoni.org
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 43
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Art scene spotlights women and textiles VISUAL AR TS CRITICS’ PICKS
This brilliant fall season, the visual arts across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are dominated—amazingly and unexpectedly—by women and by textiles. An impressive number of exhibitions across a range of venues— public galleries, community and cultural centres, natural-history museums, artist-run centres, and commercial galleries—have been organized and curated around the Textile Society of America Symposium, a big biennial event that is being held this year in Vancouver (September 19 to 23). Embracing the theme “The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global”, the symposium and many of the shows occurring in concert with it will examine the creative cross-pollination between textile traditions of settler cultures and Indigenous cultures in the Americas. Other exhibitions feature the careers of local women artists, past and present, and introduce us, too, to the creative practices
of artists from more distant places and cultures.
(literally) deconstructed man’s suit. Oh, and it’s impossible to mention this group show without also recommending the SAG’s concurrent solo exhibitions by Maggie Orth, who is acclaimed as “a leader in the field of wearable technology and interactive textiles”, and Kathy Slade, who references popular culture, literature, and art history in her embroidered imagery and fabric sculpture. The Draw: Most compelling here is the capacity of contemporary textile art to take on challenging themes, issues, and conceptual strategies.
DIVINE SPARKS: BARBARA HELLER (At the Sidney and Gertrude
Zack Gallery to October 8) A survey of works created in the past decade by this acclaimed, Vancouver-based tapestry artist, the show features three distinct—and distinctly beautiful—series, each examining the connections between religious faith, weaving, and digital culture. “Future Reliquaries” employs Christian symbols and aspects of computer technology; “Integrated Circuits” juxtaposes images of Hindu mudras (yogic hand positions) and electronic parts and circuitry; and “Tzimtzum and the Sephirot” explores mystical aspects of Judaism while ref lecting on our limited human understanding of the divine. The Draw: Heller asserts the historic and contemporary significance of tapestry art while asking us to examine the beliefs and technologies that shape our globalized existence.
XIAOJING YAN: IN SUSPENDED SILENCE (At the Richmond Art
DANA CLAXTON: FRINGING THE CUBE (At the Vancouver Art Gal-
At the Vancouver Art Gallery, Dana Claxton (whose Baby Girlz Gotta Mustang is shown here) dismantles stereotypes and reclaims history in a big solo exhibition.
Gallery from September 14 to Nov- inspiration for her mixed-media ember 10) Chinese-Canadian art- installations from Taoist philosoist Xiaojing Yan draws creative phy and its associated myths and folklore. As well, she incorporates images and symbols from historic Chinese art, imaginatively reinventing them. An example is Mountain of Pines, an installation of hanging panels of silk organza “pierced with thousands of pine needles” to simulate Chinese ink paintings of mist-covered mountains and to invoke spiritual beliefs around such landscape forms. “Lingzhi Girls” is a series of mushroom-sprouting, life-size busts that conf late self-portraiture with the Eight Immortals of Taoist mythology. The Draw: The first western Canadian show for this Toronto-based artist expresses a poignant state of “in-betweenness”, guest essayist Rick Leong writes, suspended “between languages, cultures and places”. CONNECTING THREADS (At the
OCTOBER 13, 2018 TO JANUARY 20, 2019
Surrey Art Gallery from September 22 to December 16) This show spotlights textile and fibre art from the gallery’s permanent collection and represents some two dozen Canadian artists, including Pat Cairns, Roxanne Charles, Barbara Cole, Barry Goodman, Ruth Scheuing, Nep Sidhu, and Barbara Todd. Means and methods jump from small-scale needlepoint portraits to large-scale quilted images of cruise missiles, and from knitted figurative sculpture to a
lery from October 27 to February 3) One of our leading media artists, Claxton finds powerful expression in film, photography, text, performance, video, and video installation. One of her signature strategies is to use formal beauty to challenge social assumptions and dismantle cultural stereotypes, something that will be evident in this big solo exhibition. As an artist of Hunkpapa Lakota heritage, based in Vancouver, Claxton asks us to reconsider ideas and images surrounding gender, cultural identity, and the body. She has also used her art to examine ideas of spirituality, resilience, reclamation, and the ways in which history and culture are embedded in the landscape. The Draw: The VAG is billing this exhibition as the first to comprehensively survey Claxton’s “formidable career”. Expect to be blown away. BATIA SUTER (At the Polygon Gallery from November 2 to January 13) Born in Switzerland and based in Amsterdam, Batia Suter is best known for her monumental, site-specific prints of digitally manipulated images. She works, too, with photo animation, photo installation, and collage, often employing found or appropriated images to unsettle our understanding of how we read them, whether habitually or within the context of new surroundings. For her Polygon show, Suter will also create a “siteresponsive” wallpaper mural that, curator Helga Pakasaar says, uses tree images to reference the temperate rainforest and its “dependent industries and economies”. The Draw: Critically acclaimed and widely exhibited in Europe, the United States, and Asia, Batia Suter is making her solo Canadian debut at the Polygon. > ROBIN LAURENCE
Visionary Partners for the Institute of Asian Art
Liu Bao, Wang Ying and Liu Manzhao Supporting Sponsor:
Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
ALSO ON VIEW THIS SEASON
A CURATOR’S VIEW: IAN THOM SELECTS
September 22, 2018 - March 17, 2019
DANA CLAXTON: FRINGING THE CUBE
October 27, 2018 - February 3, 2019
November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Guo Pei, Garden of the Soul, 2015 (detail), embroidered silk dress with h hand-painted mo otifss and embellished with Swarovski crystals, brass beads and brass florets; mask and headpie i ce with with bea bead ad, crystal and brass floret embellishment, Photo: Courtesy of SCAD
44 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
80+ VIEWS OF MOUNT BAKER FINAL HOMAGE TO HOKUSAI VISUAL SPACE GALLERY, 3352 DUNBAR ST, VANCOUVER, BC SEPTEMBER 13–OCTOBER 3, 2018 – NOON TO 5:00 DAILY VIEW PAINTINGS AT WWW.HAUGHTON-ART.CA
VANCOUVER BIENNALE 2018 -2020 PRESENTS
Immersive Sculpture Exhibition Opens Friday!
Official Launch “Street” Party Patricia Hotel, Saturday, Sept 22, 7-10 pm, Ages 12+, $25 Beats by Live projection by trilliam gibson, food trucks, entertainment, meet the artist, photos with The Offering First 80 ticketed to arrive plus 40 Party winners get FREE entrance to Curious Imaginings Partial proceeds to St James Music Academy
Panel Discussion: Cultural Placemaking September 22, 7 pm, Firehall Arts Theatre
Patricia Piccinini and curator Marcello Dantas in discussion with architects from Urban Landscape Institute. Proceeds to St James Music Academy
“Inside the Curious Mind of Patricia Piccinini” Artist Talk September 24, 7 pm, York Theatre
Tickets + Information at www.imcurious.ca
Premiere Media Partner
For more information about the Vancouver Biennale www.vancouverbiennale.com
look. guess. win.
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 45
2018/2019 SEASON Tickets available at theatrefilm.ubc.ca
8pm Friday September 28, 2018 Pacific Spirit United Church (formerly Ryerson United Church) 2205 West 45th Avenue at Yew Street
Vancouver Chamber Choir | Kari Turunen, conductor Our opening concert will introduce Artistic Director candidate Kari Turunen from Finland. His repertoire is rich in music from Northern Europe and North America. Featured are Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s evocative Canticum calamitatis maritimae about the sinking of the Estonia, and Canadian/Finnish composer Matthew Whittall’s E. E. Cummings setting love is a place. Other works in this eclectic programme are by Josquin, Lassus, Schutz, Finzi, Kreek, Chatman, Elder, Rautavaara, Runestad and Makaroff.
1.855.985.ARTS (2787) vancouverchamberchoir.com
46 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
Composer seeks “strangeness” > B Y A LE X A ND ER VA R TY
veryone who has studied with veteran composer and educator Rudolf Komorous holds him in the highest regard— and one indication of that can be found in the two musicians who’ll play his 1964 composition Olympia at an upcoming Turning Point Ensemble concert. One is Owen Underhill, Turning Point’s conductor and artistic director, who’s also a composer and the dean of SFU’s faculty of communication, art, and technology. The other is composer Christopher Butterfield, head of the University of Victoria’s School of Music. These are not lightweights. And how will the two old classmates realize Komorous’s minimalistic score, which can be performed by almost any instrument? They’ll play harmonica. “Mouth harmonica, bass mouth harmonica, and things like that, you know,” says Komorous on the line from Victoria. At 86, his voice is now frail, although he’s retained his heavy Czech accent and is still writing new music. “It’s a short piece, which is completely symmetrical, because the score is rather graphic and only partly notes. You play it, and in the middle
you turn the score upside down and play it again backwards. But of course the high is now low, and so forth.” If that sounds rather surreal, it’s fitting, for the main attraction in Turning Point’s concert of Komorous’s music is the North American premiere of The Mute Canary, a new chamber opera based on a 1919 text by the French Dadaist Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes. “In general, the generation before us—like our fathers and teachers and the whole artistic colony, the Czech avant-garde—was very close to the French avant-garde,” he explains. “So, for example, the Prague surrealist group was the strongest one after Paris. I was always very familiar with this, and when Christopher Butterfield translated the three Dadaistic plays by Ribemont-Dessaignes, I thought that this one was absolutely made for me.” Part of the appeal is that The Mute Canary is a short, one-act play; Komorous makes no secret of the fact that he is not in great health, and originally expected this chamber opera to be his last composition. (He’s since been commissioned to write a piano trio.) But he also found the play’s structure intriguing. It features three characters: the baritone Riquet, an overbear-
ing despot; the soprano Barate, who occasionally embodies the Roman empress Messalina; and the countertenor Ochre, a samurai who considers himself possessed by Charles Gounod. Each character is backed by a separate instrumental trio; in addition, a cello echoes Barate when she’s channelling Messalina, a piano plays quotes from Gounod when appropriate, and timpani underscore the entire drama. Also on the all-Komorous program are the woodwind quintet Fumon Manga and 23 Poems About Horses, which takes its text from the Tang Dynasty poet Li Po and will be narrated by the mellifluous Butterfield. All save Olympia were written in Canada, but Komorous’s early influences are still readily apparent. “We had a group in Prague, which was one painter, two sculptors, and I as a composer,” he says. “And we had art theory for our works, and it was called A Theory of Weirdness, or Strangeness. So, you know, it’s integral to this concert. It’s not Dadaistic, but it’s strange.” Turning Point Ensemble presents The Mute Canary at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre from Friday to Sunday (September 14 to 16).
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SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 47
Kim’s Convenience is well-stocked with laughs TH E AT RE KIM’S CONVENIENCE By Ins Choi. Directed by Kaitlin Williams. At Pacific Theatre on Saturday, September 8. Continues until October 6
Before there was Kim’s Conven-
2 ience, the hit CBC sitcom, there
was Kim’s Convenience, the play. It debuted at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2011 and subsequently toured Canada and enjoyed an off-Broadway run before hitting Canadian airwaves. The eponymous Mr. Kim (James Yi) has run his corner store in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood for as long as his kids, Janet (Jessie Liang) and Jung (Lee Shorten), can remember. Thirty-year-old Janet has helped her parents—her appa and umma— run the store for nearly that long herself. But she doesn’t want to inherit the family business. She has aspirations to be a professional photographer, and doesn’t want anything to do with price guns and inventory. Meanwhile, her brother Jung fled the family as a teenager and only orbits their outer rim. That summary sounds pretty sombre, but Kim’s Convenience is uproariously funny. The production hinges on the assured, subtle performance of Yi as Appa. The show begins with Yi opening up the store. For a couple of minutes, he silently roves the stage, loading the cash register and futzing with the potato chips. He’s eminently watchable and we’re utterly convinced that this man has his 10,000 hours of shopkeeping under his belt. From there, Yi’s confidence and comic timing drive the action. Carolyn Rapanos’s set is perfect and perfectly particular. From the Ontario Lottery Gold decal above the door to the Toronto Now newspaper in the rack, it’s a remarkable recreation of the familiar corner store. Pacific Theatre has a small alley stage,
James Yi’s comic timing, not to mention his mad shopkeeping skills, keep Kim’s Convenience entertaining. Jalen Saip photo.
with the audience watching the action from both sides. This can create extra challenges for designers, but Rapanos, along with director Kaitlin Williams and lighting designer Jonathan Kim, has the space figured out. When attending the show, book tickets on the south side of the stage. That way you can walk through the set on the way to your seats and really appreciate all the fine detail. Some of that merchandise gets knocked around, though, as there’s a lot of action in this 75-minute show. There’s nothing particularly surprising about how the plot plays out. You can see the bones of the future sitcom in the show’s hammier moments and dad jokes. But it also wrestles—well, maybe it play-fights—with more serious issues. The show explores the tensions that often arise between the life choices and legacies of first-generation immigrants and their children.
Bridge from Allister MacGillivray’s “Song for the Mira”. Popularized by Anne Murray in the early ’80s, it’s a Cape Breton anthem that offers “I’ll trade you 10 of your cities for Marion Bridge and the pleasure it brings.” The three sisters at the centre of Daniel MacIvor’s Marion Bridge are haunted by an early family visit to that landmark. It was a day out that turned sour, and that sourness seems to infect the family all these years later. Agnes (Lynda Boyd), Theresa > DARREN BAREFOOT (Nicola Cavendish), and Louise (Beatrice Zeilinger) have gathered MARION BRIDGE in their family home to care for their dying mother and readjudicate By Daniel MacIvor. Directed by Roy old feuds. Surette. Produced by Wing & Prayer Agnes is a hot mess. She claims to Productions. At the Kay Meek Centre on Thursday, September 6. Continues be an actor, but confesses that it’s just “a very expensive, time-consuming, until September 20 and demoralizing hobby”. She’s also If they know it at all, theatre- probably an alcoholic. There are a goers probably know Marion number of great acting lessons in
And it’s not afraid to poke fun at the cultural stereotypes within and around the Kim family. In a very funny sequence, Appa outlines his complicated taxonomy of potential shoplifters: “Fat black girl is no steal. Fat white guy, that’s steal. Fat guy is black, brown shoes, that’s no steal. That’s cancel-out combo.” Kim’s Convenience is easily the funniest show I’ve seen all year. If you like the TV show, you’re going to love this production.
this production. One of these is the restraint with which Boyd plays being drunk. Her Agnes is all energetic lies. She talks mostly to convince herself of what she’s saying. Nicola Cavendish is as much a Canadian legend as the bridge itself. I’ve always admired the creativity and specificity of her performances. There’s a small moment in a monologue where she makes this unorthodox gesture with a prop—a little bag of notes from her mother. It’s both unexpected and perfect. Louise is taciturn, but she gets the funniest lines. She wouldn’t know this concept, but Louise isn’t selfactualized. We never understand why, but she’s stunted. Zeilinger galumphs around the stage, revealing how her Louise is deeply uncomfortable in her own skin. If parents never died, their children would have nothing to write about. Mothers dying just off-stage are a familiar trope, and MacIvor’s play is very conventional in its structure and source material. Yet it’s become a contemporary Canadian classic for good reasons. It’s gentle and funny and full of small truths. If the performers and the text are sublime, the production is less so. Director Roy Surette seems unsure of how to think about the show’s Cape Breton–ness. Tiko Kerr’s set— a canvas false proscenium, a few walls, and a mishmash of furniture—seems generically Canadian. There is barely a hint of a Nova Scotian accent among the actors. The music between scenes is Celtic— the Rankin Family, maybe?—but it takes no risks. Marion Bridge might be better served by doing less. Cavendish, Boyd, and Zeilinger could keep us rapt with just a kitchen table and three chairs. > DARREN BAREFOOT
Nutcracker presents Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Choreography Galina Yordanova & Nina Menon Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Holiday Classic with a Canadian Twist! Tickets from $25 Family Packs Available
December 7 | 7:30pm December 8 9 | 1:00pm & 6:30pm
“PICTURE PERFECT” —THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
Queen Elizabeth Theatre | balletbc.com SUPPORT FOR BALLET BC HAS BEEN GENEROUSLY L PROVIDED BY
LEFT-RIGHT: RWB COMPANY DANCERS; RWB COMPANY DANCERS; LIANG XING AND YAYOI BAN; RWB SCHOOL STUDENTS AND YAYOI BAN. PHOTOS BY DAVID COOPER.
48 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
FRINGE FESTIVAL a site-responsive play by Universal Limited
"Japanese Problem was only about 40 minutes long, butŊit will stay with me forever."Ŋ
Poly Queer Love Ballad ’s Sara Vickruck and Anais West just might make you swoon via emotionally adventurous songs and passionate poems.
Lovers, folkies, sad-asses: reviews from the Fringe TH E AT RE Be still, my heart. I defy you not to swoon as Sara Vickruck’s Gaby, a butch dyke singer-songwriter, and Anais West’s Nina, a bisexual poet, meet and fall in love on open-mike night at Café Deux Soleils. That opposites attract becomes clear in their concise getting-to-know-you exchanges, like: “Nina: Do you read? Gaby: Harry Potter. You? Nina: Novellas. Gaby: What?” The complicated intimacy between oldfashioned romantic Gaby (“Do you believe in God?”) and polyamorous Nina (“You into threesomes?”) is beautifully mapped in Vickruck’s songs and West’s passionate poems, which celebrate sexual ecstasy and cozy domesticity, sometimes within a single beat. Vickruck plays guitar, sings, and uses a loop pedal to create music that is rhythmically and emotionally adventurous, and her lyrics are often hilarious, with references to gender-neutral bathrooms and the Naam. Under Julie McIsaac’s direction, West is the grounded anchor to Vickruck’s frisky puppy; both are thoroughly charming. Go see this and make it the hit it deserves to be. At the Revue Stage on September 14 (10:15 p.m.) and 16 (5:15 p.m.) POLY QUEER LOVE BALLAD
and the loss of a beloved pet, you’ll also learn about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, reflect on how much everyone loves moving sidewalks, and be let in on a fundamental rule of comedy: “For it to be funny, you need to have someone there who thinks it’s funny.” Works for me. At the Waterfront Theatre on September 13 (8:45 p.m.) and 15 (8:15 p.m.) > KO
> KATHLEEN OLIVER
BLACKBIRD In David Harrower’s 2005 play, Una tracks down Ray, the much older man who sexually abused her 15 years earlier. He’s at work; the play begins as he drags her into the lunchroom, where they slowly peel back the layers of the truth about the past. Ray served a prison sentence and Una was a figure of contempt in the small community she never left. “I hate the life I’ve had. I wanted you to know that,” she says. Harrower’s script relies heavily on contrivance, but director Omari Newton’s positioning of the audience around the perimeter of an actual workplace lunchroom—harshly fluorescent and strewn with debris— gives the shifting power balance between the two characters a powerful immediacy, and Stephanie Elgersma and David Bloom ride the script’s emotional roller coaster with finesse. At Shoreline Studios on September 13 (8 p.m.), 14 (8 p.m.), 15 (8 p.m.), and 16 (2 p.m.) > KO
WOODY SED What a life. What a
show. Thomas Jones plays American folk music icon Woody Guthrie and two dozen other characters in a play that’s packed with as much joy and heartbreak as Guthrie’s own eventful life. Jones plays a beat-up guitar and sings Guthrie classics—including “This Land Is Your Land”—in an economically paced portrait of the man who fled Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl, lived as a hobo, and eventually became one of the most influential American songwriters ever, before succumbing to Huntington’s disease. Jones’s characters are extremely well-differentiated—he even does a brief but uncanny Bob Dylan—and his singing is life-affirming. This late addition to the Fringe is a must-see for folk music fans. At the Cultch’s Historic Theatre on September 15 (5:30 p.m.) and 16 (2:30 p.m.) > KO MARTIN
Martin Dockery’s distinctive storytelling style is marked by his scratchy voice, wild hand gestures, entertaining digressions, and, most of all, intimacy. Dockery likes to dial down the intensity of his stories from time to time to prepare us for their impact, but his racing mind is frequently hilarious: in a declaration of long-term love, he qualifies, “I don’t wanna actually watch you grow old, but if you’re gonna grow old anyway, I’ll watch.” And he packs a lot in: while you’re hearing tales of a tense airport border crossing, an unexpected encounter at the Burning Man Festival,
Magician Robbie T is a charmingly offbeat delight, and his illusions are genuinely impressive. The final five minutes of the show are made up of one mind-boggling reveal after another. And yet to truly earn its title, Weirdo could be about 52 percent weirder. He’s funny and self-deprecating, but the bulk of his actions that supposedly demonstrate his strangeness—he sniffs felt pens, he has his childhood stuffed elephant on tour with him—are kind of shrugworthy. One of T’s running gags is brilliantly effective, though—a simple idea, but his execution is perfection: pulling foil confetti out of his pocket in a small flourish whenever he wants to signal “Magic!” It’s T’s body language here that really delivers on his “weirdo” promise. At Performance Works on September 14 (6:45 p.m.) and 16 (2 p.m.) > ANDREA WARNER
JAPANESE PROBLEM September 13 - 29, 2018 Tuesday-Saturday 7pm & 8:30pm Saturday Sept 22, 4pm matineeŊ Saturday Sept 29, 1pm matinee PWYC $8 | $18 | $28 Hastings Park, Livestock BuildingŊ
TICKETS AND INFO AT JAPANESEPROBLEM.CA
INCOGNITO MODE: 27 A PLAY ABOUT PORN A generational exploration of pornography in the digital age co-presented with Neworld Theatre Directed by Chelsea Haberlin Devised & Written by Marcus Youssef
By Amy Rutherford
MORTIFIED Presented in association with Touchstone Theatre Directed by Anita Rochon Supported by the Studio 58 Legacy Fund
Produced in conjunction with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research project, IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus.
ST U D I O 5 8 . CA | T I C K E TSTO N I G H T . CA | 6 0 4 - 6 8 4 - 2 7 87
@ S T U D I O 5 8 T H E AT R E | # S T U D I O 5 8 S E A S O N 5 3
A SAD-ASS CABARET One thing
I love about TJ Dawe’s shows is that I always learn so many fascinating facts. Dawe is a master of transforming research into riveting stories, and here his tales from the lives of well-known musicians are complemented by the music of Lindsay Robertson. These two “sommeliers of tears” let us in on Hank Williams’s final concert, Judy Garland’s tragic childhood, Bessie Smith’s badass defiance, and Sufjan Stevens’s faith in the power of love. Robertson’s dusky voice and gentle acoustic guitar pair seamlessly with Dawe’s carefully see next page
Book by Joe Masteroff | Music by John Kander | Lyrics by Fred Ebb Directed by Josh Epstein Musical Direction by Christopher King Choreography by Shelley Stewart Hunt
Student writing supported by George Stephenson
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 49
roles, including Cleva, one of the last speakers of the dying language, and the Ape, who wears a black dress and pearls. Elizabeth Holliday’s multiple roles could be better differentiated in terms of pace and intensity. Laulainen creates some beautiful stage pictures, supported by Jared Raschke’s set and lighting and Zoë Wessler’s wistful music. Recommended. At the Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab on September 13 (5:15 p.m.), 14 (9:40 p.m.), 15 (12:30 p.m.), and 16 (8:05 p.m.) > KO
from previous page
crafted prose to make a thoroughly enjoyable hour. At Havana Theatre on September 12 (9:40 p.m.), 14 (6 p.m.), and 15 (6:35 p.m.) > KO FAKE GHOST TOURS Wow, I never knew how haunted Granville Island was! Apparently, “You can’t swing a dead cat on this island without hitting that cat’s ghost.” Self-professed identical-twin brothers Shawn O’Hara and Abdul Aziz are professional ghost hunters (they earned their credential in vampire studies at Langara), and on this tour, they’ll fill you in on the tragedies and horrors that have afflicted the site over centuries. O’Hara and Aziz are skilled comedians, specializing in deadpan absurdity and strategic repetition; their humour is both topical (Railspur Alley’s “old ghosts are being pushed out by younger, hipper ghosts”) and irreverent (Emily Carr was the “witch queen of Canada”). Well worth the walk. At the Fringe Hub on September 12 (7:30 p.m.), 13 (7:30 p.m.), 14 (9 p.m.), and 15 (3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) > KO
single lesbian, is pregnant at 42, having put her academic career before family. George takes nearly half the play to set up the stakes, letting Brodie go on at length about the (fictional) dying language she’s studying, the inappropriate gorilla PRECIOUS LITTLE American play- habitat at the zoo, and the “statiswright Madeleine George has cre- tical precipice” her late pregnancy ated a sneaky little play. Brodie, a puts her on. We get it, she’s an aca-
demic, but for a long time, it feels like nothing is happening. It’s only after the turning point that all this setup begins to pay off—in a way that is genuinely moving. Director Mika Laulainen directs a solid cast: Sara Andrina Brown is a grounded, no-nonsense Brodie; Thérèse Champagne’s irrepressible warmth imbues her multiple supporting
CREATE | PROVOKE | TRANSFORM COMING UP
Chantal Hébert - Discourse October 23, 2018
Chotto Desh - Dance November 21-24, 2018
Bah Humbug! - Theatre/Music December 6-22, 2018 SFUWOODWARDS.CA SFUWOODWARDS
50 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
RUBY ROCKET RETURNS! “I don’t
have a very good memory on account of I drink a lot and I’m not great with details,” Ruby Rocket confides near the start of this improv mystery, saturated in film-noir atmosphere. “That’s what makes me a great detective.” Stacey Hallal has a hard-boiled good time with a rotating cast of improvisers; on the night I saw the show, Briana Rayner, Amy Shostak, and Shawn Norman were hilarious in the search for a stolen brooch made partly of cheetah. The send-up of noir conventions—accents, liquor, projected black-and-white imagery, and, best of all, live keyboard accompaniment (a terrific Matt Grinke on my night)—and Hallal’s playful, loose grip on the reins of the story make this one a lot of fun. At the Waterfront Theatre on September 14 (8:55 p.m.) and 15 (2:40 p.m.) > KO
Since her father (appa in Korean) died a year ago, Esther hasn’t really felt like herself. Now her mom wants her to hide her appa’s ashes from her visiting uncle. The ensuing emotional crisis is very entertaining, thanks to Kuan Foo’s witty, nuanced script and Diana Bang’s lightly self-mocking stage presence. Foo’s descriptions of the other characters in Esther’s world are concise and razor-sharp: her boss, Daryl, is “probably the closest a human being has ever come to existing in a state of pure math” and her rage-aholic mother is “a cyclone with a perm”, with whom Esther is constantly at war (“I have a lot of buttons and she has a lot of fingers”). BIG SISTER Inspired by her older Bang’s only props are a set of card- sister’s real-life 70-pound weight board boxes that she manipulates loss, this complex 70-minute, throughout—often ingeniously, but see next page SELF-ISH
In Fake Ghost Tours, deadpan Shawn O’Hara and Abdul Aziz fill you in on the tragedies and horrors that have afflicted Granville Island over the years.
too often on the whole. Director Dawn Milman could easily cut some of the physical business and trust in Foo’s text and in Bang’s connection with the audience. At the Revue Stage on September 12 (10:15 p.m.), 14 (8:30 p.m.), and 15 (2:15 p.m.) > KO
We are Singers/ We are Song! SU BS C R I B E TO O U R N E W SE A S O N TO D AY
2018 Paul Blinov and Amy Shostak display their love of language in Gossamer Obsessions; Sean Casey LeClaire’s Small Town Boys follows teens growing up in Châteauguay, Quebec, and stumbling into adulthood, with mixed success.
one-woman show was written by playwright Deborah Vogt for her sister, actor Naomi Vogt. Naomi is a powerful, engaging presence onstage, and Deborah is a talented, funny writer. Their collaboration is thought-provoking and heartfelt, but it’s also frustrating and difficult, and not quite as critical of fatshaming as it wants to be. There’s no radical fat acceptance or size acceptance to be found on the page or on the stage. These are people with complicated relationships to fatness itself, and though the script communicates a desire to interrogate beauty standards and society’s hatred of and erasure of fat bodies, it ultimately reveals that the Vogt sisters, at least the version of themselves presented in Big Sister, are still working on divesting themselves of their own internalized fat hatred. At the Revue Stage on September 13 (6:45 p.m.), 15 (5:45 p.m.), and 16 (1:45 p.m.) > AW MY IMAGINATION RAN AWAY WITHOUT ME Josh Green’s play
is underdeveloped, but its feats of physical strength are impressive, as are the various acrobatics performed by Green and his cast. The script itself is painfully thin and the line readings are quite stiff. We’re meant to be following a procrastinator whose mind takes us on a series of adventures, but almost every time the characters speak, we’re snapped out of the immersive wonder of the ways they contort their bodies and work together in a circus of limbs and muscles, trust, and synchronicity. In fact, this is the rare play that would be served best by having no dialogue at all, and relying instead on physicality alone as its means of storytelling. At Performance Works on September 12 (7:45 p.m.), 15 (10:10 p.m.), and 16 (5:15 p.m.) > AW
GOSSAMER OBSESSIONS If the polysyllabic title draws you in, you’ll appreciate the love of language that Amy Shostak and Paul Blinov exhibit as their pastorally costumed, British-accented personas introduce a series of “wretched parables”, “effervescent gasps of narrative”, some of them “ensheened in a glimmering haze of ennui”. Their keenly literate appreciation of the absurd is on display in sketches that reveal the other side of the Ouija board, a dad who takes the notion of consequences way too personally when his teenage daughter breaks curfew, a pair of academics funded by a Cis Hetero Studies Late Night Poutine Scholarship, and more. Full of weird surprises. At the Revue Stage on September 14 (5 p.m.) and 15 (4 p.m.) > KO
uel Calderon’s drag alter ego, Didi, resembles the Philippine f lag as this karaoke hostess tells stories of having felt like a “Canadian alien in a Filipino bodysuit” until a first visit to the country two years ago. Calderon recalls his enthusiasm about learning Tagalog and Filipino cultural traditions, alongside discomfort with having to hide his bakla (queer) status. Calderon’s chronological approach to his stories leaves some dropped threads (a secret half-auntie?) and underdeveloped ideas (politics), and his delivery feels a bit underrehearsed; this seems like an early version of what could become a strong show. The lively karaoke interludes invite audience participation, so if you’re dying to get that mike in your hand, here’s your chance. At XY on September 13 (7 p.m. and 10:30 FIX The Elegant Ladies Collective p.m.), 15 (3 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and 16 takes audiences on a journey up (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.) > KO and down Railspur Alley, where grey-clad performers share their SMALL TOWN BOYS Sean Casey personal stories of addiction: to LeClaire knows the importance of drugs, food, smoking, even au- detail: his description of the tavern thority. There’s a range of skills in Châteauguay, Quebec, where he in the writing and acting, but the and his pals hung out in their teens courage and good intentions of the has big jars of pickled eggs and fat performers are never in doubt. I es- cow tongues, “sawdust on the f loor pecially appreciated Sofia Waqar’s and free corn on the cob”. We later stillness as she recalls sharing the leave the tavern and travel around “medicine” of cigarettes with her Canada with LeClaire’s alter ego, father and the aching lyricism of Eddie, and his friends Bo and Big Griffin Tedeschini’s poetry (“I Willy as they stumble into adultwant to be incandescent; I want to hood with varying degrees of sucbe monumental”). Director Leslie cess. Although LeClaire’s writing Stark uses the site well, creating is often lyrical and he’s a warm, some arresting pictures with her engaging storyteller, the gaps in cast of 13, who encompass a variety his narrative and his digressions of ages and body types rarely seen from the trio’s friendship make it in conventional theatre. At Rail- hard to get a handle on this play’s spur Alley on September 13, 14, and focus—and on opening night, LeClaire’s frequent calls for lines 15 at 7 p.m. > KO were distracting. At the Waterfront BIG QUEER FILIPINO KARAOKE Theatre on September 13 (6:45 NIGHT! With a red skirt, blue top, p.m.), 15 (6:15 p.m.), and 16 (3:15 and f lower in her hair, Davey Sam- p.m.) > KO
THE HEART’S REFLECTION Presenting Kari Turunen from Finland 8pm Friday, September 28 | Pacific Spirit United Church*
WE ARE SINGERS / WE ARE SONG Joy in Singing 8pm Friday, October 19 | Pacific Spirit United Church* FOR LOVE IS STRONG Presenting Kathleen Allan from Vancouver 8pm Friday, November 9 | Pacific Spirit United Church*
HANDEL’S MESSIAH Jon Washburn Conducts 8pm Friday, December 7 | The Orpheum
A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS Presenting Nicol Matt from Germany 8pm Friday, December 14 | Pacific Spirit United Church*
2019 LOVE AND MERCY Presenting Erick Lichte from Portland/Vancouver 8pm Friday, January 25 Shaughnessy Heights United Church
MASTERPIECE Famous Choruses of Great Composers 8pm Saturday, February 16 Shaughnessy Heights United Church
MUSIC SEA TO SEA The Farewell Tour 8pm Friday, March 15 | Shaughnessy Heights United Church MUSIC FOR A VERY GOOD FRIDAY Bach/O’Regan/Vaughan Williams 8pm Friday, April 19 | The Orpheum
YOUTH & MUSIC 2019 Music’s Future 8pm Friday, May 10 | Shaughnessy Heights United Church Subscribe today to our new concert season. Design your own series or sign up for all 10 wonderful concerts. Call us for a season brochure at 604.738.6822. * Formerly known as Ryerson United Church
SEPT 20 | ORPHEUM Otto Tausk VSO Music Director Renée Fleming soprano
TICKETS: vso.ca 604-876-3434 SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 51
2018–19 SEASON TALES OF AN URBAN INDIAN SEP 19–30
Staged on a moving transit bus, this is one ride you won’t want to miss! Produced by Talk Is Free Theatre. Mature Subject Matter
SO, HOW SHOULD I BE? OCT 18–28 Growing up under the influence of Body Image.
Produced by Presentation House Theatre. Everyone aged 10+
JAKE’S GIFT NOV 8–11
The moving story of a WW2 veteran’s reluctant return to Juno Beach. Produced by Juno Productions. Everyone aged 10+
HOLIDAY BAKING TIME DEC 6–16
Puppetry, music, and live action baking! It’s a recipe for festive fun! Co-Produced by Presentation House Theatre and Oily Cart Theatre. Families with kids aged 3–8
WHAT IF ROMEO AND JULIET… JAN 25–27 Could there be another ending to this beloved and famous tale? Co-produced by Presentation House Theatre and DynamO Théâtre. Everyone aged 8+
PETER AND THE WOLF FEB 26–28 by Sergei Prokofiev
Exquisite puppets and Prokofiev’s original score bring the wonderful world of music to life.
Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra
Produced by National Theatre of Iceland. Everyone aged 6+
METAMORPHOSIS MAR 1 & 2
7:30 pm November 24, 2018 Shaughnessy Heights United Church 1550 West 33rd Avenue, Vancouver
Nothing remains the way it seems — it’s not what we see but how we see it. Produced by National Theatre of Iceland. For Grown Ups aged 16+
REVERBERATIONS MAR 7–17
Reviving a lifetime of memories through the sounds of one family’s history. Co-Produced by Presentation House Theatre and Reverberations Collective. For Grown Ups aged 16+
JACK AND THE Magic BEAN APR 11–28
Guest artist, Ben Heppner 3:00 pm November 25, 2018 Good Shepherd Church 2250 150th Street, Surrey
When the Spring is Born 7:30 pm March 9, 2019 Shaughnessy Heights United Church 1550 West 33rd Avenue, Vancouver Music by Women
I am in Need of Music
A magical new spin on this cherished classic from the creative team behind Where the Wild Things Are, and Baking Time.
7:30 pm May 4, 2019
Produced by Presentation House Theatre. Families with kids aged 3–8
lay p s a e id Where Presentation House Theatre
333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver
52 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
Shaughnessy Heights United Church 1550 West 33rd Avenue, Vancouver Guest artist, Suzie LeBlanc Season media sponsor
To Sep 22, Deep Cove Shaw Theatre (4360 Gallant Ave., North Van). Tix $25 adults/$23 seniors and students, info www.firstimpressionstheatre.com/.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a play about a 15-yearold who, when his neighbour’s dog is killed, challenges his own barriers to uncover the truth about the dog, his family, and himself. To Oct 7, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Tix from $29, info www.artsclub.com/.
t imeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
THE LIFE OF GALILEO David Hare’s new translation of the Bertolt Brecht masterpiece, directed by Michael Fera. To Sep 30, 8 pm, Jericho Arts Centre. Tix $22-$28, info www.unitedplayers.com/.
< DANCE < < 2THIS WEEK < SCOTIABANK DANCE CENTRE OPEN < HOUSE Participating companies and < artists include Kababayang Pilipino, < Karen Flamenco, Shot of Scotch, Helen Walkley, Polymer Dance, and Anderson < Performance Clinic. Sep 15, 11 am–5 pm,
Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Free, info www.thedancecentre.ca/open_house/.
TALES OF AN URBAN INDIAN The Royal Canadian Air Farce’s Craig Lauzon performs a site-specific work, staged entirely on a moving transit bus, which documents the life of an Indigenous man born on a B.C. reserve and raised in 1970s Vancouver. Sep 19-30, Presentation House Theatre. Info www.phtheatre.org/tales-urban-indian/.
2ONGOING BARD ON THE BEACH Annual Shakespeare theatre festival features repertory performances of As You Like It, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata. To Sep 28, Vanier Park (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $24, info www.bardonthebeach.org/. VANCOUVER FRINGE FESTIVAL Annual festival features performances by nearly 100 theatre artists and companies over 11 days. To Sep 16, Granville Island. Info www.vancouverfringe.com/. MARION BRIDGE Nicola Cavendish, Lynda Boyd, and Beatrice Zeilinger star in Daniel MacIvor’s play about three estranged sisters who make the trip home to Cape Breton to care for their dying mother. To Sep 20, Kay Meek Arts Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $45/42.75/15 , info www.kaymeek.com/. CYRANO First Impressions Theatre presents a version of the classic swashbuckling adventure of Cyrano De Bergerac.
DISCOVER DANCE! THAI DANCE COMPANY Artistic director Megara Solloway teams up with Thai classical dancer and choreographer Kai Whitcomb for a selection of ceremonial dances. Sep 20, 12-1 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Tix $15/13, info www.thedancecentre.ca/. VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Flamenco Rosario presents performances by local and international flamenco artists, with free workshops and ticketed performances at various Vancouver venues. Sep 21-29, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Free to $65 (plus service charge), info www. vancouverflamencofestival.org/.
MUSIC 2JUST ANNOUNCED THE MERRY WIDOW (DIE LUSTIGE WITWE) Vancouver Opera presents Franz Lehár’s comedic operetta, directed by Kelly Robinson. Oct 20-28, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix from $50, info www.vancouveropera.ca/merry-widow/.
2THIS WEEK VANCOUVER CELLO QUARTET The West Vancouver Community Arts Council presents classical music performed by local cellists Lee Duckles, Luke Kim, Kevin Park,
see next page
THE HILARIOUS MISFORTUNES OF ONE WOMAN’S FORTUNE
g/ª/gg/ªВ SOEURS Sept. 27 – Oct. 6, 2018 MainStage
By Michel Tremblay Translated by John Van Burek & Bill Glassco Directed by Diane Brown Produced by Ruby Slippers Theatre
Tickets from $29!
GatewayTheatre.com , H GatewayThtr Melissa Oei, France Perras & Agnes Tong. Photo: David Cooper.
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 53
Arts time out
from previous page
and Cristian Markos. Sep 13, 10:30-11:30 am, Silk Purse Arts Centre (1570 Argyle Ave.). Tix $22/17, info www.westvanartscouncil.ca/.
THE MUTE CANARY & OTHER FAVOURITES BY RUDOLF KOMOROUS Turning Point Ensemble kicks off its season with the world premiere of a new one-act opera by 86-year-old Rudolf Komorous. Sep 14-16, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W. Hastings). Tix $33/20, info www.turningpointsensemble.ca/.
COMEDY 2ONGOING THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 604-684-5050, www. thecomedymix.com/. Comedy club with pro-am night Tue at 8:30 pm, showcase Wed at 8:30 pm, and featured headliners Thu at 8:30 pm and Fri-Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm. Cover $8 Tue, $10 Wed, $15 Thu, $18 Fri, $20 Sat. 2CHRIS GORDON Sep 13-15 2KYLE BOTTOM Sep 20-22 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. 2KURT BRAUNOHLER Sep 14-15
2THIS WEEK BACK TO SCHOOL THEATRESPORTS Vancouver TheatreSports honours the beginning of fall with a special improv show dedicated to school days. To Oct 6, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Tix from $10.75, info www.vtsl.com/show/back-to-school/. BRENDAN SCHAUB American comedian and web series host. Sep 13, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $30 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
BILL REID GALLERY 639 Hornby, 604682-3455, www.billreidgallery.ca/. 2BODY LANGUAGE: REAWAKENING CULTURAL TATTOOING OF THE NORTHWEST (guest curator Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation traces the deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment) to Jan 13
PAT CARNEY BOOK READING & TALK Order of Canada recipient reads from her collection of short stories, On Island. Sep 16, 3 pm, Vancouver Maritime Museum (1905 Ogden). Free with museum admission, info www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/.
ET CETERA 2THIS WEEK DOUGLAS COUPLAND’S VORTEX Douglas Coupland’s new radical art installation takes an imaginative journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To April 30, 2019, Vancouver Aquarium (845 Avison Way, Stanley Park). $22/39, info www.vanaqua.org/. TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION Exhibition focuses on the legendary RMS Titanic’s compelling human stories through more than 120 authentic artifacts and extensive room re-creations. To Jan 11, 2019, Lipont Place (4211 No. 3 Road). Info www.titanicvancouver.com/. WATER’S EDGE DAY A community celebration of Vancouver’s waterfront! Free ocean-themed activities—canoe/ kayak tours, children’s entertainment, face painting, First Nations storytelling, Coast Guard vessel tours, entrance to the Vancouver Maritime Museum and more! Hosted by Georgia Strait Alliance. Sep 15, 10 am–4 pm, Vanier Park (1000 Chestnut). Info www.GeorgiaStrait.org/.
2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS CURIOUS IMAGININGS Vancouver Biennale 2018-2020 presents an immersive sculpture exhibition featuring the works of Australian artist Patricia Piccinini. Sep 13– Dec 15, Patricia Hotel (403 East Hastings Street ). Tix $16-40, info www.imcurious.ca/.
BEASTLY HABITS: THE EXPLOITATION OF ANIMALS FOR FASHION Experience a fashion show under a blue whale skeleton! Presented by artist Catherine Stewart and fashion historian Ivan Sayers, featuring NASTY WOMEN COMEDY Improv historical clothing and accessories. Sep 21, comedy by Ese Atawo, Racquel Belmonte, 7 pm, Beaty Biodiversity Museum (2212 Main Denea Campbell, Rae Lynn Carson, Kerri Mall, UBC). Tix $20 museum members, $25 Donaldson, Allie Entwistle, Carla Mah, general public, info www.beatymuseum. Stacey McLachlan, Jenny Rubé, and ubc.ca/beastly-habits/. Annalise Stuart. Sep 17, 7:30 pm, Biltmore FRAN LEBOWITZ A celebrated wit and Cabaret . Tix at www.ticketfly.com/. humourist whose razor-sharp observations IMPROV AGAINST HUMANITY: RUSH target everything about contemporary WEEK REVELRY The Fictionals present a society with brutal honesty. Presented special syllabus for the Horrible People by the Blueshore Financial Centre for of Vancouver, with Lambda Alpha Funny the Performing Arts. Sep 27-28, 8-10 and guests. Sep 19, 8-10 pm, Rio Theatre pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $12, info www. Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). Tix $50, thefictionals.com/. info www.capilanou.ca/centre/.
54 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 555 Nelson, 604-681-2700, www.contemporary artgallery.ca. 2MY AUNTIE BOUGHT ALL HER SKIDOOS WITH BEAD MONEY (Jeneen Frei Njootli’s solo exhibition speaks to refusals, belongings, loss and love,) to Sep 16 THE POLYGON GALLERY 101 Carrie Cates Court, www.thepolygon.ca/. 2THE LIND PRIZE 2018 (exhibition showcasing the finalists of the annual Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize, awarded to an artist currently enrolled in a BFA or MFA program in British Columbia, working in mediums of film, photography, or video.) Sep 21–Oct 7 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2CABIN FEVER (exhibition traces the cabin’s evolution through renderings, artworks, and commercial products, as well as architectural models, plans, and full-scale installations) to Sep 30 2KEVIN SCHMIDT: WE ARE THE ROBOTS (B.C.–based artist Kevin Schmidt draws on conceptual and performance art while embodying the do-it-yourself sensibilities of an amateur inventor) to Oct 28
MUSEUMS MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER 1100 Chestnut, 604-736-4431, www.museumof vancouver.ca/. 2WILD THINGS: THE POWER OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES (exhibition delves into the life stories of local animals and plants—how they relate to each other and how they connect people to nature in the city) to Sep 30 THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-8225087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2ARTS OF RESISTANCE: POLITICS AND THE PAST IN LATIN AMERICA (exhibition illustrates how Latin-American communities use traditional or historical art forms to express contemporary political realities) to Sep 30
TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
MUSIC Landing a major-label deal is most musicians’ dream. But for Mike Milosh, the man behind Rhye, signing a contract with Polydor weighed him down for several years. When the act began as a duo, it was courted by majors for months. Rhye’s delicate, sultry compositions stood apart from the aggressive pop and R&B that dominated the 2012 charts—a feature that sparked the feeding frenzy for Milosh’s commitment. When the label released its first LP, named Woman, the next year, however, slow sales led Polydor to bury the project. After much deliberation, the Toronto-born Milosh refused to let Rhye fade into obscurity. Drawing on a clause in the small print of his contract, he chose to buy his way out of his deal and move on without his musical partner, Robin Hannibal—an endeavour that involved a huge amount of money. Fortunately for Milosh, Polydor had no control over the cash he earned through touring. “I always kept the touring separate, and treated it as its own business,” he tells the Georgia Straight on the line from a hotel in Tel Aviv. “I was starting to think that maybe I just should have changed my name [rather than buying out the contract], because that would have been way simpler. In the process of deciding what to do, I was playing so many concerts, and pouring energy into the project—the name and everything. I was buying time while I was figuring out how to get the money to buy off this option. Then I had this moment where I said, ‘Yes, I should definitely do this,’ because I’d put so much into it already.” For nearly five years, Milosh booked tour dates around the world to play songs from Woman—a feat that, in the modern world of the two-year album cycle, is almost unheard-of. It was also a point of validation for the artist. Dedicated to creating music with longevity rather than a string of hits, he found
A part of your world
Rhye’s Mike Milosh (above) believes that music is a way of bringing people together; Tony Dekker (below) looked inward for Great Lake Swimmers’ latest.
wanted to use. That opened up a lot of avenues as we got into some really interesting collaborations with different people who were super specialized and skilled at their instruments.” > KATE WILSON Recorded in an old church, the record heads Mike Milosh doesn’t want to make pop hits; for previously uncharted territory right off the he wants Rhye to mean something to listeners Rhye plays the Vogue top, with “The Talking Wind” marked with wavTheatre on Saturday (September 15), as part of ering flute and soft-focus clarinet, “In a Certain his time on the road offered him a new freedom. “On one hand, I was surprised, but I also Westward Music Festival. Light” built around back-porch banjo, and “Falling wasn’t,” Milosh says of his ability to continue Apart” spotlighting the regal harp-playing of Mary to sell out venues without releasing new music. Lattimore. Great Lake Swimmers serves up pop at “Sometimes I get these feelings in my life that its most ethereal and ghostly on the marimba-powwhat I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be doing. ered “Holding Nothing Back”, dives headfirst into It just feels right. All the touring I was doing kept rattling ghost-town country with “Root Systems”, Sometimes changing things up isn’t neces- and even plays things straight-ahead with the feeling right. I kept playing places that were new, sary, but that didn’t stop Great Lake Swim- sunny MOR pop number “Alone but Not Alone”. and going back to see some familiar places a few times. I went through a few iterations of the band. mers founder Tony Dekker from doing just that Linking The Waves, the Wake to Great Lake I think I felt lucky, more than surprised, actually.” on this year’s The Waves, the Wake. Swimmers’ back catalogue is Dekker’s continuTo listen to the seventh album by the beauti- ing interest in exploring themes of solitude, the His years on the road served as the inspiration for Rhye’s latest release, the stunning 11-track fully downbeat Ontario ambient-folk unit is to power of nature, and how we all feel just a bit betBlood. Eschewing the electronic production of conclude that the status quo was no longer inter- ter when we find ourselves off the grid—with the Woman in favour of live-recorded instruments, esting for the singer-guitarist. Over its 15-year bonus of no cell service. It’s no accident that the the artist was motivated to create an album that run, Great Lake Swimmers has built a reputation album kicks off with “I’ve been talking with the mirrored the versatility of his seven-piece band. as the kind of band you reach for when the storm wind a lot,” from “The Talking Wind”. Guitars, violins, cellos, trombones, synths, and clouds are gathering in November and you’re Asked if he wrote The Waves, the Wake somepercussion were each put to work in the hunkered down in a log cabin near Tofino, 100 where beautiful—like Tofino, 100 Mile House, or studio, building tracks that are at once Mile House, or the wilds of Cascadia. the base of Mount Baker—Dekker suggests that In some ways, that still works for The Waves, the sometimes getting inside your own head is as immuscular and fragile. Milosh’s androgynous vocals float over the atmospheric Wake, except that Dekker has chosen to swap out portant as getting away from it all. melodies, telling tales of love, investiga- acoustic guitars for instruments somewhat outside “For this one, it was more about creating mental tion, and discovery. Aiming for a record his comfort zone, including marimba, harmonium, space than physical space,” he offers. “I can’t say where each track embodies a new emo- cello, violin, and harp. The results are, as usual, that the record is really tied to a particular place. tion, he hopes Blood has the ability to stunning in a way that makes you long for the West My journey with this record was more of an interconnect people across ages and cultures. Coast rains (or, if you prefer, Ontario snowfalls). nal one than an external one. If that makes sense.” That the sonic recalibrating of Great Lake “I believe that music—more so than The lyrics—fi lled with references not only to some of the other arts, because we don’t Swimmers worked out as seamlessly as it did the wind, but also to waves—hint there were have to speak the same language to get pleases Dekker, mostly because there was some difficult-to-navigate times, which the feeling from the song—is a binding a period when he wondered what the makes sense given that Dekker wrote agent,” he says. “I think it brings people hell he was doing. the album while he was riding the Check out… “When I was writing for the record, together. Cultural exchange in music wonderful, insane roller coaster of STRAIGHT.COM is probably one of the most beauti- I was really feeling a shift in perspechaving a kid. Make our website your source for ful things. Often you get to somehow tive,” the laid-back Ontarian says, on “I noticed that waves kept comlocal music and infi ltrate people’s lives in their living rooms or the line from Toronto. “I think part ing up in a lot of the songs, and that major festivals. their bedrooms or their houses, and bring people of that had to do with new parenthood there were little bridges in the songs together in tiny moments as well, which is incred- and all that comes with that. I was realthat provided a sort of synchronicity,” ible and very beautiful. I could probably go on ly searching for something new, but what he says. “I also feel that wave is a pretty about it for a long time, but to distill it to some- exactly I was searching for I didn’t really know, and loaded word, as is the wake, and then putting thing quite simple: if you make music that has a I’m still not sure. I do know that I went through this those two words together works on a couple of fairly loving and peaceful intention, I have this period where I really had to get over this hurdle of different levels. Waves, the way I see it, is about faith that it translates, and it helps bring people having a new perspective on my writing. And while pushing towards the future, and wake is the trail it took me a while to get over that hurdle, once I behind which you have to navigate. It’s all about together in a very loving way.” Over the tumultuous course of Rhye’s exis- broke through I feel like I really tapped into some- trying to fi nd a place in the centre of that, to fi nd tence, Milosh has remained true to his ideals. As thing to where the floodgates opened.” a balance between those two things.” As Dekker hints, he eventually ended up with dedicated today to producing quality music over Dekker has done a masterful job of finding that quantity as he was during his time with Polydor, an embarrassment of riches on The Waves, the balance on The Waves, the Wake, which has enough the artist doesn’t judge his success by the tickets Wake, drawing heavily on Toronto musicians connections to the past to satisfy long-time fans of he sells or the number of times his albums are outside of his normal circle of collaborators. Great Lake Swimmers even while the singer looks “Doing something different on this record def- to the future and moves forward as an artist. streamed—although both metrics are excellent. Rather, his dedication to the project is motivated initely took some work, for sure,” he says. “There “Making this record made me realize how was a lot of reflection, and a lot of deep thinking. much time I used to have,” he relates. “When you by the response from his listeners. “Even my manager isn’t really looking at it I think that ended up being reflected in the music. don’t have it, you’re like, ‘Remember the days [album sales],” he says. “I think everyone who is With the last couple of albums, we’ve had this when everything was a little freer?’ But I couldn’t involved with me is understanding that I’m not more or less regular backing band, even though be happier about the way that everything turned making music that will pop off. They’re not pop our members change with every album, if you go out. It’s been a great challenge.” > MIKE USINGER hits. I’m making music that hopefully becomes back over our seven albums now. With this one, part of people’s lives for a longer period of time. It’s the Toronto music community—and extending not about hitting a crazy target. For me, it’s more beyond that as well—sort of became the back- Great Lake Swimmers plays the Imperial on important to see that people are smiling or crying, ing band as we zeroed in on the instruments we September 21. or hugging. I see a lot of people hugging at our shows. That’s a lot more special than a number.”
Great Lake Swimmers’ Dekker sought something sonically new
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 55
ORIGINAL O RIIG GIINA G NAL 16 16 D DRAUGHT RAUGH HTT SEELLE LECT SHOTS, SHOT OTTSS, W ELL HI H HIGHB IGH GH HBBALLS SELECT WELL HIGHBALLS &H OUSE W WI WIN IINNNEE HOUSE WINE 320 ABBO OTT T S STT R E E T
2 2010 0 110 0 W E S T 4 TTH H A AV E
Westward Music Festival performers (clockwise from left) Ravyn Lenae, Cigarettes After Sex, Margaret Glaspy.
Go Westward and discover Six under-the-radar acts to catch at this weekend’s big music festival > B Y JO HN LU C A S , M IK E U S ING E R , A ND K ATE WILS O N
OFFICE HIGH TIDE 13 THE TRIVIA NIGHT 22 14 FIESTA FONDA 27 STICK 15 BRAZILIAN NIGHT! 28 TALKING FESTIVAL THURSDAY
QUALITY HOUSE MUSIC
WITH RAWTHORNE, KEL SO, RIDEOUT DOORS 8PM SHOW 9:30PM - $12 RED TRUCK LAGER OR PALE ALE $5.85/ JUGS $16
DOORS 7PM-$10 BACKSTAGE LAGER(10OZ) $2.60
WEST COAST THURSDAYS WITH MIKE WETERINGS
EXPERIENCE THE REAL CHILEAN PARTY
DOORS 8PM SHOW 9:30PM. $5 AT THE DOOR. BACKSTAGE LAGER(10OZ) $2.60
DOORS 8PM-$10 • KRONENBOURG PINTS (1164, BL ANC, FRUIT) $7.80
THE LIVE AGENCY PRESENTS
WITH LIVE FORRÓ BAND
FREE DANCE LESSON & DJ REPIN DOORS 9PM $15 ADV $20 DOOR RED TRUCK LAGER OR PALE ALE $5.85/ JUGS $16
20 21 EL CAMINO THURSDAY
WEST COAST THURSDAYS WITH MIKE WETERINGS DOORS 8PM SHOW 9:30PM. $5 DOOR BACKSTAGE LAGER(10OZ) $2.60
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he neat thing about Westward Music Festival is that, unlike most such events, it doesn’t feature a couple of headliners and a vast undercard playing outdoors while the punters jostle for space in a field that will eventually turn into a mud pit because, well, Vancouver. Instead, Westward takes place from Thursday to Sunday (September 13 to 16) at some of the city’s finest venues—including the Vogue Theatre, the Biltmore Cabaret, Venue, the Orpheum, and the Imperial—and puts the spotlight on acts from near and far that are just waiting to become your new favourite. (With a few old faves throw in for good measure, and yes, we’re looking at you, Mudhoney.) To get you started, we’ve made a list of six Westward acts that are well worth your attention.
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TICKETS AT WWW.TICKETWEB.CA, BEATMERCHANT HIGHLIFE, NEPTOON, RED CAT, & ZULU RECORDS 56 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
smoky, jazz-infused beats topped off with articulate lyrical explorations. Touching on subjects that tap into the recent sad-rap phenomenon, Saba is vocal in his discussions of depression, and marries his profound bars with a captivating delivery. A first-class musician, the up-andcomer has the goods to entertain any generation of rap fan. RAVYN LENAE (At Venue on Fri-
day) There’s a reason Ravyn Lenae was included in Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know” list in March last year. Still in high school when she made the cut, she has toured with powerhouse SZA and the hotly tipped Noname, bringing her ethereal, quirky vocals to stages around North America. Performing over funk-infused beats that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Anderson .Paak record, the singer offers a fresh take on R&B in a market that’s saturated by pop-heavy hits.
SOPHIE (At the Imperial on Sunday) Who cares about hit singles, glossy magazine covers, and almost 58,000 Instagram followers? Sometimes the fastest way to get a handle on someone’s career is to check out the crowd they run with. Before releasing her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s UnInsides, earlier this year, Sophie had an impressive track record as a producer, working with everyone from Madonna and Charli XCX to Vince Staples and Let’s Eat Grandma. Thanks to a quite frankly inspirational take on shiny pop music, the enigmatic artist born Samuel Long is finally getting more recognition in front of the mike than behind the mixing board. Check out the regal, quietly powerful “It’s Okay to Cry”, and console yourself that, as sure as heaven knows you’re miserable now, tomorrow is definitely going to be a better day. -
HAVE YOU BEEN TO... FRI & SAT SEPT 14 & 15 R NO COVER
POPPY (At the Vogue Theatre on Friday) If most pop stars strike you as prefabricated, soulless automatons… Well, you probably have a worldview with very little nuance. There is, however, at least one up-and-coming pop star who actually wants you to think she’s a prefabricated, soulless automaton. Poppy (formerly That Poppy, and Moriah Rose Pereira before that) is a YouTube star whose Lolita-android persona has received far more attention than her music has. We can report, however, that we’re fans, thanks in large part to the Diplo-collab single “Time Is Up”, a chipper new-wave-flavoured ditty explaining that, even though human beings have royally fucked up the planet and are destined to die off en masse, prefabricated, soulless automatons like her will be just fine.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX (At the Vogue Theatre on Thursday) If gauzy, reverb-slathered love songs hit you in that sweet spot, and you’ve already worn out your vintage ’90s CD copies of Mojave 3’s Ask Me Tomorrow and Mazzy Starr’s So Tonight That I Might See, Greg Gonzalez has what you need. The Texas-based leader of Cigarettes After Sex writes the kind of songs you might have put on a mix CD for your high-school crush, hoping that he or she wouldn’t miss the message. Gonzalez’s singing has been described as “androgynous”, but we’ll go a step further and admit that we’re not actually convinced that such a cherubic voice is really SABA (At Venue on Sunday) Saba coming out of a dude with a beard. is nothing if not precocious. HavMARGARET GLASPY (At the Fox ing graduated high school at 16, the Cabaret on Saturday) Sometimes now 21-year-old has spent the last it takes a while to find one’s footing. five years creating a catalogue of
WITH THE GUILTY ONES JON LANGFORD (The Mekons) DOORS: 6 PM SHOW: 7 PM
That’s certainly held true for Margaret Glaspy, who seemingly arrived out of nowhere at age 27 with 2016’s Emotions and Math. Critics praised the New York–based singersongwriter’s fusion of winsome indie rock, slurred jazz vocals, and seemingly hyperpersonal lyrics. New fans wondered why no one had paid attention to Glaspy before, even though she’d kicked around on the indie-folk scene and released a couple of EPs. Ever found yourself sticking things out in a relationship simply because it was easier than packing up your records and starting all over again? With lyrics like “There’ll be too much time spent/Wondering where your heart went/Have mercy on me/Take your things from the apartment,” Glaspy can relate.
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Westward is your chance to see them when
ith the second edition of West- could almost forget the eye-watering stench of ward Music Festival on the hori- stale urine rolling out of the pre-renovated pub’s zon, let’s get primed by reflect- 100-year-old bathroom. ing on some of the nominees for For true music junkies, catching St. Vincent— the most-magical-performance award at last or Mother Mother or Florence + the Machine, weekend’s inaugural SKOOKUM Festival in or the White Stripes, Black Keys, or Lady Gaga, Vancouver’s Stanley Park. or (insert chart-topping star here)—on the way Consider Florence Welch showing up on- up is what makes for the kind of memories that stage on Saturday not only barefoot, but also mainstream consumers will never have. in a sheer dress, all on a cold And that brings us to and rainy night when senthe brilliance of Westward sible folks were swaddled Music Festival, which serves in three layers of Gore-Tex, up a bill that includes soulMike Usinger two hoodies, red flannel jacked Grammy nominee underwear with the ass hatch, and DIY rain- Kali Uchis, alternative–R&B artist Kelela, and coats fashioned out of Glad garbage bags. Or genre-splicing London expat Blood Orange in Mother Mother head wag Ryan Guldemond Vancouver this week (September 13 to 16). And gazing out onto a rain-pelted crowd on Sun- let’s not overlook a stylistically diverse underday afternoon to quip that there’s nothing he card that includes everything from punk visionloves more than a good downpour because it aries Metz to A$AP Mob MC A$AP Twelvyy. provides life to all living things, including the What all the above—along with the 100 or trees, bushes, and grass-huffers in Stanley Park. so other artists booked for Westward—have Or Annie Clark (the guitar goddess known as in common is that they’re playing some of the St. Vincent) on Saturday, when she put on a clinic most beautifully intimate rooms in the city: in how to blend alt-rock badassery with straight- the Vogue, Biltmore, Rio, Fortune Sound Club, outta-Soho art-pop cool. Standing in a field and Rickshaw, and Fox Cabaret. And by “intimate”, watching St. Vincent on the giant video screen, we mean places where you can get within a few among thousands and thousands of enraptured feet of the people you’ve come to see. That’s an fans, was great enough to make you jealous of entirely different experience than showing up at those who can say “I saw her when…”. For Van- Rogers Arena or Deer Lake Park when the doors couver fans, that was at the Lamplighter a decade open and then camping out all day at the front or so ago, back when it was still a dive bar, and of the stage wearing extra-absorbent Depends. As easy as it is to forget in an age when stadiumClark was so amazing on the small stage that you
CONNER YOUNGBLOOD Nashvillebased singer-songwriter performs tunes from debut album Cheyenne. Dec 8, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm. Tix $15 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
A BOWIE CELEBRATION: DAVID BOWIE ALUMNI TOUR Tribute to David Bowie featuring his former bandmates Mike Garson (keyboards), Earl Slick (guitar), Gerry Leonard (guitar), and Carmine Rojas (bass), with vocalists Bernard Fowler and Corey Glover. Feb 16, doors 8 pm, show 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $52.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
2THIS WEEK CONCERTS < CLUBS & VENUES < OUT OF TOWN <
CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR: SONGS OF THE FREE Caravan World Rhythms presents Grammy-winning gospel choir performing a program celebrating the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Oct 20, 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix from $29 (plus service charges), info caravanbc.com/2018/05/soweto-gospel-choir-4/. DEFAULT Vancouver hard-rock band, featuring frontman Dallas Smith. Oct 21, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $45.75 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. EVERLAST American rapper, singer, and songwriter performs material from his new album Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. Oct 29, 7:30 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $29.50 (plus service charge), info www.rickshawtheatre.com/. DOC MACLEAN AND ALBERT FROST Electric-acoustic blues duo mixes contemporary and traditional Delta and West African roots. Nov 1, 8-10 pm, Railway Stage and Beer Café (579 Dunsmuir). Tix $20-25, info www.eventbrite.ca/e/docmaclean-albert-frost-tickets-49499346879/. THE SADIES Rock ‘n’ roll/country-andwestern band from Toronto. Nov 1, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, WISE Hall (1882 Adanac). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/. DEAR ROUGE Vancouver-based electronicrock band composed of Drew and Danielle McTaggart, with guests Modern Space and Blonde Diamond. Nov 9, doors 8 pm, show 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $21,50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. POP EVIL Hard-rock/alt-metal quintet from Muskegon, Michigan, with guests Royal Tusks. Nov 28, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Venue. Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. THE WASHBOARD UNION Local country band plays tunes from latest album, What We’re Made Of, with guests Aaron Goodvin and Nice Horse. Nov 29, doors 7 pm, show 8:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. QUEEN NAIJA American R&B/soul artist performs material from self-titled debut release. Dec 7, doors 6:30 pm, show 7:30 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $20 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA Prog-metal quartet from New York, with guests Protest the Hero and Crown Lands. Sep 11-12, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $47.75 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. ISLAND U.K. rock band plays tunes from debut album Feels Like Air. Sep 12, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $15 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/. GABRIEL GARZON-MONTANO R&B/soulfunk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist New York City. Sep 12, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. WESTWARD MUSIC FESTIVAL Multiday arts and music showcase features Blood Orange, Kali Uchis, Rhye, Poppy, Angel Olsen, Honne, Kelela, Metz, Saba, Ravyn Lenae, Mudhoney, Odds, We Are the City, Tei Shi, Ramriddlz, Pell, Duckwrth, Buddy, Fatima Al Qadiri, Roni Size, Hannah Epperson, Jordan Klassen, Milk & Bone, Nehiyawak, and Close Talker. Sep 13-16, various Vancouver venues. Tix at www.westwardfest.com/. THE AVETT BROTHERS Folk-rock band from Concord, North Carolina, plays tunes from latest album True Sadness. Sep 13, 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix from $59.50 (plus fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
Kali Uchis plays the Orpheum on Saturday as part of the second Westward Music Festival.
sized stars are made overnight on Spotify and Apple Music, rock ’n’ roll—not to mention soul, pop, and hip-hop—has always been at its most dangerous and thrilling at ground level. Think Nirvana opening for Sonic Youth at the old New York Theatre, rather than Nirvana going through the motions while headlining the Forum. Or Adele showing she was destined for superstardom at the Red Room. Now in its second year, Westward Music Festival is where you can get close enough to ambient YouTube sensation Poppy at the Vogue to decide whether she’s a cyber-bot or a living, breathing organism. (Check out YouTube’s “I am not in a
album Amala, with guest Wes Period. Sep 29, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender). Tix $15 (plus service charge) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
THE HEAD AND THE HEART Indie-folk band from Seattle. Sep 18, doors 6 pm, show 7 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Rd., Stanley Park). Tix $45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
I’M WITH HER Grammy-winning Americana trio composed of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. Sep 30, Chan Shun Concert Hall (6265 Crescent Rd., Chan Centre at UBC). Info www.chan centre.com/events/im-with-her/.
SONGBIRD NORTH: WHERE WRITERS SING & TELL Performances by hostproducer Shari Ulrich, Toronto’s Shawna Caspi, Montreal’s Matt Stern, and Nashville veteran Bruce Miller. Sep 18, 7:30-10 pm, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). Tix $18, info www.songwriters.ca/. ROYAL CANOE Canadian indie-pop band, with guests Begonia. Sep 18, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JAY ASTON’S GENE LOVES JEZEBEL Gene Loves Jezebel with Jay Aston— featuring original members James Stevenson, Pete Rizzo, and Chris Bell, and producer Peter Walsh—play tunes from their first studio album in 14 years, Dance Underwater. Sep 18, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $20 (plus service charge), info www.rick shawtheatre.com/.
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DARK TRANQUILLITY & AMORPHIS Swedish melo-death pioneers and Finnish progressive-metal band play a coheadlining show, with guests Moonspell and Omnium Gatherum. Sep 19, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $35/85 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Neptoon, and www.rickshaw theatre.com/. DEVOTCHKA American multi-instrumental rock ensemble, with guests Orkesta Mendoza. Sep 19, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main St.). Tix $28.75 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
MS. LAURYN HILL American R&B artist performs on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th anniversary tour, with guests Santigold, De La Soul, and Iman Omari. Sep 14, 5 pm, Deer Lake Park (6344 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby). Tix at www.livenation.com/.
WISHBONE ASH Dual-lead guitar-rockers from the ‘70s, featuring singer-guitarist Andy Powell. Sep 19, 9:15 pm, Blue Frog Studios (1328 Johnston Rd., White Rock). Tix $54, info www.bluefrogstudios.ca/.
BLITZEN TRAPPER Alt-country band from Portland, Oregon. Sep 15, doors 7 pm, show 7:45 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. LEON BRIDGES American gospel and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer, with guests Khruangbin. Sep 16, doors 6 pm, show 7 pm, PNE Amphitheatre (2901 E. Hastings). Tix $55 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. NEEDTOBREATHE Christian rock band from South Carolina, with guests Johnnyswim and Forest Black. Sep 16,
Westward Music Festival takes place at various venues around Vancouver from Thursday to Sunday (September 13 to 16). Go to westwardfest. com/ for the full schedule.
doors 6 pm, show 7 pm, Abbotsford Centre (33800 King Rd., Abbotsford). Tix $65/46/33.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
LITTLE CROW Local indie-rock duo, with guests We Are Mystic, Eric Gray, and Nicole Mikala. Sep 13, 8 pm, Railway Stage and Beer Café (579 Dunsmuir). Tix $10, info www.showpass.com/littlecrow-railway/.
MUDHONEY Seattle grunge-rock pioneers perform as part of the Westward Music Festival, with guests nêhiyawak. Sep 15, 7 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat and www.rickshaw theatre.com/.
cult”, where she speaks in the kind of weird, dead, childlike voice that leaves you thinking “Hey, that bizarrely lifelike robot is in a cult.”) Or watch Spain’s Bad Gyal pump a little extra life into what’s left of summer when she heats up the Imperial. Or relive a subgenre that revolutionized rock ’n’ roll when Mudhoney gets sludge-tastic at the Rickshaw. As a bonus, Westward Music Festival is—as its name suggests—a festival, which means that it has an added perk: once you’ve purchased a wristband, how much you see depends entirely on your own stamina. And the best part is that, each time you leave the house, you’ll find it easier to convince yourself there are better ways to spend a weekend than binge-watching Game of Thrones. Westward Music Festival has tapped into the same thing that big bashes like SKOOKUM have, namely that music is a potent drug: the more you consume, the more you want. And when that drug is offered up in rooms where you’re close enough to make eye contact with a performer, the high is at its most intense. So get ready to make memories at Westward Music Festival—and, if you’re lucky, wake up Monday realizing “Holy shit—I think I just saw them when…” -
HOUNDMOUTH Indie-rock/alt-blues trio from Indiana. Sep 19, doors 8 pm, show 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $40.75 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS SEAWHEEZE SUNSET FESTIVAL Featuring performances by American DJ and producer Diplo and local DJ Felix Cartal. Sep 22, 4:30-11 pm, Brockton Point (Stanley Park). Tix $45 at www.seawheeze.com/. TORD GUSTAVSEN TRIO Tord Gustavsen’s exquisitely crafted, melodic compositions are the work of a master pianist. Presented by the Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. Sep 29, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). $30/$27, info www.capilanou.ca/centre/. DOJA CAT L.A.–based singer, rapper, and producer performs tunes from debut
THE PACK A.D. Local garage-rock duo performs a free in-store concert to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its debut album Tintype. Sep 30, 2 pm, Neptoon Records (3561 Main). Free with RSVP, info www.facebook.com/ events/279398596169674/. CHILDISH GAMBINO Singer, songwriter, and rapper from the States, aka actor Donald Glover, with guest Rae Sremmurd. Sep 30, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $139.50/89.50/59.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JAY-Z AND BEYONCE American hiphop/R&B superstars perform on their On the Run II Tour. Oct 2, 7:30 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Blvd). Tix at www. livenation.com/. HERB ALPERT & LANI HALL Latinthemed smooth jazz with legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert and vocalist Lani Hall. Oct 3, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $59/56, info www.kaymeek.com/. LUKE BRYAN American country singersongwriter performs on his What Makes You Country Tour, with guests Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, and Carly Pearce. Oct 13, doors 4 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Blvd). Tix at www.livenation.com/. REAL PONCHOS Vancouver psychedelic country-soul band celebrates the release of its latest album. Oct 13, 9:45 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $15 (plus service charge), info www.rickshaw theatre.com/. CUB SPORT Alt-pop quartet from Brisbane, Australia. Oct 15, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale Sep 14, 10 am, $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. COLIN LINDEN Canadian roots singer, songwriter, and guitarist, member of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Oct 19, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). Tix $30/$27, info www.capilanou.ca/. SEETHER South African hard-rock/alt-metal band performs on its Poison the Parish World Tour. Oct 22, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $38.50/four-packs $120 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. ARCTIC MONKEYS Indie-rock quartet from Sheffield, England, with guests Mini Mansions. Oct 25, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Pacific Coliseum (Hastings Park, 100 N. Renfrew). Tix $69.50/59.50/49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. BRIA SKONBERG WITH “A” BAND New York–based alumna of Capilano University’s jazz-studies degree program performs with the “A” Band. Oct 26, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). Tix $32/$29, info www.capilanou.ca/. DRAKE Canadian rap superstar performs on his Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour, featuring guests Migos. Nov 3-4, 7 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix from $59.50 to $199.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
BROCKHAMPTON American hip-hop collective performs on its I’ll Be There Tour. Nov 5, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, PNE Forum (2901 E. Hastings St.). Tix $49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE American pop– R&B singer-songwriter and former NSYNC member performs on his Man of the Woods Tour. Nov 8-9, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix for Nov 8 show SOLD OUT, tix for Nov 9 at www.livenation.com/. NICKI MINAJ AND FUTURE Hip-hop artists co-headline on the Nickihndrxx Tour. Nov 13, 6:30 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $55/77/97/123/183 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. JOHN MELLENCAMP Heartland rocker from Indiana (“Hurts So Good”, “Pink Houses”). Nov 14, 8 pm, Abbotsford Centre (33800 King Rd., Abbotsford). Tix $89.50/69.50/59.50/39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/. FLEETWOOD MAC American pop legends, currently composed of vocalist Stevie Nicks, vocalist-keyboardist Christine McVie, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, lead guitarist Mike Campbell, and guitarist-vocalist Neil Finn. Nov 14, 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix $229.50/179.50/99.50/69.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. ANDRE NICKATINA Rapper from San Francisco performs material from latest release Pisces. Nov 16, doors 9 pm, show 10 pm, Harbour Event Centre (750 Pacific Blvd.). Tix $40 (plus service charge) at www.eventbrite.ca/. JOE BONAMASSA American blues-rock singer and guitar wizard. Nov 29–Dec 1, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix at www.ticketmaster.ca/. CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD American blues/psych-rock band featuring former Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. Nov 29, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Venue. Tix $27.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. CONTACT WINTER MUSIC FESTIVAL Two-day electronic-music festival features headliners the Chainsmokers and Skrillex, plus Galantis, Alison Wonderland, Nightmre, Troiboi, BTSM, Loud Luxury, Valentino Khan, Clozee, Crankdat, Cray, Elephante, Juelz, MXYNY, Phantoms, Space Jesus, Svdden Death, Tails, and We Are Fury. Dec 28-29, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Blvd). Tix at www.contact-festival.com/. INTERPOL New York City indie-rockers play tunes from new album Marauder. Jan 31, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix $65/50/45/35 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. CARRIE UNDERWOOD American country-pop singer-songwriter, with guests Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. May 25, 7 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix at www.livenation.com/.
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.
SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 57
Kid Koala presents: Satellite OCT. 5, 6, 7, ANNEX. In Kid Koala’s latest live experience, the master DJ empowers his audience. This is participatory music on a high level, with an interactive turntable orchestra in which the listeners become the composers. The audience sits at stations equipped with a turntable, an effects box and a small crate of colour-coded vinyl records. The crowd is an integral part of the show, accompanying Kid Koala; together they create an “ambient vinyl orchestra” and meld their personal choices into a body of sound.
The Happy Prince Rupert Everett – UK/Belgium/Italy/Germany, 104 min. TUE. OCT 2 FRI. OCT 5
3:15 PM 6:45 PM
Actor Rupert Everett writes, directs and stars in this honest, powerfully empathetic chronicle of legendary Irish writer Oscar Wilde’s last years, a desperate time in Paris when he assuaged his pain and loneliness with alcohol, drugs and a series of young men. Everett’s open, heartfelt film both honours his idol and conveys the essence of a man who maintained his ironic sense of humour until the end. “Everett has made the film of his career. The Happy Prince is a heartbreaking gem.”—Daily Mail
Olivier Assayas – France, 106 min.
Paul Weitz – USA, 102 min.
Zhang Yimou – China, 116 min.
SAT. OCT 6
CENTRE FOR ARTS
MON. OCT 8
CENTRE FOR ARTS
THU. OCT 11
CENTRE FOR ARTS
THU. OCT 11
VIFF fave Olivier Assayas (12 of his films have played the festival, ranging from A New Life, VIFF 93, to Personal Shopper, VIFF 16) turns his eye to the publishing world and the disruption caused by the digital age with this relationship drama starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet. He’s a besieged book exec confronted by ¡the death of print¢ and she’s an actress tired of her job—and perhaps her relationship. Assayas’ intelligent film for thinking adults says a lot about the way we live now.
Ann Patchett’s best seller comes to the screen in a remarkably smooth and assured adaptation. Julianne Moore is an opera singer caught up in a South American hostage siege and gradually falling in love with a fellow captive, Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe). Both a suspense drama and a romance, this movie explores cultural and political themes with insight and passion. The fine cast includes Sebastian Koch, Ryo Kase and Christopher Lambert, with Renée Fleming supplying Moore’s singing voice.
ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch
Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky – Canada, 87 min. FRI. SEP 28
SUN. SEP 30
CENTRE FOR ARTS
The latest masterful collaboration between Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky isn’t so much eye-opening as mind-blowing as it essays our unprecedented impact on the Earth to stunning effect. The staggering tableaux captured here are at once surreal and sobering, including monolithic machines hell-bent on terraforming their surroundings and potash mines that evoke a bad drug trip. This is filmmaking of the highest order that unfolds on a dizzying, almost inconceivable scale.
Becoming Astrid Pernille Fischer Christensen – Denmark, 123 min.
SAT. OCT 6
CENTRE FOR ARTS
SUN. SEP 30
CENTRE FOR ARTS
MON. OCT 8
CENTRE FOR ARTS
TUE. OCT 9
Zhang Yimou is back. The man who gave us Hero and House of Flying Daggers now delivers another kinetic feast for the eyes. Combat and visual splendour share the screen in this tale of a kingdom, its military leader and his mysterious double (both played by Deng Chao). With Shadow, the director brings a new tone to his work—moody grays and menacing darkness fill the screen. But the visual splendour is still there, and so is the energy: this is a major crowd-pleaser.
Astrid Lindgren is famous the world over for creating the indefatigable Pippi Longstocking, and Pernille Fischer Christensen’s vibrant biopic chronicling Lindgren’s (Alba August) difficult years between the ages of 16 and 21 in 1920s Sweden—when the ever-questioning young woman did the unthinkable and had a child out of wedlock—shows that Pippi’s moxie was not created out of whole cloth… ¡Gorgeous… Christensen takes to period filmmaking like a duck to water, and brings to it an uncommon energy.¢—Variety Schedule subject to change. Visit viff.org for updates.
Box Office Premier Supporters
58 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018
VIFF Passes + Ticket Packs at viff.org on sale now SINGLE TICKETS Online: viff.org from Sept. 6 In-person: from Sept. 13 Vancity Theatre 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm – 7pm)
MOVIES REVIEWS MANDY Starring Nicolas Cage. Rated 18A
Is it hyperbole to describe Mandy as a tow-
2 ering work of genius? Whatever the case,
here’s a movie so committed to its own outlandish vision that it deserves something commensurately bonkers in return, which is what it’s received, universally, from critics and fans who have caught the film at festival screenings. If you’re of a particular mindset, then expect to love Mandy to death. It’s a condition you’ll share with Red Miller, the soulful hunk of lumberjack who, in the shape of Nicolas Cage, occupies the other side of the screen.
Crazy evil but crazy good With Mandy, a wild and hallucinatory revenge pic goes all out to give Nicolas Cage the comeback he deserves It’s 1983, and Red nests in a mossy Pacific Northwest idyll called the Shadow Mountains with the androgynous, Black-Sabbath-T-shirt-wearing creature of the title (shape-shifting Death of Stalin–ite Andrea Riseborough). While he’s felling trees and listening to King Crimson’s “Starless”, which has never sounded better in any context, she busies herself at home rendering their starlit union into Frank Frazetta–esque illustrations or sinking into fantasy novels. At night they snuggle in front of Don Dohler movies like 1982’s Nightbeast and softly discuss their favourite planets. It’s understandable, then, that vengeance-crazed Red hits the road to hell and back when Mandy is murdered, in broadly the worst way imaginable, by a cult of Jesus freaks on super-acid led by a third-rate faerie folkie called Jeremiah Sand (Priest-ly Linus Roache). They shouldn’t have left Red for dead, and they definitely shouldn’t have made him watch, but that’s psychotic, messianic hubris for you. Vancouver-based filmmaker Panos Cosmatos has done this before, pinning our eyes in 2010 with his debut, Beyond the Black Rainbow. Like that film, Mandy borrows from a (Panos) cosmology of profane influences—stoner metal, ’80s trash cinema, bad drugs—and fashions them into something that feels sacred. This solemnity of purpose is abetted by all involved, among them cowriter Aaron StewartAhn, cinematographer Benjamin Loeb, and the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, and then spiked with blunt intrusions of gonzo humour. (Rainbow had the driest of punch lines; this has a bunch of them.) But Mandy possesses all the warmth Rainbow lacked, thanks to the thrillingly otherworldly Riseborough and the madman at its centre, the fallen, late-stage Nic Cage, who pours his heart into the role with such gusto that even the ostentatious design of this most obsessively composed of films finds an equal in his intensity. There’s so much more—including a quasi-human berserker impaled on his own boner, Heavy Metal– style animation, and a spectral tiger—but here’s a film to be experienced, not read about. Some fiction is so affecting that its world becomes sublimely real to us (Tolkien comes to mind), and in that spirit, by the time Mandy arrives at its final, heroically insane image, all we desire is a return to the Shadow Mountains, or whatever fugue-state Möbius landscape we’ve landed in, so we can do it all over again. > ADRIAN MACK
WEEK IN WIDESCREEN
Bring slippers WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? “Coming right now,
the movie is a profoundly bittersweet experience.” So wrote the Straight’s Ken Eisner in his review of Morgan Neville’s acclaimed doc. “Mostly,” he added, “it’s sweet.” Visit Mr. Fred Rogers one more time at the Rio Theatre on Saturday (September 15). -
UNDER THE TREE
Starring Tim Kalkhof. In English, German, and Hebrew, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable
Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson. In Icelandic, with English subtitles. Rated 14A
Can a relationship be
There aren’t many trees left in Iceland. So
2 it’s alarming on several levels when sub-
urban neighbours come to blows over a small chunk of arbour that provides unwanted shade apple strudel? According to this tenderly constructed on one party’s patio. new movie, that depends on the quality of the baking. Immaculately designed geometric houses A first feature for writer-director Ofir Raul Gra- and well-organized shelving units can’t hide the zier, born in Israel and based in Germany, The Cake- chaotic rot happening with the people in those maker concentrates on kitchen as portal to the hearts homes. Middle-agers Konrad and Eybjorg (Þorof men and women, regardless of religion, geography, steinn Bachmann and Selma Björnsdóttir) are or gender roles. It begins when a suave Israeli called trying for a baby; their slightly older nabes seem Oren (Roy Miller) wanders into a Berlin café and is jealous of the other couple’s relative youthfulness struck by the quality of its pastries, and then by their and peeved by their insistence on cross-border maker, the taciturn Thomas (Tim Kalkhof). Oren tree-trimming. Meekly retired Baldvin (Sigurður finishes off his dessert with another afternoon de- Sigurjónsson was the fearsomely bearded lead in light. And pretty soon he’s staying at Thomas’s place Rams) is content to sing with an all-male Vikingon frequent business trips to the German capital. lite choir, while chain-smoking Inga (Edda BjörgThe man is married and has a little boy back in vinsdóttir) makes things worse with every insult Jerusalem, so there’s that. But then Oren suddenly she hurls across the hedge. disappears from the story (in the first few minutes) The older couple are already burdened by the and the baker decides to investigate the life he left disappearance of their older son, and Inga seems behind. The dude must have really loved cafés, less than delighted when his younger sibling, because his wife, Anat (Foxtrot’s excellent Sarah Atli (SteinÞór Hróar SteinÞórsson), turns up Adler), runs one too. We don’t know why she hires on their Danish-modern couch. His wife, Agnes a non-Hebrew-speaking German as a dishwasher (Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir), caught him watching for her failing enterprise (would that even be a sex tape he made with a previous partner and legal?), but of course it’s not long before his baking has thrown him out with no further explanaskills, if not his own story, are exposed. tion. It doesn’t take Atli long to realize that his Thomas’s creations soon make the place a hit. Well, parents’ home life is even nuttier than his own— with everyone but Anat’s Orthodox brother-in-law not that this helps him when he does one truly (don’t mess with Zohar Shtrauss), who knows some- dumb thing after another in bids to get back thing’s not kosher. Literally. Anat isn’t herself that ob- with his wife and their small daughter. servant; indeed, it takes a while for her to spot obvious In his sophomore outing, writer-director Hafevidence that the newcomer has some history with steinn Gunnar Sigurðsson finds few redeeming her late husband. Anyway, a combination of grief, qualities in the humans catalogued here. Every bad curiosity, and the fact that Thomas bonds so well with situation is escalated by weird behaviour, underlined other family members eventually has her swooning by gloomy lighting and ominous medieval music. like Demi Moore in Ghost—only with a living, highly For a lot of the movie’s neatly constructed 90 minambiguous figure in the Patrick Swayze part. utes, this plays as dark comedy, with bleak punch The movie is good at (very) slowly turning up the lines arriving as characters fight over increasingly heat, but a lot of it comes out half-baked. Even aside important things—garden gnomes, pets, children— from logical questions left unanswered, it doesn’t without understanding what’s really at stake. really explore issues raised by the notion of an imThere are a couple of breakthroughs, in which poster taking someone’s place, or of the connections someone gives a sympathetic inch or demonstrates between religious strictures and those placed on sex- some smidgen of self-knowledge. But the director ual identity. Perhaps this is because Thomas’s char- isn’t really interested in forgiveness, and heads dogacter, who never explores Jerusalem outside of this gedly toward a deterministic ending that feels more one Jewish enclave, is passive to the point of being cynical than illuminating. He basically makes his almost absent himself—an effect heightened by Kalk- point early on, by showing that some people with hof and Adler both sounding more stilted in English, island fever have come to think of an IKEA parkingthe characters’ only language in common. The Cake- lot lawn as a nature preserve—the kind that somemaker is very tasteful indeed, but does it satisfy? one else will water and trim.
2 based on lies, lust, and
> KEN EISNER
> KEN EISNER
Andrea Riseborough plays the doomed creature Mandy in the newest blast of phantasmagoric horror from Vancouver-based filmmaker Panos Cosmatos.
What to see and where to see it
Rio thanks you
WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN
Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman are among those testifying to the American author’s greatness in this intimate doc. At the Vancity Theatre on Thursday and Friday (September 13 and 14).
PERFECT BLUE Kon Satoshi’s unsettlingly prescient 1997 anime, also a noted influence on 2010’s Black Swan, receives two screenings at the Vancity Theatre, on Friday (September 14) and Monday (September 17).
THE LISTENERS Getting its Vancouver
premiere, Bill Hurst’s doc goes behind the scenes at a suicide-prevention crisis centre in Lawrence, Kansas. Screening at the Cinematheque on Wednesday (September 19).
THE BIG LEBOWSKI The last single screen standing in
East Van says thanks with the Coen brothers’ timeless fave. Enjoy an evening with Time magazine’s man of the year when The Big Lebowski gets two free screenings at the now officially saved Rio Theatre on Monday (September 17). SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 59
From ZZ Top to Shadow Mountains
Mandy director brings it all back home to B.C. > BY ADRIAN MACK
' ' $'"$' ' '' ' '
WASH WESTMORELAND, UK
Sat. Sep 29
Centre for Arts
Wed. Oct 3
Centre for Arts
Keira Knightley gives the performance of her professional career in Wash Westmorelandâ€™s sparkling look at the early life of Collette, the French writer and feminist icon who turned fin de siĂ¨cle Paris upside down with her liberal life and work. Co-starring a perfectly cast Dominic West as Coletteâ€™s libertine first husband, the critic known as â€œWillyâ€? who took credit for Coletteâ€™s first four novels, this is â€œa fun, frothy, feminist biopic about the relationship between sex and freedom.â€?--IndieWire Discover More: viff.org WIN Tickets to see Colette at VIFF on Oct. 3, 6:00pm Enter at www.straight.com
Premier Supporters Supported by the Province of British Columbia
The Georgia Straight Confessions, an outlet for submitting revelations about your private livesâ€”or for the voyeurs among us who want to read what other people have disclosed.
Scan to confess Unintentional voyeur I was at bored one night so I was checked out some porn sites and I was certain the one video of a couple â€˜doing itâ€™, was my manager from work. I never said anything to anyone after but when his fiance came to pick him up from work and called him by that â€˜cute nicknameâ€™ that was in the video there was no doubt. I changed jobs a year later but I never let on that I saw their whole â€˜bedroomâ€™ session and my manager never knew either.
I enjoyed the weekend at SKOOKUM. Everyone was friendly and having a good time....beautiful people everywhere which adds a touch of melancholy when youâ€™re single but melancholy shouldnâ€™t be considered a bad thing.
Concert and Festival Jerkbags Put your effing phones down and stop talking through the music please. We came to watch the acts perform in real life, not to watch it through your phone screen. And fine to scream, cheer and sing but otherwise shut up. Thanks.
I confess That Iâ€™m always hungry but I try everyday not to eat beyond my capacity, still maintaining my weight, so far so good
Iâ€™m so broke I burnt my oatmeal and ate it anyways.
Visit 60 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018
to post a Confession
ince its debut at Cannes earlier this year, the ultraviolent, hallucinatory revenge flick Mandy has emerged, remarkably, as one of the best-received films of 2018. Perhaps even more remarkably, this unforgettable masterpiece of blood, fire, and demented visionâ€”opening Friday (September 14)â€”all began with a trip to Victoriaâ€™s Jaycee Fair when filmmaker Panos Cosmatos was nine years old. â€œI went to a stall to buy a ZZ Top Velcro wallet, and the woman behind the stand was a sort of metalhead wearing wire-rimmed glasses,â€? Cosmatos recalls, calling the Georgia Straight from Montreal. â€œAnd in a childish way I instantly fell in love with her.â€? He was so stricken that he handed over his money and then walked away minus the wallet, and that, says the Vancouver-based director, â€œwas the very core gestation of Mandyâ€?. Itâ€™s also a familiar creative strategy for Cosmatos, whose 2010 debut, Beyond the Black Rainbow, was a similar transmutation of pop-cultural fixations, emotional memory, and deeply felt life experience. The result was like a violent sci-fi version of Proust financed by Cannon Films. It remains utterly unique. â€œJust making Black Rainbow was like my minimum requirement before death, so that I could die with some honour and not in total shame,â€? offers Cosmatos, rather disarmingly, given that the renown he earned allowed him to cast Mandy with Andrea Riseborough as the metalhead in wire-rim glasses and Nic Cage as the man whoâ€™ll literally advance from one impossible dimension to the next to avenge her death. His leads both step up with thrillingly committed performances. As does Linus Roache as psychotic religious-cult leader Jeremiah Sand, whose influence extends to a murder-hungry quartet of â€œtransdimensionally awareâ€? mutants called the Black Skulls. Cosmatos calls them â€œPacific Northwest acid demonsâ€?, and again, itâ€™s the filmmakerâ€™s own backyard thatâ€™s been relocated to Mandyâ€™s fictional Shadow Mountains, a just-left-of-familiar landscape of moss and pine through which Cageâ€™s Red Miller pursues Sand and his acolytes. Muses Cosmatos: â€œIn the night thereâ€™s sometimes a sort of cursed quality to the Pacific Northwest. In my mind the Shadow Mountains is some weird pocket of Cascadia.â€? Mandy also scales up the very strange and subtle humour we encounter in Rainbow, and Cage, in particular, is given a couple of moments that land in the more remote regions of the absurd. Cosmatos happily professes his love of lowbrow comedy, but the comic voicing here is nowhere near the throwaway splat-stick of â€™80s horror. â€œAt one point in my life,â€? he says, â€œwhat I wanted was to be Sam Raimi and just make Evil Dead over and over again, and I think thereâ€™s a little bit of Ash in Red. But at the same time, I wanted to take a character like that and really milk the maximum operatic suffering and emotion out of him, and make it feel tangible and believable to some degree.â€? Reaching once more into his intimately personal mythography, where the tacky becomes talismanic, and the gaudy is imbued with deep meaning, Cosmatos recalls visiting a Mexican market in 1981 and finding â€œall these bootleg versions of American toys, like a Stormtrooper that looked completely wrong, but in some way was compelling and fascinating in its own right. I want my films to have that kind of feeling to them. That theyâ€™re a sort of deformed Stormtrooper action figure of a movie.â€? -
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Sep 14 - 20 at th Vancity Theatre. Discover viff.org
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Under the Tree
FRI 8:25PM | SAT 4:30PM SUN 8:45PM | THU 6:30PM Thrown out of the house by his wife, Atli is forced to move back in with his parents in 60s Reykjavik. While he fights for custody of his four-year-old daughter, he is gradually sucked into a dispute between his parents and their neighbors over an old and beautiful tree. What starts as a typical spat between neighbors soon boils over into all-out suburban warfare. “Dark, hilarious, and unpredictable.” Vogue
FRI 6:20PM | SAT 6:20PM | SUN 3:00PM MON 5:00PM | THU 8:20PM Thomas, a young German baker, is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man who has regular business in Berlin. When Oren dies in a car crash in Israel, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers regarding his death. Without revealing his reasons, Thomas infiltrates the life of Anat, his lover’s widow, and even accepts a job in her cafe…”Sad and sweet, and with a rare lyricism … a master class in exquisite restraint.” New York Times
HAFSTEINN GUNNAR SIGURDSSON, ICELAND, 2018, 89 MIN.
Charles Bar thecharlesbar.ca
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
ARWEN CURRY, USA/CANADA, 2018, 68 MIN.
FRI 4:45PM Featuring: Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, Samuel R. Delany, Michael Chabon, Vonda N. McIntyre, Adrienne Maree Brown, China Miéville
La Casa Gelato
DAVID BATTY, GB, 2018, 85 MIN.
SUN 5:10PM | MON 7:05PM Presented by Michael Caine, this is a bright and breezy round up of the revolutionary decade when Britannia got her groove back and London was the most happening place on the planet. Granted, it’s not exactly an untold story, but Batty’s entertaining doc benefits from first hand anecdotes by an all-star cast of actors, models, photographers and rock-n-rollers, among them Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Twiggy, and Marianne Faithful. It was a time of exceptional social upheaval and creativity.
“Eight Hours arrives like a gift from the movie gods”- Chicago Reader.
Vancouver Irish Film Festival
Michael Inside Film Club!
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THE PORCHLIGHT SESSIONS Thur, Sept 20 - 7pm
KON SATOSHI, JAPAN, 1997, 81 MIN.
FRI 10:15PM | MON 8:45PM The first feature from the brilliant animator Kon Satoshi (Paprika), Perfect Blue is an exceptionally slippery psychological thriller, and an overt inspiration on Darren Aronofsky. It’s the story of a J-pop idol who is persuaded to transition to acting. Her real troubles start when she realizes she has an obsessive online fan… Lurid in the style of De Palma and Argento, Perfect Blue treads in some disturbingly murky waters, but Kon’s sinuous animation is always thrilling to behold. New 4K restoration.
VIFF Pass, Ticket Packs, and VIFF Single Tickets are now on sale online at viff.org Thursday, Sept. 13 - In-Person Sales: Box Office opens at The Vancouver International Film Centre. 1181 Seymour Street, at Davie. (Mon-Sat: Noon - 7pm, Sun: 2pm - 7pm)
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Free popcorn and Film Club badge for ages 13 and under! Tickets: $6 / $10
SAT 8:30PM When 18-year-old not-quite-innocent Michael is convicted of drug dealing and sentenced to three months in prison his life will never be the same. Developed through intensive workshops with real inmates, Frank Berry’s incisive and powerful drama has won acclaim and awards everywhere it has screened.
Chan Centre Connects
VIFF 2018, September 27 - October 12
FRANK BERRY, IRELAND, 2018, 96 MIN.
OFIR RAUL GRAIZER, GERMANY/ISRAEL, 2018, 105 MIN.
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savage love I am a gay man in my late 50s
and have never been in a relationship. I am so lonely, and the painful emptiness I feel is becoming absolutely unbearable. In my early 20s, I hooked up off and on, but it never developed into anything. I have always told myself that’s okay; I’m not a people person or a relationship kind of guy. I have a few lesbian friends but no male friends. I have social anxiety and can’t go to bars or clubs. When hookup apps were introduced, I used them infrequently. Now I go totally unnoticed or am quickly ghosted once I reveal my age. Most nonwork days, my only interactions are with people in the service industry. I am well-groomed, employed, a homeowner, and always nice to people. I go to a therapist and take antidepressants. However, this painful loneliness, depression, aging, and feeling unnoticed seem to be getting the best of me. I cry often and would really like it all to end. Any advice? > LONELY AGING GAY
“In the very short term, LAG needs to tell his therapist about the suicidal ideation,” said Michael Hobbes. “In the longer term, well, that’s going to take a bit more to unpack.” Hobbes is a reporter for the Huffington Post and recently wrote a mini-book-length piece titled “Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness”. During his research, Hobbes found that, despite growing legal and social acceptance, a worrying percentage of gay men still struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Loneliness, Hobbes explained to me, is an evolutionary adaptation,
a mechanism that prompts us humans—members of a highly social species—to seek contact and connection with others, the kind of connections that improve our odds of survival. “But there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely,” said Hobbes. “Being alone is an objective, measurable phenomenon: you don’t have very many social contacts. Being lonely, on the other hand, is subjective: you feel alone, even when you’re with other people. This is why advice like ‘Join a club!’ or ‘Chat with your waitress!’ doesn’t help lonely people.” The most effective way to address loneliness, according to Hobbes’s research, is to confront it directly. “LAG may just need to get more out of the relationships he already has,” said Hobbes. “He has a job, friends, a therapist, a life. Th is doesn’t mean that his perceptions are unfounded—our society is terrible to its elders in general and its LGBTQ elders in particular—but there may be opportunities in his life for intimacy that he’s not tapping into. Acquaintances LAG hasn’t checked in on for a while. Random cool cousins LAG never got to know. Volunteering gigs you fell out of. It’s easier to reanimate old friendships than to start from scratch.” Another recommendation: Seek out other lonely guys—and there are lots of them out there. “LAG isn’t the only gay guy who has aged out of the bar scene—so have I—and struggles to find sex and companionship away from alcohol and right swipes,” said Hobbes. “His therapist should know of some good support groups.”
> BY DAN SAVAGE And if your therapist doesn’t know of any good support groups—or if you don’t feel comfortable telling your therapist how miserable you are, or if you’ve told your therapist everything and they haven’t been able to help—find a new therapist.
I’m a fortysomething gay male. I’m single and cannot get a date or even a hookup. I’m short, overweight, average-looking, and bald. I see others, gay and straight, having long-term relationships, getting engaged, getting married, and it makes me sad and jealous. Some of them are jerks—and if them, why not me? Here’s the part that’s hard to admit: I know something is wrong with me, but I don’t know what it is or how to fi x it. I’m alone and I’m lonely. I know your advice can be brutal, Dan, but what do I have to lose? > ALONE AND FADING
“AAF said to be brutal, so I’m going to start there: You might not ever meet anyone,” said Hobbes. “At every age, in every study, gay men are less likely to be partnered, cohabiting, or married than our straight and lesbian counterparts. Maybe we’re damaged, maybe we’re all saving ourselves for a Hemsworth, but spending our adult lives and twilight years without a romantic partner is a real possibility. It just is.” And it’s not just gay men. In Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, sociologist Eric Klinenberg unpacked this remarkable statistic: more than 50 percent of adult Americans are single and live alone, up from 22
percent in 1950. Some are unhappy about living alone, but it seemed that most—at least according to Klinenberg’s research—are content. “Maybe there is something wrong with AAF, but maybe he’s just on the unlucky side of the statistics,” said Hobbes. “Finding a soul mate is largely out of our control. Whether you allow your lack of a soul mate to make you bitter, desperate, or contemptuous isn’t. So be happy for the young jerks coupling up and settling down. Learn to take rejection gracefully—the way you want it from the dudes you’re turning down—and when you go on a date, start with the specificity of the person sitting across from you, not what you need from him. He could be your Disney prince, sure. But he could also be your museum buddy or your podcast cohost or your afternoon 69er or something you haven’t even thought of yet.”
I am a 55-year-old gay male.
I am hugely overweight and have not had much experience with men. I go on a variety of websites trying to make contact with people. However, if anyone says anything remotely complimentary about me, I panic and run. A compliment about my physical appearance? I shut down the profi le. I don’t like being like this. I just believe in being honest. And if I’m honest, I’m ugly. The face, even behind a big-ass beard, is just not acceptable. I have tried therapy, and it does nothing. How do I get past being ugly and go out and get laid? > UNAPPEALING GIANT LOSER YEARNS
You say you’re ugly, UGLY, but there are some people who disagree with you—the people who compliment you on your appearance, for instance. “I’m not sure I even believe in the word ugly anymore,” said Hobbes. “No matter what you look like, some percentage of the population will be attracted to you. Maybe it’s 95 percent or maybe it’s 5 percent, but they are out there. When you find them, do two things: first, believe them. Second, shut up about it.” In other words: just because you wouldn’t want to sleep with you, UGLY, that doesn’t mean no one wants to sleep with you. “I remember reading an interview with Stephen Fry, where he said that when he first started out as an actor, people would come up to him and say, ‘You were so great in that play!’ and his first response would be, ‘No, I was terrible,’” said Hobbes. “He thought he was being modest, but what he was really doing, he realized later, was being argumentative. Eventually, he started to just say ‘Thank you.’ ” Hobbes thinks you should try to be like Fry, a big dude with a cute husband: “The next time someone tells him they’re into big dudes with beards, don’t argue, don’t panic, and don’t hesitate. Just say ‘Thank you’ and let the conversation move on.” Follow Michael Hobbes on Twitter @RottenInDenmark and listen to his podcast You’re Wrong About..., available on iTunes. On the Lovecast: Wait—why can’t gay men donate blood?: savagelovecast.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.
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SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 63
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64 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 13 â€“ 20 / 2018