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OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021 | FREE

Volume 55 | Number 2801


50 years of music


Some classics are killers


Are there any pockets of affordability left in Metro Vancouver? We scoured the region looking for neighbourhoods where prices aren’t quite so high as in surrounding areas



Music icon’s former home approved for heritage status


October 21 -28 / 2021



Are there any housing deals left in Metro Vancouver? Find out where to find the lowest prices in several municipalities.

by Carlito Pablo

By Carlito Pablo Cover illustration by Shayne Letain



The new director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver speaks about semiconductors and international relations. By Charlie Smith



North Vancouver singer-songwriter Roy Forbes is celebrating 50 years in the music business. He’s come a long way from being “Bim”. By Steve Newton

The Vancouver Heritage Commission, which advises city council, gave the green light to an application to designate a home formerly owned by Doug Bennett as a protected heritage site.


piece of Canadian rock ’n’ roll history is one step closer to being preserved in Vancouver. The owners of 2146 Semlin Drive applied to Vancouver City Hall to designate the single-family home as a protected heritage property. In exchange for conserving the residence, owners Mike Walker and Adrienne Tanner proposed to subdivide the lot, create two parcels, and develop a new detached home with a secondary suite on the non-heritage parcel. The seven-bedroom home has a 2021 assessment of $2,623,000. Based on tracking by real-estate site Redfin, 2146 Semlin Drive was last sold for $1,450,000 on September 2, 2010. On October 18, Walker and Tanner’s application was approved by the Vancouver Heritage Commission, which makes recommendations to city council. Formally known as the Kilpin Residence, the property is famously associated with the late singer and songwriter Doug Bennett. The Ontario-born musician and former Georgia Straight art director was cofounder and frontman of the Vancouver-grown rock and roll band, Doug and the Slugs. The band scored radio hits, including “Too Bad”, “Day by Day”, and “Making It Work”. Bennett passed away in 2004. Ted Okos has taken his place in the group. Doug and the Slugs cofounder John Burton recalls on the band’s website that he met Bennett at a party in Kitsilano in early 1977. The two went on to create music together. “I think Doug was one of the best Canadian songwriters of the last 40 years, if not of all time,” Burton wrote. “He wrote about the Canadian experience as only few Canadians could have, or ever did, and deserves to be recognized for his accomplishments along with artists like Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen.” The home was among the properties featured in a 2011 house tour by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.



I think Doug was one of the best Canadian songwriters of the last 40 years… – John Burton

In a guide for the tour, the VHF related that the 1911-era residence was first owned and built by English-born craftsman George Kilpin. The home sits at a “strategic corner location at the brow of the hill”, commanding mountain and city views. The Kilpin family lived there until 1920. Other long-term occupants were shoestore owner Harry Wilson and wife Susie. They were followed by the Scacchi and Fera families. “In 1987 the house came into the possession of its best known owner and resident, Doug Bennett, the lead singer of the very popular Vancouver group Doug & The Slugs,” the foundation recalled. “It is said that during the decade that Doug and Nancy Bennett lived here, the dining room walls featured a mural depicting the band’s perspective on the history of Canada,” the VHF continued. Without mentioning names, the foundation also related that the “current owners had lived in a bungalow in the neighbourhood for 10 years, and were drawn to this house for its generous room size, its panoramic views and the luxury of its private setting”. “They also admired the major rehabilitation conducted by the owners before them, which included the preservation of the home’s comfortable and efficient layout while introducing a few modern improvements,” the VHF stated. Moreover, “With its amazing setting, and surrounded by granite garden walls, it feels like the kind of home many would aspire to end up in; definitely a standing testament to the grand homes of Grandview.” g

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

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

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East Van duplex sells for 148 percent more than original detached home. Antilockdown activist describes feeling very sick and wonders if it’s the flu. Hong Kong bans Air Canada passenger flights from Vancouver for two weeks. COVID-19 in B.C.: 26 new deaths and 1,846 new cases over three days. Acciona Canada says it’s owed $100 million by Metro Vancouver @GeorgiaStraight



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Home ownership not the pipe dream it often seems


by Carlito Pablo

hen it comes to housing in Vancouver, many believe that affordability has long left the building. So if that’s the case, why even bother talking about it? As realtor Adam Major explains in a phone interview with the Straight, it’s because people require homes, no matter what. “Individuals need to look at what is affordable for them and decide what they want to do,” Major said. They can either buy or rent, and that’s entirely up to them. “It’s okay to be a renter,” noted Major, who is a managing broker with Holywell Properties. Now for those looking to buy, there are neighbourhoods in and around Vancouver that may be considered as pockets of affordability. The Straight asked Major to identify some of these areas because of his access to granular data. In addition to his title of managing broker, he is also the cofounder and CEO of Holywell Properties’ real-estate information site, To digress a bit, Zealty started in 2006 as a virtual map of homes for sale on the Sunshine Coast, where the brokerage is based. Major’s colleague, Gary Little, wrote the computer program. Little is also a realtor and he previously worked in Silicon Valley. He cofounded Zealty with Major, and serves as its chief technology officer. The map has since grown into a rich online resource, which includes listings and sold properties, as well as fine-grained data like price per square foot, days on the market, and so on. Zealty uses data from the real estate boards of Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and the Chilliwack district. The site is updated several times a day. To zero in on these pockets of housing affordability, Major used median price or the middle point for prices as main parameter. “Median price gives you the broadest sense of what’s happening in that neighbourhood and what can you buy in that neighbourhood,” he explained in the phone interview. He also separated detached homes from condos or apartments, because if one combines these two types of properties, this will make a big difference in overall median price. For the search, Major looked at all sales from January to September 2021. And so, the area with the lowest median price is where buyers may want to look into, if affordability is what they are after.


For the West Side of Vancouver, Major said that the most affordable neighbourhood 4


Areas like Collingwood, which is home to Rupert Street, are among the last affordable real-estate pockets in Vancouver. Photo by Janet McDonald.

Main Street is now $885,000–thank the hipsters. – Adam Major

for condos or apartments is Marpole. It has a median price of $653,000 as of September 2021. Major suggested that the best value for money is Downtown and the West End because of their location. The median apartment prices are $690,000 and $692,750, respectively. However, he observed that condo units in these two places are generally smaller, which does not work for families. For detached homes, the cheapest neighbourhood in the West Side of Vancouver is also Marpole, where the median price is $2,445,000. On the East Side of Vancouver, apartments or condos are most affordable in Hastings-Sunrise, with a median price of $521,500. Major noted that neighbourhoods in East Vancouver like Victoria, Killarney, Grandview, Fraserview, and Collingwood have apartments averaging less than $600,000. “Main Street is now $885,000—thank the hipsters,” Major said.

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

For detached homes in East Vancouver, Collingwood is the most affordable place, with a median price of $1,570,000. “Strathcona, which used to be an island of affordability, has gone full gentrification and is now almost $2 million for a detached home,” Major noted. BURNABY AND NEW WEST

Past Boundary Road and into Burnaby, the Zealty CEO noted that the best deal for apartments is in the Cariboo neighbourhood near the Lougheed Town Centre. The median price is $425,000. One can also look along East Hastings Street in the Capitol Hill area, where the median price is $512,000 as of September 2021. “A lot of the new buildings near Brentwood and Metrotown have the effect of pushing up the median price in those neighbourhoods,” Major noted. In Brentwood, the median price for condos is $717,000. In Metrotown, it’s $673,400. For detached homes in Burnaby, Major said that the most affordable neighbourhood is Greentree Village near BCIT. The median price is $1,398,900. Farther east, Major described New Westminster as a “good place to find an affordable home”. “It is a smaller municipality, but there are several neighbourhoods where the median price is around $450,000,” he noted. The cheapest apartments can be found in the city’s West End neighbourhood, where the median price is $380,000. Meanwhile, New Westminster’s Uptown is the best for detached homes. The

median price is $1,105,000. NORTH SHORE AND RICHMOND

The Straight also asked for Zealty data about the North Shore, which is North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver. Major noted that the best deal for apartments or condos is in the Cedardale area of West Vancouver. The median price is $572,500. “For detached, nothing on the North Shore is cheap, but West Lynn is likely the best bang for your buck,” the Holywell Properties executive noted. The median price in West Lynn is $1,695,000, or $135,000 cheaper than neighbouring Lynn Valley. “And you can still ride your bike to Fromme,” Major said, referring to one of the North Shore mountains and a popular destination for hiking and biking. Richmond lies to the south of Vancouver. In Richmond’s Granville neighbourhood, Major said that the median price for an apartment is a “surprisingly affordable” $280,000. “Pro tip: if you buy an apartment on the second floor or above, you don’t have to worry about global warming,” Major joked. For detached homes, the most affordable neighbourhood in Richmond is East Cambie. The median price is $1,543,500 in this area. OUTER SUBURBS

Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody make up the Tri-Cities. “For apartments, Central Coquitlam, see next page

along Austin Avenue, is the best deal,” Major said. The median price is $402,500. For detached homes, Major noted that the neighbourhood of Meadowbrook is cheaper than the median price for the rest of Coquitlam. “Just up the Lougheed Highway, to the right of the old Riverview Hospital, the median detached price in Meadowbrook is $1,030,000,” he said. The realtor explained that it is significantly below the overall median price for Coquitlam of $1,535,000. Going to Surrey and Delta, Major stated that Annieville could be the best place to look for an apartment or condo. The median price is $405,000. “Older neighbourhoods, which were known for cheaper housing, like Whalley, have seen so much development that they have actually pushed the median price up,” he noted. In Surrey’s Whalley area, the median price is $428,000. For detached, the neighbourhood to go to is Bridgeview, which is near the Patullo Bridge. The median price is $1,050,000. “There are some very expensive neighbourhoods in White Rock and South Surrey, where the median price is well over $2 million,” Major noted. To the east in the Langley area, the Zealty executive noted that the median price in the city of Langley for an apartment is $433,000. For detached homes, Major said that nothing is under $1 million. The city of

There are several reasons why homes have become very expensive.

Realtor Adam Major notes that all markets usually overcorrect in the opposite direction.

Langley and Aldergrove offer the most affordable, with a median price of $1,160,000 and $1,021,750, respectively. FRASER VALLEY

For homebuyers who do not mind driving a lot if they work in or near Vancouver, Major said Chilliwack offers the “cheapest housing in the Lower Mainland”. The median price for an apartment in downtown Chilliwack is $265,000. For detached homes, $825,000 is the median price in all of Chilliwack. “To get below $800,000, you have to go all the way to Hope, where the median price is $623,750,” Major said. Now for the big picture, the Zealty cofounder shares a basic formula on how

home prices increase as one gets closer to Vancouver from the suburbs. “There is about a 20 percent increase in median detached prices as you drive along the Trans-Canada Highway, and go from town to town,” Major said. Let’s start from Chilliwack, where the overall median price for a single-family home is $825,000. Major pointed out that the price increases by 20 percent in Abbotsford ($1,092,000), then another 20 percent in Langley ($1,395,000), and only slightly in Surrey ($1.4 million). By the time one gets to Burnaby, it’s $1,765,000. When a homebuyer reaches Main Street in Vancouver, the median price is $2,150,000. In Shaughnessy, the median price hits $5,850,000. THE BIG PICTURE

Major noted that things level off a bit as one heads further west. Median prices of detached homes in Kerrisdale and Kitsilano are $3,105,000 and $2,816,500, respectively.

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The same thing happens with apartments or condos. However, Major stated that the rate of increase is lower at 15 percent as homebuyers drive from town to town. To illustrate, Major noted that one can start with the median price for an apartment in Chilliwack at $299,950, and then get to $750,000 when one arrives on the West Side of Vancouver. Again speaking about the big picture, Major noted that the median price of a detached home for all of Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Chilliwack is $1.5 million. For apartments or condos, it’s $590,000. And for all types of houses in these three real-estate markets, including townhomes, the median price as of September 2021 is $851,000. In the phone interview, Major told the Straight that there are several reasons why homes have become very expensive. “The causes for the affordability crisis are many, but I think these can be boiled down to a collective failure at all levels of government for the last couple of decades,” he said. There’s one prospect that frightens Major, who has been with Holywell Properties since 2006. “All markets, whether they be housing, the stock market, et cetera, eventually revert back to the mean, and often overcorrect in the opposite direction,” he said. Major continued: “The housing bubble in Vancouver has gotten so big and gone on for so long, it’s scary to think what a correction could look like.” g

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Halloween is the season to make cocktails creepy


by Mike Usinger

or those who love to drink—making sure to be creative while doing so—it’s the most wonderful time of the year not named Christmas. Before we get to October 31, let’s start with the ultimate brilliance of Halloween, namely that there’s nothing stopping anyone from celebrating it 365 days a year. What do Sarah Bernhardt, Siouxsie Sioux, Ivan the Terrible, Elvira, The Mad Duke Of Portland, Maila Nurmi, and Patricia Morrison all have in common? That’s easy—upon spinning Ministry’s “Halloween”, they sing loud enough to wake the dead when Al Jourgensen croons “Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go/All the people seem to stop and stare/They say ‘Why are you dressed like it’s Halloween?’ ”. And then they crank the volume a notch one verse later with “And I dress this way just to keep them at bay/’Cause Halloween is everyday”. Walk around dressed like Kris Kringle, Buddy the Elf, or everyone’s favourite dark overlord Krampus, in the middle of summer, and people will go out of their way to avoid eye contact. Hit the Commercial Drive food co-op in white greasepaint, three layers of NYX Matte Liquid eyeliner, and a death’sblack-haystack hairdo, however, and folk will just assume Bauhaus, the Misfits, and Skinny Puppy are three of your two favourite bands. But back to the Halloween season, which, over the past couple of decades, has become mondo-huge business. The big night for trick-or-treaters is October 31, but the buildup starts long before then. Which is why, for 30 straight days, it’s all about watching horror films: Dawn of the Dead, The Evil Dead, Hereditary,

Assuming you’ve still got some flesh on your bones, it’s always a good time for a Corpse Reviver.

Planet Terror, Dead and Buried, The Return of the Living Dead, and the indescribably awesome Sleepaway Camp. And nothing—with the possible exception of a half-dozen mini Wunderbars— goes better with those nightly screenings than seasonally appropriate cocktails. A couple of tiki-nation classics make supernatural October go-tos. The Zombie and Last Rites have great names. They also work a tropical vibe that whisks imbibers away from a West Coast where the fall monsoons start in the third week of September. Three different rums, apricot and cherry

brandies, orgeat syrup, and pineapple, papaya, lime, and orange juice go into Salvatore Calabrese’s potent spin on the Zombie—whip up a batch and then cue up 1932’s pre-Hays code cult classic White Zombie. The Last Rites is easier to execute, assuming you can get your hands on Falernum (hit up Modern Bartender in Chinatown) and Martinique rum (which the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch promised it would start carrying last month, but is nowhere to be found). From there, all you need is fresh lime and passion fruit syrup (pick up a package of Goya passion fruit pulp at your

local Latino grocery, and mix with an equal amount of sugar). Then sit down with 1988’s Last Rites and see if you agree with Roger Ebert’s zero-stars rating. While we’re on the subject of great cocktail names, the Corpse Reviver dates back to the 1800s in the States. Popular legend is that the drink—which has its own sequels, including the Corpse Reviver #2—came to life at the Savoy Hotel in London. And, sorry, while a Corpse Reviver sounds a natural for a Re-Animator rewatch, famed bartender Harry Craddock whipped it up for customers so hungover they felt dead. For the Corpse Reviver No. 2, the recipe for which is below, you’ll get a crash course in the beauty of oh-so-French Lillet Blanc. As for the spirit-forward Corpse Reviver, line up the cognac, apple brandy, and sweet vermouth, and then bludgeon that screaming hangover into submission. Preferably with your cocktail in one hand, and a metal mallet tenderizer in the other while The Midnight Meat Train plays on the 60-inch flatscreen. Here, from The Savoy Cocktail Book, is an original Corpse Reviver #2 recipe you can make right before you rent The Serpent and the Rainbow. CORPSE REVIVER #2

3/4 oz. London dry gin 3/4 oz. Lillet blanc 3/4 oz. orange liqueur 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice Rinse a chilled coupe glass with absinthe. Add the gin, Lillet blanc, orange liqueur, and lemon juice into a shaker with ice, shake, and then strain into the glass. g

Mushrooms pops up on post-deluge bestseller list


by Charlie Smith

s there any connection between an atmospheric river and a book topping the B.C. bestsellers list? It’s hard to answer that question because the Royal B.C. Museum handbook, Mushrooms of British Columbia, has been on this list for nine weeks. However, after the monumental dump of rain from October 15 to 17, mushroom-bearing fungi were popping up all across Metro Vancouver. And perhaps not coincidentally, Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther’s authoritative tome topped the weekly list produced by B.C. publishers. For those wishing to identify fungi in their neighbourhoods, Mushrooms of British Columbia is ideal. That’s because it includes photographs of about 350 varieties, along with fairly detailed and readable descriptions. Best of all, the book informs readers whether the mushroom in question is poisonous. The colourful fly agaric, for instance, is described as poisonous and hallucinogenic. Its warts sometimes wash off in the rain. “This is the iconic mushroom featured in Alice in Wonderland and in Mario video games,” the authors write. 6


OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

Famously seen in Alice in Wonderland, the iconic and colourful fly agaric is a fungi that’s both poisonous and hallucinogenic.

For those interested in edible mushrooms, there’s the cowboy’s handkerchief, which is white, convex, and around eight centimetres across. The golden-fringed waxy

cap is less slimy and also edible. “Warnings about the risks of foraging for and eating wild mushrooms abound,” MacKinnon and Luther declare. “But the actual danger, spread out over the wide variety of mushrooms and the frequency of their consumption, is not as great as is commonly believed (or represented in the media). “In British Columbia, we have reliable records of four people dying from mushroom poisoning,” they continue. “These are all tragedies. But the real risks need to be kept in perspective.” In fact, MacKinnon and Luther point out, more people die from getting lost. or are seriously injured while picking mushrooms. than die from consuming them. Most of the land in B.C. is public, which means there are plenty of spaces for those who want to go foraging. And they’re not only in forests. According to Mushrooms of British Columbia, microfungi are also found in fields, pastures, bogs, alpine areas, and deserts. And there are more than 3,000 species of mushrooms in B.C., exceeding the total in any other province. g


Trade and cultural envoy seeks Canada’s support by Charlie Smith

The new head of Taiwan’s economic and cultural office in Vancouver, Lihsin Angel Liu, talked to the Straight about international relations and semiconductors. Photo by Charlie Smith.


he new director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office arrived in Vancouver at a pivotal time in Canada’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Lihsin Angel Liu was greeted by staff and some Taiwanese Canadians at Vancouver International Airport on September 28, one day after China had released Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor from jail. Canada doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan under the Trudeau government’s “One China policy”, but there are signs of a warming relationship. Earlier this month, for example, Canada and the U.S. sent warships through Taiwan Strait after repeated Chinese government incursions of Taiwanese airspace. Canada has also backed Taiwan’s efforts to obtain observer status at the World Health Organization—something adamantly opposed by the Communist government in Beijing.

In an interview with the Straight in Vancouver, Liu said that Taiwanese people appreciate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s support for Taiwan obtaining observer status at the WHO. “We hope that Canada can continue to give us more support regarding our meaningful participation in the [world] public health agency,” the director general stated. In addition, Liu expressed the hope that Canada would also support Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in Interpol and the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. “We are not asking for formal membership yet because we know that is impossible,” Liu acknowledged. Prior to her transfer to Vancouver, Liu was chief secretary of the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs in the Taiwanese government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The institute trains diplomats before they go abroad.

During her 22-year career in Taiwan’s foreign service, Liu has been stationed in Houston and Los Angeles, two U.S. cities with large Taiwanese populations. Liu attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. Taiwan is a sovereign island nation off the coast of China with its own elected president, national assembly, flag, currency, and health-care system. She pointed out that Canada has many things in common with Taiwan, including democratic elections, growing appreciation for its Indigenous peoples, a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and support for LGBT rights. Taiwan was the first country in East Asia to legalize samesex marriage. The People’s Republic of China has purported that Taiwan is a province, even though historical accounts have shown that former Chinese dynasties did not consider the island to be part of China for centuries. Deceased Taiwanese historian Su Beng has documented how the Ming and Qing dynasties colonized Taiwan much in the same manner as the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese over the years. In the 1980s, Taiwan and China were

both under authoritarian rule. But in the late 1980s, then Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui ushered in democracy on the island nation. China’s leaders, on the other hand, used tanks to crush pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square on June 3 and 4, 1989. Taiwan’s current president, Tsai Ingwen, was first elected in 2016 and was reelected in 2020. Since Taiwan chose the path of democracy, its technology and arts and cultural sectors have blossomed. Today, it produces 60 percent of the world’s semiconductors, according to Liu. Its leading company, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, has a market capitalization of US$557.4 billion. “I know many countries—including the United States, Japan, and Germany—they want TSMC to invest in their country because of the restructuring of global supply chains,” Liu said. That’s due in part to a trade war between the U.S. and China. And in recent years, semiconductors have been in short supply. “Actually, we have restrictions on Taiwanese semiconductor investment in China,” Liu said. g

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021




Heart of the City contines to engage and empower Terry Hunter and Savannah Walling embrace the idea that great leaders don’t have to be out in front


by Charlie Smith

his year, the married couple that produces the Heart of the City Festival have new names. Terry Hunter can now call himself Nang Gulgaa; his wife, Savannah Walling, bears the name hl Gat’saa. It came as a result of them being adopted into the Stlenga-lanas Haida clan in May. “We knew that there had been quite a lot of preparation and thought that had gone into asking us to do this,” Walling told the Straight in a recent phone interview. “And we also knew that it would be a journey that would carry responsibilities that would unfold over time.” Her Haida name means “supporter of all”, whereas her husband’s is translated as “industrious one”. Hunter, who was also on the call, told the Straight that the adoption is linked to the work they did in helping draw attention to Haida carver Skundaal’s (whose English name is Bernice Williams) Survivors Totem Pole. The thousand-year-old pole was raised in the Downtown Eastside in 2016. Last year, the Heart of the City Festival screened Susanne Tabata’s 25-minute film about how it was carved and then raised in Pigeon Park at Carrall and Hastings streets. “We know it’s a game-changing situation to us,” Hunter said of being adopted into a Haida clan. “It deepens our relationship to this community and it deepens our responsibility to this land as members of this clan.” This year, the Heart of the City Festival’s theme is “Stories We Need to Hear”. And one of the stories that festivalgoers will be exposed to this year is Hunter and Walling’s 50-year journey as creative artists, producers, community builders, and residents of the Downtown Eastside. The online event will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on October 31, featuring stories, memories and conversations with long-time colleagues. They include the former director of the Carnegie Community Centre, Michael Clague, as well as multimedia artists Rosemary Georgeson and Mildred Grace German, dancer and choreographer Karen Jamieson, and writer and producer Renae Morriseau. In addition, there will be a photo exhibit from October 27 to November 7 in the Carnegie Centre’s third-floor gallery. According to Hunter, this display will be artfully presented, but it won’t be filled with framed photos like something a person might see in a museum. “We’re also going to be sharing the photos online,” Hunter said. “We will use the photographs as a springboard [for] talking about our work. And thanking and acknowledging the many incredible colleagues we’ve 8


Terry Hunter and Savannah Walling have been on a 50-year journey together that started at Simon Fraser University and has led to the Heart of the City Festival. Photo by David Cooper.

I’m getting to see the world in a new and fresh way – Terry Hunter

worked with over the years.” It’s been a long and unusual road they’ve taken together over the past 50 years. They met when they were both involved in a noncredit arts program at Simon Fraser University. Hunter recalled being totally smitten seeing Walling dancing on-stage. He was even more thrilled when she joined a mime troupe that he was part of. “Simon Fraser University was full of Americans who had come up to avoid the war,” Hunter said. “So a lot of my friends like Savannah and others were Americans. And the arts were a place that people gravitated to—to explore and to give a voice to their creativity.” Walling pointed out that many highly skilled choreographers, dancers, and

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

theatre artists were coming from all over the city to take the noncredit courses. “There was quite a lot of interdisciplinary mixing at that time,” she noted. The couple went on to form Terminal City Dance in 1975 with Jamieson, drawing on everything from ballet to mime, theatre, and gymnastics. Eventually, Walling and Hunter formed their own company. Terminal City Dance, under Jamieson’s direction, evolved into the Vancouver Dance Centre Society, which has been operating the Scotiabank Dance Centre for the past 20 years. “We entered into a whole new phase of our work where we started doing a lot of international touring,” Hunter said. “That phase went pretty much into the mid 1990s.” Walling pointed out that in this period, they collaborated with some impressive theatre artists, including Richard Fowler. The couple also worked with Touchstone Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Neworld Theatre, and Trickster Theatre on various productions, including Crime and Punishment and The Idiot. A major turning point came in 2003 when Hunter and Walling partnered with the Carnegie Community Centre Association to create a play on the building’s 100th anniversary. In the Heart of the City: the Downtown Eastside Community Play included about 80 community members, most of whom had never performed on-stage.

“There was such an excitement from what was created—the power of what was created—and the depth with which it engaged people,” Walling recalled. “The people within it and the audiences cared so much about what they were seeing reflected. This was the catalyst for the creation of the annual Heart of the City Festival, which shines a spotlight on Downtown Eastside performers, artists, and storytellers. In the process of giving a voice to neighbourhood residents, Hunter and Walling have become community builders. “There’s a part of leadership that is not so much about walking ahead and leading the way,” Walling emphasized. “There’s a part of leadership that’s almost like being behind the canoe and just checking up on what’s coming behind you.” She and Hunter added that it’s also vitally important to listen to the community. And the stories that emerged in the community play became the source for many productions and events that followed in subsequent years. That includes shining a light on the harm-reduction movement, which emerged from the Downtown Eastside. The neighbourhood drew attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls many years before this became the topic of a national public inquiry. “I would say the Downtown Eastside is a place that gives birth to visionary ideas and takes leadership within this country,” Hunter said. This year, they’re proud that the festival is featuring the launch of the three-year Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey. It includes storytelling, ceremonies, and teachings in Oppenheimer Park as a tribute to women who travelled from the Fraser Canyon and Thompson River basin to the Downtown Eastside and who later became grandmothers. This overlay of ceremony with cultural practices has shaped the couple’s thinking about what constitutes art. Their thinking in this regard began to evolve back in 2003 when actor Stephen Lytton was the lead performer. And it has deepened with all the connections they’ve made with Indigenous artists over the years. “It’s a whole world view that is very different than a western world view on what art is all about,” Hunter said. “It’s really fantastic to be involved in that. As someone like myself, a westerner, I’m getting to see the world in a new and fresh way. That’s really exciting.” g The Heart of the City Festival runs from October 27 to November 7.

The Lisa Nemetz International Jewish

Performing Arts Festival


Live Performances at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre & other venues at the JCC | Plus Digital Streaming OPENING NIGHT EVENT | A Night at the Opera with Interactive Concert by City Opera Vancouver November 4 | 7pm


Enjoy Marx Bros. classic with festive treats, glamour, costume contest, and live music by City Opera Vancouver.

Avi Liberman | November 20 | 7pm Israeli-American’s quirky style has made him a comedy club favourite. W/ guest Jacob Samuel and host Kyle Berger.

Ophira Eisenberg | November 10 | 7pm Selected as one of New York Magazine’s “Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny.” Iris Bahr | November 23 | 7pm Award-winning Israeli-American writer, actor, director, producer and podcast host performs her new solo show.

T H E AT R E / S T O R Y T E L L I N G

Lilach Dekel-Avneri & The Pathos-Mathos Company The Eichmann Project – Terminal 1 | November 8 | 7pm

Multidisciplinary stage event revisits Eichmann Trial and ensuing public storm.

STORYTELLING WORKSHOP November 7 | 10am to 5pm

In-depth Sunday workshop to hone aspiring storytellers’ craft. Fee includes a ticket to the Storytelling Evening.

DANCE Project inTandem | Deep END & moving through, it all amounts to something November 6 & 7 | 7pm Double-bill explores themes of female struggle and

empowerment in its BC premiere.

Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art | world premiere of Momentum of Isolation (M.O.I.) November 13 & 14 | 7pm

Promising to be dynamic, active, and reflective of our current moment.

The Flame – Home at Chutzpah! | November 17 | 7pm

Real People share their personal true stories in fiery, grassroots storytelling series. With special musical guest Anton Lipovetsky.

Surplus Production Unit | A Timed Speed-Read of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Trial Transcript November 21 | 6pm and November 22 | 11am & 7pm

With only a stopwatch and a stack of paper, and some theatrical magic, this true story comes to life in an immersive experience.

Alexis Fletcher | Vancouver premiere of light in the rafters Ne.Sans Opera & Dance | world premiere of Solo for Orpheus November 16 & 18 | 7pm Chutzpah Artists in Residence dance companies

return with two stunning solo performances.


Tamara Micner – Old Friends | November 8-12 Theatre, Installation | Intimate, one-on-one experience

inspired by the music of Simon and Garfunkel.

Artist Conversation Series Throughout the Festival

Iris Bahr co-curates conversations with influential artists and intellectuals.


Josh “Socalled” Dolgin with Strings | Di Frosh | November 19 | 7pm Rediscovered Yiddish songs with Dolgin accompanied by string quartet!

Guy Mintus Trio | A Gershwin Playground | November 24 | 7pm Magnificent Israeli jazz combo channels the legendary George Gershwin.

Tickets and Event Details: Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021




Laila Biali adores her “soul sister” Jodi Proznick


by Steve Newton

hen Canadian jazz artists Laila Biali and Jodi Proznick were teenagers the high schools they attended were musical rivals. Singer-pianist Biali’s alma mater was Handsworth secondary in North Van, while bassist Proznick was learning her licks over at Semiahmoo in South Surrey, where her father Dave ran the music program and directed the jazz and concert bands. As Biali tells it on the phone from her current home in Toronto, the school’s bands would compete against each other, and that’s how she got to know Jodi Proznick’s brother Tim, who’s now an accomplished drummer. She and Jodi didn’t actually connect until well after graduation.

“Once I started to pursue a career in jazz it didn’t take long to become familiar with Jodi as a real staple in the Canadian jazz scene,” says Biali, “especially on the West Coast. And I’ve been so fortunate to collaborate with her. She’s just absolutely brilliant, and a beautiful human being. I would say that she and I in many ways are soul sisters, so this is a really special concert for both of us.” The gig Biali’s referring to takes place at the Shadbolt Centre on Thursday (October 21). It’s officially a double bill, and the first set will be a performance of Proznick’s album, Sun Songs, which Biali was the featured singer on. The album was nominated for a Juno Award back in 2019, in the Vocal Jazz Album of the Year category, and so,

Laila Biali has toured and recorded with pop-rock superstar Sting. but what she’s most thrilled about this week is performing in Burnaby with bassist Jodi Proznick. Photo by Rockie Nolan.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet Vancouver Playhouse October 29 & 30, 2021 at 8 p.m. Tickets/Info: • 604.662.4966

Robb Beresford and Company - Alonzo King LINES Ballet Photo by Manny Crisostomo



OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

coincidentally, was Biali’s self-titled album, which ended up winning. “I was lucky to take the Juno home,” says Biali, “but Jodi’s music is so, so beautiful. It’s about what she describes as the rising of the sun and the setting of the sun. Her mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, or dementia, when she had just given birth to her first and only child, so the songs are all about this really beautiful and also bittersweet time of celebration and grieving and a little bit of what felt like the circle of life to Jodi.” After the performance of Sun Songs, Biali will take the stage, accompanied by Proznick on bass, Biali’s husband Ben on drums, and trumpeter Chris Davis. “We’ll be sharing songs from all my albums, as well as the Canadian songbook,” says Biali. “I love to cover the music of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. And then there’s also a couple of pop hits reimagined.” (For the curious Neil Young fans out there, the Shakey tune Baili’s doing is “Heart of Gold”, the classic track off his 1972 Harvest album. “Kind of the obvious choice, right!” she offers with a laugh.) For just over four years now Biali has been hosting a weekly, four-hour national radio show on CBC Music called Saturday Night Jazz. But it’s her powerful, expressive vocals that get her most of the attention these days. She says that the singers who’ve most inspired her over the years aren’t necessarily the ones you’d think of after hearing her. “It’s interesting,” she says, “because I do love kind of the warmer singers like Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones, and I

have a bit of a breathier sound myself that perhaps shows some emulation of them. But actually it’s singers like Björk and Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin and people who I don’t sound like at all who I find endlessly thrilling and inspiring.” Biali’s talents at the mic haven’t gone unnoticed by the likes of pop-rock superstar Sting, who she started working with in 2009. She toured with him and sang on a DVD of his, and most recently contributed backups on “Captain Bateman”, a track from his upcoming album, The Bridge. Biali wasn’t even born when the Police put out their debut album, Outlandos d’Amour, in 1978, so she discovered Sting first, “which is probably sacrilegious to a lot of Police fans,” she quips. But, upon hearing his solo work in the ’90s and after that, she quickly placed him on her bucket list of artists to work with. So, enquiring minds want to know: what’s Sting really like? “Oh, he’s just a gem of a guy,” gushes Biali. “He loves his family. And when we got pregnant, my husband and I, I was actually touring a little bit with Sting, and I was really nervous to share the news with him. But when I did he just said, ‘How wonderful, wonderful for us all.’ And when Josh was born he sent us a little Sting onesie. He’s just everything you hope he would be, and more.” g Laila Biali performs on a double bill with Jodi Proznick at the Shadbolt Centre on October 21. In-person tickets are SOLD OUT, but you can buy livestream tickets at





Free unless noted


Art of 30 DTES artists super-speed projected onto a heritage building wall. Radix Theatre. October 27 to October 29, 8pm Jack Chow Insurance parking lot, 500 blk Carrall


VMT/Festival founders Terry Hunter & Savannah Walling celebrate their 50 year creative journey. October 27 to November 7 H[KLELW LQ WKH &DUQHJLH UG p RRU *DOOHU\ October 31, 1pm, online conversation with special guests. Online. Registration required, visit website


Join historian John Atkin and explore the fascinating historic laneways of Chinatown. October 30, 10am. $10 + s/c Registration required, visit website


Discover Chinatown’s ghosts & ancestors Z -XQH 'RULV &KRZ <RXWK &ROODERUDWLYH IRU &KLQDWRZQ October 31, 10:30am. $10 + s/c Registration required, visit website


Sid shares videos from his extraordinary archives of Asian Canadian social movements. November 2, 3pm. Online. Registration available on website


Indigenous elders & knowledge-keepers share cultural teachings of resilience, hope and humour. November 3 to November 6, 7:30pm. $15 - $35 sliding scale Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova 7LFNHWV DW GRRU RU DGYDQFH VDOHV ER[RIo FH# o UHKDOODUWVFHQWUH FD RU ZZZ o UHKDOODUWFHQWUH FD

CHIRU SAKURA ZLWK *UDFH (LNR 7KRPVRQ Esteemed elder reads/talks about her memoir Chiru Sakura (Falling Cherry Blossoms). November 4, 7pm Massy Arts Gallery, 23 East Pender Registration required, visit website

INCARCERATED: Truth in Shadows

Shadow plays dedicated to those who have faced unjust treatment in Canada’s incarceration system. Illicit Projects. November 6, 8pm Online. Registration available on website

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021




Quijada proud to rediscover his Rubberband roots


by Charlie Smith

horeographer Victor Quijada first became interested in dance as a child growing up in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Hip-hop culture was on the rise, breakdancing was the rage, and he had no shortage of opportunities to express himself. “My real initiation into dance was in those circles…after school and on the street corner and in garages as a teenager,” Quijada tells the Straight by phone. “That became a very important part of my life.” In his late teens, he was in clubs or ciphering at underground hip-hop events. He toured as a dancer for rappers, which is where his identity as “Rubberband” originated. “That name was given to me because of the style of dance I had,” Quijada says. But he was also living in a parallel universe of more conventional artistic expression. It came from his last two years attending a high school with a strong focus on arts. There, Quijada was exposed to artistic movements, including cubism, minimalism, and abstraction. He learned about the great choreographers, as well as postmodernism and butoh. . Quijada’s talent was eventually recognized by legendary U.S. choreographer

Veteran choreographer Victor Quijada connects the dots between contemporary ballet and hip-hop culture in his personal Rubberband show Ever So Slightly. Photo by Marie-Noëlle Pilon.

Twyla Tharp, who invited him to join her company in 1996. That resulted in Quijada moving to New York where he refined his skills as a contemporary ballet dancer, soaking up all that the city had to offer. But Quijada couldn’t forget his roots as Rubberband. It was in New York that the seeds were

sown for his eventual decision to create a company called Rubberband two years after moving to Montreal in 2000. “The Rubberband method is the consolidation of not just movement, it’s a philosophy,” Quijada says. “It’s a bridge between very distinct approaches.”

His choreography incorporates styles from the street, juxtaposing this with contemporary ballet and movement approaches from theatre, martial arts and other areas. Quijada notes that, sometimes, a professional ballet dancer will say that street dancers have no discipline. But he believes that street dancers sometimes put in twice as many hours as a ballet dancer until they master a certain move. As the choreographer bringing these two dance forms together, Quijada acknowledges that he sometimes finds himself in the middle, telling dancers that he recognizes himself in both of them. Rubberband’s new show, Ever So Slightly, addresses the dichotomy between hip-hop and contemporary dance. According to the veteran artist, there are moments of virtuoso and explosive athleticism. At other times, his dancers perform in a calm and vulnerable way. “The audience will project their stories onto these faces and the situations that these people are going through—or fighting to get out of,” Quijada says. “In that way, there are many narratives possible.” g DanceHouse will present Rubberband’s Ever So Slightly on October 21, 22, and 23 at the Vancouver Playhouse.


Generously supported by:

Organized by:

Media Partners:

Naudia and Mark Maché

Organized by the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montréal, and presented in collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery



OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021


Imagine Picasso takes a bold immersive look at an art rebel


Sat, 8pm | Chan Centre, UBC Sun, 7pm | Bell Centre, Surrey


by Charlie Smith

s an artist, Spaniard Pablo Picasso was known for breaking traditional rules around art. He painted two-dimensionally. He turned objects into geometric shapes. And he showed how one of his patrons, Gertrude Stein, would look many years into the future. In a similar vein, the cocreator of Imagine Picasso: The Immersive Exhibition, enjoys challenging conventional notions about how paintings should be displayed. In a Zoom interview with the Straight from her home in France, Mauger says that the show will feature giant versions of Picasso’s art on the floor of the Vancouver Convention Centre, as well as on walls and the ceilings. Some paintings will appear upside down. “When you are putting a painting on a wall, you have the frames and the frames hang on a hook,” Mauger says. “And it goes straight because of gravity. In an immersive exhibition, I don’t have gravity. It’s just projection.” In the early 2000s, Mauger came across Cathédrale d’Images in an underground quarry in Baux-de-Provence. Considered the world’s first immersive art exhibition, the installation—known as Image Totale— was invented by French photographer Albert Plécy in 1977. In 2001, she began using this technology to create an immersive exhibition of the works of Vincent Van Gogh, which will end its run at the Vancouver Convention Centre on October 31. In 2018, Mauger and Julien Baron completed the Picasso show, relying on more than 200 of his works of art housed in France, Spain, the United States, and Japan, among other places. Before deciding to become totally absorbed in an artist, Mauger always asks herself the same question: “Why do I want to do an immersive exhibition about this painter? Why? That is the only question that is important and I have to answer it.”


Robert Silverman 23/24 plays Bach Oct

Bach Keyboard Concerto in D minor Bach Preludes & Fugues (selections) Bach A Musical Offering

Robert Silverman

Hear it. Feel it. Imagine Picasso: The Immersive Exhibition shows the Spaniard’s work on floors and walls.

For Picasso, Mauger wanted to create an “impossible exhibition” of his work by including paintings not permitted to leave where they are housed in France and Spain. In addition, she says that people often look at Picasso as a “genius” rather than as a person who went through various phases and worked extremely hard at his art. Mauger felt a need to get beyond the genius label. According to Mauger, immersive exhibitions are for everybody because they attract people of all ages, including young people who don’t feel that they can go to museums. Plus, she loves the sense of community created with her immersive art shows. “When you are in a museum, you are kind of alone,” she says. “You have to be silent.” g




Sal Ferreras “Latin Nights” Fri & Sat, 8pm | Orpheum

Vancouver Percussionist Sal Ferreras joins his Latin Jazz sextet and the fabulous Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to open the London Drugs Pops series with a celebration of Latin American rhythm, dance and joy. Sal Ferreras




The Composer is Dead! By Nathaniel Stookey with Text by Lemony Snicket Sun, 2pm | Orpheum

There’s dreadful news from the symphony hall — the composer is dead! Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? There’s a mystery to be solved in the orchestra, and the suspect is still at large!

Imagine Picasso: The Immersive Exhibition opens on October 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East Building.

Plus a suite of Halloween-themed favourites. Masterworks



Rachmaninoff & Strauss Fri & Sat, 8pm | Orpheum

Discover the music of two giants of the lateRomantic period with Maestro Tausk and piano phenom Stewart Goodyear. Stewart Goodyear










OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021


Dune plays intentional tribute to a true classic by Norman Wilner


DUNE Directed by Denis Villeneuve Roth based on the novel by Frank Herbert, with Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa d A FUNNY THING happened while I was watching Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. I realized that Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 sci-fi novel, which tells the story of a young noble who comes to the desert planet of Arrakis and winds up organizing the Indigenous Fremen in rebellion against the empire he was meant to represent, is effectively the same story of T.E. Lawrence— the subject of one of my all-time favourite movies, Lawrence Of Arabia. The day after Dune touched down at the Ontario Place Cinesphere, I got to ask Villeneuve about that. And yep, any resemblance to David Lean’s 1962 classic is completely intentional. “At the end of the day, in Lawrence Of Arabia, the tragedy of Lawrence is that he realizes he has been an instrument of colonialism all the way,” Villeneuve says. “The thing I like about Dune, what makes it relevant and important for me [as a project], is that it’s not an apology for the savior figure, it’s really a criticism. Paul Atreides is the antihero… he’s someone who’ll bring calamity to the world, who’ll bring chaos to the world. His love for Fremen culture

Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson star in Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Dune, which finds the director attempting to recreate the way he dreamed of Frank Herbert’s landmark book.

will be something that will be dreadful, and bring hell to them. That kind of tragedy is what makes [Dune] relevant.” Unlike previous adaptations of Herbert’s books, Villeneuve’s version draws a clear line between the nobles of House Atreides and the indigenous Fremen in its casting: the natives of Arrakis are played by a diverse collection of actors, among them Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Babs Olusanmokun, and Zendaya. The off-worlders representing the Galactic Empire are cast almost entirely with white people, with Oscar Isaac, Chang Chen, and Jason Momoa the only outliers. Most interesting, Momoa is playing the larger-than-life Duncan Idaho, whose

ability to cut through the formal jabber of the ruling class instantly makes him the most enjoyable character in the picture. I asked Villeneuve if he cast Momoa in that role as a commentary on the otherwise unbearable whiteness of the ruling class; the director says it was just a perfect fit. “I needed that kind of charisma, that kind of energy charge, that boost,” Villeneuve says. “Duncan Idaho, in the book, is known to be one of the best fighters, but also someone with a tremendous charisma. In French [we would call him] l’aventurier, the true hero figure, and I needed someone that could bring that kind of boost and solar energy, the drive … it was a tremendous pleasure to work with Jason Momoa;

what you see on screen is also what you have in life. And frankly, having Jason’s enthusiasm on a daily basis really helped me go through the making of this movie. Because it was really a marathon.” It’s a beautifully designed marathon, the world of Arrakis influenced by North African structures and clothing. There are moments when Dune resembles Villeneuve’s 2010 breakout Incendies, and I ask if the resemblances are intentional. “I tried to bring the world to the screen like I dreamed about it when I read the book,” he says. “Good science fiction is science fiction that is either a mirror or a criticism of our reality. And that’s what I tried to do with this.” Villeneuve’s vision of Dune is also in conversation with another Canadian filmmaker’s sci-fi debut: Danis Goulet’s dystopian thriller Night Raiders is very much a colonization narrative told almost exclusively from the perspective of its colonized characters. Villeneuve had yet to see Goulet’s film when we spoke—though he was looking forward to catching it—but he says that Dune: Part Two will definitely expand on that theme. “When you do a movie in two parts, it means that you know where you’re going in the second part,” he says. “And that second part—if ever I have the chance to do it—would be the more exciting [one] for me to make. We’ll go deeper into the characters’ psyches, and much further into the subject of colonialism. So I hope I’ll have the chance to do it.” g

Canada’s Drag Race takes a more constructive turn


by Kevin Ritchie

fter a few months of behind-the-scenes chatter around the second season-premiere of Canada’s Drag Race, the show has returned and focus has shifted back to what’s happening in front of the camera: looks, challenges, eliminations. The first episode was similar to last year’s season premiere, with the new crop of 12 queens competing in an over-the-top mini-challenge that saw them diving into a pit of foam as guest judge and photographer Caitlin Cronenberg took snaps. The maxi-challenge tasked the queens with designing memorable “lost and fierce” creations using leftover items from the coat check. Drag queen Brooke Lynn Hytes is at the centre of the judging panel now that the producers have apparently scrapped last year’s concept of having the weekly celebrity guest also serve as host. She was joined on the panel by Cronenberg and regular judges Brad Goreski and Amanda Brugel. With the judging receiving so much backlash in season one, there was a clear and concerted focus on constructive criticism during the runway portion. Calgary’s Stephanie Prince, Montreal’s Suki Doll, and Ottawa’s Icesis Couture brought the strongest looks, with Couture ultimately claiming the win.

Vancouver-via-Nelson contestant Beth has joined the sad club of queens who’ve been out early on Canada’s Drag Race.

Four of the contestants this season hail from Vancouver and two of them, Beth and Gia Metric, landed in the bottom. Originally from Nelson, Beth is a Métis and Two-Spirit

performer who started doing drag in high school before moving to Vancouver to up her game in the club scene. The top half of her coat check look—a black bodice adorned with spray-painted pieces of Solo Cups—impressed the judges but the bottom half looked unresolved. The high-pressure situation that is Drag Race seemed to throw Beth off her game. She was unsure of what to do in the Werk Room, hesitating to select items for her outfit and belatedly realizing a partial vision on the day of the runway presentation. It wasn’t enough, and Beth sashayed away after a lip sync to Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater”. She now joins the illustrious club of queens who are “first out” on Drag Race. Going home first is not the outcome Beth predicted, but strangely the face-off with Metric is something she says she envisioned weeks before production began. “Do you want to hear something spooky? I think I’m a witch,” Beth said in an earlier interview. “Going on the show we all hear rumours about who might be there. Gia’s name had been brought up. I didn’t for sure expect her to be there, but two weeks before leaving I remember ‘Maneater’ was playing in the salon at my day job. And I turned to my coworker and said, ‘Watch me have to lip sync to this against Gia.’ No word of a lie.” g OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021




Roy Forbes’s journey from Bim to Edge of Blue


by Steve Newton

oy Forbes is celebrating 50 years in the music business right now, because back in 1971—18 years old and fresh out of Dawson Creek—he showed up in Vancouver to launch his career as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Back then, though, he was better known as Bim. “It was one of my childhood nicknames,” says Forbes on the phone from his North Van home, “and you know in the early ’70s it seemed like a good idea to be Bim. Later on there was Valdy, Ferron… and Raffi of course. Now you’ve got Feist, Lights. So it worked, but as life meandered on into the mid-to-late-’80s, I kept putting ‘Bim, a.k.a. Roy Forbes’ on my posters, and finally one day I just switched it around.” Forbes started recorded under his real name with the 1987 album Love Turns to Ice, and by that time he was already a fixture on the Canadian folk-music scene, known for his keening voice, acoustic blues, and traditional country stylings. Last year he released his first studio recording in 14 years, Edge of Blue, which he’ll showcase songs from at a string of shows that include a two-night fundraiser for First Impressions Theatre on Friday and Saturday (October 22 and 23). When he looks back on his half-century in the music biz to try and pick out the most memorable moments, he doesn’t even have to go that far back. “I had one recently with Steve Dawson and his band,” notes Forbes of a 2019 gig at West Van’s Kay Meek Arts Centre. “Steve likes to reimagine these albums, and we were doing the Tom Petty Full Moon Fever album, and I mean his band is shit hot—it’s really a good buncha people he’s got together. But anyway we were doing ‘Here Comes My Girl’, which is a song I’ve always loved, and it was as if we all levitated doin’ that tune. “Another highlight was in the fall of ’71, when suddenly I found myself on stage at the Queen E. Theatre opening for Rita Coolidge. That was pretty amazing, and especially considering that 10 months earlier I had had my mind blown witnessing Neil Young’s solo tour on that same stage. That’s still pretty precious to me—and I got some good reviews, too.” Other musical moments Forbes looks back fondly on are his Rio Theatre performance with Amos Garrett at a 2013 benefit to support Garrett after his house in High River, Alberta, got flooded, and Forbes’s numerous gigs at folk festivals doing workshops with artists like Memphis Slim, Lydia Mendoza, and guitar legend Richard Thompson. “There was one with Richard Thompson where I was playing in an open tuning,” he recalls, “and he nodded to me to take a solo. I had to do some quick thinking, so 16


Roy Forbes lost his sight completely in 2015, but he says that writing songs for his first studio album in 14 years, Edge of Blue, played a big part in his recovery process. Photo by Riley Forbes.

You know, in the early ‘70s it seemed like a good idea to be Bim. – Roy Forbes

that was fun. Normally when you take a solo you’re in standard tuning, right.” It’s not so much the past as the present that’s on Forbes’s mind these days, though. He’s chomping at the bit to get out and perform tunes from Edge of Blue, which was recorded and mixed by Jim Woodyard— except for the keyboard tracks, which were recorded by Chris Gestrin. Forbes first met Gestrin—who plays Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano on the disc—at the aforementioned Tom Petty tribute. “With Chris Gestrin, you don’t have to

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

say anything,” raves Forbes. “You just kinda give him the odd hint, and away he goes.” Gestrin is just one of several familiar Vancouver names that catch the eye on Edge of Blue’s credits. Another is local legend Claire Lawrence, who plays sax on the closing track, “Rumble Strip”. “That is the Claire Lawrence from the Collectors,” confirms Forbes, “who produced my first couple of albums. He also produced—along with Shari [Ulrich] and Bill [Henderson] and I—the UHF albums. I mean I bow down to Claire, my early mentor. I respect him so much.” Another ace player on the album is John Reischman, who handles mandolin on “The Beating of Your Very Own Heart”. “We go back to the early ’90s,” says Forbes. “I used to hire him on various records that I produced, and, again, most respect. You’re not gonna tell John Reischman what to play. You’re just gonna listen and be amazed at what he comes up with, and pick your favourite of two or three tracks that he might have laid down.” One local music-scene luminary mentioned on Edge of Blue—though not for

any instrumental contribution—is artist manager Gary Cristall, who gets a shoutout “for his way with words”. “He’s written my bios for the past couple of albums,” explains Forbes, “and he’s such a great guy. He booked the [Vancouver] folk festival for years, and I’ve done umpteen festivals in my life—headlined them all, whatever—and when I would read the program the Vancouver ones were always the favourite, because he’s such a good writer.” Forbes penned all 10 tracks on Edge of Blue himself, and he calls it the most cohesive album that he’s ever done. But it’s not like he has anything against cover material. “It just felt right to use all of these songs,” he says, “but I do love to interpret. I’d love to do a soul album, you know, where I interpret tunes by Sam Cooke, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard, all of that. If I had an unlimited budget you’d have a hard time gettin’ hold of me right now. I’d be in the studio recording all these dream albums.” For Edge of Blue Forbes was joined in the studio by rhythm sections that included acoustic bassist Miles Hill, electric bassist Brian Newcombe, and drummers Chris Nordquist and Phil Robertson. But for his upcoming shows it’ll just be his voice and the Gurian guitar he bought new at Kitsilano’s Bill Lewis Music in January of ’72. “I will be celebrating the repertoire from the past 50 years,” Forbes says, “but the big concentration will be on Edge of Blue, because that’s still the new album, even though it’s over a year old now. But I’ll also go back to things like ‘Can’t Catch Me’, which I made up about 50 years ago almost to the day, and it was the kickoff track on Kid Full of Dreams, the first album. So I do a few of the old ones and lots of the new ones.” Forbes, who’s always suffered from “crummy sight”, lost his dwindling vision entirely after an accident in 2015, and he says that writing songs like Edge of Blue’s “Don’t Let Go” and “Heart Have Mercy” was part of his recovery process. But the sightlessness hasn’t effected his guitar playing much—or put a damper on his sense of humour. “Not really,” he claims. “I practise more now, and I’ve made myself work up and down the neck, right from the start. Occasionally I’ll be down in the lower area and go up to grab let’s say a high-E note or something, and more often than not, I get there. And if I don’t, call it jazz. A-ha-haha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” g Roy Forbes plays the Deep Cove Shaw Theatre in North Van on October 22 and 23; the Duncan Showroom in Duncan, B.C. on November 5; the Charlie White Theatre in Sidney, B.C., on November 6; and Blue Frog Studios in White Rock on November 13.


Dwi dives into spooky season with “Freak N Out”


by Mike Usinger

he endearing appeal of fall is the way it’s easily the freakiest season of the year. Winter is a time for enjoying the snow-dusted majesty of the North Shore mountains, artisanal toques from Main Street, and cocooning to The Thing, A Simple Plan, and Wind River. Spring’s all about rebirth and renewal—Vancouver’s fabled parks coming alive with tulips and snowdrops after lying dormant for months. And sun-soaked summer is when no one seems to work—who wants to sit in an office when you’ve got the beach, lakeside cottages, or the outdoor patios of East Vancouver? Then there’s the fall. Endless grey-black weeks of West Coast rain, rotting leaves choking the gutters, and everything seemingly dying overnight. And it’s goddamn beautiful, especially if you’re one of those folks who listens to nothing but Dead Can Dance and Joy Division and dresses exclusively in clothes the colour of none more black. Based on his debut full-length Mild Fantasy Violence, Dwi would seem to be a man who appreciates the dark beauty of fall. If you follow the Vancouver indie-music scene at all, you might know the multi-instrumentalist better for his day job, playing bass for the Zolas under the name Dwight Abell. Mild Fantasy Violence finds him stepping away from thinking person’s power-pop and embracing the reality that life sometimes isn’t rainbow-coloured unicorns and all-day lollipops. Dwi describes the album as a snapshot of feeling disconnected from the normalities of relationships and society. And, in case that’s not clear enough, he adds, “It’s about using extremes of both escapism and deep self-reflection to come to terms with everyday life”.

If you’ve had trouble coping over the past 17 months or so, Dwi understands.

Dwi eventually gave up on the idea of wrapping the present himself and instead just paid someone at the Bay to do it.

In other words, if you’ve had trouble coping over the past 17 months or so, Dwi understands your struggle. That doesn’t, however, make Mild Fantasy Violence soundtrack music for lying in bed all day under the covers from October until the spring of 2022. The nine-track release kicks off on a wide-eyed and

ebullient note with “Intuitive”, where ice-castle synths and distortion-swirl guitars act as a clever counterpunch to lines like “You said you brought the good shit but I can’t taste the difference no more”. From there Dwi dabbles in styles ranging from paisleylaced trip-pop (“Reverse Engineering”) to shimmering roots-rock (“Good Friend”) to double-codeined chillwave (“On the Weekend”). But the reason we’re here for On Our Radar is the decidedly trippy video for “Freak N Out”. The song starts out exotic and woozy—think a Technicolor-jazz sunrise in 1930s Bombay—then finds a dream-hazed groove that’s somehow thoroughly modern but undeniably retro. Visually, “Freak N Out” is all overcast-Sunday skies, rolling dry ice, rain-soaked grass fields, and a completely magnificent owl, which may or may not be the real thing. And let’s not forget the Inland Empire furry pushing a bass-wielding Dwi around in a plastic shopping cart somewhere south of midnight. The best thing about the clip is that, while released in the summer it looks like fall—which is to say freaky in the most fabulous of ways. Enjoy the death, dark, and decay in the months ahead, because powder-white winter will be here soon enough. g

Genital warts a good reason to consider HPV vaccine by Dan Savage

b I’M A WOMAN in her 40s in a relationship with a man and I have my first STI with symptoms. Genital warts—yay! I noticed them about two months ago (near my bhole) and went to the gyno today and had them treated. My question is: do I need to tell my boyfriend? We’ve been dating for about five months, and we don’t use protection because I have an IUD. More background info: my BF hasn’t gone down on me. He wants to, but I’m very subby and it’s hard for me to get off that way, so I’ve been putting him off. And now that I want him to try, I have warts. I don’t know if he’s seen them. Maybe? We haven’t had sex from behind in months and I think that may be why. Maybe he saw them before I did and stopped wanting to have sex in that position? He did want to fuck me from behind a couple of days ago, but I said no because I was embarrassed. Do I need to tell him I have HPV/genital warts? We’ve been having unprotected sex about five times a week for the last five months. - Worrying About Really Terrible Situation

“Yes, WARTS should disclose this to her part-

ner,” said Dr. Ina Park, a professor of family

Dr. Ina Park suggests that it’s a good idea to be calm and supportive about genital warts.

and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco. “Hopefully, he will be calm and supportive about it, and it won’t be a big deal for the two of them.” What you’re facing, WARTS, is what I’ve described as a “one thing/everything” disclosure scenario. Meaning, you’ll be telling your

boyfriend one thing he needs to know about you when you make this disclosure—that you have a very common and easily transmissible STI—but his reaction will tell everything you need to know about him. If he isn’t calm and supportive out of the gate, WARTS, or can’t pivot to calm and supportive quickly, you’ll know he’s not anyone you want in your bed or up your butt. “And while I usually don’t try to pinpoint where HPV comes from in terms of ‘blaming’ a specific partner,” Dr. Park said, “if the boyfriend does freak out, I would make this next point: given that the warts showed up for the first time so soon after starting this new relationship, it’s likely that WARTS’ current partner gave her the HPV that’s causing these warts.” Dr. Park, who is also an STI prevention consultant to the Centers for Disease Control (and so knows what the fuck she’s talking about), points out that the strains of HPV most likely to cause genital warts— types 6 and 11, for those keeping score— will typically start showing symptoms a few months after someone starts sleeping with a new partner who has undisclosed or undiagnosed HPV. “In some cases, it can

be longer, and some folks won’t manifest warts for two years after exposure,” added Dr. Park. “But there have been several studies in U.S. women showing the average time to development of warts after HPV exposure is three to six months. So, while we can’t prove which of WARTS’ partners gave her HPV, she is in the perfect window timewise with the current relationship.” Which is not to suggest your boyfriend knew he had HPV and didn’t disclose or take proactive steps to protect you, WARTS, like wearing a condom, which would’ve provided you with a significant degree of protection. Like most people with HPV—assuming he has HPV—your boyfriend most likely wasn’t aware he had it. (And he may not have it, but he probably does; most sexually active adults do.) Now, there’s a safe and effective HPV vaccine—a vaccine that protects people against HPV-related cervical cancers, penile cancers, rectal cancers, and throat cancers—and ideally people should get their children vaccinated against HPV before they’re sexually active. But even sexually active adults up to age 45, including

OCTOBER 21 – 28 / 2021

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from previous page

adults who’ve already had HPV, can benefit from getting the HPV vaccine. “Since we know that WARTS’ immune system didn’t clear HPV very easily—because she had warts—it’s a great idea for her to get the HPV vaccine,” said Dr. Park. “It will protect her from the strains of HPV that she hasn’t already been exposed to, including other strains that cause warts and cancer. And WARTS should bear in mind that it often takes multiple treatments to get rid of warts. So, if they don’t go away immediately or appear to go away and come back, she needs to know that can be a normal part of the process.” Dr. Ina Park is the author of the wildly entertaining memoir Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @InaParkMD. b MY BROTHER HAS been submitting to a “FinDom”, something I didn’t need to know and only found out after our mother “accidentally” read his emails during a visit. (No accident. Our mother snoops.) I spoke to him about it because I was worried my brother—who has a well-paying job but has never been good with money—was being exploited.

Well, as it turns out, this woman put my brother on a budget. She accepts his $200 “tributes” on the condition that he sends proof of having put $500 into a retirement savings account. So, my brother went from having zero savings to having nearly $120,000 in a retirement account. (This has been going on for a while.) I wanted to send this woman a thank-you note (I have her email, thanks to mom), but I thought that would be intrusive, so I’m writing to you instead in the hope that she reads you: thank you for being an ethical person and getting my brother to do what I never could—save for his future—and I’m sorry about that crazed email from our mom. - Intrusion Reveals A Sincerely Ethical Person

I’m glad your brother found a goodie when he went looking for a FinDom, IRASEP. That said, I’m sure there are unscrupulous FinDoms out there—just like there are unscrupulous financial advisers and real-estate developers and megachurch pastors. But while some FinDoms presumably take more than their subs/clients can afford to give, I think abusive FinDoms are rare. You don’t have to take my word for that: a lot of FinDoms share their receipts on Twitter, and it’s rare to see one accepting more than $100 from a client/sub during a single

FORM F11 ( RULE 6-4 (3) ) No, E202985 Vancouver Registry

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Employment EMPLOYMENT Careers Electra Fix Appliance Repair LTD

is seeking an Office administrator F/T Perm (40 hrs/w), Wage: $26.50 per hour Main duties: Ensure the smooth running of an office, Carry out administrative activities of the company, Oversee office administrative procedures, Manage work schedules, Be responsible for office services, resolve complaints, answer queries, Requisition new equipment and supplies, Maintain records and databases, Maintain inventory and budgetary controls, Prepare documentation. Requirements: Secondary school. Experience: 2-3 years in a related position, Good English. Business address and job location: 2120 - 950 Seaborne Ave, Port Coquitlam, BC V3E 3G7 Please apply by e-mail:

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“draining” session. P.S. Seeing as the good FinDom your brother serves has already received an unhinged email from one member of your family—that “crazed” and most likely abusive and shaming email from your mother— you should go ahead and email her your thanks directly instead of hoping she sees your note in my column. b I’LL KEEP THE background brief: I’m a woman in a nearly 20-year-long monogamous marriage. Before we were married, my husband was involved with a particular woman. She left him, but they stayed friends. Early on, I was jealous and more than a little insecure. He ultimately married me, but she never got married. Since then, he and I have gone through the ups and downs of raising two kids together, but we’re in a really solid place, and this woman and I became friends long ago. She was recently diagnosed with an aggressive, early-onset breast cancer. It had already spread before she found the lump. They’ve given her a year. My husband went with her to her first chemo treatment. That night, he told me she was nervous and he wanted to make her feel better, so he kissed her “to distract her”. I asked if he also slept with her “to distract

Vlad Construction Corp.

is looking for a Carpenter. Greater Vancouver area, BC. Perm, F/T, wage - $28.00 /hr Main duties: Read and interpret construction blueprints, prepare layouts; Measure, cut, assemble, and join lumber and wood materials; Build different wooden construction structures; Fit and install different trim items; Operate and maintain hand and power tools; Supervise helpers and apprentices; Follow established safety rules and regulations.Requirements: Exp. 2-3 years, good English, high school. Company’s business address: 216 Lebleu Street, Coquitlam BC V3K 4L6 Please apply by e-mail:

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her”. He said of course not and apologized, and said it wouldn’t happen again. I’ve had a couple of weeks to think it over and now I’m thinking I should give him my blessing to sleep with his ex. My 20-year-old self would be horrified, but honestly, Dan, if I had only one good year left, I would want some hot sex with someone who cared about me before I went. If he can give her some pleasure in what little time she has left, I wouldn’t hold that against him. Bad idea? Crazy idea?

- Sharing Is Caring, Kapiche?

It’s not a crazy idea, SICK. It’s a beautiful, complicated, generous, fraught, and compassionate idea. You want this woman, this rival who became your friend, to feel loved and to feel physical pleasure at this terrifying and heartbreaking time. We should all be so lucky to have rivals in our lives like you, SICK. Talk with your husband about it. It may not be something he wants, and it may not be something his ex wants or needs right now. But if they both want it, and sex would come as a comfort to the rival who became your friend, giving them the gift of your blessing would be a mitzvah to top all mitzvahs. g Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Website:





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