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FREE | OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021 Volume 55 | Number 2802

SURVIVOR’S STORY At the Heart of the City Festival, elder and former residential-school student Kat Zu’comulwat Norris hopes to inspire Indigenous youths by helping them reconnect to their culture

FLIPPING MYTH Homeowners refuse to sell

RHYTHM MACHINE Secrets of Sal Ferreras



Feeling climate grief? Then Magnitude is the film for you


October 28 – November 4 / 2021


Elder Kat Zu’comulwat Norris’s life story is a tale of triumph over the impact of Canada’s notoriously abusive Indian residential school system.

by Charlie Smith

By Charlie Smith Cover photo by David Cooper



Nothing says sophistication like bulk-section candy corn snuggled up against expensive cheeses, all topped off with fine B.C. wines. By Rachel Moore



Since he was a kid, percussionist Sal Ferreras has kept time to the beats of everyday life. You could say that he’s a rhythm machine. By Steve Newton

Jennifer Abbott (seen above) directed, wrote, produced, and edited The Magnitude of All Things, a film linking her personal grief with a sense of loss that many are feeling over the state of the planet.


Directed, written, and edited by Jennifer Abbott. Produced by Jennifer Abbott and Cedar Island Films in partnership with the National Film Board, Telus, and Telefilm

d CLIMATE LEADERS in the western world repeatedly urge us to remain hopeful. While they do this with the best of intentions, it leaves those who believe there’s no hope of averting hundreds of millions of human deaths feeling like we’re bad people for having these thoughts. But not everyone is stifling the truth. In fact, there’s a Vancouver-produced documentary that doesn’t sugar-coat reality. It’s a movie about climate that doesn’t leave us feeling guilty for having thoughts of impending doom. A movie that allows us to mourn over what has already happened and what is still to come. Filmmaker Jennifer Abbott’s The Magnitude of All Things is a riveting exploration of grief, both personal and planetary. It was available on the fi lm-festival circuit in 2020 and will have a theatrical release

on Friday (October 29) at the Vancity Theatre in Vancouver. In this deeply emotional film, Abbott brilliantly weaves together her personal experience with grief—which came as a result of her sister’s cancer diagnosis—with the sense of loss that people in different parts of the world are feeling as a result of the climate breakdown. The editing is magnificent, making the transition from the personal to the planetary utterly natural. Her sister, Saille Brock Abbott, is performed by Tara Samuel as an adult. Jessa Abbott Balint and Tahlea Abbott Balint play the sisters as children. Alongside their affecting story are the real-life tales of climate-induced grief experienced by articulate and informed climate activists in many parts of the world. The imagery, music, and storytelling are utterly captivating as Abbott takes viewers on a spellbinding and heartbreaking journey through grief. She shows through grief circles and kitchen-table conversations how accepting and processing loss can lead to personal renewal, which sets the stage for authentic responses. g The Magnitude of All Things will be shown at the Vancity Theatre starting on Friday (October 29).

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

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Vancouver police release video of man who was kidnapped on West Side. Report says house listings at 30-year low, indicating homes “not being flipped”. Buyer pays more than $1.3 million for East Van property in “very poor condition”. Eight Rogers directors back CEO Joe Natale in fight with company founder’s son. COVID-19 denier Mak Parhar has many symptoms but insists that it’s not “CONVID”. @GeorgiaStraight


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Realtor loses licence after admitting misconduct


by Carlito Pablo

he B.C. Financial Services Authority has taken away the licence of a realtor for misconduct. This came after Luis Eduardo Ayala Gomez, a.k.a. Luis Ayala, admitted a number of wrongdoings in connection with five real-estate deals. Ayala also confessed that he misled the investigation by making “false or misleading statements”. The realtor likewise “deleted or destroyed records related to one or more” of the transactions. As Ayala said in his submission, the deals happened between 2016 and 2017. In those transactions, Ayala allowed his name to be used as the agent of buyers for listings by another realtor identified only as A. Xxxxx.

The understanding was made “even though A. Xxxxx was to provide all services to both the buyers and the sellers”. “The purpose of this arrangement was to increase the amount of commission that would otherwise be payable on the sale of the properties by involving a buyer’s brokerage in the real estate transactions,” the document prepared by Ayala noted. The realtor was “aware of this purpose and agreed to participate”. “In exchange for allowing A. Xxxxx to use his name as the buyer’s agent, L. Ayala would receive a portion of the buyer’s agent commission and L. Ayala would give A. Xxxxx most of the buyer’s agent commission on each transaction,” the document recalled.

A realtor had his licence taken away by the B.C. Financial Services Authority after he confessed to deleting records and making “false or misleading statements”. Photo by Anya Berkut/Getty.

Take what you want when you want it

Moreover, in two of the five real estate transactions, A. Xxxxx and Ayala “facilitated the use of a nominee purchaser to tie the property up and then immediately assign the contracts of purchase and sale to a thirdparty purchaser for a higher purchase price”. “The purpose of this arrangement was to generate profit from the higher sale price of the assignment of the property to the exclusion of the original seller of the property,” the document stated. When Ayala was interviewed by an investigator with the then Real Estate Council of B.C., he “essentially denied any misconduct and gave an exculpatory version of events that was untrue”.

The realtor eventually acknowledged that he had “not been entirely truthful”. “L. Ayala further admitted that he had destroyed documents relating to the transactions to frustrate the Council’s investigation, and that prior to his first interview with the Council, he met with A. Xxxxx and CD to ensure that their statements to the Council would be consistent,” the document said. (CD is an associate of the two realtors.) Ayala was with Sutton Group–West Coast Realty and Metro Edge Realty when the deals were done. He is prohibited from applying for a new licence for two years. g

Parents chip in $10 billion helping kids to buy homes


by Carlito Pablo

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IBC estimates that Canadian parents gifted more than $10 billion to help their children buy homes during the past year. Bank economist Benjamin Tal wrote that this financial assistance accounted for 10 percent of total down payments. “By province, the most expensive provinces naturally see the largest share of gifting,” Tal stated in a report dated October 25. In Vancouver, the gift from mom and dad in the first quarter of 2021 averaged $180,000 for first-time home buyers. The gift is even larger for mover-uppers, or those moving to bigger properties. In the first quarter of 2021, these Vancouver buyers got an average of $340,000. These amounts are greater than in Toronto, where first-time home buyers and

mover-uppers got more than $130,000 and almost $200,000, respectively. So what does this do to the wealth gap in Canada? “As for the impact of wealth inequality, clearly gifting acts to narrow somewhat the wealth gap between gifting and nongifting parents,” Tal wrote. “At the same time however,” he wrote, “gifting clearly works to widen the wealth gap between receivers and nonreceivers.” Why is that? “That increase in the gap is much larger than the actual gift size as it might make the difference between owning and not owning a house, with receivers potentially benefiting from future home price appreciation,” Tal noted. g


With nowhere to go, buyers hanging on to homes by Carlito Pablo

ley Real Estate Board stated that September 2021 ended with a total active inventory of 3,812 homes for sale. This level marked a 6.5-percent decrease compared to August 2021 and was 48.3 percent below September 2020. On October 5, the REBGV reported that the total number of homes listed for sale in September was 9,236. The board noted that this is a 29.5-percent decrease compared to September 2020, a 2.6-percent increase compared to August 2021, and 27.7 percent below the 10-year average for the month of September. Going back to Dexter Realty’s recent mid-October report, a total of 1,767 properties have been sold in REBGV markets

for the first half of the month. That number is greater than the 1,477 units sold at the midpoint of September 2021 and 1,741 at midmonth in October 2020. “But what’s telling is that the number of new listings coming on the market this year is down 26% year-over-year so far in October,” the report noted. It also suggested that governments should pay attention to supply when it comes to crafting policies around housing. “Measures to control demand typically interfere with the motivation to sell,” the report stated. “So, if more supply is needed, then perhaps a carrot to entice selling is needed rather than a stick to control demand.” g


Even though the number of private dwellings in Metro Vancouver has increased by more than 26 percent in the past two decades, home listings have not increased by nearly the same rate.


eal-estate boards have repeatedly noted the lack of homes available for sale on the market. It’s one reason being cited for the continued rise in prices of properties. A recent real estate report noted that census records show that the number of private dwellings in Metro Vancouver has increased by more than 26 percent since 2001. So why have home listings not grown by about the same rate? “That clearly indicates real estate is not being flipped,” Dexter Realty, a Vancouverbased property company, stated in its midmonth report for October 2021. The report was prepared by Kevin Skipworth, who is a partner and broker as well as economist with the realty firm. “People are holding on to the real estate they buy,” Skipworth wrote. Skipworth told the Straight by phone that a typical October has about 10,000 active listings in markets served by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). The Dexter executive’s report noted that mid-October had 9,161 total active listings. That level is much lower than the 13,670 active listings mid-point of October last year. “In October 1995 there were 17,422 active listings in Greater Vancouver!” Skipworth wrote. Instead of the market seeing a rise in listings, the “well has become much drier”. “That is extremely [rarefied] air for the market at this time of year, the lowest we’ve seen in over 30 years,” the report noted. By phone, Skipworth told the Straight that people are holding on to their proper-


That clearly indicates real estate is not being flipped. – Realtor Kevin Skipworth

ties because they have concerns about finding a new home if they sell. This is also a “sign of a growing population, a desire for real estate, and the need for more homes”. “Yes, there are listings available on the market, but the amount of demand puts pressure on those listings that people are competing for,” Skipworth said. He also pointed out that “not every listing gets treated the same”. “Some are not priced competitively,” he pointed out. “Some are not desirable homes. A number of active listings on the market are landassembly properties, which don’t cater to average buyers. The available homes that buyers are seeking out are lower.” On October 12, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported that total active residential listings across the province were down 36.8 percent year-over-year in September 2021. The BCREA also noted that in the Fraser Valley and Victoria, listings last month were more than 50 percent below September last year. An October 4 report by the Fraser Val-

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Indigenous wisdom ignored in B.C. pipeline push


by Dr. Margaret McGregor and Dr. Larry Barzelai

e are two physicians with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), and last week we travelled to Wet’suwet’en territory to learn about efforts to prevent drilling by Coastal GasLink (CGL) under the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River). Wet’suwet’en territory is located in the northwestern part of the province. It is remote and rural, and most of us living in southern urban communities are unaware of what is taking place there. The river Wedzin Kwa starts at Morice Lake, runs for about 70 kilometres across Wet’suwet’en territory, joins the Bulkley River at Houston, then flows northwest to join the Skeena River, the second-longest river in British Columbia. The Wedzin Kwa is one of few remaining pristine waterways. Its water is drinkable without treatment and nourishes multiple species of salmon. The Wet’suwet’en people refer to the river as “sacred” due to its life-supporting role on their land for thousands of years. At the end of September this year, when drilling under the river was imminent, the Gidimt’en clan—one of five clans compris-

Coastal GasLink is preparing to drill underneath the pristine waters of the Morice River—known as Wedzin Kwa to the Wet’suwet’en clans prepared to defend it—for its natural gas pipeline.

ing the Wet’suwet’en nation and on whose land the drilling was due to take place— informed CGL they were trespassing and unauthorized to proceed with drilling. They then constructed a cabin and camp in the pathway of the intended drill site. We visited the camp last weekend to learn more. The road access to the camp is checkered

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with multiple, creatively built structures to enforce the message that those who are not officially welcomed by Gidimt’en have no right to trespass on the land. As two rather long-in-the tooth doctors, the idea of camping out in the rain and cold seemed daunting, to say the least. Indeed, the camp medic we spoke to recounted how they

had evacuated a number of supporters who were clearly suffering from hypothermia. And yet we witnessed a sizeable community of Wet’suwet’en, people from other First Nations and non-Indiginous supporters, all of whom had decided to endure these difficult conditions to defend this waterway. And they are in it for the long haul. The newly formed community was impressive, from the tidy and efficient first-aid tent to COVID protocols that would be the envy of many a public health officer to the healthy and mouth-watering meals delivered by a trained cook. The initiative is also supported by all five house clans of the Wet’suwet’en. The day we arrived, we bumped into a support rally in Smithers where hereditary chiefs Na’Moks and Dini Ze’ Smogelgem spoke to participants, encouraging them to visit the camp and urging everyone to protect the Wedzin Kwa. During the past 11 years, the Unist’ot’en clan has actually built an entire village over the proposed path of the pipeline, forcing CGL to reroute their trajectory. We had an opportunity to briefly meet with Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham, spokessee next page

person for the Gidimt’en blockade). This powerful spokeswomen and mother of three has presented at several CAPE meetings in the past about the absence of free prior and informed consent from any of the Wet’suwet’en clans and the illegality of CGL’s intrusion onto their territory— recognized as such by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997. In the face of repeated intimidation, Sleydo’s articulate accusation that CGL has stolen Wet’suwet’en artifacts serves as a powerful lesson for any aspiring law student. Several days ago, two other chiefs, Dsta’hyl and Tse’besa, from another Wet’suwet’en clan (Likhts’amisyu), issued a violation order to Coastal GasLink. CGL has already cut a huge swath of trees across the proposed route of the pipeline, causing major disruption to the migration and hunting patterns of caribou, bear, coyotes, and other wildlife. The realization that the health of living creatures relies on clean water, clean air, and nutritious earth, that is, a healthy planet, is something Indigenous people have known for millennia but biomedical scientists have failed to recognize until recently. There is however, scientific evidence that the so-called natural gas intended to run through the pipeline from northeast B.C. to the coast for export presents a growing threat to planetary health. The gas (called methane) is now recognized as a significant contributor to global warming that packs a carbon footprint

that is 86 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20-year time period. And climate science has determined that methane is a major contributor to planetary warming and our climate emergency. In addition to its global-warming effects, methane pollutes millions of litres of water with each well that is drilled through a process known as fracking. The extraction of methane through fracking pollutes the air and is associated with higher rates of cancer, preterm births, lower birth weight, birth defects, flares of asthma and heart conditions, depression and anxiety, and traffic accidents. Science has also demonstrated that the extraction of this gas can harm wildlife and farm animals and induce earthquakes. For governments and policymakers to continue to support the expansion of this industry after the human, marine, and animal lives lost to this summer’s heat dome, the wildfires, and the burning of Lytton is incomprehensible and heeds neither Indigenous knowledge nor western science. Driving out on the forest service road heading home, we could not help but feel deep gratitude to the Wet’suwet’en and their supporters for their efforts to protect their land, water, and air—and, indeed, the health of our planet. g


Dr. Margaret McGregor and Dr. Larry Barzelai are with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.





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Halloween theme chills the wine in scary tasting


by Rachel Moore

ure, Halloween is spooky, but have you ever suffered a thunderous, gut-churning stomachache after eating a brick of Dubliner cheese? With the weather getting gloomier by the day, girls’ night was forced to pivot. Instead of drinking wine on the patio, we decided to do the exact same thing, but indoors. Building on the momentum we had gathered from visiting wineries all summer, we decided to host a sophisticated wine tasting, complete with a Halloweenthemed cheeseboard. Nothing says sophistication like bulk-section candy corn snuggled up against expensive cheese. Despite being kept up all night with rather aggressive cheese sweats, you bet we’ll be doing it again. The cheeseboard experience simply isn’t complete without an 18-ounce glass of wine. For this exact reason, we had these four B.C. bottles to enjoy as we munched on crackers topped with brie and raspberryhabanero jelly.


From what we know about wine pairings, light red wines pair wonderfully

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Cabernet Merlot is structured and has strong tasting notes of black and red fruits. Its tannins pair well with roast beef, braised lamb, and Gorgonzola and cheddar cheeses. But in our humble opinion, it paired perfectly with everything we tossed onto our cheeseboard—even the chocolate-covered pretzels. For those who prefer white wines, the vineyard also makes a lively Sauvignon Blanc with tasting notes of lemon zest, lemongrass, and honey. ROAD 13 SYRAH

A Halloween-themed cheeseboard worked well for a tasting session of four B.C. wines, and the 2019 Merlot perfectly complemented the chocolate-covered pretzels. Photo by Rachel Moore.

with medium and hard cheeses like aged cheddar, Gruyère, and Gouda. The Pinot Noir we selected came all the way from the rather picturesque CedarCreek Estate

Winery in Kelowna, B.C. The combination of soils, elevation, and the moderating effect of the nearby lake produces grapes that make fruit-forward, complex wines. CedarCreek’s 2019 Pinot Noir has tasting notes of raspberries, blackberries, cooking herbs, and even mushrooms. It has a very structured palate with a long, persistent finish. Speaking of finish, this bottle was empty a mere 30 minutes into the evening. PETRICHOR 2019 CABERNET MERLOT

Petrichor is the word that describes the stonelike earthy smell associated with rain. The estate vineyard that produces Petrichor wines is nestled in the southern Okanagan Valley within the Okanagan Valley B.C. VQA. Just like the scent released into the air when raindrops meet the ground, Petrichor’s Cabernet Merlot will delight your senses.





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This Syrah is from Road 13’s vineyards in the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys. The full-bodied Syrah was a major hit with the ladies, who were, in hindsight, probably overdoing it with the smoked Gouda cheese. The wine was aged in 30 percent new French oak barrels for 18 months before final blending. After this was complete, the food-friendly wine was further aged in tank before bottling. When sipping on Road 13’s Syrah, you’ll notice meaty flavours with hints of black cherry, cooking spices, and smoky oak. Because this Syrah is so well-balanced, it’s easy to enjoy alongside appetizers or a full meal. It pairs best with grilled meats and vegetables, hamburgers, and aged cheeses. ROCHE 2017 PINOT GRIS TRADITION

Did you really think we would have a girls’ night without a Pinot Gris? This unique Pinot Gris is from Roche Wines in Penticton, B.C., and has apple, vanilla spice, and floral overtones. Its intense acidity creates a focused and long finish. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience refreshing tasting notes of ripe pear and lemon zest. Pinot Gris is typically paired with creamier dishes like risotto and pasta slathered in Alfredo sauce. But if we’re talking cheeses, the crisp white wine makes a delicious accompaniment to Brie, Gruyère, and mozzarella. g


Prisoner’s story informed Kuebler’s sense of Isolation





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

by Charlie Smith

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

Hear it. Feel it.

Shay Kuebler says that his company’s latest work, Momentum of Isolation, explores social isolation in a production driven by a theatrical and dramatic purpose. Photo by David Cooper.


horeographer and dancer Shay Kuebler recognizes the importance of talking about social isolation. “Cases of anxiety and depression are increasing, especially in the youth,” Kuebler told the Straight by phone. “It’s a big issue.” This didn’t just cross his mind during the pandemic. In fact, Kuebler had been working on a theatrical dance piece about social isolation ever since he read about the British government appointing a minister for loneliness back in 2018. In November, his company, Radical System Art/Shay Kuebler, will premiere the completed piece, Momentum of Isolation, at the The Chutzpah! Festival: The Lisa Nemetz Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts. In researching the work, Kuebler read Solitary, an autobiography by former prisoner Albert Woodfox chronicling his years of solitary confinement for a crime that he didn’t commit. This taught Kuebler about a “subreality” that results from being alone for extended periods. Woodfox’s story also inspired the character that he plays in Momentum of Isolation. “One of the big aspects of his arc as a character is to talk about how isolation really can destroy your sense of reality,” Kuebler said. Even though the topic is extremely serious, Kuebler said that he has still injected some satirical elements into the production. After all, it wouldn’t be a Kuebler show without some sort of humorous twist. For example, there’s one section exploring how people portray themselves online and how that can create a false sense of who they actually are. “I’m finding a fun way to talk about it without being too on the nose and too

direct,” Kuebler said. He also described Momentum of Isolation as “fairly episodic”. “I really distill this idea of both physical and social isolation in the work,” Kuebler explained. “And the younger performers and ensemble performers are taking a number of different ideas around isolation and loneliness for younger generations.” The show includes a great deal of physical theatre, he noted. Kuebler also emphasized that the production is, at times, driven more by a theatrical and dramatic purpose than a dance aesthetic. “The movement is derived from what’s important thematically,” he said. “It’s very physical and dynamic.” Kuebler presented the first chapter of this show in 2020 as solo performances on Zoom. That was followed by a second chapter at the 2021 Dancing on the Edge Festival. This year, the piece was completed following a multiweek residency at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre. In April 2022, he’s planning on taking Momentum of Isolation to Europe, followed by a national tour across Canada. He feels that some weight has been taken off both his and festival organizers’ shoulders with the recent lifting of capacity limits at live events in B.C. (Anyone who wants to attend the show will have to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.) “I do believe that when we get it out in front of audiences and people see it, I think it will have a pretty long life,” Kuebler said. g The Chutzpah! Festival: The Lisa Nemetz Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts will present Radical System Art/Shay Kuebler’s Momentum of Isolation at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre on November 13 and 14.




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! Halloween costumes welcome! Masterworks



Stewart Goodyear

Rachmaninoff & Strauss Fri & Sat, 8pm | Orpheum

Discover the full power of a seventy-piece symphony orchestra with Richard Strauss’ epic tone poem Don Juan and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Featuring guest pianist Stewart Goodyear. Maestro Tausk conducts.




Romeo & Juliet Fri, 7pm | Orpheum

Prokofiev’s lush and romantic vision permeates every note of this dramatic musical masterpiece. Special visual effects help to bring Shakespeare’s classic tale to life. Otto Tausk








Tell Us When They Came elevates a survivor’s story

Kat Zu’comulwat Norris’s life is a tale of triumph over the impact of Canada’s residential school system


by Charlie Smith

his past summer, Penelakut Island was in the news for reasons that have become all too familiar. This southern Gulf Island, which is just 8.66 square kilometres in size, was the site of the notorious Kuper Island Indian Residential School. It was operated by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969, when it was taken over by the federal government. According to the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, a former employee of the school pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and gross indecency in 1995. And this July, the Penelakut Tribe revealed that 160 “undocumented and unmarked” graves had been found on the site. One of the school’s survivors is Kat Zu’comulwat Norris, a longtime Vancouver resident, elder, and member of the Lyackson First Nation. She has described Kuper Island as “the Alcatraz of the residential schools” and a “torture chamber”. After being sexually abused in childhood by a priest, Norris has shared her story with others in an effort to help them heal from the trauma of their past. “I’ve learned to embrace my experience because I survived,” Norris told the Straight by phone. “I have children, I have grandchildren that I want to inspire.” She doesn’t use the term victim to describe herself. Instead, she called herself a survivor of a prisoner-of-war camp. In this camp, a.k.a. the Kuper Island Indian Residential School, she only tried calling her parents once, even though she was filled with loneliness. That’s because her jailers would sit and listen to her calls. And if she wrote a letter, they would read it. Norris said that this year she felt she could finally “exhale” once the world started learning about the unmarked and undocumented remains at former Indian residential school sites. That’s because the truth was plain for everyone to see. “As a spokesperson for my people, I spent decades talking to groups, talking to schools, talking to universities—sharing and trying to enlighten them as to our real experience and trying to advance the beauty of our true history,” Norris said. “I want the world to see that we’re real people but we were hit by a government intent on keeping us down.” She has done this work in many ways— as a counsellor, theatre artist, host of an SFU radio show, and community builder. She said that she’s still working on her healing journey while coping with lupus, which is an invisible autoimmune disability. In the past, she’s been diagnosed with chronic depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder, but nowadays she’s



Our youth are still struggling out there. That legacy is still hitting our kids today. – elder Kat Zu’comulwat Norris

Kat Zu’comulwat Norris doesn’t define herself as a victim, despite what she endured at Kuper Island Indian Residential School, which she compares to Alcatraz. Photo by David Cooper.

incredibly upbeat and laughs easily. “We have a strong work ethic in my family, from my grandfather, who was a fisherman, and my mother after him,” Norris noted. “We were always taught to keep busy. That’s a big part of what kept me going.” In addition to providing healing drumming sessions for Theatre Terrific, which works with artists with disabilities, Norris has a long relationship with the Heart of the City Festival. It dates back to the 2003 theatrical work In the Heart of the City: the Downtown Eastside Community Play, which inspired the festival’s creation the following year. “I got to wear this beautiful, pink, flouncy long gown,” Norris recalled with a laugh. “I was prancing around and I just

OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021

had so much fun.” In recent years, Norris has been the festival’s artist in residence. And this year, she’s contributing a 20-minute work of theatre and storytelling, Tell Us When They Came, to a Heart of the City Festival event called Indigenous Journeys: Solos by Three Women. Her work is directed by her brother, Vancouver-based actor Sam Bob. One of the other shows is Chemukh’s Dream, written and performed by Priscillia Mays Tait, who traces her ancestry to the Babine, Gitxsan, and Wet’suwet’en nations. The other show, The dance within the dance is the dance, is a work-in-progress written and performed by Gunargie O’Sullivan, a.k.a. ga’axstasalas, of the Kwakuilth Nation.

According to Norris, Tell Us When They Came will reveal her people’s story through her experiences, ranging from the way they used to live on the land to the system of First Nations reserves and Indian residential schools. In her interview with the Straight, Norris teared up as she thought about the impact of colonialism, residential schools, and the so-called ’60s Scoop on young Indigenous people today. “Our youth are still struggling out there,” she said. “That legacy is still hitting our kids today. A lot of our younger people are trying to find themselves.” She described the legislation crafted by governments to suppress Indigenous people as “ingenious” because it was so devastatingly effective as a tool of colonization. Children were separated from parents. In the residential school, she was also separated from her brothers. Today, as a result of this, she insists on telling her two sons and two granddaughters that she loves them every time they leave one another’s presence. And they say the same thing back to her. “When you say you love yourself, that’s an act of defiance,” Norris explained. “When you tell your children that you love them, that’s an act of defiance.” She added that even hugging one’s parents is an act of defiance. “All of those things were taken away from us,” she noted. Fear was imprinted on her and other children in the residential school. And she is doing all that she can, including through her work in theatre and through counselling others, to try to erase that legacy. “We went through hell and we continue to go through hell, but we’re still here,” Norris said. “And we stand strong and we’re learning to use our voices.” g Kat Norris prerecorded Tell Us When They Came at the Firehall Arts Centre as part of Indigenous Journeys: Solos by Three Women. It will be presented online on Zoom with Chemukh’s Dream and The dance within the dance is the dance at 7 p.m. on November 3. This will followed by a live question-and-answer session with the artists as part of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, which runs until 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 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021




Percussionist Sal Ferreras is a rhythm machine


by Steve Newton

ack in 1979, Bad Company recorded a song called “Rhythm Machine” that was written by drummer Simon Kirke and bassist Boz Burrell. It wasn’t a big hit like the band’s “Can’t Get Enough” or “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, but it’s a catchy little ditty about how rhythms can take over a person’s body and mind. “I got time runnin’ through my head in bed,” croons legendary blues-rock vocalist (and White Rock resident) Paul Rodgers, “instead of sleep, I get licks instead. I’m a rhythm machine.” You could say that percussionist Sal Ferreras is a rhythm machine too. “I do that; I count all the time,” Ferreras admits on the line from his Victoria home. “I’m not sort of an obsessive-compulsive, but I count steps and sometimes I count them and try to syncopate the count to the steps. I count going upstairs and downstairs, try to play a little counterrhythm on the bannister. And in the car, I play with the turning signals or the wipers, anything that can add some sort of other groove to it. I try to find the rhythm in everything that I do and everything that I see, and I don’t have a hard time doing that, because it’s everywhere.

Sal Ferreras’s lifelong passion for rhythm has not diminished, as music lovers will see when his jazz sextet joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Latin Nights. Photo by Vincent L Chan.

You just have to be receptive to it.” Ferreras first discovered his attraction to timekeeping when he was seven or eight


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OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021

and his parents bought him a paper drum kit for Easter. “It lasted until maybe just a little after noon,” Ferreras recalls, “before I broke the bass-drum head. You know, the other drums hung in for another couple of days. But I totally got into it, and from the day that we got rid of that one I started lobbying my parents for a real set. So that took about two years—we didn’t have a lotta money—but then one Christmas morning I woke up and there’s a real drum set sitting in the living room.” Because his friends all asked for guitars and basses, Ferreras formed a band that very afternoon, on Christmas day. Then it was really time to give the skins a workout. “As a young drummer, Buddy Rich was a big deal,” Ferreras says. “And Charlie Watts was a big deal; I was a Rolling Stones fan very early on. In fact, that Christmas, that first song that my first band ever played was ‘Satisfaction’. So I was attracted to that, but in the ’70s I became more interested in salsa music, just observing it and listening to it, and then when I went to university I looked into the field of jazz. “And that’s when it went way beyond Buddy Rich to, you know, Max Roach and Alex Acuña—all sorts of players who have been the mainstay of jazz. And then the great conga players that were either hanging out in Cuba or in New York and San Juan. And of course because I was an orchestral musician and I studied classical music, then I had a number of favourite timpanists that played with some of the big orchestras—New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra—that I also tried to emulate. There’s no lack of idols.”

Looking back, Ferreras isn’t totally sure how he got infected with the rhythm bug, but he reckons that just being from Latin America had a lot to do with it. “For anybody who grows up in Latin America, music is just everywhere,” he says. “People do it to celebrate, people do it at funerals. And my parents were very musical— they weren’t musicians, but they loved to sing a lot—and so that was always around the house. And then in terms of drums, I was just attracted to time and rhythm, and it has been a lifelong passion that actually continues to increase; it’s not diminishing one bit.” That still-blossoming passion will be out there for all to see when Ferreras and his Latin jazz sextet join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Latin Nights this weekend (January 29 and 30). The group includes saxophonist-flutist Tom Keenlyside, pianist Miles Black, bassist Jodi Proznick, percussionist Israel “Toto” Berriel, and trumpeter Miguelito Valdés. “I’ve been playing with Tom since the early ’80s in various types of ensembles,” Ferreras says, “mostly Latin, but Tom was a member of my band called Poetic License, which played the [Vancouver] Writers Festival for 30 years. One gig a year, but the best gig of the year. I’ve known Miles Black forever, and I’ve used him a lot because he totally understands where I’m coming from, both rhythmically and with what I want to do in the interpretation of Latin American music in a non–Latin American context. “Jodi is a fantastic bass player with a capability to feel very different types of rhythms and infuse each one of them with a really nice sense of spirit. She’s a great player, and just so positive. Toto Berriel, the conga player, I met when he first came to Canada in June of 1984 for a festival in Banff, and we hit it off. And Miguelito is a monster trumpet player with huge ears and a lyrical feel that I absolutely love. So for me it’s an ideal sextet to have, and I can’t wait to show people what it is that we do.” What they’ll do during Latin Nights is showcase music from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. The program will include pieces by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez and Puerto Rican sax player Miguel Zenón, some Afro-Cuban music, and a big carnival piece from the Recife region of Brazil performed in the frevo style, with solos for each section of the orchestra written by Ferreras. “It’s like trading eights,” he says, “but you’re trading eights with every single section of the orchestra while the ensemble is playing and keeping the rhythmic machine going.” g Sal Ferreras and his Latin jazz sextet perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on Friday and Saturday (January 29 and 30) at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre.




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


A musical exploration of the shared traditions of drums, dance and song between Indigenous and Irish cultures. November 2, 12pm Online. Registration available on website



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


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


Online presentation and conversation with author and award-winning journalist Travis Lupick, with Ann Livingston and Eris Nyx. November 6, 1pm. Online. Registration required, visit website

OPENINGS: 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 Tickets at door or advance sales: 604.689.0926 ER[RIo FH#o UHKDOODUWVFHQWUH FD RU ZZZ o UHKDOODUWFHQWUH FD

INCARCERATED: Truth in Shadows Shadow plays dedicated to those who have faced unjust treatment in Canada’s incarceration system. Presented by Illicit Projects. November 6, 8pm Online. Registration available, visit website

OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021




Playwright depicts refugee family’s pain and resilience


by Charlie Smith


Alonzo King LINES Ballet

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

Adji Cissoko, Shuaib ElhassanI - Alonzo King LINES Ballet Photo by Manny Crisostomo

check out our NOV. 11 BOV ISSUE E ffor fo orr the o t e resu res rresult results esults es e su s ulltts u ts o of our readers’ poll

#BOV2021 14


OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021

ancouver playwright and actor Sangeeta Wylie learned a valuable lesson from her father as a child in Newfoundland. “The thing he told us when we were growing up was if you understand someone, you don’t judge them,” Wylie told the Straight by phone. “And if you judge them, you don’t understand them. That was a mantra that was embedded in me.” This philosophy of striving to understand people underscores Wylie’s play, we the same, which will premiere online on November 3 from the Cultch Historic Theatre. Combining dialogue with dance, live music, and animation, it tells the story of a mother sharing her heart-wrenching story with her daughter of escaping Vietnam in 1979 aboard a boat. At sea, the refugees encountered typhoons and pirate attacks before being shipwrecked. Directed by Diane Brown, the play features actors Elizabeth Thai, Grace Le, Chris Lam, Brandy Le, Quynh Mi, and Khaira Ledeyo. According to Wylie, it’s inspired by a true story. Wylie embarked on this project after attending a barbecue at the house of a neighbour, a member of the Truong family. They were all new to the area at the time, and were served Vietnamese salad rolls and homemade peanut sauce. At first, Wylie didn’t realize that the host was from Vietnam, and she asked what it was like for her to come to Canada. That’s when the woman launched into her mother’s story. The daughter wasn’t aware of all the details but mentioned that the family was separated from the father and that there were six people in the boat under the age of eight. “As she was telling me this story, things went from one level to the next level,” Wylie recalled. “Everybody’s jaws were dropping.” A few months earlier, the producing artistic director of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Donna Yamamoto, had approached Wylie about submitting a script to her group’s new play-development program. So Wylie asked her neighbour if she could meet her mother to see if she would share her experiences for the purpose of a play. “We met and we loved each other, and she told me this story over three days,” Wylie said. “And I watched as her and her daughter were both present. I watched their relationship grow.” That’s when Wylie realized that the play should be not only about their incredible escape from Vietnam but needed to also incorporate a second aspect: the mother sharing the story with the daughter for the first time, 40 years later.

A true story inspired Sangeeta Wylie’s new play, we the same. Photo by

“We don’t always ask our parents our stories,” the playwright related. “And so that became really the spine of it for me.” In the course of her research, Wylie travelled to Malaysia and Vietnam, learning more about the challenges faced by refugees fleeing Vietnam in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And she came across a stunning coincidence: a fisherman’s dance that still exists in Vietnam today is of Sanskrit origin and is the same Bharatanatyam dance that she rehearsed as a child in Newfoundland with her Indian teacher. In Vietnam, Wylie said, the Champa people are followers of Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism as a result of past migrations from other areas, including South Asia. She pointed out that those who are Hindu prayed to Lord Shiva to save them from whales before heading out to sea. “How is it possible that I did a dance when I was 11 that now shows up through this journey in Vietnam—and is now in this piece in some kind of modified way?” Wylie asked. “Life is full of crazy coincidences.” It took four years for the play to reach the stage. But according to Wylie, it has been 40 years in the making. “It has actually changed my life,” she said. “It has brought me reconciliation just as it has for the two characters in the play.” g The Cultch and Ruby Slippers Theatre will livestream we the same from the Historic Theatre from November 3 to 7.


Gigi Saul Guerrero sees the beauty in ghastly horror by Steve Newton

Vancouver-based director Gigi Saul Guerrero specializes in movies that aren’t afraid to push the gore envelope to get their points across. Photo by Luke Bramley/Luchagore Productions.


igi Saul Guerrero remembers well the day she truly embraced her love of horror. She grew up in Mexico City in a very religious family and was never allowed to watch scary movies: her strict Catholic mom banned them from the house. But during a trip to Blockbuster when she was eight years old, Guerrero stole a VHS copy of Child’s Play 2, and things were never the same after that. “I loved walking down the horror aisles of Blockbuster,” Guerrero recalls from her Vancouver home. “It was my most favourite thing to do, because I would imagine what the movies were about just because of the covers. But it was definitely that one cover, for Child’s Play 2, which was to me at that age the scariest cover: a doll with big scissors cutting another doll’s head. I thought, ‘There’s something really wrong with this one,’ so I took it, and that was the first thing I ever saw that was scary. I think I only watched maybe 40 minutes of the movie because I got too scared. “But when I watched Child’s Play 2, I couldn’t understand this sensation that the movie somehow felt present in the room, with me. I was convinced that Chucky was in the closet. And that inspired in me a love of how films in general—and especially horror movies—can follow you home. As a filmmaker, I always love sharing that, because if you can make someone watch your film and it follows them home—whether it’s through conversation or because there’s a scare or something so funny that they continue to laugh—you’ve done your job.”

Guerrero’s mother made her return the lifted videotape, but five or six years later, when the family moved to Vancouver, the youngster brought along her obsession with scary movies. She embarked on a career in horror filmmaking that has led to her directing feature-length works such as the new Amazon Prime offering Bingo Hell and 2019’s Culture Shock, part of the Hulu series Into the Dark, which has garnered a 100 percent Fresh rating after 16 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Before that, she made numerous short films, including “Mistress of Bones”, which will be shown online on October 30 as part of the Vancouver Horror Show Film Festival. Although Guerrero’s migration to Vancouver did not involve any illicit crossing of the U.S.-Mexico border, that topic has provided fodder for three of her horror projects so far. Her first short film, “Dead Crossing”—which she made when she was just 19—was about zombie border guards eating Mexicans crossing into the States. “I noticed just from that very first short film how very intense subject matters can really be told through the lens of horror, how you can give people that entertainment value and that escapism from the real horrors of the world by having fun with a film,” she says. “I think what we see in the news is already so tragic that I wouldn’t want people to suffer the same during my stories, but it’s such a universal subject, border crossing, that it just continues to be talked about. I think it’s something that hasn’t gone away, and it’s only

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OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021




Spice Girls, Keys, and probiotics rank high for Noble


by Mike Usinger

really well for me sitting at the piano, not being a really great piano player, and the soulful melodies she sang really opened me up to writing in a certain style. I had always loved R&B, but Alicia’s songs, especially on this album, really connected with me.

hat’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

Destiny’s Child The Writing’s on the Wall This is still one of my favourite albums of all time. A lot of songs that weren’t even singles are some of my favourites—there wasn’t a lot of filler. All the harmonies and unique production really drew me in. This is probably the one record I’ve listened to more than any other album. I still listen to it front to back.


Brittni Noble


A creative soul and heart who just wants to make a positive impact on this world and live a life of no regrets. I’m a very ambitious person and I like to set big goals for myself and go out and achieve them. My latest endeavour is launching my own music-publishing company with an artist-first approach. As a songwriter myself, I wanted to create something that would empower, advocate, and champion other local songwriters and be something that I wish I had when I first started writing songs as a little girl. You can find out more at FIRST CONCERT

Lemons. I’m a big lemon-water gal—I’ve been drinking lemon with water every single morning as the first thing I do for about six years now. It’s the first thing I buy at the grocery store, too. Can never have enough lemons in the fridge. Surprisingly, not a big lemonade gal though. Brittni Noble loves lemons but wouldn’t call herself the biggest fan of old-fashioned lemonade.

It was August 8, 1998, and my mum, brother, aunt, and cousins drove from Vancouver, B.C. to Tacoma, Washington to see the Spice Girls perform at the Tacoma Dome during their Spiceworld Tour. Of course we all dressed up as our favourite Spice Girl— myself as Sporty Spice—and I imagine we danced the night away belting and crying (most likely) to our favourite girl-power pop group. It was the first time I went to a concert that big and I was blown away by the spectacle and everything about it. The Spice Girls heavily influenced me, and right around this concert is when I also started writing my own songs. My debut was a song about some tadpoles a friend and I found while adventuring in the forest. I can still remember every word and sing every melody to that song. from previous page



Life-changing for me was a little jam session that I went to at the Village Underground in New York City. All the musicians were unknown singers and players and they were some of the most talented musicians I have ever heard. The Village Underground is a really cool little venue in Greenwich Village, NYC. A girlfriend and I had gone there for a drink and to watch some live music and I had no expectations, but were completely floored by the talent, the passion, and the fun that they were all having on stage. It was infectious. They had multiple singers singing that night and they are still—to this day—some of the best singers I’ve ever heard in my life. That was right before I went to Berklee College of Music, and I was filled with so much

gotten, unfortunately, worse. So I made a second short film called “El Gigante”, “The Giant”, that also involved border crossing, and that exploded internationally and got me my first job in Hollywood for Culture Shock, my feature debut. “And making Culture Shock, again about the border crisis, I felt—not just as a filmmaker but I felt as a Latina Mexican storyteller—this was my opportunity to be able to talk about it with an audience, to bring awareness to what was happening in 2019 and still is today.” Guerrero says that with Culture Shock she was trying to create “the Mexican Get Out, or the Latino Twilight Zone”. The film was made under the banner of Luchagore Productions, the company she cofounded in 2013 with her former classmate at Capilano University’s motion picture arts program, cinematographer Luke Bramley, and producer Raynor Shima, who attended Vancouver Film School. “What’s exciting about Luchagore is we were the students 16


inspiration and motivation from that point on. I was reminded by that experience that sometimes the smallest and most unexpected shows and moments in your life can fill you up with the greatest inspiration. TOP THREE RECORDS

Radiohead In Rainbows I have honestly listened to this album 100 times and I can’t get tired of it. The haunting melodies draw me in every time. You can hear a lot of Thom Yorke–inspired melodies in songs I’ve written. I love the dissonance and the beautiful darkness he pulls you in with. Alicia Keys Songs in A Minor This was the album that made me want to write songs. Her simple chord progressions worked

of two rival film schools,” Guerrero says, “so we’re officially the first team to really be of the two schools combined. So to us that’s pretty exciting, because being in film school you make fun of the other school all the time, and it was really fun to break that stereotype and build this very well-established brand now. “So I’m very proud of it,” she adds, “because it just comes to show that right after film school, if you don’t have the connections or the budget or resources, it really can come together as a team and create things with what you have. Hey, why not be the crazy horror team in Vancouver?” Guerrero’s rise to horror greatness in Vancouver—which included eight years working on the PNE’s Fright Nights attraction—hasn’t been without the odd disappointment. Back in January 2020, it was announced that she was hired by Orion Pictures to direct the horror-thriller 10-31, with Eli Roth as producer, but the project was shelved soon after. Roth had blasted onto the horror scene himself with the controver-

OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021

Milk. I’ve tried to cut dairy from my diet quite a few times, but nothing hits for me the way regular old cow’s milk does in my coffee. Milk with cookies? Has to always be cow. Almond milk tastes like cardboard and oat milk leaves a funny feeling in my mouth. Coconut milk? Forget about it. Probiotics. I’m laughing at my answers because of how random they are, but I had to really narrow down my three must-haves, and honestly and truly, if I have lemons, regular milk, and a stash of probiotics, I’m a happy camper. Probiotics are something I take every single morning and have done so for the last 13 years. They’ve made such a difference in my overall health and I just gotta’ have ’em. My fridge often rotates with different fruits and vegetables and condiments and protein, but these three things are things you can count on seeing in my fridge. g

sial 2005 film Hostel, which raised (lowered?) the bar for socalled torture porn. So what does Guerrero think of the gruesome horror subgenre that gave us the sadistic Saw franchise? “Oh, man,” she replies. “I mean, I’m a fan of gore, definitely. People know through my work that I do have a very dark side, and I’m very mysterious like that. I will wear the prettiest floral dress, but I will definitely watch the goriest things at night. Hostel shocked me when I first saw it—I didn’t even know filmmakers could do that—and it introduced me to that world. “However, what I think Eli does right—or even filmmakers like Rob Zombie and Robert Rodriguez or Tarantino, who have so much blood, so much gore—is they put the fun value up. They put the fun and the actual rich characters that you can’t help but laugh with, scream with, to want to be a part of their journey. That’s what’s important to me. If you have those elements and the fun factor, you’re doin’ it right. So throw all the gore at me, please.” g


Mr. Doug serves up spooky-season eye candy


by Mike Usinger

s anyone running on four hours of sleep and six cups of coffee will happily tell you, being the parent of a small human being isn’t always easy. There’s the nonstop screaming from 3 to 6 a.m., the endless refilling of the Cheerios dispenser, and the horrors of seven fully loaded diapers per day. And let’s not even get into the guilt that comes from leaving your one-year-old in front of Baby Einstein videos from 2 p.m. to midnight as a way to truly make the most out of happy hour. Considering the endless horrors of child-rearing, the last thing you need is for the journey to be even more endlessly hellish than it is. And you know what’s the worst, besides all of the above? That would be finding yourself trapped in a car with a screaming toddler and a road-trip playlist consisting of the Wiggles, Raffi, the Doodlebops, and Rolf Harris. Especially Rolf Harris. Having to grit your teeth through endless playings of “Big Red Car” is one thing. Listening to Harris go on about “Jake the Peg” with his extra leg is, on the other hand, just plain wrong, especially when he sings “When came the time for cricket/They used to roll my trousers up/And use me for the wicket.” It’s like “Big Six” by Judge Dread, only worse, because you’ve got children listening to an unrepentant sex offender sing about someone’s gigantic wooden johnson. But back to songs aimed at kids. Here’s a bit of invaluable advice for new parents: you need to get your precious bundles of joy interested in artists that will keep them entertained without driving you crazy. Like, for example, GG Allin. Or former Nashville Scorcher Jason Ringenberg whose A Day At the Farm With Farmer Jason finds a sweet spot between kidfriendly country and clever-enough-for-adults Americana. Doug Naugler hits that difficult-to-nail mark with a bull’s eye on “The Halloween Song”, where the video proves great things can be done on a DIY budget when you’ve got an active imagination, First, though, let’s look at the sonic side of things. Performing as Mr. Doug, the Vancouver music-scene vet plants his flag in the world of guitar-powered indie-pop,

Mr. Doug’s favourite joke starts with, “A purple dinosaur, a red Martian, and a canary-yellow human-size chicken walk into a bar”.

accenting that with splashes of paisley-dusted garage, mesquite-smoke twang, and Munsters-brand goth. Crank “The Halloween Song” in the Phantasm-model hearse on the way to the pumpkin patch, and the whole family can sing along to “There are things that I find scary/Ghosts and monsters big and hairy/Trolls and goblins, vampires, zombies and.....geese”. (That’s right geese! Dispute that all you want, but not until you’ve watched the entire, and entirely excellent, Clarence episode “Goose Chase”. As fun as “The Halloween Song” is on the stereo, it’s the video where things truly get entertaining. Channelling, in no particular order, the spirits of Tim Burton, Jim Henson, Sid and Marty Krofft, Bela Lugosi, and the entire Addams Family, the clip delivers two minutes and 50 seconds of

spooky-season eye candy. Mr. Doug finds himself surrounded by impossibly adorable monster muppets, glowing jack ’o lanterns, dancing witches, and pop-up skeletons. And let’s not forget the backing band, where the only thing better than the purple-dinosaur keyboard player and spaceman-standup bassist is a human chicken who’s part Chuck Biscuits and part Keith Moon. All together now: “Cause candy’s freeeee/On Halloweeeeeen!” What’s that you say? Kids are supposed to be taught from an early age that mini-Wunderbars, Tootsie Pops, Twizzlers, and packets of raw sugar aren’t good for them? Well, no one said that being a parent was easy. g

Eroticized angst crucial for most cuck kinksters by Dan Savage

b I’M A 33-YEAR-OLD straight female, been with my husband for 10 years, married for six. When we first started dating, I was an extremely jealous person. Fortunately, I got it under control with lots of therapy. But once I did, I started having fantasies about him hooking up with other people. We incorporated these fantasies in the bedroom—as a fantasy—and it was insanely hot. Anyways, I had a baby a year ago. It took some time for my libido to come back, but she is back with a vengeance. I’m horny all the time. I’m so horny that when my husband mentioned that an old friend of his who lives in another city was getting flirty, I immediately encouraged him to see if anything might come of it. With my blessing, he shared with her that I might be a cuckquean. (Sticking with “might” for now, as we’ve never actually done this). She was interested, and the flirting

escalated. Now, she’s coming to town for work. Having never actually done anything like this, I started to feel unsexy jealousy creeping back in. We decided that he wouldn’t do anything with her, just grab a quick drink. But she asked to have dinner with both of us instead. That changed the math and I agreed to dinner. But I find myself vacillating between titillation and anxiety. Am I there to watch or participate? (I’m bi, so it’s not out of the question.) They’ve already got a rapport going and I’m insecure about feeling left out. I’m writing because I don’t know how to process this cognitive dissonance. One minute I’m so excited about realizing this fantasy that I’m sneaking away to get myself off just thinking about it. The next minute I’m worrying about what will happen if I see him giving her more attention than he gives me. I don’t know how to make sense of what I’m feeling. Am I really

a cuckquean if I feel this conflicted?

- Completely Confused Cuckquean

When I shared your letter with Venus, the host of the Venus Cuckoldress Podcast, she responded with three words and one exclamation point: “The elusive cuckquean!” Cuckolding is a loving, consensual, “one-sided open relationship”, as Venus likes to describe it, and most self-identified cuckolds are men. It’s rare to encounter a cuckquean in the wild—that is, a woman who gets off on her husband or boyfriend sleeping with other women. I’ve received hundreds of letters over the years from men who wanted to be cuckolds (some gay, most straight or bi) but only a handful of letters from women like you, CCC. You are a rare flower, a black swan, a precious gem. And what you describe—that feeling of arousal and dread, titillation and anxiety—is so common among wannabe and

even practising cucks that Venus gave it a name (and a whole segment of her podcast): cuck angst. “That emotional angst comes with a beautifully complex cuckolding relationship,” said Venus. “To be able to process and overcome damaging jealousy and turn it into something highly erotic is truly an emotional feat. It’s something I admire so much about cuckolds and cuckqueans.” While cuck angst can be confusing, CCC, it’s not disqualifying. If your angst is manageable and the rewards are worth the effort—and if your partner can help you manage it in an affirming way—you can get to a place where you want to realize your fantasies. But like, say, bungee jumping, CCC, it’s still gonna be scary. “One minute it can feel great and the next minute it can feel terrifying,” said Venus. “But your partner plays a big role in

OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 4 / 2021

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providing reassurance and support for you during all of this. I know of a wife who wrote a thoughtful letter toSociety her cuckold husband in Heart of Richmond - AIDS operates a confidential for persons with another advance of hersupport firstgroup encounter with HIV/AIDS, or persons affected (family,It friends care givers) the read disease. if his cuck angst man. wasor for himbyto For info - 604-277-5137 overwhelming, and it turned out to be exactly what heGroup needed at that moment. IBD Virtual Support Suffer from able Crohn'sto disease or ulcerative colitis?the anxiety and He was work through Living with inflammatory bowel disease can be makeoverwhelming, room for the not excitement and thrill of but you're alone! The Gastrointestinal Society holds a free IBD thinking his support group about via Zoom on the wife 3rd Wedwith of each another man.” month atpartner 7:00 pm. Patients, and has to strike a The of families, a cuck caregivers are welcome. For more information, tricky balance. You’re going to need your email husband to byacknowledge your insecurities Is your life affected someone else's drug use? Nar-Anon Family Group Meeting. andCalloffer reassurances to minimize them, the Volunteer 24hr Information line at 604-878-8844 a list of meetingwant locations those and CCC, butforyou don’t insecurities times. (This number is not monitored) to disappear. For most cucks, eroticized insecurities at the heart of the cuckNar-Anon are 604-878-8844 olding/cuckqueaning kink: no insecurities, Join a FREE YWCA Single Mothers no thrills. this can sound like a support groupAnd in your while local community. experiences and resources. lotShare ofinformation, effort to someone Child care is provided for a nominal fee.who doesn’t share For information call 604-895-5789 this kink (or have a kink that requires emoor Email: tional prep and aftercare), the rewards—the Join Our Support, experiences you’llEducation share, the connections & Action Group you’ll Women make, orgasms you’ll have—can whothe experienced any form of male violence. be great. CALL Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter “But be604-872-8212 prepared for some ups and downs,” warned Venus, “because cuckolding Parkinson Society BC offers over 50 volunteer-led support groups is truly an emotional rollercoaster.” throughout BC. These provide people with Parkinson's, their carepartners & families an And please—please, please, please—don’t opportunity to meet in a friendly, supportive setting rush intowhoyour first cuckquean with others are experiencing similar difficul- experience just ties. Some groups may offer exercisewoman support. because this particular happens to be For information on locating a support group near you, pleaseparticular contact PSBC at weekend. “Taking in town this 604 662 3240 or toll free 1 800 668 3330. things slow is the key to success,” said Venus. RECOVERY International “There’s always room to move forward with FEAR? DEPRESSION? PANIC ATTACKS? Feelings that keep you but from really living your flirty teasing having tolife?take steps backA way out is where we come in. wards Weekly due meetings. to jumping into things too quickly Call for info: 9am - 5pm Kathy 778-554-1026 is never easy.” Sexnot Addicts It’s easy Anonymous to bounce back from a bad 12-step fellowship of men & women who share threesome their experience, that strength accidentally and hope with each triggered feelother, that they may solve their common problem ings of jealousy, CCC, but it can be done. A and help others recover from their sexual addiction.Membership is open to all who desire to bad first experience with cuckolding—where stop addictive sexual behaviour. For a meeting list one person wants as well as email typically & phone contacts go to ourto be made to feel website. jealous and/or inadequate—can destroy a SEXAHOLICS ANONYMOUS - Vancouver, BC relationship. Learning where the line is beFor those desiring their own sexual sobriety, please go to for meetings times and places.(sexy jealousy) tween “good/bad” feelings We are here to help you from being overwhelmed. and “bad/bad” feelings Newcomers are gratefully welcomed. (unsexy jealousy) Call toll and free 866-424-8777 takes time not just good communication, CCC, but excessive communication.

things with your girlfriend now. But if you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the experience of being pegged by a roomful of hot women because you’re filled with regret about dumping your girlfriend for something so “trivial” as a few easier-to-fantasize-aboutthan-realize sexual fantasies—if that’s your best guess—then make up your mind never to act on these fantasies. (I put “trivial” in quotes because I don’t think there’s anything trivial about sexual fantasies.) But I gotta say… When you think about setting these fantasies aside, it’s not your girlfriend you see yourself cozying up with at home, STRAPON, it’s your dog. Well, I’m here from the kinky future to tell you that you can attend an orgy or BDSM play party and go home to your dog afterwards. So you can have your orgies and your play parties and your dog, too; it’s your girlfriend you may not be able to have. Massage But is it your girlfriend you want? Or is it your dog? If you want it all—your girlfriend, your dog, your adventures—there may still be a way. You say it “looks like” your girlfriend Dan and cuckold consultant Venus advise a conflicted first-time “cuckquean” to go slowly with isn’t interested in opening the relationship. her tentative plan to allow her husband to hook up with a friend. Photo by Igor Kell/Getty Images. Which means she didn’t rule it out. So it’s Follow Venus on Twitter @CuckoldressV masturbate about? Mainly, I get very turned my turn to venture a guess, STRAPON: I’m and check out her personals site for men on by the thought of being fucked by a group thinking your girlfriend might’ve had a difand women seeking cuckold relationships at of women wearing strap-ons. Sometimes I ferent reaction to your request to open your feelMind like I’m on & theSoul verge of a life-changing relationship if you had invited her along on EMPLOYMENT Body sexual discovery and other times I feel like I these proposed adventures. Instead of sayb I’M A 30-YEAR lesbian who listens to your just want to stay home with my dog. Where ing, “I’d like to have hot sexual experiences go from Groups here? Should I continue just involving other people on my own while podcast and reads your column religiously. do I Support MDABC peer-led support group is a safe place to Music the dog,” try saying masturbating to these fantasies or do you you wait at home withEMPLOYMENT I’m in a long-term monogamous relation- Ashare your story, your struggles and accomplishand tothat listen a to glorious others as they share similar think kinky future awaits me? this: “I’d like us to have some hot sexual adship, and I’m very much in love with my ments, concerns. Please Note: Support groups are not Musicians ventures together—you and me,Wanted the two of girlfriend. I recently told her that I want to - Suddenly Thinking Repeatedly About intended to provide counselling/therapy. Support, Education & Action Group for Women visit for a list & location us, and some hot women who dig us both!” explore my kinks and my sexuality and may Please Passionate Orgies Now Beatles Tribute Band that have experienced male violence. of support groups or call 604-873-0103 for info. Drummer with lots of experience in tribute Call Vancouver Rape Relief 604-872-8212 Inviting your girlfriend to run around need an open or at least a monogamish relabands (Stones, Zeppelin, Beatles) seekswith to AL-ANON FAMILY GROUPS form Beatles Tribute Ability tofor sing and Does someone else's have drinking bother you? you, instead ofBand. asking her tionship. It looks like she isn’t into that. You’re gonna to make your best guess, Friends The Compassionate (TCF)STRAPON, Burnaby harmonize a must, as is vaccination. Call or text Al-Anon can help. TCF is a grief support group for parents who have permission to run around on information, her could get Perhaps we are sexually incompatible and STRAPON. 778-628-6240 for more including We are a support group for those who have experienced the loss of a child, at any age. a set list for first rehearsals. been affected by another's drinking problem. Meet the last Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. you from “looks like a no” to the kind of need to part, but what if I act on my fanta- For more If information you think staying with your current please call: 604-688-1716 For location call Grace: 778-222-0446 qualified yes that can become—with time, sies (swinging, orgies, BDSM) and then find girlfriend and not acting on these fantasies "We Need Not Walk Alone" out that I’m not really into any of it? Then I and never getting to fully explore these fan- patience, and open and honest would have given up an otherwise good rela- tasies will cause you to resent your girlfriend, tion—an enthusiastic yes. g tionship for nothing. and your resentment will become a cancer I’ve never tried any of the things I men- that eventually kills your relationship—if Email: Follow Dan on tion, so what if they’re just things I should that’s your best guess—then you should end Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Website:

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