NOVEMBER 7 â€“ 14 / 2019 | FREE
Volume 53 | Number 2703
TRANSIT POLITICS NDP risks a backlash
PODCAST FESTIVAL Music and Mystery
Comes through tough time
Langara Advances College president and CEO Lane Trotter says that offering accessible, affordable, and high-quality education is the key to his growing institution remaining relevant in the 21st century
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Langara College president and CEO Lane Trotter says his school excels at opening doors for young people. By Charlie Smith Cover photo by Jennifer Oehler
A diverse military is seen as a strategic advantage, but the Canadian Armed Forces is still overwhelmingly white. By Carlito Pablo
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Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly Volume 53 | Number 2703 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 T: 604.730.7000 F: 604.730.7010 E: firstname.lastname@example.org straight.com
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Here’s what people are reading this week on Straight.com.
1 2 3 4 5
Ben Mulroney’s name floated as successor to Andrew Scheer. Man breaking strata bylaws retaliates with anti-Chinese rant. Vegetable products recalled in B.C. include Compliments brand. TransLink’s bus company is not a public-sector employer. Surrey school district cancels “racist” play after group objects.
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NEWS May we always remember those who served in the past and those serving today.
Military doesn’t reflect demographics of Canada by Carlito Pablo
Remembrance Day November 11
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould Member of Parliament Vancouver Granville
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The Canadian Armed Forces sees a diverse military as a strategic advantage, which is why it’s hoping to attract more minorities. Photo by Cpl. Richard Lessard
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So my background is both Latin American and Canadian. – Maj. Alexandre Munoz
minorities, it’s 11.8 percent by 2026, up from the 2016 level of 6.7 percent. Indigenous people are hoped to constitute 3.5 percent of the military by 2026, up from 2.6 percent in 2016. As Munoz mentioned, some progress is being made. The committee report noted that as of January 2019, visible minorities represented 8.7 percent of the military, and Indigenous people 2.8 percent. According to Munoz, many probably don’t realize that life in the military isn’t just about warfare. He pointed out that there are 106 occupations in the Armed Forces, including cooks, drivers, and various technicians. He related that, especially during overseas deployments, Canadian military units operate like a “small city” that needs to be supported by soldiers knowledgeable in different trades. Born and raised in Quebec City, Munoz joined the Armed Forces in 2000, thinking that he wanted to get some experience in the military before transitioning to a civilian job. He stayed on. In addition to English and French, Munoz speaks Spanish, which he got from his Cuban-born father. It’s an example of the rich cultural traditions present in the Canadian military. “My mother is from Canada. My father is from Cuba. So my background is both Latin American and Canadian,” Munoz said. g
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aj. Alexandre Munoz says that the Canadian Armed Forces is marching toward its goal of increasing diversity among its ranks. “We’re heading there,” Munoz, a public-affairs officer with the military’s recruiting group, told the Georgia Straight by phone while aboard HMCS St. John’s. The frigate is on its annual Great Lakes deployment, and according to Munoz, it’s an opportunity for people thinking of joining the navy to explore the warship during its port calls. Munoz noted that 5,139 individuals joined the military in fiscal year 2018-19. Of this total, 654, or 12.7 percent, were visible minorities. Indigenous recruits numbered 171, accounting for 3.3 percent. Canada is a multicultural country that has gained a lot from diversity. However, the military is not representative of the nation’s population. Based on the 2016 census, visible minorities made up more than 22 percent of the population, and Indigenous people made up almost five percent. As of February 2018, the regular and primary reserve force of the Canadian military numbered 93,953. The figure includes 7,569 individuals from ethnic minority groups, representing 8.1 percent. There were 2,566 Indigenous men and women in uniform, or 2.7 percent. These numbers were cited in a June 2019 report by the committee on national defence of the House of Commons. Titled Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Canadian Armed Forces, the document stressed the importance of women, visible minorities, Indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ community in the military. “In today’s complex security environment, a diverse military is viewed as a strategic advantage,” the report stated. The report noted that the country’s top general, Jonathan Vance, set 10year targets to increase the participation of diverse groups. For visible
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Wartime losses will be recalled across region
by Charlie Smith
adly, the war to end all wars, a.k.a. the First World War, did not accomplish that objective. But one of its legacies has been to cultivate greater respect for the young men—and in the modern era, young women— who put their lives on the line in the service of their country and for the freedom of people around the world. Remembrance Day, initially known as Armistice Day, was observed for the first time in the British Commonwealth in 1919 to commemorate the end of the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The symbol of Remembrance Day is the red poppy, which was a flower that sprouted on battlefields across France and Belgium. Lt.-Col. John McCrae, a Canadian physician, ensured this would be remembered through the ages through his poem “In Flanders Fields”. He wrote: “We are the Dead. Short days ago/We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow/Loved and were loved, and now we lie/In Flandiers fields.” Close to 61,000 Canadians were killed in the First World War and another 44,090 died in the Second World War. The Korean War took another 516 Canadian lives, including 312 who perished in combat. More recently, 158 Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan along with a diplomat, four aid workers, a government contractor, and a journalist. Through war, Canada forged its national identity but also was riven by great divisions, particularly between Quebec and the rest of the country. One of the more thoughtful books on this topic in recent years was What We Talk About When We Talk About War, by Toronto writer Noah Richler. In it, he explored the concept of “epic thinking”, in which politicians, military officials, academics, and media commentators indulge in warlike rhetoric to stigmatize those beyond our borders while celebrating larger-than-life heroes at home. This simplistic dichotomy of good and evil, in which outsiders are seen as irredeemable, has been a hallmark of both justifiable and unjustifiable wars. According to Richler, it took hold in Canada in the period leading up to Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan in ways that resembled previous times in our history. On this Monday (November 11), there will be Remembrance Day ceremonies across Metro Vancouver to honour the Canadian military and all those Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in bygone wars. One of the biggest events will take place at Victory Square on the western edge of the Downtown Eastside. The program starts at 10 a.m. with a parade featuring veterans, military marching units, and bands that will move west along Hastings Street before turning right on Richards, east on Cordova, then south on Cambie. Also in Vancouver, there is a Remembrance Day event in Seaforth Peace Park (1620 Chestnut Street, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.) for overlooked victims of conflict that is cohosted
NEVER FORGET ALWAYS REMEMBER NOVEMBER 11
Victory Square is where veterans are honoured every year. Photo by S. Cazon
by Vancouver Peace Poppies, the B.C. Humanist Association, and the Multifaith Action Society. Remembrance Day events are also taking place at the following locations across the Lower Mainland. UBC WAR MEMORIAL GYM
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Tenant champion Tom Durning dies
by Charlie Smith
fierce advocate for British Columbia tenants has passed away. Tom Durning retired in 2016 after many years working for the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, but he continued speaking out on public issues until his death last weekend. With his encyclopedic knowledge of housing policy, he educated the public about everything from acceptable rent increases to measures that landlords should not take when screening prospective tenants. Along the way, he scored several victories. One of the politicians he dealt with was Spencer Chandra Herbert, the NDP MLA for Vancouver–West End.
“Tom was a hero; Tom was a champ,” Spencer Herbert told the Georgia Straight by phone. “Tom was hilarious. He was gruff. He was rough. He called bullshit as he saw it and didn’t suffer fools.” Chandra Herbert also said that Durning made a difference. “I learned a lot from him,” he said. In an email to friends, one of his former colleagues at TRAC, Parveen Khtaria, stated that Durning taught her about previous governments’ policies as well as what was happening in other countries. Tom Durning continued advocating for “It was just three weeks ago that better housing even after he retired. I called Tom asking him to find me details I could share about why there rental buildings in the Lower Mainare so many stratified purpose-built land,” she wrote. “He found me some
information, with a reminder to call him if I needed anything else. He wanted to stay connected, and housing was his life’s work.” In 2004, the B.C. Liberal government under Gordon Campbell changed the formula to allow annual rent increases at two percent over the rate of inflation. It wasn’t until the NDP took power that this two percent surcharge was rolled back. Over the years, Durning was quoted in several Georgia Straight articles about housing issues. For instance, in 2008 he told reporter Carlito Pablo that Vancouver council should ask the province to allow the city to take control of, repair,
and operate rundown buildings. Two years earlier, he argued that Metro Vancouver’s municipalities should be embracing rental-housing construction to improve the lives of tenants. In 2011, he stood up for two tenants who were ordered to dig up their vegetable garden and remove a greenhouse and rain barrel. The same year, he made the case for all municipalities having a standardsof-maintenance bylaw to force property owners to keep their buildings in good condition. A service will be held for Durning at 11 a.m. on Thursday (November 7) at Kearney Funeral Services (450 West 2nd Avenue). g
Regional planner reveals disparity in rental market
by Carlito Pablo
Featuring Jon Kimura Parker and Desmond Hoebig.
Jon Kimura Parker
6:30pm | Tuesday, November 12, 2019 The Chan Centre for Performing Arts Assigned seating: $40 Limited free seating for UBC students
he number of low-income renters is increasing in Metro Vancouver. However, they cannot afford most of the new rental housing being built in the region. Moreover, there seems to be a growing gap between low- and high-income renters in the Lower Mainland. These snapshots are contained in a report submitted to Metro Vancouver’s housing committee by regional affordable-housing planner Laurel Cowan. The report states that the number of low-income renter households “increased significantly for all family types” from 2011 to 2016. Compared to the overall regional population growth of 6.5 percent, the number of low-income family households rose 24 percent; single-person households went up 28 percent; and nonfamily households increased by 41 percent. According to the report, the sharp increase in the number of low-income nonfamily households of two or more people “could suggest that lower-income individuals are more likely to seek roommates to reduce costs”. The report goes on to note that although “very low” and “low” income households make up about 60 percent of total rental demand in the region, social housing only accounted for 15 percent of new rental supply in 2018. People with “very low” income earn less than 50 percent of the regional median household income. In 2016, the regional median household income was $72,600. This means that a very-low-income household earns less than $35,000. Meanwhile, a household with
“low” income earns 50 percent to 80 percent of the regional median household income. This equates to $35,000 to $60,000. In 2018, 941 units of social housing were built in Metro Vancouver, accounting for only 15 percent of the 6,275 units of new rental housing developed during the year. The document note that 85 percent of new rental has been provided through “market housing which is generally suited to moderate incomes and above”. “Given these trends, it is clear that the demand for affordable rental housing for lower-income households will be an ongoing challenge and will require continued support and funding,” the paper points out. According to the report, the secondary-market sector comprising accessory suites and laneway and coach houses accounted for the “largest proportion of rental housing completions”, or 46 percent, in 2018. The report notes that these are “not guaranteed as affordable or long-term rental housing”. Apartments and row houses accounted for 39 percent of new rental developments in 2018. Meanwhile, low-income renters are getting left behind by other renters. From 2011 to 2016, the number of above-moderate-income households—those earning between $85,000 and $115,000—rose 26 percent. In addition, the number of high-income households—those earning more than $115,000—increased 19 percent. “These trends suggest an increasing gap between lower- and higherincome renters, contributing to growing inequality in the region,” the report states. g
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Langara is proud to remain a college
by Charlie Smith
nyone who meets Lane Trotter or hears him speak would likely conclude that he’s a dynamic extrovert. The president and CEO of Langara College is used to speaking in front of audiences and has no qualms about greeting strangers. But he wasn’t always that way. In an interview with the Georgia Straight in his office, Trotter revealed that he was a shy kid growing up in the northern B.C. community of Smithers. His parents insisted on him attending university straight out of high school, so he went to UBC after graduating at the age of 17. “I didn’t have a successful year,” Trotter acknowledged. “You’re from a small town. You move into a fraternity house and you focus on the wrong priorities.” With a smile, he said that he didn’t regret that lost academic year because it made him less withdrawn. Trotter returned to the north and had “two amazing years” at the College of New Caledonia. From there, he transferred to the University of Victoria, where he earned a bachelor’s degree studying political theory and a master’s degree in public administration. He later obtained a doctorate in educational leadership at Simon Fraser University. Trotter realizes that at the age of 17, he needed a couple more years to grow up and get a better sense of what he wanted to do. “That’s where I think colleges are important because we provide the time for students to gain the skills to become competent in themselves and develop the proper academic habits,” he said. “Some kids can do it right away. Some can’t. I think what makes B.C. unique is that our transfer system allows kids to do those two years [in college].” The 1962 Macdonald Report on Higher Education laid the foundation for B.C.’s respected public community-college network and the creation of Simon Fraser University. According to Trotter, 40 years of data from the B.C. Council on Admissions and Transfer shows that students who use colleges as a stepping stone to university perform just as well as, if not better than, students who go directly to university from high school. “Without the transfer system, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” Trotter said. “That’s why I love the colleges and why I’m on the college side and not the university side.” Make no mistake: Trotter admires B.C.’s universities, noting that UBC is in the top 35 in the world and that SFU has been voted the top comprehensive university in Canada. Trotter and the
Langara president and CE0 Lane Trotter knows firsthand what it’s like going to university before being completely ready.
board’s vision for Langara is for it to be Canada’s “pathways college” rather than a regional university. “The mission can be boiled down to four words: accessible, affordable, high quality,” he said. “On the vision side, we are the number one transfer college from college to university in Canada—of all the postsecondaries in the country. That’s not me. That’s the amazing faculty we have.” Each year, about 1,000 Langara students move on to UBC and another 1,000 transfer to other postsecondary institutions, including SFU, UVic, and BCIT. Trotter and his wife even encouraged their own son to attend college before moving on to SFU. One of the more accomplished former transfer students from Langara is Ujjal Dosanjh, who studied history before obtaining a law degree and serving as B.C. attorney general, premier, and federal health minister. Vancouver–False Creek MLA and former mayor and cabinet minister Sam Sullivan also studied at Langara, as did Tim Stevenson, the first openly gay cabinet minister in Canadian history. Another high-profile politician who studied at Langara is Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. “Our role is to open up doors for young people and give them a chance,” Trotter said. ON WEDNESDAY (November 6), Trotter will honour 49 other Langarans who have had a dramatic impact since the school was created as part of Vancouver Community College in 1970. For the past 25 years, Langara has been independent. In addition to offering transfer credits, it has carved out a reputation for its career education in a wide range of fields, including theatre, journalism,
The mission can be boiled down to four words: accessible, affordable, high quality. – Lane Trotter
photography, business, early childhood education, and health care. “Langara has been one of the best-kept secrets in Vancouver,” Trotter said. “We want to let the entire community know that we’re here for the community.” He quickly added that this community service extends far beyond Vancouver and into the suburbs and the rest of the province. One of the Langarans who will be honoured is David Turpin, the president and vice chancellor of the University of Alberta and a former long-time president of the University of Victoria. The 49 Langarans also include Studio 58 artistic director and B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame member Kathryn Shaw, City of Vancouver Indigenous mural contest winner Haisla Collins, global health expert and SFU Canada Research Chair Kelley Lee, and UBC associate professor and Indigenous scholar Glen Coulthard. “Some of the people that we’re recognizing who got their start here just blow me away,” Trotter said. Coulthard’s book Red Skin, White
Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition has attracted tremendous attention for advancing concepts of decolonization. This is also a subject that interests Trotter, who was given the Indigenous name Takaya, which means “wolf”, by the Musqueam. Langara was the first public postsecondary institution to receive an Indigenous name, lel ḿ, which occurred sn ẃey in 2016, courtesy of now-deceased Musqueam elder and historian Si?ém Henry Charles. The name means “house of teachings” in the Heńqemińeḿ language. “Langara is located on Musqueam’s unceded territory and, in fact, we’ve been told Langara was once a Musqueam village,” Trotter noted. As he discussed Charles, Trotter became visibly emotional, calling his 2017 death a huge loss not only to the Musqueam people but to all residents of Vancouver. Trotter described him as a “role model” and a “good man” who did many amazing things. In 2018, Langara unveiled a fourmetre carved red cedar Musqueam house post honouring Charles on the northwest corner of the campus that was created by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr. “Musqueam has amazing leadership, and the journey of reconciliation is going to be one that’s going to take time—and where we are at the end of it, I’m not sure what it will be,” Trotter said. “But it will be different than where we’re at now.” NORMALLY, INSTITUTIONS and companies make a big deal out of their 50th anniversary. For good reason. Any enterprise that lasts 50 years has resonated with the people it serves.
But in the case of Langara College, Trotter and the board have decided instead to make the 49th year a landmark event. The school held a free 49th-anniversary concert with 54.40 as part of a community day on June 15. Langara also opened a new Indigenous upgrading program in partnership with the Musqueam on their reserve. And the college filed a rezoning application with the city to develop five academic and community buildings ranging from one to six storeys. Besides all that, Langara is on West 49th Avenue, so it seemed fitting to choose this number to make a major splash. Since Trotter was appointed as Langara’s president and CEO in 2014, the college has undergone tremendous growth. “In 2014, we were a $108-million college,” Trotter said. “Now, we’re a $175-million institution.” One of the highlights was developing a new $54-million science and technology building, which was completed on time and under budget. But the demand for education keeps growing, in part because Langara has the second-lowest tuition in the entire postsecondary system. According to the president, it’s still less than $3,000 per year. In September 2020, the school will launch a four-year degree in bioinformatics. It also has degree programs in business administration, nursing, recreation management, and performing arts (in conjunction with Capilano University and Douglas College). But Langara is not aiming to become a university. “We’re a proud college,” Trotter emphasized. “Offering some degree programs is just an extension of giving the students the skills to get ready, right?” He’s also proud that Langara was one of only three B.C. postsecondary institutions that gave former foster kids aging out of care a break on tuition three years before Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark and Premier John Horgan made this available at all B.C. public colleges and universities. Trotter said he’s been inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and the inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy, who said: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” It’s a message that he wants young people to embrace. He also wants them to have big dreams. “My mom was a teacher. My dad’s a tradesperson,” Trotter said. “And now I’m a college president.…It is possible. And it’s not me. What we do is we stand on the shoulders of giants, those who came before us.” g
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 9
Circle Craft brings the holidays home
by Janet Smith
t’s the mother of all the holiday craft fairs: the Circle Craft Christmas Market is preparing to welcome more than 300 artisans to the Convention Centre West from Thursday to Monday (November 7 to 11). Amid this year’s offerings are an array of vendors whose designs bring a bit of the handmade nation to your home. Here are a few of our favourite décor items and housewares at this year’s exhibition:
Circle Craft TIP SHEET
PITON POTTERY Carol Patola’s Vancouver-based works mix comfy vintage (think your grandparents’ cottage) with a West Coast vibe and contemporary neutrals. The Crossroads bowl is inspired by intersecting tracks on the sand, while the Freckled Tan Lines latte cup and mugs are exactly the kind of objects you want to hold with your woolly blanket on a Sunshine Coast deck chair.
THE CIRCLE CRAFT
Christmas Market has unique finds for the slow fashionista on your list. Here are some of the style highlights from the 2019 event, which takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from Thursday to Monday (November 7 to 11). c LINA CUTNAM Pyrography,
or wood-burning art, “draws” FISH EYE SISTERS Contemporary trees, birds, and other organic quilting makes a quirky offset to sleek forms on soft leather wallets, interiors in the hands of this Huntspassport holders, card holders, ville, Ontario, artisan. Jen Manuell and purses. hand-sews pillows and blankets out c ELEN DANIELLE The of Japanese cottons and overdyed local textile artist crafts wool flannel, blending colours and stunning brooches by hand, shapes in new, striking ways. Check embroidering, assembling, you’ll find at this year’s Circle Craft Christmas Market include (clockwise from left) Morin Tardif’s curvy lighting, out her Brooke Avenue collection, Items Lina Cutnam’s wood-burned cellphone holders, Fish Eye Sisters’ quilted pillows, and Corin Flood’s reclaimed-wood bowls. and painting the pieces. For rich in teals, royal blues, and turRemembrance Day, check quoises, and perfect for a living room black and white slips together, ensuring MORIN TARDIF Quebec husband- LIGHT + PAPER Deck the halls with out her poppy, with its silk and-wife team Serge Tardif and some of Toronto artist Ali Harrison’s no two pieces look the same. with greys, taupes, or whites. charmeuse petals, gold Nathalie Morin’s curvy lighting artfully cool decorations, intricately threads, and sparkly blackgarnet details. RACHAEL KROEKER CERAMICS CORIN FLOOD The Revelstoke art- brings a bit of texture, warm col- paper-cut or laser-cut into wood. The young Winnipeg artist special- ist’s smooth, tactile bowls look like our, and natural wood to rooms Her Ornament Advent Calendar will c AVIVA’S DESIGNS This izes in a uniquely marbled effect ceramics from a distance, but they’re that are feeling hard-edged. Pen- amaze whoever you give it to: each Nelson-based maker sews that resembles swirling smoke. She’s actually the product of careful wood- dant lights and side-table lamps little red door reveals a new laser-cut recycled sweaters into crafted a range of shot-glass and tum- turning. We love his milk-painted feature cherry, maple, or wal- birch design. You can buy bigger ornatextural patchworks, making bler sizes—as handy for whisky as bowls in farmhouse blue, with bees- nut that’s been curled like paper ments separately; we like the doughnut wrist warmers, leg warmers, and, most elaborately, cozily they are for espressos. And look for waxed birch or maple patterns on the to create spiralling forms that and coffee pairing, the raccoon and flowing coats and skirts. g her pendant lighting designs, made inside. The bowls are all made from throw picturesque shadows across trash can, and, of course, Vancouverwith the same technique of mixing reclaimed and salvaged wood. the room. friendly bicycles. g
Bus strike could destroy NDP regime
by Charlie Smith
Store co-founder Bruce Smyth and his partner Jim Deva rst opened Little Sister’s upstairs in an old residential house at 1221 Thurlow Street in April 1983, before moving to their current location in the 90’s. Since opening their doors, Little Sister’s has championed queer voices and created a community gathering place while surviving years of government harassment as they challenged censorship and survived three anti-gay terrorist bombings. In 2016 Don Wilson took over the iconic store, and continues the tradition of maintaining a great selection of queer books for all ages, vital coming out info, sex advice, hot erotica, queer art, fun clothing, quality adult toys and supplies.
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www.littlesisters.ca 604.669.1753 10 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
ohn Horgan is lucky to be premier of British Columbia: his party lost the popular vote and took two fewer seats than the B.C. Liberals in the 2017 election. The NDP largely won with the support of middle-income and lowincome voters in Metro Vancouver, many of whom rely on the transit system to get to work and school. Now the union representing transit operators and transit maintenance staff is threatening to shut down bus and SeaBus service. Unifor’s chief negotiator, Gavin McGarrigle, has even mused about a one-year strike, despite being offered between 2.4 percent and three percent per year over four years and an enhanced benefit package. According to Coast Mountain Bus Company president and general manager Mike McDaniel, the union wants more than $600 million more than what’s already on the table and won’t engage in mediation. He has claimed that this would delay major improvements to the transit system. Labour Minister Harry Bains has power under the B.C. Labour Code to order mediation, but that hasn’t occurred. The last time there was a lengthy bus strike, in 2001, many people blamed TransLink management. The union leader at the time, Buzz Hargrove, shrewdly made the case that TransLink wasn’t prepared to give the hard-working staff a reasonable deal. This time, however, TransLink has countered those arguments in advance by publicizing what it’s offering. To many people, these offers will seem reasonable, given that a fulltime bus driver with two years’ experience makes $63,589.50 annually with a 37.5-hour week before overtime. Although that may not match a bus driver’s pay in Toronto, it’s beyond what many of the passengers collect in a year. A full-time transit
If John Horgan sits on the sidelines while Unifor shuts down bus and SeaBus service, several local NDP MLAs might see the end of their political careers.
maintenance staffer who has completed a four-year apprenticeship receives $78,175 annually on a 37.5hour week before any overtime. Nobody is disputing that driving a bus is a tough and sometimes dangerous job. And governments of different stripes have invested a disproportionate amount of money into driverless rapid-transit systems in comparison to the bus network. It remains the backbone of the system, carrying almost two-thirds of its passengers. But if TransLink’s bus company is offering larger increases than what’s going to other public-sector workers, many people will wonder if this justifies a lengthy shutdown. The 2001 bus strike finished off the 37-year political career of then TransLink chair and long-time Vancouver councillor George Puil in November 2002. This occurred even though the election came more than a year after the dispute ended. If Horgan and Bains sit on the sidelines this time around, several local NDP MLAs could easily suffer a fate similar to what Puil experienced in 2002. B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s greatest political weakness is that he’s not seen as being on the
side of the little guy. He’s sometimes portrayed as an arrogant elitist—a doctor, a lawyer, and a homeowner on the posh West Side of Vancouver. A transit strike, however, would offer Wilkinson a tremendous opportunity to rebrand himself as a friend of bus riders if the NDP government allows it to fester for any length of time. This is the greatest gift that Horgan could provide to his opponent. For its part, Unifor is playing a dangerous political game for everyone else in the labour movement by refusing mediation and turning up its nose at a reasonable wage offer. That’s because if the B.C. Liberals were to be elected over this issue, they would likely roll back protections for workers and appoint less union-friendly members to important positions. Compounding the NDP’s difficulties is TransLink. It appears to be managing the situation far more effectively than it did in 2001, coming across as being transparent. This will inevitably result in more public blame being shifted toward the union-friendly NDP government. That, too, would ultimately play into the hands of the B.C. Liberals. g
Polymath Austwick thrives on DIY ethic
by Mike Usinger
ward-winning podcaster Martin Zaltz Austwick is fond of describing himself as a recovering physicist, but that doesn’t begin to tell his whole story. While podcasting has become his main passion, he has fallbacks should that particular pastime no longer keep him occupied. Austwick’s résumé includes doctorates in quantum computing, carbon nanotubes, and nitrogen-trapping fullerenes, and a first class undergraduate degree in physics. As a teacher he’s lectured extensively on data visualization, and his research has covered everything from cycling and freight transport to digital humanities. But through all the time he spent in academia, Austwick never lost his love of music. “Once you get out of your 20s it becomes harder to find and listen to new things,” the U.K.–born 41-year-old says, on the line from Virginia. “You have to actively look for it. I started off listening to rock music as a teenager, when I had my first band. Then I really started to like grunge music, and after that died off, sort of guitar-y stuff. For me, that’s where it all began, and continues today.” Austwick makes music under a number of banners—Pale Bird, Martin Austwick, Dr Martin Austwick, and The Sound of the Ladies—his output suggesting that he’s as fascinated with lo-fi folk and low-key postrock as he is with ambient noise and glitched-out electronica. But it’s arguably his podcasting—bringing him to the West Coast for the second Vancouver Podcast Festival—that he’s best known for. Over the past decade or so, Austwick has had a hand in creating and/or hosting podcasts focused on
November 15 - 17, 2019 | TRADEX – Abbotsford, BC
Quantum computing has never kept Martin Zaltz Austwick from his music.
everything from technology (Global Lab) to education (Brain Train) to horizon-expanding comedy (Answer Me This!). His Vancouver Podcast Fest appearance will see him teamed up with Helen Zaltzman for an episode of the series The Allusionist, which explores language and the way that humans use it. “It’s about language, but it’s way more fun than that sounds,” he says. “It’s not a recording—it’s a live show. It’s not someone sitting there talking into a microphone. I’ll be playing live music, and there’s text adventure games and stories.” One of Austwick’s most celebrated ventures might be Song by Song, which was honoured with a British Podcast Award in 2017. The show has found a devoted audience for dissecting the recorded works of Tom Waits in chronological order. Austwick traces his interest in podcasting back to the days when he was making music as a starving student.
“I listened to the first Foo Fighters album and heard that Dave Grohl had recorded it all by himself with one guitar setup,” he says. “I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool—I wonder if I could do that by myself?’ It was a great time because all this software was starting to become available to make that possible. All I needed was a laptop.” He eventually realized that the same was true for podcasting. “By 2007 I had a small amount of gear—enough to make music,” Austwick recalls. “My wife was like, ‘Why not use it to start a podcast?’ I thought, ‘Sure—that sounds really easy.’ And so we did.” Today, he’s a firm believer that anyone with a DIY ethic can launch their own podcast. His advice for those starting out begins with simply taking the plunge. “It’s spoken word, so if you’ve got a microphone it’s quite hard to get it wrong,” Austwick says. “It’s all about getting into a headspace. There’s a lot of people out there doing it, so even if you don’t have the confidence, you have to remember that they’re not necessarily any better at it than you are. “A major thing is that people aren’t confident about the way that their voice sounds,” he continues. “Everyone hates their voice when they first start—that’s part of the process. You’ll get over that. Also, don’t worry about what kind of microphone you need at the beginning—that sort of stuff shouldn’t hold you back. If all you’ve got is a laptop or an iPad or even a phone, that’s all you need to get going.” g
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The Allusionist is at the Rio Theatre on Friday (November 8). For more information on the Vancouver Podcast Festival, go to vanpodfest.ca/.
Self-deception fascinates in Dirty John by Brian Lynch
hristopher Goffard has seen a lot in his years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times—a lot of duplicity, greed, menace, and heartbreak. Even so, he must have been taken aback when, tipped off by an L.A. prosecutor, he began peeling apart the case of John Meehan, a sociopathic con man whose career cut across the U.S. for decades, with seeming impunity, before coming to a bloody end in a Newport Beach parking lot in 2016. Goffard’s research soon focused on a woman named Debra Newell, Meehan’s final mark. The journalist convinced her to speak with stark honesty about how her life as a smart, successful businesswoman had been hijacked by the swindler’s relentless campaign of lies, romantic flattery, and threats. It was a tale with spiralling twists and a powerful psychological undertow. From it, Goffard created not only a series of feature articles but also a highly popular six-part podcast (15 million listens and counting), both called Dirty John—a title you may recognize from the hit Netf lix dramatization, which Goffard also helped to write. He’ll be describing this process in two events at the upcoming Vancouver Podcast Festival, set to run from Thursday to Sunday (November 7 to 10) at venues around town. In anticipation, here are his replies to just a few of the questions that crossed the Straight’s mind while binge-listening to Dirty John.
Q. How has working on this story affected your view of human nature?
A. It’s not so much this story but more than two decades writing about crime that have affected my already dark view of human nature. I’m pretty much the opposite of the trusting Debra Newell.
than you do in the first. She took a lot of flak from people who couldn’t grasp why she’d done what she did—falling for Meehan when there were so many holes in his story and then forgiving him even after she knew he was lying. I think it was gutsy for her to tell her story, and I’m still getting emails from people who say it made them realize they were not alone. Q. What have you learned about storytelling as you’ve moved through different media, from a series of articles to a podcast and then to a TV series about Meehan? Journalist Christopher Goffard peeled apart the case of a sociopathic con man.
Q. As the story and podcast gained popularity, strangers began coming forward with their own dark experiences with John Meehan over the years. Are you still hearing from people who knew and were harmed by him?
A. One thing you learn with a podcast is that there’s nothing more beautiful and compelling than the human voice. When you’re writing for print you can maybe suggest the cadences of speech and the emotions of the speaker but you can’t make people hear it. So there’s an automatic intimacy in podcasting that’s harder to achieve in print. On the other hand, the printed word (my domain for most of my career) has its own advantages—you can write long and elegant and syntactically complex and lyrical sentences that you’d avoid in audio because it would be hard for the ear to follow. Try listening to a William Faulkner book on tape and see how far you get before you need to rewind.
A. A few weeks ago I heard from another of his ex-girlfriends. She said he had a strange habit of wrapping a forearm protectively around his plate of food when he ate. She realized later he had picked up this habit in prison. I still get tons of emails with the subject line “the next Dirty John”, and people want to share stories about monstrous and abusive partners—so I think the podcast struck a chord in Q. Is Dirty John a cautionary tale about trust and forgiveness? that sense. A. It’s possible to read it that way, Q. Debra Newell seems completely yeah. Also as a story about decepopen about her relationship tion and self-deception and certain with Meehan, even at the risk of mysteries of psychology that make it portraying herself as naive or duped. possible. g Were you surprised by how forthright she was?
A. It took months of interviewing her to assemble what I needed for the podcast and she became more comfortable with me as it progressed. In my experience you always get better stuff in the fourth or fifth interview with a person
Christopher Goffard will discuss Dirty John at the Rio Theatre on Thursday (November 7), and teach a master class at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on Saturday (November 9), as part of the Vancouver Podcast Festival. See vanpodfest.ca/ for details.
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Jaswal covers complexity of diasporic identities
by Charlie Smith
ingaporean author Balli Kaur Jaswal came to diaspora fiction authentically. The daughter of a diplomat, who himself emigrated from Punjab to Singapore at the age of three, she’s lived in Japan, Russia, the Philippines, and the United States. In her youth, literature provided something constant in her life as she travelled to different countries. “It was a place that I could kind of escape into,” Jaswal says in an interview at the Georgia Straight building. “I found that very reassuring as a kid, having to move around so much.” Her fourth novel, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, focuses on three British Indian sisters who venture to India at the request of their mother. “She wants them to take a pilgrimage of sorts and do some of her last rites in India for her,” Jaswal Balli Kaur Jaswal’s new novel is about explains. “It’s also a way to trick them three British sisters who travel to India. into spending time together, because they don’t get along very well.” writing this book,” Jaswal says. “Where do these sisters fit in? If they don’t fit in England and they don’t fit in India, where do they belong?” Jaswal’s last novel, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, was written If they don’t fit in over four years while she was a secondary school teacher in Melbourne, England and they Australia. It’s since been optioned by don’t fit in India, director Ridley Scott’s production company. While she’s not the screenwhere do they writer, she’s had an opportunity to see how the script is being developed. belong? Contrary to what the title sug– Balli Kaur Jaswal gests, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is not a collection of short stories, nor is it erotic. “It’s a dark comedy,” Jaswal says, “so I think a number of readers have The novel explores not only how told me that they went into it exthey navigate their relationship with pecting certain things and came out India, but also how they come to of it with an understanding about terms with their personal paths in life. various dimensions of Punjabi cul“The biggest misconception about ture—and about some of the dark Indian women, in particular, is that sides as well of community.” there’s a dichotomy of whether they’re She believes that people who’ve traditional or modern,” Jaswal points immigrated to other countries out. “It’s very black-and-white. Either sometimes reveal different aspects you’re one or the other. If you behave of their identity, depending on the traditional in some ways, you must be circumstances. completely traditional.” “They have to code-switch, someIn fact, she maintains, Indian times between languages but somewomen often travel along a spectrum times between ways of thinking and between tradition and modernity. talking and all that,” Jaswal says. “It They may choose to embrace certain comes very naturally to us.” aspects of their ancestral culture—and She was in Vancouver as the keyidentify strongly with this—while on note speaker at the presentation of other occasions they’ll be completely the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Litwesternized. erature at UBC on November 7. She points out that people of In- Created and endowed by Vancouver dian heritage who grow up with businessman and police board memIndian parents in the diaspora may ber Barj Dhahan and his wife, Rita, feel that they can fit in when they visit it includes a $25,000 cash prize for India. But she says that once they ar- the winner, Jatinder Singh Haans, a rive there, Indians can immediately resident of Punjab, India, for a coltell that they are outsiders—NRIs, or lection of short stories. Two prizes nonresident Indians, as they’re called. of $10,000 each went to Pakistani “There’s this in-between-ness that writer Mudassar Bashir and Indian came up really strong when I was writer Gurdev Singh as finalists. g
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by Rose Marcus
ercury retrograde in Scorpio is on a mission to peel it back, strip it down, and revamp the bottom line. Continue to pay close attention to the details and nuances, ask more questions, and guard your health, passwords, money, and heart. Despite Mercury retrograde, this next week or so is laden with opportunity. On Friday, Mars could dish up a side plate of frustration, but it can be quickly surpassed as the sun and Saturn are in good shape with Neptune. They make for a good flow and a productive use of time. On Saturday, Mercury/Pluto keeps the day, the mind, and the conversation well stimulated. Go for a massage or something more (wink, wink). It’s a good transit for working the kinks out of the system. Marking the midpoint of the retrograde cycle, Mercury meets with the sun on Monday. Additionally, it is also a “transit of Mercury”, an uncommon but highly significant alignment of Earth, Mercury, and the sun. (The last transit was May 9, 2016, and the next one will happen November 13, 2032.) Mercury will not block out the sun as an eclipse would, it will only appear like a dot across the sun. Even, so, it can have an impact, especially if it makes a direct contact to your natal chart. This Mercury/sun transit calls upon you to re-evaluate and/or choose, and to do so in a more empowered, self-honouring way. Gaining added traction from Tuesday’s full moon in Taurus, watch on Monday/Tuesday for news, an announcement, an important conversation or revelation. Something or someone key can get the ball rolling or make your day. For the most part, the full moon sets a lucrative backdrop. Cash in on it or reverse course in a few days.
March 20–April 20
Friday/Saturday, the moon in Aries supplies you with ample incentive and energy. Mars could set an edgy, competitive, or frictional vibe, but the moment can be quickly surpassed. Smoothing out rough edges, Sun/Neptune and Mercury/Pluto keep lines of communication open. They also enhance the creative or romantic flow. Monday/Tuesday could set something major into play regarding finances, career, or legal matters.
April 20–May 21
An important, perhaps even critical reassessment and redesign-it process is underway. Mercury retrograde can make you feel like you are watching yourself in a movie. Thoughts, emotions, and realizations unfold layer by layer. Encompassing Monday’s Mercury transit and Tuesday’s full moon, this next week is optimized for feeling your way along and for moving the conversation forward. Next Thursday can start with confusion.
May 21–June 21
It is to your advantage to review and revise as is necessary. Friday/Saturday, give it a fresh try or a fresh spin; you may find that it works quite well. Over this next week, you could get much better clued-in, perhaps regarding one you work with or for. Sunday through Wednesday, something could unlock it; someone could come through for you. June 21–July 22
You are still standing! Finishing off the workweek, the sun is in good shape with Saturn, and Neptune sets you up to make good headway with projects, people, or self. Friday onward, talk it out, feel it out, and put creativity into action. Monday/Tuesday sets you up for another go at it, takes you further or deeper, or requires more investment (time, heart, or money).
July 22–August 23
A learn-as-you-go process is well underway. Instinct and intuition
NOVEMBER 7 TO 13, 2019 serve you well through the weekend. Don’t hesitate to say it or try it on for size. Uncertainty, the unknown, or the hidden from view continues as a major factor, but watch for Monday/ Tuesday to clue you in to more and/ or get the ball rolling in some real and significant way.
August 23–September 23
Thinking about returning to school or upgrading? Still wrestling with your heart or mind? A revisit can move you forward and get you someplace better. Pre- and post-weekend, watch for things to take on a life of their own. Watch Monday/Tuesday for news, a significant conversation, or a lucrative or ice breaking opportunity. Pick up the phone. Reach out; open up to someone. September 23–October 23
Friday/Saturday lights a fresh spark, finds you quick on the uptake. Let spontaneity guide your choices. Sunday through Tuesday/Wednesday can uncover something you have been sensing or feeling. It can be an important switch-track or turnaround moment regarding matters of heart or wallet. There’s more to it than is first apparent. As of next Thursday (and the next few weeks), you’ll know more. October 23–November 22
Mercury retrograde forms a rare alignment with the sun on Monday. It is also a major player of Tuesday’s full moon. The days leading up to this double-header set the reality into play. The days that follow unfold it further. Watch for important news or for someone to act as the catalyst. Something of great value to you is found, surpassed, revitalized, gained, or achieved. November 22–December 21
Friday/Saturday finds you feeling mighty fine, especially so if you have cut yourself loose or you are taking a fresh stab at something. Whether you are consumed with a project, ambition, a meeting of minds, or a sharing of hearts, you should find yourself on an excellent creative track. Bringing the destined-to-be into fuller view, Monday through Wednesday carries excellent promise. December 21–January 20
Mercury retrograde keeps you moving through the paces of a major change of mind, goal, material status, or lifestyle. Now through next Wednesday, the reality takes shape in a timely, lucrative, or no-turningback way. Despite an element of the unknown still playing a major role, you should have a sense of right time, right place, right elements. January 20–February 18
This next week removes a block, changes the game board, and/or takes you over an important threshold. Friday/Saturday, you’re on a great roll, this regarding navigating your way along with people, projects, communication tracks, healthy choices, and/or the heart journey. Monday/Tuesday can deliver important news and/or lucrative potential. Wednesday/Thursday moves you through an unfolding, fluid process. February 18–March 20
Despite Mercury retrograde and the tension that a full moon can bring, the stars keep prospects, promise, and creativity going strong through this next week. Friday/Saturday, dive into it with all your heart. Monday/Tuesday could set the future into play in a major, destiny-producing way. Watch for news, an event, or for someone to set reality into play. g
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Event celebrates the science of wine
W by Kurtis Kolt
e all enjoy traditional winemaker dinners and walk-around tastings, but there’s a pretty cool local wine event on the horizon that offers so much more. Uncorked: A Celebration of the Science of Wine is going down at Science World at Telus World of Science next Thursday (November 14), and it’s jam-packed with fun programming featuring a quintet of British Columbia’s best wineries. Those five wineries—Mission Hill Family Estate, CedarCreek Estate Winery, CheckMate Artisanal Winery, Martin’s Lane Winery, and Road 13 Vineyards—may all be owned by the modern B.C. wine industry’s pioneering Anthony von Mandl, but they are all run and expressed as unique entities, each with its own focus and character. The main component is a walkaround affair with tasting stations and small bites from both the Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill and CedarCreek’s new (and incredible) Home Block restaurant. Beyond that, there are Q & A sessions with each of the winemakers in attendance, plus seminars on everything from the science of blending wine to aging wine to technology to organic farming. There will be a sparkling-wine lounge featuring Mission Hill’s EXhilaration brut rosé, a silent auction, and much more, with proceeds going to Science World’s On the Road education program. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to get to know each of the wineries better. Let’s run through ’em, with a recommendation from each for those who want to brush up beforehand or play a little at-home tasting version. I’d venture that Mission Hill Family Estate needs no introduction to anyone reading this column.
Mission Hill’s EXhilaration brut rosé will be featured in a sparkling-wine lounge at Uncorked, which will showcase a quintet of British Columbia’s best wineries.
Established in 1981, the West Kelowna winery has been turning heads for decades, particularly since winning the best-Chardonnay trophy in 1994 at London’s International Wine & Spirit Competition. With vineyards up and down the Okanagan Valley, Mission Hill makes a variety of styles in many tiers, from its Estate Series to its Legacy Collection, which is home to the jewel in the crown: the Bordeaux-inspired red blend Oculus. Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 2018 ($21.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) is a well-crafted homage to B.C.’s most-planted white variety, with honeyed peaches and apricots snug against a little nougat, with amiable, mouthwatering acidity. CedarCreek Estate Winery in Kelowna was founded in 1986 by Ross Fitzpatrick; it was sold by his family to von Mandl in 2014. The winery continues to excel with cool-climate wine styles, with winemaker Taylor
Whelan’s Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir especially counted among the Okanagan Valley’s best. CedarCreek Block 3 Riesling 2018 ($29.99, cedarcreek.bc.ca/) shimmers with citrus, Granny Smith apples, and pink grapefruit, with a perfect kiss of sweetness on the lengthy finish. Winemaker Phil McGahan of Oliver’s CheckMate Artisanal Winery keeps his focus on premium Chardonnay and Merlot coming from local vines upwards of 40 years old. The attention to detail is impeccable: all fruit is hand-sorted, wildfermented, unfined, and unfiltered, each wine a well-built tribute to this land. CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlot 2014 ($85, checkmatewinery.com/) is my favourite B.C. Merlot ever, full stop. Aromatics of potpourri and dried blueberries lead to a palate awash with dark cherry, black licorice, espresso, see page 16
Portobello West includes ideal gifts for food lovers
by Tammy Kwan
he holiday markets are almost in full swing. One of the city’s first shop-local markets, Portobello West, is returning to the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews) for its winter edition this weekend (November 9 and 10) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artisan goods like confectionery, baked goods, spirits, and condiments will be available, which will make your shopping trip a tasty one. Here are seven gourmet food vendors to check out at the popular event, where you’ll probably find more than a handful of perfect gifts for the food lovers in your life. ÇA CROUSTILLE
A local French pastry business specializing in croissants, seasonal tarts, apple turnovers, rotating Danishes, and more. You’ll be tempted to chow down on a few before bringing a box back home for tomorrow’s breakfast.
14 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
Tasty treats from Jessica’s Gourmet Alfajores. Photo by Tammy Kwan
These snacks are best enjoyed while watching a movie and serve as great munchies during a hike or fishing trip. SALT SPRING WILD CIDER
Cider made with wild apples that grow on Salt Spring Island, in flaJESSICA’S GOURMET ALFAJORES vours that range from pear to elderCheck out its signature alfajores, berry, and from hopped apricot to which are delicious sandwich cook- pineapple amaro, among others. ies filled with dulce de leche and dusted with coconut shavings. These SOLASTA CHOCOLATE popular treats originate from South Award-winning chocolates characAmerica, and this vendor offers a terized by their brightly hued coatings, with unconventional flavours vegan option as well. like mango saffron, ginger lemonBALI BITES grass, and spiced chai. Vegan, sugarIndonesian home-style peanut sauces free, and keto-diet chocolates are that come in various heat levels and also available. can add serious flavour to any dish. We suggest pairing the dipping con- AJI GOURMET PRODUCTS diment with meat skewers or sliced Add a little kick to your culinary creation with Aji’s heat prodveggies for a standout meal. ucts, including various hot sauces, 3J’S SMOKEHOUSE ISLAND JERKY chunky chili condiment, and Quality wood-smoked jerky from medium-hot sachets. Shoppers will Vancouver Island, made with AAA also find pasta sauce and guacaAlberta beef and real hickory wood. mole mix in its repertoire. g
Kuroko navigates life, death, and VR
by Andrea Warner
etsuro Shigematsu wasn’t just a competitive child preacher, he was a two-time silver medallist in what he dubbed the “Christian Olympics”. “We attended this crazy religious school which was in sort of the hinterlands of Surrey,” Shigematsu tells the Straight, sitting in the Founders’ Lounge at the Cultch on a midweek morning. There were a lot of different categories, but preaching appealed to Shigematsu. “It inoculated me against the fear of public speaking. I learned to love it.” He’s also very good at it. Anybody who has seen Shigematsu in either of his acclaimed, award-winning solo shows, Empire of the Son and 1 Hour Photo, knows that he’s a powerful writer and performer who has mined his personal life as well as Japanese culture, customs, and history to share unique lived experiences and deliver deep universal truths. His charm and appeal bounce off the page and stage, a little bit of that silver-medallistchild-preacher power still captivating audiences decades later. But his newest theatrical endeavour, Kuroko, is Shigematsu’s biggest challenge to date. He’s not taking the stage, and this is not a solo show. With Kuroko, he is just the playwright, and he’s crafted one of his most darkly comedic and personal stories yet. Hiroshi has just a year left to live, and he’s desperate to get through to his daughter, Maya. She’s a 25-year-old hikikomori—extreme recluse—who hasn’t left her bedroom for six years because of her obsession with exploring virtual reality. When she meets another online player, a challenge is issued and she must decide if she’ll brave Suicide Forest to help save her father’s life. Writing a play for multiple characters instead of a solo show was “incredibly hard”, Shigematsu says. But he’s worked through creative challenges before. He remembers his first artistic life—“I’m a failed painter,” Shigematsu explains—and how he’d bring in different pieces to present to his teachers; it was always the explanations that intrigued his instructors
In Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Kuroko, a 25-year-old recluse has an obsession with virtual reality, and her father is desperate to reach her.
more than the art itself. They would tell him, “Do more of that in there,” meaning put more of this spark into his art, but at first he didn’t get it. “Because I was so clueless they gave me VHS cassettes of Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray—these performance artists out of New York from the ’90s—and that was a real eye opener,” Shigematsu says. “So in lieu of bringing in artwork anymore—it almost seemed too easy—I would tell a story on Monday morning about what had happened over the weekend with my father. Empire of the Son touches upon the acrimonious dimension of my relationship with my father, but right then I was in the thick of it. I would tell my classmates about this horrible fight I had with my father, just as a form of therapy to get it off my chest.” To Shigematsu’s confusion, his classmates couldn’t stop laughing. “They weren’t being cruel, of course, but I didn’t quite know how to process that.” Eventually, he finally channelled it into his writing.
Arts TIP SHEET
c GATHER OUR DISPERSED
FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (November 10 at the
Annex) The Orchid Ensemble celebrates the 70th birthday of composer Moshe Denburg, its long-time collaborator and local world-music-scene leader. Denburg’s own, four-movement El Adon is on the roster. The show draws its name from a new work by Moshe’s nephew Elisha Denburg, while Dailin Hsieh will give the North American premiere of In Midstream for solo zheng (the Chinese zither). c TALKING ART (To November 9 ) This series of artist talks will get you into the mood for next week’s Eastside Culture Crawl. It’s an
intimate chance to discuss the work in their studios, featuring Paneficio Studios’ Lori Sokoluk and Ray Ophoff Thursday night, the Hamilton Bank Building’s Kate MacDonald and Les Sears on Friday, and more. (See explore. culturecrawl.ca/events.)
c FRIEDE AUF ERDEN (November 9 at Christ Church Cathedral) In the lead-up to Remembrance Day, the Vancouver Cantata Singers lead a moving journey through choral works about humanity’s quest for peace. Think Arvo Pärt’s meditative Da pacem Domine and Gustav Mahler’s profound Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. g
With Kuroko, Shigematsu esti- compelled to tell for reasons that mates he wrote about 70 drafts over he’s still grappling with as he antwo years. But it was a story he felt swers the Straight’s questions.
“Well, this is kind of dark and this certainly never made it into any of the shows because it’s so egregious,” Shigematsu says. “There were moments in the hospital with my father, and at home, where I thought as I was holding the pillow, it wouldn’t take very much to kill my father. Now, that impulse came from a lot of places. On one hand, it was my adult self considering a promise I made to myself as a teenager, ‘I will kill you.’ You know that adolescent rage all young men feel towards their fathers? Young daughters as well. But also because my father was ambivalent about being alive. Not only are we of samurai descent, but my father is from Kagoshima, which is samurai country. He grew up in the shadow of a volcano. It’s this fabled place where the final samurai battle ever took place. One of the precepts of Bushido, the way of the warrior, is that you shouldn’t be a burden. But it was my father’s Christian beliefs that made him hesitate to, because he wanted to kill himself, but he didn’t have the strength. He didn’t have the will.” There are also different cultural and moral attitudes towards sacrifice in Japan and Canada, Shigematsu says, citing actions like kamikaze and carrying older relatives into the forest to die in times of famine. It wasn’t murder, Shigematsu says, but rather an expression of piety. “Even today, if a company in Japan causes a scandal where consumers die, the CEO will kill themselves,” Shigetmatsu says. “The stockholders say, ‘Thank you, you have taken responsibility.’ There’s a logic there. As someone who is intercultural, I see both perspectives. I’m realizing out loud for the very first time, my interest in this topic is a natural outgrowth of standing by my father’s bedside and looking down at him and asking silently, ‘Dad, do you want me to put you on my back? Do you want me to carry you into the forest?’ That’s where it comes from.” g Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre presents Kuroko at the Cultch from Wednesday (November 6) to November 17.
Passages of Rhythms finds new voices
by Janet Smith
ance artist Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s never-ending quest for cross-cultural exploration has found him playing with the sarongs of Southeast Asia, riffing on sexual identity with a Uruguayan artist, and tapping into Thailand’s classical dance forms and night markets. That’s on top of all the contemporary-dance creations the Filipino-Canadian has made that mine his homeland’s identity and history. But perhaps no other piece has pushed Tolentino into as many new realms as Passages of Rhythms—three duets that not only find him delving into the Indian classical dance bharata natyam and the traditions of flamenco, but culminate in his exchanging vocalizations with Quebec voice artist and composer Gabriel Dharmoo. “That’s what this work is about: to challenge myself as an artist and not be afraid to encounter these new genres,” says an upbeat Tolentino, sitting with Dharmoo in the Nest on Granville Island, where the new work will debut. “I always wanted to use my voice. And we’ve been finding it and playing with it and asking, ‘What kind of texture can I bring out of myself?’ To have the time and space to do that was eyeopening—and also to see how my trained body of the dancer moves with this voice.” His discovery, working with Dharmoo on this last section of the piece, was that you can’t really choreograph to vocalizations. “You can’t trap the movement,” Tolentino explains. “We have structure in the piece but the movement comes naturally with the voice.” “I don’t think I’d do well with choreography
Alvin Erasga Tolentino and Gabriel Dharmoo play with vocalizations and dance. Photo by Yasuhiro Okada
and he wouldn’t have done well with me writing a score,” adds Dharmoo, whose local work has included a premiere with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and a performance at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival of his music-mockumentary hybrid Anthropologies Imaginaires. “Basically, the process was getting to know what our language is.” That kind of negotiation is a big theme of Passages of Rhythms. Along with the collaboration with Dharmoo, Tolentino pairs himself with local Chinese-Canadian flamenco artist
Kasandra “La China” and then creates a work with bharata natyam master Vaidya, with live percussion for both. All of the pieces explore the different rhythms of the body, he says, and all required finding that new, common language that Dharmoo talks about. That all fits well into the wheelhouse for Tolentino, who has been exploring hybrid identities and working with dancers of colour for much of his career here. But Passages of Rhythms has taken him into strange new adventures; he jokes that a good
alternative title might be Alvin in Wonderland. The vocalizations require an energy and openness that Tolentino (who has more-than-average energy and openness to begin with) has rarely had to tap before. In rehearsal, Dharmoo and Tolentino circle and encounter one another in different ways, with all manner of musical clacks, blips, blurps, and shrieks coming out of their mouths. “When it comes out we hold on to it and make sure it resonates,” Tolentino explains. The bharata natyam part, in comparison, was difficult due to its intricacy, Tolentino offers. But it was flamenco that was the most challenging idiom for this contemporary dancer to engage with—mostly because of the discipline, the rules, and the mathematical precision. “It’s just very erect,” he says of the form, which pummels the feet while the upper body stands straight. “It took a while for me to bend the rules. Kasandra is saying to me, ‘You’re asking me to go down on the floor? We never do that in flamenco!’” Observing it all has been fascinating for Dharmoo, who is seeing an explosion of culturemashing and hybridization in projects across the country. “It’s interesting to see what different artists of colour are doing, and that it’s not necessarily representing what the rest of the audience, or the dominant culture, will expect of them,” he says. “And that’s very exciting, everywhere. “I’m 38, and sometimes I think, ‘Where was this effervescence when I was 20?’” he adds. g Co. Erasga presents Passages of Rhythms at the Nest on Granville Island from Wednesday to Saturday (November 6 to 9).
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 15
Chor Leoni goes big for Remembrance concerts by Alexander Varty
CROUCHING TIGER & BEYOND NOV 9, 8PM | ORPHEUM
TELUS VSO Digital Concert Halll
See a legendary martial arts symphony come to life! Chinese Maestro Tan Dun conducts three of his own concertos from the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and The Banquet while beautiful scenes from the movies play overhead. One night only. Get tickets today.
MOZART REQUIEM AND SCHUBERT UNFINISHED
BACH: MUSICAL OFFERING
NOV 14, 7:30PM | PYATT HALL NOV 17, 2PM | PYATT HALL
VSO Chamber Players Frederick the Great wrote out a complex, chromatic melody as a test of Bach’s skill. Bach’s response, The Musical Offering, has been likened to a cryptic crossword puzzle set to music. Pure Genius!
NOV 28, 6:30PM | ORPHEUM
NOV 15, 8PM | CHAN CENTRE, UBC NOV 17, 7:30PM | CHAN CENTRE, UBC
Classical Traditions at the Chan Centre Organist, conductor, musicologist and one of the world’s leading Bach interpreters, Ton Koopman will perform Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos and his famous “Air on the G string.” NOV 9 ORCHESTRA SPONSOR
NOV 9 COMMUNITY PARTNER
Assante Masterworks Diamond Maestro Tausk conducts Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, both unfinished works that beg the question: what might have come next?
THE BEAUTY OF SIBELIUS
BACH’S BRANDENBURGS WITH TON KOOPMAN
NOV 9 VSO DIGITAL CONCERT HALL PRESENTER
NOV 22/23, 8PM | ORPHEUM
John Fluevog Shoes VSO Afterwork Come to the Orpheum at 5:30pm for a happy hour cocktail and then enjoy a short, no-intermission concert with Sibelius’ 5th Symphony.
NOV 9 IN COLLABORATION WITH
NOV 14/17 SUPPORT AT THE CHAN CENTRE BY
NOV 22/23 MASTERWORKS DIAMOND SERIES SPONSOR
NOV 28 VSO AFTERWORK SERIES SPONSOR
“Everything she sings is radiated by an instinctive musicality, breadth of phrasing and generosity of spirit” — The Telegraph
TICKETS START AT
STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
with JUSTUS ZEYEN, PIANO & BLACK DOG STRING QUARTET SUN NOV 17 at 3pm I CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Whether it’s performing in front of billions at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, or an intimate gathering at Westminster Abbey with the royal family, this charismatic Canadian soprano always delivers powerful and passionate performances. Don’t miss her long-awaited return to Vancouver!
PURCELL I BRITTEN I STRAUSS I MONTSALVATGE TICKETS: 604 602 0363 I VANRECITAL.COM SEASON SPONSOR
16 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
Due to major renovations taking place at St. Andrew’s–Wesley United Church, Chor Leoni has shifted its concerts to the Orpheum. Photo by David Cooper
hor Leoni, the Vancouver men’s chorus that recently won the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, is a genuine phenomenon—but that’s not why it’s shifting its annual Remembrance Day and Christmas concerts into the Orpheum. “To be perfectly honest, the real reason is that St. Andrew’s–Wesley [United Church], our normal venue, is under the knife,” explains the group’s conductor and artistic director, Erick Lichte, in a telephone interview from his East Vancouver home. “I don’t know if you’ve been past it recently, but they’re doing massive, massive renovations on it, so we’re going to be out of there for about two seasons, and this is the first season of that. We do intend to go back to St. Andrew’s—it definitely feels like home for us—but when we knew we weren’t going to be there, we had a major sit-down as an organization, going, ‘Well, where do we go?’ And because of the size of audiences that we get, the Orpheum was our best choice.” The move from a 1,200-seat venue to one more than twice as large has drawbacks—Lichte says Chor Leoni will miss the friendly acoustics of the West End church—but it offers opportunities as well. “We have a large space,” says Lichte, “so what’s going to create real impact? That was really what the thinking was: ‘Let’s bring in percussion.’ And having made that decision, ‘What are we going to do?’ “The first two stops on my list,” he continues, “were Samuel Barber’s A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map— which is not just one of the great pieces of male choral literature, but one of the great pieces of vocal music in general—and Veljo Tormis’s Varjele, Jumala, soasta, which is where we get the name for the concert. It sets an ancient Finnish prayer, and its title translates to ‘God Protect Us From War’.” The text for Barber’s piece is a Stephen Spender poem about the brutality of the Spanish Civil War.
“He always, always, always had just such a fine ear for language and how to set that in extraordinary ways,” Lichte notes. The spellbinding Varjele, Jumala, soasta, in turn, will match Stopwatch for intensity, while allowing guest percussionist Katie Rife a chance to justify Chor Leoni’s move to a larger space. “It has a couple of moments where the tam-tam [a large gong] crescendoes to quadruple forte, and the instruction is ‘drown out the sound of the choir,’ ” Lichte explains. “So you don’t want to program it in a smaller place, ’cause you might hurt people!”
from page 14
Finally, Road 13 Vineyards’ stewardship moved to von Mandl in late 2018; however, former family coproprietor Joe Luckhurst is still at the helm as general manager. During the past few years, the Oliver winery has tightened its focus on Rhône varieties like Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne, working with fruit coming from both the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. They have a well-deserved full trophy cabinet for wines made from these grapes, but for me a perennial favourite is their sparkling Chenin Blanc. The current edition, Road 13 Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2015 ($39.99, road13vineyards.com/), is laden with Asian pear, marmalade, and brioche and comes from a home block of vines that were planted in 1968; that’s plenty of time to build character. g
and mint, with perfectly integrated tannins and extraordinary finesse. Back up in Kelowna, Martin’s Lane Winery offers the same level of quality and precision, here solely focused on Riesling and Pinot Noir, handled mighty well by winemaker Shane Munn. The guy comes to the Valley via New Zealand, Burgundy, and Barolo, but these wines are quintessentially Okanagan. Charming as all getout, Martin’s Lane Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 ($100, martinslanewinery.com/) is, for my money (or, ideally, someone else’s), a stunning example of the possibilities of this variety in that region. Layers upon layers of balsamic, clove, blackberry, white truffle, sage, and toasty oak are all in sync, making for a harmonious bottle that will lie down a half-dozen years, easy.
Because of the size of audiences that we get, the Orpheum was our best choice. – Erick Lichte
He’s joking, but turns entirely serious when discussing our collective need to meditate on the horrors of war that Tormis’s score so viscerally illustrates. “That moment really obliterates the humanness of the choir,” he points out, “and no recording can do it justice. How could it without blowing everybody’s speakers up? You just have to hear it live.” g Chor Leoni presents Protect Us From War at West Vancouver United Church at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (November 9 and 10), and at the Orpheum at 4 p.m. on Monday (November 11).
NOVEMBER 7 â€“ 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 17
LIVE ONSTAGE ·129(0%(5ৰ৳ȁৱ৲ HISTORICAL THRILLER
DOUBLE A E MURDERS By
Directed by Tamara McCarthy Produced by Rusticate Theatre
Who will survive the long, haunting night?
TS T ICK ELY ON
GATEWAYTHEATRE.COM , H GatewayThtr 604.270.1812 Yoshié Bancroft. Photo By Kayla Isomura.
ARTS Couloir can’t wait for West Coast reunion
by Alexander Varty
omething’s going on in the street outside Heidi Krutzen’s London digs. Even over a transatlantic phone connection, shouting and other forms of commotion can be heard— and are those small explosions, or just fireworks? It’s an early Guy Fawkes celebration, the former Vancouverite explains, hinting that this year there are more than a few in the crowd who’d be happy to see Parliament blown up, and Boris Johnson too. “It has quite an interesting symbolic feeling to it,” she says wryly. “More than, perhaps, other years.” As principal harpist with the U.K. capital’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the looming catastrophe of Brexit is much on her mind. “Honestly, no one knows what’s happening,” she explains. “We keep holding out hope that Brexit won’t happen, and every time it looks really bad something happens that gives us just a little bit of hope again—but, ultimately, it will affect the arts tremendously.…Most of our conductors are from Europe, our soloists are often from Europe, and we tour in Europe all the time—but if this goes through we won’t be able to.” With this as the backdrop, Krutzen is especially happy to revisit the West Coast, for a concert that finds her Couloir duo with cellist Ariel Barnes joining Vancouver’s own Turning Point Ensemble, which she helped form in 2002. “I love Turning Point,” she says. “It’s an inventive and creative and magical group, and it still means a lot to me. Jeremy and Owen [artistic directors Jeremy Berkman and Owen Underhill] and the people who help run the day-to-day have done an extraordinary job of creating an incredible
PROTECT US FROM WAR 28TH ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE DAY CONCERTS
November 9 & 10 | 3pm WEST VANCOUVER UNITED CHURCH
November 11 | 4pm ORPHEUM THEATRE
chorleoni.org SERIES SPONSOR
20 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
The Couloir duo, cellist Ariel Barnes and London-based harpist Heidi Krutzen, will be soon be joining forces with Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble.
performing environment for people. It’s interdisciplinary, with film and dance and spoken word.…And to be able to create on that level, with such interesting programs, is quite rare.”
It’s an inventive and creative and magical group, and it still means a lot to me. – Heidi Krutzen
A further inducement to return, she adds, is that Couloir and Turning Point will be premiering The Razor Hiss of a Whisper, a new work by B.C. composer James Maxwell,
whose Serere was a highlight of the duo’s 2016 recording, Maxwell, Muhly & Couloir. Like that earlier piece, The Razor Hiss of a Whisper will include an electroacoustic component, which Krutzen says makes the piece very much “of today”—and its intrinsic turbulence also seems timely. “He’s kind of looking at different ‘incorrect’ sounds, if you will, meaning sounds that we think are slightly untoward versus sounds that we think are okay,” Krutzen notes. “Like maybe the phenomenon of coughing in a concert hall, where everybody coughs at the same time, or the rustling of candy wrappers and things like that. “I think sometimes Couloir is going to be very clashing with the ensemble, and then at other times very harmonious,” she adds. “It’s an incredibly intense journey, and then at the end it opens up into this very peaceful, very beautiful space.” g Turning Point Ensemble and Couloir join forces for Musical Innovators, at the Orpheum Annex on Saturday and Monday (November 9 and 11).
DANCE UNA USA
the performers dance with their skins turned out” – The Dance Enthusiast Vanessa Goodman and Belinda McGuire close
November 15 - 17 Norman Rothstein Theatre
October 24 to November 24
Dance & Comedy Inclusion Project and Performance
closing night performance with Troy Ogilvie, Rebecca Margolick and Pamela Schuller and guests
November 24 Norman Rothstein Theatre
MUSIC & FILM
THE RESCUE CANADA/EL SALVADOR
live film-concerto recounts the story of Colonel who saved thousands during the Holocaust. Co-presented with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
November 23 Norman Rothstein Theatre Celebrating Youth!
November 9 Rickshaw Theatre
Ethiopian-Israeli singer is “A truly unique voice that needs to be heard” – TimeOut Leila Neverland opens 19+
November 14 Rickshaw Theatre
25th Anniversary of Perry Ehrlich’s Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! joined by professional alumni.
November 10 Norman Rothstein Theatre
November 12 & 13 Norman Rothstein Theatre
Join host Kyle Berger, Dino Archie (Jimmy Kimmel Live), John Cullen, Lisa Person, Yisrael Shurack and more!
November 19 Norman Rothstein Theatre
SHTICKS & GIGGLES stand up comedy
award-winning comedian/actor draws from her hit show DAI, stand-up and more!
“one of the most exciting bands in world music” – Time Out Chicago Jack Garton opens 19+
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK LATINX
modern-day twist to the stage play Anne Frank.
November 6 - 9 Norman Rothstein Theatre
Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 21
16th Annual Downtown Eastside
OCTOBER 30 TO NOVEMBER 10
Heart of the City Festival
over 100 events at over 40 locations, including
Carnegie Jazz Band
Hot jazz featuring special guests Tom Pickett Hugh Fraser (trombone/piano) Brent Gubbels (bass), Stephen Robb (clarinet) Adrian Smith (trumpet) Brad Muirhead (bandleader/trombone) Sun Nov 10, 2pm | Carnegie Theatre | 401 Main | Free Workshop Presentation
Inspiring lived experience of Indigenous & immigrant women Wed Nov 6 & Thurs Nov 7, 7:30pm; Fri Nov 8, 8pm, Sat Nov 9, 3pm & 8pm Firehall Arts Centre | 280 E. Cordova | $20/15 firehallartscentre.ca | 604.689.0926 A Firehall Arts Centre & Vancouver Moving Theatre production
Spotlight on the East End
Thurs Nov 7, 8pm | Russian Hall 600 Campbell | $20/15 Desirée Dawson, Francis Arevalo, Chelsea Johnson, Edzi’u spotlightrussianhall.eventbrite.com
Sat Nov 9, 8pm | Tight Club 261 Union | $20/15 Missy D, JB The First Lady, Kimmortal & Megang & Estiqw, Haisla with Nasty, Brutish and Short
Survivors Totem Pole
Tribute to the community-led journey to create and raise a monument to survivors. Skundaal Bernie Williams (carver) & Susanne Tabata (filmmaker) in attendance. Sat Nov 9, 8pm | Carnegie Theatre | 401 Main | Free
Produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre with Carnegie Community Centre and AUUC Vancouver
LIVE ONSTAGE ·'(&(0%(5ৰৱ৲ৰ
SURT I T L ES
T ICK E T S
T UE, WED, THU & SAT.
Any dream will do.
AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT AND THE
Lyrics By Tim
GAMÈTES November 19–23, 2019
Studio 16 — 8PM
SEI Z IE ME. C A
GATEWAYTHEATRE.COM , H GatewayThtr 604.270.1812 Oliver Castillo & Timothy Liu. Photo By David Cooper.
22 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
Music By Andrew Lloyd Webber Director: Barbara Tomasic Choreographer: Nicol Spinola Musical Director: Christopher King
Certified adeptly recounts mental-health saga THEATRE CERTIFIED
By Jan Derbyshire. Directed by Roy Surette. A Touchstone Theatre production. At the Vancity Culture Lab on Friday, November 1. Continues until November 16
d AT THE START of Certified, Jan Derbyshire gives definitions of the word crisis: in Chinese, it comprises characters meaning “danger” and “opportunity”, and in English, it originates from the Greek word krisis, signifying a turning point. For a solo show that explores an area as sensitive as mental health, it is an apt introduction, given the risk Derbyshire takes in unfolding a medical history that reveals acutely vulnerable parts of herself. Through heartfelt admissions, she tackles this chronicle with grace and humour. Structured as a mental-health review board hearing, which the audience is told lasts 50 minutes, the show is a comic breakdown of how Derbyshire became certified insane eight times, through a series of remembered and imagined conversations. In brisk re-enactments, she mimics doctors’ lines of questioning, trained on how details of her personal life can fit into a diagnosis (“Where was I born?”; “Why am I wearing boys’ clothes?”). In contrast, her vivid inner world is conveyed through spoken-word poetry, a salvo of thoughts about caffeine and hypertension, Prozac and Celexa. Behind the caustic humour, which springs naturally from the adroit performer, dark trauma floods various episodes of her life, from an adolescent assault on the plains of Alberta
Via comedy and storytelling, Jan Derbyshire relives mental-health review-board hearings, and how she became certified insane eight times. Photo by Ben Laird
to suicidal ideations by the Lions Gate Bridge, within walking distance from St. Paul’s. Pressed between these reminders are reflections on historical travesties, like Riverview Hospital’s Female Chronic Unit, and happier moments, like finding support from a significant other and through a commiserative online chatroom. Despite the difficult subject matter, Derbyshire never commits to self-pity; instead, there’s a genuine lightness to the untangling of her story line, starting with a quirky entrance by way of a head-mounted red blinker in the dark, imitating an ambulance’s flashing signal. Sound designer Dana Ayotte supports the act with a choice of drum-forward and pianocentric music, plus hits by Patsy Cline and Oasis. Director and set designer Roy Surette arranges the space with literal and symbolic factors, from larger set pieces like a personal diary and eight manila folders, all suspended in the air, to a field of overhead rubber orbs on strings, akin to neural connections. Recommending naturopathy as an alternative to cocktails
of prescribed medication, Derbyshire says the worst thing pills took from her was her imagination. While choice of treatment encompasses a larger dialogue beyond the theatre, it seems that within it, whatever imagination Derbyshire was lacking before has returned in spades. Just like in the participatory game that ends the play (where audience members judge Derbyshire’s sanity), Certified also fully passes evaluation—a testament to a dynamic performance and delicate storytelling.
by Danny Kai Mak
THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE MOSQUITO By Tomson Highway. Directed by Dufault. A Carousel Theatre for Young People presentation. A Carousel Players production. At the Waterfront Theatre on Saturday, November 2. Continues until November 10
d FEELING LIKE AN outsider is a universal hardship that many
people experience throughout life, but that sense of otherness is usually felt most acutely in childhood. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito is a one-act musical that offers some important messages on how to deal with feeling like an outcast, told through an engaging story and fun songs. The show follows a young mosquito’s journey as she overcomes her obstacles to find her voice and place in life. You may ask, what type of obstacles can a mosquito have? In this imaginative story written by Tomson Highway, Mary Jane Mosquito was born without wings, which makes her different from all the other mosquitoes at her school in Petit Petit Le Paw, Manitoba. We see how she deals with changing schools, making new friends, and rising from setbacks. This action is all set to some catchy, sing-along–friendly songs written by Highway, including the upbeat “Ten Times Ten”, which may get stuck in your head. Under the direction of Monica Dufault, the production cleverly uses puppetry to bring to life the characters in Mary Jane’s world. Catherine Teichman serves as the show’s puppeteer, masterfully switching from puppet to puppet, changing her vocal delivery and facial expressions when performing each role. These range from the identical-looking “Mean Girls” at school, to the frighteningly large teacher who terrorizes Mary Jane. A highlight of Teichman’s work is the aforementioned “Ten Times Ten”, which she performs as Mary Jane’s loving aunt with a warm, tender delivery. As Mary Jane, Hayley Vincent offers a likable persona that’s easy to relate to and root for.
As this show is big on audience participation, Vincent includes the audience in her journey, frequently making eye contact and speaking directly to audience members in a welcoming way. Vincent’s crystal-clear voice is a delight to hear and she and Teichman are accompanied by on-stage keyboardist Shane O’Regan, who playfully reacts to the action in Mary Jane’s story. Highway has infused his Cree background into the show, giving it a layer of Indigenous influence. Mary Jane regularly teaches the audience the “the language of mosquitoes”, which is actually Cree. In fact, Vincent does an excellent job of performing the leading role in three different languages, as she also sings in French at some points. It’s worth noting that none of the ideas in this show were randomly strewn in—the show is set in Manitoba, home to large populations of mosquitoes and Indigenous communities. As Cree is part of the Métis heritage, it makes sense that French is used throughout the show as well. Also worth noting is how Mary Jane’s “winglessness” can be interpreted as a metaphor for being disabled. The show takes a lighthearted, gentle approach in telling how those perceived as different might be unfairly treated—and how, despite this, one can rise up and share one’s gifts with the world. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito speaks an inspirational message that’s important for children—and people of all ages, for that matter—to understand, in an endearing and culturally rich way. by Vince Kanasoot
Save $5! Use promo code 2094 at artsclub.com by Wed, Nov 13 Not valid on Zone C
Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp
synthia yusuf; photo by david cooper
playing at stanley industrial alliance stage
granville island stage
goldcorp stage at the bmo theatre centre
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 23
Young new energy fuels Ballet BCâ€™s season opener by Janet Smith
â€œMy main goal is to share classical music with as many people around the world as I can.â€?
A Ballet BC production. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday, November 1. No remaining performances
â€” Sheku Kanneh-Mason
SHEKU KANNEH-MASON CELLO ISATA KANNEH-MASON PIANO
YOUTH TICKETS JUST
SUNDAY DECEMBER 8 at 3pm | ORPHEUM THEATRE One of the hottest young talents in the classical music world! Sheku skyrocketed to global fame after his memorable performance at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Donâ€™t miss the ONLY Canadian performance on his North American tour!
BEETHOVEN | LUTOSĹ AWSKI | BARBER | RACHMANINOV TICKETS: 604 602 0363 | VANRECITAL.COM SEASON SPONSOR
Sounds and Science: Vienna meets Vancouver 6:30pm | Saturday, November 30, 2019 Old Auditorium, UBC Vancouver Campus
d ASZURE BARTONâ€™S witty BUSK and Johan Ingerâ€™s surreally fun B.R.I.S.A. are ideal showcases for all the exciting young talents that have just joined Ballet BC. Audiences noticed a bunch of new faces on-stage in the season opener last week, and the revitalizing surge of youthful energy was a rush to watch. In an interview before the show, Barton had marvelled at the high level of the dancers coming up today, and they illustrated her point with polish, mad skills, andâ€”perhaps most importantly to this double billâ€”attitude to burn. Both pieces in Program 1 ride a challenging range of styles and moodsâ€”from the haunting and vulnerable to the bold and funny. Each allows individuals to show their considerable stuff in the spotlight, and each creates a fully staged world thatâ€™s a blast to watch. Vancouverites can be reserved audiences, but the crowd gave the troupe unusually wild and adoring curtain calls for each piece. Standouts amid the new names? Fresno-born, Juilliard Schoolâ€“trained Miriam Gittens is a knockout, whether sheâ€™s killing a sudden back flip and breaking out tap and hiphop moves in BUSK or sheathed in black shiny leggings, pulling off a fierce but sensual pas de deux with lithe young Dutch star Dex van ter Meij. Fellow Juilliard find Chase Buntrock is athletic and expressive in B.R.I.S.A., sinking into its groinpunishing squats with powerful outstretched arms, and Louisiana-born Parker Finley, in her third season with the company, builds to an ecstatic whirlwind in her red, leathery dress. Elsewhere in the same piece, leggy Arts Umbrella alumna Sophie Whittome seems to channel some kind of fury, long hair flying in the wind from one of the blasting fans. Ballet BC staged a strong B.R.I.S.A. a few years ago, but in this rendition, you really feel the message of resistance. Inger has set the work to the sultry songs of civil rights voice Nina Simone, and when a crowd pushes and crawls against the force of a giant fanâ€™s wind, itâ€™s a genuinely moving metaphor for social struggle. Of course, the piece, with its thick carpet, blowdryers, and all manner of breeze-making devices, is warped fun as well. And he conjures a constantly moving dreamscape,
Dancer Nicole Ward stars in the surreal B.R.I.S.A. Photo by Michael Slobodian
dancers shuff ling, heads down, in the eerie beginning, then letting loose in stark spotlights and clouds of steam later on. Bartonâ€™s BUSK, which she originally created for her own Aszure Barton & Artists, makes an ideal pairing with Ingerâ€™s multilayered offering. The Canadian-born, Los Angelesâ€“ based choreographerâ€™s intricate, multitasking movement allows for multiple readings. On one level, it plays on the idea of busking, especially in Justin Rapaportâ€™s expressive opening solo, with its white gloves and bowler hat. But Barton has also said she was inspired by the Spanish word buscar, â€œto searchâ€?, and thereâ€™s a yearning and reaching that underlies the creation. Gorgeously innovative group work abounds, with the dancers wearing hoods and interweaving their limbs together on the floor, huddling against the world. They resemble the homeless masses at one moment, or, at others, move along the stage like a mass of monks in some otherworldly ritual. The soundtrack, an eclectic mix of Lev â€œLjovaâ€? Zhurbinâ€™s Romany-style violas and menâ€™s folk choir (Swedenâ€™s Orphei DrĂ¤nger and Eric Ericson), adds to the dark-carnival feel. Barton uses all parts of the body, often at the same time, heads pivoting back and forth, legs and arms stretching and bending in opposing force, then collapsing, slumping, and loosening. The result is often a rich spectrum of emotion in a single, complex phrase; just watch the f luidity of feeling in Scott Fowlerâ€™s solo, from a kind of hunger to melancholy to resilience. Humans are complicated, and in their poetic creations, both Barton and Inger seem to capture all those colours in the most entertaining of ways. g
24 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 â€“ 14 / 2019
Haida beings come to unguarded new life by Robin Laurence
V ’ N I
D A N S I
P R E S E N T S
THE 14TH ANNUAL
LOUIS RIEL DAY
CELEBRATION: AN EVENING OF MÉTIS DANCE, MUSIC & CULTURE
OUT OF CONCEALMENT: FEMALE SUPERNATURAL BEINGS OF HAIDA GWAII
At the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art until April 5
d TERRI-LYNN Williams-Davidson, whose Haida name is Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay Lalaxaaygans, is a wonder. Artist, writer, activist, environmental lawyer, and knowledge-keeper, she is a powerful force in the preservation of Haida language, laws, and culture. She is also an award-winning musician and cofounder of the Haida Gwaii Singers Society. Out of Concealment, her solo show at the Bill Reid Gallery, includes a few of Williams-Davidson’s Haida Gwaii–shot music videos, in which she is accompanied by saxophonist Claire Lawrence and guitarist Bill Henderson. Primarily, however, the exhibition consists of some two dozen ink-jet prints and backlit transparencies, conveying the artist’s creative interpretations of female supernatural beings and crest figures of the Haida. Sources include oral histories and origin stories, handed down to Williams-Davidson by her elders and also recorded in early ethnographies. Using her own face and body as her raw material, she has worked with a team of photographers, designers, art directors, and hair and makeup artists to create digitally composited images of such beings as Sguuluu Jaad, Foam Woman and Ts’uu K’waayga, Cedar Sister. Studio-shot portraits have been digitally integrated into natural settings in Haida Gwaii, their locations according with oral narratives while also speaking to environmental issues and the interconnectedness of all things. As well, the images include faint, almost ghostly reproductions of
In Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson’s Taw Xaasdll Jadd Oil Spill Woman, a female figure speaks to the environmental impact an oil spill would have on Haida Gwaii.
artworks by her renowned husband, Robert Davidson, establishing a connection between Williams-Davidson’s photographic portraits of these beings and more familiar and long-standing depictions of them in wood and paint. In her exhibition statement, Williams-Davidson writes, “Conceptually, I want to capture these Beings as they might be, unguarded, basking in the beauty of their surroundings, basking in who they are—unguarded moments of sensuality.” She realizes her portraits through a mix of traditional knowledge (the images are accompanied by texts describing their subjects’ characteristics, stories, and cultural roles) and contemporary glamour. Her stylized poses, coloured wigs, long silky gowns, high-heeled boots, and extravagant eye makeup seem to draw elements from a range of non-Indigenous sources, including fashion shoots and theatrical performance. At the same time, the face and body painting Williams-Davidson wears in a number of portraits, including Jiila Kuns,
Volcano Woman, is based on designs traditional and particular to her Gaagyals KiiGawaay (Skedans) clan. Among the most striking images here is Xuuya Gaada White Raven, with Williams-Davidson dressed in white and assuming the role of Raven before she/he steals the light from the supernatural Chief’s bentwood box and bestows it upon the world. Also powerful is her Taw Xaasdll Jadd Oil Spill Woman, a black-clad, nontraditional figure intended to illustrate the environmental devastation an oil spill would bring to Haida Gwaii. Not to be overlooked is Morgan Asoyuf’s Royal Portrait show in the upper gallery. Composed of extraordinary jewellery in a range of materials, from bear claws to engraved and oxidized silver, along with four delicately carved and inlaid frontlets and a painted drum, the show honours Ts’msyen matriarchs. It complements the strength and beauty of WilliamsDavidson’s supernatural beings— matriarchs of another realm. g
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2019 8PM Scotiabank Dance Centre – 677 Davie St, Vancouver
This evening presentation will honour Louis Riel, an inspiration for the resilience of the Métis nation, and will celebrate the vitality of Métis culture. Enjoy traditional dance, song, fiddle music and a Métis dance party!
Featuring: Yvonne Chartrand, The Louis Riel Métis Dancers, Matt Cook-Contois Dance Band, Andrea Menard, Keith Hill, Kathleen Nisbet $24 Adults $20 Students/Seniors/Children 12 & under Tickets available at the door or brownpapertickets.com
For more information: 604-358-7435 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vnidansi.ca
SPONSORED BY DESIGN: BRADBURY BRAND + DESIGN EXPERTS
PHOTO: CHRIS RANDLE
THE 12TH BIENNIAL
DANCE IN VANCOUVER Photo credit: OURO Collective/Jeff Hamada
Amber Funk Barton/the response. | Company 605 Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY Kinesis Dance somatheatro | Lee Su-Feh/battery opera Mardon + Mitsuhashi | OURO Collective Raven Spirit Dance | Vision Impure
November 20-24, 2019
Scotiabank Dance Centre Tickets 604.684.2787 | ticketstonight.ca Info 604.606.6400 | thedancecentre.ca
Season media sponsor
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 25
NEW PUBLIC ART PIECE Submit your Expression of Interest for a public art piece at the West Vancouver Community Centre, 2121 Marine Drive. The full Expression of Interest (EOI19 322) can be found at BC Bid (bcbid.gov.bc.ca). SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 11, 2019 at 2 p.m. PST BUDGET: $94,000 ENQUIRIES: 604-925-7000 | westvancouver.ca
> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < CANADA LINE - WE GOT REALLY CLOSE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 4, 2019 WHERE: Canada Line Yaletown Canada Line southbound. Got in on a packed train. You were next to me and noticed me checking you out and you did the same. You tried to get closer, in fact you did, turned around with your hand in the back pocket. You came so close I swear you were about to grab my... We didn’t have time as my stop came. We locked eyes when I was out. Would love to chat and possible get closer this time. Tell me something about what you were wearing.
JOIN US FOR FOUR DAYS OF CREATIVE DISCOVERIES
WHITE SPOT, DUNSMUIR - TIME: STOPPED
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 1, 2019 WHERE: White Spot, Dunsmuir It looked like you were celebrating with friends or work colleagues and family? You had a red leather purse. You noticed me noticing you Sorry, I really couldn't stop looking! For 45 minutes time stopped.
ANNA WHO USED TO WORK AT WHOLE FOODS ON ROBSON
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 1, 2019 WHERE: Whole Foods on Robson Street
EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL
A VISUAL ARTS, DESIGN & CRAFTS FESTIVAL culturecrawl.ca
november 14-17 2019 THURS & FRI 5PM-10PM
SAT & SUN 11AM-6PM
I think your name is Anna (?) but it’s been a couple years. You used to work at the Whole Foods on Robson street. I think I saw you again on Friday and meant to say something but you darted off somewhere... You’re cute with short black hair and I think you mentioned once you are into metal and I got a good vibe from you. I always hoped I’d get your checkout line when you were working, but on the few occasions that happened I was too scared or felt inappropriate to ask you out. I was wearing a toque and have long hair and a beard (pic attached). I would totally ask you out if you see this or next time I see you in Whole Foods.
STUNNING FILIPINO GIRL WITH BLUE TOQUE AND BRAIDS ON 16 BUS
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 4, 2019 WHERE: Near Notre Dame This is for the beautiful Filipino girl I saw this morning on the 16 bus, blue toque and braids that got off near Norte Dame. Stunning person, cool personality. I was going to say hi but people got in the way :/ I was the dude who couldn't help myself from looking, with the braids, beard, and grey sweater. If anyone knows this girl please hit me up... insta or whatever. She's like 5'3" really bubbly personality and might be my soulmate.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 2, 2019 WHERE: Harvest Haus We met in the VIP section at the Harvest Haus. You introduced yourself as Marlin. You were with a large group of guys and I was with a group of friends. We had a brief conversation and you left shortly after. Coffee?
WAS THERE A PAUSE? CUTE BOOTS SEES RED CURLS.
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 1, 2019 WHERE: Cambie I saw you... in the doctor's office on Friday afternoon on Cambie. You... beautiful curly red hair, grey blundstones, returning a magazine to the lobby. Me... short dark brown hair, fun boots, I smiled at you. Is it just me or was there a pause? Are you single? Is your cute toque homemade? I have so many more questions. Coffee sometime?
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: OCTOBER 26, 2019 WHERE: The Union Jack Pub You were dressed up as a swat officer and I as a tourist. You had a great smile and we chatted briefly. Wish I had asked for your number before you left. Coffee sometime?
NICE NIGHT ON THE QUAY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 1, 2019 WHERE: New West Quay I was out for a walk with a friend we were sitting and talking when you walked by with your friend. You yelled out to me that you liked my sweater... Wanna see it close up?
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: JULY 27, 2019 WHERE: Kelowna
We bumped into each other at a hotel in Kelowna and again at a winery where you were a bit tipsy. You looked really cute but I was too shy to say so. Perhaps we can catch dinner sometime?
BEAUTIFUL BRAZILIAN/ GERMAN GIRL AT PNE IN THE QUEUE FOR HAUNTED HOUSE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: OCTOBER 30, 2019 WHERE: PNE at Queue for Haunted House I was at the PNE yesterday night and I met this beautiful half Brazilian and half German girl. I wanted to ask you for your phone number, but you disappeared in the Haunted House with your Friends. You are really nice and beautiful give me a text if you or your friends read that.
YOU HAVE A TATTOO UNDER YOUR EYE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: OCTOBER 30, 2019 WHERE: Safeway, Commercial Drive I saw you at Safeway at the self check out. You msged me once a long time ago I remember and I didn't answer and I feel bad about it! I had met someone. We have crossed paths a million times and now I think we pretend we don't recognize each other. I Also saw you pulling a guitar amp on a skateboard once in my neighbourhood and I felt bad then too! You seem so cool. Just wanted you to know.
Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 26 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
ARTS LISTINGS ONGOING
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 HEART OF THE CITY: YVR WRITERS ON CLOSE CONNECTIONS TO THE EASTSIDE Readings by Amber Dawn, Jen Sookfong Lee, and Cecily Nicholson. Nov 6, 7 pm, Massy Books. Free. TRADER TIME Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall’s multimedia odyssey about growing up queer in Whitehorse. Nov 6, 7:30 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. $35. KUROKO World premiere of Tetsuro Shigematsu’s play about a reclusive woman challenged to save her father’s life. Nov 6-17, 7:30 pm, Historic Theatre. From $26. FOX HOLE COMEDY S03E06 Standup comedy by Savannah Isabelle, Julia Stretch, Bradley Fung, Nathan Hare, Lorna Dawa, K.C. Novak and Julie Kim, and headliner Amber Harper-Young. Nov 6, 8-10:30 pm, Projection Room at Fox Cabaret. $15. PASSAGES OF RHYTHMS Dancer-choreographer Alvin Erasga Tolentino of CO.ERASGA presents an evening of three dynamic duets, featuring three diverse artists. Nov 6-9, 8 pm, The Nest. $30/20. THE TURN OF THE SCREW Aenigma Theatre presents an adaptation of Henry James’s ghost story. Nov 6-10, 8-9:30 pm, Studio 16. $25/20.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 CIRCLE CRAFT CHRISTMAS MARKET Over 300 artisans gather to show their wares. Nov 7-11, Vancouver Convention Centre. THE SOUND OF MUSIC Romantic musical about a young woman who takes a governess position with a large family and falls for the widowed father. Nov 7–Jan 5, 2020, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. From $39. CAG THURSDAY LUNCH TIME TOUR Join
JON KIMURA PARKER AND DESMOND HOEBIG (November
12 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) In this UBC President’s Concert Series offering, two Vancouver-raised musicians who have gone on to international renown join forces. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Desmond Hoebig tackle a range of classical greats, from Igor Stravinsky and Johann Sebastian Bach to Frédéric Chopin and Johannes Brahms.
CROUCHING TIGER & BEYOND (November 9 at the Orpheum) Cinephiles won’t want to miss this, as legendary conductor and composer Tan Dun joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for a multimedia show of concertos based on his most epic film scores: the Crouching Tiger Concerto, the Hero Concerto, and the Banquet Concerto. g
AG assistant curator Julia Lamare for a tour of the current exhibitions. Nov 7, 12:30 pm, Contemporary Art Gallery. Free. AN EVENING WITH M.G. VASSANJI Giller Prize-winning author launches new novel A Delhi Obsession. Nov 7, 6:30-8 pm, Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre. $10-35. SOUND HOUSE: AWOKEN WORD Performances by poet Angelica Poversky, hip-hop artist Keliya, poet Ifrah Hussein, poet and MC Dana, musician Ital Blue, and the UBC Slam Poets. Nov 7, 7 pm, Museum of Anthropology at UBC. $15. THE WARS UBC Theatre and Film presents Timothy Findlay’s World War I drama, adapted by Dennis Garnhum. Nov 7-23, 7:30 pm, Frederic Wood Theatre. $11.50-24.50. TWS READING SERIES Author Shaena Lambert headlines the monthly reading series. Nov 7, 8 pm, Hood 29. Free. A NIGHT OF OPULENCE Opera duets and solos with soprano Tamar Simon, baritone Geoff Schellenberg, and pianist Roger Parton. Nov 7, 8-9:15 pm, Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. Free. NESTOR PISTOR’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR Canadian comedian, with local standup guests Jirair Garabedian, Mark Anthony Smith, and Keith Nahanee. Nov 7, 8-10 pm, Presentation House Theatre. $32. THE ARRAY: THE SHAPE OF THE GALAXY New short performances by Elysse Cleadle, Erika Mitsuhashi and Francesca Frewer, Theatre Conspiracy, and Upintheair Theatre. Nov 7-9, 8-10:30 pm, The Greenhouse Studio. $10-40. CHELSEA HANDLER American comic, TV host, and author performs two standup-comedy shows. Nov 7-8, 8 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Nov 7 SOLD OUT, tix for Nov 8
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 (ART-SCIENCE) COLLISIONS FESTIVAL: INVASIVE SYSTEMS Independent works and collaborative works by artist-scientist pairs. Nov 8-10, VIVO Media Arts. $10-30. CANADIAN & INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY FINE ART AUCTION Auction of oil paintings, mixed-media works, photography, and ceramics. Nov 8-12, Lipont Gallery. Free. FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT THE MANSION Informal performance featuring Mexican-Canadian dancer Ana Sosa and choreographerdancer Desirée Dunbar. Nov 8, 8, 1-2 pm, West Point Grey Community Centre. Free. LOST VOICES In honour of November 11th, join Symphony 21 for our program of Lost Voices: composers and works forever linked to the loss of war. Butterworth: On the banks of green willow; Ravel: Le tombeau de couperin; Schreker: Kammersymphonie. Join us early for a showing of the 2013 Oscar-winning short film “The Lady in Number 6”. Nov 8, 7 pm, Roy Barnett Recital Hall. Pay what you can. BRUCE MC CULLOCH Former member of the Kids in the Hall performs his one-man show Tales of Bravery and Stupidity. Nov 8, 8 pm, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. $33-36. BEN GLEIB American actor and comedian performs two nights of standup. Nov 8, 8 & 10:30 pm; Nov 9, 7 & 9:30 pm, Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver. $26.25. JEAN-WILLY KUNZ Montreal Symphony Orchestra organist in residence performs SaintSaëns’s Carnival of the Animals. Nov 8, 8-9:30 pm, Holy Rosary Cathedral. By donation. LESSONS FROM I-HOTEL Reading by and conversation with author Karen Tei Yamashita. Nov 8, 8-10 pm, InterUrban Gallery. Free. SODA FOUNTAIN Comedy sketches, character bits, improv, and standup hosted by Graeme Achurch and Nathan Hare. Nov 8, 10:30 pm, Little Mountain Gallery. $8.
NOV 13-16 | 8 PM
Photo: Trevor Johnson
CHUTZPAH FESTIVAL Comedy, theatre, dance, and music, featuring Sandra Bernhard, Iris Bahr, Daniel Cainer, and Gary Lucas. To Nov 24, various venues. $24-60. DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL Twelve days of music, stories, theatre, poetry, film, dance, readings, forums, workshops, gallery exhibits, art talks, and walks. To Nov 10, Firehall Arts Centre. $1525/free/by donation. LUZIA Cirque du Soleil presents a poetic and acrobatic ode to the culture of Mexico. To Dec 29, Under the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top), Concorde Pacific Place. $39-270. GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT A 90-minute immersive Green Day experience. Nov 5-10, 8-9:30 pm, Centennial Theatre. $25-45. ESCAPED ALONE Western Gold Theatre presents Caryl Churchill’s intricate, elliptical, and acutely female view of the apocalypse. To Nov 17, Pal Studio Theatre. $20-32. GASLIGHT Patrick Hamilton’s thriller set in England in 1880, directed by Peter Isaac. To Nov 9, 8-10:30 pm, Kay Meek Studio Theatre. $22/18. THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE MOSQUITO Carousel Players present a new work by Canadian playwright Tomson Highway that weaves music, song, and Cree language into its storytelling. To Nov 10, 2-3 pm, Waterfront Theatre. MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC aIN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: REFLECTING ON NORTHWEST COAST ART to summer 2020 MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER aHAIDA NOW: A VISUAL FEAST OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION to Dec 1 aTHERE IS TRUTH HERE to Dec 31 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY aVIEWS OF THE COLLECTION: THE STREET to Nov 17 aVIKKY ALEXANDER: EXTREME BEAUTY to Jan 26 aROBERT RAUSCHENBERG 1965–1980 to Jan 26 aTRANSITS AND RETURNS to Feb 23 aCINDY SHERMAN to Mar 8
$150/85/69.50/49.50. A BUNCH OF AMATEURS Comedy about an aging Hollywood action hero playing King Lear in an amateur dramatic society. Nov 7-23, 8-10 pm, Metro Theatre. $28/25.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON Magician and comedian from the U.K. Nov 9, Vogue. $33.50. FALL ART JAM An evening with cello and guitar music, art, refreshments, and socializing. Nov 9-10, Kanuck.Coffee. Free. MUSICAL INNOVATORS Turning Point Ensemble performs with Couloir, the harp and cello duo of Heidi Krutzen and Ariel Barnes. Nov 9-11, Orpheum Annex. $33/20. OPEN STUDIO WITH SARA-JEANNE BOURGET Join artist Sara-Jeanne Bourget to see the work she has made while in residence at Griffin Art Projects. Nov 9, 1-3 pm, Griffin Art Projects. Free. DANCELAB STUDIO SHOWING: ZAHRA SHAHAB Collaboration with visual artist Katie Green and dance artists Sophia Wolfe, Eric Cheung, and Juolin Lee. Nov 9, 5 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre. Free. ALICIA TOBIN’S COME DRAW WITH ME Part comedy show, part art class. Nov 9, 8 pm, Little Mountain Gallery. $10/12. KOMITAS 150 Japanese pianist Keiko Shichijo performs the piano works of Komitas, Nov 9, 8-10 pm, Vancouver Academy of Music. $40. THE COMIC STRIP Standup-comedy show featuring headliner Dino Archie. Nov 9, 9-11 pm, Tyrant Studios. $18. PROTECT US FROM WAR Chor Leoni presents premieres of works by Wadsworth and Kelly alongside classics by Barber, Weill, and Chilcott. Nov 9-10, 3 pm, West Vancouver United Church; and Nov 11, 4 pm, Orpheum Theatre. $20-45.
A complicated and intimate portrait about change, derived from interviews with 100 people, from 10-100, about their beliefs. shadboltcentre.com | 604-205-3000 shadboltcentre email@example.com |
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NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 27
from previous page SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 WITH GLOWING HEARTS Performance by the Vancouver Welsh Menâ€™s Choir and the Band of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment. Nov 10, 2:30 pm, Massey Theatre. $32-37. ZLATA CHOCHIEVA Russian pianist makes her Vancouver debut. Nov 10, 3 pm, Vancouver Playhouse. $15-50. ORCHID ENSEMBLEâ€™S MOSHE DENBURG TRIBUTE CONCERT Concert celebration of intercultural music pioneer. Nov 10, 4 pm, Orpheum Annex. $19.99/15. FALL FEAST The Primario Trio performs works by Debussy, Doppler, Hintersteininger, and Mouquet. Nov 10, 4-5 pm, Roedde House Museum. $15/12.
perform works by Stravinsky, Bach, Chopin, and Brahms. Nov 12, 6:30 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. $40/students free. POETS LAUREATE ON SOCIAL JUSTICE Canadian poets laureate Fred Wah and George Bowering discuss Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice. Nov 12, 7 pm, Massy Books. Free. ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET Program includes works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms. Nov 12, 8 pm, Vancouver Playhouse. $70/60/15.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13
JAKEâ€™S GIFT Drama about a Canadian WWII veteranâ€™s reluctant return to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Nov 11-17, Presentation House Theatre. $30/25/18. SONGS OF PEACE A Remembrance Day concert for peace featuring singer-songwriters Deidra Ann, Lee Nichols, Paul Clifford, and Sarah Ann Chisholm. Nov 11, 3 pm, Studio 16. $20.
GENESIS TRIO Performance by Jonathan LÃ³pez (clarinet), Nina Weber (viola), and Markus Masaites (piano). Nov 13, 11 amâ€“12 pm, Unitarian Church of Vancouver. $20. GOOD SEXUAL CITIZENSHIP BOOK DISCUSSION Vancouver author Ellen Friedrichs (Ellen Kate) celebrates her new book. Nov 13, 7-8:30 pm, Book Warehouse. Free. INDIGENOUS VOICES Poetry and prose readings by Indigenous writers Cassandra Blanchard, Tania Carter, and Liz Howard. Nov 13, 7-9 pm, Douglas College. Free. FIERCE ADVENTURES: ONE YEAR Dungeons & Dragons improv/drag show. Nov 13, 8-10:30 pm, CafÃ© Deux Soleils. $10.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14
PRESIDENTâ€™S CONCERT SERIES Pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Denis Hoebig
VANCOUVER TAP DANCE SOCIETY Program showcases the infectious rhythms,
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11
technical skill, and musicality of tap. Nov 14, Scotiabank Dance Centre. $22-13. ART AGAINST STIGMA As part of the Eastside Culture Crawl, a display of works by local artists who have experienced mental illness. Nov 14-17, The Kettle Society. Free. MACBETH The 2019-2020 CapU Theatre Series opens with one of Shakespeareâ€™s most popular tragedies. Nov 14-23, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. $22/15/11. THE DOUBLE AXE MURDERS Psychological thriller steeped in Newfoundland folklore. Nov 14-23, Gateway Theatre. $29. KATY KEENE FANDOM: ZINES AND THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION Talk by Teal Triggs presents the comic-book world of Katy Keene. Nov 14, 4-7 pm, Reliance Theatre at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL Four-day celebration of East Vancouver visual arts, design, and crafts. Nov 14-17, 5 pm, Eastside Culture Crawl. Free. CAG CURATORIAL TOUR WITH KIMBERLY PHILLIPS Join CAG curator Kimberly Phillips for a guided tour of the current exhibitions. Nov 14, 6 pm, Contemporary Art Gallery. Free. THE POWER OF RETURNING TO MY PEOPLE Multimedia Kwakwaâˆ’ kaâˆ’ â€™wakw artist David Neel presents his memoir The Way Home. Nov 14, 7-8:30 pm, Vancouver Public Library. Free. FEMINIST ACTS Join Tessa Jordan for a conversation about her new book Feminist Acts: Branching Out Magazine and the Making of
UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS NOVEMBER 18 - 21
Fulmer Award in First Nations Art Exhibition recognizing the recipients of the 2019 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. Artistsâ€™ Talk November 18, 5:30-6:30pm. Moderated by Connie Watts â€“ Manager Aboriginal Art Program Emily Carr University â€“ in conversation with previous awardees KC Hall and Phil Gray. Richard Adkins Hawk Moon & Raven pendant / Coastal Peoples Gallery
NOVEMBER 23 - 27
Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design Featuring art from the recipients of the 2019 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design. Artistsâ€™ Talk November 25, 5:30-6:30pm. Moderated by Judson Beaumont, Award alumni and furniture designer â€“ in conversation with Sam Carter, designer and curator. Bill Pechet, 12 little concrete chairs but one of them wood
6SYRHLSYWI1I[W EX(EZMI4EGMÂ½G For more information: www.bcachievment.com E VENT PARTN ERS
28 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 â€“ 14 / 2019
S T R AT E G I C
Canadian Feminism. Nov 14, 7-9 pm, Massy Books. Free. NESTOR PISTORâ€™S 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR Canadian comedian, with standup guests Ryan Williams, Tanner McCoolman, Kevin Webb, and Elizabeth Stanton. Nov 14, 7:30-9:30 pm, Vancouver Alpen Club. $35. CHRIS LOCKE WORLD Canadian comedian performs a night of standup. Nov 14, 10 pm, Havana Theatre. $20.
ROLSTON STRING QUARTET Program includes works by Mendelssohn, Astapov, and Schubert. Nov 16, 7:30-9:30 pm, West Vancouver United Church. $25-35.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15
PARALLELS 02: OKKYUNG LEE + ENSEMBLE South Korean cellist and improviser collaborates with local electronic musicians. Nov 16, 8 pm, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Pay what you can.
VANCOUVER CHAMBER CHOIR: STRANGE BEASTS Program includes a commission from American Paul John Rudoi. Nov 15, 7:30 pm, Vancouver Academy of Music. $33/29/15. MADE IN BCâ€”DANCE ON TOUR Performances by emerging dance artists Eric Cheung, Kristy Janvier, and Zahra Shahab. Nov 15, 19, 18, 8 pm, KW Studios (Production Studio). $10.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 NORTH SHORE ARTISTSâ€™ GUILD WINTER ART SALE Display of 270 paintings by 90 artists. Nov 16, 10 amâ€“4 pm, Memorial Community Recreation Centre. Free. LOUIS RIEL DAY Immerse yourself in MÃ©tis culture with fiddle playing and storytelling. Nov 16, 10 amâ€“5 pm, Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada. $7.80/6.55. ECLECTIC FEST One-day art showcase and sale featuring local artists new to the gallery scene. Nov 16, 12-6 pm, Broadway and Ontario Studio. By donation. WEST COAST TAGORE FESTIVAL Multicultural performing-arts event. Nov 16, 6-8:15 pm, Gateway Theatre. Free. MY SEDITIOUS HEART Conversation with author Arundhati Roy. Nov 16, 6-9 pm, Performance Works. SOLD OUT. ADDICTIVE COMEDY SHOWCASE Standup comedy smashing the stigma surrounding addiction, mental illness, trauma, and loss. Nov 16, 6:30 pm; Nov 16, 8:30 pm; Nov 23, 6:30 pm; Nov 23, 8:30 pm, Elks Hall Lounge. $15. MORE DUCKING COMEDY Comedy with host Alannah Brittany and headliner Nina Wilder. Nov 16, 7 pm, The Projection Room. $10. GAVIN MATTS PRESENTS HIMSELF Vancouver comedian performs a standup show presented by JFL NorthWest. Nov 16, 7 pm, Biltmore Cabaret. $19. RICHMOND MUSIC SCHOOL ENSEMBLE CONCERT Students and faculty members perform together. Nov 16, 7:30-9 pm, Richmond Music School Society. $5-10.
SPIRIT(US): MUSIC AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS Alexander Weimann and Chloe Meyers perform a mixed program of chamber music for violin and harpsichord. Nov 16, 7:30-10:30 pm, Saint Anselmâ€™s Anglican Church. By donation.
LOUIS RIEL DAY CELEBRATION An evening of MÃ©tis dance, music and culture. Nov 16, 8-10:30 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre. $24/20. THE COMIC STRIP Standup-comedy show featuring headliner Yumi Nagashima. Nov 16, 9-11 pm, Tyrant Studios. $18.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 CEDAR WEAVING WORKSHOP Learn styles and patterns of cedar-bark weaving. Nov 17, 10 amâ€“12 pm, VanDusen Botanical Garden. $35. THE GENESIS TRIO Classical concert featuring Markus Masaites (piano), Nina Weber (viola), and Jonathan LÃ³pez (clarinet). Nov 17, 1:45-4 pm, Knox United Church. By donation. BEETHOVEN AND BEYOND Violinist Nancy DiNovo and pianist Monica Pfau perform works by Beethoven, Copland, Bloch, and Kreisler. Nov 17, 2 pm, St. Paulâ€™s Anglican Church. By donation. YOUNG AT HEART The 60-voice EnChor Choir is joined by the Vancouver Youth Choir. Nov 17, 3 pm, Pacific Spirit United Church. $25 (18-and-under free). KOERNER PIANO TRIO Vancouver Academy of Musicâ€™s resident ensemble performs works by Haydn, PÃ¤rt, Rachmaninoff, and Schubert. Nov 17, 3-5 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre. $49/47/19. TINDER TALES Comedians share stories about online dating. Nov 17, 8 pm, Yuk Yukâ€™s Vancouver. $15/18. ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight. com/AddEvent. Events that donâ€™t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
So-so Jojo teams Hitler with ScarJo Arnie’s junk returns with Terminator: Dark Fate
by Doug Sarti
Scarlett Johansson plays the mother to a would-be Nazi (Roman Griffin Davis) in Taika Waititi’s antifascism satire, Jojo Rabbit.
The snow whisking around Klaus’s birdhouses on birch trees is magical, and the crooked houses perched on the fiord are funkily Burton-esque. But it’s hard to connect with anyone stuck on this cold berg—and a gritty origin story probably isn’t on a lot of people’s wish list this holiday season.
Starring Taika Waititi. Rated PG
d CERTAINLY THE best-known Jewish Maori filmmaker to come from the Antipodes, Taika Waititi moves from Thor: Ragnarok into Roberto Benigni territory with this tone-jumping satire of life in the waning days of a fascist nation. And the movie definitely draws some obvious lessons from what happened to the Nazi empire when too many people got sucked into an insane cult of personality. Set in an unnamed German city (although actually shot in Prague) near the end of World War II, Jojo Rabbit takes its name from easily frightened 10-year-old Johannes Betzler, played by preternaturally talented Roman Griffin Davis, an Anglo-French boy making his acting debut. Jojo earns that sobriquet at a Hitler Youth retreat in which he fails to kill a bunny on command. The group leader is played by Sam Rockwell, assisted by Rebel Wilson as his top Nazette, so that gives you an idea of the tricky mix of styles here, something like Moonrise Kingdom meets The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Jojo yearns to be a fanatical fascist, but can’t quite pull it off. So he resorts to frequent internal pep talks from none other than Der Führer, played convincingly by Waititi himself. His Hitler is a self-centred buffoon (“Aren’t you going to heil me, kid?”) whose unhinged tendencies are gradually revealed as the boy begins to recognize the true horror of racism and war. Jojo’s father and sister are absent, for unexplained reasons—among many other loose ends here—so his questioning nature comes largely from a free-spirit mother, played by Scarlett Johansson in a performance more committed than grounded in reality. More pointedly, his ideological underpinnings are removed by the discovery of Elsa, a Jewish teenager hiding in the attic. (Leave No Trace’s Thomasin McKenzie bears no small resemblance to Anne Frank.) The director declares his irreverence early, with plenty of anachronistic dialogue and slapstick set pieces. Indeed, his soundtrack starts with the Beatles and ends with David Bowie, both singing in German. The movie will offend some people, and bore others with its obvious targets, but the bigger problem is that Waititi doesn’t know what to do with his premise in the long middle section, which depends on comparatively routine conversations between Jojo and Elsa. Things pick up again at the end, with an unexpectedly hard-edged depiction of the German endgame. All the kids are great, though, and there are plenty of quirky bits. But it’s odd that the fictional Führer keeps offering the boy cigarettes. Hitler hated smoking, declaring the habit terrible for your health!
by Janet Smith
TEL AVIV ON FIRE
Starring Kais Nashif. In Arabic and Hebrew, with English subtitles. Rated PG
Santa’s got a brand new bag in Klaus, the first animated feature from Netflix.
Featuring the voice of Jason Schwartzman. Rating unavailable
d JOLLY OLD St. Nicholas? Not quite: the Santa in this new animated origin story, Klaus, is not the kindly, red-suited fat man depicted on Hallmark cards or in Bing Crosby Christmas carols. When bumbling postmaster Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) first meets the title character, he’s a shadowy, hooded figure who lives alone in the woods—a mountain of a man, with an axe, sinister black eyes, and thudding pointy boots. He also has a secret shed filled with creepy handmade toys. If this sounds more Black Christmas than Rankin/Bass, it’s a perfect illustration of the movie’s jadedfunny tone—its penchant for dark humour, and explanations for traditions like letters to Santa and flying reindeer that are alternately awkward and anticlimactic. Of course, Klaus becomes more sympathetic as the movie goes along. But the larger problem with the film is that no one is overly likable. Steering Netflix’s first animated feature, Despicable Me creator Sergio Pablos has come up with a stylized, visually rich meld of old-school–Disney handdrawn animation with CGI enhancement. But there’s something missing from the end product—and let’s just say the Grinch knows what it is. The semiconvoluted story begins in Scandinavia, where Jesper, the spoiled son of a bigwig, gets sent by his father to reestablish a working post office in Smeerensburg, an icedin outpost where families are so busy feuding, they don’t even send their kids to school anymore. In fact, the disillusioned teacher (Rashida Jones) has turned the schoolhouse into a fish-gutting shop. Jesper ends up having to convince hermit-Santa to secretly deliver his toys to kids—but only so the postmaster can generate enough letters to satisfy his dad and return to civilization. There are some gorgeous sequences, where the animation recalls the expressive, sketchy feel of 101 Dalmatians and Jungle Book, but bathed in by Ken Eisner a luminescence only CGI can deliver.
d FOR EVERYONE WHO views the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians as a kind of long-running soap opera—by turns tedious and infuriating—Tel Aviv on Fire comes as a validation of sorts. Fortunately, it adds solid comedy to the dynamic, aided by terrific actors familiar from all types of international productions. This hugely entertaining item’s title is also the name of a daytime soap being shot in the occupied West Bank, and the no-budget TV series tweaks both sides by setting its schlocky story just before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Most of the new show’s money has gone to hiring a sexy French star (Belgian-born Lubna Azabal, from the Oscar-nominated Incendies) to play a Palestinian spy wresting secrets from an Israeli general (American Assassin’s Yousef “Joe” Sweid). Tel Aviv’s top producer is a highly respected elder (Anglo-Jordanian veteran Nadim Sawalha, the real-life father of Absolutely Fabulous’s Julia Sawalha), and that’s the only reason his ne’er-do-well bilingual nephew has a job there, ostensibly to help with the Hebrew pronunciation. Bushy-haired Salam (Kais Nashif, who had much grimmer roles in Tora Bora and Paradise Now) is an affable Kramer type whose big ideas usually come to naught because of poor follow-through. When an on-set fluke nets him a small promotion, he sees a chance to get in good with the pretty neighbour (Maisa Abd Elhadi) he previously blew it with. Then, when a bad checkpoint encounter forces him to explain himself to an arrogant Israeli officer (Yaniv Biton) whose wife loves the series, he pads his résumé even further. Like everyone else, the captain really wants to write; soon he’s forcing ideas on Salam and checking in to see if he delivers. Suddenly, our lanky layabout has multiple reasons to work hard and sell his talents. The problem is that politics—religious, historical, sexual, and even epicurean—keep pulling him in competing directions, some of which will never be funny. Sharp-witted writer-director Sameh Zoabi has to balance the same conflicts. And even if the tonal elements get away from him here and there, that fits with the mess he’s satirizing. In the end, though—as several paycheque-happy participants attest— it’s less important to tell a story perfectly than to make sure your show doesn’t get cancelled. by Ken Eisner
s there free will? It’s an idea that’s been tormenting humanity since we came down from the trees. It’s also a question that rattles around time-travel thriller Terminator: Dark Fate (now playing). “I don’t think fate works any differently in the Terminator universe than it does in real life,” says director Tim Miller, calling the Georgia Straight from Toronto. “Personally, I believe that there’s no such thing as destiny and the choices we make have ramifications down the road. The future was changed in the last movie, so clearly it can be done, but now the characters are becoming aware of the ouroboros, and they can make the choice to break out of the cycle.” Although the story of a killer robot from the future has been told before, Miller ups the ante this time by bringing back original stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. “You can’t keep Arnold away from a Terminator movie,” Miller says, laughing. “I think if he was in a car accident and lost all of his limbs, he would find a way to roll onto the Terminator set. But Linda was a different matter. She’d resisted coming back before…but now so much time has passed she believed she could make this character something different from what it was. And she did.” Dark Fate also stars Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Vancouver native Mackenzie Davis, who plays a bioengineered future human here to save humanity. With Terminator creator James Cameron now back after an almost 30-year absence—he produced Dark Fate—it raises the question: what’s it like to fi ll his shoes as director?
Director Tim Miller shares notes with original Terminator star Linda Hamilton.
“I have a surfeit of courage and stupidity, so I always feel like I’m going to do a good job because my heart’s in the right place. And I’ve learned that there’s such a huge group of really talented people around you that if you ask for help, they will not let you fail.” For the most part, Cameron gave Miller free rein, although he did press some of the finer points. “The Terminator—does it have a functional penis or not? Jim was very adamant about it. He’s like, ‘You see his junk in Terminator 1. So why wouldn’t he have a working penis?’ ” Fully functional or not, a real-life robot uprising doesn’t seem much of a worry for Miller. When asked about the theme of technology versus humanity, however, he does turn serious. “I think the danger is more insidious, in that we’ll gradually give up more of our free will…eventually humans will find that AI can make decisions better than they can themselves, and we’ll stop trying. We’ll become a world full of sheep, and the gradual erosion of autonomy will lead us to something that could be worse than nuclear fire. That’s what I fear.” g
E’S DAN SAVAG
FESTIVAL 2019 FILM
Nov 13-16 THE RIO THEATRE, VANCOUVER T I C K E T S AT H U M P F I L M F E S T.C O M
TICKETS ON SALE NOW ALL NEW FILMS!
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 29
Amateur porn hits next level at HUMP!
by Adrian Mack
tarting with a man sitting in a park, and pulling back to take in the city skyline, a stately drone shot is just one indication that 2019’s HUMP! Film Festival has done some growing up. After 15 years, there’s less of the enthusiastic amateurism that characterizes this touring road show of homemade porn. There’s some, but there’s also a lot of sleek visual literacy and convincing technical chops, with opener “Wildfire”— a baroque orgy of group-fucking, pyro, and lactation—setting the tone for much of what follows. If that one Anonymity is one of the cardinal rules at the HUMP! Film Festival, so in lieu of a still looks like it was made by Gaspar Noé, from the actual program, here’s a very nice and suitably diverse promo shot. Enjoy! “Good Kitty” brings a picturesque gauziness to the tender lovemaking all its swollen ball sacs and gravity- of all, arguably, “Photuris” is spiked of two attractive young hipsters, defying penises into a vertiginous, with brilliant visual puns, like the while “Doppelbanger” abstracts magenta-drenched flesh collage. Best confetti cannon that discharges between the legs of its orgasmic female participant. Originated by columnist Dan Savage back in 2005, this annual, sex-positive celebration of the dirty movie is notably high on inclusion and variety. Transgenderism and squirting meet for the first time in HUMP! history with “The Pizza Topping”, which otherwise has fun with the squeeze-cheese aesthetics of adult filmmaking in the VHS era. Inside a construct suggesting Mump and Smoot as directed by the Quay brothers, the antic “Butt Bango” keeps swapping its two participants—one with a strap-on, the other with the real thing, both with fright wigs—so that we’re never sure which is what, or who is doing whom. The nerd patrol in “Roll Play” go gender-fluid when their D&D characters blossom into real life, and “Fuck First” heaps on the irony (and the polyester) when a ’70s key party turns out to be less straight than we might expect.
This annual, sexpositive celebration of the dirty movie is notably high on inclusion and variety. – Adrian Mack
With its image of a naked woman left shivering and chained on a concrete f loor after being waterboarded, you might say that the lesbian S&M tale “Tell Me What You Like” is the most intense of the festival’s 21 shorts. (But hey, it’s what she likes!) Elsewhere, matters are leavened by the nudity-free “Orally Fixated” and the paper animation of “Cock Tales”, a urophagic take on Cruising as if it was made by the NFB. Notably, the two most affecting shorts—and likely audience favourites—both bare their emotions as much as they do anything else. A years-long story of miscarriage, birth, sexual dysfunction, and valedictory squirting (!) is beautifully contained within the five minutes of “Lost and Found”. And HUMP! finally manages the goal of eating itself when a young duo attempt to re-create the festival’s most common tropes, hitting the trail for some outdoor rutting, and variously toying with body paint, f lashpaper, and genital puppetry. Clearly made without a crew by a real couple, their peals of intimate laughter when the googly eyes fall off a gimp mask end up being the sexiest thing in the entire program. Naturally, this one is called “Best in Show”. g Hosted by Dan Savage, the HUMP! Film Festival comes to the Rio Theatre for four nights starting Wednesday (November 13). More information is at humpfilmfest.com/.
30 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
Scenery change did it for Dead Soft
by Mike Usinger
ead Soft cofounders Nathaniel Epp and Keeley Rochon are careful to suggest that their new album, Big Blue, shouldn’t be read as an embittered kiss-off to a city where, increasingly, the haves outnumber the have-nots. A better way to look at the release is as proof that, sometimes, change is good. In their case, that meant abandoning the grind of being artists in Vancouver for the more laid-back lifestyle of Gabriola Island. At its loudest and most deliciously distorted, Big Blue reflects the tension and anger that come with living in a city where making music has never been more difficult. But there’s also a beautiful side to the record, with the quieter back half of the 10-track release giving you the space and time to think about lyrics like “I think I’ll just wait outside in the parking lot of my life.” That dichotomy makes Big Blue— which was recorded over an extended period—seem like a piece of art created by folks caught between worlds. That’s true, at least on a superficial level. “It’s definitely true that we started the record while we were living in Vancouver,” singer-guitarist Epp says, speaking on a conference call with Rochon, who sings and plays bass. “Keeley and I were starting to become unhappy living in Vancouver, and were definitely searching for a way out, so to speak. We were looking for somewhere else to go to, but there was a period of being really unsure where. I think some of those feelings showed up in the music and the vibes that are in the record. But it’s not a literal, anti-Vancouver record, or anything like that.” On this day the two, along with drummer Alex Smith, are in a tour van making its way across Connecticut in
The members of Dead Soft abandoned the grind of being artists in Vancouver and finished Big Blue on Gabriola Island.
the middle of a North American tour. Things are, they report, going great during their stateside swing for Big Blue. Consider that a reward for sticking with things when life got tough a couple of years back. They note it originally wasn’t all bad for Dead Soft in Vancouver. As kids in Prince Rupert, Epp and Rochon both played in bands, and idyllic as things were up north, they knew they’d eventually move down the coast. “It was actually a pretty healthy little music scene for a town of its size when we were in high school back home,” Epp says. “But part of it was that the ceiling for how high you could go as a rock band in Prince Rupert was pretty damn low. So we headed down south.” The postsecondary-education route in Vancouver quickly proved to be nowhere near as much fun as
committing to music. But as time went on, the reality of life for creatives in one of the world’s most expensive cities began to set in. “We played a lot of shows when Dead Soft first started,” Epp says. “It was fun for a while, but it was also always kind of a struggle. Not being from Vancouver, and it not being our home base, we were moving once a year, like constantly, in really shitty housing situations. I don’t know if it was bad luck or what. A lot of people make it work and enjoy it there, but for us it was a really tumultuous period. Eventually, it got kind of exhausting.” So Dead Soft relocated to Gabriola, where, initially at least, not even the idyllic shores of the island helped with a mental-health reset. “I don’t wanna talk about too much, but I was really struggling by the end of my time in Vancouver,”
Rochon says. “When we moved to Gabriola, I wasn’t sure that we’d be able to tour anymore, or do anything like that. I was having a really difficult time even taking a bus. But I finally worked through a lot of that. I’m feeling pretty good right now and know how to take care of myself a bit better.” Part of the reason for that might be that Gabriola is a lot closer to the pace of Prince Rupert than to the roar of gritty Vancouver. “It helped,” Rochon acknowledges. “It was a big transition at first—it was difficult to acclimatize, maybe. But as soon as I was able to flip that switch, I’ve been a lot more clearheaded. It’s easier to centre myself.” Starting with the album’s title, it’s tempting to read Big Blue as a document of a time with some challenges. Think about the line “I’m sick and tired of watching this world turning
into their world” on the overdriven grunge-pop detonator “Tulips”. And consider the lumbering “Porch”, where Epp sings “I want to move back to my hometown/Made up my mind 10,000 times,” and then goes for red-lined rage at the end with “You fucked up my life/I’m going to fuck up yours.” But at the same time, Dead Soft reveals itself to be capable of seeing beauty in the world. Big Blue becomes noticeably less chaotic on its back half, with “Static” planting itself in dream-hazed shoegaze territory, and “Snake” sounding like a lost treasure from Los Angeles’s fabled paisley underground. “We wanted to make this record a bit of a dynamic journey,” Epp says. “We had these songs that we’d written that we knew were very different dynamically from past Dead Soft songs, and we were fairly determined to incorporate them in our sound. We wanted to show people that Dead Soft can do whatever we want. We can write softer, more delicate songs, and then we can crank it right back up.” For the members of Dead Soft, the past couple of years have been a journey offering the big lesson that sometimes you need to ask yourself what you want out of life. There’s no point being embittered about something that you can easily change if you’re willing to. “We’ve learned to expect the unexpected, as clichéd as that is,” Epp says. “Things are always going to jump out at you. The thing is that you can’t freak out when things go sideways. That’s when you go back to the lab and figure out what to do next.” g Dead Soft’s Big Blue is out now on Arts & Crafts.
Doomsday season sparked indie duo by John Lucas
ightning Dust has a bit of an image problem. A Google Images problem, to be exact. When you search for pictures of “Lightning Dust”, you will find promo shots of the Vancouver indie duo, but mostly what you’ll end up with is page after page of images of an aquamarine-hued Pegasus. That’s Lightning Dust—not the band, but the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic character. It should be noted that the musical project’s genesis predates the pony’s debut by several years, and that the animated series, while written in Los Angeles, was produced in Vancouver. “I don’t remember how the name Lightning Dust came about,” admits Amber Webber, who fronts the duo, which also features Josh Wells. “Who knows, but I remember a few years after we were a band, the My Little Pony thing came out. It was during that time when we weren’t really that Internet-savvy yet, so we didn’t have the Twitter thing, the this and the that, right? The My Little Pony thing took it all! I felt so ripped off. And then, actually, to further this, Rihanna just started a makeup line called Fenty, and one of the eye shadows is Lightning Dust.” Being confused with a cartoon pony is one thing, but no one would mistake the latest Lightning Dust album, Spectre, for anything remotely connected with Rihanna. Nor does it sound exactly like anything Webber and Wells have made before, either. Sure, the Lightning Dust signifiers are there, including the layered keyboards and Webber’s sonorous and richly emotive singing. But the lush, organic arrangements and the pair’s willingness to occasionally rock out— check out the climactic chorus in “Led Astray” or the propulsive drama of “Joanna” for evidence— stand in marked contrast to the last Lightning
Amber Webber and Josh Wells of Lightning Dust, whose gorgeous new album, Spectre, was written while Vancouver was enshrouded in the smoke from 2017’s record-breaking forest-fire season.
Dust outing. Released in 2013, Fantasy was built on a foundation of programmed drums and sequencer tracks—the result, Webber says, of a fleeting infatuation with electronic outsiders like Suicide and the Knife. “I can’t speak for Josh, but for me it was a phase I was going through that I thought it would be fun to try,” she says. “When we started touring it, it kind of seemed more difficult, for me. Singing to canned tracks and sequencers and all that, it just kind of kills the joy of it. You have less room to play around and have fun and keep it exciting on tour and stuff.” Spectre, then, might be a more accurate reflection of where Lightning Dust is coming from, sonically, and it might also be a truer representation of Webber as a songwriter. She estimates that, for previous records, she and Wells split the writing evenly on the musical side, with her penning all the lyrics. This time around, she wrote the entire thing herself, with
the exception of one song. That’s because Wells was busy playing drums for Destroyer, to say nothing of serving as producer for that band’s album Ken. With her partner otherwise occupied, and freed from the obligations of being a member of Black Mountain (which both she and Wells had quit), Webber found herself with plenty of time to work on Lightning Dust songs in the summer of 2017. As locals will no doubt recall, that was a record-breaking wildfire season in British Columbia, and the smoke in the air left the skyline of Vancouver looking like the landscape of some newly discovered region of Hades. “I wrote the album when the whole city was smoky from the fires,” Webber recalls, “and there was a feeling in the air—like, apocalyptic, you know? And it really got to me. I have terrible insomnia, and I think maybe because of that, it was just a weird summer. That sum-
mer was so weird. You never got to see the sun; you never got that vitamin D fix, it felt like, and it just messed me up. I can’t explain it. It felt like doomsday. “Also, in personal-life stuff, I had a lot of things ending in my life, and it just felt like there was this heaviness to life and the world,” she continues. “Even if you just want to get into politics, there’s the whole Trump thing. Ugh. It got heavy for me, so it definitely came into the writing.” That explains the atmospheric album opener, “Devoted To”, with its imagery of a “smoked-out city” and lyrics including “And now I’ll find my way back in/Even if I never sleep.” Even more bluntly apocalyptic are the paired closing tracks, “3AM/100 Degrees”, when Webber sings, “Sun sets it’s 100 degrees/ And this world has fallen to its knees.” She explains: “I definitely wrote the album sort of like a story, so the ending of the last song, ‘100 Degrees’, is meant to be like an awakening from the atomic bomb or something, where you look at the world and it’s dead and you’re walking around, but you feel maybe a sense of relief, or ‘I’m still alive,’ you know?” If the whole exercise sounds hopelessly dismal, rest assured that Spectre is not all doom and gloom. It’s a gorgeous—even uplifting—listen, and thematically it’s less about being trapped in bleak times than it is about surviving them. In Webber’s view, that’s a positive thing. “It’s a dark album, but it actually is really optimistic at the same time,” she says. “I’m an optimist at heart, so even when the world doesn’t seem great, I’m always grateful to be a part of it.”g Lightning Dust plays the Fox Cabaret on Wednesday (November 13).
NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 31
Pneuma makes link of heart and mind by Alexander Varty
d FEATURING THREE clarinet virtuosos and a lone singer, the quartet known as Pneuma is aptly named. In ancient Greek, the word means “breath” or “wind”, but there are also mystical and medical connotations: pneuma is the breath of life, or the link between the heart and the brain. This makes sense when listening to Who Has Seen the Wind?, released earlier this year on Vancouver’s own Songlines imprint. Pneuma’s debut is somehow both provocative and lulling, and although its winds can sometimes blow with chilling force, at its core lies a warm and pulsing heart. There’s also a family connection here: vocalist Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s beloved grandfather, Harry, was an amateur musician who handed down his fondness for the clarinet—and his prized Benny Goodman LPs—to all of his various descendants. “I think it’s such a rich instrument,” says Gottlieb, a former Vancouver resident now living in Montreal. “It’s not used that frequently in improvised music, but to me it’s a sound that I love. And it just so happened at a certain point that I knew so many incredible clarinetists, and I just had the idea of doing something with a bunch of them. “Three is a good number,” she adds, laughing. “If you have two, then it’s hard to really create backgrounds, and if we had four clarinets, then that’s kind of a big group. So three is nice, because you can have harmony if you want it, and you can still have somebody holding a rhythmic pattern. You know, you can have diversity. It’s kind of a nice construct.” In Pneuma, Gottlieb has chosen to work with Seattle’s James Falzone and another former Vancouverite, François Houle. They’re somewhat similar in approach, being equally at home with classical and contemporary styles, while the third horn player, Montreal-based Michael Winograd, adds the folk element through his deep knowledge of klezmer and Jewish liturgical music. “You really can hear the yiddishkeit come through there,” says the Jerusalem-born Gottlieb. “Michael doesn’t
Ayelet Rose Gottlieb and James Falzone are two of the four members of the band Pneuma. Photos by Farhad Ghaderi
really go into klezmerish sounds, compositionally—I actually did that more—but in his compositions he just went very deep into a melodic sense, a beautiful melodic sense. His compositions are really very approachable, I find.” The texts Pneuma has chosen to work with are equally compelling, especially the ancient Japanese verses that inspired Falzone’s four short meditations, “Wakened by the Scent”, “Who Can Say What Loneliness Is”, “Ruined House”, and “The Pine Tree”. “Those pieces are really extremely personal,” Gottlieb says of those works, by ninth- and 10th-century poets Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. “You read those texts and they could have been written today. They’re about really vulnerable human experiences—and one of the things that I cherish about this project is how vulnerable we all have to be for it to work. The music is so bare that it can be a scary experience, but we all trust each other so much that it’s also a really charged experience. You have no option other than to be fully present.” Pneuma and Cat Toren play a Western Front double bill on Friday (November 8).
Return of RATM is four years overdue by Mike Usinger
L The Georgia Straight Confessions, an outlet for submitting revelations about your private lives—or for the voyeurs among us who want to read what other people have disclosed.
Scan to confess The next step isn’t solid My spouse is mentally ill and not taking care of himself. We agreed he’d go to therapy instead of meds, but he’s only gone a few times even though he needs ongoing help and therapy. Not only for his mental illness (bipolar), but to deal with abuse he suffered from horrible parents as a child. He hasn’t taken any steps, is getting abusive, and after years I now feel like he’s just been using me, that I’ve... (con’t @straight.com)
I miss the Old classics I love a good Bond movie and a bowl of popcorn. 007 where are you, going to need to find a V C R Dam:)
How Should a Person Feel? I was married for a dozen years. She got pregnant in the first two years (over and over she said she didn’t want to go on the pill and neither of use were crazy about... (con’t @straight.com)
Working class taxi I almost never use taxis here. It’s transit or driving. Cabs charge too much, make a fuss or refuse my ride if I don’t use cash, and most importantly NEVER THERE WHEN I REALLY NEED ONE. I open Uber or Lyft in other cities because it’s cheap and reliable. Taxis here are not for the working class. Evo and Car2Go barely exist in the burbs. We deserve a safe ride home too.
>:( I Saw You Went through a million pages of the “I Saw You’s”. Couldn’t find a single one written for me. I’m feeling tempted to write one to myself.
to post a Confession
32 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT NOVEMBER 7 – 14 / 2019
et’s deal with the stone-cold facts right off the top. When you need a soundtrack for smashing the flatscreen TV or destroying the IKEA white-pine wine rack, there are few songs more cathartic than Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade”. Need headphone music for that bike commute where you ignore all stop signs, red lights, and crosswalks occupied by octogenarians, small dogs, and tiny children? There’s nothing better than cuing up “Killing in the Name” and screaming along to “Fuck you/ I won’t do what you tell me.” Want a workout while vaccuuming your 360-square-foot East Vancouver garden-level suite on Sundays? Rage Against the Machine has you taken care of with its cover of Afrika Bambaataa’s “Renegades of Funk”. It doesn’t matter how unfunky you are, you’ll be moving like James Brown on free Angel Dust night the second singer Zack de la Rocha warns “No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop us now.” Given how goddamn great RATM is on the above songs, all of which come from pretty much perfect albums, taking a shot at the Los Angeles–spawned four-piece somehow doesn’t feel right. But screw it. Dear Members of Rage Against the Machine: Where have you been, and why the fuck are you waiting until now to pad your Freedom 55 bank accounts? There’s been a war going on stateside for the past four years, and you’ve been working on solo records and “supergroups”. The reason for bringing this up is last week’s announcement that Rage Against the Machine will reform for a series of shows—including Coachella—in 2020. The timing of those shows isn’t an accident. Next year a certain Day-Glo–orange racist, classist, and sexist oligarch will take a run at a second term in office in the USA Odds are there are enough angry white men, Stepford wives, Tiki-torchcarrying KKK chapters, and enraged NRA assholes in the country to carry him back into the White House. That’s when he’ll really start doubling down on cleansing the States of Muslims, “bad hombres”, and anyone not accessorizing their red MAGA hats with a giant shit-eating grin. And that makes one wonder why de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello,
drummer Brad Wilk, and bassist Tim Commerford have only now decided that the time is right for fighting in the streets again. Once upon a time, there was arguably no band more suited to mobilizing young voters in the United States of America. Remember when Rage Against the Machine shut down the New York Stock Exchange while defying a direct order from then NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani during an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2000? Or when they took to the stage in Philadelphia with their wieners flopping in the wind during a Lollapalooza tour stop in 1993 as a protest against the Tipper Gore–led pro-music-censorship group Parents Music Resource Center? Or when the group used 1996’s Evil Empire and singles like “Bulls on Parade” to draw attention to the
lbum A OF THE WEEK WOOLWORM Awe (Mint)
d WITH ITS CHURNING
layers of effects-treated guitar and vocal harmonies, it would be easy to file Woolworm under “shoegaze revivalists”. And that would also be a pretty lazy way of classifying the Vancouver band. On its third full-length outing, the Jay Arner–produced Awe, Woolworm brings a number of apparent influences to the forefront. These are evident right off the top on the title track, with frontman Giles Roy giving Steven Patrick Morrissey himself a run for his money in the ironicswagger department: “I’ve seen the future/It’s bright, all right/ No need to argue/I’m right.” That song leads seamlessly into the second, “Dogman”, which is propelled by black-metal riffs, wonderfully offset by twee melodies. And so it goes, with the band unapologetically stitching disparate genres together into a sound that is far more cohesive than it has any right to be. Woolworm celebrates the release of its new album with a show at the Red Gate next Friday (November 15). It will be Awe-some.
by John Lucas
way that America was building a then metaphorical wall between itself and Mexico? Need a refresher? In an interview around the album’s release, de la Rocha proved something of a prophet with observations like: “It seems as if soon as the wall in Germany fell, that the U.S. government was busy building another one between the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Since 1986, as a result of a lot of the hate talk and hysteria, that the government of the United States has been speaking, 1,500 bodies have been found on the border; we wrote this song [“Bulls on Parade”] in response to it.” All this would have been great had Rage Against the Machine not imploded in 2000, and then turned into the alternative-rock version of a legacy act, reuniting for sporadic dates between 2007 and 2011 but releasing no new material. In fairness, finding things to get pissed about during the Barack Obama years was something of a challenge, but the writing should have been on the wall four years ago when Donald Trump started taking to the airwaves to blame Mexicans for everything from rape stats to drug-addiction rates to birthday-party piñata accidents. Instead, it took four years for Rage Against the Machine to do something about it. The band’s last album of original material, The Battle of Los Angeles, was released 20 years ago. That means the kids who were in the mosh pit back when the band was doing its best to make a difference are now pushing 40, and hopefully aware enough to know that nothing changes unless they vote. At which point they’ll discover that, once again, there’s no point voting in the U.S. until the entire population of Florida dies. The positive side of Rage Against the Machine’s decision to get back together? “Bulls on Parade”, “Killing in the Name”, and “Renegades of Funk” all still sound pretty fucking lethal today. And the way things are looking, a whole bunch of people are going to need a soundtrack for smashing everything they own when Trump’s reelected next November—not to mention for getting you motivated when it’s time to vacuum up the mess. For that alone, it’s good to have Rage Against the Machine back in action. Some bands are better than others when it comes to having an outlet for one’s moral outrage—even if they’ve clearly missed the deadline. g
CONCERTS JUST ANNOUNCED TOW’RS Indie-rock band from Arizona, with guest B.R. Lively. Nov 14, 8-11:30 pm, WISE Hall. $15. WOOLWORM Mint Records presents an album-release party, with guests Juice, Outpatient, and Kamikaze Nurse. Nov 15, 8 pm, Red Gate Arts Society. $10. K-MAN & THE 45s Ska-rock quintet from Montreal. Nov 15, 8:30 pm, LanaLou’s Restaurant. $12. SWEET HOME CHICAGO Celebration of the blues featuring Wailin’ Al Walker, Angie Brinton, Dameian Walsh, and Rob Montgomery & his All-Star Band. Nov 16, Railway Stage and Beer Café. $10. ORQUESTA AKOKÁN Cuban rhythms channeling the fiery 1940s and ’50s heyday of old Havana. Nov 16, 8 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. From $46. THE MODELOS & FRIENDS 13th ANNUAL FOOD BANK FUNDRAISER Performances by the Modelos, Slip-Ons, the Judy’s, Lesismore, and the Alimony Brothers, with proceeds to the Vancouver Food Bank. Dec 7, 8 pm, Railway Stage and Beer Café. $10. JON BRYANT Dream folk singer-songwriter, with guest Josh Hyslop. Jan 18, 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, $15. GIRLFRIEND MATERIAL Canadian indierock band featuring members of Tokyo Police Club and Hollerado. Jan 29, 9 pm, Fox Cabaret. $15. HENRY KAPONO Hawaiian singer-songwriterguitarist performs original songs with a rock vibe. Feb 7, 8 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre. $45. MARCUS KING BAND Soul-rock band from the States. Feb 9, 8:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, $25. BEST COAST L.A. rock duo composed of singer-songwriter and guitarist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Mar 3, 8 pm, Venue. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, $25. AVI KAPLAN American folk-pop singersongwriter, former member of Pentatonix. Mar 17, 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, $18. LA ROUX Synth-pop act from England. Mar 20, 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $37.25. COWBOY JUNKIES Canadian alt-country band. Apr 8, 8 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. $69.50/55/39.50.
A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN Ambient-music duo consisting of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie. Apr 13, 8 pm, St. James Hall. $30. BRETT YOUNG American country-pop singersongwriter. May 9, 8 pm, Abbotsford Centre. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, $49.50/35/25. JOURNEY AND THE PRETENDERS Multiplatinum classic-rock bands play their hits. May 18, 7 pm, Rogers Arena. Tix on sale Nov 8, 10 am, from $45.50.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 DEAD GHOSTS Local garage-rock quartet, with guests Black Wizard. Nov 6, Biltmore Cabaret. $12. ALEX CUBA Cuban-born, B.C.–based soulpop singer-songwriter performs tunes from new album Sublime. Nov 6, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre. $49/47/29.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 LOUISE BURNS Vancouver indie-rock singer-songwriter, with guests Biawanna. Nov 7, Biltmore Cabaret. $15. TOM MORELLO Guitarist playing full songs off his 2018 collaborative release, The Atlas Underground. Nov 7, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $45. NOVALIMA Afro-Peruvian electronic band, with guests Los Duendes. Nov 7, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. $20/25 THE BABE RAINBOW Psychedelic rock band from Australia. Nov 7, 9 pm, Fox Cabaret. $17.50.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 THE BUILDING Singer-songwriter from Youngstown, Ohio, with guest Heather Woods Broderick. Nov 8, Biltmore Cabaret. $14. JASON MRAZ American soul-pop singersongwriter. Nov 8, 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. $99.50/75.50/55.50/45.50. FORTUNATE ONES Newfoundland folk duo, with guest Sherman Downey. Nov 8, 8-10:30 pm, St. James Hall. $24/20. ROCK 4 PROSTATE Posing Til Closing plays a benefit for prostate cancer research. Nov 8, 8-11 pm, Backstage Lounge. $10-20. DUNE RATS Rock band from Brisbane, Australia. Nov 8, 9 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. $20. CURRENT SWELL Indie-rock band from Victoria. Nov 8, 9:30 pm, Commodore. $30.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 CITY AND COLOUR Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green, with guests Jacob Banks and Ben Rogers Nov 9, Pacific Coliseum. $45.50-85.50. SEEFEEL British postrock band, with guests Sweguno and Kinetoscope. Nov 9, Biltmore Cabaret. $26.50. DESIREE EVANCIO FUNDRAISER Local rock band Stickman plays a benefit for Desiree Evancio. Nov 9, 7 pm, Pats Pub . $7. KENT HILLMAN AND LES FINNIGAN Double bill of fingerstyle acoustic-guitar music. Nov 9, 7-9 pm, West Point Grey United Church. $20. BRUCE COCKBURN Canadian folk-rock legend. Nov 9, 8 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. $65. TWIN PEAKS Rock band from Chicago, with guests Post Animal and Ohmme. Nov 9, 8 pm, Venue. $25. MIKAL CRONIN Indie-rock singer-songwriter from California. Nov 9, 8 pm, Fox Cabaret. $15. JAYMES YOUNG Alt-rock singer-songwriter from Seattle. Nov 9, 9 pm, Imperial Vancouver. $20. BIG SUGAR Canadian blues-rockers, with guests Brass Camel and Culture Brown. Nov 9, 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $39.50.
SONGBIRD NORTH: WHERE WRITERS SING & TELL Shari Ulrich hosts singer-songwriters Doug Cox, husband-and-wife duo Reid Jamieson and Carolyn Mills, and Ryan McMahon. Nov 12, 7:30-10 pm, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. $18.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 SKI MASK THE SLUMP GOD Hip-hop artist from Florida, with guests Pouya, DJ Scheme, and Danny Towers. Nov 13, Vogue. $36.50. LIGHTNING DUST Vancouver indie-rockers, with guests Himalayan Bear and K Car. Nov 13, 9 pm, Fox Cabaret. $15.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 RIA MAE Pop singer-songwriter from Halifax, with guest Mathew V Music. Nov 14, Commodore Ballroom. $23.50.
JD PINKUS AND EDDIE SPAGHETTI Members of the Melvins and the Supersuckers perform solo shows. Nov 14, 8 pm, Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse. $18.
JANN ARDEN Canadian singer-songwriter, author, and actress performs two nights. Nov 14-15, 8 pm, River Rock Show Theatre. $89.50.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15 NOAH GUNDERSEN Indie-folk singersongwriter from Seattle. Nov 15, 7:30 pm, Venue. $20.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 JULIA MICHAELS Dance-pop singer-songwriter from Iowa. Nov 16, Vogue Theatre. $25.
IS PROUD TO PRESENT:
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 MOONCHILD Alternative R&B trio. Nov 10, Biltmore Cabaret. $23.50. JAY PARK Korean-American hip-hop/R&B artist. Nov 10, Orpheum Theatre. REMEMBRANCE DAY CONCERT The In the Mood Quartet, with vocalist Angela Verbrugge, performs World War II-era songs. Nov 10, 4-5 pm, St. Andrew’s United Church. By donation. LINDA SZENTES & JAZZLINKS Jazz quintet plays a show in honour of Remembrance Day. Nov 10, 4-5 pm, Northwood United Church. By donation.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 ARIEL POSEN Member of the Bros. Landreth. Nov 11, Fox Cabaret. $15.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 CHON AND BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Proggy math-rockers co-headline with prog-metallers. Nov 12, 7:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $34.50.
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Beware of white-knighting a friend by Dan Savage
b I AM MALE. A close female friend was raped by an old acquaintance of mine. I knew this guy when we were tweens; I didn’t really care for him as we got older, so it goes. It turns out that a few years ago, he raped my friend in an alcohol-blackout situation. I don’t know more than that. She says she considers the encounter “not strictly consensual” and confided that this guy didn’t react well when she tried to talk to him about it. This isn’t something she’s “out” about. My feelings toward this guy are pretty dark. Now he’s moved back to town and I see him around, and some good friends of mine who stayed in contact with him invite him to stuff. I don’t know what to say or how to act. I know I don’t want to talk to him or be his friend. I would like to tell my other friends about this guy so I don’t have to see him, but I can’t because it’s not my story to tell. I would rather just skip social events he’s at. But without an explanation, I doubt my friends will understand, and it feels like I’m surrendering my friends to someone who assaulted a dear friend. I told someone once to please not invite him to something or I would skip it. They were confused, and it felt like an awkward ask. What should I say to my friends about this guy? What can I do to keep him out of my life?
you didn’t invite him to the party/ show/bris/whatever.” “What’s the issue between you guys?” “Look, we go a long way back, and it’s not something I want to discuss. It’s just awkward for us to be in the same place.” That’s the best you can do without outing your friend—without telling a story that isn’t yours to tell—and it’s likely your mutual friends will be confused by the ask, AC, but you’ll just have to be at peace with that. You could add something vague that omits identifying details (“He did a shitty thing to a friend”), but any details you share—however vague— could result in questions being put to you that you can’t answer or are tempted to answer. Even worse, questions will be put to “Chuck”, and he’ll be free to lie, minimize, or spin. My only other piece of advice would be to follow your close female friend’s lead. You describe what transpired between her and Chuck as rape, while your friend describes the encounter as “not strictly consensual”. That’s a little more ambiguous. And just as this isn’t your story to tell, AC, it’s not your experience to label. If your friend doesn’t describe what happened as rape—for whatever reason—you need to respect that. And does your friend want Chuck - Angry Confidant excluded from social events hosted by mutual friends or is she able to toler“I don’t like hanging out with ate his presence? If it’s the latter, do the Chuck and would appreciate it if same. If she’s not making an issue of
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Chuck being at a party, you may not be doing her any favours by making an issue of his presence yourself. If you’re worried your friend tolerates Chuck’s presence to avoid conflict and that being in the same space with him actually upsets her (or that the prospect of being in the same space with him keeps her from those spaces), discuss that with her one-on-one and then determine—based on her feelings and her ask—what, if anything, you can do to advocate for her effectively without white-knighting her or making this not-strictly-consensual-andquite-possibly-rapey thing Chuck did to her all about you and your feelings. It’s really too bad Chuck reacted badly when your friend tried to talk to him about that night. If he’s an otherwise decent person who has a hard time reading people when he’s drunk, he needs to be made aware of that and drink less or not drink at all. If he’s a shitty person who takes advantage of other people when they’re drunk, he needs to know there will be social and potentially legal consequences for his behaviour. The feedback your friend offered this guy—the way she tried to hold him accountable—could have prevented him from either fucking up like this again (if he’s a decent but dense guy) or taking advantage like this again (if he’s a shitty and rapey guy). If he was willing to listen, which he wasn’t. And since he wasn’t willing to listen… Yeah, my money is on shitty and rapey, not decent but dense.
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b I’M A SINGLE straight man. A friend recently told me her 20-year marriage hasn’t included sex for the past six years. Kids, stress, et cetera. I offered to have sex with her, but only if her husband approves. Have I done wrong?
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sex outside her marriage allows your friend to stay married and stay sane, and if she doesn’t get caught, and if the sexual connection with her husband should revive after their kids are older—a lot of ifs, I realize—then the condition you set could result in your friend and her husband getting divorced now, which would preclude the possibility of their sexual connection reviving later. That said, your friend is free to fuck another guy if she dislikes your terms. If discreetly getting
b I’M A STRAIGHT 45-year-old man. Good-looking. Three college degrees and one criminal conviction. Twice divorced. I’ve had some intense relationships with women I met by chance— one knocked on my door looking to borrow an egg—so I know I can impress women. But online dating doesn’t work for me because I’m only five foot seven. Most women online filter me out based on height. The other problem is that I’m extremely depressed. I’m trying to work on the depression (seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist), but the medications don’t seem to do much for me. This is probably due
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out there, SHORT, women you’d tower over. But there are very few women who would respond positively—or at all—to a man whose online dating profile dripped with contempt for women who don’t want to fuck him. Rejection sucks, I know, but allowing yourself to succumb to bitterness only guarantees more rejection. And first things first: keep working on your depression with your mental-health team and please consider giving up alcohol. (I’m sure you’ve already considered it. Reconsider it.) No one is looking for perfection in a partner—and no one can offer perfection—but if dating you is likely to make someone’s life harder, SHORT, they aren’t going to want to date you. So get yourself into good working order and then start looking for a partner. And since you know you have better luck when you meet people face to face, don’t spend all your time on dating apps. Instead, find things you like to do and go do them. Maybe you can pick a presidential candidate you like—one who supports coverage for mental-health care?—and volunteer on their campaign. g
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