Page 1

FREE | DECEMBER 6 - 13 / 2018

Volume 52 | Number 2656

AFFORDABLE HOUSING City plans to invest $78 million

PROJECT INCLUSION

How cops thwart harm reduction

DAN SAVAGE

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Gift Guide Make It Vancouver’s Jenna Herbut has created a phenomenon—and become an author—thanks to her cool new twist on holiday markets; plus, seasonal presents for lovers of books, food, health, gadgets, and music

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THE

POPULIST REVOLT

ITS CAUSES AND CURE

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CONTENTS

December 6-13 / 2018

12 COVER

Jenna Herbut’s new version of the standard Christmas craft fair has grown in a decade. Boy, has it ever. By Janet Smith Cover photo by Andi McLeish

7

NEWS

Pivot Legal has released a new report that shows how 10 B.C. police forces undermine harm-reduction efforts. By Travis Lupick

23 ARTS

March 6, 2018 | 7:00pm SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts 149 W. Hastings St. Tickets: $20 Online at sfuwoodwards.ca or call 778-782-9286

Music of the Baroque era gets interpreted by Bach Collegium Japan, whose musicians think of it as “new”. By Alexander Varty

31 FOOD

Don’t like the “foodie” label? Fine. But as long as you have discerning taste, you will relish this gift selection. By Tammy Kwan

35 MUSIC

Our seasonal guide to purchasing presents for the music lovers on your naughty-or-nice list includes vinyl, digital guitar lessons, clothing—and earplugs, natch. By Kate Wilson, John Lucas, and Mike Usinger

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Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly Volume 52 | Number 2656 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 T: 604.730.7000 F: 604.730.7010 E: gs.info@straight.com straight.com DISPLAY ADVERTISING: T: 604.730.7020 F: 604.730.7012 E: sales@straight.com

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Davie Village LGBT venues 1181 Lounge and XY to close. Two Metrotown-area apartment properties sold for $43 million. VPD defends displaying assault rifles at public events. Jordan Peterson and Meghan Murphy to speak in Vancouver. Metro Vancouver housing slowdown continues unabated.

GeorgiaStraight @GeorgiaStraight

DISTRIBUTION: 604.730.7087

@GeorgiaStraight

The Georgia Straight is published every Thursday by the Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. Copies are distributed free every week throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond. International Standard Serial Number ISSN 0709-8995. Subscription rates in Canada $182.00/52 issues (includes GST), $92.00/26 issues (includes GST); United States $379.00/52 issues, $205.00/26 issues; foreign $715.00/52 issues, $365.00/26 issues. Contact 604-730-7087 if you wish to distribute free copies of the Georgia Straight at your place of business. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Vancouver Free Press, Best Of Vancouver, Bov And Golden Plates Are Trade-Marks Of Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. SUBMISSIONS The Straight accepts no responsibility for, and will not necessarily respond to, any submitted materials. All submissions should be addressed to contact@straight.com. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40009178, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to The Georgia Straight, 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C, V6J 1W9

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T H I S M O N T H AT

A Pivot Legal Society report makes the case that police undermine harm-reduction efforts by seizing or destroying needles and other supplies that keep people alive.

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omeless people and marginalized drug users in B.C. face systemic persecution by police, a yearlong investigation by Pivot Legal Society makes clear. The report by the Vancouver nonprofit released Wednesday (December 5) describes “harassment, displacement, threats, racism, and violence at the hands of police and policing institutions”. “We found that participants share an extreme distrust of police, and are reluctant to call upon them when their safety is at risk or when they are a victim of a crime,” it reads. The 132-page document was authored by Pivot’s Darcie Bennett and D J Larkin. It relies on 76 interviews

Q&A

ON OCTOBER 20, United

Church minister Christine Boyle became the first OneCity candidate in history to be elected to Vancouver city council.

Q. Since joining council, what’s surprised you the most about the job? A. City staff have been taking our new council through a very interesting and fairly exhaustive orientation, with briefings, site visits, and ride-alongs. I can’t say any of it has particularly surprised me—I’ve been involved in municipal public policy and local politics for a while. But I have been learning a ton, and I’ve met some amazing and dedicated leaders, many of whom are quietly working away in incredible and underrecognized ways. It’s been very inspiring. C

conducted in 10 communities across B.C. Titled Project Inclusion: Confronting Anti-Homeless & Anti-Substance User Stigma in British Columbia, it presents its findings in the context of the province’s overdose epidemic. This year, B.C. is on track for more than 1,500 illicit-drug overdose deaths, compared to an average of 204 during the years 2001 to 2010. In a telephone interview, Bennett said that too often police are at odds with health-authority programs deployed in response to the overdose crisis. She explained that to reduce overdose deaths, B.C. has relied on a harm-reduction approach, which includes needle-exchange services, see next page

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overdose-prevention sites, drugtesting equipment, and other initiatives that allow people who are going to use drugs to do so in a way that is as safe as possible. Meanwhile, Bennett continued, police use a person’s involvement with those very programs—carrying a clean syringe, for example—as grounds for a search and justification for drug-law enforcement. “Police are taking people’s harmreduction supplies or destroying harm-reduction supplies,” Bennett told the Georgia Straight. “So we have two systems operating: we have a provincial government that has invested in harm reduction and we have health authorities that are making sure supplies get to people…and then we have police in multiple jurisdictions where people told us they’ve had harm-reduction supplies seized, both new and used, or destroyed in front of them.” Bennett suggested every taxpayer should be concerned about Pivot’s findings, regardless of whether they are directly affected by addiction. “It’s an inefficient use of money,” she said. Bennett recounted one drug user

Darcie Bennett (above) and DJ Larkin wrote Pivot’s Project Inclusion report.

who shared her experience with a syringe exchange. “In the report, there is one woman who says, ‘Health hands them out and then the police take them away,’ ” Bennett said. “That’s a waste of money.” Another anecdote presents a similar story from the perspective of health-care providers. “Local health nurses must educate people who use drugs not only about effective harm-reduction practices but also how to avoid having supplies

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MONDAY (DECEMBER 10) marks the 70th anniversary of International Human Rights Day. For those who remain deeply troubled by China’s annexation of Tibet after the Chinese Civil War and the impact this has had on the Tibetan people, there will be a gathering

that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. outside the Chinese Consulate (3380 Granville Street). It’s just four months ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, when Lhasa residents launched an unsuccessful revolt against Chinese government rule on March 10, 1959.

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taken by police,” the report reads. Project Inclusion was drafted with support from the Provincial Health Services Authority. Pivot said the report does not name the 10 jurisdictions on which staff focused for fear that would reveal sources’ identities. The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the B.C. RCMP did not make representatives available for interviews for this story. The VPD was likely the first police force in North America to officially adopt harm reduction as a component of its drug policy. “Harm reduction is necessary to support public health objectives such as reducing transmission rates of HIV and hepatitis, as well as preventing drug overdoses,” reads a VPD document dated September 2006. Bennett described how disconnects around authorities’ treatment of drug users can affect the larger community. “People don’t want to be found with harm-reduction supplies on them because of the general sort of criminalization around it,” she said. Bennett explained that someone who has used a syringe to inject drugs therefore might decide not to carry it to a designated disposal site and instead might throw the used needle on the ground. “There are some genuine community safety issues that come from this,” she added. Bennett suggested that problems are so systemic they require solutions from above the 10 police forces reviewed. “We have two philosophies that are working at cross-purposes,” she said. “We need a directive from the province that says, ‘Policing needs to come in line with the measures that we are taking as a province to support harm reduction.’ ”

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HOUSING

Draft city budget delivers social-housing windfall

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he City of Vancouver plans to invest $78 million in affordable-housing initiatives next year. The amount represents almost 14 percent of proposed capital expenditures totalling $568 million in the draft 2019 city budget. Affordable housing is the third-biggest capital item after water and transportation infrastructure. “As a growing and diverse city, Vancouver needs to continue to increase the availability and range of affordable housing choices for all residents,” the draft budget states. “This is a critical step in promoting economic development while building a healthy, resilient and sustainable city that has safe, inclusive and creative communities.” The document continues: “Responding to Vancouver’s current housing affordability crisis is the most significant challenge facing the City today.” In 2019, the city intends to spend $36.6 million buying land for social and affordable housing. This is the biggest allocation from its $78-million proposed capital budget for housing. The city will also continue with the redevelopment of the Roddan Lodge and Evelyne Saller Centre in the Downtown Eastside, with a budget for next year of $10 million. A new 11-storey building with 213 social-housing units, plus a relocated Evelyne Saller Centre, will be developed at 124 Dunlevy Street, replacing Roddan Lodge, a six-storey building with 156 singleroom-occupancy units. In addition, the city plans to buy

affordable-housing properties in the Downtown Eastside, with a budget of $7.5 million. As well, the city’s Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency will get $3.2 million from the $78-million budget for affordable housing. This will provide the capital support for its projects in 2019. In a separate paper, which deals with the budget outlook for 2019– 2023, the city identifies 3510 Fraser Street as one of the housing projects that will get money for next year. A six-storey building will be developed at the site, with a seniors’ centre at ground level and 58 housing units for seniors on the upper f loors. Going back to the main budget document, the city will also allocate $3.2 million as capital grants to nonprofit partners to “enhance viability and affordability of their non-market housing projects”. Moreover, the city will provide $2 million in capital grants for the upgrading of single-room-occupancy units. “Capital expenditures of $568 million are budgeted for 2019 to complete or advance progress on a number of ongoing and new multi-year capital projects, including significant investments in key priority areas,” according to the budget document. In addition to capital expenditures, the city’s operating budget for next year is proposed at $1.5 billion. The budget will be presented to council on Tuesday (December 11). Council will vote on the budget on December 18.

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GIFT GUIDE

Herbut gives creatives tips to Make It

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by Janet Smith

decade ago, when Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler launched the first Make It show at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, it was a cool new twist on the old holiday craft fair, complete with a DJ and bar. By the next year, the event had leaped to the bigger Croatian Cultural Centre, and now it’s become a biannual event at the PNE Forum; now a beer garden and food trucks are added to the mix, drawing about 15,000 shoppers, displaying the work of well over 200 artists, and ranking as one of the biggest craft fairs in the country. Herbut has also opened the Conscious Lab in Gastown, a red-brick-walled heritage studio aimed at self-development, workshops, and bringing creative entrepreneurs together. Along the way, Herbut has not only discovered what it takes to grow a business, but watched dozens of her “Makies” (her pet name for her vendors) successfully turn a creative hobby into a full-time enterprise. “I’ve seen so many makers over the years be able to quit their job—or the husband starts working for the wife,” she tells the Straight over the phone from Edmonton, where she’s just staged a Make It holiday market. At the same time, Herbut has noticed that, despite the growing number of selfemployed artisans and crafters out there, there’s a dearth of info about how to develop their businesses. Which brings us to her latest project, a new book called Make It Happen. “I’ve realized we need to teach them business skills,” she says, referring to the fast-reading, downto-earth pep talk subtitled The Creative Entrepreneur’s Guide to Transforming Your Dreams Into Reality. “I need to inspire people about their mindsets and beliefs.” So much of the mentality she faced, she says, was the idea of the “starving artist”—a societal attitude that creative people can’t make a decent living—although she sees that changing with self-starting millennials. “What I’ve noticed is it’s not necessarily just the product, but it’s the belief system around what they can do—especially when it comes to

feeding it right and getting it what it needs. And you have to adapt.”

Jenna Herbut traces the wild growth of her multicity market, and what she’s learned, in Make It Happen. Photo by Andi McLeish

money. So many entrepreneurs stand in their own way,” she explains. “With Make It, I’ve been able to help them harness what they’ve naturally got and allow them to get better.” Part of her success, she admits, undoubtedly stems from what she’s “naturally got”. Herbut traces her entrepreneurial bent back to elementary school in Edmonton, where she went from hawking pom-pommed bookmarks to neighbours to selling refreshments at a nearby golf course’s 14th hole. By her early teens, she was earning extra cash by selling homemade jewellery at local boutiques. Later, in 2004, while she was a business student at the University of Alberta, she created a line of accessories called Booty Beltz as a marketing project. Working in her parents’ basement, she made belts by sewing buckles and beads onto vintage scarves, eventually selling them at 120 stores across Canada, the United States, and Japan. Getting to know her fellow Makies, Herbut’s realized over the years that many of them have this kind of common experience. “So many of them say, ‘Definitely, I had something going as a kid,’ ” she says. “And for me, I just loved making things so much.” But she also loved selling directly

to the client, as she could at craft fairs. And that’s what made her realize they needed a serious marketing makeover to reach people her age (at that time, her mid-20s). The process of launching, and then expanding, Make It is detailed in her book. She even opens up about the business split with her brother (who still runs the retro-style T-shirt line Ole Originals), when they couldn’t agree on a big expansion to Toronto. Looking back at the 10-year growth of Make It, Herbut reflects,

MAKE IT TIP SHEET c THIS YEAR’S Make It Vancouver, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is launching a new Incubator section for aspiring “Makies” who are new to the fair and have been in business for less than five years. We asked Make It founder Jenna Herbut to pick a few to look out for.

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“It’s not just looking at the bottom line. It’s also looking at the environmental effects. It’s not just about making money. We genuinely care about people. “It takes on a life of its own,” she says of the market. “You birth this business and it’s out in the world, and at first you’re doing everything for it and at first it doesn’t have its own heartbeat. Then it gets its own heartbeat and personality. The responsibility of the entrepreneur is that this is like a baby, and they’re

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MUCH OF THE advice in Herbut’s Make It Happen is about the importance of personal development and positive attitude to growing a business. She offers advice on everything from defining your vision to fuelling your inspiration and starting before you feel 100 percent ready. In the process of writing the book, she says, she had an open dialogue via Facebook, where she would throw out questions she was pondering. “At one point I said, ‘What is getting in the way of you making it?’ and half said fear of success and half said fear of failure. That was very telling.” The fear of success, she explains, makes people afraid they won’t be able to cope with, say, increased orders or mounting pressures. “Even with this book I was like, ‘If this book really takes off how am I going to make it?’ ” she says. Herbut tries to walk readers through self-doubt. Along the way, she shares advice from Make It vendors, including local success stories like East Van Light. She describes Vancouverite Dan Emery’s eureka moment, holding a vintage bulb in one hand and a piece of wood in the other, plus his struggles with things like price structure and such demand that he could leave his corporate job and make his lighting full-time. “I think a lot of it is personality profiling,” Herbut says, returning to her own approach. “For instance, I’m not an anal person at all—I kind of go with the flow and I’m not super detailoriented. But I’ve been able to find people who are super organized. My strength is marketing and the big picture.” For aspiring creatives out there, Make It Happen suggests a special mix of hard work, self-awareness, and faith in your abilities. But what it doesn’t do is prescribe a fix-all formula for the same kind of creatively and consciously inspired success Herbut has seen. “It looks so easy from outside,” observes Herbut, who will be selling signed copies of her book at the upcoming Make It Vancouver. “But there’s no magic solution, and in that way it’s no different from diets and exercise.”

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Make It Vancouver is at the PNE Forum from Wednesday to Sunday (December 12 to 16).


GIFT GUIDE

Devices to please tech lovers

T

by Blaine Kyllo

his holiday season, enhance the sound and vision in your life—or the lives of those you love—with these tech products. ROOMBA i7

The first robot in many homes was a Roomba vacuum, and the latest version, the i7, has more suction and better mapping technology than ever before. And with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, the i7 empties its own bin every time it returns to the base. The i7 is priced at $900, $1,250 with the Clean Base. APPLE WATCH

The Apple Watch and Dyson Airwrap styler will satisfy the techies on your list.

EPSON FASTFOTO SCANNER

Epson’s FastFoto high-speed scanner ($700) powers through that box of photos from your closet, digitizing them at the rate of one per second. And it can scan with sufficient resolution that you can create poster-sized enlargements of your favourite snaps.

The Apple Watch got a redesign for Series 4 ($519), making it lighter and more comfortable than ever. It’s an ideal wearable, providing health and fitness information as well as being a communication device. The Series 3 ($369) model is still available and has iPAD PRO most of the same functionality. The best tablet available, Apple’s iPad PHILIPS HUE PLAY Pro (from $999 for 11-inch, $1,249 for The latest additions to the Philips Hue 12.9-inch), got better this fall with a lineup are the Play LED light bars lighter design, Face ID, and the ability ($170 for two), which are perfect for to charge the Apple Pencil stylus by atdoing some lighting design at home. taching it to the side of the iPad. You can prop these on counters or coffee tables, you can mount them on DYSON SUPERSONIC AND walls, and you can clip them to the AIRWRAP back of your TV or computer mon- Clever Dyson engineers keep finding ways to leverage their digital motor itor for some nice bias lighting. and fluid dynamic technologies. Use EDIFIER BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS the Supersonic dryer ($500) and AirSometimes you don’t need a speaker wrap styler ($600) to sculpt hair withthat’s smart; you just want good room- out having to cook it with heat. filling sound. The Edifier R1850DB bookshelf speakers ($250) are designed SENNHEISER MOMENTUM TRUE with a slight angle, pushing sound a WIRELESS EARBUDS bit up instead of straight out. With Combining Sennheiser’s quality Bluetooth 4.0, your smartphone will speaker technology with robust wirestay connected to the speakers even if less connectivity, the Momentum earbuds ($380) are also comfortable. you’re on the other side of the house.

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There are only two smartphone ecosystems remaining, which simplifies the choices considerably. The best iPhones available right now are the iPhone Xs (starting at $1,379) and its larger sibling, the iPhone Xs Max (starting at $1,519), with lovely OLED screens that are so nice to look at. For a little less money, you can go with an LED screen and keep all of the functionality in the iPhone XR (starting at $1,029). If Android is your operating system of choice, Google’s Pixel 3 (from $999) and Pixel 3 XL (from $1,129) are second to none. Picture-taking with the Pixel is astonishing, and the Night Sight functionality means you can look like a pro even in the dark.

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GIFT GUIDE

WRITE FOR For the wellness-conscious RIGHTS 2018

H

by Gail Johnson

INTERNATIONAL For more information contact vancouver@amnesty.ca or visit www.writeathon.ca

16 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018

Get this: the global essential-oil market is expected to reach $12.85 billion by 2023, up from $5.91 billion in 2016, according to Stratistics Market Research Consulting. This holiday season seems like as good a time as ever to get into the aromatherapeutic trend, in which concentrated plant extracts are inhaled or diluted and rubbed onto the skin. They’re said to have a whole host of health benefits, depending on the plant in question; lavender helps with stress relief, while tea tree may boost immunity. Shaped like a Maghreb tajine, Auria’s Taj Ultrasonic Diffuser ($79.50 at Indigo [various locations] ) will infuse a space in style. With a mist that lasts 16 hours, the unit comes in seven colours, including white, grey, and wood. To go with it, pick up Saje Natural Wellness’s holiday Diffuser Blend Collection ($44.95 at Saje [various locations] ), consisting of four five-millilitre bottles of uplifting oils, including tree scents and peppermint twist. NATURALLY LOVELY LOCKS

Plant-based goodness isn’t limited to health-focused foodies; it’s good for

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AMNESTY

THE OIL OF HEALING

n sle e p.

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ht

Saturday December 8, 10-4pm Central Library, Lower Level, 350 West Georgia St. Sunday December 9, 10-4pm Britannia Seniors Lounge, Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier St. Monday December 10, 10-3pm Write for Rights Open House, Amnesty International 319 West Pender St. Buzzer #430

your hair, too. Consider a basket of at a time. The latter comes with a probottles from Vancouver-based AG grammable timer and built-in wireless Hair’s vegan-friendly Natural line, connectivity that automatically adjusts which is 98 percent plant-based. to the container size you select. Apple-cider vinegar is A HUG IN A BLANKET the “holistic hero inIt’s not unusual for gredient”, with the people to have substance’s acidity trouble getting a acting to lower good night’s rest, pH levels, makbut what is rare ing hair shinier, is having a spemore manageable, cially designed and less frizzy, blanket to help all without nasty them fall asleep chemicals. and stay asleep. The The AG Hair Natd Gr Gravity Blanket ($279 ural Holiday Duo conav ne g i it y Bla n ke t is d e s at Indigo [various locasists of Natural Balance tions] ) is a weighted blanShampoo and Natural Boost Conditioner, both formulated for all ket that uses proprioceptive input hair types, including colour-treated (a.k.a. deep-touch pressure stimulahair ($48 for both 355-millilitre bottles tion) to simulate the feeling of being held or hugged, which is said to inat salons or www.aghair.com). duce relaxation and diminish stress. BEYOND A BLENDER The result? Better sleep. The blanket Most healthy individuals have soups comes in three weights (15, 20, and and smoothies on regular rotation, 25 pounds) and has gridded stitching but some soups and smoothies are to ensure that the microbeads inside genuinely smoother than others. The stay evenly distributed. The exterior is grand master of small kitchen appli- a machine-washable microfibre duvet ances, Vitamix, is the gift to splurge cover that comes in space grey, galaxy on when you want to win a health blue, or moon ivory. nut’s heart. In no time, they’ll be whipping up nut and seed butters, A SWEATY CHRISTMAS nondairy milks, baby food, dips, If you’re buying for someone who sauces, dressings, alternative flours, takes their fitness as seriously as their food and who likes to shake and more. There’s a range of options: the new- up their workout routine, conest model, the Explorian, has a two- sider a trip to TurF (2041 West 4th horsepower motor, while the premium Avenue)—a café, fitness studio, and Ascent A3500 kicks it up to 2.2 horse- boutique shop all in one—to pick up power (at Gourmet Warehouse [1340 a TurF Starter Kit ($75). It includes East Hastings Street], other kitchen a Turkish towel and three studio stores, and www.vitamix.com/ca). passes. With fitness classes at the Both have a self-cleaning option, air- Kits hangout ranging from power craft-grade stainless-steel blades, and yoga to boxing to strength, there’s a cool-running motor that can pulver- something for everyone, as long as ize ingredients for up to six minutes they’re willing to sweat. to

JOIN US!

ealth-conscious loved ones can be tricky to buy for: you want something that supports and shouts wellness, but you can’t exactly give them a jar of vitamins. A kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) might be all they crave, but this socalled mother culture could be a little tough to wrap. And chances are your healthy-living BFF already has her own yoga mat, block, and bolster cushion. Fret not: we have you covered with these gift ideas that will warm the hearts of even your fittest, healthiest pals.

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Vitalina Koval in the Ukraine advocates for the rights of women and LGBTI people.

Celebrate International Human Rights Day! Join people around the world writing letters to call for the protection of human rights. This year, the letters all focus on women human rights defenders, who stand up against injustice and lead the charge for change.

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GIFT GUIDE

Books bolster cheer and sanity

I

CALL ME FOR EXPERT ADVICE

by Brian Lynch

s seasonal shopping turning into seasonal flailing? To the bookstore! Here’s a handful of suggestions that may get you off the gift-buying hook so you can focus on all the eating and drinking you need to do.

Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley, lays out the story of the province’s railway system in a big, glossy, highly readable hardcover. While the archival photos are guaranteed to thrill the trainspotter on your list, the old maps and documents Hayes has collected here create VANCOUVER NOIR (Edited by Sam something that will fascinate anyone Wiebe. Akashic) With this, Vancou- with an interest in how we arrived at ver joins the long list of cities fea- our current point in history. tured as settings of noir collections published by New York’s Akashic BIBLIOPHILE: AN ILLUSTRATED Books, which launched the series MISCELLANY (By Jane years ago in Brooklyn Mount. Chronicle) Let’s and has since touched say all you know about the down everywhere from person on your list is that London and Rome to they love books. You’re Tehran, Mumbai, Singastill stuck, because now pore, and São Paulo. The you have to ask yourself 14 new stories here— “Which one?”—a straight selected by renowned path to madness in a Vancouver crime novelcrowded bookstore. One ist Sam Wiebe, who has way around the problem himself contributed a is Bibiliophile, an elegant tale—are by a heavy-hithardcover by illustrator ting roster of local talent, Jane Mount. Its largeincluding Carleigh Baker, format pages overflow Dietrich Kalteis, Sheena with Mount’s vibrant Kamal, Linda L. Richards, hand-drawn depictions of famous Timothy Taylor, and Yasuko Thanh. and obscure book spines and covers, The publicity info that came with which somehow capture the aura of the book really wants to emphasize great volumes better than any photothe fact that Vancouver has a serious graph could. With these arranged and nasty streak running beneath all the annotated by subject, the experience fine scenery and health conscious- is like browsing in one of the world’s ness. But we knew that already, right? great bookstores—perhaps one of those that Mount has also rendered IRON ROAD WEST (By Derek here, such as Tokyo’s Daikanyama Hayes. Harbour) If you’ve gotten Tsutaya, New York City’s Strand, and, the feeling that B.C. has been on a of course, Munro’s in Victoria. Mixed development binge in recent times, in are quizzes, reading recommendawell, B.C. has always been on a de- tions, illustrated lists of such things velopment binge—that’s what B.C. as writers’ pets (did you know that is, in a sense. And for many decades, Flannery O’Connor had a peacock the engine literally driving it all was named Limpy?), and images of writthe locomotive. This latest work by ing rooms: Roald Dahl’s shed, George Derek Hayes, author of the essential Bernard Shaw’s shed, Virginia Woolf’s

converted toolshed of her own. (Those 20th-century European authors really loved a nice shed.) ORWELL ON TRUTH (By George Orwell. Harvill Secker) The author needs no introduction, and the relevance of the topic needs no explanation in these days of weaponized bullshit. Drawing from Orwell’s fiction, essays, and journalism, this pocket-size collection of excerpts is certain to offer a jolt of clarity and a reminder of sanity to anyone disheartened by the fact that, as British politician Alan Johnson notes in his introduction, “The concept of ‘fake news’ could have come from the Ingsoc regime in the superstate of Oceania.” The spare beauty of the little volume’s design makes it a stocking stuffer with an edge. Not as festive as a mandarin orange, but ultimately more hopeful. 40 KNOTS AND HOW TO TIE THEM (By Lucy Davidson. Princeton Architectural Press) You probably have a friend or family member who, like me, will try to secure an object to a roof rack with a nonsensical, fast-unravelling mass of twine. In that case, you know someone who’ll appreciate this pretty little hardcover. English graphic designer Lucy Davidson has created a guide to an old art that makes something practical, safety-enhancing, and often beautiful from as close to nothing as you can get. Instructions are here for many of the greats, ranging from the trusty ol’ reef knot to the boom hitch, the one-handed bowline, the sheepshank, and the trucker’s dolly. Maria Nilsson’s graceful illustrations turn the book itself into a kind of art object. Impress your friends with these small feats of primal engineering, which seem to lie halfway between folklore and magic trick.

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HOROSCOPE

M

by Rose Marcus

ercury ends retrograde on new-moon Thursday. While we now have the green light to make big decisions and purchases, make sure the distinction between wishful thinking and reality is clear. The new moon in Sagittarius puts everything to do with speculative markets, trendsetting, travel, transportation, and the holidays into fuller swing. Noting that Neptune in Pisces, a signature for iconic passages, is in dynamic aspect to the new moon, watch for G. H.W. Bush’s funeral to gain exposure beyond the ordinary. Neptune’s inf luence on the new moon also increases the attention on oil/oil transportation, justice-seeking, truth-seeking, lies and cover-ups, media coverage, religion and spiritual matters, loss, lost souls, addicts, the sick, the needy, and the homeless. On Friday, Mars/Neptune begin a new two-year manifesting cycle. Unfolding over time, this exposing transit brings hidden potentials to life. For some, it is the stuff dreams are made of, i.e., fame and fortune, love and romance, creative opportunity, a vocational calling or ultimate path of service, a more vibrant relationship with the divine. For others, it is a time to surrender to the process and to place faith in the bigger picture, to let go and let god. The Mars/Neptune transit can also unleash unresolved anger, which usually takes us by surprise. Theft can too. One last thing to say is that Mars/ Neptune can set up an attack on the immune system. Guard your health! That’s the big-picture rundown. On the day-to-day front, the Capricorn moon keeps the weekend in good running order. Tuesday/Wednesday, the Aquarius moon keeps it lively. Hitting a fuller swing, Mercury enters Sagittarius on Wednesday afternoon.

A

ARIES

March 20–April 19

The gods are on your side. What’s coming your way soon may not be visible just yet, but know that Thursday’s new moon holds betterthan-average potential. Continue to clear it away and simplify where you can. As of Friday, Mars/Neptune provides a fresh infusion of creativity and incentive. Mercury into Sagittarius, starting next Wednesday, puts you on the plus side.

July 22–August 22

During the next few days you could find or fill in something. Too, you can gain the opportunity to take it a step further with someone key, perhaps a family member. Mercury has ended retrograde, but for the next week it will continue to keep you focused on bringing it up to speed. Monday to Wednesday, people keep you busy.

F

VIRGO

August 22–September 22

You are a sharp one! You’ll zero in on it or them even better now that Mercury has ended retrograde. Venus in Scorpio helps you to make a significant impact or impression. Both planets give you an ability to strengthen communication tracks and emotional bonds, to connect, converse, write, and express in a more meaningful way. The weekend is yours to own.

G

LIBRA

September 22–October 23

Venus in Scorpio, the end of Mercury retrograde, and Thursday’s new moon prompt a fresh perspective on how to tackle it or them. The transits can also stimulate creativity, fresh financial opportunity, a new intimate-relationship prospect, or the deepening of an already established relationship bond (friend, colleague, or lover). Aim for quality over quantity this weekend. Monday to Wednesday, instincts serve you well.

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SCORPIO

October 23–November 21

Venus tenants Scorpio for the rest of the month, but Mercury will continue in your sign only through next Wednesday. Both planets can keep you consumed with something specific. That’s soon to change. At work or on your own time, the weekend can see you get a lot accomplished. As of Monday, you’re onto something fresh.

I

SAGITTARIUS

November 21–December 21

Accompanied by the end of Mercury retrograde, Thursday’s new moon in Sagittarius can bring you a fresh infusion of inspiration or hopefulness. Still, you are wise to take it slow over the weekend, especially if you aren’t up to snuff healthwise. As of Monday/Tuesday, you’ll be ready to reengage. You’ll be up to fuller capacity once Mercury treks into Sagittarius on Wednesday.

J

C

K

D

L

April 20–May 20

Venus is freshly into Scorpio. Mercury ends retrograde in this same sign on Thursday. Targeting an unfinished matter (karmic and actual), both planets aim to strip it down so that you can better see what you are really working with. They’ll stoke you with enough incentive to get more committed to making the necessary and desired change. Saturday/Sunday, the going is good.

GEMINI

May 21–June 21

The new moon keeps you occupied (perhaps swamped) with the work or working-it-out end of things, but look to Mercury resuming directional motion to place you onto the progress-and-improvement side. As of next Wednesday, Mercury begins a four-week stint in Sagittarius. More people to see, places to go, money to spend, and more to enjoy. Let the good times roll!

CANCER

June 21–July 22

18 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018

E

LEO

B

TAURUS

—— BRITISH COLUMBIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER 6 TO 12, 2018

Thursday’s new moon coincides with the end of Mercury retrograde. You should feel this as the start of an improvement curve. Mercury and Venus in Scorpio provide you with the ability to read people and situations very well. They also loan you willpower, persuasive power, and good sexy. Saturday/Sunday, you’ll keep it under good control. Monday through Wednesday, keep it causal and spontaneous.

CAPRICORN

December 21–January 19

You are better at keeping secrets than most folks would realize. You are also more intuitive and more clued in than most folks know. Thursday’s new moon keeps you busy behind the scenes. Friday too. Saturday/Sunday, you are a master of good planning and timing. Monday to Wednesday, innovation and spontaneity serve you well.

AQUARIUS

January 20–February 18

Venus in Scorpio and the end of Mercury retrograde assist you to get it under better control and to accomplish something more tangible/visible. Thursday’s new moon also helps you to get it/yourself moving in a new direction. A new goal or prospect can grow into something quite substantial. Monday to Wednesday, you’ll hit all systems go.

PISCES

February 18–March 20

Have you been derailed or at a loss of late? Now that Mercury retrograde is over, you’ll see plans and prospects gain better ground. Thursday’s new moon begins a next phase. As of Friday, Mars in Pisces joins forces with Neptune to begin a new two-year manifesting and makeit-real cycle. Over time, potentials will prove their worth.

g

Book a reading or sign up for Rose’s free monthly newsletter at rosemarcus.com/.


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arts

Collegium brings fresh ears to Baroque by Alexander Varty

I

Bach Collegium Japan, under founder, keyboardist, and conductor Masaaki Suzuki (right), has found new, but historically informed, ways to perform the work of not only its namesake, but other early composers.

n Japan, land of Living National Treasures, artists and artisans can receive formal recognition—and a state stipend—for their work in disciplines as diverse as gagaku, kabuki, doll-making, metalwork, and weaving. The idea is to preserve what are called Intangible Cultural Properties: the aesthetic traditions that help define Japanese identity and that continue to exert an influence over contemporary Japanese culture. So it’s not surprising that the island nation would be hospitable to current directions in early music: historically informed performance, in which once overlooked but historically accurate devices such as improvisation are employed to bring ancient scores to life, and the use of period instruments or reproductions thereof, which differ in both sound and appearance from later models. Bach Collegium Japan, which plays an Early Music Vancouver concert this weekend, adheres to both, and has been enthusiastically received at home. But according to its founder, keyboardist, and conductor, Masaaki Suzuki, that’s not because of its deep respect for the past. Instead, he explains in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, it’s because, to Japanese ears, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries sounds intriguing and new. “The compositions of Bach, especially the vocal works, are quite far from the kind of Japanese sense of the language and also the culture,” Suzuki says in careful but heavily accented English. “So everything that I loved during my student time and also later on was very

Arts

TIP SHEET

dVancouver PAUL LEWIS (December 9 at the Playhouse) Since his debut at

the Vancouver Recital Society more than 15 years ago, Brit Paul Lewis has risen to become one of the world’s most celebrated pianists. So it’s no surprise to see the VRS celebrating his expressive powers with a four-concert musical journey into the works of Haydn, Brahms, and Beethoven—this being his third installment.

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YEFIM BRONFMAN PLAYS BRAHMS (December 6 and 8 at the

Orpheum) Over at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, another piano powerhouse takes on Johannes Brahms’s majestic Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major. Think grand scale.

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fresh.…Languagewise, for example, we don’t have anything in common. But once you learn the German texts, you can understand how important it is to have good pronunciation and the correct accents and intonation and so on. “Of course, we all are Japanese, so we are very much influenced by our Japanese background and culture,” he continues. “But still, you know, there is so much difference between Japanese and European culture—and especially German culture. That makes it more fresh.”

Suzuki was introduced to Baroque music as a student at the University of Tokyo; he cites the groundbreaking 1950s recordings of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien as particularly influential. Later on, he moved to Amsterdam, where he studied with early-music royalty in the form of conductor and keyboardist Ton Koopman. For the past 28 years, he and Bach Collegium Japan have been repaying his mentors with a string of glowingly received recordings of Bach, including a definitive, multidisc edition of the complete cantatas. The great German will play a part in Bach Collegium Japan’s upcoming EMV show; Suzuki and company will open with his Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor. But the organizing principle behind the program is to take an intimate look at the milieu that produced Bach, using scores by other composers that he personally owned, studied, performed, and in some cases reworked for the musicians at his disposal. Bach’s famous contemporaries Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann, and George Frederick Handel will be represented, but so will two Italian composers of comparable skill but lesser renown, Francesco Conti and Alessandro Marcello. “Bach was interested in composers of vocal works, and he had made a copy [of Conti’s Languet anima mea],” Suzuki says of a piece that will be sung here by guest soprano Joanne Lunn. “Also, he has added two oboes and a bassoon to his vocal works.

This piece also has kind of a halfway-sacred text, and that is a very interesting thing. We have actually recorded this already, but that recording is not released yet—but I’m very happy to perform it.” Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor, he goes on to say, was quite popular during the early part of the 18th century—and has more recently enjoyed an unexpected rebirth in Japan. “Bach had arranged this piece for the Habsburg court musicians; there were 17 arrangements by Bach for Habsburg soloists—many of them Italian composers’ concerti—and this one was one of them. Actually, the first movement of Marcello’s oboe concerto was once used for a Japanese TV commercial quite a long time ago, so this music has been quite popular in Japan.” Whether we can deduce anything about either the Japanese soul or Baroque music from this, Suzuki doesn’t say. But it’s a sure thing that the program he’s assembled for Bach Collegium Japan’s North American tour will offer new insights into music that, yes, still does sound fresh 300 years after it was created. “Bach never travelled, only through the music,” Suzuki points out. “So it is very interesting to know his sources, and to see his library. I’m always very, very much interested in what he had listened to and what he had experienced—and it’s very much helpful to understand his music, as well.”

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Bach Collegium Japan plays the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at 3 p.m. on Sunday (December 9).

Nutcracker finds a fine fit with Ballet BC

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by Janet Smith

t first glance, the snowpowdered, tutu-clad world of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker would seem to be a universe away from the sleek, contemporary style of Ballet BC’s usual fare. But the Vancouver company’s artistic director, Emily Molnar, reminds us that presenting The Nutcracker has been a mainstay in the Ballet BC season not only for her entire 10-year reign, but for well over a decade before that. And for good reasons. One is simply, as Molnar agrees, to provide a glittering holiday tradition for local families, performed by one of the top ballet companies in the country. In a unique twist, the RWB’s rendition puts a classic Canadian spin on the traditional story: look for Mounties, polar bears, the Parliament Buildings, and pond hockey. Aside from that, the classicalballet masterpiece simply helps make the local troupe’s cutting-edge contemporary creation possible. “Financially, there’s the importance of building audiences and young audiences,” Molnar begins, speaking to

do what we are doing next.” Molnar is referring to the fact that Ballet BC hits Madrid December 13 and 14, Luxembourg December 17, and Darmstadt, Germany, on December 19. After a brief break the company heads to

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker boasts classical chops and tutus galore.

the Straight between rehearsals at her own company headquarters. “And it is a foundation for a company’s ability to take risks in other areas. For all of us big ballet companies in the country, 50 percent of our revenue comes from ticket sales, so we are really dependent on ticket sales. So The Nutcracker helps us create new work. For us not to be able to do it would be extremely detrimental.”

Has Ballet BC considered mounting its own, contemporary Nutcracker? After all, last season it staged a new Romeo and Juliet—a sleek new twist on an old story ballet—to widespread applause. “We’ve thought about that and yes, we could do that. But is it really what people want from a Nutcracker?” Molnar says. “If we were going to do it, it would mean we couldn’t

It is a foundation for a company’s ability to take risks in other areas. – Ballet BC’s Emily Molnar

Ballet BC would have to cut about a third of that if it were to try to mount a holiday show. Presenting the RWB Nutcracker has other big benefits as well. The production invites more than 80 young dance students from schools across the Lower Mainland to appear on-stage for the show. On a deeper level, The Nutcracker offers dance fans a vivid lesson in the same kind of virtuosity that Ballet BC offers up in its programming. “There’s a reference point; when people can see more traditional classical ballet, they can connect that to the classical in our work,” says Molnar, whose dancers often build movement using the same rigorous technique and training that classical artists do. That’s right: despite appearances, maybe the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King aren’t so very far removed from the bold, abstract work of Ballet BC after all.

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Israel and then Alberta in January. Molnar has set an ambitious touring schedule for the troupe straight into early summer—and she says

Ballet BC presents the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker from Friday to Sunday (December 7 to 9).

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 23


TICKETS:

.ca

604-876-3434 COMING UP AT THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY

DEC 6/8

TONIGHT & SATURDAY: YEFIM BRONFMAN PLAYS BRAHMS

IN CONCERT: FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA

HOLIDAY HOORAY!

TINY TOTS Let’s play in the snow! Sing-along to frosty favourites while you move-along with miniatures from The Nutcracker and other sparkly holiday classics.

DEC FROM JOHN HUGHES 14/15 HOME ALONE®

IN CONCERT: FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA Watch the holiday classic on the big screen at the Orpheum with the VSO playing John Williams’ beautiful score live. BROUGHT TO YOU BY Film Concerts Live © 1990 Twentieth Century Fox

DEC A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS 12–22 VARIOUS VENUES & TIMES

The Lower Mainland’s most beloved music tradition, the VSO’s Traditional Christmas concerts, feature heartwarming music associated with Christmas, carols, and plenty of audience sing-alongs.

DEC VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS! 21-23 Hailed as one of the most significant artists of his generation, young American violinist Benjamin Beilman makes his VSO debut leading a performance of Vivaldi’s timeless classic, The Four Seasons, in an enduring VSO Holiday Season tradition.

TINY TOTS SERIES SPONSOR

PREMIER EDUCATION SPONSOR & VSO AT THE MOVIES PRESENTED BY

THE VSO’S TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CONCERTS HAVE BEEN ENDOWED BY A GENEROUS GIFT FROM SHEAHAN AND GERALD MCGAVIN, C.M., O.B.C.

SUPPORT AT THE CHAN CENTRE BY

JFL NorthWest unveils its February 2019 lineup by Janet Smith

MASTERWORKS DIAMOND One of the greatest pianists of our time performs the monumental Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2.

DEC 7/8

ARTS

MEDIA SPONSOR

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abriel Iglesias and Howie Mandel are just two of the headliners announced for the annual JFL NorthWest comedy fest, which runs February 14 to 23, 2019. Howie Mandel & Friends takes place on Valentine’s Day at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, while Iglesias hits the same venue on February 18. Tickets and passes go on sale Friday (December 7) at 10 a.m. at www.jflnorthwest.com/. Elsewhere on the program, Ken Jeong, the unforgettable camp gangster from The Hangover, hits the Orpheum on February 19. At the Vogue Theatre, look for a lineup boasting 2 Broke Girls creator and Whitney star Whitney Cummings (February 16), Mr. Jackson & Mr. Tompkins (a.k.a. Marc Evan Jackson and Paul F. Tompkins) of A TwoGentleman Improv (February 17), Nick Swardson’s Fart Party (February 21), and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’s Michelle Wolf (February 23). Rising standup Nate Bargatze hits the Rio Theatre on February 17 and 18, followed by Rory Scovel (Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the First Time and I Feel Pretty) on February 21 and 22, and then Nailed It host Nicole Byer on February 23. Also on the roster: Fortune Feimster, Steve Rannazzisi, Todd Glass, Dulce Sloan, Michelle Buteau, Morgan Murphy, Matteo Lane, Liza Treyger, Las Culturistas, Chris Fleming, Sam Jay, And That’s Why We Drink, Watch What Crappens, Girls Gotta Eat, Stop Podcasting Yourself, Ivan Decker, Kurt Metzger, The Alternative Show With Andy Kindler, and more. Additional acts will be

Whitney Cummings, from 2 Broke Girls, is one of the names coming to town.

announced in coming weeks. Due to popular demand, JFL NorthWest has also added a second Aziz Ansari show. In addition, in association with SiriusXM, JFL NorthWest will welcome the return of Best of the West, a series highlighting local talent. Its lineup includes 10 SPEED, Angry & Afraid, Barely Legal, Best of Blind Tiger, Brunch Comedy, Cords Comedy, Fox Hole Comedy, Hip.Bang!, Jokes Please!, Komedy at Kino, Little Mountain Improv, Nasty Women Comedy, SAD Comedy, Slide Show, The Lady Show, The Outsiders Comedy, The Ryan & Amy Show, Tinder Tales, Tom & Amy, We Know Nothing About Art, and Weird Owl Karaoke. The multiday Block Party is also back for 2019, with an outdoor hub that has games, live music, food trucks, and more. The Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival, launched last year, will also be returning, from February 14 to 23. Boasting short- and feature-film screenings, premieres, industry speakers, panels, and other programming, its lineup will be announced in the second week of January.

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Nutcracker presents Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Choreography Galina Yordanova & Nina Menon Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

One of Canada’s most popular holiday productions!

Tickets from $25 Family Packs Available

December 7 | 7:30pm December 8 9 | 1:00pm & 6:30pm Queen Elizabeth Theatre balletbc.com 24 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018

“PICTURE PERFECT” —THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT

SUPPORT FOR BALLET BC HAS BEEN GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

MEDIA SPONSORS

PHOTOS LEFT/CENTRE: RWB COMPANY DANCERS. PHOTOS RIGHT: LIANG XING AND YAYOI BAN. PHOTOS BY DAVID COOPER.


YORK THEATRE

Witty and clever… An astounding success! —MAIRA HASSAN, THE VANCOUVER ARTS REVIEW

“East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz ranks as one of the best and most warped yet.” —KATHLEEN OLIVER, GEORGIA STRAIGHT

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT

604-251-1363 THECULTCH.COM MEDIA SPONSOR:

*(Ages 16 and under) CORPORATE SPONSORS:

COMMUNITY PARTNER:

PHOTO: EMILY COOPER

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 25


8pm Friday, December 14, 2018 Pacific Spirit United Church

(formerly Ryerson United Church) 2205 West 45th Avenue at Yew Street

Vancouver Chamber Choir Nicol Matt, conductor This Christmas concert will introduce Artistic Director candidate Nicol Matt from Germany. He will be leading a wonderful and diverse Christmas repertoire including Francis Poulenc’s Hodie Christus natus est, Benjamin Britten’s A Hymn to the Virgin, Ola Gjeilo’s Spotless Rose, Ivo Antognini’s Laudate Dominum and other seasonal songs and carols by Reger, Rachmaninoff, Busto, Ramírez, Sixten, Chilcott, Berring, Sandström and more.

1.855.985.ARTS (2787) vancouverchamberchoir.com

26 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018


ARTS

Panto hits high mark in Oz

A HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY MUSICAL FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

THEATRE

EAST VAN PANTO: WIZARD OF OZ By Marcus Youssef. Directed by Stephen Drover. Musical direction by Veda Hille. A Theatre Replacement production. A Cultch presentation. At the York Theatre on Friday, November 30. Continues until January 6

d I CAN’T say it better than how The-

atre Replacement puts it in the program note: there’s no place like Panto. This sixth installment, based on The Wizard of Oz, might be the best yet. Dorothy lives with her aunties and her little dog, Toto, in a tiny house in Port Coquitlam, but dreams of living in a “truly progressive metropolitan city” where “the houses are so big that nobody even lives in them”. When a pipeline is built right beside their tiny house, then bursts, Dorothy and Toto are blasted to the corner of Nanaimo and Hastings streets. They’ve accidentally killed the East Van Witch— whose ruby Fluevogs magically appear on Dorothy’s feet. The Wicked Witch of Western Canada, a.k.a. Rachel Notley, rides in on her dieselpowered broom and vows revenge. Playwright Marcus Youssef’s script playfully skewers political hypocrisy globally and social pretension (very) locally. Dorothy’s companions are the Stoned Crow, whose job is to scare underage customers away from a pot dispensary; Tin Them, a gendernonbinary metal sculpture left out to rust after the Eastside Culture Crawl; and a B.C. Lions football player who’s afraid of the ball. The jokes—about gluten, real estate, yoga pants, transit, the CBC, kombucha, and the smell from the chicken factory—flow like craft beer along the Adanac bike path in summer.

As always, Veda Hille’s musical direction repurposes the familiar in surprising ways. “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” is sung in Mandarin, Hindi, and a host of other languages; Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”, with its propulsive bass line and wailing vocals, is an inspired choice for the chaos of the bursting pipeline. Hille draws on everyone from the Jackson 5 and the Monkees to Katy Perry and Drake. It all works. Director Stephen Drover keeps the pace brisk, and many of the performers play multiple roles. Christine Quintana, Raugi Yu, and Dawn Petten are all terrific; Kayvon Khoshkam is energetically oily as a couple of villains I won’t identify here; and Craig Erickson is a delightfully sinister Wicked Witch. Studio 58 students Angela Chu, Dylan Floyde, and Mallory James do nice work alongside a rotating cast of adorable Panto Kids. Amanda Testini’s choreography is winningly inclusive of everyone. Set designer Yvan Morissette and scenic illustrator Laura Zerebeski create a mind-blowingly colourful set of backdrops full of witty flourishes, like the painting of an oil derrick gracing the wall of Rachel Notley’s West Point Grey mansion. And Barbara

HOLIDAY MUSICAL

THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

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A New Musical Adaptation by Peter Jorgensen Arrangements & Orchestrations by Nico Rhodes

Hilarity ensues as the gang takes to the road in East Van Panto. Photo by Emily Cooper

Clayden’s costumes are dizzingly inventive, especially for the chickens (“cheaper than flying monkeys”) who serve Notley in her mansion. I could go on and on, but I’d risk giving away too many of the surprises—and you should really see them for yourself.

by Kathleen Oliver

By Ron Reed. Adapted from the novel by C.S. Lewis. Directed by Sarah Rodgers. A Pacific Theatre production. At Pacific Theatre on Saturday, December 1. Continues until December 29

SIMPLE MAGIC. This production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe creates a wonderful confection from humble ingredients. Playwright Ron Reed’s minimalist adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s beloved novel—there are only two actors— opens with the adult Lucy and Peter, the youngest and eldest of the Pevensie children, popping in at Uncle Digory’s house on their way home to see the rest of the family at Christmas. It seems that the wardrobe, once their

see page 29

Dec. 6 – 31, 2018

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Tickets from $29!

GatewayTheatre.com ,‘ H GatewayThtr Nick Fontaine. Photo: David Cooper.

“The Dream Comes To Life”

STARS from AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE ARTISTS from NATIONAL BALLET OF CHINA LIVE MUSIC performed by the VANCOUVER OPERA ORCHESTRA

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE GohNutcracker.com PRODUCTION TITLE SPONSOR

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DECEMBER 21–23

*NOT INCLUSIVE OF SERVICE AND FACILITY FEES. CASTING SUBJECT TO CHANGES. PRESENTING HOST: GOH BALLET VANCOUVER SOCIETY

GohNutcracker.com

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 27


FESTIVE CANTATAS

A MONTEVERDI CHRISTMAS VESPERS David Fallis music director

AT THE CHAN CENTRE

DEC23 "Nothing less than splendid, one of the best musical treats of the holiday season." Vancouver Sun

Tickets from $36 | earlymusic.bc.ca rlym | 604.822.2697 This concert is generously supported by the Drance Family and Sharon E. Kahn

GIVE THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE Explorer Speaker Series at the Orpheum theatre Great for a

HOLIDAY

more info at

www.vancouvercivictheatres.com 28 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 13 / 2018

GIF T!


from page 27

portal to the magical land of Narnia, is now “just a wardrobe”—until they begin to act out their shared recollections of its enchantments. There’s a bit too much “Remember when we did this?” off the top, but once Peter and Lucy enter Narnia, the magic begins. Using nothing but hats, coats, and rugs, they take on the roles of their siblings, Susan and Edmund (who unleashes havoc by eating the Turkish delight proffered by the evil queen), and a host of Narnians, including Mr. Tumnus the faun, the White Witch, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and the great lion king, Aslan. Director Sarah Rodgers inventively stages multicharacter scenes: when Aslan battles the White Witch, a lone actor wrestles with an empty coat. And the transformations are seamless. John Voth (Peter) is an incredibly resourceful chameleon: the instant he plops Edmund’s beanie on his head, the pouty face and petulant voice come right along with it. And his Mr. and Mrs. Beaver have such different voices and physical mannerisms that he can play them in conversation with each other. Rebecca deBoer (Lucy) also plays a host of roles, sometimes changing character before her new costume is on; I especially enjoyed her haughty White Witch. Lauchlin Johnston’s set makes whole worlds from the wardrobe, a wooden chest, and some sheets, in a wood-panelled room that evokes a posh home in postwar Britain. Costume designer Sheila White does wonders with what comes out of the wardrobe, and John Webber’s lighting gently warms as Narnia’s eternal winter begins to thaw. I especially appreciated the spareness of Julie Casselman’s music, which beautifully underscores scenes of heightened emotion without ever intruding on them. If you’re looking for a strippeddown but thoroughly heartwarming Christmas show, this is the one. by Kathleen Oliver

BLIND DATE

Directed, produced, and created by Rebecca Northan. A Spontaneous Theatre production, presented by the Arts Club Theatre Company. At the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre on Thursday, November 29. Continues until December 30

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OUR HYPERWIRED world connects us more than ever before, but in other ways, we’re depressingly disconnected. When Canadian adults spend eight to 10 hours a day on screens, face-to-face contact becomes rarer and rarer. That’s got to be one of the reasons that Blind Date, the little, improvised, two-person play, has grown into such a phenomenon, celebrating a decade on-stage and popping up in New York City and London. Its palpably honest new iteration at the Arts Club is a strong reminder that audiences are craving intimacy, authenticity, and real human connection. By now you’ve probably heard of the premise: French-born, clown-nosed Mimi (Tess Degenstein) has been

CHOR LEONI MEN’S CHOIR ERICK LICHTE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

John Voth stars in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Photo by Ron Reed

stood up on a blind date, so she selects a man from the audience to step in. She spends the next 90 minutes forming a relationship with him at the bistro table and elsewhere, in front of the audience. The beauty of the concept is that it feels like a real blind date—amid the laughs, these are strangers carefully navigating the route to friendship, in all its awkwardness and, often, genuine sweetness. The stranger becomes ever more willing to divulge details about his life, and Degenstein returns the favour by revealing her own stories (ones that are real, even though they’re filtered a bit through her French character). At the end of this night, Degenstein praised the willing participant—and his beyond-understanding wife in the audience—for his bravery. But Degenstein, who’s taken on this improvised role elsewhere in Canada, deserves just as much credit for gamely taking on a role that’s a bit like jumping off a cliff on a hang glider: she can never quite know where it’s going to swerve, catch the breeze, or land. First and foremost, Degenstein reveals herself to be a brilliant listener, absorbing details about the visitor’s life—in this night’s case, his referral to Saskatchewan as “Sask-scratch-yerass” and the population of his tiny Prairie hometown—and then circling back to them in hilarious ways later in the show. Blending the antics of a screwball comedian with French-gamine style and physical clowning, she scrinches up her face when she laughs, bats her eyelashes and scooches up to her date when she’s trying to take things further, and is unafraid to conceal a drink or two up her skirt. (Degenstein will sometimes alternate the role with Lili Beaudoin and Ali Froggatt for this run.) Some of the best moments are when she puts her guest on the spot (should they go back to her place for a drink?) and lets him squirm a bit. By nature, the results are going to range wildly from night to night, depending on the date. And it takes a little while to get things rolling; in this age of consent, the rules of the theatrical game have to be spelled out first, and the conversation—as in real life—takes a while to warm up. However, the payoff in the final act is huge. And, guys, if you’re terrified about being dragged on-stage against your will, don’t fret: Degenstein and the others carefully ply the cocktail lounge before the show, looking for willing volunteers. by Janet Smith

CHRISTMAS WITH CHOR LEONI

Familiar melodies, glorious new works, joyous a capella harmonies, and sparklng selections from Chor Leoni’s new holiday recording welcome you to Chor Leoni’s festive tradition.

December 14 | 8pm December 16 | 8pm December 17 | 5pm & 8pm ST. ANDREW’S-WESLEY UNITED CHURCH

December 15 | 3pm WEST VANCOUVER UNITED CHURCH

CHOR LEONI / STAR OF WONDER

NEW CHRISTMAS CD! Available at chorleoni.org

chorleoni.org 1.877.840.0457

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DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 29


ARTS LISTINGS CURIOUS IMAGININGS Vancouver Biennale 2018-2020 is excited to present the groundbreaking immersive sculpture exhibition Curious Imaginings. For the first time ever, renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is taking her hyperrealist, fantastical creatures outside the museum. The intimate setting of a wing of 18 rooms in Strathcona’s historic Patricia Hotel will be transformed for the Curious Imaginings exhibition. To Dec 15, Patricia Hotel. Tix $16-40. THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: REFLECTING ON NORTHWEST COAST ART to spring 2019 MARKING THE INFINITE: CONTEMPORARY WOMEN ARTISTS FROM ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA to Mar 31 SHAKEUP: PRESERVING WHAT WE VALUE to Sep 1

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BILL REID GALLERY OF NORTHWEST COAST ART BODY LANGUAGE: REAWAKENING CULTURAL TATTOOING OF THE NORTHWEST to Jan 13 INTERFACE: THE WOVEN ARTWORK OF JAAD KUUJUS to Jan 9

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MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER WILD THINGS: THE POWER OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES to Sep 30 HAIDA NOW: A VISUAL FEAST OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION to Dec 1, 2019 IN/ FLUX: ART OF KOREAN DIASPORA to Jan 6

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A FIREHALL ARTS CENTRE PRESENTATION

melts TV tropes and Christmas clichés together. To Dec 24, The Improv Centre. Tix from $15.75. HIR Pi Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of American playwright Taylor Mac’s work. To Dec 8, Orpheum Annex. Tix from $26. BLIND DATE The Arts Club Theatre Company CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY DOVE presents a fusion of clown, improv, theatre, ALLOUCHE: NEGATIVE CAPABILITY to Dec and social experiment. To Dec 30, Goldcorp 30, 12-6 pm KAMEELAH JANAN RASHEED Stage at BMO Theatre Centre. Tix from $29. to Mar 17 ANONYMOUS ART SHOW FUNDRAISER POLYGON GALLERY LOOKING AT PERPurchase original art by local artists. To Dec SEPOLIS: THE CAMERA IN IRAN 1850-1930 22, 7 pm, Cityscape Community Art Space. to Jan 13 HANNAH RICKARDS: ONE CAN Free. MAKE OUT THE SURFACE ONLY BY PLACING DOUBT: A PARABLE Seven Tyrants Theatre ANY DARK-COLOURED OBJECT ON THE presents John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer GROUND to Jan 13 BATIA SUTER: PARALLEL Prize-winning drama. To Dec 14, 7 pm, Tyrant ENCYCLOPEDIA EXTENDED to Jan 13 KEVIN Studios. Tix $32. SCHMIDT: RECKLESS to Mar 10 A CHARLIE BROWN HOLIDAY DOUBLEVANCOUVER ART GALLERY’S OFFSITE BILL Carousel Theatre for Young People POLIT-SHEER-FORM OFFICE to Mar 31 presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and PINOCCHIO The Karen Flamenco Dance “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”. To Dec 30, Company performs its latest production. To Waterfront Theatre. Tix $35/$29/$18. Dec 8, 5-6 pm, The Improv Centre. Tix $10/$15. ALL TOGETHER COLLECTIVE POP-UP MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERSHOP Works by Amy Stewart, Shira Gold, LEY The Arts Club Theatre Company presents and Crissy Arseneau, To Dec 24, 11 am–6 pm, a holiday confection filled with classic Jane Granville Island. Free. Austen charm. To Dec 30, Granville Island EAST VAN PANTO: WIZARD OF OZ When Stage. Tix from $29. a pipeline bursts, Dorothy and Toto are flung MERRY KISS-MAS New Christmas parody to the magical Land of Oz, aka Nanaimo and Hastings. To Jan 6, 7 pm, York Theatre. Tix $10-$69. VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET Yuletide celebration features over 80 vendor huts. To Dec 24, Jack Poole Plaza. Andrea Warner The Georgia Straight TREASURE ISLAND Seasonal pantomime. To Dec 16, The Theatre at Hendry Hall. Tix $12/$6. COSI FAN TUTTE Opera Mariposa presents Mozart’s comedic opera. To Dec 8, 7:30-10:15

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ONGOING

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VANCOUVER ART GALLERY A CURATOR’S VIEW: IAN THOM SELECTS to Mar 17 GUO PEI: COUTURE BEYOND to Jan 20, 2019, 10 am–5 pm DANA CLAXTON: FRINGING THE CUBE to Feb 3 THE METAMORPHOSIS to Mar 17

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Arts HOT TICKET

the Downtown Eastside by wellknown local artist Richard Tetrault.

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LITTLE DICKENS: THE DAISY THEATRE (To December 22) If you

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“harrowing, unsettling and mesmerizing”

BOMBAY BLACK

see page 32

BAH HUMBUG! (December 6

to 22 at SFU Woodward’s) Actor, writer, theatre director, and musician Renae Morriseau takes the helm of this year’s Downtown Eastside–set A Christmas Carol. And she’ll be doing double duty, reprising her role as the narrator of this reimagining of the Charles Dickens tale. Blues master Jim Byrnes returns as pawnbroker Scrooge, with a music-driven script that constantly updates ultra-relevant issues—including everything from housing and gentrification to the opioid crisis wracking the streets right outside the theatre doors. Added draws: songs that range from soul to rock, plus atmospheric paintings evoking

haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the eclectic, rowdy little crowd at the Daisy Theatre, then you’re in for a treat. But there are strings attached: puppet master Ronnie Burkett tells the story using marionettes. Hilarity meets vulgarity as he improvises a slightly different show every night, complete with favourite characters like faded diva Esme Massengill playing Scrooge and little wingless fairy Schnitzel as Tiny Tim.

HIR (To December 8 at the Orpheum Annex) If you’ve had it up to here with tinsel and glad tidings and you’re craving a black comedy, you’ll find no more raucously subversive place than Pi Theatre’s rendition of Taylor Mac’s play. On one level, it’s about a deeply dysfunctional household, which includes a patriarch who wears a nightgown and fright wig. On another, it’s about the fluidity of gender and the absurdity of rigid institutions. In a word: fearless.

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ARTS UMBRELLA DANCE COMPANY

December December 14-16 -16

Vancouver PPlayhouse Vancouver layhouse Tickets starting at $25 artsumbrella.com/mixednuts Presentt ed b Presented byy

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photo: Paul Henderson

2 8 0 E C o rd ov a S t re e t

604.689.0926

firehallartscentre.ca Arshdeep Purba and Munish Sharma

Photograph: Raymond Kam

HAVE YOU BEEN TO... Qi Integrated Health qiintegratedhealth.com

Paula Kremer, Artistic Director

Get tickets early to avoid disappointment.

CHRISTMAS REPRISE XVI SATURDAY DECEMBER 22, 2018 2PM Holy Rosary Cathedral 646 Richards St. Vancouver

SATURDAY DECEMBER 22, 2018 7:30PM Queens Avenue United Church 529 Queens Ave. New Westminster

Tickets: vancouvercantatasingers.com or 604-730-8856

30 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018


GIFT GUIDE

Gourmet yummies for friends

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by Tammy Kwan

othing says “Happy Holidays” better than a box of cheap eggnog chocolates— unless you’re tasked with finding a gift for food lovers with highly elevated palates. Luckily, Vancouver is known for its gourmet offerings. Here are six mouthwatering gifts that will impress all the foodies you know.

($55) are the newest additions, which will undoubtedly impress all the foodies in the room. For those looking for something a little more low-key, there are FISHcapades party platters ($75), which include smoked salmon, smoked fish candy, shrimp, and more. Ordering is recommended. Find it all at Fresh Ideas Start Here (2959 West Broadway and 180–7515 Market Crossing, Burnaby).

EAST VAN GOODIES

Edible Canada’s East of Main gift basket ($100) keeps it hyperlocal by featuring tasty goodies handcrafted by some of the most popular artisan food vendors around town. It includes items like strawberry jam from East Van Jam, honey from Hives for Humanity, sweet spiced pretzels from Batch Sweet Kitchen, and dark Peru chocolate from East Van Roasters, among other tasty things. It’s also a gift that gives back by supporting Hives for Humanity and East Van Roasters, businesses that provide opportunities for at-risk individuals in the community. Find it at Edible Canada (1596 Johnston Street). CHRISTMAS COOKIES

It’s almost that time of the year again, when calories don’t count and you can eat to your heart’s content. For those with a deep love for baked treats, we suggest picking up Beaucoup Bakery’s new holiday cookie tin ($60). The aesthetically pleasing gold tin holds four kinds of cookies (30 pieces): palmiers, chocolate Sablés, almond-and-orange florentines, and spiced Viennese sablés with orange (also known as spritz). These are not the type of treats you leave out for Santa, because they’re too good to share. Limited quantities are available in-store, and ordering is recommended. Find it at Beaucoup Bakery (2150 Fir Street).

Thinking of

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VEGAN CONFECTIONS

Beaucoup Bakery’s new holiday tin includes four different types of cookies.

COMMISSARY TREATS

Keeping with the local theme, a company that runs shared-use commercial kitchens in Vancouver has put together its annual holiday gift boxes ($50). Many well-loved local food vendors have added products to the boxes, including Tayybeh, To Die For Fine Foods, Kula Kitchen, West Coast Gourmet Snacks, Kanadell, and Dipped Doughnut Co. Expect to find everything from popcorn to cookies to spreads in this festive package. The best part of this gift is that it supports the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Find it online at www. commissaryconnect.com/holiday. SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

Forget the yule logs and charcuterie boards: seafood platters are the new go-to gift for any holiday party. Local seafood purveyor Fresh Ideas Start Here is known for its creative and fuss-free do-it-yourself kits (such as poké, taco, and uni pasta options), but this year they took it up a notch. Caviar ($100) and baked-lobster kits

Chocolate and confections are pretty much on steroids this time of year, and with good reason: who doesn’t like holiday-themed sweets with seasonal flavours like nutmeg, eggnog, and peppermint? West Vancouver’s Temper Pastry has a full collection of festive treats, including Christmas lollipops, chocolate stocking stuffers, and panettone. This year, it’s also offering a vegan gift box ($75) that features vegan chocolates, candied pecans, a dark-chocolate candy-cane bar, and hot chocolate. It’s the perfect package for any type of food lover. Find it at Temper Chocolate and Pastry (2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver). CANADIAN SNACKS

The Dirty Apron is more than a cooking school; it’s also the creator of unique holiday gift baskets that can put people into food heaven. This year, the culinary establishment will be offering the O Canada Snacker ($69), which includes tasty bites from across the country, like Candy Meister’s all-natural candies, Tout de Sweet’s gourmet popcorn, and Professor Pretzel’s honey-mustard pretzel mix. Gift baskets are customizable, and can be ordered in advance. Find them at the Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen (540 Beatty Street).

Marcello

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Authentic Greek Food

Extensive Wine & Bar List 1830 Fir St. Vancouver | 604.736.9559

www.apolloniagreekrestaurant.com C L O S E D M O N D AY S L U N C H • W E D N E S D AY to F R I D AY 11:30A M ͳ 2:30 P M D I N N E R • T U E S D AY to S U N D AY 4:30 ͳ 9:30 P M

“Serving the community since 1999” BEST Pasta in Vancouver

Reserve Now for the Holidays! Large Parties

(up to 40 people)

1404 Commercial Drive • For reservations please call 604-215-7760 www.marcellopizzeria.com FOLLOW US

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 31


GIFT GUIDE

Wine pros pick their presents

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by Kurtis Kolt

> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < DRIVER - CHRIS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: OCTOBER 29, 2018 WHERE: Driving Toward Burrard Station

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 1, 2018 WHERE: Fulford-Swartz Bay Ferry

I saw you for the first time on the #27; you were my driver. We flirted daily but I was too shy to say anything and then you disappeared. I was secretly hoping that you would ask me out. I kept kicking myself for not engaging you in conversation but then I chanced upon you two weeks before your route ended on #95 in August of this year. I actually managed to introduce myself and again, you disappeared with barely a warning this time. I have spotted you driving the 211 since October and keep thinking of you. I don't think that you read these Chris... but I keep hoping that we will meet again and that I won't be so tongue-tied when we do. Until then...

J: Dec 1, morning ferry from Fulford-Swartz bay. Near the end of the trip you got a bit worried you were on the wrong boat the trip went so fast. We chatted on the boat, I showed you the ‘shortcut’ to upstairs. We chatted more outside while we were waiting for our connections. Wish I’d passed along my number. S

WOMAN ON THE #3 MAIN BUS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 3, 2018 WHERE: Main and 12th Avenue We ran into each other getting on the #3 Main bus earlier tonight at Main and Hastings. You got off at Main and 12th Avenue. As we sat across from each other, we exchanged a few glances. After you got off the bus, we continued the glances through the bus window. If my stop wasn’t so far away I would have got off the bus to say hello to you!

MORNING 211 BUS ELF MEETS VIKING AT STIFF LITTLE FINGERS SHOW

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I SAW YOU TWICE ON FRIDAY

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 30, 2018 WHERE: Where We Work I saw you twice on Friday, and we both commented on it. We work for an employer where it would not be acceptable for me to ask you out - or I would. But I think it would be okay for you to ask me for a coffee. I would say, “yes”.

THREE OLIVES FOR GARNISH.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 29, 2018 WHERE: On the Wood We have a connection that much is clear. I had a chance one evening when you asked me if I ever get lucky... me to dim recognize it at the time. We should do something about this before it’s too late. Be great to spend that weekend you had planned, but with me.

SPATTERED WINDOWS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 29, 2018 WHERE: The Rickshaw

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 27, 2018 WHERE: Eastbound Expo Line

Your offer to lift me above the crowd was very sweet. I really was protecting your neck by refusing. I would love to talk about Iceland, Elf school, and your Viking heritage. I apologize for being a little rude at first; just too many people walked into me like I wasn’t there. It might be a short person’s thing. I wanted to stay and talk, but I was shy.

Hi, we were on the SkyTrain yesterday. You were standing by the doors wearing a purple shirt with a camel/olive coloured coat and looked to be doing some peaceful window gazing with a gentle smile. I was the lady sitting wearing a green coat also gazing out raindrop spattered windows. Would you like to go out for a coffee or tea?

DYING TO KNOW YOUR SIGN

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 29, 2018 WHERE: People’s Co-Op U often come into my work and pick out cool books (Sontag, comics, poetry)... wanna hang out & talk about them?

FALSE CREEK SKATING AND TEXTING

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 29, 2018 WHERE: False Creek Bike Path You: Skating and texting - slightly pursed lips as you were intently posting a pic of you skating and texting on insta Me: Laughing at you.... my long brown hair wisping out of my bike helmet as I rode by... a la “Skate or Die” sticker on the back... unfortunately wth not enough time to hand you a Darwin Award.

AT THE SANDS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: DECEMBER 1, 2018 WHERE: Downtown We danced and had such a good time. You had to leave before I could get your number. Such a shame.

WE WERE BOTH WENT TO THE CONCERT ALONE.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: NOVEMBER 21, 2018 WHERE: Commodore Ballroom You were wearing a leather jacket, had long blonde hair. We were both waiting for the music to start, standing near the front. Your name was J and mine was S. We talked about the kind of music we liked, music and arts is a huge part of your life. You had an English accent and I promised to listen to your favorite artists. I wanted to keep in contact and exchange information but you left right after the concert. I’m from another province, so at the very least, I just wanted you to know that I thought you were one of the coolest girls I have ever met.

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 32 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018

t can be tricky when it comes to giving gifts to the wine enthusiasts in our lives. From sweatshirts shouting “Mama needs some wine” to Golden Girls wine charms (yes, they’re a thing!), wine seems to be one of those categories where any related gifts are destined for regifting, the back of a cupboard, or the recycling bin. To assemble a quality handful of worthy items for this gift-guide edition of the Straight, I called up a few wineindustry pros to get their takes on what they’d like to find under the tree. Van Doren Chan is resident sommelier and consultant at That’s Life Gourmet, a national wine-import company specializing in sake and premium bottlings from all around Europe. Beyond that, she is the co-owner of Ugly Dumpling on Commercial Drive. The newish buzzy eatery has an ever-changing menu featuring innovative takes on Asian street food, plus a well-considered list of sherry, sake, craft beer, and wine, natch. She likes the idea of a glass sangria jug with ice-tube insert, an array of which can be found on Amazon. Not only do they work well in eliminating worry about melting ice diluting the fruity concoction, but in a pinch, the vessel can double as a wine decanter! Over in Gastown, Siôn Iorwerth is the guy behind Juice Bar at the Birds and the Beets. It was originally a weekly Wednesday-evening pop-up wine bar featuring natural wines and a rotating roster of guest chefs offering a compact menu of snacks. Now it has evolved into a four-day weekly residency, running Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. onward. Iorwerth went a bit of a studious route, choosing British wine writer Jamie Goode’s book Flawless: Understanding Faults in Wine. “It’s a comprehensive book on the topic and would be invaluable to anyone getting into wine,” he told me. “It really helps you understand and put into words what you’re tasting but also makes it clear not all flaws are necessarily bad things.” Kitsilano Wine Cellar’s general manager and wine buyer, Taylor Douglas, also opted for reading material, recommending a subscription to the U.K.–based Noble Rot magazine. Published three times per year, the coffee-table worthy journal features a mix of wine and food writing. As its website states, it “has seen chefs Pierre Koffmann, Fergus Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi rubbing shoulders with Keira Knightley, Caitlin Moran, Brian Eno and Francis Ford Coppola,

Why not a glass sangria jug that comes with an inserted tube for ice cubes?

blurring the boundaries between gastronomy and the creative arts”. Lesia Knowlton is the portfolio and marketing manager at Trialto, a western Canadian wine-importing company bringing us wines from global legends such as Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata and Felton Road from New Zealand. “Great food and wine pairings offer hedonistic pleasure for me; there’s nothing better to experience than a curated meal with wine that balances the flavours and profile of the dish,” she shares. “When I think of giving a gift to a fellow wine lover, I think of enjoying the experience and engaging in that exact pleasure: wellprepared food and wonderful wine creating harmony.” She pointed out a couple of upcoming food-and-wine experiences at the Dirty Apron Cooking School. B.C.

WHAT BETTER to sip on during the holidays than a big glass of smooth eggnog? Spiked eggnog, of course. Taking things beyond a shot of rum, Royal Dinette bar manager Kaitlyn Stewart created the Little Lebowski, rich with coffee and vanilla flavours. “For some reason, watching The Big Lebowski has become a Christmas tradition,” Stewart says. “With that comes White Russians. So a few years back I decided to swap out the milk with eggnog, and the Little Lebowski was born.” Serve this sipper alongside a plate of chocolate-chip cookies to keep warm on a cold winter’s night.

KRAMPUSMARKT Themed holiday market. Dec 6, 5-9 pm; Dec 7, 5-11 pm; Dec 8, 12-11 pm, pm, Marpole United Church. Tix $18-28. Strange Fellows Brewing. Free Admission. THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDSANTA’S JOURNEY Holiday concert featurROBE Reimagining of C.S. Lewis’s classic tale ing band and choir. Dec 6, 7:30 pm, Vancouver of hope, change, and sacrifice. To Dec 29, 29, Playhouse. Tix $20/$10. 8-10 pm, Pacific Theatre. Tix $20-$36.50. THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST The “The worst kids in the history of the world” Arts Club Theatre Company presents the take over the annual Christmas pageant. beloved fairy-tale musical. To Jan 6, Stanley Dec 6-16, 7:30-8:30 pm, Havana Theatre. Tix Industrial Alliance Stage. Tix from $39. $24/$18. LITTLE DICKENS: THE DAISY THEATRE RonTALENT TIME Variety show features a Hanie Burkett’s raucous, adults-only take on the nukkah dance piece and seasonal songs. Dec beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol. Dec 6, 8-10:15 pm, The Rio Theatre. Tix $12/$14. 4-22, 8 pm, Historic Theatre. Tix $24-$69. ASCENSION Interdisciplinary showcase of THE SMOKE SHOW Modern dance cabaret new student-created works. Dec 6-8, 8 pm, under the direction of Jen Oleksiuk. Dec 6, 13, Studio T. Tix $7/15. 20, 27, 8-11:30 pm, XY. Tix $20. RYAN STOUT Comedian performs three SPIRIT OF THE SEASON Artworks at accessnights of standup. Dec 6-8, The Comedy MIX. ible prices. Dec 8, 11 am–5 pm, Van Dop Gallery. Tix $15/$18/$20.

BOMBAY BLACK A searing play set in the bitter reality of present-day India. Dec 5-15, Firehall Arts Centre. Tix from $20. HAPPILY EVER AFTER Finale event celebrating Stella MacLean’s term as VPL romance writer in residence. Dec 5, 7 pm, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch. Free. STORY STORY LIE: FAMILY FEUDS Christmas comedic storytelling game show. Dec 5, 7-8:30 pm, Rio Theatre. Tix $10/$12.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 HOLIDAY BAKING TIME Tim Webb and Kim Selody’s family-oriented play in which young audience members are invited to become bakers and join in. Dec 6-16, Presentation House Theatre. Tix $10-20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE New musical adaptation of the holiday classic by Peter Jorgensen, based on the Frank Capra film. Dec 6-31, Gateway Theatre. Tix from $29.

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D rink OF THE WEEK

from page 30

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5

Dine & Vine: Wine and Food Pairings From Our Own Backyard ($170) is happening January 27, while Perfect Pairings: World Food and Wine Pairing ($170) goes down on February 24. Finally, I looked toward the Okanagan Valley for our last recommendation, this one coming from Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars proprietor Christie Mavety. “I really like the idea of gifting an experience,” she told me when reached by phone. “Experience Wine Tours do an incredible job guiding people around wine country; they’re very knowledgeable and put extra effort into curating a good mix of visits for their customers.” Indeed, let’s not forget the Okanagan Valley is open for business throughout the winter! I called up Matt Wentzell, the proprietor of Experience Wine Tours, who said that Naramata tours continue to be popular during the winter season, and there’s always exciting stuff going on around Kelowna, too. “We’ll head to Mission Hill Family Estate and do an in-depth tasting of some of their reserve or more premium wines,” he said. “We’ll do blind tastings at Sandhill, lunch at Quails’ Gate, maybe a couple other stops, and even cap things off at Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. The best part about touring in the winter, though, is we avoid the lineups synonymous with summer.” Head to experiencewinetours.ca/ to sort out your options. And, hey: for anyone who may have yours truly on their Christmas list, I’d heartily welcome any of the above!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR. Stage musical presented by the Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association. Dec 7-8, Norman Rothstein Theatre. $23-24. HIGHS AND LOWS CHOIR Humorist David Granirer emcees a musical fundraiser. Dec 7, 7-9 pm, Grace Memorial United Church. Tix $20 or by donation. JOE MACHI American comedian performs two nights of standup. Dec 7-8, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. Tix $25. HANDEL’S MESSIAH Jon Washburn conducts the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Pacifica Singers, and Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Dec 7, 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre. Tix $20.50-$55.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 NORTH DELTA POTTERS CHRISTMAS SALE Functional to funky pottery crafted by

2 oz (60 mL) eggnog 1 oz (30 mL) vodka, such as Absolut ½ oz (15 mL) Tia Maria coffee liqueur ¼ oz (7 mL) Galliano L’Autentico 1 oz (30 mL) espresso 9 drops chocolate bitters, such as Mrs. Better’s bitters Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds. Fine-strain into a mini milk bottle, or chilled coupe, or rocks (oldfashioned) glass. Garnish with a pinch of cocoa nibs.

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guild members. Dec 8-9, 10 am–4 pm, N Delta Recreation Centre. LET’S SING FOR THE HOLIDAYS Sing favourite storytime songs and holiday tunes. Dec 8, 11 am, Vancouver Public Library Oakridge Branch. Free. COLLINGWOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE ARTISAN CRAFT FAIR Handmade gifts for the holiday season. Dec 8, 11 am–4 pm, Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Free. SHINY FUZZY MUDDY Artist-curated collection of fine art, craft, and design. Dec 8-9, 11 am–6 pm, Heritage Hall. Tix $4. 30TH ANNUAL VANCOUVER BOOK AWARD Finalists and collaborators for the award read from their works. Dec 8, 2 pm, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch. PINOCCHIO Live theatrical flamenco dance performance. Dec 8, 2-3 pm, The Improv Centre. Tix $10/$15. CAROL OF THE CHILD The Vancouver Children’s Choir presents timeless holiday music. Dec 8, 4:30 pm, Christ Church Cathedral. Tix $20/$15 (children under 6 free). A HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS WITH THE MODERN STRINGS QUARTET Theme music from movies infused with popular classical tunes. Dec 8, 5:30-8:30 pm, City Centre Community Centre. $32. BAROQUE, BRASS AND BEYOND The Vivaldi Chamber Choir presents a Christmas program featuring A Touch of Brass. Dec 8, 7:30 pm, St. Helen’s Anglican Church. Tix $25/$20. TRIPLE XXXMAS PUPPET CABARET A naughty night of burlesque and holiday puppetry. Dec 8, 8 pm, The Red Gate Revue Stage. Tix $20/25. SEASON OF THE WITCH The story of a girl in 17th-century New England accused of witchcraft, as told through dance and burlesque. Dec 8, 8 pm, Rio Theatre. Tix $20/25.

see page 34


MOVIE REVIEWS

The dog person in the window

Ali Abbasi’s Border gives Scandinavian folklore a thrillingly modern twist

Love is strange for the bestial Vore (Eero Milonoff) and Tina (Eva Melander), the two curious figures who meet, not so cute, at Sweden’s Border.

BORDER

Starring Eva Melander. In Swedish, with English subtitles. Rated 14A

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CONCURRENT WITH the rise of Nordic noir in recent years is a reawakened interest in Scandinavian folklore, seen in movies like Thale and Troll Hunter, and now this rather wonderful effort. Without disclosing too much about her character, played by Swedish TV veteran Eva Melander under a lot of uglifying makeup and extraneous body hair, there’s a reason that Tina can attract lightning (with a scar to show for it) and “smell human emotions”, the latter being extremely useful in her work as a customs agent at a Swedish ferry crossing. It also explains her odd relationship with wild animals and the shock of recognition she feels when the bestial and unkempt Vore (Finland’s Eero Milonoff, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki) passes through her station with a suspect package. Turns out he’s innocent; the real suspect package is discovered during a body inspection, revealing that Vore isn’t endowed the way you’d expect down there. Nonetheless, Tina pursues a tentative attraction, partly to the chagrin of her not quite boyfriend, Roland (Jörgen Thorsson), who’s especially pissed when she moves her menacing new friend into the guesthouse. The neighbours with the newborn aren’t too chuffed about him either. And what the hell is he hiding in the fridge? What transpires between Tina and Vore is wild and unexpected, so prepare for one of the more giddily outrageous sex scenes arriving in theatres this year. (Holiday’s boundary-pushing director, Isabella Eklöf, shares a screenwriting credit with director Ali Abbasi and Let the Right One In novelist-screenwriter John Ajvide Lindqvist, adapting his short story.) Tina’s assistance to police, borrowing her unique skills to bust a pedophile ring, will ultimately have some bearing on her dawning sense of self and a less happy impact on her relationship with Vore. But we should leave it at that and just state that everything in Abbasi’s movie works, most notably Melander’s supremely affecting performance and the beautifully judged shift from unfussy realism to gothic fantasy. The film’s confusion of biological sex roles is one of its great joys; expect super-wokey North Americans to (loudly) fritter their appreciation on whatever identity fixation is fashionable right now. A much more rewarding reading will see Border as a moving celebration of the potential to simply do good, in both the human and more-than-human realms.

by Adrian Mack

FINDING BIG COUNTRY

A documentary by Kathleen S. Jayme. Rating unavailable

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GANS, OKLAHOMA (population: 312), has been the home of songwriter Cal Smith, best known for the 1974 hit “Country Bumpkin”, and of

Bryant Reeves, a size-large, gingerhaired basketballer called “Big Country” by everyone during his collegiate rise and meteoric stint in the NBA soon after. One can safely say that Gans is one heckuva “country” town. To people in this country, Reeves is famous—to the extent he’s remembered at all—for playing the whole six seasons that the Vancouver Grizzlies team was based here, before it abruptly moved to Memphis in 2001. (B-ball fans may be surprised to find that the loss-heavy team’s last game was a 95-81 win against the Golden State Warriors.) Due to back pain and other injuries, Big Country didn’t even make it into the first season in Tennessee. Reportedly, he had to be taken off the Memphis court on two stretchers carried by eight teammates. His career in sports was over at the age of 28. But what’s he been doing since? “For a seven-foot guy,” one of his colleagues from that time tells the camera here, “he’s done a pretty good job of hiding.” For Vancouver filmmaker Kathleen Jayme, finding Reeves was a long-time obsession, since he came to represent her childhood fascination with the game as well as her own short time as a serious player—in college, she washed out due to lack of height, not talent. This lively, well-paced film is only 40 minutes long, so it’s not ruining too much suspense to say she was successful in finding him, and in documenting her journey along the way. The filmmaker and her subject are highly likable characters on-screen, and the movie, which won a major audience award at the last VIFF, serves as a kind of dual biography. Reeves comes across as a humble man, seemingly resigned to his brief time in the fluorescent sun. One must wonder, however, why Jayme wasn’t more interested in tackling some of the basic contradictions on offer. For example, how many ex-athletes who “really don’t miss the game”, as he claims, have their own pro-size basketball gym with a gigantic R circled at centre court?

by Ken Eisner

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?

A documentary by Astra Taylor. In English and Greek, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable

d STARTING IN Greece, where the

philosophical concept of liberal democracy first flourished, roughly 2,500 years ago, this incisive documentary unravels an inquiry that’s actually a lot more complicated than it sounds. “It’s a question that almost defeats the purpose of asking it,” posits one young woman interviewed by Canadian filmmaker Astra Taylor, who talks to academics, activists, historians, politicians, immigrants, and ordinary citizens in places as varied as Florida and Italy. The movie is structured around quotations from Plato, and these are elaborated upon by folks like professor Cornel West, who stresses that democracy is more than a numbers game. “If it was just a matter of majority rule,

we might still have slavery.” Instead, he points out, emancipation had to come from presidential fiat. Famed ’60s activist Angela Davis says that the U.S. missed its chance to restructure its politics after the Civil War, and that the Africa-derived part of the population was never invited into the process. The amendment proclaiming birthright citizenship, in fact, was a unilateral move to enfranchise black voters—one of the main reasons the birther-in-chief is going after it. Voting rights in general are being eroded throughout the nation, and Taylor’s visit to a Trump rally reveals the results of poor education and antidemocratic propaganda, as seemingly nice young white people express their main concern: that being a foreigner or poor person of colour is somehow highly advantageous in today’s America. Even apart from obvious factual errors, their notion of citizenship is extremely stunted. Plato called members of a true democracy “citizens” because they came from heterogeneous zones called “cities”, not from sparse rural areas ruled by clan loyalty. Itself a slave state in Plato’s time, present-day Greece is also seen as a flash point of income inequality, with immigrants bearing blame for the nation’s austerity measures— themselves mostly the result of usurious banking practices that hobble poorer countries the same way they do blighted urban areas. Most of the interview subjects ponder the taming of the “unruly passions” endemic to democracy, since they always allow for the possibility of fascism. That is, we tend to think about personal gain or security, not responsibility to make society function at its best. West, again, quotes Dostoyevsky as saying that many people gravitate toward authoritarianism “because they are afraid to authorize themselves”. by Ken Eisner

NOTHING LIKE A DAME

A documentary by Roger Michell. Rated PG

d IF YOU’VE caught Tracey Ull-

man in the last two years, you know she does dead-on impersonations of Maggie Smith and Judi Dench—the former limitlessly condescending and the latter a “national treasure” who can get away with just about anything. Their actual outsized personalities do not disappoint in this lively and intimate doc, less than 90 minutes long, that finds these grandes dames featured on national stamps, as well as in movies of every possible stripe. They are egged on here by the sameaged Eileen Atkins, better known for her stage work, and Joan Plowright, who’s five years older and now completely blind. Plowright, like all of them a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, has long hosted the other three for an annual get-together at the country estate she used to share with Laurence Olivier, the sir she married in 1961, after his divorce from Vivien Leigh. see next page

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 33


from previous page

Our invitation to this gabfest— called Tea With the Dames in the U.K., rather than the South Pacific–derived title—comes courtesy of Roger Michell, director of fun fluff like Notting Hill and thornier things such as The Mother and My Cousin Rachel. The 60ish filmmaker doesn’t mind being the butt of their dame-ish jokes, if it keeps the Earl Grey and bons mots flowing. (The Champagne comes later.) He also dug up a considerable amount of footage of their early—sometimes childhood—work for stage, screen, and television, much of it unfamiliar to North American viewers. Their anecdotes have a distinctly retrospective air, despite the fact that those first two are busier than ever. Along the way, we learn that Smith has yet to see an episode of Downton Abbey. “They did send me a box set,” she says with a lip curl worthy of the Dowager Crawley. And Dench explains her approach to Shakespeare: “You have to bring it down to your size. Otherwise, it’s

As Malcolm, Shamier Anderson (far right) steals the show in Alfons Adetuyi’s Love Jacked.

just empty booming.” Atkins brings up the subject they all shared: being married to handsome actors and starting careers when none were considered “conventionally attractive”. Some struggled with the notion of playing Cleopatra on-stage. “I did it once,” Dame Maggie admits. “But only in Canada.” by Ken Eisner

LOVE JACKED

Starring Shamier Anderson. Rated PG

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DIRECTOR ALFONS Adetuyi comes from a versatile and highly accomplished family of Canadian filmmakers. Cowritten by brother Robert Adetuyi, his second foray into scripted features feels more like an unnecessarily expensive calling card than a full-fledged romantic

comedy. The ’60s soul tunes on the soundtrack must have cost as much as Love Jacked’s whole budget. Having grown up rich in the fictional, Malibu-like town of South Bay, played by Ontario, spoiled Maya (Happy Together’s Amber Stevens West) is around 30, but is in unusual thrall to her blustering father (U.S. TV veteran Keith David, hamming it up). He’s against her going to South Africa on a spiritual quest, and even more apoplectic when her Cape Town stay results in an instant marriage proposal from a wealthy local player called Mtumbie (Demetrius Gross). When she catches the guy cheating, she’s in a double bind—because proving Daddy wrong is more important than her own happiness. Enter Malcolm (Wynonna Earp’s Shamier Anderson), a genial hustler who hears her dilemma, and for some reason agrees to impersonate Mtumbie for her already wary family. Naturally enough, he shows up sporting a decidedly inappropriate dashiki and a one-size-fits-all accent—raising the suspicions of her Afrophile uncle (comic Mike Epps, of the Friday movies). He immediately wins over her

live-in aunt and grandmother, played by real-life daughter-mother combo Angela and Marla Gibbs. (The latter, a stalwart of The Jeffersons, is now 87.) A deal’s a deal, though, and their brilliant plan is to get legally married and then claim that Mtumbie has died in a terrible accident. Because who would look closely at events like that? Happy now, Dad? Things get even thornier when Malcolm’s erstwhile partner (The Book of Negroes’ Lyriq Bent) shows up, with a gun, wanting a cut of whatever is going on. Although the movie is set in a parallel universe filled with moneyed black folks, it reinforces social tropes we could easily live without. The young men here are dark-skinned demicriminals while the female lead is as fair as Meghan Markle. Maya’s generic prettiness apparently trumps the fact that she has no interests, skills, or sense of humour—even apart from the fact that her ideas are batshit crazy. On the other hand, costar Anderson manages to maintain both dignity and a comic touch amid this mess, making him a talent to watch. by Ken Eisner

Democracy defined by people

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by Adrian Mack

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stra Taylor was sitting in the back of the Neutral corruption. The film avoids didacticism, but given our Milk Hotel tour van in 2013 when she came up present condition of perpetual war and market as rewith the idea for What Is Democracy?. About ligion—voted for by a relatively infinitesimal number a year and a half into the project, she started of Earth’s inhabitants—it comes as no surprise when wondering if her ambition had exceeded her grasp. “I was Taylor remarks: “I think capitalism is the biggest threat like, ‘Hmm, Astra, maybe next time make something to democracy right now. about, I dunno, cake-making,’ ” she recalls with a laugh “There was a time in the 20th century, it was a unique during a call to the Georgia Straight from New York. moment, when an enhancing nationalism and liberal A few years later still, the writer-filmmaker democracy and social democracy, especially (and sometime musician) has delivered a in Europe, sort of propelled economic documentary that takes an impossible growth, and democracy was the useful premise and boils it down to 107 minhandmaiden at that point to the caputes of concentrated brain food. What italist model,” she says. “Now we’ve Is Democracy?, opening at the Vanentered a new phase.” city Theatre on Friday (December If that’s the macro view, shared by 7), arrives as a riveting philosophical people like West, What Is Democracy? disquisition on a concept that’s both gives equal voice to some of the least simple and elusive, with the amiable enfranchised among us, whether it’s a Taylor as your guide while she travels traumatized Syrian refugee newly arfrom the seat of democracy in Athens, rived in Greece or a classroom full of er Greece, to the crucible of modern bankAfrican-American youths grieving their ic n ia ri ing in Italy, then on to the crumbling inner collapsing education system. lo nd y fil m Ta cities of the U.S. “Those kids really astounded me and left m aker Astra The experts she taps along the way boast immy sound recordist in tears,” Taylor reports. peccable credentials, whether it’s feminist scholar Silvia “For me, it’s like trying to challenge who’s an expert at Federici or a luminous Cornel West, with Plato and democracy. Is it that liberal professor at Stanford who’s Rousseau as recurring touchstones. But it’s the regular just obsessed with norms and constitutional theories, or folk captured by Taylor’s camera who arguably make the is it this 13-year-old who’s in the system and sees the biggest impression. The filmmaker was especially moved way it functions? I think the whole film is trying to honby her interview with Ellie Brett, a barber and ex-con liv- our expertise in the sense that there are academics in it ing in Miami. while also challenging who counts as an expert.” “Because his eloquence is so unbelievable and I think Indeed, one of the film’s greatest moments of experhe captured something that I was hoping to convey, tise is supplied by an eighth grader’s clear-eyed critique which was just the dignity and capacity of people that’s of education/work as control system. Her astonished being undermined and disrespected and dehumanized,” classmates erupt into applause. You will too. she says. “I think there was something powerful there.” “They’re not cynical yet, so they clap for her,” Taylor In the midst of giving his client a shave, Ellie also of- says, still moved by the spectacle. “And I’m like, ‘Okay, fers a withering analysis of the empire’s absolute political make her the president!’ ” d

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN Music by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, plus shorter works by Conti, Marcello, and Telemann. Dec 9, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. REFLECTIONS: A HOLIDAY MOSAIC Baked goods, music from Amy Newmand and the Christmas Revelers, crafts, and stories from a variety of cultures. Dec 9, 2-5 pm, Coquitlam Heritage at Mackin House. By Donation. REFLECTIONS: LANTERN MAKING AND STORYTELLING Storytelling tea salon led by First Nations spoken-word artist Molly Billows. Dec 9, 2-5 pm, Place des Arts. Free. WINTER SONGS WITH SWEET SCARLET Six-woman a cappella group performs holiday favourites. Dec 9, 3 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. Tix $25. BAROQUE, BRASS AND BEYOND The Vivaldi Chamber Choir presents a Christmas program featuring A Touch of Brass. Dec 9, 3 pm, Highlands United Church. Tix $25/$20. SLEIGH RIDE Pianists Rita Attrot and Helen Hall perform together. Dec 9, 4-5 pm, Roedde House Museum. Tix $15. UNIVERSAL GOSPEL CHOIR PRESENTS THE MAGIC OF YULE The Universal Gospel Choir performs its annual holiday concert, with guests Roy & Rosemary. Dec 9, 7 pm, Orpheum Theatre. Tix $48/40/35.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10 DIGITAL DIPLOMACY IN AN ERA OF POPULISM How do new communication technologies transform international politics? On December 10th, come explore the politics and

34 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018

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A GERMAN BAROQUE CHRISTMAS Laudate Singers and Baroque Chamber Orchestra perform. Dec 8, 8 pm, Highlands United Church. Tix $35/$30/$10.

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intricacies of the use of social media and internet by Canadian & foreign diplomats. This public roundtable with leading experts and practitioners in the field is free. RSVP now! Dec 10, 7 pm, SFU Harbour Centre. MORPH: MEMORY Launch of a new book of essays discussing the idea of memory. Dec 10, 7 pm, Vancouver Public Library, Central Library, Montalbano Family Theatre, Level 8. Free. THE SEASON OF LOVE The Joyful Voice Community Choir performs songs celebrating the season. Dec 10-11, 7:30 pm, St Paul’s Anglican Church. Free. O CHRISTMAS TEA British comedy by James and Jamesy. Dec 10-11, 7:30-9 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre . Tix $39/$19.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 CELEBRATE HANUKKAH Performance by the Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir. Dec 11, 7 pm, Vancouver Public Library. Free. STILL LIFE CONTINUUM Redshift Music presents simultaneous surrealist performances of theatre and music. Dec 11, 7:30-9:30 pm, Orpheum Theatre. Free. STORYTELLING CHAMPIONSHIP Ten storytellers share original short tales. Dec 11, 8 pm, Rio Theatre. Tix $15.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 MAKE IT! VANCOUVER’S HANDMADE HOLIDAY MARKET Over 250 exhibitors in one location. Dec 12-16, 5 pm, PNE Forum. Tix $8 (kids under 12 free). ENCOUNTERING AFFINITIES Celebrating the work of eight graduates. Dec 12, 6 pm, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Free. FUTURE SHOCK Visiting author Shilo Jones and local writer Charles Demers discuss their new novels. Dec 12, 7 pm, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch. Free.

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW Tommy is confronted by his ex lover Donna about sleeping with her sister. Donna realizes that she’s still in love with him and seeks help from her estranged father. Featuring: Bo Jordan as “Tommy”, Bailey Olson as “Donna”, and Troy Mundle as “Dad”. Elizaveta Neretin makes her directorial debut with John Patrick Shanley’s classic play. Dec 12, 7:30-9 pm; Dec 13, 7:30-9 pm; Dec 14, 7:30-9 pm; Dec 15, 2-3:30 pm; Dec 15, 7:30-9 pm, GO Studios. Tix $20/$25.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 CHANGE PLAY Sawdust Collector and Barking Sphinx Performance Society present an evening of creative/improvised music, puppetry and new collaborations featuring: Dalava & Ian McFarlane (puppetry); Skye Brooks (solo drums) & Ian McFarlane (puppetry); Erika Angell (Thus Owls), Roisin Adams & Peggy Lee “Beatings are in the body”. Dec 13, 7:30 pm, WISE Hall. $15-20 or PWYC, cash @ door.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 25TH ANNIVERSARY WINTER HARP Winter Harp is one of the most hauntingly beautiful Christmas concerts you will ever attend. Harps, medieval instruments, flute, violin/fiddle, singers, and percussion combine to perform festive carols and stories to warm your heart and wrap you snugly in the Christmas spirit. Dec 15, 7:30 pm, St. Andrew’s–Wesley United Church. Tix $25-40 at TicketsTonight.ca. ARTS EVENTS are a public service provided free of charge.. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight.com/ AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.


music

Gift ideas for the sonically obsessed

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by John Lucas, Mike Usinger, and Kate Wilson

n the age of Spotify, no one collects music on physical media anymore. Well, okay, that’s overstating things a bit. Vinyl obsessives still do, because they are convinced that dragging a needle through a groove in an overpriced piece of plastic imparts an ineffable sonic quality and an intangible “warmth” that a digital file never will. There is something on this list for such deluded souls, and for other music lovers, too, including those who would prefer to keep what hearing they have left and those whose tastes in fashion unashamedly include copious exposed chest hair and nut-hugging unitards. Happy shopping!

“MERCURY” CATSUIT

If you have someone on your list who dragged you out to see Bohemian Rhapsody half a dozen times, even while pointing out the tiniest historical inaccuracies, they might appreciate the gift of an outfit that Freddie Mercury himself would have given his seal of approval. Based on the Harlequin-esque unitards that the Queen frontman wore on-stage circa 1977, Coquetry Clothing’s made-to-order catsuit is “a must-have outfit for the guy in your life who dares to live without fear”. Due to its skintight nature, it’s also for the guy in your life who’s not afraid to show the world exactly what he’s packing. Not included: bottomless microphone stand, iconic mustache, or talent. ($137.22 on Etsy) FENDER PLAY

The problem with the guitar is that it takes forever to get even semiproficient. Lessons can help, but then there’s the teacher sitting there rolling her eyes, secretly wondering why it’s taking someone three months to learn the intro to “Wild Thing”. Get that budding Slash, Jimi Hendrix, or East Bay Ray on your list Fender Play, a subscriptionbased service launched by the iconic makers of the Stratocaster, Twin Reverb amp, and Precision bass. Video lessons (approximately one hour per week; when and if students actually do them is up to them) are streamed through the Fender app and geared to everyone from sausage-fingered beginners to those one lick away from starting a Slayer cover band. For messing around in the bedroom, the service breaks down thousands of popular songs—from Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” to Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” to the Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl”. Prepaid gift cards ($114.99 for 12 months of lessons; $64.99 for six months) for Fender Play are available at Long & McQuade. The service is also available to those who would love to learn to play the ukulele or bass, but have found themselves unable to master even a rudimentary version of Jonathan Richman’s “Roadrunner”. Rock on. (From $64.99 at long-mcquade.com/) SEX PISTOLS: 90 DAYS AT EMI

The past couple of years have seen the publication of more books about the Sex Pistols than anyone other than a truly obsessive fan could ever need. These include a memoir (Lonely

You’ll be something like a living rock ’n’ roll legend if you give the music lover on your list (clockwise from left) Brian Southall’s Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI, Vibes Hi-Fi Earplugs, Coquetry Clothing’s custom-fit and skin-tight “Mercury” catsuit, or a prepaid gift card for the Fender Play guitar-learning app.

Boy) by guitarist Steve Jones, an exhaustive recounting of the recording of Never Mind the Bollocks (1977: The Bollocks Diaries), and a pair of companion volumes documenting the Pistols’ tours of the U.K. and the U.S. (Anarchy in the U.K. and The Sex Pistols Invade America, both by Mick O’Shea). The most curious entry in the canon—and possibly the most interesting—is a new reissue of former EMI Records exec Brian Southall’s long-out-of-print Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI, the inside story of how the first major record label to sign the Pistols also became the first to drop the band in short order, in a move that, thanks to a hefty signing bonus, left the punks some £40,000 richer. Talk about a great rock ’n’ roll swindle! ($12.99 at Book Warehouse) JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE UGLY SWEATER

Aiming to make up for that time in 2004 when he ripped Janet Jackson’s bra off in front of millions, Justin Timberlake was the star of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show—though we’re using “star” pretty liberally. With a show described as “eerily un-self-aware” by the New Yorker, JT was summarily upstaged by a teenager taking a selfie, a 40-foot flapping sheet with Prince’s face on it, and some kind of bizarro camo-print suit with a buck-hunting shirt and a Woody-from-Toy-Story bandanna. Then there was the release of Timberlake’s new album, Man of the Woods. A baffling mix of country music and overproduced pop, the record variously describes his penis as a faucet,

discusses his desire to collect iodine tablets, and tries really, really hard to position Timberlake as a wholesome, cabin-dwelling lumbersexual who absolutely doesn’t care about his net worth of $230 million. Unsurprisingly, critics panned it. All of which is to say that Justin Timberlake’s 2018 has been, well, ugly. Which, in our book, makes him the perfect icon to emblazon on your ugly Christmas sweater this year. This version features a charming shot of a pre-Walden JT (he’s got a suit on, folks), with a lovely Christmasknit effect around the outside. It’s just a shame it doesn’t come in flannel. ($43.95 on Etsy) VINYL ME, PLEASE

There are plenty of music-themed Christmas gifts out there that, frankly, suck. Who actually wants a thumb piano? Why does every electronics company have a range of shitty Bluetooth speakers? Real music fans don’t want weird gimmicks, and they don’t have any space left in their drawer of crap to hide useless Christmas selections. But what to get them? Vinyl Me, Please is a subscription service that sends the recipient a new album on wax every month. Each record is carefully selected for its musical merit, and individuals can choose one of three categories—essentials, classics, and rap and hip-hop—to make sure their listening experience will be suitably pleasant. Arriving by post on their doorstep, the package also includes mystery extras like collectible art prints, listening notes, and custom cocktail recipes inspired by the album. Past

selections include Mavis Staples’s self-titled record, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III, Muddy Waters’s Fathers and Sons, and Rico Nasty’s Nasty—so you can be sure that there’s enough variety to keep your loved ones both on-trend and wistfully nostalgic. (For subscription packages, go to vinylmeplease.com/.) VIBES HI-FI EARPLUGS

Few things in this world are more electrifying than live music, and the closer you get to the stage, the more powerful a show ends up being. Ask anyone who was lucky enough to be standing in the front row for Grinderman at the Commodore, Motörhead at Kerrisdale Arena, or the Refused at the Vogue. The only downside? That would be the fact that human beings weren’t meant to subject themselves to 130 decibels of noise, when the safe threshold is 85. Cue Vibes Hi-Fi Earplugs, which first popped up on Shark Tank, and have since been hailed as a brilliant alternative to what concertgoers have been sticking in their ears for years (foam plugs from Home Depot, spit-soaked napkins, Dubble Bubble gum). Vibes lower both treble and bass frequencies, meaning you still hear the concert the way the soundman intended, instead of as a muffled mess. The real selling point? Unlike custommoulded ear protectors, which can run a couple of hundred bucks, Vibes clock in at under $40. Just because the music lover in your life adores Deafheaven, there’s no reason for them to leave the show half deaf. ($37.95 at amazon.ca/)

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Advance Base touts creature comfort d FOR A man who’s made one of the best records of 2018, Owen Ashworth isn’t, strangely, one to suggest that he’s doing anything particularly new on Advance Base’s Animal Companionship. “I’d say that 80 percent of writing songs is, for me, mimicry,” the DIY veteran says, on the line from his Chicago home. “I’m trying to recreate the feeling that other music has given me. What you make is personal and relevant for yourself, but I’m not bringing too much to pop songwriting that is wildly original.” To fully appreciate the self-deprecating nature of that argument, consider what he’s achieved with Animal Companionship. The record is being framed as something of a loose concept album, one that revolves around the relationship that human beings have with their pets. From a musical standpoint it’s beautiful stuff, the 12 tracks all soft-

Advance Base’s Animal Companionship is Owen Ashworth’s ode to pet ownership.

glow keyboards and Ashworth’s sadseason vocals made for sitting alone at 2 a.m. in a three-storey walkup, staring at the gently falling snow. “I’ve always been really attracted to minimalist, hypnotic-feeling arrangements—that’s something that really compels me as a listener,”

Ashworth says. “And when it comes to performing, there’s something really meditative about playing these songs. I was in a place in my life where I was really turning to music for comfort. So what I was writing was sort of ritualistic—a friend of mine has described it as holistic music, which I really liked.

It really felt like, for my mental health, I needed these songs to be as gentle and meditative as they could be.” Populating the tracks on Animal Companionship are dogs, parakeets, cats, and the other nonjudgmental critters that help us get through those times when life sometimes seems as much a burden as it is a blessing. Nowhere is the power of such creatures more moving than in “True Love Death Dream”, where, over gorgeous snowdrift synths, Ashworth tells the story of a pet owner who deals with the death of a loved one in a van crash by naming a dog after him, thereby ensuring his memory lives on. The very real danger of making a record where the songs seem to revolve around a specific theme is that people will write things off as a dog record of interest primarily to dog people. “I knew what I was doing with this record,” Ashworth says. “I was really looking for a hook when I was putting

these songs together and trying to find a theme to write around. My early draft for the record had a lot more dog stuff going on, but some of those dog songs didn’t make the cut.” Instead, Ashworth also found he had plenty to say about the human condition. Consider lyrics like “You could have a real house if you just left New York/A vegetable garden a white picket fence” from the melancholy marvel “Same Dream”. The Chicago musician, who’s done time in the trenches with not only Advance Base but previous projects like Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, has obviously tapped into something with Animal Companionship. He notes that pet owners a-plenty have been showing up at Advance Base tour stops. “It’s been really heartwarming to see how pet owners have responded to the record,” he muses. “There see next page

DECEMBER 6 – 13 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 35


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have been all sorts of dogs at the shows. I don’t drink, so I try not to play at bars—I’m more interested in DIY venues or sort of atypical show spaces. There have been shows in bookstores, record stores, vet halls, and places like that. So, when appropriate, people have been encouraged to bring their dogs to shows. They want to talk about their dogs, and, yeah, it’s been really nice.” by Mike Usinger

Advance Base plays the WISE Hall Lounge on Thursday (December 6).

NESBITT CRAFTS CERAMICS INTO SYMBIOTIC INSTRUMENTS

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tural models of ruined walls from some lost Minoan city. The flat, broad, curved ribs of an unknown marine mammal. Roxanne Nesbitt’s ceramic creations hold both biomorphic and sculptural interest, as if they can’t quite decide whether they

Roxanne Nesbitt creates ceramic devices to interact with acoustic instruments.

belong in a natural-history museum or an art gallery. But there’s more to them than just their rough-hewn aesthetic appeal; they’re also a new phylum of musical instrument. Nesbitt calls them “symbiotic” or “parasitic” instruments, although she’s inclined to drop the latter term; it’s too negative for the entirely benign exchange she has in mind. Briefly, her ceramic creations are designed to sit on the strings of a piano or the skin of a drum, adding their

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Scan to confess I’m grateful this Christmas Man, when you look at the shit storm brewing all over the planet it’s a good time to count your blessings. With a roof over my head, a job and friends I’m feeling fortunate.

I have had it with false friends that never initiate a phone call, an email or a text. Yes, we all have busy lives but I take the time to send out messages. Guess I’m not as popular or well-liked as I thought. No worries, solitary time is about to increase and it’s pretty awesome.

Drunk text embarrassment I drunk texted a guy that I really like on Friday night and into Saturday morning with the dumbest rambling shit. He didn’t respond, and I am really really embarrassed. I can’t even look at the texts I sent him because I am so embarrassed. Hopefully he looks past that and one day I get a message back from him.

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own resonance and motion to the pre-existing sound. It’s not an entirely original concept: Nesbitt’s ideas have something to do with John Cage’s “prepared piano”, in which the sound of a keyboard is modified by placing washers or screws between its strings; there’s also the African practice of nailing bottle caps to the top of an mbira to add jangling overtones to a percussive melody. But those rely on found objects. Nesbitt’s symbiotic ceramics are perhaps the first instance of a composer designing entirely new soundproducing devices to interact with acoustic instruments. “In a lot of ways, it was inspired by travelling, and also by wanting to hear new sounds,” Nesbitt tells the Straight in a telephone interview from her Vancouver studio. “Wanting to design new instruments, but also wanting them to be accessible. I kind of had the idea in mind that if I designed custom-made instruments from scratch, they would be very precious, I guess—or precious to me, and then I probably wouldn’t want to share them. So I’m just trying to make something that could add a lot, timbrally, to existing instruments. “I’ve already sent five ceramic pieces to a percussion-and-piano duo in Ottawa,” she adds. “I was able to just mail them off in bubble wrap, kind of with the understanding that I’ll probably never see them again—and that’s okay, because I have patterns. I have a way to duplicate them easily.” Vancouver audiences will have their first chance to experience musical symbiosis this weekend, when Nesbitt will unveil her instruments—and her colourful scores, which mix graphic elements with traditional notation—at the Western Front. Playing them will be pianist Lisa Cay Miller and percussionists Katie Rife and Ben Brown; trumpeter JP Carter and violinist Joshua Zubot are also part of the ensemble, but on unmodified instruments. Milller, who often uses prepared piano in her own music, waxes effusive about Nesbitt’s sense of exploration and argues that the upcoming concert should appeal to more than just connoisseurs of the avant-garde. “It’s so visual, and so beautiful,” she says. “Oftentimes, with abstraction or something unusual, if there’s a way to enter in—some kind of permission or enticement—that can help. And her instruments are just so beautiful—you see the pictures of them, and you just want to see what they’re going to sound like.” Whimsy is also part of the attraction, but that doesn’t undercut the seriousness of Nesbitt’s intent. Not only did she learn ceramics specifically for this project, she’s also drawing on her background in classical music, considerable experience as an electronic producer, and a master’s degree in architecture. “I guess I’ve always been very handy,” she says. “Before I started making ceramic instruments, I’d made wood instruments. I used to make clothes and books and a lot of physical objects; when I did my master’s I did a lot of model-making and building things. So I have design skills, I guess.…And studying architecture has really influenced the way that I make music. I’ve learned to not be afraid of bringing new things into music, and working with them in a different way.” by Alexander Varty

Roxanne Nesbitt presents Symbiotic Instruments at the Western Front on Friday (December 7).


CONCERTS JUST ANNOUNCED KEUNING The Killers guitarist Dave Keuning leads his own band. Feb 9, 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $19. ANDREA GIBSON American spoken-word performer, poet, and activist. Feb 26, 8 pm, WISE Hall. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $22.50. ANTIBALAS Brooklyn-based Afrobeat band. Mar 2, 9 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $25. JAMES BLAKE Electronic-music producer and singer-songwriter from London, England. Mar 9, 9 pm, Harbour Event Centre. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $55. PRATEEK KUHAD Singer-songwriter from India. Mar 26, 8 pm, Fox Cabaret. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $15. SPIRITUALIZED Space-rock band from England. Apr 2, 9:15 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $45. A BOOGIE WIT DA HOODIE Rapper from the Bronx, with guests Don Q and Trap Manny. Apr 8, 8:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $29.50. THE TEA PARTY Canadian power trio. May 10, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Dec 6, 10 am, $45. JENNY LEWIS American indie-rock/alt-country singer-songwriter. May 20, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, $39.50. ANDREA BOCELLI Legendary operatic pop singer. Jun 13, 8 pm, Rogers Arena. Tix on sale Dec 10, 10 am. JUDAS PRIEST Heavy-metal legends from Britain, with guests Uriah Heep. Jun 17, 7:30 pm, Abbotsford Centre. Tix on sale Dec 14, 10 am. COREY HART Canadian pop-rocker from the '80s. Jun 25, Rogers Arena. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am. QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT Rock legends from the '70s perform with frontman Adam Lambert. Jul 10, 8 pm, Rogers Arena. Tix on sale Dec 7, 10 am, from $49.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5 SULTANS OF STRING—CHRISTMAS CARAVAN Original world-music inspired classics and seasonal favourites. Dec 5, 7 pm, Centennial Theatre. Tix $28/$20. WASIUM: GATHERING LIGHT Indigenous

music and art ranging from powwow dancers to Métis jiggers, storytellers to soulful blues, spoken-word to hip-hop. Dec 5, 7 pm, WISE Hall. Tix $25/$30. YUKON BLONDE AND THE ZOLAS Local indie-rock bands play a coheadlining bill. Dec 5, 9:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix $29.50.

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NOT SO SILENT NIGHT Performances by Black Pistol Fire and Hollerado. Dec 6, doors 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix $25/20. URP 6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOWCASE Urban Renewal Project's six-year anniversary celebration. Dec 6, 10 pm, Fortune Sound Club. Tix $10.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 QUEEN NAIJA American R&B/soul artist performs material from self-titled debut release. Dec 7, 7:30 pm, Fortune Sound Club. Tix $20. A JAZZY NUTCRACKER Bill Mays and the Toronto Chamber Jazz Septet give holiday classics a jazzy edge. Dec 7, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre . Tix $19-$48.

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FUCKED UP Hardcore punk band from Toronto performs tunes from latest album Dose Your Dreams. Dec 12, 9 pm, Fox Cabaret. Tix $15. POLO AND PAN French electronic-music duo performs material from latest album Caravelle. Dec 12, 9 pm, Imperial Vancouver. Tix $20.

TENACIOUS D American comedy-rock duo composed of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, with guests Wynchester. Dec 13, 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tix $79.50/59.50/39.50.

THREE DAYS GRACE Canadian rock band performs on its Outsider tour, with guests Nothing More and Bad Wolves. Dec 14, 7:30 pm, Abbotsford Centre. Tix $40/54.50/74.50.

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DWEEZIL ZAPPA American rock guitarist, son of Frank. Dec 13, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix $79 (VIP)/$49.50.

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The highest compliment one might pay Dirty South Blues is by asking the question “Where the hell does Robert Connely Farr think he’s from?” His mailing address reads somewhere in Vancouver’s East Village, but goddamn if his third full-length doesn’t sound like the work of someone raised in the muddy fields of America’s Deep South. We’re talking a triumphant mix of swamp-sick guitars, swirling Muscle Shoals organ, and worldweary vocals—all anchored by gutbucket bass and drums. How can one West Coast white guy sound so authentic? Turns out that Farr was born and raised in Bolton, Mississippi, his obses-

JACOB SEYER Acoustic guitarist and composer performs new music. Dec 9, 2-4 pm, St. James Community Square. Tix $5-$10.

ALLEN STONE American soul/R&B artist, with guest Nick Waterhouse. Dec 12, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. Tix $30.

CONNER YOUNGBLOOD Nashville-based singer-songwriter performs tunes from debut album Cheyenne. Dec 8, 8 pm, Fox Cabaret. Tix $15.

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SHAKEY GRAVES Americana artist from Austin, Texas, with guests Kolars. Dec 12, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tix $55/39.50/29.50.

GORD GRDINA NYC QUARTET VANCOUVER local legend and CapU alumnus Gord Grdina teams up with his quartet of world-renowned New York City-based performers. Presented by the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. Dec 8, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. Tix $28/25 at www. capilanou.ca/centre.

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GUIDED BY ROBOTS Tribute to Guided by Voices. Dec 8, 8:30 pm, ANZA Club. By donation to Canucks Autism.

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CHILDISH GAMBINO Singer, songwriter, and rapper from the States, with guest Rae Sremmurd. Dec 7, 8 pm, Rogers Arena. Tix $139.50/89.50/59.50.

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NORINE BRAUN Release party for new album Through Train Windows. Dec 8, 8-11 pm, Pat's Pub & Brewhouse. $10.

VNV NATION Alternative electronic act from Europe. Dec 9, 6:45-11:30 am, Imperial Theatre Vancouver. Tix $25.

MICHAEL KAESHAMMER Pianist performs boogie-woogie blues. Dec 6, 7:30 pm, Kay Meek Arts Centre . Tix $19-48.

THE SOFT MOON Experimental electronic musician performs material from his latest album Criminal, with guests Hide and Vive Le Void. Dec 8, 8 pm, Fortune Sound Club. Tix $20.

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tolerant (or more apathetic) posture toward each other. She has on several occasions told me that she doesn’t care who I fuck. While I haven’t acted on it, she has said it often enough that I believe her. We’ve talked about an open relationship, but she wasn’t enthusiastic. My best guess is that she doesn’t want to know if I do anything “gay”, while also not wanting me to form any emotional attachments. Do I ask her again if she really doesn’t care who I fuck? Or do her previous statements suffice? 3. Practical issues. Is a condom enough protection? How do I avoid things like herpes and crabs? Other than emptying ye olde bowels, what other steps should I take before asking a male German escort to fuck me in the ass? And how do I ask? Google Translate suggests “Fick mich in den Arsch,” which is an unappealing thing to say. Maybe there’s someI’M A mostly straight guy in my 40s thing sexier? - Legal, Ethical, And Practical and I’m married to a woman. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what, but I’ve decided that I want to get 1. Sex work is, indeed, legal in Gerfucked in the ass once in my life. I will many. You can minimize your be visiting Hamburg soon, and it’s chances of hiring someone who my understanding that sex work is may not be doing sex work of their legal in Germany. I want your help own free will by avoiding agencies sorting out the legal, ethical, and and finding yourself an independent escort. But seeing as how you’re practical issues. 1. Legal issue. Paying for sex in looking to hire a male in his 40s, Germany is legal, right? But even if LEAP, your odds of hiring somesex work is legal, that doesn’t mean one doing sex work under duress every sex worker is doing it volun- are very, very low. 2. The wife who lovingly and apatarily. I prefer people closer to my own age, and I imagine a 40-year- thetically tolerates your soon-to-beold sex worker is less likely to be fucked ass has already told you— exploited, right? What else can I do and told you more than once—that to ensure that I’m not with a traf- she doesn’t care who you fuck. She also doesn’t want to know if you ficked individual? 2. Ethical issue. After many years fuck someone else. Asking if she and many near-divorce situations, meant it immediately before flying my wife and I have adopted a more off to Hamburg—double-checking

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thing wrong with the complex web of muscles and nerves that crowd together around your junk and, if it is a pelvic-floor issue, refer him to a pelvic-floor physical therapist. Finally, a suggestion from me, the person with the AACA card: a guy with a problem like yours—a guy whose dick works a certain way and has worked that way for decades—could save himself the hassle of physical therapy and the side effects of Viagra by accepting his dick and the way his dick works. There are women out there who prefer oral and outercourse to PIV, HARDPART, and you could bed those women with confidence. Follow Dr. Ashley Winter on Twitter @AshleyGWinter, and check out the Full Release podcast, which she cohosts with comedian Mo Mandel, at thefullreleasepod.com/.

here,” said Winter. “First, the pain or ‘cringey’ sensation only associated with vaginal and Fleshlight penetration. Second, being too quick to come. And, third, erectile dysfunction [ED]. HARDPART insightfully suggests his ED may be related to his performance anxiety as well as anticipated pain, and I would agree with this. I would add that his quick ejaculation is most likely also caused by a mix of ED and pain—the body adapts to pain and erection loss by letting the swimmers off the hook early.” But why do you experience this pain only during penetrative sex? What is it about PIV (penis in vagina) or PIF (penis in Fleshlight) that causes those painfully cringey feelings? “If he thrusts more during these activities than he does during oral or hand stimulation, I would expect that either pelvic floor muscle dysfunction or a nerve issue related to the lower spine could be causing the flares,” said Winter. “If he were my patient, I would want to know if he has less pain when his partner is on top, which would mean his pelvis is moving less. Also, does he have chronic low-back pain? Bowel or bladder issues?” Winter and I continued to generally discuss the medical topics raised by your question, HARDPART, and we generally discussed—this is not, again, individual medical advice, but a general discussion—two things someone with your particular issue might want to think about doing. First, a guy with your problem could try taking Viagra—or a related drug—while also using a penis-numbing spray. And a guy with your problem should also have his pelvic floor checked out. A urologist can help a guy with a problem like yours determine if there’s some-

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The Georgia Straight - Gift Guide - Dec 6, 2018  

Issue #2656

The Georgia Straight - Gift Guide - Dec 6, 2018  

Issue #2656