Q&A with East Side Culture Crawl Director Valerie Arntzen

Valerie2Photo credit: Wendy D

Valerie Arntzen is an artist (assemblage and photography) and has been the Executive Director of the Eastside Culture Crawl Society for 11 years. The Crawl hits the East Side next week


Three words to describe the Vancouver Art scene: Bursting, dynamic and it might be leaving town if we lose any more studios.

Three things about your neighbourhood that make you want to live there: (Strathcona) Fantastic neighbors; Diverse as we are the oldest neighborhood in Vancouver and it grew around immigrants and blue collar workers;  Architecture both new and old…we are getting great new buildings/homes and our older homes are from several different styles…spoda, Victorian, post modern.

The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: french fries.

Default drink of choice: apple cider.

Drink you’ll never have again: rye.

The one place you’d move to: Italy.

Favourite wine varietal: Pinot Grigio

One thing you’d like to change about Vancouver: more art studios.

Cheap place for dinner: Zubees.

Book you’re reading: Cuban History for Travellers.

Last place traveled: New York.

Biggest fear: spiders.

Cliche that you use too often: some ummm! some ummm!

Dead film actor you wish was still making pictures: Audrey Hepburn.

Best sneaker in the world: Puma.

Place in BC that you love escaping to: coastal journeys in my sailboat.

Under what circumstances would you join the army: none.

The moment you realised you were an artist: when I committed to always having my own studio.

Best green space in Vancouver: Stanley Park.

Dumbest purchase ever: wood fireplace when you live up stairs.

What are you proud of: Eastside Culture Crawl Society.

The thing that makes you the angriest: stupidity.

The thing you love most about your job: getting to create whatever I want in my art practice.

Best Vancouver place for coffee or tea: Wilder Snail.

Vancouver festival or community event (other than the Culture Crawl) that you most look forward to: PNE.

Your nickname(s) growing up: it is a secret.

Talent you wish you possessed: painting.

The trend you wish you never followed, but did: mullet.

Musical instrument you long to play: piano.

Sport you gave up: everything I did in high school.

Politician you most admire: Heather Deal.

The game you’re best at: Scrabble.

Best gallery in the city: Bau Xi.

Somewhere within an hour of Vancouver that is worth checking out: Pitt River.

The number of fist fights you’ve been in: one, but I never hit back….I ran.

The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: sailing from Vancouver to California but also the best thing.

Three things of no value that you will keep until you die: my gran’s cookbook, letters from my husband Arnt, my lobster trap from Newfoundland.

Local person you admire most: Heather Deal.

Best Vancouver venue for live music: Railway.

Best concert experience ever: No Doubt.

Aspect of your personality you wish you could change: holding a grudge.

How you waste time at work: organize, organize instead of doing the art.

The thing you wished people cared more about: the environment.

The dish you’re most proud of: garlic chicken.

The thing that makes you the most nervous: storms at sea.

Town you were born in: Toronto.

Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: Seinfeld.

First memory: spider crawling up my leg, me screaming….I think I am over it but still skittish of spiders.

Quality you admire most in yourself: friendly.

Album that first made you love music: Jimmy Hendrix…Are you Experienced.

Default junk food of choice: french fries.

The career path you considered but never followed: air stewardess.

The one country that you have no interest in ever visiting: Any where there is a war going on.

Your top 3 films of all time: Rape of Europe, Fountainhead,  Roman Holiday.

The first three things you do every morning: drink the latte Arnt makes me, make a smoothie, take my vitamins.

The thing you’re addicted to: Arnt’s coffee.

Biggest hope: we create more marine parks.

Luckiest moment of your life: meeting my husband.

Favourite book as a child: Lord of the Rings.


There are 3 comments

  1. Hay Valerie – great interview… nice looking workspace you have – are you open during the ESCC?

  2. Where do you find apple cider??? I can’t find it anywhere in BC. And we have apples all over the place.

  3. “Architecture both new and old…we are getting great new buildings/homes and our older homes are from several different styles…spoda, Victorian, post modern.”

    spoda? Spoda achitecture? Can someone elaborate please.