by Grady Mitchell | On his long walks through the city and frequent trips around the coast, photographer Andy Grellmann is gradually piecing together a visual survey of Vancouver and the region around it. His work is divided into albums dedicated to the various neighbourhoods within the city and the islands beyond it, each one like a photographic map.
Although always a visual kid, he didn’t discover photography until university, when he bought his first digital camera. Soon he experimented with film and found that medium format cameras better fit his developing style of mindful, quiet image making – the act of looking down into a viewfinder and slowly composing a picture suited his meditative approach.
It’s tough, he says, to name exactly what it is about a given scene that compels him to stop and make a picture. “It can have light, form, shape, composition, whatever.” He says. “If everything else is there but the content isn’t there, then I won’t take the picture.” Those other elements should not be the focus of the image, he says, but should instead serve that central idea. The essential “content” can take almost any form. “If what I’m feeling inside is projected back at me, then I’ll take a picture of it,” he says. Although he’s always shot this way, he’s only recently begun to contemplate the way he works.
Much of Andy’s work is still life or landscape, people seldom appear in his images. When they do, they rarely face the camera: most seem unaware that they’re being photographed at all, and those that do know are usually turned away, their eyes diverted from the viewer. Recently, however, he’s ventured into portraiture, inspired especially by August Sander, a photographer known for his highly-orchestrated portraits of pre-WWII Germans.
Back when Sander was shooting, having your portrait made was a rare event. These days, you can do it yourself in a smudged bathroom mirror in ten seconds flat. So what’s the value of a single image in a world so over-saturated with them? It’s an even more challenging question for someone like Andy, whose work doesn’t rely on flashy spectacle, but instead documents quiet, everyday moments. In a world so packed with imagery, it’s unrealistic and unfair to expect viewers to slow down and study each one. But for those that are willing to do so, the work of photographers like Andy offers rewards.
One of Andy’s most beautiful series is entitled Detache. It’s an assortment of small, enticing details: a pile of books, the luminescent glow of cracked eggshells, a drape wound around a bedpost. “Detachment” speaks to Andy’s role as someone removed from the action, a keen observer rather than direct participant. But in a greater sense it also describes the style of all his photographs in any of his series. In music, a detache is a quick, light stroke on the violin. In essence, a light touch. These little moments are, to Andy, the harvest of the small but profound act he pursues every day of “noticing poetry in your surroundings.”
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. It’s harder than you think! Today we hear from chef Andrea Carlson, co-owner of the celebrated Burdock & Co. eatery on Main Street and resident CSA box curator at Harvest Community Foods in Chinatown.
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs | LISTEN | “Tom Waits has been an early favourite for his quirky variety of music. Rain Dogs is a fave as it’s a prime example of his vocal style and lyrical imagery. Reminds me of my youth…”
Oliver Schroer – Camino | LISTEN | “A Canadian musician who I first came to hear on a CBC interview with Sheila Rogers. He and his music were really captivating and we had the good fortune to see him that same summer at the Folk Music Fest at Jericho. I heard him interviewed again a year or two later – I believe about his album Camino – which was recorded in churches along the Camino de Santiago trail. A very hauntingly beautiful album.”
Bocephus King – Joco Music | LISTEN | ”A great album for a road trip – packed with excellent musical talent from our area. Can’t recall how I discovered BK … but have had great opportunities to see him play at Tofino’s Legion and the Railway Club.”
The GOODS from The Cinematheque
Vancouver, BC | Out-of-luck dupes. Double-crossing dames. Crime, corruption, and the sweltering heat. The Cinematheque’s most popular (and nihilistic) summer series, Film Noir, is back! For the month of August, a dozen dark, delirious gems from noir’s hard-boiled heyday (early 1940s to the late 1950s) will be onscreen, including new restorations of must-see essentials (Double Indemnity, The Lady from Shanghai, and Gun Crazy), rare forays into lurid colour (Niagara, House of Bamboo, and Leave Her to Heaven), and a long-weekend triple bill with icons Bogie (The Maltese Falcon), Stanwyck (Double Indemnity), and Crawford (Mildred Pierce). Step out of the sun and into the shadows this summer with one of the richest, most influential periods in American cinema. Opens Friday, August 1st with Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, and a cash bar! Read more
by Stevie Wilson | Whether you’re a diehard fan or just love a cheap hot dog, a trip to the baseball diamond is just good fun. Our city’s interest in baseball dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when visiting American semi-pro teams played to a growing number of fans at the Powell Street Grounds in Japantown (now Oppenheimer Park). Inspired by the turnout and encouraged by the sport’s growing popularity across North America, a team called the Vancouver Veterans were founded in 1905. The Vets, named after manager John McCloskey (who was indeed a veteran), had their first game at the new Recreation Park located at Homer and Smithe.
Two years later in 1907, after a season-long hiatus from the game, a new team called the Vancouver Canucks was established. In 1908 they were renamed the Beavers, which appears to have been a lucky choice: the team won the pennant in both 1911 and 1914. The Beavers’ league had dissolved by 1922, and throughout the 1920’s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, only amateur ball was played in Vancouver. These teams played at the new Athletic Park located at Hemlock and Fifth.
This was a very successful period for Vancouver’s legendary Japanese-Canadian team, the Asahi, who in 1914 also got their start at the Powell Street Grounds. Athletic Park, rumoured to have been hand-cleared by then-owner Bob Brown, is recognized as the first sports field in the country to have been equipped with flood lights. You can learn more about the Asahi here.
Yet another new team, the Vancouver Maple Leafs, emerged in 1937 at Con Jones Park (later renamed Callister Park) near the PNE grounds. However, then-owner Con Jones soon sold the Leafs to Emil Sick of Seattle’s Capilano Brewing Company, who moved the team back to Athletic Park. Sick also renamed the team to match his company; they were now known as the Vancouver Capilanos. The economic strain of the Second World War caused the league to close again in 1942, and three years later the field, which had been renamed Capilano Stadium, was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt soon thereafter, but Sick was ultimately keen to move to larger space.
His brand-new stadium, finished in 1951, was modelled after the Capilano Stadium in Seattle and was completed at a cost of $550,000. In 1956, after Sick acquired members of the Oakland Oaks to play for Vancouver, the Capilanos became the Mounties. This marked the first time that our city was home to a ‘AAA’ (Triple A) team. The Mounties left in 1970, and it wasn’t until 8 years later when a new ‘AAA’ team was formed: the Canadians. In the same year, Capliano Stadium was renamed to honour local baseball supporter (and Triple-O sauce inventor) Nat Bailey.
In 1999, the Canadians played their last game as a ‘AAA’ team, and in 2000 the empty stadium became the site of a struggle between the Park Board (who wanted to demolish it) and a lobby campaign headed by Bud Kerr, a local historian/champion of the game. Fortunately, the stadium was saved (now known as Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium), and in 2011 the Canadians were established as a member of the Northwest League, where they duel with the likes of the Spokane Indians and the Tri-City Dust Devils to this day.
REDirect – a celebration of skateboard filmmaking between Red.com and TheBerrics.com – imagines the concrete terrain of a Los Angeles that is empty save for a handful of professional skateboarders who quickly adapt to their winfall. Everything is fair game, from off-ramps and drainage ditches to highway dividers and shoulder embankments. The makers are donating all proceeds from the dreamy video to LA County animal shelters. Dig the poignant return of reality (traffic) at the end.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | The Gathering is the brand new hip hop social taking over East Van every summr Sunday night at the Biltmore Cabaret (no juggalos, we promise). Vancouver has been in dire need of a local hip hop night for years, one that favours MCs over EDM and focuses on fostering local talent. The night showcases both up-and-coming and established MC and musical artists weekly, with a host of surprises (to be revealed). This week’s edition features Jellyfish Recordings artist Potatohead People (Nick Wisdom, AstroLogical) and Rob The Viking (of Swollen Members), with special guests Mosaic, Garrett Grhymes, Alex Cruz, Ham-E Tha Northern Mic, RLGN!, & DJ’s Emotionz, Def 3 & Coner. Doors open at 9pm. Come early for a laid back vibe with old school hip-hop spinning before the acts take to the stage. Visit biltmorecabaret.com and RSVP on Facebook for continued updates as the night evolves. Read more
by Rebecca Slaven | Friends often ask me what the most approachable summer bike ride is and I think the right answer is always Deer Lake. Known to most as an outdoor summer concert venue, it’s also a lovely spot for a daytime picnic. Most importantly, the relatively short round trip’s route is almost entirely on separate paths off the road.
Make your way to the Central Valley Greenway and continue along until Gilmore, by the conspicuous Dick’s Lumber. Then turn right and follow the signs for the Sea to River bikeway. Continue until you hit the Willingdon Urban Trail and take a right.
When you reach Deer Lake Parkway, take a left on the sidewalk, which is the Deer Lake Parkway Urban Trail, though there are no signs to indicate this. There are multiple entrances to the lake. One option is to hang a right on Deer Lake Avenue and make another right at the driveway just before Hart House.
Stops & Eats | For picnic supplies, stop at La Grotta Del Formaggio on Commercial Drive on your way. A full focaccia sandwich easily and cheaply feeds two people. Plus, it has all the candied almonds you could desire. Happy snacking!
Rebecca Slaven is a librarian, writer, and cyclist. Her subject specialities include law, beauty, and croquet. Her format specialty is the how-to guide. She mostly rides her bike to work but has cycled as far as San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
by Maya-Roisin Slater | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to pick the three albums that anchor their musical tastes. Today we hear from local visual artist, musician, and producer Eli Muro. To see beautiful works by this jack of many trades, visit his website here.
Bill Withers – Still Bill | LISTEN | “Bill Withers is one of the most honest musicians I have ever heard. His topics are so real and he’s not afraid to make music about harsh realities. Yet at the same time he can make a song like “lean on me”. I feel like he’s giving me life advice when I listen to this album. “Still Bill” is the full spectrum of good honest soul music and real talk, a lot of the songs on this album have had the ability to make me cry.”
Nas – Illmatic | LISTEN | “Hip Hop was the first genre of music that I fell in love with, and “Illmatic” was on repeat for most of my adolescence. Nas came out in the “golden age” when hip hop was new and exciting. He was just making the kind of music that felt natural to him. Now when he tries to make a pop song for the radio or something it sounds forced, but this was his first album where he’s just being himself, which is why I think it’s such a classic.”
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma | LISTEN | “This album blew my mind. It’s everything I love: hip hop, jazz, electronic and experimental all in one package. Flying Lotus seems to have no boundaries, he just goes everywhere with his art. The string arrangements by Miguel Atwood Fergussen are next level and I think the balancing of subtle atmospherics and intense complexities are just perfect.”
The third episode of the Aprons For Gloves’ Restaurant Rumble preview series just landed on our desk. It sets up the Middleweight Title showdown between Max Cunnigham (Partner, Joe’s Apartment) and Yacine Sylla (Bartender, Chambar). The fights take place in Gastown on July 23rd. Click here for details and to score tickets to the Livestream parties.
(via) “Bill’s fifty-two years old, has a mountain man beard, and delivers pizza on a fixie in Brooklyn. Over the course of several shifts, DELIVERY unveils an intriguing man rushing food to your door while it’s still hot and fresh.”
by Stevie Wilson | It is recognized as one of Vancouver’s most popular music venues and the longest continuously occupied space of its kind, but there’s much more to the Railway Club at 579 Dunsmuir than the occasional anecdote about The Tragically Hip. With over 80 years of history behind it, the space is yet another product of the inextricable link between Vancouver and its busy rail lines. The club, established in 1932 (at midnight on New Year’s Eve, to be exact) was originally a members-only space for the CPR’s staff to unwind, and was allegedly opened in response to the exclusivity of the nearby Engineers Club. Following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, The Railwaymen’s Club (as it was then known) operated as a busy, beer-stained and smoke-filled poker bar for the city’s thirsty working class.
The slim Laursen Building (also registered as Lawsen) dates back to around 1926, and has since featured many small businesses both upstairs and down. Prior to the Railwaymen’s Club, the top floor belonged to the European Concert Cafe, where one can only imagine what sort of fun was had. Over the years the space fell into significant disrepair until the Forsyth family purchased the bar in 1981. None of the contemporary furnishings are original, save for the fenestration and radiators; everything had to be constructed for a new crowd of patrons. Behind the main bar a set of beautiful stained glass windows are nearly hidden by a wide variety of signs and stuff to stare at over a pint.
Another surprising element of the Railway is its cozy back-end bar. While it blends seamlessly with the dark wooden decor of the front space, this room used to be the H. Miles Jewellery Store, which the Forsyths took over in 1988. The beautiful oak back bar was purchased from the storied West End gay bar Buddy’s when it closed its doors in the same year.
So whether it’s for a drink, a show, or to watch its charming toy trains circle the ceiling, just soaking up an hour at this local landmark means soaking up some uniquely local history, too. Indeed, in a city where restaurant and bar interiors seldom last as long as they really should, it’s an uncommon environment worthy of your thirsty investigation. Photos after the jump… Read more
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden began it’s Enchanted Evenings summer concert series last Friday with an al fresco performance by Chinese-Western musical fusion ensemble Silk Road Music. Scout contributor Luis Valdizon attended and took the shots above and below. They’ve really shaken things up this year with reservable seats, gourmet picnic dinners (order in advance for $10-$29), plus wine and beer. There are four more Enchanted Evenings concerts this summer and each will have a unique feel and tempo. It’s Tomoe Arts on July 17th, Jim Byrnes on July 24th, the Vancouver Piano Ensemble on Jul 31st, and Deanna Knight and the Hot Club of Mars on August 7th. The shows cost $25 each. Doors open at 7pm for each concert at 578 Carrall St. Read more
Are you excited for the Aprons For Gloves’ Restaurant Rumble on July 23rd? So the hell are we. Even though it’s now sold out, you can still catch all the action with your friends in Gastown (Portside), Chinatown (Fortune Sound Club), or on the Granville strip (The Bottleneck). Yup, all three venues are throwing special Livestream viewing parties and they’re going to be awesome. Click on the links above for tickets and details. Bonus: watch the new Restaurant Rumble preview video!
Honour Bound details the many cool things that we feel honour bound to check out because they either represent our city extremely well or are inherently awesome in one way or another.