TEA & TWO SLICES | On Jingo Journalism And Councillors Setting Themselves On Fire

November 19, 2014 


by Sean Orr | Analysis paralysis: Vancouver municipal election campaigns cost almost $5 million but led to very little change on council. Hey man, the status quo ain’t cheap, and I ain’t complaining.

Kirk LaPointe channels Biggie Smalls: It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up Magazine…

So it was just you that was tired and not your ideas? I see…

Hyperbole much? Decision 2014, The Aftermath: A Permanent, Dystopian Nightmare. Seriously, I’ve been reading Ray Tomlin’s blog for months now and I still don’t know if it’s satire or not.

Bill Tieleman knows a thing or two about losing campaigns: Vision lost school and park boards from split vote. Or…you know, because people didn’t want to vote for them.

Role model: Newly elected B.C. councillor will light himself on fire. Ooh! Ooh! Can the rest of them do it as well?

Something’s fishy: Marineland Suing Vancouver Free Press. “One seal passed away while the four others allegedly went blind due to poor water conditions according to ex staffers…” I think that’s as good as any opportunity I will get to link to a Hootie and the Blowfish song.

Media watch: Why journalism and jingoism shouldn’t mix.

Harper’s carefully orchestrated, self-serving pantomime in Australia reveals him as the worst kind of hypocrite: rank and bellicose. But he’s a hypocrite with a lot of help — media help.

Well, since I’m on a roll posting songs that go with news articles, here’s Bellicose Minds.

Docu drama: The CBC is poised to dramatically scale back production of its cutting-edge documentaries.

Man bites ignores sign about leashing your dog: Dog dies after jumping killer ledge at BC Place. “Spooner said although there are signs around the wall warning people, dogs can’t read them…” That’s an actual quote. Someone actually just said that. Reminds me of Donna the Deer Lady. Maybe BC Place is haunted like Scottish Suicide Bridge at Overtoun.

In more animal news: Farm owner fears his horses will be “swimming in oil”. Well, then they can just pull themselves out by their bootstraps.

Pretty cocky: Vancouver Man Dressed As Rooster Offers Free Rides. Doesn’t this just end up hurting cabbies? Read this: Welcome to Taxiland. Also, Uber is evil.

Bonus: The Sointula Art Shed: Colleen Heslin & Les Ramsay.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Gregor’s Big Victory And Calling The DTES A “Failed Community”

November 17, 2014 


by Sean Orr | I voted neigh: Gregor Robertson re-elected mare of Vancouver. Oh, c’mon you kids! Quit horsing around!

Analysis: Why Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson won. It turns out it was because “Vision clearly held the lead in pork pie hats and skinny jeans…” Also, to borrow an old adage from the straight-edge scene, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything: “It was an energy that felt positive, as if these people were for something rather than against it…”

A case for wards? Interactive map shows you how your Vancouver neighbourhood voted. To borrow a lyric from my old band, Taxes: ”This city is divided / in two halves / east-side west-side / have-nots and the haves…”

How many people plumped? Anne Roberts: Boost your voting power by plumping.

Pregnant with power: Vancouver Aquarium breeding ban to be lifted say NPA commissioner. So you run on a platform that Vision pushes its ideology without due consultation and this is the first thing you do? I mean, not even Tea & Two Slices will take a stand on this issue (we’ll leave that to Reddit).

Solzhenitsyn rolling in his grave: Vancouver’s ‘gulag’: Canada’s poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending. Once again, the mainstream press conflates the idea that maybe we shouldn’t be letting people die with enabling. “… the result was a 221-page document that expertly skirted around any mention of the Downtown Eastside as a failed community in need of a drastic turnaround. The report only mentioned the word ‘drug’ six times…” That’s funny, because your article mentions federal transfer payments, the non-existent national housing plan, frozen welfare rates, renovictions, slum lords, harm reduction, NIMBYism, and the fact that it costs more to leave people on the street than to house them a grand total of zero times. Perhaps the author – an award-winning reporter who has written stories for Reader’s Digest and the inflight magazine of a helicopter company – would rather we killed all the poor.

Meanwhile, in Opposite Land: Insite Loves People Right Where They Are.

To calm you down, here’s a Buzzfeed article about Mr. Rogers. Aw…

Totally unrelated:

The heritage battle for Chinatown. OMG, do not touch Tosi’s! Can someone copyright it as an art project? Super dis: “Almost immediately, the two (highrise) buildings in the 600-, 700-block Main go up, and they’re just basically Yaletown condos. Not even Yaletown — Yaletown has more character.”

Meanwhile, Portland Hotel Society sells Downtown Eastside building to B.C. Housing. RIP, The Only.

Speaking of audits: As CRA audits charities, there’s a scandal within a scandal. This is CRAzy.

While the CRA is disrupting the work of often tiny NGOs, the government is simultaneously laying off international tax auditors who specialized in investigating the tax avoidance strategies of 1-per-cent-ers and corporations.

Bonus: It Only Takes 175 Words for this Canadian to Lay an Epic Smackdown on Idiot Americans Who Rejected Obama for the GOP.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Shitty Boyfriends And The Stench Of Burning Hair In Gastown

November 14, 2014 


by Sean Orr | “I’m sorry about that thing that you are mad at me about…” said every shitty boyfriend ever. Mayor Gregor Robertson issues apology to Vancouver voters over criticisms. To be fair though, he didn’t really “issue” it, he just blurted it out in a debate. I guess a politician can’t show humility and humanity lest it be construed as desperation. Like Steve Zissou:

The first thing that goes through a captain’s head when he hears there’s low morale goin’ around is: “What’d I do? Is it all my fault?” Well, he’s probably right. Most of us have been together a long time. There are others that were here before that. Do you all not like me anymore? I mean, what am I supposed to do? I don’t know.

Or perhaps it was just a moment of weakness. He didn’t Meena word of what he said.

Speaking of Bif Naked: I am a lucky girl. I feel blessed, fortunate, and totally present. Well, nothing to make fun of there. Moving on.

Strange bedfellows: Globe and Mail, The Straight, SensibleBC and Peter Wall endorse Gregor and Vision. I am, too, but only because I want to be at that party! PS. can I bring a +1?

When anti-densification bites you in the ass: If the NPA and Kirk LaPointe get slaughtered in tomorrow’s election, here are six reasons why: “There’s been far less densification in southwest Vancouver, where the NPA is the most popular party…”

Will the real NPA please stand up: NPA candidate claims she’s the last ‘normal’ home buyer in her neighbourhood. “In some cases in our many all-candidates debates, many of our candidates have been goaded into saying things, been triggered and we’re all endeavouring to do our best to answer all the questions…” Oh, those pesky “reporters”, asking questions and whatnot. Shame on them.

High-risk guesses shape Vancouver residents voting strategies, observers say.”Most people can barely do it in a simple three-way race…” Yeah. People dumb. In other news, you are now thinking about three-ways.

Despite the above article on strategic voting, I really like this guy, and not just because of beer: Vancouver candidate RJ Aquino proposes pint size policy.

Vancouver Man Encouraged To Light His Hair On Fire In Unsettling Video. Unfortunately, it was the man’s idea. But that still doesn’t mean you should do it. It’s also important to note that this is incident is not a one-off.

Island man’s Facebook rant about BC Ferries goes viral. BC Ferry’s responds:

“Ironically, Smith’s day job is a social media coach. He says the whole experience has shown him that you can’t predict what will go viral.” Don’t hire him as a social media coach because ‘viral just happens’. There, I just saved you money.

The Steam Clock is dead! Long live the Steam Clock! Cool idea, but it doesn’t have to be where the steam clock is. It could be on any number of the steam vents operated by CHDL. That way we could have an open call for artists and my idea of replicating a giant bong on top of one of them could finally come true.

Roberto Luongo spoofs Kim Kardashian on Twitter. I guess stickhandling never was his strongest suit.

Related: Kim Kardashian doesn’t realize she’s the butt of an old racial joke.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Following Orders & The Mayor Losing The Election On Purpose

November 12, 2014 


by Sean Orr | What should be on the front page of every paper in BC: Homeless people’s life expectancy half of average in B.C.. Oh yeah, but “they all come here because of Vancouver’s temperate climate…” blah, blah, blah. Yeah, they come here to die is more like it.

Instead, The Province’s front page asks: Why can’t B.C.’s weather forecasters get it right more often? “Even Madryga says he doesn’t always get it right, despite being one of the most careful and cautious of forecasters…” You know what else he doesn’t get right? Climate change. He denies it, while apparently shilling for Port Metro Vancouver. But then again, maybe he’s just – cough – following orders: Canadian government orders scientists not to disclose extent of polar melting.

Energy Giant Serves Vancouver Poet & Professor Stephen Collis $5.6 Million Lawsuit for Opposing Pipeline Expansion. “Using a man’s own verse against him in a court of law? I won’t stanza for it.” – the imitable Charles Demers.

Meanwhile, This Canadian Artist Halted Pipeline Development by Copyrighting His Land as a Work of Art. Canada’s own Little Sparta.

Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: Is Gregor Robertson trying to throw the election? But here’s something to vote for! Let’s elect him and thwart his dastardly plans! Ha ha, that’ll show him!

Attack the attack: Vision Vancouver misquotes reporters on NPA attack website. Hardly. The real take away? “Vision is also attacking LaPointe for living at UBC, which means he does not pay taxes in Vancouver.” Wow. I kind of want him to be elected because it will make my job so much easier!

Speaking of attack ads: The real grassroots speak up about the Kinder Morgan plan to pipe oil through Vancouver. Don’t elect these quacks!

Meanwhile, As a Progressive, Why NOT Vote for COPE? A little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.

“Oh, there you go, bringing class into it again…” How Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal became cities split by class. I’m sure the Feds are content to let us ‘battle along economic lines’ in largely meaningless civic elections, but also Richard Florida is just…wrong.

Creative Classes: UBC’s Vantage College: Canadians need not apply. There’s a fair bit of xenophobia here, but come on, who can afford to go to UBC as it is?

I have a problem with this article: The Internet Has A “Problem” Problem. How dare you attack Too Many Cooks! It’s basically my brain. Ryan Edward Miller concurs.

Sestito tweets the answer to the universe: Tom Sestito sends, then deletes, a tweet: an exhaustive investigation. And Wendy13 of all people figures it out.

Bonus: Ranking every Canadian Heritage Minute, part one and part two.

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

November 11, 2014 


by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in The Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

HOT TALKS | The Eastside Culture Crawl is just around the corner (November 20-23), but if you can’t stand the anticipation or are concerned that you won’t be able to fit in a visit to each of the 400 artists participating in the crawl this year, you can hit two birds with one stone this Thursday night with a pre-crawl event at Hot Art Wet City Gallery. The Main St. gallery has assembled eight East Van artists (Michelle Sirois Silver, Jon Shaw, Holly Cruise, Claire Madill, Patsy Kay Kolesar, Reilly Lievers, David Robinson, Robin Ripley) to share a little bit about their creative process in a short “Show & Tell” talk, giving art enthusiasts a hint of what’s to come during the Crawl’s studio visits next weekend.
Thu, Nov 13 | 7-8pm | Hot Art Wet City Gallery (2206 Main St.) | Free | DETAILS

FILM | The Vancouver Short Film Festival is on this weekend. Hustle down to the Vancity Theatre for screenings of 17 short films and 4 web series episodes – all made by BC filmmakers. A wide range of genres will be represented including romance, comedy, sci-fi and horror – with almost all of the films shorter than 12 minutes. Check out the festival trailer here and for full program details and to purchase tickets, visit www.VSFF.com
Nov 14-16 | Various times | Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) | DETAILS

FUSE | The Vancouver Art Gallery offers occasional breaks from the usual. These evenings – dubbed FUSE – offer music, live performance, DJs and art. Such a break happens this Friday night, and it’ll be guest-curated by video artist Paul Wong and produced by MediaLab (expect it to be influenced by the Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors exhibit currently showing at the VAG). There’s something sort of magical about wandering an art gallery after hours, so don’t miss out on the magic!
Fri, Nov 14 | 8pm–1am | Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St.) | $20 | DETAILS

DO IT ! | It may not be the most fun you’ll have all weekend but voting is important and it’s definitely one of the ten things that you should do between now and next week. The City of Vancouver website tells you everything you need to know, from candidate profiles and registration procedure to voting locations. Weigh in on who you think should occupy the offices of Mayor and Council as well as the Parks Board and School Trustees.
Sat, Nov 15 | 8am-8pm | Community Centres, Schools, and Halls | DETAILS

HERE TO THERE | The Access Gallery has a cool auction going on this weekend. 60 works, donated by established and emerging artists, will be for sale. The range of styles is wide and the level of talent is top-notch. Access is a non-profit, artist-run centre, which means that the majority of costs are covered through fundraising efforts – so this is a big deal. Support the arts by buying something to hang on your wall! Auction works can be viewed at www.auction.accessgallery.ca.
Preview: Thursday, Nov 13 | 7-9pm | 222 East Georgia St. | DETAILS
Auction: Saturday, November 15 | 9:30pm | 222 East Georgia St. | DETAILS

CRAFTY | The season of the craft fair is upon us. That means we’ll start seeing community centres, church basements and school gyms throughout the city fill up with tables and booths displaying all manner of unique and handmade gifts. Things get rolling this week with a gathering of more than 300 artists, designers and artisans drawn from across the country and wrangled together by the good folks at Circle Craft (a BC artist cooperative that exists to connect craftspeople with community for over 41 years now). Skip the malls and box stores. This Thursday through Sunday, buy small, independent and locally hand-made at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Thu-Sun, Nov 16 | Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place)| $14 | DETAILS

KARMA |  The good folks at Surfrider Vancouver are getting set to clean up Jericho Beach and they could use everyone’s help. Head over to Jericho Sailing Centre on Saturday morning and lend a hand. The weather is expected to be dry and the view is always amazing, so roll up your sleeves, fill your lungs with fresh air and do some good. Bringing your own reusable gloves and bags is a great help.
Sat, Nov 15 | 11am-1pm | Jericho Sailing Centre | Free + good karma | DETAILS

PARTY | Hawkers Market goes down this Saturday night. The coolest feature this time around is a roving Dim Sum cart that will weave through the crowd offering a selection of one-off creations submitted by participating vendors and chefs like Juno Kim and David Mendes. Expect 33 Acres Beer, Kombucha from o5 Tea, baked goods, tacos, poutine, and even fried savoury burrata cheese doughnuts. A musical performance by Claire Mortifee and good vibes keep things going until late at night. This is the last market of the 2014 season, so grab tickets while you still can!
Sat, Nov 15 | 10am-late | The Independent (188 Kingsway) | $10/$15 at the door | DETAILS

CULTURE | Make your way to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden this Sunday for some intergenerational and intercultural creativity and storytelling. In a production that merges the talents of the Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society and the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble with neighbourhood elders, artists and the larger community, “Autumn Flight” will be an afternoon of community art-making, live music, videos and shadow puppetry celebrating the city’s “bird-scape”. The Chinese Gardens are a beautiful place to visit at any time, but Fall is particularly stunning. Add to that a cup of hot tea and some vibrant cultural activity and you have a solid Sunday activity!
Sun, Nov 16 | 3 pm | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden (578 Carrall) | $15 DETAILS

EAT LOCAL | There are two Winter Farmers Market to choose from this weekend. Head to the Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot on Saturday or skip over to the skatepark at the PNE on Sunday and load up on locally grown fruits and veggies as well as fresh bread, honey, dried fruits and scores of other goodies. Bonus: farmers are awesome people and awesome people will only make your weekend better.
Sat, Nov 15| 10am – 2pm | Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St) | DETAILS
Sun, Nov 16 | 10am-2pm | Hastings Skatepark, PNE (Renfrew and Hastings) | DETAILS


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Harper’s Jihad And Real Estate Developers Owning Our Futures

November 10, 2014 


by Sean Orr | Well, my horoscope this week tells me to “just be content with your own viewpoint, and lighten up about proselytizing to others…” Something tells me that’s not going to happen…

After all, Harper’s Plan Means Canada Will Be Associated With War Crimes Instead of Peacekeeping. I’m guessing Harper’s not a Taurus. “The implications of this conservative ‘jihad’ are a threat to our national security on many levels…”

Author, poet, academic, and former Canadian diplomat Prof. Peter Dale Scott recently disclosed a Wikileaks cable indicating that the International Republican Institute (IRI), an off-shoot of the CIA, and a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) helped install Stephen Harper as Canada’s Prime Minister.

Surprised/totally not surprised.

The slow march of fascism plods on like a Canadian Light Armoured Vehicle: Hundreds of military vehicles to be erected as Afghan war monuments. Oh, what a give away! I wonder if John McCain’s IRI gave this idea to Harper or if he thought of it all by himself. “Better to do it now than in 25 years when kids ask ‘what’s Afghanistan?’”. Captain Mark approves.

House of Hormones: Sexual Harassment Allegations Put Spotlight On Parliament Hill’s ‘Testosterone Palace’. “Green Party Leader Elizabeth May also weighed in on the matter, suggesting men can escape culpability in systems of political power…”, which is pretty much what she wished she had said regarding Jian Ghomeshi.

Tweet of the Day:


I have a feeling it was supposed to be about this: Dean Del Mastro resigns his seat in House of Commons before vote to suspend him. “I did not donate too much money to myself and I stand by my filings in 2008,” he told the House of Commons as he resigned. “Don’t listen to the people who are on the blogs and the haters…” Who is this guy, Taylor Swift?

Related tweet:


Feds brace for backlash over new immigration rules banning polygamous, forced marriages. I wonder if denying a woman’s right to choose counts as a “barbaric cultural practice”?

Related: The definitive ranking of ridiculous and misleading Conservative names for bills.

Gregor Robertson endorsed by former NPA president and ex-COPE councillor. “Back in the glory days, the NPA was a giant tent with room for everyone…” Just reading that gave me a giant tent. Not so much for Charles Demers, however: “Visionistas tweeting ex-COPE, ex-NPA stuff like it doesn’t represent a depressing flattening, a collapse of the city’s political ecosystem.”

Frances Bula: Are Gregor Robertson’s voters moving on from leftist ideals?
 Short answer: no. “The Vision Vancouver party created in 2005 was a civic version of a federal Liberal party, a centrist operation with a strong green overlay…” If only her articles were as funny as her tweets.

She’s no Stephen Quinn: Five things to know heading into the Vancouver election homestretch. On Lapointe: “I don’t think I’m alone in saying that your key policy points shouldn’t be outlined in the same tone you might describe what you just got in your last handful of Bits & Bites…”

Hey, it worked for the Cedar Party: Gregor Robertson suing mayoral rival Kirk LaPointe for defamation. How’s that whole clean campaign thing working out for you, Kirk?

The real problem? Donors wield too much influence.

Meanwhile, the Greens take to Tinder. It’s funny because I’m still not sure if I should swipe left, or right. You know, because are they left wing or right wing? Sigh.

Tinder: When to Swipe for Mr. Right. So…The Province is basically Hush Magazine at this point…

Or, perhaps more accurately, Vancity “We Need to End Homelessness” Buzz: Vancouver is top-Canadian city for sugar daddies.

Headline of the day: Sean Avery’s off-Broadway debut derailed by meltdown over pizza.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Big Oil & Medieval Attitudes Towards The Homeless Of Surrey

November 6, 2014 


by Sean Orr | So sayeth the inimitable Dr. Steve Brule: “Can’t find a job, work for free, dummy!” Unpaid work good experience: BoC governor. I did some research and found this photo of him. I mean, it’s just so terrifyingly close to this Onion article: Laid-Back Company Allows Employees To Work From Home After 6pm.

A real SLAPP in the face: Kinder Morgan slaps Burnaby residents with multi-million-dollar lawsuit. The photo accompanying the article is terrifying. I mean, what the hell, Bono? First that whole iTunes fiasco, and now you’re serving legal papers on behalf of Kinder Morgan? And through Facebook?!

Worst kept secret: Fraser Institute co-founder confirms ‘years and years’ of U.S. oil billionaires’ funding. What a bunch of Koch suckers.

Does BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan have shares in Harbour Air or something? BC Ferries considers axing Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo route. Hmm, I wonder if this is consistent with the province’s Clean Energy Plan? “The ferry document admits the sweeping proposals will ‘challenge historically established notions of how BC Ferries’ service is delivered to the mid-Island corridor, and will require changes in customer behaviour.’” Oh, I see. So it’s our fault. Not the guy making $900,000 a year. Not all the bells and whistles added to improve the customer experience, as though anyone needs to buy a fucking iPad on a ferry. Like the top comment on that story says, “quit trying to make it a cruise line and return the ferries to the Ministry of Highways”.

Weird, when you run the government like a corporation they start acting like corporations: Metro Vancouver may go to a single fare zone for buses, TransLink says. So it will cost the same to travel two blocks as it will 2 hours? Looks like we might have to update the Vancouver Lexicon entry for Transdink.

Ex-COPE bigwig David Cadman backs Robertson, saying left must ‘stick together’. Because we all know fear-based voting works every time!

I guess it’s better than these guys: Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver aims to overthrow Vision with “strategic slate”. “They don’t take developer money yet are recommending a Mayoral candidate who is funded by developers to replace a Mayor who is also funded by developers…” -Parks Board candidate Jamie Lee Hamilton.

Homelessness cannot be ignored in upcoming Vancouver civic election. Vancity Buzz decided to get into politics! That’s adorable. Unfortunately, the author has conflated provincial jurisdiction with civic – as minimum wage, welfare shelter rates, real estate prices, mental health and drug addiction have nothing do with this election. But lo, “developers are to blame also”, so…

Don’t get any ideas, Surrey: Police charge 90-year-old man, 2 pastors with feeding homeless. If they were feeding the homeless to cannibals I could totally see how that would be a crime, but just feeding them? Oh, dear.

19 Things You Can Only Get Away With In Vancouver. Oh yeah? Here’s a quiz that I would like you to take.

In restaurant news: Renowned Vancouver restaurants Raincity Grill, C Restaurant close.

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week


by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

CORNUCOPIA | Whistler throws a heck of a food and wine festival, and this year the Cornucopia festivities run for a magnificent 10 days. Prepare yourself for educational wine seminars, multi-course winemaker dinners, huge tasting events, and after-parties of a magnitude seldom seen in the province. While some events are free, most are ticketed and have the annoying habit of selling out, so book yours on the quick, pack a bag, and head up and up for the hills.
Now through Sun, Nov. 16 | Various locations throughout Whistler | DETAILS

OPENING | South Granville’s Gallery Jones launches Ghost Therapy, an exhibition of new works by Vancouver-based painter, illustrator and filmmaker Paul Morstad. Like a cross between a children’s book illustration and a naturalist’s notes from an 18th century explorer’s journal, Morstad’s work is simple but thoughtful with a hints of mischief throughout. As Gallery Jones explains, the artists work is “heavily influenced by the intersection of landscape, the natural world and the human experience. This is most strongly represented by Morstad’s use of maps as both an aesthetic and thematic element. From a compositional perspective the maps often form the background from which the fantastical emerges. This symbiotic relationship alludes to the human need to order and identify and also the idiosyncratic qualities of humankind, a species capable of mapping the ocean floor and coming up with curling.” The opening reception for Ghost Therapy goes down this Thursday evening (6-9pm) but if you can’t make opening night, the show continues until November 29th.
Thu, Nov 29 | 6-9pm | Gallery Jones (1725 W 3rd Ave) | DETAILS

DREAM HOME  | Nicolas Sassoon is an artist captivated by imagined places and space. Given that Sassoon’s work employs computer-based processes to generate ‘fantasized visions of architectures, landscapes and domestic environments’, the majority of his work is published online as animated GIFs. But not all of it! Sometimes, his GIF’s make the jump from screen to sculpture, print, or site-specific installations. Such an occasion will take place at the Wil Aballe Gallery this Thursday night. Dream Homes is Sassoon’s first solo exhibition.
Thu, Nov. 6 (to Dec 6) | 7-9pm | Wil Aballe Art Projects (528-2050 Scotia) | DETAILS

CULTURE | As part of Ouxi (Taiwanese Puppetry Festival), the Museum of Anthropology has a group of Taiwanese puppeteers visiting from overseas. In order to introduce these guests to the larger community, MOA is hosting Meet+Greet+Eat this Friday evening. Expect a cultural experience that will showcase the food and customs of Taiwanese and local First Nations artists together. Enjoy traditional foods, music and entertainment in a beautiful setting and get to know a distant culture through it all.
Fri, Nov 7 | 6-9pm | Museum of Anthropology (6393 N.W. Marine Dr., UBC) | DETAILS

DANCE | Grab your eyeliner, dig out the mesh, and dust off your pointy shoes! It’s Dark Eighties Night at The Astoria. Find your way to the DTES pub for cheap drinks and cult hits while surrounded by an authentic 80′s decor (complete with table top video games and black lights). Depeche Mode until you can’t take it any more!
Nov 8-9 | 9pm–2am | The Astoria (769 E. Hastings) | $6 | DETAILS

CELEBRATE | This month marks the fifth year anniversary of the BC edition of BeatRoute Magazine. Accordingly, the BeatRoute crew is throwing an epic three day party. An authority on the local music, art, and film scene, you can bet that the line-up assembled to celebrate this auspicious occasion will be top shelf. This is an all ages gig, so grab some kids and drag them along, too. Culture for all!
Nov. 6-8 | Korean Cultural Centre (1320 E Hastings) | $13-20 | DETAILS

NATURE | There’s no avoiding the rain in these November skies, but one of the great things about living in a rainforest is that its canopy provides a reasonable amount of cover from the downpour it relies upon. Head to Stanley Park this Sunday afternoon to learn more about rainforest ecology and how our local forests compare to other temperate and tropical forests around the world. Wear suitable footwear and take along a warm beverage to keep you fortified. To pre-register, email programs [at] stanleyparkecology.ca
Sun, Nov. 9 | 1:30-3:30pm | Meet at the Lost Lagoon Nature House | $10 | DETAILS

DESIGN SUNDAY |  Take part in a community conversation and make a solid start to civic improvement on a personal scale. The Museum of Vancouver has joined forces with the Laboratory of Housing Alternatives to present a series of speakers that will engage Vancouverites in a dialogue on housing. This Sunday’s topic will be “Links between Loneliness, Engagement and Housing Affordability” with ‘Generation Squeeze‘ founder Paul Kershaw and architect Marianne Amodio. Remember your Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Go for it, get involved!
Sun, Nov. 9 | 2:30-5pm | Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut St) | $15 | DETAILS

THRIFT | If you’re looking to update your wardrobe but not looking to spend ridiculously in order to achieve that goal, consider hitting the Preloved Sale in East Van this Sunday. Peruse the goods gathered from the closets of 20 women; expect clothing, jewelry and accessories, vintage and new. So much better than the mall!
Sun, Nov. 9 | 10:30am–3:30pm | Astorino’s Ballroom (1739 Venables) | DETAILS

EAT LOCAL | It’s a sad fact of shifting seasons that neighbourhood farmers markets have ended, but don’t fret. The Winter Farmers Market sets up in the Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot on Saturdays. Visit your local farmers to load up on fresh fruits (apples are perfect right now) and veggies (potatoes, kale, broccoli and beets). Also hook yourself up with fresh bread, honey, dried fruits and scores of other locally-grown goodies.
Sat, Nov 8| 10am – 2pm | Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St) | DETAILS


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Winning The War On Drugs And NIMBYs Eating Their Young


by Sean Orr | Quality of life: Controversial Vancouver homeless plan for former Quality Inn draws huge crowds and ire. “Once the room reached capacity, about 85 people were left waiting in a line-up that stretched out the hotel door onto Howe Street.” Oh my god! Imagine being left out on the street without a voice? The horror! “It’s going to be a huge transient community with people that don’t have a tie to the neighbourhood…” Sort of like…a hotel? Also, what about the huge group of people that had no ties to the neighbourhood that moved into Yaletown after Expo 86? Best comment: “But I thought homeless shelters were like monster generators in World Of Warcraft”? – Jay Harmer

The Kids Are Alright (as long as they aren’t in my neighbourhood): Residents raise the alarm over youth recovery house opening in East Vancouver neighbourhood. A special place in hell. “Neighbours were told residents will have no history of arson or sexual violence involving children…” The same could not be said of course for EVERY SINGLE OTHER RESIDENT in the area.

The NPA single-handedly wins the war on drugs: Vancouver’s Next Mayor? LaPointe commits to shutting down notorious Hastings and Main drug market. Captian Kirk to the rescue! Because black markets like this totally won’t migrate to somewhere else or anything…

Meanwhile, Bruce “I got hit in the head really hard over and over” Allen says homeless people aren’t citizens and gives kudos to Burnaby and Surrey for dragging their feet on shelters: Reality Check.

So you don’t want them in shelters, and you don’t want them to set up tents. What do you want? Wait, don’t answer that question. Surrey boots homeless from camp. Yeah, I mean…look at how beautiful that parcel of land is that those greedy people are destroying.

Silly us! Thinking that we could have it in anyway resemble how good the boomers had it: Shelley Fralic: Housing affordability in Metro Vancouver — Is the real issue our expectations? Ah yes, Lowered Expectations.

Sacred cows make the best burgers: Barbara Yaffe: City of Vancouver likes your home, so now it’s worth $500,000 less. That sounds like a lot, but on a 3 million dollar lot that’s only 15%. You can’t be against density, monster homes, and heritage preservation at the same time, daft people.

Province’s Sale of Family and Seniors’ Housing in Downtown Eastside Opposed by Residents. “The ‘Militant Mothers of Raymur’ had to take to the streets in 1971 to protect the safety and future of their children. The residents of Raymur will act now to protect their homes and community…” Stevie Wilson, can your next article be about this?

Related, unfortunately: Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification. TL:DR. Besides, we did it better.

OK, sorry…this is the last Jian Somessy thing that I will post, but clearly the most important: Facebook live statistics.

You guys ready to get weird? Campaign trail tarred with ‘gay serum’ rumour.

Weirdest new restaurant name? Invitro.

Bonus: Mac DeMarco stars as Dave Fuck in The Backer.

FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BRIEF #440 | Out The Train Window From Moscow To Beijing

October 30, 2014 

(via) French filmmaker Stanislas Giroux edited down three weeks of summer travel through three countries along the Trans-Siberian railway to just three mesmerizing minutes:

I took a train ticket for the Trans-Siberian railway, in order to reach Beijing from Moscow, crossing Mongolia. I travelled alone with my bag, half-filled with my video gear. At that time, I didn’t knew that my ticket for that seat 22 would be the beginning of a once in a lifetime journey…

But seriously, how does one not naturally expect that Moscow to Beijing by train will prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience?


TEA & TWO SLICES | On Bringing Out The Gimp For Ghomeshi & Galiano Island Brawls

October 29, 2014 


by Sean Orr | To the surprise of no one, Harper Named World’s ‘Worst Climate Villain’ After Damning Report. He’s also been named the World’s Worst Regular Villain, too.

To wit: Bill C-60: Tories Quietly Taking Control Of CBC, Group Alleges. It’s like he wants to “hate fuck” the CBC more desperately than Jian Ghomeshi does.

Related: The real reasons Jian Ghomeshi is suing the CBC. Featuring my new favourite word: opprobrium.

Meanwhile, Canadian humour magazine not even gonna touch this one, no thanks. Not even with a ten foot, um…pole?

Woman stabbed in Vancouver sex assault recovering in hospital. The story comes with a map of reported sex assaults, so nothing about the usual abuse of sex workers on the DTES, because they’re notoriously hard to pin down on a Google map. “He says it appears to police the woman was targeted because the attacker believed she was a sex trade worker”. Because then it would have totally been understandable? And of course, the usual mantra is repeated: “Women be careful out there”. It should be this: “Men stop raping women or we will fucking hunt you down and hurt you.”

Related: Hey Baby: Woman walks around NYC for 10 hours, is harassed 100 times, the supercut.

Meanwhile, in Toronto: Chow slams Toronto Sun cartoon as “racist” and “sexist”. And Doug Ford losing is like “Isis coming to Toronto

The only time you’ll feel proud to get punched in the face: Omar Albach Video ‘Canadians React To Ottawa Shooting’ Ends With Punch In Face. Violence is never okay except when it totally is.

The take-away: Ottawa attack reveals gaping holes in social safety net. “How would a beefed-up national spying apparatus have helped here? Or address the problem of alienated, emotionally incendiary and often addicted Canadians?”

Bad smell shuts down Vancouver’s Cambie Street. Are you sure it wasn’t Granville? (The lowest of low hanging fruit.)

Local band Ken Jennings gets tweeted by the real Ken Jennings:

Meanwhile, on Galiano Island, this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened: Galiano Island pub fight sparks four-hour standoff.

Cue David Cross on Redneck fights.

Vancouverite on the front lines of the fight against Ebola. Attaboy, Kenzie! I’m honoured to have been served a drink by this man, though I had no idea he was part of Zach Galifianakis’ Doctors Without Diplomas. *wink

Best new Twitter: Gastown’s Bill’s Confectionary.

Best Halloween costume: Social Media Professional.

Bonus: A haunting on Cordova Street.

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

October 28, 2014 


by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!

FEISTY FEAST | Feisty Feast is a pop-up communal table supper anchored by an inspiring guest speaker at a unique locale. This Wednesday, organisers brings together a crew of creative and innovative women at East Van’s Vinegar Factory. Attendees can expect five courses of Mediterranean-inspired food and a presentation by First Nations filmmaker, activist, and curator Elle Maija-Tailfeathers.
Wed, Oct 29 | 6:30pm | The Vinegar Factory (1009 E Cordova) | $55 | DETAILS

NATURE | These last days of October and first days of November see some of the most stunningly beautiful days to hike through local forests. We suggest a few hours on the trails at Pacific Spirit Regional Park. After you’ve done your hike, consider heading to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC (take a mushroom walk on Saturday at 2:15pm, find out about arctic berries on Sunday at 1pm, or ask an expert everything you ever wanted to know about marine bivalves on Sunday between 11 and 3pm).
FORESTS | All Week | Pacific Spirit Regional Park | DETAILS
SCIENCE | Beaty Biodiversity Museum (2212 Main Mall, UBC) | DETAILS

DRINK | The Irish Heather is holding one of their amazing whisky-themed dinners this week. Grab a seat at the table for pours of Ardbeg; their 10-year, Auriverdes, Corryvreckan, and Uigeadail — paired with lamb shank pot pie, colcannon mashed potatoes, maple-glazed carrots and a serving of bread pudding and caramel sauce for dessert. It all sounds like the perfect autumn indulgence!
Thu, Oct 30 | 7pm | Irish Heather (212 Carrall St) | DETAILS

RAINCHEQUE | The Vancouver Design Nerds will be at The Museum of Vancouver this Thursday evening to address a very important city specific issue: “How can we make new social connections in the rain?” Join a crowd of artists, activists, designers, and place-making enthusiasts as they brainstorm some innovative ways to make cool public spaces in a soggy city. Coolest bit: the winning concept will receive mentorship and assistance with prototype development funding. Get involved!
Thu, Oct 30 | 7-10:30 pm | Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut) | DETAILS

LAUGH | Dino Archie has opened for Aziz Ansari, but he’s got his own gig at the Comedy Mix this Thursday night and we’re betting he knows how to crack up a crowd. When was laughing until your stomach hurt anything other than a fantastic thing to do? Read an interview with Archie here, then grab a ticket and get ready to laugh.
Thu, Oct 30 | 8:30p | The Comedy Mix at Century Plaza (1015 Burrard) | DETAILS

MONSTERS | The Fall Tattooing & Artist’s Gallery has a creepy-as-heck group show opening just in time for Halloween. Feature Creature will showcase the works of 12 local artists. Expect drawings, paintings, sculptures and collages of monsters, mutants, and creatures of the dark. This show runs from October 30 – November 13 with an opening reception and cash bar on Thursday night.
Thu, Oct 30 | 8-11pm | The Fall Gallery (644 Seymour St) | DETAILS

BEETLEJUICE | Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! Catch the midnight movie at the Rio Theatre this Friday night. Extra points for film-related costumes, so dig out that black and white striped suit, pick up a beer from the theatre bar and slide into one of those comfy velvet seats for an evening of Tim Burton magic starring Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis and Michael Keaton. “Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose!”
Fri, Oct. 31 | 11pm | Rio Theatre (1660 E Broadway) | $8/$6 | DETAILS

ART | Hustle over to South Granville for a look at Vancouver artist Rebecca Chaperone’s latest show: Eccentric Gardens. This exhibition of recent works bears the artist’s signature style: adorably dark and slightly creepy. Expect to encounter signs of the places we access creativity and imagination hiding in surreal sugar-dusted landscapes with murky undertones.
Now through November 15 | Initial Gallery (2339 Granville St) | DETAILS

HISTORY | Slip back in time at Vancity Theatre this Sunday with Vintage Vancouver: Archival Films from the City of Vancouver Archives and Vancouver – A Progressive City! Movies from the City of Vancouver Archives. These are fantastic compilations of footage gathered together from archival materials such as Parks Board films, home movies, newsreels, ads and television clips. In addition to live musical accompaniment by pianist Wayne Stewart, well known Vancouver historian Michael Kluckner will be on site to offer commentary for images originally produced without sound.
Sun, Nov. 2 | 2:30 & 7:30pm | Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St) | $11 | DETAILS

ESCAPE | Vancouver is expecting rain every day this week. How nice would it be to press pause on that? As unlikely as that might seem, there is a way. Hide out at the Bloedel Conservatory for a few hours. While the Parks Board website explains that “the Conservatory sits beside the beautiful Quarry Gardens and has a panoramic view of the city’s skyline and mountain backdrop,” you won’t be seeing much of a skyline this week. Instead, go for the artificial temperature, exotic plants and flowers and free-flying tropical birds. With a little imagination (and a few props like sunscreen and a pair of flip-flops), you might just forget how miserable it is outside!
Mon-Sun| 10am – 5pm | Queen Elizabeth Park (4600 Cambie St.) | $6.50 | DETAILS


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Rough Trade & The “Donnelly Group” Not Being So Bad After All

October 27, 2014 


by Sean Orr | A chance, perhaps, to gloat: Ottawa attack highlights differences in Canadian-American media coverage. It’s pretty depressing how we get super excited whenever the media does its job properly. “There was a deplorable lack of political opportunism, and a dreadful dearth of doomsaying”.

Counterpoint: Never let the facts get in the way of a good Cronkite moment:

History. Context. Perspective. Understanding. Skepticism. Thoughtfulness. Canada’s so-called media and political “elites” abandoned them all. In their stead, we got a week-long diet of chest-thumping patriotic clichés, cheap, meaningless hyperbole and tropes that, taken together, have already manufactured widespread consent for what will surely be another assault on our rights and freedoms engineered by a cynical Conservative government.

Without further ado: MPs Pass Anti-Terror Bill. Including such fun provisions as the Philip K. Dick-sounding “preventive detention” and “investigative hearing” in which someone suspected of having knowledge of a terrorist act can be forced to answer questions. But not to worry, I pressed “Apple + F” to search the bill and found no mention of the word torture…

Mad LoVe quotes Padme Amidala, “So this is how liberty dies…to thunderous applause”: Young cadet continues to stand guard for Nathan Cirillo at Port Coquitlam cenotaph.

Meanwhile, Peter de Groot’s sister says, ‘He was executed’. Yeah, but it was to protect us, so never mind.

Moxy Frivolous: Fifty shades of Ghomeshi. Maybe he forgot that the D in BDSM stands for discipline. Maybe the lyrics to that Moxy Fruvous song should be “Once I was, the King of pain, Now I eat, humble pie”. Meanwhile, HuffPo reminds us that Liking ‘Q’ Isn’t a Good Enough Reason to Side With Jian while a ‘sex geek‘ wonders if the “don’t hate me for being kinky” defence will be used by people who perpetrate non-consensual violence.

Related: What goes on inside 8×6 isn’t the city’s business, licencing officials say.

Meanwhile in Whistler: Dumb, drunk and Dangerous: Idiots throw sleeping friend from 2nd story balcony.

Related: On the Twilight of the West.

Oh, and just in case you needed a reminder to not take a drug used in date rapes: Three people hospitalized in North Vancouver after taking GHB.

Via the Westender (with a straight face): Maybe the Donnelly Group isn’t so bad, after all. Money quote:

“…the look and feel of their pubs has always been an attempt to reflect the neighburhoods [sic] and clientele they’re serving…”

Hmm, even though it looks super realistic, Mordor isn’t a real neighbourhood.

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Stampeding Idiots And The Terror Of Our Addiction To Hysteria


by Sean Orr | A different kind of blowback: Ottawa shooter lived in Vancouver’s DTES. Let’s talk terror. Not the terror of Islamic fundamentalism, but the terror of mental health that surrounds us everyday. Not politically motivated terror, but the terror of addiction…

I wonder what would happen if we spent the same amount of money that we’re going to spend fighting ISIS (and their terrible beheadings while ignoring Saudi Arabia’s equally terrible beheadings) on addiction and mental health issues instead?

And instead of a measured response, we see drummed up hysteria. Attempts are made to tie the shooter to ISIS (he read their Twitter feed!), while Justin Bourque (a white guy who had conservative and conspiratorial anti-state world views) murdered three Mounties and the word “terror” is conveniently absent from the coverage. More collective amnesia. More police state rhetoric.

As Crawford Kilian writes: “We need to spend more attention on our own social and psychological state [...]  to ditch our democratic values and institutions would be to hand victory to the thugs…”

Oh wait. It’s too late: Conservatives mulling legislation making it illegal to condone terrorist acts online. Of course, nobody should condone a terror attack, but what if you question if it’s actually an act of terror, as I have just done? Also, does this mean every addict with mental health issues is a potential terrorist?

Meanwhile, what about the terror perpetrated against our aboriginal women? Fontaine and Gross: Two missing teens garnered two different responses. That’s not terror. That’s just isolated cases. A total fluke. No need to take any sort of collective action: Canada Is The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document. Protect Canadians! Just not the ones who were here first.

We need to protect our sacred institutions, like the RCMP: RCMP Cpl. Ron Francis, who smoked marijuana on job, found dead.

I’m not sure how to segue out of all this so… Watch a stampede of idiots endlessly run straight into a spinning metal thing.

Just in case you were wondering where our media stands in regards to resource extraction: New video series on resources debate launches. Yup, the husband of one of Christy Clark’s closest friends and advisors.

Meanwhile, one of the candidates hoping to join Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr on City Council has an investment portfolio heavy on industrial and mining stocks: Mayor moved, Greens energetic?

But that’s nothing. Just read through mayoral candidates’ statements. Particularly the first guy:

I’ve lived a good life in Canada and refuse to watch Asian immigrants buy our lives well raise property taxes on Chinese 5% our stop party mayor and van east PM is to blow up ISIS and take our country now prefer email and texts were running for families who pay most taxes n stay here mayor meynard & stop mayor meynard

Bonus: This is what rejection looks like.

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