by Grady Mitchell | ”Light is the most important thing,” says Jennilee Marigomen. “Light is everything.” The Vancouver photographer has masterful control over that most ethereal substance. She combines her deft hand for light with a love of colour and coy dashes of humour to create work that celebrates the routine miracles of everyday life. She’s happiest, she says, when she finds “something that shouldn’t really be there.”
The core of the humour in Jennilee’s work revolves around the often clumsy interaction of manmade objects with nature, something especially abundant in a city like Vancouver. “Nature always finds its way.” Another key feature of her work is Vancouver’s unique light. “It’s actually more the lack of light,” she says. The familiar overcast of the city’s misty winters create a soft, diffused tone. The short days and capricious weather are both a gift and a curse. It makes light difficult to catch, but also precious. “You feel like this is a really special thing happening.”
Jennilee has collected one of her most beautiful series, Window Seat, into a book that will be released on September 26th at Make Gallery. The photos were taken on a trip through Mexico, a place with very different light. Its intensity and heat were a challenge, but one she embraced. The light is more direct, the colours more vibrant, but the images still bear Jennilee’s meditative and revelatory approach.
The title, in a direct sense, refers to the book’s opening photo of an airplane window rimed with frost, but it also embodies the way Jennilee works. Shot in the coastal towns of Sayulita and San Francisco, Jennilee operates as an observer, not an active participant. It’s as if she quickly came across these scenes, snapped a photo, and just as quickly vanished without a trace, content with the record of a brief moment that will never come again. You can grab the book for $35 at Make Gallery on September 26, and see more of Jennilee’s work on her website.
Alexa Loo is a veteran local snowboarder who will be competing against the world’s best in the 2010 Olympics held here on her own mountain (how sweet is that?). Just a few weeks ago, she won a bronze medal in the Parallel Giant Slalom at Copper Mountain, Colorado’s Race to the Cup, so we’re stoked for her chances this winter. Do us even prouder, Alexa. Freakin’ giv’er.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Beef jerky.
Default drink: Beer.
Drink you’ll never have again: Rum and coke.
Best thing about the B.C. in the Winter: Skiing/snowboarding in fresh snow.
Best thing about the BC in the Summer: Patios after golfing or mountain biking.
Best hotel room, ever: Mandarin Oriental in Munich.
Top two mountains in the world: Whistler, Blackcomb.
Best post ride indulgence: Ice cream while sitting in a hot bath.
Book you’re reading: Bhagavad Gita. I am intrigued by the Hindu religion/philosophy.
Last place traveled: Soelden, Austria. Or do you mean a vacation travel spot? In that case it is NYC…love it there!
Biggest fear: Being hungry and alone.
Pre-competition superstitions: None.
If you could rename yourself: I wouldn’t, although I probably will change my last name when I get married.
Your ancestry: Dad is Chinese and Mom is French and English. Mixed race kids are the cutest (that is not just my opinion!!).
Under what circumstances would you join the army: If the uniform were pink. No, seriously, if Canada went to war, then I would consider signing up.
Your paternal grandfather’s personal story: He came to Canada from China around 1908 or so as an apprentice in order to avoid the head tax. When he arrived in Vancouver he took an English name: Charlie. He had a Chinese/Canadian restaurant in Flin Flon, Manitoba and then he moved on to a corner store in Vancouver. My grandfather had a stroke when I was 4 and couldn’t really speak. I was not able to speak with him very well or get to know him. He died when I was 8.
What are you proud of: My work ethic that was instrumental in helping me become an Olympian.
The thing that makes you the angriest: When people who cannot fight for themselves are taken advantage of or mistreated, particularly children.
The view from your favourite window: Grouse Mountain with snow on it.
Favourite ice cream flavour: Chocolate.
Most beautiful body of water: Strait of Georgia.
Talent you wish you possessed: I would love to be able to sing Opera.
The trend you wish you never followed, but did: Overalls.
Musical instrument you long to master: Cello.
If you couldn’t snowboard which would you pick up first, a skateboard, skis, or a surfboard? Skis.
Who were you mentors in Snowboarding? Mark Fawcett, Jasey-Jay Anderson.
The game you’re best at: Marco Polo, or pretty much any game played in the pool against my snowboard teammates.
Mac or PC: Don’t care, but I have a Mac currently.
The number of fist fights you’ve been in: 0.
The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: First on scene at a fatal bus crash.
Local person you admire most: Tamara Taggart.
The thing you’re most ashamed of: Being jealous.
Best concert experience ever: Il Trovatore at the Met in NYC last year.
Your first board: Gnu Antigravity.
Describe your tattoos: A thunderbird with a wave coming over it and the sun coming up in the background. I swam and rowed for UBC in and on the water at the crack of dawn.
The dish you’re proud of: Roast lamb.
The thing that makes you the most nervous: People who don’t believe that we should be teaching our kids competition or physical education in school, especially if those people are teachers [helping the students] to prepare for the world after grade school.
Town you were born in: Vancouver.
Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: MASH and Little Mosque on the Prairie.
First memory: Playing with play-doh in the kitchen.
What are you listening to as you answer these questions? My stomach growl.
Album that first made you love music: INXS, Kick.
Default junk food: Granola bars.
The career path you considered but never followed: Hotel management. I love hotels!
Two things you miss most about home when you’re on the road: Quiet. My own room.
Two websites you visit every day: Hotmail. Facebook.
The first three things you do every morning: Wash face, brush teeth, eat breakfast.
The thing you’re addicted to: Lip balm. Vaseline Intensive Care.
Biggest hope: World Peace – or at least for kids to grow up playing sports and loving life.
Luckiest moment of your life: When Mark Fawcett agreed to coach the National team.
Favourite book as a child: Encyclopedia Brown.
This was the 65th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000.
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.
This week we talk to Canadian Olympic hero Ross Rebagliati, who on February 8, 1998, made history in Nagano by winning the first ever gold medal for snowboarding.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Anything I want.
Default drink: Beer.
Drink you’ll never have again: Buckley’s.
Best thing about the Okanagan in the Winter: No rain and great snowboarding.
Best thing about the Okanagan in the Summer: Sunshine and outdoor sports.
Best hotel room ever: Presidential suite at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA (for appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno). Read more
Heather Huntingford is a make-up maven. In 2004, the native Vancouverite co-founded the thoughtfully stocked and divinely decadent apothecary Kiss & Makeup (apothecary, I could say that word 100 times). There, Heather sources and tests products looking for conscientiously made, original, organic and natural brands to line the shelves. If you aren’t familiar with the store, think of it as a cooler, hella more sophisticated Sephora, only with a local twist. Scout recently asked Heather about everything from her favourite lipstick (if anyone has the goods on this, it’s her) to where she goes to eat on cheap… Read more
The Lemon Park sisters, Tania and Penny Gleave, have always shared an interest in fashion and design, and often discussed starting a business together. So when Penny expressed an interest in changing careers three years ago, at around the same time people were asking about the jewellery Tania was creating and wearing at her openings, they decided to start Lemon Park. Penny takes care of much of the business side of things, while Tania is the self appointed “sweatshop girl” doing all of the designing, making, and sourcing of materials. This week we interviewed Tania alone, because if we had interviewed them both simultaneously, we would have probably broken the internet… Read more
I was first introduced to Canadian broadcast icon Terry David Mulligan a couple of years ago in a Whistler hotel room. He wasn’t a stranger to me. Like most Canadians under 50 with an interest in music, I grew up watching him on TV interviewing great musicians and introducing the music videos that have become part of the long slideshow of my memory. It was really cool to get a chance to share a bottle with someone who was as much a part of my personal cultural architecture as Donkey Kong, John Hughes or Stan Smyl. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a few meals with him since. It’s always great fun just being in his company. Read more
Seven years after leaving the restaurant trade behind them and going out on a limb to purchase 5 acres on the Naramata Bench, Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn have turned their labour of love, JoieFarm, into one of Canada’s most iconic wineries. Read more
Bonita Jo Magee is the Project Manager at FarmFolk/CityFolkSociety – a non-profit organization that works with food communities toward a local, sustainable food system (these are the fine people who bring us Feast of Fields). With a diploma in Environmental Studies, her work experience is diverse. It includes computer consulting, health food manufacturing, and campaigning for the protection of wilderness and wildlife. While working with FarmFolk/CityFolk, Bonita is educating herself about farming and is making plans to purchase farm and ranchland with her family and a handful of friends. Read more
Nigel Springthorpe is the co-owner and omnipresent life force behind the very kickass Alibi Room on Alexander.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Chunky Kitkats.
Default drink of choice: If there’s no quality beer available, I’ll take a scotch with a drop of water.
Drink you’ll never have again: Molson Canadian.
The one place you’d move to: Savary Island.
Beer of choice: Dead heat between North Coast Brewing – Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, and Central City Brewing – Empire IPA.
The best thing about your job: Converts. Some dude who comes to the bar asking for “a bud” or “just gimme any kind of lager” and ends up with one of BC’s biggest juiciest IPA’s and LOVES IT!!
Book you’re reading: Oz and James Drink to Britain – two dudes who take a Bentley with a caravan attached all over the British Isles visiting various wineries (yes, there are wineries in the North East of England), micro breweries and whiskey distilleries.
Last place traveled: The Algarve
Biggest fear: Losing everything.
Under what circumstances would you join the army: If I lost everything.
Best sneaker in the world: Every year me old mum sends me a pair of UK Adidas Sambas in the mail [ed. note: your mum is awesome].
Place in BC that you love escaping to: My father-in-law has a small organic blueberry farm in Powell River. It’s a perfect spot to escape the city for a couple of days.
Your paternal grandfather’s personal story: It’s heavy. I never met him. He stabbed my grandmother then committed suicide one afternoon. Whoa! Told you it was heavy.
What are you proud of: Of course, my daughter Frankie & my son Fynn. And lately I’ve been feeling quite proud of my wife, my sister and I for taking the Alibi Room from the brink of death three years ago and turning it into a place people really seem to enjoy coming once again. Yeah, I’m really proud of that.
The thing that makes you the angriest: Don’t want to be predicictable but the only time I really seem to lose my marbles is when confronted with rude drivers. I don’t mind fast, I don’t even mind crazy drivers. It’s the pushy fuckers usually driving one of those BMW SUV’s nudging their way in this, squeezing their way in that, not waiting their turn the other…actually I’ve noticed the newly crowned asshole king of the road is the Ford Edge driver. Motherfuckers.
Saddest thing about Vancouver: It’s been sad to watch Vancouver turn from a big city with a small town soul into just another big city. I think it started when the bus bumpers had the very friendly “thanks for the brake!” with a Thumbs Up sign, replaced with “YIELD! IT’S THE LAW”, that was the beginning of the end for me…Although, the Gastown Steam Clock is still a major tourist attraction.
Favourite restaurant in Vancouver: I’m a casual diner. Cascade is a personal favourite. I read a lot of mixed things out there on the web about their food, but I think they have it figured out perfectly. I’ve never been disappointed.
Talent you wish you possessed: Well, I do wish I was an ace ballet dancer…and boxer. But not one without the other.
The game you’re best at: Soccer
Three songs on your current playlist:
My Bloody Valentine – Come in Alone
Black Mountain – Angels
T.V. on the Radio – Wolf Like Me
Somewhere within an hour of Vancouver that few may have heard about but is worth checking out: About 10 years ago a friend of my wife bought a book of logging road maps of BC from the ‘70’s. There was a map to a lake called Starvation Lake. The lake doesn’t appear on any other maps. Its just before Squamish. You can only drive so far along a very bumpy old logging road then you have to hike in. You cross the rail tracks on the way. Leave a penny on the tracks. Spend the day basking in a very quiet lake. Then pick up the squashed little souvenir of your perfect day on the way back. Special.
The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: The moment the flood level of the water caused by the Monsoon I was in touched my testicles. I froze. I was scared.
Two things of no monetary value that you will keep until you die: the placenta in my freezer (it’s already been three and a half years, what’s another fifty?). I also have a lock of my son’s hair from his first cut.
BC chef that you admire most: Jeff van Geest
Best concert experience ever: Fugazi – Burnaby 2001
How you waste time at work: Dreaming up ways to get the dosh I need to own a brewery whilst intermittently picking on my business partner.
The thing you wished people cared more about: Giving the friendly wave when another driver does you a good turn.
The thing that makes you the most nervous: How uncertain the future is always being made out to be.
Town you were born in: Gateshead, UK
Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: Seinfeld
Album that first made you love music: Faith No More – From Out of Nowhere (I was 13)
The career path you considered but never followed: Motorcycle mechanic – I went to trade school. I had the opposite of Midas thing going. Everything mechanical I touched turned to shit right before my eyes.
Biggest hope: Don’t want to sound like a sap but… I feel that my generation has had a great deal of uncertainty thrown our way. There always seems to be a new crisis or disaster lurking around the corner each more heinous than the last. Whether it be war, a pandemic, a tsunami, financial melt down or terrorist attack. I just hope my children will have less fear to distract them from the simple joys of life.
This was the 45th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000.
Once out of his Peace River high school, Robert Belcham moved to Victoria, BC, where, after training at Camosun College, he got his start in the industry toiling at Rebar, one of Canada’s most celebrated vegetarian restaurants. He then followed an opportunity at the island’s Aerie Resort, and shortly thereafter became its executive sous chef. To further sharpen his skills, Belcham spent a year as chef de partie at Thomas Keller’s famous Californian restaurant, The French Laundry, and stayed on in Silicon Valley for another two years to work as a private chef. In 2002, he returned to Canada and joined the team at “C” Restaurant, rising to the position of chef de cuisine two years later. He opened Fuel with one of his best friends, sommelier Tom Doughty, in 2007. The restaurant claimed the Best New Fine Dining award at that year’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. His second restaurant, the casual Italian-themed Campagnolo, opened in the winter of 2008. He is this year’s Vancouver magazine Chef of the Year. Read more
The interview above was recorded today at DB Bistro.
With lauded restaurants in New York City (Daniel, DB Bistro Moderne, Café Boulud, Bar Boulud), Palm Beach (Café Boulud), Las Vegas (Daniel Boulud Brasserie), Beijing (Maison Boulud à Pékin), and Vancouver (Lumiere and DB Bistro Moderne); several cookbooks to his credit and a popular television show (“After Hours with Daniel”), Daniel Boulud is one of the world’s most celebrated chef/restaurateurs and a definite force of nature. Read more
This is the 40th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000. Read more
This is the 39th interview of what will eventually amount to 500 profiles of people who have made life in BC that much more interesting. At the rate we’re going it’ll take three years, at which time we’ll probably just start shooting for 1,000. Read more