SEEN IN VANCOUVER #517 | Heady Show Opens At New Serpens Gallery In Chinatown

October 28, 2014 

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by Grady Mitchell | The new Serpens Gallery (replacing the Positive Negative Gallery at 436 Columbia St.) opened its first – and very Halloween-appropriate – show this past Friday night. It’s called Sahelanthropus; the name being a reference to the ancient humanoid skull that marks the point when chimps and humans began to diverge some 7 million years ago. It’s curated by artist Colin Moore, who say he’s ”always wanted to do a skull-bawd art show, and what better time than right before Halloween?”

Along with Colin’s work, the show features painter Jose Rivas, black and white illustrations by Peter Ricq, and two ceramic artists, Michael Holler and David M Robinson, whose works jive with the tactile, three-dimensional nature of the show’s theme. “Every artist learns to draw a skull at some point in their lives,” says Colin. “It’s good for learning anatomy.” Sahelanthropus will allow viewers the chance to see these studies first-hand, as well as some interactive aspects that you’ll need to check out for yourselves over the next two weeks.

(Regarding the gallery’s name change: former curator Adam Lupton has left for New York and grad school and handed the gallery off to his friend Steffen Quong. Steffen has given the gallery a rebrand and opened up much of the back area into a lounge-like zone complete with art and a long, communal table. He’s looking to keep a healthy variety of weekly events up in the space, including things beyond art exhibitions.)

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

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

October 21, 2014 

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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!

LECTURE | Head to the Museum of Vancouver this Thursday for a Built City lecture with landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. Her style of low tech, sustainable landscaping that integrates with the architecture and reflects the natural surroundings can be seen locally in projects such as the Museum of Anthropology and Robson Square where she collaborated with architect Arthur Erickson. Oberlander will be joined by a panel of experts and peers for an illustrated discussion of her work and the future of design.
Thu, Oct 23 | 7-9 pm | Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut) | $14 | DETAILS

HOT TALK | Vancouver-based author and designer Leanne Prain will be at Hot Art Wet City Gallery on Thursday night. She will give a quick 30 minute talk that investigates ways that textiles tell us about ourselves and the lives of those around us. Having recently published her third book on textile art and culture (Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles), Prain is amply qualified to speak on the topic so we’re sure she’ll have some interesting things to say in the Q&A period immediately following. PS – Brassneck Brewery is only steps away for that pre or post event beer! 
Thu, Oct 23 | 7-8 pm | Hot Art Wet City Gallery (2206 Main St) | Free | DETAILS

TASTE | Imagine how awesome it would be if you were drinking chocolate milk at the very moment that Augustus Gloop fell in the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or had home-cooked spaghetti sauce on your tongue while watching The Godfather. Enhancing a movie experience with scene-specific tastes is what Sensory Cinema is all about. This Friday night, the gang at the Juice Truck team up with Here There Studio for an evening of just that. Film title and details of food pairings are being kept under wraps for now, but we’re told that an usher will cue each selection from your very own tray of house made canapés. How cool is that?
Fri, Oct. 24 | 7pm | The Juice Truck (28 W 5th Ave) | $18 | DETAILS

THROWBACK | Get your fix of fast cars and slick 70′s style with the Two-Lane Blacktops: The 1970s American Road Movie series at The Cinematheque this week. Highlights include Clint Eastwood in The Gauntlet, Jack Nicholson in The Passenger, and David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in the forever creepy Death Race 2000.
Oct 23-26 | Various times | Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | $11 | DETAILS

CRAFT NIGHT | Part store, part workshop, Collage Collage encourages imagination and creativity while arming their customers with tools and inspiration to turn both in to art. You’ll most often find the bright, book-filled room full of curious children. This week, however, you’ll find author, art enthusiast and creativity guru Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) guest hosting a special adult evening that will involve glue sticks and collage making.
Fri, Oct 24 | 7-9pm | Collage Collage (621 Kingsway @ 15th + Fraser) | $30 | DETAILS

WRITERS FEST | The excellent Vancouver Writers Festival fills its stages with local and international writers of every genre each autumn. This year, the theme is Discovery. Discover new authors, new books by known authors, new genres and new interests, and expect everything from literary fiction and poetry readings to kid’s authors and non-fiction panels. Literature enthusiasts are a wily bunch and tickets have a way of selling out, but if you move fast you can still score a seat!
Oct. 21-26 | various times | Various locations – mostly Granville Island |  DETAILS

ARCHITECTURE | With a view to demonstrating laneway housing as a clever solution to “Densification without Demolition”, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation has arranged for a series of homes to be opened to the public for their annual Laneway Home Tour. Take a peek inside 8 unique houses and be inspired by designs and innovations that show how increased density can be smart, stylish and comfortable while making good use of underused land on existing lots.
Sat, Oct. 25 | 1pm | Various Locations | $30 | DETAILS

GATHER | Make room on your schedule and head to Mountain View Cemetery on Saturday to celebrate All Souls Night. This unique community event brings together a series of thoughtful and culturally diverse activities designed to give participants the opportunity to remember the dead in – as Mountain View calls it – a “gentle atmosphere of contemplative beauty”. Candles and lanterns will light the cemetery and there will be music and hot tea for sipping. Take time to create a personal memorial or take a historian or genealogist-guided walking tour to learn about some of the plot inhabitants. While there will be corners for serious conversations about death and dying, there will also be light-hearted and fun activities. I’m personally stoked for the screening of Harold & Maude and the decorating of Mexican sugar skulls!
Sat, Oct. 25 | 6 – 10pm | Mountain View Cemetery (5455 Fraser St) | DETAILS

HARVEST | This weekend is the last market of the 2014 farming season out at the UBC Farm, so be sure to stock up on veggies, crispy apples, free-range eggs and beautiful flowers. Most importantly, grab yourself one of those stunning Cinderella pumpkins to carve up in time for Halloween. Dusty orange, light green, even white – the best pumpkins!
Sat, October 25 | 9am – 1pm | UBC Farm (3461 Ross Dr) | DETAILS

SHROOMS | Are you fascinated by mushrooms and fungi? Have you seen wonky specimens popping out from local lawns and sprouting up in forests and trails around town and wondered what they were? The Vancouver Mushroom Show goes down this Sunday and with it comes the rare opportunity to hook up with experts from the The Vancouver Mycological Society. Ask ‘em all manner of mushroom-related questions and basically nerd out about fungi. There will be oodles of shrooms on display – edible, poisonous, dubious and deadly. How could you not come out ahead of the game by learning a little more about these tasty, tricky, trippy little things?
Sun, Oct. 26 | 11am-4pm | Van Dusen Botanical Garden (37th & Oak) | $3 | DETAILS

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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.

VANCOUVERITES | Storytelling & Making Pictures With Local Artist Sean Karemaker

October 16, 2014 

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by Grady Mitchell | If you frequent coffee shops around East Van, you’ve probably seen artist Sean Karemaker intently hunched over drawing in a notebook or sketch pad. He got started as a kid, growing up “off the grid” on Vancouver Island. “I turned my closet into a little comic studio,” he says. The comics led to painting – “I wasn’t very good at sports, so I started doing watercolour courses with a bunch of old ladies” – and from there, things kept rolling. “I guess I haven’t really stopped.”

Many of Sean’s ideas start as scribbled passages in those sketchbooks, each paired with an aimless painting. Those poetic snippets usually detail a remembered experience or worldly observation. From these early concepts Sean will later create his larger, more involved pieces.

Even if the words don’t appear in the final piece, it wouldn’t exist without them. For a picture to speak to Sean, it has to tell a story. “Sometimes people aren’t looking for that, they just want an image,” he says. “But without that exploration it just feels flat to me, it doesn’t feel like I’m making anything meaningful.”

The final form of those stories take many different shapes. Of course, he’s painted on traditional canvases and created comics, but he’s experimented with other forms as well. For one project, The Life of People, he detailed the span from birth to death over an uninterrupted 27-foot scroll. Most recently he’s begun using epoxy and rubber mouldings to build detailed, 3D dioramas where his characters emerge from their wild backgrounds.

While investing personal stories into his work was daunting at first, it soon became the core of his art. Pouring himself into the work allowed others to relate and connect, which for him is exactly the point of making art in the first place. That’s why, if you see him working in a coffee shop somewhere, you should never hesitate to say hello. He tries to leave the studio at least once a day to sync back in with the real world. He loves when curious onlookers ask him about his work. “You get a lot of energy off of people,” he says. To see more of Sean’s work, visit his website.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

VANCOUVERITES | Eleven Minutes In The Studio With Local Artist Rebecca Chaperon

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by Grady Mitchell | Artist Rebecca Chaperon builds worlds. “I’m obsessed with a sense of place,” she says. “If I don’t have a sense of place when I’m working on a painting, everything else doesn’t feel natural.” The places she creates are not ones you’ll find on a globe, even if they’re inspired by them. In her last major series, Antarticus, she concocted an alternate reality where translucent icebergs float like ghosts upon pastel oceans, disembodied hands reach from black portals, and rainbow confetti flutters through the air.

With Antarticus she sought to conflate two very different real-world places: Mauritius, the pinprick tropical island off Madagascar where her father was born, and antartica, as conjured from letters written by her uncle while he led expeditions there in the 70s. Hence, you’ll see icebergs sailing past tropical islands and palm trees sprouting from tundra. That imaginative streak is inspired largely by her early years in England, where she lived until age 8, playing in the small garden in front of her family’s home.

Her next series, Eccentric Gardens, centers on another fully-formed world, but this time Rebecca changed the process of building it. Rather than the planned approach she’s taken in the past, she took a more intuitive method, a way of ‘discovering’ the landscapes as she painted them.

So was releasing that control scary? “Hell yes,” she says. “Everything felt almost dumb because I’m so used to over-analyzing. I just had to move forward through the pieces, all the elements had to talk to each other and I had to get out of the way. It’s a return to this childish way of picture making, you’re really direct, responding to what’s there, not thinking about it too much. But to do that as an adult is very difficult. To pretend, for a moment, that you’re a kid. You’re just enjoying making something, and it doesn’t have to be anything.”

The Eccentric Gardens exhibition, which will run at Initial Gallery from October 24 to November 15 with a reception on Oct 28, won’t just allow people to view Rebecca’s work, but also the chance to step inside one of her paintings. One wall will be painted in her landscape style, and certain elements from her paintings have been turned into sculptures that will furnish the room. To learn more about Rebecca and her work, visit her site.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

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

September 30, 2014 

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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!

GIG | Chan Marshall (aka “Cat Power”) is bringing her unique and bluesy, soulful, folkish, punk and sometimes electronica sound to the Vogue Theatre this Thursday night.
Thu, Oct 2 | 9:30 pm | Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St.) | $38.50 | DETAILS 

PEROGIES | Nothing says Fall like extra carbs, right? Hustle over to the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral off Main St. and load your plate up with old-school Ukrainian perogies handmade by church volunteers. A “regular dinner” consisting of 6 perogies, 2 cabbage rolls, sauerkraut or salad and Ukrainian sausage costs just $12. The vegetarian version comes with 6 perigees, 3 cabbage rolls and sauerkraut. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, borscht served with rye bread is only $4.50.
Fri, Oct 3 | 5-8pm | Holy Trinity Ukrainian Cathedral (154 E 10) | $3.50 – $15 | DETAILS

DRAMA | Why not make your way out to UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre for a spot of Shakespeare this weekend? The UBC Department of Theatre & Film presents the Twelfth Night. Cross-dressing, unrequited love, mischief, and director Stephen Heatley’s adaptation to modern day New Orleans during Mardi-Gras guarantees a fine night out.
Now to Oct. 11 | 7:30pm | Frederic Wood Theatre (6354 Crescent Rd., UBC) $24.50 | DETAILS

INDULGE | Stuff your face with artisanal breads, scones, cookies and cakes at the Bakers’ Market this weekend. Expect all manner of treats from macaroons and madeleines to cupcakes, fresh bread, and pies – we’re guessing there will be a respectable amount of pumpkin flavoured items and even a few hints of gingerbread on the scene. Lots of gluten-free and vegan options…the whole shebang. Remember to take your own containers and bags!
Sat, Oct 4 | 11am–3pm | Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre (7646 Prince Albert) | DETAILS

BOOKS | The Vancouver Antiquarian Book Fair sets up shop at UBC Robson Square this weekend. Peruse rare antiquarian books, collectible ephemera, old maps and unique prints – all with that awesome ‘old book’ smell. Expect shelves and tables full of beautifully bound, meticulously cared for and clearly respected books. If you’re a book wonk, this is also a fine place for conversation with knowledgeable dealers.
Oct 4 + 5 | Sat 11am-4pm; Sun 11am-4pm | UBC Robson Sq, 800 Robson | $8 | DETAILS

OKTOBERFEST | The best thing about October? Better than pumpkin pie and falling leaves and the beginning of hockey season? Beer. In You’re entitled and encouraged – even expected – to guzzle German pints is celebration of Oktoberfest. If you’re looking for somewhere to get in to the spirit, The Alpen Club does it right. From ‘Ohhmpah pah, classic German Schlager Songs’ to Bavarian Buffet and lounge, the club’s slogan says it best: “Real Oktoberfest by Real Germans.”
Oct 4 & 5 | Doors at 7:30pm | Vancouver Alpen Club (4875 Victoria) | $30/$80 | DETAILS

EAT | Love good street food? Good news: The Hawker’s Market goes down this Saturday night and, as always, street food will be the main draw of the evening. In addition to a fine line-up of vendors cooking up fantastic food there will also be drinks (your ticket comes with a 33 Acres Beer), music (loud and performed by BESTiE), and a large crowd of cool people looking to have a good time. Tickets are 10 beans when you grab them in advance and $15 at the door.
Sat, Oct 4 | 4pm-late | 188 Kingsway | $10/15 (includes a beer) | DETAILS

WATCH | The Vancouver International Film Festival is on and it’s big. How big? Over 350 films big. That’s almost overwhelming, right?  Narrow things down by browsing by series (films are classified into a number of series such as 3D, Cinema of Our Time, BC Spotlight, Nonfiction and Special Presentations) as well as by genre and venue. Still, 350 films? That’s a lot to take in. Have a look at Scout’s  ”Nine Movies You Need To Catch At VIFF“.
Now – Oct. 10 | Various Times and Locations | DETAILS

WATER’S EDGE | The Georgia Strait Alliance is an organization focused on protecting and raising awareness about the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia. In an effort to put Vancouverites in touch with the beauty and importance of the shoreline, the Alliance is hosting a city wide day of free activities that, on the water or off. Expect boat tours, canoe and kayaking, water themed art workshops, free admission to the Maritime Museum – you can even slip your hand into a Vancouver Aquarium’s mobile touch tank to feel the slimy skin of a sea cucumber. For a full list of events visit www.georgiastrait.org.
Sun, Oct 5 | 10am–5pm | Various times and locations | FREE | DETAILS

NATURE | Put those Youtube videos of rabid bats out of your head! They’re good to have in the city. They eat bugs (like mosquitos and crop killing insects), help to pollinate and disperse seeds, and they produce an amazing poop called guano that is great for your garden. Yay, bats! Head to UBC Farm this weekend for a bit of bat love. The South Coast Bat Action Team will be on site to teach you how to build a bat house and they feed you tons of information that will dispel the creepy blood-sucking stereotype. This workshop is kid-friendly and super cool.
Fri, Oct 3 (2-5pm) + Oct 4 (5-8pm) | UBC Farm (6182 South Campus Rd) | 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.

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #516 | Local Architect Argues To Keep The VAG Exactly Where It is

September 26, 2014 

Local firm Peter Cardew Architects just sent us an email and video link countering the already accepted and established plans for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. “How can we ensure the public supports a new VAG? Ask them.” Food for thought:

In the search for alternate sites on which to construct a new Vancouver Art Gallery there was little public participation to ensure the best site was chosen for a major public building in the city. Also, in an economic climate that is far less robust than when the idea of a totally new gallery was first proposed, it is critical that public money be seen to be wisely spent. Only through actively encouraging open dialogue about such issues can governments, the public and potential donors be assured of enthusiastic public support. This video is intended to stimulate that dialogue and that enthusiasm.

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

COOL THING WE WANT #445 | “Window Seat” Photo Book By Jennilee Marigomen

September 23, 2014 

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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.

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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.

EVERY COOL THING WE WANT

VANCOUVERITES | Six Illuminating Minutes Inside The Studio Of Local Artist Ed Spence

September 17, 2014 

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by Grady Mitchell | Ed Spence is an analog artist for the digital age, a specialist who takes existing images and pixelates them by hand. His process starts by cutting out a section of an existing image, then slicing that into individual pixels. Next he rearranges those pixels by colour or pattern, and finally he inserts the newly-reorganized section back into the image. The new piece contains untouched stretches of the original artwork interrupted by cascading wave-like gradients, complex geometric patterns, or buzzing static clouds of colour. The pieces are jarringly beautiful: quaint, antiquated images that appear hacked.

Raised in Salmon Arm, Ed studied fine arts at UBCO, focusing on video and sculpture. His education solidified a fascination with materials, the different ways they can be combined to create art. His pixellation series is a way of breaking down an image to study its parts. “Dissecting the material of the image makes you think about the illusion of pictorial space,” Ed says. “It really is a planar, flat medium. But once you cut into it, it becomes three dimensional again. You’re reminded that it always has been a three dimensional image: there’s ink on paper, the light reflecting, the illusion that these are colours.”

Ed’s fascination with fractal patterns started young, instilled by his dad, who would spend hours typing code into the earliest home computers, then have the machine visualize it into spiralling digital patterns. Now Ed is doing essentially the same thing, minus the machinery. “I found that really intriguing, that interplay between math, science, and art.”

Once removed, he says, the pixels no long mean what they did as part of the whole. “Every little piece becomes an entity on its own, you start thinking about the component parts of the picture. How all of those small parts coalesce into a harmonic image.”

In the beginning, Ed sought out a specific style of imagery to rework. He wanted soft, warm images, the kind that fill vintage magazines and travel brochures. “The era that they were from was nostalgic,” he says. “There was something to do with that combination of the futurism infused into these antiquated images that you’d see at your grandmother’s house.”

These days he wants to create an entire image from start to finish, and work in more modern colour palettes. His new work begins with crumpled reflective sheets of paper, which he blasts with coloured lights and photographs, so the vibrant tones get grabbed and warped by the many folds and facets. He then prints those images, slices and pixelates them. The process is the same as his earlier work, but the images are much different: whereas the older images are soft and warm, these new ones feature synthetic colour bursts and unpredictable shapes.

Next Ed plans to apply his pixillation to the human form through a collaborative project with his wife, Julie Chapple, a choreographer and artist. He’s begun work on wearable sculptures (you’ll see him working on a prototype in the images below) which dancers will wear in a performance choreographed by Julie. To see more of Ed’s work, visit his site here.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

SCOUT LIST | 10 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

September 9, 2014 

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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! 

RIFFLANDIA | If you can swing it, this is a good weekend to hop a ferry to Victoria. Not only will the sun be shining its beautiful rays all over the fair streets, but it’s also time for Rifflandia, the kickass three day music festival. Death Cab For Cutie, The Airborne Toxic Event, and The New Pornographers will be in town, plus there are a number of smaller gigs worth checking out. Scout picks would be Smash Boom Pow at The Copper Owl on Thursday night, Friday’s performance by Vancouver-based NEEDS (again, The Copper Owl), DJ Rennie Foster at Lucky Bar late on Friday night, and the always amazing Lightening Dust on Sunday.
Sept. 11-14 | Various times and locations in Victoria | DETAILS

BEER | Need another reason to pack up and head out of town for the weekend? Whistler is holding a beer festival. Four days, 50 breweries (local and international) and a keg full of beer-centric events (seminars, talks, tastings and dinners). Expect to see pours from the likes of Four Winds, Hoyne, and Postmark to Double Mountain, Deschutes and Brooklyn. Bring your thirst!
Sept 11-14 | Various times, locations and prices | DETAILS

GYOZA BAR | Seigo Nakamura’s newest Japanese eatery, the highly anticipated Gyoza Bar, opens this week at 622 West Pender. All signs point to this place being a winner out of the gate, so be sure to check it out for first rate gyozas, ramen, and more. Scout took a look inside during staff training and took these sneak peek shots.
11:30am to 10:00pm Daily | 622 West Pender Street | DETAILS

SQUEEZEBOX | The 7th Annual Accordion Noir Festival takes place at the Fox Theatre this week. As festival organizers explain: “From dance parties, to concerts, to cabaret acts, workshops and a community dinner, The Accordion Noir Festival is Vancouver’s chance to be swept away by the deliciously edgy and deliriously sexy world of ‘noir’ accordion.” Folk, punk, indie rock, blue grass, punk – even hip-hop – an accordion can handle it all.
Sept 11-14 | Fox Cabaret (2321 Main St) | Various prices | DETAILS

HARVEST | Make time to attend the UBC Farm annual fundraising festival, FarmAde this Friday. The super fun outdoor event takes place on UBC’s 24-hectare learning and research farm. Originally intended to raise awareness about the farm and help to protect it against the threat of development, this family-friendly BBQ has become a tradition. There will be square dancing, live music, ‘low-impact’ burgers, cold and handcrafted beer, vegan desserts and lots of farm-fresh corn. As always, big props to the UBC Farm for cultivating food and community at the only operating farm in the city! A good time for a good reason.
Fri, Sept 12 | 3-8pm | UBC Farm, 6182 South Campus Road | Free | DETAILS

OCEAN LOVE | Chef Ned Bell just took a nearly 9,000 km bike ride across Canada. The coast-to-coast peddle took him away from home for over two months in order to raise awareness about sustainable seafood. On Friday night you are invited to join an impressive line-up of Vancouver Chefs as they welcome Chef Bell home with a seafood-focused reception. Proceeds go to the Chefs for Oceans Foundation.
Fri, Sept 12 | 6-8pm | Four Seasons Hotel (791 W Georgia St) | $40 | DETAILS

ART ATTACK | 20 local artists (emerging and established) will be on site at the beautiful Waterfall Building this Saturday to participate in Art Attack. Each artist will be provided with a blank 24″X36″ canvass and given 4 hours to use inspiration, focus and paint to transform that canvass in to a finished work of art to be auctioned off in the evening. Stake out a specific artist and watch their process or move about the room and appreciate a variety of approaches. There will also be lectures with leading art industry professionals over the course of the day. Partial proceeds go back to the artists with a quarter of sales donated to a visual-art award for the graduating students at Emily Carr. Have a look at the list of participating artists here.
Sat, Sept 13 | noon – 11pm | The Waterfall Building (1540 W. 2nd) | DETAILS

TREES | It’s a bit of a hike but the Treefest out in Coquitlam sounds interesting: it’s a celebration of trees and heritage with an emphasis on the collection of trees on the old Riverview Hospital land. Tag along on one of the walking tours of ‘significant and unusual trees’ found in the 2 acre horticultural therapy garden or take a seat on a bus for a tour of Riverview grounds with former staff members on board (don’t worry, everything will be fine – no reason to get creeped out). There will also be children’s crafts and games, live entertainment, and heritage building tours.
Sat, Sept 13 | 11am–4pm | Riverview Hospital (2601 Lougheed Hwy) | Free | DETAILS

LANTERNS | This Saturday is the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival. As night falls in the park a procession of lanterns begins to follow forested ravine pathways. Wander to take in light installations, learn about salmon, rivers and ravines, enjoy roaming performers and live music, and make sure to stop for some tea and moon cake in the Renfrew Field Tea Garden.
Sat, Sept. 13 | Renfrew Community Centre (2929 E. 22 Ave) | DETAILS

GEEK OUT | Get your nerd on at the SFU (Burnaby) Science Open House on Saturday. Roll up your sleeves to participate in hands-on activities, check out some of the live science demonstrations, stand in awe of the engineering projects and generally just enjoy being amazed by what you discover.
Sat, Sept, 13 | 10am-3pm | Applied Sciences Building Atrium, SFU | 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.

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

September 2, 2014 

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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! 

CULTURE | The Vancouver Fringe Festival is on, bringing hundreds of ‘alternative theatre’ performances to stages across the city. We’re particularly looking forward to Lord of the Flies. From Fringe Fest: “Comedian Lesley Tsina (Community, Funny or Die) worked for a company that made cell phone ringtones. That is, until they announced nine months of layoffs and the entire office descended into savagery. Lord of the Files is a darkly hilarious story about losing your job, losing your mind, and still having to attend an all-company pancake breakfast.” With so much going on, we recommend a visit to the Fringe Fest website to develop a custom game plan.
Now through Sept. 14 | Various times and locations | DETAILS

BRAIN JUICE | September’s start marks a time to regroup, return to school (strike aside), and snap our brains out of their summertime states. If you’re looking for some help on how to best approach the transition, consider hitting the Summer End party at The Juice Truck on Thursday night. In addition to brain games, medicinal cocktails containing mind-sharpening ingredients, a DJ ‘name that tune’ challenge, and inspiring conversation with a solid gathering of people, you can also be among the first to sample “Brain On” – a new juice (full of good things like blueberry, spinach, cucumber, beet, turmeric and more) that has come out of a collaboration between The Juice Truck and Jeff Hamada (of Booooooom fame). Kick start your brain, be entertained and get social all at once. Everyone is welcome.
Thu, Sept 4 | 7pm – late | The Juice Truck Cafe (28 W 5th Ave) | DETAILS

STREET ART | If you’ve ever turned into an alley to find a mural, encountered a collage on the wall of a vacant building or spotted a small, thoughtfully placed bit of poster art hiding in a stairwell – you’ll appreciate that street art brings temporary beauty and pause for thought to some of the darkest corners of the city. Hot Art Wet City thinks so, too. This month, the small Main Street gallery is having a show of works of local wheatepaste and stencil artists iHeart, Joy, Slingshot, Wrk(less), and MW Bowen. Opening night with reception, booze and artists in attendance goes down on Friday, with the exhibition itself continuing until September 26.
Opening: Fri, Sept 5 | 7-11 pm | Hot Art Wet City Gallery (2206 Main) | DETAILS

GET UP | Hit the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards) to join in on the monthly morning gathering for creative types and leave inspired. Each event includes a 20 minute lecture followed by a 20 minute group discussion. It begins at 8:30am and ends with everyone splitting for their respective offices at 10am. This month, CM has invited Andrea Chlebak to speak. Andrea is the Senior Digital Intermediate Colorist and Director of Creative Services at Central (a boutique post-production facility in Vancouver) and she’ll be taking the stage to about what she does and where she draws creative inspiration from. Tickets are free but they go fast in a lottery, so don’t dilly-dally.
Fri, Sept. 5 | 8:30-10am | Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W Hastings) | DETAILS

UNLIMITED EDITION III | Design firm Knauf & Brown are hosting one of their ‘poster parties’ this weekend. Make your way to The Something Club on Powell Street where there will be a fancy printer pumping out 2 foot by 3 foot, black and white artist’s posters for only $15. Score yourself a cool poster-sized image of a work by participating artists like Jennilee Marigomen, Alana Paterson, Lukas Peet, Tom Chung, Dan Climan and many more (for a full list of artists visit The Something Club website). Check it out!
Fri, Sept. 5 | 8pm | The Something Club (1505 Powell St) | DETAILS

LANTERNS | Celebrate the mid-autumn moon at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens on Sunday. “The Festival honours the full harvest moon symbolizing peace, prosperity and family reunion.” All good things to celebrate! Between 5 and 7pm, activities will be family focused (expect traditional Chinese music performances, storytelling, Chinese games and mooncakes and tea), while after 7pm (continuing until 10pm) the evening becomes more introspective and grown-uppish. Take some time to wander the soft dark pathways of the garden, light and release a lotus lantern and enjoy a glass of wine. Tickets: $5/person or $10/family. Heed the Gardens’ advice: “Bring cash to get in fast.”
Sun, Sept. 7 | 5-10pm | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens (578 Carrall) | $5/10 | DETAILS

FEAST | This Sunday is the 20th annual Feast of Fields. This year, Farm Folk City Folk present their super delicious annual fundraising event out at Bremner’s Farm in Delta. Feast organizers work hard to bring fresh local ingredients produced, grown, caught and harvested by the regions best farmers and fishers together with talented chefs from some of the most amazing restaurants in the city in order to showcase why we are so lucky to live (and, very specifically, eat) in the Lower Mainland. It’s always seriously good times, plus the money raised goes toFarm Folk City Folk. Added bonus: there will be a shuttle bus available from Vancouver ($15) so you don’t have to drive or think, just eat and drink. This event always sells out, so don’t get stuck without tickets.
Sun, Sept 7 | 1-5pm | Bremner’s Farm (4626 88 St, Delta) | $95 | DETAILS

LEARN | Pick up a bit of useful foraging information in Stanley Park this Sunday. Rainforest Cafe is an expert-led tour through the pathways and forests of the park designed to educate participants on the edible (and inedible) plants and berries that they will find growing within the boundaries. It’s always smart to have a back up source of sustenance should the concession stand lines become too long to endure…
Sun, Sept 7 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | Stanley Park Nature House | $10 | DETAILS

MOONSHINE | The 2014 autumnal equinox falls on September 23rd and the full moon closest to the equinox (known as the Harvest Moon) appears in the sky this coming Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (mostly Monday and Tuesday, but let’s throw Sunday in there because it’s an almost full moon on a slower day that may hold more opportunities for admiring the night sky). So put on a bit of Neil Young, take your shoes off and go barefoot in the grass with a cold beer in hand one last time this summer.
September 7, 8, 9 | In the sky (Look Up) | Free 

EAT LOCAL | It’s harvest time. Grab locally grown produce from good people at your neighbourhood farmer’s market while we’re in peak season for so many awesome fruits and veggies. Pick up tomatoes to can, veggies for pickling, peaches for preserving. Take full advantage of the bounty at market stalls right now, winter will come and you’ll be happy remembering these late summer treats. Also: good bread, jams to spread on the bread, great cheese and beautiful fall flowers.
Thornton Park | Wednesday | 3pm–7pm | Main Street Station at Terminal | DETAILS
Yaletown | Thursdays | 2-6pm | Mainland between Davie & Helmcken | DETAILS
Trout Lake | Saturdays | 9am-2pm | North Parking Lot, John Hendry Park | DETAILS
Mount Pleasant | Sundays | 10-2pm | 2300 Guelph St | DETAILS
West End | Saturdays | 9am-2pm | 1100 Block of Comox (across from Nelson Park) | DETAILS
Kits | Sundays | 10am-2pm | 2690 Larch @ 10th | DETAILS
UBC Farm Market | Saturday | 9-1 | UBC Farm | 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.

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

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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! 

SLOW DOWN | We hate to break the bad news, but these are the last days of summer. Grab a malted milkshake or a sundae at Glenburn Soda, hike your way out to Quarry Rock in Deep Cove, pick some blackberries for a homemade blackberry syrup and have a patio cocktail party, swim in a lake, sit on a beach, hang in the park, and basically just drink it all in, folks. Summer doesn’t last forever.

SPACE JAM | Catch some live music at The Bottleneck on Thursday night. Sit back and to listen to local musicians Geoff Berner, Colleen Rennison, Marta McKeever and Bob Sumner and know that you are also racking up karma points. Proceeds from the evening will go to support Sonic Art Space (a new workshop space for kids that will offer alternative music classes taught by local musicians and artists (think Synth For Kids, Lyrics and Songwriting and Sketching with Sound). Sonic Art Space aims to open doors this fall but between now and then they need to amass a serious collection of instruments and this fundraiser is going to help them do that. Sit back, drink a cold beer, listen to some music and enrich the lives of children – one tambourine at a time. That’s a solid Thursday night right there folks.
Thursday,  Aug 21 | 7-11pm | The Bottleneck (870 Granville) | $10 | DETAILS

FILM | Showcasing queer alternatives to mainstream film, the Queer Film Festival takes place in numerous venues around town this week. Anti-homosexuality laws in Russia inspired this year’s “Queer Russia” focus. For a full list of films (and events) have a look here. Closing night is Sunday and final screenings are followed by a party at The Junction Pub (1138 Davie St).
Now through August 24 | Various venues | $12 | DETAILS

FARM | Take a trip out to the UBC Farm on Saturday morning. Not only can you pick up farm grown fruits and veggies at the farmers market (as well as baked goods, preserves, flowers and other treats), but Certified Master Beekeeper Jenny Ma from Vancouver Honeybees will be on site demonstrating how to extract honey from honeycomb. The super excellent news about that is the resultant honey will be jarred right then and there and available for purchase.
Sat, Aug 23 | 9am-1pm | UBC Farm (3461 Ross Dr) | Free | DETAILS

GARLIC FESTIVAL | This weekend is the 6th annual Garlic Fest out at the Terra Nova Sharing Farm in Richmond. Head out to learn about the health benefits and culinary uses of garlic, check out cooking demonstrations, and sample all manner of garlic related goodies (from garlic pizza and garlic bread to pickled garlic scapes and garlic ice cream (not even kidding). Bonus: free admission, free parking, and a bicycle valet.
Sun, Aug. 24 | 10am-3pm | Sharing Farm, Terra Nova Park | Admission by donation | DETAILS

HARVEST | Trust the peeps at your local farmer’s market to arrange for a celebration of peak tomato season. Now’s the time to be harvesting, canning and eating tomatoes, so get yourself to Trout Lake (Saturday) or Kits (Sunday) Farmers Markets to learn about, appreciate, sample and worship the glorious tomato. In addition to fresh from the vine specimens available for you to take home, there will also be displays, tastings, chef tours, seed saving and preserving tips, and – get this – a limited run of tomato basil gelato crafted by Bella Gelateria.
August 23 | 9am-2pm | Trout Lake | North Parking Lot, John Hendry Park | DETAILS
August 24 | 10am-2pm | Kitsilano | Kits Community Centre, 10 & Larch St | DETAILS

ANIME | If you’re walking around downtown this weekend and you notice an uptick in the number of adults kitted out in full-on anime costumes, that’s probably because Anime Revolution is on. The three day event will include exhibits, dancing, gaming, live musical performances, discussion panels, lots of wigs, and a staggering amount of cosplay.
Fri, Aug 21- Sun, Aug 24 | Various times | Vancouver Convention Centre | $35-$200 | DETAILS

DISCOVER | Whether you’re new to the city or just interested in brushing up on local history, a walking tour with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia is awesome. View the personality of the city through the prism of its landmarks, buildings, structures and streets. Learn about  heritage preservation, contemporary and historic architectural styles, the impact urban planning policy has on the evolution of the city, and more. There are six tours in all, each covering a distinct area of the city. Walks include: Chinatown (From yesterday to Today); Gastown (The Historic Beginning of Vancouver); Strathcona (Vancouver’s First Neighbourhood); Yaletown (Industrial Expansion and Evolution); West End (Residential Transformation), and Downtown (The Business Core of Vancouver). AIBC Walking Tours begin at the AIBC office at 440 Cambie Street (@Pender) at 10am and 1pm most days of the week (except Monday and Friday afternoons).
Various days | 10am, 1pm | 440 Cambie Street | $10 | DETAILS

ICE CREAM | Beta5 is having another one of those ice cream socials that your friends have been talking about. On Friday night (from 7 until sunset) and again on Saturday afternoon between 1 & 5 pm, the award-winning East Vancouver chocolate and pastry shop will be serving up ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, floats, and other frozen treats. A trip to Beta5 always yields good things. Indeed, the prospect of a proper sundae built by this team is a mind-blowingly attractive one, and if the window for such an indulgence is only 24hrs wide, it shouldn’t be missed! We went last weekend and can confirm that the line-up is worth the wait!
Fri, 7-sunset | Sat, 1-5pm | 413 Industrial Avenue | Beta5.com

RUN | The Lululemon Seawheeze half marathon happens this weekend. Participation in the run is at capacity, but if you aren’t running you can still cheer from the sidelines (three main cheering stations have been set up to support the 10,015 people registered to run), attend yoga classes, and hit the after-party (Sunset Festival) in Brockton Oval. $25 gets you fresh air yoga, food, and a cold beer.
Sat, Aug 23 | all day (marathon 7am, after party 6-11pm) | DETAILS

CHOW | Food Cart Fest goes down this Sunday. Take advantage of the fact that close to two dozen food trucks will be parked around communal tables ready to feed you. Expect Soho Road, Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Mogu, Roaming Dragon, Vij’s, Yolks, and Tacofino – maybe even The Juice Truck. And the fun doesn’t stop there. There will also be live music, a community market, and all manner of ancillary vendors making it the raddest bit of undeveloped real estate in the city. Food Cart Fest is located between Olympic Village and Cambie St. Bridge.
Sun, Aug 24 | 12-5pm | 215 West 1st Avenue $2 entry charge | DETAILS

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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.

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

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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! 

FILM | The kickass Film Noir series continues at The Cinematheque this week. Get your fix of dark and sexy vintage movies including Niagara (starring Marilyn Monroe), Detective Story (Kirk Douglas), and The Lady from Shanghai (Rita Hayworth).
Now through Aug. 28 | Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | $11 | DETAILS

SHIPYARDS | The North Vancouver Shipyards Twilight Market happens goes down on Friday night at North Van’s Shipbuilder’s Square. You can wander the pier, docks, and port-side paths while listening to live music and scarfing good food. Yup, in addition to a line-up of 15 food trucks, you can expect farmer’s market-style stalls, baked goods, preserves, popsicles, and pie. Bonus: cold beer at the beer garden.
Fri, Aug. 15 | 5-10pm | Shipbuilders’ Square, North Vancouver | DETAILS

RACES | Friday night is race night at Hastings Racecourse. The first horses leave the gate at 7pm and the excitement keeps up at a fast clip thereafter. Wear a fancy hat or a bow-tie if you want. No one will give a shit either way. The only “cup” here is made of plastic and it’s filled with beer.
Fri, Aug. 15, 22, 29 | 7 pm | Hastings Racecourse, Gate 6 or 9, PNE | DETAILS

SUMMER MARKET EXPLOSION | Hawkers Market and Eastside Flea join forces this weekend for a full day of fun. The day side of the equation will focus on the goods of the 50+ vendors that Eastside Flea has assembled, while the evening will be more about music, food, and drink (think 33 Acres beer, Disco Cheetah tacos, Nuez Milk, Jonny Pops, Salty Cookie Co.). It all starts at the civilized, post-espresso hour of 10am with the good vibes continuing until late at night.
Sat, Aug. 16 | 10am-late | The Independent (188 Kingsway) | $10/$15 at the door | DETAILS

CELEBRATE | Latin Fest goes down in Trout Lake Park this Sunday. With an artisan craft market, authentic Latin food, live music and dancing demonstrations, the park will be jumping. Add to that the possibility of authentic tamales and some Pão de Queijo and Sunday is looking pretty good. You won’t be the only one there, so consider taking public transit (Trout Lake is a short and pleasant walk from the Commercial Drive Skytrain Station).
Sun, Aug. 17 | noon – 7 pm | Trout Lake Park | FREE | DETAILS

PNE | The Pacific National Exhibition opens this week, so treat yourself to a wander through Playland and the fairgrounds. Feast upon mini-doughnuts, throw a few balls at something, take a ride, and try not to puke. The 2014 PNE will include a time warp concert series (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts play this Saturday night, as well as Air Supply, Trooper and Chilliwack on upcoming dates), plus farm animals and, get this, a Game of Thrones travelling exhibition that shows off a collection of nearly 100 GOT artifacts.
Aug. 16 – Sept. 1 | 11 am-11 pm | Pacific National Exhibition | DETAILS

LEARN | Adaptation and Evolution in the Park is a walk put on by the Stanley Park Ecology Society this Sunday that will take a look at ways in which these processes are evidenced in the context of Stanley Park. From the SPES: “Relationships between pollinators and plants, or trees and mycelium, are the result of a millenia’s worth of selective pressures. Join us to learn about where these and other unique adaptations have come from and where they might be going.” Science is such a turn-on, isn’t it? To attend, simply meet at the Stanley Park Nature House (located at the south-east shore of Lost Lagoon underneath the viewing plaza) at 1:30pm on Sunday with $5 in your pocket.
Sun, Aug. 17 | 1:30-3:30pm | Stanley Park Nature House | $5 | DETAILS

TOFINO LANTERN FESTIVAL | If you can slip out of town this coming weekend, head to Tofino as this Sunday brings with it the annual Lantern Festival at the Tofino Botanical Gardens. Beginning at dusk, locals and travellers alike gather carrying lanterns. As darkness falls a slow-moving procession floats through the garden paths, along the edges of ponds and through forests alight with the gentle glow of handmade and imaginative lantern installations. The whole experience is sort of like stumbling into a dream or a really mellow acid trip. One of our favourite Tofino events!
Sun, Aug. 17 | 7-10:30 pm in the Tofino Botanical Gardens | $12 | DETAILS

OKANAGAN FEAST OF FIELDS | Alternatively, head to the Okanagan for the 6th annual Okanagan Feast of Fields at the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm near Kelowna. The 3 hour long wandering feast (literally in the fields) is one of the best on the food calendar, featuring amazing local food and drink. It’s always good times, plus the money raised goes to Farm Folk City Folk and their continued efforts to connect local farmers and food producers with local chefs. Added bonus: there will be a shuttle bus available from a number of Okanagan locations to get you to the event without your car. Tickets for this Feast as well as the Lower Mainland (September 7th) and Vancouver Island (September 14th) Feasts are available here.
Sun, Aug. 17 | 1-4pm | 4380 Takla Rd, Kelowna | $95 | DETAILS

WISDOM | Former CBC radio personality and photographer David Wisdom hosts his annual evening of art and music at the VAG on Tuesday night. It’s so popular that it’s guaranteed to be a sell out, which is why we’re telling you about it early. David Wisdom is a bit of a big deal. Not only does he have a dreamy radio voice and impressive musical knowledge (particularly on Jazz), he’s also an accomplished photographer. Wisdom’s summer slide show will review works by the artist himself, as well as some by Robert Kleyn, Karin Bubas, Carol Sawyer, Felicia Gail, Iain Ross, Laurie Papou, and Jade Blade. The ‘communal slide show’ will be accompanied by live music by Satnav.
Tue., Aug. 19 | Doors 6:15pm, 7pm | Vancouver Art Gallery | $10 | DETAILS

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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.

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VANCOUVERITES | Talking Process & Plans With Jeff Hamada, Creator Of “Booooooom”

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by Grady Mitchell | “I want anyone to feel like they’re allowed to like art,” says Jeff Hamada, the Vancouverite behind Booooooom, one of the world’s leading online archives of contemporary creativity. That’s why he started the site six years ago, and with millions of visitors each month – well, mission accomplished.

Along with a bottomless reserve of enthusiasm, one of the main reasons Jeff launched Booooooom was in response to the elitism he encountered in art school. He’s adamant, however, that he won’t spoon-feed art to the masses. When someone tells him “I love everything you post on your site,” he considers that a failure. The trickiest part of the whole Booooooom operation is balancing people’s expectations while introducing them to new, challenging work. The last thing he wants the site to become is an echo chamber endlessly reinforcing its own opinion.

What he does want, he says, “is to provide an opportunity for people to encounter something they’re not really sure about. I want the site to be more like an appetizer than a main course; for them to be hungry to discover more on their own.”

The Booooooom selection process doesn’t involve formulas or focus groups. In his mind, selecting only things you know people will like isn’t curation. Instead, a curator works to take people somewhere. Jeff uses the analogy of a river with five stepping stones. If the viewer stands on the first stone and Jeff’s on the fifth, he’ll lose them. If they’re both huddled on the same rock, nobody gets anywhere. But if Jeff stays one step ahead, eventually they’ll make their way across. The idea is to maintain that healthy gap and lead viewers along.

The key here is tacit, or intutive, knowledge. “Know how,” Jeff calls it. Like cooking an old family recipe without measuring ingredients, or ollying a skateboard, it’s something you learn to do from repetition. Viewing art, Jeff says, is similar. Anyone can train to do it if they spend the time it takes to look and think.

You don’t even have to like the work. There’s something valuable in trying to understand what others see in something, Jeff says, even if you don’t. Hell, especially if you don’t. To take an extreme example, let’s look at Nickleback. “If so many people like Nickleback,” Jeff says, “Who’s right about Nickleback?” Let’s not ponder that dilemma too deeply, just let it illustrate Jeff’s broader point: “It’s important to put yourself in the position of questioning.”

Good taste can only take you so far. The real thing that makes Booooooom stand out from so many other sites is the community. Like learning to study art, it’s something that’s built over time. The work of building it wasn’t actually hard, Jeff says, it’s just that there was a lot of it. From day one, he emailed every artist he featured (he still does). He didn’t ask for anything, just let them know he enjoyed their work. Send two or three emails a night over a couple years, eventually you’ll have a community on your hands.

Today, he uses his following to engage artists and art lovers through challenges and contests. The latest is Drawing On The Past, where he challenged readers to draw an influential person, place or thing from their life and write about it. In return they could win a limited edition Booooooom bag made in collaboration with Herschel Supplies. Jeff hopes to launch even larger creative collaborations in the future. Or, in his words, to at least have his ideas “rejected by bigger and bigger clients.” Whatever you’re doing, Jeff argues that getting shot down every once in a while is critical. “Rejection is a huge part of knowing that you’re still pushing it. If I succeed ten times in a row, to me that’s a failure. I’m not trying hard enough.”

He also hopes, someday soon, to take Booooooom from a strictly virtual space to a physical one. Less of a straight up gallery, he’s thinking, and more of a community hub where people who dig it can get together. If you haven’t already, give the website a visit. You can also check out Jeff’s personal work here.

OTHER INTERESTING VANCOUVERITES

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #510 | Through The Viewfinder Of Photographer Andy Grellman

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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.”

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

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