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Canadatalent.com Editor - Jonathan Hanley

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Jonathan Hanley is an entrepreneur, web guy, writer and photographer--- into all things social media and communications. He has worked with international green groups and sustainable businesses for more than 25 years. Bringing people together by building and growing social communities for 14 years.

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Peter Legge, CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited

Last week, I attended the “BCBusiness Innovators of the Year” event at the West Building of the Vancouver Convention center. I decided to attend, because I was curious what BCBusiness Magazine considered “innovative”. Who would standout among chosen 20 most Innovative companies in BC?

The magazine’s Senior Marketing & Special Events Manager was kind enough to give me a press pass and full access to interview both the Magazine’s Executive editor and several of the winners. The 20 companies were kept a top secret until the ‘unveiling’, which led to some buildup and stress and I realized I’d have to determine on-the-fly who I’d interview.

Arriving at the event was a part of the mystery as I’d never attended any of the previous five years of “Innovators of the Year” events. In my haste I’d missed the fine print, which noted it was a “cocktail reception”, so I was initially underwhelmed when seeing the event was being held at a smallish reception room. Perhaps it was entering the West Building and it’s 220,500 square feet (20,490 m2) of convention space (1) or reading the event title “BCBusiness Innovators of the Year”, I assumed the event would be in a ballroom with thousands dressed in tuxedoes and gowns. Regardless, entering the reception room, you could see it was filled and noisy with chatter. I thought for a moment that I was the only one there that didn’t know everyone.

Forty five minutes before the 20 companies were announced, I sat down with David Jordan, Executive Editor of BCBusiness magazine. David wouldn’t budge on revealing the winners, but he did reveal the process of choosing the finalists every year. He told me that companies were allowed to nominate themselves on the BCBusiness magazine site, which had resulted in 60 company submissions. A panel of 6 Industry experts met once at the beginning of the year to discuss the selections and recommend a few of their own. The shortlist is presented to the BCBusiness Editorial team who makes the final selections. Admittedly I was surprised that only 60 companies had submitted to the magazine, so if you’re Innovative company sees value in being part of the event, then start submitting to BCBusiness. I’d suggest that the social media and press would benefit your company.

David Jordan said there was no specific theme, but there were common characteristics among the 20 winners, including having a good idea that can be scaled and replicated.

Peter Legge, Chairman and CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited, owner of BCBusiness magazine, hosted the event with style and charm. In He spoke of the expression “one idea can change the world” in his his introductory speech, adding “but that idea must be also lead to action before real impactful change can take place. And it’s those rare organizations that can bring together a brilliant idea with the courage and the business savvy to act upon it, and those are the people that we wish to recognize tonight.”

Peter Legge, CEO of Canada Wide media
I sat down with three of the company CEOs to find out more about why they were innovative in their field. All three companies are very different and work in very different industries, but all three are run by passionate and committed owners. The passion for innovation and growing their businesses seemed to be commonality with all 20 of the winning companies.

Number #3 on the top 20 list is SemiosBIO Technologies Inc. I spoke with Michael Gilbert, CEO of SemiosBIO. His company has come up a system of Pest management that targets a specific pest while not using Pesticides and thus having lower impact on the environment. The company uses a technology called “machine to machine”, so the crop is connected live to the farmers through a database, giving them up-to-date data on weather, pest pressure, and other field details. The farmer can reduce the pesticide usage or even use bio-pesticides. SemiosBIO focusses on high value crops, such as grapes, apples, walnuts, almonds, which are sprayed more due to their high value. The company is in it’s third year, started in BC, and expanding into the US, Europe, and South America. SemiosBIO has 22 employees, $6 million in capital investment including $2.8-million from the federal government.

michael gilbert ceo semiosBIO

 

Number six on the list is Remtech Systems, a division of Williams & Williams group of companies. I sat down with Justin Williams, CEO of Remtech to talk about what it means to be an “innovative” company. Justin described Remtech as a 3rd generation family company that focusses on safety and productivity in plant environments. They apply industrial robotics or custom automated solutions to their clients. Justin was excited by the passion of their Engineers and staff to enable clients to be globally competitive and revolutionize the system of operations.  He said that increasing efficiencies within a business is a major focus for businesses these days. Remtech systems is under two years old and is focussed on BC, Alberta, Yukon, and the Pacific Northwest US.

Justin Williams-CEO of Remtech systems at BCBusiness Innovators of the year 2013

 

Number 20 on the list is EightSix Network Inc. I spoke with Andrew and Justin McAleenan about their startup company that provides qualified employees to the hospitality job sites is that EightSix don’t use resumes. They have a created a hospitality specific industry profile that job seekers use to sell themselves to potential hospitality employers. Andrew and Justin are enabling job seekers to create a social media profile and express themselves better and employers get to learn about job seekers in a much faster way before the interview. Job seekers are able to add links to their social media pages or information such as on twitter, facebook, youtube, and more. EightSix Network business plan was to focus on the lower mainland to develop their products and services. In the beginning they started by targeting a small targeted group of clients for a year, getting direct feedback to create products and services that is tailored to what the Hospitality industry needs. They’ve created about 50,000 job seekers profiles and have worked with top BC hospitality brands such as Cactus Club, Joey, Milestones, Earls, and others. They plan building the company organically by expanding to the rest of Canada, and Ontario will be a big of their growth in the next year. Andrew and Justin are excited about their future because they believe no one in the industry across is offering a product like EightSix networks.

andrew and justin mcaleenen- EightSix network at bcbusiness2013

 

The event also showcased BCBusiness magazine’s transformation into a 24 / 7 news organization with both print and web properties. David Jordon said that they weren’t just trying to get into digital media, but to build a business plan around being a digital publishing company. I asked if BCBusiness was targeting different users online and in print and he said that users go back and forth between both media. One difference is that stories have a longer life being on both print and web as social media often decides to create additional buzz about any given story.

The twenty finalists are creating a wide of innovations: green batteries, biodegradable plastics, prefab buildings, microlofts, eco-friendly mining infrastructure, mobile commerce, urban farms, rent-a-winery. Read the full list of companies below with links to more detailed profiles on BC Business magazine.

20 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. as listed by BCBusiness magazine.

  1. Reliance Properties Ltd. - Reliance redefines urban living with affordable microlofts
  2. Weatherhaven Resources Ltd. - Creating prefab office units for remote operations
  3. SemiosBIO Technologies Inc. - Helping farmers cut toxins out of pest management
  4. TRG Mobilearth Inc. - Taking more finance functions mobile
  5. Tasktop Technologies Inc. - More efficiently tracking times and tasks
  6. Williams & White Machine Inc. - On the cutting edge of robotics innovation
  7. Corvus Energy Ltd. - A ‘green’ battery with infinite uses
  8. Global Relay Communications Inc. - A growing tech upstart with its head in the cloud
  9. Solegear Bioplastics Inc. - Commercializing biodegradable plastics
  10. Beedie School of Business, SFU: Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership - Focusing on the future of aboriginal business
  11. SoleFood Farm Inc. - Cultivating a charity with a nourishing mission
  12. Energold Drilling Corp. - Carving out an eco-friendly path for mining infrastructure
  13. Payfirma Corp. - A mobile alternative to bulky cash registers
  14. Okanagan Crush Pad Winery Ltd. - Building a successful rent-a-winery model
  15. The Sarah McLachlan School of Music - Taking a collaborative approach to music education
  16. Mark Brand - Putting food in the hands of those who need it most
  17. GoVoluntouring Ltd. - Connecting tourists with volunteer opportunities abroad
  18. B.C. Land Title Survey Authority - Automating land title registrations
  19. Skunkwerks Software Inc. - Incubating research and development
  20. EightSix Network Inc. - Connecting the hospitality industry to more qualified employees

1. Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Convention_Centre

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My recent interview with Adam Chapnick on crowdfunding, the history of Indiegogo, and the value of engagement in campaigns.

Adam Chapnick,  principal of the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, sat down with me for 10 minutes at the Grow conference in Vancouver, Canada to share his insights on business. Listen to the audio recording.

Indiegogo is the world’s largest open crowdfunding platform, where anyone from anywhere can raise money for anything at anytime, according to Chapnick, who in addition to his work at Indiegogo is also CEO of Distribber.

There are over 450 crowdfunding platforms according to a recent 2012 report on Market Trends, Composition and Crowdfunding platforms by crowfunding.org. Indiegogo and Kickstarter are leaders in the industry. 1

Kickstarter raised 10 million in 2011. In 2012, Indiegogo raised 15 million, which is the largest amount of money ever raised for a crowdfunding company to date according to Techcrunch.

Adam Chapnick of Indiegogo at Grow conference 2012

How did Indiegogo start?

It was started in 2008, when Danae Ringelmann and her cofounders, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell saw an opportunity to help revolutionize the way that films were getting funded, with an eye towards applying that to everything in the world.  Danae was working as an analyst in the entertainment industry and really saw that filmmakers were having a hard raising funds, and conceived of this as way to solve that problem. We started off in film and then opened it up to anything, anywhere. Danae first had the idea in 2006 and then launched in 2008, so we’ve been around for about five years.

Was there anything out there like Indiegogo at the time or were you creating something new?

Crowdfunding isn’t new. It goes back thousands of years of people pooling their money together to get a common desired outcome. The Statue of Liberty was a popular example of crowdfunding.

People sent in $10 to help put the pedestal in the bay where the statue could go on. Doing it the way we do online with the interface that we created, we were the first that we know of.

Why is crowdfunding so popular?

It works because it taps into a couple of revolutionary ideas.

One, it’s a whole new layer of commerce for people who are creating campaigns to connect with their customers, fans or audience.

In the old days, they had to make whatever their thing was. When it was done they would go to market, and they would say does anyone want  this thing I made and they would hope that they had an audience. Now with crowdfunding, the same people can go and say they have a plan or idea … you can be part of that.

In the old way, when [people] went to market, and someone did buy,  whether they wanted it a little bit or wanted it a lot … they all paid the same amount for the thing. Let’s say it would be $10. If I kind of want it, it’s $10, if I really want it, it’s $10, or if I can’t wait to have it, it’s $10.

In the new way, you invite everyone into the process. You say if you’re a little bit passionate, you can get the thing for $10 when it’s done. If you’re really you can give me $50, you’ll get the thing in the special edition, or you’ll get two of things signed by me, or some other experience that allows you to be more connected to me — the process, and some kind of endeavour you maybe always wanted to be part of but couldn’t be. It’s a very exciting way to unlock the value of the creative prcoess people do, and invite people who want to be part of it.

I was talking about the idea of being the “shadow artist”. The idea that  people always wish that they could have tried something else, but they made a decision to be what they are for some good reason. For example, I’m a dentist, but I wish I had been a baseball player. If you’re a lawyer but you wanted to be a movie star, but you don’t want to be a movie star enough to start that career and do all the miserable stuff you have to do to become an actor.

But I have a movie on Indiegogo, if I say to a Lawyer, if you give me something like 500$, then I’ll put you in the film in a scene. If you always wanted to be a film maker, you can come to the set and be part of the crew or make certain creative decisions just for trading money. That’s really fun, because suddenly you’re part of a process — just for a weekend — in exchange for money, and that was never possible before!

In the evolution of the kind of campaigns that people started, have you seen a difference in how people are presenting them or where they are in their project?

It’s been amazing, thrilling to see how people evolve. When it started, it was very one dimensional – like,  “We need money, thanks, see you later.”

People have started to understand that engagement has helped projects earn more money. We’ve shared a lot of data. If you go to indiegogo.com blog under “Insights”, there’s a huge number of analytics that share how you can be 1000 per cent more successful with your campaign. If you do X you’ll make 100 per cent more than if you do Y, things like that.

What we’ve seen is mostly around how people understand how to engage their audience. Both in their video, where a personal video has really helped. When people started doing personal videos instead of a still photo. It increased campaign by 122 per cent.

There are other incremental increases like that around Perks, perk levels, perk amounts, and how to offer them.

As for Updates, if you update 31 times in your campaign, you make 408 per cent more money.

People are understanding that and do it. We’re having amazing results. 2

Are there any areas that are better suited to start a campaign?

We’ve been stunned by the variety of projects, businesses, causes, and creative projects that have used it successfully. One of the fun things about being an open platform, is that we very much believe in not curating. We are about not knowing better than you what’s worth raising money.

We’ve seen incredible things get funded that we’d never have dreamed of. We had the first crowdfunded baby a couple of months ago. A couple who  was unable to get pregnant got IVF that they crowdfunded, and people gave them money. It worked and they just had a baby ( which they did not name Indiegogo, but that’s okay! )

The Tesla museum, that’s happening right now. It’s probably about to go over a million dollars. A guy thought it would be cool to buy Nicola Tesla’s old laboratory and stop it from becoming a strip mall. Lots of people agreed and now he’s raised 970,000$ and counting. Indiegogo’s blog post shows an interesting infographic on the key data points of the campaign, including the campaign averaged 6,000$ per minute and that over 20,000 people contributed with an average contribution of 25$, the campaign still raised over 875,000$ !

In general, is the amount of money being raised becoming a lot more?

A lot more. We break our own records every couple of weeks. I think it’s only going to keep happening. So much of crowdfunding is still totally unknown to most people that would benefit from it. It’s thrilling to see how people discover and use it.

With amounts going up so much, how can you be sure that all the money is going to go to what they say it’s going to go to?

All crowdfunding is a contract between the funder and the project creator. We’ve found that because of the nature of the crowdfunding endeavour, that you have to go through your first circle before stranger will start giving you money. The data shows that between 20-40 per cent of any campaign regardless of it’s goal needs to be funded by first circle, which is people who know you, know of you, know that you’re a person and has interacted with you. It could be your facebook friends, twitter following, your family. Once that thresh hold has been reached, then strangers will start to give. We found that if you’re willing to screw over your best friend, your mother, your sister, your brother, and everyone you know, then yes you can let down a lot of people. That’s a very powerful deterant and we’ve found that very few cases of funders of being disappointed because project didn’t say what they would do.

Even though it will often will happen that maybe you predict that you can do something with an amount, where you weren’t able to do that. By being in communication with your funders, they’re very support and often will fund you a second time to help you finish that you misjudged.

Why are you at the Grow Conference in Vancouver, Canada?

The reason that we are at the Grow conference is because it’s amazing place where hundreds and hundreds of incredibly creative people are bringing projects, everyone of which is worthing of an amazing crowdfunding campaign. Literally every person at this conference would benefit from an Indiegogo campaign.

Canada is a very active country for Indiegogo. It’s a natural fit. We’ve had a lot of success stories out of Canada, and I suspect there’s only going to be more.

What is the future for Indiegogo?

The future is finding more ways that we can serve the people we are serving better. Do more things that create more success and higher amounts of funding and more engagement, so more people can have success stories with their crowdfunding campaigns.

Notes:

1 There are over 450 crowdfunding platforms according to a recent 2012 report on Market Trends, Composition and Crowdfunding platforms by crowfunding.org site. Additionally I spoke with Catalina Briceno of the Canada Media Fund at Grow 2012, and she announced that they were publishing a report on “Crowdfunding in a Canadian Context: Exploring the Potential of Crowdfunding in the Creative Content Industries”, which can bedownloaded here. Indiegogo and Kickstarter are leaders in the industry. [to avoid repetition of "crunch", I'm taking out "Crunchbase" and using the link for "10 million".] Kickstarter raised 10 million in 2011. In 2012, Indiegogo raised 15 million, which is the largest amount of money ever raised for a crowdfunding company to date, according to Techcrunch

2 Prior to our interview, Adam Chapnick spoke at the Grow conference about the key ways to a successful campaign:

  • Create engaging video
  • Identify exciting perks
  • Set up tight deadlines
  • Make it a team effort
  • Share your campaign on social media
  • Start a PR roll out
Following up on Adam’s advice I looked at their blog section. I found out in this Indiegogo page, that campaigns that take the key 6 actions raise 8 times more money than campaigns that don’t. After reading a couple of their articles, which include analysis and case studies, it’s clear that there is an art to creating a successful campaign which is helped by learning the science behind why people do what they do! The blog reveals helpful stats, but also provides insights into human behaviour. What keeps people’s attention, but also sustained it enough to want to give money and be a part of your project?
From Indiegogo’s blog, here’s more details on the six actions to a successful campaign.

What do these six actions have in common? They show that you are committed to your campaign and are investing time and effort to ensure it succeeds! Here is some advice on how to approach taking these six actions:

  1. Have a Pitch Video: Secret to a great pitch video? Show your face, tell your story,  show what your money is going towards, have a call to action, and share your passion (but keep it under three minutes)!
  2. Offer Three or More Perks: Good perks are creative and generous. The two most essential perk amounts are the $25 perk and the $100 perk. For $25 a funder can explore the solar system, get a DVD and a personalized thank you note,  or be immortalized on a brick in a community theater. For $100 contributors get invited to a Damien Rice and Chad Urmstrom concert and a Venetian artist designed t-shirt, 20lbs of pasture raised sustainable meat and an invitation to a Barbecue festival, or a t-shirt, hat and autographed poster.
  3. Update Every Couple of Days: Use updates to showcase progress, say thank you, keep your audience engaged, offer new perks, and share some press you’ve received. Post updates to your facebook, and e-mail them to people who haven’t contributed yet.
  4. Post 5 or More Media to Your Gallery: Media can include videos, picture images, or artwork and can be sent out via updates. Media builds an emotional connection between campaign and the funders and provides context for the campaigner’s motivations and commitment. Be sure to share your media on social media platforms too!
  5. Link to Your External Pages:  If you have a personal website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or YouTube channel, put the link on your campaign. Complimenting your campaign page with external online assets builds credibility, and enables you to tell a more robust story. It also helps you share your campaign more broadly and rapidly.
  6. Keep Your Campaign Less than 60 Days: Having a shorter campaign improves your buzz and virality. People are less likely to put off contributing if there is a sense of urgency about your campaign.  Things to keep in mind regarding deadlines: How much time do you and your team have to run the campaign? How much money do you need and when will you need the money? What is the schedule of your outreach strategy?

 

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The 2nd annual GROW Conference is upon us again this year. I had a great time last year meeting some amazing and talent VCs, Entrepreneurs, and Techies. This year, a new addition to the Conference is the competition for Canadian startups to Launch @ GROW. 15 Finalists were selected to be at Launch night, and 4 companies will be picked to demo on stage at the GROW Conference. Exciting times for Canadian startups!

Over the next few days, I’ll be interviewing some Canadian Startups, event Organizers and Presenters. I will be focussing on the experience as Canadians working in Canada based Startups or working in the Tech or VC business in  Silicon Valley or New York.

Location: Vancouver Convention Center – West Building
1055 Canada Place – 3rd Floor
Vancouver, BC, V6C 0C3

Announced: 15 Startups to Demo at Launch@GROW

The Growlab judges have chosen the 15 Finalists to demo their startups at Launch @ GROW on August 17th.

Congratulations and good luck to all of the companies.

Launch @ GROW’s 15 Finalists:

Cargoh.com

  • Cargoh.com is a curated marketplace for independent artists and designers. View Cargoh.com’s entry.

Food.ee

  • Food.ee is the easiest way to order take out and delivery food online. View Food.ee’s entry.

Hipsell

  • Hipsell is the easiest way to buy and sell things. View Hipsell’s entry.

Hoseanna – Serving Busy Women Everywhere

  • Hoseanna.com is the new auto-ship service that delivers the monthly essentials women have to (but sometimes hate to) buy. View Hoseanna’s entry.

Jostle.me

  • The Jostle™ SaaS platform is the modern way for employees to navigate their organization and be more effective contributors. View Jostle.me’s entry.

MentionMapp

  • MentionMapp provides powerful new ways to understand the rapidly changing social network. Starting with Twitter, MentionMapp displays the unique characteristics of how messages map, through the social community. View MentionMapp’s entry.

Rocketr – Social Notetaking

  • Rocketr is a cloud-synced, web and mobile application, designed for social notetaking across your public and private groups. View Rocketr’s entry.

Storypanda

  • Storypanda is building an iPad publishing platform for kids and parent to co-create kids stories together. View Storypanda’s entry.

Summify

  • Summify creates a periodic summary of the most relevant news stories, from all of your social networks, and delivers it by email and on the web. View Summify’s entry.

Tiipz - A Social Platform for Micro Research

  • The Tiipz plaform gives businesses a brand new way to reach out and gain insights from customers by creating and sharing Micropinions. View Tiipz’ entry.

ToggleMe with Tradable Bits Platform

  • With ToggleMe, you can create custom Facebook Pages and Places in minutes, and use simple Apps to engage your fans/customers. View ToggleMe’s entry.

Unbounce - DIY Landing Pages

  • The Unbounce Landing Page Platform makes it easy to create, publish and A/B test targeted landing pages without having to rely on IT or web developers. View Unbounce’s entry.

Warranty Life – Manage all your purchases & warranties for free

  • Warranty Life provides free instant online access to receipts, product registration, warranty claim information and even manuals in one central place. View Warranty Life’s entry.

Wishpond.com

  • Wishpond is a shopping search engine that brings together all the products your local stores carry. View Wishpond’s entry.

ZapTap

  • ZapTap makes product-specific information and customized incentives available when and where in-store purchasing decisions are made. View ZapTap’s entry.

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With creation of Eco Fashion Week, Vancouver joins the list of forward thinking Fashion cities such as New York, London, and Paris who all are holding similar Eco Fashion events. In New York city, as part of the New York fashion week, there’s the eco fashion event called the Green Shows. In Paris, during Paris Fashion week, there’s the Ethical Fashion Week. In London, as part of London Fashion Week, there’s Estethica, which was started four years ago by the British Fashion Council. As BFC states: “All Estethica designers adhere to at least one of the three Estethica principles of fair-trade and ethical practices, organic and recycled materials and are selected for both their ethical credentials and design excellence.” The Esthetica collective currently consists of 37 members. One of their members this year was Jeff Garner. He opened London Fashion Week, and he was one of the fashion designers at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver as well.

I interviewed Eco Fashion Designers Jeff Garner ( Prophetik ), Lara Presber, Nicole Bridger, and Kim Cathers ( Kdon ), and Owner of Green Sapphire, Regina Noppè who brought EDEN Mens wear and the Green Sapphire by Patricia Moura Biojoias collection to Vancouver.

smallphotos-ecofashion-sept282910

One commonality amongst these four designers was that their fashion was not just about design, but lifestyle as well. They all consciously practiced an eco-friendly and simple lifestyle on a daily basis, so the “eco” in Eco Fashion was very personal to them. They had always been recycling things, reusing things, repurposing things whether it was before fashion or after. This was a thread that had been in all of their lives. They were also people that had travelled all over the world. In all their cases they all ended up going back home. Jeff returning to Franklin, Tennessee; Laura to Calgary, Alberta and Nicole and Kim back to Vancouver, BC. It is very clear from talking to these rising stars of Eco Fashion, that home and family is very important to them and how they live their lives and pursue their careers.

Prophetik - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

Prophetik - EcoFashion Week, Vancouver by kk+

Jeff Garner spoke with me about being a Designer and showcasing his work at Eco Fashion Week. He was recently nominated for most sustainable line by the Global Fashion awards. Prophetik manufactures locally in Tennessee using sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, peat silk, and linen. They spent about a year developing a way to create their own natural plant earth dyes, which they have been coloring their fabrics for the past year. Jeff told me that it’s an ongoing learning experience to balance making the dyes affordable yet sustainable. He said that Prophetik plans on sharing the knowledge and creating dye for other companies as well, because they don’t use a chemical process and would be providing dyes that few dye houses create in North America.

Jeff Garner dresses like he’s from another time, wearing clothes similar to those in his collection – solid, earthy, romantic, masculine vests and cotton shirt. There is an earthiness to the way he speaks, he has an easy pacing to his speech, that reminds me of a down home southern Gentleman. Jeff says that living in Tennessee on a farm, keeps him grounded on what he is doing. He agrees that location greatly influences his collection, having that old world feel, souther renaissance style with the ballroom gowns, and men’s vests. The style isn’t based on a trend as Jeff doesn’t read magazines or watch TV, so he can stay true to his vision. Prophetik is selling to about 40 Boutiques in North America, and London, other parts of Europe, and Japan.

The collection is kind of a combination of something that an English rider might wear on a fox hunt, or a young woman might wear in a romance novel. There’s an aspect of romanticized history of country, rural. There was a lot of attention to detail. The clothing was well-made, the fabric looked rich. It was clear that it was natural, there was a softness to the colour. The influence of his interest in rural life was evident in his collection. The men wore riding boots, and he himself wore riding boots. At the end of his collect there was a country Jamboree band that played. His personal presence is humble and sincere in the way that he talks about his work. But his collection stands up on his own. I think he will continue to be a rising a star in the fashion community.

Listen to Jeff Garner interview

prophetik-3view-ecofashionweek-sept2910prophetik-2view-ecofashionweek-sept2910prophetik-finale-ecofashionweek-sept2910

Eco Fashion Week Vancouver Photos by Jonathan Hanley ( hanleymade.com | http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelate )

Prophetik - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BCProphetik - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

Prophetik - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BCProphetik - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

Additional Photos by Kris Krug ( staticphotography.com | http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk )

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The Vogue Theatre was completely sold out for Pecha Kucha 13. As organizer Steven Cox said, despite the opening night of VIFF,

Pecha Kucha Night Volume 13 ( view site: http://pechakuchanightvancouver.com/ )
The Vogue Theatre
Thursday, Sept. 30th
Door: 6:30PM
Start: 7:30PM
Ticket: $15
Online Sale: https://tickets.voguetheatre.com/ or call (604) 569-1144
Box Office: Mon-Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm

Presenters at Pecha Kucha 13

Robert Calder – Owner of Secret Study/Boompa Records
Amanda Gibbs – Director of Museum of Vancouver
Mark Shieh – Founder & Director of Take Root
Am Johal – Chair of Impact on Communities Coalition
Susanne Tabata – Producer/ Director of Bloodied But Unbowed
Victor Wang – Director/Curator of Here is Now/ Make Art History
Myriam Steinberg – Artistic Director of In the House Festival
Grant McDonagh – Owner of Zulu Records
Connely Farr – Designer/ Songwriter/ Performer ( Mississippi Live & the Dirty Dirty )
Rebecca Bollwitt – Editor in Chief of Miss 604
Michael Lyons – VP Marketing & Sales of Smallworks Laneway Housing
Brendan Meadows – Photographer of Brendan Meadows

I spoke with 8 of the 12 speakers: Robert Calder, Connely Farr, Victor Wang, Brendan Meadows, Rebecca Bollwitt, Myriam Steinberg, and a joint interview with Grant McDonagh and Susanne Tabata. One of the interesting side notes of speaking with Presenters is you learn about the person presenting before you see their presentation. Some presenters do best when on stage while others seem more comfortable speaking in a one-on-one interview. 12 unique stories, 12 unique people, but all inspiring.

I went to Pecha Kucha 10 and had an amazing time, which you can read about in this VancouverObserver.com article. If you’ve never been to the event, it’s highly worth attending because you hear a range of inspiring stories by talented and creative people from diverse backgrounds.

Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Sit back in your favourite chair or curl on your couch, grab a coffee or tea, and listen to 6 audio interviews that will leave you smiling from the rollercoaster of emotions you’ll feel when hearing their stories.

I spoke with Robert Calder about his background, reasons for presenting at Pecha Kucha, and how he chose his photographic slides for the event. Robert is the Owner of Secret Study/Boompa Records.

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Robert Calder at Pecha Kucha 13 ( photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Robert Calder:

Victor Wang is the Director/Curator of Here is Now/ Make Art History.

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Victor Wang at Pecha Kucha 13 ( photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Victor Wang:

Connely Farr is a Designer/ Songwriter/ Performer ( Mississippi Live & the Dirty Dirty )

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Connely Farr at Pecha Kucha 13 ( photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Connely Farr: 

Rebecca Bollwitt is the Editor in Chief of Miss 604.

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Rebecca Bollwitt at Pecha Kucha 13 ( photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Rebecca Bollwitt: 

Brendan Meadows – Photographer of Brendan Meadows

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Victor Wang and Brendan Meadows at Pecha Kucha 13 (photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Brendan Meadows:

Myriam Steinberg is the Artistic Director of In the House Festival

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Myriam Steinberg at Pecha Kucha 13 ( photo by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com )

Listen to exclusive interview with Myriam Steinberg:


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  1. Myriam Laroche owned a 100 pairs of shoes, but now she’s leading Designers, Buyers, and Fashionistas along the Eco Fashion path with the launch of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week.
  2. Eco Fashion is about standards and good production practives, but it’s also about taking small steps towards a more wholistic and caring lifestyle.
  3. Jeff Garner is a Southern Gentleman and a Designer, who would be working on a horse farm if he wasn’t conquering Eco Fashion week Vancouver or opening London Fashion week.
  4. Being stylish and caring about the planet isn’t just for hippies anymore. Hey I was a hippie, so I should know!
  5. Kim Cathers is a really nice person, despite the hatemail she gets everytime there’s a rerun of her season on Project Runway.
  6. Vancouver may becoming a green city, but this is only the first Eco Fashion week event. New York, Paris, and London are already putting on large scale Fashion weeks focussed on sustainable clothing design / Eco Fashion.
  7. Nicole Bridger’s clothing labels say “I AM LOVE”, which isn’t the reason why she recently won the FTA’s Design Forward award.

In truth, these are just a few of the many reasons that Eco Fashion Week was a success. The Fashion was both stylish and buyable. The Designers, Promoters, Producers, and Sponsors all showed it’s possible to combine sustainable solutions while running successful businesses. The rest of the Fashion industry will start to take notice, because this is a lifestyle now and not just a passing trend.

Readers may not know this, but I was in fashion design 25 years ago. I had an interest in sustainable development; I was one of those people always making my own clothes, and people kept asking me why don’t I go into fashion design? So I went to VCC to study Fashion Design, then moved to Montreal and worked in Fashion industry for 5 years. I decided to get out of the business, because the Industry was very wastful and there was no vision of Eco Fashion in 1985. I always had ideas about recycling clothing and reusing fabrics and so forth, but back then people were just not interested in those ideas. So here I am, 25 years later at Eco Fashion Week to figure out what people are up to now, how things have developed, and what young designers are creating for 2010 and beyond.

I attended the opening night and met with organizer Myriam Laroche about the event. She was very excited about creating an annual Industry event that would grow into something to similar to the Fashion Week events in New York, Paris, and London. Myriam told me about not being an eco-friendly girl, but  a woman who was passionate about Fashion and owned a 100 pairs of shoes and always being passionate about Fashion. She had been involved in the Fashion industry for 15 years in Montreal, then moved to Vancouver 3 years and a half years ago. She loved Fashion but started getting overwhelmed with over consumption. After attending EPIC!, she became inspired by Counselor Reimer on how we can make Vancouver the greenest city in the world. Thus Eco Fashion week was born with the dream for Vancouver to become the International capital for Eco Fashion.

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Photographer Kris Krug, Creative Director of Aveda Canada Ray Civello, and Aaron Handford of EcoFashionworld.com at Eco Fashion Week opening night.

Myriam told me she wants the event to provide tools for both Designer and Buyer to take the green route. As an Industry event, EFW offered seminars such as: Eco as a Movement not a Trend, led by Carly Stojsic from Worth Global Style Network; and Paul Raybin from AirDye will be talking with Mark Trotzuk for a presentation about the lifecycle of fashion. Note: AirDye offers an alternative and sustainable method that provides a sustainable alternative to traditional cationic or vat dyeing processes.

Myriam Laroche wants EFW to be about helping people making small changes in their life rather than expecting people to be 100% Eco. By showcasing Eco Fashion Designers and companies, it will help both Industry and general public learn more about becoming more conscious in their design and lives.

With creation of Eco Fashion Week, Vancouver joins the list of forward thinking Fashion cities such as New York, London, and Paris who all are holding similar Eco Fashion events. In New York city, as part of the New York fashion week, there’s the eco fashion event called the Green Shows. In Paris, during Paris Fashion week, there’s the Ethical Fashion Week. In London, as part of London Fashion Week, there’s Estethica, which was started four years ago by the British Fashion Council. As BFC states: “All Estethica designers adhere to at least one of the three Estethica principles of fair-trade and ethical practices, organic and recycled materials and are selected for both their ethical credentials and design excellence.” The Esthetica collective currently consists of 37 members. One of their members this year was Jeff Garner. He opened London Fashion Week, and he was one of the fashion designers at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver as well.

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Ray Civello, Myriam Laroche, Randall Cook, and Meaghan Orlinski at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

I interviewed Eco Fashion Designers Jeff Garner ( Prophetik ), Lara Presber, Nicole Bridger, and Kim Cathers ( Kdon ), and Owner of Green Sapphire, Regina Noppè who brought EDEN Mens wear and the Green Sapphire by Patricia Moura Biojoias collection to Vancouver.

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Jeff Garner, Nicole Bridger, Kim Cathers, and Regina Noppè at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

One commonality amongst these four designers was that their fashion was not just about design, but lifestyle as well. They all consciously practiced an eco-friendly and simple lifestyle on a daily basis, so the “eco” in Eco Fashion was very personal to them. They had always been recycling things, reusing things, repurposing things whether it was before fashion or after. This was a thread that had been in all of their lives. They were also people that had travelled all over the world. In all their cases they all ended up going back home. Jeff returning to Franklin, Tennessee; Laura to Calgary, Alberta and Nicole and Kim back to Vancouver, BC. It is very clear from talking to these rising stars of Eco Fashion, that home and family is very important to them and how they live their lives and pursue their careers.

Jeff Garner spoke with me about being a Designer and showcasing his work at Eco Fashion Week. He was recently nominated for most sustainable line by the Global Fashion awards. Prophetik manufactures locally in Tennessee using sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, peat silk, and linen. They spent about a year developing a way to create their own natural plant earth dyes, which they have been coloring their fabrics for the past year. Jeff told me that it’s an ongoing learning experience to balance making the dyes affordable yet sustainable. He said that Prophetik plans on sharing the knowledge and creating dye for other companies as well, because they don’t use a chemical process and would be providing dyes that few dye houses create in North America.

Jeff Garner dresses like he’s from another time, wearing clothes similar to those in his collection – solid, earthy, romantic, masculine vests and cotton shirt. There is an earthiness to the way he speaks, he has an easy pacing to his speech, that reminds me of a down home southern Gentleman. Jeff says that living in Tennessee on a farm, keeps him grounded on what he is doing. He agrees that location greatly influences his collection, having that old world feel, souther renaissance style with the ballroom gowns, and men’s vests. The style isn’t based on a trend as Jeff doesn’t read magazines or watch TV, so he can stay true to his vision. Prophetik is selling to about 40 Boutiques in North America, and London, other parts of Europe, and Japan.

The collection is kind of a combination of something that an English rider might wear on a fox hunt, or a young woman might wear in a romance novel. There’s an aspect of romanticized history of country, rural. There was a lot of attention to detail. The clothing was well-made, the fabric looked rich. It was clear that it was natural, there was a softness to the colour. The influence of his interest in rural life was evident in his collection. The men wore riding boots, and he himself wore riding boots. At the end of his collect there was a country Jamboree band that played. His personal presence is humble and sincere in the way that he talks about his work. But his collection stands up on his own. I think he will continue to be a rising a star in the fashion community.

Listen to Jeff Garner interview

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( Prophetik photos by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com |  flickr.com/pixelate )

Kim Cathers was an interesting interview, because I had arrived at the opening hoping to speak to her, but was biased having seen her on Project Runway. She was known for being a bitch on the show. However, I was pleasantly surprised because in person she was a very friendly, open, and honest person. She explains that after being on Project Runway, she had to take some time off to recollect herself because it had been an overwhelming experience. She had to decide what she was going to do next. She told me that she ended up going to Gabriole Island on the west coast and stayed there for 9 months to reconnect with what was the point of this life.  You have 80 years to live your life, and she wanted to take advantage of doing something she loves to do.Then she decided to come back to Vancouver to pursue fashion – she felt like this was something that kept calling her back. She had always recycled things and reworked things. I had asked her if she had tried to do architecture. She said that she had tried in school, but that working with wires and other materials to be difficult for her. She preferred to work with fabric, she liked being able to drape it and hang it. She also liked being able to going from the 2D to the 3D. That caught my attention because that was something that got my interest in fashion design. There’s something very fascinating that’s creative and yet somewhat mathematical about it. She also mentioned that she is now designing some dresses that are more sculptural; she is using materials that are stiffer and heavier in order to make a more sculptural level. Those are on a more limited basis. She surprised me because despite her major exposure on Project Runway, that she tends to stay to herself. She lives a simple life. She walks to work, walks her dog, makes her meals at home. She said that not all of her fabric was “organic”, but all of her material was reclaimed fabric – fabric that was being thrown away, or not being used. Many times she didn’t know where the material was coming from, the history behind it, or even what type of material it even was.

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(Kdon photos by Kris Krug kk+ / Static Photography )

It’s clear that in this generation of designers that “eco” fashion is more about taking small steps. In both your own personal lifestyle and in the choices you are making as a designer. As Myriam Laroche said, you don’t have to be 100% eco fashion to do your part – everybody is doing it in their own way by trying to live a conscious life.

Laura Presber was originally studying architecture in Boston. She decided that she wanted to get into fashion design and apprenticed in Milan. After that she decided to come back to Calgary, where she was born. She felt more comfortable being in Calgary and being around family and friends. She said that there are pros and cons to living in Calgary. It is a small fashion commuity, so she gets more recognization than if she were living ina  bigger city. It’sharder for her to get fabrics, but with shipping now it’s much easier get things than in the past. She has all of her clothing made locally, so she’s helping to support the local community. Which was a common theme with all of the designers that I interviewed. That in itself becomes another aspect of eco fashion in which you require less impact in order to make the clothing. She said that her clothing at Eco Fashion did have references to architecture in the style and design. Lara Presber’s Spring 2011 collection has an architectural theme , with designs based on the new Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton.

Listen to Laura Presber interview

Lara Presber - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BCLara Presber - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

Lara Presber - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BCLara Presber - EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

( Lara Presber photos by Kris Krug kk+ / Static Photography )

Nicole Bridger is based out of Vancouver. She recently one the FTA’s Fashion Forward eco award – best eco fashion designer in Canada. She studied at Ryerson University, then apprenticed with Vivian Westwood in London. If you know Vivian Westwood you would be aware that she is someone of very strong and distinct style and personality. Nicole specifically asked to apprentice with Vivian Westwood, because she liked her style. She told me she almost wasn’t able to apprentice with her. She had to basically beg and plead with Vivian to give her a chance, and just let her work there for a week and see how it would go. It was very important to her. She she was able to do that, and came out of the experience learning a lot. One thing that she mentioned was that she had always been interested in the business and the fashion side of things. Vivian went bankrupt during the time that she was working with her, and that made her very aware of the importance of being able to sustain your business. She says that her business is probably 50% business and 50% design. She likes doing both, instead of just the design aspect. She also is using organic materials. She also lives a sustainable lifestyle. One of the ways that she is contributing to the idea of eco fashion is not just the materials but her attitude as well.  She talks about treating everyone with respect and kindness. That includes the people she is working with and her customers. She actually puts on her label “I Am Love”. In the sense it’s making her clothing with love, and also making people filled with love, it creates a positive energy. That in turn helps how people are treating the world.
Listen to Nicole Bridger interview

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( Prophetik photos by Jonathan Hanley | hanleymade.com |  flickr.com/pixelate )

EcoFashion Week - Vancouver, BC

KristinAnn Janishefski ( photo by kk+ )

A big thank you to Mariam Laroche and especially KristinAnn Janishefski from Vanguard PR who took good care of me and made my reentry into the world of Eco Fashion an inspiring and positive experience. Myriam Laroche’s dream to make Eco Fashion Week a destination on the global circuit of Fashion Week may come true if the people behind the creation, production, promotion, and sponsorship are any indication. Most people I spoke with clearly are passionate about the planet and think Fashion can be fashionable, beautiful, and sustainable. Maybe 25 years later, it’s time has come. Let’s hope this generation keeps their green dreams alive, because in the end people will make their buying decisions based on the quality of the clothing and design. Saving the planet is just a bonus for most, and if that works for now then it’s a step in the right direction.

Flickr.com slideshow

Article links:

FTA Fashion Forward award: http://www.fashiontakesaction.com/content/fta-design-forward

Eco Fashion Week Vancouver: http://www.ecofashion-week.com

Eco Fashion PR: http://www.thevanguardpr.com/

Prophetik ( Jeff Garner ): http://www.prophetik.com

Lara Presber: http://www.larapresber.com

Nicole Bridger: http://www.nicolebridger.com

Green Sapphire Imports ( EDEN Mens wear, Patricia Moura Biojoias collection ): http://green-sapphire-imports.com

Social Alterations: http://socialalterations.com/2010/09/16/eco-fashion-week-vancouver-seminars-sept-29-30

Air Dye: http://blog.airdye.com/goodforbusiness/2010/09/27/airdye-sustainability-tour/

Photographers: Jonathan Hanley: at Hanleymade: http://hanleymade.com or http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelate and Kris Krug: at Static Photography: http://staticphotography.com or http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk and Alfonso: http://www.j28studios.com/gallery_eco_3.html

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Earthdance Vancouver - Prayer for Peace

One of the Earthdance organizers SobeyI spoke with one of the Earthdance Vancouver organizers, Sobey, about what makes this year’s Earthdance different than in previous years. This year to from morning to night with three different events. During the day, Earthdance will be taking place at Prospect Point in Stanley Park, then people will be riding bikes for Earthdance around the city, then culminating with events at W2 Storyeum in Gastown. The evening will include a dinner, conference and discussion time, and ending with DJ’s and Musicians from around the world playing until the late hours.

I interviewed Sobey about Earthdance Vancouver and his involvement with the Festival over the past 7 years. It’s clear from our conversation that Earthdance requires a lot of organization and passion to make everything come together on the day of the event.

The web plays a big part in making Earthdance connected together through online communities and streaming videos of Earthdance events around the world.

Listen to Earthdance organizer Sobey’s interview:

What are you going to do for Earthdance today? Going to Stanley Park, or going to the Dinner & Dance at W2Storyeum, or watch global Earthdance events online? Please share your Earthdance experience or photos!, and maybe I’ll share them with our readers! Write to: jonathan @ thevancouveroberserver (dot) com

Photos from Earthdance celebrations in Stanley Park by Luke Szczepanski.

Earthdance 2010 - Stanley Park

Earthdance 2010 - Stanley Park

Photos from Earthdance Night at W2Storyeum

Live painting

Earthdance 2010 - W2 Storyeum

VibeSquad

Tune in online to Earthdance TV all day Saturday for various live feeds from around the world. Vancouver goes on from 8pm-10:30pm for our Conference then on till late at http://earthdance.ca/earthdancetv

More information on the global event that takes place Saturday Sept 18th.

Perception, Tribal Harmonix and Stereoshift combine forces to bring you Earthdance!

The Earthdance is a Global Dance Festival for Peace, which has grown to become the world’s largest simultaneous music and dance event.

Earthdance events have occurred since 1996 in over 360 cities in over 60 countries, with locations ranging from the club-lands of New York to the rainforests of Brazil.

The aim of the event is to bring together global communities to create a synchronized global festival and a dance event to help fund humanitarian causes and develop an environment of peace and communion throughout the global aware communities.

The highlight of the Earthdance is a simultaneous link up, when every event across the world plays the 4 minute Prayer for Peace track. Synchronized at the same time, morning in the Australian rainforest, midnight in London and sunrise over the Himalayas, the Prayer for Peace is a profound and powerful moment that unifies our intentions for world peace and the healing of the our planet.

2010’s focus is Embracing All Traditions – recognizing and honoring the diversity of faiths and cultures that make up our human family.

This years chosen charities are Pivot Foundation and W2

Check these web-links for more info on these two great organizations both working to benefit marginalized people.

http://www.pivotlegal.org/

http://www.creativetechnol ogy.org/

Earthdance partial poster

More information on the events throughout Saturday, Sept 18th, 2010.

DAY EVENT at Prospect Point Picnic Area, ( Map here –>http://tinyurl.com/2wgpa5w ) ALL AGES

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BY DONATION-Partial Proceeds to Pivot Foundation

10:30AM UNITY YOGA & MEDITATION FOR PEACE WITH SUSAN HORNING

11:50AM OPENING CEREMONY with MICHAEL MARS RIEL & JEANETTE KOTOWICH doing Metis DanceNoon-1PM BRIDEN

1PM-2PM BOMBUS

2PM-3PM TIMOTHY WISDOM

3PM YASMINA DANCE COMPANY

3:05PM-4PM LADY RA

4PM PRAYER FOR PEACE/SPIRAL DANCE

Dj ASH

5:30PM PIVOT FOUNDATION SPEAKER/ PHIL LANE JR

JAY MICHAEL

6:40PM CEREMONIAL FAN DANCE WITH BABETTE SANTOS & MUTYA MACATUMPAG, CHOREOGRAPHY by PATRICIA KIM

6:45PM DAYTIME CLOSING CEREMONY

6:50PM MOBILE SOUNDSYSTEM BIKE PARADE TO W2 STORYEUM!!!

ALSO DAYTIME WORKSHOPS:

1PM Vedic Teachings with Raghunatha das

Learn about the ancient Vedic scriptures and the spiritual culture that surrounds them. From Yoga, Ayuvedic medicine and the laws of Karma, to elaborate information about the structure of the universe and descriptions of the inhabitants of other planetary systems. These texts have guided sages and seekers of the truth for thousands of years. Learn how the Vedic “varnashram” system is a practical and workable guideline for global peace and unified spiritual practice. Share in the experience of chanting ancient Vedic mantra’s (including Om) and understand their meaning and purpose. Why does the word “Yoga” mean “linking” or “union”?. Learn how to make your food karma-free. Plus more!

2PM Mayan Calendar Synergy Astrology with AlejandraUnifying ancient traditions with contemporary visions

Alejandra will guide participants through the Mayan Calendar, aiding them in understanding both the Calendar with its archetypes, and their own Mayan sign. Individuals learn to understand the wisdom of the Mayan Calendar and its correlation with the wisdom contained with various ancient myths and religions of the world. In addition to this, students create their own Mayan Synergy chart and are then guided through its interpretation. The intent of this workshop is to provide a broader perspective for understanding the role of the Mayan Calendar as an invaluable tool for self development in today’s world.

http://www.alejandralibelu la.com/

3PM HULA HOOPING WITH LAURA GORDON

Join Laura for a fun afternoon of hula hooping. This workshop is designed for hoopers (and hoopers to be) of all levels. Participants will learn groovy hoop dance moves ranging from beginner to intermediate. Expand your hoop repertoire and learn to hoop all over the body including basic waist, chest/shoulders, hands, knees, and maybe even feet! Tosses, turns, tricks and partner work included. Principles of contact points, momentum, flow and dance will also be covered. Bring your favorite hoop, or borrow one from us!

No experience necessary. Hoops provided. All ages welcome!

http://www.carnivalbonbon. com/

Also check out the “World Hoop Day” Information booth!

http://www.doaworldofgood. org/

http://www.worldhoopday.co m/

5:30PM EMBRACING ALL TRADITIONS COUNCIL with Chief Phil Lane Jr

A council to share ways to bring about the intention of embracing all traditions locally and globally.

& KID ZONE ACTIVITIES!

ALSO A MULTI-CULTURAL POTLUCK! Biodegradeable disposable plates,cutlery and cups provided by Eco-Server.

Water fountain available. BRING WATER BOTTLE.

NIGHT EVENT @ W2 Storyeum 151 West Cordova 19+

( Map here –> http://tinyurl.com/2946rzk )

========================== ================

Common Area Doors @ 7:30 PM

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8PM Earthdance Conference & Dinner

Vancouver BC Live Webcast on Earthdance TV:

http://www.earthdance.ca/

8PM Dance Music Culture

The growth of post-rave dance culture is a maturation happening on a global scale. With it are growing pains and areas that demand intention coupled with attention. Join us for an hour of investigation into the highs and lows that are experienced in this social experiment found in cities and festivals around the world.

9PM Earthdance Theme 2010: Embracing All Traditions

Vancouver, is a rich cultural landscape that contains traditions from around the world.Joining together presenters representing a range of cultures and traditions we will examine how the world can move from division to embracing diversity drawing from the wisdom of each. Special guest Phil Lane Jr of Four Worlds International & more.

10PM Evolver Spore September Theme: Spirit in Action

In a world beset by destructive corporatism, political tyranny, and meaningless war, spiritual activism strives to alchemize and transform oppression into compassion while making

positive change on our planet. Special guest Velcrow Ripper,director of Fierce Light.

10:30 – 11:30 – Sambata

Stage 1 Doors open @ 11pm

___________________________________________________________

Sweet Anomaly accompanied by dance from Isis

FILASTINE

VIBESQUAD

Ill-Esha

Stage 2 Doors open @ 11pm

___________________________________________________________

Funk Hunters

BPM

The Willisist

Mazeguider

Michael Red

Amir Aziz

Art & live painting

___________________________________________________________

AMIR

SHWA

PHRESHA

SONJA

RANA NIKKHOLGH

Dance Performances

___________________________________________________________

ISIS

YASMINA DANCE COMPANY

VJ’s

_____________________________________________________________

VJ Kinotropy

VJ Heidrogen

VJ Pr02J

___________________________________________________________

**DINNER**

- Aloo Gobi – Cauliflower & Potatoes in an Indian curry sauce

- Butter Chicken – Tender boneless chicken stewed in a creamy tomato sauce

- Garden Salad – Fresh greens with tomatoes, onions, strawberries with a lemon and herb dressing

- Couscous Salad- Fresh couscous and finely chopped parsley and peppers with a lemon dressing

- Vegetable Biryani – Indian spiced basmati rice with fresh cut eggplant and peppers

- Raita – Indian creamy yoghurt with roasted eggplants and a sweet tamarind sauce

- Hummous – Pita bread topped with fresh hummous, with paprika and spiced roasted garlic

- Dessert – strawberries topped with a vanilla bean syrup

*Veggie Main Course is Aloo Gobi, Meat Main Course is Butter Chicken

Bio-degradable disposables provided by Eco-Server.

___________________________________________________________

NIGHT EVENT IS $25 advanced. More at the door.

Dinner is $7.

BUY TICKETS

ONLINE http://www.vtixonline.com/event.php?event_id=186

High Life – 1317 Commercial Drive

Puff Main – 3255 Main Street

Puff Downtown – 712 Robson St

Puff Kits – 1838 W 4th Ave

http://www.earthdance.ca/

http://www.earthdance.org/

http://www.earthdancenetwork.com/group/earthdancevancouver

http://twitter.com/EDVancouver

http://www.tribalharmonix.org/

Join the Earthdance Vancouver FB Group!! ===>

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=146103215603&ref=tsSee More

Write something…

Join the Earthdance Vancouver FB Group!! ===>

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=146103215603&ref=ts

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The Grow Conference took place Aug 19-21 at the Vancouver Convention center. I didn’t attend any of the Conference sessions, as I spent all day interviewing over 22 Grow Speakers, Organizers, and other Business people attending Grow.

The interview list includes featured Speakers such as; Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com, Leonard Brody, President of Clarity Digital Group, Wesley Chan, Investment Partner at Google Ventures, Robert Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Zynga, Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner at SoftTechVC, and Tom Conrad, Chief Technical Officer, Pandora Internet radio. I interviewed several event sponsors such as Jason Brandon, Director of Rogers Ventures, and Robin Axon and Duncan Hill, General Partners, Mantella Ventures. I also sat down and spoke with Dealmakermedia.com CEO and Grow Conference organizer Debbie Landa. These audio interviews will be published over the next week or two.

Featured interview: with Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com, whose company has grown to 1 billion dollars in yearly gross revenue from online sales. He wrote a book on his Entrepreneurial experiences and his company’s pursuit of “Delivering Happiness”.

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Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com and Author of "Delivering Happiness". Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center. Sonia Ryan from Bootup Labs, and Tarlan Seyedfarshi from Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Listen to Tony Hsieh interview

Transcription of the audio interview

Jonathan Hanley: Can you tell me your name and a bit about your company?

Tony Hsieh: My name is Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Zappos – we’ve been around for a little over 11 years now. We started out selling shoes online but we actually sell alot more than shoes here, we sell clothing, and beauty products, handbags, and so on. The vast majority of our business is in the U.S., and really our goal is to build the Zappos brand, to be about the best customer service and customer experience. We’ve grown from basically no sales in 1999 to we’re now doing over a billion dollars in gross merchandise sales every year. The number one driver of that growth is through repeat customers and word of mouth. ( online sales ).

Prior to Zappos, I had started a company with a college roommate called Link Exchange. We specialized in online advertising. This was in 1996. We grew that to 100 or so employees, and ended up selling the company to Microsoft in 1998.

Jonathan Hanley: What was the reason for starting Zappos?

Tony Hsieh: After selling Link Exchange, then this guy Alfred, he and I got together and started an investement fund. We invested in 20 or so different internet companies. Zappos just happened to be one of them. But over the course of a year, I realised after a year that for me investing was pretty boring. I really missed being part of building something. It felt like I was always sitting on the sidelines. I ended up joining Zappos fulltime within a year.

Jonathan Hanley: What keeps you motivated to stay at Zappos?

Tony Hsieh: I think it’s that things are always changing. The sky’s the limit, since we’re building our brand about customer service. As I talked about in the interview at the Conference, there could one day be a Zappos Airlines. That’s just about the very best in customer service. I think if the business was just about selling shoes, I’d just get bored.

Jonathan Hanley: Maybe elaborate on your talk today. You spoke today at the Grow Conference, is that right?

Tony Hsieh: I was interviewed by Kara Swisher. I just talked a little bit about Zappos and the book that just came out called “Delivering Happiness” and the subtitle of the book is “A path to profits, passion, and purpose”. Part of the reason for writing the book is that Zappos may seem like an overnight success, but the truth is we made a lot of mistakes along the way. During the interview we talked, for example, hiring mistakes that cost us over a 100$ million dollars. We learned a lot of lessons along the way. Prior to Zappos, I learned a lot of lessons as well. So part of the goal is to share those stories with other Entrepreneurs and Business people and hopefully help them make fewer mistakes.

Jonathan Hanley: What was the reasoning behind the title of the book?

Tony Hsieh: Well, we started out in 2003, we decided let’s build the brand to be about the very best customer service and customer experience. That’s all about making customer’s happy, and then we decided to make culture the number one priority with the thought that if we get the culture right then delivering great service or building a long term enduring brand will just happen naturally on it’s own. The culture is all about making employees happy. So we decided, let’s just expand for the brand about delivering happiness, not only to our own employees and our own customers, but we now have a program called Zapposinsights.com which is about helping other companies build their own strong cultures and deliver great service to their own customers.

Jonathan Hanley: Was there anything that came out of writing the book that you took you in a different direction than you had expected?

Tony Hsieh: It’s been great hearing stories from people who read the book and decided to change their lives and follow their passion, or focus on company culture and customer service, then hearing them come back that their business profits and growth are up.

Jonathan Hanley: How have these stories translate into how you’re running Zappos. Has it affected Zappos in any way?

Tony Hsieh: Yeah, because for Zappos Insights we hold two day seminars at Zappos. In some ways, it forces us to make sure we never get too comfortable. We need to always think about how to grow and improve our culture, especially now if it’s own business we are selling to other companies.

Jonathan Hanley: In terms of a American-Canadian connection is there something, or was it more just coming up because of your Entrepreneur stories?

Tony Hsieh: Yeah, I always love Entrepreneur Conferences. Just the Entrepreneurial spirit in general. That combination of creativity and optimization is pretty infectious.

Jonathan Hanley: What are you going to take away from this Conference

Tony Hsieh: I don’t know. The first thing I did when I got here I got on stage, so I haven’t had a chance to see stuff.

Jonathan Hanley: Ahh..I just caught you in the beginning. Well I hopefully you have a good time and enjoy your time in Vancouver.

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Entrepreneurs, Investors, Thinkers, and Influencers attending the Grow Conference at Vancouver Convention Center.

The Grow Conference took place Aug 19-21 at the Vancouver Convention. I didn’t attend any of the Conference sessions, as.I spent all day interviewing Grow Speakers, Organizers, and other Business people attending Grow. I interviewed ten of the events’ featured Speakers, several event sponsors, and organizer Debbie Landa.

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Debbie Landa, Organizer and Host of the Grow Conference at Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Debbie Landa interview:

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Leonard Brody, President, Clarity Digital Group. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Leonard Brody
interview

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Jeremy Toeman, Founder of Stage Two. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Jeremy Toeman
interview:

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Ariel Poler, CEO of Textmarks Inc. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.
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Robin Axon and Duncan Hill, General Partners, Mantella Ventures. Sponsor of Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Robin Axon interview:

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Jason Brandon, Director, Rogers Ventures. Sponsor of Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Jason Brandon interview:

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Wesley Chan, Investment Partner at Google Ventures. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Wesley Chan interview:

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Joel Flynn. Lecturer at TechOne. MA at SFU, Segal Graduate School of Business. Grow Conference in Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Joel Flynn interview:

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Farhan Thawar, VP of Engineering, Extreme Venture Partners. Sponsor of Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Farhan Thawar interview:

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Tom Conrad, Chief Technical Officer, Pandora Internet radio. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Tom Conrad interview:

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Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com and Author of “Delivering Happiness“. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Sonia Ryan and Terian Seyedfarshi of Bootup Labs.

Listen to Tony Hsieh interview:

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Alan Juristovski, CEO and Co-founder of Metroleap Media. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Alan Juristovski interview:

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Rob Hayes, Managing Partner at First Round Capital. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Rob Hayes interview:

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Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner at SoftTechVC. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Jeff Clavier interview:

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Jason Bailey, GM of Virtual Currencies at Adknowledge ( aquired his company Super Rewards ). Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Jason Bailey interview:

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Robert Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Zynga. Speaker at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Robert Goldberg interview:

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Ian Bell, CEO of AppSocial Media. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Ian Bell interview:

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Anthony Nicalo, CEO of Foodtree. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Anthony Nicalo interview:

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Minh Le, Relationship Manager at Silicon Valley Bank. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Minh Le interview:

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Robert Lewis, President and Editor, Techvibes. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Robert Lewis interview:

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Boris Mann, Co-founder and Managing Director of Bootup Labs. Sponsor at Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to Boris Mann interview:

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David Gratton, CEO and Founder of DEQQ. Grow Conference in the Vancouver Convention Center.

Listen to David Gratton interview:

Grow Conference related links:

Conference site: http://growconf.com

Organizers: http://dealmakermedia.com/team

A Grow Conference photo slide show. Hosted on flickr.com

keywords: techvibes, robert lewis, foodtree, anthony nicalo, silicon valley bank, minh le, super rewards, jason bailey, leonard brody, clarity digital group, ariel poler, textmarks, joel flynn, sfu, techone, mantella venture partners, robin axon, rogers ventures, jonas brandon, google ventures, wesley chan, metroleap media, alan juristovski, extreme venture partners, farhan thawar, pandora internet radio, tom conrad, bootup, sonia ryan, tony hsieh, zappos, softtech VC, jeff clavier, aydin senkut, Felicis Venture

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Kaihle, Quinn, and Autumn at Zombie walk vancouver august 2010

Seemed like Halloween came early this year, as thousands of zombies filled the streets and stumbled their way from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Second Beach in Stanley Park.

I’d never been to the Zombie walk, but I was amazed to see so many people come out this year. When the walk was well underway, I looked both ways on Robson and saw nothing  but endless zombies stumbling and screaming and scaring passersby.

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Some photos by Philip Tong, a very talented Vancouver photographer. His photos are always colorful and vibrant.

Vancouver Zombie Walk 2010

Vancouver Zombie Walk 2010

Some photos by Susan Gittins.

Zombiewalk 2010 in Vancouver

Zombiewalk 2010 in Vancouver

Some photos by Teresa Marie. Check out her Zombie walk article: http://partydoll.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/vancouver-zombie-walk-aug-21-2010/

Some photos by Chris Gehlan. We met during the Zombie walk.

Some photos by Simon Beaumont.

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Here’s a link to the Zombie walk Vancouver facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2264763793

There are hundreds of photos on facebook group’s photo page.

A blog post on the Zombie walk with more scary photos: http://livinginvancouver.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/zombie-walk-2010/

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Photo of the BP oilspill by Kris Krug from his TEDx Oil Spill Expedition. Some rights reserved by kk+ ( staticphotography.com )

Kris Krug knows how to fill the house. I had to look for an extra seat when I arrived, because the room was filled for Kris’ presentation on the BP oilspill as part of FreshMedia’s first monthly REMIXOLOGY event. The event was moderated by the Vancouver Sun’s Dig Life columnist Gillian Shaw, on the topic “Toward Cooperative Media Making: How can professional and citizen journalists collaborate?”

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Kris Krug watching his slides from the TED x OilSpill Expedition, at the W2 Storyeum.

I’ve seen Kris speak many times before and he is an engaging speaker. It was clear from the passionate tone in Kris’ voice during the presentation, that he was moved by his expedition to cover the BP Oilspill. The audience was given real ‘in the street’ journalism stories about meeting fishermen, local residents, and hearing how their environment, their livelihood and most importantly their Cajun culture was being threatened.

Everyone in the room was touched by the enormity of the Oilspill through the vision of Kris Krug’s photographs from the streets of small towns, and flying above the ocean. One thing I’ve always noticed in Kris’ photos is his ability to bring a common humanity to everyone he photographs, in simple terms you feel you know the person and place he is photographing.

I was at once disgusted by the oil covered ocean waters, yet awed by the beauty of the oilslick. I had to remind myself this wasn’t some big abstract painting, but a real event in a real place. Hearing Kris talk in layman’s terms about his real experience meant more to me than watching the many TV reports or talks from Scientists.

Kris Krug’s full flickr slideshow from the TED x OilSpill Expedition.

Gillian Shaw moderated the Remixology event. She was kept on her toes by Kris and the audience when the Questions & Answers or Discussion time took place. Hands were up everywhere in the room. Some questions were about the oilspill, the US Govt, and BP’s involvement in the clean up process, but many questions were about how Kris made a living travelling around the world covering events. I had to remind myself that the main topic of the event was “Toward Cooperative Media Making: How can professional and citizen journalists collaborate?”

Gillian spoke with me about supporting Freshmedia’s Remixology event. She appreciates that Freshmedia is asking important questions on how citizenship journalism and traditional media who the two can co-exist and provide better content by working together.

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Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun’s Dig Life columnist ,( vancouversun.com/technology/digital-life) moderates at Freshmedia night at w2 storyeum.

I interviewed Kat Braybrooke, who was a co-producer for Freshmedia.me of Remixology. It was clear from the full house that the event was successful, so we talked about the purpose of Remixology as an ongoing monthly event.

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Kat Braybrooke: Beyond Robson editor, and Fresh media ( freshmedia.me ) co-producer of the monthly event, at Freshmedia night at w2 storyeum.

For the final part of the evening, audience members were asked to stand up and speak for 30 seconds if they wanted to network or speak about their own social media projects. There was surprising number of people that quickly raised their hands to speak about their own work.

The following are photos and interviews with just a few of the many creative people representing amazing projects going on in Vancouver.

John Ornoy spoke about being interested in the line between traditional media and social media and how citizen journalists fit into the picture. He is producing a documentary called “With glowing hearts” that looks at the questions of how traditional and citizen journalists cover events in the context of the downtown eastside with the backdrop of the Vancouver Olympic Games.

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John Ornoy- Documentary producer of “with glowing hearts” , at Freshmedia night at w2 storyeum

Gala Milne who is the co-coordinator of Media Democracy Day this year, spoke to me about the project which takes place on November 6th at the Vancouver Public Library from 12PM-5PM. One of the key focus’ of the event is having discussion about bringing together local and independent media producers. The event is co-produced by the School for Communication at Simon Fraser University, coordinating partner OpenMedia.ca and co-sponsor Vancouver Public Library (VPL). Since 2001, Media Democracy Day has provided a place for citizens, activists, media artists, innovators, policy makers, students, academics to come together and engage in a dynamic dialogue on the importance of creating a participatory, democratic media system that works in the interest of people, not just corporate bottom lines.

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Gala Milne Co-coordinator of Media Democracy Day ( mediademocracyday.org/vancouver ), at Freshmedia night at w2 storyeum

David Beers who founded web magazine thetyee.com spoke about their Tyee Fellowship. The web mag suggested to it’s readership that they donate to essentially hire a journalist to dedicate themselves to a specific journalistic project. Four journalists will be given 5,000 dollars each to write a series of articles for the magazine. The readers were able to submit their own story suggestions when donating money, which gave another twist on the term ‘citizen journalist’. Not everyone actually wants to write the story, so now people can have a say in what stories are covered by a magazine and help support quality in-depth journalism.

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David Beers, Founder of thetyee.com web magazine. ( thetyee.com ), at Freshmedia night at w2 storyeum

Background on the FreshMedia monthly “Remixology” event, from their freshmedia.me site.

THIS MONTH’S TOPIC //
Toward Cooperative Media Making: Featuring acclaimed photographer Kris Krug (TEDxOilSpill and National Geographic). How can professional and citizen journalists collaborate?

WHY //
Because inquiring minds need to discuss! Because connecting and collaborating matters. Because Vancouver needs a launch pad for media innovation, and we want you to be a part of it.

FULL AGENDA //
Social technology expert Kris Krug will share photos and thoughts from his recent trip to capture the BP disaster through TEDxOilSpill.
Following this, we’ll open up to a broader dialogue that explores a big question: How can citizens, professional media makers, and everyone in-between collaborate to produce media for social change?
Finally, there will be an opportunity for participants to do a “collaborator’s callout” where you are invited to do a 30 second introduction to a project you’re working on that’s relevant to the group. The gathering will close with a social/networking session including a cash bar, light refreshments and music.

Links

Kris Krug’s articles on the

http://staticphotography.com/blog/kk/tedx-oil-spill-expedition-visit-bird-island-southern-louisiana-heavy-hearts

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

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Under the Volcano 20th anniversary 2010

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Sunday · 12:00pm – 9:00pm. Location is Cates Park, Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, BC

View Larger Map

The 20th and FINAL Under The Volcano Festival

After 20 years UTV has decided to close this chapter of our history by making our 20th anniversary our final event. For two decades we have organized in solidarity with local and global social justice movements and have staunchly supported marginalized peoples struggles. We have survived and thrived and now it’s time to say goodbye. Come celebrate cultures of resistance, activism and community!

2010 HIGHLIGHTS:

* Naomi Klein and Arthur Manuel: Paying our Debts, At Home and Abroad: A Discussion with the award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author Klein and Secwepemc Nation activist Manuel, moderated by journalist & documentary film-maker Avi Lewis

* Olmeca: Xicano MC returns in support of new album “La Contra Cultura”
* Plus Joey Only Outlaw Band, Delhi2Dublin, Los Migrantes and lots more!

Plus:
Malcolm Lowry Stage, Dragonfly Kid’s Festival, Artisans Market, Community Info Fair, Workshop Tent, and more…..

Sunday August 8th, 2010
Cates Park (Whey-ah-Wichen) North Vancouver Gates Open @ 12noon.
ADMISSIONS: @ Gate Only (no advance tickets) BY-DONATION $10-$20
Low income admissions by-donation suggested $5 available @ Main Gate ONLY

http://volcano.resist.ca/

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SPOKED! Bicycle Arts Celebration

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SPOKED! is a celebration that uses the bicycle as a catalyst for creativity. Inspired films, art and music. On Friday, August 6th there are two film programs at the Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street. 7pm “Where Are You Go” with extras, and 9pm an exciting selection of short films. $10 bucks each, or $15 for both! Tickets are available at the door. Check out the website for more info and trailers. Saturday, August 7th there will be an after party/ art show at Grace Gallery, 1898 main street. Three piece band & properly priced drinks. Dance party to follow. site: http://spoked.org/
photo collage
Aug 6th, 2010Aug 7th, 2010
7pm Friday, 8pm Saturday
Vancity Theatre Friday, Grace gallery Saturday

Friday is movie night!

There will be a Q&A after the first screening with Benny Zenga & Christian Zenga from “Where are you go” film, and depending on the time, another with some of the directors from the short films. “Where are you go” trailer “Made in Queens” trailer

“Eight less” trailer

“Line of sight” trailer

Saturday is Art & Music night!

SPOKED! Art show

SPOKED! Art show

Featured Artists

SPOKED! Organizers are:
Jordan Huffman
Jordan Huffman
Aaron Isaiah Zenga. His bio from his zengafilm.com site:
Aaron Isaiah Zenga image
“I’m a filmmaker, photographer, and bicycle builder. Tactile and personal is the way of the real world, although I may go bankrupt on celluliod film. In my blood I’ve got the Zenga family, Kolkata, Emily Carr University, and Orthodoxy. If you’d like to email me I’d love to hear from you! zengafilm(at)gmail.com”

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Drag queen photo at Pride parade august 2010 by Autumn Lamondin

I walked or rollerbladed with PFLAG. The group is dedicated to helping parents, friends and families come to terms with their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered loved ones.

The following photos were taken by Autumn Lamondin, who roller bladed with me on her first Pride parade. Roller blading wearing a mini and taking photos in the middle of thousands and thousands of people:  impressive. (Note: I didn’t wear the hat all day, but when we took a photo of a woman in a motorized wheel chair she asked me to put it on.)

A photo of the woman in the wheel chair, who took our photo, attending her first ever Pride parade.

Jonathan Hanley (me) carrying the Canadian flag to represent a country that allows Gay marriage and rights for Gay people. I wore the kilt in part as a dedication to my Gay dad, who has a Celtic background.

In the photo below, everyone is waiting for the parade to start. The energy built  with music and color and excitement.

The star of the parade is pictured below.

Colorful drag queens were everywhere, including the lovely queen riding this unique bicycle with streamers.

PFLAG group walking in the parade.

A growing part of Pride is the Transgendered community, which is also a growing part of the PFLAG group.

One of many vehicles that were painted or decorated just for the parade, typically with the colors of the Pride rainbow.

The drag queens stole the show with their amazing outfits and style.

If you’re wondering why she looks so tall, it’s because she is walking on stilts!

Below is a drag queen who knows how to play to the camera. 

Looking like an angel with glitter and wings…

A frontal shot that shows off the full outfit and angelic physique.

Additional Pride parade photos from Philip Tong:

Additional Pride parade photos from Rey Torres:

External links:

http://www.pflagvancouver.com/pride.html

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/vancouver-pride-parade

Philip Tong: http://www.flickr.com/photos/piscesdreamer/sets/72157624496784835
Rey Torres: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emorey/sets/72157624510929651

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Beautiful, sexy, creative and amazing, burlesque hit the stage all weekend at the 5th annual Vancouver Int’l Burlesque Festival at the newly renovated Rickshaw Theatre. This year the VIBF features four jam-packed nights with 14 unique productions and 2 performer showcases by entertainers from Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, New York City, and Portland.

I went to the VIBF on Thursday and Friday. The shows were inspiring, the audience was wildly enthusiastic, and the theatre was beautiful. Every night was full of great performances, far too many to cover in one article

A few of the organizers and performers shared their stories with me on the VIBF and the exciting growth of burlesque in Vancouver.

Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick spoke with me about the Festival and his involvement as Vice-President of the Vancouver Burlesque Festival Society a non-profit that puts on the VIBF. 

Burgandy Brixx, on the Board of Directors for the VIBF society, spoke with me about exciting growth of burlesque from New York to Vancouver. Originally from New York City, she moved here two years to produce Vancouver’s longest running weekly burlesque show called Kitty Nights Westat the Biltmore Cabaret. Burgandy works full time managing and performing in Kitty Nights, while also running a dance studio featuring burlesque lessons. She says that Vancouver’s burlesque is rapidly growing and gaining international recognition. On Sunday night she will star in “Kitty Nights Burlesque: East Village meets East Van!” that will be a “food piece that involves cherries”, which exemplifies her style of classic burlesque infused with comedy. 

BonBon Bombay, a burlesque performer, dancer, and choreographer, spoke to me about her show on Sunday and her work with Rosanna Wijenberg, aka Rosie Delight on “Rosie Delight… needs a New Brain!”. Rosie Delight was recently diagnosed with a very rare, progressive and disabling neurological movement disorder, which affects her ability to control her movements. BonBon told me that she worked closely with Rosie to include movements that trigger her disorder. During our interview I was told that director Rick Podd and a film crew are working on a full length about Rosie, her life, and her disorder. In addition to discussing Rosie Delight’s moving piece, BonBon mentioned that she will be performing on Sunday at the midnight showcase called “The Barber shop”

Jenny Magenta spoke to me about being a professional performer in Burlesque, dance, film, and theatre. She started in classical ballet, which typically leads to a short dance career and she is proud to be in her forties still working as a full-time performer and dancer. Jenny collaborates with burlesque dancers in the Vancouver and North American communities. On Thursday, she organized and performed in the “Banquet of Broads”, which showcased the dancers’ unique performance styles that include puppetry, comedy, tragedy, and multimedia. Jenny talks about pushing the boundaries both within burlesque and beyond by experimenting with new styles, slideshows, nudity, and reverse stripping. One of the appeals that Jenny finds in burlesque is how people with extensive dance backgrounds can dance, but also people without experience or “perfect” bodies. She says that everyone is very accepting in the burlesque community, which is reflected in the shows and workshops that are part of VIBF.

Valery Vyntage spoke with me about presenting her first show for VIBF at the Sunday midnight show called “Vyntage Fetish”. Her show blends the burlesque and fetish styles. In addition to her show, she has been involved in organizing volunteers for VIBF. Valery got involved in burlesque about a year and a half ago. She is actively involved in the Screaming Chickens Theatrical Society. After graduating from the Becoming Burlesque classes run by SCTS, she started performing at burlesque nights around Vancouver venues. 

For people wanting to explore dancing burlesque for fun or a new career, there will be many workshops happening during the festival. You can check out the workshop schedule here:http://www.vanburlesquefest.com/workshops.html. Several local professional Burlesque groups run dance studios that will continue to offer burlesque lessons, but the workshops this weekend will give you a taste of this pleasurable and liberating experience

You can find all the details about the performers and the VIBF schedule at:http://www.vanburlesquefest.com Thursday and Friday were both sold out, so be sure to buy your tickets online using paypal or at the following venues around town: Scout, Virgin Mary’s, Zulu Records, Flaming Angels, and Cherry Bomb.

Here’s the schedule for the VIBF. The festival runs from Thursday May 6th to Sunday May 9th.

Thursday, May 6

9pm: Pink Flamingo Burlesque

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=365350376017#!/event.php?eid=116105488417687&ref=nf

10pm: Paris a Minuit
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102445599798586

11pm: Starlet Harlots – Haus of Harlots

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=112775415426920

Midnight: Banquet of Broads

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=112199975486762

~~~

Friday, May 7

9pm: Rosie Delight…Needs A New Brain
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=340023519938

10pm: Rosebud Burlesque Club (Saskatoon) – Happy Endings
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108051182561757

11pm: Sweet Soul Burlesque – Ass-Sass-ination! 2010

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6763521422#!/event.php?eid=114198808605316&ref=mf

Midnight: VIBFA SHOWCASE

~~~

Saturday, May 8

9pm: GOT Cabaret Society – Decades of Deviance
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=358001147217

10pm: Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society – Best of Taboo Revue
http://www.facebook.com//event.php?eid=118641758157559

11pm: Cheesecake Burlesque Review (Victoria)
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111764565509555

Midnight: VIBFA SHOWCASE

~~~

Sunday, May 9

9pm: Kitty Nights Burlesque: East Village meets East Van!

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=events&s=3#!/event.php?eid=110757805626963&ref=mf

10pm: East Vanity Parlour – Sex at the Circus!

11pm: Bonnie Kilroe’s Corrupt Cabaret

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=120662857950881&ref=nf

Midnight: Vyntage Fetish

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=events&s=3#!/event.php?eid=102717799768478

Please note: if you’ve taken additional photos of the event and want me to mention or include them in this article, then contact me atjonathan@hanleymade.com

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BonBon Bombay backstage at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
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Burgandy Brixx backstage at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
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Jenny Magenta backstage at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
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Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and Valery Vyntage ( working with volunteers before her Sunday show ) backstage at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
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Vancouver International Burlesque Festival at the Rickshaw Theatre on Hastings Street
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Misty Greer’s trunk show vendor booth at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

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“Celebration of Nature, Music and Dance” took place in a unique setting atTzvi’s Place, 1823 E 2nd Ave in Vancouver. Music and dance started last night, Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 7:30pm and ran through Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 2:00am. The event was described as “honoring our Ancient Forests with incredibly talented musicians, dancers and artists.”

The event was partially a fundraiser for the Ancient Forest Alliance, which is a new British Columbian organization working to protect the endangered old-growth forests of BC and to ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province. It was founded in January of 2010 by former Western Canada Wilderness Committee activists Ken Wu, TJ Watt, and others, and by Vancouver old-growth activist Michelle Connolly. I spoke with Michelle Connolly about the groups mission to be a grassroots environmental organisation working to foster knowledge and connection to these forests, as well as to advocate politically for their protection.

The organizers divided the event into three different levels at Tzvi’s Place. The unique setting allows for people to experience music and dance in different settings and environments. On the main Level: an inner journey into the beauty of vibration, universal rhythm and movement with master didgeridoo player *Shine Edgar*, guitar virtuoso *Michael Waters* and cello maestro *Allannah Dow*. You can listen to some of their music athttp://www.ladybirdmusic.com |http://www.ladybirdmusic.com/Dissolve%20Prestigious.mp3

Around the Fire: Open musical jam with the Sisters of Sound – Colleen Ariel on harp, Sparrow Deviyani and her guitar/singing bowls, Sacha Levin on Drums. Madeleine Bachan Kaur, Satya Diana Grove, Arielle Moscovitch with there magical healing vocals and Natania Rogers with her belly dancing and amazing hang playing.
Captivating world music DJ’ed by ElementalRhythm (Jordan Tal)

Downstairs: Dancing to a fusion of blues and world music with amazing dancer-teacher duo David Yates and Diane Garceau of Night and Day Dance.
http://www.nightanddaydance.com

With** Special Guests**Joseph Pepe’ Danza an electrifying percussionist and multi-instrumentalist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffo9K6FvB9I
Robin Layne driven by Latin-spiced hand percussion: cajón, congas, and shakers.
Zamir Dhanji an amazing hang player and Imran Dhanji a talented beat-boxer.

Schedule

7pm – Doors Open
7:30-8:30 – Concert inside / Musical Jam outside
8:30-9:00 – Break – participants and musicians will have a chance to trade places.
9:00-10:00 – Concert inside / Musical Jam outside
10:00-11:00 – Sisters of Sound / The Giving Tree / Sounds of Nature and Forest
11:00-12:00 – ** Special Guests**
12:00-2:00am – Dance into the night with the *11 Hour Orchestra*

http://www.myspace.com/11hourorchestra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SsraBTukec

Sisters of Sound- NO WOMAN NO CRY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKyx9E161rQ

** ALL PROCEEDS WENT TO SUPPORT THE ANCIENT FOREST ALLIANCE AND  LOCAL MUSICIANS **

About The Cause:
Old-growth forests are our natural heritage, and BC’s south coast holds one of the last such ecosystems on Earth. Our ancient forests support a complex network of which we are all part, yet these forests continue to be logged at a rate that will soon lead to their extinction if we do not make a change. The Ancient Forest Alliance is a grassroots environmental organisation that works to foster knowledge and connection to these forests, as well as to advocate politically for their protection.

http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/

About Tzvi’s Place

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=535782130#!/group.php?gid=256272593472

Save Tzvi’s Place
Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref=sb#/group.php?gid=101810608026

To Support Tzvi’s Place
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/to-support-tzvis-place

CBC News: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=278785030516&oid=101810608026

CBC Radio: http://www.nightanddaydance.com/tzvisplace/cbcradio.mp3

CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/news/yourstory/blog/2009/10/online-campaign-for-art…

Westender: http://www.westender.com/articles/entry/communal-house-fights-eviction-t…

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Heritage Vancouver co-organizer, Linus Lam

On Saturday, I spent a memorable evening at Heritage Vancouver’s first event for their Long Table Social series entitled: Heritage and the Arts: Inaugural Long Table Social. Heritage and the Arts is a new Heritage Vancouver program connecting the visual arts with Vancouver’s heritage structures. The event took place at the Page Building located at 330 West Pender. We had to enter the building from the back lane, which gave the event a 1940′s speak easy or 1990 underground feel to start the evening. Organizer Linus Lam spoke about the event with me.


Long Table Social in the beautiful interior of the Page Building is currently in the process of being restored. At the event,  the owner, Eric Cohen, gave a brief history of his “1907 Neoclassical Revivalist BC Permanent Loan Building”. A metal bank vault and stain glass dome ceiling highlight the beauty of the original bank’s architectural features.

Actor MacKenzie Grey hosted the event with style and personality. He wore a tuxedo, and various top hats and fedoras to reflect the changing look and history of Vancouver. The evening included artist presentations, live music performances, and historic movies, whose relationship to place and history enhanced each performance.

The live performances included Vancouver’s Kick Evrything — a mixture of synth-drenched fuzz rock and acoustic folk and a special presentation from internationally-renowned artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Tang’s ceramic series of work blends Ming Dynasty-style porcelain with Japanese anime and manga. The conceptual work of artist Germaine Koh was also part of the program. Her work aims to “modestly and concisely reconfigure  the world”.

Paul Armstrong chose a a selection of short films shot in downtown Vancouver from 1907 to 2007 to reflect the heritage and history of the Page Building, which is situated in the heart of Vancouver’s historic financial district. The Celluloid Social Club curates Stan Fox’s 1948 “In the Daytime”, Larry Kent’s 1962 “Hastings Street” Giada Dobrzenska and Tara Hungerford’s “Mon Amour Mon Parapluie”, with cameos from Douglas Coupland and William Gibson, Mike Jackson and Peter New’s “the Bar” featuring Peter Deluise and the Vancouver Historical Society’s “City Reflection’s (1907-2007).

The event was the first in a series of Long Table Social events, which will be held in historically significant buildings around Vancouver. All proceeds will go to support Heritage Vancouver’s initiatives to conserve Vancouver’s heritage buildings.

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Co-Organizer Linus Lam speaks about the Heritage Vancouver’s Long Table Social series called: Heritage & the Arts: Inaugural Long Table Social.

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Paul Armstrong, Founder of the Celluloid Social Club speaks about the CSC and their selection of historic movies for the Long Table Social event.
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Artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang speaks about his East meets West style of pottery.

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Visual Artist Germaine Koh speaks about her conceptually-generated work, which is concerned with the significance of everyday actions, familiar objects and common places.

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Poet Ray Hsu speaks about his “slideshow Karoeke” improve presentation with Alex Leslie. Ray reads a poem about child soldiers in the Sri Lankan civil war, from his new book of poems about North American Imperialism called “Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon”

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Movie still from “Mon Amour Mon Parapluie”.
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Pottery by Brendan Tang
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Art project by Germaine Koh
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A glimpse at the stain glass dome ceiling at the Page building on Pender Street
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The metal door of the bank vault of the Page Building

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

More info on Heritage Vancouver ( heritagevancouver.ca ):

Heritage Vancouver is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of Vancouver’s built, cultural and natural heritage.

What Heritage does:

* advocate for heritage conservation
* facilitate monthly lectures, special historical events and tours to promote heritage education and awareness
* publishing our newsletters
* act as a forum for heritage concerns for a broader audience
* undertake special research on heritage buildings and heritage areas
* cooperate with local and provincial authorities in their heritage policy and programme development
* work with national and international groups to advance our mutual mandates for heritage conservation

What You Can Do

* become a member of Heritage Vancouver
* attend our public programs and meetings
* make a donation to Heritage Vancouver (tax-deductible)
* volunteer to work on the Advocacy or Programming committees
* write an article for our newsletter
* help organize an architectural or historical tour
* research the history of a building, including your own home
* take photographs of historical buildings in Vancouver
* join our Board of Directors
* promote heritage awareness among your friends

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Saturday night I went to the Vogue Theatre for the Crazy8s Gala that supports local filmmakers. Friends in the film industry, like Robyn Wiener from Women in Film, suggested I come out and I’m glad I did because the evening was a great success. It took me Sunday to recover from a great night full of meeting many creative and inspiring people and watching six amazing short films.

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Actor Viv Leacock

I could sense the buzz and excitement the minute I arrived outside the Vogue on Granville Street. There was a long line up waiting to get inside and from the talking and the look on people’s faces, I knew it was going to be a good night.

As I was waited for my tickets to get into the Gala, I decided to randomly approach people outside the venue for their comments on coming to the event.

A young well-dressed man was standing near the entrance so I asked why he came to Crazy8s. Viv Leacock happened happened to be the actor who plays the cat Waffles in Cat vs. Man. Viv was very approachable and friendly as I asked him questions. He told me that this was his third time at Crazy8s. He was approached to audition for roles of Waffles. It was his first time working with Director Zia Marashi. It turns out that Cat vs. Man was one of my favourite films.

Two women near the entrance were waiting patiently, so I approached them. It turns out they had missed getting tickets and were hoping to get into the sold out show. I spoke with Eden Philip who runs an acting studio for kids and teens called Active One Studios. This was Eden’s second year at the event, what keeps her coming back is the high quality of films and the chance to support local films. Eden was approached by Director Catrin Bowen about contributing a film as part of the “Triple Dog Dare” initiative to get more women involved in the event. Eden also looks for actors to teach acting at her studio, which shows a side economic benefit of putting together showcases like Crazy8s.

I entered the Vogue Theatre lobby and felt like I was back in the 40s at a Saturday matinee show. The beauty of the theatre and the excitement of the theatre goers, reminded me of why I used to go to theatres. In the lobby in the middle of the crowd, I spoke with Jaia ‘Quarian who described himself as an “every media artist.” Jaia told me he was attending the event to learn more from other artists on how to tell stories emotionally and how to learn more about pitching and filming techniques. Based on the way that Crazy8s supports new filmmakers with workshops for producers and directors, I can imagine seeing Jaia in the event in the near future.

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Acting studio owner Eden Philip and friend

I spotted a young woman with a camera, so I asked her if she was covering the event. Ashley Fester is an actress who was taking photos of the event for Christopher Shyer. Ashley was sporting a 1920s style blonde bob haircut, so it was no surprise when she mentioned that she was producing Christopher Shyer’s directorial debut in the 20s Broadway Musical “the Wild Party” in May at the Anza club. It’s clear that many people at Crazy8s were taking full advantage of the opportunity to try something new, even when you’re an established actor or a professional in the film industry. Christopher Shyer is an established actor who is currently on TV show “V” for ABC, but for Crazy8s he was the producer of one of the final six films “Stupid Chainsaw Tricks.” Director Kellie Anne Benz brought Christopher in to produce the film, having work together on “Awkward”, which was presented at the 2008 Vancouver International Film Festival. He was excited about exploring film from the other side and to participate in the workshops that Crazy 8s provided for producers. Christopher Shyer appreciated that Crazy 8s gives first time directors a chance and supports young filmmakers.

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Actor and Producer Ashley Fester and Actor, Producer, and Director Christopher Shyer

The light dimmed off and on, so everyone in the lobby rushed into the movie theatre. I found my way down to the front row and sat next to Frank Roberts who is a local photographer who was capturing official images for the Crazy8s.

On stage to start off the evening was host Fred Ewanuick, who captured the playful energy of the night and interacted well with the boisterous and enthusiastic audience. He made a few mistakes in his announcements, but quickly made it part of his charm in warming up the audience. It seemed appropriate for an event that was less about slick production and more about the people who love film.

Eric Paulsson and Marc Stephenson, producers of Crazy8s spoke briefly after host Fred Ewanuick had everyone in the mood to watch films. Eric and Marc explained that the Crazy8s Gala is the culmination of an eight day filmmaking event. Over 110 submissions started with a video pitch. It was noted that the “Triple Dog dare” initiative to encourage more women filmmakers to pitch their films was a success as four of the six final films were directed by women.

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Audience inside Vogue theatre

The movies were preceded by a behind-the-scenes clip about the Crazy8s process from pitch to production. Each time the crew from one of the short films was shown on the screen, you could hear cheers and hollers from friends, family, and supporters in the crowd. The short films hadn’t started yet and I was already getting caught up in the enthusiasm and excitement in the Vogue Theatre.

As someone mentioned early in the evening, there was no one winner at the Gala as all 6 finalists were winners. The producers of Crazy8s Erik Paulsson and Marc Stephenson were clearly onto something when they created the event 11 years ago, because it’s still vibrant and exciting today. I can see that everyone at the Gala was passionate about film, and supporting and growing local filmmakers.

Film: Cat vs Man. Writer/Director: Zia Marashi, and Producers: Cole Hewlett & Mark MacDonald. Synopsis: “When blocked writer Rory moves in with his girlfriend, he finds himself competing with her cat, Waffles, for her affections…and Waffles won’t give her up without a fight.”
This film was very funny, principally because of the comedic dynamics between “The film was very funny, in part because I think many in the audience including myself has experienced something similar in our own lives. The three actors made the film fun and playful and full of laughs. Anna Mae Routledge as the girlfriend was good in her part, but the short film was focused on relationship between Viv Leacock as Waffles the cat, and Richard de Klerk as the boyfriend. What made the film most funny was when the girlfriend’s cat turned into human form and Viv Leacock was able to use his comedic talents. There’s something very funny about humanizing and verbalizing all the neurotic tendancies of cat, which was conveyed with a playful touch by Writer/Director Zia Marashi.

Film: Tunnel (adapted from “The Tunnel” by Mark Strand) Writer/Director: Arianna C. McGregor, and Produces: David Jevons. Synopsis: “Esther’s world goes awry when she wakes to discover a dirt-covered and unresponsive man in pajamas on her front lawn, sending her into a downward spiral of fear and paranoia.”
This playful film made everyone laugh while communicating an important message, you can’t always convey. The film tells a simple story with the humour that a child can understand. I know this because the young boy sitting next to me at the theatre kept laughing. The film tells of how paranoia about people and judging people can lead to insanity. The humour of the film is that the man on her lawn doesn’t move or say anything, yet Esther lets her paranoia get the best of her to the point that she digged a tunnel under her condo to escape.

Film: Sikat Writer/Director: Angelina L. Cantada, Producer: Ita Kane-Wilson & Olesia Shewchuk Synopsis: “It’s been many years since Sikat left the Philippines to come to Canada to care for other women’s children. Now the day has finally arrived for her own son and husband to rejoin her.”
This touching story highlights the lives of many immigrants who come to Canada, while leaving their families behind in their home countries. Kira Clavell as the nanny was moving in a subtle yet powerful performance. I was reminded in the end of how everyone has a story worth telling and hearing. It’s clear that everyone involved felt strongly about the message, and presented it with grace and emotional beauty.

Film: The Education of Wendy Wisconsin Writer/Director: Dwight Hartnett, and Producer: Patrick Sayer Synopsis: “Wendy, a high school student, can’t seem to figure out why life is so easy. Too easy…it takes a surprise visit to educate Wendy that although boring, her life is part of a much bigger, important picture.”

The film plays on the stereotypes of teenagers and the media perpetuation of the ideas to make money. Mixing funny dialogue and well crafted songs in the style of TV shows like Glee, the film does a great job of making us laugh at ourselves as a consumer society.
Wendy Wisconsin is an actress who wants to be an artist and not “prostitute [her] art”. The TV show’s producer says that “you model teenage behaviour and we use you to sell stuff.”

The song’s lyrics and music were well done, with the lyrics satirical humour being well sung by the film’s cast. I was very impressed at the quality of the songs, considering having only an eight day time line to complete the work.

Film: Stupid Chainsaw Tricks Director: Kellie Ann Benz, Writer: Kris Elgstrand, and Producer: Christopher Shyer Synopsis: “Facing yet another disappointing birthday, Karl inspires his friend Ted, to realize the possibility of immortality through chainsaws.”
This film was full of life and energy.

Film: Sad Bear Director: Liz Cairns, Writer: Joe Lo Bianco, Producer: Erica Landrock Synopsis: “Sad Bear travels the world taking away people’s saddest belongings, until he meets Steve, who is not willing to part with his saddest object, a pair of crocodile leather shoes.”
This movie had the tone of a children’s story, based on a simple yet poignant idea that the Sad Bear character can take away our sadness by taking our saddest belongings. The film was minimalist in approach as the Sad Bear didn’t speak but simply followed the main character Steve around waiting for him to give up his saddest belongings. It was a sweet story that presented a beautiful story idea in a new and thoughtful way.

Crazy8’s slogan is “tell a great story in ten minutes or less”, and every film shown was so well crafted and acted that you forgot the limited production time (8 days) and budget ($800) they had to put together the films.

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DJ’s Timothy Wisdom and Michael Venus playing at 560 club on Seymour

After the Gala was over, the event carried over to the after-party at the grand opening of the new club 560 on Seymour. When I arrived on Seymour, there was a long line up down the block. Everyone seemed ready to let loose after the Crazy8s’ week long experience.
The club is located at the location of the old A&B Sound at 560 Seymour Street. After following a curvy hallway into the club, you notice the beautiful and big wooden dance floor and the creative lighting. I liked the second floor VIP room which has a glass railing that you can lean on and look down at the dancers on the main floor.

The club filled up fairly quickly, inspired by DJ’s Timothy Wisdom, DJ Mars, and from New York, DJ Honey Dijon.
In another room, there was a completely different feeling with a long table and sofas for people to hang out, talk, or just chill out from dancing. There was art work along the walls and funky colourful chandeliers on the ceilings. At the far end of the room was a bar and a huge art piece hanging behind the bar.
Overall the night was filled with great people, film, art, and music. What more could one ask for on a night in Vancouver?

Photo gallery: Crazy8s Gala and opening of 560 club

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Theatre goers outside the Vogue theatre
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Film producer Robyn Wiener and Jaia ‘Quarian artist in Vogue theatre lobby.
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Crazy8s Event and Communications Co-ordinator Diana Wilson, and Vogue staff member Andrea Simmonds.
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Actors Parm Soor, Parisa Kasaei, and Mireille Urumuri in Vogue theatre lobby.
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Crazy8s Gala winners on stage at Vogue Theatre
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Second room at 560 club.
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Second Bar at 560 club on Seymour st.
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Dance floor at 560 club on Seymour

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Morgan Black and Rachel Ellenord were at the Gallery opening to support Zoe Pawlak.
The Twitter/Art+Social Media show on Thursday at the Diane Farris Gallery was an event waiting to happen. People in Vancouver were ready for a show that looked at how artists are creating, sharing, and promoting their work in this ‘social media’ age. Over 300 art-lover and social media types packed the gallery to view 80-100 art pieces by 43 Artists from artists from Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia.

The exhibition was developed from an original idea by Mia Johnson, who has been the webmaster of the Diane Farris Gallery website since 2004. She created the Twitter exhibit blog, designed the submission forms to enable artists to apply online and has been technical advisor to the exhibition. Her work can be found at kitsmedia.ca

I spoke with Lili Vieira de Carvalho and Stacey White about the purpose and background of the show. Both Lili and Stacey described how the artist’s life changes from art student to professional artist. In art school, the artist works in a shared space and gets feedback and support from other artists. Once the artists leaves art school, artists can become isolated. Lili sees social media as being the support group and way of finding your tribe. Artists can come together with social media and share, network, and organize shows. It’s becoming the new platform for work.

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Lili Vieira de Carvalho curator or the Twitter/Art+Social Media show.

For the first time in Diane Farris gallery’s history, the show was an open call for artists. Over 200 submissions were received with 80-100 pieces by in the show. The artworks were selected by a multidisciplinary committee from submissions to the gallery’s open call during February. The selection committee was composed of 43 Artists. Lili Vieira de Carvalho, curator of the show and Associate Director at Diane Farris Gallery; Kris Krug, photographer and web strategist; Dr. Maria Lantin, Director of the Intersections Digital Studios (IDS) research centre at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design; and Hank Bull, the Executive Director at Centre A.
There were size constraints such as the work had to be no bigger than 24×24 inches and selling for no more than a thousand dollars. The process to choose artists for the show were based on a 150 word artist’s statement and their work. The traditional importance of the artist’s bio or previous art experience wasn’t part of the selection criteria.

Lili said that the gallery was trying something new, instead of following their usual template for selection process. The open call approach meant less control over choices by the gallery but also created opportunities for unsigned or unknown artists to show in an established Vancouver gallery.

The Diane Farris gallery hopes that other art venues pick up on the idea. The gallery will wait until after the “Twitter/Art+Social Media” show before they start thinking about what they’ll do next or if they’ll have another similar show.

I had a chance to interview a few of the artists presenting at the gallery on opening night.

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Debra Stringfellow calls herself a “photo conceptual artist” and is currently attending Emily Carr. More photographic work by Debra can be found at debrastringfellow.com.

Debra Stringfellow found a series of police sketches of criminals which she found online. The sketches were placed together in a checkerboard pattern. According to Debra, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as “playgrounds for criminals”. She elaborated to say that people’s identity’s were being stolen and people were being stalked online without the victim’s even knowing the criminal beyond the computer screen. She told me the piece was created to put a face to the criminals on both a figurative and literal level.

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Glenna Evans is a third year student in General Fine Arts at Emily Carr. Her creative work can be found at glennaevans.ca.

Hung side by side was a photograph of a young girl by Polly Nomial and an oil painting by Glenna based on the photo by Polly. Glenna told me that her artist’s statement was actually the conversation between her and Polly on artist’s right. The painting had originally been done for a painting class at Emily Carr. Polly found out that the painting was based on her photo and asked that she be credited. According to Glenna, it’s very common for photo realist artists to use photographs without crediting the photographers in their final art work. The debate on artist’s ownership and rights was turned into ongoing dialogue with the gallery goers by showing both photo and painting at the Diane Farris gallery.

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Robyn Drage is an artist, illustrator, web and graphic designer. Her work can be found at robyndrage.com.

The piece presented by Robyn was called “Feels like Home” and based on her Narrative Series. She describes the Narrative Project as collective storytelling, which builds a narrative with many different voices. To determine what she’s going to create, Robyn collects stories through her blog, email, facebook, and meeting people. The work is a mix of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and installation. Her inspiration for the “Feels like Home” piece was from two different people who suggested that “home is where I take my pants off”. From having a BA in Creative Writing, it makes sense that she finds hearing other people’s stories interesting. As Robyn mentions on her website “social media + collaboration + traditional art practices = one interesting story “

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Zoe Pawlak is a painter. Her paintings can be found at zoepawlak.com.

I could describe Zoe Pawlak’s colorful painting with it’s abstraction from nature in reds, oranges, and blues, but honestly it’s her personal story that most intrigued me. Zoe says that “I’m interested in business as much as I am painting”. Business is creative, according to Zoe. Social media is the means by which she conducts herself in business and as an artist. She spends fifteen minutes a day submitting her art work to interior designers online, writing on blogs, and keeping up her social presence. Zoe has carved out a niche and creates custom pieces for homes.
She originally had one of her pieces featured on Designspong.com. The feature led to twenty of her paintings being sold in three days. She was then taken down to San Fransisco to work with Interior Designer Cloe Warner. Zoe and Close where photographed for a Martha Stewart piece. While the article wasn’t published, Zoe made use of the photos to promote and pitch her work. As Zoe describes it, she reuses all the social media content including the Diane Farris gallery coverage and (eventually) this article. She proudly mentioned that she supports her family, as her husband is a stay-at-home dad who takes care of their two children.

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Peter Combe lives and works in San Fransisco. His work can be found online at http://stylembe.wordpress.com.

Peter Combe showed several digital collage pieces, were created on a Mac and uploaded to HP Digital Screens ( like a digital photo frame ).
The Twitter/Art+Social Media show does well at telling stories through the art and/or the artist. I’d suggest that these days, art and artist are just extensions of each other.
During the show the Diane Farris gallery is going to have several fun events.

NOTE: Registrations for the workshop on the 13th and panel on the 17th are being taken through
email facebook@dianefarrisgallery.com or phone 604-737-2629. Draw by Night is taken registrations by RSVP on their event page on facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=105654146142191&ref=mf

On April 13th, the gallery is hosting “Social Media for Visual Artists” for 35 people. The workshop will be run by Rebecca Coleman and Kris Krug. The event is FREE and the works created during the night will be shown on the Gallery walls for the rest of the “Twitter/Art+Social Media” show.

On April 17th, the selection committee (of Lili Vieira de Carvalho , Kris Krug, Dr. Maria Lantin, Hank Bull ) with be hosting a panel discussion on “Art & Social Media”.

On April 27th, the Gallery will have a drawing party. The event will include 10 artists and 25 RSVP requests. The 35 people workshop will be private to provide a comfortable environment for creating at the Gallery. The event will be FREE.

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Morgan Black and Rachel Ellenord were at the Gallery opening to support Zoe Pawlak.

I spoke with Morgan and he commented that while he appreciated the opportunity the gallery was giving artists, he wished the pieces had been more separated in the space. He pointed out that the artist’s pieces were placed together in groupings, but the labels weren’t placed next to each piece making it confusing to determine who had created which art piece. Morgan is also an artist who lived in Portland. He thinks that people will pick and choose what they like. The beauty of art is an excuse to bring people together says Morgan. Ultimately he believes that the relationships we have are more important than the show.

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Bill Scherk, Paulo OConnor, and Bernd Mueller attended the show.

Bill has been coming since when the Diane Farris gallery was in Gastown. He considered the gallery the best Independent gallery in town. Bernd is from Munich Germany and is curious about the Canadian art scene. He thinks that the artists in Canada are not that different from German artists. He believes that people take their inspiration from all the world these days.

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Kathy Zhang, Sean Mills, and Jeremy Green.

They were at the show to support Glenna Evens. Jeremy Green told me that they are all Emily Carr students and artists. They would submit work if the Diane Farris gallery were to have another open call show. They see it as good practise in writing up an artist’s statement and a good experience for new artists.

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Diane Farris gallery staff ( Katherine Ferns – gallery assistant, Stacey White – Associate Director; Alison Sagar – assistant to the Curator (intern), Lili Vieira de Carvalho – Associate Director / show Curator, Christopher Fadden – Art Preparator)

A full list of all 43 Artists showing at the Twitter/Art+Social Media show.

Alex Firmani, Vancouver, BC
Andrew Buszchak, Edmonton, AB
Artie Vierkant, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Baschz & Selfcontrolfreak, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Brian Piana, Houston, TX, USA
Colin Moore, Vancouver, BC
David Niddrie, Vancouver, BC
Deanne Achong, Vancouver, BC
Debra Stringfellow, Bowen Island, BC
Glenna Evans, Vancouver, BC
Heather Saunders, Bronx, NY USA
Helen Eady, Vancouver, BC
Janet Wang, North Vancouver, BC
Karine Guyon, Vancouver, BC
Kelly Schovanek, Canmore, AB
Kristofir Dean, Vancouver, BC
Laara Williamsen, South Surrey, BC
Léola Le Blanc, Dartmouth, NS
Lilac Lang, Vancouver, BC
Liza Eurich, Surrey, BC
Liza Lee, Vancouver, BC
Maurice Li, Vancouver, BC
Megan Smith, Leeds, UK
Melanie Cossey, Port Moody, BC
Michael Alstad, Toronto, ON
Myron Campbell, Vancouver, BC
Peter Combe, San Francisco, CA, USA
Rachael Ashe, Vancouver, BC
Robi Smith, Vancouver, BC
Robyn Drage, Vancouver, BC
Rosamond Norbury, Vancouver, BC
Ross den Otter, Vancouver, BC
Rukmunal Hakim, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
Sandra Dawson, North Vancouver, BC
Sandrine Pelissier, North Vancouver, BC
Sarah Mulder, Vancouver, BC
Sarah Pinder, Toronto, ON
Shari-Anne Gibson, Vancouver, BC
Sol Sallee, Vancouver, BC
Sona Safaei, Toronto, ON
Sylvana D’Angelo, Vancouver, BC
Viven Chiu, Richmond, BC
Zoe Pawlak, Vancouver, BC

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I went to the 5th annual Women in Film Festival ( WIFF at womeninfilm.ca ) this weekend at the Vancity Theatre. WIFF Director and Film Producer Robyn Wiener suggested I come out and see what WIFF 2010 is about this year. Women are making strides in the film industry as most visibly seen by Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award for Best Director at the Oscars. The Festival showcases and promotes the great work being done by women in writing, producing, directing, lead acting, or editing roles.

I spoke with WIFF Director Roslyn Muir on Saturday about WIFF. Please click on the audio link to listen to 15 minute informative interivew on the mission, goals, and highlights of WIFF 2010.

Saturday and Sunday will be filled with and Exhibitor showcase, panel discussions, pitching sessions, and short films from 35 first time and veteran female filmmakers produced in countries such as New Zealand, Egypt, USA, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

On Saturday evening, Vancouver director Penelope Buitenhuis, who will present her feature film A Wake. This poignant mystery, acted entirely on improvisation, stars Nicholas Campbell (DaVinci’s Inquest), Sarain Boylan, who appeared in last year’s opening film The Baby Formula, and Kristopher Turner from Instant Star.

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A Wake – directed by Penelope Buitenhuis. Showing on WIFF Opening night.

The opening night festivities will include the presentation of two awards: the Legacy Awards ($3,000 in cash awards, presented by Deboragh Gabler, CEO/Producer at Legacy Filmworks for outstanding achievement in film) and the WIDC Feature Film Award (a $100,000 in kind prize, administered by Creative Women Workshops Association, designed to encourage more feature films directed by women in BC).

One very popular aspect of the WIFF is the Pitch sessions are the one-on-one 10 minute pitching sessions, which enables people to pitch their project directly to leading film industry professionals

pitchsessions
Sean Cossey (Casting Director), Tyman Stewart (Characters Talent Agency), Murray Battle (Knowledge), John Dippong (Telefilm), Robert Hardy (CTV Western Production), and Stacey Landers and Liam Cripps (Papery Films).

On Sunday,the Filmmaker panel is “A Film and Television Industry Market Update; Facing the Hard Facts” which will be moderated by award-winning WIDC producer Carol Whiteman, sponsored by CWWA through the support of the CTVglobemedia-CHUM Benefits.

Check out the Women in Film Festival throughout sunday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

The weekend WIFF schedule:

Saturday, April 17th

FEMALE FIRSTS A SERIOUS WOMAN

New Directors Dramas

Saturday, April 17 | 10:00 am Saturday, April 17 | 1:30 pm

Screening with Talkback Screening with Talkback

Run time: 87:46 Run time: 89:64

Chocolate (2:50) Shi-shi-etko (11:52)

Remember me. (6:30) One Night (15:39)

Baby Weight (10:37) White as the driven snow (17:52)

Catechism (14:00) Ashes to Dust (11:00)

Salt & Vinegar (11:25) Easy Made Hard (12:21)

Leah and the Horse (4:50) The Shoemaker (16:00)

Nature On Its Course (2:30) Savage (6:00)

Grad Day (8:42)

Tending Toward Silence (10:22)

Scent (6:38)

Grandma (11:22)

Sunday, April 18th

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CHERCHEZ LA FEMME REAL WOMEN; REAL LIFE

Comedy, Dance, Eclectic Documentaries

Sunday, April 18 | 12:00 noon Sunday, April 18 | 2:00 pm

Screening with Talkback Screening only – no Talkback

Run time: 88:30 Run time: 66:39

Crows and Branches (4:00) When I Grow Up (9:55)

Evelyn’s Farm (8:00) Let’s Play Boccia! (14:03)

9-1-MUM (3:00) A Harlem Mother (13:00)

The Delivery (10:60) LoliGirls: The Story Behind the Frills and Bows (14:47)

Sweet Pickle (11:00) Remember Our Sisters Everywhere (4:00)

In Between (7:48) Pigeon Park Savings (11:10)

Brain Clever (4:40) Echo Bay (5:40)

Make Up the Dead (6:12)

Arithmetic – Annie’s Life in Numbers (13:30)

Grande Dame (14:40)

The Audit (6:00)

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Shi-shi-etko – directed by Kate Kroll. Showing on Sunday at WIFF.

Our 11 first time directors, part of the FEMALE FIRSTS showcase, adeptly tackle a range of subjects and stories from the comedic to deeply touching, including Grandma from Norway. The A SERIOUS WOMAN showcase presents a number of international films including The Shoemaker, Easy Made Hard and White As The Driven Snow that address traditionally male subjects such as war and conflict, but are adeptly retold through the eyes of female directors. Films such as Grand Dame, starring gender-bending actor Greg Malone, and The Delivery, from Seattle WIFTV member Virginia Bogert, entertain with their eclectic perspectives during the CHERCHEZ LA FEMME showcase. Finally, in the REAL WOMEN; REAL LIFE documentary showcase, filmmakers explore controversial subjects such as the Downtown East Side in Pigeon Park Savings, and the environment in Echo Bay.

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Dina Grskovich, Mentor Program Manager at Wired Woman ( wirewoman.com )
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Kyle Cunningham Executive Sale Assistant & Marketing Coordinator at Technicolor ( technicolor.com )

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

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Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 showcases 15 international films focused on environmental and sustainability issues:  global warming, water, recycling, poverty, food, and green businesses. The Festival combines engaging films and inspiring speakers to increase awareness and promote change within the Vancouver community. After each film, select filmmakers and industry leaders will have interactive discussions with audience members. All profits from the festival will be invested in local initiatives.

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Executive Director Colette Gunson says this about the festival:

“We try to program films that take a positive outlook, are really solutions-focused, and that are really inspirational to the audience members. That’s really what we’re trying to do, build a community of people that are actually interested in making a positive change.”

An important part of the festival is focused on films concerning youth and families.  Friday is Youth Day, with all films focused on films, speakers, and workshops aimed at kids. The film “Chemerical: redefining clean for a new generation”, starts Friday at 10 a.m. This film talks about household cleaners and hygiene products and what happens to them over their life cycle. The good news is that there are non-toxic options for families and kids.  Emily Jubenvill will talk about fun, simple ways to create natural cleaning and personal care products. Recipes are included. Other screenings are listed at http://www.projectingchange.ca/schedule.php

The festival helps educate audiences about people working on local initiatives. As Colette Gunson puts it: “We really try to connect with non-profit organizations that are working on the issues addressed in the film to help promote what they’re doing and to help connect the audience to local initiatives so that everyone can come together.”

“Garbage Dreams” follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest “garbage village”— on the outskirts of Cairo. It is home to 60,000 Zaballeen  (Arabic for garbage people). Far ahead of any modern green initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80% of the garbage they collect. Face to face with the globalization of their trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

Mairi Welman, Director of Communications at Recycling Council of B.C., and Seann Dory, Manager of Sustainability at United We Can are scheduled to speak after “Garbage Dreams” to bring  global issues of garbage, recycling, and poverty  into a local perspective.

On Sunday night, David Suzuki, Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson and Director Ron Colby are speaking after the showing of “Pirate for the Sea”. The film is a biographical film of Captain Paul Watson, the youngest founding member of Greenpeace Canada. He organized early campaigns protesting the killing of seals, whales, and dolphins. Greenpeace forced him out of the organization him for being too controversial. He went on to start the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

I went to the opening night film and gala on Thursday to see the documentary “Carbon Nation”. The film  was  educational and moving, focusing on the personal stories of people making a difference in their neighborhoods, their cities, and the world. It was the film’s first showing  in Canada.

Director Peter Byck came to Vancouver and spent time after the film responding in detail to audience questions. Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston who oversees the City of Vancouver’s “Greenest City Initiative”, joined Peter. Johnston spoke about steps Vancouver government is taking to steer Vancouver towards becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020 with such projects like the Composting program, bike lines, and carbon taxes.

I’ve included a collection of photos and audio interviews that were taken after the film and during the after party with: Executive Director Colette Gunson, Director Peter Byck, green business festival sponsors Diana Squires, of GreenZebra guide, Preet Marwaha, of Organic Lives, and Len Laycock, of Upholstery Arts. As usual, it’s always interesting when people talk about theiir stories.

FIFTH AVENUE THEATRE, 2110 BURRARD ST., VANCOUVER (AT 5TH)
Ticket prices for single films and speakers: Adults – $12.00, Students (13-17) Seniors (65+) – $10.00, those with bike helmets or bus passes- $10.00, and Children 12 and under – $10.00 at the door.
Full pass is $80

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Peter Byck at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts.

Peter Byck responds to audience questions at the Fifth Avenue cinema on his documentary film “Carbon nation” shown on opening night of the Projecting Change Film Festival. Sadhu Johnston talks about the local government’s Green initiatives.

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Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival held at Upholstery Arts.
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Brady Dahmer, Cofounder; Colette Gunson, Executive Director; and Lindsay Nahmiache, Cofounder, at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts.

Interview with Colette Gunson on the history, evolution and lineup of Projecting Change Film Festival 2010.

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Diana Squires working at the Green Zebra booth at Projecting Change Film Festival 2010

Interview with Diana Squires on how Green Zebra helps people get local saving for Sustainable living.

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Preet Marwaha and co-workers from Organic Lives, catering at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts.

Interview with Preet Marwaha on how he cured himself of Colitis, which inspired him to start a business helping others eat healthy, organic food.

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Len Laycock, owner of Upholstery Arts at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010.

Interview withLen Laycock on creating a new kind of Upholstery, Furniture store ‘from the inside out”. Inspired by an event in his family, Len offers clients furniture built with organic fabrics, non-toxic leather, and other earth friendly materials.

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Glen Garrick, and Jacqui Stoutenburg at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010.

Interview with Glen Garrick, and Jacqui Stoutenburg on taking green actions in one’s life, such as taking transit, recycling, using less water, and more.

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Marina and Diana Squires working at the Green Zebra booth at Projecting Change Film Festival 2010

Interview with Marina on how she came to attend the Festival, her views on the Carbon Nation film, and the Festival may impact her life.

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Allison Nicholls and Keith Freeman - Volunteer extraordinaires, and Kent Houston – Marketing for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010.
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Auction table at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts
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DJ T-Spoon playing for Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts
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Electric bike auctioned at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010
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Rachel Fox from local web magazine Vancouverisawesome.com and Robyn Wiener from Synergy Cinema at Afterparty for Projecting Change Film Festival 2010 held at Upholstery Arts

Bankground on Projecting Change Film Festival

* Four days of film screenings
* Interactive discussions after each film by select filmmakers and industry leaders
* Special events and activites
* Kids Day screenings during the day on Friday

2010 Schedule:
ALL SCREENING ARE AT: FIFTH AVENUE THEATRE, 2110 Burrard St., Vancouver (AT 5TH)

* Thursday, April 22 – Opening Night
* Friday, April 23 – Kids day + Regular Programming
* Saturday, April 24 – Regular Programming
* Sunday, April 25 – Regular Programming
* Sunday, April 25 – Closing night

Tickets
Tickets AVAILABLE HERE

Reserved Tickets and Passes can be purchased online on the Schedule page.
Rush tickets will be available at the theatre upon availability of seating.

* Adults – $12.00
* Students (13-17) – $10.00
* Seniors (65+) – $10.00
* Children 12 and under – $10.00 At the door

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

Buy tickets at: http://www.projectingchange.ca

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Another amazing night at the Vogue Theatre. Over 1050 people sold out the venue for Pecha Kucha 10. Pecha Kucha is a global event that’s grown to over 299 cities around the world since it started in Japan in 2003. The format is simple, each presenter speaks on a topic they are passionate about and is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up.

I arrived at the Vogue Theatre to find a long line of people still waiting to get inside the venue. I decided it was a good chance to interview people on why they had come to Pecha Kucha. As the event is about stories, I also spent some time learning more about their background and stories.

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Mike woods, and Sam gomolka outside Vogue theatre

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Diana Lee, and Erika Rekis outside Vogue theatre

An inspiring group presented at Pecha Kucha 10: Jay Balmer, Isabelle Dunlop, Dave Olson, Dani Vachon, Gair Williamson, Martha Sturdy, Doug Haddow, Bing Thom, Stephanie Corker Irwin, Vanessa Leigh, Marc Baumgartner, and Pamela Masik. If you don’t recognize all the names, you’ll probably be touched by their work which ranges from snowboards, skateparks, video games, fashion design, jewelry, art, writing, , social media, curated news, crowd sourcing news.

I taped the Pecha Kucha presenters using a 30$ mp3 player. I was holding the mp3player and my camera, so ignore the occasional clicks and noise and enjoy hearing the inspiring speeches!

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Jay Balmer - Experience Director at ( bigpark.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Isabelle Dunlop – Fashion Designer/Singer (combinethevictorious.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Dave Olson – Story Maker/Writer/ Producer ( uncleweed.net ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Dani Vachon – Director ( oliofestival.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Gair Williamson – Architect ( gwarchitects.ca ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Martha Sturdy – Artist/ Designer ( marthasturdy.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Doug Haddow – Writer/ Designer ( pblks.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Pamela Masik – Artist ( masik.ca ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Bing Thom – Architect ( bingthomarchitects.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Stephanie Corker Irwin – Founder of Bliss at NoMoSolo ( nomosolo.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Vanessa Leigh – Publisher/ Fashion Director ( ionmagazine.ca )speaks at Pecha Kucha.

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Marc Baumgartner – VP Product/ Design Director ( nowpublic.com) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

After the event was over I spoke with a couple of people to get their feedback on the event. I had two very different but interesting conversations Denise Liu and Mathew Arthur on the impact of Pecha Kucha on the Vancouver cultural scene.

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Denise Liu ( a former Pecha Kucha presenter )
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Mathew Arthur

Bankground on Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a global event that’s grown to over 299 cities around the world since it started in Japan in 2003. Jane and Steven Cox from Cause & Affect with help from Becki Chan Begovic from Milbec are the local Organizers of the Pecha Kucha Night. The Vancouver event has grown very quickly since Cause & Effect organized the first event in 2008 . Two hundred people showed up at each of the first two shows, then 500 people came out for each of the next seven shows at the Park Theatre. On April 0810, Pecha Kucha sold out the Vogue Theatre with 1050 people. Vancouver has one of the largest events and reaches a broader audience because the Presenters represent the best and most creative from a broad range of fields.

According to Steven Coe “Pecha Kucha brings together Vancouver’s culturally minded to enjoy an hour and a half of inspiration, viewpoints and ideas on creativity, culture and design by our City’s own cultural makers. Our goal is two-fold 1) for Pecha Kucha to be the “glue” that connects our diverse cultural instigators and 2) to raise the profile of our city’s cultural identity to mainstream audiences.”

The basic concept is: the presenter picks their own topic (anything that gets you going and is meaningful to you) and is allowed 20 images, each to be shown for 20 seconds. There will be 12 presenters per night.

Pecha Kucha 10 Presenters:

Jay Balmer – Experience Director at ( bigpark.com )

Isabelle Dunlop – Fashion Designer/Singer (combinethevictorious.com )

Dave Olson – Story Maker/Writer/ Producer ( uncleweed.net )

Dani Vachon – Director ( oliofestival.com )

Gair Williamson – Architect ( gwarchitects.ca )

Martha Sturdy – Artist/ Designer ( marthasturdy.com )

Doug Haddow – Writer/ Designer ( pblks.com )

Bing Thom – Architect ( bingthomarchitects.com )

Stephanie Corker Irwin – Founder of Bliss at NoMoSolo ( nomosolo.com )

Vanessa Leigh – Publisher/ Fashion Director ( ionmagazine.ca )

Marc Baumgartner – VP Product/ Design Director ( nowpublic.com)

Pamela Masik – Artist ( masik.ca )

Presenter list: Jay Balmer, Isabelle Dunlop, Dave Olson, Dani Vachon, Gair Williamson, Martha Sturdy, Doug Haddow, Bing Thom, Stephanie Corker Irwin, Vanessa Leigh, Marc Baumgartner, Pamela Masik

Click on the link below for more info. and past presenters:

site: Pecha Kucha Vancouver

Pecha Kucha Vancouver Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?v=info&gid=9698446098

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate

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A rainy day in Vancouver presented an interesting opportunity for Tweeters of all stripes to come together this past Thursday at the CBC radio building for the second
Vancouver Twestival (#YVRTwestival, #Twestival ). Beyond being a chance to meet all the people they previously only knew online, the Twestival may just demonstrate how the face of fundraising could forever be altered by social media. Indeed, the attendance of between a 150-200 people successfully raised over $9000.

Tarlan @capsusbridge and volunteer in front of Silent auction table.Rebecca Bollwitt, Vancouver social media blogger and local Twestival organizer.
1st photo: Volunteers, Tarlan (@capsusbridge ) and Sonia (@sonsryan), 2nd photo: Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) Vancouver Twestival Organizer

Nick Molnar ( @nickmolnar ) is a self-described web-strategist who has worked on several social media projects in Vancouver and recently started a web-site called adoptaband to pair indie musicians with aspiring photographers to boost the profile of both. He describes his most recent endeavor as a means of making poor people less poor as opposed to making wealthy people more wealthy. He’s been excited to watch the emergence of Twitter as a real force for social change. “If this were a gathering of all the people on Twitter in 2006, it’d be pretty boring,” noting that the existence of these tools becomes even more powerful when real people start to use them.

Danielle Sipple (@fiercekitty) and Kris Krug ( @kk )

Danielle Sipple (@fiercekitty) agreed that Twitter is an amazing forum for bringing together people of many stripes and giving communities that otherwise would not interact the chance to do so. A “word nerd” whose been tweeting for over a year and a half joined because she found it fascinating before any of her friends has even heard of it. She follows 600 people and is followed by around 1700. Danielle noticed her initial Tweets have evolved from snarky insights into her own personal life to more profound and reflective and less self-deprecating as a function of how her way of being and community have changed so much with her involvement in the Twittersphere.

There were plenty of folks on hand helping out the local organizer Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) who were stoked about the charity benefiting from the efforts of the Twestival, Concern Worldwide ( @concern). Kirsten (@6oz) is inspired by their holistic approach to combining health care and education strategies to the alleviation of poverty, although a few people I talked to knew only the basics about the organization, gleaned from the link on the Twestival website. So although a few people mentioned the “good cause” they were supporting not many actually knew a whole lot about the charity itself, which in no way detracted from their enthusiasm for the event and socal media itself. Second year marketing student at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Vivian Lou ( @vivianlou) was exuberant about the power of Twitter for social good. She went so far as to say “social media is breaking down the old school corporate culture.” When I asked her to clarify she proclaimed, well, if they want to know how to be effective in social media, they have to come to us. It was a powerful, confident statement delivered with an assured smile.

After the event I spoke with Vancouver Twestival organizer, Rebecca Bollwitt.
“We don’t have all the silent auction donations in yet but our grand total is above $9,000 so far.

From what’s been calculated an inputted globally (see here: ) it looks like Twestival around the world has already raised enough to build 18 schools, provide close to 12,500 meals, and educate over 3,000 children with Concern Worldwide.
In Vancouver it’s about getting out from behind your computer and being social with those you know through your social networks. So many people met for the first time last night even though they had been communicating over Twitter for years, it was great to see those connections. The fact that this is 100% volunteer-driven and that it’s all for a cause makes it that much better. As you can see from the numbers, this is our most successful Twestival yet in Vancouver – we have doubled what we raised last February at the first Twestival and tripled what we did in September at Twestival Local. This is my third time organizing and my first time rallying an amazing team to help out. Azita, Kirsten, Kim, Melissa, and Sonia were key. They worked the door, brought prize sponsors on board, and gave valuable input. Marc Smith from Amuse Consulting donated his event planning services which were a big part of the event’s success.
Volunteers, organizers and sponsors were all rallied through Twitter – it’s just so amazing that social media can be used for social good.”

Article co-authored by Jaia ‘Quarian ( @jaiaquarian ) and Jonathan Hanley, with photos taken by Jonathan (@musicgiving )

Photo gallery: Social Media & Twitter folk at Vancouver Twestival

Rob Cottingham ( @robcottingham ) and Victoria Ronco ( @victoriaronco )Rob’s twitter quote ( 140 characters ): “irresistable combination of great cause and bringing social network into the real world. Love seeing so many friends. Thanks miss604″

Victoria’s twitter quote: “nice to put faces to names and meet people in person”

Chris Mathieson ( @cogno ), Rebecca Bollwitt ( @miss604)
Dave Olson ( @daveohoots ) and Noah Bloom ( @nbloom )
1st photo: DJ’s Patrick Lok ( @djpatlok ) and Jeremy Lim ( @jeremylim ).
2nd photo: Live band Mojave ( @mojaveband ) with Paul and Lisa Jarvis )
Jen Grebeldinger ( @jgrebby ), Adam Cullen ( @simonfiction ), Trina Isakson ( @telleni )Jen’s twitter quote ( 140 characters ): “CBC green glass artwork display is cool”

Adam’s twitter quote: “Glorious sushi. Too many social marketing types.”

Trina’s comment on why she is at Twestival: “My New Year’s resolution was to meet new people and socialize more.”

( Alisha Mann @iglooqueen ) Cole Johnston ( @vanragazine ), Josh Rimer ( @joshrimer ), Raul Pacheco ( @hummingbird604 )
Janis Behan ( @janisbehan ), Erin Buttler ( @EzzaAtGap ), Emily Inram ( @emilymarieinc )Erin’s comments: “I came to socialize. It’s a great opportunity to meet other twitter peeps. I work for an adventure Travel company. I’ve been on twitter for a year, and I’m learning it for business. “

Emily’s twitter quote: “Cheap drinks. Good people. Nice and open atmosphere”

At Registration table: Kim Werker ( @kimpwerker ) and Miranda Lievers ( @mirandaL )
Susan Main ( @susanmain )Comments: “I’m not here for business, but to socialize and meet people who I follow on twitter more than I should. I go to lots of tweetups.”

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Watching hockey at the RIO Theatre off Commercial Drive was a fun and free alternative to going to a pub.

It was another rainy day in Vancouver, so I sought out a local neighborhood place to watch the Slovakia-Canada game. It turns out that the RIO movie theatre on Broadway Commercial Drive was showing the hockey game for FREE!

NOTE: Now the RIO Theatre is going to show the gold medal game on Sunday between USA – Canada. I’d recommend everyone coming out to watch the game on a big screen and enjoy the atmosphere of the RIO.

I arrived at the Theatre around 620pm for the 630pm game, so I wasn’t sure if the place would be full or not. It was my first time at the theatre since it opened under the management of Corinne Lea, who with her investment group bought the theatre and property two years ago. Showing a hockey game in a movie theatre is just another innovative and exciting usage of the theatre, which is returning people to the movie theatre by offer midnight show, live concerts and entertainment.

I was disappointed at first not to see the theatre full, but was pleased at how comfortable the movie seats were as I settled in for the game. I was impressed as I looked around at the condition of the theatre, the lights, the paints, the seats, and the upkeep showed that a lot of love had gone into reviving this a great local theatre.

As the game started, I feel the buzz in the crowd of families, couples, and friends build. About 150+ people had gathered with some people waving Canadian flags or proudly wearing their red and whites.

Everyone was buying popcorn and sodas, just like at a movie show. It was a new experience to breathe in the smell of fresh popcorn and real butter in the air, while watching a hockey. The overall feeling was that everyone was enjoying themselves.

The game was exciting and the RIO audience got more animated and vocal as the game went on. A few fun moments were when the audience clapped in snyc with the crowd at Canada Hockey place or chanted “Louuuu” whenever Luongo made a great save.

Canada led Slovakia 3-0 until the third period. For two periods, everyone was cheering Canada on confidently, then one bad goal by Luongo and you could feel the tension in the air. Only 4:53 minutes to go, and it was suddenly 3-2 with Canada holding on and Slovakia pressing.

In a nail biter of a 3rd period, the game came down to one final save by Luongo against his Vancouver Canucks teammater Pavel Demitra with 10 seconds left in the game.

Canada wins! Now the RIO Theatre is going to show the gold medal game on Sunday between USA – Canada. I’d recommend everyone coming out to watch the game on a big screen and enjoy the atmosphere of the RIO.

I spoke with Corinne Lea and it was clear that facebook, and the power of social media / networking has been a huge part of enabling the RIO Theatre to quickly reach and engage their audience. In a time when less people were going to movies, Corinne went with the adage that “if you can’t beat them, then join them”. This is part of why the RIO is providing Vancouver and the Commercial Drive area a great way to listen to live concerts, musicians, poets, watch hollywood movies and midnight cult shows, or watch sports events.

The RIO has started promotional initiatives that are different than the traditional movie chains. For example, part of the RIO employees job is posting custom made RIO movie posters around the neighborhood. Theatre goers are encouraged to send text messages, use twitter or facebook updates, and provide feedback with the RIO staff. It’s clear that RIO and their staff are changing the way Theatres are successful.

Corinne Lea says their tagline is “We’re more fun!” and if Friday was any indication, then they’re doing a great job and also reinvigorating the Commercial Drive area.

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My friends came to see C.R. Avery…

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Henry Butler

I’m overhearing friends talk about relationships and sex while they stand next to me in the lineup. The sounds of cool New Orleans Jazz plays intermingles with the conversation, then I realize it’s not background music that I hear. I lift myself up onto the divider separating those waiting and those watching from inside the venue. At the other end of the room I could see a black baby grand on a small stage. A man wearing a black leather hat and dark sunglasses was playing melodic jazz. I found myself bobbing my head in time with his playing, because it was a catchy kind of tune. I felt transported to an imaginary bar in New Orleans.

Is it the venue, the music, or the CBC filled the Patricia Pub to overflowing? I had found out about the event because a friend told me about it who had heard it listed on the radio and tracked it down online. The real beauty of the internet lets a real life event be successfully promoted very quickly.

The crowd was a mix that reflected the mixture of acts that were on tonight. Twenty year olds with their toques and skinny jeans were next to the older men who looked like their names were etched on the bar seats. The layout of the pub, with it’s many arches covered in beer signs, makes it difficult to know how many people were there, but it certainly feels full of energy and buzz.

Looking through the crowd while continuing to sit on the ledge, I notice the interweave of people talking and the piano playing. It’s Henry Butler from New Orleans playing at the piano. Henry is a passionate pianist and the force of his playing slowly seduces the attention of the audience. The hum of conversations begins to dim. One by one the audience becomes enraptured by his exploration of emotions and passion. Sometimes the song is forceful and passionate, while at other times it slows down and becomes seductive and sensual. Your ears are kept stimulated and attentive as you follow the story he’s telling with his keys.

Whistles, cheers, and clapping as Henry Butler rises from his piano. His first set is done. I notice the walking stick and for a flash moment see that he’s blind.

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CR Avery

The first set is done. I meet a few friends I haven’t seen in years, so we go outside to talk and take photos of them. I see C.R. Avery and musicians from Carnival and Brass Roots Band. It seems that many of them know each other, so I ask to take photos of them together. I like C.R Avery’s style, which reflects his poetry. Cool, full of character, and a mix of human and emotion. It’s worth seeing him at an event around town.

Smoke breaks for musicians. Everything settles down after a very long 15 minute set break.

The audience is now quiet, no more idle chatter. The serious jazz lovers have stayed to witness Henry Butler work those keys.

Such passion, yet steady calm. He stamps his foot and you can feel it in the pub dance floor. The small stage shakes a little when Henry plays and stomps and moves the melody along. The end of the song lifts the audience from their trance. Henry speaks in a deep voice, one you’d expect from a man with his presence. He’s telling a story about a song and all I hear are words: New Orleans, New York, Jazz, Blues, Gospel. The song’s name is New Orleans Inspiration and I smile, I feel inspired.

Henry Butler looks straight ahead, his face barely moves as he plays in concentration. The stage lights reflect off of his dark glasses. His left shoe stomps while his right shoe taps. I can imagine him marching in a New Orleans parade – leading us along while carrying a marching baton instead of a walking stick. Marching along, the music builds, the audience claps. Their claps get stronger, the two rising together. The best part of a concert is the musician and the audience merging together.

Cheers erupt. We’re in.

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James Danderfer and

I realise that having waited so long in line I didn’t have a chance to see anyone else on the Bill. I was able to hear James Danderfer Trio, and Ndidi Onukwulu before I went to the show. One of the reasons I went to the show was because I heard Ndidi Onukwulu beautiful singing voice.

So check out all the musicians from the night:

Henry Butler New Orleans Jazz pianist
Ndidi Onukwulu Blues singer
The James Danderfer Trio Jazz ensemble with pianist Miles Black on piano and drummer Joe Poole
Brass Roots Band
C.R. Avery Vancouver poet, pianist and composer

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I was late. It was almost 1pm and the Copenhagen Wrap up rally in North Vancouver was 1-3pm. I looked outside and it was a beautiful sunny day, maybe just hang out or socialize with friends. It was tempting. I reminded myself the rally was an important event for Vancouverites to tell our govt and the world we cared about climate change and global warming. Off to North Vancouver I went.

It was going to be a 45 minute trip, jumping on the #20 Victoria bus, going through Main and Hastings area, along the edge of Gastown, then across the water by Seabus to North Vancouver. As I started my adventure, I wondered how many people around me even knew about the two week United Nations Climate Change Conference that just ended in Copenhagen. On the Seabus I met a young man, Christian, who was an ESL student visiting here from Spain. We talked about our plans and he mentioned going to Grouse mountain to go skiing, I mentioned going to the North Van. Rally. He didn’t know about COP15, the rally, or Climate change. I explained about global warming, but I think he was mostly thinking about what a great sunny day it was for skiing. I must admit I can understand, it would be a great day for skiing! We both got off the Seabus, I took his photo and told him to enjoy the snow. On my way again, I trudged up the hill to 3rd avenue along Lonsdale. I finally reached the rally in front of local MP Andrew Saxton at 130pm.

I arrived at the rally to find about 25 people with banners and gathering signatures to support more awareness of climate change in Canada and Vancouver. First reaction was disappointment after a more well attended candlelight vigil on Dec 12th in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, remember it on Granville mag?

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I took some photos on flickr, then spoke with Kevin Washbrook who helped organize the rally. He told me the event had been organized in 3 days by Voters Taking action on Climate Change, Capilano Students’ Union, and Climate Action Network Canada. He said about 50 people attended in total, and 149 people signed the petition calling on Saxton to hold a town hall.

I was impressed that they’d been able to get the rally together so quickly using facebook page, twitter, and Avaaz and other mailing lists. I’m an Environmentalist from way back, so I’m excited to see how social networks are becoming powerful tools for bringing together for social and green causes. Tcktcktck.org had gotten over 15 million signatures to present to the COP15 conference leaders in support climate change. Yes, 15 million! Avaaz.org, 350.org, tcktcktck.org, and other non-profits have been very successful at gathering signatures and support for causes, but I wonder how this will impact smaller local events like the Wrap up rally?

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I spoke with Hunter Moyes at the rally, who, with Kevin Washbrook helped organize the Bridge to a Cool Planet event on Oct 24th. Hunter told me that about 8,000 people across the Granville bridge in support of climate change. The Bridge event was part of an internationl day of action by tcktcktck.org | 350.org International day of action with 4000+ events in over 169 countries.

After speaking with both Kevin Washbrook and Hunter Moyes, it seemed that while the tcktcktck.org and the International campaigns attracted attention, the smaller local events didn’t do so well. I looked at the tcktcktck.org/realdeal page and saw photos from RealDeal photos from all over the world, but none were from the Vancouver event. Would the general public would feel less involved or motivated to participate if their own rallys and events were not promoted by global or local media? Social media is clearly making a difference in getting attention for big events, but moving forward how will it help raise awareness for local green or social causes

Pondering questions on social media and local causes, I left the rally and headed home. I took the Seabus across the water, then walked through Gastown and then along Hasting street. My thoughts were suddenly pulled from the clouds to the unusual sight of an urban garden in the midst of the rough Main and Hastings area. I walked into the garden and took photos, then saw a man at the far end of the garden moving dirt. I’d never seen this urban garden, so I was curious and asked the man about it. Jim Oickle, it turns out was the coordinator of this urban garden officially call the Hastings Folk Garden which was created on an abandoned lot on Hastings Street near Columbia. He described it as an organic space that didn’t have many rules except those doing drugs would be kicked out. It was a beautiful sanctuary for Vancouver’s lower east side.

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It seemed I was meant to find this urban garden on Saturday, because it reminded that it’s the hard workers in the local trenches that really make the difference. It’s local endeavours like the Hastings Folk Garden that are actually making a difference in reducing global warming on a small scale. I’m not sure Jim cared about global warming or such issues, but he still ran a beautiful garden. At the end of our conversation, he said to me that a lot of photographers had taken photos of the garden. He spoke about plans to present the photos at the Urban Garden. As I was walking away he said “there’s no Art without the Artists”

I laughed and as I was walking along Hastings I thought no truer words had been spoken. I borrowed his phrase and thought about the North Vancouver rally and thought, there’s no climate change without people

I met some very inspirationing people in Kevin, Hunter, and Jim, so perhaps with them we will get there. Is anyone is willing to listen?

Additional Photos

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Article external links

Copenhagen Wrap up rally in North Vancouver

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=216250721276&index=1

United Nations Climate Change Conference http://en.cop15.dk/

MP Andrew Saxtonhttp://www.andrewsaxton.ca/

Flickr Vancouver rally trip photoshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelate/sets/72157622910168429/

Granville Magazine Vancouver candlelight article- http://www.granvilleonline.ca/gr/blogs/editors/2009/12/11/copenhagen-clo…

Voters Taking action on Climate Changehttp://www.vtacc.org/

Capilano Students’ Union http://www.csu.bc.ca/

Climate Action Network Canada http://www.climateactionnetwork.ca/

facebook rally page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=216250721276&index=1

Bridge to a Cool Planet http://www.bridgecoolplanet.ca

tcktcktck.orghttp://www.bridgecoolplanet.ca

350.org http://350.org

tcktcktck.org/realdeal