Eat.Drink.Play. At The Firehall Arts Centre June 14, 2018

6 Jun

EatDrinkPlay2018The Firehall Arts Centre invites you to Eat.Drink.Play. being held on Thursday, June 14th from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street.  This annual fundraiser brings together some of East Van’s best restaurants, craft brewers, small-batch distillers and performers for an evening of sampling and sharing.  The event takes over the Firehall’s entire premises including theatre, lobby, studio, courtyard as well as the dressing rooms.  Throughout the Firehall, you will find an array of delectable treats, eclectic dance, music and performances as well as a silent auction.  Eat.Drink.Play will feature selections of food from neighbourhood hot spots including The Pint, Tuc Craft Kitchen, Cadeaux Baker, Crab Park Chowdery, Kofta, Elephant & Castle.  Libations will be provided the kind folks at Steamworks Brewery nand Odd Society Spirits as well as Hoochy Boooch kombucha.  You can expect a smorgasbord of delectable treats and enjoyable performances as you roam through the heritage building sampling food, enjoying libations, and bidding on some amazing silent auction items. For music and laughter, Krystle Dos Santos, recently seen in the Chelsea Hotel will be on hand as will Andy Toth seen in the Firehall’s Urinetown The Musical and a few more guests. The Firehall Arts Centre has been producing performing arts for 35 years in this beautiful heritage building at the corner of Cordova and Gore. We invite you to lend your support for our City’s vibrant and innovative arts community. Tickets for Eat.Drink.Play are $49 and $25 for artists and are available online at Firehall Arts Centre.

Brews, Tunes & Tech At The 9th Annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival

5 Jun

VCBW1

The ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival (VCBW) at the PNE Fairgrounds attracted thousands of craft beer and cider enthusiasts this past weekend. The two day beer fest capped off a 10-day citywide celebration of craft beer culture and community. But it’s about so much more than beer! VCBW is outdoor entertainment at it’s finest – live music, games, food trucks and over 100 craft breweries and cideries. Nine years in and VCBW has evolved from Canada’s first-ever craft beer week to become the most anticipated craft beer and cider festival in Western Canada.

For those who have attended a beer festival in the past, you’ll know that it’s difficult to keep track of which brews you’ve tasted, which you liked and which you didn’t – and the more you drink, the more challenging it gets. With more than 300 beers and ciders to try, VCBW offered festival goers an easy way to keep track on their website! On the participating breweries page, each brewery is listed, showing its location on the festival map, the 2-4 brews being poured, as well as giving users the ability to “favourite” a brewery. This meant that you could go through beforehand, choose all the ones you wanted to try and systematically work your way through the festival. If you’re like me and prefer a more spontaneous experience, you could have the webpage open on your phone, “favourite” as you go, and check back later to see which 6-packs you’ll be picking up for your next summer BBQ.

The festival had something for everyone, with extra beer tokens available for purchase and plenty of grassy areas to lounge with your crew, you could kick back with your kombucha infused blonde ale, lime and agave cider, sublime pineapple hefeweizen or beet juice pale ale and revel in the beginning of summer in Vancouver. And not to miss was the “crafts with Craft” tent where you could string pretzels on a string to wear as a necklace – providing endless snackage all while keeping your hands free to hold your beer.

By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic

Our Social Fabric – A Textile Recycling Initiative In East Vancouver

4 Jun

OSFLogoWe recently happened upon a great initiative in East Vancouver. Some of you may already know about it, but if you don’t, you might be happy to. It’s called Our Social Fabric (OSF). It is a textile recycling initiative that has been in operation since 2009. The aim of Our Social Fabric is twofold, one to keep textiles out of the landfill and two, put those materials into the hands of creatives within our community.  This volunteer run organization receives donations of textiles, fabrics and sewing notions including patterns, zippers, buttons and more.  The items come from a variety of sources including the film industry, theatre, estate closures and manufacturing to name a few. Their team of volunteers sort through the donations, organize them and offer them to the public at drastically low prices. We recently attended one of their monthly sales to see what this space was all about. We have to say, they put on a good event. Everything is organized well by colour and similar materials. The fabric is pre-cut and marked as to how many metres and total cost. There was some fabric available on rolls for  $5.00 per metre including some beautiful linen.  Although prices vary depending on the material, $3 – $5 per metre was fairly common.  Our Social Fabric works out of a space in the Russell Building located at #270 – 1275 Venables Street at Clark Drive. Their sales happen about once a month, sometimes more. All upcoming sales are posted on their website, Facebook and Instagram.  Their next sale happens Thursday, June 14th from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and again Sunday, June 24, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.   If you sew, this is a definite spot worth checking out. If you wish to brush up your sewing or learn, Our Social Fabric also offers workshops every now and again. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming classes. You can also follow them on Instagram to keep an eye on upcoming sales. If you attend their sales, we suggest arriving early to get first dibs on items and do expect a line up.

Contributing Writer Tiva Quinn Checks Out rEvolver Festival On Until June 3rd

1 Jun

RevolverFestivalContributing writer, Tiva Quinn, checked out a few shows being featured as part of the rEvolver Festival. This festival featuring young contemporary artists is on now at The Cultch until June 3rd.  Get out and see for yourself what’s on. Visit The Cultch for tickets.

BUG 

Bug clearly shows that young Ojibwe artist Yolanda Bonnell is a performer and creator to watch. In this one-woman show about addictions, intergenerational trauma and the foster care system, Yolanda portrays a young woman growing up too fast and accepting abusive relationships into her life as a sign that she matters to someone. She also portrays the young woman’s mother, wrestling with her addictions and with questions about whether or not she deserved to have her child taken away by the government. And in a strange and powerful way, she also gives voice to the power of addiction and intergenerational trauma itself, manifesting as Manidoons – the Ojibwe word for bug or worm. The two human characters, mother and daughter, become stunningly real and complex in a short period of time – while the Manidoons are represented as a simple, genuinely creepy being who cares only about gaining more and more control over human lives.

PROBABILITY

Next I went to Probability, a show about two women who may or may not end up in love, and may or may not succeed in making a go of it if they do. Probability managed to be laugh out loud funny in  several places, while also digging into some pretty deep material about the things we want and the things we fear in intimate relationships. The improv game technique of having two actors represent the characters in the story while another two represent their inner monologues is used to excellent effect here – a lot of the ProbabilityPosterfunniest moments and also the most painful, heart-tugging moments come from the difference between what the characters say and what’s going on in their minds. It also means that we get to see the process in motion both when they try to protect themselves and when they try to reveal themselves. All four actresses do a terrific job here, and the set deserves honorable mention as well.

KITT & JANE

Last, I saw Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future which was also a mix of comedy and serious themes, but with a lot more emphasis on the comedy. Kitt and Jane depicts the antics of two 8th graders who take over their school assembly and decide to present about the coming eco-apocalypse instead of their assigned topic, the life cycle of the salmon. Like actual 8th graders, the actors are incredibly funny at several points along the way, but they also take their  obsessions a bit too far and wear on our nerves at times. The show’s creators cite Adventure Time, Big Mouth, and Gravity Falls as some of their influences and the show definitely is a lot like watching human cartoons. If you enjoy the humor in characters who never quite realize when they’ve gone too far, you might just love this show.

Photo Credit: Patricia Trinh

 

East Van Garden Tour Sunday, June 17th

30 May

If you love gardens, whether looking at them or working in them, you may wish to check out the upcoming East Van Garden Tour.  This is a self-guided tour that happens Sunday, June 17th. It’s a great opportunity to see what creative projects people have undertaken in their gardens and peak not just over the fence, but on the other side to see how people have used their garden space. Whether you have a home, patio garden or a community garden, The East Van Garden Tour is a great source of inspiration and ideas. If you haven’t participated in this event, previously, you purchase your tickets in advance. Then show up on June 17th at Figaro’s Garden Centre to obtain your map sometime after 10:00 a.m. After which you head off to tour the gardens until 4:00 pm. To purchase tickets in advance, visit Eventbrite, call Figaro’s Garden Centre, 1896 Victoria Drive or contact the Britannia Community Services Centre, 1661 Napier Street, in person or by phone 604-718-5800. Tickets are $15 each.  The tour is popular and has sold out in previous years, so we recommend that you get your tickets in advance.  People who attend the tour will also get a one-time discount to shop at Figaro’s starting on the day of the tour. Note: This is a very walkable tour, but it is not wheelchair accessible and pets are not allowed. To learn more who is behind the tours, visit Britannia Neighbours.

 

Side Glance With Al Tee – White Pins: What They Mean For Housing In Vancouver

29 May

WhitePinAlTeeThey first appeared on the Westside. Then slowly migrated to EastVan and now they are everywhere. You’ve seen them in your neighborhood and on your street. They are the symbol of everything that is the housing debate. They are, those white surveyor pins. Harbingers of destroy and replace. That old rancher? Coming down. Faded Vancouver Special? Bulldozer bait. Hundred year old Craftsman? Just keeping the lot warm until that 3500 square foot stack of shipping containers-looking box is approved.

It is to the point that the pins go in, the house comes down, and you can’t even remember what was there. Walk through any East Van neighborhood and you can predict which house is next to sprout the white pins. The pins are like an invasive species. Nobody was paying attention, nobody took them seriously, now they can’t be stopped. There’s no natural predator or pesticide and they’re pretty much impervious to social activism. In fact they’ll be around long after all of us because of what they consume and excrete. Money.

This city, as I’ve said before, has always been about money. George Vancouver didn’t drop anchor in Burrard Inlet to further His Majesty’s geographical knowledge. The heroes of Vision ran this city for 10 years and they weren’t financed by citizens riding Mobi bikes to council meeting eithers.

But, there’s an election coming in November, and the people seeking your vote aren’t beholden to money and have a solution for the white pin proliferation. Whether it’s Burnaby MP Kennedy ‘How about I drop in and solve your problems?’ Stewart, hereditary Squamish Nation Chief Ian ‘cash in on all that white guilt’ Campbell, neophyte politician Shauna ‘what happened to being the  frontrunner?’  Sylvester, tech entrepreneur Taleeb ‘lost twice federally’  Noormohamed, or popular favorite Adrianne ‘don’t want to be the tallest weed’ Carr, they have a plan. Maybe.

What is certain, is that no matter who is in power enacting their “plan”, your rent is going to continue to go up. Moving to a larger more affordable space will continue to only be an option if that space is in Harrison Mills. The price of the faded Vancouver Special you pass by every day is not suddenly going to be reasonable, and the white pins will continue to dot the East Van landscape.

However it’s not all gloom and doom especially if you like a little schadenfreude. Watching Hector Bremner cry over the NPA rejecting his mayoralty candidacy has been pretty entertaining.  Bremner is the same guy who won his city council seat because the progressive vote was split into five but still thinks he earned it. The same guy that said after he won his council seat that Vision was done. The same guy who said he’d donate his councilor’s pay to charity. Now he alleges that he’s a victim of racism. Shocking! The poor man. Course if you believe that, I’ve got a Vancouver Special you can have for its original price. Plus it’s on a street free of those white pins.

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

Nicole Alivojvodic Reviews 12 Minute Madness – rEvolver Festival

28 May

12MinuteMadnessChrisRandleThis year’s rEvolver Festival is focusing on women creators as all the mainstage shows have either been created or co-created by women. One of these shows, 12 Minute Madness, features an entirely female cast. Incredibly dark and candid, the show’s 12 performers give the audience a twisted look into the mind of a sexual abuse survivor. Earning a standing ovation on opening night, this tale is as raunchy as it is poignant – a piece that has necessarily been born out of the #MeToo movement.

The story follows a young woman, Marlena, as she recalls repressed memories of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her own grandfather. Instead of representing different players in this story in the outside world, each character in the production embodies a different part of Marlena’s psyche as she grapples with what has happened to her and questions the reliability of her own memories. There’s shame, there’s sadness, there’s anger and there’s reason (to name a few) and all contribute to complete madness inside Marlena’s head.

This production offers a glance into the mind and soul of a victim of sexual abuse and calls for audiences to realize the multi-faceted and contradictory thoughts and feelings that occur in the mind alone, before even reaching the world outside. rEvolver Festival continues at The Cultch until June 3rd.

By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic

Photo Credit: Chris Randle

 

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