I’m in San Francisco for the week on a business trip, but that doesn’t mean I’m not following the Canucks. Most of us were desperate for a place to watch the playoff game, since regular American cable was not going to be covering it. Thankfully we located a sports bar a block from the hotel and invaded it, making them put the game on the bulk of their televisions. We weren’t the only ex-pat Canadians getting their hockey fix there either, with at least three other groups cheering on the Canucks one table had jerseys, flags and made tiny white towels out of their cocktail napkins.
It was unfortunate that our cross-border-karma was not enough to lift the Canucks to victory, though to be honest they never looked like they were in control of the game. Always chasing the lead and never shooting enough they deserved to lose this one. Hopefully it’ll be all the motivation they need to come out strong on Tuesday and take this series by the scruff of the neck like a mother polar bear with her brood.
Vancouverites rallied for humanitarian intervention against the genocidal catastrophe of Sudan’s Darfur region today.
I was pleased to see such a high turnout behind the Vancouver Art Gallery – at least 150, possibly as high as 250, since some passersby came, stayed to hear a few of the speeches and left. Not exactly standing room only, but it was something. Rallies in support of Darfurians were held around the world.
Green Party Leader Adrianne Carr spoke there today, reminding Canadians that Canada has a responsbility to protect people in Darfur. “The humanitarian disaster in Darfur has its roots in the ecological disaster of climate change… The international community has an obligation to provide leadership and aid and to help find solutions.”
I also talked to some Darfurian refugees who had settled in Canada only recently. Most of their family members were not so lucky to escape the disaster. “We need aid,” one said. “People are dying. Soldiers would help. We need any help we can get.”
The CBC and other media outlets have been picking up the story of how local bars, restaurants and pretty much every business with a television and cable is seeing an increase in business thanks to the Canucks playoff run. The Province is reporting business is up over 23% during the Canucks playoff games [vp]. From The Province:
Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said fans’ hunger for playoff hockey is only matched by their hunger for munchies.
“The Vancouver Canucks not only drive our hearts, but they are also driving the wallet of the consumer, and that is great for our industry,” he said. “We thank the Canucks for their commitment, because their success is directly linked to the incremental success of the restaurant industry.”
Which is good for the food service industry but not really for other forms of entertainment. The Vancouver Whitecaps home opener fell on the same night as a Canucks game and Swangard Stadium was far emptier than usual. Movie theatres nearly always see a downturn in business during playoff runs as well. Though nobody is going to come out and say it, a lot of businesses probably would not mind if the Canucks got dumped out of the playoffs in the second round.
Anyone willing to brave the scorn of the internet and come out against the Canucks? Do so in the comments and I’ll give you a no-prize.
Douglas Coupland’s film, he wrote it so let’s just say it’s his, Everything’s Gone Green has been in Vancouver the last few weeks. It’s on a limited release schedule so who knows how long it will be in town, thus I’d suggest getting to it while the getting is good. It’s currently at the Cinemark Theaters in Tinseltown [trb]. If it’s anywhere else in town you’ll have to do your own research.
The Canadian Press has the story of Al Gore and Vancouver’s own David Suzuki coming out against the Conservatives’ new environmental policy. It seems Al’s down with David but not with Stephen Harper, which seems pretty much par for the course. The Province has the story here [tvp].
Money quote? Al Gore on the Conservatives’ police, “In my opinion, it is a complete and total fraud. It is designed to mislead the Canadian people.”
Harper’s Enviro-Lacky John Baird shot back by saying, “The fact is our plan is vastly tougher than any measures introduced by the administration of which the former vice president was a member.” Which, for our American readers, is Canadian for “Fuck off.”
What a difference not having to compete with a Canucks game makes for crowd turnout. Swangard was more crowded than usual for the Whitecaps second home game of the season, this time against the California Victory.
The game was a close one, with the Whitecaps managing to come from behind to tie the game in the last quarter. They were able to apply most of the pressure during the second half of the game, but weren’t able to end the deadlock despite a few golden chances. They’re currently sitting second in the table tied withe The Montréal Impact. More details on the game are on their site [vwc]. I’ve got to pack.
Former Metroblogging Vancouver author Travis Smith and his web company Hop Studios have had one of their projects, the left wing political site Truthdig [td], nominated for three Webby awards. In a blog post earlier this month Travis wrote about the nominations [hsb]:
Truthdig is nominated in the categories of Politics, Political Blog, and the one we’re really proud of, News, where it’s up against some realyl heavy hitters: the BBC, Salon, NPR and Reuters. I would say that Reuters budget probably is about 80,000% bigger than Truthdig’s, and this nomination is a wonderful reflection of the fact that you can do excellent news online without the budget of big media (if you hire Hop Studios!)
Travis and Hop Studios are still Vancovuer based, so it’s good to see them getting a little nomination love. They also worked on one of my all-time most visited website iLounge [il].
My favourite place to find cool craft supplies is located at 4738 Main Street. The shop is called Ruby Dog’s Art House and they have unique and fun stuff to make all things crafty and arty. The owner, Leanne, is always there with her dog, Ruby. She is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about collaging, artist’s trading cards and all different types of paper crafts. Also, she’s big into recycling and reusing stuff. You just never know what you’ll find there. It’s a great place to go and look for craft books, interesting papers, magazines, stickers, stamps…you name it… There’s also all kinds of glues and other supplies for just about any art related project you might be working on. It’s a fun place. And lots of the supplies? “Cheap like Borscht!” It’s terrific.
Be sure to get on the email list. Leanne sends out newsletters periodically to let her customers know about new stuff that’s arrived and provides a list of all the classes going on. I took a cool origami tag book course there last year.
One more thing…there’s going to be the official Grand Opening of the new section of her store (studioWERX on Main) is this Saturday, April 28th beginning at noon. A good time will be had by all. I’m sure of it. I just might see you there!
And for your viewing pleasure, here is Ruby dog herself:
Has anyone seen Nokia these billboards around town yet? Do they work? From Wired.com [wn]:
The Finnish cell phone company has implemented a bus stop advertisting campaign that has Canadian commuters talking…to each other. The poster, which features a photo of Nokia’s new Solo push-to-talk phone, shows off the mobile’s walkie-talkie feature by actually allowing commuters to talk to other commuters standing at other bust stops in different cities in real time, just by pushing a button. The campaign is under way in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary.