Archive for the ‘Arts and Entertainment’ Category

Sinner Man

Over the weekend, I was able to participate in the Sins of the City Walking Tour. I got a free pass, but at 15 dollars, this is a good look at your own city’s sordid past.

When I see century-old pictures of Vancouver  I often find myself wondering, where is that? What was Vancouver? This tour serves well to show Vancouver’s early, and often ugly, days. Ever wondered why Blood Alley is so gruesomely named? Or why there are glass tiles lining the sidewalk at Jack Chow’s?

Tour admission also includes admission to the Vancouver Police Museum, a great little house of horrors located at the former Vancouver Morgue. Their collection of confiscated weapons alone will make you think twice about stepping out of your house.

Vancouver Police Museum

Sins of the City Walking Tour Reservations

Langley Metblogs – Twilight Drive-in

Yay! Summer is approaching, which means the Twilight Drive-in is slowly powering back up for the Summer months!

I grew up going to drive-ins, which was largely luck, as even in the late 70s, early 80s, Drive-ins in Canada – already hampered by seasonal weather considerations – were slowly dying out. When a refinery fire in Calgary crippled then closed the Corral 4, that was pretty much it. It’s only been in the last few years that I got to hit the Brackley Beach Drive-in on PEI, and then regularly attend the Twilight Drive-in in Langley – a mainstay in the lower mainland, it closed for a few years, and then re-opened under new owners, and so far, so good.

The trick, at least for me, is getting a movie line-up that is perfect for a drive-in. Art films and Oscars winners need not apply. Instead, the B-grade and sensational films, films you regard as “renters” are perfect. This weekend’s line-up of Brooklyn’s Finest and The Crazies has “drive-in” written all over it. And if that’s not enough, they have a regular Sunday swap-meet!

So, if you’ve been looking for a good reason to get that Zipcar account, this could be something to seriously consider – screw trips to IKEA. The age of the drive-in will not last forever – enjoy it while you still can.

Museum of Vancouver

Never heard of this! Why!?

Hidden near English Bay, along with the HR McMillan Space Centre and The Vancouver Maritime Museum, is the Museum of Vancouver, which is definitely an alternative to the Vancouver Art Gallery – hands-on and interactive versus stand and stare. Not that I’m saying one is better than the other, I’m just delighted to discover the MOV.

With tickets ranging from ten to fifteen bucks, depending on the event, you can enjoy everything from a family night of making cardboard animals to Friday’s screening of Handmade Nation.

A Documentary By Faythe Levine

Handmade Nation documents the new wave of art, craft and design that is capturing the attention of the nation. It is the feature film debut of director, author, artist and curator Faythe Levine. Levine traveled to 15 cities and covered more than 19,000 miles to interview artists, crafters, makers, curators and community members.

Today’s craft world has emerged as a synthesis of historical technique, punk culture, and the DIY ethos, also influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism and art.

Director Faythe Levine captured the tightly knit community that exists through websites, blogs, and online stores that connect to the greater public through independent boutiques, galleries and craft fairs.

Interviews were conducted on-location in artist studios, homes, boutiques, offices and craft fairs, giving the public an exclusive and rarely seen look into the lives of these creative individuals.

Screening will be followed by a reception in the MOV Studio.

Tickets will be sold online ($12) until 5pm, Thursday, March 18. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at Visitor Services on the 19th. No Refunds. No Latecomers Permitted.


Olympocalypse! The Simpsons!

– I have no official head count, but a crowd, easily numbering a couple thousand (plus the couple of thousands watching) descended upon Robson Street and on cue, proceeded to demonstrate a non-Olympic sport; flashmob dancing. Imagine1Day, a group dedicated to educating the children of Ethiopia, organized the flashmob to raise awareness to their cause. They not only succeeded, but I’m sure they also caused an iTunes sales spike for Martha and the Vandellas (the crowd danced to – what else – the original Dancing In The Streets), and showed not all large gatherings in Vancouver result in police actions. Even surprise ones, which are normally a bad thing. Never pop a balloon around Grandpa while he’s sleeping and never surprise police on high alert. Am I right? Right? Right.

– Last night The Simpsons took to the Olympics, which depending on your personality as a Canadian, was hilariously awesome or pathetically offensive. For me, the most interesting part was when a preview commercial slammed Vancouver for “non-union filming”, which was changed in the actual show to a light ribbing over tax credits for filming. This, after governor Schwarzenegger, who has taken advantage of Vancouver’s film industry, both directly (Sixth Day) and indirectly (running for Governor on a platform against Canadian filming) was the last torchbearer prior to the opening ceremonies.

Photos by thedarkerside and nickfruhling.
To any American’s reading, 80% of all BC and Yukon film productions have union agreements – all of them local chapters as the same unions in the States.

Olympocalypse! The Colbert Report!

Ever wanted to see The Colbert Report live?

Well, if you can get down to Science World by 9:15AM on Wednesday and Thursday, you can!

Start Time:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:15am
End Time:
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 9:15pm
Creekside Park next to Science World
The Colbert Report is taping at Creekside Park next to Science World on Wednesday 2/17 and Thursday 2/18 at 10am to a live audience. Please arrive by 9:15am if you would like to participate. Keep in mind there is no parking in the area so public transport is the best option

Pixar looking for first hires for Vancouver studio

There has been talk for awhile now that Pixar was looking to open a studio here in town. It’s not a bad idea at all, given the high concentration of local tech and art talent. And it’s looking like those burbles are turning into action, as Pixar has apparently begun looking for some of their first hires – so far, these listings are through third-party job sites, and haven’t yet been confirmed or reflected by Pixar’s own job site, but Pixar watchers are saying it’s all for reals.

The first job listings for Pixar’s future studio in Vancouver, British Columbia have appeared on the web (here and here) at two independent websites (they’re not yet posted on the careers page at

The positions Pixar is seeking to fill are Manager of Information Systems, Production Manager, and Layout Artist. The Production Manager will report to the general manager of the Vancouver studio and their producer in Emeryille.

Each of the listings term the satellite studio Pixar Canada, a “wholly-owned subsidiary of Pixar Animation Studios”. As we’ve known since the project was announced, “the Vancouver studio will produce short-form animation focusing on legacy Pixar characters from films such as Toy Story and Cars”.

A well-placed source confirms that the new campus will be up and running “sometime in 2010”.

[VIA Pixar Blog and Facebook (thx Roger)]

Please don’t take this person-aaaaaaallllllll

Never Not Funny Live

Pardo & Woods - the world's worst Vaudeville team. I didn't realize until later that Scott Adsit from 30 Rock was in the background. Ha!

Photo by Me!.

I’m always impressed with people who can maximize a festival, particularly the ones that go longer than just a day or two – like the Vancouver Film Fest or Global’s growing comedy festival. But, I do what I can and go when I can. Yesterday, Chris from the Speedway Squad podcast invited me along to a taping of Never Not Funny live. LA comedian (warm-up man for the Tonight Show) Jimmy Pardo and company sat down in a conference room at the Westin and yukked it up for well over an hour. Chris got to talk to Pardo et al, as well as get some words in with surprise arrivals like Scott Aukerman, and I got to clunk up the show by taking them serious when they said “What’s Weird Al’s real name – let’s look it up.”

It’s not my fault I have an iPhone. It’s… Fido… no, sorry, it is my fault.

The episode of their podcast that was being taped should be up next week – I’ll make you wait until then to find out what Al’s real name is. You will be disappointed. The rest of the episode, fantastic. And it’ll be just like being there, only you weren’t and that means you didn’t give Jimmy any money, you jerks.

I’m not sure how many people would consider themselves comedy fans, other than everybody insisting that they like to laugh, but if you’re not inclined to hit the Yuk Yuk’s every once and awhile, you should consider the Comedy Festival, seeing as it’s a one week period where a lot of heavy talent from around the world come to Vancouver to play.

The festival wraps up today, with David Cross, Steve Martin, and Carol Burnett – however, there’s a second show added for Carol Burnett this coming Tuesday, where the audience gets to ask her questions. A great evening for anyone over 40 or idiots like me that watched too much TV as a kid.

Word Under, as well as On, The Street

Celabrate Literacey! C'mon... that was funny.

Celabrate Literacey! C'mon... that was funny.

Photo by Freedryk.

This Sunday, September 27th, the 15th annual Word On The Street festival is happening at the Vancouver Public Library downtown. As usual there’s a lot going on, from book readings, Q&A, a tent where you can write a postcard of encouragement to Canada’s Winter athletes, and even a stage where the Vancouver Comedy Festival is sponsoring some funny musical comedy and sketches. Basically, the block the library is on will be covered in tents filled with people, by people, for people, that like books and magazines.

But the best kept secret, is The Word Under The Street, which is the gathering of local comic and ‘zine creators and publishers in the Library basement – DO NOT MISS IT! If you’re planning on going down, don’t leave without swinging by.

Vancouver comic blog Between Staples shuts down

Iron Man figures

Comic books and the internet seem to go hand and hand.  In fact apart from debating who was the best captain of the USS Enterprise it’s almost as if the net’s primary directive is to bring people together to argue about Grant Morrison.  Pretty much everyone who reads comics has a comics blog, even I had one for a short bit before I realized that even less people read it than my personal blog.

However despite my combined love of comics and interest in blogs I have never really pimped one of Vancouver’s better blogs and certainly one of the top local comic book blogs.  Truthfully it’s the only local one I’ve read but if I’m missing one let me know in the comments.  Sadly maybe it was my lack of link love that lead to this month’s shutting down of Between the Staples [bts].  Or maybe not.

Either way Between the Staples is one of a number of interest specific blogs around Vancouver that never quite get the attention that they deserve.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone, as a few select blogs tend to sort of talk in an echo chamber about themselves and kind of ignore that there’s thousands of other people writing around Vancouver. 

I have to go now, some idiot in this chat-room keeps insisting that Janeway was the best.

Wishing it away: Matthew Good, a biography and Wikipedia

Matthew Good

Part of being a public figure is that sooner or later people are going to say things about you that you don’t agree with.  It comes with the territory, and the longer you’re going to be in the spotlight the more that’s going to happen.  Hell these days just having a blog seems to be enough for people to give you their opinion on every facet of your life, and that’s fair because if you choose to share it then you’re inviting comments.

The quickly written unauthorized biography is a staple of the music world.  Collecting previously published interviews and then hammering those into some sort of narrative structure to capitalize on someone else’s success.  Want to find out the real story of Trent Reznor, that unauthorized biography of him that I bought certainly did not tell it.  Though to be honest official biographies, or autobiographies, are rarely any more interesting or accurate.

It’s understandable that having an un-official biography written about you would be annoying.  However it’s free speech and anyone is allowed to say almost anything verbally or in print, no matter how badly written or poorly researched.  Matthew Good was never going to be happy about Eric Blair’s Ghosts in the Machine [am], but having his fans remove all mention of its existence from Wikipedia was disappointing [mg].


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