Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category



Anybody know what’s up with this? It’s in different odd places around my neighbourhood, and it’s been there since I moved onto the street in 2004.

Spamalot in Vancouver: Spam ei kohtuullinen ajaksi email


I’ve been a Monty Python fan for years, and the thing that drew me in was Monty Python and the Holy Grail [wp].  Like most good nerds I could recite complete passages of the film from memory, having watched it more times than anyone should ever watch any film.  Later I’d get into the show through the audio recordings, then eventually renting the VHS tapes of the BBC show. 

Yet I was oddly unwilling to pay good money to see Monty Python’s Spamalot.  Some of it was that of all the Pythons Eric Idle, the driving force behind Spamalot, had always been my least favorite of the group and had always seemed the most willing to cash in on the group’s fame no matter how tacky. 

And tacky it is, though in the glorious tacky manner that both embraces and mocks its translation from low budget film to Broadway musical.  In a lot of ways this is a meta-musical, playing with the form the same way that the movie played with the form of movie theatre.  Songs such as “Diva’s Lament” and “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” are often less about the plot, than about the fact that a musical is going on.  Some songs are slightly altered versions from the movie, while Idle brings “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” in from Life of Brian to help fill the show out.


The Device To Root Out Evil has finished its work and is moving on to Calgary

Device to Root Out Evil

Device to Root Out Evil

almost gone

I used to walk past the Device To Root Out Evil everyday going between the Skytrain station and my apartment without ever really thinking about it. I liked it well enough, though not into art I always found it pretty cool looking and it was a nice way to break up the monotony of the West End’s new condo development.

Sadly it broke up the monotony too well, as some apartment owners complained that it was blocking their view of the floating gas station in the bay and Hell hath no fury like a bunch of no nothings with a petition to frighten the city government with.

Bought from Stanford University for three hundred thousand dollars after the university commissioned its creation by American artist Dennis Oppenheim and then rejected it for being too controversial since it is an upside down church. Ironically the only controversy in Vancouver was about housing prices affected by it.

The sculpture is off to Calgary. Yup, we’re now officially less open minded and more money obsessed than Calgary. Way to go Vancouver.

Further reading on the Device To Root Out Evil:

  • CutltureKioskque [ck]
  • Stanford Daily Online [sdo]

A very Vancouver specific Birthday to you


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I saw this birthday card in an IGA on Main Street. It’s very Vancouver, and very Expo ’86. Has anyone ever recieved a birthday card like this one?

Did you get the right My Little Pony doll you were wanting, or did you get the Wayne Gretzky Barbie Doll?

And in the crafty news department…

I was invited to go to the Canadian book launch of local author, Kim Werker. Her new crochet book is “Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet revolution”. Another Vancouverite, Cynthia of Hula-la Design, did some of the technical and non-technical illustrations for this book.

There are spaces still available for the book launch, so you can RSVP if you’d like to attend:

When: October 23, from 6 – 9 p.m
Where: Urban Yarns in Point Grey
Where to RSVP : Send an email here or call them at 604-228-1122

I met Kim Werker once at the Fibrefestival in Abbotsford a few years ago after reading her website I was all excited to meet her. It kind of felt like I was meeting someone famous. I’ll bring my camera to this event and add another photo to my Paparazzi collection. Currently my famous people photos include: The Trailer Park Boys, Gene Simmons and Elizabeth Hurley.

Krause Berry Farms

Krause Farms 2

Yes, the blueberries are ready for picking. There are wagons for the most enthusiastic of berry pickers. Good luck with the raspberries at this point in time, though. The donkey was hiding out, but the brochure assures that it is there. There are pies to be had, both fresh (phone ahead because they sell out fast) and frozen: raspberry, strawberry, peach berry (mmm) and others! Langley’s 30-year-old Krause Berry Farms has all that and a playground for the kids.

Yet…who cares about that?

The best things about the berry farm were these great examples of naïve art:

Chuck Berry


Marion Berry

Of course, you want to rush out to celebrate this exuberant local folk art! An easy trip off the Trans-Canada, here’s the complete address:

6179 248 Street
Langley, BC

Tel: (604) 856-5757

Vancouver Comicon

I have heard stories about the Comicon in Los Angeles (also referred to somewhere as the “nerd prom”. Heh.) and decided to go to the one in Vancouver yesterday. According to this website, they have these events a few times per year.

This was a small, friendly affair and, I have to admit, the quietest event I think I’ve ever attended. Don’t get me wrong, people were there. But the room was quiet, with people sitting on the floor sorting through boxes of magazines, reading and concentrating (I guess.). There was a table with some illustrated novels and also one table of action figures and other toys.

I went to the Comicon to see the artists as they were drawing and I bought a copy of a cool drawing from RobinThompson of the Creature from the Black Lagoon for 50 cents. It will be framed!

Here’s more details about the next event:

Documentary Film Festival

The Documentary Film Festival is on. I suppose it’s long past time once more to fill up my brain with enough stuff to make me interesting at parties again.

I do like this one comment from audience member Helen Kuk about the docs on right now that gets straight to the point: “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen films as entertaining, eclectic and smart as DOXA’s, and it’s not because I don’t have cable”.

Helen, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. But who the hell doesn’t have cable? I’m pretty sure that’s just what people say when they want other people to think they read more. No proof. Just a strong suspicion…

For you crafty types…

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:


Canstruction – on this weekend


This week someone at work told me about the Canstruction display that was happening at Canada Place all week. I hadn’t heard about this event before, but it’s been happening every year since 2003. I had no idea! Over the last couple of months I had received a couple of emails with pictures of these types of can displays, but without any information. I didn’t realize this was happening here.

Canstruction is a free event and they accept cash and food donations that go to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. These donations along with all the non-perishables and cans of food that were used to create the sculptures. It’s a lot of food. Someone is going to be eating an awful lot of sardines because there was a large car display made entirely out of black and gold sardine cans. My contribution? Cans of tuna, corn and black beans.

I took lots of pictures. You can see them all here.

The event is open all weekend, but it’s over at 5:00 pm tomorrow. Bring some cans of food and your camera.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.