; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: April 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

Vancouver Police Museum

For years I've been meaning to check out the Vancouver Police Museum, and a few weeks ago I finally managed to go check it out!


The museum is located at 240 East Cordova Street in Downtown Vancouver, on the top floor of the building originally used as the Coroner's Courtroom, offices, city morgue and autopsy facilities.




Inside, you'll see old school police uniforms, artifacts from notable murder cases, confiscated weapons, historical photos, and other gems from the police archives.




They have Education Programs for students including one on Forensics Science, and an upcoming exhibit on Women in the Police force.



The Vancouver Police Museum is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 9-5pm and is closed on Stat holidays.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012

Happy Bengali New Year!


The folks at UTSAB are celebrating Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year!



Join the party this Saturday, April 28th from 6-10pm at Bonsor Recreation Complex (Banquet Hall), located at 6550 Bonsor Avenue in Burnaby. This will be a fun filled evening of entertainment showcasing Bengali art and culture, with dinner being served afterwards! There will also be fabulous raffle prizes!

Tickets are available at the door for $5



Scissor Sisters - Vancouver, Commodore, June 20!

Stoked to have the Scissor Sisters back in Vancouver on June 20th at the Commodore!!

Their new album, Magic Hour, sounds like it will be totally sweet! Can't wait to hear it!


Tickets go on sale today!! 

Check out their videos for the singles Only The Horses and Shady Love! 




Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Hemloft



How cool is this? A guy named Joel Allen built a treehouse in the woods, somewhere up around Whistler. I love this idea that you could be walking about in the woods one day and you just might be lucky enough to come across this creation. I'm not a hiker, but I may have to take it up just for the hopes of running into this!



It's called The Hemloft and you can read up all about it on the website.


The location is not disclosed, but because people have caught on to its existence, it's turning out to be an illegal activity to build a treehouse on crown land, so the government may have this gorgeous piece of work dismantled.

Help Save The Hemloft!!!

(Oh and Joel, if you're reading this, I'd love to get those top secret coordinates to one day come and visit this work of art!)


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

IZM (at The Cultch to April 29)

"Dance to express, not to impress."

So are the words of IZM choreographer, Crazy Smooth, who wrote a message to celebrate International Dance Day on April 29th. What better way to celebrate it, Vancouver, than by checking out this amazing show on now until Sunday at The Cultch?

 

I don't often go out to see dance shows, because I always feel like I don't know anything about dance. But one doesn't need to have studied ballet to take in a dance performance and get something out of it. If you're a newbie to the dance world, then IZM is probably gonna be one of the best introductions for you because it is one hell of a good time.

My friend Alexis who went with me is a dancer, and she once told me that art existed to help raise the level of humanity. Watching IZM tonight, I really resonated with those words and their performance. It brought me so much hope and filled my heart with so much happiness, just to see these people dancing, living their dream, and doing their hip hop, urban dance, B-Boy moves.

It was mind bending and body bending, fantastic, and breathtaking. I was literally moved to tears of joy. There's a scene that involves a bit of sparring, and I thought, wouldn't it just be wonderful if wars were fought with dance? Bodies spiraled upwards, spiraled downwards, heads bent this way, legs the other. This is an organic and dynamic experience not to be missed!

Dance to express, not to impress.

You will be moved.

Tickets are almost sold out, so get them while you can!

Bboyizm presents IZM at The Cultch now until April 29th.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Endgame (at Little Mountain Gallery to April 28)

Well, this play sure fucked me up.



I'm not a fan of Samuel Beckett, after once trying to sit through a production of Waiting For Godot. So when I heard that Main Street Theatre was doing a Beckett play, I was highly skeptical. However, I had heard so many good things about Main Street Theatre and the tiny space that is the Little Mountain Gallery, that I just HAD to go.

And boy am I glad I did! The play is called Endgame, and yeah, I totally did not get its meaning, and I definitely need to Wikipedia the shit out of it in a bit, but everything else about this production was simply brilliant. The staging was phenomenal, and the acting was just incredible. It was creepy and captivating. The space felt like we were in some post-apocalyptic bunker with the last four remaining humans on Earth. We had Hamm, a wheelchair-bound blind guy who ordered around his helper/slave Clov, who dutifully carries out his wishes. They are joined by Hamm's legless parents, Nagg and Nell. Obviously you can see why this play messed with my mind and I need to come down from the sci-fi freakiness of it all.



This was the scariest thing I've ever seen in live theatre. I was literally on the edge of my seat, because I was terrified! This is one of the two shows that will be rounding out the Tremors Festival this week, so hurry and get a ticket before it's all over! It's definitely an exciting time in Vancouver's indie theatre scene this month!

Friday, 20 April 2012

God of Carnage



I've seen the play God of Carnage three times now. The first was in New York and boy was it a serious drama. Then there's the movie version with Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet and you know there's nothing funny about those two. Now playing at the Vancouver Playhouse, the comedy is put back in to this dark comedy. The audience was rolling in the aisles at the antics happening on stage.

What would you do if your kid hit another kid? GOD OF CARNAGE explores an explosive evening between two sets of parents who come together for a civil conversation but who wind up taking things down to the playground level. It's a well-written noteworthy play that exposes the juvenile behaviour in all of us.



Vickie Papavs plays Annette, who probably gets the most laughs out of the audience with her Carol Burnett-esque delivery and physical comedic timing. The set design is spot on, with its minimalist starkness that also works itself into the play by helping separate the two sets of adversaries with its finely balanced symmetry. It begins with the two sets of parents at odds with each other, but as the play progresses, individuals end up switching teams, occasionally making it the men vs the women, or those with similar beliefs siding with one another, even if it's against their own partner.

The Broadway production was only done in 2009, so it's great to see this being mounted in Vancouver so soon afterwards. If it weren't for the Vancouver Playhouse, audiences may have had to wait even longer to witness this piece of work. There is definitely a lot more humour in this production which helps alleviate the tension of the situation while also shining a spotlight on the absurdities.

God of Carnage runs now until May 5 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets can be purchased online.

With the news that the Vancouver Playhouse was winding down its operations, it had to be touched upon at last night's premiere. There is a misconception (me included) that what this meant was that building was going to lay empty. I was glad to hear that it isn't the case at all and that other theatre companies would use it and that there are plans for future shows already coming to that space! But with nearly half a century under their belt, losing the Vancouver Playhouse company is definitely a blow to the theatre scene. So get out there and support local theatre! Going to see God of Carnage is the perfect way to show your support.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Giant Invisible Robot

The Tremors festival really is a cool event taking place in town right now. Without it, we wouldn't be getting a chance to see all these independent theatre shows being put on with such calibre of talent and production value.

The last time I attended a theatre where there were multiple performances going on was across the pond in London, England. We arrived for some Cirque-type performance, alongside tuxedos and evening gowns attending a symphony one room over and other live plays taking place within the same space. I thought it was a superb idea to have a theatre housing all sorts of different performances, where a variety of patrons get to mingle with one another before heading off to their respective shows.

At The Cultch on Tuesday night, I experienced this again. With The Last Days of Judas Iscariot playing in The Historic Theatre at the Cultch, only mere metres away in the more intimate Vancity Culture Lab, the show Giant Invisible Robot ran simultaneously to a sold out audience.



Giant Invisible Robot is produced by Stars and Hearts and written and performed by the amazingly talented Jayson McDonald. For a full hour, this one-man show tells the story of pain and escape, through multiple characters that include an army general (General Panic), a woman at a cafe, a mad scientist, a stay-in-school motivational speaker, an innocent boy, an abused teen, and the man who grows up alongside his invisible friend, the Giant Invisible Robot.

McDonald's manic energy is a wonder to watch. He holds you captivated in the palm of his hand. He holds you down and tickles you until you're in stitches, then reaches right inside and breaks your heart completely.

Giant Invisible Robot is on now at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch, until April 21st.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Hello! You Fool! ROXETTE IN VANCOUVER!

If you haven't already heard, Roxette is coming to Vancouver on Wednesday, September 12!

Yes, ROXETTE!!



So hold on tight, you know it'll be a bit dangerous!

Not only that, but opening act is none other than Canadian 80s band Glass Tiger!! Someday!!!

Who's going? I know I am! Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ubuntu (The Cape Town Project)

Make your way now to the Firehall Arts Centre to catch Theatrefront's production of Ubuntu (The Cape Town Project), on now until April 21.


This is the story of a young man from South Africa, who makes his way to Canada to search for his father. At first, it's a simple quest, but his journey becomes a lot more complex than expected. Weaving through time and space, Ubuntu incorporates dance, movement, music, and song into its storytelling. It's joyous, heartbreaking, funny, and absolutely intriguing. The mystery that unfolds before you will leave you completely astonished. All the actors were superb, and this is definitely a show well worth seeing!

Ubuntu (The Cape Town Project) is wonderful!

It runs April 12 to 21, 2012 at the Firehall Arts Centre:
8pm Tuesdays through Saturdays
2pm Saturday & Sunday matinees
1pm Wednesday matinee

You can buy your tickets online here! And if you're feeling thrifty, check out Tickets Tonight to see if you can snag a pair!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Happy Vaisakhi Vancouver!

Today is the Vaisakhi celebration in Little India (49th street and Main)!

This is a harvest festival in the Sikh culture, and also serves as a New Year Day.

I walked up 49th Street from Fraser towards Main, and it was so lovely to be in out in the sun and seeing all these houses with tents set up in front, handing out plates of delicious South Asian food!



If you miss out on the celebrations today, not to worry! They will take the festivities and fun out to Surrey next weekend! Happy Vaisakhi!



Friday, 13 April 2012

Weekend Tips

Sun Run



I got roped into doing the Vancouver Sun Run the other day. Yes, that's right. I haven't ran in years and now I'm doing 10K with only two days notice/prep. I'm likely to walk the whole thing, just saying! Who else is going to be out with the masses this weekend?

Tremors Festival 2012

Trailer - Tremors Festival 2012 from Rumble Productions on Vimeo.


Rumble Productions’ emerging arts festival returns to showcase contemporary works created by some of Canada’s most innovative new companies. Shows run across the city from April 10 - 28!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

At one point, you could clearly tell that five different theatre companies were involved in this epic and ambitious production currently being mounted at The Cultch. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is presented by Rumble Productions and the Cultch, is a Pound of Flesh Theatre production, in association with Neworld Theatre and Pacific Theatre. It may have been a case of having too many cooks in the kitchen, but at the same time it's great to see independent theatre companies working together in the city.

I'm not religious so I'm not familiar with the Bible. I briefly know the story of Judas, but I'm pretty sure several parts of the show flew over my head because of my ignorance of Sunday school. The show itself began all mystical, and then turns itself on its head into a comedic semi-satire on religion.


Taking place in a circus of a courtroom located in "downtown Purgatory" we are introduced to the huge cast (I counted 14 actors!) that included a grumpy judge (my favourite!), a dim-witted bailiff, Saint Monica (a delight!), two clashing lawyers, and a slew of witnesses called up to testify in the case against Judas. The witnesses include Mother Theresa, Sigmund Freud, and Satan (my other favourite of the night!)

There's also Judas, Judas' mother, "Mary Mags", the jurors, and many more characters - each of whom get their own moment in the spotlight, which at times works and is welcomed, but at other times only manages to drag the play out longer than it needed to be. By the end, you could hear the audience squirming in their seats, which could have also been due to the stuffiness and heat of the theatre.

I felt myself being distracted by the social commentary thrown into the mix, making references to modern day prejudices while trying to expose the hypocrisy of people like Freud or Mother Theresa. What exactly was on trial here? The fragmented scenes didn't feel that cohesive to me, as I struggled to figure out what thread I was supposed to follow, what message I was supposed to get. The acting was over the top at some points, but was balanced out by the grumpy judge and Satan, who were both wonderful to watch.

But just because I was confused by it, doesn't mean you will be. I chalk it up to my lack of Biblical knowledge, so if you're better versed, you may get more out of it. I don't have a verdict for this one either positively or negatively. The jury's still out, so why not check out the show yourself and you can be the judge.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is playing at The Cultch until April 21st.

The Cultch has also announced its upcoming 2012/2013 season!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Marine Building

On the corner of Hastings and Burrard sits this majestic building from Vancouver's recent past (1929). If you're an Art Deco enthusiast, you're likely to join the handful of people who make the journey to this building just to photograph its front entrance. Go inside, check it out, and read up on its history and where it came from here!





Monday, 9 April 2012

Marina and the Diamonds

Just got my ticket to see Marina and the Diamonds at the Commodore!! Sooo thrilled!!

July 15, 2012 - 8pm

Who else is going?!

This is the song that made me fall INSTANTLY in love with her! Shampain!



Her new album, Electra Heart, comes out this month and from the tracks that have surfaced already, it sounds INCREDIBLE!! Here's one of them:

Friday, 6 April 2012

Escape To Portland

Perhaps you'll want to take a weekend trip to Portland, Oregon this long weekend?

I recently went on a four day getaway to Portland. It was my second time there and of course, it rained the entire time! I expected that, so I brought my rain boots with me. I had gotten them before the trip and was excited to break them in and knew that they would totally help during my Portland escape.

In Portland, I mainly ate and drank and then ate and drank some more. We hit up VooDoo Donuts, Simpatica, and Bunk Sandwiches, all places we visited the first time round and I needed to go back to.

We did check out a few new places, including Clyde Common at the Ace Hotel.


And the Douglas Fir Lounge, across the bridge, which seriously had the coolest retro room ever.






We wandered around the neighbourhoods, most notably up Hawthorne Avenue, and I detoured over to visit the Langlitz Leathers store, as I'd heard so much about it and really wanted to visit this institution!



The folks there couldn't have been any nicer!! The service was super friendly, and their products are of the finest quality. If you need motorcycle gear or leather in general, this is definitely one of most respected and recognizable places to check out! I bought a t-shirt there and they had free calendars as well for customers. Sweet! Thank you Langlitz!!


All in all, it was a great getaway, and taking the Amtrak Cascades down and back was the perfect way to go, as I could relax with some magazines and movies for the journey. Can't wait to visit Portland again!

Happy long weekend to everyone!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Rubbout!

Are we feeling kinky, Vancouver?



Rubbout is an international gay event geared towards rubber fetishists, which means this weekend is gonna be full of latex and leather! From April 5-8, the annual weekend is renowned amongst the gay fetish community and acts like our little version of Folsom, but with more of a rubber focus.

Rubbout 2012 Weekend takes place April 5-8 and includes numerous parties, get togethers, and a big dance night! You ca buy your tickets online, at Little Sister's, and Priape.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Herschel Herschel Herschel!



It was an impulse buy.

I didn't INTEND on getting one, let alone two.

But I did feel the need to get a stylish iPad holder, and had heard about a little Vancouver company called Herschel.

The Herschel Supply Company makes some REALLY COOL THINGS. And yes, they are Vancouver based! How fun is that?

So I went in search of a Herschel iPad holder, wandered the boutique shops in Gastown - some of whom (like One of a Few) do carry Herschel, but not what I was looking for. For a Vancouver-based company, it is pretty hard to locate where to buy Herschel in Vancouver! There's also a shop on Granville Street downtown called Underworld that carries Herschel Supply Co. I eventually ended up at Simply Computing over on Broadway and they had the iPad holders in stock. Seriously, how cute is this!?



I was all set to get it and leave, until I turned around and was smacked with a wall of Herschel bags. What!? My iPad case went clattering to the ground in disbelief. I quickly picked it up before anyone else could swipe it, but it was lunchtime on a weekday, so I was in the clear. Anyhow, I wandered over to some of the Herschel messenger/laptop bags, and fondled their straps, caressed their zippers, and decided to open one up. I was greeted with a wonderfully bright red candy-striped lining on the inside, and a fur-lined section to hold laptops or other delicates.

With its simple exterior, it's really what's on the inside that counts, as they say. I was in heaven. I was in love.



And I needed to buy that love. So I did.

Hello, LOVER.



I walked away with two Herschel items that day. If you're looking for some fun bags or wallets or iPad cases, then please think local, please think Herschel!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Grimes

Let's lend our support to another Vancouver musician who is causing a bit of a stir with her awesome new album, Visions. Her name is Grimes, and she graduated from Lord Byng Secondary! Congrats on the newly found success!

Here's the latest single, Oblivion!



Check out Grimes official website here!

Congratulations to Community Spirit Awards Winners!

Last week I volunteered for the United Way of the Lower Mainland at their annual Community Spirit Awards. It was a great evening to reconnect with people I worked with last Fall and to be smiling and knowing that I was pitching in again to do good community work.


I love United Way. They do such amazing work for the people of the Lower Mainland. If you're not sure what they're all about, you should check out their website. In brief, they focus on three main categories: Early Childhood (getting kids ready for school by the age of 5, including things like childcare for young mothers, nutrition/breakfast programs), Middle Childhood (prevention programs like afterschool study groups, Boys and Girls clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters), and Seniors (funding programs that help seniors live independently, transportation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping).

They couldn't do it with your support! So congratulations to everyone who helped raise money this year for the United Way campaign! You can check out their Flickr page for photos from the event!