Arts & Culture
A very cool event coming up next week! The Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) is hosting “Arts in the Heart of Mount Pleasant: a Night of Short Films about Public Space”. The event will take place on Thursday, Aug 30th at 8:00 pm behind Our Town Cafe at Main & Broadway in Vancouver. Films will include a mix of local and international films about public art, neighbourhood character, creative communities and advertising in public spaces. This year’s event follows on the success of “City Shorts”, a similar movie night hosted last year by the VPSN.
The quintessential summer experience is eating outdoors. And thanks to Vancouver’s success with food trucks, outdoor eating isn’t just for restaurant patios. It can be done in any public space in the downtown core.
The Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) has received funding and operational support from the City of Vancouver though its Viva Vancouver program for a series of public space activations that will take place in the summertime, including Laser Graffiti and a Lunch Meet.
After spending two weeks in the cities that gave birth to jazz (New Orleans), blues (Memphis) and country music (Nashville), I’ve developed a new curiosity for how cities foster and sustain a vibrant music scene.
n my latest piece for Spacing Vancouver, I was fortunate to meet with Elee Kraljii Gardiner and talk about her work editing V6A, a compilation of writing from residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. You can read more about it here
I was fortunate to attend the opening of Art Deco Chic: Extravagant Glamour Between the Wars at the Museum of Vancouver.Check out my first post with Spacing Magazine on Vancouver’s Art Deco past and fashions from that period.
Oh Vancouver, sometimes you give and sometimes you take away. This week, I was excited to hear that part of my vision for a more vibrant, Bryant Park-style ambiance at the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery is coming true with plans to bring food carts en masse to this underused public space. In other less good news, Vancouver decided to uphold it’s Prohibition era drinking laws that don’t allow drinking while - gasp - watching movies. The Rio Theatre - an excellent venue that hosted live shows and movies - was threatened with having its liquor license revoked if it continues to show movies.
Initially, I wanted to write a post about creativity in general and how fulfilling and necessary it is on a personal level. However, more research is showing that it makes for great cities too. Richard Florida’s bestselling book, The Rise of the Creative Class, asserts that the key to successful cities and economic growth lies in the ability to attract this creative class and to translate that underlying advantage into creative economic outcomes (in the form of new ideas, new high-tech businesses and regional growth).
I’ve travelled to a lot of cities in North America and Europe, but New York City is one of those places I could go back to year after year. Maybe it was all the movies, tv shows, art and music set in New York, or the writers, artists, actors, architects, urbanists and musicians that made their mark on the city, but New York has always struck me as a place where great artistic and cultural ideas are born.
Ever since the City of Vancouver announced its lineup of local musicians, arts and culture for Vancouver’s 125th birthday celebration, I’ve been waiting in anticipation.
I’ve lived in Vancouver my whole life and never been to The Cheaper Show. After ten years of dismissing it as an overhyped event, crowded with self-conscious hipsters and art that could not possibly be that great at such a low price (bear with me: I am about to admit this assumption was totally unfounded and wrong), I finally decided to check it out.
So, I was at a musical last night. Yeah. I was kind of embarrassed that I would be missing the fourth game of the Stanley Cup playoffs – so much so, that I actually secretly hoped the Canucks would lose on Monday so that I wouldn’t be stuck at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre if they won the Cup on Wednesday. Well, we all know how that turned out.
It’s not often that you remember the first time you heard a band or a song, but I remember the first time I heard Nirvana. I was 10 years old attending my soccer windup party at Pizza Hut in the suburbs. Someone put Nirvana on the juke box and said it was “that new song ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’”.
If you were a kid in the 80s growing up in Vancouver (like me), Expo ‘86 is probably one of your first memories. All of your family from Ontario or rural BC or wherever came out to stay with you, you went to the fair grounds regularly and got your passport stamped at all the pavillions. You rode the Skytrain, hugged Expo Ernie, and watched the Rainbow Wars (which is sadly, no longer available on the web for some reason).
Last summer, a couple of East Vancouver artists, Erin Sinclair and Jason Uglanica, launchedThis is East Van, a community photography project that asked locals to submit photos that represent the neighbourhood. My husband, who normally takes photos of graffiti and poetry in the alleyways of Vancouver poorest area, the Downtown Eastside, submitted this photo, which was selected for the book. This is East Van was published last month so we stopped by Make It! Vancouver a few weeks ago to meet Erin and Jason and pick up a copy.
Confession: I was kind of late on the Arcade Fire bandwagon. I will admit that I only started listening to the band’s Grammy award-winning album, The Suburbs, around Christmas time.
Anyone who is interested urban/city issues will appreciate this album - with songs devoted to deconstructing romantic notions of urban life: i.e. suburbia (The Suburbs, Sprawl), instant gratification (We Used to Wait) and young hipsters (Rococo), for example.