Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Hockey Art Show!

A Charitable event to aid Canuck Place

The Hockey Art Show! Opening February 11, 2007 4pm – 8pm

Havana Restaurant 1212 Commercial Drive will exhibit “The Hockey Art Show!” in their gallery from February 4, 2007 to February 24, 2007. Paintings, photography and sculpture from many artists who love the game will be on exhibit. Sale of artwork will commence at the Opening February 11, 2007 4pm – 8pm and charitable proceeds will go to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Artists will contribute 50% to 100% of the purchase price to Canuck Place, Havana Restaurant has donated the space for the event and Bill Gotts owner of The Doctor Vigari Gallery 1312 Commercial Drive will curate.

Artists include Mark Gaskin, Judson Beaumont, Sergio Finamore, Saul Miller, Robert Chaplin, the incomparable “King” Richard Brodeur and Lisa Ovens photographer and author of “Hockey and High Heels”.

For those who love hockey and art this is your opportunity to buy art and make a charitable donation to Canuck Place.


Ken Conquer

Cell 604-644-0552

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Party to End The Highway @ the Waldorf

The Work Less Party and entice you to
Come get tropical at another climate-changing

Stop the Highway Party!
one day you'll want to tell yer grandkids you were there...

At the fabulous WALDORF - 1489 E. Hastings 1 bl. E. of Clark Doors 8:30 (til 2am) • $15 at door • $12 in advance at or the Vegetarian Resource Centre, 2250 Commercial Dr.

Featuring two rooms full of East Van's hottest freaks, stoked to shake the
foundations…check this lineup:

In the POLYNESIAN ROOM - crunching the concrete with

• ALL PURPOSE - 7-piece freeflyin funkadelica
• Timothy Wisdom - allout dancefloor mayhem
• Language Arts - art/folk/jazzhop stylins
• DJ Corrior - block party breaks
• Your Little Pony - takin' it OFF

In the WAHINI ROOM - smoothin' it down with

• Mazeguider - chill-side techno
• Nomadic Noize - global gypsy grooves
• Tarran the Tailor - e.van eclectic
• Mind of a Snail - shadow theatre
• Dawn & Ryan - jugglymagicshow
• Cornerstone - acapella roots liberation
• Sunskript (Rup Sidhu) - live-loopin-beatboxin fun

Plus…make-yer-own SUPERHERO CAPE!
and more, much more...

DID YOU KNOW the BC Govt. wants to blast more freeways through our city?
Crazy but true. But it’s NOT a done deal.
We can stop this madness. Say NO to highway-building – come out and shake
your ass.

To find out about The Gateway Project and see video of the last Stop the
Highway Party visit

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Visual Art: City Blocks by Martha Jones

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Upcoming: Twisted Poets Literary Salon

Monday Feb 19, 2007

Katherine McNeil and Jeremy Waller featured @

"Bump N Grind" with poets and guest speakers. Bring your best, favourite, newest or oldest poems and share in an evening of literary surprises.
Time: 7pm Sign Up, 7:30pm Open Mic & Literary Salon
2007 Guests:
February 19th:
Katherine McNeil and Jeremy Waller

March 19th: Louie Adell, Jacqueline A. Colquhoun, Kath Street, Adrian

April 16th (National Poetry Month): Evelyn Lau

May - Nov: Names/groups will be announced at a later date.
Location: The Bump N Grind Cafe, 916 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC
Hosts: Bonnie Nish and Sita Carboni (Pandora's Collective)

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Poem: Marni Norwich

photo by Peter Valentine

Commercial Drive

I haven’t forgotten the cavorters,
the 4 a.m. ruckusers storming down the street yelling
“I want to get some sleep”
like a psychotic mantra,
and me fresh-snatched from my own dreams.
Still, I love this place:
the #20 Victoria, snaking its way up the Drive
like a lumbering tortoise,
full of all of God’s creation,
impossibly inching, heavy with its varied load,
as if diversity and voluble discord
were actually a weight factor.
Restaurants and cafes teeming with patrons,
spilling out onto the streets at the slightest hint of sunshine
despite that it’s 3 p.m. on a workday.
The way that people know my name:
shopkeepers, tarot readers, buskers, panhandlers
and there is no more hiding from anyone
than from myself.
And the mood of the day is palpable
and catching
as if a giant, invisible wave
had run its course
from Venables through 8th.
Here, the past is tangible as the present:
Former friends, ex boyfriends and acquaintances
tip their hats to me,
remind me, by their persistent presence,
to mind my karma.
Hippies, yuppies, old Italian men and
lesbian couples
somehow share the same air
and even pass each other by on the sidewalk
at times
without serious commotion.
If this street is a microcosm
I like the world better
than I would have thought:
all of humanity distilled to this one, vivid stretch.
Bring me my Commercial Drive over
Kitsilano or Crescent Beach or West Point Grey any day.
Despite its blemishes,
I have chosen this patch of the planet
as much as it has chosen me.
I have planted myself here
amongst the wildflowers and orchids,
in this lush, improbable space.

copyright 2006

Marni Norwich is a poet and journalist. She's also a local entrepreneur with her writing, editing and consulting business, Inkcat Media ("

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Invite: Theatre In the Raw Celebrates 13 Years!

Photo: Theatre In The Raw Artistic Director Jay Hamburger

The Drive's premiere community theatre company, Theatre in the Raw, is celebrating 13 years serving Commercial Drive and East Vancouver.

Recent Casts and Theatre Friends/Members are invited to Celebrate 13 years of Theatre In the Raw

Date: Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Time: 7:30pm – 11:30pm

Location: The Rhizome Café

Address: 317 East Broadway, Vancouver

Phone: Theatre In the Raw Office: 604-708-5448

Rhizome Café: 604-872-3166

Light Food & Music provided ~ buy your own drinks ~

Please RSVP to:

Theatre In the Raw started out of a storefront cafe called La Quena Cafe on the Drive, in 1994. They rehearsed and performed there for nearly three years, producing over 125 one-acts in over 43 nights of theatre within a period of time. While housed at La Quena they applied for and received a Canada Council Exploration grant, allowing the theatre to go on two tours along the Squamish corridor and Sunshine/Sechelt coasts. There was an outdoor theatre day of 16 performances at Grandview Park with the help of a Vancity Credit Union community grant. They raised a tent along with a wooden stage, and had over a thousand people come and see a full day free of Theatre in the Park. They have since performed in over 45 venues both in the southern/interior half of British Columbia and in Seattle, Washington for the 1998 Seattle Fringe Festival.

Since 1997, have moved toward mainstage performance work. Our mainstage plays usually consists of two to three acts with a show run of 2 to 4 consecutive weeks. TiTraw is also committed to organizing mini-tours, in and out of the Lower Mainland of BC for many of their dramas. This gives the actors, running crew, and administration members of the company greater experience with the nuts and bolts of running a semi-professional travelling theatre company. It allows for quality, risk-taking artistic works with substance. Theatre In The Raw have produced nine full-length mainstage plays. Five were revived classical plays and they have premiered four original Canadian playworks in Vancouver.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Brief History of Commercial Drive

From Wikipaedia
Photo by Mussels

The Drive was originally a skid road for dragging logs to the harbour. It was named "Park Drive" but renamed "Commercial Drive" in 1911, possibly to avoid confusion with other Park Drives in Vancouver. Commercial Drive ends in the south at 16th Avenue, the former end of Vancouver/start of City of South Vancouver, when it does a diversion to Victoria Drive. A limited light industrial Commercial Street carries on to 22nd Avenue, and around the Selkirk school there, until 54th Avenue as a residential street.

In 1891 the Drive became part of the Vancouver-New Westminster Interurban, a streetcar line. The streetcar line encouraged the growth of local businesses and residences, an influence that is still felt today. The Interurban ceased operation in 1954.

After World War I many Italian immigrants settled in eastern Vancouver, and the northern part of Commercial Drive came to be known as "Little Italy".

Commercial Drive was the center of a prosperous suburb during the 1920s, but declined during the Great Depression and never significantly recovered until World War II. One result of this is a significant number of historical buildings and residences in the area.

During the 1960s, immigration from Asian countries began to dilute the European influence.

In the years around 2000, local outlets of multi-national companies became the target of anti-globalization protesters and civil disobedience campaigns. As of 2005, there are still very few large retail or restaurant chains on Commercial Drive.

In 2002, many restaurant owners were upset with the infamous "dancing police"; bylaw enforcement officers who ticketed establishments hosting any dancing to live music.

In late 2004, Commercial Drive gained national notoriety when the media revealed that several cafes there were openly selling marijuana. The issue has publicised the city's lack of enforcement of Canadian drug laws, and demonstrated a commitment to its stated "Four Pillars" drug strategy.

In early summer 2005, Commercial Drive hosted its first car-free festival, in which 16 blocks were cleared of all vehicles and tens of thousands of people celebrated with walks, dancing, and food.

Take me to the full Wikipaedia entry...

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Profile: RC Weslowski a.k.a. Randy Jacobs

The following quote is excerpted from an interview by Bonnie Nish, found on the Pandora’s Collective website.

Local singer-song writer Trevor Spilchen, calls Jacobs, “the glue that holds the slam community together.

“He is a great performer and a great guy and you can quote me on that.”

Trevor is not alone in his estimation of what RC Weslowski has become in this tight-knit community. Over the years RC has become an icon and there are so many reasons one could give for this having happened.

For one RC’s words count. If you want to see someone perform who gives it their all, who tells you what they believe, who shares what they think really matters in this sometimes insane world, then that person is RC. But he goes beyond words; he is also action. President of the Vancouver Poetry House, a member of the current Vancouver Poetry Slam Team and coordinator of the recent Canadian Festival of the Spoken Word 2005, RC’s journey into the performing arts began ten years ago...

For the complete interview, go here.

These days Jacobs is busy promoting the upcoming Individual World Poetry Slam (January 31 – February 4). The Commercial Drive event will feature 72 poets from across North America and parts of Europe.

For those unfamiliar with just exactly how slam poetry works, Jacobs will be facilitating a free Slam Workshop by this Wednesday, January 24 at 7pm at the Britannia Library.

Hear the master in action at

Music: Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas will be onstage with the Bruno Hubert Trio on Friday, January 26th, 8:45 - 11:15pm @ "The Libra Room" (1608 Commercial Drive) singing mostly standards.

Band cover is by passing the hat (suggested $5-$10 per person)

Then join him again on Valentine's Day at the "Rime". He'll be there from 8-11pm with the Bruno Hubert trio again, singing mostly love songs...

A perfect atmosphere for you and your sweetheart! Cover will be $8, make your reservations ahead of time - (604)215-1130

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Visual Art: Madeleine Wood

Madeleine Wood has a long history with drawing and painting. She studied at Emily Carr Institute and Concordia University for her MFA and exhibits regularly in the lower mainland.

She is having a showing of her spectacular work at the Ian Tan Gallery (2202 Granville Street) from February 3 - 22, 2007

Join her at a special opening reception Saturday, February 3, 2 - 4 pm.

For more info, call 604-738-1077


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Profile: Monica Lee – Musician On the Move

Monica Lee is an Alberta girl, run away to the West Coast to do what she loves most - make music.

She might have started singing from the word go...only her mother knows , but she does say she sang all the time. First piano, then choir, cello, and viola, then no more cello, then clarinet, trumpet, base clarinet and flute, recorder and kazoos too, then a guitar and back to piano ... She loves them all and has made better friends with some. Starting at open mics in Victoria in the early 90's, she made the big move to Vancouver in 1998 and began gigging with her CD, Feeling Fences. Several incarnations of The Monica Lee Band have come and gone, all the while honing her skill as a band leader and song writer. Later, jazz school opened a whole new way of thinking. A new woman , in 2003 Monica started what is today the voice and sound of Monica Lee.

Lee states among her influences Carole King, Veda Hille, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Tom Petty and the sound of planes passing by.

Whether she is carrying the audience through a melancholic love song, or bouncing them around the room Calypso-style with her trademark East Van anthem, “Down On the Drive”, Lee is always charming and captivating. Watching her play so many instruments as masterfully as she does, is awe-inspiring.

Producer Marc LEspérance is both drummer and backup vocalist and is producing the band’s first CD. Marc has produced many successful artists’ debut discs, like PoGirls first self-titled CD, The Salteens debut album, several albums with Ray Condo And The Ricochets. Marc has had an enormous impact on the local and national music scene and is excited about Monica Lee's work.

"Monica is one of the most talented singers and songwriters I have ever worked with. Playing her songs every week at the Libra Room is an enormous pleasure!

Late last year she had the honour of having three songs off her Seasons Greetings CD put into a made-for CBC and APTN documentary A Safer Sex Trade, directed by another Drive denizen, Carolyn Allain, about the sex trade in Vancouver, including the haunting tracks, Fall Away, and Judy Lea.

She was then asked to compose original music for the rest of the film.

“I learned a great deal in the process,” Lee said, “and I’ve discovered I truly love working within this medium. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to do sound for film.”

The film is set to air on CBC Newsworld’s The Lens - Channel 26 on Tuesday Jan 23, at 7pm & 10 pm, Jan 24th at 1am, Saturday, Jan 27th at 12am, 7pm and 10pm PST

Go to the CBC Newsworld schedule go to and check for your time zone.

You can also visit the producer’s website at for show times, cast and crew bios and the film's trailer.

The documentary was also featured recently in the
Vancouver Sun.
Monica Lee every Thursday evening at the Libra Room....for more details visit her website or myspace page...addresses below.


By the way, there is a rumour going around that the next music in Monica's life will be a wedding march!

Sorry to break it to all you single guys.

Buy her CD anyway!

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Profile: Kagan Goh – Poet, Journalist

Kagan Goh has found that telling the stories of strangers can hit very close to home.

He had been working on a documentary film called "STOLEN MEMORIES" about an old photo album his brother purchased at a garage sale. After a five year quest, he discovered the book was among all the personal possessions of a Japanese Canadian family which were seized by the Canadian government or stolen by looters when the family was forced into an internment camp during the Second World War.

But the story didn’t end with the recovery and return of the album to its rightful owners.

His detective sidekick in the odyssey was an extraordinary Japanese Canadian woman in her seventies named Mary Seki. Mary would drive him around in her beat-up Nissan pick-up truck going from door to door, visiting Japanese family after family in search of clues to the whereabouts of the family.

During the search, Mary would tell Goh about her brother Akihide John "Rocky" Otsuji. After the Second World War and the end of the internment, the Japanese Canadians were given the choice to either repatriate to Japan or go east of the Rockies. Mary and her family were amongst the thousands repatriated to Japan. The Otsuji family left Vancouver on the fifth and last "repatriation boat" to Japan on December 24, 1946 except for Akihide John, who chose to remain in Canada. John’s response was he thought his family was crazy to go to a "war-torn" Japan that had lost the war.

Akihide broke the law by going back to his hometown of Vancouver, only to be labeled a rebel, a black sheep and a criminal.

Goh was telling the story of Akihide John Otsuji to his friend Kali Jones when she suddenly exclaimed: "Akihide! You mean Aki?!!!" Apparently Aki was imprisoned in Okhalla prison where he met Kali’s father, Harry Jones, who by strange coincidence was his cellmate and best friend. Aki and Harry used to jitterbug dance to Glen Miller in their cell and drive the inmates below them crazy. Aki always dreamed of being an entertainer, a crooner like Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby. Behind bars Aki would sing to lift his cellmates’ spirits, his song travelling and escaping the confines of the prison walls. Harry still remembers with sorrow how Aki used to cry in his sleep at night longing for his mother.

According to Harry, Aki was a well-liked guy and never encountered any prejudice from his fellow cellmates. The world outside the prison wasn’t nearly as tolerant.

After serving a year’s sentence, Aki was released but the law had it out for him. Wanting to break his spirit the police looked for the slightest excuse to arrest him again and he was arrested within 24 hours of his release. Aki picked up a drug habit in prison from his fellow inmates since, as Harry described it: "Misery loves company." When he was eventually released he evaded the cops by pretending to be Chinese and hiding out in Chinatown.

Aki was considered a black sheep in the Japanese Canadian community. In reaction he rejected his Japanese heritage, calling himself an "Irish American".

He became schizophrenic and was put into Essendale mental asylum where he died of a broken heart.

Of the hundreds of personal stories Goh heard, Akihide John Otsuji’s tragic story symbolizes a microcosm within a macrocosm of the Japanese Canadian community’s experience of suffering from racial discrimination, isolation and loneliness.

"Aki’s Ghost", which airs on CBC Radio 1's (690 AM) OUTFRONT next Tuesday, January 23rd at 8:43pm, will be told from Mary Seki's and Harry Jone’s point-of-view: an intimate and impassioned reminiscence from his sister and his cellmate whom want to vindicate Aki's name and redress past wrongs.

Born 1969 in Singapore, Kagan has traveled through southeast Asia, Australia, England, and has lived on both Canadian coasts and in Toronto. The son of Goh Poh Seng – another Drive resident and one of Asia’s finest poets, Kagan is an award winning filmmaker, a spoken word poet, romance novelist and actor. He was diagnosed as manic depressive 9 years ago on Valentines Day. A central theme running through his work is his exploration of mental illness as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. He is actively involved in the mental health community, using Eastern and Western approaches to self-healing.

Recently Kagan was a featured performer in a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and completely improvised event at the Roundhouse called ANU.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Upcoming: Rage

East Van’s Green Thumb Theatre brings back its award–winning 2005 production of Michelle Riml’s play, a two-hander for young adults about a student and his counsellor battling about violence.

January 30-Febuary 11 8pm

Waterfront Theatre

Upcoming: Famous Puppet Death Scenes

Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop returns to the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival with its hit from last year, a bizarre assemblage of supposed moments from puppet history. Here’s how to push the boundaries of an art form that’s clearly far from ossified.

January 25 – 27 8pm

Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Upcoming: Veda Hille

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has commissioned Veda Hille to write a new set of songs called This Riot Life that are destined for an album release later this year. She will also be presenting a special version of her song cycle Field Study, a collection of songs about the natural world.

January 28 8pm

Vancouver East Cultural Centre

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Profile: Britannia Art Gallery

The Britannia Art Gallery showcases the work of local artists in the newly renovated space in the Adult Lounge of the Library at Britannia Community Services Centre at 1661 Napier Street (at Commercial Drive) in Vancouver. Each month we show 2-dimensional work on the walls and 3-dimensional work in the display case. Interested community members are invited to attend an opening reception on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Artists are usually in attendance making openings a great opportunity to talk to artists about their work. Openings are free and the public is welcome to attend. Catering by Open Sesame (with artistic flare inspired by each new exhibition's theme!) Watch for the posters!
CURATOR - Call Haruko Okano at 604-874-5916 or leave a message at 604-718-5800 or email Haruko at

See the the Wednesday, January 10th post (Visual Art) for current exhibits.
Upcoming Exhibits:
Feb 7 - Mar 4, 2007
Home is a Scattering of Wings Across the Sky,
photographs by Danielle Gauld
City Blocks,
installation by Martha Jones
Opening Reception: Wed, Feb 7, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Live performance by Jimmim Pan at 7:00 pm, Artist talks at 7:30 pm

Mar 7 - Mar 31, 2007
Figurative Paintings
by Stanley Mishkin
Figurative Sculptures
by David Robinson
Opening Reception: Wed, Mar 7, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Live performance by Glen Watts at 7:00 pm, Artist talks at 7:30 pm

The Second Sunday Program offers a public opportunity to hear artists give presentations, demonstrations and workshops. These events happen on the second Sunday of the month year 'round except when the gallery is closed for statutory holidays. Free to the public. Next talks:
Jan 14, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, presentation by Danielle Gauld
Danielle Gauld's work, entitled "home is a scattering of wings across the sky..." will be exhibited from February 7th to March 3rd in the Britannia Gallery. In this talk, she will speak about the changes that have occurred in her photography since she moved to Vancouver two years ago. She came from a small town in Northwestern Ontario, trading the vast, sweeping expanses of water, trees and sky for the small, vivid moments of nature and beauty that make East Vancouver such a compelling place to live and work. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with the photographs and help shape the exhibition.
Jan 14, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, presentation by Danielle Gauld
Feb 11, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, presentation by Martha Jones
Mar 11, 2:00 - 4:00 pm,
presentation by Stanley Mishkin

For those people interested in subscribing to the Artery newsletter for exhibition announcements, courses offered by the artists, special events featuring the artists and the Gallery's activities, please send your name and email address to: or you can sign up on the sign-up sheet in the Gallery (1661 Napier St. in the library). The email newsletter is produced and distributed twice monthly.
Note: The Artery now has guidelines for submitting information:
The Artery newsletter is primarily focused on supplying information to artist and art patrons on Vancouver's east side where the second highest density of artists in Canada live and/or work. The newsletter mandate is to support and promote the artists who live or have a studio within Britannia Centre's catchment area. Support takes the form of exhibition announcements, courses offered by the artists, special events featuring the artists. the Artery also supports and promotes the Gallery's activities to the general population in the catchment's area. Submissions can be sent by email to: or leave the information in the Gallery's in-box at the Britannia Information Centre (1661 Napier St., Vancouver, BC).
For events happening in the first half of the month you must submit information 7 days before the end of the previous month. For events happening in the last of the month, you must submit information by the 7th of that month. Please use the following format:
- Title of Event
- Name of artist(s)
- Dates/times
- Hours of access
- Contact information
- jpeg image resolution 72 ppi (optional)
- Description (maximum 25-50 words) optional
Submissions that do not follow the criteria are less likely to be accepted due to the growing amount of information submitted.
NOTE: The e-mail version of the Artery newsletter is in a simpler format than a hardcopy.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Profile: The Grand Trine at the Libra Room

The Grand Trine is a great little trio comprised of Mellissa Hammer on trumpet, Karen Rauh on piano and Orith Fogal on bass and vocals.
Jazzy and sexy, they have bright, swinging sound that gets your toes tapping. Join them at their regular Tuesday night gig at the Libra Room on Commerical Drive (at Gravely - right next to Normans Fruit and Salad) from 8:30pm-11:30pm. Their next scheduled Tuesday is jan 16th, followed by the23rd and the 30rth. The Libra room is getting known as a little hip spot, with good food at a good price and creative martini's too!
Check out the band's webpage at:

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Profile: Christine Germano - Photographer

Artist-In-Residence - Britannia Community Centre

Recently appointed to the Brit post, Germano heads up “Through Our Eyes©”, a photo documentary project in which the children of a school (to date over eight First Nations communities across BC and Alberta) think about “what their community means to them”. The students then photograph their topic, write accompanying text and record their stories for a visual and audio presentation. The final exhibition gives the community an opportunity to celebrate the student’s artistic achievements, hopefully fostering in them an interest in continuing to seek similar artistic opportunities throughout their lives.

The Roundhouse Community Centre will be hosting a retrospective February 4-11, featuring 200 prints by some of the 400 aboriginal youth who have participated in the program since its inception 4 years ago.

Part of the 6th annual Talking Stick Festival, there will be a special reception with an artist talk by Germano and some of her participants. The show will also launch a new book of prints (on sale at the reception for $25) as well as a revamped website:
Below are some samples of participants' work.

For more info call 604-873-1974 or email Christine at:

Preston Kewistep

Mike Martin

Victor Peters

Elizebeth Adams

Farren Morrison

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Eye on the Drive: Photo by Peter Valentine

Downtown, the way it looked this morning, taken from near Broadway SkyTrain station. By midnight, the snow seemed to have stopped, but Vancouverites could expect to wake up to a windchill of -16c.
It's an inside joke in this city how unpredictable the the weather usually is, but this winter's chaotic behavior has taken the cake!

Visual Art: Symmetry by Ruth Brown

Visual Art: Fractured by Karen Martin


Celebrating and showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in BC’s fast-growing African community

All events at the WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac (off Victoria Drive)

African Cabaret doors open 8 pm, show 9 pm

Entertainment by animated Congolese storyteller, actor, musician, dancer Jean Pierre Makosso; multi-talented Guinean percussionist and kora (harp-lute) player Kocassalé Dioubaté; the high energy Kokoma dance and drum performance ensemble, led by Maobong Oku from Nigeria; and a rare solo performance by Guinean master-musician and multiple Juno Award-winning artist Alpha Yaya Diallo of the African Guitar Summit supergroup

Heart of the Baobab dinner 7 pm, show 8 pm

Dinner (optional), prepared by the Nyala African restaurant, followed by a performance on kora from master-musician Daniel Janke; African dances from the young women of the Miyanda troupe; and two full sets of
West African music, masks, storytelling, and dance from Masabo, helmed by athletic balafon (marimba)-player Fana Soro

A Night in the Sahara doors open 8 pm, show 9 pm

Sudanese music from five-piece band Sudan'da led by oud (lute)-player Aladeen Abdalla; trance-inducing North African rhythms and bellydancing with Egyptian drum-master Adel Awad and Sahara; and the contemporary grooves of DJ Nils from the Beats without Borders collective to take us dancing into the wee hours

African Carnival dinner 7 pm, show 8 pm

Chef Hinda from Djibouti will serve tasty African tapas. Storytelling from Nigerian actress, playwright, and yarnspinner Comfort Ero; the irresistible rhythms of young Afro-Cuban drum and Zimbabwean marimba ensemble Kutapira; and two full sets of dance music from Guinean groover Aboubacar Camara, his band Doundounba, plus special guests

An African/Caribbean Jam or DJ will play out each night
The WISE will have an all-ages licence for these events

Tickets $18 each show ($15 concessions) *
Pass for all 4 shows $55 (or $45)
Available at Highlife Records - 1317 Commercial Drive
Sofia Books. - 450 West Hastings
Banyen Books - 3608 West 4th Ave, and by phone at (604) 737 8858 More info

Festival Baobab is co-produced by Alliance Française de Vancouver, the WISE Hall, Zula Productions, & Bluehouse


Thursday, January 11th
Rime (1130 Commercial Drive), 9:30PM

"The New Art of Poetry Clubbing" - Literhaus, Denmark

Vancouverites Barbara Adler, Mark Berube, and Brendan McLeod (see the "Spit It Out Sunday's Posting) are singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, and award winning performance poets who have merged their diverse styles into one distinct mixture of poetry and song, backed by accordion, guitar, piano, banjo, and melodica. A group of road dogs, they have toured their unique combination of three part harmony, athletic performance poetry, and skillful musicianship, four times through Europe and twice through Canada since the group's inception two years ago.

"The Fugitives are one of the most innovative, exciting, and accomplished groups of musicians and poets I have ever seen...the best show in fifteen years of the festival" - Off the Shelf Festival, Sheffield (UK).

For more info contact Brendan McLeod:

SPOKEN WORD:Twisted Poets Literary Salon

Monday, January 15th
"Bump N Grind" with poets and guest speakers. Each month we will focus on a topic relevant to writers. Bring your best, favourite, newest or oldest poems and share in an evening of literary surprises.
January: Open Mic, No Guest Features
Time: 7pm Sign Up, 7:30pm Open Mic & Literary Salon
Contact: Bonnie Nish

SPOKEN WORD: OneCoolWord Fundraiser

OneCoolWord magazine is throwing a fundraiser at Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive) tonight starting at 8:30 pm; entrance is $5 and includes performances by Jeffrey Laing, Gena Perala, The Wind Whistles and The Svelte Ms. Spelt. So many good causes, so little time.)

NEWS: Raja Theatre Fundraiser

Heart of the World is a venture to purchase the Raja theatre on the Drive and convert it into an accessible performing arts space / repertory theatre.
To accomplish this, they need to raise a lot of money by the end of this week, ideally in the form of $200 refundable shares. A fundraiser was held at the Media Club on Tuesday night to support the project.

Time is running out! Join the good fight with local hero Jhayne Holmes as she and her band of rebels, miscreants and true believers take on the forces of apathy, real estate and city hall to build this city a future! There's an old theatre on commercial drive: it can be torn down to make another parking garage, a self-help day retreat for middle managers, or even more housing for the rich. . .


THE HEART OF THE WORLD will be a place where any old artist, actor, film maker, hip kid, kindred spirit, and idea monger can find an outlet (and, more importantly, audience) for the creative endeavour of their choice! There is only one week left to make this idea a reality. Thousands of dollars are being committed and even that may not be enough! Spread the word! Buy shares! Nag your rich friends! Make the city scream for it! The Heart of The World arts centre is a place by the people, of the people and for the people.


(who else is gonna bother? The government? Starbucks? Oprah?)

Join us! The Heart of the World is waiting!

For more info, check out their website

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Spoken Word: IWPS Playoffs

This Monday January 15th is the Vancouver Poetry Slam IWPS Playoffs to see who gets to represent Vancouver at the upcoming Individual World Poetry Slam. THAT event happens Feb 1-3 along the Drive at Café Deux, RIME and Zesty Restaurant. The Van Slam Playoff if also at Café Deux Soleils: 2096 Commercial Drive. The event starts at 9pm. Shane Koyczan wll be the feature (wow) and you host is the Svelte Ms. Spelte. This is a fundraiser so the admission is $5-$10 sliding scale. It will sell out so get there early for a good seat.

Spoken Word: Spit It Out Sundays

This Sunday January 14th, you can check out the start of a brand new Youth Poetry Series at the Van East Cultural Centre. It's free and starts at 6:30pm. If you have kids and they love words you should definitely have them at this event.

Organized by the Vancouver East Cultural Centre Youth Program in collaboration with the Vancouver Poetry House, Spit It Out Sundays will kick off with two dynamic slam poet facilitators, Barbara Adler (shown in photo with fellow poet Brendan McLeod) and Magpie Ulysses, at the helm. Adler and Ulysses are bold, sharp-tongued twentysomethings who boast multiple time membership on the Vancouver Poetry Slam team. Both have toured and performed extensively throughout North America and published collections of their works. Adler even boasts a CD, Flusterbush. Come Sunday, this talented duo will be guiding youth on how to create performative poetry, encouraging young minds to vocalize their thoughts aesthetically and share their opinions with the world. The night will also feature a performance by youth slam poet Superboy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spoken Word: 4th Annual Individual World Poetry Slam

January 31st to February 3rd. 2007.

Vancouver Poetry House and Poetry Slam Incorporated are pleased to announce

The 4th annual Individual World Poetry Slam will be taking place in Vancouver, B.C. January 31st to February 3rd.. 2007.

Up to 72 of the world's finest Poetry Slammers will be coming to Vancouver to compete in this event.

There will be over $1000 U.S. in prize money, a publishing deal and bragging rights up for grabs.

Day and night time shows will be happening along Commercial Drive at

Café Deux Soleils, RIME and Zesty Restaurant plus other locations.

As well our finals night venue is the Rio Theatre on Broadway.

This is the first time ever PSI has allowed one of their events to take place outside of the United States.

Thanks to Artistic Director, Angus Adair, PSI has agreed to let Vancouver host this showcase and competition.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Poetry Slam, Canada's longest running Poetry Slam, (now in it's 11th year)

And home to some of our countries most talented spoken word artists.

Some of the performers confirmed for IWPS include

Jamie Dewolf

Ed Mabrey

This event is also co sponsored by One Cool Word Magazine and CITY TV.

Poetry Slam as a cultural phenomenon has re energized poetry for the last 20 years. Created by construction worker and poet, Marc Smith, poetry slam is based on the unique idea of letting the audience decide what they think is good or not. Poets compete for cash and prizes while 5 judges selected at random from the audience hand out scores from 0.0 to 10.0

It's like the Olympics of Poetry.

For more information on the IWPS and to book poets for appearances on your show or for interviews

just reply to this email or contact Randy Jacobs at 604 215 9230.

Tickets are available now through the website.

History will be made. You can be a part of it.

Randy Jacobs
President: Vancouver Poetry House
604 215 9230