Monday, April 30, 2007

Literary: WhipperSnapper Slam Finals

Come out and support some of Vancouvers most talented young spielers while they spit it out for the title!
On Friday May 4th, as part of youth week at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre,
YOU can be a part of the WhipperSnapper Slam
Vancouver's first youth slam finals to determine a Vancouver youth poetry slam team for 2007.
Magpie Ulysses will be your slam emcee for the night. Feature TBA.
If you are a youth (13-24), or you know youth who write/perform and you are interested in getting in on the action we still have some spots open for the competition. Email Lily Han at for more info.
7:30pm, Vancouver East Cultural Centre (1895 Venables St).
Tickets: $2 Youth (19 & Under), $5 Students (over 19), and $10 Adults.
check for more info about Youth week and tickets.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thoroughbreds and Spaghetti Mix

Restaurant owner invested in his patrons, putting together a fine stable

Tom Wolski,

The Province

Published: Friday, April 27, 2007

Who would have dreamt in 1955 that a small coffee shop on Commercial Drive purchased by an Italian immigrant from Montreal one day would become a major part of the 118-year history of horse racing in this province.

Read the full story here...

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Picture of the Day by Katrina Orlowski

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Special Event: Velofusion

Friday April 27th

The last Friday of every month. With entertainment and acts of all sorts, Velofusion is a dose of East Van Community, Activism and Spirit.
To celebrate Spring, entrance will be free for everybody who arrives with the Critical Mass bike ride.

Bands and Performers:
DJ Timothy Wisdom
E-Spliff and the East Van Crew
DJ Corrior
Mr M and the All Nighters

Where: The Anza Club - upstairs (3 E 8th Ave, 8th & Ontario)
When:Friday April 27th. Doors open at 8pm
Cost: $10

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Music: Mike Carew CD Launch

Friday, May 25

The WISE Hall – 1882 Adanac St.

Doors: 8pm

Show: 9pm

Tickets $10

Singer/songwriter, Mike Carew proudly launches his

19th original CD


on May 25th

at East Vancouver’s historic WISE Hall

with special guests

Goes To Eleven

At home on small café stages with just his guitar, this landmark show will be Carew’s first performance with a full band since 2001.

Nineteen self-produced albums in as many years is an almost unheard of feat in the music world. Mike says he set the goal for himself in order to keep his work fresh and to challenge himself. Every CD contains new material, which was written in that particular year.

About the process, Carew says the first four CD’s were a challenge, but the process has made it easier. Once the show is done he’ll be back at it already thinking about the next CD.

“It used to be a case where I’d write down a tune and be worried that if I’d go to bed I’d forget it the next day. Now it doesn’t bother me. If it’s good, I’ll remember it.”

Reviewers have put forward these comments in regards to the work:

“Mike treats his subjects with kindness and compassion,”

“…he turns his focus to social injustice without sacrificing any of the pop sensibility which make these songs interesting.”

Perhaps the best description of Carew’s work is that it’s a fusion of Jim Croce, the Beatles, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. There is an underlying, undeniable honesty to Mike’s writing and performance style that draws you in and keeps you wanting more.

Carew had a confession to make when asked why he decided to call this album “Rare”: He’s following the alphabet! The one incongruity was with the second CD, Underture, but he’s been on track since then.

The May 25th show will be opened by long-time collaborator Eliot Pister with his band Goes To Eleven. Pister has worked on eleven of Mike’s nineteen albums.

To reserve tickets call 685 5867 or email

Check out Mike’s songs and video on his website,

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Special Event: Conversation with Richard Rodriguez

Disunited We Stand: America's Diversity Is Its Strength

Author Richard Rodriguez.

A Latino writer probes his nation's mixed-up soul.

By Richard Rodriguez
Published: April 25, 2007

in the

[Editor's note: Award winning essayist Richard Rodriguez wrote this article a month after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Does he feel the same today? You can learn first hand tomorrow evening in Vancouver as he discusses his book Brown: The Last Discovery of America, a rich meditation on race and cultural politics in the New World. In conversation with Marcus Youssef, Thursday, April 26, 5 p.m., Rime Restaurant, 1130 Commercial Drive. Event is free.]

In peace time, America is the most original nation in the world. We are the maddest, most inventive; truly a splendid disorder are we. When America goes to war, we become a nation like any other.

Nowadays, I turn on TV and hear Americans gamely stumbling through the national anthem. At an intersection yesterday, I saw a Lexus carrying a socialite alongside a pickup with a kid who was absorbing the thump-thump-thump of rap music -- both cars wearing the stars and stripes.

Read the full article first...

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Picture of the Day by Katrina Orlowski

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Special Events: Swami Muktidharma

Swami Muktidharma is an inspiring speaker and respected teacher of the Satyananda Yoga lineage. He has dedicated more than 35 years of his life to yoga, spending 16 years in India with Paramahamsa Satyananda, a world renowned Yoga Master. Swami Muktidharma is based in New Zealand and travels internationally sharing deep insight into the ancient Yogic practices. Biography

Yoga Psychology - "The Mind and Patanjali"

Wednesday May 23rd 7:30-9:30pm

Register by May 4th $30 or $35 @door

Explore the the human personality from the perspective of yoga psychology. Swami Muktidharma will expound on yoga and the structure of the mind, particularly drawing on the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, whose scientific approach to the mind throws light on today's many challenges.

Kirtan and Satsang

Friday May 25th 6-8pm

Register by May 4th $20 or $25 @door

Kirtan is a Bhakti Yoga practice which involves chanting Sanskrit mantras in a call and response format. Mantras are specific sounds, found by ancient rishis, that are able to alter, modify, or increase the energy field of the body, mind and the psyche. The kirtan will be followed by a spiritual discussion or satsang.

Science of Yoga Nidra™ In-depth

Saturday May 26th 11:30-6pm

Register by May 4th $85 or $95 @door

The mind is the most perfect super computer and it has an inbox where it stores all the information received through the senses. The Inbox is overloaded with all kinds of impressions. The science of Yoga Nidra is a systematic, deep relaxation which allows the practitioner to unravel at the cellular level and release tension and impressions stored in the layers of the body and mind.

Tantric Meditations

Sunday May 27th 11:30-6pm

Register by May 4th $85 or $95 @door

(Register for both Yoga NidraTM and Tantric Meditations by May 4th $140 or $170 @door)

The word Tantra comes from two Sanskrit roots tanatri and trayoti; tanatri means expansion of awareness or consciousness and trayoti means liberation of energy. The real meaning of Tantra is the expansion of mind or consciousness and liberation of energy. Tantra is the most ancient system for human evolution; This workshop will introduce you to several powerful meditation techniques that originate from the ancient Tantric texts. We will go beyond the westernized concept of Tantra and explore the real roots of Tantra to awaken us to our inner depth.

Private Yoga Therapy

$75 for 1 hour, $100 for 1.5 hours

Find out which practices suit your personality, body type, health challenges and energy flow. Receive a personal program. Ask questions about your spiritual path. Swami Muktidharma blends and applies practices according to individual needs in the treatments of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual imbalances. Yogic practices are powerful aides in the treatment of chronic fatigue, asthma and diabetes. Digestive, structural, blood pressure and heart problems can also be balanced.

All sessions will be held at Indigo Yoga & Holistic Healing

1707 Grant St @ Commercial Drive

Contact Madhuri at 604-879-0669 or for information about

Indigo and Satyananda Yoga classes.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Picture of the Day by Max Sample

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Literary: Word Whips Writing Series

1st Wednesday of every month

Take the challenge. We provide the writing prompts and the opportunity for sharing. Ten - fifteen minutes to write to each prompt. See what you can whip up. Hosted by Pandora's Collective.

Time: 7:30 - 10:00pm

Location: The Euro Bakery Cafe, 1468 Commercial Drive (@ Grant St), Vancouver BC.


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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Editorial: The Sunday Muse

Sun, cherry blossoms and April showers. Spring was trying very hard to make an appearance this week, and while today is the kind of day to cozy up to a fireplace if you can find one, yesterday was nearly bikini weather. Nothing like sun to bring out the smiles!

In the wake of the shocking news from Virginia Tech, not to mention the Iraqi parliament, this week, people really needed a day of sun to rejuvenate them.

The good news is, almost everyone I know is involved in some kind of cool and interesting creative project - most of them taking place on (or within bicycle distance of) Commercial Drive! With all the ugliness going on out there, we really need to support the people who are trying to change that in unique and creative ways.

On Monday, the City of Vancouver is taking the matter serious enough to hold a day-long conversation on the future of arts and culture.

Although I disagree, the majority of producers rely on bums in seats to make up for expenses. That means they need more then just other artists! They need you!

There is nothing more disheartening to a promoter or event organizer than to have an empty house after spending so much time, energy and personal money to entertain and inform the community. These are the same people who buy your goods, fill your restaurants, raise your kids and sweep your floors.

You rely on them and they rely on you. Besides, chances are you will have fun and meet some nice people. How bad can that be!

And if you can’t go yourself, tell other people that something is happening. A big part of why I started this blog was because I got so much information about what was going on just a few blocks away from my home and it made me very proud to live here. I wanted to let my neighbors know what was going on around them and help people coming to the Drive make an informed decision as to where they spend their hard-earned paycheques.

From my own experience as a producer, I know that spreading the word is just as important as showing up. Please do the same for your friends and neighbours.

Last night I went to “We’re In This All Together” at the Russian Hall, a fascinating production by Vancouver Moving Theatre, co-producer of the Downtown Eastside’s Heart of the City festival. This is an arts company that really has heart and sees how important art is in building and healing community. With the entire cast, crew and creation team being made up of people living in or affiliated with the DTES, it is unavoidable that the theme of the show be addiction and the ripple effect it has on our lives and families.

“We’re In This All Together” was developed through an initiative called “The Shadows Project”, and employs simple but effective larger-than-live shadow puppetry to add vivid atmosphere and help move the story along. The result is sort of like watching a Richard Tetrault woodcut come to life. Tamara Unroe provided the amazing imagery. Standout also was the original music by Joelysa Pankanea and Ya-wen V. Wang and the lighting by Adrian Muir. Kim Collier had the challenging job of directing the hefty ensemble cast (which must have been no easy feat).

Despite a couple of flubbed lines a few missed notes, the pace was fast-moving and the story engaging. In the end I was left empowered and thankful for the experience. Every show is followed by a talk from an expert in the field. April 26th it’s poet and Bud Osborn. Well worth the $5-$20 sliding scale admission.

I became involved as a participant in a digital video training workshop funded by the “Shadows Project”. It was a marvelous 5 week learning experience conducted by videographer Cease Wyss, which gave 7 or 8 of us a chance to try our hand at film making using high quality equipment. We were taken very good care of and really given the opportunity to explore and learn at the same time.

The result was that Cease hired me to help record the event as well as a few interviews with cast members and writers. Most poignant was a story from one woman about a friend who died of an overdose at a party and it was suspected that he was thrown out the window so that the party wouldn’t have to stop.

“We Are All In This Together” is on tonight and then again from April 26th to the 29th.

My second video credit this week came with the debut of Heather Smythe’s trailer of her forthcoming documentary about ANU 5, the multi-disciplinary event I directed at the Roundhouse in November, produced by Jabbar Al Janabi featuring Lache Cercel, Serwan Yamulky, Angela Brown, Laura Crema, Leanne Sodjin and a host of other very talented musicians, artists, dancers and spoken word artists.

Heather is putting together a little event in support of it on May 19th at Somos Studio on Main where I and many of the original ANU 5 cast will be performing. One of ANU’s biggest supporters, Brian Turko of Turk’s Coffee House will be the MC for the evening.

By calling the event “A.muse bouche” , Smythe is imbuing her own influence as a chef into the artistic mix of ANU.

Check out me fumbling my way through the narration in the video at

And read here: for more details.

Hey Big News: Yesterday Commercial Drive – Live! hit the 4000 mark!

We’ve had 1000 visitors in only 12 days! And we’ve had hits from as far away as Singapore, China, Argentina and Dubai! Thanks so much to everyone dropping by! If you do stop in, please feel free to drop me a line and tell me a little about yourself and if you like my little virtual rag. I’m always open to suggestions and would love the feedback!

Until next time, stay in touch and keep up the good work.

Steve Duncan – The Drive Guy

P.S.: Hats off to the Saturday Bike Polo guys chewing up the asphalt in Grandview park yesterday. You all make it look so easy.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Special Event: Paws for Peace Dog Walk

Paws for Peace

To end the suffering caused by landmines

On Saturday, April 28th, 2007, the Red Cross will be hosting the 5th annual Paws for Peace Dog Walk. This very short walk will be held at Trout Lake's picnic site and will be a family-based event featuring face painting, a dog agility course, and refreshments. The event starts at 10 a.m. Pre-register by emailing

The Red Cross hosts this event annually to raise awareness abou the humanitarian costs of landmines and to raise funds to help end the suffering they cause. Landmines still contaminate over 80 countries and kill or injure someone every 30 minutes.

Proceeds from this event will support the training of mine detection dogs, who play a crucial role in assisting their human partners. These dogs are specifically trained to sniff out explosives, greatly accelerating the removal process. Partial proceeds will also support landmine victims assistance. At Paw for Peace, dogs will walk together for a better and safer world.

Come and participate so one day no one will have to walk in fear.

If you would like more information, contact Michelle Hassen at 604-709-6653 or email


Saturday, April 28th, 2007
10 a.m. - noon

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Special Event: A.muse bouche

amuse-bouche, bite-sized morsels , usually delicate but flavorful, offered before a meal to give diners an impression of the chef’s culinary and creative sensibilities… a teaser. a trailer.

Please join us on May 19th for, a.muse bouche, an evening of cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary artistic musing with some of Vancouver’s finest emerging and established artists. The event takes place at La Casa Del Artista, 150 East 3rd (off Main Street) and is being held in support of a documentary film project by local filmmaker, Heather Smythe and the artists that make it happen.

Tickets are $12 at the door.

For a sample of some of the artists and the evenings events, check out our link on YouTube:
For more info call 604-209-7497

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Resturant Review: Casual Spot on The Drive Goes Beyond Basics

The Charlatan serves up the usual nachos and wings or you can opt for duck confit, one of four mussel dishes or grilled venison

Mia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007

Commercial Drive is a great hang-out street thanks to a movable feast of coffee bars, cafes and restaurants between Venables and Broadway. And there never seems to be a shortage of bodies to fill the seats.

It's a particular style of hanging out -- different, definitely, from Yaletown, where locals might ostensibly be chilling. But really, how can one relax amid all the glitz and glam and shiny Gwyneth Paltrow hair? Different even from Main Street, where there's more intensity per square inch.

On Commercial, you hook your arms around the back of your chair, tip back and settle in with friends for beer and laughs and, of course, food.

The Charlatan is a newby spot that caters to locals. It replaces Sash, which replaced Bukowski's. It has an oddball interior with three levels, each sloping down with the grade of the side street.

Read the full story here...

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Theatre Review: Death Defying Acts

Exclusive to Commercial Drive – Live!

Directed by Lynna Goldhar Smith

Starring Andre Fex, John Burnside, Liz Iversen, D. Neil Mark, Christopher Pearce, Odessa Shuquaya, Reneé Bucciarelli and Gemma Isaac

I’m always interested to know why theatre companies choose to lump certain plays together when programming a night of one acts like Aumentare Productions did with it’s evening of 3 comedies by David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen. In this case, the underlying theme running through them all seems to be that people just aren’t really communicating and it isn’t until it’s more or less too late that they begin to understand this. These sophisticated dark comedies are sprinkled with bitter, self-absorbed and occasionally clueless characters who seem to almost enjoy being in crisis mode. I know a few of them in my own life.

Starring John Burnside and Andre Fex, the night’s first play, David Mamet’s An Interview, is probably the most difficult piece for audiences (and cast, too, I suspect) to take on.

Frankly, I don’t believe this is one of Mamet’s best scripts. Generally, his trademark style is not necessarily about the dialogue but instead what the characters do when there is none, or sometimes what they do in spite of it.

This piece was reminiscent of Abbott and Costello’s Who’s On First, but more surreal and obtuse. I think the two actors were working very hard to access the subtext, especially Fex – a spitting image of my Canadian B movie icon Saul Rubinek – who had a complicated string of lines to tangle through, doing so admirably, if somewhat over exuberantly on occasion. Considering this was the premiere, I’m sure subsequent performances will easily redeem the obviously talented Fex. As a matter of fact, he did just that in his role later on in Central Park West where he played the Woody Allen character to a tee (most of the actors appeared in more than one show during the evening).

Burnside is a great character actor with an intensely dower face – illuminated ominously for effect – but like his stage opposite, he seemed to struggle a little with the complicated dialogue.

He had a smaller, but what seemed to be, more comfortable role for him in the next entry, Elaine May’s Hotline, as a dishevelled call supervisor in a suicide prevention centre, training an earnest new (and anthropophobic) counsellor. I immediately identified with him in the part and wished he had more stage time.

Producer Liz Iversen takes on the role of Dorothy in this play, an antagonistic caller who seems to revel in arguing with whoever will put up with it. As the story progresses Iversen successfully pulls out her character’s humanity. She has a great sense of comedic timing and is very fun to watch.

The other shining star of Hotline was Christopher Pearce, the newbie counsellor who soon discovers that, although he has a real knack for saving lives, sometimes it takes more than answering the phone. He is passionate and animated.

This fast-moving, quick-witted piece made great use of staging, lights and sound.

The icing on the cake was definitely Central Park West, Woody Allen’s play about two affluent couples dealing with betrayal, rejection and growing old. The ensemble cast were very strong, notably the two female leads, Reneé Bucciarelli and Odessa Shuqaya, who played well off of one another and were thoroughly believable in their roles. D. Neil Mark was also strong as Bucciarelli’s philandering husband who gets his proverbial comeuppance in the end.

This is an evening well-worth attending, as much for the acting as for the scripts. Time flew by and the laughs were plentiful. Kudos to Lynna Goldhar Smith for her intuitive direction.

Death Defying Acts runs until May 5, 2007 at Havana Theatre.

For specific dates and times and to order tickets call 604-813 9409

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Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

Nature's Perfect Vancouverite

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Special Event: MayDay 2007

May 1: Solidarity with All Immigrant, Migrant and Undocumented Workers (Vancouver)


Immigrant rights are worker's rights: Justice for All!

Gather at 6pm at Clark Park @ Commercial Drive and 14th Avenue
(close to Broadway Skytrain)
March to Grandview Park for gathering @ 7:30 pm

==> Family-friendly march
==> There will be food, water and snacks during the demo.
==> Rest vehicles will accompany the march.

With imperialist globalization, workers in Canada are facing undeniable
attacks. Hard-won wages, benefits and social services are now being
cruelly eroded as Canada joins other imperialist countries in forcing
increased labour flexibility in the name of ‘free trade’ and the
neo-liberal agenda. Even workers’ solidarity is being criminalized and the
right for workers to unionize or to fight for their legitimate rights is
under attack.

Even more vulnerable and attacked are Canada’s immigrant, migrant, and
undocumented workers whose numbers in Canada are increasing and whose
exploitation is intensifying. Canada has always used migrant and immigrant
labour to fill its relentless demand for cheap labour, but now, under the
deepening crisis of imperialism and its never-ending pursuit for private
profit, there is a renewed push in the country to bring in a greater
number of cheaper, mobile, and flexible migrant labour. This push towards
cheaper more mobile migrant labour is clearly evident in the Canadian
state’s thrust to expand the country’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

This May Day, we will also be joining migrants, refugees and their allies
across Canada who will again demonstrate against the deportation and
detention of migrants and refugees, for a full, inclusive, unconditional
and ongoing regularization program, and for full rights and dignity for
immigrant communities against racism, poverty, and criminalization. Our
march on May Day coincides with marches in the US as we collectively
assert that immigrant rights are workers rights.

Hundreds of thousands of people live without status, without sufficient
access to health care or education, and in great fear of being detained or
deported, all the while being the most exploited in the workplace. For
decades immigrants have been scapegoated, and now since 9/11, the false
link between immigrants and terrorism has developed. Thousands of
migrants, especially immigrant women, are forced to live in poverty; while
thousands of temporary workers perform hard and dangerous labour, yet are
denied their basic rights.

Join us this May Day, as we join with workers around the world in
celebrating the militant tradition of May 1 as a day to oppose the
exploitation and oppression of workers. We are coming together as workers
in our various communities to expose the harsh impact of neo-liberalism
upon Canadian workers. We also are continuing the courageous struggle of
immigrants and migrants in North America for their full rights anddignity.

* Expose and oppose the heightened attacks on workers, migrant, immigrant
and undocumented workers in Canada!
* Solidarity with migrant, immigrant and undocumented workers in Canada! *
Workers Unite for Economic Human Rights: Reclaim the Militant Tradition of
May One!
* Build Genuine International Solidarity Against Imperialist Globalization!

For more information, contact us at: or call 778-885-0040 or call 604-215-1905

Organized by:
- STATUS COALITION, a coalition of community-based organizations in the
Vancouver area belonging to movements and struggles of the people of the
Global South (Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Middle East, the
Caribbean region) and the struggles of such migrant communities in Canada.

- MAY DAY 2007 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE, was initiated by International League
of Peoples' Struggles (ILPS) participating organizations in Vancouver in
2006. It is made up of democratic and progressive individuals and
organizations coming together to organize educational and political
activities in the spirit of international workers' and people solidarity
for May Day 2007.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Music: The Drive's Jess Hill at the Backstage Lounge

When: Sunday, April 22, 2007

Time: 8pm

Where: The Backstage Lounge, 1585 Johnston Street

(located behind the Arts Club in Granville Island ).

Come and join us for an evening of fun, music and drinks to wind down the weekend. We have a fantastic arrangement of local rising talent, performing in a “round” and backing each other up. It’s a different show every time! The Backstage also offers a great menu for appy’s (Kitchen closes at 9pm), try the Nachos! J

Entertainment: the amazing Jess Hill, the fabulous Marq De Souza, & the spectacular Connor McGuire!

$6 at the door (2 for 1 with handbill, FREE for members)

See you there!

For more information contact Sarah at

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Literary: Youth Slam

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Special Event: Learning Out of Bounds

An information fair of innovative educators

Sunday, May 6th

11:00am - 4:00pm

Britannia Community Centre,

Learning Resource Centre

1661 Napier Street at Commerical Drive

What’s happening:

-information tables of innovative educators for children and youth

-keynote speakers including Helen Hughes, founder of Windsor House School

-panel discussion with educators, children and parents who have experienced Learning Out of Bounds

-workshop inviting attendees to vision a future for education

-Children’s Corner with activities facilitated by innovative educators

-A real look at real choice for real kids

For more information


Call: 604-837-4047

Please join us to discover what’s possible when you are Learning Out of Bounds.

For the event we are looking to receive sponsorshiop to cover venue and promotional costs. People interested in contributing time or money to the cause can contact Darcy Kaltio at: or by phone: 604 837 4047

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Literary: Arleen Pare at People's Co-op Bookstore

Celebrate Canadian Literature this May! People's
Co-op Bookstore and NeWest Press invite you to
the much anticipated Vancouver launch of Paper
Trail by Arleen Paré.

Paper Trail:
Frances, a manager for a large corporation,
appears to be very successful. But Frances finds
her piece of mind unravelling as she becomes
overwhelmed by the destructive bureaucratic
nature of the work world she lives in. Frances
starts to lose small body parts, hears mysterious
Leider music booming throughout her workplace at
random times during the day, and obsesses over
the caymans that guard her office building.
Meanwhile, her alter-ego has regular
conversations with the ghost of Kafka, who is
writing the manuscript which Frances appears in.
Written halfway between poetry and prose, Paper
Trail questions the rat race work ethic many of
us adhere to, more often out of necessity than
choice. Through the thoughts and deeds of Frances
and her alter-ego, author Arleen Paré
demonstrates the stress and loneliness of modern
society, and the profound impact this can have on
a person's sanity.

To request a review copy of this book, or to
arrange an interview with Paré, please contact
Tiffany at 780-432-9427 or

Wednesday, May 16th
7:30 PM
People's Co-op Bookstore
1391 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

All are welcome!

Praise for PAPER TRAIL:

"In this startlingly original first book, Paré has spun gold." -Miranda Pearson, Prime and The Aviary

"Arleen Paré's feminist, poetic, experimental
narrative raises Kafka as the post-modern Cain,
making the absurd real and the real starkly
-Tanis MacDonald, Fortune and Holding Ground

For more information visit

Arleen Paré was born and raised in Montreal, QB.
After completing a BA in Sociology and History
and a BA and MA in Social Work, all at McGill
University, she moved to Vancouver where she
worked in bureaucratic environments for two
decades. During this time Paré received her MA in
Adult Education at the University of British
Columbia. Paré is currently working towards a BA
in Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. Paré
has published work in several publications,
including Geist, CV II, and This Side of West.
She co-edited Portfolio Milieu 2004. She
currently lives in Victoria, BC.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Special Event: Bedtime Stories

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Music: The Black Crow Project Presents 4 Evenings in May

A Fundraiser for the Portland Hotel Society

Location: Rime, 1130 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tickets: $10 at the door

Dates: May 6, 13, 21, 27 – 8:30 pm.

Featuring musical performances by: Mark Berube, Cora Fields, Jess Hill, Sarah MacDougall, Corbin Murdoch and the Nautical Miles, Parlour Steps, Pawnshop Diamond, Jessie Turner

You can hardly pick up a newspaper today in the Lower Mainland without reading about the dismal conditions of the homeless and hard to house. In fact, the region’s homeless population is on the rise, with the income gap between Vancouver’s rich and poor among the worst in the country. Aren’t you glad you have a safe place to sleep?

The Black Crow Project, developed in response to the basic needs of shelter and community for the less fortunate, is organized around a central belief that music is a powerful tool to reach across social boundaries. The arts, according to the organization’s founders, help communities find focus and belonging so they can constructively move towards common goals.

Katie Ormiston and Jessie Turner are the driving force behind the project. Last November, they, along with co-founder Nina Fleming, successfully launched “The Black Crow Project” as an arts fundraiser event for the Portland Hotel Society (PHS), one of Vancouver’s longest running and most respected organizations. It provides housing, service and advocacy for those in need. Says Ormiston, “I wanted a way to contribute positively to the issues surrounding homelessness. I often think about my own brother who suffers from a mental illness and where he would be if he didn’t have family. The Project also released a compilation CD by local musicians about the crows that fly over Vancouver.

Why the crows? The crows that fly together across East Vancouver each morning and evening have captivated Ormiston for years. “They are a symbol to me of all the potential Vancouver has to offer. More than the mountains or the ocean, when I watch these crows come together to fly home every night I am inspired to take part in this community and make it my home.”

For the month of May, the Black Crow Project will be “Artist in Residence” at East Vancouver’s Rime. Musicians from the project will perform along with a short talk by a Portland Hotel Society spokesperson. Fifty percent of cover and one hundred percent of profit from the compilation CD will be donated to the PHS. To find out more about the PHS call: 604-683-0073.

The Black Crow Project recording, rated as one of Highlife World Music’s Best of 2006, is also available for purchase at Highlife World Music, 1317 Commercial Drive, Vancouver.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Theatre: Line-up confirmed for VMT's We're All in This Together

The post-performance talks will be moderated by Sharon Kravitz.

April 19th Coco Culbertson, Director, Lifeskills Centre

April 20 Aline LaFlamme, Executive Director, Aboriginal Front Door

April 21 Gabor Mate, Doctor, newspaper columnist, and author

April 22 Dennis Wardman, Doctor, community medicine and addictions specialist

April 26 Bud Osborn, Poet & community activist

April 27 Susan Boyd, Author of From Witches to Crack Moms: Women, Drug Law and Policy

April 28 Professor Emeritus Bruce Alexander, Author of Roots of Addiction in a Free Market Society

April 29 Donald MacPherson, Vancouver Drug Policy Coordinator

Vancouver Moving Theatre
in association with urban ink’s Fathom Labs
and the Carnegie & Roundhouse Community Centres present
Live Shadow Theatre on a Giant Shadow Screen

Featuring 30 DTES involved musicians, crew and actors!

A contemporary fable from the Downtown Eastside
Two families from different social backgrounds encounter humanity’s struggle with addiction.
Out of the shadows emerge dreams and memories,
fears, hopes and visions.

APRIL 19 to APRIL 29, 2007
Thursday to Sunday Shows 8pm
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue
Campbell and Keefer, seven blocks east of Main
Suggested Donation $5 - $20
Reservations Recommended 604-254-6911

“Stunning, stark and startling all at the same time.”
Robyn Livingstone, Carnegie Newsletter
“There is more wisdom in this play then in 150 years of research.”
Author, SFU Professor Emeritus Bruce Alexander

By Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling
with Sheila Baxter, Wendy Chew, Paul Decarie, Mary Duffy, Melissa Error, Patrick Foley, Leith Harris, Stephen Lytton, Muriel Williams
and contributions by Larry Reed and James Fagan Tait

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Music: Two Solitudes in Songbook

Georgia Straight Arts Features By Alexander Varty
Publish Date: April 12, 2007

Gordon Lightfoot we know. Ditto Joni Mitchell and, to a slightly lesser extent, Buffy Sainte-Marie. But local listeners who are considering taking in the CBC Radio Orchestra's Great Canadian Songbook concert can be forgiven for asking who, exactly, is Serge Fiori?

There are few better examples of Canada's "two solitudes" than the fact that the Québécois equivalent of Peter Gabriel is virtually unknown in Western Canada. Singer, songwriter, film composer, and founder of the exemplary progressive-rock band Harmonium, Fiori is, as CBC Radio Orchestra conductor Alain Trudel says, "an icon of music, especially progressive rock and folk music".

"Of course," Trudel adds, reached at home in Montreal, "he's not so well known outside out of Quebec because it's all in French, the repertoire."

As part of the Great Canadian Songbook, at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday (April 15), Trudel is arranging four of Fiori's best-loved songs for orchestra, with another francophone star, Marc DÉry, handling vocal duties. Veda Hille, Sarah Slean, and Ron Sexsmith are the other featured performers, taking on Sainte-Marie, Mitchell, and Lightfoot, respectively.

Read the full article here...

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Call For Musicians

I'm offering a great opportunity to showcase your music in front of an appreciative audience at the best ongoing monthly party in Vancouver! Plus you'll make a bit of money.
For more info, contact me with information about your band, or yourself, including: style of music,
web-site URL, pics, any upcoming performance dates, etc.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

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Special Event: Work Less Party Party

Twice a year we throw the biggest craziest party in Vancouver:
The WorkLess Party PARTY!
Given our reputation for big talent, booty shakin and massive
debauchery, we have only one option: Throw a party bigger and crazier
than ever before. Costumes, paint, booty, and big opportunities for
suprise guests to take the stage with mind blowing costumes and very hot
body painting/performances.

Here is the performer list for the show:

They Shoot Horses Don't They. (Band)
Kitchen (Band)
Carnival Band
DJ Timothy Wisdom
Tspoon the Masala Mixer ( DJ from Beats Without Boarders)
Little Woo
Brakes (Dance group)
Post Hypnotic - Dance by Lindsey Shaw
There is $800 in prizes for the body painting/performance competition .
If you are an artist and/or performer there is still time to register.
Competition to be judged by a super fab and unbiased panel of
professionals. For more info on the competition please visit

There will also be a Kissing Booth hosted by the hotties from the Brakes
and a Spanking Booth hosted by the Church of Pointless Consumerism.

Plus: Secure bicycle parking !!!

Japanese Center, 486 Alexander Street

Saturday, April 21st
Doors open at 8pm
Body art competition starts at 9pm

Advance tickets are available at:
The Vegetarian Resource Center. 2250 Commercial
Our Community Bikes. 3283 Main
On line at

Tickets at da door:
$8 if you come in costume
Go wild, go nuts, anything outrageous will do. BIG PRIZES for best
$13 otherwise

Watch the party promo video

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Music: Mark Berube / Roger Dean Young and The Tin Cup

(9 pm, $10)

Revered alt-roots musician, Copperspine recording artist Roger Dean Young & The Tin Cup play beautifully sparse, quiet, poignant music. Roger Dean Young guitar, vocals; Chris Rippin guitar, piano; Shaun Brodie trumpet; Cary Pratt drums

At 9 years old, he was among a dancing crowd of 10,000 watching the late South African pop star Brenda Fassie at Somhlolo Soccer Stadium in Swaziland. With apartheid still strong next door in South Africa, this concert reverberated on many levels: musically, socially, and politically. Mix this life-defining experience with Manitoban-Quebecois roots, a stylistically diverse musical repertoire, the piano, accordion, guitar and a voice that disarms his audiences, and you have the multi-faceted sound of Mark Berube.

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Music: Tandava

Trained in Carnatic, Hindustani, Chinese, and Western classical traditions, the members of Tandava are among Vancouver's most successful world music artists. On April 22nd, they are launching their cross-Canada tour with an intimate house concert.

Date: April 22nd, 2007
Time: Doors at 6:15 pm, Show at 7:00 pm
Address: 1957 Venables
Adults: $15.00
Members + Kids: $10.00
Tickets can be purchased on-line or can be reserved by calling 604-874-9325
or emailing

Click here to purchase tickets on line

Tandava is inspired by the folk and classical music of India and Bangladesh, and draws upon the wealth of musical traditions from China, the Middle East, Africa, and the West. Tabla and polyphonic marimba provide the rhythmic and textural foundation for erhu, flutes, guitar, and vocals to soar over. Original compositions, dynamic improvisation, and arrangements of traditional styles bridge the ancient and the contemporary. To hear a sample of their music click here.

For CBC Newsworld, Adrian Harewood described the quartet as "a metaphor for Canada in the 21st century". Tandava's unique blend of instruments, musical sensibilities, and ethnic traditions results in an original voice, created from and reflecting our rich intercultural environment.

The members of Tandava are Prashant John (guitar, Bansuri flute, vocals), Lan Tung (erhu), Jonathan Bernard (marimba, percussion), and Stefan Cihelka (tabla).

“For those who have been looking for a succinct description for "world music," this is it …” Patty-Lynne Herlevi, Cranky Crow music

“So seamlessly are these threads woven together, the listener might be excused for thinking this is the traditional music of, well, someplace … this is a gorgeous album by top-notch musicians” Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media

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Special Event: Feeling Like a Trip to Wonderland?

MadskillzThen come to the Mad Hatter Tea Party this Thursday April 12th @ 8pm.

The event takes place at the A.N.Z.A. Club 3 West 8th Avenue Vancouver, BC and the cover charge is $8 per head.

The show features: The Main Dance 3rd Year Show, The Roothless Mayhem, Latin Rhythms with POI and SUZY's official CD Launch.

The entire event is produced by MadSkillz: "a youth-initiated and youth-driven informal youth economy, centered around Commercial Drive, building on the strengths and talents of youth." The online home for the program is located at however the website is in development.

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Theatre: “Death Defying Acts” Opens April 19th

Death Defying Acts is a collection of three one-act comedies: Central Park West by Woody Allen, An Interview by David Mamet, and Hotline by Elaine May—at the Havana Theatre at 1212 Commercial Drive.

Presented by Vancouver’s Aumentare Productions, and directed by celebrated theatre director, Lynna Goldhar Smith, the plays feature performances by Liz Iversen, Renée Bucciarelli, John Burnside, André Fex, D. Neil Mark, Odessa Shuquaya, Christopher Pearce, and Gemma Isaac. Tickets are $20. Preview night, Apr 18th: $10.

Learn more about Vancouver-area theatre perfomances.

April 18 - May 5, 2007, 8:00 PM
Havana (1212 Commercial Dr).
Cash Only At the Door

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

Boil and bubble. Toil and trouble...

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Job Posting: Vancouver Community Policing Centre Coordinator

Organization: Grandview-Woodland Community Policing Centre
Community: Commercial Drive area, East Vancouver
Work Site: 1977 Commercial Drive
Status & Hours: Full Time Employment – 40 hrs per week
Salary: $20 /hr, +12% in lieu of benefits after 3-month probationary period

Reporting to the GWCPC Board of Directors, the Coordinator works within the vision/mission of the Society and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, supervision of 1 fulltime staff, overseeing the running of programs and activities as identified in the VPD/CPC Partnership and Service Agreements and working closely with the Board of Directors. Additional duties include organizing events, supporting volunteers, attending meetings, liaising with VPD officers, other agencies and Community Policing Centres.

Education, Training & Experience:
• Completion of grade 12 supplemented by 2 years post-secondary education in the social sciences and/or equivalent combination of training and experience . Working with the public, volunteers and a board of directors in the non-profit sector an asset.
• Valid BC Driver’s licence.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
• Knowledge of the objectives of Vancouver’s Community Policing Centres.
• Familiarity with Vancouver’s Eastside, specifically Grandview-Woodland area.
• Enjoy working with the public, sometimes in stressful situations
• Excellent communication, organization and facilitation skills.
• Experience with basic accounting and grant writing skills.
• Facilitating public forums, workshops and trainings.
• Strong organizational skills and report writing aptitude
• Ability to work some weekends or evenings.
• Working knowledge of community development principles, processes and tools.
• Comfortable with MS Word, Excel, Outlook and Power Point.
• Experience in layout and design or desktop publishing an asset.

Email resumes by 6:00 PM Tuesday, April 10, 2007 to Neven Dusevic, HRC Chair, GWCPC: or snail-mail to the HRC Chair at 1977 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5N 4A8.

All responses are appreciated however, only those short listed will be contacted.

Reply to:
Date: 2007-04-06, 1:35PM PDT

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Picture of the Day by Peter Valentine

You say tomato. I say...

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Classes in Psychology and Meditation For, Enlightenment (spiritual growth), Health and Well Being

Parayana Buddhist:
Classes in Psychology and Meditation For, Enlightenment (spiritual growth), Health and Well Being

An Invitation:

The inner energy practices and meditations for gentle health and spiritual strength development. These special mind and inner training methods have been kept hidden even today, from the potentials of misuse.

The Buddhist approach to meditation is not just for relaxation and inner peace, but also is utilized as a method of self-actualization and spiritual growth. Amongst the techniques are exercises that come from our Mind Yoga as well as techniques that will allow the individual to incorporate the benefits of their meditation practice, into daily life.

Talks on Buddha's Teachings are an important part of the classes. In this component, focus will be on those teachings of Buddhist Psychology that aid in dealing with day to day problems and stresses in a practical way. Creating meaning and purpose, overcoming suffering, uncovering true happiness and inner tranquillity, are all parts of developing a genuine spiritual life style.

Moving meditation / chi-kung exercises, will be included in the focus as a means to add applicable elements to the classes.

Starting: Sunday April 15 (continued over the next 8 weeks every

Classes held: 9:30am (please be prompt) 9:15am

Where: A Small World Shop & Gallery Ltd.
2120 Commercial Dr., second floor, Room B

Duration: 2 hours per session (may be longer)

Cost: $250.00

For further information please contact:

Tammey Martin at
Kevin Noble at (604) 215-0279 or

(please leave a message and contact number)

- The teacher: Shi Yao Hai, is a Senior Master Level Teacher and Doctor of Buddhist Medicine and Psychology

- All donations are gratefully accepted. – All fees & donations, go to support for “Dhamma House”, Teachers & Teacher’s training, both here & abroad.

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Special Event: Sauna Sessions at Rime

April 09, 2007

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Zipcar Speeds to Commercial Drive

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, the world's largest car sharing company, today launched service in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is Zipcar's largest market launch to date, with 100 cars hitting the streets of Vancouver immediately to help ease the pains of parking and traffic congestion and provide an affordable transportation alternative to the city's 600,000 urban residents.
Zipcar became the first North American car sharing company to go international when it launched Zipcar-Canada in Toronto, Ontario during the summer of 2006. It then launched its first overseas market in November 2006 with the opening of its London operations. With expansion to Vancouver, Zipcar now operates in the neighborhoods of nearly 23 million people, further opening up car sharing to a mainstream, urban population.

"Vancouver is a world-class city with great potential for our business. That is why we are commencing operations with our largest initial fleet to- date in Vancouver," said Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith. "With recent upgrades to our proprietary web reservation and back-end management systems, we are well prepared to deliver superior service to our global membership base."

With Zipcar, Vancouver individuals and businesses seeking an alternative to the hassles and high costs of car ownership now have more viable transportation options. Recent studies by Zipcar indicate that members drive less and are more likely to walk, bike, and use of public transportation. Environmental benefits include an 80% decrease in vehicle kilometers driven per year by Zipcar members, thus reducing gas and emissions from going into the atmosphere. Additionally, Zipcar members report an average savings of more than $435 (approx. $500 CAD) per month compared to the costs of owning and operating a private car. With an average of 40% of Zipcar members getting rid of their vehicles or deciding not to purchase one, each Zipcar in Vancouver is expected to take 15-20 privately owned vehicles off the streets, significantly decreasing parking issues and traffic congestion.

Beginning today, Zipcar will place 100 vehicles in many locations throughout the Downtown, Kitsilano, Fairview, Commercial Drive and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods of Vancouver. Zipcars' industry leading selection of 11 makes and models of vehicles in Vancouver will range from standard sedans to small SUV's and luxury vehicles.

Worldwide, Zipcar continues to see 100%+ annual increases in members and vehicles and became the first car sharing service in North America to attain profitability in all of its established markets. Zipcar has the largest active membership base of any car sharing service, with more than 90,000 members and 2,500 vehicles.

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