Friday, October 31, 2008

Theatre: Bruce the Musical! Tix on Sale @ Urban Empire

Just a reminder that tickets for this great new production have gone on sale at Urban Empire (1108 Commercial Drive) or can be purchased online at

A full schedule is available online.

Bruce Eriksen is back in time for civic elections!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Special Event: Day of the Dead

Vancouver Public Library presents

Day Of The Dead Celebration

November 1 12:00 am – 1:30 pm
Britannia Library
1661 Napier Street
Admission is free
All are welcome
For more information about this event, call 604-665-2222
The Day of the Dead is a Latin-American celebration to celebrate, remember and honour those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the cemeteries are filled with music, flowers, and food. At home families make altars and place offerings of food such as “pan de muertos” and read poems, “calacas”, dedicated to the dead and to love ones. Britannia invites you to celebrate this traditional Mexican celebration with your family at the library. This program is offered in Spanish.

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Spoken Word: Floetics - Tonight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
7:00pm - 9:30pm
Bump N' Grind Cafe
916 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Vancouver, BC

Contact Info


A night were 4 AMAZING spoken word artist go up and do their thing.
We got:

Enough said...

Sasha Langford
Sasha Langford was selected as one of five poets to represent Vancouver in the 2008 CBC Poetry Face Off, opened for Canadian Folk Music Award nominees the Fugitives as part of the 2007 Jewish Book Festival, was invited to perform at two Annual Sistahood Slams as part of Women's month, was the second runner up for the title of Women of the World Vancouver champion, graced the Vancouver Poetry Slam semi-finals stage, and featured at the Vancouver Poetry Slam, The Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam, the Spillious Speak 'n Sing and the Maple Ridge poetry slam both individually and as part of the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team, all before the age of 19.

Spillious is a respected member of the Vancouver poetry scene. He regularly hosts the Vancouver Poetry Slam, aswell as featured at many slams. Spillious is also behind organizing many events, such as the Spillious Speak n' Sing.

Tanya Evanson
Tanya Evanson is a Caribbean-Quebecoise Lover, Writer, Oral Poet, Vocalist and Director of MotherTongue Media. Her oral poetry career spans almost 15 years in Canada where she has worked stageslarge and small, backed by delicious Jazz and World Music artists. After four years in Istanbul,where she toured Europe as a whirling dervish dancer with Mercan Dede, she returns to her belovedVancouver to launch “The Memorists” thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Afollow-up to her 2004 spoken word release “Invisible World,” the album was recorded in Istanbuland Vancouver - a treasure in your chest of poetry and song with music jewels of Africa, Anatoliaand Arabia: spoken world music. Open your arms if you want to be held

$5 Bucks at the door
with all proceeds going towards an up-coming spoken word feature film.

Sighn up for open mic @ 6:30pm

Show Starts @ 7:00pm

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Special Event: Tariq Ali

Come hear world renowned writer, historian, commentator, and film maker Tariq Ali speak on his latest book, 'The Duel: Pakistan on
the Flight Path of American Power.

8 November 7:30 pm
World Peace Forum: '1918-2008'
Maritime Labour Centre
Keynote address: ‘Is another World war Possible?’ tickets $15-25
For more info: Contact Mabel Elmore,

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Business:

2 MONTHS ONLY : November - December
GRAND OPENING November 5th!!!
ALL Hardcover books at GREAT PRICES!
Open Mon - Sun 11 - 8 pm
1883 Commercial Drive (3rd and Commercial)
Tel. 604 723-5384

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Community Events: Scientific Cafe

Scientific Cafe: Is menopause a disease? [Vancouver]

Is menopause a disease?

We will discuss different perspectives from around the world on gendered aging with input by women doctors from Eastern Europe and India. How does the emergence and popularity of menopause-specific products, pills, and supplements reflect how we view menopause as a society? Hormone Therapy controversies - do women's hormones need replacing? "Bioidentical" vs. "synthetic" hormones: Is one better then the other, and what are the risks of ovarian hormone therapy? Hot flashes and night sweats - is estrogen the only option? Is osteoporosis inevitable?

Expert Panel:
Dr. Jerilynn Prior, UBC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director of CeMCOR
Ms. Karen Coulson, Executive Director with Osteoporosis Canada (BC Division)
Dr. Sheela Mistry, foreign trained OB/GYN and Research Coordinator
Dr. Vesna Stajic, foreign trained MD and Research Coordinator

Date: Tuesday Oct 28th, 2008
Time: 7:00-9:00pm, doors at 6:30pm
Venue: Little Nest (,
1716 Charles St, Vancouver (Commercial Drive)

Cost: Admission is free but space is limited - be sure to arrive on time! For more information see:

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Film: Karloff Classics




These are the GRAVEROBBING ORIGINALS, folks...


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Theatre: Bruce the Musical Promo Shots Online

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Music: Pawnshop Diamond

Was just sent an email from Pawnshop Diamond's lead singer Katie Ormiston about their new video shot locally and featuring jewlery designer Jesse Turner. Check it out below. Katie's letter follows.

Hello everyone!

I am writing to share with you the latest of my doc-style music videos. This latest is a peek into the life of our dear friend and extremely talented jewelry designer - Jessie Turner. Pawnshop Diamond serenades the lovely Jessie as she hand-makes a piece from her new Open Heart Collection. Please check it out! And make sure to let me know what you think:) It was my first time using a tri-pod. Very proud of the steady hand I am. It is 3 minutes long.

If you are interested in learning more about Jessie Turner, she will be selling her wares at the following craft shows:

Circle Craft

November 11 - 16

Vancouver BC

Eastside Culture Crawl

November 21 - 23

Vancouver BC

Studio 426 - 1000 Parker St

Her jewelry can also be found at the following stores in Canada.

In other Pawnshop news, the band had photos taken by Fiona Garden on Sunday as part of the Songbird West Songwriting Contest we won a while back. The photo shoot was more fun than to be expected thanks to Fiona and we look forward to putting them to good use with the new upcoming CD - Leaning to the Sun.

Our CD Release Party is set for Dec. 5 at the Grandview Legion in Vancouver - details to follow. We are very proud of the new album and can't wait to share it with you. For a sneak preview, check out the songs on our myspace page. Link below.

To quote the wall in Jessie's studio:

"If nothing else, believe in art."

Thank you for your support.




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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smile of the Day: Mark Perrault

Posted by Picasa

Drive Denizen: Jabbar al Janabi

Spreading the love! Jabbar Al Janabi proudly shows off the poster for his latest project, ANU 6, Love.

ANU was inspired by the story of the Sumerian Sky God, Anu, who had one major responsibility: to learn to illuminate the other Gods’ creative powers to create the Universe. That idea evolved among the destructive flashes and residues of the first Iraq War. What if—in that moment of explosive light—the result could be pure creation, instead of pure destruction? it was primarily the Director’s experiences during that War that guided his vision, and the resulting predecessors for ANU, which were performed throughout the Middle East.

During the performance, the director’s job, unseen, from above the amphitheatre, is to literally shine the light (of creation) on artists. This is their call to enter the narrative according to the texture of the moment, and build an engaging story. They do this in spontaneous arias, curious fragments of thought, bone-chilling ensembles, sweeping movements, and explosions of color and light. Sometimes concurrently, often sequentially, or solo. The performance is usually done in three movements, or, in triptych.

Each project has the goal of creating strong enough personal and professional links among the artists to sustain spontaneous, rigorous collaborations that tell a story, and entertain and engage the audience. To do that, artists must be open to the story as they create it.

Through three days of formal rehearsals and informal gatherings, artists learn each other’s distinct languages: their instruments, its personal and cultural significance, technical capabilities, artistic approach, and potential cues to see, hear, and feel to respond, and support each other to maximize creative potential.

ANU 6 happens November 20th, at 8pm @ the Roundhouse
FREE open rehearsals at the roundhouse exhibition hall

Nov. 5 & 12 7pm.
Nov.16 1pm.
Nov. 19 dress r

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Music Notes: Porteous off to folk awards

Musician also boasts some Stellar Neighbours

Tom Harrison, The Province

Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wyckham Porteous is garnering some recognition. His Andrew Loog Oldham-produced 3AM, (which is great) earned him three nominations for this year's Canadian Folk Music Awards, which will take place Nov. 23 in St. John's. He's up for contemporary singer, English songwriter and solo artist.

Porteous also is in a new band, the Stellar Band of Neighbours, most of them real neighbours in the Commercial Drive area. They include Steven Drake (ex-Odds, now a producer), Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), Simon Kendall (Doug and the Slugs), Dell Cowsill (Top Drawers) and Johnny Fay (Tragically Hip). CBC Canada Live recorded the group's gig Oct. 3 at Chapel Arts.

Read the full story here>>>

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Friday, October 17, 2008

The Weirdest Blog I've Ever Come Across

So as I was scouring the net for Commercial Drive stories you folks might like, i found this crazy blog by a fellow named Dennis Rohel.

If you look at his profile you'll see this guy is way more prolific than i am. It's impossible to explain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Community Events: Parade of the Lost Souls

Parade of the Lost Souls
Starts at Britannia Oval
October 25, 2008 - 6:30pm - 10:30pm

Life and Death mix and mingle at the Parade of the Lost Souls, which will be returning on Commercial Drive at Grandview Park.

Parade of the Lost souls is a lively commemoration of the cycle of existence and deceased, and of facing fears in order to live life to its fullest. The performers are the audience, willing spirits who have come together to pay tribute to the departed and to celebrate the brilliance of life. Skeletal Brides, blessed witches, ghastly ghouls, and prancing pixies mingle side by side with everyday people. By the light of the radiant moon, processions of costumed stilt walkers, jugglers, dancers, and musicians lead spectators on an entrancing passageway through the neighborhood. The evening features shrines, fire performance, supernatural beings, and dancing in the street.

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Live on the Drive: Clayton Bowersock

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Community Events: Drive Business Society to Co-host "Green Graffitti" Event on Homelessness

Join us in Vancouver to Launch Green Graffiti for Homelessness Action Week

The Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and the Commercial Drive Business Society will launch Homelessness Action Week 2008 with a special ‘green graffiti’ event on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

This year, Homelessness Action Week’s participating BC and Yukon municipalities will use ‘green graffiti’ to promote their events for and about people who are homeless – raising awareness, promoting community involvement and addressing solutions.

When: Monday, October 13th at 10:00am

Where: Napier Square Greenway at the entry to the Britannia Community Centre (Commercial Drive at Napier – next to 1105 Commercial Drive)

Who: Alice Sundberg, Co-Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and Michelle Barile, Executive Director Commercial Drive Business Society will open the event with short comments.


Helesia Luke | Office: 778.786.2838 | Cell: 778.858.0553

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

News: Police link slain gangster to criminal killed five weeks ago

Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, October 04, 2008

VANCOUVER - A gangster slain at Oakridge Mall on Thursday was a close associate of James Edward O'Toole, another criminal shot to death on Commercial Drive five weeks ago.

Vancouver Police Insp. Mike Porteous said Rakesh Ratnam Naidu was well known to police as being linked to both O'Toole and Sammy Chan, whose gangster brother Tommy was shot in the head at the Richard's on Richards nightclub in May 2006.
Read the full story here>>>

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Theatre: Bruce the Musical @ The Russian Hall

An original two-act musical drama, Bruce – The Musical recreates key events in the life of Bruce Eriksen, the late founder of the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), and the individual most responsible for transforming the image of Vancouver’s lowest-income neighbourhood from Skid Road to residential community. It is a story of tragedy and triumphs, told with humour, action, human drama and song.

Writer Bob Sarti in a huddle with Director Jay Hamburger
Photo: Adam Abrams

The play is a blend of historical characters (Eriksen, Harry Rankin, Libby Davies, Jean Swanson) and representative characters (older single men and working people trying to survive and maintain their dignity, Chinese elders in a strange new land, politicians grappling with difficult issues - and you can expect a couple of SRO hotel cockroaches too).

The play chronicles events in the period 1973-76, when Eriksen overcame his addiction to alcohol, went on to become an ironworker on the Knight Street Bridge project and then fought successfully to make the beer parlors and hotels of the Downtown Eastside safer for the old loggers and other retired resource workers who lived there.
Bruce was written by past Sun Newspaper Reporter Bob Sarti, with lyrics by Sarti and music by Bill Sample (recipient of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame award) and Earle Peach. It features a professional and semi-professional cast of nine, under the direction of Jay Hamburger, artistic director of Theatre In the Raw Society, a professional company which has a long history of commitment and work within the east side of Vancouver and to social justice issues – “Giving Exposure to Voices Seldom Heard” since 1994.

Community members will be admitted at low or no cost. Preview Night Pay-What-You-Can will be on Wednesday, November 5 and a 2-for-1 Matinee November 9, 2008.

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