May 17th, 2010
Need an antidote to The Hills and a Gossip Girl detox?
Tune in tonight when The Knowledge Network premiers Cartographies, an innovative documentary profiling cultural creatives across the province.
Meet artist Zoe Hodgson painting urban landscapes from her Olympic Village loft, Alex Cuba singing unplugged in a Vancouver park, writer Michael Turner reminiscing about growing up in Kerrisdale, and vignettes featuring a modern architect, a pop-culture potter, and others you will wish would be coming to your next dinner party.
So, what can we bring?
Cartographies airs tonight at 10 p.m. and tomorrow at 11 p.m. on The Knowledge Network. View trailer here.
May 3rd, 2010
We doth portend that thou shalt be asked by a gentleman to attendeth Bard on the Beach this fair summer. If what they speaketh dost confuses thee, make study of the screen.
Partnering with the festival, the Vancity Theatre is prepping audiences for the four Shakespearean plays that take the stage come June. The film versions of Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Falstaff (called Chimes at Midnight) and Henry V will show on Mondays in May, starting tonight. Each screening is introduced and followed by discussion, so you can ask questions now and sound absurdly smart later.
Forsooth, concession candy trumps CliffNotes.
Bard on Screen, 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St., Vancouver, 604-683-3456, www.vifc.org
December 2nd, 2009
What happens when a landscape artist falls in love with a modeling agent? He paints his new view from the end of the runway.
The painter is Montreal-born, Vancouver-based David Burns. Through his relationship with Liz Bell, he is given an insider view of the fashion industry, including the hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week, and has used the fresh-faces and leggy figures strutting the catwalk as inspiration for oil on canvas pieces. The large-scale works, which stand six feet high, are almost like having a Linda Evangelista or Lara Stone in your living room, but with abstract strokes and the occasional wry commentary offered like, “Just say no to flats on the runway.”
Pieces start at $5,800 and are available through www.burnspainter.com
November 4th, 2009
If it looks like a black and white photograph of a young, leather and denim clad gent captured from behind, it could be just one of Brian Boulton’s drawings.
A guru of graphite and pastel pencil, the Vancouver artist first captures on film, then renders with photorealistic precision by hand the fabrics, folds and features of young men standing unaware on the street. While his treatment of the subject matter feels very "right now", with its street fashion and paparazzi undertones, Boulton found his inspiration, his own youth and trips to the skate park, years ago.
The art is all at once simple and complicated—just like some boys we know.
Brian Boulton exhibit, November 5-29, 2009 at Winsor Gallery, 3025 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-681-4870, www.winsorgallery.com
September 16th, 2009
One woman’s treasure is another man’s canvas.
Brent Ray Fraser convinced a few friends to forfeit their prized Fendi bags and Armani suits for his exhibit, Prêt-A-Porter, opening Friday. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic treatment of the Campbell’s Soup can, the Lower Mainland artist and Emily Carr grad created his pop art by painting on big name designer fashions and imprinting them on canvases.
With more than 140 pieces hung on garment racks and price tagged, the show looks more like a clothing store than your standard exhibition. Pieces range in price from $399 to $2,000, with one piece, “4 Louis Vuitton Purses” (pictured), auctioned off to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Now we can have our Chanel and mount it too.
Prêt-A-Porter by Brent Ray Fraser, September 18-October 2, Eastwood Onley Gallery, 2075 Alberta St., Vancouver, 604-739-0429, www.brentrayfraser.com
July 23rd, 2009
Walking tours aren’t just for tourists—at least not when they’re led by a triumvirate of former Vancouver Art Gallery animateurs decked out in black, red and Converse.
Cleverly named the Miss Guides, the newly-formed cultural walking collective brings artistic commentary typically held within white gallery walls into the city streets. Starting at the corner of Granville and West Hastings, their current tour Walking the Ruins: Fragments of Vancouver takes you from Canada Line construction, up to the Harbour Centre Lookout and through graffiti alley in Gastown, offering perceptive and snappy citations on what you see every step of the way.
We don’t want to give anything away, but hearing one guide affectionately known as “kidskid” sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while tourists situated around the steam clock stare is definitely a can’t-miss.
June 24th, 2009
With over 400 shows in ten days, pursuing the Vancouver International Jazz Festival program can be as intimidating as trying to play Coltrane’s solo from “Giant Steps,” so here’s our mini guide to good shows:
If you’re looking for more than old standards, pitch a tent outside Biltmore Cabaret, where the most funky music goes down. Playing consecutive nights are Alice Russell, The Heavy, King Kahn & the BBQ and Maraca Salsa & Latin Jazz Band—all of which have plenty of mojo to spare.
If you prefer your jazz big, bold and backed by an orchestra, make it a ladies night and take in Pink Martini, June 28 (8 p.m.) at the Orpheum. Vocalist China Forbes sings Old Hollywood back to life and looks the part as well.
For the young (or young at heart)
Prepare to have your socks blown off by Montreal prodigy Nikki Yanofsky, July 5 (7:30 p.m.) at The Centre. The 15-year-old, who can skat like a seasoned pro, was the youngest performer to headline at the Montreal jazz fest—she was twelve then.
For those who like free, David Lam Park is the place to be. On the last weekend of the fest, commandeer a patch of grass and make sure you catch the energetic Irish-Indian fusion band Delhi 2 Dublin on July 4 (8-9:30 p.m.) and the next big Canadian chanteuse Sophie Milman on July 5 (6-7 p.m.).
Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 26-July 5, 2009, www.coastaljazz.ca
June 17th, 2009
Pop quiz: Name the youngster who won the Gastown Grand Prix (now Tour de Gastown) in 1991
Answer: Lance Armstrong
We learned that little nugget at Velo-City, the latest exhibit on cycling culture at the Museum of Vancouver (formerly Vancouver Museum). On your visit get up close and personal with an arsenal of customized bikes, from a make-out chopper outfitted with a red heart-shaped frame and extra long banana seat to a three penny-farthing that looks like it rode right off the pages of a Dr. Suess story.
Once you get your fix of fixies (a bike with no gears or brakes favoured by couriers), mark your calendar for July 13 when they screen Les Triplettes de Belleville in Vanier Park.
Velo-City runs until September 7, 2009 at Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut St., Vancouver, 604-736-4431, www.museumofvancouver.ca
May 20th, 2009
Online streaming means never having an aneurysm over missing an episode of Grey’s, and now thanks to the National Film Board, the other kind of doc is just a click away too.
From Jacques Cousteau’s classic Cries from the Deep to the controversial Through a Blue Lens, the new NFB site is a vast video library of old and new Canadian films from animated shorts to feature-length documentaries that are free to watch; whenever, wherever.
That’ll keep the culture vulture in us well fed long after season finales are finished.
April 29th, 2009
No one can hold a candle to Thom Yorke, but if we had to call out a Canadian counterpart, we’d nominate Patrick Watson.
More orchestral than electronic, the music by the falsetto Montrealer and his bandmates has that same atmospheric, inventive and emotive qualities that we love about Radiohead. His first album Close to Paradise received critical acclaim, the coveted Polaris Music Prize and play on Grey’s Anatomy, and his follow-up Wooden Arms, written while touring the globe, doesn’t disappoint.
With a weirdly whimsical track named for the classic Maurice Sendak's children's story Where the Wild Things Are, who wouldn’t be hooked?
Download Wooden Arms ($9.99) on iTunes.