Topic “Vancouver”

Pacific Rim Kite Festival

Pterodactyl KiteThrough a fortunate chain of events I heard about this weekend's Pacific Rim Kite Festival at Vanier Park in Vancouver. If kite flying brings to mind diamond shaped objects sedately hanging in the air you need to check one of these out. The creative spirit is alive and well in kite technology, and there are precision acrobatic kites you have to see to believe. I especially love watching the acrobatic kites perform. My Saturday morning was actually free so I checked out the festival with some friends.

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Emily Carr 2010 Foundation Exhibition

Emily Carr Foundation Students 2010We live in a world surrounded by talent we seldom get a chance to appreciate. On Friday a chance presented itself, though I didn't know it at the time. The first year ("Foundation Year") students at Emily Carr celebrate completion of their first year with an exhibition of projects they've created in their classes. My friend Seth is one of those students. Though I went to celebrate his completion of first year and check out the work he has in the show, I found much more to enjoy.

The event is called the Emily Carr University of Art + Design's 2010 Foundation Exhibition, and this was opening night. The exhibition is open all week and is being held in the concourse gallery space and class rooms at the Granville Island campus. The entrance had this sign of the entire first year cohort, tempting many people, myself included, to play a game of "where's Waldo" looking for people I knew. The group photo gave away no clues of the sights within.

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Books, Bookcrossing, and Meetup

Lower Mainland Bookcrossing It's ironic that reading is a highly solitary activity because if you're like me you love talking about a book after you've finished it! There are few better conversations than comparing story notes with someone who loved a book as much as I did, and the opportunity doesn't come up as often as it should. Fortunately, Vancouver's Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Meetup Group is dedicated to exactly this activity with an added bonus: You can get new books to read and give away books you don't want to keep!

The Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Meetup Group is the fusion of two great ideas. The first is bookcrossing, which is "the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise"1. The second is a meeting of book lovers. Put them together and you have twice monthly meetings where people bring books they want to leave for others to enjoy, perhaps find one or two or five books to enjoy themselves, and have an evening of sometimes sedate, sometimes raucous conversation. Any books unclaimed at the end of the meeting are left for others to discover.

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BookCamp Vancouver Registration is Open!

Ok, I've already been in trouble for not posting about BookCamp Vancouver, I'm not going to compound the trouble by not passing along this announcement that registration is open!

Mark your calendars for October 16th:

BookCamp VancouverBookCamp Vancouver is a user-generated unconference that brings print publishers, educators, community builders and the tech community together – for free! BookCamp Vancouver is an opportunity to explore the present and future of books and book-like technologies. It’s open to anyone interested in the publishing industry and the potential dynamics of the reader/creator/publisher relationship.

Join us for a day of sharing new ideas, radical notions and engaging conversation! We’ll consider the future of the Book as an object; examine its ongoing role as a delivery mechanism for stories, information and entertainment; and examine how publishers can leverage themselves for success in the digital age.

Participants and self-selected guests will choose the agenda for the day, forming breakup groups to discuss and potentially create future book technologies, workflows, and grand schemes. Lend your passion and expertise to Bookcamp Vancouver by volunteering to facilitate a session.

Our plan is for this to be a day of talking and doing – of rolling up the proverbial shirt sleeves and tinkering with the publishing mechanism. We’re inviting authors, typographers, designers, printers, technologists, booksellers, literary agents, publishers and geeks of every stripe to come along and consider if and how technology can transform and perhaps improve on The Book.

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Sins of the City - 2009

Jail time for DaleLast night I was a very pleased guest at the "Sins of the City" Tweetup at the Vancouver Police Museum. Don't know what "tweetup" means? Don't worry, it's not important. What is important is sex, drugs, illegal weapons, and the stories that surround them!

"Sins of the City" is a historical walking tour run by the Vancouver Police Museum. Some 30 of us were guests of Chris Mathieson, the museum's Executive Director, for a museum open house and preview of 2009's tour (the tour changes every year).

During the open house we got to check out the museum. The items and displays were interesting, but not exciting. That is, until Mathieson started circulating and telling us the stories behind them. The items and their history came alive! Some stories were cute, like the police robot formally known as Expo Earnie, and some poingnant, like the police service revolver that, by fluke of circumstance, was in a desk drawer when its owner was shot and killed in the line of duty.

We were treated to a viewing of museum holdings not currently on display, which included white-gold "brass" knuckles in a dragon motif, a number of knives straight out of the movies (but confiscated elsewhere), and an autographed ping pong ball used in a performance of the infamous Ping-Pong Queen, Mitzi Dupree! The novelty of the items — how often do you get to see stuff that would get you arrested — combined with Mathieson's knowledge and storytelling skills had me totally engaged. I'm sure I was smiling like a little kid. There's some pictures later in the post.

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CFC Best Shorts of 2008

CFC Best Shorts of 2008 tourJust got back from watching the Canadian Film Center (CFC) World Wide Short Film Festival Best Shorts of 2008 tour with Marina (Confessions/Row 3) and Colleen (353 Review). These were notable short films, typically award winners, from the CFC Short Film Festival in Toronto this summer.

Tonight I was in the mood for entertainment. Unfortunately, some of the winners on technical merits weren't especially entertaining. Fortunately, this was made up by the winners that were entertaining or otherwise a good watch.

Highlights:

  • Manon On the Asphalt (Manon sur le bitume):
    A light touch on a serious topic: Never take life for granted.
  • I Love Sarah Jane:
    Boyhood crush in the midst of zombie outbreak. It went in a direction I didn't expect and was great fun to watch.
  • A Dose of the Guilts:
    A naughty adulteress playing with her hard of hearing, and somewhat duped lover. Although the story was contrived it was a lot of laughs.
  • Le Grand Content
    A graphic animation that free associated with a veneer of technical accuracy. Kind of a geek beer gab set to fancy business presentation graphics. Also great fun.
  • New Boy:
    Based on the short story by Roddy Doyle involving a new boy in class this was the most complete dramatic story of the evening and very well done. The characters were great and I loved listening to the Irish accents.

I also have to mention The Funeral. A young woman plans her funeral as if it's her wedding. It has some fun moments but still left me saying "WTF?" at the end.

Summer 2008 Event Omnibus

A whole bunch of events you might be interested in:

The Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival

Saturday July 26, 2008
http://www.pandorascollective.com/sdrfestival.html

If you're a literary reader or lover of poetry this is a great event. I don't fall into either of these categories but enjoyed the performance poetry and story slams of past years. Quite a wide range of presentations, with some having a Hip Hop feel and others more traditional.

Vancouver Blog-a-thon 2008

Saturday July 26, 2008
http://blogathonvancouver.wikidot.com/

Local bloggers raising money for charity by posting every 30 minutes for 24 hours. Fellow podcaster Colleen from 353 Review is participating, as is local big gun blogger Miss 604.

Slow Food Circle Farm Tour

Saturday August 9, 2008
http://www.slowfoodvancouver.com/index.php/AgassizTour

From their site: a self-guided bicycle ride following the popular Circle Farm Tour. Embark on a leisurely cycle and learn more about local food production. Riding your bicycle, you will get to experience and taste local food products produced close to home, while getting to know and supporting your local farmers.

VinoCamp 2008 (aka Wine Camp)

Saturday August 16, 2008
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/137449114/bmann

From the site: An outdoor gathering of wine tasting, learning, and sharing, done in an informal style. We'll learn about growing, tasting, and pairing wines from a wide array of enthusiasts and experts. Mash this up with techies that like to record and capture these types of events in an unstructured style, and you have a fun one day event. This is Definitely Not The Wine Festival.

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Vancouver Freeze

Vancouver Freeze

At the beginning of the month I posted a YouTube vid of a people freezing in Grand Central Station. Marina discovered a Vancouver version captured in this photo by Mark Klotz. Head over to her site for the video, and some other hijinks involving computers and Starbucks.

Bicycle Bee

People are doing cool stuff all over the place. Someone I recently met who's definitely in this category is Ifny. We crossed paths at the Vancouver Drupaliers January meeting. Ifny is involved with a number of community organizations using technology for "real world" community building and good works. One of these is the bicycle bee. It's a come together, get to know some people, eat, and fix/build a bike group.

From their website:

bicyclebee.blogspot.com - Why Bike Bee?

Bicycle Bee LogoBicycle Bee isn't about work. We will not enslave you to some dull-as-dishwater project. The idea is similar to the quilting bee -- a way to foster communication, take bike repair and building out of the sometimes offputting workshop, and into the hands of anyone who has, or wants a bike. Works in the same way as a quilting bee. A group of people get together and toss various tips and advice back and forth, in an accessible language we all use. Instead of a quilt, the project is a bike, but the process is the same.

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We found Earth, but where can we find coffee?!

Battlestar Galactica PatchRight out of the launch bay it was clear the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galatica (BSG) was sometime different. One look at Katee Sackhoff's Starbuck made it real clear ("Oh my god, Starbuck is a woman?!"). That it was simply great drama quickly became apparent, but going on to win a Peabody award was icing on the cake.

Given the affinity great shows have for attracting fan groups, especially science fiction shows, it's surprising and a little ironic there isn't a Vancouver BSG fan group (it is filmed here, after all). That's just changed. A fan group named The 13th Colony has just started with Meetup as its home: http://battlestargalactica.meetup.com/16/

Their inaugural coffee and chat is scheduled for Saturday, February 10 at 2:00pm.

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