Quick Look at Vancouver Fashion Week 2009

March 27th, 2009 @ 8:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Wednesday night kicked off Vancouver Fashion Week at Leone’s downtown (you can read BR’s review here) and today Canadian and local designers were showcased at Storyeum in Gastown.

Photo credit: Phillip Jeffrey on Flickr

Today it was all about the latest environmentally-conscious garb with an eco-friendly design spotlight and on Saturday VFW goes global with international, contemporary, and ready-to-wear design [see full schedule].

I interviewed photographer Kris Krug for an E!Online post last fall to get his thoughts about the local scene. “Events like these are a great way to stay connected to friends in the industry and meet the new up-and-coming photographers, models, stylists, makeup-artists etc. They’re all a part of what makes this industry thrive and function.”

The photo pit - spot Phillip

To wrap it up, streetwear is the focus on Sunday including a show by local label To the Nines, then fashion meets music as VFW and Storyeum host a fabulous Juno Awards afterparty combined with the closing gala.

Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week

Tickets for VFW are available online and you may also want to check out the Fashion vs Rock afterparty on Sunday as it will be hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos and benefit the David Suzuki Foundation.

The 2009 Juno Awards: Broadcast Preview

March 27th, 2009 @ 2:35pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This afternoon media were invited to GM Place to check out the stage and set for Sunday’s television broadcast of the Juno Awards. Executive Producer John Brunton and Set Designer Peter Faragher explained a bit about the botanic (yet pretty psychedelic) set.

John Brunton and Peter Faragher of CTV

Set of the 2009 Juno Awards

Set of the 2009 Juno Awards

Set of the 2009 Juno Awards

Meanwhile Dallas Green, of City and Colour, did some Q&A and fielded a question about how he was [mis]quoted in the paper calling the Junos “hokey”. I think he handled that well, but he was really put on the spot there for a minute. Regardless, I hear the City and Colour show at the Orpheum last night as amazing and I look forward to Sunday’s performance as well.

Dallas Green (City and Colour)

With regards to recent criticism claiming that the Junos award only the highest-selling artists, CTV said that only 7 categories include that data in their breakdown and full info about the nomination process can be found on their site.

Juno veterans Alan Doyle, Séan McCann, Bob Hallett of Great Big Sea mentioned that one of the best things about the Junos lately is that the awards show travels from coast to coast each year so it was nice to come to Vancouver. The 2010 Junos will be taking place in St John’s New Foundland.

Alan Doyle, Séan McCann, Bob Hallett (Great Big Sea)

There were a few more questions for comedian Russell Peters, who was enthusiastic about returning as host. Peters has been selling out venues across the country and certainly adds a fantastic and lively element of comedy to the show.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters

Television coverage for this Sunday’s broadcast on CTV starts with the eTalk Red Carpet at 4:00pm PT and the Awards follow at 5:00pm. During the awards show there will be performances by Bryan Adams, City and Colour (up for Artist of the Year), Crystal Shawana, Divine Brown, Great Big Sea (up for Group of the Year), Kathleen Edwards, Nickelback, Sam Roberts, Sarah McLachlan, Serena Ryder, Simple Plan and The Stills. A full list of nominated artists can be found on the Juno website.

At 8:00pm PT you can catch The Amazing Race before they do an encore of the entire show at 9:00pm. Tickets to attend the Awards broadcast are still available.

I will also be liveblogging from the Junos during the broadcast, which is great because not only do I actually get to see the show, but I’ll have time to write and update on the fly as they happen. My liveblog will go up Sunday afternoon (March 29th) around 4:00pm PT and will be published right here.

The 2009 Juno Awards: The Juno Cup Practice

March 26th, 2009 @ 5:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Friday March 27th at 7:30pm the UBC Thunderbird Arena will play host to a fundraising hockey game like no other at the Juno Cup. Musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Mark Sasso (Elliott Brood), Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies), Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), and Barney Bentall will face off against NHL alumni. The hockey all-star roster includes Brad Delgano, Garth Butcher, Dave Babych, Greg Adams, Lanny McDonald, Mark Napier, Russ Courtnall and many more. These are a few snaps from the practice this afternoon:

Aaron Pritchett

Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo)

Mr Coffey (Paul, that is)

Juno Cup Practice

Luke Ducet

Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall, and Ben Mulroney

Michael Landsberg from TSN’s Off the Record will do the play-by-play for the game, which will only span two periods and run until about 10:00pm. Tickets are $14.99 and available through Ticketmaster with proceeds going towards MusiCounts.

SMEI Social Media Roadshow Panel

March 26th, 2009 @ 6:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning I’m at the Terminal City Club downtown for the SMEI Social Media Roadshow. Last year I attended an SMEI (Sales & Marketing & Executives International, Inc.) function and met Mhairi Petrovic of Out-Smarts Social Media Marketing and since then I’ve bumped into her at several community events. She was also a speaker at Third Tuesday where she addressed “Marketing New Media to Traditional Decision Makers: Overcoming the Challenges.”

I’ll be speaking on a panel today, that Mhairi will be moderating, alongside Rob Duncan (BCIT), Chris Breikss (6s Marketing), Jordan Willms (Sumolabs).

Hopefully I’ll have some time to update this morning after the keynotes from Loren McDonald and Adam Froman.

A quick Terminal City Club history tidbit: On December 5th 1892, the Terminal City Club was formed. “It was known then as the Metropolitan Club and met in a building at the southwest corner of Hastings and Richards.” [VancouverHistory]. In 1906 B.T. Rogers (or sugar riches and fame) donated a pair of marble statues to the Terminal City Club, which are still there today.

The 2009 Juno Awards: Interview with Matthew Barber

March 25th, 2009 @ 2:08pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

After releasing his latest album Ghost Notes last year Matthew Barber has been nominated for a 2009 Juno Awards for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year (solo). “I was pleasantly surprised and happy about the Juno nomination – it always feels good to be recognized in that way,” noted Barber during our chat this afternoon.

The singer/songwriter toured Canada then Australia with his sister Jill (also a musician) in 2008 during what they called the Sibling Revelry Tour and is preparing for a full album release in the US next month. His label Outside Music will be launching in America and Ghost Notes will be their first release, through independent music distributor, Red Eye.

Photo Credit: Corey Goodyear

Between tours and releases Barber still finds time to write and not solely for his own albums. I found out that he worked on a theatrical production called The Haunted Hillbilly, based on a a short novel by Toronto author Derek McCormack. “Some friends of mine are involved in the theatre community in Montreal and it was their idea to adapt this play,” said Barber who was then invited to be the Musical Director. “The idea was to make it a play with songs as opposed to a musical, a play that sort of has songs interspersed with the dialog so I got to write original songs for these characters to sing.” Set in Nashville, one of the characters was Hank Williams – although the story is entirely fictional. “It was well-received and we’re going to be doing it again late this year, doing a longer run of it and a bigger production.” Barber was also able to draw inspiration from the theatre community, “just seeing how they work and how they operate — they work really hard.”

Barber has also been writing blog post updates on his MySpace page, while his main site has been under construction. “It’s nice to have that to fall back on to post your songs — it’s easy, it’s free, and everybody knows it’s out there.”

His sound is a personal, soulful mixture of folk and rock that combines in the best way possible when you have a talented songwriter behind the guitar. If you’d like to check out Matthew Barber he will be in town for the Juno Awards this weekend and will be playing a show for Juno Fest at Doolins on Saturday night (@11:00pm). It’s a slightly different venue than he’s used to, having played at the Media Club before and also opened up for bands at The Commodore, which is the holy grail of venues in this city according to almost every artist I’ve ever spoken with – and I think most would agree with that. However I’ve heard that when Matthew Barber is playing any venue can seem like the most intimate, so I know the Doolins crowd will be in for a treat regardless.

But being based back East, hopefully he’ll pass through town again, either while promoting this release or his next since after this weekend (and hopefully after collecting some much-deserved Juno hardware) he’ll be getting back to writing. “I’m kind of immersed in that right now so that’s what I plan on doing for the next few weeks, just hunkering down in the basement and cranking out some recordings.”

You can check out his nominated album Ghost Notes, which is currently available on iTunes for download or pick it up at your local retail music store.

Sport BC's Athlete of the Year Awards Recap by Richard Loat

March 25th, 2009 @ 9:30am (PT) by Guest Author

Unfortunately, John and I were unable to use my passes last night so I asked someone to go in our place and write a recap post for my site. As a result Richard Loat (Canucks blogger, fellow Fan Zone blogger, and avid users of Twitter) attended the Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards and has graciously written the following about the evening:

In one of the longest recurring awards ceremonies in British Columbia, the 43rd edition of the Annual Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards ceremony did not disappoint. On a night that saw British Columbians showcased for their sporting achievements there was representation from over 18 sports and on a night filled with as many star studded award presenters as there were award nominees the lineup did not disappoint. Amongst some of the presenters were some top brass including Head Coach of the BC Lions Wally Buono, as well as the NHL Players Association Executive Director Paul Kelly. The event sponsored by and hosted by CTV saw everything from an outstanding musical performance to start the evening, hip hop dancers mid event, the sometimes hilarious comments of the MC du jour and a fantastic closing performance by none other than Colin James, renowned rhythm and blues guitarist and singer.

The largest sport present amongst the nominees was by far swimming having Swimmer Savannah King up for Junior Female Athlete of the Year, Ryan Cochrane (Olympic Bronze Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics) up for Male Athlete of the Year, Randy Bennett (Cochrane’s coach) up for coach of the Year, and Donovan Tildsley up for Athlete with a Disability of the Year.

Richard Loat & the men’s rowing team

Surprisingly not a single swimmer made it up there this year to take home an Athlete of the Year award as the night belonged to Canada’s Olympic medal winning rowing team. The men’s rowing team took home the Team of the Year Award and saw their coach take top spot away from Island Swimming’s Randy Bennett in the Coach of the Year award. Overnight Olympic hero Ryan Cochrane lost Male Athlete of the Year honors to Victoria’s own Simon Whitfield, Tildsley lost Athlete with a Disability honors to Nanoose Bay’s Wheelchair Track star Michelle Stilwell and King lost Junior Female Athlete of the Year honors to Tennis star Rebecca Marino.

Happy 9th Birthday Alexis

March 25th, 2009 @ 7:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Brand Spanking NewIt was nine years ago today that Alexis was born and I became an auntie for the first time. Over the years I’ve been blessed several times over with the joys of having the most caring and thoughtful niece and nephews anyone could dream of calling their own.

Things have changed a lot in nine years, in both our lives. I remember one of the first times I went to my sister’s house after Lexi was born and it took us about 45 minutes to prepare the stroller and diaper bag… for our trip to the corner store about 200 feet away. Since that time I think I’ve seen my sister get socks, shoes, school bags, and five kids out the door in 35 seconds flat, no lie.

Alexis is such a special girl who can make you laugh and smile while always impressing you with her sense of humour and ability to learn. Before she turned 3 she could tell us all that “Paul Martin in Ottawa” was the Prime Minister of Canada and she spoke two languages before even starting pre-school. I’m constantly amazed at how smart she is, how wicked good she is at skiing, and at how quick her wit is to boot.

Examined Life at Pacific Cinematheque

March 25th, 2009 @ 6:50am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Thanks to the people at FilmsWeLike I was able to screen Examined Life, a documentary film by Astra Taylor that walks and talks with philosophers in various cities. Discussions range from meaning in life to Truth (with a capital “T”), romanticism, ecology, gender, capabilities, and ideology.

“Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets.” [NFB]

The wide cast of philosophers range from Michael Hardt talking about ‘revolution’ while rowing a boat in Central Park, to Cornel West quoting Donne and Yeats in the back of a moving car, while Peter Singer discusses ethics on 5th Avenue in New York.

Photo: NFB

Slavoj Zizek walks through a waste treatment plant in New York while explaining ecology as ideology, and Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses what it is to be truly cosmopolitan. We hear from Avital Ronell, Martha Nussbaum, and in San Francisco – Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor as well.

In the Director’s Q&A, Taylor notes: “Many would feel that the world is facing a multitude of unprecedented problems, from global arming to growing economic inequality. In a way, this is part of why I wanted to make Examined Life right now — I feel that the myriad of problems facing us demand more thinking than ever, not less.

That said, most people wouldn’t assume philosophy would have anything useful to say on these issues. Often when you mention “philosophy” people’s eyes kind of glaze over. The world conjures images of stodgy old white men pontificating on abstract matters completely irrelevant to those of us who in the “real world”. Or maybe folks assume that philosophy doesn’t relate to their lives, or that people who are interest in the subject or unforgivably ponderous or pretentious.”

Photo: NFB

The film is certainly thought-provoking and with so many faces and angles presented in each discussion, your eyes certainly won’t glaze over — especially when the passionate Cornel West talks about music, “I’m a blues man… …the blues is personal catastrophe lyrically expressed.”

Examined Life has been playing since Friday at Pacific Cinematheque downtown and tonight is the last showing before it heads to Victoria for screenings beginning April 1st at Cinecenta. Tickets are $9.50 (cash only) and the show starts at 7:30pm. You can also follow Pacific Cinematheque on Twitter for other show updates.