Tackling the weather factor

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Crazy wisdom
thrives in Vancouver
Page 4
                                                                                                                                                                              Since       1 999

  Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011                                                                                                                   

Tackling the
weather factor
                                          like Douglas Arthurs, 52.
                                             He grew up in Saskatchewan
 by Tim ReiNeRT
     ain. If you’ve lived in Van-         and has lived in Vancouver for
     couver for any length of time,       over 25 years, and has his own of
you come to know it well. It’s so         coping with rain.
inherently a part of the city’s             “I get the f**k out by Dec. 5,”
culture and history that some             says Arthurs with a laugh. “I
long time residents try not to no-        leave every winter for the tropics
tice it anymore, and newcomers            for about three months.”
seemed prepared.                             But funnily enough there are
   Most people would be shocked           those that move from the tropics,
to know that, on paper, if you use        or even New York, knowing full
total rainfall as your measuring          well what they’re getting into
stick, Vancouver isn’t even in the        and how to get used to the con-
top 30 rainiest cities in North           stant drizzle.
America. In fact, we receive less            Antoine Heaulme-Laverne, 27,
than half the rain of Prince Ru-          a recent transplant who moved
pert, Canada’s wettest town.              to Vancouver from Paris, says
   It’s only when you look at the         that the trade-off is worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Jennifer Johnston
weather in terms of how many                “I knew that it was going to rain
days a year it rains, that the            a lot,” says Heaulme-Laverne, “so
stats start to get alarming, still        I was very much prepared for
it's not enough to get us into the        that. I also knew that winters are
upper echelon of wet.                     normally not too cold, and that       is hot all year round, but in Van-
   It rains an average of 166 days        was a big thing for me. I would       couver, it is so cold! For me, it’s
a year in Vancouver, which is             rather suffer a lot of rain than      freezing!” she says. She adds that
definitely high, but there are            have a really cold winter."           the biggest surprise coming here
still over 30 locations in Canada            He says that he was fully pre-     six months ago, was that the sum-
with rainier days than us.                pared for the rain when he got        mers are so short. It was a big
   According to Environment               here, and feels that the mildness     shock for someone coming from
Canada, Vancouver is the coun-            and relative warmth of the win-       a country with sun year-round.         Arriving to the "Wetcoast"

try’s ninth rainiest location,            ters were big factors when decid-        Another mostly sunny coun-
when you factor in all metrics,           ing to live here.                     try is Brazil. Johnny Mendes, 31,                                          edly swap my sunglasses for
and twenty-day stretches of rain             Eyad Kinkar agrees with him,       came to Vancouver over seven                                               a parka.
                                                                                                                       by Nalla Faye
aren’t uncommon between No-               to a point. She’s a recent immi-      years ago. His preconceptions re-         t’s a go! Departure day is set
vember and March.                         grant from Saudi Arabia, and al-      garding Canada’s weather were             for the great trek to the Ca-
   Every city has its positives and       though she knew what to expect        almost stereotypical, in that he       nadian West: April 10th 2011.       First, I was surprised at the be-
                                                                                                                                                           The Mail Strike

negatives, and eventually, one            based on reports from friends,        was expecting the city to be cov-        I’m excited. My daily Par-        ginning of June when I learned
has to make a choice as to wheth-         she still found it difficult to get   ered in white when he arrived.         is grind is going to totally        from the media that a strike
er or not the good outweighs the          used to the weather.                    “I was under the impression          change. And the timing is           was paralyzing the country. A
bad, and that’s fine for those of           “It is a huge difference [for me]   that Canada was mainly snow,”          perfect: I need a breath of         strike? In Canada? Oh no!
us who have been here a while,            because back home the weather                                                fresh air.                             I was told that Canadians
                                                                                                                         For a preview of what is in       were not lazy slobs like the
                                                                                              See “Raining“ Page 2

                                                                                                                       store for me in the American        French, that they worked like
   Also in this issue                                                                                                  West I treat myself to a stop-      gang-busters and only granted
                                                                                                                       over in California.                 themselves two weeks’ holiday
                                                                                                                         Over there, everybody ex-         a year. The conflict was serious
                                                                                                                       plains to me that I’m very          and would last all of June.
                                                                                                                       lucky to be going to Vancouver.        Welcome, then, to Canada:
                                                                                                                       According to some “it’s a little    impossible to receive my utili-
                                                                                                                       bit like San Francisco’s little     ties’ hook-up bills, electricity,
                                                                                                                       sister, Canadian style.”            Internet, telephone, or my so-
                                                                                                                         The gentle climate, the laid-     cial insurance card.
        Tales of
                                                                                                                       back people (I understand re-          Finally the House of Com-
                                                                                                                       laxed), the beaches etc. And I      mons and the Senate adopted
        the umbrella

                                                                                                                       can’t ignore Vancouver’s little     a bill to enforce a return to
         Page 3

                                                                                                                       nicknames like “Wet Coast”,         work.
                                                                                                                      “Raincouver.” So upon leav-
                                                           The Cultch focuses on community-building                    ing San Francisco I resign-                    See “Verbatim” Page 2
                                                           Page 5
                                                                                               transform Vancouver in any ma-
2 The Source                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011

                                                                                               jor way.
                                                                                                                                                                        Spencie’s View
                         My Turn                                                                 What great works he put forth
                                                                                               ended up creating a certain de-
                                                                                               gree of dissatisfaction. I refer
                                                                                               here to homeless shelters, down-
 seRge coRbeil

                                                                                               town’s bike lanes, and this ambi-
Our cities on the campaign                                                                     tion of his to make Vancouver the
                                                                                               greenest city on earth. Speaking

                                                                                               of which, no one seems to know
trail – focus on Vancouver                                                                     what that means, exactly, or to
                                                                                               what degree he intended to take
    n November 19, BC voters                   This campaign should be heat-                   any so-called green measures, in
    will be electing their respec-          ed and both Vision Vancouver                       order to assess whether the goals
tive municipal councils. Well,              and the NPA are likely to invest                   have been achieved or not.
some voters at least, will take             sums of money of a magnitude                         Anyway, it’s not that the initia-
advantage of the opportunity.               never seen before in a munici-                     tives are bad in themselves; it’s
Municipal elections have a his-             pal election in Vancouver. Both                    the way they have been present-
torically dismal participation              teams have already fired at one                    ed that created the source of such
rate. One of the most interest-             another and the battle should be                   dissatisfaction. One leitmotiv in
ing races will, of course, take             fierce. For the NPA to gain more                   the complaints against Mayor
place in Vancouver.                         than one seat on council would                     Robertson is that his adminis-
   Mayor Gregor Robertson and               be an improvement over the 2008                    tration has repeatedly used the
his team (under Vision Vancou-              election, when the team lost not                   screen of pseudo-consultations,
ver’s banner) will try to hang on           only its mayoral status but was                    while in fact, its priorities were
to his post, and his council ma-            also greatly marginalized, with                    already set. Additionally, his
jority as well, for a second man-           only one seat left on council, that                tendency, during his mandate, to
date. The battle will be (princi-           of Ms Anton.                                       augment municipal taxes much
pally) against the Non Partisan                For Gregor Robertson, this                      beyond inflation rates, also risks
Association (NPA), and its mayor-           election is an important one. His                  becoming a campaign theme.
al candidate, Suzanne Anton. Ms             first mandate has been, in spite                     This said, I think that Gregor
Anton is playing big as she holds           of a few controversies greatly                     Robertson should be able to se-
her team’s sole seat on council.            highlighted in the media, a tepid                  cure a second mandate. The mu-
This is to say that should she lose         one. Many of his main priori-                      nicipal council itself, on the other
against Gregor Robertson, a like-           ties (announced in 2008) were                      hand, should could see some
ly prospect if not a probability,           certainly toyed with, but no one                   changes.
she will be giving up her seat.             can say that he has managed to                     Translation Monique Kroeger

                                                                                               moment. But then, I was told
                                                                                               that it wasn’t the final, but just
  “Rain” from page 1

                                                                                               the first of seven matches. Ah!
                                                  “Verbatim” from page 1

                                              The last time I came to Canada,                  I’m sorry but since when is a fi-
                                              My cereal box speaks French

                                              I went to Montreal, Quebec. So                   nal not a final? France-Brazil in
                                              to hear, read and speak French,                  seven matches? Impossible.
                                              nothing felt more natural in a                       So, it was therefore difficult
                                              francophone land. On the other                   for me to get excited about all
                                              hand, the first time I did some                  the matches.
                                              shopping here, at the corner                        The evening of THE final, I
                                              supermarket, I was surprised                     decided to go to a pub to watch
                                              to read French on a cereal box.                  the match the Canucks lose, but
                                              You don’t joke around with bi-                   outside the weather was nice, it
                                              lingualism in Canada, even here,                 was spring, so I decided to go to
                                              in British Columbia.                             a movie theatre on Seymour for
                                                                                               the second half of the evening.
                                                                                                  Upon leaving the theatre, the
                                              Coming from soccer land, I had                   usherette explained that the
                                              The joys of the Stanley Cup

                                              everything to learn of what                      city was on fire and being ran-
                                              stirs the crowds here: hockey.                   sacked. Fire and mayhem? I
he says. He adds that the short               What luck, I was told, I got here                couldn’t stop myself from smil-
  Mendes and wife, Lisa, on sunnier days.

but warm summers were a wel-                  just in time for the Stanley                     ing. I grew up in the Parisian
come surprise, though it took                 Cup finals, with the Vancou-                     suburbs, so riots, like strikes,
him quite a while to get used to              ver Canucks playing against                      don’t frighten me. Braving the
the long periods of rain.                     the Boston Bruins. Awesome!                      crowd to go home, I came upon
   Although every newcomer to                 I thought I was back in 1998,                    a scene of absolute chaos.
the city has different reactions to           during the World Cup. Blue jer-                     While wondering about the
our long and wet winters, the one             seys popped-up everywhere in                     events, I retreated shyly to-
thing they all seem to agree on               Vancouver, faces were made up                    wards the theatre, where the
is that the pluses outweigh the               and the girls were dressed... up                 usherette welcomed us, never
minuses, and they chalk the rain              to their nails (special Canucks’                 doubting that we would all
up as being the price you pay for             manicures).                                      come back. She offered us a free
living in one of the world’s most               Then it was all over, Vancou-                  seat for the next day’s movie. It
beautiful and greenest cities.                ver beat Boston 1-0. It was fi-                  is, above all else, that gesture
  “It does rain a lot,” says                  esta time. I got back home, grin-                that I will remember most, from
Heaulme-Laverne, “but trees and               ning from ear to ear, happy to                   that evening.
plants everywhere more than                   be present at such an historical
compensate for it.”
                                                                                               Translation: Nigel Barbour

   And, if that is still not enough,
Arthur has one more way of cop-
ing with the endless of rain that
falls for over 10 months of the
year in Vancouver.
  “On a rainy day, which are many,
I purposely flirt with people in
order to keep my spirits up and
hopefully land a date.”
                                                                                                                                          Photo by Joanne C, Flickr

                                                  To Nalla Faye's surprise, riot police gather in Vancouver on June 15, 2011.

  the source is published by the source     Founding Publisher Mamadou Gangué                  Writers Dina Adel-Haq, Nigel Barbour, Tétia                            l eg a l i t ie s                                        rial submissions if accompanied by the author’s
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Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011                                                                                                                                                      The Source 3

Violence against women: a global problem
                                    is originally from India, recalls               system, and says her scars will          immigrant communities, but
                                    that prior to leaving, she was “a               always remain, but she is now            rather that local women, unlike
by oleNa moRozoVa
    buse against women hap- voice never heard.” She says she                        a happy single mom with a suc-           newcomers, would likely seek
    pens every day. Regardless felt like she was a woman “who                       cessful career.                          help within the network of fam-
of skin colour, race, creed or eth- deserved to be abused.”                           Chantelle Krish, Public Rela-          ily and friends that they have in
nicity, abuse is an international     “The abuse kept getting bigger                tions Manager at the YWCA of             this country.
issue that knows no boundaries, and bigger,” says K. “The turning                   Metro Vancouver, is working                 Amongst other things, Vollans'
and every October, the YWCA point for me was when my then                           to push the “Abuse isn’t always          job is to advocate for mother’s
Metro Vancouver takes up the five-year-old [son], started to                        black and blue” campaign. She            without legal status and refer
cause with their Week Without witness the [physical and emo-                        says that she and her team are           them to experts who can help
Violence campaign.                  tional] violence,” she adds.                    trying to spread the word about          them resolve their legal issues and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Ric Moore
                                                                                                                             apply for permanent residency.

                                                                                                                                Vollans admits that she gets
                                                                                                                             teary-eyed whenever a letter de-
          We provide a system for immigrant women who may
                                                                                                                             claring permanent residency ar-
                                                                                                                                                                       Scott King in his W. Broadway St. shop.

                                                                                                                             rives for a Munroe House resident.
          not have another support system in place in this country                                                                                                 Vancouverites
                                                                                                                               “Every time a woman gets that
                                                                                                                             letter, it is such a tangible [and]
          Chantelle Krish, YWCA, Metro Vancouver
  This year's Vancouver cam-                    K had the strength and deter-           an issue that is rarely addressed    real thing,” she says.                search for
paign focuses on the idea that               mination to leave thanks to the            or talked about, but one that           According to Krish, few of the
while emotional abuse cannot be              support system provided by the             many immigrant women bring           Munroe House residents have           their umbrellas

seen, it certainly does exist. For           Munroe House and its crew, as              with them or discover once           returned to their abusive rela-
this reason, the YWCA of Metro               well as other women who were               they’re married and have lots of     tionships in recent years. She
Vancouver is making people face              fleeing abusive relationships of           responsibilities.                    says that about 50–75 per cent of
                                                                                                                                                                    by Ric mooRe
up to it with its campaign, “Abuse           their own.                                  “We often see a situation where     women return to their abusive           obinson Crusoe made a
isn’t always black and blue.”                   She still has to deal with her          a woman comes [to Canada], say       partners after staying in a first        parasol on his deserted is-
  The aim is to raise awareness              ex-husband through the legal               on a student visa, falls in love,    stage transition house (or shel-    land. Gene Kelly, in Singin’ in
about the services provided by                                                                  has children and so on…      ter) for 30 days.                   the Rain, danced with a brolly.
the YWCA to abused women from                                                                   [and she sometimes] be-         She says that this figure is a   And France’s President, Nicolas
anywhere around the world. Ser-                                                                 comes trapped because        real testament to the fact that     Sarkozy has an armor-plated
vices include access to a wide                                                                  she has no legal status in   given a choice and a solid support  bumbershoot to protect himself
range of housing facilities. Among                                                              the country and is fully     system, women would not go          from attackers.
these facilities is Munroe House,                                                               dependent on her part-       back to an abusive partner.            The world over, umbrellas are
a partly subsidized second stage                                                                ner, who becomes abu-           K. urges women to research       useful in so many ways besides
transition house where women                                                                    sive. So we [the YWCA]       the information and support sys-    the rain, and they’ve come a long
and their families can stay and                                                                 provide a system for         tems that are available to them     way since their creation back in
transition from an abusive life to                                                              immigrant women who          and use this information to leave   ancient Egypt, the Middle East
an independent and peaceful life,                                                               may not have another         their abusive relationships be-     and China.
void of any violence.                                                                           support system in place      hind.                                 “There is is a lot of misconcep-
  A former resident of Munroe                                                                   in this country,” says         “There is hope out there,” she    tion about who buys parasol um-
House, agreed to speak about                                                                    Krish.                       says.                               brellas,” says Scott King, manag-
                                                                                          Photo courtesy of the YWCA

her experiences on condition of                                                                   YWCA legal educator,                                           er of Vancouver’s The Umbrella
anonymity, and wanted to be re-                                                                 Andrea Vollans, says that    Week Without Violence runs from Shop.
ferred to as K.                                                                                 this trend doesn’t mean                                            “Typically people believe that
  After leaving a nine-year-                                                                    that abuse against wom- women of Asian descent use
long abusive marriage, K, who                  Poster for YWCA violence against women campaign. en is more prevalent in
                                                                                                                             Oct. 17–23. For more details, visit

                                                                                                                                                                 them more than others. We have
                                                                                                                                                                 actually noticed a larger number

                                                                                                                                                                 of Caucasian customers request-
                                                                                                                                                                 ing sun protection as their skin
                                                                                                                                                                 tends to burn easier.”
                                                                                                                                                                    In Vancouver umbrellas and
                                                                                                                                                                 people, means protection. But
                                                                                                                                                                 there’s more to umbrellas than
                                                                                                                                                                 just evading the rain.
                                                                                                                                                                    King’s family business has
                                                                                                                                                                 been around for over 75 years.
                                                                                                                                                                 In their store on West Broadway,
                                                                                                                                                                 you have many styles, colours,
                                                                                                                                                                 patterns and price ranges to
                                                                                                                                                                 choose from. And it seems that
                                                                                                                                                                 the variety is met with just as
                                                                                                                                                                 many superstitions.
                                                                                                                                                                   “There’s not one day that goes
                                                                                                                                                                 by that someone doesn’t ask if
                                                                                                                                                                 it’s bad luck to open umbrellas
                                                                                                                                                                 in doors,” says King. “We usu-
                                                                                                                                                                 ally tell them that it’s okay in an
                                                                                                                                                                 umbrella store and that we have
                                                                                                                                                                 personally done it thousands of
                                                                                                                                                                 times…on the rare occasion…to
                                                                                                                                                                 calm a customer, the umbrel-
                                                                                                                                                                 la will be taken outside to be
                                                                                                                                                                    Although the origins of this
                                                                                                                                                                 long withstanding superstition
                                                                                                                                                                 are up for debate, North Ameri-
                                                                                                                                                                 ca has some little known water-
                                                                                                                                                                 mark superstitions of its own
                                                                                                                                                                 surrounding the umbrella.
                                                                                                                                                                    Some examples are that it is
                                                                                                                                                                 bad luck to give an umbrella as a
                                                                                                                                                                 gift. If you drop an umbrella, do
                                                                                                                                                                                    See “Umbrellas” Page 6

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4 The Source                                                                                                                                                    Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011

Shambhala Centre teaches dignity
by  samuel Ramos
    he Buddhist teachings at
    the Shambhala Centre on
Heather St. and 17th Ave., don’t
come from your typical monk

                                                                          Photo by Karen Roper, courtesy of Crazy Wisdom
in crimson coloured robes. In-
stead the Universal teachings
of dignity, intelligence and di-
versity come from Chögyam
Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan
meditation master who taught
thousands, smoked cigarettes
and created (and led) his own
army; at times doing all three
while wearing full military re-
galia, creating paradoxes wher-
                                        Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

ever he set foot.                       “Two days after moving to Van-
                                        February 28, 1939–April 4, 1987

   Since 1978 the Shambhala Med-      couver...Susan Chapman was
itation Centre in Vancouver has       leading a class and I was im-
been guiding seekers on a path        pressed by the different people
that explores the “wisdom, san-       that were there from all walks
ity and compassion that comes         of life… a far cry from what the
from      mindfulness-awareness       community is like in Halifax, so I
meditation.”                          found it very inspiring.”
   Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche,             Goetsch says that Shambhala
came to North America in the          attracted mostly hippies who
early 1970s. He was the first Ti-     were middle class Caucasians,
betan monk to attract so many         but now he sees a sort of rebirth
people and make Buddhist              where people from a new genera-
teachings mainstream.                 tion are attracted to the teach-
  “The likes of William Bur-          ings and are becoming part of a
roughs, Allan Ginsberg and Phil-      more diverse community.
ip Glass were all over [Trungpa’s]       Despite all of that, however,
teachings,” says head teacher         Goetsch thinks Chögyam Trung-
and long time Shambhalian, Su-        pa Rinpoche’s vision of a unified
san Chapman.                          and dignified society is already
  “I never, never encountered a       at work.
mind like his…I didn’t know he          “People aren't trying to make
was Buddhist, I just knew [that]      a big deal out of it [ethnicity],”
who ever this person was, was         says Goetsch, “people just say ok
amazing.”                            ‘you're a human being and you're
   Chapman has been on the            at this place and so that seems to
Shambhalian path since 1974           make a lot of sense to me.’ ”
when she discovered Trungpa
and his teachings. She left Van-
couver and followed Trungpa to
                                     To learn more visit

Boulder Colorodo, where he set
                                                                                     Visit us at our new website!
up a school, developed new dis-
                                     For the movie Crazy Wisdom:

ciplines, wrote over two dozen
                                     Life & Times of Chogyam                                                     
books, and was able to unite
                                     Trungpa Rinpoche visit

people of all backgrounds in a
                                                                                                                           Twitter: @thelasource Facebook: thelasource

human and playful way.
  “He was in this really rough
cowboy bar in Northern Coloro-
do and he had a squirt gun and
was squirting these really dan-
gerous looking guys [with wa-
ter],” recalls Chapman. “He used
to do things like that to shake
people up.”
   Shambhala aims to not only
enlighten people, but society as
a whole; as well unite cultures
from all over the world so that,
as Chapman suggests, we can
learn and tech each other based
on our upbringing, cultural cus-
toms and backgrounds.
  “Shambhala brings the best of
the world into one,” says Chap-
man. “What Trungpa did was go
through all the societies of the
world and pick the best in every-
  “He’d pick things like Persian
poetry, Scottish bagpipes, and
Japanese tea ceremonies….his
thought was that every culture
has tremendous gifts to offer
when it comes to building the
best of human society.”
   Shambhala Vancouver is one of
over a hundred and fifty centres
around the world. Shambhala
recognizes the need for humans
to come together and help cre-
ate a more stable and dignified
  “Human society is basically
good,” says Chapman, “and as
things seem to be falling apart
economically and socio-politi-
cally…this is a tremendous op-
portunity for the goodness of
human beings connecting with
each other to come forward.”
   Philippe Inacio-Goetsch is in
his 20s. He grew up in the Hali-
fax Shambhalian community.
Even though he strayed from the
path for a while, he’s now come
back and restarted his journey
in Vancouver.
                                                Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011                                                                                                                                                The Source 5

                                                Battling divisions in theatre                                                                                                                      Street Photography by Denis Bouvier

                                                production of Us and Them
                                                                                   selves, and in between each oth-                   The second part of the evening
                                                                                   er," says David Diamond, found-                 is an experiment with forum the-
                                                by   JaN hilaRio
                                                   he fundamental question ing member and artistic director                        atre – an interactive session in
                                                   explored in the play Us and of Headlines Theatre.                               which the audience can stop the
                                                Them by co-directors David Dia-      He adds that it's these very                  action, enter a scene of conflict or
                                                mond and Kevin Finnan, is "if it's walls "that then lead to the alien-             struggle, and guide the charac-
                                                only us here, who are the 'they' ation that separates [people from                 ters to find a solution.
                                                we are creating?"                  one another]."                                     Stephanie Bogaert, who lives
                                                  Us and Them, showing at The        The groundwork for the play                   in Vancouver, has attended past
                                                Cultch (Historic Theatre) on Ve- emerged out of a week-long work-                  works by Headlines Theatre. She
                                                nables Street, is a production shop with 20 core participants,                     says that this kind of theatre is
                                                which merges traditional and including the six cast members.                       atypical because audiences are
                                                formal theatre.                    Without putting pen to paper, the               able to voluntarily participate in
                                                                                                                                   role playing, or take part in the dis-
                                                                                                                                   cussions happening in the scenes.
                                                                                                                                     “It’s exciting… frustrating and
                                                                                                                                   thought-provoking,” says Bogaert.
                                                                                                                                                                            Reflecting on 30 years
                                                                                                                                      For Paradela, involvement in           Outside the Vancity Theatre,          ronment, food, health, history,
                                                                                                                                   the production has already start-         home to the Vancouver Inter-          music, queer interest, religion,
                                                                                                                                   ed the process to battle labels.          national Film Festival Centre,        and many others.
                                                                                                                                      As an immigrant from the Phil-         we see the logo of the VIFF. Its         What an opportunity to
                                                                                                                                   ippines, she encountered the ste-        “eyes” are looking out to the          educate yourself about the
                                                                                                                                   reotypical perception that she            world perhaps reflecting on the       diversity the cultures of the
                                                                                                                                   immigrated to Canada only be-             past 30 years of the festival and     world have to offer, to be en-
Photo by David Cooper, courtesy of The Cultch

                                                                                                                                   cause of financial necessity.             pondering the future.                 chanted, to enlighten your
                                                                                                                                     “Sure, there's that element of             The VIFF is one of the top 5       mind – challenge your views –
                                                                                                                                   wanting to make the life of my fam-       International Film Festivals          and even move you to action –
                                                                                                                                   ily better,” she says. “But there’s       in North America, and one of          on a personal or political level.
                                                                                                                                   also that sense of adventure… like        the largest cultural events in           And what does the future
                                                                                                                                   you want to know what's on the            Canada. Over its 30 year history,     hold for this marvellous event?
                                                                                                                                   other side of the world.”                 there have been 10, 879 screen-       Among those with concerns is
                                                                                                                                      The concepts explored through          ings of 7,656 films attended by       VIFF director Alan Franey. He
                                                                                                                                   the production – the struggle             over 3 million fans. It is integral   lists high production costs, dig-
                                                   Part of a two-year project of          cast went straight to rehearsal and      against stereotyping, discon-             to the promotion of Canadian          ital distribution, home theatre
                                                   Cast members of the theatre production Us and Them.

                                                Headlines Theatre, the complex,           the script was developed through         tentment, and animosity – ring            filmmakers, particularly those        technology, and a good propor-
                                                central concepts of the produc-           an improvisational process.              truer in our current environ-             in BC.                                tion of foreign film fans who
                                                tion, emerged from 23 public                Cast member Iris Paradela,             ment. While some may argue that              This year 80 Canadian films        are aging.
                                                inquiries or dialogues, includ-           says that while she and the other        the general unrest in the Middle          are being presented; 41 being            There are perhaps more older
                                                ing international ones held in            cast members are not playing             East has always been present, we          premiered. In total, 375 films        people during the day, but from
                                                Bethlehem, Jenin, Bir Zeit, and           themselves, they are very close          see that unrest revealed closer to        from 75 countries are being           my observations at this year’s
                                                Ramallah.                                 to the characters that they have         home now, with the sentiments             presented. The success of the         festival, this was certainly not
                                                   The production consists of             created.                                 behind Occupy Wall Street filter-         VIFF is greatly facilitated with      the case in the evenings or week-
                                                two parts: a play and an interac-          “It's like we're sitting beside the     ing in across the continent.              the aid of 750 volunteers.            ends when more people were
                                                tive theatre session.                     characters,” says Paradela. "It            “That discontented energy is               Another important aspect of        free from work commitments.
                                                   Taking place during a riot, the        was a very organic process.”             manifesting now in many parts             the VIFF are forums held with            I found a good amount of
                                                play interweaves the stories of             Pardela sees many parallels            of the world,” says Diamond. “ [It]       panels of directors, writers and      young people and films that
                                                six characters that come from di-         between herself and her charac-          can manifest in different ways            cinematographers which stim-          were very well attended at all
                                                verse cultures and backgrounds.           ter Ligaya, a Filipino immigrant         depending on where you are. . .In         ulate filmmakers and foster op-       times of the day. I feel encour-
                                                Regardless of their differences,          whose name, ironically, means            a number of ways, the invitation          portunities for networking.           aged by this and see it as a sign
                                                all of them experience the com-           happiness.                               will be to build bridges… and to             As theatre goers, we have the      that people of all ages still ap-
                                                mon struggle of stereotyping,              “Ligaya feels this lack of con-         try to engage in real, deep and           privilege to view quality Cana-       preciate the excitement and joy
                                                discontentment, and animosity.            nection, this lack of being part         authentic dialogue.”                      dian and foreign films with a         to be gained from the unique
                                                  “Ultimately, what we're trying          of a community,” says Paradela.                                                    wide range of themes: aborigi-        opportunity the VIFF offers.
                                                to do, is create a theatrical jour-      “She is struggling with that, feel-                                                 nal, aging, architecture, eco-
                                                ney that deals with the small hu-         ing isolated, and jumps at every                                                   nomics and globalization, envi-
                                                                                                                                   Us and Them opens Oct. 21 and

                                                man moments in which people               opportunity [to connect] with
                                                                                                                                   runs through to Nov. 12 at The                                                  Don Richardson

                                                put up walls, [both] inside them-         someone else.”
                                                                                                                                   Cultch. For more information,

                                      Words comes to life at annual writers festival

                                                                                             enced by the different cultures in    those subjects, whether it’s writ-
                                                                                             this city and says that it shows in   ing about a Chinese-Canadian
                                                by  cheleNe KNighT
                                         his year’s Vancouver Interna-                       his writing.                          family in my new novel, Beauty
                                         tional Writers and Readers                            “I really enjoy being a part of     Plus Pity, or the history of the
                                     Festival will have a collabora-                         a majority of minorities,” says       Chinese-Canadian restaurant in
                                     tion of the world’s best writers.                       Chong. “I think Vancouver is an       the Walrus.”
                                        Running from Oct. 18–23, the                         interesting place in the context         Chong has been attending the
                                     festival will allow for undis-                          of a world where borders are be-      festival since 1992 and says he
                                     covered and unpublished Cana-                           coming, porous, ethnicities are       has enjoyed hearing from “amaz-
                                     dian writers to congregate with                         merging, and people are adopt-        ing writers” from the time when
                                     award nominated writers like                            ing hyphenated identities.”           he was just in high school.
                                     Esi Edugyan, Lynn Coady, Pat-                              Chong will be featured in fes-        This year’s schedule looks like
                                     rick de Witt, David Bezmozgis,                          tival events such as Vancouver        it aims to please both fiction and
                                     Marina Endicott and Andrew                              Seen and Bamboo Lettering. In         non-fiction lovers alike and at-
                                     Mikiforuk, just to name a few.                          the latter, Chong and two other       tendees are poised to walk away
                                      According to Hal Wake, artistic                        Chinese-Canadian authors, Lisa        with an overwhelming sense of
                                     director of this year's festival,                       Zhang and Jen Sookfong Lee, will      how dedicated and talented our
                                    "Many writers are envious of the                         speak about the tension between       Canadian writers truly are.
                                     support that exists in Canada."                         avoiding and embracing one's             Wake says that a few years
                                     He adds that this envy stems                            heritage, and how their family        ago, the festival was honoured
                                     from factors "such as our grant                         and background reflect in their       to have five writers read in their
                                     system, receptive publishing                            writing.                              own native language, while Eng-
                                     and the fact that first time writ-                        “Being [born] Chinese-Cana-         lish translators used a scrolling
                                     ers have a very good chance of                          dian, I felt as though there were     text software. He says this kind
                                     getting their work published                            certain expectations about my         of innovation, and much more, is
                                     here."                                                  subject that came with my eth-        something he wouldn’t mind see-
                                        For a city that boasts diver-                        nicity… I didn’t necessarily want     ing happen again.
                                     sity, and represents a multi-                           to write about identity politics,       “Vancouver has a real interest
                                     tude of ethnicities, Vancouver                          my bicultural upbringing, or the      in writers who come from dif-
                                     seems like the place for writers                        history of the Chinese in Canada,"    ferent parts of the world,” says
                                     and readers alike to mingle and                         says Chong.                           Wake. “Whether it be Ireland,
                                     speak of struggles and successes                          “I’m just not the kind of person    Sierra Leone, or China, people in
                                     while on an even playing field.                         who wants to do what’s expected       this city love to hear them.”
                                        Kevin Chong, born in Hong                            of them. Now, though, after hav-
                                     Kong and raised in Vancouver,                           ing expressed this resistance, I
                                     says he has been greatly influ-                         find myself drawn to some of
                                                                                                                                   Festival details are available
                                                                                                                                                    of Brasil through music, dance, to transcend social and cultural
                          6 The Source                                                                                                                                               Vol 12 No 17 | October 18–November 1, 2011

                                                                                                                                                    and martial arts.               boundaries to create an evening

                          Cultural Calendar
                                                                                                  2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                    not to be missed.

                                                                                                  Roundhouse Community Centre,
                                                                                                  181 Roundhouse Mews
                                                                      October 18–November 1, 2011                                The Turkish Canadian Youth

                                                                   site for schedule, updates and          People everywhere are demand-
                                                                                                                                                    and Harvest Festival                Halloween Circus Fiesta

                                                                   news releases.                          ing their sacred right to freedom

                          by  DiNa abDel-haq                                                                                                        Saturday, Oct. 29,                  Saturday, Oct. 29

                          As Thanksgiving ends and Hallow-                                                 and justice. What has energized
                                                                                                                                                    10:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m.               7:30 p.m.–1:00 am

                          een creeps in, October is still filled                                           this unparalleled and unified
                                                                                                                                                    Creekside Community Centre/UBC      Mount Pleasant

                          with many treats for everyone.                                                   voice of the people? Now for the
                                                                                                                                                    Chan Centre                         Community Centre

                          Whether it’s dining on delicious                                                 first time in millennia their most
                                                                   What's New In                                                                    778.558.8582                        #1 Kingsway Vancouver

                          food from Latin America at the                                                   advanced planetary teachers re-          The Turkish Canadian Youth and halloweenFiesta2011
                                                                   Countries Behind the                                                                                       

                          Halloween Circus Fiesta, an after-       Langara College                         turn to the modern world to as-          Harvest Festival is a new one-day
                                                                   Former Iron Curtain

                          noon watching Brazilian dancing,         Community Lecture Series                sist humanity to build a future          cultural festival of Turkish art, Join the Mount Pleasant Commu-
                          or rediscovering the city of Turin                                               based on sharing, justice, and           culture, history, and language. nity Centre and experience La-
                          through virtual Tour; Vancouver                                                  peace. Join to consider the possi-       The free day program which ends tino's Dia de los Muertos with cir-
                                                                   Wednesday, Oct. 19, 12:00 p.m.

                          is bustling with all kinds of excit-                                             bilities of a brighter future for all.   at 5:00 p.m. will feature a mod- cus performances and dance with
                                                                   Vancouver Public Library

                          ing new events for you to revel in.                                              Free presentation.                       ern art exhibition, rare Turkish Latin, French, and Italian music.

                                            ***                                                                           ***
                                                                   350 West Georgia Street

                                                                                                                                                    Marbling workshop, traditional Dress like the Cirque du Soleil or
                                                                   Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye

                                                                                                                                                    storytelling, food vendors as well in your best Halloween costume
                                                                   Rooms, Lower Level

                                                                                                                                                    as performances from all over the to win a prize, and enjoy tantaliz-
                                                                   Central Library

                                                                                                                                                    world. The groundbreaking eve- ing food from Latin America, Italy,
                          Rediscovering Turin: A City                                  Diwali:

                                                                   Lucie Hrabetova discusses the                                                    ning will use music, art, and dance and France.
                          in Search of a New Identity                                                      Holiday / Celebration /

                                                                   significant events that shaped the
                          Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6:15 p.m.                                                      Observation

                                                                   former Eastern Block nations, as
                          Instituto Italiano di Cultura                                                    Wednesday, Oct. 26

                                                                   well as the ongoing impact that
                          in Vancouver                                                           

                                                                   the Soviet regime had on these na-      This ancient South Asian festival
                          500-510 West Hastings Street

                                                                   tions and their economy, politics,      with origins deeply rooted in Hin-

                                                                   and social and cultural life. Free      dusim, is known as the Festival of

                                                                   admission.                              Lights, dedicated to the Goddess-

                                                                                                           es Kali and Laksmi. Diwali is a
                                                                                                           unifying event with different sig-
                                                                                                           nificance but equal importance in
                                                                   15th Anniversary Artist Spotlight:      many communities. This light is
                                                                   Vancouver Asian Film Festival

                                                                   Jeff Chiba Stearns                      inclusive in its symbolism of good
                                                                                                           overcoming evil and knowledge
                                                                                                           transcending ignorance during
                                                                   Wednesday, Oct. 19

                                                                                                           the darkest time of the year.

                                                                   7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
                                                                   Vancouver Public Library
                                                                   Central Branch
                                                                   350 West Georgia
                                                                   Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye              Discover Dance!
                                                                   Rooms, Lower Level                      Ache Brasil
Photo by xeelix, Flickr

                                                                                                           Thursday, Oct. 27

                                                                   To celebrate the 15th anniversary
                                                                                                           12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

                                                                   of the VAFF, selected films from
                                                                                                           Scotiabank Dance Centre

                                                                   past festivals produced by Asian-
                                                                                                           677 Davie St

                                                                   Canadian filmmakers comes to

                          A presentation by Monica Liscio          a close with a spotlight on Jeff
                             Building in Turin, Italy.

                          Gordon as part of the celebrations       Chiba Stearns. Attend the special       The Dance Centre's Discover
                          for the 11th Annual "Week of the         screening of "Yellow Sticky Notes,      Dance noon series presents Ache
                          Italian Language in the World." If       Ode to a Post-It Note," and "One        Brasil. The vibrant culture, mu-
                          you are interested in mummies,           Big Hapa Family." Jeff will be in at-   sic, and dances of Brasil take the
                          Baroque architecture, cinema, art        tendance for a post-screening dis-      stage in a thrilling program of Af-
                          galleries, equestrian monuments,         cussion Admission is free. Seating      ro-Brazilian dance and capoeira,
                          relics, classical music, soccer, choc-   is limited.                             a fusion of dance and martial arts.

                          olate, then join this virtual tour of                                            The company is known for high
                          Turin. Walk through the streets                                                  energy shows which explore the
                          and squares of the city centre and CAPPELLA:                                     culture, traditions and rhythms
                          enter its magnificent palaces and The wide world
                          museums. Free admission.

                                                                 of Choral Music
                                                                 Friday, Oct. 21
                                                                 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
                          Vancouver International                Christ Church Cathedral
                          Writers & Readers Festival             690 Burrard Street
                          Oct. 18–23                             604.738.6822
                          Granville Island             

                                                                 Cappella is a kaleidoscope of

                          The International Writers Festi- the latest choral trends from all
                          val attracts the world's best writ- around the world. Tickets avail-
                          ers to Vancouver. Internationally able at Ticket Master.

                          renowned & undiscovered au-
                          thors mingle with 12,000 readers
                          of all ages in intimate, interactive New Call Spreading from
                          & informal settings on Granville Arab Squares to the Streets
                          Island, an urban oasis in the of North America
                          heart of Vancouver. Check web- Sunday, Oct. 23,

                                                                    Payne says, “I notice the colours
                          not pick it up, but instead, have         and styles are different depend-
                            “Umbrellas” from page 3

                          someone else do it for you. If a          ing on the area. In Yaletown, the
                          single woman drops an umbrella,           umbrellas closely match the
                          she will never marry. If an um-           clothes that people are wearing.”
                          brella is opened outside when it          As for superstitions, Payne says,
                          is not needed, rain and other bad        “I don’t believe in them at all.”
                          weather will follow.                         Mohammad Saadvandi, from
                             Whether the weather and tools          Iran, fits King’s observations that
                          to protect yourself from it dictate       men mostly carry a golf umbrella
                          such bad luck, is up to you.              in their car and a portable one at
                             Michelle Payne, from England,          home – both black, so as not to
                          says her hometown’s weather is            stand out perhaps.
                          similar to Vancouver’s. She says             It appears that Saadvandi has
                          British summers consist of two            good luck with hanging on to them
                          fine days and a thunderstorm.             as they have been at his side for as
                             She says she will buy a $10            long as six years. And speaking of
                          umbrella when it rains because            luck, he also doesn’t believe in the
                          her umbrellas often break.                superstitions – as they don’t exist
                          When asked if a more expensive            in his native country.
                          model would be better, Payne                “If I’m in a building and as a
                          replies, “It’s an umbrella, not a         courtesy, I don’t open it if there
                          coffee machine!”                          are people around. If no one is
                             On the type and colours of             close by, I will open the umbrella.”
                          umbrellas carried in Vancouver,           Brave man.

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