The modern world, and the rise of mobile and digital technology, has significantly harmed the oral storytelling tradition where SMS, Twitter and status updates through social networks are less about stories and are more about moments in time that do not add up into anything particularly significant. Here in Vancouver we do have some champions of both technology and live events in keeping culture and conversations alive.
VIFF has a reputation of attracting a bit of a film snob set in comparison to its much larger sister festival in Toronto. Don't believe the hype. VIFF fosters a fabulous celebration of film, whether it's your first time or you've been going for years. Many people ask me how to approach the film selection process. With so many screenings spanning a two-week period, how does one decide what to see?
The web of community connections do not only happen on the street. They happen in a multitude of organizations, gathering spaces, activities and educational institutions. Today, we're even connected through the 140 characters Twitter allots us. If you're alone in Vancouver, it's your choice.
You don't mind if we call you by your given name, do you? After all, we've been in this mess together for quite sometime now and at this point one would hope we're beyond formalities. Yes, we know you're not one for familiarity, but perhaps just this once we could chat like friends and do away with social niceties. So, with that understanding and with all due respect....
Does it strike anyone as odd that Vancouver is the kind of town where we turn to someone called the Condo King for reliable advice on real estate? Apparently not. It goes without saying that Bob Rennie knows Vancouver residential real estate better than anyone, and he is always a terrific interview. Most of us understand at some level that he's not exactly impartial, but few seem to grasp just exactly how his opinions might be coloured.
The truth is that many downtowns are currently not great places to raise families, because they aren't designed to be. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. A city and building industry gives up on kids downtown, so no one designs and plans for them. No schools. Little daycare. No playgrounds, facilities or basic public environment to make downtown kid or teenager-friendly. Most importantly, no homes built to actually fit a family. Perhaps a couple, but as soon as baby comes, they start planning the move. This perpetuates the myth that families would never want to live downtown.
In all my years in the surveillance industry around the world, I have yet to hear of a single surveillance camera causing a conviction of an innocent person. Yet once again, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association is picking on the Vancouver Police Department and making noise about their suspected use of city-owned surveillance cameras, all 14 of them.
My recent trip had me visit both Vancouver and Victoria B.C., after loving and having to leave Portland, Oregon. There is something magical, a very different energy I experience in all places west of the Rockies. I've also been interested and curious to find how many West Coast cities are far and away leaders in the green and environmental movements. I hadn't been to Vancouver for many years and found, it too was living up to its vision of creating a greener future for the city. I believe that if you want to know the future, create it. This is exactly what Vancouver is doing. With a pretty bold future oriented vision to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, they are already well on the way to accomplishing their goal. According to the city, they currently have "the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America and we're a leader in green building, planning and technology." Impressive.
Close Robson Street first, then ask the public what they think afterward. That's what was announced this week in Vancouver. City voters by now are used to the "act first, consult later" antics of the Vision government. Make no mistake — the permanent closure of Robson Square is a done deal. Since the 2010 Olympics I've spoken to many people who object to the permanent closure of Robson Street. One realtor pointed out to me that on one side of the square you can sell haute couture; on the other side you can sell pizza by the slice. Blocking the street has done little to improve the appeal of Robson Street between Howe Street and BC Place. Keeping the street open in their view is important to its success. It helped moderate my own view on closing off 800-block Robson.
It's 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday and there's a full house in The Cellar nightclub on Vancouver's Granville Street. It's unusual for a bar in the Entertainment District to attract a crowd this early in the evening, but then this is an unusual crowd for any night that isn't Halloween. I'm surrounded by super heroes, sci-fi cowboys, vampires and more. They're here for a night of nerdlesque, a mixture of burlesque and comedy aimed at fan-boy and fan-girl hearts. They are here for Geeks After Dark. "We pride ourselves on accepting everyone," its co-creator says. "That's the Geeks After Dark badge of honour. You want to dress up like a giant bunny wearing steam punk clothes? Awesome. You want to be in just a latex bra and panties? Fantastic. Anything you want to be, come to Geeks After Dark."
Independent counsel Jason Gratl has prepared a damning report to the B.C. Missing Women's Inquiry that's looking into the years before the arrest of convicted killer Robert William Pickton. Titled "Wouldn't Piss On Them If They Were on Fire: How Discrimination Against Sex Workers, Drug Users and Aboriginal Women Enabled a Serial Killer," it pulls few punches. Indifference. Ineptitude. Discrimination. These words reverberate throughout the document.
Compare the budget for B.C.'s Missing Women's Inquiry (approaching $7 million) and the amounts charged by those working for the commission with what's spent by frontline charities like WISH and PACE that actually work with sex trade workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Senior commission counsel Art Vertlieb billed the province $483,741 for his work on the inquiry. If you put that together with the $482,139 billed by associate counsel Karey Brooks and her law firm you could fund WISH, with its $900,000 budget, for an entire year, and still have enough left over to fund PACE for a season.
The Deighton Cup is dubbed to be the most stylish and must-attend fashion and social event of the summer. Following The Big Smoke event on Friday evening, Vancouver's finest young professionals gathered at the Hastings Racecourse for The Thoroughbred event on Saturday noon.
Italy is known for its rich culture, delicious food, breathtaking architecture, effortless style, and most importantly, its parties. Wednesday, July 11th marked the second annual Terrazza di Peroni, celebrating summer atop Vancouver's Art Gallery.
In this exclusive excerpt for HuffPost from Richard Florida's new book, the author reveals that scientists and engineers, architects and designers, artists and entertainers and the growing ranks of professional knowledge workers -- what he labels as The Creative Class" -- now number more than five million in Canada, or roughly 30 per cent of the workforce. So where do they live?
We recently marked World Press Freedom Day. Iran not surprisingly has been described by Reporters Without Borders as the "world's biggest prison for journalists," listed by the Committee to Protect Journalist's as the fourth worst country when it comes to censorship.