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How Bao’s house of women brought new dimensions to Pixar animation

Katherine Monk interviews Oscar contenders Domee Shi and Becky Nieman-Cobb in Vancouver. The duo are nominated for Bao.

Lest We Forget the heroes once branded “enemy aliens”

Mickleburgh: Japanese-Canadian Veterans Huddled under a colourful autumn canopy, in a secluded corner of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, Rod Mickleburgh found a Remembrance Day ceremony that refused to forget Canada’s racist past.

Benson Shum brings joy to Disney destroyer

Interview: Benson Shum He grew up sketching trees in Stanley Park, now the Vancouver animator is breathing life into the pixels behind Ralph Breaks the Internet, the latest adventure for two arcade characters learning to console each other.

Folking things up made for summer’s bright spot

Music: The Vancouver Folk Festival 2018 We celebrate the summer that was with a fond look back at what proved to be the highlight of Vancouver's smokiest season ever: A fully reinvented Folk Music Festival featuring acts that rocked, rattled and rolled young and old alike. By Rod Mickleburgh The line-up was skimpier than past years. Sunday clashed with the final of a riveting, month-long World Cup and the sun was hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum, but once again, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival cast its magic over me and thousands of other attendees with its annual mix of good vibes, a setting to die for and outstanding music. Even at my increasingly creaky and cranky advanced age, I found myself dancing, most notably at a wonderful, spirited workshop jam session involving Little Miss Higgins, Les Poules à Collin and Petunia & the Vipers. Thankfully, there were no cameras in sight, and the young people politely refrained from giggling. There were other highlights: Ry ...

Here Comes A Regular: A Photographic Archive of The Railway Club

Ex-Press Salon: The Railway Club Regulars Natasha Moric tended bar at Vancouver's Railway Club for more than 20 years, in the days before selfies and Instagram, but she took her camera to work and captured the regulars -- in their comfort zone without filters By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC — Shakespeare said truth was best found at the bottom of a wine cup, which is why bar life has always attracted the artistic eye. Jan Steen created a tradition with his paintings of rosy-cheeked drunkards in the 1600s, followed centuries later by Van Gogh and the Impressionists. Then photography came along and allowed what French writer Pierre Mac Orlan described as the ability “to capture the fantastic forms of life which require at least a second’s immobility to be perceptible.” In the world of street photography, these glimmering moments of truth come to us a flashes in the darkness: a frozen moment of euphoria on the dancefloor, the desperation of a lurid glance near closing ...

Trish Dolman directs the national selfie: Canada in a Day

Interview: Trish Dolman Vancouver filmmaker Trish Dolman captures Canadian soul in crowd-sourced documentary portrait airing tonight on CTV By Katherine Monk (July 1, 2017) VANCOUVER — There is something extraordinarily moving about Canada in a Day, even though one might say it’s thoroughly ordinary. A visual scrapbook pulled together from over 16,000 video submissions from average Canucks who pointed the camera at their own lives on September 10, 2016, this selfie collage isn’t a film made by the rich and famous. It wasn’t scripted, and contains no professional actors. Yet, there is drama. There’s a palpable sense of theme. And despite the diversity of the players and their unique messages, one even feels a sense of unity. A shared heartbeat echoing empathy and human understanding. It’s lurking in every frame, because it’s part of who we are as a people. It’s also because of Trish Dolman, the Vancouver-based producer and director who took on the challe...

Helena Guttridge, Mayor Gregor and Auntie Irene

People: Irene Howard, History Is Her Story Mayor's tribute to Vancouver's first female councillor strikes a personal note for Rod Mickleburgh, who in turn honours a chronicler he calls 'Auntie Irene' By Rod Mickleburgh (May 17, 2017) - At the age of 70, my beloved Auntie Irene, under her scholastic name of Irene Howard, published her definitive biography of Helena Gutteridge, Vancouver’s first woman “alderman”. Ten years later, when she was 80, she completed her remarkable book Gold Dust On His Shirt, a moving saga of her family’s working class life in the gold mines of British Columbia, feathered with impeccable research of the times. At 90 she published a very fine poem, which is reproduced below. And one morning last month, at the age of 94 and a half, Auntie Irene sat in the front row of chairs arrayed in a room off the main lobby at city hall, looking as elegant and vivacious as anyone who pre-dated Vancouver’s Art Deco municipal masterpiece by 14 years ...

Margie Gillis moves through it

Dance: Pearl - The Show, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Oct. 27, 28 The Canadian dance icon digs deep in a new show that pays tribute to the Pulitzer-winning author of The Good Earth, but that's just the beginning of Margie Gillis's bid to help us 'reincorporate' and find our inner Pearl By Katherine Monk (October 24, 2016) VANCOUVER – Dance icon Margie Gillis has many honours to pin on her lapels: Officer of the Order of Canada, Knight of the National Order of Quebec, Lifetime Achievement honoree at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards and the first-ever winner of the Stella Adler Studio’s MAD Spirit Award. Yet, there’s one credit she’s particularly proud of, though it features no hardware, prize money or resume-worthy mention. “I was listed as one of the reasons why the Sun News Network failed,” says Gillis over a requisite latte in Vancouver Monday. In town for a two-night performance of Pearl, a “Broadway-style” production that celebrates the life and work ...

Sharlto Copley: Never a cop out

People - Interview with Sharlto Copley The recently transplanted South African talent focused on staying alive as he donned a variety of hardhats in the new, boundary-pushing action movie Hardcore Henry By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC –  “Let’s not die today.”  According to Sharlto Copley, those four words were a daily mantra on the set of Hardcore Henry. “It was a big discussion: No one must die making this film. We talked about it because we were pushing the boundaries and the rules and we had very little money. On the days where there was a very high risk, we’d fly the Jolly Roger – skull and crossbones – in a prominent place to make sure everyone was on guard and alert,” says Copley, sitting down for a chat at a high end Vancouver hotel. “Everything you see in the movie happens. When you see a guy getting blown up and the van beneath him, that’s actually happening… It was by far the most risk I’ve taken as an actor, which sounds so lame ...

Robert Carlyle boards new train as director

People: Robert Carlyle Robert Carlyle gets back to his Glaswegian roots and takes a bit off the top as a barber with Barbicide on his mind, and a mother who loves a good game of bingo as much as a grisly murder in The Legend of Barney Thomson. By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER, BC – Everyone’s been asking him about Trainspotting 2, but Robert Carlyle has more on his plate than a plan to reprise the role of Begbie in an as-yet-to-be scripted sequel to Danny Boyle’s breakout film about heroin addicts. For the past few years, he’s been living in Vancouver playing Mr. Gold in the successful Disney TV series Once Upon a Time, and before that, he was Dr. Nicholas Rush in the B.C.-shot SGU: Stargate Universe. He says he loves Canada’s west coast. But after making his directorial debut with the Glasgow-shot black comedy Barney Thomson, released in theatres this week, Carlyle says he’s looking at a tough decision somewhere down the road. He may want to hang around town. Even ...