Dear readers

Dear Readers, What books did you read and love this summer? My top pick was Margaret Trudeau’s latest book, The Time of Your Life, which was full of her personal stories with stunning honesty and openness. “The gift of getting older is that we can look back and gain understanding on the triumphs and tragedies, large and small, of our lives with a depth that we might not have been capable of when they happened………The third act is all about drawing meaning from the seemingly disconnected storylines of our lives,” she writes.  How powerful that is to own your truth by speaking for yourself! Trudeau’s book was so good that I not only listened deeply to what is said but also listened deeply to myself.  That kind of creative content in social media is tough to deliver while keeping the audience fully present and reflective. Nonetheless, this summer, my incredible team of Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) worked tirelessly to make our SkillShare Project go beyond our creative goals to bring meaningful and real conversations, through both print media and multimedia. Piecing together personal stories is indeed instrumental in creating a new community narrative for the sake of our children and grandchildren. I am happy to share some of the fruits of their labor with the Playbook. In this issue, an interview with Adriane Carr was a highlight for me, as was interviewing Doloris Hrynkiw, an inspiring Kerrisdale mother, to discuss — what else — community engagement. But I especially appreciate Richard Marcus‘s appearance in this issue, who has been a collaborator for in-progress Kerrisdale Permaculture Garden Project. Echoing Adriane’s message, he reminds us of a sense of freedom that comes with passion that we all must seize.  The Artists-in-the-Garden Exhibition event together with a stellar team of Kits CC...

Women Past Fifty: Adriane Carr and Her Journey of Planting Greens In Vancouver’s Politics...

By Susan Tsang On a busy Monday morning, the councilor of the City of Vancouver Adriane Carr set aside some time for the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) to have an open conversation about her life. VACS president Keiko Honda facilitated this candid and engaging dialogue with Adriane on the topic of aging women and this spiritual journey throughout her career. Adriane talked without any intimidation of a politician and gladly shared her life experiences growing up in Vancouver as an environmental activist. Family Makes Adriane Carr Adriane had been blessed with love growing up in a multigenerational family house that was first inhibited by her great grandparents from Europe. Naturally, when asked about her role models, Adriane said that her parents are the people that have strongest influence in her life. “Even when my mother was ill, there’s always positive things she focused on—she would ask people around her, like the cousins and friends who visited, how they were doing. There’s always a sense of curiosity towards people and their circumstances.” There was another episode that stood out to Adriane in her upbringing that shaped her to accept deviant beliefs. “When we were in Nelson, Kootenay, there was a lot going on with the Doukhobors—a Russian religious group. One of its religious sects was creating some political difficulties such as burning down their homes.” Despite the warning from the community, Adriane’s mother instructed her “to go get the basket” to attend the Doukhobors Farmers Market that they would always go to. Her mother said that “they were good people, they grow good food.” Adriane had seen that she should appraise people fairly regardless of the social norm.  “My mother also encouraged me to seek my dream. She will never be held back by...

An Embrace with Open Arms – Picturing the Perfect Community, An Interview with Doloris Hyrnkiw ...

By Lara Boleslawsky Photograph by Raine Gauthier What does the word ‘community’ mean to you? Initially, the question poses a daunting task: putting into words the magnitude of emotion, passion and dedication that is held by the diverse individuals that are a part of that community. Nonetheless, it was a question I posed to Kerrisdale local, Doloris Hyrnkiw, and her response triggered a discussion probing into the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘isolation’ and their relationship to the building blocks of society and the relatively uncharted territory of community engagement. [Our conversation left a sincere impression on me, and I felt myself inspired by Doloris’ story. Not only was I able to reflect upon my own life thus far, but our interview left me to ponder how I myself might answer the question I so often posed to my interviewees.] Doloris’ background, working with disabled and disadvantaged youth has given her the profound ability to tap into the role of emotion in the creation of a healthy and sustainable community. A native of Calgary, Alberta, Doloris began her career in social development in high school. Having been asked to work at a Special Needs School in her mid-teens, Doloris credits this experience as having been the spark for her determined efforts to increase awareness of the role of isolation in the hindrance of social development.  “The institution was quite sad,” Doloris recalls, remembering that children were kept in big warehouse, like buildings in small rooms with locks on the other side of the city, effectively isolating them from the daily rumblings of metropolitan life.  “I remember reading an article by Wolfensberger [a prominent German sociologist], saying, you know, that ‘people should have a normal life. So I became an advocate at 17, when I went...

A beauty which transcends time...

“The gift of art is that it allows anyone to express themselves in their own way.” – Richard Marcus By Leonni Antono Richard Marcus, the president of the Sculptor’s Society of BC, is one of the pioneering sculptors who works with mammoth ivory. With great artistic insight and creative vision, he draws on its exoticism to transform it from its discoloured and ancient state into modern masterpieces brimming with unique antiqueness. When working with this unusual type of ivory, Richard combines the use of semi-precious stones, gold alloy and exotic hardwood for embellishment, and the obsolete prehistoric material is reborn as inimitable mosaic artworks – beautiful syntheses of the past and the present.  Every day, Richard works up to sixteen hours in his cozy art studio to create an array of magnificent sculptures and artworks one after another, from porcelain-like plaques of breathtaking scale, to stylish aesthetic bracelets that are individually crafted. Stepping into Richard’s workplace and beholding his artworks, one would be overcome by a sense of awe inspired by the splendor they exude: each of them is unique like no other, an assembly of patterns of different shapes and sizes that bespeaks of its own artistic tale. Even to the untrained eye, it is obvious that they are exquisitely the product of immense effort and dedication.  One of the reasons for their uniqueness is perhaps the unusual type of ivory used – mammoth ivory – instead of the comparatively more common elephant ivory. Compared to elephant ivory, mastodon ivory are shattered and less consistent due to the weathering of time, and stained by the minerals in the soil in which they were buried in. As to why Richard chose the more ancient and unstable ivory, it is because using elephant ivory goes...

Plant Your Flowers on a Canvas: A Colloquium with the Artists In the Garden...

By Susan Tsang Photography by Kenta Motoike Artists In the Garden hosted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society was not all about organic pies and fresh Italian pizza made straight from the Kits CC Collaborative Garden, rather it was a celebration of “Eye of The Beholder”.  This was the second year that Artists In the Garden a perfect addition to the Kits CC’s Summer Garden Party.  This year’s theme entitled, “Suggestions From Nature,” brought together a group of seven local artists, both amateur and professional, to showcase their arts that had drawn inspirations from everyday’s life. The beautiful day outdoor and the pleasing paintings were enhanced by the vibrant edible plants at the background and energized any visitors dropping by. Artworks were everywhere around us. Artists could be spotted in all walks of life.  “I did painting when I was in highschool, but then I stopped. I went into another field (law),” said Sylvia Andrews while she stood in front of her group of distinctive floral paintings. “I didn’t have time to do it. It’s better painting during the day when you have natural daylight coming into the room. If it’s at night it can be a lot more difficult to really see what you are doing.” Sylvia’s story mirrored with other artists who were present. They truly proved that artists exist everywhere. Renetta Nagel was an interior designer. Marilyn Bowman was a clinical psychiatrist. And Georgia used to be a registered nurse. Some of them could only reunite with their passion again after retirement. There were also the ones who found their passion for arts later in life and were already owning their styles after painting for six or seven years. Their effort and talent were admirable. There was always room for growth and to discover hidden skills regardless of how...

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