KATHY SAYERS: CREATING AN INTERCONNECTED COHOUSING COMMUNITY...

BY LIAM MCLEAN PICTURES BY SYED MUSTAFA *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society This past month, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Kathy Sayers in her bright and comfortable condo to talk about her experiences with cohousing in Vancouver. In the past few years, Kathy has been working alongside her community at Our Urban Village to integrate a successful cohousing community into the urban space of Vancouver. Along her path to forming a cohousing community in Vancouver, she and her team would face many unique challenges. “Because Vancouver is so pricey, we decided to look at cohousing from a different angle, and that is to try to find an innovative developer that would work with us,” said Kathy. “[The developer] would own the land and we would have less say about what the building would look like. And most cohousing, they [the community] make every choice. They hire the architect and they buy the land. [But] it’s at least 6-8 million dollars in Vancouver.” Over the course of our conversation, Kathy explained to me how her group adapted the cohousing model to make it work within the limitations of an expensive city with its many high-rise buildings. We also talked at length about the values important to building and maintaining a healthy cohousing community, and how these communities thrive on a sense of interconnectedness. By sharing with me her experiences, Kathy taught me about the growing popularity of cohousing in Vancouver and its role in promoting social connections that may potentially solve feelings of isolation in the city. To bring cohousing to Vancouver, Kathy and her group at Our Urban Village had to discover a way to adapt the cohousing community model to the urban city and...

ACTIVATING NEW SPACES: THE ARBUTUS GREENWAY AND THE VALUE OF PUBLIC ART...

By Haroun Khalid  *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society In March 2016, more than 20 years city planning and policy efforts came together when the City of Vancouver officially purchased 42 acres of land passing through neighborhoods from False Creek to the Fraser River. The new Arbutus Greenway project, already accessible to cyclists and pedestrians, aims to offer a shared passageway connecting Vancouver’s residential and public spaces. What’s particularly interesting about this endeavor is that the Greenway offers an exciting chance to see how public art ventures intersect with the process of urban development. To learn more, I sat down with Maggie Buttle, the Senior Project Manager of the Arbutus Greenway Project, and Eric Fredericksen, the city’s Public Art Programs Manager From an artistic perspective, the realization of the Arbutus Greenway represents a chance to open up new spaces in the city for creative expression. So as to integrate art completely with the design process, Mr. Fredericksen explained that: “We now have an art consultant form a core part of the development team.” On this subject, Ms. Buttle added “this inclusion of artists in the procedure is meant to bring new perspectives and a different focus” to the city planning approach to prevent shutting down valuable opportunities to foster a creative and inspiring city. The development of this “art intelligence,” as Eric called it, enables the planning process to more holistically reflect the cultural environment of the community. The implementation of an urban development plan on the scale of the Arbutus Greenway is a lengthy affair, and is at the moment still in the early days. However, the prospect of bringing about the Greenway has been on the City’s horizon since the Arbutus Corridor was first highlighted as a potential site...

Vancouver Regional Heritage Fair 2017 Jul14

Vancouver Regional Heritage Fair 2017...

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LIGHTING THE WAY: DR. TOM HUNTER...

BY TATIANA ZAMORANO-HENRIQUEZ *Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society Over the years the integral humanizing qualities of humanity have become almost non-existent, as our economic model is responsible for prioritizing monetary endeavours rather than the arts. Theses values have fragmented our way of being and devalued the arts as art has now become commercialized for profit and disconnected from our culture.  This almost irreversible divide has hindered our relationships with others and ourselves as it has detached us from our histories, cultures and knowledge.  The formation of this divide has left us stranded and we have become like a wave of sailors trying to navigate the seas without a compass where we have not only lost our sense of direction but also our purpose. However, art has the power to steer us back in the right direction as it illuminates our path by reconnecting us with our origins, which allows us to embrace diversity, and knowledge that then has the potential to lead to community. The world carries with it a kaleidoscope of art forms and rooted within them are diverse cultures that are entrenched with an array of histories and knowledge that shape our values. This is paramount as it is our values that construct the stories that we relay to others and ourselves about what is important. Therefore, it is these values that shape not only who we are as human beings but who we will become and the responsibility we hold to the future generations. Values create empathy and it is this compassion that allows individuals to embrace new cultures and form profound and intricate relationships that have the power to produce viable communities where culture becomes a way of life.  This is why art is integral...

Drumming Away at Kerrisdale Sakura Festival Apr17

Drumming Away at Kerrisdale Sakura Festival...

With the skillful and passionate teaching of Doug Masuhara, the Tetsu Taiko sensei (master), twenty-plus participants, an absolute beginner’s group, learned the drumming basics. They had become ONE after drumming away on garbage can drums for about one hour! It was so touching to watch and listen the transformation.   Here are what participants said about the workshop: He first showed how to play the drums and then he had ALL of us play it; An amazing workshop! We learned the Japanese polite way We learned the world and words of the Taiko Drumming together was really fun The introduction, explanation, and practice; Very well done! It was excellent; I want my son to learn more! The Kerrisdale Sakura Festival was planned and organized by the Community Engagement Committee of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society. The Japanese drumming workshop was our first attempt to enthral you through the powerful sound of the Taiko (Japanese drums).  It seems that the participants were left with an unforgettable, artistic and cultural experience. Photo credit: Syed Mustafa  ...

There Has To Be a Better Way!...

By Lara-Sophie Boleslawsky Photo courtesy of Brian Feldbloom Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society If you’re an animal-lover, this one’s for you. Sitting down and talking to Brian about his recent venture into the pet food industry, I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course our conversation invariably strayed to our pets, nonetheless the real story lies in-between these small pockets of pet-talk. ‘Naturally Urban Pet Food Delivery’ provides free delivery of pet food all throughout Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Burnaby. It’s simple: pet-owners order their food on the Naturally Urban website and its delivered right to your door. Did I mention it’s free? I was fascinated to know what prompted Brian to start this business: “The reason I started was, I had my doggy, and we switched her over to raw food. I was a flight executive at Flight Centre and I used to have to work late and then I would have to run home, get my car, and drive out to the pet store before it closed,” Brian told me, “And I thought, this is so annoying, its such a stress and I thought: ‘There has to be a better way!’” And so, Naturally Urban was born, with Brian looking to service a need, one undoubtedly shared by many pet owners throughout Metro Vancouver and beyond. “The two markets right now that we are doing well with are seniors and people with disabilities and physical challenges. We love helping them,” Brian shares with me, but emphasizes that the service is available for anybody to use. Convenience is one Naturally Urban’s main functions. Brian cites his colleague Kris McRonney as an “integral” part of his business. “I mean, my business associate Kris has been with me from...

Kerrisdale Sakura Tree Walking Tour with Robin Clark Apr17

Kerrisdale Sakura Tree Walking Tour with Robin Clark...

Commencing on the sunny day (April 15th 2017), Kerrisdale Sakura Tree Walking Tour with Robin Clark, organized by the Community engagement Committee of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society, was a big success with enthusiastic 23 local participants.  We were very honoured by the presence of the Vancouver Cherry Scout, Ms. Anne Mah, who turned the walk tour into a combination of interactive brain-engaging quizzes and animated story-telling.  We were able to learn and enjoy the last of Jugatsu, the peak of Tai-haku, the fullness of Akebono, the decline of Takasago and the coming of Kanzan, along with the contrast of cherry and plum in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood. For those who missed this incredibly interactive and fun tour, Ms. Mah provided the following information: The link for the VCBF’s cherry trees map http://www.vcbf.ca/neighbourhood-maps For a complete Kerrisdale listing, you need to go in and search for 1.  Kerrisdale and 2. all cultivars. This information is based on the footwork of the VCBF scouts and is thus more reliable than the City of Vancouver tree listings. If you get a chance to drop by the VanDusen Garden shop, they carry Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver by Douglas Justice; Kerrisdale’s Washi-no-o tree is pictured and described. Here is the scouting link for the Shogetsu and Shirofugen trees, where and what they look like. http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/kerrisdale.36008/page-3#post-197346   Enjoy some photos from the tour. Photo Credit: Syes Mustafa...

RUDIGER KRAUSE: “RELATIONSHIP IS OF THE ESSENCE”...

By Liam McLean Photo Courtesy of Rudiger Krause Permission to reprint granted by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society Earlier this month, I had the great opportunity to sit down and talk to Rudiger Krause, a man greatly interested and invested in the community, art, and human connections. Rudiger, or Rudi as his friends call him, was born in Germany and moved to Vancouver when he was a little boy, where he lived most of his life. As we sat down to talk one early March afternoon at the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) headquarters, our conversation began with the topic of Rudi’s gardening initiatives before shifting into a deeper introspective about human relationships and connections. The importance of relationships to other people, nature, and art surfaced as the overarching theme of our conversation, emphasizing relationship’s important role in the human experience. As our conversation continued, it became increasingly clear that relationships and the connections they foster are an essential element in Rudi’s and all our lives. If we can recognize and overcome the barriers we face when making genuine connections, then we can live satisfying and rewarding lives in relationship and harmony with each other.         Our conversation started with Rudi’s lifelong passion for gardening. Rudi’s interest in gardening and the communal relationships it encouraged started at a young age and has been a constant passion in his life. “I grew up with parents, especially my father, who loved gardening. When I got married in 1970, my wife and I, wherever we lived, we had at least a small garden,” said Rudi about his early gardening, “When we moved to the Okanagan, we bought an orchard and developed a very large commercial garden. We grew garlic, berries, besides the fruit, and...

The True Pursuit of Happiness lies in rebuilding our Community and Social Interactions...

By Tatiana Zamorano-Henriquez* Photos by Syed Mustafa* My background is Chilean-Canadian and having a Chilean family the values and morals that many Chileans have are profoundly rooted in family, social interactions and relationships. In the older generations of Chilean culture the collective and community was what bonded people together and was always cherished over individualist aspects of life and over the work life. An example of this in Chile that still occurs is the entire city shuts down for dinnertime. The workplaces close and people are given an hour to two hours to go home and sit down with family friends and coworkers and are encouraged to socialize over a meal. This system in Chile is a structure that promotes and inspires social interactions and forging social ties to fortify the sense of community, and although Chile’s structure has evolved and has been influenced by consumerist and individualist ideals from North America it still holds true to this system where social interactions and community is of central importance and as a result, sense of belonging and community has not dissipated in Chile and these principles can be found across the country. Thus, these ideals that made these interactions and community priority were always a part of my life. When I was young my days were filled with love, laughter, stories and endless conversations, these days were the happiest days of my life. Growing up I was encompassed by my family, we lived in East Vancouver on Venables Street in a vintage white house bordered with a light blue trim. I remember it as if it was only yesterday, walking up the blue steps of the house I opened the giant wooden door to my grandparents house, I remember my heart was always filled with happiness...

Kevin Wong: Forming a Community through Language Exchange...

By Liam McLean* Photos by Syed Mustafa* Arriving in Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1980, Kevin Wong understands the difficulty of learning a new language in a foreign place. As we sit in the Kerrisdale Community Centre, his hand holding a book that will foreshadow the content of our conversation, he tells me about his first encounters with the English language in Hong Kong and in Vancouver. “When we were in Hong Kong we had English classes, but they are just basically grammar,” said Kevin, “Because every day we just spoke the Chinese [Cantonese]. We seldom used English in writing, speaking. So, basically when we came over here […] it was quite difficult to communicate.” After arriving in Canada, Kevin first attended Langara where his struggles with English continued, failing his first two attempts at a required first-year English course offered by the English as a Second Language (E.S.L) program. For Kevin, those early days of learning a new language were made more difficult since “everyday you have to encounter people [who speak English] and some people they talk really fast and don’t have the patience to say it again. Then you just have to guess what they’re talking about and half of the time you guess wrong.” With his sights set on attending Simon Fraser University, it was vital for him to understand English well enough to acquire the necessary transfer credits from Langara and to communicate in daily Vancouver life.          Kevin’s struggles diminished during his third attempt at the English program when he received the proper aid to accommodate his learning style. “The turning point was the teacher,” Kevin said, looking back at that third class, “She actually taught me the basics of grammar and she had the...

Making Genuine Connections Through Music...

By Jamie Zabel* Walking into the Musical Voice Lab for the first time is an intimidating experience. As a newcomer to the program, this is certainly what I felt at first. However, the actual experience, while it may press your boundaries, is nothing but uplifting. Sitting around the circle of participants and hearing the chatter of people around you, you can tell that friends have been made and that trust has been built. This is inevitably the result of the Musical Voice Lab’s fantastically warm and bubbly facilitator, Jane Perrett. Her open and inviting presence, as well as her willingness to help with even the simplest questions about voice, breaks down any walls that people might have coming into the program.  The Musical Voice Lab is a Skill Share project run by the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) that aims to help people discover and develop their voices. As of now, participants meet once a month to learn songs from a variety of genres as well as vocal techniques. Jane is a Dramatic Coloratura Soprano, meaning that she can hit the high notes with ease while also having a rich darkness to her tone. Performing has been a passion of Jane’s for most of her life, starting as early as high school where she would treat her classmates to performances of ABBA’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” and other popular songs. She would always be the first to volunteer whenever there was an opportunity to sing. While her first love is singing for people, Jane “always knew in the back of [her] mind that [she] wanted to teach.” When Keiko Honda, the president of VACS, approached her about running the Musical Voice Lab, she was hesitant but allowed the courage gained from her passion for...

Reviving the Old: Beauty is in the Reflection...

  By Susan Tsang Photo courtesy of Judith Lam  I caught a glimpse of being a woman nearly sixty years old as merely the beginning; the beginning of making her dreams come true. Judith Lam and Yoko Ogawa, who both looked much younger than their actual age, were noticeably two different styles of personality. Judith was an assertive speaker while Yoko had a gentle persona. However, both were smiling cordially, open to have a discourse about their upcoming collaboration focusing on transforming Japanese kimonos into modern fashion, while letting me to have a glimpse into their friendship and who they are. I was immediately intrigued when Judith and Yoko said they were excited to dive into the project without concerning whether or not their creations will be completed like they had envisioned. Judith explained, “It’s more that when we get older, the more we catch every moment,” so the two inventive women had no time to be tied down by clients or deadlines, worries or uncertainties; they simply act and live the most fulfilling way at the moment. Judith and Yoko are two long-time friends who met in the seventies in Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. After graduation, they had begun different expeditions in the fashion industry, all the while, harboured the same passion. Judith established her design company in Hong Kong by catering to the Japanese market. Yoko worked in a team that specialized formal attires at an extensive Japanese company. The pair had sprouted from the same seed of dream and grown into separate branches, but their love for creating fashion was of the same root—both Judith and Yoko had loved drawings and sewings since young. Judith said, “I still vividly remember when I was young, like Grade three or four, I...

Something to Dance About  ...

By Chloë Lai Photo courtesy of  Chloë Lai As I followed Keiko and the volunteers into the Beyond Music meeting space at the Musqueam Cultural Centre, I was greeted by the sound of lively chatter and haphazard violin-string plucking. Then one of the students spotted me and said, “Who’s that?” Good question.  It was something I’d spent the past two months (or the past 15 years, if I’m being completely honest) trying to find the answer to. I was fresh from a research trip to Borneo, where I had reached out to my paternal grandmother’s side of the family. She is Kadazandusun, an ethnic group indigenous to Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah. My father and I drove all over her hometown of Penampang interviewing as many elders as we could find. We learned about cultural taboos, rituals surrounding birth, marriage and death, and hilarious flirtation techniques that involved licking fruit sap from someone’s neck.  Several of the elders we spoke with were related to us by blood or marriage, others were introduced to us by friends. More than half of them had never seen or heard of us. Regardless of whether they knew us or not, our shared ancestral connection meant that we were welcomed with open hearts at every turn.  As someone who’s spent over a decade in a city known for being aloof, I was overwhelmed at this reception. I was determined to find ways to keep that spirit of connection alive once I came back to Vancouver.  The Beyond Music students told me that their favourite thing about the program so far was learning to play the violin. One of the students even held her violin case in her arms throughout the entire session. Since music is one...

Family Matters’: A Glimpse into a Family Business Driven by Passion...

By Lara-Sophie Boleslawsky Photo courtesy of Dundarave Olive Company Our dining room table has become a ‘lay-away’ zone. One of those places where you temporarily “lay-away” something that you will probably use later, but you don’t exactly know when. Amidst school notices, calendars, pens strewn here and there, and advertisements, declaring in bold yellows and reds the “Super Saver” markdowns in our local retailers. Pushing aside the impending avalanche of stuff, my mother and I settle down for what I would term the most nerve-wracking interview in my life. I relish getting to spend time with my mother, we rarely sit and talk anymore; most days are spent in a flurry of school lunches, book-keeping, business management on her end and endless papers, midterms, and extracurriculars on mine. Yes, we live in the same house, but some days it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  Interviewing has always been for me an intimate affair, a brief encounter through which I must pull from the subject an array of emotions and inspirations that are often lodged deep inside. But time and time again the result is profoundly rewarding, this interview with my mother incredibly so.  Growing up, I had the amazing opportunity to be immersed in the everyday practices of the food industry. My parents were self-employed bakers and my earliest memories included devouring excess cookie dough, icing and freshly baked buns. As joint owners of Dundarave Bakery in West Vancouver,  every morning, my father would wake up at 3am to begin mixing, rolling and kneading the dough, with my mother often joining at 5 or 6am to begin with the daily pastry prep. I would often join them, walking around, putting my grubby hands in places I definitely was not supposed to, if only to get a...

More Than Just Teaching...

By Susan Tsang Photography by Kenta Moike John Yan—an aspiring violinist and an UBC integrated science major—arrived at Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) office on a Monday afternoon, accompanied by an electric violin after his practice session. Before his interview, he played a little to show how the electrical instrument differentiates from the traditional violin. He explained that playing both of the instruments are the same, but their sounds vary because the electric violin would only come to life with the amplifier. Even though the electric violin barely made any sound, John could not help but fiddle with it.  John playing the electric violin mirrored his first experience with the violin thirteen years ago. “I don’t know (why I liked the violin, because) in the beginning, I didn’t even make any sound. I just felt it was pretty cool.” John had embarked on a soulful path with music in a more or less ordinary way: his parents wished that their child would learn an instrument. Under their encouragement, John fell into the embrace of music briefly before piano proved to be a chore. Fortunately, violin was challenging but fun. “Violin is definitely my go-to instrument,” said John. He was grateful that he would have a chance later down the road to share his music and knowledge with other young kids who might not had the same opportunity as he did. His chance arrived when he was going through his toughest time adjusting his lifestyle to the university life during the first year.  John expressed the challenges of playing violin after graduated high school: “I joined the UBC Orchestra. Since I’m not a music major and didn’t know many people, I felt a disconnection between me and them.” He needed the human connection in the...

Rule #1: Gerard Satamian Followed No Rules In Composing Classical Music...

By Susan Tsang As I was expecting to enjoy a queue of singers performing their pieces at the Opera Zone, I was thoroughly impressed already by the first performer Gerard Satamian’s En Sourdine. His buoying baritone voice lightly rode the sad wave of music that was accompanied by the piano. His melancholic composition from 2008 moved me and left an profound mark on my first experience with classical singing. I was compelled to talk to him about composing music and being a musician in Vancouver.  Growing up in Beirut, Lebanon, Gerard had the support of his family to hone his musical talent even hough they might not have been rich in resources. He had studied in the Beirut National Conservatory of Music when he was thirteen-year-old and earned his piano Master degree at Gomitas Conservatory of Music in Yerevan. After Gerard had moved to Vancouver in 1989, he continued to perform and went on releasing albums Canada, Mon Amour (2010), Frisson Infini (2010),  Forget Me Not (2009), Flowers and Thorns (2004), and Dry Fig Trees (2004). Gerard proved that artists can create outside the box, even in the strict, prestige world of classical music. How is being a musician in Vancouver different from being a musician in the Middle East and other places that you lived in? Gerard Satamian: Vancouver is such a beautiful place. It inspires you to paint if you’re a painter; to compose if you’re a musician. It has such a high standard of life here. I was in LA for awhile, and it wasn’t inspiring. I couldn’t last long so I came back here. I missed all the beautiful mountains, nature, and the ocean. These are inspirational.  Can you tell me what inspired you to write Barcarolle Triste (another of Gerard’s...

One Voice Amongst Many – Lilia D’Acres Remarkable Journey ...

By Lara-Sophie Boleslawsky Photo Courtesy of Lilia D’Acres It was completely unplanned. Soft rays of sunlight were filtering through the windows of the Dunbar Community Centre and the lobby found itself filled with a diverse group of women, all of whom continue to be avid participants of the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society’s Creative Weaving Workshop. Perhaps through some form of Fate, her deft hands always intervening in life, I soon found myself meeting and conversing with local author, Lilia D’Acres. The setting was loud, as women continued to weave and talk amongst themselves, and small children roamed the room, crashing and playing with any items their surroundings seemed to proffer, and yet it seemed our conversation never wavered, never warbled, never faltered. What struck me most about Lilia was the care and craft she took in deliberating and delivering her answers. We seemed to be forming a narrative through our dialogue, worthy of being written in ink. Passions seemed to erupt, as we touched on the power of English literature, the tasks and troubles of the writer and a few of Lilia’s ongoing projects.  Before composing her first book, Lilia taught writing and literature classes to many diverse groups of individuals. While happy to be fostering such supple minds, Lilia mused, “I didn’t get the chance to write.” This realization spurred her movement towards writing books, and eventually she transitioned from the classroom into this new creative venture. Her first work, described as “onerous” by Lilia, chronicles the building and development of Vancouver’s most iconic landmark. Entitled, Lions Gate, the non-fiction piece delves into the stories behind this bridge; following multiple threads of thought, the book soon becomes a beautiful tapestry of Vancouver history. In Lions Gate, Lilia explores issues and themes such as the...

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...

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...