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The Grey Matters Personal Year In Review Of 2011

5 January 2012 One Comment

2011 was a memorable year for events, festivals and hockey!

 

This year has been full new and exciting things for me! I decided to take myself away a little more from the computer and start attending more events. I have talked to a lot of you on different social media sites and through email but there was never a personal face between us. 2011 was a year that I got to personally meet a lot of you.

These are just a few of things that I got to do and some of the events and festivals that I have attended, worked with or organized. It really all started in January when John Pippus and I got together and started organizing something for Valentines Day. On February 12th at The Billy Bishop Legion at 1407 Laburnum St (on Kits Point) VanMusic Presented V-Day at The Billy!

Here are some highlights of the night.

June was one of the most interesting months, spring was here in full speed and there was festivals going on all over Vancouver. Italian Day on Commercial Drive kicked it off. With great live music, DJ’s, fashion shows and some amazing foods,  it was a day that the Drive wants to host again and again. Whenever Commercial Drive shuts down for one of these events you know its going to be fun.

One of my personal favorites is always Car Free Day! I have gotten the privilege before to volunteer this event in the past and plan to again however this year I was one of the 1000’s that attended this event.

“The first annual Car-Free Vancouver Day, on Sunday June 15, 2008 ushered in the next phase in this bold experiment that had been gradually happening in Vancouver for many years. It took the car-free meme to the whole city, and represented the next level in our evolution toward healthy communities, authentic cultural celebrations, and car-free streets. On that day, FOUR communities presented their own Car-Free Festivals: Kitsilano, West End, Main Street, and Commercial Drive. Each Festival was envisioned and organized by the local core organizers, and each had a unique flavour.” – Car Free Vancouver

MIP was touring from Toronto and I got to see them at Falconetti’s, I met them after and they gave me a signed CD (my favorite thing to get from a band, that and a T Shirt). That night I finally got to meet Jade Sperry in person as well. We have talked many times over Facebook and email as Jade often writes for VanMusic, but we have never shaken hands and formally met. Oswaldo attended with me as well as Jade’s buddy. We all had a great time, I look forward to doing it again.

This year The Vancouver Jazz Festival was again amazing, it was the perfect way to end June and welcome in July. With 1800 Musicians, 400 Concerts, at 40 Venues, it gave me the chance to attend some really good acts. The one that stands out the most would have to be when I saw Gypsophilla live at

 

One thing that I wanted to talk about was an event that happened in June. I have not really written all that much about it, but I was there and watched the entire thing unfold. It was one of the best events held by the City Of Vancouver where the entire nation watched and cheered with us. On 7 different days the downtown core was shut down to bring in huge big screen TV’s, to cheer on together our Vancouver Canucks for their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup!

I was downtown for most of the playoff games this year because I knew that Vancouver was going to win the cup. That first series against Chicago nearly killed me, man oh man that was great hockey. After Vancouver beat them and moved on in the Playoffs, I knew the Canucks would finally carry that Cup home after 40 long years. For the Stanley Cup Finals, I could not sleep, eat or even work I was so nervous. For every game I was downtown cheering with the rest of the City. Game 7 was like Canada playing in the Gold Metal Hockey Game and it had just gone into overtime. This time however there was no Crosby.

Game 7 was exciting! It was the best game of the whole season and only 2 teams got to play it, and why only 2? Because they earned it! The entire City was downtown together, cheering. There was about 10 minutes left in the game and that’s when things first started to go wrong. All the sudden these young drunk teens started appearing, the air was starting to get heavy and it somehow seemed that the closer the game came to ending, the more people understood what was unfolding. Fights were breaking out all around and families were starting to flee, there was a lot of people down there trying to get out all at once which started making the situation that much more dangerous.

I don’t need to say anymore about the events that followed as the whole world watched what happened. What I do want to say is this. These rioters were there just to riot. They have purposely vandalized our city in the name of fun. Every single one of them should be punished to the fullest extent of the law! I don’t care how many times you go on TV and cry out how sorry you are, your only sorry because you got caught. Thats right, we the people have stood up and said we are not going to take this.

There are so many people working so hard in promoting the different arts scene in Vancouver as we are plagued as the “No Fun City”. to have these little punks who were not even born yet for the last hockey riot, riot just because they think it will be a fun thing to do.

For pics of everything unfolding click here

This years Fringe Festival was a lot of fun. I was given a Media Pass so was able to attend a lot of shows. 2 of my favorites were Species and Homeland. Check out a review of the festival here.

Species. It was presented by Sapience Dance Collective from Seattle. Five dancers put a strange dance performance. Are they in an apocalyptic world below a street bridge? Are they the representation of homeless people? Or species that live in urban spaces? The show starts with the five dancers intertwined in a brown fabric, could it have been a cocoon? a butterfly struggling to resurface? Birds entangled in a giant spider web or just plain extraterrestrial beings that happened to crash in the city. “Species explores the “Nature” within human nature and the wilderness within the city through dance, music, and elaborated costumes” says their description. The costumes are very trippy, each dancer embodies an animal in the asphalt jungle. The music started as an electronic dream, drum and bass combined with urban traffic and chirping of birds. The collage of music is not always in sync with the dancers, the music also features some post rock and I think I recognized some Tortoise. The corporal expression of their modern dance formed human sculptures and intricate forms.

Homeland tells the story of an immigrant girl that comes to Toronto, she is looking for a sense of belonging in a foreign land, she is in awe, she is scared, she is excited, everything is new for her as we follow her journey through her dance. The show combines dance with audio visuals, shots of Toronto and interviews with real immigrants that share some of their experiences in their new home. The best part of the show is the LIVE music. Godot Art Productions is a Toronto based non profit company that juxtapose theatre, dance, music, literature, visual and media arts. The music was composed by Reza Moghaddas who also edited the film. The style of music is a mix of new age with middle Eastern sounds, he plays the instruments as well; a guitar, keyboards and arrangements with special effects. But the effects are also done by percussionist Lorenzo Castelli. The live soundtrack reminded me of Mexican pre Hispanic new age musician Jorge Reyes, but this Iranian Canadian musician impressed me the same. The show is really entertaining.

 

Check Out Part Two of The Grey Matter’s Year In Review Here!

 

 

 

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  • Jadedphotography

    Awesome stuff Jordan, and yes, I have plans for the spring summer and fall stuff in clubs and festivals.  Thank you for mentioning me.  That was a good night from Falconetti’s!!  Beers and great music with friends ……. I look forward to this summer!!  Cheers!