Sunday, January 07, 2007

50 ways to . . . Part 1

As part of its 50th birthday celebration, the Canada Council has challenged us to consume one tonne of culture.

No, that’s not quite it, but they have come up with a celebratory challenge. They’re calling it ’50 for 50’ and they want us to take part in celebrating Canadian arts – they hope we'll do this 50 times over the course of 2007.

So far, I’ve been finding this pretty easy. Here’s a list of some of things I’ve already done this year.

#1 (January 1) This slow-moving holiday allowed me the time to really read the Globe and Mail’s list of the top books of 2006. It reminded me of a book I’ve been curious about, Rawi Hage’s DeNiro’s Game. I’ve gone and reserved a copy of this from my local library.

#2 (Jan 2) I read Yvonne Blomer’s take on what life is like for a Canadian in Japan. Her book of poems, a broken mirror, fallen leaf, transports you there without any jet-lag. Best accompanied by a pot of hot tea.

#3 (Jan 3) I rented a DVD of a piece I hadn’t even realized had been made into a film: Douglas Coupland’s Souvenir of Canada. Not your usual home-viewing pleasure, but then Coupland’s no ordinary author. This exploration of his installation, Canada House, made me laugh and even made me think. (Odd note: the actor who portrays Coupland for parts of the film looks a lot like the young Svend Robinson.)

#4 (Jan 4) Sunny, though a bit on the chill side. Stopped into the Community Arts Council ’s nearby gallery and caught a preview of the new show they were in the midst of mounting, paintings by Hormozd Poorooshasb. A local artist, he is of Persian descent. His work is wildly colourful and I look forward to viewing it again.

#5 (Jan 5) A rainy day, so I spent part of the day curled up by the fire, finishing Hot Pursuit, a mystery written by Vancouver author Nora Kelly.

#6 (Jan 6) We tried going to the White Rock Museum, but it was still closed for the holidays.

Still, it was fun to go strolling on the pier. It seemed everybody had a camera in their hands!

I took a couple of shots of art I found down there:

-- some professional (the statue) and some by local school kids. How's that for Canadian art being everywhere!?

#7 (Jan 7) We celebrated Orthodox Christmas today. While we had brunch, we watched a video made at the Romanian Hall in Woodstock, Ontario. It featured traditional Romanian music and dancing. If you follow this link to Romanian tunes, you can even hear some Christmas carols. Romanian-Canadians sure know how to celebrate. La multi ani!

Let the Canada Council know what you’re doing to celebrate ’50 for 50’. Their address is

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