Saturday, February 27, 2010

Busy days, Lower Mainland style

It's been yet another very rich week -- busy in all the best senses of the word. Tuesday saw me making my way into Vancouver (via transit, of course) for an unconventional, not particularly Olympic adventure.

One of my first stops was Granville Island, where I wandered down one of my favourite streets there, Railspur Alley. The gentleman above seemed to greet me with just the right amount of absurdity. He greets passersby outside the Peter Kiss Gallery. Even his title is a delight: "John Had Hoped His Spirit Animal Might Have Been More Impressive".

After a good ramble through the laneways and the market, I hopped one of those little rainbow-coloured boats -- the ones that ferry people across False Creek. I felt a bit like a dignitary, as I was the only passenger on board. Playing tourist in my own city, what a lark!

On the city side, I started the trek up Hornby Street, where I happened into the Appleton Gallery. Their collection of Inuit and Aboriginal Art is remarkable. And as my luck so often seems to do, the gallery operator invited me into the back of the store where Inuit artist Palaya Qiatsuq was working on a carving. Visiting from Cape Dorset in Nunavut, he was kind enough to tell me about what he was working on (a small carving of a seal).

Wednesday must have been a day for laundry and catching up after Denman. Amazingly, I didn't take any photos that day. But Thursday was dedicated to poet Ray Hsu. I picked him at the bus stop and dropped him at one of the local high schools where he presented workshops to students in Grades 10-12.

And as if that wouldn't have constituted a full day for most people, that evening he gave a reading/presentation to an audience at White Rock's Pelican Rouge Coffee House. All of this was part of the Community Arts Council's cultural offerings.

Friday saw a couple of us off to Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, where we took in a display of the winning entries in an urban design competition called Townshift. Since the two of us had been part of a team that had prepared an entry, we wanted to see first-hand what had beaten us. While our entry was nowhere near as professional (heck, we're not architects), it was good to see so many of the ideas we'd hit on included in many of the entries.

Rounding out the week was a visit to the dentist. No details necessary, but when I googled dentistry, it surprised to find so many dentist games. I'm not sure who plays these, but really, who'd have thought it?

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