Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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July 22nd, 2016

Published by CBC News

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A new urban farm in Vancouver is growing food for local restaurants and markets without soil, or any other growing medium.

To grow produce, Harvest Urban Farms uses aeroponics, a process in which plants are grown in an environment of air or mist — from which the plants receive nutrients.

“The roots are literally suspended in midair and by doing that they have a lot more oxygen that’s available to them so they can grow a lot faster,” said Aaron Ferguson, CEO of Harvest Urban Farms, which launched earlier this year.



April 22nd, 2016

Published by CBC Arts

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Angela Fama‘s latest art project, What Is Love, took everything she had.

“I lost my home, my savings, my partner,” said the Vancouver artist and photographer. “I’ve got nothing left. But I still have Debbie.”

Debbie is Fama’s yellow-and-white 1977 motorhome, the vehicle that took her on a two-month journey across North America last year to create the project.

Fama stopped in 20 locations — from Edmonton to Albuquerque and places in between — where she invited strangers into the studio in the back of the RV and photographed them while they talked about love.



March 5th, 2016

Published by CBC Arts

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It’s tough to be a street artist in Vancouver. At least so says Chris Bentzen, owner of Hot Art Wet City. His three-year-old gallery is known for its irreverent attitude and its celebration of lowbrow art. For lovers of street art, it’s a natural draw.

“I get a lot of tourists who come in here and ask where the street art is but it’s hard to find in this city,” he says.

“It seems like the city doesn’t really have any leeway for street art, at least for people who are doing it illegally,” he says. “It gets covered up quite quickly.”



February 13th, 2016

Published by CBC Arts

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Cindy Mochizuki spends much of her time building complex multimedia art projects. But the Vancouver artist’s world is also crawling with what she calls “inky creatures” that remind her to slow down and let go.

Mochizuki’s latest exhibition, Things on the Shoreline, at Vancouver’s Access Gallery, is a delicate pop-up paper jungle inhabited by whimsical ink-blot drawings produced by fourth and fifth grade students during a series of workshops she facilitated at two Vancouver schools last fall.


Diagonal, in opposition

March 31st, 2015

Vancouver is a beauty. With its downtown beaches and mountain views, it has to be one of the most picturesque cities in the world. But it’s also got some awfully grubby nooks and crannies. I discovered an endless supply of those a couple of years ago when I moved to an east side neighbourhood bordered by Kingsway, a street that runs diagonally from Main and 7th Avenue all the way to Burnaby.

It’s a real mess of a road. It’s out of sync with the rest of the city, screwing up the grid system and confusing local residents, who aren’t ever sure exactly where they are when they’re driving down it. Or maybe that’s just me.

Besides its perverse directionality, Kingsway is also interesting because it’s in a state of flux these days. With increasing numbers of professionals and young families moving eastward from more expensive westside neighbourhoods, Kingsway is starting to gentrify. Excellent restaurants and coffee shops (along with shiny new medicinal marijuana dispensaries and vape shops) are starting to pop up along the westernmost stretch of Kingsway, scattered among some of the grottiest, most ramshackle real estate I’ve seen in this city.

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Some of it is really quite beautiful.

Kingsway has a long history — it predates the street grid system, following the original wagon trail that ran from Gastown to New Westminster. In fact it was originally called Westminster Road but had its name changed to Kingsway in 1913 when the city fully committed to the cockeyed route and paved it.

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The road has even inspired a book of poetry — Kingsway by Michael Turner. Turner sees Kingsway as a way of thinking about cities and their residents. In Turner’s words, it’s “diagonal, in opposition,” but despite its oppositional nature it’s also a perfectly familiar urban landscape. The street’s endless string of strip malls and rundown restaurants is a stand-in for similar strip malls and rundown restaurants across the country. Kingsway, according to the book description, is “a place to get lost, to lose oneself—both a starting point and a destination.”

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It’s been both of those things for me over the past couple of years. My walks up and down Kingsway have exposed me to a side of Vancouver that I’d never paid much attention to. The street has changed the way I see Vancouver, but it’s also become my home.

A few months ago I started to photograph some of my favourite Kingsway sights and post the pictures to a dedicated Instagram account called vancouverkingsway. I was delighted last week when the local blog Vancouver Is Awesome discovered the account and wrote it up in a post. They’ve posted about a few other local Instagram accounts recently and I’m proud to see mine among them.

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It feels like there’s a little more pressure now, though, to explore a bit further and capture some of the more distant reaches of Kingsway. I’ve barely explored the first fifteen blocks.

In fact there are at least a dozen more crazy doorways and weird shop windows just between Fraser and Knight that I need to visit.

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I ran across this map last week, created by a Simon Fraser University student. It handily charts all of the locations Michael Turner mentions in his book of poetry. It will serve as an excellent guide as I start to travel farther east up the Westminster Road.

There are still so many miles left to photograph.

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