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Searching For The Light

Photo: tracyxlee on Twitpic

The last week has been so insanely busy that finding time reflect on anything, let alone write about it, has been impossible. This is why despite having attended an unreal concert last Monday night, I’m just getting to blogging about it now.

Tracy thought it was about time that I had my City and Colour cherry popped, so when she scored two tickets front and centre for the upcoming show, she was kind enough to invite me to join her. Tracy may very well be Dallas Green’s ultimate fan. His music has owned her heart for years and it excites her very much when she can help somebody else discover and appreciate it.

Flash to the Vancouver 2010  Cultural Olympiad. Queen Elizabeth Theatre. February 15, 2010.

Enter Dallas Green.

What can be said about the genius that is Dallas Green? In a few words- phenomenal, mesmerizing, talented beyond belief. I’ve listened to his records on repeat but hadn’t seen him live and wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.

He opened with “Comin’ Home.” I had goosebumps from the get go.

As it turned out, I was thoroughly entertained and moved by the show from start to finish. Dallas is an incredible performer. Not only is his voice right on the money, he interacts charmingly with the crowd. He’s telling jokes, stories and making everybody feel important between every song. It  struck me just how very humble and down to earth he is, especially being who he is and given how successful he has been.

For the encore, Dallas returned to the stage to sincerely thank the audience again for all the continued support and genuine enthusiasm. He took a breath and belted out a rendition of Son House’s “Grinning In Your Face” that was sincere and affecting.

The evening was made up of equal parts competent music, wry humour and genuine appreciation. I look forward to the next show with great anticipation.

Q For Thought

Photo: TVGuide

When I’m working in the office, a highlight of my day is the 90 minute time slot every morning when I pop in my ear buds. I tune out the noise around me so that I can tune in to the CBC Radio One Arts and Culture show, Q. The show  is a smart and interesting tour through personalities and cultural issues, hosted by award-winning Canadian broadcaster, writer, musician and producer Jian Ghomeshi.

Not only does Jian have an incredible knack for asking the right questions and pressing the right points, he also possesses a brilliant ability to establish a rapport with his guests and then build upon it, enabling them to be direct and candid. Jian has a sincere love and respect for the human spirit, which is revealed in the thought provoking conversations he has with his guests. He’s able to draw out and nurture their thoughts and feelings on any topic you can imagine. The result is captivating. Jian has really defined arts, culture and entertainment with his program and I definitely have him to thank for uncovering so many hidden artistic gems for me.

Earlier this week as Leah and I ran around the city enjoying an epic Olympic night o’ fun, I was telling her how bummed I was that I had missed out on the two Vancouver Meet and Greets with Jian. Just as the words were passing through my lips, my eyes darted forward. I did a double take. I couldn’t believe it! It was Jian, right next to us. As he passed, I nudged Leah and she immediately called out his name. He spun around and grinned at us. We struck up a conversation right there in the middle of Georgia Street.  At his suggestion, we briefly considered taking a photo Notebook style before he invited us to walk with him. We spent the next while chatting him up, as we guided him to The Orpheum Theatre, where he was going to see Feist. I can do nothing but gush about how cool, funny and sweet Mr. Ghomeshi is.

Photo: Simone Hudson on Flickr

Big thanks to Leah for so beautifully capturing the moment in this photo. Giddy schoolgirl much?

The next day, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a special live edition of Q, which was recorded at CBC Vancouver. Being a daily listener, it was extra special to have the opportunity to see how they make it all happen behind the scenes. It just so happened to be a stellar lineup too: Quebec theatre creator Robert LePage, comedian Brent Butt, and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. Plus, live performances of new music from Stars (I’m an insta-fan) and Mother Mother (who are fabulous). The completely adorable Canadian Gold Medalist Alexandre Bilodeau, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson were also part of the show. I was so thrilled to be there.

The Olympics, a City and Colour concert and quality time with Jian…this may just have been the BEST week ever!

The Time Is Right Now, eh?

Photos From Various Sources

With the world spotlight now officially on Vancouver, the city is absolutely buzzing with Olympic spirit. People keep asking me how I’m dealing with all the “Olympic chaos” but so far I don’t really feel like it’s been chaotic at all.  No major inconveniences. Customer service seems to be at an all time best everywhere I go. Cabs have been easier to get than ever. People are all smiles. Flags are the new black. It’s FUN!

I’m choosing to embrace the spirit and enjoy it while it lasts. I understand where the anti-Vancouver Games camp is coming from. There’s no denying that there’s a debt to pay for all this, and the protesters definitely do have some valid points, but come on!  The time is right now. It’s here. It’s happening. It’s a once in a life time experience and I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy every minute it.

Yesterday morning I found myself on Marine Drive in North Vancouver. I was on my way to work just as the torch was passing through. The street was lined with a cheering crowd of red and white. There were more big smiles and waving flags than I’ve ever seen in my life. What an awesome experience! I actually got a little bit emotional as the torch went by.

I finally got my hands into my very own pair of those infamous red mittens yesterday. Jessi and I spent over an hour in The Bay Downtown’s Olympic section last night checking it all out. I mean, a girl’s gotta have a cute Olympic wardrobe, right?  After our patriotic shopping spree, we hit up Joey’s Bentall where we noshed on the most delish Baja Fish tacos and sipped on caesers alongside members of the Russian team.

There’s such cool vibe in the city right now, not to mention an enormous amount of Canadian pride. It’s fun just to be out and about with this magical feeling all around. I’m eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies. I just feel so lucky to be in the hub of all the excitement. I can’t wait to be part of the events happening around the city during the games. This Olympic atmosphere is really something. Robson zipline, here I come! GO CANADA!