Join a collective!

Because work, school and life aren’t busy enough, as evident by a complete lack of activity on your blog, you should join a collective. No seriously, trust me – I joined one and it has been great!

Continental Shelf is a writers’ collective formed by some feisty University of Victoria undergraduate writing students.  Why that name? Because we’re on the edge; the edge of our writing careers, the edge of academia, the edge of western Canada, and also because of books!

Last night at Solstice Cafe, Continental Shelf orchestrated its first public event, and it was a fabulous time.

Sean Michaels from Said The Gramophone read two excerpts from his debut novel Us Conductors. Jo, from the collective, led a fantastic interview, touching on what drives one to write and the phase shift form writer to novelist. Munro’s was there selling copies of the beautiful book, and Sean got busy writing inscriptions. Lastly theremin art-pop band Cleopatra & the Nile finished off the night with a performance encompassing a backdrop of black and white films, projected off a reel, while the duo channelled haunting theremin and synth sounds.

Also don’t be fooled by Solstice Cafe’s website – they’re licensed for more than just beer!

For me the highlight of the night, other than camaraderie of course, was Sean’s commentary, and yes I’m paraphrasing, on the cacophony of thematic interrelationships that drove the creation of Us Conductors. For me it was a glimpse into the magic actions, and interactions, that engenders something greater than the whole, pulsing electricity, that overcomes the many barriers and ultimately creates art.

 

WordCamp Victoria and An Architectural Muse

I spent today at WordCamp Victoria. It was a good conference and I was pleasantly surprised by the broad diversity of attendees at the conference. The sessions were by and large very good. Of the sessions I attended, and I skipped both keynotes, my favourites were by the folks behind these blogs:

I also found something else that caught my interest. Check out these photos depicting another gorgeous day in Victoria BC, and an edifice of a beautiful world as well as human ingenuity. Yes I realize this is a drain for dealing with rain run off but it’s also architectural poetry. Happy Saturday.

Photo: Sunset Johnson St. Bridge

I know, I know… I’ve talked a bit ad nauseum about camera phone art… if it’s not can camera phone pictures be art? it’s a creative challenge to take your own poetic snap shot

And now at a time when I should be blogging about Feist’s or Sarah Slean’s new album, or my Turner Block repurposing proposal, or my fellow FA 350 classmate’s proposal to help the homeless… I’m once more drawn to camera phone art… But isn’t it beautiful?

The Mayor of our sleepy little town, in my opinion, is on some crazed legacy binge and is tearing it down to build a new one… It’s a historic bridge, by Strauss and Company, of the Golden Gate Bridge fame… one of the last Bridges of it’s type on the face of the planet… and it’s on the path to demolition. So we can’t have heritage designation for a working bridge, but we can have it for derelict, rotting, buildings that create dead spaces in our communities? Failed public policy at work.

Well at least the photo is beautiful and poetic even if the future of this icon is sad and wanton.

Review: And Slowly Beauty…

Being late to the party, as our season tickets are in the later half of the second week, I won’t belabour the point… And Slowly Beauty…, now playing at the Belfry Theater is terrific.

It is the layers that are so poetic. It is not just the play within a play, it is thoughts within thoughts, lines within lines, it is hypnotic. This layering makes the play feel a little like life I suppose. The play is also self referential without being tedious or obvious, you are left with no explicit answers only insinuations about the nature of life…

The performances and production values were top notch for a small independent theater. The script, acting, set, choreographing and music (no it is not a musical) were all outstanding. I hope the rest of the season is as good.

If you’re in Victoria, BC or a version of this play comes to your local theatre go see it!

Outing: The London Chef

For a little something different my wife and I decided to try out the rather gourmet looking cooking school, cafe and caterers named The London Chef. The London Chef has opened a spectacular space on Fort Street, in our home town Victoria BC. (Yes I’m talking about culinary arts… watch out!)

I understand that normally during its evening classes the London Chef is setup with 2 people to each cooking area (of which there are seven) and all of you cook along with the chef who also comes by and gives guidance as you go.. could be fun! But the price tag for two can be a bit of a barrier… so an inspired mind came up with the idea for a “Night in Spain”, which was the event we attended this past Thursday night.

What was a Night in Spain? Besides fantastic it was 4 cooking stations producing different spanish tapas each manned by a professional. Bowls of sangria, spanish guitar and a dancer, Salt’s Spring Ale, and Ottavio’s were also essential to creating the nights artistic, fun, friendly and experimental atmosphere. Ottavio’s is a fantastic Victoria (Oak Bay) european deli and they were onsite participating and manning a couple of the delicious tapas stations.

At each of the tapas stations attendees would conglomerate around and learn about what was being served and see it being made. Each ingredient and the process was described. Some of the tapas were simple, cheeses with bread and a delicious tomato sauce to the more complex and entertaining to watch, pan fried prawns.

I won’t attempt to describe all the different artistic concoctions suffice to say the evening was a blast, the folks at the London Chef are knowledgeable, friendly and entertaining. I even learned a thing or two about how to cook prawns, and learned that yes, I really do need a gas stove!

Mmmm… edible art!