Arbutus Corridor Souvenirs

Arbutus1As the debate about the city’s possible purchase of the Arbutus corridor is ongoing, I realized there might be little time left to walk or bike along the trail, a trip that was on my Vancouver ‘to do’ list for a few years.

Though we still haven’t managed the bike trip, my family and I went for a nice walk along three routes of the corridor a few weeks ago. Some parts of the walk are probably less familiar to the general audience than the popular route along 6th Avenue between Fir and Maple streets. In the following photo essay, you’ll find some impressions of the trip. Please note the trip was taken spontaneously and most photos taken by my iPhone. Continue reading

Faces of BC Film – Kellie Ann Benz’ movie Naked Night Bike premieres on IndieFlix

Maude (Jennifer McLean) and Bertrand (Kris Elgstrand) try to relate in Naked Night Bike.

Maude (Jennifer McLean) and Bertrand (Kris Elgstrand) try to relate in Naked Night Bike.

Generally, menopause is no laughing matter, especially if you experience symptoms at as early as age 40. Vancouver filmmaker Kellie Ann Benz was diagnosed with the condition sooner than she ever imagined and didn’t know who to talk to. What was worse, her boyfriend at the time got cold feet and the relationship ended dramatically.

“It was clear that menopause evokes this panicky reaction in people, as if aging is contagious and that it was just one of those realities of life that no one wanted to talk about,” says Benz. “The whole experience made me feel like my ‘market value’ had plummeted and yet here I was, still in this world, still vital in so many ways, still loving, still attracted, still attractive, yet now very aware that I belonged to a different club of women. It was such a weird time that I knew a movie had to be made.” Continue reading

Faces of BC Film: Suzette Laqua and the inaugural Vancouver Web Fest

VWF logoOur digital lifestyle is moving with seven-league boots and sometimes our decisions have to be made accordingly. And so it happened when Suzette Laqua decided within a few seconds to produce Vancouver’s first web series festival, which will take place May 2nd-4th at the Imperial Vancouver (formerly District 319, at 319 Main St.)

The Vancouver Web Fest celebrates “the progressive evolution of entertainment and programming created exclusively for the Internet.” Screenings showcase a wide range of Canadian and international web series including comedy, drama, documentaries, thrillers, animation and more. The weekend also features industry panels, parties, life performances and an awards gala. Continue reading

Faces of BC Film – Michael van den Bos, film history teacher, film critic and classic movie host

Cherished for 40 years: Michael van den Bos holds the book "The Art of Walt Disney" by Christopher Finch, which was given to him in 1973.

Cherished for 40 years: Michael van den Bos holds the book “The Art of Walt Disney” by Christopher Finch, which was given to him in 1973. Photo: Katja De Bock

***update – in 2015, Michael van den Bos is hosting the Cinematheque Cinema Sunday series “THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE,” a yearlong celebration of adventure movies for all ages to enjoy.
On Saturday, Jan. 31, Michael will host a panel (and intro the film) about Back to The Future, in honour of the film’s 30th anniversary at the SPARK FWD 2015 Conference.
Michael will also be hosting more ‘Dancing in the Dark’ compilations at the Vancity Theatre. This show is “an exhilarating waltz through the history of movie musicals, celebrating the interplay between choreography and camera moves by such deft directors of dance delirium as Busby Berkeley, Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen, Charles Walters, Bob Fosse, Herbert Ross and Baz Lurhmann.” Enjoy! ***

When Rosemarie and Klaas van den Bos gave their young son Michael The Art of Walt Disney on Christmas Eve in 1973, little did they know the book would not only inspire him to a lifelong love and study of film history, but ultimately delight and educate thousands of Vancouver moviegoers and film students.

If you live in Vancouver and love seeing classic movies on the big screen, you will most likely have experienced Michael van den Bos’ film introductions at the Cinematheque’s Cinema Sundays or pre-concert talks at the Orpheum or the Stanley TheatreContinue reading

From Kerrisdale CC to the False Creek Grandragons

The False Creek Grandragons in September 2013. Photo: Katja De Bock

The False Creek Grandragons in September 2013. Kerrisdalers raise their hands. Photo: Katja De Bock

Are you over 55 and looking for a great workout? The False Creek Grandragons dragon boat team trains twice weekly between February and November and takes part in half a dozen competitions each season. Read all about it in my blog post for the Kerrisdale Playbook (kccplaybook.org).

St. John Hospice opens at UBC

St. John Hospice

St. John Hospice

Hundreds of people celebrated the opening of St. John Hospice, a new 14-bed facility located on the University of British Columbia campus on Friday.

The first community hospice on Vancouver’s West Side was conceived and built by the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Continue reading

This is it for Varsity Ridge Bowl

The Varsity Ridge corner at Arbutus and West 15th Ave., photographed in November 2012 by Katja De Bock

The Varsity Ridge corner at Arbutus and West 15th Ave., photographed in November 2012 by Katja De Bock

The iconic bowling alley on Arbutus Street and West 15th Ave. in Kitsilano, Vancouver is closing forever tonight. The entire block will be replaced by condos, in spite of neighbourhood protestsContinue reading