Monday, February 22, 2010

We Sing, We Dance, We have Fun

On Saturday February 20th me and my mom went to see the fun and fantastic Umalali: The Garifuna Womens Project at the Roundhouse.
The fun and fantastic happened because of a great audience and 3 singers, Ms. Sophia, Ms. Marcilla, and Ms. Desiree, who were amazing! They blew the house away, in Ms.Desiree's own words "we sing, we dance, we have fun.`` Dancing, singing, and a lot of fun was definitely had by all when most of the audience joined the trio on stage
During the hour and a half performance the amount of people on the stage went from about 8 to close to 30. Throughout that period the crowd participated in many ways, by singing, dancing, and having fun! My favourite song by the audience was a little well-known song called Happy Birthday! Yep, thats right folks the ENTIRE audience sang Ms.Marcilla happy birthday.

My 2 favourite dancers were a certain SUPER tall guy wearing construction clothes and a longish grey beard.
My other favourite was a women wearing a white "I love Granville island" shirt and shaking her hips like crazy! Me and my advisor think shes definitely done African dance before. No one with that much hip skill could be a first timer.

The Umalali group has a myspace page and after you read my amazing blog you might want to check them out here. I was looking at it and at a first glance there is not that much information, but once you scroll down there is a lot of interesting info on how they made their latest CD and how the group started. One of my favourite parts is ``There is the story of how it was made: a ten-year labor of love that started with five years of collecting songs and discovering striking female voices, followed by recording sessions in a seaside hut, and ending with exquisitely detailed and subtle production wizardry.``

It was great to watch, there was such a great atmosphere in the air. I am very glad I went.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vanessa James and Yannick Bonheur

On Tuesday February 16 2010 this reporter was lucky enough to run into Vanessa James and Yannick Bonhuer watching womens snowboard cross. The Toronto-born French athlete was very happy to be back saying "I'm very happy being back, he's very proud to be skating here." "We're very happy with our performance and our first Olympic experience [together]"

Vanessa and Yannick were at the games because they wanted to " realize the whole Olympic experience." As Vanessa said during our interview. They wanted to come and experience as much of the games as possible, meaning cheering on teammates, going to events, and "realizing their Olympic experience." For the couple the best part of the Olympics was the Canadian crowd when they performed. In Vanessa words "The Canadian audience is very good when we were tired they kept pushing us, helping us to keep going......for us to experience that with the Canadian audience."

When I asked what it was like for them to be the first black couple in figure skating (a frequently asked question) They said "We are very proud [because] there isn't very many black skaters [and] we hope to bring more people into the sport, black skaters into the sport........we'll see hopefully more couples in 2014" We're proud to be representing black people in the sport" Did you know that theres only 3 black athletes in figure skating? I bet there will be more in 2014, I sure hope so!

Oh and by the way I taped the interview and posted it on youtube heres a link to interview

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Torch!

On Friday the 12th, day 106 I saw the torch passing down 6th
street. The actual torch relay itself was really great to see, but I can't help but say i was saddened to see how much advertising was a part of it. Coke came first handing out free coke, then RBC handing out flags, and honestly, thats NOTHING to do with Canada. It just makes me really sad to think that Coke and RBC cared more about there advertising then about the torch bearer and Canada.

I, Emma djwa Own rights to this photo

Opening Ceremony

(I don't have any photos of the opening ceremony but this is the t.v we watched it on)

This years Opening Ceremony was radically different from the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics. For starters its obviously the winter Olympics not the summer.The Vancouver opening ceremony was impressive but not in the mass numbers that Bejing was. Remember them they had about 500 drummers all on stage at once? The Vancouver Olympics are nothing like that. (similar mascots though) The most people on stage at once was maybe at most 75-100? not sure if i'm getting my numbers straight but there wasn't mass numbers like Beijing.

The beginning was really cool! A video was showed about a snowboarder going down a hill in I think Whistler passing by the different dates of the Winter Olympics, then when the video was finished the SAME snowboarder jumped out and snowboarded down to the middle of the field. Man that must have been amazing experience for that guy.........

Did you see NELLY FURTADO??? And Bryan Adams They were amazing! They Opening Ceremony definitley had GREAT music. Nikki Yanofski..... Wow. I can't believe she's only 17 years old she has such a powerful voice. Almost too powerful you couldn't quite understand the words. But still, 17 years old and performing at a world event.

My favourite part was all the cultural parts, the dancing, and the Aboriginal peoples welcome. The floor was really well done, by that i mean all the disappearing and appearing. The totem poles rising out of nowhere, and the bear coming roaring out. The dances about the different parts Canada, the forests, the oceans, the orcas, and the salmon. I thought it was beautiful the way the fabric flowed from the sky to the ocean or ice or forest floor, whatever it happened to be, it worked.

I think Rick Hansen was the perfect person to carry the torch at the end. He's an inspiring Canadian that people have a great respect for. People around here were betting on Wayne Gretzky, and they were right! Can you believe the actual lighting though? Apparently the person who designed the torch lighting, David Atkins also designed the one in Salt Lake City that coincidentaly also stopped halfway up to the top. He's not going to be designing much after this. When the 4 Pillars were supposed to rise out of the ground and cross together in the middle, ONE DIDN'T RISE UP! So the entire part was delayed waiting for the fourth pillar. But they just decided to go ahead, so the fourth pillar didn't rise up leaving Catrina Le May Doan stranded without a pole to light. Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash, and Nancy Greene all successfully lite the other 3 poles. It was really funny to watch on T.V because before they keep panning back and forth from each face, each looking more worried then the previous. Nancy Greene knew what to do though, she just kept smiling and waving. Once the indoor cauldron was lite Wayne Gretzky was carried in the back of a truck to outside the CTV broadcasting station and lite the outdoor cauldron. This one luckily was up the whole time leaving no chance for mishaps. I found it kinda funny that Rick Hansen didn't light the cauldron, but he did carry it into the stadium, so i guess it evens out.

Personally i really enjoyed the opening ceremony and the only thing that would make it better is......... THE LIGHTING WORKING! But actually besides that i don't have a single complaint, i think Canada was represented perfectly by the native people, the athletes, and all the dancers and performers. The francophone people could probably have been represented better, but I think Canada has already won gold.

Barbed Wire over Flame?

Protesting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games citizens of Vancouver went as far as to use barbed wire to stop the Olympic torch from hitting home. Many people were disappointed as the protesters succeeded in stopping the torch. Changing the route from Commercial Drive to Clark Drive. The protesters won't stand for Commercial Drive being part of the torch relay because its the urban centre, and the home base for many of the protesters.

Many protesters chanted "No Olympics on stolen native land" going back to before many of us were born to the early days of George Vancouver. Now, yes its true George Vancouver and the original settlers of Vancouver most likely stole the land from the Aboriginal Peoples. But now we live and celebrate here just like the Aboriginal Peoples do. I mean, we're not that different...

Today during the protests I noticed that many of the protesters protesting the stolen land were not native, in fact i think the majority weren't.

Another thing I noticed was that different people said different things the largest group being the stolen land protesters but there were also people with instruments, many signs and in the true Drive fashion, CRAZY CLOTHES! This slogan was on a huge banner carried by two devils "with glowing hearts we seethe and writhe." Hee-hee it was great! I don't really understand why we would want to seethe and writhe but, a great example of Commercial's feelings. Another slogan being "homes for all" expressing the fact that Vancouver needs a lot of social housing. Due to Olympic policies put in by our governments, I imagine that quite a few other things are going to be put ahead of social housing on the city budget. But I don't know.

Many people disagree with the protesters but I think they have every right to tell people their opinion and express it to the world. The protesters didn't hurt anyone. In fact, I found watching the protesting parade almost as much fun as the torch. People who were expecting the torch strongly disagree with me as many people were quite disheartened to miss the torch. But you could also look at it from another point of view. Both the protesters and torch bearers won, the protesters had a successful protest, and VANOC ( VANcouver Olympic Committee) continued elsewhere.

And no-one was hurt.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Geoff Meggs!

Today i had the amazing fortune of having an interview Geoff Meggs.
Geoff Meggs is a really awesome guy, because of several reasons. First of all he's trying to create a homelessness free Vancouver, is that an inspiring goal or what? Second of all he just a really nice guy in general, and lastly he meet with three students without any benefit, just doing a favor for some random kids. Geoff Meggs is also great in the office, he was elected in 2008 and has been working hard every since. Meggs is a great supporter of the Olympics, but he isn't one of the people who want the games for the money grabbing purposes. Geoff Meggs has always supported the games because all of the amazing achievements by the contestants and how hard the athletes work just to be at the games. Meggs thinks that the Olympics are going to be(in his words)a "remarkable experience" He thinks that the best part about the games will be the spirit of everyone pulling together and the worst part being the humongous amount of advertising going on by all the different companies. Geoff Meggs says it should be more about the the spirit of sport and community.
Geoff Meggs is going to be spending his time during the games meeting dignitaries and and going to different events. Geoff Meggs wants people to see vancouver as a "place with a good future, not a long past"
Geoff Meggs has a blog that has great information about the happenings of vancouver. Once you have finished reading my amazing blog I would suggest taking a look at his blog
The adress is

Thanks for reading :)