Volunteer Coordinating Verses 2017

So pleased to become a part of the team of the Verses gang. I love the festival and have attended for the past four years. It was hugely pivotal in my becoming of a poet. 16998185_381026758925760_4560251410508387392_n.jpg

Now I get to work together with some of the folks that have inspired me most. I’ve been brought up onto the team as the volunteer coordinator. Volunteering at Verses, is a sweet deal. Not only do you get free passes and swag, you get to be immersed in a community of some of the best folks you will ever encounter.  There are over 30 events happening at Verses this year, spanning from April 20-30th, including Hullabaloo, CIPS, Mashed Poetics, Chicken Sessions and other spectacular feature shows and workshops through the ten days.

Andrew and I are working together. Andrew is my love for ever and ever. It’s really interesting to come into the VPH office and see all the boxes of tiny dreams being stored around the room.

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More updates to come about how the process goes. But if you are feeling like being amazing and hanging out with me and being a part of one of the biggest spoken word festivals in Canada, sign up to volunteer here.

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Richmond Youth Media Festival 2016

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Boom! Boom! Bam! Now sleep. This was probably my mental slogan going into The Richmond Youth Media Festival where I co-produced the Evolution of Media Showcase with Paige Smith, who was the coordinator god of the event. And I was mere half-Jesus entitled Youth Media Associate.

Before I go on any further you need to know about Cinevolution. They do great work. They are good people. I’ve mentioned Ying before, amazing, amazing, amazing my eyes pixelate when I look at her.

But anyways back to the production of the evolution of youth media showcase. Wow. Total system overload during the summer and then being wacked in the face with my new jab at UBC, but hey. That’s what I’m here for!

In three short months Paige and I:

  1. Ate a few bananas
  2. Found out we want to talk about the evolution of media
  3. Figured out the best way to do that would probably in a circle
  4. Figured out we should talk about the past too and hey why not include The Richmond Museum
  5. Ate a few pancakes
  6. Drew with glitter on a dance floor (don’t tell!)
  7. Established the idea that media is a canvas of communication
  8. Realized that there are four pillars of media: Sound, Visual, Word and New Reality
  9. Then we talked it through and realized that we wanted this to be cutting-edge, innovative and boundary pushing
  10. So we toyed, we chewed and bloom came up with a way for people to walk through the past and future of media while engaging with how the present is a medley of innovation

With the help of Ying and a group of enthusiastic and strong innovative thinkers who pushed buttons, dipped through sticky puddles and clicked the right codes to make this all actually make sense, be possible, safe and timely.

Here is the look of one of the stations:

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Each station had a description introducing this type of media, as well as a number that would correspond to another number that was located in the Richmond Museum.  There would be a keep sake component, a piece of machinery/technology that is represented of how the media is created and often an interactive experience.

And now it is over! Displayed as part of The Richmond World Festival, this creation was hoping that was very near and dear to my heart as well as Paige’s.

We took a lot of thought into this and I hope it went that way, but as with all projects you do your best and let the rest happen without you.

I am always humbled, honoured and excited to work with people as infectiously energized as the passionate group at Cinevolution Media Arts.

Richmond World Festival 2016

Ah! How quickly life has moved. But here it goes the recap begins.

On September 3rd, otherwise known as the day I was supposed to move into UBC res marked the day of The Richmond World Festival Volume 2 (TM).

Another summer of hikes, happiness, general existential crisis and the idea of moving into the unknown cumulated with a festival. I can’t quite recall the day that planning for #2 began but I would want to say sometime in January 2016.

This year, we were excited to introduce MORE POETRY! Which is always super fun. In the forms of having poetry continued on the Global Village Stage, which I was glad to MC, as well as propelled in Imagination World in the Richmond Public Library and as pop-up poets through the event. There was even a poetry exhibition that I made possible in the leading weeks of the event called the Poetry Wall of Flame which had about 30 poets from Richmond and surround areas displayed.

14068420_285608585134245_8114084597332444731_oThere were MORE POETS too. I mean I don’t know if you have ever tried to coordinate a bunch of poets. But. Damn.

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Anyways, I’m always excited to advise and to organize and to perform and MC and take all my many hats at The RWF. This year’s expansion of poetry was awesome. I also had a couple of my friends, two Andrews and one Danielle do some roaming acting throughout the festival of multiculturalism.

To my naked eye, there were easily thousands of more attendees than last year. Heck people would be sitting down at Global Village for the hours that there wasn’t even a performance! I’m sure it was all those public transit ads doing the trick.

Anyways, I had a lovely time which included some burning of calories trying to run back and forth through the field. I also almost forgot Imagen, until my love reminded me of a key-word “pants.”

It’s always wonderful to be a part of such a community that can celebrate its artists and engage with each other, and honestly- I am starting to recognize that it is so much more worth it being the inceptor of such.  Things are moving, people are smiling and every day Richmond gets a little cooler.

Lots of people behind this project, like Bryan and John inspire me to tiny bits. I don’t know how they do it all, so frequently, and so much. But it just shows, propel with your heart and never, ever stop making things happen.

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Richmond World Fest 2015

ANNNNNND! It’s over.

Another day. Another event flying by another collection of months of ideas executed then it all dissipates into the sweet glory of nothingness, photos and memories.

I was quite excited to join the committee of advisors to help out our city’s new signature event, The Richmond World Festival.

My gears started tickling me after the first meeting, though a nuisance that I can’t sit still anywhere without wanting to pour my heart into everything- it ended up benefiting me.

In honesty, I came for the free refreshments that were promised to me, but I stayed for my desire to create something I could be proud of, and I wanted to create an opportunity for my poetry friends to have their time to showcase themselves in a non-fringe setting. Soon I started piling away at my contacts and it was fun to work on something where I was seen as a valuable member despite not being the high power, a low-stress production time which is quiet alien to me.

I had fun getting different performers I know involved in the festival and saw everyone push through together to create an event that really demonstrated what we want our community to be. For me, it is making Richmond accessibly hip, artistic, diverse and welcoming for expression.

I feel like that is exactly what I got. I am in complete awe of all the handwork that the coordinators and directors put on with this event, where we had over 30,000 people attend this day of complete cultural diversity and love. My little area I had control of was one of 3 stages, called the Global Village stage. I kept most people in line and MC’d to the most poignant failure of my abilities.

Afterwords, the global village area was transformed into a digital carnival created by many of my artist friends, one of which named Ying whom I will mention in a future post, (but I promise I have another exciting project underway there!)

Throughout the actual day, after all that boring work of putting it together which none of you guys want to hear about, I was stage managing, global village coordinating and performing poetry as well as accordion in my balalaika orchestra. What a day. Now it’s over!

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