Tiny Tricycle Poetry Workshop prep

I am so excited for this Sunday, where me and the tricycle poets are heading off to start our workshop series extravaganza as part of our Roundhouse residency.

We are hoping to be honing the craft and skill of your spoken word poets. We are really excited to have some time to clown around, exhibit our weird performance stategies and embrace chaos.

I’m a little nervous as how it will go, as this will be my first workshop with poetry with people that are my age and older in a formal setting, but I think I am more excited. It really depends on who comes out, and who decides to bring what to work on and how it all meshes together.

And hey, you tentative reader if you somehow happen to also be in Vancouver at 12pm on Sunday, come down to this free workshop and surprise yourself!

I’ll share with you how it goes. Fingers crossed!




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:


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.


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Team Wild Cat in a Hats

Attacked at the

Vancouver Public Library
Their Poetry wasn’t binary, their words were a diary
Of social movements for the future
Reflections on the past
Oh how this BC provincial poetry competition made them grow up so fast!
Oh the places the went…
The people they met!
A weekend at the end of April, they could not forget!
The English Honors class visited them too,
To this foreign jungle, the spoken weird world of Hullaballoo…
There were two bouts, workshops and underground indies
There were 16 schools, and the loudest snaps of the city
There were poems shared from people all across BC
There were points, but at last the poetry is the point and the key!
Words were spat
Snap chats exchanged
Rhymes rearranged
Words were indeed spat as they say
Made a little bit more than friends with Team Leg Day
Team Wild Cat in a Hat will be back again!

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Sing me a Song Contest Project (Spring Break Update)

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So me and my fellow Jancis were hard at work, working away at a Canadian song about Canada this spring break.

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It was a pretty fun project, we had to get 8 voices in it, which meant doing my favourite thing! ( Getting/ Forcing people to sing for me…)

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Though we had some minor falls (like when I accidentally deleted everything- whoops!) I think everyone really enjoyed taking part in this project. I hope. At least they didn’t cry in front of me which was always a good sign.

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After days of writing, recording, post-production and video editing here is the final product! Thank you everyone for your work with this, it was fun to do.

Outdoorsmen hike!

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This past Sunday the Outdoorsmen had an exciting hike at Cypress Falls, getting youth off their phones and throwing nature and knowledge at them instead.

Cypress Falls was an ideal mid-winter hike with its lower elevation reassured us that we wouldn’t be buried underneath snow. Sunday was a shot in the dark, with the week of rain, the warmth and sunshine that came with Sunday was miraculous, (we even all paused to sing Hallelujah mid hike as the sun called to our singing and danced onto us.)

We had a couple of challenges organizing this hike, getting teens to move and getting teens to learn. Both challenges happen to be prone to getting the same result, “Please stop and let us sleep.”

Many people confirmed that they were going, enthusiastically got their hiking gear, said they were going on the Facebook page, got really excited, then promptly forgot that an important part of going hiking is going up into the outdoors. So we ended up, very sadly, not waiting around for those who overslept and left with a core group of seven youth. These seven were ready to become hiking enthusiasts, now for my next challenge, telling them about trees and stuff or whatever.

“Hey guys, we’re going to talk about Gymnosperms today!”

“What does that mean?”

I realized then that scientific words weren’t going to cut it with a group of friends eager to have fun and BC park it.

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After a short twenty minute walk after getting off the bus, we entered the park, already anticipating the walk up Cypress Creek up past two beautiful waterfalls.

We walked past the sound of the rushing water as the trail slowly went up, muscles burning, I brought attention to the Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees. Just a little further along the trail was a rocky viewing area of Cypress Falls, we paused to admire the water flowing into the canyon.

Somewhere here, we took a snack break, which meant education break. I explained that gymnosperms were in four different categories, one of them being conifers. And what makes a gymnosperm is it’s like of fruits or flowers. I pointed out how looking at the needles you can tell the difference between the Red Cedar and a Douglas Fir, which people found interesting. (I think?)

Explaining that they have cones, male generally at the top and smaller to fertilize the female, there were some epiphanies as most people didn’t know that cones had a sex. At this point though, I’m sure everyone just wanted to enjoy their snacks and have me stop talking- but I asked a question: Why are evergreens always green do you think?

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This surprised me, they were so stumped by this question. Someone merely replied, “Because they are ever green.”

I took sometime with a group of interested individuals to look at a fallen piece of a Douglas fir, examining their needles and seeing that their shape is most likely an adaptation to conserve water. Their waxy coating, and leathery texture also helps to keep water during the winter. A fun fact I forgot to mention during the hike was that long ago, botanists discovered that needles are actually regular leaves that are rolled up very tightly.

Everyone already knew that photosynthesis is when trees use light to make food, they need that light all year long to survive, so they need to do it in the winter.  From my super duper awesome info packet I made for this hike, I elaborated in closer detail that needles or leaves are the part of the tree that make sugar from air and water. They do this by a chemical process in which energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, and water recombine to form sugars and oxygen.  However, trees can only photosynthesize when water is available in a useful form, so when the only available water is snow or ice, even evergreen trees are dormant. They rest until conditions are right for photosynthesis to start again.

We walked up a steep part of the trail, everyone maybe even slightly intrigued about gymnosperms!

Eventually we approached a the increasingly loud sound of rushing water we followed the volume to the top of the cliff which was located very dangerously close to the waterfall, we stood and admired the site, the bravest of us venturing a little close to the edge. Luscious green came from all sides around the waterfall, there were moss covered trees circling the area and plenty of ferns growing in cracks of rich soil. (But moss and ferns is The Outdoorsmen hike #3!)

We went to another safer viewing point and stopped for a lunch, where I brought up the idea of why Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir trees were the most prevalent, people chimed in that because they are what naturally grows here, they survived the longest, and they are the strongest and thrive in this climate. We had a conversation about what makes them work in this mild and wet climate, their strong roots and their ability to spread their fertilized cones and resistance to insects.

We continued to see the very large Cedar and Fir trees, some of which are 200 to 300 years old, this old growth part of the forest was incredible to compare to the second growth forest we were primarily walking through, since most areas of the North Shore have been logged in the last 100 years.

If we just left Douglas Firs without constantly impacting the environment more of them would reach this incredible size. The entire group of us linked hands and circled around a the ancient Douglas Fir, successfully making around one loop of the massive old growth tree.

We crossed a log over the Cypress Creek and followed the hike back to the place where we started the loop, with new ideas about the connection of structure and function in trees, take home ideas in that super cool info package and sore leg muscles.

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Read more at: http://cpawsbc.org/blog/outdoorsmen-hike-at-cypress-falls