Front Row Centre – Christmas Queen 2 is a Holiday Delight

I’m not a very Christmas-y person – but I love to laugh. And there are plenty of those to be had at Vancouver Theatre Sports League’s Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out.

This year’s production is set at the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop, where the final preparations for Christmas Eve are in full swing – until Santa returns from vacation with a new girlfriend  – and all hell breaks loose.

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The happy (?) couple.

What happens? Well, in this improvised fairy tale, it’s largely up to the audience, who determines where the story goes at every performance, which, of course is part of the fun. The rest is up to a stellar cast, including the beautifully evil Pearce Visser as Queenie, who delivers an over-the-top performance and steals the show. And I loved the twists and turns that resulted in Santa (Andrew Barber) and Marty the Elf (Nathan Clark) borrowing heavily from Back to the Future to save the day.

My recommendation – go for the quirky story lines that you can contribute to, go for the laughs, and sit at the tables right next to the stage and become the object of the Christmas Queen’s scorn. I was!

Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out runs at the Improv Centre on Granville Island Wednesday through Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. now through December 19. Book your tickets here.

And Happy Holidays!

Help CBC Help the Hungry

I’m a self-confessed CBC Radio nerd. I figure I’ve been listening non-stop for at least the last 40 years! The voices of CBC legends Peter Gzowski, Bill Richardson, Arthur Black, Vickie Gabereau and Barbara Frum still make me smile, even though I haven’t heard them on-air for years.

And I love my local CBC heroes in Vancouver – I never miss Rick Cluff on Early Edition, Gloria Macarenko on BC Almanac and Stephen Quinn on On the Coast during the week. It’s those people I and so many of my fellow Vancouverites will flock to see on Friday December 4 at CBC Vancouver’s annual Open House in support of Food Banks BC.

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There’s never, ever been a more important charity to support.  Did you know that in BC, 100,086 individuals are relying on a food bank each month – and one out of three of these people is a child?

Last year through the national food sharing system, Food Banks BC distributed more than 1.8 million pounds of food worth close 4.5 million dollars to its 97 food banks throughout the province! Additionally through its BC Share program each year, Food Banks BC receives more than 1 million dollars of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

So, come down to the CBC Vancouver studio at 700 Hamilton St., meet your favourite personalities, enjoy live entertainment throughout the day and tour the CBC studios.

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And donate, please. You can donate online any time starting now.

The pledge lines will be open on Dec. 4 from 5 a.m. – 6 p.m. PT
Onsite donations will be accepted at CBC Vancouver: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

I’ll be there for most of the day – with my camera, of course.

Hope to see you there, Vancouver!

 

Celebrating Canadians in 3D

My friend John Biehler is a geeky genius. His current passion is 3D printing – and he’s even co-authored a book on the subject.

John’s working on an amazing art project with the Simons chain of department stores and celebrated artist and author Douglas Coupland. Over the course of the next several months and coinciding with Simons’ expansion across Canada, the #3DCanada team will scan the faces of Canadians across the country and produce miniature busts of each person. Not only will they have a 3D keepsake, but at the end of the project, Mr. Coupland will produce a work of art literally showcasing the face of Canada in the 21st Century.

Check out the 3D Canada video below.

I dropped by to cheer John on, and to meet Doug Coupland. (I confess to being rather starstruck.) And of course, I took some photos.

Here’s my #3DCanada experience at the Simons Park Royal location.

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

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Photo by Cathy Browne

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Photo by Cathy Browne

And of course, I had to take a selfie.

Photo by Cathy Browne

It was a fantastic experience, the Simons store is gorgeous, the crowds were huge and enthusiastic, and it was particularly rewarding to see so many parents and kids there. I can’t wait to see – and photograph – the culmination of the #3DCanada project in the next year or so!

Photo Friday – Words in Action

I don’t consider myself a ‘people’ photographer. At least, not the kind of formal portrait photography that involves posing. I’m much more interested in freezing moments in time, and capturing emotion, passion, and intensity.

I love taking photos of speakers as they entertain, motivate and teach. And I found the perfect opportunity to capture some incredible speakers at TEDx Vancouver just a few weeks ago.

Here’s the slide show of my favourite TEDx moments. I hope you enjoy them. And if I may insert a shameless plug – I am available for hire!

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Not Photo Friday, but What the Heck… My Second LA Photowalk

It’s been beautiful here in LA, and instead of going to museums as I had planned, I’ve been photo walking instead. And I’ll be doing the same today. I’ll come back when the weather is drearier and visit all the galleries and museums then:-)

In the meantime, I’ll continue to shoot the wonderful architecture of Los Angeles. And apologies in advance for shooting the Walt Disney Concert Hall from so many angles – the building completely fascinated me.

Here’s the slide show. Enjoy.