Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Magazine Building



Earlier this year, Capilano University announced that it would no longer contribute funds to the Capilano Review, a magazine founded at what was then Capilano College, in 1972, and a champion of vanguardist writing and visual art. While the magazine receives revenues from advertisers, sales and government, institutional funding was key.

Rather than allow the magazine to fold, editor Jenny Penberthy has sought additional funding sources. Most recently, she instigated a kickstarter campaign, with goods and services in return (including a tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery's upcoming The Poetics of Space exhibition with yours truly).

For those who cannot afford a yearly subscription ($25), the kickstarter campaign offers rewards for contributions of $10 and $15.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stuart Building



In 1982, one of my favourite Vancouver buildings was demolished. In its place, a private residence.

The Stuart Building (1909-1982) stood at the entrance to Stanley Park, at the northwest corner of Chilco and West Georgia Streets.

Not sure who took this picture. John Mackie might know. If not Mackie, then John Atkin.

Artist Barb Wood remembers the demolition:

[W]e were told it was too frail to stand, so it should come down. When they drove the first bull-dozer through it, the results were like a Bugs Bunny cartoon -- the structure was so sound that the machine left a bull-dozer shaped hole, side to side.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Park Drive (1994)



Earlier this year, the Pinakothek Der Moderne in Munich displayed a Jeff Wall light box entitled Park Drive (1994). A couple years earlier, former Canaccord Financial Inc. chair Peter Brown was goaded into paying too much for a smaller ink-jet print on paper on aluminum version at a Vancouver Art Gallery fundraising auction. Now it is for sale again.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Gastown Police Riot




Long before the mayors of Burnaby and Vancouver took a stand against transnational companies and their potential threat to the environment, when a magazine like the Georgia Straight concerned itself not with the advertising revenues of private developers, as it does today, but a critique of the social forces behind such companies, there was the Gastown Police Riot.

Friday, November 21, 2014

On Burnaby Mountain




My respect and admiration for those who, on these rainy days, have left the comfort of their rooms to take a stand on Burnaby Mountain against a Texas-based oil company that wants to make as much money as it can, by whatever means, and a Canadian federal government that is acting as its enabler.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

At my bedside are four books. Each book has a different bookmark.

For this one, a plastic picnic knife:

“Immersed in solitude, he would dream or read far into the night. By protracted contemplation of the same thoughts, his mind grew sharp, his vague, undeveloped ideas took on form.” -- Joris-Karl Huysmans, À rebours (1884)

For this one, a receipt of its purchase:

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” -- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929)

For this one, a real-estate agent's "Just Sold!" postcard:

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” -- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

And for the English translation of Karl Ove Knausgård's My Struggle: Volume One (2012), a printout of Kyle Buckley's November 4, 2014 Hazlitt interview with its author:

"I feel the novel is very much like a room, or rooms: that you’re in this room or that room, and that the whole aim of writing is to create a room where you can say something. And that’s what writing is about. You have to build up a place where it’s possible to say something. If you understand what I mean."