Last Thursday a group of us threw a 60th birthday party for Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery director Scott Watson at the Western Front. Fresh seafood from Haida Gwaii, sourced and prepared by Brian DeBeck and Karen Tallman; art songs (Strauss, Barber and Leggatt/Shaw) performed by bass Lee Plested; a poem by George Stanley; a page of prose by Dodie Bellamy; an excerpt from Kevin Killian’s “House of Forks”, featuring Kevin, Scott, Cornelia Wynegaarden and myself; and closing the evening, a performance by Rebecca Belmore.
Food, music, poems, prose, plays and performance, the very things the Western Front was founded on when it opened in March, 1973.
While in town, Dodie and Kevin stayed in our guest suite. It was good seeing them again, hearing about the San Francisco art scene, which they contribute to and know so well. Dodie spent a night in Victoria, interviewing friends of the late Lawrence Braithwaite (she is writing a foreword to a posthumous Braithwaite publication), while Kevin had an exhibition at The Apartment, a grammatically laid out photo spread, portraits of friends and inspirations.
Dodie and Kevin left yesterday morning. Arriving later in the day (via a two hour border line-up), my SFU Writer-in-Residence successor Lisa Robertson, who will be with us through Christmas. Lisa came with Rosa, a hound/shepherd pound dog she met in France.