R.Y.E Photo

With plans to take their music to the UK market soon, Windsor Ontario band R.Y.E is exploring a new angle to get their music heard locally and around the globe; namely they are launching into the world of Pay Per View shows.  Band members Ryan Yoker (guitar/lead vocals/songwriter) Darryl Litster (bass guitar/backing vocals) and Chris Chamberlain (drums/backing vocals) recently performed to a full house in Toronto and filmed the show for release on Pay Per View in December.

Subscriptions for the show can now be purchased online for $10 at http://www.rosnermanagement.com/ppvwindsornew.htm and the show airs Monday Dec 14, 2015 and is available online until Dec 30th.

Why Pay Per View? The music industry has gone through tremendous upheavals in recent years and Pay Per View performances are just one of the many ways musicians can use to test new markets before launching a tour there. If subscriptions from their target market indicate sufficient interest, a UK radio release is a natural next step. If that goes well, the lads will pack their bags to tour the U.K. at the first available opportunity. Additionally, the Pay Per View model has attracted sponsors for the Windsor band, and that helps to offset the cost of production. Riverside Guitar Shop and Walkerville Brewery are among the companies sponsoring R.Y.E in this venture.

R.Y.E has a dedicated local fan base and has performed many shows in Windsor and Toronto They will be touring several Canadian cities over the next few months as they release their new EP “Neighbours”.

R.Y.E  is managed by Rosner Management Services; the collective fan base of the indie artists under this management team is now well over 100,000 strong. Collaborating with other musicians to test new markets around the world allows R.Y.E the opportunity to leverage this large fan base; they can explore markets that would otherwise be challenging for Canadian indie bands to break into alone.

R.Y.E began as the solo project of Bombs guitarist and songwriter Ryan Yoker whose debut album was released in September 2011 under Mint 400 records USA. The album was coproduced by Ryan Yoker and his cousin Stuart Ireland from Motherwell Scotland. It is this connection to the UK that first inspired R.Y.E to take steps into the dynamic UK market.


(Crowdfunding Campaign Gets Boost from Canadian Singer Songwriter Lance King)

Singer songwriter, Lance King has come to the aid of a crowdfunding campaign aimed at helping parents faced with a diagnosis their child will be born with Down syndrome or other severe special needs. As the father of an adult child with Down syndrome, Lance is keenly aware that a special needs diagnosis does not mean life is over, and instead can be the beginning of a “Brand New Sunny Day”. For every time Lance’s song Brand New Sunny Day is played on the radio, he will contribute $5 toward the Options of the Heart campaign (up to $500).  He hopes this song, dedicated to people living with disabilities, will become the anthem for this campaign and others championing the cause of people living with special needs. Lance is the son of Canadian Country Gospel Hall of Famer Ed King and plans to release another song in 2016.

PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL RADIO STATION AND REQUEST BRAND NEW SUNNY DAY .Then go to Lance’s Facebook page to let us know in the comments which station played Brand New Sunny Day. Only verified plays will count, so be sure to let us know which stations to contact for verification. Radio stations are also encouraged to comment once they’ve played the song. Here is a link to the song on Lance’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/lanceking.musicman/videos/747959712001397/?pnref=story

In addition to challenging Canadians across the country to request his song, Lance is challenging fellow Rotarians to meet his donation goal of $500 to create a Brand New Sunny Day for children with special needs. Specific ways the money will be spent are detailed on Gofundme. To donate to the Options of the Heart crowdfunding campaign please go to https://www.gofundme.com/vjwads  

The Options of the Heart aims to raise $29,000 to fund a public awareness campaign about adoption for special needs children.  Through initiatives like the Adoption in Canada website campaign spokesperson Natalie Sonnen and her colleague Anastasia Bowles work tirelessly to ensure parents have options. While in crisis, few parents have the wherewithal to find and access the resources available and this campaign hopes to change that.

Sonnen believes that many people like Lance King have been touched by those with special needs.  They know their names, their personalities, their hopes, and their dreams. The families and friends of people with special needs could not imagine the world without them. They have real value, lead meaningful lives, and positively impact the lives of many. It’s Sonnen’s hope that reaching out to people through crowdfunding will help ensure parents know every child’s life has value.  The Options of the Heart campaign will help ensure parents facing this diagnoses know they are not alone, and that many people will lovingly accept their children.

For more information, on Options of the Heart, please call Natalie Sonnen or Anastasia Bowles directly at 1 –866-780-5433   or to book an interview with Lance King, please contact his publicist:

Katrina Boguski M.A.

(katrinaboguski [at]hotmail.ca)  



052 The big ideas notepad resizedFather Thomas Rosica,  CEO of Salt and Light TV, tweeted recently that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was invited to meet Pope Francis. He is the only Canadian mayor to be invited, and this invitation is about to launch some interesting discussions in our city. Robertson is not a Catholic, and he is not a head of state; these points have a few folks in Vancouver confused about why Robertson was invited. In fact, the invitation makes perfect sense when you consider the principle of subsidiarity.

Principle of Subsidiarity

If you’ve studied Catholic social teaching, you’ve run across the principle of subsidiarity before; if you haven’t, here’s a crash course. Subsidiarity means that which can be done by a lower level should be. In other words, don’t complicate a problem by pushing it up the chain of command; push it down to the lowest level possible, and let the person at that level do it. Furthermore, if you are the person at the level where the responsibility lands, you should NOT wait for someone to tell you it’s your responsibility, you should recognize that it’s your responsibility, and you should step up to the plate and fulfill it.

Here’s a short video that it explains a bit more about subsidiarity.

In some ways, subsidiarity is similar to the K.I.S.S. principle in business (Keep It Simple Stupid!). The invitation to Robertson and about 30 other mayors from around the world signals that the Pope intends action on climate change and sustainability to happen at the local level. This is exciting news for the movers and shakers in Vancouver’s thriving startup community; those entrepreneurs and innovators who are fully engaged in the sustainability movement and who are already leading the charge. No need to involve Ottawa or get caught up in red tape. Just do it, and do it well. Be disruptive. Be effective and engage your community. That is the principle of subsidiarity in action, and it’s what Vancouver needs to optimize the opportunity this meeting is bound to be.

According to a CBC News report, Robertson says of the invitation that, “It’s a great honour. I’m looking forward to the experience of it. Obviously, it’s a rare occasion to have that kind of access and to see a Pope in action.”

While Robertson is looking forward seeing the Pope in action, I’m looking forward to seeing sustainable Vancouver businesses in action over the next few weeks. Now’s the time to tell us what you’re doing. If you have a product, service, invention, app, process, system or just a grand vision that is bound to impact climate change or alleviate poverty, this blogger would love to hear about it. If it’s good one, I’d also love to shout out your idea to the local and Catholic media who will be paying close attention to sustainable Vancouver businesses.

Questions you might be thinking:

Is the Church getting on the sustainability band wagon just to gain popularity with this hot topic?

Uh, no. In case you haven’t noticed the Catholic Church doesn’t mind taking unpopular positions; in fact many Catholics have been martyred for their unpopular opinions. Being popular is not a requirement for being Catholic.

Why did it take the Church so long to be interested in sustainability?  

It happens that sustainability and stewardship have been important for a long time…a very long time, as in from the beginning of time. Every now and then, someone comes along in the Church to remind us of those teachings on stewardship and environmental responsibility that have always been there. One of the biggies was St. Francis of Assisi back in the 13th century. In taking the name “Francis”, when he was elected, the pope was signally he was about to be one of those people who reminded the world of the importance of nature and our responsibility to tend it well.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -Saint Francis of Assisi

I have a sustainable business in Vancouver but I’m not Catholic will you still report on it?

Absolutely! If you’re part of the solution, and not part of the problem, contact me and tell me more about how you are impacting change.

I’d really like to take you up on your offer for some free press, but I’ve been really critical about the Church on other issues. Won’t I look like a hypocrite for engaging in dialogue on this issue when I still disagree with the Church on other topics?

No. You’ll look like a person who wants to make a difference on climate change and sustainability. Besides, some of the criticisms you may have levied against the Church could be valid, if so, thanks for the correction. You may be surprised how many Catholics agree with your criticism on certain points. Let’s keep the discussion on climate change sustainable business.

Aren’t all Catholics freaks?

No, only some of us. Actually, given that there are 1.2 Billion Catholics in the world, our freak to normal person ratio is quite acceptable. Of course applying some Kaizen principles could likely improve that ratio.

What is Laudato Si’?

This is the Latin title of an encyclical written by Pope Francis. An encyclical is a fancy word for a letter popes write; this one talks about our responsibility to care for the planet. Yes even though Pope Francis has over 6.5 million Twitter followers he still writes encyclical letters. Some things just can’t be said in 140 characters.

Where can I get a copy of Laudato Si’?

Look there’s a FREE copy waiting for you right here!

052 cropped We're here sign

Who will be tweeting about the Pope’s challenge to take care of the environment and the meeting with the mayors?

Lots of people including every major news agency! Here are a few people you might want to follow now as they may have some inside scoops: @KatrinaBoguski @FatherRosica @saltandlighttv @news_va_en @rcav @MayorGregor

Do you have a sustainable business?

Would you like to get in on the discussion and let people know what YOU are doing to positively impact climate change at the local level?

Contact me on Twitter:

@KatrinaBoguski or through the contact page on this blog. Let’s keep the conversation going!

 Boats in False Creek

Blessing of the Fleet


Saturday May 30 Blessing of the Fleet and Harbour Appreciation Days 

Please join M.P. Fin Donelly, Aaron Ekman and others as Seaport Chaplin Father John Eason blesses the fleet at False Creek 11:00 A.M. This wonderful tradition was revived a few years ago and is perfect kickoff to summer.  Hope to see lots of people there!

Eisenstein (Roger Honeywell) attemps to mesmerize Adele (Suzanne Rigden) Photo by Tim Matheson

Eisenstein (Roger Honeywell) attempts to mesmerize Adele (Suzanne Rigden)
Photo by Tim Matheson

Plan for a late night! Vancouver Opera’s performance of Die Fledermaus is a long performance that will keep you engaged from beginning to end. With 2 intermissions, the performance extends to almost 3 1/2 hours, and longer if you take in the pre-performance talk or stay to meet the cast at the end…of course the lengthy standing ovation also adds to the time. Maybe it was the mesmerizing effect Eisenstein’s watch; or perhaps it was that those of us who attended Doug Tuck’s amazing pre-performance talk were made honourary citizens of Vienna for the evening, whatever the reason was, the time just flew by and will for you too.

Saturday’s performance was dedicated to Dr. Irving Guttman (October 27,1928-December 7, 2014) Founding Artistic Director of Vancouver Opera, and he no doubt would have been proud for a number of reasons. Suzanne Rigden as Adele, captured everyone’s heart within the first few seconds; her operatic laughter, squeals, and giggles could be understood in any language. Her role did much to keep the laughs rolling throughout the evening. Up until Act III I would have said her performance was my favourite, but then surprise, surprise, Christopher Gaze went and stole the show.

In fact it was a great surprise to see Christopher Gaze, Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach, on stage at the Vancouver Opera. Although he was mentioned in the program, I missed this piece of information. It was not until the woman sitting behind me whispered, “That’s Christopher” that I realized who it was. He was by then reciting Shakespeare and to Vancouverites, there is only one Christopher who recites Shakespeare.  I’ve met Christopher Gaze a number of times at parties but never would have identified him based on his transformation into the character of Frosch. His performance was brilliant both for its artistic quality as well as for its pure genius as a clever marketing ploy. Peppered throughout his “darling” conversation with Conductor Johnathan Darlington, were references and suggestions Bard on the Beach fans could not miss. Christopher Gaze is one of the gems of the Vancouver Arts scene and seeing Vancouver Opera and Bard on The Beach collaborating in this way reassured me that the arts community is getting smarter.

It used to be that arts groups viewed each other as competitors, each one vying for support of ticket goers, donors and sponsors. The world is evolving to be a more collaborative space where borders between groups now serve as points where cooperation can be fostered. It takes a different skill set to share a border than to defend it. In the end the effort to learn these skills is well worth it. Whoever came up with the idea to cross promote Shakespeare and opera should get a bonus for fantastic, creative marketing. Bard on the Beach got some extra exposure, but Vancouver Opera in my mind was the real winner. In my estimation they’ve just been promoted be the arts group that offers one of the best options to get your corporate or organizational message out to 2,700+ audience members each performance.  I’m not sure what arrangement was made between the two groups, but if your target market is same as Vancouver Opera’s, I’d make a call to Doug Tuck Director of Marketing at Vancouver Opera to see if a similar arrangement could be made for your organization. The art of advertising was at its best on Saturday. The clever twist made the performance relevant and refreshing.

Doug Tuck’s detailed, funny, and informative pre-performance talk did much to provide the history and background to Strauss and Die Fledermaus. The various twists Vancouver Opera and Director Nancy Hermiston put on this work brought Vienna to Vancouver and Vancouver to Vienna.    The “Instant Expert” section of the program also added provided useful information. Opera can be an intimidating art form. Vancouver Opera offers many ways for newcomers in the audience to feel comfortable, well-informed and relaxed. The integrity of the German opera was preserved even as English was woven into it. Projected English translations helped everyone to follow the German parts.


Die Fledermaus 8 Prison governor Frank (Andrew Greenwood), tasked with bringing Eisenstein to jail, is unaware that it is actually Alfred (David Pomeroy) that the tipsy jailer Frosch (Christopher Gaze) is attempting to apprehend. Rosalinde (Joyce El-Khoury) is fully aware of the embarrassing mistake. Photo by Tim Matheson

The entire cast was extraordinary.  Joyce El-Khoury as Rosalinde and Roger Honeywell as Eisenstein kept a delightful tension between them as they fell victim to the scheme of Dr. Falke (Hugh Russell).   Although poor Alfred never quite got what he wanted, the audience certainly did. When David Pomeroy took his curtain call the audience rewarded him with an especially thunderous applause, which was already roaring loudly for the previous members of the cast who had taken their bows.

Rosalinde (Joyce El-Khoury) deals with the advances of her enthusiastic ex-lover, Alfred (David Pomeroy) Photo by Tim Matheson

Rosalinde (Joyce El-Khoury) deals with the advances of her enthusiastic ex-lover, Alfred (David Pomeroy)
Photo by Tim Matheson

One of the things I’ve always loved about the Opera is that it combines so many other arts: singing, orchestra, acting and dancing can all be found in Die Fledermaus. Had any one of these art forms been less than spectacular, the performance would have suffered. Instead all of the parts worked in harmony to do justice to Strauss’s phenomenal work. One member of the chorus danced with such enthusiasm during Act II that the tall grey haired gentleman would have received a mention here had I been able to confirm his name; bravo to that unsung hero of the cast who made the ball at Pince Orlovsky’s come alive with his dancing.

The singers could not have done their job without the formidable support of the orchestra under the direction of Johnathan Darling. It was nice to see them get some extra recognition during the exchange with Christopher Gaze. It’s good to see the spotlight shining on members of the orchestra every now and then. We cannot forget the importance of orchestras to the many performing arts which they support.

One of my new favourite charities is Instruments Beyond Borders; a group I heard about from one of its founding members, Praveen Varshney of Varshney Capital. To find out more about this wonderful organization and how they are “harnessing the power of music to better children’s lives” visit their website at www.instrumentsbeyondborders.org. I’m hoping all of the orchestra members will take a special interest in this group to keep music alive and thriving in the next generation. Hats off to Goldcorp and other sponsors who helped Vancouver Opera bring Die Fledermaus to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, a place where the customer service continues to be among the best in Vancouver.

Die Fledermaus is onstage from Saturday February 28 to Sunday, March 8,

Saturday, February 28 7:30pm

Thursday, March 5  7:30pm

Saturday, March 7  7:30pm

Sunday, March 8  2:00pm matinée

All performances are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, corner of Georgia and Hamilton Streets, Vancouver, B.C.

Die Fledermaus will be sung in German with English dialogue, with English translations projected above the stage.

Photo By Daniel Azoulay

Photo By Daniel Azoulay

“God creates, I do not create. I assemble and I steal everywhere to do it – from what I see, from what the dancers can do, from what others do.” George Balanchine.

Stealing is not something normally advocated here, and neither is spray painting cars parked in the downtown core. However, based on what I saw last night, and for the sake of art, I’m inclined to recommend both activities today. If George Balanchine stole to assemble his works, then we were made the richer last night by sharing in the spoils of that crime. If Infiniti Auto is willing to offer up one of its cars as a canvas for art on the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, then perhaps the only true crime would be missing the opportunity to view both the car and the ballet while they are here.

At the beginning of the arts season when Ballet B.C. announced that Miami City Ballet would perform the works of Balanchine I said, “I will be there. No mater what, I will be there.” This week was hectic and filled to the brim, stealing time out of my schedule for the ballet did not seem right, the but missing Balanchine seemed even worse. Fortunately for me, one of the clients who needed to meet with me this week was a former dancer in the Winnipeg Ballet; she was kind enough to hold our meeting before the performance and during the intermission. When you really want something, you will find a way to get it.

It seems what Miami City Ballet really wanted was to perform the choreography of Balanchine as it was meant to be performed, flawlessly. The technical precision of the performers, the brilliance of the choreography, and the inspiration of the music all point to the fact that Balanchine knew the capacity of humanity and perhaps more importantly the capacity of the female members of the species. On this point he said,

“In my ballets, woman is first. Men are consorts. God made men to sing the praises of women. They are not equal to men: They are better.”

Knowing many of my readers are men, it is perhaps not wise to spend too much time belaboring this point, except to say, that if you are the type of man for whom the feminine mystique is vexing, perhaps you may gain a better appreciation of women through Balanchine’s work. You could ask for no better introduction to it than Miami City Ballet’s performance of Ballo Dela Regina, Symphony in Three Movements, and Serenade. Set to the music of Verdi, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky respectively, each work demonstrates the brilliance of the man who understood the feminine form like none other.

His combination of bold movements and subtle gestures are timed perfectly to the music. At some points the dancers appear to suspend themselves in mid air. At other times the work captures, elongates, and defines the precise moment where a body goes from being at rest to being in motion. One of these moments appeared at the beginning of Serenade. As the curtain rose to reveal the corps de ballet in formation on the stage, in unison the audience released an extended “Ahhhhh!”; it summed up the work with brilliance. The dancers were motionless with arms extended and that was enough to indicate the dance had started.
As if anticipating the audience’s reaction to the stillness, Balanchine’s first motion of this piece was a simple movement of the wrist. It reminds us that dance is not just about the feet; it is about the body, and the mind and soul contained within it. Stillness is to dance, what silence is to music. Every note and space had a corresponding movement or stillness that wove sight and sound together. Balanchine invites us to dance with the senses, all of the senses perhaps even those some have lost access to in our modern world. If the mind occupies a space, as we synaesthetes suppose it might, then last night we crossed the threshold and into that space where Balanchine’s mind still exists. As the male dancers transported a female dancer across the stage, it seemed as if we had accessed the very archetype from which all other Balanchine movements are derived. Stillness, motion, progression -both forward and backward coexisted in a harmony like that of the planets. We had entered one of Balanchine’s own dreams and for a moment shared the space of his mind. Balanchine is ballet.

Moments like this are why, despite all of our technical advances, humanity needs art as much as ever. It is moments like this which also cause me to raise an issue I have commented on in other reviews. It is an issue which is no fault of the performers but rather lies squarely in the hands of the audience. Vancouver audiences do not know when to applaud! They do it too much, at inappropriate moments and as if to point out that someone might miss something. Nothing of last night’s performance was missed, but several points were intruded upon by spontaneous outbursts of loud clapping. It is humorous to me that for the past several performances I’ve been to at the QE an overeager applauding audience is my biggest complaint…perhaps I am getting old. If it is not a generational thing, then perhaps it is sign the audience is comprised of diverse cultures where frequent clapping is the norm. Perhaps it is an indication that ballet is now appealing to an audience which is new to the performing arts. Perhaps it is the impact of social media which prompts us to announce everything we like. Whatever the reason, it seems we will have to put up with it if Ballet B.C. keeps bringing us performances like this one; it is a small price to pay for the privilege of viewing the work.

The costumes of Serenade were blue with white motif, making the male dancers look as if they were a piece of fine Wedgewood china come to life. Their costumes reflected the power of man’s strength, while the women’s costumes reflected the power of their beauty. They were perfect for the work. All of the costumes were well-suited and used colour appropriately to capture the mood. The robin egg blue used in Ballo Della Regina evoked the spring and the various shades of pink worn by three women in Symphony in Three Movements stood in contrast to the black and white worn by the corps de ballet. If the colours worn by the corps were less vibrant than those of the principal dancers, rest assured their performance was not. As Ashley Bouder of the NYC Ballet once said, “Balanchine let the corps dance.” Last night Miami’s corps did.

Photo By Joe Gato

Photo By Joe Gato

On the topic of colour, it was the colour red that caught my eye heading into the QE. A man holding an aerosol can was spray-painting a car on the grounds of the QE plaza. There were a few people milling around and the one holding a camera tipped me off that, what might have otherwise looked like a graffiti crime in progress was actually something else. With piqued curiosity, I approached the vehicle. A conversation with one of the reps confirmed Infiniti was partnering with the QE to celebrate Chinese New Year. She kindly answered my request for more information by giving my card to Mark James of Cohn & Wolfe, the creative firm behind getting the word out about Infiniti and their installation. On their website they say they “pride [themselves] on [their] commitment to creativity – seeking out the next big idea that makes a difference – big or small.”

Of this particular big idea from Infiniti Mark James said, “Infiniti has created a unique and interactive vehicle display featuring a Q50 sports sedan that will be specially-designed by local artist, Carson Ting. Carson will be onsite at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza (Thursday-Friday 2pm-9pm; Saturday11am – 9pm) in Vancouver, as he paints his interpretation of the Year of the Goat on the Q50 and creates a Chinese New Year celebratory piece of art. This will create a living, evolving art exhibit that will be prominently displayed at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza this weekend with special offers from Infiniti for visitors onsite.”

I’m passionate about business and art; few things excite me more than moments where business and art share the stage to enhance each other. Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet BC is always quick to point out the important role their sponsors like: The Rosedale On Robson Suite Hotel, Assante Financial, CI Investments and Wells Fargo play in bringing groups like Miami City Ballet to Vancouver. Program ads like those of The Dance Shop, CTV and QMFM caught my attention. Infiniti’s promotion however, brought art to the streets. Well done Infiniti Auto for stepping up the game on collaborating with the arts!

The power of the arts to drive business, and the power of business to support the arts is a recurring theme in my life these days. It is nice to see the Queen Elizabeth and Ballet B.C. getting the importance of this symbiotic relationship.

If you’re looking for a place to eat prior to the performance, I highly recommend an early meal at Vij’s on West 11th. There you will be treated to the hospitality of Vikram Vij’, a man who like Balanchine understands the power some women can command. In a talk he gave recently, Vikram attributed his success to his wife Meeru Dhalwala and the other women who’ve made the dream of Vij’s a reality for over 20 years. It was a pleasure to attend this talk with Junior Bali (Dj 151) and Mark Rosner as the guests of Vik Khanna of T.I.E. and Praveen Varshney of Varshney Capital. A shout-out to all of these individuals who have also found innovative ways to combine commerce and commitment to art and culture. It is no longer art or business; it is the art of business. To find out more about the organizations with which these people are involved, and how they are contributing to arts and culture. Please visit the following links:

Mark Rosner connects artists and businesses to other with artistdeals.ca

Praveen Varshney brings musical instruments to disadvantaged children with Instruments Beyond Borders

Vik Khanna mixes culture and business with T.I.E. 

I would love to see all of these groups strengthen their ties with Ballet B.C. in the future; you have much to share with each other, and Vancouver will the richer for everyone knowing more about strengths each group brings.

An evening of Indian food, Chinese art, and ballet from a Russian-American; only in Canada are we able to steal so much from other cultures without raising a weapon to do so.

Balanchine plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 8:00pm February 19-21, 2015.Tickets range from $40.00 to $98.50 (including service charges) and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787 (855-985-ARTS) or online at ticketmaster.ca.

There is an additional matinee 2PM Saturday!

Miami Ballet -Balanchine

February 18, 2015

Miami City Ballet dancer Emily Bromberg in Serenade. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Daniel Azoulay 5x8.

I’m very excited to be reviewing Miami City Ballet’s performance of Balanchine’s choreography tomorrow (Feb 19).  As part of my commitment to build bridges between Vancouver’s business and Arts communities here is a special shout out to the sponsors who contribute to Ballet BC.

Ballet BC would like to thank Platinum Season Sponsor and Official Hotel Sponsor: Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel, Gold Season Sponsors: Assante Wealth Management and CI Investments, Performance Sponsor: Wells Fargo, and Media Sponsors: The Vancouver Sun, CTV and QM-FM. Support for Ballet BC has been generously provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver.

Please see the following press release for more details:



Vancouver, BC — For the first time in the company’s history, Ballet BC presents Miami City Ballet in a program of George Balanchine’s revolutionary choreography at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for four performances, February 19-21, 2015. Performed by Miami City Ballet, one of America’s finest Balanchine interpreters, Balanchine is a triple bill of acclaimed George Balanchine works: Serenade,Symphony in Three Movements, and Ballo della Regina.

In an evening that displays Balanchine’s inspiring marriage of ground-breaking ballet with classical music, each piece is choreographed in dynamic relation to some of the world’s most celebrated scores.

Serenade, first performed by New York City Ballet in 1935, is a milestone in the history of dance, planting the seeds for his reshaping of classical ballet into an American art form. Set to Tchaikovsky’sSerenade for Strings in C, Serenade is revered as Balanchine’s masterpiece and even he referred to it as his “favorite child.” Symphony in Three Movements is a large ensemble work that is bold and breathtaking – a tour-de-force that is striking for its simplicity and power. Balanchine’s choreography mirrors the propulsive rhythm of Stravinsky’s titular score with angular, athletic choreography. The virtuosic and exhilarating variations in Ballo della Regina are set to Verdi’s music edited from the original score from Don Carlos. The work is a beautiful and intricate set of variations for the ballerina, her partner, and the corps de ballet that offers many unique challenges with its vibrantly fast-paced and elaborate choreography.

Each of these works expertly demonstrates how George Balanchine redefined the classical tradition in progressive ways and how Miami City Ballet has earned its reputation for being one of the finest interpreters of his work.  The New York Times calls Miami City Ballet, “one of the world’s leading exponents of choreography by George Balanchine” and Ballet BC’s Artistic Director Emily Molnar says, “Ever since I became the Artistic Director of Ballet BC, one of my desires has been to bring an evening of works by George Balanchine, a pioneer of contemporary ballet. Miami City Ballet is one of the leading ballet companies interpreting his work today. We are thrilled to share this exciting program of masterworks with Vancouver audiences.”

Miami City Ballet Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez – former principal dancer with New York City Ballet under Balanchine and Jerome Robbins – echoes Emily Molnar’s enthusiasm by adding, “We are thrilled and grateful to Ballet BC for presenting us in their programming this season, and to have an opportunity to perform at such prestigious venues outside of our home theaters. Mostly, I am looking forward to the company performing stellar ballet of remarkable artistry before our Canadian friends.”

Balanchine runs for four performances, February 19-21, 2015 at 8:00pm plus Saturday, February 21 matinee at 2:00pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets range from $40.00 to $98.50 (including service charges) and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787 (1-855-985-ARTS) or online at ticketmaster.ca.

About Miami City Ballet

Hailed by the New York Times as “one of America’s most beloved dance companies,” Miami City Ballet is led by Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. The Company has 50 dancers and a repertoire of nearly 100 ballets. Among the Company’s notable achievements have been critically acclaimed performances in Paris and New York City and the nationally televised PBS THIRTEEN special: Great Performances – Dance In America: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp. During its October to April season Miami City Ballet performs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Naples. Miami City Ballet maintains its headquarters in Miami Beach in a facility designed by renowned architectural firm Arquitectonica. The facility houses rehearsal studios and administrative offices as well as the Miami City Ballet School, home to one of the nation’s leading pre-professional ballet training programs. 

About Ballet BC

Combining classical integrity with a contemporary sensibility, Ballet BC is a company of 18 talented dancers from Canada and around the world that is committed to the ballet of today. Solidly grounded in the rigour and artistry of classical ballet, with an emphasis on innovation and the immediacy of the 21st century, the company presents a distinct and diverse repertoire of the most sought-after Canadian and international contemporary ballet choreography. Ballet BC continues its commitment to perform highly acclaimed productions on regional, national and international tours in addition to its regular performance season at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. For more information, visit balletbc.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter @balletbc.

 Ballet BC would like to thank Platinum Season Sponsor and Official Hotel Sponsor: Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel, Gold Season Sponsors: Assante Wealth Management and CI Investments, Performance Sponsor: Wells Fargo, and Media Sponsors: The Vancouver Sun, CTV and QM-FM. Support for Ballet BC has been generously provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver.

Merry Go Round Horse at Vancouver Christmas Market

Merry Go Round Horse at Vancouver Christmas Market

As Christmas approaches, the temptation to race toward the day with a frenzied panic can be overwhelming. Don’t. Instead, take some time out of your schedule to take in the sights and sounds at Vancouver’s Christmas Market. There is much there to remind you of the meaning of Christmas; being reminded of the meaning of Christmas is one of the surest antidotes for stress at this time of year. Styled on the famous German Christmas markets, the Vancouver Christmas Market has many local and international foods, festive treats and Christmas carols; yes real carols sung by real people.

The evening we attended, the music provided a peaceful reminder of traditional Christmas sentiments; it was a fitting accompaniment to the event held on the grounds next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the heart of downtown.  All of the performers I heard that night were outstanding; to have this entertainment included with the price of admission is a real bonus. Tickets range from $3 to $7 and there are a variety of combination packages for families and groups. Getting the whole gang together for a few hours can be a fun and inexpensive way to share some holiday memories. This is the week when many visitors start arriving in town for the holidays, why not treat guests to a night at the Christmas Market.

Alternatively, if you are headed away for Christmas, the Market offers plenty of specialty items that would make ideal gifts to take with you and share with friends and family out of town. Many are small, lightweight, easy to pack and make ideal souvenirs of Vancouver. Most of the items are of high quality and there are many unique pieces that will not be found in shopping malls and box stores. If you are looking for something special, the Christmas Market will give you many options to choose form. A complete list of vendors can be found on here.

A few of the highlights that stood out for me were the following:

100% Natural Soap from Art of Soap

100% Natural Soap from Art of Soap

Art of Soap. The name says it all. These hand crafted soaps from Turkey truly are works of art. They are delightful to look at; made from natural ingredients, and are reasonably priced. The vendors at this booth were a delight to talk to and were very knowledgeable about their products. Turkey has a long tradition of soap making and these superbly crafted soaps are a testament to that lengthy history.

Believe it or not, that's soap!

Believe it or not, that’s soap!

Alma Headware. This company made my short list for several reasons: they are local; produce a great product; combine the traditional craft of knitting with modern technology allowing consumers to design their own headware and seemed to exude a spark of entrepreneurship that is sure to carry them far.

Designs from Alma Headware

Designs from Alma Headware


Maple’s sugar shack. Seeing maple syrup hardened over ice is a Canadian tradition. We may be less accustomed to seeing it on the West Coast, but in many parts of Canada, maple syrup on a stick is a treat that sweetens the bitterness of winter.

Handcrafted Wooden Pens from the Woodman

Handcrafted Wooden Pens from the Woodman

The Woodman Finest Wooden Handcrafts. It was a pleasure to see something handcrafted right before your eyes.  The final products are ideal gifts for any last minute additions to your list. Watching Manfred Schauenburg (The Woodman) work the lathe is mesmerizing; he appears lost in contemplation and it is no wonder the end results look so perfect. We should all take such pride in our work.

Gifts imported from Poland

Gifts imported from Poland

Polish Handcrafts (Arreola Design). My Polish heritage no doubt influenced my attraction to this booth, however anyone looking for beautiful dishes, plates or decorations is sure to find this vendor’s products difficult to resist. The staff person at this booth was also very pleasant to talk to. Indeed the level of friendliness and cheer from all of the vendors I talked with is something of which the Christmas Market should be proud. Welcoming thousands and thousands of people every day can challenge anyone’s customer service skills. The night I was there, people got it right.

If you do plan to pick up a lot of last minute items, be sure to bring your reusable shopping bags. As an eco friendly event, the Christmas Market gets good points. Reusable mugs are available for a deposit, or you can buy them as a souvenir of the event. They make great stocking stuffers too. We were there early in the season and found the grounds to be very neat and tidy thanks in part to the Christmas Market’s conscious effort to reduce waste. Food containers are supplied by BSI Biodegradable Solutions and are compostable. It’s nice to see events waking up to options now available to create greener, more sustainable events.

In recent years I’ve become more aware of crucial role that event sponsors play in hosting a successful event. Corporations are now the patrons of arts and community events. Their participation as sponsors (besides being great advertising for them) makes the events more financially viable. I hope that the Christmas Market continues to be a part of Vancouver’s lead up to celebrating this important holiday. So to those sponsors who made this year’s event possible, thank you. A complete list of supporters can be found here.  A few notables on the list that deserve a special mention are:

Car2Go, The Rosedale on Robson,The Beat 94.5, Uniquely Northwest, Social Shopper, Condor, Fairchild Radio, Global BC, Glacier Media, and Jack FM to name but a few.

To everyone at the Christmas Market, thanks for hosting a wonderful event. It seems you’ve managed to welcome the world to participate in this local Christmas celebration. It was refreshing to see an event where the organizers did not feel compelled to water down the roots of this season in order to fit in with some politically correct agenda. Nativity sets, traditional carols, and the words Merry Christmas were all around. Thank you so much for including these items in your celebration. Christmas is for everyone and you should be proud of the way that your event brings together people of diverse backgrounds to celebrate this special day. We should not be afraid to utter the words Merry Christmas, indeed it should be a great joy to share the good news of this season with everyone.

So to everyone who made the Christmas Market possible, to everyone who attended, and to everyone reading this:

Merry Christmas!




-Came across this song recently and thought I’d share it with readers. He’s Canadian; he’s young, and he’s talented. When you see his star at the top, remember you heard about him here first!

Inside Passage

Having accrued a number of years in the yachting industry, it is fun to follow the history of boats as they change hands over time. Some boats are particularly interesting to keep tabs on, either because they have an intriguing story behind them, or because they tend to attract fascinating owners. There are a series of boats in Vancouver which have captured the imagination of local boaters for years. Styled on vessels of a bygone era, the yachts called “Belle”, “Hot Rum” and “Inside Passage” have graced the local waters since the early 1980’s. Their classic features make them as lovely to view today as when they were first launched. Few vessels can make the same claim. I was involved in the sale of Inside Passage many years ago, and recently visited the boat again. These boats have been sold multiple times by Mount Seymour Yacht Sales, on Granville Island. They are always a favourite among boaters who want the charm of a classic boat, without giving up the comforts and modern advancements that improve the present day yachting experience.

My visit to Inside Passage at Spruce Harbour Marina was sparked by meeting the current owner, Wendy Bryan, briefly at Granville Island. The vibrant owner epitomizes why people enjoy yachting; she is full of energy, enthusiasm, and adventure, three attributes the help one make the most of the boating lifestyle. When I heard that Inside Passage was the boat she had recently purchased, it came as no surprise. Both the boat and the new owner seem to defy age, showing that a history founded on classic taste and a future set toward adventure can make for a stunning combination.

Inside Passage and her sister ships were modeled on the vessels of the rum running era, and one can’t help but feel part of their charm has to do with the details that suggest an intriguing past. Features such as stained glass, a old-style diesel oven, and teak interior give one the impression that one has stepped back in time. The 47′ yacht has a 12′ beam giving it a sleek look. Stepping inside the boat, the salon and galley provide ample room to entertain guests; on summer days or warm evenings, the party can spill out onto the aft deck. The boat was once the subject of a book, and stepping on board is like stepping into the pages of a story whose ending has not yet been written.

Inside Passage Galley Stove

Each yacht owner has the potential to improve or neglect the boat in their possession. When Wendy Bryan took possession of Inside Passage, the first thing she did was replace the roof which was in need of repair. Rather than skimping on this project, she insisted that the work must culminate in “a boat with a roof you can dance on”. If more people danced on the roofs of boats, they would find the quality of their lives would greatly improve. There are technical aspects of boating that every owner should master for sure, but in gaining this knowledge they should not forget that one of the fundamental reasons to get into boating is to improve the quality of your life. Boating keeps you active; keeping active keeps you healthy and full of vigor.

Years ago I began to study what went into leading a long and vibrant life. It seems some people just have a knack for packing their days with enjoyable living regardless of their age; others settle into a state of complacency and boredom early on. The same is true of yachts. Some boats, like Inside Passage continue to look great and run well despite being built in the early 1980’s, while other newer boats look dated a year after they are launched. It seems to me that the secret to a long and happy life for an individual or a boat is much the same. Start with a good foundation, keep your operating systems in good condition, and keep moving. For a boat this means cruising the local waters, and for a boater it means occasionally hopping up on a roof you can dance on. The stars that have guided navigators for years have not ceased to shine with age; we all could learn much from them, and from people who spend their seventies dancing on roofs of boats.

If you’re inspired to take up yachting after reading this, be sure to drop me a note and I’ll do my best to help you find a boat that fits your needs.

Inside Passage on Water

Be sure to check back in a few days for an interview with

Anne C Graham, author of
Profit in Plain Sight

Anne is also an avid boater. It seems like women boaters really do enjoy life!

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