RoundHouse Blog


This is for the Birds

This white-throated swift, aka Taylor Swift, was a patient at Wildlife Rescue. She was found on a sidewalk in Coquitlam in November 2013 with injuries that suggested she had struck a window. Her flock had already migrated south for the winter. After recuperating for a couple of weeks, Taylor needed to have her immigration paperwork complete before being transported to a rehabilitation centre in California. Later, she rejoined her peers. Photo by Paul Steeves, 2013.

This white-throated swift, aka Taylor Swift, was a patient at Wildlife Rescue. She was found on a sidewalk in Coquitlam in November 2013 with injuries that suggested she had struck a window. Her flock had already migrated south for the winter. After recuperating for a couple of weeks, Taylor needed to have her immigration paperwork complete before being transported to a rehabilitation centre in California. Later, she rejoined her peers.
Photo by Paul Steeves, 2013.

Did you know that the City of Vancouver has an official Bird Strategy? As part of the greenest city initiative, goal number six – access to nature – includes creating the conditions necessary to increase the diversity and well-being of our bird population. To this end, the Bird Strategy sets out five objectives: support habitat, reduce threats, enhance access, enhance awareness, and grow bird-related tourism. Since 2013, Vancouver has celebrated our feathered friends with an official week. Even prior to this, Mayor Gregor Robertson signed proclamations in 2011 and 2012 recognizing the United Nations’ World Migratory Bird Day.

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Go Fly a Kite

Kite master Egan Davis and friends at David Lam Park. Photo by Karen Clare, 2015.

Kite master Egan Davis and friends at David Lam Park. Photo by Karen Clare, 2015.

Kite making is coming to the Roundhouse this April. In partnership with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF), the Roundhouse will host a hands-on workshop in the art of kite making. Facilitated by award winning kite master, Egan Davis, this event is part of a kite series the VCBF has planned for this year.

Egan’s vision for the kite series began several years back. Pink cherry blossom petals drifting in the air reminded him of pink kites. He approached VCBF Executive Director Linda Poole with the idea of flying a thousand pink kites as part of the Cherry Blossom celebration.

“All winter we’re looking down, huddled under an umbrella. Kites make us look up to celebrate cherry blossoms and the beginning of spring.” – Linda Poole

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Exhibiting the Heart of Women

In-the-Heart-of-WomenThe voices of Indigenous peoples in contemporary culture are still stifled, as the traditions have historically been stripped away since the beginning of colonialization. Art has been used by Aboriginal people in order to heal from this assimilation, and to allow for a political assertion. However, it has primarily been male artists that have been credited with these important artistic ventures.
Societal awareness of the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada has recently increased. To me, this means the celebration of Indigenous women artists is not only key to reconciliation in Canada, but is crucial to eliminating violence through the celebration of Indigenous womanhood.

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Everybody Dance Now

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Roundhouse dance enthusiasts learn about project highlights. Photo by Karen Clare, 2014

Contemporary dance and the Roundhouse community connected recently, during auditions for PuSh Festival’s 2015 production of Le Grand Continental®. For those who are unfamiliar with PuSh, it is a multi-disciplinary, international performance smorgasbord that celebrated its 10 year anniversary last winter. I look forward to it each year as a bright spot in the post-Christmas lull before the arrival of spring. The performances are smart, thought provoking, assumption challenging, sometimes very funny, sometimes very puzzling, and always well worth seeing.

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Children’s Movies: A Timeless Treasure

Kids love to watch movies together. Laughing together, getting scared together, laughing again – it’s all good fun! Photo by GreenWood Forest Park via Flckr CC.

Kids love to watch movies together. Laughing together, getting scared together, laughing again – it’s all good fun! Photo by GreenWood Forest Park via Flckr CC.

You would have to be living under a soundproof rock to not know about Disney’s record-breaking, ubiquitous movie Frozen. If you live or work with small children, you’ve no doubt been serenaded with the soundtrack, or enjoyed having the entire story recounted to you. I count myself among the film’s many fans, albeit taller than most. So what is it about children’s movies that gets to us – and in many cases – sticks with us forever?

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Beerlesque IV: Another Outlandish Evening

We can just come right out and say it: Beerlesque IV was a huge success! The night was everything it said it would be and more – more ladies, more beer and more fun than I could have ever expected.

It was a very enthusiastic crowd at Beerlesque IV, which sold out. Plenty of people arrived dressed to the nines. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (Roundhouse Documentation Team – RHDT).

It was a very enthusiastic crowd at Beerlesque IV, which sold out. Plenty of people arrived dressed to the nines. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (Roundhouse Documentation Team – RHDT).

It is a simple formula: take finely made beer in adorable mini pilsner glasses, combine with Vancouver’s best burlesque dancers, sprinkle in some drag and circus performances, and anchor with genre-defying carnival music. What you get is a successful fundraiser that intrigues most any Vancouverite.

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A WINDOW ON VANCOUVER ARTISTS: TRISH SHWART

Artist Trish Shwart.

Artist Trish Shwart.

What is your artistic medium?
Until recently I made 2 dimensional work using collage, painting, drawing etc. However in the last year or so I have started to make small installations, dioramas that tell a story or parts of a story. The birds and the dancers in the Roundhouse vitrine are the first time that I used an element that projected into space. Those dancers created a shift in my thinking about the kind of art I make.

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MAHJONG: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GAME

Mah Jong is popular among people of all ages and backgrounds. Photograph by Eric Chan.

Mah Jong is popular among people of all ages and backgrounds. Photograph by Eric Chan.

Even if you have never played Mahjong, chances are you’ve heard the familiar shuffling of tiles at the beginning of the game coming from behind many Vancouver doors. This shuffling is referred to as the ‘twittering of the sparrows’. The name Mahjong loosely translates as “sparrow” but most Vancouverites know the game by its initials: MJ.

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