Cadenza – Die Stadt im Klavier V. Choreography and Performance: Yui Kawaguchi. Composition and Performance: Aki Takase. At the Vancouver International Dance Festival, 2014. Photo courtesy
Engine 374 is a landmark in our history. Not only did it pull the first Canadian transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver, but also contributed to keeping British Columbia a part of Canada. Writing about its anniversary was my first assignment for this blog. But after interviewing William Johnston, director of the West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) and the volunteer in charge of the Engine 374 Pavilion, I had in my hands an amazing series about the railway.
“I’m a bit of a history buff, so it’s a natural thing for me,” says Johnston. In the pavilion, he has met some railway fans who are experts on everything. “They look at the logo of CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) and say, ‘that was never on this locomotive in 1886. Why have you got it there?’” They’re right. It was placed there later in recognition of CPR’s financial aid to restore the Engine. “It’s also interpretive [because] it shows the beaver as part of the symbol of our country.”
Roundhouse volunteer coordinator, Michele Mateus, has big news. She and husband, Don, are expecting their first child in May 2014. So before Mateus packs up her office and bids adieu to the Roundhouse to begin her one-year maternity leave, she leaves us with a snapshot of what her job entails and why she’s so passionate about volunteerism.
JS: Why do you think volunteering is important?
MM: More and more our society seems disconnected and busy, and we do not make time for ourselves, or our neighbours. We complain about Vancouver being a hard place to meet friends, and loneliness seems to be a key factor in peoples’ experience here in Metro Vancouver. For me, volunteerism seems to be an important way to combat these concerns. We can create time and space in our lives for something that is meaningful.
Bring out that smarty pants in you and add wings to your imagination, make the oranges jump and the books walk. Commonly we think most animated movies are made using powerful computers. With so many innovative forms of animation and computer technology being used to create films, adverts and TV shows, some might believe that “old favourites” – like Claymation – are a thing of the past. But interestingly enough, some of the traditional forms of animation are making a comeback.
In my school days, I used to play with clay and enjoyed clay modelling classes. Recently, I learned that clay has a uniquely therapeutic quality that settles and calms children; it retains their attention for hours. Here is an interesting article that highlights the benefits of playing with clay.
Being a creative soul and a dancer, I never paid much attention to dance forms that I did not understand, or if I found their music to be very calm. I was always attracted to high energy dance moves, as they make you feel alive and have the urge to dance, but as I have matured I have realized that there is a lot more to dance than meets the eye.
What I have gathered is their passion for what they do and how connected our First Nations are to the divine.
Are you an artist but don’t have your own space to work on your creations? The Guided Open Art Studio, a pilot project implemented by the Roundhouse in the fall of 2013, could suit your needs. The space is basic—large tables, chairs, some easels and two sinks—but there you can refine your skills and explore new ideas while you work in a supportive setting.
“There are lots of people in the community who have taken art classes at the Roundhouse and don’t have anywhere to continue making art on their own,” says the art instructor of the community centre, Ian Forbes, who holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Alberta and is there to facilitate, advise and demonstrate. The initiative—not an art class, but an art space—encourages artists to drop-in. The main benefit is to have people inspired to make art and interact with each other.
It’s no accident that the Roundhouse (RH) offers a unique array of fantastic social and recreational programming. That’s because Recreation Programmer, Kathryn Sweetapple, who has been employed at the RH for seven years, carefully selects the courses that best reflect this community centre’s diverse clientele.
My passion for recreation and being active brought me to want to help others become active through different avenues of recreation.
We all live in an entertainment culture. It’s time to take you into the world of enigmatic entertainment. The biggest example of it is life. We don’t know what will happen in the next moment, but we sense and foresee things with our strong imaginations.
Imagination is all the infinite possibilities in reality.
Imagine yourself locked up in a room and the only information you have is that there might be a monster around you. How would you feel? Well, performance art can make you feel that.
Imagination is all the infinite possibilities in reality. Combining this magic of imagination and arts makes one explore the breathtaking performances that depict the mystified story, and is a real treat for the eyes.
Ladies, looking for a way to have a girls’ day full of excitement?
Dance comes to me naturally, as I enjoy the freedom of self-awareness and self-expression brought on by letting go when in trance of the moment. Endorphins are realised when dancing, therefore, providing a natural high to life full of enjoyment and reducing stress. In fact, at a conference delivered by Dr. Amen on a healthy brain, he mentioned how the best exercise for the brain is dancing (point #10 in the article).
For me, Soukouss is not only a dance form, but is an African dance, close to my heart because my ancestors migrated to Africa from India. I visited Africa several times when I was younger and saw many performances on the streets, but never really had an appreciation until I understood the art behind dancing.
Dancing is a way of life in Africa.
Soukouss originated in Congo, which is in central Africa, and is a way of life in Africa. Today, Soukouss has become the mainstream dance form of Africa and can be found in night clubs and house parties. Back in Congo, both men and women dance to Soukouss but here in the west, mainly females dance to Soukouss because it is a very sensual dance and men may not be as comfortable with the movements.
A while back, sometime in 2009, I decided I was unhappy with my life. I realized I had to make a change on the inside to see the benefits on the outside.
As an unemployed job seeker, I began volunteering for a local community-based business. Once a week I’d take a break from the monotony of job searching and spend four hours giving back to my community. In the beginning volunteering was a way to fill my time and meet new people. However, I quickly realized I was getting much more from my unpaid job than expected.
Here are my top 7 reasons why volunteering is good for you: