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Category "Television"

7Jun

Town Talk: Former U.S. ambassador now advocates for all Canadians

by admin

FRIENDS IN DEED: In Bob Rennie’s Chinatown office-art museum recently, 2014-2017 U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and wife Vicki released a jointly written memoir of their time here. Titled The Art of Diplomacy, Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty, the book reflects their personal friendship with and support of Democrat former president and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama. Diplomats represent their own country’s interests above all, of course. Still, alternately authored chapters in the Heymans’ “love letter to Canada, our neighbour and best friend” show them contributing to fellowship and culture far beyond Washington’s remit and Ottawa’s political and diplomatic precincts.

Their resolve “to build bridges, not walls” resulted in a bike lane replacing post-9/11 concrete barriers at the ambassadorial residence, Lornado. They also filled the house with art, presented many eminent artists, hosted scores of public events, sparkplugged a visit by Obama, and installed honey bees who, with their queen, departed soon after they did. Conversing with and learning from ordinary folk, the Heymans criss-crossed Canada. That included days spent in Arctic-shore Tuktoyaktuk, Labrador’s Mary’s Harbour and even more remote Battle Harbour. When it came time to leave Canada, though, the news came, deplorably, in a New York Times article rather than a single word from the Trump transition team. “Vicki and I now consider ourselves citizen ambassadors for the Canada-U.S. relationship,” Heyman wrote. “We are private citizens working to make a difference.” Supporting that intent, they and Rennie donated all proceeds from their book sales to The Vancouver Sun’s Raise-a- Reader campaign.


Accompanied by daughter Ali in a simulated 1955 Chevrolet, Jen Rainnie chaired a gala to raise $900,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Malcolm Parry /

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Hweely Lim, Kirsten Maxwell and Lucia Kwong surrounded multi-charity $5-million benefactor Sylvia Chen at the Heart of Gold gala.

Malcolm Parry /

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MISS CANADIAN PIE: Jen Rainnie drove her Chevy to the levee, but it sure wasn’t dry. In fact, the levee — more specifically the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon’s 14th-annual Heart of Gold gala — reportedly generated $900,000 and change. Meanwhile, the Chevy that second-time gala chair Rainnie seemingly drove was actually a full-scale Styrofoam sculpture of the front end of a 1955 model. That was an epic year as a new-for-Chevrolet V-8 engine promised high performance. Rainnie, foundation chair Irene Chanin, board chair Brian Curin and all involved doubtless hope the gala will spur a similar result. That would include supporting an automated external defibrillator program planned to double the survival rate of those experiencing cardiac arrest.


Paul Armstrong heads the Crazy8s Film Society Andrew Williamson founded in 1999 and that received an outstanding-achievement Leo award.

Malcolm Parry /

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PICTURE PERFECT: Directors Helen Haig-Brown and Gwaai Edenshaw’s Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K’unna) cut through other nominees at the recent Leo Awards gala for B.C.’s film and television productions and personnel. It was named best motion picture, and Haig-Brown and Edenshaw received best-direction Leos. Director Menhaj Huda’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance was named best TV movie.


Walter Daroshin and wife Tina walked the red carpet at the local movie industry’s Leo Awards gala he has headed since its second running in 1997.

Malcolm Parry /

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Staged by the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of B.C., the event is nostalgic for chair Walter Daroshin. That’s because a feature film he’d executive produced, The War Between Us, won the 1996 debut running’s top award. Daroshin signed on as Leos president in 1997. Two years later, Andrew Williamson founded the Crazy8s Film Society that won this year’s outstanding-achievement Leo. Long headed by Paul Armstrong, its juried contestants shoot, edit and deliver short but sometimes superb movies in eight days.


Twins Sam and Kailey Spear made the short horror film Alien: Ore at Britannia Mine to commemorate the Alien feature film’s 40th anniversary.

Malcolm Parry /

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QUADS: One Crazy8’s production was written and directed by Bowen Island-raised twins Kailey and Sam Spear, and filmed by two more twins, Graham and Nelson Talbot. Nominated for six Leos, it has a robot nanny violently attack a mother regarding the care of her daughter. Keeping up the jollity, the Spears and Talbots made the short horror flick Alien: Ore in the Britannia mine. It’s the only Canadian picture among 20th Century Fox’s commissions to commemorate the original Alien’s 40th anniversary.


Tim Roddick accompanied entrepreneur-wife Madeleine Shaw at a plate-smashing benefit for the United Girls of The World Society she founded.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

SMASH BASH: You could wait for a Greek wedding to break plates. Or you could pay $20 for a plate emblazoned with the word for something you dislike — homophobia, perfectionism, say — and sling it against a wall. Attendees did that when multi-entrepreneur Madeleine Shaw fronted a fundraiser for the United Girls of the World Society she founded. The organization aids parents and caregivers “that assist in supporting adolescent girls’ development of personal empowerment, healthy peer relationships, self-esteem and body positivity.” Shaw’s accompanying husband, Tim Roddick, was newly met in 1996 when this column reported her launching a women’s apparel firm. “He had a girlfriend, and I was having unwholesome thoughts about him,” Shaw recalled. “But one thing led to another.” They married in 2001 — without smashed crockery.


City-based movie producer Tex Antonucci’s name was a consequence of animator-father Danny’s reverence for famed film cartoon creator Tex Avery.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

IN A NAME: Tex Antonucci, who co-produced the Leo Awards’ best-movie-nominated Indian Horse, was named to commemorate legendary cartoon animator Tex Avery. Antonucci’s father Danny made the cult classic Lupo The Butcher (Google it). His Ed, Edd n Eddy was possibly the last TV series to employ Walt Disney and Avery’s hand-painted-cell technique rather than computer animation. At least Danny didn’t name his son for a beloved Avery character: Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, Porky, etc.


Danny Antonucci’s TV series Ed, Edd n Eddy may have been the last one produced by hand-painted cells before digital technology triumphed.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Th-th-th-that’s all, folks.

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31May

Town Talk: B.C. Sports Hall of Fame inducts Sedins and many others

by admin


Backed by a blow-up of Duomo di Milano cathedral, Ross Bonetti increased the La Dolce Vita flavour of his Italianate Livingspace store’s expansion party by straddling his two classic Vespa scooters.


Malcolm Parry / PNG

CHAMPS NIGHT: Chaired by Michelle Collens and Tewanee Joseph, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s recent gala was replete with memories. It couldn’t be otherwise with inductees like the 1968 New Westminster Salmonbellies lacrosse team, 1975 NFL Super Bowl winner Roy Gerela and 1977 Vancouver Whitecaps coach Tony Waiters. Also inducted were 17-season Vancouver Canucks Daniel and Henrik Sedin.


B.C. Sports Hall of Fame inductees Henrik and Daniel Sedin were 21 when they served wine at a Canuck Place children’s hospice benefit in 2002.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

When seen in this column in 2002, the twins displayed deft passing skills. Not with the puck but with bottles of wine that then-Canucks GM and former part-time bartender Brian Burke had them serve at a benefit for Canuck Place children’s hospice. Back at the gala, rugby-star inductee Kelly McCallum heard honorary co-chair Marvin Storrow call her sport “a game of skill, not for me.” Then again, 1934-born Storrow does play hard, skilful tennis four times weekly.


Portrayed at age four with twin James, former MP, cabinet minister and senator Pat Carney will be inducted into the Order of British Columbia on June 28.

PNG

MORE TWINS: Shanghai-born siblings Jim and Pat Carney shared an 84th birthday May 26. They’ll celebrate again June 28 at Pat’s induction into the Order of British Columbia. The honour likely acknowledges her years as an MP, cabinet minister, senator and best-selling author rather than early-career slogging as a Vancouver Sun reporter.


Departing Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels welcomed Rogers Group Funds chair Phil Lind to a reception for film and television producers.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

MILES AHEAD: At the Polygon Gallery, Rogers Group of Funds chair Phil Lind presented a $5,000 emerging-artist prize to movie maker Jessica Johnson. It recognized her Scotland-set 14-minute documentary, Hazel Isle. Lind also fronted a reception for regional film and television producers on Vancouver Art Gallery’s rooftop patio. No one present, especially departing VAG director Kathleen Bartels, quibbled with his assertion that “Vancouver has the best artists in Canada — by 10 miles.”

SPACEMAN: The Armoury district’s free-standing Livingspace store always had room aplenty for swish European furniture. There’s even more now that building owner Ross Bonetti has expanded the fifth floor to accommodate specific-brand showrooms. As usual, Bonetti pulled out all the stops — and his two La Dolce Vita-style Italian Vespa scooters — for a recent relaunch party. He rides the mint-condition 1969 and 1971 Sprint models around town, but not astride both as he demonstrated with them parked. Ever the showman, perhaps he’ll master Ben Hur-style riding for his next event.


With a Dina Goldstein work behind them, sponsor Matthew Halse and Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation head Scott Elliott saw an art auction raise $185,000.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG


Angela Grossmann’s mixed media work, Farm Boy, struck the right note at a Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation event where it fetched $9,500 at auction.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

PICTURES FOR PETER: Eighteen artists, from Thomas Anfield to Elizabeth Zvonar, didn’t stint when donating works for live auction at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation’s recent Art For Life event. Twenty-four others gave to its silent auction. With supporters filling Pender Street’s The Permanent hall, foundation executive director Scott Elliott reported $185,000 being raised.


Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s Opioid Ovoid Humanoid sculpture seems to come alive beside his painting in the Macaulay & Co. Fine Art gallery.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

TRANSFORMER TODAY: Imagine the wonderment of coastal longhouse dwellers when performers manipulated carved-cedar masks so that the creatures they depicted seemed alive. Something similar pertains at Sarah Macaulay’s First-off-Scotia gallery where long-established artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s first sculpture is displayed. The mask-headed work echoes figures in Yuxweluptun’s large paintings that fetch over $100,000. Step in front, though, and the mask becomes a confusion of multicoloured pieces. The spooky change represents “the process of what drugs do, and this can happen to you,” said Yuxweluptun, who named the $45,000 sculpture Opioid Ovoid Humanoid. There’ll be four more, he added.


Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko had geo-strategist Parag Khanna (centre) address a $100,000 gala audience. Photo: Malcolm Parry.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

SUMMER WINNERS: The 11-day Indian Summer Festival will begin with its usual Roundhouse Community Centre party July 4. Revving up for that, organizers Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko staged an Odlum Brown-sponsored banquet that reportedly raised $100,000 with the slogan: The Future Is Asian. That’s the title of a new book by geo-strategist Parag Khanna, who addressed attendees. His assertion is supported by the multinational Standard Chartered Bank’s 2017-to-2030 projection for global economies. It foresees China’s GDP rising to $64.2 trillion, India’s to $46.3 trillion and the U.S.A.’s to $31 trillion. Meanwhile, Canada, France and the U.K. lose their global top-10 positions.


Beverley Robinson, Sonja Chopty, Margaret McFaul and Renata Hofer ringed “termite taxi” owner Tevie Smith at a memorial for promoter Harry Moll.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

ROUNDER BOUT: Old-time Howe Street flickered again on Hornby Street recently. That was when Neil Aisenstat opened Hy’s Encore restaurant’s upper room to those attending a wake for 1988 Promoter of The Year Harry Moll who died at age 83 on April 25. Although most old Vancouver Stock Exchange habitués arrived on foot, Tevie Smith pulled up in his somewhat symbolic “termite taxi,” a junk-festooned 1947 Chrysler “woody” sedan with 300,000 miles on the clock and two rescue dogs on its duct-taped seats. As for the chi-chi era, wake attendees Sonja Chopty, Renata Hofer (who flew in from Zurich), Margaret McFaul and Beverley Robinson recalled partying in the Moll-launched Sneaky Pete’s, Charlie Brown’s and Sugar Daddy’s nightclubs. Moll’s 1994-divorced wife Suzy was unavoidably out of town but still speaks warmly of him.

THE DRILL: Regarding the old stock exchange’s freebooting mining promotions, a contemporary of Moll’s once said: “Sometimes we drill the ground, and sometimes we drill the sky.”

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Canadians and Americans wrangling over the North Pole’s ownership might recall that cheeky London journalists long ago determined principal-resident Santa Claus’s citizenship. A bewhiskered, overstuffed fellow who feasts on cookies and works one day a year would be a fellow Brit, they said.

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19Apr

Town Talk: Style show made big hair even bigger

by admin

HATS OFF: Nobody expected Easter bonnets, fascinators or headgear of any kind when the Show It Off extravaganza filled the Vancouver Playh­­ouse recently. Hair alone was the attraction, and Avant Garde salon owner Jon Paul Holt and dancer-choreographer producer Viktoria Langton showcased plenty of it when the male and female show benefited B.C. Children’s Hospital. Stylist from the UK, across Canada and hereabouts created confections that, in most cases, were frothed up on models attired in the Playboy rather than Easter bunny manner.


Dee Daniels will return from her and Denzal Sinclaire’s U.S. tour to sing at Motown Meltdown’s benefit for Seva Canada’s eyesight-restoration efforts.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

HIGH FLYERS: Early aviators gained surprising extra height by flying at top speed and jerking back the joystick. They called it the zoom climb. A century later in 2008, one-time television wunderkind Moses Znaimer applied the term to half-century-old folk able to elevate their lifestyles. Among now-77-year-old Znaimer’s related enterprises, Zoomer trade shows feature travel, financial, cannabis and health-and-wellness exhibitors. Entertainers, too.


Joy TV’s CARPe diem show host-producer Carmen Ruiz y Laza greeted Motown Meltdown’s Bill Semple and Kendra Sprinkling at the Zoomer Show.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

The recent Zoomer show here saw Kendra Sprinkling produce a version of the 17th annual Motown Meltdown concert that will play the Commodore Ballroom April 27. Its beneficiary, Seva Canada, restores eyesight to thousands of global patients annually. One concert singer, Dee Daniels, will zoom home from her and Denzal Sinclaire’s touring tribute to the late Nat King Cole and daughter Natalie.


Vancouver Sun Sun Run columnist Lynn Kanuka and editor-in-chief Harold Munro welcomed guests at a reception preceding the 35th annual event.

Malcolm Parry /

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FEET FEATS: Olympic bronze medallist Lynn Kanuka’s columns helped prepare Vancouver Sun reader for last weekend’s 35th annual Sun Run. She and run co-founders Doug and Diane Clement were acknowledged at a reception where Sun editor-in-chief Harold Munro noted that the 10k event’s earlier participants had covered the equivalent of 10 times around the world. Kanuka’s 2019 columns revealed that her training world extends northward to Burns Lake and New Aiyansh beyond Terrace. With three other regions, they’re part of her 10-year-old effort by which Indigenous leaders develop running and walking programs. Regarding such communities’ elders, “Their health has changed,” Kanuka said. “Their blood pressure has gone down.” So have blood-sugar and cholesterol levels, “One has even lost 100 pounds,” she whistled.

DO GO: Although tough by foot, the few B.C. residents following remote, spectacular Highway 37 north from New Aiyansh to the Alaska Highway should relish every one of its 750 kilometres.


Some wonder whether the brotherly love Jason Kenney had for Charlie Wu in 2015 will extend to other Vancouver residents now that he’s Alberta premier.

Malcolm Parry /

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KENNEY, CAN HE? During 2015 TaiwanFest celebrations here, then-federal immigration minister Jason Kenney called festival manager and former University of San Francisco fellow student Charlie Wu “my Chinese brother with different mothers.” Let’s see if such familial regard for B.C. residents will continue.


Monica Soprovich, Tanya Perchall, Rebecca Bond and Carey Smith ringed host Zahra Salisbury at the Hotel Georgia’s Reflections terrace reopening.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

SKY TIME: Springtime sees the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s substantially open-air Reflection terrace reopen formally. Rain made the recent event rather more al drencho than fresco. But with one area permanently covered and some others tented, attendees stayed dry and, given the enhanced intimacy, possibly more reflective. They were hosted by Zahra Salisbury, whose brother Azim Jamal and uncle Joe Moosa founded Pacific Reach Properties that paid $145 million for the then-90-year-old hotel in 2017.

UP PARRYSCOPE: One block west on Georgia Street, the Depression-delayed Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will celebrate its 80th birthday on May 9.


Seen partying at his architecture firm’s old Gastown premises, keg-surrounded Michael Green literally raised the bar with an Armoury district move.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

GREEN PARTIERS: Free drinks and a high-volume deejay would fill any Friday-night joint to the rafters. So it was when A-grade party giver and wood-structure-tower advocate Michael Green celebrated his self-named architecture firm’s move to Armoury-district space formerly occupied by Emily Carr University students. Despite a new climbing wall, Green’s guests didn’t actually reach the joint’s near-10-metre-high rafters.


Kelsey Kushneryk and Lindsay Owen alternate between piloting a Twin Otter and a rebuilt and re-engined DC3 aircraft between Arctic and Antarctic bases.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Still, two among them routinely reach higher altitudes in places quieter, colder and far more dangerous than False Creek shores. Former rodeo roper-funeral director Kelsey Kushneryk and partner Lindsay Owen are 4,000- and 5,000-hour pilots who have spent six seasons flying for Calgary-based Kenn Borek Air in Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic. Owen hit the news in 2017 as first officer aboard a Twin Otter that sped 14,000 km from Alberta to rescue two sick workers in ‑­­60 C temperature from near the blizzard-whipped South Pole. She and Kushneryk also pilot an 80-year-old DC-3 airliner that, like the same-age axe with four new heads and six new handles, has likely had every part replaced and turbine engines installed.


Vancouver International Centre for Asian Art interim head Yun-Jou Chang and president April Liu fronted 20th-anniversary celebrations at the Imperial.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

A-PLUS: Now ensconced on Keefer Street with a 30-year lease, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, aka Centre A, celebrated its 20th anniversary recently. President April Liu and interim executive director Yun Jou Chang welcomed centre founder Hank Bull and guests to the Main-off-Hastings Imperial where Chinese-language kung-fu movies once were screened. Las Vegas-born Liu is a Chinese art historian and Museum of Anthropology public-programs curator. Belgium-born, Taiwan-and-Prince-Rupert-raised Chang is vice-president of the pan-Asian Cinevolution Media Arts Society. As well as encouraging beginning artists, the centre “strives to activate contemporary art’s vital role in building and understanding the long and dynamic Asia-Canada relationship.”

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: While Chinese genetic scientists transfer human brain cells to monkeys, the reverse process may have been perfected in London, Ottawa and Washington, DC.

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26Mar

‘Not a job for old people’: Doc series shines spotlight on B.C. paramedics

by admin


A Vancouver paramedic specialist with advanced training tends to a heart failure patient, en route to St. Paul’s Hospital. The scene is in the last episode of a new documentary series on Knowledge Network, Paramedics: Life on the Line. It premieres April 2.


TBA / PNG

After the success of its documentary series on life and death in the emergency room, the Knowledge Network wasted no time commissioning a riveting “prequel” consisting of 10 episodes on paramedics working throughout the Lower Mainland.

The series, which streams online and on television April 2, won’t disappoint those craving insight into the jobs and personalities of 911 call takers, dispatchers and the paramedics who race to scenes in their “moving emergency rooms.”

As many already know, ambulance drivers frequently encounter distracted pedestrians looking down at their cellphones as they cross streets, oblivious to speeding ambulances with lights and sirens, not to mention drivers who take far too long to get out of the way. The producers even made a short video calling attention to bad drivers.

It’s just one exasperating part of the job.

“Threading the needle” is the term one ambulance driver uses to describe the precarious weaving (“c’mon kid, I’m not skiing”) to manoeuvre through traffic. A dash cam installed by the film company partner, Lark Productions, captures the driver’s candid banter with her colleague as she aggressively steps on the gas and quips: “It’s fun driving fast with lights and sirens, let’s be honest.”

Those who’ve opined that such health professionals must be adrenalin junkies thriving on chaos will also observe how calm the call takers and paramedics appear as they’re taking information from people in medical crises and rushing to the scene of gruesome accidents to provide care to those in need.

The series reinforces the understanding that the work takes a huge toll, both physically and emotionally. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the focus of a CBC documentarybut the physical toll, especially on the musculoskeletal system, is also harsh and a common cause of days off work.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m hoping to make it to retirement in about six years if my body holds up. It’s no job for old people,” said one paramedic in an episode titled No Occupation for Old Men.

Ironically, there is no mandatory retirement age for paramedics and many work well into their 60s, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

British Columbia's first report on road safety recommends a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in urban areas to reduce deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.


Knowledge Network shines the spotlight on paramedics.

RICHARD LAM /

Vancouver Sun

They eat on the go, wolfing down a sandwich or an ice cream with one hand while deftly steering ambulances with the other. They use deadpan sarcasm and droll humour to lighten the mood. And they must have good chemistry and trust with their shift partners.

There are only two deaths shown in 10 episodes of the docuseries. The paramedics on the scene of one cardiac arrest try everything to save the male and even call a hospital doctor to verify there’s nothing they’ve missed.

“Death is part of life, we’re all gonna die one day,” a paramedic says as a body is covered with a flannel sheet. It was one of at least 17 calls he had responded to during the 12-hour shift.

Viewers might find themselves frustrated by not knowing what happens to patients, like the East Vancouver woman who encountered a complication during a midwife-assisted water birth at home or the 46-year-old heart failure patient waiting to go on a heart transplant wait list.

That sentiment is often shared by the paramedics themselves, said Erin Haskett, a Lark Productions series executive producer. Many expressed frustration that they often don’t learn the outcomes of their cases after patients are handed off to hospital teams.

The series took 130 days of filming from December 2017 to June 2018. The 10 episodes are each under an hour but 1,500 hours of filming was done, often by crews embedded in ambulances at all hours of the day and night. Patients were asked for consent to film before they were handed off to the hospital and again after.

While rural paramedics were left out because of logistical challenges, about 40 of those working in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby Richmond and Surrey are featured. There are about 3,800 paramedics with various levels of credentials and 300 dispatch staff working for B.C. Emergency Health Services across the province.

Linda Lupini, executive vice-president of BCEHS, said the agency was reluctant to participate in the series.

“Initially we didn’t want to do this and we actually spent a few years talking to Knowledge Network about our concerns about logistics, about patient privacy, etc. So we hired a legal analyst and a top privacy expert. They came up with a lengthy list of things to ensure everyone met all the requests.”

There are numerous tricks used by the show’s editors to obscure locations and identities. In some cases street signs are even switched in the editing process and passersby who were on foot are shown on bicycles.

Among the incidents included in the series are a sexual assault call, a baby in respiratory distress, a cyclist hit by a car, a truck-bus crash, a fall at a construction site, an overdose at a SkyTrain station and an unconscious restaurant customer.

“I call our health professionals the first-first responders,” said Lupini. “People who watch this series will see their incredible compassion and patience. They often don’t get the recognition they deserve and I think this is a powerful way to showcase that.”

Viewers may be left wondering why anyone would want a job that takes such a toll on the human spirit. Lupini acknowledges she worried, initially, that the authentic conversations paramedics have about their work might deter people from entering the profession.

“In the series, paramedics talk about why they love their jobs but they also speak honestly about the challenges,” she said.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters




Source link

26Mar

“Not a job for old people” — documentary series shines spotlight on paramedics

by admin


A Vancouver paramedic specialist with advanced training tends to a heart failure patient, en route to St. Paul’s Hospital. The scene is in the last episode of a new documentary series on Knowledge Network, Paramedics: Life on the Line. It premieres April 2.


TBA / PNG

After the success of its documentary series on life and death in the emergency room, the Knowledge Network wasted no time commissioning a riveting “prequel” consisting of 10 episodes on paramedics working throughout the Lower Mainland.

The series, which streams online and on television April 2, won’t disappoint those craving insight into the jobs and personalities of 911 call takers, dispatchers and the paramedics who race to scenes in their “moving emergency rooms.”

As many already know, ambulance drivers frequently encounter distracted pedestrians looking down at their cellphones as they cross streets, oblivious to speeding ambulances with lights and sirens, not to mention drivers who take far too long to get out of the way. The producers even made a short video calling attention to bad drivers.

It’s just one exasperating part of the job.

“Threading the needle” is the term one ambulance driver uses to describe the precarious weaving (“c’mon kid, I’m not skiing”) to manoeuvre through traffic. A dash cam installed by the film company partner, Lark Productions, captures the driver’s candid banter with her colleague as she aggressively steps on the gas and quips: “It’s fun driving fast with lights and sirens, let’s be honest.”

Those who’ve opined that such health professionals must be adrenalin junkies thriving on chaos will also observe how calm the call takers and paramedics appear as they’re taking information from people in medical crises and rushing to the scene of gruesome accidents to provide care to those in need.

The series reinforces the understanding that the work takes a huge toll, both physically and emotionally. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the focus of a CBC documentary but the physical toll, especially on the musculoskeletal system, is also harsh and a common cause of days off work.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m hoping to make it to retirement in about six years if my body holds up. It’s no job for old people,” said one paramedic in an episode titled No Occupation for Old Men.

Ironically, there is no mandatory retirement age for paramedics and many work well into their 60s, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

British Columbia's first report on road safety recommends a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in urban areas to reduce deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.


Knowledge Network shines the spotlight on paramedics.

RICHARD LAM /

Vancouver Sun

They eat on the go, wolfing down a sandwich or an ice cream with one hand while deftly steering ambulances with the other. They use deadpan sarcasm and droll humour to lighten the mood. And they must have good chemistry and trust with their shift partners.

There are only two deaths shown in 10 episodes of the docuseries. The paramedics on the scene of one cardiac arrest try everything to save the male and even call a hospital doctor to verify there’s nothing they’ve missed.

“Death is part of life, we’re all gonna die one day,” a paramedic says as a body is covered with a flannel sheet. It was one of at least 17 calls he had responded to during the 12-hour shift.

Viewers might find themselves frustrated by not knowing what happens to patients, like the East Vancouver woman who encountered a complication during a midwife-assisted water birth at home or the 46-year-old heart failure patient waiting to go on a heart transplant wait list.

That sentiment is often shared by the paramedics themselves, said Erin Haskett, a Lark Productions series executive producer. Many expressed frustration that they often don’t learn the outcomes of their cases after patients are handed off to hospital teams.

The series took 130 days of filming from December 2017 to June 2018. The 10 episodes are each under an hour but 1,500 hours of filming was done, often by crews embedded in ambulances at all hours of the day and night. Patients were asked for consent to film before they were handed off to the hospital and again after.

While rural paramedics were left out because of logistical challenges, about 40 of those working in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby Richmond and Surrey are featured. There are about 3,800 paramedics with various levels of credentials and 300 dispatch staff working for B.C. Emergency Health Services across the province.

Linda Lupini, executive vice-president of BCEHS, said the agency was reluctant to participate in the series.

“Initially we didn’t want to do this and we actually spent a few years talking to Knowledge Network about our concerns about logistics, about patient privacy, etc. So we hired a legal analyst and a top privacy expert. They came up with a lengthy list of things to ensure everyone met all the requests.”

There are numerous tricks used by the show’s editors to obscure locations and identities. In some cases street signs are even switched in the editing process and passersby who were on foot are shown on bicycles.

Among the incidents included in the series are a sexual assault call, a baby in respiratory distress, a cyclist hit by a car, a truck-bus crash, a fall at a construction site, an overdose at a SkyTrain station and an unconscious restaurant customer.

“I call our health professionals the first-first responders,” said Lupini. “People who watch this series will see their incredible compassion and patience. They often don’t get the recognition they deserve and I think this is a powerful way to showcase that.”

Viewers may be left wondering why anyone would want a job that takes such a toll on the human spirit. Lupini acknowledges she worried, initially, that the authentic conversations paramedics have about their work might deter people from entering the profession.

“In the series, paramedics talk about why they love their jobs but they also speak honestly about the challenges,” she said.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters

 




Source link

22Feb

Town Talk: Chinese community raises $4.1 M for Children’s Hospital

by admin

ANOTHER RECORD: First-time co-chairs Carman Chan, Isabel Hsieh and Pao Yao Koo hit a home run when the Chinese community’s 24th annual For Children We Care gala reportedly raised a record $4.1 million. That will go toward a $14-million campaign for relocating the development-and-rehabilitation Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children to the B.C. Children’s Hospital’s main campus.


Carman Chan, Isabel Hsieh and Pao Yao Koo chaired a Versailles-themed gala to reportedly raise $4.1 million for the Sunny Hill Centre for Children.

Malcolm Parry /

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Last year’s event brought in close to $$3.4 million, which exceeded 2017’s by $836,000. Contrasting the hospital’s fiscal prudence, the gala’s theme was Versailles, the extravagant palace and estate that helped bankrupt 18th-century France and send King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. Conductor Ken Hsieh and the Metropolitan Orchestra entertained gala-goers with music from Parisian Jacques Offenbach’s 1858 Orpheus In The Underworld that also enlivens the cancan dance. Happily, the gala’s fundraising co-chairs proved that they could-could and did-did.


Third-time For Children We Care gala presenter Ben Yeung saw Open Road dealer Christian Chia display a $500,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.

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FOR PAINT JOBS WE CARE: Open Road auto dealer Christian Chia showed a $500,000-range Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV at the For Children We Care gala. Viewers included the event’s third-time presenter, Peterson development firm executive chair-CEO Ben Yeung. Few buyers of the off-road-capable Cullinan would likely subject its flawless, porcelain-like surface to damage along bush-and-rock-flanked trails. Ditto when parking by night in certain DTES zones, including one where developer-to-be Yeung located his fresh-from-varsity dental practice.


Hometown Star recipient Jim Pattison was feted by Premier John Horgan but hasn’t hire him to a top job as he did a predecessor, Glen Clark.

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STARRED: Local self-made billionaire Jim Pattison and entertainers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have received Hometown Stars from the Canada Walk of Fame organization. The local ceremony followed a flossier one in Toronto where Paul Anka and investments supremo Warren Buffett serenaded Pattison with Frank Sinatra’s My Way. Rogan and Goldberg were lauded here by fellow walk-of-famer Howie Mandel. Also by teacher Mike Keenlyside from Point Grey Secondary where their stars will be embedded. Of their alma mater, “Everybody needs to know that Seth was a dropout and didn’t graduate,” Goldberg cracked.


Entertainers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg received Canada Walk of Fame stars that will be embedded at their Point Grey Secondary alma mater.

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Howie Mandel and chef-restaurateur Vikram Vij attended a ceremony for city-raised billionaire Jim Pattison and entertainers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg.

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When John Oliver Secondary grad and legendary toiler Pattison was asked if he really ought to be at work during daylight, he replied: “The answer is: Yes.” As for working for Pattison as former NDP premier Glen Clark does, successor John Horgan said: “I’ve got a job right now, but that’s an option.” That option would doubtless pay more than his current $205,400.16 salary. Meanwhile, Horgan and others might heed Pattison’s words: “Do the little things well and the big things will follow.”


Long-time Bella Bella resident Ian McAllister directed and Seaspan principal Kyle Washington executive-produced the Great Bear Rainforest Imax film.

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BEAR FACTS: Another billionaire hit town recently. That was Seaspan Marine Corp. head Dennis Washington whose US$6-billion-range net worth is close to Pattison’s but whose 332-foot yacht Atessa IV overpowers the latter’s 150-foot Nova Spirit. Washington arrived for the premiere of Great Bear Rainforest, an Imax movie executive-produced by his son and Seaspan ULC executive chair, Kyle. Its director, Ian McAllister, met the younger Washington three years ago at a luncheon for the Pacific Wild Foundation that McAllister co-founded. Rather than conventional digital shooting, three-decade Bella Bella resident McAllister argued for Imax’s costlier 70mm film system that promises worldwide access to young audiences. The picture’s own young characters include Mercedes Robinson, who lives in 350-population Klemtu and retrieves DNA from trees where bears scratch themselves. Of her debut movie role, Robinson said: “You can get a lot of information from bears … who are guardians of the eco-system and have the ability to make it thrive and make the land more healthy.” When grown up, “I hope to provide information to the younger generation so that they protect the (bears’) territory and save it from those taking it from them.”


B.C. Women’s Hospital Foundation CEO Genesa Greening and board chair Karim Kassam fronted a $300,000 fundraiser for chronic-disease diagnosis.

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NEED FOR SPEED: B.C. Women’s Hospital Foundation president-CEO Genesa Greening and board chair Karim Kassam reported $300,000 was raised at the recent Illuminations luncheon. That’s where guests were illuminated regarding thousands of women plagued by slow-to-diagnose health concerns. A tenfold increase in research funding is said to be needed to address complex chronic diseases that are up to nine times likelier to affect women than men.


Aide de camp and former Vancouver police inspector, Bob Usui, escorted Lieutenant-Governor Jane Austin at a B.C. Women’s Hospital Foundation fundraiser.

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MEADOW MONEY: Attending the luncheon, the B.C. lieutenant-governor and former Women’s Hospital Foundation board member, Janet Austin, called the hospital’s researchers “some of the best in the world.” Then, pointing to retired Vancouver police inspector Bob Usui, who is one of her 35 ceremonial aides de camp, she told guests: “People think he is the lieutenant-governor, not me.” Her joke likely reminded some of an earlier LG, David Lam, who claimed that children sometimes misheard his title as “left-handed governor.” As for research-funding, Austin sounded in tune with rancher-predecessor Judith Guichon by saying: “Money is like manure — no good if it isn’t spread.”


Gillian Siddall was installed as president and vice-chancellor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s still-new False Creek Flats campus.

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NEW CARR: Bonhomie, not money, was spread on Great Northern Way recently with Gillian Siddall’s induction as Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s second president and vice-chancellor.  She succeeds 22-year incumbent Ron Burnett who oversaw the much-enlarged academy’s move from Granville Island.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: February 23 is International Dog Biscuit Day or, for humans taking a mouthful, World Sword Swallowers Day.

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30Nov

Town Talk: Frank Giustra’s sun-raised olive oil best kept in the dark

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Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner and production director Cesare Bianchini launched Novello di Notte extra-virgin oil that sees no light from its nighttime picking until the $65-priced stainless-steel bottles are opened.


Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner and production director Cesare Bianchini launched Novello di Notte extra-virgin oil that sees no light from its nighttime picking until the $65-priced stainless-steel bottles are opened.


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MIDNIGHT OIL: Open a $65 stainless-steel bottle of Domenica Fiore Novello di Notte extra-virgin olive oil and its 500-ml contents should blink. That’s because three varieties of olives therein were harvested from an Italian hillside in the cool of night, promptly cold-pressed, and kept in the dark ever since.

Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner and owner Frank Giustra cooked Italian meatballs at a 2017 benefit for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.


Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner and owner Frank Giustra cooked Italian meatballs at a 2017 benefit for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

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“Olive oil’s big enemy is light,” production director Cesare Bianchini said at Commercial Drive’s Caffe La Tana where he  and Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner, the former Shopping Bags TV co-host, launched Novello di Notte and $9.95 jars of Datterino tomatoes. Both come from the Umbrian operation city-based global tycoon Frank Giustra bought and named for his mother.

Craig and Marc Kielburger attended a dinner beside the Segal home's lengthy fireplace after conducting their 10th annual WE Day rally at Rogers Arena.


Craig and Marc Kielburger attended a dinner beside the Segal home’s lengthy fireplace after conducting their 10th annual WE Day rally at Rogers Arena.

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WE NIGHT: Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger welcomed 20,000 youngsters to their 10th-annual WE Day rally in  Rogers Arena, then dined with 70 adults at Lorne and Melita Segal’s Southlands home. First Lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and mother-in-law Margaret Trudeau attended by day. The latter stayed for supper chez Segal as, in earlier years, had Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and British global tycoon Sir Richard Branson.

Lorne and Melita Segal's pool is usually covered to accommodate the diners that they sat entirely indoors when hosting this year's post-WE Day event.


Lorne and Melita Segal’s pool is usually covered to accommodate the diners that they sat entirely indoors when hosting this year’s post-WE Day event.

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The Segals occupy one half of the 14,000-square-foot house and host charitable and similar events in the other. Such functions can place 150 participants on a swimming pool’s temporary transparent covering with floodlit water gurgling below. This time, guests dined wholly indoors, some close enough to a six-metre-long gas fireplace to toast their personal hams while dining on sablefish, sweet spuds and wilted spinach.

Former NFL tackle Esera Tuaolo dressed suitably Hawaiian and former CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge suitably at-home for the Segals' WE Day dinner.


Former NFL tackle Esera Tuaolo dressed suitably Hawaiian and former CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge suitably at-home for the Segals’ WE Day dinner.

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Accustomed to gridirons, gay-disclosed NFL defensive tackle, author and WE Day speaker Esera Tuaolo had a cooler seat. So did former CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge. Freed from being shaved, made up and suit-and-tied for 29 on-camera years, he’d grown grizzled white whiskers and, although furthest from it, dressed for a casual at-home night beside the fire.

Open Road chief Christian Chia's Portfolio program puts members in 25 cars from nine luxury brands with the option to change up to four times monthly.


Open Road chief Christian Chia’s Portfolio program puts members in 25 cars from nine luxury brands with the option to change up to four times monthly.

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CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS ONWARD: To launch a $2,499-to-$3,499-a-month “subscription service” for nine makes of Asian, German and British luxury cars, Open Road dealer Christian Chia had Pear Tree restaurant owner-chef Scott Jaeger prepare matching snacks. They included marinated seaweed, pork-jowl schnitzel and hash-like bubble and squeak. No raisin-and-currant-studded spotted dick pudding, though, which would have complemented the paint job on an unlamented British Hillman Imp coupe. Portfolio clients may switch between 25 models up to four times monthly while driving 2,500 km. subject to  “likely removal from the program if driving habits consisting of high volume proceed.” No Palm Springs back-and-forthing, that is.

Brig-Gen. Jack Stewart's portrait backed Vancouver Heritage Foundations' Judith Mosley and David Dodge at a Seaforth armoury event.


Brig-Gen. Jack Stewart’s portrait backed Vancouver Heritage Foundations’ Judith Mosley and David Dodge at a Seaforth armoury event.

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HERE’S TAE US: With fitting respect for accuracy, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation sidestepped evasive names to call an annual $60,000-range fundraiser City Drinks. Toasts were raised when foundation board chair David Dove and executive director Judith Mosley welcomed guests to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada’s recently renovated 1936 armory. Archivist James Calhoun spoke about the regiment’s past. Venerable artworks and artifacts displayed included a table bearing a Lewis machine gun, bagpipes and other lethal devices. Less belligerently, a large portrait depicted railway contractor turned brigadier-general Jack Stewart who commanded all Canadian and British military railway units in 1917-1918 wartime France and became the Seaforths’ honorary colonel.

Seen in 2007, producer Shawn Williamson joined reviewer-riling director Uwe Boll, who is the subject of a Whistler-premiered documentary.


Seen in 2007, producer Shawn Williamson joined reviewer-riling director Uwe Boll, who is the subject of a Whistler-premiered documentary.

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BOLL WEAVING: Uwe Boll was in Whistler recently, but not to replace the closed Bavaria restaurant with a satellite of his feted Cordova-at-Carrall Bauhaus. It was for the premiere of moviemaker Sean Patrick Shaul’s F*** You: The Uwe Boll Story. The documentary addresses the 15-or-so feature films Boll made that incensed critics but made money for, among others, Brightlight Pictures founder and former Whistler festival chair Shawn Williamson. Boll recently addressed indie filmmakers at Vancouver’s 21-year-old Celluloid Social Club that screens their productions. Some doubtless applauded his having challenged harsher reviewers to meet him in the boxing ring.

Straight Lines Designs' Judson Beaumont is one subject in Keith Cunningham's film about the 1000 Parker building and its artists and artisans.


Straight Lines Designs’ Judson Beaumont is one subject in Keith Cunningham’s film about the 1000 Parker building and its artists and artisans.

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ROSY PARKER: Director-producer Keith Cunningham’s debut feature-length documentary is about collaborative folk, not scrappers. Living History: 1000 Parker warmly examines that 105-year-old building’s past as a mattress and furniture factory. It also pictures some of the many artists and artisans there today who constitute the annual Eastside Culture Crawl’s largest participating group. Longest-term tenant Judson Beaumont established Straight Line Design in 1985 to produce child-oriented furnishings with barely a straight line in them. Cunningham hopes to film a documentary about Jacqui Cohen whose properties include the 1898 Army & Navy Stores complex and nearby 1910 Dominion Building.

Pledged to end homelessness, new mayor Gregor Robertson joined big-time home builder Terry Hui at Concord Pacific's 20th anniversary party in 2008.


Pledged to end homelessness, new mayor Gregor Robertson joined big-time home builder Terry Hui at Concord Pacific’s 20th anniversary party in 2008.

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TEN YEARS AGO: Seventeen days after being elected mayor and pledging that he and eight Vision party councillors would end homelessness, Gregor Robertson had Concord Pacific president Terry Hui greet him at the firm’s 20th anniversary party. That development company resulted from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing acquiring Expo 86’s 82-hectare False Creek site in a 1988 deal reportedly worth $145 million. Today, possibly planning to attend Concord Pacific’s 30th anniversary celebration Dec. 12, former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart has succeeded former NDP MLA Robertson. The Vision party is history, there are more homeless than ever, and Concord Pacific does multi-billion-dollar business in Canada, the U.S. and U.K.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Not all speakers deliver high fidelity.

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9Nov

Tow Talk: B.C. Cancer Foundation gala raises $4.3 million

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Wife Harpreet accompanied Bob Rai who chaired the South Asian community's Night of Miracles that reportedly raised $755,000 for the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation and a 10-year total of $5.4 million.


Wife Harpreet accompanied Bob Rai who chaired the South Asian community’s Night of Miracles that reportedly raised $755,000 for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation and a 10-year total of $5.4 million.

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INSPIRED: As the B.C. Lions readied for a final home game under coach Wally Buono on Nov. 3, no less than four galas kicked off downtown. Unlike the Leos, all were winners. The first, the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s 14th annual Inspiration gala at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, reportedly raised $4.3 million — including two $1-million donations from guests — to support blood cancer research. Tamara Taggart chaired again. She also MC’d with former CTV News at Six co-anchor Mike Killeen. He had to keep mum for two more days about his return to tube and timeslot Nov. 19 to present CBC Vancouver News with Anita Bathe. Jane Hungerford, who chaired the first Inspiration gala and five predecessor events, attended this one with lawyer-husband George. When mononucleosis sidelined him from 1964 Olympics rowing-eights competition, Hungerford joined Roger Jackson in coxless pairs. They promptly won Canada’s sole gold medal.

Founding and current Inspiration gala chairs Jane Hungerford and Tamara Taggart saw $4.3 million reportedly raised for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.


Founding and current Inspiration gala chairs Jane Hungerford and Tamara Taggart saw $4.3 million reportedly raised for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

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As a busy professional, Jill Killeen is happy that husband Mike's new gig as CBC Vancouver co-anchor will get him out of the house again.


As a busy professional, Jill Killeen is happy that husband Mike’s new gig as CBC Vancouver co-anchor will get him out of the house again.

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Rx FOR BCCHF: Down at the Marriott Pinnacle hotel, pharmacist and pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Bob Rai chaired the Night of Miracles gala that reportedly raised $755,000. Robin Dhir, who founded the event in 2009, said its South Asian community attendees have raised $5.4 million and change for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation. This year’s gala will help fund the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children Enhancement Initiative, said foundation president CEO Teri Nicholas. As for Rai’s career: “My dream was to be a pilot, but I became a pharmacist.” That may be why he and wife Harpreet named their now 10-month-old first child Amelia.

B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation CEO Teri Nicholas and board chair Lisa Hudson happily accepted the Night of Miracles gala's $755,000.


B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Teri Nicholas and board chair Lisa Hudson happily accepted the Night of Miracles gala’s $755,000.

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Cystic Fibrosis Canada regional director Sara Hoshooley feted CF patient Jeremie Saunders, 30, on his sickboypodcast.com weekly comedy.


Cystic Fibrosis Canada regional director Sara Hoshooley feted CF patient Jeremie Saunders, 30, on his sickboypodcast.com weekly comedy.

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LOOKING UP: Four rainswept blocks away in the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Cystic Fibrosis Canada regional director Sara Hoshooley saw the 65 Roses gala reportedly raise $300,000. Leona Pinsky founded the fundraiser in 2001 when her and husband Max’s infant daughter Rina contracted an ailment that once killed patients by age four. Rina is now a third-year student at the University of Victoria. Attendees were entertained by CF patient Jeremie Saunders, 30, “who had a bad scare last year, so this is my bonus time.” Saunders and friends Brian Stever and Taylor MacGillivary founded an every-Monday podcast “that speaks to anyone with a chronic or terminal ailment,” Saunders said. The surprise? “It’s a comedy show.” It sure is. Hit sickboypodcast.com to confirm that the three “are absolutely determined to break down the stigma associated with illness and disease.” That’s worth living for.

Backing Contemporary Art Gallery executive director Nigel Prince and auctioneer Hank Bull, a Myfanwy MacLeod work sold for $7,000.


Backing Contemporary Art Gallery executive director Nigel Prince and auctioneer Hank Bull, a Myfanwy MacLeod work sold for $7,000.

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The words mean Go Away in Cree on Joi T. Arcand's sculpture that Suzy Thomas wore and that fetched $1,500 at the Contemporary Art Gallery's auction.


The words mean Go Away in Cree on Joi T. Arcand’s sculpture that Suzy Thomas wore and that fetched $1,500 at the Contemporary Art Gallery’s auction.

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THE GOOD FIGHT: Up at the Rosemont Hotel Georgia, Contemporary Art Gallery president David Brown welcomed guests to a 30th annual auction that raised some $150,000. He also called the long-time event auctioneer, Hank Bull,  “encyclopedic, credible and reliable … if he says something is going for a bargain, it is, and you should bid higher without hesitation.” Bidders do heed Bull. At Arts Umbrella’s recent auction, he got $10,000 for a Christos Dikeakos print estimated at $5,300. To secure such largesse, Bull said, “My theory is that bidders should get plenty of protein.” CAG gala-goers must have been duly fortified as Cree artist Joi T. Arcand’s sculpture fetched six times its $250 estimate. With its title, Go Away, formed in Cree symbols, the black-steel work replicated street-fighting brass knuckles, thus adding illegality to its appeal.

At North Vancouver's Maplewood Flats, Jean Walton released her tale of 1970 squatter evictions and the plight of North Surrey's Bridgeview residents.


At North Vancouver’s Maplewood Flats, Jean Walton released her tale of 1970 squatter evictions and the plight of North Surrey’s Bridgeview residents.

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AUTHOR ONE: The Whalley teenager-turned-University of Rhode Island teacher Jean Walton revisited North Vancouver’s Maplewood Flats recently to release Mudflat Dreaming. Published by New Star, the book talks about 1970s squatters evicted from the present-day bird sanctuary, as well as residents and activists of North Surrey’s then-neglected Bridgeway community. Also included is the locally shot movie, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, to which some squatter-artists contributed. Walton gives her characters a proletarian gloss while detailing events as you’d expect from a former reporter on the now-defunct Surrey-Delta Messenger.

Brian Scudamore's book about his 1-800-GOT-JUNK firm's fitful progress to become a $300-million enterprise reportedly sold out at Amazon.


Brian Scudamore’s book about his 1-800-GOT-JUNK firm’s fitful progress to become a $300-million enterprise reportedly sold out at Amazon.

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AUTHOR TWO: 1-800-GOT-JUNK founder Brian Scudamore should profit from his curiously titled debut book, WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key To Success. A Canadian sell-out on Amazon, it documents his sometimes fitful progress from one clapped-out truck to a $300-million enterprise. Scudamore may benefit again when called to haul away now-read copies.

PAGE TURNED: Three years after closing its Robson-at-Howe bookstore, Indigo has reopened two-and-a-bit blocks westward. The two-floor facility includes a  Starbucks cafe and counters and shelves loaded with baby clothes, bags, blankets, board games, cameras, candles, earbuds, glasses, lotions, mugs, pillows, record players, robes, soap, spices, tableware, tea and much besides. There are books, too, along with multi-coloured woollen “reading socks” at $34.50 a pair and, for late- night readers, matching hot-water bottles. Such bazaar-style merchandising would have amused the late Bill Duthie, who in 1957 opened the first and best of his peerless bookstores half way between the Indigo outlets. Duthie might have appreciated modern-day Indigo’s glasses for beverages sourced at his era’s across-the-street liquor store, but he’d have lamented the absence of ashtrays.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Live, feel dawn, see sunset glow, love and be loved … in Flanders fields.

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