Posted by: Gala Milne on February 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

We’ve been noticing an insurgence in activism across the city recently. Between resistance to the Endbridge pipeline, opposition to bill C-30, we’re wondering if Vancouverites are getting a little more riled up than usual? If so, we think it’s a riveting quality. This week’s MOVments reflect your inner-activist’s voice, and some neat public art!

Hand Vote from Vancouver Art GalleryAccording to Ontario, a three-bedroom house in Vancouver can be rented for a mere $621/month! Thankfully Vancouver’s Seth Klein and the CCPA are around to give Canadians the real facts on poverty and livability in the city. Interestingly, Metro Vancouver is hosting a “Sustainability Community Breakfast” on affordable housing next week as part of their series. Soon, you may actually need these “food for thought” breakfasts, considering the outlook of the recently released provincial budget.

If you’re a tweeter, you’ve probably been following the hashtag #TellVicEverything with much laughter over the last week. Smiles aside, Bill C-30 is a serious issue that has a lot of Canadians up in arms.

A new art installation on the theme of democracy is now set up outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s called Hand Vote, and it gets our vote.

Equally outspoken is this temporary urban garden from Spain. The posting is a few months old, but quite beautiful and reminds us that tonight, the Re:Generation public dialogue continues on the theme of sustainability and Zero Waste. January’s talk on transit was really engaging and Wednesday’s talk is likely to impress!

A new radio show titled The City is now airing on UBC’s community radio station, CiTR. The City will look at urban issues ranging from housing policy to food security.

Lastly, our favourite cycling magazine, Momentum, is hiring an online editor!

At the MOVeum: Food, Energy, and Community Resiliency talk February 28th

[Photo Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery] ]]]]

Posted by: Gala Milne on February 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Communist Valentine's Day cardsLoved or loathed, it’s Valentines Day. While we work out our stance on ‘v-day’, one thing we do believe in at the MOV is reaching out, establishing new relationships, and constantly searching for that human connection. Since some shred of you likely believes in that too, we suggest you catch the final week of A Craigslist Cantata performed at the Arts Club Theatre by our friend Veda Hille.

On Loving… Vancouver Tourism has a new promotional tactic: high def music videos with local musicians. The video has some gorgeous panoramas of Vancouver – we’re wondering - does it has you convinced?

On loathing… The Dependent Magazine has released an in-depth portrayal of the Vancouver Sun’s Centennial Anniversay over the weekend. Apparently the ‘newspaper’ has some dark times in its history.

On leaving… Off to the Silicon Valley? We’re constantly interested in Vancouver’s ability to attract and produce a lot of talent. Apparently, according to the Tyee, we haven’t quite found an anchor to keep our entrepreneurs within city limits.

But maybe all that will change in the video game version of Future-Vancouver, wherein, 176 years from now, BC place transforms into a giant robotic spider to overtake our valiant heroes. Watch out!

This reminds us of a February 2012 depiction of Vancouver by Emily Carr students. The animated, Many Worlds, installation is currently up at video display terminals along the Canada Line.

Upcoming MOVeum: Catch Veda Hille here on March 30th for Songs of the False Creek Flats

[Image credit to Lauren Hyde]

Posted by: Gala Milne on February 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Public spaceSunny days have struck the city, slowly filling up parks and bike routes as we seek out that elusive vitamin D. Different story for Europe, however. Record-breaking temperature lows are sweeping westward and causing much grief for the continent.

The good weather might even have you brainstorming fun summer building projects, in which case you might be interested in applying for a VIVA Vancouver public space invigoration grant. Ever been to the “Parallel Park” bench on Main and E.14th? Your proposal could easily be the next best sidewalk extension project. Applications due Feb 14!

In harmony, Douglas Coupland is urging us to break free from our conservative cloaks:

“My own theory about Vancouver is that we’re all at our best when we’re experimenting with new ideas, and we’re at our worst when we ape the conventions of other places.” He said at the Cities Summit last week.

The Vancouver Design Nerds are listening, and they want you to help them transform Vancouver’s public spaces this Thursday evening at City Studio. And you really should – if only to partake in a “Nerd Jam”. Our MOV Youth Council had the chance to hang out with the Design Nerds last spring and ended up yarnbombing the crab outside the MOV!

Still not convinced that there are people trying to create opportunities for creativity? Last on our list this week, DOXA International Film Festival has just released their call for young women to participate in the Youth Connexions Forum, which offers two weeks of intensive film workshops in the beginning of May. At the MOV, we can’t stress enough the importance of being able to tell a good story, and certainly encourage you to apply. Here is one of our fave short doxa flicks: Love Life

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Citizen mapping, an idea we’ve become very fond of at the MOV, is ‘changing the story of our lives’ according to Spacing magazine. Where traditionally, the way we visualize our surroundings has been left to government entities, community groups are coming together en masse to reconsider the way we value our mapped spaces. Did you contribute to the MOV’s storymap?

For public space fanatics, a map of Vancouver’s pedestrian hotspots would likely garner a lot of interest. The Atlantic Cities shows us what photos can teach us about walkability.

Going out on a limb here, but perhaps increased walkability could also be a starting point to answer Andrew Yan’s question of “How can Vancouver change from a city of strangers into a city of citizens?” The BTA Works researcher observes that just 41% of Vancouver residents were born in BC, and this means finding common ground is a challenge.

Back to Basics? What if each little neighborhood in the city had it’s own hearty bread maker?  Here’s an eye-candy-licious video of a lovely artisanal baker in the Sonoma Valley..

Vancouver’s budget is yours to decide. The City is asking for your opinions on the 2012 operating budget. Kind of nice of them to ask, hey?

In our humble opinion, increased investment into collaborative spaces, like City Studio, where innovative ideas transform waste (literally) into a greener future, would suit us just fine. In tune with this, watch out for a Vancouver Cities Summit spearheaded by the Vision team.

SHOUT-OUT To Illustrated Vancouver, (see adjacent image) for providing many of us at MOV with daily artistic inspiration on Vancouver’s past. We particularly like the images of Hotel Vancouver.

At the MOVeum: NEON Vancouver Curator’s Talk and Tour w/ Joan Seidl - Thursday Feb 2
Around the MOVeum: CREATIVE Mornings @ W2 w/ Gagan Deish  - Friday Feb 3
+ SPACING Magazine release party at Canvas Lounge - Friday Feb 3

[photos via Vancouver Public Space Network & Illustrated Vancouver]

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Many would say that Nature had it right, and that she’d be much better off environmentally speaking, without human interference. However, since we’ve now burned through the industrial revolution and now find ourselves struggling for solutions to house a human population boasting 7-10 billion by 2050, architects, and scientists alike are asking, “Should design imitate nature?”

BuiltCity talk at MOVFor the third and final installation of the MOV’s BuiltCity talks (with Architecture Canada), “Nature, Urban Space, & Biomimicry” Thomas Knittel of HOK and Dr. Faisal Moola, Director of Science at the David Suzuki Foundation responded with a resounding “Yes!”

With close to 80% of Canadians living in cities, and largest population booms expected right here in Vancouver (and Montreal/Toronto), it’s clear that our developmental policy needs change. As Faisal emphasized in his talk, “with scarce resources and little guidance, municipal governments are charged with developing and enforcing many of the policies and programs necessary to ensure that urban development doesn’t consume what’s left of the natural world closest to home.”

HOK Biomimicry

For Thomas, this means moving away from a model of simply reducing harmful developmental practices, towards a model of positive impact. At HOK, they’re focusing on a few key principles, based on examples from the natural world. Take, for example, the delicate bones of a vulture's wing, which can be mimicked in the structural design of a building’s framework to concentrate material where it is needed most, and reduce waste elsewhere.

As exemplified by this orphanage built in Haiti, whose design mimics the function of a forest canopy, HOK calls this process a Fully Integrated System (FIT).

The evening’s lecture was a unique contrast in perspective, pairing Knittel’s practical experience, with Moola’s policy/natural capital point of view. 

Natural capital stocks

Pointing to another HOK project in Lavasa, India, Thomas spoke to how, recognizing the ecological performance standards of a region are key to the FIT model of development, which aim to create the best social, economic, and environmental capacity of design. For example, if a desert plant grows in a way which provides a degree of self-shading, water storage, and a balance between overheating and sun collection for transpiration during cool nights, why wouldn’t a building in the desert follow similar principles?

Following the presentations from Knittel and Moola, there was an interactive discussion, moderated by Ray Cole. Questions were raised about the ability to distinguish between simply a ‘beautification’ vs. ‘biodiversity’-enhancing project; audience members wondered what the most important area of policy change to push forward to encourage the practice of biomimicry; and some technical discussion emerged around the limits to a biomimicry-styled design process? Is it simply the next trend? Overall, it was agreed that we cannot place the same design demands on all buildings. Warehouses, schools, factories and houses have different requirements and restraints, exactly the same way ecological life has more and less generous players. A sustainable future must recognize that complexity.

Ray Cole, professor at the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and co-founder of the Green Building Challenge, summed up the evening stating that we as humans have been more demanding than nature itself, and that the positive messaging of biomimicry and ideas of nature for enhancing life is the type of powerful point that will sow seeds for the fundamental will to change.

UP NEXT: While the BuiltCity lecture series has wrapped up for now, the MOV has a stellar lineup of architectural and planning-based dialogue planned with the upcoming SALA Speaks series taking place every Sunday in March at the Museum of Vancouver.  


[Photos by Hanna Cho and Gala Milne // Images courtesy Thomas Knittel and Faisal Moola]

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Take Down The Giant Sign Now – a demand, yes, but also the name of a very concerned group of residents urging for the removal of the bright and blaring 1500 sq foot signs outside newly minted BC place. At MOV, it sounds very reminiscent of the storyline of our current exhibit, Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver. Except we probably won’t be celebrating the anniversary of digital signs in the same nostalgic way we look at Vancouver’s chic old neon signage. Happy birthday, neon tube!

In other land-use matters, things are heating up in Mt Pleasant too. The Rize development is hearing a lot of negative feedback from neighborhood residents worried about the future of affordability in the eastside; a frustration which, apparently, dates back centuries in our fair city.

Token words? A small, yet audacious, mayor and council on Vancouver Island is challenging the current legislation and casting a broad political net for the decriminalization of marijuana. We’d love your thoughts on this! While you’re debating the challenges and benefits, take a listen to up-and-coming, Pleasure Cruise, a brand new local indie-surf rock band. One thing's for sure, this city doesn’t lack artistic merit.

And neither does this museum in London, which is unveiling the world’s largest pieces of cloth made from spider silk.

MOVeum-related event: Re:generation – How we Move our City, Wednesday January 25.

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

If you’re anything like us, this week your social media feeds are full of black and white images of Dr. Martin Luther King II, and segments of the “I have a dream” video. At MOV we’re happy to celebrate the birthday of this influential man with the re-posting of an interview with Vancouver’s Derrick O’Keefe and a colleague of Dr. King’s, Jack O’Dell.

Our own living legend, David Suzuki, keeps the fight for equity alive in a letter to the federal Conservatives regarding the northern pipeline project, being pushed through without proper environmental assessment and community collaboration. A controversial issue in a city heavily populated by both industry workers and environmentalists.

…And arts-&-culture-workers! At the MOV we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the provincial Liberals as the decisions over gaming grants and their allocation to arts groups develops. I wonder… would gaming grants cover the costs for a gondola to the museum? Probably not, but it’s a neat (and expensive) idea for the ever-burgeoning life atop Burnaby Mountain.

Participants of a CUP student journalism conference in Victoria drummed up some good material this past weekend, as many were affected by a norovirus outbreak!

Apples to apples? A great podcast from This American Life this week, exposing the inner-workings of your iphone.

And if you’re looking for a way to get to know the Year of the Dragon, Sun Yat Sen gardens has a special exhibition of water dragon artifacts on now.

At the MOVeum: This week: BuiltCity Lecture Series: Nature, Urban Space & Biomimicry – Thursday January 19 // On the radar: History of the Drive – January 26

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Horse and buggy illustration (old school transit)New years resolution? Maybe do go for that jog and get your bum muscles prepared for some cycle commuting. Seems BC transit wants to increase our already ridiculously high bus fare rates, while elsewhere, innovative small businesses are figuring out ways to implement a bike sharing system in Vancouver that is conducive to our mandatory helmet laws.

Or – you can just take your laughs while you still can, and ride around public transit with your pants off until they listen!

It might even help you swing some romance in the so-called ‘cruel’ dating world of Vancouver. A recent article in VanMag has facebook and twitter alight with cat vs. dog understandings of what it’s like to find love in the city of glass. Reminds me of those videos we made a few years back citing the MOV as the perfect place for a date. What are your thoughts?

Up North, BC First Nations in Kitimaat Village, Hartley Bay, The Dogwood Initiative, and other so called “radical environmentalists” (as named by the Tories this week), are standing up for the future of their communities and the environment by participating loudly in the Northern Gateway hearings.

Down to the lower mainland, Vancouver Coastal Health is strongly considering the addition of supervised injection services at a number of its clinics.

Lastly, for a touch of mid-week inspiration, check out this rather inspiring list of the top 5 life wishes people regret during palliative care.

At the MOVeum: Come check out Neon Vancouver/ Ugly Vancouver!

(photo credit: B.C. Electric files at the Vancouver Archives.)

Posted by: Gala Milne on December 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

It’s five days before “the big day” and you’re traveling home, cooking feasts, and franticly overspending on the perfect gift. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some kind of alternatives?Vancouver tool library

Folks in New York are sharing a few thrifty secrets with us: toy-sharing, tree-loaning, and tool-lending  are all the rage this year. Luckily for you, Vancouver has it’s own tool library.

Never really warmed up to the idea of tofurkey? Still looking for a holiday-bird alternative? Some careful digging on The Tyee tells us that 2012 might be the year we look forward to Schmeat, meat of the future. Once you realize how tasty it is you’ll be saying…

“All I want for xmas is my two front teeth!” However, the Federal government has just announced an early gift to Canadians: reduced health care transfer to the provinces! Ontario claims this will remove $21 billion in health care funding over the next 10 years and 8.2bn for Ontario alone. Maybe we’d better stay away from those shortbreads for a while.

For those of us who aren’t skipping town this week, this fantastic 1960’s Vancouver tourism video will have you know that Vancouver was the most happenin’ place for a date. On the other hand, maybe you’re stuck with a household of sibling rivalry this winter. In which case we’ve selected a podcast on “Nemeses” from This American Life to stick under your tree.

From the MOVeum: All the best and see you in the New Year!

Posted by: Gala Milne on December 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Moon cycleChocolates and shortbreads aside, we’ve selected a few tasty stories for you to chew this week as many of us prepare for winter hibernation in Vancouver. Unless, of course, you’re one of the many who aren’t so keen to kick it in this increasingly unlivable city. Vancouver is now deemed the 22nd ‘most livable’ city in Canada in ratio to family income. With the giant sea turtles washing ashore in Tofino and bears getting caught in our urban spaces, it seems even our wildlife can't survive long in the city.

Last refuge: space! For those of us awake Saturday morning at 5am, you might have been lucky to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse.

As forewarned, bright and early Monday morning, Occupy The Ports was carried out to varying degrees from Oakland to Portland to Vancouver, without the support of labour unions, and without much disturbance to regular port traffic in Vancouver

Calling all birders. Bird photographers are out in force and capturing their imagination is the impressive number of snowy owls that have made their appearance at Boundary Bay. Some 18 have been spotted at one time perched on logs and in the grasslands. It’s tough to see snowy owls any time of the year, let alone 18 in one place. They’ll be around all winter, but better to catch them now while they’re being seen.

Near the MOVeum: Migrating birds dropping in on Vancouver are at their height in December. A walk around Vanier Park (in Kitsilano) or Stanley Park will offer a lot of diversity, more so than any other time of year. Come visit the last weeks of while you're in the neighborhood, and maybe you'll spot the eagle that enjoys sitting on our roof!

[photo credit: "9//365", by Jeremy Saunders; "Winking Snowy Owl", by Pandamon via flickr]



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