So the problem is when there’s not a lot going on I don’t have anything to report, and when there are goings on I’m too busy to write about them. The next thing I know, it’s been over a year since my last blog post.
We made a movie! Well, Trish and Step made a movie, but I worked on it in several different capacities. It’s a documentary called “Save Space Nugget” and it’s about how life in Cumberland is informed by the forest. Part of the thrill of working on the movie was having a key to the yellow gate, which allowed us to drive our vehicles onto the logging roads. It felt like having a key to the world. We had a sad and enthralling visit to a clear cut on the mountain overlooking the village. Mike Hamilton of Hamilton logging dropped by in his personal helicopter and gave the camera crew a ride.
The project was fun because it connected us with so many locals, (and the film crew was great, as well, which always makes it less stressful). One of my jobs on the movie was archival research, and I enjoyed that very much. I spent time at the Cumberland Museum and Archives digging through files and finding pictures of iconic buildings from the ’90’s so we could contrast them with how they look today, and did internet research which resulted in going to Denman Island to go through the material at Denman Conservancy (thank you, John Millen) There I found video footage of the controversial Denman Island clear cut, and was able to find the man who took the video and get permission to use it. This was gold! You can watch the movie and see why. Also cry. Well, you don’t have to cry but I do every time.
Step’s band Phat Tank produced a show, the first since the 2005 Phat Tank in Space show, called Phat Tank fights the Monster God. As the production designer I went for a kind of gay nightclub in the ’80’s sort of look. In the show the Monster God steals a baby and the baby becomes the monster, so I made a giant baby head mask which I like to believe is creepy. Cathy helped me with this project as she has made many masks and sometimes does mask making workshops. Ahmad made the shirts the Phat Tank wore. I designed the merch shirts that Phat Tank sold, but we would have done better to make a lot of the Phat Tank stage shirts because many asked if they could buy one. I also designed my first ever silk screen poster! We got all the silk screening done at Wachiay Studio at the Wachiay Friendship Centre. Andy, who runs the silk screen studio, is a world renowned screener and my friend Rowan works there and she gave me personal assistance. I ran into artists I knew coming and going from Wachiay and I look forward to future projects with them.
Phat Tank Fights the Monster God did a mini tour of Cumberland, Victoria, and Vancouver. Meaghan enjoyed it so much she asked them to headline the closing night of Elevate the Arts, which they did in Sims Alley outside. It was magical.
Speaking of Elevate the Arts, Meaghan invited me to do some curation for 2017, specifically some theatre stuff for one of the venues and I also suggested bringing in Stephen Hamm, One Man Band. He plays a keyboard and a theramin and writes original songs, and he and Cathy did a piece where she improvised dance to his playing. The theatre stuff was one improv show (more on that in a future post) a couple stand up comedy things that I asked a guy named James to arrange, and one karaoke night. It mostly went okay except one of the stand-ups got booed. You must ask yourself, as a stand-up, is the underlying premise of my jokes that female bodies are gross and disgusting, and how many feminists and lesbians, (or indeed, non-misogynists) are in the audience tonight? I am person who has seen more than her share of young male amateur comedians, and I believe asking themselves this question would be quite useful to many of them.
The visiting visual artist for Elevate the Arts this year was Jim Cummins, aka I, Braineater, and as Jim and I go way back this was personally gratifying. We bought one of his landscapes and he came over for brunch; a lovely catch-up with ketchup, as it were.
We missed Parade Day, one of our favourite days in the Village, because Sara turned 40 and we had to go to celebrate in Sooke. It was my first time in Sooke and I can understand why it is so popular with vacationers. Davis I caught a crab and we boiled it.
If you like really good folk music that is smart, catchy, and personal, buy the album “mememe” by Corwin Fox.