The Queer Arts Festival WICKED takes place July 16-26, 2020 online, with 11 days of events, which are all by donation. WICKED reimagines identity politics, exposing the implications of homonormativity as erasure.
I had the opportunity to speak with acclaimed dance artist Noam Gagnon, who over the course of his career, has helped push Canadian dance into the forefront of the international stage. Now during this time of COVID-19 and an evolving arts media landscape, artists like Noam are looking at their mediums and methods in a new light.
My Zoom experience will never be the same. I logged on and met Noam for a chat to talk about his rehearsal, his show, and the Queer Arts Festival.
“It’s been a very productive period for me,” Noam told me right off the bat. “I feel lucky that I am working on a solo because the last piece I was working on was with 10 amazing young dancers. So, to be able to work on a solo right now is a perfect opportunity.” In This Crazy Show he says he will be dancing with “me, myself and I” … and about 16 disco balls.
The Show was originally produced in 2016 as Noam’s swan song, and it was the last time he danced. The extremely fit 50-something who dances like a 30-something, thanks to his pilates practice and choreography career (see: photo above), said that getting his body back into the groove for dance was a process in itself.
I’ve had Stanley Park in my backyard for the last 15 years and walking its 20km+ trail network is a favourite pastime (see: this post, this one, and this one). Following that hike up with a pint from the Prospect Point Cafe, which is now open again, is another favourite.
The great thing about Stanley Park’s trails is that they’re all on Google Maps, so really, you don’t need this blog post for me. However if you’re reading this, you probably Googled how to walk to Prospect Point so I shall deliver instructions based on some of my favourite paths:
How to Walk to Prospect Point
From the Second Beach – Bridle Path Distance: 2.5km Elevation Gain: 60m Estimated Walk Time: 33 mins This is probably the most direct route since the Bridle Path will take you almost the whole way, it just dips to the right where it turns into the Prospect Point Trail at the top. The Bridle Path starts right behind the Second Beach Concession, on the other side of Park Drive. Bridle Path will get you there from a few other entry points.
The Britannia Mine Museum summer exhibit explores the antimicrobial properties of copper and how it has been used in the battle against superbugs and other diseases throughout history.
Britannia Mine Museum Summer Exhibit – Copper: Bug Buster
“Copper: Bug Buster” launches Saturday, July 18th (until Sunday, September 13th) inside the Museum’s Machine Shop and delves into copper’s bug busting capabilities and the role it played in medicine as an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal metal. For over three thousand years, civilizations around the world have used copper and its minerals in health remedies. The exhibit also asks the question whether copper can be used to help in the battle against COVID-19.
“Our Museum’s curator and her team assembled some fascinating facts and science about the antimicrobial properties of copper, and how the metal has played a role in medicine throughout history,” says Kirstin Clausen, Executive Director of the Britannia Mine Museum. “We felt it was fitting, since the Britannia Mine was a copper mine.”
Here are some interesting facts about copper that the exhibit will explore:
In ancient Egypt, green mineral malachite (copper carbonate) was ground up and used as an eye makeup, and supposedly also prevented eye infections.
Another treatment speaks of soldiers in battle having wounds sterilized with malachite.
The Incas disinfected wounds with gauze soaked in copper sulphate solution.
The Aztecs gargled with a copper solution to treat sore throats.
In ancient Greece, they recorded the first use of copper bracelets for arthritis.
In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder’s works recorded around one hundred and fifty copper-based remedies, and skin conditions and tonsillitis were said to be treated.
In modern times, research has shown that when a virus or bacteria lands on copper, the metal releases electrically charged particles, which destroys the cell membrane, then the DNA and RNA inside.
Copper has also been proven to kill Ebola, MRSA, E. coli and norovirus. A recent study found that SARS-CoV-2 – the virus causing COVID-19 – lasted only four hours on a copper surface compared with 48 hours on stainless steel or 72 hours on plastic. Could copper be useful in the fight against COVID-19?
The Britannia Mine Museum is currently open to the public with appropriate COVID-19 safety measures and procedures in place. This includes enhanced staff training, opening with limited attendance and tour sizes, advanced ticketing and reservation required, accommodating appropriate physical distancing, and implementing site sanitation protocols.
Operating hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm with limited guided tours and BOOM! showings in order to maintain proper physical distancing. Check the Museum’s website for specific tour times and to purchase tickets in advance.
Visitors can enjoy fun, educational exhibits, attractions and crowd favourites, like:
BOOM! Mill Show: A live-action, multi-sensory special effects experience that brings the historic 20-storey Mill building back to life, transporting visitors back in time to the 1920s when the Mine was booming as the largest copper producer in the British Commonwealth.
Historic Mill Building: A National Historic Site and one of the last remaining gravity-fed concentrator mills in North America, the 20-storey Mill building has been the symbol of Britannia throughout the years. Restored in 2007, each of the 14,416 panes of glass was hand-puttied into the frames to maintain its heritage and the building can be seen from miles away on the Sea-to-Sky highway.
Underground Mine & Train Ride: A memorable underground train that takes visitors deep inside a mining tunnel where they will experience what life was like for miners in the 70 years Britannia existed as a mine.
Beaty-Lundin Visitor Centre: The central exhibit hall that houses several mining displays, a mineral gallery, theatre space, and gift shop.
Machine Shop – The 1908 Machine Shop is home to a number of historic machines and equipment donated by mining companies from across the country.
The Britannia Story Building – A fully restored heritage building that features the stories of the Britannia Beach community ranging from love letters and antiques to historic photos and videos of former Copper Queens, showcasing what life was like in the old mining town.
Gold Panning Area – A scenic boardwalk and cedar-post covered area where people can spend hours panning for gems and real gold.
Follow the Britannia Mine Museum on Facebook and Twitter for updates. The Museum is located right off the Sea to Sky Highway at 1 Forbes Way, Britannia Beach.
Enter to Win an Annual Family Pass
I have a family pass to give away! It includes admission for 2 adults and 3 children (value $160) that is good for unlimited visits for the year. Here’s how you can enter to win:
It’s time to test your tuneful knowledge through six rounds of topics that include everything from Rock n’ Roll to Movie Soundtracks. The Trivia Music Fest is a fun night in on Friday, July 24th supporting supporting BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.
Trivia Music Fest for a Cause
When: July 24, 2020 Where: Online! Register here for $20 to participate
This is the second in the three-part online trivia summer series which is raising funds for Guide Dogs, Autism Service Dogs and PTSD Service Dogs for those in need.
About BC & Alberta Guide Dogs
BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is a registered charity that breeds, raises and professionally trains Guide Dogs for individuals who are blind or visually-impaired, Autism Service Dogs for children ages 3-10 with autism and their families, and PTSD Service Dogs for Veterans and First Responders living with an Operational Stress Injury. It takes two years and upwards of $35,000 to produce one certified dog, provided free of charge to the recipient.
Now that restrictions are being slowly lifted, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is cautiously returning to physically-distanced, in-person puppy training with group and individual sessions. For more information and updates, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.
Miss604 is a proud media sponsor of this virtual event series (June, July and August 2020).
“Many outdoor enthusiasts are looking to the North Shore Mountains for hiking especially Dog Mountain on Mt Seymour…. but there is more to explore than just a simple overused trail!” The message introduced Alex Douglas.
For forty years Alex has lived atop Mt Seymour. An explorer, an educator and an avid outdoorsman, he has made a home for himself in one of the last remaining cabins on the mountain. In the short film Echoes Across Seymour, which premiered at the Beautiful BC Showcase during the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival in 2019, Alex hopes to inspire a new generation to appreciate the mountain he calls home.
Mt Seymour History Tours
When the resort opened in 1938 local skiers began building cabins to stay in during the winter season. At its peak there were more than 300 cabins on the mountain while today only ten are still standing.
“It would be nice if more people knew that these are probably more interesting. I hope to encourage people to collect the history, go for a walk in the woods.”
Alex’s passion for preserving the history of the mountain permeates every aspect of his life. He spends his days educating the public and exploring the hills for remnants of the forgotten cabins that once dominated the landscape.
With a watchful eye and a curious mind, ‘Uncle Al’ has discovered dozens of abandoned cabin sites and put together an impressive collection of artifacts found on his adventures.
“If I didn’t start this 30 years ago, I think there would be quite a few pioneers whose stories would have just gone off into the ether,” Alex says in the film.
“I guess my biggest worry, and that’s what I say to people that do my hikes or that I meet, it’s is not that I want it, I just don’t want you to throw it away. So your dad’s or your grandfather’s or grandmother’s albums, photo albums, etc. when they finally move out of their old house and you’re rummaging through the basement – an old pair of wood skis – you know it’s just two pieces of wood but it maybe tells a story. A little thing can tell a very long story.
You can watch the film (above) and help support Alex’s efforts to preserve the history of the Mt Seymour area online here.
Due to COVID-19 the Uncle Al’s Cabin Tours have been on hold, but you can contact Alex to inquire about private history tours for six people or less. He has also setup a Pop-Up Museum set up in the back of the AAC building, and encourages you to call him to book a visit.
Follow the Mt Seymour History Project on Facebook for info.
The mountainous terrain of Mount Seymour Provincial Park can be extremely rugged and unforgiving. Park visitors accessing any of the terrain in this park should be experienced and properly equipped. Anyone planning to travel overnight or even for just a few hours, should inform a friend or family member of their intended route and anticipated return time. A good trip planning form and additional information about what to bring on your trip can be found on the AdventureSmart website.