Toronto doctor Gary Bloch is making a house call to Vancouver this week, and he’s come armed with a prescription for poverty
New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.
The research at Washington…
On Aug. 17, Winnipeg police pulled the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine out of the Red River near Alexander Docks.
The scope of the tragedy prompted Holly Jarret of Hamilton, Ont. — cousin to Loretta Saunders, an indigenous woman who was murdered in February at age 26 — to launch the #AmINext hashtag earlier this month.
For kids who want to kick out the jams, or watch their friends kick out said jams, the options in Vancouver are few. The vast majority of music venues in Vancouver serve alcohol and are only open to those 19 years and older, and what underage venues do exist are often less than legitimate.
That’s why a group of local community-minded musicians and music lovers have set out to create an all-ages music venue where budding musicians and young people could have a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment to create and experience live music.
The Safe Amplification Society has been putting on all-ages shows at their rented Commercial and Venables location for the past year and a half, as well as workshops teaching kids how to put together their own magazine and screen print their own shirts.
The group’s directors are now hoping to find a permanent, subsidized home with the help of the City of Vancouver, and Vancouver voters.
Ryan McCormick is one of Safe Amp’s directors, and says the non-profit society is hoping the City of Vancouver considers including the group’s proposal for a permanent all-ages music and cultural centre in the city’s 2015-2018 capital plan, which will be voted on as part of the municipal election on Nov. 15.
Currently Safe Amp rents space at Astorino’s banquet hall from the Britannia Community Centre, and must pay market rental prices. As a result, the non-profit society has to rely completely on its 100-person-strong volunteer base to put on shows and run the space.
“Imagine a library, where all the librarians are volunteers, and the librarians then have to pay to market rent to keep the library open,” says McCormick. “The sheer volume of volunteer hours is really important to recognize, but you can’t rely on that forever.”
Safe Amp has put together a feasibility study for a permanent home, and it is the group’s hope the City of Vancouver will lease them one of the many city-owned buildings at well below market value.
McCormick said the ideal space would be close to secondary schools and public transit, and be in a neighbourhood where loud music would occasionally be tolerated.
Director Mark Pickersgill says having a permanent, affordable home would make the organization sustainable, giving Vancouver’s kids a safe place to experience music for years to come.
“The majority of the community see a benefit to what we do,” he says. “It’s a positive outlet.”
Volunteer coordinator Jessi Zapton says having paid staff would also allow Safe Amp to expand their workshop and after-school programming.
Inclusion in the 2015-2018 capital plan is just the first step, however. The plan will need to be approved by voters on Nov. 15.
“We have skate parks, and basketball courts, but I think an all-ages music venue is something the people of Vancouver would like to see,” says McCormick.
The Dreamer pedestal, Clark Drive, 2010
You may have heard of the giant devil-with-a-boner statue that mysteriously appeared atop this abandoned pedestal on Clark Drive at Grandview Highway North, and which was removed by the City today. The history of this site is similarly interesting/funny, particularly what happened to the original Columbus statue installed here in 1986:
[I]n the spring of 2000, the Columbus statue was stolen in the dead of night during the period when the Italian Garden at Hastings Park was being designed and spearheaded by parks commissioner Allan De Genova, now a member of the Confratellanza.
Rumour has it that prominent members of the Italian community were involved in the caper, determined to find a better home for the sculpture. De Genova says he doesn’t know who took it, but points out the Italian community and Confratellanza were divided over whether it should remain at the Clark Drive site or be moved.
He recalls what happened several months after the theft, before the Italian Garden’s official opening. “A number of [parks] staff were standing at the garden as it was just being finished and this white van pulls up and all of a sudden out comes this statue. They bring it over to a podium and start bolting it down,” De Genova says. “Everyone was a little surprised. All of a sudden this mysterious statue showed up. There was a police investigation, I even got called by the police wanting to know how it disappeared. It was quite the thing. All of a sudden it showed up and some guys got out of a van and they started bolting it down and then drove off.”
The Vancouver Police Department couldn’t track down old reports about the incident for the Courier. Holmes suspects police simply dropped the matter. “It was buried. I think it was just, ‘Shut up and let it appear.’ I think the police left it alone and let the Italian community figure it all out,” he says. “They have more pressing issues. Maybe they thought if nobody from the Branca family or the Confratellanza were really pursuing it, what are they going to do. So it all just came out right_ The statue is now where it should be and let’s just let it rest and leave it there.”
Source: Photo by me; quote and the full story by Naoibh O’Connor from the Vancouver Courier, 28 June 2006, via the WayBack Machine
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