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January 2012 Archives

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Featured Guests:

Fred Wah: Parliamentary Poet Laureate

Fred Wah is an award winning poet, author, editor and teacher and our new Parliamentary Poet Laureate for Canada. He is the second British Columbian chosen for the appointment. (George Bowering was the first ever PPL a few years back)

It was great to have a chance to talk to Fred about poetry.  His passion for writing is apparent, as is his thoughtful approach and his sense of humor!  And he surprised me with his reaction to his first writing assignment in his new role.

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Fred Wah

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Hans Berg in the Almost Famous Chef competition

Hans Berg is a culinary student in Vancouver who planned to become an engineer. But some travel and a few restaurant jobs caused him to rethink that plan and turn to culinary arts instead!

He's off to Toronto this week to compete in the semi finals of the Almost Famous Chef . For the past weeks he's been practicing his dish, with one arm in a cast!

For the competition the student chefs were asked to develop and cook a dish.  Hans, who is from Norway, chose to create something that he might be eating there this time of year which lead him to work with cod fish and root vegetables.

Hans Berg's cod dish for competition


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David Alexander: The Shape of Place

Artist David Alexander has travelled the world in his on-going search for inspiration for his landscape painting. He's ended up in some pretty interesting and remote locations, including Baffin Island, Orkney Island and Iceland. 
There is a big collection of David Alexander's work, dating back more than 30 years, at the Kelowna Art Gallery until March 25th.  It's titled The Shape of Place.  As well the Gallery has produced a lovely book with essays, interviews and images to go along with the exhibit.

Build Up Over Terrace Mountain/ David Alexander




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Featured Guests:

No Sinner

Colleen Rennison
The band No Sinner has been creating a buzz around Vancouver for the past few months following the release of their first single Boo Hoo Hoo.  Lead singer Colleen Rennison is a powerhouse whose voice is drawing comparisons to Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse.

Colleen has been on stage, as an actor, since she was a child.  It was few years back, while living in New York, that she decided to change tracks and throw herself into making music. And what music she's making!

No Sinner plays in Victoria at the Strathcona Hotel on Feb. 2 and in Vancouver at the Biltmore Cabaret on Feb. 3
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Chef Bruce:

Chef Bruce; Oats!

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Just in time for those late Robbie Burns Day celebrations, Chef Bruce (of Bruce's Kitchen on Salt Spring Island) has some great ideas for cooking with oats, and some surprises!
Click on the "read more" link to get to the recipe page.

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Featured Guests:

Larry Wong: Dim Sum Stories

Larry Wong recreates the Vancouver Chinatown of his childhood in his memoir Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood.   Larry's life long friend, author Wayson Choy says "Not a word is wasted. You'll want to read it twice."   I agree.  In the pages of his book Larry offers wonderful glimpses into his childhood in the 1940's and 50's and at the same time captures a social and cultural history of the neighborhood.

Larry and his father


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Canada Reads Writing Contest

Two of the five books in this year's Canada Reads battle of the books are from BC! JOhn Vaillant's The Tiger and Carmen Aguirre's Something Fierce.  On NXNW we're celebrating with a write in contest, featuring your true stories!

We'll name 6 winners and each will get a full set of the Canada Reads books for this year.

Here are the rules:

A story 400 words or less about your encounter with an animal or about a time you experienced personal danger.

Entries must be in by midnight January 29th.

You can email to nxnw (at) cbc.ca


Good Luck!

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Featured Guests:

Heidi Cave: Fancy Feet

I first heard Heidi Cave in a little interview on a CBC Radio show just before Christmas. She was helping with a fund raising campaign for a city hospital and on the broadcast she told a bit of her own reason for doing so.  And what a story it was! 

When she was in her early 20's Heidi was in a very serious car crash.  After that she spent months in hospital recovering from very serious burns and the loss of both of her feet. She endured months of pain and uncertainty but she pushed through it all and now wants to reach out to other people who are facing such personal challenges.

She writes a regular blog about her experiences and it will tell you something about her spirit when I tell you that her blog is titled Fancy Feet! She has also written a manuscript with the same title which she kindly let me read.  I could not put it down!

Heidi Cave


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Featured Guests:

Artist Arlene Ness

Arlene Ness has been making art since she was a child. Over the years she has painted, made prints and jewellery and stained glass.  A few years back she decided to learn carving and that has become a real passion for her.

Arlene's work is part of a show called Reclamation of our Spirit on until January 28th at the Smithers Art Gallery.

Arlene Ness


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Featured Guests:

John Izzo: Stepping Up

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the problems the country and the world seem to be facing.  I would like to do something, but at the same time I feel kind of helpless in the face of the magnitude of the situation. 

Well, author John Izzo has a seemingly simple suggestion, just step up.  In his new book Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything he offers a series of inspiring ideas and stories about what can happen when we do even the smallest thing in our own "five rows of influence".
John Izzo
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Blockbuster Film "The Grey" shot in Smithers

"In the movie, "The Grey", Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt before their time runs out." That's a simple plot synopsis but what you don't learn from it is that the 'remote Alaskan wilderness' is actually Smithers BC. The film was shot there around Christmas time of 2010. More than 80 locals from Smithers and area played extras in the film and next week there will be a screening of The Grey at the Roi Theatre in town. Dave Percy and Stuart Van Horn were 2 of those extras. You can hear my conversation with them on this weekend's podcast.

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Featured Guests:

Roy Henry Vickers: Artist and Storyteller


Roy Henry Vickers

Roy Henry Vickers is an internationally recognized artist,  a story teller, public speaker and author.  His art work is in corporate and private collections around the world.  He has won many awards for his work and his contributions.  

He has also become a compelling spokesperson for recovery from addiction and abuse.

When he was in Vancouver recently I jumped at the chance to have Roy Henry into the studio for a conversation about art and life. 

Thank you to the many listeners who wrote a note on Sunday to say how much they enjoyed and were moved by hearing Roy Henry's words on the show.

                    
Roy Henry


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The Food Lover's Guide to Wine

Andrew Dornenberg and Karen Page make a great team.  He's a chef and she's a journalist and they both love food and wine. Together they have written some fine books, and won many James Beard Awards.  Their book The Flavour Bible has been declared one of the best books about food of the century!  And their latest, The Food Lover's Guide to Wine, was voted the best wine guide of 2011.
Andrew and Karen with awards for The Flavour Bible!

It was great to have a chance to talk to both of them in the NXNW  Cooking Club.

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Max Stern on CBC Newsday

Max Stern is a grade 12 student in Vancouver.  Two years ago he was one of the young people selected to take part in CBC Newsday and he dropped by to talk about the experience and to encourage other students to try out for this year's opportunity!

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Max Stern


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Urban Weaver Project

You can find the Urban Weaver Project studio in MacLean Park in Strathcona.  There you will have the chance to learn weaving, using material from invasive plant species!

The studio is open Thursday evenings from 5-8 and Saturdays from noon to 3 pm.



Urban Weavers

Urban Weavers

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Featured Guests:

The Idiot

The award winning team of James Fagan Tait and Joelysa Pankanea are at it again.  This time they've taken on Dostoyevsky's novel The Idiot and are giving it the same musical adaptation treatment they did for Crime and Punishment a few years back.  That show was a tremendous success!

When I dropped by the rehearsal hall last week I had a chance to hear some of the wonderful music from the production and at lunch break I talked to James and Joelysa.  The two of them are very energetic and enthusiastic and they make quite a team!  James is the playwrite and director, Joelysa the composer and musical director and they have a fascinating way of creating these works which include a huge ensemble cast.

The Idiot is from Neworld Theatre and Vancouver Moving Theatre and is part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

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Featured Guests:

Genevieve von Petzinger: Cave Art Research

Genevieve von Petzinger is a Phd student at University of Victoria who is doing ground breaking research on cave art dating from the Ice Age.  As an under grad student she asked a simple question about the geometric signs that are often present with the images of animals in these very early paintings.  And that initial wondering has lead to years of exciting research and travel!

I so enjoyed talking to Genevieve.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is taking her work in many unexpected directions which have some pretty exciting implications for the study of the beginnings of writing. 

Genevieve is giving a talk titled Did Shamanistic Practices Inspire the Earliest Art?  on Wed. Jan 18, 4:30 pm at U. Vic. in the Engineering and Computer Science Building, room 124.

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Genevieve von Petzinger


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Canada Writes Finalists from BC

Winners of the latest Canada Writes contest - Edible Nonfiction - will be announced Monday January 15. Two of the ten finalists are from BC. Sheryl MacKay will speak with those two finalists on Saturday morning after the 7:00 news and we'll hear them read their entries.
The two BC hopefuls are: Jessica Jorgensen and Paul Mitchell.

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Cantonese Opera Costumes at MOA

The Museum of Anthropology at UBC is home to what may be the largest collection of Cantonese opera costumes anywhere in the world!  It's a treat to visit the display of part of the collection, to see the rich fabrics, vivid colours and the artistry involved in the design and creation of each piece. 
Carol Mayer is a curator at the MOA and she took me on a little guided tour of the display.
From the MOA collection






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Canada Reads Writing Contest

This year Canada Reads 2012 is a battle of non-fiction books.  Two of the authors are from BC!

Carmen Aquirre's Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
John Vaillant's The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

In celebration of these two great books we have a special Canada Reads contest in BC.

Six winners will each receive a full set of the Canada Reads books this year and a book bag.

To enter:
Write about your own true story, in 400 words or less about your experience with an animal or your own experience being in personal danger.

The deadline to enter is midnight January 29..Send your story via email to nxnw at cbc.ca

I look forward to reading some of your stories on the show!

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Cooking Club:

Jennifer McLagan: Odd Bits

Jennifer McLagan's last two books, Fat and Bones were award winners and certainly discussion generators!  Her latest work, Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, is set to do both again.

In Odd Bits Jennifer presents her philosophy about meat, about how so called "nose to tail" eating is a more ethical and sustainable way to live (if you are a meat eater).  It is a fascinating book which sets out to demystify a kind of cooking that used to be universal with a blend of recipes, basic techniques, stories, history and food philosophy.

Odd Bits

Jennifer McLagan











Jennifer's recipe for tongue with salsa verde is on the Cooking Club page.
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Featured Guests:

Jason and Pharis Romero

Jason and Pharis Romero sure are busy!  At their studio and home in Horsefly they make Romero banjos, and send them around the world, they write and play music and even find time for graphic art!   

They have just recorded their first duo cd, titled A Passing Glimpse and it's getting great recognition in the world of old time roots and country music.

I always love to have these two in for a chat.  They are so energetic and positive and so much fun to talk to. 

Pharis and Jason Romero



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Featured Guests:

Wade Davis: Sacred Headwaters

I jumped at the chance to talk to Wade Davis when he was in Vancouver recently. The author, adventurer and anthropologist was actually touring North America with two new books; one about Mallory and Everest (Into the Silence) and another about a very special part of British Columbia. 
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The Sacred Headwaters is a beautiful book, featuring photographs from some of the world's top nature photographers of the remote part of BC where the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers converge.  It's a place also under significant pressure from several resource extraction projects.


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