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Bob's Blog

Diversity Category

Seeing Sweets

bc-cake-nixon-100620.jpgI know anything is possible in this world and nothing should surprise us.  But I am still somewhat shocked when one of the biggest retailers of computers in the city is a drug store.  For no good reason this offends my sense of the way retail commerce should be conducted.  It harkens back to a time when flower shops sold flowers, hardware stores sold hardware, and drug stores sold drugs, 'notions' and candy.  My past has damaged me psychologically, made me unfit to appreciate the new realities of commerce. 

The only way to fight against this flaw is to confront it head on.  That's why, for years, I have promised myself that I would one day make a story about a shop that could be considered the embodiment of the new business mentality.  The charm of the people who run this store has finally cured me. Cakes and Glasses icon_video.gif

Scandinavian Fathers

bc-scandinavian-nixon-100619.jpgIt can be said that finding stories where no obvious story exists is something of a challenge.  This tale is an example of this.  The idea was to find a story which informed people that the coming Sunday would be Father's Day.  As the majority of adult males are also fathers, this subject heading was sufficiently broad to allow almost any story that included men or women talking about Fatherhood. 

But that's the problem.  Sometimes the range of options is so broad that finding an interesting one that seems terribly difficult.  Do I head to the beach, a construction site, a stockbroker's office to find my fathers?  I was paralyzed by the possibilities until Christer, a son of Sweden and my camera operator, reminded me that the annual Midsummer Festival at the Scandinavian Centre also fell on Father's Day.  "Let's go!" I shouted with great zest and glee and the rest is video.  Midsummer Festival icon_video.gif

Robert Davidson

bc-davidson-nixon-100512.jpgHe is one of the most celebrated artists in Canada, so when I was offered the chance to meet Robert Davidson I jumped at the chance.  His Haida artwork, sculptures, carvings, paintings, prints, jewellery can be found in museums and galleries around the world.  This week the Vancouver Art Gallery named him the recipient of its Audain Award for lifetime achievement. 

Davidson works out of a large wooden studio in White Rock, where he has produced masterpieces for decades.  To go there is almost like entering someone's fertile mind, as half finished paintings and carvings move closer to perfection and all the visitor can do is stand in awe and wonder at the imagination and skill that can create such works.  Haida Artist icon_video.gif

St. Patrick's Day

bc-patricks-nixon-100317.jpgFame is a strange thing.  It tends to narrow down complex people and places into easily digestible bits.  Brad Pitt is a sexy actor.  Cuba is where they make the cigars.  And Ireland?  That's the country where people drink plenty of beer. 

Certainly that appears to be the Emerald Isle's claim to fame every St. Patrick's Day.  Certainly that's what draws celebrants to Irish themed pubs in Vancouver and across the country.  But that was certainly not what I wished to discover when I went to one of those pubs on St. Patrick's Day.  I wanted to know what else Ireland is famous for. 

You can guess what happened.  It was an easy task.  Guinness and Green icon_video.gif

Unwanted Gift

bc-harmony-nixon-100210.jpgImagine this.  You fall in love with your adopted country and decide to create a big monument to express your patriotism.  You drive all the way across the country towing it on a trailer.  Your destination is Vancouver.  Your goal is to give your monument to the city as a gift during the Olympics.  But once here, you discover the city has no time to talk to you because the Olympics are about to begin and it has just installed dozens of big pieces of art throughout the city.  How would you feel?   That, in a nutshell, is the story of a man I met in Stanley Park.  What do you think of his sculpture?  Harmony Sculpture icon_video.gif

Olympic Facelift

Thumbnail image for bc-welcome-nixon-100125.jpgI confess that this Olympic welcoming of the world thing is turning out to be much more comprehensive an operation that I expected.  It is not just all the temporary pavilions popping up on every parking lot.  That did not surprise me.  It's the smaller changes.  Stuff disappears - like garbage bins (remember the Atlanta '96 bombing?) - and stuff appears - like clear plastic garbage bags.  Pizza sized round country flags are appearing on sidewalks, and signs directing people to venues make their way to lamp posts.  In the eternal construction site that is Vancouver, changes to the city might no longer surprise.  But it can sometimes confuse.  Witness the guy whose job is to put up some of those new signs on Vancouver streets.  Welcome Guy icon_video.gif

Classic Car

Here's a story about some folks who decided they would not turn their backs on high school drop-outs.  They knew that once a kid leaves school before finishing grade 12 - there's not alot out there to help them get the training needed to obtain good, interesting jobs. 

Disabled Pianists

I took piano lessons for more than decade when I was a youngster, and bedevilled my parents the entire time by never practicing enough.  I bedevilled my adult self by never becoming much of a player.  So it was remarkable to meet with a group of pianists who actually love to play, particularly ...