All posts tagged with: 2012
Twinkle, twinkle, little Christmas lights! Around Vancouver Christmas lights are popping up everywhere as the holiday season gets into full swing. If you’re looking for some festive cheer to get you into the mood, here are the top four places to see this year for the best Christmas light displays in Vancouver:
Festival of Lights – VanDusen Botanical Gardens
A must-do annual tradition. Thousands of twinkle lights are delicately placed on the prized and rare botanicals throughout the acres of gardens. Light and sound show on Livingstone Lake every half-hour. Most romantic place for a Christmas holiday date night!
- December 7 – January 1(closed Dec 25)
- 4:30pm – 9:00pm
- Oak Street at 37 Avenue
- Adults: $14.25
Bloedel Jewel Box of Lights – Queen Elizabeth Park
Experience Christmas in the tropics! Stay warm and dry inside the conservatory, filled with thousands of Christmas lights and holiday music.
- December 6 – January 1 (closed Dec 25)
- 4:30pm – 9:00pm
- 4600 Cambie Street
- Adults: $7
Canyon Lights – Capilano Suspension Bridge
The 450 ft suspension bridge, Cliffwalk, Tree Tops bridges, trees and buildings are all lit up in hundreds of thousands of miniature lights. Gingerbread cookie decorating and glass ornament blowing.
- December 1 – January 5 (closed Dec 25)
- 4:00pm – 9:00pm
- 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
- Adults: $31.95
Bright Nights – Stanley Park
Two-million lights shine bright and light up the park. Miniature Christmas, animated displays, hot cocoa, carols and roasted nuts. Proceeds to BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
- November 29 – January 1 (closed Dec 25)
- 3:00pm – 11:00pm
- Stanley Park Pavilion
- Adults $10
It was near perfect weather conditions with crisp, moist, autumn air and dazzling sunshine for the 2nd annual Vancouver Historic Half held on Sunday, November 25, 2012 in Stanley Park. There were 297 participants for the half marathon event; the last long distance race in metro Vancouver for 2012.
The majority of race participants were loyal, year-round, recreational runners. They are the ones that train year round for both local and destination long-distance running events.
Two laps of the Stanley Park seawall meant the flat course was fast paced. The course was relatively easy, with the exception of the small hill climb at the end of the race, which caught even the seasoned long distance runner’s off-guard.
Although some personal bests were set, the course is not a Boston qualifier; however, it is a solid local race and is part of the BC Race Series. Chris Napier took home the overall win with a first place finish at 1:18:45.
There were an additional 197 participants in the 10km race and 72 in the 5km.
- Gun Time: 1:45:00
- Chip Time: 1:44:54
- Place Overall: 54/297
- M 30-39 Place: 13/31
Lead singer for Cobra Starship, Gabriel Saporta, has enjoyed a very exciting and fast paced music career. He was the creative energy for the formation of the synthpop band, which has put out four albums since they formed in 2003.
Cobra Starship is made up of five members, including Gabe (lead vocals). The other band members are Ryland Blackinton (guitar), Victoria Asher (keytarist), Nate Novarro (drummer), and Alex Suarez (bass).
The New York based band has released four albums and is currently signed to record label Decaydance.
- While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets (2006–2007)
- ¡Viva La Cobra! (2007–2008)
- Hot Mess (2009–2010)
- Night Shades (2011–present)
Prior to founding Cobra Starship, Gabriel was the bass player and lead vocalist for the dance-punk band, Midtown. Gabe was born in Uraguay on October 11, 1979 and moved to New York when he was four years old. Gabe is a vegetarian, an active PETA member, and is currently dating fashion designer, Erin Fetherston.
In 2011, Gabe and the rest of the Cobra Starship band appeared on Season 4, Episode 5 of 90210, ‘Rock the Vote’, and performed their new song, #1night.
Gabe also made an appearance on Season 5, Episode 24 of his favourite TV show, Gossip Girl, where he played a drug-addict named Zeke.
*Photos taken at the Summer Playland Festival in Vancouver, BC, July 2012.
This week, 15 awards were handed out to LGBT musicians celebrating their achievements and talent in the music industry. It was all part of the annual RightOutTV music awards for Out artists.
The global competition raises awareness of LGBT musicians, their music, and their videos, while closer uniting the community and industry. Enteries were submitted from across the world including Portugal, Austria, Britain, Canada and the United States. There were two rounds of judging to determine the winners in each of the 15 award categories.
“This is only our second year and already the number and caliber of the artists submitting has reassured us that there is truly a need for this kind of acknowledgement for the LGBT music community,” says Marlee Walchuk, co- producer of the RightOutTV Music and Video Awards.
Winners of the 2012 RightOutTV Music and Video Awards:
- Best Video (Pro): Matt Zarley – Trust Me
- Song of the Year: Matt Fishel – Behind Closed Doors
- Best Song So Far: Matt Zarley – Change Begins with Me
- Best Video DIY (Do It Yourself): Corday – Weekend Warrior
- Best Pop/Rock/Adult Contemporary Video: Jeffery Straker – Gone
- Best Electronic/Dance/Hip Hop/R&B Video: Blinded by Stardust – Can’t We Just Dance Instead (feat. Biuna)
- Best Folk/Country/Jazz Video: Kat Devlin – Dear Emmi
- Best Performance in a Live Video: Rachael Sage – Everything
- Best “Living Room Performance”: Nhojj – He & Him
- Best Video So Far: Matt Fishel – Football Song
- Best Pop/Rock/Adult Contemporary Song: Jenn Foster – You Stayed
- Best Electronic/Dance/Hip Hop/ R&B Song: Darren Octert – This Modern Life (1984)
- Best Folk/Country/Jazz Song: Summer Osborne – Be Still
- Fan Fave Award: Sonasfly
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. On Sunday, September 30, with a mix of sun and clouds and cool autumn temperatures, the inaugural Surrey International World Music Marathon was underway.
The course for the full and half marathon events was the same; the half marathoners ran the 21.1km course a single time, and the full marathoners made a second lap. The elevation map made the route seem relatively easy, however, many experienced runners were caught off-guard on race-day once on the course. The route is full of twists, turns, steep downhill’s and long, steady uphill’s.
Overall the course is extremely beautiful, as it winds through residential and parklands. Well over half of the course is on secondary streets or parks, however, there are a number of sections of the course where runners are at close odds with traffic on some busier roads.
Volunteers worked extra hard to ensure the route was well marked and course-marshals were on-hand to ensure people were headed in the right direction.
It was evident on why the event has World Music in the title. Throughout the course, participants pass numerous stations where different music themes from around the world are presented. Brazil, India, Korea and Scotland were just a few of the countries that were represented along the course.
Operationally, the course was well set-up, the organizers ran a tight schedule, and things appeared to be well executed.
Two things in particular stuck out an executed exceptionally well. The finishers medal certainly is one of the biggest and most impressive pieces of bling for a half and full marathon event. Secondly, the half and full marathoners received a beautiful Adidas technical shirt that screamed quality and warranted many participants to wear it for the race and afterward.
The Health and Sports Expo was also well organized. Outdoors there was music and entertainment, and indoors a host of vendors from massage and nutritional supplements, to fitness programs and gadgets for runners.
Overall, for a first event, organizers deserve a huge congratulations. Pulling off both half and full marathon events is no small task. Well done!
Overall, I’m extremely happy with my results for this race. I went into this race looking forward to getting back into long-distance races after taking the summer off training, to enjoy the scenery and have fun, and to be part of an exciting event in Surrey.
- Gun Time: 1h 45m 09s
- Chip Time: 1h 45m 08s
- Pace: 4:59m/km
- Overall Placement: 113/1029
- Gender Placement: 91/439
- M30-34: 13/40
It’s less than two weeks away! The inaugural Surrey International Music Marathon on Sunday, September 30 in Surrey, British Columbia. It’s more than just a marathon, it’s also a half marathon, 5km, kids run, music festival and health expo – all wrapped up in one event.
The event kicks off the with the full marathon start at 7:30am, followed by the half-marathon event start at 8:00am. The course starts in Central Surrey and passes through Holland and Green Timbers Parks and a number of residential areas, and finishes back up at Central City.
At the finish line there will be fruit, granola and protein bars and electrolyte beverages to help runners refuel after their race.
Race package pick-up is on Saturday, September 29 at the Wellness Expo located at SFU Grand Hall in Central City from 11:00am – 7:00pm. Timing chips will be located on the back of the race bib and do not need to be returned after the race. Full and half marathon participants will receive a technical shirt, and 5km participants will receive a cotton t-shirt.
For spectators, there will be bleachers set-up at the start/finish line. Spectators are also welcome to cheer on participants at the cultural music stations, located at every mile along the course.
Remember, runners appreciate all the encouragement, so ring those cowbells, wave your motivational signs and heck, write an inspirational message on the road with sidewalk chalk!
There is still time to register for the race and to proudly say you were in the first Surrey Marathon event.
“I would perform in front of my mirror until the wee hours of the morning,” Jessica giggled. “It’s a dream come true.”
For most teenage girls, growing up to be a pop singer could only be a dream. But not for Jessica. The singer, actress and dancer hit it big when she was signed on to be a famed Pussy Cat Doll.
“I learned so much,” Jessica said as she described her seven year career with the Pussy Cat Dolls. “There was not on particular thing. I grew up. I became a really good performer.”
In 2010, Jessica made the decision to embark on a solo career. It was a decision she can be proud of, especially when her debut single, Show Me, hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.
“Breaking into a solo career is hard, but it’s worth it,” described Jessica. “It’s so fulfilling to do it on your own. I feel like I’m earning this, as opposed to having it handed to me.
Jessica has the support of her past band members and appreciates everything they have done for her and her career.
“Don’t give up,” is Jessica’s advice for upcoming artists. “It’s not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Have a reason bigger than you to be on that stage. To create that music.”
Jessica is set to release her new album in September 2012.
Photos in this post were taken at Sugarbeach during Toronto Pride 2012 where Jessica Sutta performed her hit song, “Show Me”, in front over thousands of enthusiastic fans.
Despite the threat of rain, the three pop artists, Isaac, Taylor and Zachary performed during the Summer Nights Concert series at the PNE in Vancouver, BC, in front of a full-crowd of eager fans.
Their display of talent spanning their career kept the crowd going for the 45+ minute performance on the WestJet Festival concert stage.
Calgary Pride 2012 is a year to go down in their history. It was a perfect sunny day, attendance records were smashed as over 30,000 people came to celebrate culture and diversity in the community, and for the first time ever, an Alberta Premier attended the Pride festivities
“It’s fun to be here,” stated Premier Redford, the first Alberta Premier to ever attend Calgary Pride. “This is just another festival that celebrates part of our community.”
Ok, let’s be honest, gay pride isn’t exactly, ‘just another festival’, but it was a big political move for the conservative party leader.
“I’m very proud of the fact that I’m a different kind of Premier than we’ve had before,” Premier Redford explained. “I’ve been very consistent with my views with respect to the support of the gay community and human rights. I’m very proud of that.”
The Premier admitted their government has more work to do to protect the rights LGBT community.
“We are going to continue to ensure first of all that fundamentally in Alberta we have put in place what we need to ensure that all human rights are protected,” said Premier Redford. “I’m very optimistic about everyone’s rights in this province.”
The Alberta Premier was also quick to recognize the importance of celebrating diversity in the community and to keep the dialogue open.
“It’s really important that we keep celebrating and talking about this,” explained Premier Redford. “If you compare back to 1990 when 195 people came to Pride, versus today where there are 30,000 just celebrating life, that’s a tremendous accomplishment. But whether we are talking about gay rights […], it is important to talk about fundamental human rights.”
Although the Premier made no commitment for her government to tackle some of the pressing issues around protecting the rights of transgendered people in Alberta’s Human Rights Act, or any other equal human rights issues the province still faces, she was optimist about ensuring the rights currently in place are protected and respected.
“We are all Albertans,” Premier Redford stated. “We are an incredibly diverse population, and what I have committed to is making sure human rights are respected, and as people make choices in their life that we have a community that everyone’s choice is respected.”
Rainbow flags waving proudly, colourful costumes marching through the streets, dancers doused in glitter, and hips shaking to the beat of the music – this was Calgary Pride 2012!
Records were smashed for Pride Calgary, as over 30,000 people attended the annual gay pride parade and festival in downtown Calgary. The 45 minute long parade marched down Stephen Avenue to Shaw Millennium Park, where crowds gathered for Premier Redford to address the crowd. Redford is the first Premier of Alberta to attend Calgary Pride.
The Grand Marshal leading the parade was legendary lesbian Canadian rock star, Carole Pope. The parade also included many local celebrities, performers, members of the public service, and community groups and organizations.
Happy Calgary Pride! It’s going to be a weekend full of great entertainment, celebration and awesome events. Here are some tips to ensure you have a fun and safe Pride weekend:
- The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18 years of age and older. Staff will ID guests who are consuming alcohol if they appear under the age of 30.
- Non-alcoholic beverages including water, juice and pop are allowed in public areas. It is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in public.
- For everyone’s safety, please do not bring pets, furniture, large signs, drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, or objects that could be used as a weapon to any events or festivities.
- Remember to use sunscreen. There are many convenience stores and pharmacies near the Parade and Festival grounds if you forget or run out.
- Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are going to be consuming alcohol or be in the sun for long periods of time.
- If you have an emergency or need medical assistance, please see a Calgary Pride volunteer, Police or security guard.
Remember to go out and have fun!
Throughout the 45 minute set, Gavin entertained the crowd with many of his popular hits including Chariot, I Don’t Want to Be, In Live with a Girl, and Not Over You.
Gavin’s fingers magically danced along the keys of the piano for many of the songs her performed during the show.
The well-seasoned performer kept the crowd entertained as he told stories and had some fun with the live-camera crew filming the event.
The 35 year-old American, singer, songwriter is ending a summer co-headline tour with Gammy award winner, Colbie Caillat.
The talented 27 year-old Colbie Caillat memorized the crowds on Sunday, August 26 on the WestJet Festival Stage as part of the Summer Nights concert series at the PNE.
The Grammy award-winning singer kept the crowd entertained as she cheerfully sang a mix of songs off her three albums.
Fans were treated to a special duet with Gavin DeGraw, whom she has been co-touring with this summer.
To date, Colbie has sold over six million albums and ten million singles world-wide.
It’s going to be one of the most colourful, fabulous and fun weekends of summer 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, as the city hosts Calgary Pride. There are a whole host of events and activities throughout the weekend. Here are just a few of the key events not to be missed.
The weekend starts off on Friday, August 31, with the Calgary Pride Kick-Off Party at the Arts Hotel in downtown Calgary. The line-up of entertainment and music includes The Perry Twins (Los Angeles, California), Tyrell Witherspoon (Vancouver, BC), April Storm (Calgary, AB) and Goldstar (Calgary, AB). The Kick-Off Party is from 9:00pm – 2:00am and tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance at Priape.
On Saturday, September 1, Pure Pride presents The Official Calgary Pride Dance Party, featuring Chad Michaels, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4, gay porn star Spencer Reed, DJ Nick Bertossi (Vancouver, BC), and Mantra (Vancouver, BC). The party will be held at Flames Central from 9:00pm – 2:30am. Tickets are available at Priape.
Stephen Avenue will be the place to be at noon on Sunday, September 2, as more than 60 parade entries make their way from the Calgary Olympic Plaza to the SHAW Millennium Park. Lesbian rock singer, Carol Pope is the Grand Marshal, leading the way.
Following the Pride Parade is the Pride Calgary Street Festival at the SHAW Millennium Park hosted by Master Sara Moanies. There will be over 40 vendors, a large beer garden, and performances by Peter Breeze (Vancouver, BC).
For more information and a complete listing of events, visit the Calgary Pride website.
Talk about a jump into the music spotlight! On November 17, 2005, Levi Kreis’ music career was catapulted into the spotlight after he released his debut album and had his music played on a special edition of NBC’s The Apprentice on XM radio. It wasn’t luck. It was his destiny.
After his good fortune from his first album launch which received world-wide attention, Levi went on to record five studio albums over the next six years.
But he didn’t stop there. He pursued his dream of performing on stage. Levi was cast in the role of Roger in the national tour of RENT, and played a leading role the in award-winning independent film Don’t Let Go.
Levi’s acting career soared to new heights when he received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical on June 13, 2010, where he played the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway’s musical, Million Dollar Quartet.
Born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, Levi is an openly gay actor, singer and songwriter. He plays both piano and guitar.
Levi will soon be releasing his sixth album, Imagine Paradise.
Levis recently performed at Market Days in Chicago, IL, and will be touring Tokyo, Japan in September 2012.
Yee Haw! This weekend is Pride in Calgary! It’s been a particularly tough year in the LGBT community in Alberta, so this year is incredibly important for cow-town to come out and show support.
Earlier this year Calgary said goodbye to Club Sapien and FAB Bar, and very soon they will also say farewell to the Calgary Eagle
“In the disappearance of these places there is a dangerous assumption that Calgarians are all wildly onboard and supportive of human rights for all,” said Dallas Barnes, President of Pride Calgary. “This is simply not true. The community is still feeling the violence and effects of homophobia within this city and that is why more than ever we need to celebrate Pride Calgary boldly.”
In addition, the community has also been under pressure for years because of the strong conservative political views within the province.
Since Premier Redford was elected, the LGBT community has seen a glimmer of hope. Redford is an Ally of the LGBT community. She has agreed to participated in the annual Pride festival and will make a short public address.
“For Albertans to play the diversity game, we must empower our allies,” said Barnes. “Allies are people who are wildly supportive and onboard with our cause and people who may disagree or have resistance to what we are up to.”
On a happy note, Alberta has also seen some great movements in 2012, including the reinstatement of funding for gender reassignment surgery and increased participating from the LGBT community in the recent provincial election.
Barnes has called upon Calgarians to come out and support Calgary Pride, citing the LGBT community needs to draw upon itself in order to grow.
“The only way Pride Calgary will grow is if we commit and engage as a community,” Barnes explained.
Whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transsexual, queer, questions, etc., Calgary Pride welcomes the support and invites everyone to come and celebrate at the many events this coming weekend.
The biggest, hottest, sexiest, and most energized party during Calgary Pride will be Pure Pride. It’s a night of outstanding entertainment, awesome music, celebration, and perhaps even some surprises.
Flames Centre will be bursting with beats by Vancouver’s DJ Nick Bertossi, along with Calgary DJ’s Jay Fraid, LEDJ, and Dopamine.
The list of entertainers is impressive. Star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 4, Chad Michaels will be performing. Chad is one of the world’s top Cher impersonators. Vancouver’s Mantra will keep the crowd moving with her sexy, high energy performance and sexy dancers. And adult entertainer, dancer and model, Spencer Reed, will be an erotic performance not to be missed.
VIP tables are available for groups of four or six. VIP ticket holders will even get the chance to meet the cast and crew!
Tickets are available online.
A bomb-shell blond with a rock’n body. That’s Jessie Malakouti. She’s the song writer, singer and mastermind behind Jessie and the Toy Boys, and she’s quickly working her way up the music charts and creating a fun group of pop-loving followers in her path.
Her music career started in Los Angeles, California, where she was part of a small band that got the odd gig at a local bar or festival. With a passion for pop music and her creative energy bursting at the seams, she left the band to pursue a solo career.
From 2008 – 2010 Jessie lived in London, discovering the world of underground dance music. Inspired by music icons, including Lady Gaga, Jessie invested her energy to create energetic, fun, and memorable pop music.
Gone are the days of Jessie playing in dark, sweaty bars. Today Jessie has a number of chart-hitting singles and has put out a few full-length albums. She tours across North America on stages with thousands of fans grinding to her catchy songs including, All My Hoes Touch Your Toes.
Jessie is a proud supporter of the LGBT community. On Valentines day 2012, Jessie released Runway, a music video featuring Mollie Thomas, the first openly gay women running for Miss California USA.
Jessie and the Toy Boys performed on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at Market Days in Chicago, the largest LGBT music festival in the mid-western United States. She rocked it out in a comfortable pair of white Dr. Martin boots and an awesome pair of rhinestone encrusted denim short-shorts.
It all started out in 1969 when June and Bonnie Pointer got together and started a duet. A few years later, sister Anita joined, forming The Pointer Sisters. Even sister Ruth joined to make the group a quartette.
Although their first ten years together were enjoyable, they grew to great success in the early 1980’s with hit songs including Jump (For My Love), I’m So Excited, and Slow Hand.
In 1992 the Pointer Sisters received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005.
The Pointer Sisters have been a long-time supporter of the LGBT community. In 2002 they performed at San Jose Gay Pride. Since then, the Pointer Sisters have made appearances at Pride Festivals across the United States, demonstrating their support for equality.
The Pointer Sisters are still make appearances, warming crowds of all ages to their wonderful array of music that now spans generations. In August 2012, the Pointer Sisters performed at Market Days in Chicago, IL, the largest LGBT music festival in the mid-west.