Monthly Archives: April 2005

BC Book Week: Think I'll be going to the BC Book Prizes Soiree at Crush Champagne Lounge

BC Book Week:  Think I'll be going to the BC Book Prizes Soiree at Crush Champagne Lounge

I love books and magazine!
My office contains five book shelves dedicated to books, one to
magazines, one to cd's and one to vinyl records (what the heck are

Here's are some of choices to attend for this week to celebrate BC Book & Magazine Week: April 23 to April 30, 2005.

BC Book & Magazine Week: a collective project coordinated by the Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC) and the BC Association of Magazine Publishers
(BCAMP). This weeklong literary celebration was founded in January 1999
as BC Book Week and in 2001, the week expanded to include the magazine

Saturday, April 23

The BC Book Prizes Soiree

7:00 pm

Crush Champagne Lounge

1180 Granville St., Vancouver

Info: 604-684-8266

The kick-off for the BC Book Prizes On Tour authors. A night of
readings, a silent auction, prize giveaways and announcement of the BC
Bookseller’s Contest winner!

Sunday, April 24

The Book and Magazine Promenade

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Vancouver Public Library Promenade

350 West Georgia St., Vancouver

Info: 604-684-0228 or 604-688-1175

Book and Magazine publishers will showcase their works in booths set up in the library’s promenade area.

Wednesday, April 27
Raincoast Books Spring Poetry Launch

7:00 pm

The Tahitian Lounge at The Waldorf Hotel

1489 East Hastings (between Clark and Commercial)

Info: 604-323-7100

Don’t miss this night of poetry! Readings by award-winning poets
Evelyn Lau, Aislinn Hunter, Kate Braid, Sandy Shreve and Canada’s
former poet laureate, George Bowering.

Click here to see more activities throughout the week

Terry Fox book by Douglas Coupland featured for CBC Radio One Book Club

Terry Fox book by  Douglas Coupland featured for CBC Radio One Book Club

The Terry Book Club
will air on North by Northwest on CBC Radio One.

Part One: Sat., April 30, 7 – 8 a.m.
Part Two: Sun., May 1, 8 – 9 a.m.

It was with both excitement and concern that host
Sheryl Mackay said she anticipated the presentation of “Terry” by
Douglas Coupland as the April 21st selection for the CBC Radio One Book

“You just can't get through it without crying,” said
Mackay.  And true to her prediction, many people spoke emotionally
about the love for Terry Fox, or about their own challenges with
cancer, or about how cancer challenged their loved ones.

Mackay was joined by co-host John Burns from the
Georgia Straight, in welcoming both author Douglas Coupland, and the
younger brother of Terry Fox – Darrell Fox, who is now National
Director of the Terry Fox Run Foundation.

I will write more about the experience of being in
the emotionally and memory-charged room, but first I will post some of
the pictures from the event.

Author Douglas Coupland and family consultant Darrell Fox – who both
signed all the books. Douglas describes the Fox family as Canada's
“First Family.”  Darrell says that Douglas is a member of the
family now.” So does that mean that Coupland is a member of “Canada's
First Family”?

Todd Wong standing with Sheryl Mackay, host of CBC
Radio's North By North West & the CBC Radio One Book
Club.  Sheryl is a warm and congenial host always.  It was a
pleasure to be a guest on her show in January as we talked about my
role with the Reverend Chan Legacy project that was being presented at
the Chinese Canadian History Fair at the Vancouver Museum.

Todd Wong with Douglas Coupland and Darrell Fox, at the CBC Radio
One Book Club for “Terry” – April 21st, 2005.  It was Darrell Fox
who asked me to become a Terry's Team member in 1993.

“What is a Terry's Team member,” asked Sheryl.

“Cancer survivors who speak at Terry Fox Runs and for school visits,
who serve as living examples that cancer reseach has helped to make a

For my own cancer diagnois in 1989, I was given of a 60% survival
rate.  At the time of Terry's Run in 1980, the survival rate was
about 50%, but by 1989 they were shooting for 100% survival rate. 
My case was extremely advanced and without treatment I would have died
in two weeks.

CBC Radio Host Sheryl Mackay, Douglas Coupland, Darrell Fox and John Burns 

32 Books: Leslie & owner Mary Trentadue.  My favourite
independent book store on the North Shore – where I actually
bought my copy of “Terry” soon after it came out.

Ballet BC's The Rite of Spring meets Jamie Griffiths Multi-Media artist

Ballet BC's The Rite of Spring meets Jamie Griffiths, Multi-Media artist

Click here for Todd Wong's Review of BC Ballet's Rite of Spring

Jaime Griffiths is a) a sensitive photographer  b) passionate for
dance c) a cutting edge multi-media artist  d) a beautiful soul e)
all of the above.

The answer is of course all of the above.  I first met Jaime when
we went outrigger canoe paddling last year.  Next she volunteered
to design the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2005 poster

Jaime has her own multi-media and graphics company – sure to get real
busy, real soon.  Check out her very exciting and interactive

Yesterday Kevin Griffin wrote a story in the Vancouver Sun about
Jaime's upcoming collaboration for Ballet BC's The Rite of Spring – the
world premiere was last night, April 21, and the last two nights are
tonight and tomorrow, April 22, 23 at the Queen Elizabeth
Theatre.  I will be there.  Tickets range from $26.50 to
$70.50 plus service charges. They're available at and
by calling 604-280-3311.

Here are some excepts from Kevin's article.

Kevin Griffin
Vancouver Sun

Griffiths has the
look of someone entirely focused. With only days to go, she's working
at breakneck speed to bring something new to the world of ballet: an
interactive set that changes in response to the dancers' live
performance. The challenge is that it is extremely painstaking and
time-consuming to load information into as many as 100 building blocks
in the software. Time is a luxury Griffiths doesn't have.

a fuss, Griffiths opts for the practical. She tells everyone to imagine
that the images on the scrim will be eight times larger in the Queen
Elizabeth Theatre.

do one run-through and then a second. And that's when you realize
what's being created. With a delay of less than a fraction of a second,
you see the two dancers running through the forest image and then
superimposed on top of the dividing egg. It's not a recorded image:
it's live. The effect is magical.

What's happening, Griffiths
said, is that new software — a program called Isadora that's been
created for real-time manipulation of digital video — and faster,
smaller computers allows artists such as Griffiths to literally bring
the set alive.

“The stage has eyes and the artists and the
dancers make decisions about the physicality of the space that affect
the set — and it's live. You're not watching a DVD,” she said.

“You're metaphorically giving life to something that has not had life before.”

Ballet B.C., using this kind of technology is a testing of the waters
for a bigger, full-length ballet next year. This evening, when The Rite
of Spring opens for a three-day run in Vancouver, it will mark the
first time live interactive technology and pre-recorded video has moved
from the world of experimental modern dance to the ballet. It's the
kind of innovation that's become a Ballet B.C. trademark under artistic
director John Alleyne.

It's no accident that this kind of technology
is being brought to a wider audience in Vancouver. Although there are
several locations around the world where artists and programmers are
working to create what's been called an intelligent stage, Vancouver
turns out to be one of the hot spots in the field.

Griffiths, for
example, carved out a niche as an interactive media artist by accident.
Coming from a background of more than two decades as a visual artist
and photographer, Griffiths embarked on a new artistic direction in
2000 for the Vancouver New Music Society when she decided to create an
interactive video with music in honour of the 20th century composer
Edgard Varese.

Since then, working on one project after another,
she's managed to turn herself into something of a computer geek as
she's taught herself how to use the software on live music and dance.

of her most groundbreaking collaborations was with Joe Laughlin for Joe
Ink's Grace, which premiered last October at the Scotiabank Dance
Centre. Using digital and analog cameras that fed live images through a
MacIntosh G5 and then on to various screens, Grace blurred the line
between dance and performance. One New York agent was so impressed that
she booked it into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year to
show to some of the major dance presenters around the world.

however, is much different from The Rite of Spring. Grace had only one
dancer and both Laughlin and Griffiths had 18 months to create the
performance and build the software. With The Rite of Spring, Griffiths
really started working only at the beginning of March. As a result,
Griffiths had been putting in intense 14 to 16 hours of work a day to
create the recorded and interactive video segments for the ballet.

See the entire artible at Spring comes alive: Ballet BC performs Stravinsky's pagan opus on an interactive set

Colour TV: New shows for April 23, 24 & May 1 with host Prem Gill

Colour TV: New shows for April 23, 24 & May 1 with host Prem Gill

Here's an announcement from my friend Prem Gill, the host of Colour TV on CityTV.  enjoy – Todd



We have a few new ColourTV shows coming up:

April 23, 3:30pm

In case you missed last Sunday's
show, we talk about Spirituality and Modern life with the editor of
Shared Vision magazine, Beverly Sinclair.

April 24, 6:30pm

Is Vancouver no fun city? Not
according to socialites Free Lee and Catherine Barr. Join us for a
lively discussion on “Vanhatten's” party scene. Fred Lee covers the
event circuit for the Vancouver Courier and you'll find Catherine's
photos in the Westender and the North Shore Outlook.

May 1, 6:30pm

I chat with Nelofer Pazira, author of A Bed of Roses, her autobiography about growing up in Afghanistan. She also starred in Kandahar and was featured in Return to Kandahar.

We are also launch a new show on May 7 at 9:30am, REALTY TELEVISION,
a weekly round-up of the local real estate scene, we talk trends,
buying and why this market is so nuts. The show will be hosted by Dawn
Chubai. Check it out Saturday mornings at 9:30am and Sundays at 3:30pm.

There is also an upcoming Bravo!FACT screening featuring a spotlight on Vancouver, May 9 at the ScotiaBank Dance Centre.
The event is FREE but get there early, it will be “sold out”. Following
in the screening Citytv's CineCity and Bravo!FACT will host a
reception. Here's a link to the screening:

Also, something to note, Citytv supported film PINK LUDOOS, produc