Who referees the referee?

Whitecaps FC vs New England Revolution – Empire Field – April 6, 2011

The Dictionary defines a referee as:

referee n 1. (in some sports) an official who watches a game or match closely to enforce the rules and arbitrate on matters arising from the play.

The FIFA rules of football (soccer) state: “Laws of the Game give “full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed” (Law 5)”

No where do I see “influence the outcome of a match”…is it somewhere else in the CONCACAF rule book that this regions football referees need to be so controversial?
Any adjudicated sport or event is open for some controversy due to the fact that it is relying on a matter of opinion. However, it seems like every time a referee steps on the pitch for a North, Central American or Caribbean match there is huge debate over the standard of our referees.

The April 6th match between Whitecaps FC and New England Revolution was no exception. The match saw 8 yellow cards/3 red, in this referee’s 109 match career he’s now handed out 45 red cards, a huge amount for a game that maybe should be one or two yellow’s per match. It was a hard fought battle for 20 minutes as the teams played 10 men (New England) vs 9 men (Whitecaps) with the Whitecaps fighting to hold on to their 1-0 lead only to have it snatched away in added time for a 1-1 final score.

Nine Whitecaps fighting hard to retain their lead

At Empire Field the fervour of the crowd and adrenaline of the game get you going that of course any call against your team is going to be fraught with negativity but after discussing with a friend who watch the telecast I realize it wasn’t all mod mentality going against the ref.  He made some valid calls but made many incorrect calls; carding a player for diving when he was tripped, then giving a card to the opposing player when the same player actually took a dive, giving cards for rough plays that were ‘face to elbow’ not ‘elbow to face’.

Should the players have been more aware of who their ref was going to be and been attuned to the fact he was ‘card happy’ or is the ref out of control with power.

Is the level of play in this region so poor that it makes the ref’s need to aggressively control the rules of play?
Or do our ref’s need to continue their education to learn how to control a match without influencing the outcome?

Which ever the case it certainly ruins the run of the match and for the casual spectator it does nothing to make them ‘fans’.

Applauding the fans for sticking with them

What’s on Wednesday – April 7-9, 2011

Another weekend is coming up! What are you going to do?
Here’s a few choices that I think are pretty cool.

Thursday April 7, 2011
– All-girl Belgian Choir “Scala & Kolacny Brothers” are at Commodore Ballroom Vancouver
– “Riverdance” is burning up the stage in Vancouver at Queen Elizabeth Theatre until April 10th
– Over in Victoria, world fusion band Dehli 2 Dublin are playing at Sugar Nightclub
– George Bernard Shaw’s The Philanderer is at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Stanley Theatre through to April 17

Friday April 8, 2011
– Julio Iglesias is singing ‘to all the girls’ at River Rock Casino in Richmond
– The hilarious Wayne Brady is at Red Robinson Theatre at Boulevard Casino Coquitlam
– “Bright Eyes” bring their indie/folk to Commodore Ballroom
– Get your hip-hop on in two different venues: At Five-Sixty there’s fun and charity with Japan Disaster Relief Benefit with Lighta & Friends and at The Colbalt go for some hip-hop drag queen fun at Hustla,

Saturday April 9, 2011
– “The Knocks” from NYC are playing Lucky Bar in Victoria
– Julio Iglesias gets knickers in a twist in Coquitlam at Boulevard Casino’s Red Robinson Theatre
– There’s good time’s and dancing in Five-Sixty at Progression ft local fave DJ’s Dready, Quest & Jeffrey Michael
– ‘Another Home Invasion‘ continues through April 23rd at Arts Club Theatre Revue Stage

Sunday April 10, 2011
– The beautiful and talented Ellie Goulding is at Venue
– Brit Band Foals are at Commodore Ballroom

Vancouver 125 – Birthday Live

Vancouver’s throwing a birthday party and everyone is invited!

Wednesday April 6, 2011 marks 125 years since the incorporation of the City of Vancouver. From humble logging camp beginnings Vancouver has grown to a jewel of a metropolis.

To celebrate, Vancouver 125 is a year long celebration of culture and arts throughout the city.  Birthday festivities kick off Wednesday at 2pm with a full schedule of activities, starting with a Street Hockey tournament, at Jack Poole Plaza, until 5pm.   Then official birthday festivities include a ceremony by Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, welcomes by civic officials, lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, giant birthday cake and of course, Happy Birthday sung by Vancouver Bach Choir. The evening program follows with video and light installations, hip-hop dancers, music by Bend Sinister and local rock icons 54-40.

Let’s throw on our party hats and head over to Jack Poole Plaza to help blow out the candles!

The Fairmont Empress – April is “Royal Month”

I recently had an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of royalty as I spent the night at the historic Fairmont Empress in Victoria.
In 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales danced until dawn in the Crystal Ballroom and in 1939 parents of our current Queen, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon at The Empress. In addition, countless Hollywood royalty have graced the storied corridors since the hotel opened its doors in 1908.
In recognition of this connection to the Royal Family,  The Fairmont Empress, along with sister property Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, has proclaimed April “Royal Month” leading up to the historic nuptials of future King of Canada; Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th.  Break out the hats and gloves and take part in some of the ‘Royal’ events and festivities taking place all month long. One of the highlights, I’d love to do is the Royal Empress Room Dinner, served on The Queen’s China, only ever used by Her Majesty, until this dinner!
Even though I don’t have a pedigree and paparazzi isn’t chasing me down, I was treated like royalty at The Empress.  As soon as I walked in the doors I felt welcome, this century old property is prime place to spend a relaxing break in Victoria.  Although the Inner Harbour, the hub of most Victoria activities lay just across the expansive front lawns, one can find plenty of activities to keep engaged within the walls of this castle, which was perfect on a rainy overnight stay as I experienced.

The Bengal Lounge

Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress provides first class spa services, stop in for curry and a cocktail at in the cool, colonial environment of the Bengal Lounge, lounge on a chaise with wine & oysters while overlooking the harbour on The Veranda and the ‘must do’ for everyone – Empress Afternoon Tea is renowned around the world.  Those are just a few of the experiences you can find in The Empress without even checking in!  Stay overnight and get the full Fairmont treatment, soak up the history

Fairmont Empress Guest Room

as you relax in your room and stroll the wide corridors, maybe even bump into one of the hotel’s supernatural guests.  There are a least a couple of ghost stories passed on by many guests, although I don’t have one…yet.   If you’re wandering, be sure to go downstairs to find the Archives to see the important roll The Empress has played in the history of Victoria.  With the great activities happening for “Royal Month” now’s the perfect time to make The Fairmont Empress part of your own personal history too!

Weekend ahead! April Fools Edition

People always ask me what’s happening in Vancouver so I thought maybe I’d provide some updates once in a while to some of the stuff I think is going to be a good time. You might or might not agree but that’s the great thing about Arts & Entertainment, there’s something for everyone!
So here’s some fun stuff happening to make your evening fun this weekend. This is just a sample, there’s lots more going on, just get out and find it!

Thursday Mar 31st
: Rapper T-Pain is at Gossip Nightclub

:Fighting for Ithaca (who are not from New York State but local Vancouver boys) are at Media Club

: San Francisco’s Dodos are at Rickshaw Theatre

 

 

 

 

Friday April 1st, the fun heads to the East Side
: The great British Sea Power are at Biltmore Cabaret

: Local punk, ska, reggae 6 piece, Los Furios with Heads Hang Heavy and The Saint Riels are at The – always a good time – Cobalt

: it’s the 1st Friday of the month so COME OUT! ROCK OUT! MAKE OUT! SHAKE OUT! as SPIT Vancouver returns for another fun filled edition at ANZA Club

Saturday April 2nd head back downtown
: the legendary Pete Yorn is at Commodore Ballroom
: My Chemical Romance romances the crowd at The Centre For Performing Arts

Songs For Japan – Benefit Album

Released on iTunes on March 25, 2011, Songs For Japan features 40 tracks for $9.99 with the artists and labels waiving their royalties and fees so the proceeds can go toward relief efforts for the March 11th Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
If each song was purchased individually from iTunes it would cost nearly $40 so for a quarter of the price, you get some great music and help out a worthy cause.

Charity singles and albums have been around for a while gaining major popularity in the 80’s with We Are The World and Tears Are Not Enough to aid Famine Relief in Ethiopia. In North America we don’t seem to have an many dedicated charity singles, unlike the UK where charity singles are routinely recorded exclusively for the charity event and regularly make the charts. Artists in North America more commonly donate the proceeds from an upcoming single to a charity.
Does a charitable connection prompt you to purchase?

 

Bon Jovi – Live 2011 Tour

Bon Jovi – Rogers Arena – March 26, 2011

Bon Jovi’s latest tour “Bon Jovi Live 2011”, rocked into Vancouver for a two night stand.
Vancouver and Bon Jovi have long had a special bond, this is where they recorded their breakthrough “Slippery When Wet”, “New Jersey” and post breakup “Keep The Faith” albums, which feature some of their best loved hits.
Much to some of my friends dismay, I’ve been a big fan of Bon Jovi since high school and although some of my musical tastes have changed I’ve held on to a affinity to this band. Perhaps the fact that they have managed to evolve and stay relevant by adapting to the public’s changing moods has kept them from fading into the ‘retro’ catagory.  My friends May, Brian and I hadn’t planned on attending but just last week a super discount on behind the stage tickets prompted us to  the Jovi Bandwagon and we got tickets for the second night at Rogers Arena.  I don’t know why but I’ve never seen them live until this, I wasn’t disappointed.

Jon Bon Jovi kicks off the show amongst the fans

After a couple of over-anxious cheers due to dim lights in the arena the house lights actually went out and from our behind the stage seats we saw the band assemble on stage behind the giant video screen. As the screen parted the band jumped into action, minus Jon Bon Jovi himself. We could hear his voice but he wasn’t onstage, then we realized he was performing on his own on a mini stage amongst the fans at the opposite end of the arena. What an unexpected treat for the fans who had those seats!
At the end of that song Jon came to the main stage, crossing the floor through the crowd, to

David Bryan and Tico Torres

join bandmates Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres, (unofficial member) Hugh McDonald and Bobby Bandiera.

Songwriter's Hall Of Fame Members - Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora

Since this tour is in support of their latest Greatest Hits compilation all of the requisite hits were performed as the band took us on a trip through their catalogue of great songs. (Considering how young they all look and the energy they’re putting out it’s hard to believe they’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years!)
Even though they’ve probably performed these songs endless times over the decades they still make them sound fresh and vibrant and there is very little tinkering with the classics. This is just straight ahead rock & roll and, as the case with some of the more recent singles, a little bit country, and the audience loved it.  The crowd energy lulled for some of the lesser known singles but the setlist didn’t allow that to go on for very long as another great hit was always just around the corner.

Everyone Sings Along To Living On A Prayer!

Huge crowd participation followed the BIG songs, “You Give Love A Bad Name”, “Bad Medicine” (which featured a great interlude of the Rod Stewart classic, “Hot Legs”), “Lay Your Hands On Me”, “I’ll Be There For You”.  The encores of “Wanted: Dead Or Alive” and “Living On A Prayer” really had the crowd in a sing-along mood, nearly overpowering the band at times.  It was amazing to see such a cross section of society and ages bonding over a common love…one of the favourite moments doesn’t feature the band but a few small children who seemed so excited to be at the concert and were singing and dancing all night long (or at least until bedtime)

Jon 'reaches' out to the behind the stage fans

The amazing staging, lighting and monitors were very impressive and built to allow everyone to feel close up and included in the show.  A VIP pit was encircled by the stage, risers behind the stage allowed Jon to ‘reach’ that audience and the band even got out from behind their instruments to move out middle of the floor.

Coming out into the crowd to display their musical prowess

We all commented on how the band really connected with the audience, even those of us behind the stage were acknowledged often throughout the evening.  The attention to the fans and details might also be a reason why they had the best selling tour of 2010, with this “Live 2011” tour still in the early stages there’s a good chance they’ll have the top 2011 tour too.

Jon in a custom Canucks jersey given by a fan