What’s On Weekend – June 9 – 12, 2011

Better weather brings more choices of activities as the outdoors open up.

Thursday Jun 9:
– The Georgia Straight presents comedian Joe Rogan at the Vogue Theatre
– continuing at Arts Club Review Stage : “ Mom’s The Word:Remixed” at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage “Hairspray” and at the Granville Island Stage : “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline

Friday June 10:
– Join DJSkla and crew as Canvas Lounge kicks off the new VICE Friday’s.
– Join international array of chefs as they ‘learn, play, teach’ at the 48th Annual Canadian Culinary Federation Convention is at the Renaissance Hotel Vancouver from June 10 to 15
– also for foodies is Eat Vancouver on until Jun 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre

Saturday June 11:
– The two-day Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival kicks off in False Creek
– Get your dose of East Side Hip Hop at HUSTLA at the The Cobalt on Main
– Calling Mr Roboto! It’s Mandroid at Five-Sixty…watch for Fembots and dancing Five-Sexi GoGoBots

Sunday June 12:
– Cap off the weekend with some charity and cowboys at the Big Gay Rodeo at The Bourbon Country Bar Partial proceeds, donations, and 50/50 draw benefit:
Friends For Life, HIM (Health Initiative for Men), Qmunity & Co-op Radio 102.7

Oak Bay Tea Party

Canadian Forces Cormorant
Canadian Forces Cormorant fly-by

The Oak Bay Tea Party wrapped up it’s 49th year in spectacular fashion! Under beautiful sunny skies this fun community event closed with an air show over the waters off of Willows Beach.

Begun in 1963 as a ‘one time only’ community day, the event proved so popular it’s been the staple Oak Bay kick off to summer ever since.  Not only is the Oak Bay Tea Party a fun community event, the completely volunteer run weekend is also an opportunity

Oak Bay Tea Party
Sunny weather brought the crowds out to the Midway rides

for the following community service groups to benefit from the fundraising activities and concessions:
Oak Bay Kiwanis
Rotary Club of Oak Bay
Capital City Lions Club
Royal Oak Lions Club
Girl Guides of Canada
Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society

Corn on the cob
Corn on the Cob is a Tea Party favourite!

Kicking off with a parade through the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay and wrapping upwith the Air Show, there is something for everyone at this venerable fun fest.  Concessions selling corn on the cob and baron of beef are huge hits alongside the traditional fair food; hot dogs and mini-donuts. Midway rides for all ages, face painting, bands and dancing, competitions and games, bathtub races are all part of the weekend.

Catch a duck! Win a Prize
Fun and games for all ages

The main objective being for every one, young and old, to have a good time. And judging from the smiles on faces, even those waiting in long lines for ride tickets, everyone was indeed having a great time.  I’m sure as they celebrate 50 years in 2012 it will be an even bigger and better Oak Bay Tea Party than ever before.


You Tube Star of the Month – June 2011

I stumbled upon this months sensational video from seeing a random tweet about a cover of Adele’s – Someone Like You by Eli Lieb.  As it turns out there are a lot of great Adele covers online, amazingly mostly from men.  So this month the YouTube star is really Adele who has inspired so many to share with us.

– Eli Lieb has a lot of great covers and appears to be working on a full length album of his own. Check him out on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

Mike Tompkins brings his amazing vocal skills to Adele’s – Rolling In The Deep, a great rendition using only sounds made by his mouth and voice. Check his YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more.

– Sean Rumsey gives Adele’s – Make You Feel My Love the cover treatment.  He also does a great Someone Like You cover. Watch it on his YouTube. His Facebook and Twitter list a lot of other great covers.

Underwear Affair 2011 – Bring Awareness To Down There-ness

Help kick below-the-belt cancers where it hurts!

On July 9, 2011 BC Cancer Foundation’s Underwear Affair® helps uncover the cure for below-the-waist cancers like prostate, ovarian, and colorectal.  Participants will run the competitive 10K or walk the fun 5K and show Vancouver that there’s absolutely no shame in bringing a little awareness to down there-ness. 
Even if you’re not a runner, everyone can participate by helping support your friends and family by sponsoring their run/walk as Teams and Individuals also participate in fundraising challenges.
I’ll be out supporting my friend Brian Webb, you can help us too by donating to the great cause! Maybe we’ll see you in your skivvies too?

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts to get ready for the BBQ season

The good weather is nearly upon us so we’re going to start thinking about getting at the barbeque, here’s a few tips to remember when you’re starting off the season.

1. DO open up the hood and make sure nothing has crawled into the bbq over the winter and is still there!
2. DON’T light up the flame without checking all your gas lines are tightly secured and not clogged
3. DO remember to see if you have gas in the tank before you try to start it up.
4. DON’T leave the gas on if it doesn’t light up the first time, shut it off and let it dissipate…trust me, it’ll save the hair on your arms and elsewhere.
5. DO scrub down the grills before cooking. Heat them up and use a wire brush to get all the gunk off.
6. DON’T forget to clean the area around the ‘que, you don’t want junk blowing into the flame or getting into your food.
7. DO give yourself plenty of space to cook and prepare so you’re not cramped and crowded.
8. DON’T cross contaminate your foods, keep raw and cooked meats on separate plates and handle with separate utensils.
9. DO cook things to their proper temperature, you don’t want to start the season off with food poisoning or worse.
10. DON’T forget, you are playing with fire…respect the flames and don’t let kids or animals play around the barbeque.

Sam Roberts Band – Kicks off summer

Sam Roberts Band – Malkin Bowl – May 29

Nothing feels like summer like a Sam Roberts concert, seems every year he brings fresh pop/rock sounds out on a summer tour.  Often he performs in outdoor venues in Vancouver and Malkin Bowl is one of the best in the city.  It’s large enough for a good size crowd and atmosphere but also has an intimacy, being surrounded by the tall trees, it’s easy to forget you’re on the edge of the city.
While officially on tour to promote his newest release Collider, during the 2 hour set, Sam and his band played a selection of tunes from all his albums.  Early hits like, “Don’t Walk Away Eileen”, “Where Have All The Good People Gone” and “Bridge To Nowhere” sounded great alongside new tracks “I Feel You” and “Last Crusade”.
After nearly a decade on the Canadian music scene, Sam has amassed a diehard fan base, guys dig him, girls adore him. His music appeals to a wide audience as witnessed by the collection of pre-teens who were dancing and playing around Malkin Bowl. An all ages show, it had a great friendly vibe and I’m sure that was helped along by the seemingly large quantities of BC’s best underground crop was being consumed. Even without the assistance, the mellow, happy-go-lucky personality Sam exudes takes over the crowd and everyone feels good.  He genuinely seems to like and appreciate his audience as witnessed by the amount of time he spent hanging onstage, after the set, applauding and signing items for the audience. Even though the evening was of the first nice ones of the year, his personality would have warmed up the night no matter what. The perfect start to summer in the city!

Centre Stage with Tyrell Witherspoon

How did a boy from a small town in Manitoba become a triple threat on the verge of stardom?

For twenty-four year old, Tyrell Witherspoon the answer is hard work, a good support system and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and are doing the same things as you.

Tyrell has been performing all his life, in fact he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t performing. Growing up, Tyrell performed in church choir and a touring violin group “The Fantasy Fiddlers”, giving him early tastes of public performing.   He comes from a family of performers, his father was a musician and performer while mother was a renowned piano teacher.  Obviously performing parents were supportive of his foray into the entertainment business but Tyrell credits his construction contractor brother as being one of his biggest cheerleaders, helping keep him focused on pursuing his dream.

Out of high school, he set about studying, developing and sharing his craft, first in Brandon then Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Inspired by local dance studio owners and mentors who set their minds to following and building their dream, Tyrell developed a driven work ethic in pursuit of his own dreams.   The drive paid off with work in theatre and choreography around Winnipeg and onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships and appearances on CBC’s Triple Sensation and CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

After a few years, Tyrell was ready for the next chapter in his career, with the encouragement of a strong support system in Winnipeg, he made a move west to Vancouver.  In Vancouver, he has worked hard to make a name for himself, attending auditions while continuing to study and grow his skills and reputation. This paid off when he landed a recurring dance roll on the CW show, Hellcats.  From there he’s been able to make more contacts and expand his dance resume, appearing onstage and in music videos for artists like Elise Estrada and These Kids Wear Crowns.

These contacts lead to yet another page in the story, he’s been writing music for years and got to present it to some industry heavyweights who gave him the advice and encouragement to move from “Tyrell the Dancer” to “Tyrell the Artist”.  The first step was the March release of his debut single “Letting Go” on iTunes with a video and second single following in May.  A five track EP is nearly complete and will drop in late June with four self-penned songs and one cover.  With varying styles and genres the EP tell the story of his life over the last five years, personal experiences and feelings that have made him the man he is today

In this age of YouTube and viral internet sensations, when asked what will set him apart from the ‘Rebecca Blacks’ of the day, Witherspoon says his music is “real songs about real things” and adds “I want to make sure that my music is about me and my story”.  In conversation with him, one gets the feeling that this is not just a mantra about his career but how he lives his life.  A well-rounded, observant individual with a depth of knowledge and skills is what will set him apart from the field of one hit web wonders.  A good example of his work ethic and determination to make the music as good as possible shows in his answer to “Who would be your dream collaboration?” instead of answering Lady Gaga or some other mega-artist of the moment, who would definitely sell records, Tyrell looks to furthering ‘his’ sound and would like to work with Grammy-winning production team Stargate.  Attention to all aspects of his product, whether his singing, acting or dancing, will serve him well to ensure career longevity.

Up next for Tyrell, in his quest to move from backup dancer to centre stage, will be performances around Vancouver throughout the summer and coming soon in front of his largest audience as a singer at Winnipeg Pride, opening for the legendary Martha Wash.  If you don’t want to wait to listen to the Tyrell sound live, download the single Letting Go now from iTunes and watch for the EP to drop soon.  To find more on when he’ll be performing near you, follow him on Twitter or tyrellwitherspoon.com

Originally published in Kenton Magazine reprinted with permission
Photo Credits: Patty Boge (Off The Page Photography) and Matthew Kristjan