VIFF 2017 kicks off September 28

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) returns to screens around the city from September 28 – October 3, 2017.

For over 35 years, VIFF has brought us hundreds of films from around the world and this year continues to build on that legacy.  Screening international films from over 70 countries, alongside Canadian and BC films VIFF is amongst the top five film festivals in North America.  Keeping up with the times, VIFF restructured last year to showcase new media and include interactive experiences, talks, sessions and other events.
VIFF LIVE is live music, showcasing established and emerging BC artists as well as live score presentations of selected films.
Creator Talks bring the audience face to face for a glimpse behind the scenes with those who create the magic on screen.
Virtual Reality Day transports viewers into the new world of VR and AR.
Buffer Festival collaborates with VIFF for a full day for those who are or want to be YouTube Creators.

Not to be forgotten the array of films presented by VIFF bring the globe to Vancouver.

The 2017 VIFF programming includes the following categories:

Panorama – The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.

Sea to Sky – A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

True North – A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.

Impact – Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.

Next – Interactive screen-based experiences, talks and sessions with creative leaders designed to educate and inspire public and professional attendees alike.

Gateway – Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous artists.

M/A/D – Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream that’s enhanced by exhibitions and live performances.

ALT – Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits

VIFF opens September 28 and continues until October 3, 2017.
Memberships, festival passes and single tickets are available now online at

Landline: Vancouver to Kitchener – a new play

A one of a kind performance is coming to Granville Island, Landline: Vancouver to Kitchener is a performance that uniquely happens in two places at the same time.

Taking place at The Anderson Street Space on Granville Island, Landline: Vancouver to Kitchener is part of Boca del Lupo Micro Performance Series. The audience (limited to 12 people per performance) is both an observer and participant. Each participant is paired with a fellow member of the audience in the opposite city then, together they follow an audio-guided stroll through the streets conversing and interacting in duo activities via text.

Landline: Vancouver to Kitchener creators / collaborators Adrienne Wong and Dustin Harvey were inspired by the vastness of Canada and the way we use technology to break down that space.  The performance is devised to collapses the distance between two strangers as they interact in real time.

Landline: Vancouver to Kitchener presents 9 performances at The Anderson Street Space at 1405 Anderson Street, Granville Island.

Wednesday, September 23 (6PM)
Thursday, September 24 (6PM)
Friday, September 25 (6PM)
Saturday, September 26 (11AM, 1PM)
Sunday, September 27 (11AM, 1PM, 4PM, 6PM)

Find $10 tickets online at

Canadian Screen Awards 2013

CanadianScreenAwardsSunday night, comedian Martin Short hosted the 2nd annual Canadian Screen Awards at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto. This was the second year for the awards, created from the merger of The Genie and Gemini Awards, which recognize the best in Canadian Film, Television and Digital Media. It also marked the 65 anniversary of the first Canadian Film Awards (the precursor to the Genie Awards).

In film, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy lead the way with 10 nominations while in television, the sci-fi drama Orphan Black lead with 14 and both ended up with the most hardware at the end of the night.

The winners in the major categories were:

Motion Picture: Gabrielle
Direction: Denis Villeneuve for Enemy
Actor in a Leading Role: Gabriel Arcand in Le Démantèlement
Actress in a Leading Role: Gabrielle Marion-Rivard in Gabrielle
Actor in a Supporting Role: Gordon Pinsent in The Grand Seduction
Actress in a Supporting Role: Sarah Gadon in Enemy
Original Screenplay: Shannon Masters for Empire of Dirt
Adapted Screenplay:  Elan Mastai for The F Word
Achievement in Music-OriginalScore: Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans for Enemy
Achievement in Music-Original Song:  Jimmy Harry and Serena Ryder for “It’s No Mistake” from The Right Kind Of Wrong
Claude Jutra Award (first time director): Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais for Whitewash
Golden Reel Award (biggest box-office): The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


Drama Series: Orphan Black
Comedy Series: Call Me Fitz:
Lifestyle Program or Series: You Gotta Eat Here!
Reality/Competition Program or Series: Dragons’ Den
Lead Actor, Drama: Hugh Dillon in Flashpoint
Lead Actress, Drama: Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Lead Actor, Comedy: Jason Priestley in Call Me Fitz
Lead Actress, Comedy: Tracy Dawson in Call Me Fitz
Supporting Actor, Drama: Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black
Supporting Actress, Drama: Maria Doyle Kennedy in Orphan Black
Supporting Actor, Comedy: Nicholas Campbell in Less Than Kind
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Nikky Payne in Satisfaction
National Newscast:  CTV National News
National News Anchor: Lisa LaFlamme for CTV National News
News Information Series: The Fifth Estate
Live Sports Event: 101st Grey Cup


Original Program or Series, Fiction: Space Janitors
Original Program or Series, Non-Fiction: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions (CBC Music)
Cross-Platform Project, Fiction: Continuum Interactive
Cross- Platform Project, Non-Fiction: The Amazing Race Canada Interactive
Cross-Platform Project, Children’s: The Next Step Interactive
Performance in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media: Katie Boland for Long Story Short

Intimate & Interactive 3 at 1181 featuring DJ Lee Harris

Intimate and Interactive is a special event at 1181 bringing in top international DJ to play for an intimate & exclusive audience of sixty people!
This February 3rd, the third Intimate & Interactive features Lee Harris, resident DJ at House Nation UK, which is a monthly iTunes Top 10 podcast with over 90,000 downloads an episode showcasing his uplifting house and electro sound.

As well as many most major cities across the UK,  Lee has also played internationally in Egypt, Germany and Luxemburg.   In 2010 he became a resident at ‘Onyx’ @ Area the hottest Friday night in London, Lovechild @ Fire and Powerhouse in Newcastle, plus he played alongside The Freemasons at Brighton pride in front of 5,000 party people. 2011 & 2012 saw him flying to Canada for a private party, playing the main set for Brighton Pride alongside Danny Rampling and Seamus Haji and starting his own show on Gaydar Radio which has a audience of two million while his podcast HouseNation Uk continues to dominate the iTunes music podcasts.

It’s easy to see why Lee’s mixture of chunky baselines, big beats, “thumping hands in the air” house and uplifting synth’s make up to be one of the freshest DJ’s that London has to offer.

Tickets are on sale at 1181; $50, including 2 Absolut Vodka hiballs. Remember capacity is limited to the 60 people so buy early.


NXNE Announces 2012 Line-up

YDS packed for free shows at NXNE 2011

To stay at the forefront of Canada’s music scene, Toronto’s North by Northeast Music & Film Festival & Conference(NXNE) keeps growing each year. 2012’s recently announced line-up includes 650 bands, 40 films and 50 interactive panels from June 11-17. NXNE will be taking over venues throughout the city for its 18th year, with the largest venue being Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) in the heart of Toronto, home of free public concerts throughout the week-long event. Flaming Lips, Bad Religion, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah and Matthew Good will headline YDS along with dozens of other acts. The Square is always a highlight of the week, packing in 10,000+ on some nights. With many clubs and venues open special extended hours during the festival, the City barely sleeps as festival-goers race across the city to see the latest buzzed about new act or some amazing veteran acts play small venues like they were starting out again.

The Pack A.D. play the intimate Horseshoe Tavern

The first wave of artists, speakers and films were announced recently with more to come as the festival approaches. Passes and wristbands are on sale now, visit for more information and to watch for more announcements.

Top 10 Hits & Misses of my NXNE

North By NorthEast Festival wrapped up earlier this week.
My friends and I tried to get to a lot of the events but as with any multi-venue festival it’s nearly impossible to see it all.
From the parties, bands and sessions we made it to, here’s my hits and misses.

Hit: Nineties nostalgia with Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield at Lee’s Palace
Miss: Asian Pseudo-Elvis Impression from Dirty Beaches, it just seemed pretentious, indulgent nonsense.
Hit: Interactive; we didn’t make it to that many but I was impressed by the scope and content of the sessions
Miss: XM Satellite Party at Skybar – why did so many people call this a BBQ when there was no food? Not that we needed food but having just one type of drink; beer at $4.50/can, was a bit of a miss too!
Hit: XM Satellite Party at Skybar – although the party portion was a miss the music was a hit; featuring Hollerado, Zeus, Dinosaur Bones, and Washington!
Miss: Deerhoof; Special Guests at Horseshoe Tavern, even though this was a surprise performance, which are usually highly anticipated, very few people hung around. Watching Deerhoof is like seeing two bands competing, a lead singer performing energetic Japa-Pop and the rest of the band putting on a punk-pop show.
Hit: The Pack A.D. ; Chick-rock at it’s best, in the year since seeing them at NXNE ’10 they’ve honed their stage presence and performance into a winning combination of personality and great music.
Miss: Taxis & Traffic; not really directly related to NXNE but atrocious traffic and expensive taxis heavily influence the overall experience.
Hit: Cults; not knowing anything about this band resulted in a very pleasant surprise.
Hit: Wildlife; an unexpecte, unplanned stop at Horseshoe Tavern resulted in hearing this great local band.
Hit: Yonge-Dundas Square: A great FREE line-up of bands each night bring this public space to life and introduces NXNE to a huge audience.

As you can see there was more hits than misses, I could go on with more too. If you get a chance to participate in NXNE in the future, you should check it out.

Top 5 Ways To Fill Your Day At NXNE Festival

Since I’m in Toronto for North by Northeast Interactive, Film & Music Festival I thought I’d share the experience, with a few fun ways to fill your day at the Fest.

1. Learning; some great topics are covered in the hundreds of Interactive sessions.
2. Relaxing; the rooftop pool at host hotel Hyatt Regency on King is a great way to recover from the night before’s late night.
3. Parties; music organizations, labels, production companies and major brands hold non-NXNE events and parties at great spaces & venues all over town
4. Music; the largest component of the Fest is the music – hundreds of shows across the city including free shows every night at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s a great chance to discover that new buzz band or unsigned gem
5. Eating; wrap up a late night with some amazing (and cheap) pizza in Little Italy. The next morning start the day with some tasty crepes and fresh fruit at Cora’s near the Hyatt and you’re ready to start all over again!