2009 ST-PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

It was a lousy day for a parade. It was cold, wet, snowy at times and the usually packed crowd was showing breaks on its “front line” even as the parade started rolling. About an hour into the parade, the opposite side of the street was pretty much empty, the paraders themselves barely having an audience to parade to.

The ambiance got rained out, but luckily, my “assistant” — my wife ;) — was there to hold the umbrella as I took some pictures.

Cheerful Medieval Gal #2
The rain and cold weather couldn’t put a damper on this young lady’s cheerful spirit

Korean Dancer #1
A Korean traditional dance

Fire Dept.
“Where is everybody?!” Most probably where it warm and dry…

Boxer
“Irish” Boxer with a wet T-Shirt

The Police
As usual, the police started off the parade

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2008 POWELL STREET FESTIVAL

I couldn’t stay long enough to see everything that the festival had to offer, but while I was there, it was time well spent at Oppenheimer Park where Japanese Canadian arts, culture, and heritage were being celebrated (click here to read the festival’s official mission). The festival runs until today (Sunday August 3rd).

Japanese Instrument
Traditional Japanese music (can someone tell me the name of this instrument?)

Tug Of War
Different activities are available for children

Beads
Fabulous Japanese glass beads (called “Tombodama”) designed by artist Minori Takagi

Procession?
Forgive my ignorance, I don’t know what this thing represents and what the ceremony was for (anyone?)

Japanese-Style Umbrella
Japanese-style umbrella (what is its official name?)

Taiko Group Pic
Group pic with a cheerful Japanese man

Food Court
Food section

Rock & Roll
Punk Rock band Riff Randells (in English)

CARIBBEAN DAYS FESTIVAL – MULTICULTURAL STREET PARADE

Queen Of Samba #2
The Queen of Samba is thoroughly enjoying this parade, and so are we

The “Caribbean Days Festival” was happening this weekend, in North Van, and although there were many activities to choose from, I only attended the Multicultural Street Parade, before the light rain “scared” me and my camera away (my girlfriend says she’s lower maintenance than my camera, lol; but in my defense, she wasn’t too keen on being under the rain with no umbrella either ;) ).

It was a short, but lively parade full of colors, rythm and sexy costumes.

Sexy Black
Sexy!

Colorful Dancers
Colorful dancers

Jamaica, Man
Jamaica!

Red Angel
Red angel

Black Manta
What is this “costume” called? All I know is it looks impressive!

Sexy
Another sexy pose

Silver
Silver all over, except the hands (why?)

Shake Those Hips
Shake that booty

Attitude
Attitude

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2008 JAZZ FEST – SLIDING HAMMERS

Yaletown Splash
Once in a while they open some fire hydrant valves that shoot up in the sky and give us a spectacular show!

Last weekend Gastown was the stage for the free shows and this past weekend it was Yaletown’s turn.  The weather was perfect.  Well, maybe a little too hot?  on Saturday, me and my friends tried to find a spot in the shade with a decent view on the stage, but of course, they were all taken…

 Too Hot to Handle
The shade was our best friend this weekend — it was HOT!!!

Free Jazz at David Lam Park
The David Lam Park in Yaletown.  That ice cream vendor is sure to make a buck sooner than later! ;)

After roasting in the Sun for about 30 minutes, we decided to head to the indoor stage.  A show was already on and, since spots away from the Sun were on high demand, I only managed to sneak way back in the room, with a wooden pillar right in my face. :s  The band Sliding Hammers was playing:

Sliding Hammers
Swedish sisters Mimmi Pettersson Hammar and Karin Hammar

Sliding Hammers
A fine piano solo just ended

I especially liked Ronnie Gardiner, the drummer, from which you could feel a deep sense of joy through his playing (not that the others weren’t having fun — they were; it was just most apparent in him).  He was all smiles and sooo relaxed behind his drum set whether it was a mellow song or playing through a solo.  Going to live shows is so much fun when you can feel that energy emanating from the band/artist.  It was a very enjoyable show with great music and good laughs listening to the comments the sisters had for us in-between songs.

Official Website

2008 DRAGONBOAT FESTIVAL / THE TREWS CONCERT

Dragonboat Race
Go go go!

I must admit that I can’t seem to find a way to get into the action at the dragonboat race portion of the festival (just my opinion…).  We’re never that close to the racers and when they do get close, the fun lasts but a few seconds.

But I could rave all day about the excellent music the festival had in store for us later that evening (Saturday June 21st*): The Trews, a great Canadian rock and roll band were in town to offer us a free concert in the park next to the dragonboat finish line.  I had heard great things about their shows and, let me tell you, it’s all “Trew.”  Great showmanship and quality rock and roll from the boys; they really know how to work a crowd.  As the evening came to a close, we were so not ready to go!

(*EDIT: I just found out that Rumba Calzada was also part of the dragonboat festival; another fantastic, Latin inspired act)

The Trews
Singer/guitarist Colin MacDonald

The Trews
Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

The Trews
Technical glitch: the lights unexpectedly went out for a few songs and people started bringing out
cell phones and lighters to help out, including the singer! lol

The Trews
Bassist Jack Syperek and lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

Body Surfing
You know people are having a great time when body surfing is on

The Trews
Drummer Sean Dalton

The Trews
Make some noise!!!

Visit their official Website or their MySpace page to listen to some of their songs.

2008 JAZZ FEST – MOTHER MOTHER

Like Montreal’s “Jazz” Fest, Vancouver’s “Jazz” Fest is not just about “Jazz.”  This past Sunday, June 22nd, it was Vancouver’s own Mother Mother‘s turn to light up the stage with their energetic blend of pop/rock/indie music:

Mother Mother
left: Ryan Guldemond (guitar/vocals); top-right: Molly Guldemond (vocals/synth); bottom-right: Debra-Jean Creelman (vocals)

Mother Mother
Sassy Molly Guldemond

Mother Mother
Ryan Guldemond shredding the fretboard

Mother Mother
Expressive Debra-Jean Creelman backed by Ryan Guldemond on guitar and Ali Siadat on drums

Mother Mother
Ali Siadat

Mother Mother
Jeremy Page (bass/horns)

Check out their official website or listen to their music on MySpace.

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2008 JAZZ FEST – DAL RICHARDS AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Festival Banner in Gastown
Free Jazz in Gastown! :)

I had an excellent first show as I went to Gastown Saturday to enjoy some of the free concerts happening there this weekend.  At 90 years young, Dal Richards is one cool cat on stage and his orchestra is very talented indeed.  There was not one weak number in their set, consisting mostly (if not all) of jazz standards, usually leaning on the uptempo swing style.

If you live in Vancouver or are passing by this Summer, why not check the orchestra out at the Fair at the PNE this year?  Mr. Richards was telling us that they will be playing for us every day at noon and 2PM there, throughout the fair.  Don’t miss out on this entertaining performance!

Dal Richards and his Orchestra
Dal Richards and his Orchestra

Duet
Duet

With All His Heart
Dal had to wave a white towel at him so he wouldn’t overheat from his smokin’ rendition
(I forgot the name of the song — “it’s not on the CD”, Dal said :) )

Sax Player
Saxin’ it up

Battle Of The Drums Raging On
Battle Of The Drums raging on — lol!

Dal Richards
Dal Richards