2010 Vancouver Sun Run

Vancouver Sun Run
An early Sun Runner

It was a perfect day for the Vancouver Sun Run! Good vibes, great music — at least at the corner of Beach Ave. and Cardero St. where I was initially stationed — and the occasional colorful participants kept both runners and onlookers like myself smiling. I think this event is in my top 3 of Vancouver’s best events. I’m looking forward to next year’s edition. :D

EDIT: I can’t retrace the article just now, but I read from many Sun Runners that, in the end, there was a lot of discontent at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run. The main complaint seemed to be regarding the many barrages of walkers that the runners had to go through along the 10km route. Reading this reminded me how surprised I was to see how often runners would run in my direction even though I was clearly in my specator/photographer zone, on the sidewalk. Apparently it’s more fun to be on the sidelines, sometimes. :s

Cool Runnings
Synchronized Running :)

Water Break
Time for a water break,  around the 4km mark

Passing By
The fun ambiance surrounding the Sun Run makes this one of my favorite events, even as simple spectator/photographer

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FREE OLYMPICS – DAY 8

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Éric Lapointe

Back home, artists like Garou and Éric Lapointe would be guaranteed sellouts, but tabarnak, the place was nearly 3/4 empty both times I went to see these famous Quebecers this past week (which means probably less than a thousand people showed up each night). What luck for us few who know better (joke…) and get to see up close these “Vancouver”  hidden gems for free! :D

OK, so maybe the percentage of people who speak or understand French is not that high here. Still, I would have thought that curiosity would have filled in the gaps with the Vancouver population overflowing with Olympics tourists and athletes.

Anyhow, rocker Éric Lapointe and his band delivered a great show for us and the small crowd gave him a warm welcome, shouting “Lapointe! Lapointe!” even before he set foot on stage and continued throughout the evening.

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I suggest you check out the schedule on the Place de la francophonie website and sample some of the music on YouTube. Who knows, you might be surprised. Like, did you know that legendary Quebecer Zachary Richard is actually an American from Louisiana who sings in French? And remember André-Philippe Gagon? He’s the imitator who shot to fame with his one-man rendition of “We Are The World” back in the mid-eighties. These guys will be performing this week. Don’t come in too big numbers, though; I’ve been thoroughly enjoying those front row seats myself! :D

FREE OLYMPICS – DAY 7

Another night out on the town around Granville St. and Robson Square. Not as busy or lively as the previous night, but still entertaining.

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Elvis was here… :)

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This is the band that I had a blast watching a few months ago.

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One of the two “Duh Hockey Guys”… lol

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Nightly light/laser/pyro show.

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Nightly light/laser/pyro show.

FREE OLYMPICS – DAY 6

Day 5 was a day of household chores for me, so I apparently missed out on some good street hockey fun on Granville St. yesterday. Tonight though, day 6, I was in the thick of the action. :D

I gave up trying to go to the Heineken House at Richmond’s O Zone after hearing that it was next to impossible to get in once again from a friend’s friend. Some colleagues and I decided instead to hang around Science World and the Downtown core for the evening.

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The Russia House at Science World was already closed by 5pm, but there was this interesting structure close by

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Inside the Saskatchewan “bubble” (?). At night they project a 360 degree video of all things Saskatchewan. Cool effect!

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I don’t know his name, but this artist put on a great show inside the Saskatchewan House — great guitar player!

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The roofless Quebec House. lol  It was too early (before 6:30pm) for the party to be under way there.

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Robson Square had some performances going on during the evening

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The Vancouver Party Patrol 2010 guys brought music around 10pm and it didn’t take long for people to join in the fun on Granville St. I don’t do the clubbing scene, but seeing people dancing and having a great time was a blast! The Irish House had a $20 cover charge, but this was probably more fun and all free! :D

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I got lucky with this cool “ghostly” shot (1/3 second exposure, with the subject jumping in the air for her pose)

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At 11pm, the nightly fireworks and laser show at Robson Square were on

FREE OLYMPICS – DAY 4

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It was back to my roots tonight as I went to the “Place de la francophonie” to see a very famous Québec artist — Garou (remember him from the opening ceremony?). The portion where Garou sang old classics that had French origins was brilliant. He would sing mostly in French, with occasional verses in English or Spanish, and back again to French for the chorus. I never knew that Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” was actually a cover of a French song. :s  Great show.

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With Québec singer Élizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite

DANCING IN THE STREETS

Last Friday night I stumbled upon a trio of musicians playing at the entrance to the Future Shop store at the corner of Robson and Granville. There were two saxophone players — one alto and one baritone — and a drummer with a minimalistic setup. It was a lot of fun! The music was lively and the band members were obviously enjoying themselves very much as they didn’t mind acting a little silly while they were playing.

A crowd of about 25 people gathered around the band and some danced along to the music (you really don’t want to see my “talent” in this department). One guy seemingly just passing through decided to dance “on stage” for a minute or so, the girls shouting in approval. Another passerby left another sort of tip as he balanced the centerfold of an issue of Hustler magazine on the top of the bass drum with two naked lesbians kissing. lol  The band members and the audience had a good laugh; and no, the drummer didn’t loose the rhythm despite the distraction.  On another song the alto saxophone player asked the audience to repeat the “lyrics”after him (I believe they were made up on the spot — part of the welcome impromptu silliness of the night). The crowd was having such a good time that it wasn’t difficult to get us to participate in the singing.

10-15 minutes later, it was time for me to go (not before leaving my biggest tip ever for a street performance). I hope we get to see more “street bands” like this one in the future. I had seen a few in Victoria a couple of years ago, but in Vancouver it’s a rare sight.

2009 HSBC CELEBRATION OF LIGHT – CHINA

Saturday, August 1st was China’s turn to wow the crowd at the HSBC Celebration of Light.  Here is a short photographic summary of the evening…

Sea Of People
It’s 8:15pm and a sea of people has already formed along the shores of First Beach at English Bay

Almost Showtime
Just before showtime, at 10pm

Fireworks #2
Let the fireworks begin!

Fireworks #1
Ooooooh… Aaaaaah…

Rushing Home
Multiply the Critical Mass bike ride “population” by 100 and you get the pedestrian version,
returning from the fireworks