Himalyan Bear at the Fort Street Cafe

28 04 2011

Since the release of 2006’s “Lo Lonesome Island”, Ryan Beattie’s Himalayan Bear has proven to be one of Victoria’s most captivating projects.  Featuring a rotating cast of musicians including Grayson Walker, Dan Weisdenberger, J McLaughlin, Tolan McNeil, Marek Tyler, and Eric Gallipo just to name a few, Himalayan Bear has been an outlet for Beattie’s ever-blossoming song writing.  And if Thursday night’s show at the Fort Street Cafe is any indication, the best is yet to come.

                On this night Beattie was joined by Megan Boddy (on viola and backing vocals), Rad Juli (filling in for Marek Tyler on drums) and his own reverb-drenched Gretsch guitar, which he cradled like a newborn for the entirety of the evening.  The spare arrangement highlighted Beattie’s mostly melancholic songs of loss (evocatively captured with well-wrought images such as a shirt hanging abandoned on the line) and alcohol (“empty whiskey bottles aloft”), subjects often sung about, but rarely with such tenderness and beauty.

                Beattie’s distinctive alloy of baritone and falsetto gave an added gravity to the words he sang.  His ruminations on darkness, on the expanse of ruinous night, often gave way to moments of a quaking and numinous splendor as Beattie effortlessly straddled entire octave ranges.   

                Finishing his set with a haunting rendition of “Man On Fire” from the forthcoming album “Hard Times”, Beattie and co. gave their intimate audience something to look forward to.  The album, due out later this year, promises to be a further evolution in Beattie’s craft for surely this is a songwriter at the height of his powers.

Calendar: May Day Weekend

28 04 2011

Take advantage of the improving weather and get out on the town. Whether you’re a Royalty fan or an Ol’ West officianado, this weekend has fun for you.

Rise & Shine with the Royals – Enjoy a full English breakfast buffet with eggs, kippers, baked beans, fried bread, fruit and pastries while watching the Royal wedding live, FRIDAY 3-11am at the Empress (721 Government), $50. Or bring picnic blankets and chairs and attend the Royal Subject’s Tea, noon-3pm on the Empress lawn, free to attend/$20 for “afternoon tea-to-go.” 250-384-8111.

Cupcakes & Corsets – An evening of beautiful lingerie and cupcakes. Learn about sexy outfits and shop at sale prices. FRIDAY 7-9pm at Balance Studio (112-733 Johnson). $7. 250-889-3435.

Nimrod Shoot – Come experience Cowboy Action Shooting, one of the fastest growing sports in North America. Receive instruction from our experienced cowgirls and cowboys and then try your skill at shooting six gun revolvers, lever action rifles, and shotguns. SATURDAY 9am-3pm at the Victoria Fish and Game Association (700 Holker). $35. 250-656-2520.

Big Cheese Cut – Come see the kitchen boys and girls of Ottavio cut the largest wheels of cheese made in the world today. Watch as they crack, cut, and slice their way through domestic and imported wheels of cheese. SATURDAY 11:30am-3:30pm at Ottavio Italian Bakery (2272 Oak Bay). Free. 250-592-4080.

Get Medieval – The Society for Creative Anachronism invites the public to a time of yesterday, with combative knights and dancing Ladies. SATURDAY Noon-4pm at Rudd Park (3259 Irma). Free. 250-995-2882.

The Future of Electoral Reform – Speakers include Bob Simpson, independent MLA; Jane Sterk, leader of the BC Green Party; and Dennis Pilon, political scientist. Hosted by Fair Vote Canada. SATURDAY 1:30-3:30pm in room A110, the Social Sciences and Mathematics Building (UVic). Free. 250-384-0666.

Ultimate hobby & Toy Fair – The Island’s biggest toy and hobby fair. With a silent auction to raise proceeds for the Mustard Seed Food Bank. SUNDAY 8am-3pm at Pearkes Arena (3100 Tillicum). $3/free for children. 250-385-8697.

May Day Celebration – Come rais a glass and celebrate Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse’s fourth anniversary. SUNDAY 11am-6pm at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse (2487 Mount St. Michael). Free. seacider.ca.

Battle of the Atlantic Tribute – Model warchips will parade to honour all sailers who served and died in the longest battle of the Second World War. SUNDAY noon-2pm at the Harrison Model Yacht Pond (Dallas at Government). Free. 250-385-9552.

Win the Drlcts album, No When It Counts, by emailing calendar@mondaymag.com (SUBJECT: DRLCTS).

Calendar: Easter Bunnies, Diapers and Chess

20 04 2011

The Easter bunnies are out in force this year. Hunt for ceramic bunnies at Butchart Gardens or eggs in the Esquimalt Rec Centre. Or, if chocolate eggs and marshmallow peeps aren’t your thing, take in a chess tournament or help try to bust the Guinesse World Record for most babies changed into cloth diapers concurrently at the Great Diaper Change. Either way, there’s fun to be had.

Creating Spaces Workshop – Deconstruct what it means to be “normal” and focus on building connections and relationships. THURSDAY, April 21, 1-4pm in room C168, the Sedgewick Building (UVic). Free. 250-472-4114.

Grand Pacific Open Chess Tournament – BC’s largest chess event. Including a six round FIDE and CFC rated Swiss, a Scholastic tournament, an active tournament, Midnight Blitz and a Bughouse tournament. THURSDAY, April 21, to MONDAY, April 25, at Hotel Grand Pacific (463 Belleville). $10-$95. Details at grandpacificopen.com

Easter Bunny Hunt – Kids (17 and under) can take a special map from the admission gate and head out on a hunt to find the hidden ceramic bunnies. After marking their locations on the map, they can return to the Info Centre for an Easter treat, and also enter the contest to win a great prize. 9am-5pm at Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto). $2-$28. 250-652-5256.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change – Promoting modern cloth diapers through an attempt at the Guiness Book of World Records. Help break the world record for most babies simultaneously changed using cloth diapers. The more babies participating, the better! Registration required. SATURDAY, April 23, 9am-noon at Oaklands Community Centre (2827 Belmont). $1. 250-294-8978.

Easter Eggstravaganza – Join the Esquimalt Easter Bunny on the pool deck for photos, games, fun and of course an Easter Egg Hunt! SATURDAY, April 23, 1-4pm at the Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser). $13 family/$3 children. 250-412-8505.

100 Sled Dogs Vigil – Help send a clear message to parliament that animal cruelty legislation changed with Bill C-229. SATURDAY, April 23, 3-5pm at the Ogden Point Breakwater (199 Dallas). Free. 250-514-6709.

Signs of Hope in Africa Easter Egg Hunt  – Bouncy castle, police/fire vehicle, face painting, games, bbq and egg hunt. SUNDAY, April 24, 10am-1pm in Beckwith Park (off Beckwith Ave). $5 kids under 13/free for adults. 250-889-4728.

This week, win the Sick Puppies latest album, Tri-Polar, by emailing calendar@mondaymag.com (SUBJECT: SICK PUPPIES).

Calendar: Art, Workshops and Paris

6 04 2011

Enjoy the visual arts this week with the Island Illustrators 25th Anniversary, the Victoria Comic book Show, and the Vancouver Island School of Art’s open house. Or maybe you’d prefer to better yourself by learning to plant a container garden or improving your self confidence. If all else fails, spend an evening pretending you’re in Paris supping on French fair at An Evening in Paris.

The Island Illustrators Society 25th Anniversary Celebration – Featuring the book launch, sale and signing of Coastal Moments, a brand-new writing and drawing journal featuring artwork by 44 members of the Island Illustrators Society combined with chosen quotes from some of BC’s finest poets THURSDAY 6-9pm at the AGGV (1040 Moss). $13/$11 students and seniors/free AGGV members. islandillustrators.org.

Companion Planting in Container Gardens – Learn about companion planting to maximize flavour and pest control, square foot gardening concepts and culinary creations. With Amy Crook. Registration required. SATURDAY 10am-noon at the Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser). $20.  250-383-5800.

No Regrets – A workshop by singer and writer Heather Loewen based on her book 101 Reasons To Be Yourself.Positive change and creative liberation are at your fingertips. Registration required. SATURDAY 1:30-4pm at the Overleaf Cafe-Bookshop (1105 Pandora). $20. naturalreviews@hotmail.com.

An Evening in Paris – A full evening of live entertainment and great auction items to bid on, including original art pieces. Wonderful French appy’s and desserts are included in the ticket price. Proceeds support the new Arts Centre at Cedar Hill. SATURDAY 6:30-10pm at the Cedar Hill Rec Centre. $56. 250-475-7121, saanichlegacy.ca.

Comic Book Show – Come and experience the wide and varied universe of comic books. Thousands of examples from all eras, from the hottest books of the day to hard-to-find treasures of the past. Toys, non-sports card and other collectibles as well. Come buy, sell, trade or just browse around. Free comics (while they last). SUNDAY 11am-4pm at the Ukrainian Cultural centre (3277 Douglas). Free. 250-361-6227, gjcomics@shaw.ca.

Vancouver Island School of Art open House – See all the interesting work done by VISA students this semester. Instructors will be on hand for questions about upcoming courses. SUNDAY noon-4pm at VISA (2549 Quadra). Free. 250-380-3500.

Need a little inspiration for renovation season? Email calendar@mondaymag.com (SUBJECT: DESIGN) to win one of five weekend passes to the Home Design & Renovation Tour 2011 on April 16 & 17. This self-guided tour winds through some of Victoria’s most beautiful homes.

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