Steven R. Duncan's Vancouver Events

Monday, March 09, 2009

Battle of the Bards Literary Pub Crawl

Three of Vancouver’s finest spoken word artists channel Yeats, Oscar Wilde and Robbie Burns (played by Sean McGarragle, Duncan Shields and Warren Dean Fulton respectively) duke it out to be crowned “top bard” in a four round poetry slam-style face-off, judged by members of the audience.
The crawl culminates at the Cellar, where the bards do final “battle”. Vancouver’s first poet laureate, George McWhirter, presides over the event, where the performers take artistic license and offer their own perspectives on the masters with the help of improv fiddler, Caitlan Read.

Open mic at 4:25pm

Who will be this year’s “top bard”? You be the judge!

Hosted by Maureen Sawasy.

Battle of the Bards - Sat March 14th 2009 - Schedule of Events

Round 1
2:00 Doolins Irish Pub (654 Nelson St.) Free
Round 2
2:45 Ceili's Irish Pub (670 Smithe St.) Free
Round 3
3:30 Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug (1033 Granville St.) Free
Open Mic & Finale
4:25 Cellar (1006 Granville St.) $5

For more information contact Steve Duncan at 604-788-8340 or email

Brought to you by the Edgewater Casino Celticfest Vancouver

Be sure to visit our Facebook Event page at:

Here's a map of all of the venues:

View Larger Map

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Poets Corner Announces Features for 2007

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, over 20 poets will be gracing the stage between the hours of 12:00pm and 5:00pm.

This year, the organizers have gathered up an amazing line up of poets to feature throughout the day:

12 pm Alexandra Oliver

Hosted Steven R. Duncan
1pm World Poetry Showcase featuring Bernice Lever
2-3 pm Marita Daschel
Hosted by Sue McIntrye
3-4 pm Peter Trower
Hosted by Jamie Reinert
4-5 pm Hilary Peach
Hosted RC Weslowski

Help us promote literacy and celebrate Canadian literary arts at
, downtown Vancouver.

The Word On The Street is an annual one-day festival celebrating literacy
and the written arts. Held in five cities across
Canada simultaneously -
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax - The Word On The Street
celebrates reading and writing with free exhibits, performances, readings
and hands-on activities every September.

Last year,
Vancouver's The Word On The Street attracted over 40,000
visitors, and hundreds of participating exhibitors, authors, and performers
Library Square for literary readings, cookbook demonstrations, music,
contests, panel discussions and much more.

We invite you to join us and become part of Vancouver's favorite annual
celebration of words and reading.
For more information, call us at (604) 788-8340 or email

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Theatre in the Raw at the Fringe

with three tasty original one-acts featuring a radio reading of The Toe Cutter by Bill Pollett.

Top: The Toe Cutter cast members Kate Laktin, Serge Savoy, Delana Russell. Bottom: Olesia Shewchuk and Zi Paris. Photo: Steven R. Duncan. For more photos go to:
High res photos available upon request.
Pollett’s The Toe Cutter portrays a family’s battles with a deep secret that won’t go away. A tragic incident occurs to a family of girls, the memory of which will not go away without a chilling struggle that leaves its mark on a small quiet Saskatchewan town.
The Toe Cutter is an original radio play reading from our current Mythical Voices for Our Time play project. The play was premiered with a live radio broadcast on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio’s The Arts Rational program - CFRO 102.7 FM in June, 2007. “…collectively excellent performances…” Beyond Robson website.

This dark and powerful production is just one of 3 original one-acts happening over 6 nights from September 9th to 16th – two shows alternating each night.
Theatre In the Raw will be part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival for the first time in its 13 years of producing theatre in Vancouver.
Also presented will be Paul Manuel Kane’s Duet In the Park - the winner of TITRaw’s 2005 One-Act Play Writing Contest; and one of the company’s most performed one-acts, Patrick Foley’s, You Are What You Eat (developed out of the Carnegie Theatre Workshop/Community Centre) will be revived once again.

Check out opening night reviews here:

Theatre In the Raw started out of a storefront cafe called La Quena Cafe on Commercial Drive, in 1994. They rehearsed and performed there for nearly three years, producing over 125 one-acts in over 43 nights of theatre within a period of time. While housed at La Quena they applied for and received a Canada Council Exploration grant, allowing the theatre to go on two tours along the Squamish corridor and Sunshine/Sechelt coasts. There was an outdoor theatre day of 16 performances at Grandview Park with the help of a Vancity Credit Union community grant. They raised a tent along with a wooden stage, and had over a thousand people come and see a full day free of Theatre in the Park. They have since performed in over 45 venues both in the southern/interior half of British Columbia and in Seattle, Washington for the 1998 Seattle Fringe Festival.
Since 1997, they moved toward mainstage performance work. Their mainstage plays usually consists of two to three acts with a show run of 2 to 4 consecutive weeks. They are also committed to organizing mini-tours, in and out of the Lower Mainland of BC for many of their dramas. This gives the actors, running crew, and administration members of the company greater experience with the nuts and bolts of running a semi-professional travelling theatre company. It allows for quality, risk-taking artistic works with substance. They have produced nine full-length mainstage plays. Five were revived classical plays and they premiered four original Canadian play works in Vancouver.
The work results in groundbreaking fresh theatre. “Theatre In the Raw… rises to the occasion…has notable successes…” The Georgia Straight.
All Fringe performances are at the AGRO CAFÉ on 1363 Railspur Alley - Granville Island; tickets to all of the theatrical evenings are $10 and $12 (in advance) are thru the Vancouver Fringe Festival box office. For a complete schedule, please check out our website, or phone the Theatre In the Raw office number at (604) 708-5448, or call the Vancouver Fringe office: (604) 257-0355 for further information, including synopsis of other plays.
Ò Showtimes & Shows (two one-acts per night/ alternating plays each night):
Sept. 9th – 8pm ~ You Are What You Eat & Duet In the Park
Sept. 12th – 8pm ~ The Toe Cutter & Duet In the Park
Sept. 13th – 8pm ~ The Toe Cutter & You Are What You Eat
Sept. 14th – 8pm ~ The Toe Cutter & Duet In the Park
Sept. 15th – 8pm ~ The Toe Cutter & You Are What You Eat
Sept. 16th – 8pm ~ You Are What You Eat & Duet In the Park

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Monday, July 09, 2007


On September 7th the artist-run Tin Press will launch Justine Brown’s playful, unsettling novel Spin the Bottle, beautifully illustrated by Fantagraphics comics legend Dame Darcy.

Brown , author of non-fiction books All Possible Worlds (1995) and Hollywood Utopia (2002), has long been fascinated by utopianism. “My parents were hippies,” she says. “I have first hand experience of commune life.” She considers herself part of a “post-utopian” generation.

With Spin the Bottle, Brown turns her attention to the Back-to-the-Land movement which flourished in the 1970s British Columbia, and another part of countercultural life she knows well from personal experience. “The novel shows a lot of it from a child’s perspective—the whole dream of living like pioneers in a hand-built cabin in the forest, without electricity, running water, or any other modern convenience. “It’s kind of a dark comedy,” she remarks, “but there’s a lot of affection there too.”

The novel has historical and supernatural sides as well, dimensions that come out strongly in the gothic ink illustrations contributed by the inimitable California-based Dame Darcy. Mermaids, fairies and phantoms abound, and a whole sub-plot involves the theory that the explorer/ pirate Sir Francis Drake came as far as the unmapped British Columbia coast in the sixteenth century, searching for the fabled Northwest Passage which would take him and his crew back to England.

“Dame Darcy’s enchanted artwork emphasizes my sense of B.C. as a magical geography,” says Brown, “a place where anything is possible.”

Join Justine Brown and other members of the Tin Press for a glass of champagne to celebrate the launch of Spin the Bottle on Friday, September 7t, at Forufera Studio, 505 Hamilton Street (6-8 pm). Brown will present aspects her new work. Also performing will be elegantly humorous poet Alexandra Oliver and musician and painter extraordinaire Kevin House.

For more information, contact Steve Duncan at 604-788-8340

Check out the Tin Press website at


Dame Darcy won a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. There, she majored in film and animation, studying with George Kuchar, Kathy Acker, and others. During this time Dame Darcy began self publishing her long standing comic book Meat Cake which is currently published by Fantagraphics Books, (the largest independent comic book publisher in the U.S.) Meat Cake is on its 16th issue and counting.

While in San Francisco she toured with her first band Caroliner Rainbow, and produced her first independent solo music releases,The Devil made her Do It, Will O' The Wisp Octopus (Villavillakula), Are You Afraid to Die, Dame Darcy singing saw,(Nuf Sed) collaboration, (with Kill Rock Stars, The Cocktails, etc.) and cabaret. Darcy plays Banjo, electric bass, singing saw, and sings.

To date, her albums, short films/ animation, and comics collaborations have been released in the U.S.Canada, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere.

In 2006, her latest graphic novel The Illustrated Jane Eyre, was published by Putnam Penguin USA (NY). A DVD/book, Dollerium, was released ( Tokyo based Press Pop) and her latest CD Death By Doll (indie label Emperor Penguin) which she toured in the US.

Her current projects include Meat Cake Comix, and graphic novel, Gasoline, which is also currently in preproduction as a feature film(for more info please visit: Her band, Death By Doll is the soundtrack for the film and the CD will be included with the Graphic novel. She is also working on a graphic novel/animated TV series for young adults, The Excorsisters. Her books, fine art and hand crafted dolls, music, movies, fashion design, and current events can be acquired and seen on

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fearless Festival

Hip, young rapping sisters Genetics are just one of the great acts getting ready to kick off the 1st Annual Fearless Festival happening July 1st at Pigeon Park.

The line-ups on both the Pigeon Park main stage and the Coop Radio Courageous Words stage at Sunday’s event is eclectic and rapid-fire.

Other main stage acts include performances by City Opera, Poco Locos, The Rockin’ Guys, Dalannah Bowen, Heidi Morgan and Nightlife, which features Michelle Richard, who will also MC the day’s mainstage event.

Commercial Drive poet Leanne Sjodin, coordinator and host of the Coop Radio “Courageous Words” stage has also assembled an impressive roster of talent, including Roger Blenman & Chris Perrotte, Slam favourites Sean McGarragle and Brendan McLeod, plus Kevin Wilkie, Anne Miles, Adam Sheepbelly, Kagan Goh, Peter LaGrand and Bryn Williams. This stage will be broadcast live on Coop Radio 102.7fm and will feature the premiere performance of two new radio plays by East Vancouver’s notorious Theatre in the Raw.

There will be stuff for kids, bicycle decorating, break dancing demonstrations and more. The fun starts at 3pm at Pigeon Park with opening ceremonies and the national anthem led by Michelle Richard.

For a complete list of events, go here…

On July 1st, Be Fearless!

Proudly supported by the City of Vancouver, Office of Cultural Affairs, The British Columbia Arts Council The Community Arts Council of Vancouver, the Community Arts Network and the Canadian Unitarian Council.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mike Carew's 19th CD Launch

Friday, May 25

The WISE Hall – 1882 Adanac St.

Doors: 8pm

Show: 9pm

Tickets $10

Singer/songwriter, Mike Carew proudly launches his

19th original CD


on May 25th

at East Vancouver’s historic WISE Hall

with special guests

Goes To Eleven

At home on small café stages with just his guitar, this landmark show will be Carew’s first performance with a full band since 2001.

Nineteen self-produced albums in as many years is an almost unheard of feat in the music world. Mike says he set the goal for himself in order to keep his work fresh and to challenge himself. Every CD contains new material, which was written in that particular year.

About the process, Carew says the first four CD’s were a challenge, but the process has made it easier. Once the show is done he’ll be back at it already thinking about the next CD.

“It used to be a case where I’d write down a tune and be worried that if I’d go to bed I’d forget it the next day. Now it doesn’t bother me. If it’s good, I’ll remember it.”

Reviewers have put forward these comments in regards to the work:

“Mike treats his subjects with kindness and compassion,”

“…he turns his focus to social injustice without sacrificing any of the pop sensibility which make these songs interesting.”

Perhaps the best description of Carew’s work is that it’s a fusion of Jim Croce, the Beatles, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. There is an underlying, undeniable honesty to Mike’s writing and performance style that draws you in and keeps you wanting more.

Carew had a confession to make when asked why he decided to call this album “Rare”: He’s following the alphabet! The one incongruity was with the second CD, Underture, but he’s been on track since then.

The May 25th show will be opened by long-time collaborator Eliot Pister with his band Goes To Eleven. Pister has worked on eleven of Mike’s nineteen albums.

To reserve tickets call 685 5867 or email

Check out Mike’s songs and video on his website,

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Friday, April 20, 2007

A.muse bouche

amuse-bouche, bite-sized morsels , usually delicate but flavorful, offered before a meal to give diners an impression of the chef’s culinary and creative sensibilities… a teaser. a trailer.

Please join us on May 19th for, a.muse bouche, an evening of cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary artistic musing with some of Vancouver’s finest emerging and established artists. The event takes place at La Casa Del Artista, 150 East 3rd (off Main Street) and is being held in support of a documentary film project by local filmmaker, Heather Smythe and the artists that make it happen.

Tickets are $12 at the door.

For a sample of some of the artists and the evenings events, check out our link on YouTube:

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Book Launch

Slam Poetry Pioneer
Returns to Lauch her New Book

with special guest
RC Weslowski

Date: Friday, May 11, 2007
Time: 6pm
Location: Forufera Centre
Mezz Level, 505 Hamilton Street (map)

The London, England-based Tin Press is up and running with a witty new collection, Where the English Housewife Shines, by performance poet Alexandra Oliver. “We are pleased to present Alexandra because her work is right up our alley,” says Tin Press co-founder Justine Brown.
“On the page, she is as playful and entertaining as she is in performance.” With her dramatic bearing, perfect enunciation and distinctive literary style, Oliver has been a strong presence in the spoken-word scene since its birth in the 1990s, often appearing in “slams” (live poetry competitions). In 1996 she won a place on Vancouver’s slam team, representing the city at the US National Poetry Slam. She is featured in the 1998 documentary Slam Nation.
She moved to Seattle in 2006, and has appeared at spoken-word venues there regularly. “I am an unrepentant neo-classicist,” laughs Oliver. Her work rhymes and has meter—qualities rare enough in the contemporary poetry world to be controversial. But audiences love Oliver’s highly crafted black-comical poems. Like other members of the artist-run Tin Press, Oliver wants to do more than provide the text. She is interested in other aspects of book production, specifically how books look and feel. Oliver has contributed pen-and-ink drawings to Where the English Housewife Shines, and worked closely with the London designer. “Artist-run presses are ideal for writers who care deeply about the physical aspects of the book. New technologies like print-on-demand allow us maximum control,” says Brown. “It’s a whole new model for publishing in the arts.”

Alexandra Oliver will read from Where the English Housewife Shines at Forufera on Friday night following a performance by local slam legend, RC Weslowski.
For more information, please contact Steven R. Duncan 604-788-8340

Alexandra Oliver Basekic was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1970. Since emerging onto the Vancouver poetry scene in 1992 and being named the following year as one of the Top Ten Young Artists of the year by The Vancouver Sun, she has gone on to perform her work at places as diverse as Lollapalooza, The 1996 National Poetry Slam and the 2004 CBC National Poetry Face-Off. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and publications worldwide, including Orbis Rhyme International, Nexus, In Hells Belly and The Vancouver Sun, as well as About.Com's Poems After The Attack anthology, a collection discussing and reflecting upon the aftermath of 9/11. She has taught poetry and led workshops in high schools, colleges and prisons and was one of the Directors of the Edgewise Electrolit Centre, an organization created to promote poetry and new poets through the use of new media. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.
Tin Press Background
The Tin Press, founded in London in 2006, is an artist-run enterprise. Members join through invitation. It is composed of writers, visual artists, and designers, people who are interested in many aspects of book production. Members either author books or contribute to them, e.g. through illustration or layout. They work co-operatively to make beautiful books. Many members want to create works that defy ordinary expectations: the average reader thinks pop-up books are for children, for example, but one "tin worker" is making them for adults. The Tin Press will make use of new technologies like print-on-demand publishing; in some cases, special editions will be handmade.

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