The Main Drift Art Society, Art on Main Street 2009 Vancouver British Columbia2009

Volunteering with The Drift, Art on Main Street 2009

I have always liked the Arts and 2009 seems to be my year for getting involved.  Volunteering with The Drift will be my 2nd involvement with an arts organization fund-raiser. 

You could say that this all began through my taking a painting course with Lori Sokoluk in 2008.  Lori joined forces with William P. Stock, a photographer and the brain-child behind this, to co-produce an Art Event for The Salvation Army raising funds for The Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.  In their “calling all volunteers” email, I naturally responded to Lori, happy to help.  I met Bill at our first artist / volunteer meeting.   Even though I started out as a generic volunteer, it was soon evident to me that Bill and Lori needed some more help and I was only too happy to oblige.  Soon I was the Production Assistant and the Assistant Event and Volunteer Coordinator. 

We put together a fantastic event showcasing  painters, photographers, a  jewellery designer, a furniture designer and a fused-glass designer, all from the Vancouver Eastside.  We held the event at the funky Chapel Arts Gallery (a former funeral parlour with morgue and chapel).  We entertained with the Kevin Elaschuk Trio along with Bill Coon and André Lachance; and pianist/entertainer Bruce Tilden.  Our charity recipient was the  Salvation Army Harbour Light a wonderful program offering a continuum of care program including meals, drop-in centre, substance abuse programs, shelters, and more for the downtown east side – one of the neediest community in our city.  

The opportunity to work on The Drift is completely due to my now, good friend Bill Stock.  He’s one of the new Drift Board members and being the kind, generous and big-hearted man he is, he put my name forward as volunteer coordinator. 

The Main Art Drift Society is a not-for-profit society run by its’ volunteers to increase public awareness and to strengthen neighbourhood ties among local artists, the arts community and local businesses.

Be sure to attend our Opening Gala Dance on Friday October 2, 2009 and then spend October 3rd and 4th “drifting” along Main Street visiting artists’ studios and businesses or restaurant where they will be hanging artists’ work between October 1 – 14th.  For more information visit www.thedrift.ca

Advertisements

Rocky Mountaineer British Columbia Canada – Travels with my Dad

Travels with my Dad on the Rocky Mountaineer, through BC’s desert to the Rockies and incredible Banff

Wow! What an incredible trip so far (October 12, 2008).  I’m travelling with my Dad Simon who is 80 years young.  We boarded the Rocky Mountaineer train in Vancouver, BC at 7 am on Sunday October 12, 2008 travelling in Red Leaf service.  We soon left civilization behind and were travelling through the Coastal Mountains.  For me, the best part was when we entered the desert-like area of the Okanagan Valley in central BC.  The hills are low and rugged with little vegetation except for some sparse Ponderosa Pine on the flats.  It reminded me of that old western television show Bonanza with Little Joe, Hoss, the patriarch Ben and what was the other son’s name – he always wore black and was a bit of a ‘black sheep’ of the family.  With a bit of an imagination, as you looked up at the ridge, you almost believed that you would see a group of rough and ready men on horseback galloping to a sudden stop just shy of the edge with clouds of dust billowing.   It was a gorgeous sunny day and the sunlight played off the colours of the earthy hills.  As the day wore on and the sun moved through the sky the view would have changed even if we wouldn’t have been standing still.  Remarkable.

Travels with my Dad, Reporting from Calgary Canada

I’m in sunny Calgary – arrived last night by bus from Banff (October 2008).  I’m travelling with my Dad and we spent a few days in Banff after travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver, BC.  We’re staying with a very good friend of mine, Francine.  We went to Annandale highschool together when I was in Grade 9, we played on the basketball team, worked together on my parent’s farm and remained friends through college/university days.  In 1978 we took a wild and crazy trip to the westcoast driving her brother Henry’s car to Calgary where he had gotten a job on the oil rigs.  We haven’t seen each other but once in all those years.  We’ve been having fun re-telling the stories from that trip across the country.  We did some crazy things, but nothing that I regret.  I just wish I had some grandchildren to tell.  I guess I’ll have to write that book.  Anyway, we’re still not finished reminiscing, there are more stories to piece together over the next couple of days.  Tomorrow is Francine’s birthday so we are going to have a girl’s afternoon out – maybe lunch, some shopping or to an art gallery.  Then we will cook a birthday dinner where I’ll be making my signature dish – chicken paprikash.  My family background is Hungarian and my mom Helen was a fabulous cook.  I owe my culinary skills to her.  Everyone loves this dish with the home made pasta called  nookedli (that’s the phonetic spelling).  I’ll get a chance to meet Francine’s two kids and her partner’s two kids.  I didn’t know it was going to be her birthday, but luckily I just happened to bring along some BC sparkling wine.  A toast to Francine, my dear, dear friend.  We had so much fun together in those younger days!  And remembering those times has had us in stitches.  We also share in the memory of my favourite cousin Ron who died tragically young.  He was a year or two older than I.  Francine dated Ron for many years but they went their separate ways some time before the dreadful car accident.  Ron and I were very close — I remember that he taught me how to tie my shoe laces when I was 4 or 5 years old and if he had a cold and I was anywhere near him, I was sure to catch a cold too.  Ron and I even went to the same schooly for my first year at the University of Waterloo.  I remember many a Saturday night party at his apartment.  Ron had the kindest heart and the biggest smile.  I will love him forever.

Hey, How are you? I’m doing just fine!

SHORT BIO OF CATHY BARZO

I am at a place in my life where I want to use my creative skills.  My interests are many and varied and continue to change over the years.  At this point in time I am exploring my creative side, especially my writing.  My goal is to get published in a mainstream magazine.  But first, I’ve got to get writing and my best opportunity may be the web as there are many opportunities for new writers. 

 

Some of the things I’ve been pursing lately are acrylic painting, attending the comedy fest, seeing works at the Playhouse, volunteering in the arts (The Drift), my photography, making cards, reading as many books as I can – mostly fiction and trying new things even if only once.

I’d like to assist others in writing their memoirs using multi-media.  I wrote a short mini biography about my Dad for his 80th birthday and he loved it.  The next step is to expand it and write the full story of his adventure of coming to Canada from Hungary in 1930.  I’m thought of combining his story with mine and adding stories from my sibling and other friends and relatives.  I’m also interested in writing about travel, lifestyle, medicine and any topic of current interest.  I also have a good number of poems, most written when I was young and full of teenage angst, but I do have one poem about a magical cat named Hieronymous that I’d like to illustrate and who knows, I may be able to get it published for kids.   I’m a member of the Canadian Authors Association (Vancouver Branch) and find that the meetings and other writers inspire me to write.

Artists run in our family – my mother and sister both painted water colours.  My mother’s brother and some of his children are artists too.  I’ve been creating hand-crafted art cards for years, but up until now, it has always been for my friends and family.  I was known to pump out 50 Christmas cards – each individually made!  I’ve now started advertising in my high-rise apartment building and have a small and appreciative clientele for whom I’ve made a number of very interesting cards for birthdays, graduation, bon voyage cards and some memory cards – the latter involving lots of consultation with the client.  I mostly use paper collage stylized with ribbons, beads, sequins, and other 3 D effects.  The cards are each a mini work of art.  I sometimes my photographs or paint simple designs. 

I’m passionate about the people in my life, my friends, the people I meet and even in the everyday things around me.  I’m no Polly Anna, but deep down I believe people are good if given half a chance.  My sense is that often people are shy or afraid to talk to the person next to them whether sitting at the coffee shop, on the bus or the person next in line at the grocery store.  Or they are plugged into their cell phone or their MP3 player tuning out of any connection to life that is theirs for the taking.  

Technology is great, but it has become a great divide in some respects.  Just like this blog, some people, in fact friends or family members, choose to talk to each other through email and text messaging instead of talking on the telephone or meeting in person.  There’s a Slow Movement for Food.  I want to promote a Slow Movement for People.  Let’s slow down and get engaged with life and those people that are right in front of us, up close and personal.  Go out and talk to someone live.  It may be the best time of your life. 

See you in the blogosphere!