Liberation BC has announced that Lesley Fox of Fur-Bearer Defenders and self-proclaimed Vegan Superstar Sarah Kramer will both speak at the group’s upcoming Animal Advocacy Camp.

Vancouver animal rights activists from all walks of life and theories of activism are set to converge at the camp February 25 and 26, following the model of an ‘unconference’ wherein participants determine and lead the agenda and discussions.

The unconference model is a great way for participants to get the most out of a conference or series of workshops, as attendees themselves tailor the event in the direction best suited for everyone’s needs or ideal purposes.

First held in 2010, this year’s event marks the second camp produced by the animal rights group (though Liberation BC previously held a series of dialogue events along the same vein), and will be held at The Hive located at 128 W Hastings Street.

Lesley Fox is the Executive Director of the Vancouver-based Fur-Bearer Defenders, and will open the conference on Saturday, with Sarah Kramer closing on Sunday afternoon.

Sarah Kramer is best known for her ground-breaking vegan cookbooks, including “How It All Vegan” and “The Garden of Vegan” which were co-authored with Tanya Barnard, and her solo efforts “La Dolce Vegan” and “Vegan-A-Go-Go.”

Kramer opened a storefront vegan curio shop in Victoria called Sarah’s Place last July, where she and her ever-present furry sidekick Fergus can be found Tuesday through Sunday at 533 Pandora Avenue.

Sarah also recently released the Go Vegan! App for the iPhone and iPad loaded with recipes, videos, a shopping list and more, just in time for New Year’s Resolutions – so be sure to let your veg-curious or health-conscious friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances know.

Anyone interested in learning more about animal rights and issues and how best to affect change in favour of animals’ rights as sentient beings is encouraged to attend Liberation BC’s Animal Advocacy Camp.

for the event is required in advance for just $15 for access both days, and is payable via PayPal.

For more information, visit


The Edge

January 3, 2012

This seems a fitting poetic offering for the changing of the calendar year.

I’m sitting at the edge,
Where the sea & city meet,
I am unendingly grateful
For the life at my feet

Ain’t no cause for complaining
When the world’s so good to you.
If you stop long enough to listen,
No doubt you’ll find this true.

I hope you find health, happiness & laughter
Every way you turn,
And that the lessons in your life
Aren’t too hard to learn.

(3:03pm Friday, February 27, 2009)

The following was supposed to be a political profile assignment for my Journalism Research class, but I don’t think it quite follows the guidelines set out (as we were supposed to start with an annecdote and tell a story throughout), so I’m going to have to re-tool it in a minute here to better reflect the given criteria. Regardless, I’m rather proud of it as it is, and feel like it could be a news story at the moment if I knew what to do with it (such as how and who to pitch it to).

Adriane Carr has a lot to live up to as the first Green Party candidate elected to Vancouver City Council.

Speaking by phone from her campaign office in Vancouver, Adriane said she has been caught up in a swarm of media interviews since her election on Nov. 19, and doesn’t have any definitive plans once sworn in.

“I like to raise things when I think I have the best chance of success,” was her reasoning.

That said, Carr conceded she has a list of about 25 promises to fulfill within the next year that she committed herself to during her campaign.

The win is a hometown victory for the 59-year-old co-founder of the BC Green Party, the first Green Party in all of North America.

Adriane joked that the “Eighth time is the charm,” for her, as she had previously lost 7 election attempts at various levels of government.

This was the first time Carr had run for city council, and she said that she heard that a lot of people were saying, “This is her hometown, this is her city” as reason for her to win in the lead-up to the election, not to mention she wrote her Urban Geography Masters thesis on Vancouver.

“This is significant for non-profits like ours because she easily bridges the gap between grassroots organizations like ours to the political arena, which can be difficult,” Lesley Fox, Executive Director of Fur-Bearer Defenders said of Carr’s historic win in an interview on Monday.

Carr echoed those sentiments, noting that her previous roles with various environmental organizations and advocating for effective housing strategies have afforded her an intimate understanding of what it’s like to bring issues to politicians, and added that experiences such as hers with “groups that are active . . . makes you stronger in political office.”

“I think she’s going to be fantastic. People are really going to notice a difference . . . she’s very energetic,” Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May said of Adriane by phone from Ottawa, adding, “Even those who didn’t want her on council will appreciate that she’s there” and the way that Greens work collaboratively with everyone, which isn’t always the case in politics.

May said she has known Carr for upwards of 20 years, and that they were first introduced when Elizabeth was working with Adriane’s husband George Paul at the Western Canada Wilderness Committee in the 1980s, where Carr herself worked full-time from 1989 to 2000 on international conservation campaigns, most notably Clayoquot Sound.
Before moving to their current residence near Stanley Park, Carr and her husband raised their two children in the passive solar home they built on the Sunshine Coast. Kallie is now a Vancouver-based author and editor of children’s books, and Terren “TJ” has a degree in psychology from the University of Victoria and now works with developmentally disabled young adults.

Carr said that she will be stepping down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, as she was working 70-80 hours a week, which she intends to now apply to her role as councillor, and that, “I plan to put my hand out to everyone on council” to work collaboratively for Vancouverites.

As promised, here is my recap of my Vancouver Folk Music Festival experience, version 2011.

This year I was on the postering committee instead of security, which I was on the three years previous. Both have their perks, but I think I prefer the postering committee, because all hours are put in beforehand, so I had every opportunity to spend my time soaking up the music. The unfortunate part was that (after a night spent in my car because I didn’t feel like driving home to Squamish only to drive back like 8 hours later – knowing myself well enough to anticipate I just wouldn’t bother going into Vancouver for 10am the next day to watch Dustin Bentall and Kendall Carson) music wasn’t the only thing I soaked up. My clothes, hair, and most uncomfortably, my socks and shoes also soaked up a lot of the rain that came down (cue the song from Winnie the Pooh) that Saturday.

I high tailed it pretty quickly once I reached my saturation point, but went back for more on Sunday. Thankfully, while it was still soggy, it was managable come Sunday.

I parked near the Naam, and hopped on a bus down to the festival. I didn’t realise it at the time, but my friend Alissa was on the bus and sent me a text message that she was spying on me. Oblivious to this, I got off the bus and started walking to the gate, and Alissa came up behind me and let me in on the same bus synchronicity.

Alissa later led me to Beats Antique, which is where she left me, and where I found something profound. I closed my eyes and gave myself over to the music – and found myself on some otherworldly plane.

I don’t much know how to describe it, other than to say there was a lot of white light, and a lightness of being that overtook me. I had no perception of anyone around me – I felt spacially both strangely free (meaning I couldn’t sense anyone being near me), and simultaneously buoyed or supported by what I can only describe as a universal energy. I felt one with life, like I finally internalized that which I’ve come to know, in that we are all connected and made of the same matter and energy.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to replicate this same feeling a few times since over the summer at other music festivals, though none were quite as intense as this initial experience, nor as lengthy.

And that is where I shall leave this for now, in the interest of actually publishing something to this blog more than once in a blue moon (I’ve been without an internet connection at home for some 2 weeks now, and won’t have it until Wednesday, thanks to Telus’ eternally aggrivating practices and incompetences), since I’ve been working on this post since early September. In Part 2 we shall explore the world of C.R. Avery, and the inspired lines resulting from his performance.

…above the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ve been caught up in trying to get caught up on work to where I can feel marginally comfortable leaving things for two weeks while I Folk around at the Vancouver Folk Festival (July 15th-17th) before departing for California the next morning, and not returning till July 29th.

On my way into Vancouver from Squamish this afternoon to pre-record what turned into just one episode (it was supposed to be two, but it took us about 3 1/2 hours just to crank out one compilation episode, so we packed it in ‘early’ at 5:15pm), I was driving over the Lions Gate Bridge and overtaken by an internal feeling best described as soaring that I get when I’m really excited or in love with something thinking about how soon I will FINALLY be crossing the Golden Gate Bridge instead.

A lifetime of waiting is soon to come to fruition. Hopefully I can wrangle some good pictures out of this upcoming epic endeavour. I’m also planning on taking my video camera that my parents recently gave me, though I can’t promise that it will be as or any more incredible than the time I went to Tacoma (I only ever wrote the second ‘part’ of what I think I envisioned to be a three or four part series before I forgot exactly how everything went down) – or the time I Pimped Laura’s Mailbox, for that matter. One can only hope.

Side note – re-reading through all my old blog posts just now to find the ones about Tacoma was a beautiful gift of self-reflection. I certainly swore a lot more a few years ago, but it’s really cool to be able to see what things I may have made some headway on, as well as see what things I still want now and where they originated (like a Smart car – I didn’t realise it had been 5 years).