My connection to Vancouver is the closest things I have to a serious, long-term relationship. When I came over for the first time from Victoria on a weekend visit in 1999, I stepped off the bus at Granville and Broadway, took one look at the mountains and felt something rare and special: Love at first sight. I knew in that instant that this had to be my home. A few years later, it was. I have never felt as passionate for anywhere else, as I do for my adopted home. Like any relationship, romantic or otherwise, there are good days, bad days and lots of hard work. Every few years I find myself having to think of new and exciting ways to fall in love again, a challenge I force myself to take on with fervor. It seems that I’m not alone, if the upcoming event, Vancouver I Love You But…, at the Museum of Vancouver is any indication.
As with most of the live events the MOV has been producing in the past few months, Vancouver I Love You But…was influenced by its current exhibit on Tobias Wong. Wong, the prolific designer and artist who’s currently the subject of the main exhibit at the MOV, was inspired by a song “New York City I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” when he produced his last piece before his death.
“Here you have a incredibly talented individual who had to leave Vancouver to pursue his dreams but then was deeply wounded by his adopted city, that gave him everything,” says Charles Montgomery, curatorial associate for engagement and dialogue at the MOV. “In some ways Vancouver is the same, it’s this incredibly beautiful, rich, diverse and fun place that nevertheless seems to let us down in so many ways, not unlike any other city.”
Author Kevin Chong, one of the participants of the event, plans to talk – or rather, rant – about the ethnic divide in Vancouver’s Asian community. He says the fact that the museum is hosting such an event is a progressive way of celebrating itself.
“I think it’s a really interesting way of expanding what a museum is – it’s how you keep an institution like that current and vital,” he says.
Montgomery agrees. “It’s not unique to Vancouver that we have complaints but we hope it’ll be unique to Vancouver that the city can open itself to criticism and we can have fun doing it.”
Scottish performance artist Adrian Howells will act as the evening’s “urban relationship therapist”, who know very little about our city. His role will be to turn the table on the ranters, and ask them whether they’re at fault for their complaints.
There will also be a ranter’s lounge an hour prior to the event, in which attendees can file their complaints about the city with a “rant technician” (people who will be tolling the room with clipboards), or scribble on a rant board.
Other confirmed ranters will include CBC host Stephen Quinn, former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan and marijuana enthusiast and baker Watermelon.
Vancouver I Love You But…takes place on Friday, January 25, 2013
Doors/Ranter’s Lounge at 6:00pm, performance begins at 7:00pm
Cost is $15, or $12 for MOV members
Click here to buy tickets