A Day of Theatre; Evergreen Cultural Centre and the Cultch

Saturday was a day full of theatre for me. Not theatre in the sense of drama at home, but actual real drama in real theatres, seeing as I actually attended two different performances, one in the theatre at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the other in Vancouver’s Cultch.

Evergreen Cultural Centre

The first performance we (my kids and I) saw was a matinee at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. It was a one man play called Campground which was written and performed by Lucas Meyer. It was not what I was expecting but it certainly was an interesting and very enjoyable performance.

I have to admit, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to theatre. To me, the Fourth Wall is impenetrable. Actors act. Audience quietly watches. And then yesterday Lucas Meyer pushed through that Fourth Wall, locked eyes with me, and invited me up onto the stage!

Of all the audience members to breach that imaginary wall, he had to choose me! To be honest, all I had to do was help him pull a massive tent onto the stage and then sit inside the tent and hold a flashlight so that he could put on a shadow puppet show.

Interesting to note, while I was on stage I had no awareness of the audience and I simply did what I was asked to do.

The part of play I enjoyed the most was Meyer’s ability to change character simply through a movement. He sat forward in the chair and he was a cop asking questions. He sat back the second the cop character completed the question and he was answering the cop’s questions in the voice and with the mannerisms of the “suspect”. It was remarkable.

In the evening I headed down to iconic Vancouver East Cultural Centre, the Cultch, to see the 12th Annual Louis Riel Day Celebration.

Again, the Fourth Wall was almost non-existent. Audience members waved and called out hellos to performers and the performers were just as willing to call out to family and friends in the audience. And you know what? It was awesome! It was a welcoming and inclusive performance in which I felt comfortable and safe to clap and stomp along to the infectious beat of the drumming and fiddling.

The following video is NOT from the performance I saw but it gives you an idea of how amazing the dancing actually is.

And the dancing by the Louis Riel Metis Dancers was breath-taking. The dancers’ footwork was awe-inspiring. And the stories behind the dances quickly developed a deep and trusting relationship between audience and performer.

What a great weekend of theatre!

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The House of Knives; the ICE Double Edge Safety Razor

Here is the video of me putting the ICE double edge safety razor to work. The razor was provided to me by the folks at The House of Knives. Watch to see me lather up my pretty face and get a lovely shave.

The ICE double edge safety razor (available exclusively at The House of Knives) was provided to me by the good folks at The House of Knives. As always, editorial comment on my blog is mine.

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Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights Display

Even though I thought the much-anticipated Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights Display was set to return to Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park today, it is in fact scheduled for Saturday, November 25th. And it is going to be bigger and brighter than ever before.

Coquitlam Festival of Lights

It will be VERY much more impressive than what they have set up as of this evening.

  1. First, it is the largest free winter lights display in the Lower Mainland, with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights illuminating the lake and forest in a spectacular natural setting.
  2. Many of the lights have been made by Coquitlam community members as well as staff, often using recycled materials. For example, the tulip lights were hand-crafted out of pop bottles and lotus blossoms (new this year) out of milk jugs. Enhance your winter light experience by taking part in light-making workshops organized by Coquitlam’s Park Spark team. These will take place at the Welcome Tent in front of Town Centre Park Plaza. Watch for schedule information at www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark.
  3. This year’s Jingle Bells Night on Friday, Dec. 22, aims to break our previous record of 500 singing voices. Join us at the lake for an evening of carols and lights. Choirs will be stationed around the 1.2-km trail from 7 – 8 p.m.At 7:30 p.m., stop where you are and join in a high-spirited community sing-a-long of Jingle Bells.
  4. In need of a snack or hot drink to fuel your walk? New this year: A concession stand will be stationed near the trail in front of Town Centre Park Plaza from Wednesdays to Sundays, 4:30 – 9 p.m. Other options closer to Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station include Caffé Divano (3003 Burlington Dr.) and Papparoti (1196 Pinetree Way), plus plenty of great restaurants along Glen Drive (walk west of Pinetree).
  5. The lights will be switched on for the first time at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 and will remain on until Jan. 21, 2018. They will turn on each night at dusk and power off at 11 p.m., with the exception of Dec. 31, when they will stay on until after midnight so people can ring in the New Year.

The lights display is located just steps from Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station. Free parking is available in Lot D off Trevor Wingrove Way. Stay tuned for further information at www.coquitlam.ca/lights.


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The House of Knives; the Double Edge Safety Razor

I reached out to the folks at The House of Knives because I wanted to see how a brand new double edge safety razor would feel compared to the vintage ones that I typically use. I have to admit, the shiny new travel kit double edge safety razor they sent me is a beautifully crafted, precision piece of hardware!

Update – I forgot to mention in my video that the razor I reviewed was an ICE brand razor. ICE personal grooming care supplies like razors, tweezers, and pedicure tools (nail clippers) are exclusively available at the House of Knives.

Here is my video review with commentary –

  • Disclosure – the folks at The House of Knives sent me this travel kit razor and badger hair shave brush at no cost to me. However, as is my usual practice, my opinions and all editorial content on this site are my own. 
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Best Practices for Social Media Background Checks

Using social media background checks to screen prospective employees is becoming more common. In a recent study conducted by CareerBuilder, nearly 60 percent of employers used social media to vet prospective candidates in 2016. That translates to a 500 percent increase since 2006.

The same study found that nearly half of all employers who used search engines to research candidates found negative material about those candidates. This included provocative videos and photographs, drug use, and discriminatory comments and posts regarding race, religion, and gender.

While social media is an effective tool for HR professionals to gather information about prospective employees there is something to keep in mind.

Increased Risk Of Hiring Discrimination

Because people are so open on social media it is easy to find sensitive information about candidates. You can easily get their age, ethnicity, sexual preference, political beliefs, and religion. You cannot legally ask about these in an interview but you can get it from their social media profiles.Once it is seen, it will be difficult for you to prove that it had no influence on your hiring decision. Once it is seen, it cannot be unseen.

Best Practices

In order to stay on the right side of any legal action, you need to keep a few thing in mind.

  1. Have Social Media Background Checks Performed By HR Or A Third Party

All hiring managers and supervisors should not be involved in any social media background checks. In fact, the best practice is to use an outside vendor to conduct the search. Companies like Fama can keep you on the right side of the law and only show you relevant information you need to make a hiring decision.

2. Conduct Social Media Checks At The End Of The Hiring Process

Conduct social media checks near the end with all other background checks like credit history, criminal background, and education.

3. Look At “Public Information” Only

Many people have decided to keep their social media profiles private, opting to share with only close friends and family. If their profiles are set to private, a prospective employer cannot ask for passwords in order to see what they are posting. In fact, many states have made it illegal for employers to do this.

4. Determine When Conducting A Social Media Check Is Required

Performing a social media check on all employees may not be necessary. Perhaps you will only want to conduct a check on those employees who engage with customers or are in a public position, like a spokesperson.

5. Document Any Negative Information

Employers are allowed to disqualify a candidate who exhibits any illegal, harassing or dangerous behavior on social media. However, it would be prudent to document each of these incidents just in case any prospect who was not hired decides to sue based on some form of discrimination. It has been known to happen and the more documented proof you have, the better off you will be.

Social media background checks are here to stay, but at the moment there is no hard and fast rule on how to conduct them. Going forward, smart companies will develop a process as to when, how, and who will conduct these checks.

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

The Austin Fish House; massive fish and excellent fries cut fresh from potatoes on site. More later.

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What Do Canadians Know About the USA

Canadians often take glee in how ignorant our American neighbours are of all things Canadian. Perhaps the highpoint of our glee in American ignorance of Canadian politics was when a Canadian tv program punked an American president by asking him a question about our Canadian “Prime Minister Poutine”.

However, let’s turn the camera around for a minute and focus on Canadian’s knowledge of all things American. Without googling the following six simple questions, how many of these can you answer:

  1. What are the three American states that border on BC’s southern border?
  2. What are the names of the capital cities of those three states?
  3. Canadian provinces have a Premier as head of state. What do our American neighbours call their head of state?
  4. Can you name one or more of the heads of state of the three American states that are BC’s neighbours?
  5. In BC we have the New Democrats, the BC Liberals, and the Greens (some may disagree with calling the Greens a main political party) as the three main political parties. What are the political parties in our American neighbouring states?
  6. Again in BC we have MLAs – Members of the Legislative Assembly. What do our American neighbours call their government “assembly” and the people who are elected to that assembly?

Six questions. How many can you answer with resorting to Google? To be honest, I cannot correctly answer all six questions.

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National Sandwich Day

Basically every day there is a “day” for some food item or another. Today was National Sandwich Day.

Here’s my nod to the Sandwich; a smoked turkey with Swiss cheese on multi grain bread from my friends at the Blue Moose Cafe in Hope BC.

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National Bison Day

The first Saturday in November is National Bison Day. The day is meant to commemorate the economic, cultural, and historical significance of the Bison to North America. 

I’m not sure if eating Bison is an appropriate way to commemorate the majestic beast, but wow, this bowl of Bison soup from my friends at 293 Wallace Restaurant in Hope BC was delicious and warmed me from my insides out. 

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Peanut Butter Bread; Cabin Cooking

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