Town Talk: Anchors aweigh at charity events

 

Hosts with the most: Vancouver’s TV personalities are in high demand as MCs at city’s many fundraisers

 
 
 
 
Saxophone-playing columnist Malcolm Parry sometimes contributed to Saturday-night dancing in Bralorne’s Canadian Legion hall.
 
 

Saxophone-playing columnist Malcolm Parry sometimes contributed to Saturday-night dancing in Bralorne’s Canadian Legion hall.

Photograph by: Courtesy Malcolm Parry

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CHANNELLING TALENT: British Columbia’s dinner and television-news hours have coincided since 1970, when BCTV producer Al Clapp devised the 60-minute format for viewers relishing frozen TV dinners at tiny TV tables. The timing conflict means that today’s TV news presenters rarely share Swanson meat loaf, mashed spuds, beans and a brownie with their families. Meanwhile, they get corralled to MC our town’s many charity banquets. That will put Global BC’s transmitter-tower-tall Chris Gailus at the Daffodil Ball April 16 and VGH/UBC Hospital Foundation’s Night of a Thousand Stars Nov. 5. The station’s Sophie Lui has Pacific Autism April 1, the Nikkei gala April 16, AccolAIDS April 24, Women of Distinction June 8 and the Canucks Autism Foundation’s fishing tourney Aug. 27. CTV News’s Coleen Christie is down for the Rare Disease Foundation April 23; Mike Killeen for Face The World May 14 and sharing November’s Webster Awards with Tamara Taggart, who also has BC Women’s Hospital Oct. 3 and BC Cancer Agency’s Inspiration gala Oct. 29. Meanwhile, Global BC anchor-turned-news director Jill Krop has perhaps relievedly retired as the doyen of charity-gala MCs.

MAKING ROOM: Sarvenaz Amanat recently launched her Self-Hell series of drawings to hang until April 2, not at the Vancouver Art Gallery where she is a museum educator but at South Granville’s Gallery 1515. That’s also the ground floor of the Amanat Architect firm’s building that father Hossein shoehorned into a former alleyside parking lot. As well as highrise projects in Alberta, California and Washington state, papa has another skinny-squeeze job under construction nearby for fashion designer Zonda Nellis.

SO THERE: Eleven category winners from Vancouver magazine’s restaurant- and wine-awards programs teamed up in a tasting session recently. The event’s $99-a-ticket attendees flocked to best-upscale-restaurant winner David Hawksworth’s table for confit lamb pressé with the magazine’s best-of-show wine, Wynn’s Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. For best casual chain/best downtown awardee Cactus club, master chef Rob Feenie served branzino crudo while sommelier Sebastien Le Goff poured Heidsieck Brut Reserve champagne.

A Toronto newspaper reviewer was vastly less charitable than Vanmag when Cactus Club’s 28th outlet opened to gangbusters business in that city. Still, reviewers are supposed to speak their minds. That one sure did when questioned regarding his antipathy toward another Vancouver luminary who had recently won a Grammy and five top Junos. His reply: “Will a nod from ‘the academy’ make (Michael) Bublé do something original for once, as opposed to the derivative, white bread, totally creepy Lawrence-Welk-in-Gucci pap he’s peddled up to now?”

BEYOND WHISTLER: Many Audain Art Museum opening-party guests will leave Whistler’s Fairmont Chateau and Four Seasons hotels Sunday. But few will likely venture on to Bralorne, another valley community with skiing potential 70 crow-flight kilometres away. Nor would they find comparable or indeed any accommodation. The former gold-mining town’s only hotel closed last year after its owner’s arrest and subsequent conviction for smuggling drugs (Sun, Feb. 19).

Following the mine’s 1971 closure, Al Clapp (see above) urged then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau to establish a craftworking community for youth there. That fizzled, but son Justin came through in less-smoky-dopey style recently with $2 million in gas-tax revenue to replace collapsing sanitary sewers.

Before its disappointments, Bralorne had the intense community spirit that remoteness often generates. Especially rambunctious was the since-razed Mines Hotel’s pub that, with Zeda Fontaine Stroud’s adjacent sporting house, depleted many miners’ paycheques.

Some patrons were summer-jobbing students later to become lawyers, physicians, corporate executives and even journalists. Full-time Bralorne residents who preferred bottled beer, mixed drinks and more conventional female company often spent Saturday nights in the Canadian Legion hall where a certain Sun columnist-to-be sometimes joined local hepcats to play for dancing and other high jinx.

WATER OF LIFE: Mixed-drink enthusiasts paid up to $235 each to taste seven city bartenders’ demonstrations of their craft at Science of Cocktails, an event that reportedly raised $185,000 for Science World’s children’s field-trip program. As for the science of cocktail recovery, for which fictional butler Jeeves served Bertie Wooster a raw egg with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, many hooch slingers abide by the formula: Shot of Scotch + room-temperature club soda and bitters + another Scotch = relief.

BACK TO THE GRIND: Backfires and the scents of carnauba wax and over-rich exhaust fumes inform vintage-car and motorcycle enthusiasts’ neighbours that the 31st-annual All British Field Meet at VanDusen Botanical Garden will go again May 21. Some participating vehicles should run extra-smoothly having received attention from Shadbolt Cams firm owner Barry Rutherford, whose “outstanding contributions” were recognized with an ABFM trophy last year.

REAL VANCOUVER HISTORY: While surveying eastern Still Creek, Theodore Leicht apprehended a New Westminster jail escaper and wrote in his field book: “Found Barnaby Lake.” A mapping draftsman accidentally gave the fugitive’s misspelled name to a body of water and subsequent city.

malcolmparry@shaw.ca

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Saxophone-playing columnist Malcolm Parry sometimes contributed to Saturday-night dancing in Bralorne’s Canadian Legion hall.
 

Saxophone-playing columnist Malcolm Parry sometimes contributed to Saturday-night dancing in Bralorne’s Canadian Legion hall.

Photograph by: Courtesy Malcolm Parry

 
Saxophone-playing columnist Malcolm Parry sometimes contributed to Saturday-night dancing in Bralorne’s Canadian Legion hall.
Global BC’s Chris Gailus and Sophie Lui MC at many charity events including this one for the Dr. Peter  AIDS Foundation’s Passions gala.
Shadbolt Cams owner Barry Rutherford got an All British Field Meet trophy for keeping vintage cars in good running order.
CTV News anchors Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart front such events as the BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala seen here.
The since-razed Mines Hotel and beer parlour in Bralorne were magnets for Upper Bridge River residents.
One Toronto critic views singer Michael Bublé as balefully as the similarly successful and also Vancouver-rooted Cactus Club restaurant there.
Along with others of their ilk, CTV News’ Coleen Christie and Global BC’s Jill Krop have been much sought after to serve as charity-gala MCs.
Sarvenaz Amanat exhibited her Self-Hell drawings and sculptures in architect-father Hossein’s South Granville offices and Gallery 1515.
Cactus Club master chef Rob Feenie joined sommelier Sebastien Le Goff at Vancouver magazine’s restaurant-and-wine-awards tasting. Right, Sarvenaz Amanat exhibited her Self-Hell drawings and sculptures in architect-father Hossein’s South Granville offices and Gallery 1515.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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