Tag Archives: British Columbia

Novelty Sodas to Rule Them All?

10 Dec

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Strangely named sodas have been around for some time, perhaps dating as far back as 2005. Whether they come from globally recognized brand names like Pepsi’s Salty Watermelon and have limited distribution, how can I not resist the staple of my summer fiesta with Phillip’s Soda Works Smarkmouth Ginger Ale? This drink is tame when compared to the strange brews, namely Rocket Fizz’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda, there’s plenty more to discover on websites like the Vintage Soda Company.

My co-writer James Shaw (yes, he’s alive and living in a cave these days) and I were up in Sidney, BC over the Summer and one place we regularly visit is the Lilly Gobble Sweet Shop. They started carrying these novelty drinks early this year and when we discovered them, we were like kids in a candy store. I bought a couple to try out, and James … well, we were supposed to write this piece together. Sadly, he’s slipped into a sugar coma. Also, ever since the seasons changed, he’s put himself in hibernation mode and I believe he will never awaken.

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[Victoria, BC] All I want are Zombies for Christmas!

8 Dec

MET_2014_TEMPLATE_POSTERLocation:
Intrepid Studio Theatre
1609 Blanshard St
Victoria, BC

Dates:
Dec 6th – Sat Dec 9th,
Dec 14th – Sat Dec 16th, 2017
Starts 8pm | $15 at the door

Tickets also available through Eventbrite

In Victoria, British Columbia the Paper Street Theatre Company‘s holiday performances often sell out. This year, they are making sure the zombie epidemic is sure to spread in their improvised show which highlights this garden city in all its haunted glory. Instead of the traditional ghosts to mark the season, they are drawing upon many decades of zombie material to form into a live show, complete with confetti blood!

Technically, the ideas come from the audiences, and they work it into their presentation. Folks in the know will be in stitches about how the Inner Harbour is linked by tunnels. In their first show, the survivors are holed up in a museum, and they are having a frightful night in it — and trying to escape the eventual invasion. This narrative will change at each show and to watch the team recreate the nuances of terror certainly proves to witness the action live all the more engrossing. To see it on celluloid can offer safety, but to have it up close — especially with the set created for this performance, the sound scape heightening the mood, the creative lighting design which feels straight out of X-Files (if not straight out of John Carpenter film). All of them combined adds to the terror. High marks go to the team of Theodore Sherman, Emma Dickerson and Don Godlovitch.

zmas group shot

Photo credit: Derek Ford Studios

Because improvised theatre tends to add humour to the situation, audiences are able to laugh along to the absurd elements randomly put in. The team — Christina Patterson, Nicole Olszewski, Brooke Cameron, Dominik Buconjic, Byron Kjeldsen, Chris Gabel, Monica Joan Ogden, Andrew Brimmell, Dave Morris, Scott Thompson and Missie Peters — certainly know their craft and are able to provide a meaningful narrative on the fly. Character driven tales are much more poignant than offering moments for viewers to laugh along. Just who will be on stage or who are the main characters or supporting will vary each day.

While the first show was not heavy on the Christmas theme, at least the day the zombies took over happened to be at Yuletide. Perhaps next time, I’ll have to shout out Santa’s Workshop to provide a more direct setting and wait for the chaos to begin. Although this company does not bring back past shows (I’m still waiting for the team to agree to bring back H.P. Lovecraft), at least I know I’ll be guaranteed to not see the same story twice. A tip must be mentioned though: the more absurd the idea is being pitched, the better the chance it will get considered to be part of the act.

This company has engaged locals since 2011 and have appeared at some events off the island. To keep up with their latest happenings, please visit their Facebook page.

[Victoria, BC] The Nerdy Days of Christmas Craft Fair Continues for a 4th Year!

2 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

1069719-01Four years ago, Cherry Bomb Toys started The Nerdy Days of Christmas Craft Fair to help holiday shoppers in Victoria, BC to find something unique for those hard to shop for geeks in the family. This event has certainly grown. As for what will happen for year five, a milestone, only time and what the organizers have in mind to celebrate will tell. This event continues through to Sunday, Dec 3rd until 4pm.

Market Square is hosting and they provided two spaces to spread the fun. When considering how brisk the weather can get in this city at this time of year, being indoors is preferable. Approximately 25 vendors will be present, spread out between the two days and the two spaces. There’s even a silent auction with a pair of comic books I was very tempted to bid on.

The vendors were in one room and the area is easy to travel. Long time residents of this city will like the fact this unit was where the comic book store Island Fantasy once operated from. The variety even included leathercraft, unique pieces of jewelry and sadly no Cthulhu. Pokemon related goods were in abundance, and I was amused to hear from one craftsperson that she should have considered including Zelda related merchandise. I was wearing a toque with the Tri-force Bird logo emblazoned on it.

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Reflections on Fan Expo Vancouver 2017

16 Nov

215d2-fanexpovancouverBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The variety of nerdy interests represented at Fan Expo Vancouver every year will differ. They have certainly become the crossroads of where all kinds of pop culture can converge, hence the X in their #FXV hashtag. While previous shows may feel more jam-packed than recent, this year’s event only affirms what I suspected from 2016 — this local event is getting connected with various television productions which film around the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This event is settling into a groove most will approve and I can only imagine it will get better. Although years away, I’m sure the organizers will have something grand planned when year ten hits. But that’s four years away.

This festival moved from April to November two years ago, making the expense of staying at hotels a touch better during the offseason and offering to both exhibitors and fans a chance to rest before setting up for the next show. Epic Photo Ops deserves special mention for effectively managing the lineups for those seeking a memento with their favourite group of (or with a particular) performer.

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Grant Gustin does not appear at many conventions so those hoping to meet him will have to do so at this show. As The Flash in The CW‘s flagship show, I can imagine he’s not easy to meet. To see both him and the entire STAR labs team (minus Jesse L. Martin) on stage is usually a San Diego Comic Con Hall H scale event, and fans of the show got it at Fan Expo in Vancouver, BC Canada! This panel was packed, and anyone there saw the sweet chemistry he has with Candice Patton in real life too. The star of this panel, however, was Zoe Patton, a cute canine which no doubt won many hearts. Viewers who saw this week’s episode, “When Harry met Harry,” got to understand what the Council of Wells was about, and Tom Cavanagh talked about how this segment was pieced together.

When considering the number of television and film productions going on in this corner of the world, folks hoping for a celebrity sighting will find attending this event better than to wait during a film/television shoot. A chance to interact with a star is never guaranteed when the set is a workplace. From the massive list of CW comic book based shows (Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and iZombie) to movies like Deadpool 2 — which ended production the month before — just who will attend are decided months before. Attendees will have to hope there are no sudden changes the week before due to work (or family, like Stephen Amell had) obligations coming up last-minute. I’m sure there were attendees hoping to spot Ryan Reynolds or Kevin Smith (who did appear in 2016).

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