BREATHE EASIER: Occupants of Concord Pacific-built condo towers likely relish fresh air wafting in from False Creek. For some at the development firm’s recent 30th anniversary reception, though, receiving any air at all is a matter of life and death. They were staff, supporters and patients of the B.C. Association for Individualized Technology and Supports for People with Disabilities. A beneficiary of the Concord Pacific event, the 12-year-old non-profit organization (bcits.org) “works with people who have severe physical disabilities and helps them to live as well and as independently as possible.” One such person present at the event was Nancy Lear. She is also an association peer network facilitator who assists and supports others who require ventilators to breathe while also tapping into the organization’s transition and 24-hour therapy services and other programs. Backed by caregiver Susan Dessa, association executive director Ruth Marzetti and staffer April Skold, Lear thanked Concord Pacific CEO Terry Hui. As for his firm’s breathing space in a presently down-turning market, Hui told guests: “A whole new wave of social innovation is coming. Every time you shuffle the deck is opportunity. I look forward to next year.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: A new era opened for Takashi Hatori with his recent posting as Japan’s consul general. Another one was seen to be closing when he hosted an 85th-birthday celebration for Japan’s 125th emperor, Akihito, who has said he will abdicate on April 30. Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed him. Reminding guests of Akihito and Empress Michiko’s warm welcome here in 2009, Hatori diplomatically called Vancouver “a top-ranked city on the global scale.” Noting the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations, he expressed “high expectations” for mutual investment opportunities following the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal coming into force Dec. 30.
DESIGN HERE: The 14th annual Interior Design Show ended Sept. 23. But it left behind a remarkable guide to the maturing regional industry. Curated by the show’s Vancouver director Jody Phillips, Currents: Contemporary Pacific Northwest Design is a lavishly illustrated 176-page book that refers to the “truly borderless” design region as “not just a geographical location but a state of mind, a sensibility rather than a particular style or esthetic.” The $55 book (vancouver.interiordesignshow.com) portrays eight Oregon designers and/or firms, five from Washington and 19 from B.C. The include ANDlight firm’s Lukas Peet, Caine Heintzmann and Matt Davis, and Annie Tung. Naturally it includes designer, manufacturer and Inform store owner Niels Bendtsen who has championed regional creativity for a half century. The Interior Design Show will return Sept. 26-29, 2019.
ON HOLD: The following items and photographs were drawn from several unpublished in this column during 2018.
OTTO’S PILOT: Long accustomed to seeing Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director Bramwell Tovey, an Orpheum Theatre audience applauded successor Otto Tausk’s debut concert Sept. 21. With wife Daphne later, he said: “You, our audience, have given us such a great feeling of support and dedication to the VSO.”
GONE FISHING: The SUCCESS social agency’s foundation made a splash at Vancouver Aquarium in March when its 40th annual gala raised $650,000 for services and programs. Chair Queenie Choo welcomed Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, likely then still happy at having netted Liberal MLA Darryl Plecas as the B.C. legislature’s Speaker.
MILLIONS MAKER: Registered dietitian Ildiko Toth joined Naz Panahi at the Canadian Cancer Society’s $1.5-million Daffodil Ball. Although a guest at that fundraiser, Panahi has long provided it and others with a necessary diet of cash. She chaired numerous Daffodil Balls and Arthritis Research Canada galas. In September, she and Devi Sangara co-chaired the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s Night of a Thousand Stars event to raise $4 million.
CENTURY SENSED: Attending the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation’s Vancouver Chinatown gala with wife Lily, Bob Lee likely thought of father Ron Bick Lee settling there from Guangdong in 1911. Daughter Carol Lee founded and chaired the gala. The foundation “promotes the well-being of those in need (and) invests in projects that revitalize Vancouver’s Chinatown.”
NEXT CENTURY: Carol Lee and philanthropist Sylvia Chen attended a reception for B.C. Children’s Hospital’s Circle of Care group whose 270 individual, foundation and corporate members each donate at least $10,000 annually.
KER-BOOM: Having signed up thousands of new B.C. Liberal party members, signs pointed to former mayor-MP Dianne Watts being elected leader. After leading three rounds, though, she was outfoxed by Andrew Wilkinson, not to mention having fewer than half her signed-up members actually cast ballots.
RIB-STICKER: Even this season’s hefty meals seldom outweigh Alsatian-specialty Choucroute Garnie au Riesling that Le Crocodile’s Strasbourg-born Michel Jacob served to colleagues in March. Think smoked ham hocks, pork ribs, other cuts and several different sausages mounded on half spuds and wine-fermented cabbage.
DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Merry Christmas to all and especially the British for whom Brexit shenanigans top such traditional seasonal pantomimes as Cinderella, Peter Pan and Puss in Boots.