CONNECTIONS: The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation made quite a to-do of Willie Li’s Lion Way Properties becoming the sixth annual Time To Shine gala’s presenting sponsor (Sun, Jan. 20). Former gala chair Cecilia Tse, the Colliers International senior VP-Asia Pacific, staged a kickoff for that Feb. 1 fundraiser in her company’s downtown offices.
Colliers is the sales-marketing agent for hitherto-residential-developer Lion Way’s first commercial project, the 10-floor Landmark at Richmond City Centre. Meanwhile, the gala’s third-time co-chair, foundation board member Judy Leung, is the CFO of another development firm, Westbank Corp. At the foundation’s 2018 gala, Westbank principal Ian Gillespie donated $1.5 million toward the $4,343,552 reportedly raised. Leung hopes that this year’s event will raise $5 million to conclude the foundation’s $60-million Future of Surgery campaign.
Gillespie partnered on several projects (including Georgia Street’s 62-floor Shangri-La) with Peterson Group executive chair/CEO Ben Yeung, who is a former VGH & UBC Foundation board member. Peterson will be the fourth-time presenting sponsor March 7 when Yeung’s differently named daughter, Jane Young, co-chairs B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 25th-annual For Children We Care gala. That Chinese-community event likely has a $5-million target, too. Supporters of both galas doubtless endorse Willie Li’s assertion to Sun reporter Nick Eagland: “That is the basic culture in Canada — give back.”
DOLCE E GIALLI: Founding co-curators Tom Charity and Giulio Recchioni kicked off the seventh annual Italian Film Fest in the Vancity Theatre recently. The Italian Cultural Centre, the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Consulate General of Italy co-presented the weeklong program. Five-month Consul General Fabio Messineo attended the opening event. He returned later to introduce and discuss director Marco Bellocchio’s Il Traditore (The Traitor) that was shot in his home island, Sicily. Audiences appreciate the festival’s mix of new and old films, said Charity. The old included two screenings of La Dolce Vita by the late Federico Fellini who would be 100 on Jan. 20. Recchioni welcomed the festival’s new three-film component, Gialli (Yellow), “that is the Italian version of Noir with more sex,” he said. First-nighters thanked Museum of Vancouver CEO Mauro Vescera, who founded the festival when he was the cultural centre’s executive director.
PRO’S CONN: As usual, feted city jazzer Cory Weeds entertained Italian Film Festival first-night guests, backed by keyboardist Sharon Minemoto. Weeds’ much-vaunted Conn10M tenor sax looked and sounded as fresh as when new almost 80 years ago. Called the Naked Lady because of an engraving on its bell, the Indiana-made sax would be ideal to accompany a festival screening of Roberto Roberti’s 1922 silent film, La Donna Nuda.
BETTER BY ALF: Like Federico Fellini, Victoria-born Haida artist Bill Reid would have been 100 this month. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art will stage year-long commemorative events. Master carver, goldsmith and writer-broadcaster Reid was also a dry humorist. At a retirement ceremony for Canada’s first Indigenous lawyer-judge, Alf Scow, Reid presented an artwork depicting his own wolf clan’s symbology. “I created this drawing at great expense and long labour,” he said. “I began it about 3:30 this afternoon.”
Scow topped that by smilingly telling his largely non-Indigenous well-wishers: “I’ve apologized to my brother Rupert for not keeping a promise to put all the white men in jail.”
CAN IT: Brewhall Beer Co. owner Daniel Frankel and brewmaster Kerry Dyson did just that after their Köl Story Bro Kölsch won the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards’ Pale German Beer category and Azedo Tropical Fruit Sour took the People’s Choice Award. Those beverages and others, including customer-favourite Neon Lights Pale Ale, went into tins for the first time recently at the 1918-built Second-off-Quebec facility. That once-derelict building was dismantled, renovated and reopened in 2014 as Steel Toad Brewing. Frankel acquired it in 2017. With an outlet of his Tap and Barrel chain two blocks away, he needed another name — ergo Brewhall — for the pub-restaurant and what he calls “an experimental, not a production brewery.” Born like Kiss bassist-singer Gene Simmons in Haifa, Israel, guitarist Frankel also played in a heavy-metal band, The Sabras. Maybe he’ll have Dyson concoct a version of Israel’s popular Dancing Camel beer that, once you’re filled, may need no top-up for 10 days.
DEJA WOE: Beset by today’s ICBC problems, Attorney General David Eby might endorse education-science-technology minister Pat McGeer’s 1976-new-year cheeriness. Money-losing ICBC’s under-$300 basic rate would rise by 300 per cent, McGeer announced then. Those who couldn’t pay should simply sell their cars. Motorists countered with: “Stick it in your ear, McGeer.” They might have said, “you know where, Rafe Mair,” had that then-consumer services minister handled ICBC.
DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Although “security concerns” kept North Saanich part-timers Harry and Meghan from sampling nearby Deep Cove Chalet’s noisette of lamb a l’Indienne and Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne, the democratizing duo might slip in for turkey wings, poutine and beer at almost-as-handy Chuck’s Burger Bar.