MBS Vancouver 2013

Finally...the winners of the MBS Competition 2013 are....

I was full of good intentions to post this directly after the Conclave in August, but life intervened, so in the spirit of better late than never, here they are, in no particular order. The Miniature Book Society holds a Competition every year, and three books are chosen for Distinguished Book Awards. These images are taken from the catalogue of the exhibition, beautifully photographed by MBS member Ray Williamson, and designed by Tony Firman.  Click on images to enlarge.
        Well, this post about wraps up the 2013 MBS Conclave business, but I will leave this blog up for the time being, as people may wish to refer to it.  
         Thanks to all those kind and willing volunteers who make our Conclaves tick every year - those who man the registration desk, organise the competition, run the auctions, contribute to the keepsakes and goody bags (special thanks to Opus for providing the cloth bags), take the photos, and all those little tasks that add up to making it a time to remember. 
          Also special thanks to Caroline Brandt, who alerted us that it was the 30th MBS Anniversary, (although it was the 31st Conclave!). Caroline has attended every one of our 31 Conclaves, and we celebrate her continuing vibrant contribution to our Society.                                   

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Alcuin Society Blogs MBS Vancouver Book Fair

A photo essay from Jason Vanderhill on our MBS Book Fair:


Book Fair Photos

Many thanks to Jason Vanderhill (photographer for the Alcuin Society), who attended our Book Fair in Vancouver and has sent me a gallery of 60 excellent photos, accessible from this link:


Around the Hotel & Shopping

The Holiday Inn, West Broadway is on West Broadway, in Fairview. Downtown Vancouver is only three SkyTrain stops from the Canada Line station Broadway-City Hall (2 blocks from our hotel). One more stop and you are at Waterfront Station, where the famous Vancouver Lookout is and nearby Gastown, the oldest part of the city, with lots of sights, restaurants and shops. In Downtown Vancouver, the area Burrard to Howe and West Hastings to Georgia has many fantastic stores and shopping malls.

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Granville Street is a main thoroughfare through Vancouver with two shopping areas to visit. 

On the Downtown part of Granville Street you can find The Bay and Sears department stores, Pacific Centre shopping mall, Robson Street shops and restaurants, as well as many unique stores and places to eat all along Granville. 

The southern part of Granville St., only a few blocks from our hotel, or 1 stop with the express bus # 99, has become one of Vancouver's trendiest shopping neighborhoods, full of galleries and stores with fashion, home furnishings, antiques, cookware etc. It is often called “Gallery Row” because of the many art galleries.  

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But also, lots of restaurant’s, pubs and yummy sounding bakery places are found here. Meinhardt's Fine Foods (corner 14th Ave.) is a good deli with prepared food to eat on the tables outside and a bakery annex (Picnic), with pastries and coffee. 

We are also quite close to Granville Island, where we will be on Saturday afternoon and further west is Kitsilano, which was a hippie enclave in the 60’s and 70’s but is now a very popular place for everyone. The Kitsilano Beach is named one of the “10 best city beaches in the world". Most of the action in this area is centered on West Fourth Avenue and West Broadway, with bookstores, ethnic restaurants, cafes and specialty retailers. 

The closest shopping mall to our hotel is City Square on 555 West 12th Ave (on the Northwest corner of the 12th and Cambie intersection, directly across from City Hall). There are many shops and a large international food court. Open: Mon-Wed and Sat from 10am – 6 pm, Thu and Fri from 10 am – 8 pm and Sun from 12 – 5 pm. There is also a post office there.

South of our hotel are two other of Vancouver’s wonderful parks/gardens: Queen Elisabeth Park and VanDusen Botanical Gardens. 

Another nice way to spend a few hours is to do the False Creek Ferry Hop on – Hop off  trip mentioned in the blog on “Getting around in Vancouver”.  Here are the stops.

The Maritime Museum (also Museum of Vancouver, HR Macmillan Space Centre, Vanier Park, Kitsilano Beach)

The Vancouver Aquatic Centre - At Sunset Beach in the West End, a short walk, either along the Seawall to Stanley Park or up Burrard Street to downtown. David Lam Park – Park surrounded by expensive apartment buildings,  several interesting  sculptures along the waterfront.Yaletown - Trendy mix of warehouse lofts, high-rise apartments, art galleries, night clubs, and restaurants. There are two ferry docks in Yaletown; one is at Quayside Marina and the other is at David Lam Park. Close to the Yaletown SkyTrain Station.

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Stamp’s Landing - A quaint waterfront neighborhood located on the south shore of False Creek, Several pubs and restaurants (The Wicklow) offering  a spectacular view of the Vancouver skyline. Within walking distance of our hotel.
Spyglass - close to the Olympic Village SkyTrain Station. A public piano for playing outdoors (Public Piano Project “Keys to the street”).
Olympic Village/Science World -  Creekside Community Centre in "The Village", and a short walk to Science World, Main St. SkyTrain Station (Expo Line), and the Pacific Central Station. 
Plaza of Nations - on the Northeast shore of False Creek,  with a casino and stadium. This terminal is walking distance to  Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. 

Coming soon: my last blog about bookstores in Vancouver.

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Images courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Vancouver's Book Scene

This is part 1 of the last Conclave blog from Angelika. It is a tour de force all about the book stores and the bookish in Vancouver. The second part talks about Vancouver's Book events and will appear shortly.

Per capita, the residents of Vancouver buy more books than the residents of any other North American city. So there should be a lot of books stores! Alongside the giant book store (Chapters/Indigo is the main book chain store in Canada with over 140 large and smaller bookstores across the country) are several independent and antiquarian bookstores. But in the last years, many bookstores have had to close, down-size from 2 or 3 branches to only one or merge with another bookstore. Sometimes, a new bookstore opens and closes again in a span of 1-2 years. 

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In June 2013, The Paper Hound opened its doors to Vancouver’s booklovers. They have old books and also some new books from local presses such as Anvil and Arsenal Pulp Press.  
          Here’s how Rod Clarke and Kim Koch, owners of The Paper Hound describe their stock: “We don’t specialize in one particular kind of book, but we favour the curious, unusual, beautiful, visually arresting, scholarly, bizarre, whimsical, and classical.”
          The quotation was found here:
 http://literarytourist.com/2013/07/we-favour-the-curious-unusual-beautiful-visually-arresting/ - a wonderful site for travellers who love books!
          The Paper Hound is located on 344 West Pender Street, near 3 other well-known antiquarian book stores: MacLeods (455 West Pender St., corner Richard St.), Albion Books (523 Richards St.), Criterion Books (434 West Pender St.). A nice “book row”, be sure to drop by.  
          The addresses and opening hours for these 4 and a few other bookstores and paper stores can be found on my keepsake for the Conclave.

Black Bond Books (Book Warehouse), an independent bookstore since 1963, is close to our hotel: 632 West Broadway,  between Heather and Ash St.

Other people try a different approach; Sons & Lovers  don’t have a store. They sell their books (mainly classical titles) at pop-up store events, such as the “Sons & Lovers Summer Reading Popup Bookshop”. The third pop-up was on June 23, 2013. 

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The Public Library in Vancouver, established 1869 as a library for the employees of the Hastings Mill, is now the second largest public library system in Canada. It has 22 branches and more than 2.8 million items in its collections. The central branch is located 350 West Georgia Street, on Library Square which is surrounded by Homer, Hamilton, Robson and Georgia Streets. 

          The Friends of the the Vancouver Public Library operate book'mark, the Library Store open Mon-Fri. 10 am – 5 pm, Sat. 11 am – 6 pm.
          This library has a new site and building since 1995 and has an interesting architecture. It is shaped like a Roman Amphitheater, designed by Moshe Safdie and DA Architects. You can still see the old rectangular building inside the new shell, it has been carefully integrated into the stunning new shell.

Getting Around Vancouver

Angelika brings us more about Vancouver:

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Vancouver is an easy city to get around. Buses and the Sky Train are the main ways of transportation but also the AquaBus, SeaBus and Ferries are interesting transport options.

The Sky Train is the oldest and one of the longest automated driverless light rapid transit systems in the world. There are 3 lines: Expo, Millennium and Canada Line. It runs on elevated tracks and offers beautiful views of downtown and the North Shore Mountains.The Canada Line is the one nearest to our hotel. It gets us from and to the airport and to downtown Vancouver, to Water Front and the Vancouver Lookout. 

We will only need Zone One (Downtown, UBC-Area, Stanley Park), or Two Zones for the Airport and North Vancouver (Capilano Bridge and Grouse Mountain).

Tickets are valid for 90 minutes including transfers. Fares: Zone One $ 2.75 for adults, $ 1.75 for seniors
  ZoneTwo $ 4.00 / 2.75 seniors.

For Airport  Zone Two (or Zone One after Peak Hours) + the $5.00 Canada Line YVR AddFare. 
After 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, discount fares apply and buying a one-zone ticket will allow you to travel through all zones.

If you are planning some bus and train riding, the TransLink FareSaver Tickets are your best bet. A book of 10 tickets for Zone One costs only $ 21 (seniors $ 17.50) instead of $ 27.50 for 10 single tickets.On arrival at Vancouver International Airport you can get your first impression of BC culture. Each Terminal has spectacular displays of First Nations art. Download this pdf file for a tour http://www.yvr.ca/Libraries/Comms_Documents/Art_Architecture_tour_YVR.sflb.ashx

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There are several Hop on – Hop off buses in Vancouver:
Vancouver Trolley Company 
Big Pink Bus (Grey Line)
Big Bus 

They all cost about $40 for 1 day and $45 for 2 days. Some offer packages with entrance fees to attractions or shuttles to Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge etc.

All tour buses stop at Granville Island, which is the closest stop to our hotel.

There is no public transport all around Stanley Park. The bus # 19 stops near the Aquarium/Rose Garden. There used to be a 45-minute narrated trolley tour through the park, but on the website of the Vancouver Trolley Company is a notice that the Park shuttle has been cancelled for 2013.

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There are horse-drawn carriage tours ($31.99 / Adults) available and the Stanley Park Miniature Train which takes you on a 2 km journey through the forest. 
A walk or walk or bicycle ride around Stanley Park along the seashore is a great experience with wonderful scenery, but a 22 km long one 

Or how about a Hop on – Hop off  ferry  trip?

The False Creek Ferry offers a Day Pass for $15 for unlimited hopping at nine stops. See the next blog with more information.  The AquaBus also offers Day Tickets but they have slightly different and fewer destinations. 

All images courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.

UBC Campus - a Vancouver cornucopia of delights

The University of British Columbia campus area has several beautiful and interesting gardens, as well as museums, as AJ describes in this blog post. But first, this very colourful image of a work titled Sursab by Pax Jakupa, which appears in the exhibition "Paradise Lost? Contemporary Works from the Pacific" on till 29th September at the Museum of Anthropology. 

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Angelika writes: Last year in Asheville, Robert Orndorff told me about another Japanese garden in Vancouver.

The Nitobe Memorial Garden (1895 Lower Mall) is a traditional Japanese “Tea and Stroll” garden constructed on 2½ acres (one hectare) on the grounds of the University of British Columbia. It is one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens in North America. Each tree, stone and shrub has been deliberately placed and is carefully maintained to reflect an idealized conception and symbolic representation of nature.

Read more on their web site: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe

And if you want to see more gardens, nearby is the Botanical Gardens (6804 SW Marine Drive), which consists of an Asian Garden, BC Rain Forest-Garden, Alpine Garden, Food Garden, Physic Garden, Canopy Walkaway and more. 

The Greenheart Canopy Walkway has eight tree platforms more than 15 metres above the ground with a ninth, a two-storey platform, on a free-standing tower reaching more than 22 metres in the air. The longest bridge is 50 metres long. The total length of the walkway is 308 meters. http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/canopy-walkway

The Nitobe and the Botanical Gardens are open daily 9:30am-5pm, admission is $ 6 – $24 , depending on which parts of the gardens you want to visit.

Across the street from the Nitobe Gardens is the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) -  spectacular architecture, unique setting, vibrant exhibitions.  

Exhibition from July 24 - September 29, 2013: "Paradise Lost? Contemporary Works from the Pacific". Works by artists from Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Working in video, installation, sculpture, painting, and photography, the artists show the Pacific Islands from an insider’s perspective. 
Open daily 10 am – 4 pm.

Vancouver's natural history museum, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (2212 Main Mall), has 20,000 square feet of collections and exhibits, including the largest blue whale skeleton on display in Canada. 
Open daily, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Located, south of University Boulevard on the UBC Point Grey campus.  http://www.beatymuseum.ubc.ca
Also on East Mall (at # 1961) is the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, which houses the Rare Book and Special Collections of the UBC Library and the Music, Art and Architecture Library.
Summer opening hours:  Mon-Fri 10 am – 4 pm, closed Sat and Sun.

They have about 65 miniature books (up to 10 cm) in their library. Katherine Kalsbeek, Acting Head for the Rare Books and Special Collections, sent me a list of those books and wrote that the books can be called for during opening hours. Anyone interested in the list please send me an email: angelika@minioffice-aj.de.On Level 1 of the UBC Library's Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is the exhibition “The Chung Collection” which contains material related to early British Columbia history, immigration and settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Chung family came over from China over 100 years ago to settle in Victoria.  Image from the slide show on the web site for the exhibition., shown below.

imgage from Chung Collection


Link to the Library: http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/

Getting to the UBC campus:

From our hotel, the bus # 99 takes you along Broadway Street straight to the main UBC bus loop (last stop) in about 20 minutes. The shuttle bus C 20 goes around the campus with stops at the Museum of Anthropology, the Nitobe Memorial Gardens and the Botanical Gardens. 

To get to the Irving K. Barber Learning Center and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, it is best to walk from the UBS bus loop.

Link to a map of the UBC area: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/PROD/images/pdf/ubcmap.pdf

Drypoint workshop - a steal of a deal

Robin Drypoint

The image shown here, its simplicity and directness, was what first interested me in the drypoint technique. (Drypoint and watercolour, copyright Richard Spare)

I’ve just been talking to Peter Braune, who will be running the workshop, and getting a few more details. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of this type of printmaking, that is especially suited to beginners. We will be using plate size 3” x 4” or smaller,  so have that in mind when choosing your image. Draw directly on the plate, experiment with making different kinds of marks, try out different tools and see what effects you can get.  You will learn how to incise a plate, ink,  wipe and print it onto dampened paper, using oil based inks. 

Start time: 12.30 pm, giving you time to have lunch - plenty of good places to eat on Granville Island! It will run for 4 - 5 hours, so we can actually get some prints made. You should be able to make and print at least two plates, we are aiming to try both plastic and copper plates.

The ‘incising’ of the plates basically consists of using a tool to scratch an image onto the surface of the plate. Ink is then spread onto the plate, and into the scratches, and also collects around the burr raised by the tool, giving the characteristic fuzzy line. You will learn the technique of wiping excess ink off the plate, before printing onto dampened paper on the intaglio press.

This will be a fun opportunity to try a new technique, and get out of your comfort zone. There are still a few places left on this workshop, so sign up today, while stocks last! There is a small fee of $10 for materials, folks this is a steal of a deal.

A word about BIMPE (pronounced bimpey). This is the Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition held every two years in Vancouver,  http://www.newleafeditions.com/bimpe/ If you look at past years’ catalogues, you will see many images produced using drypoint, either alone or in combination with other techniques. 

A word about BIMPE (pronounced bimpey). This is the Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition held every two years in Vancouver,  http://www.newleafeditions.com/bimpe/ If you look at past years’ catalogues, you will see many images produced using drypoint, either alone or in combination with other techniques. 

NYT - 36 hours in Vancouver

A link to share from today's New York Times


Thanks for this, Jim.

Eat Vancouver

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Well, maybe not literally! 

Whether you're dining on a Granville Island patio or picnicking in Stanley Park, you're sure to enjoy some fine local food in Vancouver. Angelika put together another blog post, this time mainly about eating and drinking in the city. 

For eating and drinking experiences:


Walking tour through in Gastown with stops at several places for foods and drinks.
Tue – Thur 5 – 8 pm, Fri and Sat 4 – 7 pm. $99 CDN

Vancouver Brewery Tour at the Molson Coors Canada Brewery (Burrard Street).Tue and Thur at 4:30 pm. $20 CDN

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3 destinations. Beer tasting with hand-selected food pairings. 
Mon – Thur 5-8 pm, Fri – Sun 4 – 7 pm. $75 CDN
Visit the website for more information and reservations. http://www.vancouverfoodtour.com

The Truffles Fine Foods Café at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden (Visitor Center), 5151 Oak Street, serves afternoon tea complete with a three-tier tray of goodies. $35 for 2 and $60 for 4.

The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is a shopping extravaganza including Asian traditional handicrafts, fashionable gifts & tasty ethnic snacks. Also live music, storytelling, Mahjong, ping pong tournaments, outdoor classic movie screening. A shopping experience like never before. Open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday, starting May 17 to September 8, 2013. Takes place in Vancouver's Chinatown, 100 & 200 block of Keefer Street (between Gore, Main & Columbia Street). http://vancouverchinatownnightmarket.com/

Located at 703 Terminal Avenue, only a 5 minute walk from the Main Street Skytrain Station as well as the Via Rail Station.
Saturday and Sunday : 9 am –  5 pm

Thanks again to the Tourism Vancouver website for the image. http://www.tourismvancouver.com/dine/search-restaurants/
It has a very comprehensive section on dining out in Vancouver.

Thanks for putting the post together, AJ.

   © Janet Kellett 1996-2015   jan dot kellett at shaw dot ca