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Monthly Archives: March 2010

During February and March I attended two remembrances for: Vera Manual, a First Nations poet and Dean Obrol, a musician. I met and came to know Vera Manuel only a few times during 08. I will never forget her. I will recite a poem I wrote about her on March 29th on Coop Radio in Vancouver.  The radio show is a tribute to Vera Manuel. Dean Obrol I never met, but came to know him through Wendy Havens. He was a guitarist from Zagreb, Croatia and created a music program at the Carnegie Ctre. Wendy Havens knew him well. Wendy is a musician, painter and filmmaker herself. She made a video about him. Dean Obrol was approximately 55 years old when he died. Vera Manuel was 61 years old, near by age, a year older than me. It’s sad that people like these people died. I was lucky to meet her and I predict most likely I’ll never meet an Indigenous person like her in Vancouver in my life time. I wrote about her in my 08 blog, that I met a First Nations artist woman in Vancouver. I felt very happy about it because she didn’t hold any prejudices towards me as other First Nations artists. I don’t know why. I’ve had my fill with Vancouver BC, dubbed the most “liveable city”in North America. I don’t know about that. I know both sides now for sure. In the beginning, Canada was a novelty, but now it’s totally different. I know it better now. There certainly are two sides to Canada.

On the upbeat side, watched the Oscars. I was happy that Hurt Locker beat out Avatar.

Also, I attended three free workshops from 9:00 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Native Education Centre during March to improve myself in the arts business and meet some people. I met some new people and learned some new things. Here are descriptions of the workshops.

March 11, 2010 – Financial Fitness-This interactive and engaging workshop covers fundamental financial, accounting and legal matters to help not-for-profit organizations build stability and sustainability.

March 12, 2010 – Non-Profit Communications Planning-This workshop helps participants identify the components of a successful media strategy and understand the range of communication tools available and how to match them with communications objectives and target audiences

I have not attended this workshop yet, which happens this Thursday, March 19, 2010 – Creative Communications for Conflict Resolution-This workshop will help participants understand the underlying dynamics of communication, establish a secure environment for open communication, identify the underlying needs of participants in conflict and utilize techniques to incorporate rather than isolate differences.

I decided to write in my blog because of an instructor’s point-of-view from March 12th’s, non-profit communications planning workshop. In checking out blogs, he mainly said that he expects the blog to have new entrances every week and if he doesn’t get it, he just skips it and goes on to the next. I didn’t think that people were so impatient about it but I guess they are.

I like the way Native Education Centre looks like. It’s a very beautiful academic setting. The main lounge area is designed like a long house. The exterior looks beautiful too. In the middle is a fire or heater place. Wooden benches are plenty to sit on. When I travelled to Vancouver last week, I had to leave around 5:00 a.m. to get onto the 6:00 a.m. skytrain from Surrey to Vancouver because bikes are not allowed on the skytrain from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. From 5:00 – 6:00 a.m. it poured. I hoped it wouldn’t, but I had to bike in it. I luv it. My clothes became drenched. I was wet and cold. My jeans itched my leg’s skin. I have sensitive skin. I didn’t feel very good. As I sat on the train seat during half way through, I looked down and started to cry. I thought: I work so hard to try to improve myself, to get better and I have to bike through this rain to do this. I hoped people would not see me.  To those people who have money they usually get to ride in a car or are able to afford the rain clothes to bike through the rain from Surrey to Vancouver and other costs.  There are film video makers who live low income.  They don’t live like James Cameron.  I take as many risks as he has.  Maybe I even take more. He and I are the same age.  After a while, a construction guy came over and offered me his gloves. I accepted them. I guess he felt sorry for me. He was kind. That person made up for all the Canadian people who treated me negative in Canada due to prejudice such as getting a beer bottle thrown at me as I biked on the highway at night or when my tire was slashed in front of where I live.

I biked to MacDonald’s which is close by the Main Street skytrain station. I asked for a large cup of coffee. The cashier said the coffee was free that day. She said she was suppose to give me a small coffee, but she gave me a large cup anyhow. She was another sweet person. I said thank you. This is really unexpected, I said to her.

Around 8:00 a.m. I biked to the Native Education Centre to attend the workshop. I was still wet. Heaters are built near the walls and wooden benches. I sat there for 30 minutes to get dry and warm. I became warmer and my clothes became drier. I’ll never forget these incidents on March 11, 2010, which made up for the opposite episodes I’ve been treated.