Friday, February 19, 2010

Cultural Olympiad

Another fantastic thing about the Olympics is the exposure that artists of all kinds are enjoying through Vancouver's Cultural Olympiad. Events like art openings, concerts, performances by international artists/dancers/musicians have been going on for over a year. On Wednesday, I accompanied my daughter's Gr.5/6 class to the West Vancouver Recreation Center, which is an official Olympic Celebration Site. There, they have northern artists, athletes, musicians and circus performers giving shows and demonstrations. The kids learned some Dene and Inuit sports like the Muskox shove, the one-leg kick and the leg pull. They had a blast.

There was even something uber cool for quilty moms (that's me). Meet Meshell Melvin, visual artist from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

meshell melvin

Meshell is the artist in residence during the Olympics. She has a rare and unique industrial Singer that only stitches a chain stitch. You can direct the stitch with a hand crank under the table. Meshell draws portraits with her beloved machine. Of course, I had her draw mine:

copyright KDH in stitch

She perfectly captured my uneven eyebrows (born that way, not a victim of an over-ambitious esthetician). I was in a great mood, even felt smiley, so I'm not sure why I look so cranky...again, curse of the eyebrows. I love my stitched portrait and will frame it for my sewing room.

There's even a lot of culture just hanging around. I mean check out these Dutch speed skating fans we met at the short track event the other night...


Aren't they the best?? An entire family of 6 came all this way to cheer on their skaters. They are the most dedicated fans, although Canadians are finding some serious patriotism and red power during these games!

Here's my family, by comparison:

bakers at short track

Funny thing is, my husband is 1/2 Dutch!! He's neither red nor orange because he met us there directly after work. It was a great night. Lots of cowbells, screaming and waving flags. We witnessed a Canadian SILVER medal by the most adorable birthday girl Marianne St. Gelais.

marianne st. gelais flag marianne st.gelais podium

She just cried from the moment she won 'till she appeared on the late night Olympic wrap up TV show. She was wiping her eyes through the entire flower presentation (the medals are presented later, or the next night, at a big hoopla ceremony downtown in the same place the Opening Ceremonies were held). Best part for her? Her boyfriend Charles Hamelin competed in the men's 5000 team pursuit right before her winning skate (the men advanced to the final!), so he got to watch her historic win, and he cried, too. They are adorable. Felicitations Marianne!!!

The men's hockey last night was a little tense, to say the least. Thank goodness for Sidney. That young Maritime man saved our Canadian (back) bacon!

I'm off to cook some dinner, then get all set for my Friday Night Sew-In. Can't wait! Luckily my sewing room is within earshot of the TV, so I'll be able to run back and forth when the good stuff is happening.


Vivian said...

Yay you! I love the portrait. And how could you not like someone from Whitehorse LOL.

Feb 20th is Yukon day and if you are able you should check out the aboriginal pavilion, I got a chance to see the show (sneak peek) before our locals left to go down south. I cried through the whole thing.

Amy Friend said...

What a great experience! Your kids must just be loving all of these activities and excitement.

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Love the portrait of you, Krista! So cool!
You have a lovely family. I think I would recognize the really patriotic Dutch anywhere, but I see a lot of Norweigans too on the screen in their reds, whites and blues - and of course the viking helmets...

happy zombie said...

More tears...