The past couple of days I got a chance to get away for a couple of days to Vancouver, BC. Originally intending just to attend the (Hollyhock)[http://hollyhock.ca) launch party, I decided to make the time a little more fun and look for a opportunities to connect with art, culture, and people in addition to the event.

 Bike shop next to where I'm writing this blog post (down the block from Lunapads) 

Bike shop next to where I'm writing this blog post (down the block from Lunapads) 

The day before leaving I headed to Google to search for "cultural things to do in Vancouver" when I came across a very well-organized resource, the Von Dop Arts & Cultural Guide to BC. Was it enough for me to simply look at the website? Of course not. I value human connections, so I figured I'd give it a shot and try to meet the people who put this resource together. So, with very little notice, I reached out via Twitter to @Art_BC and asked if they could make any time to meet. A few hours later I had an email address and a welcome.

 The front of the Von Dop Gallery

The front of the Von Dop Gallery

After a fun experience at the border crossing (read not so fun), the rest of my experiences thus far in BC have been excellent. Trudy and Chester welcomed me into their beautiful home/gallery, brewed some herbal tea, and sat down with me to provide an overview of the art guide, how it came about, and how they are working with artists to help create opportunities for them to share their craft with locals and tourists. It was a real treat to be able to spend some time with these two in such a comfortable and welcoming setting. If you find yourself visiting this area, I definitely recommend checking out their site.

 Chester and Trudy of Art-BC

Chester and Trudy of Art-BC

The Hollyhock launch party was fun, but the highlight was the time I got to spend with two former classmates from BGI Hilary and Alexa. This morning I finally got a chance to see the interior of Lunapads and had breakfast with the co-owner Madeleine Shaw. I always enjoy seeing people for who they are outside of the workplace. Madeleine is a very interesting, thoughtful, and fun person. Now it's off to the Museum of Anthropology. See you when I get back.

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Madeleine Shaw of Lunapads