Collisions: Langara Design Formations grad show

Langara Design Formations finishes the year with ‘Collisions’

‘Collisions’ brings 2D and 3D designs into perspective

What does it look like when a 2D object hits a 3D one? You can find out at the Langara’s design formation grad show,Collision, which will show at Langara starting April 3.

The title Collision hints at the multidisciplinary format of the program, in which students create pieces that run the gamut from 2D prints to 3D sculptures.

Design formation program head Marcela Noriega said the show draws inspiration from the cube. “You can see [the cube] as a 2D form or you can see it in perspective, inside or out. The idea behind it is the collision of these two worlds, 2D and 3D.”

Langara’s main foyer will ‘Pop’ during grad shows

The show will be held in Langara’s Pop gallery, a temporary gallery that will be in the main foyer of Building A until the end of May.

These kinds of pop-up galleries are the industry standard for accommodating travel and dwindling gallery spaces, said Tomo Tanaka, chair of creative arts.

Bridging the gap between students and employers

Collision is the final school exhibit for these students before graduation.

“The idea is that [it’s an opportunity for] people from the industry get to know the grads, and some of them get contacts later and get to go for jobs,” Noriega said.

Mostly though, Collision bridges the gap between study and practice, Noriega said. Students show their work in a professional gallery setting that is student-driven from concept to fruition.

Everything from the theme of the show to the works included – right down to the curtains and carpets used on opening night – is a culmination of planning and design by the students themselves, said Noriega.

“The exhibit is completely conceived and produced by them and that gives them the confidence that they can do it.”



Drunk on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day booze: festive or excessive?

A selection of St. Patrick's day's finest on tap at Shebeen in Vancouver. (Photo: Notable/

A selection of St. Patrick’s day’s finest on tap at Shebeen in Vancouver. (Photo: Notable/

A frosty pot of gold at the end of a rainy day

Every year, St. Patrick’s Day blows into town like a drunk in an old Western film, bawdy and ready to fight.

But the holidays have simply become an excuse to drink the mid-March blues away with very few people actually celebrating the holiday for what it’s really about.

We all want a day off come mid-March. It’s cold, rainy and, aside from the odd cherry blossom, it’s a grey month for Vancouverites.

We’ve long forgotten our Christmas cheer and summer seems like a distant, unattainable daydream.The calendar seems rife with income taxes, end-of-term assignments and final exams for the foreseeable future.

Once March 17 hits, it seems like everyone is long overdue for some fun.

And this year was no different.

St. Patrick’s Day leads to hangovers and regrets 

Throngs of people put on their green outfits as if they’re invincibility cloaks. The guise of a holiday, a tradition, that must be treated with respect and celebrated dutifully, allows folks to pound back countless pints.

And when March 18 rolls around, the bleary-eyed masses feel no shame despite the fact that they’re nursing a mind-bending hangover on a Tuesday morning.

Most St. Patrick’s Day partygoers would be hard pressed to come up with the holiday’s origins or meaning.

It’s a holiday from Ireland. The Irish like to drink, right? It’s a holiday about drinking!

Break away from the (six) pack next year

St. Patrick’s Day is less a holiday and more a get-out-of-jail-free card for anyone over 19.

A walk down Granville Street the next day is more than enough evidence of what the Feast of Saint Patrick really means to us: drinking, drinking and more drinking.

In the clamour of it all, people forget that just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should too.

Next year, take it easy on St. Paddy’s Day. If you need a day off, just wait for the weekend. Throw back a pint of Guinness, just one, and relax.

And if you need a break from the stresses of the season, find a friend or a professional to hash things out with. Your liver will thank you in the long run.

NYC Field Studies at Langara

Langara’s NYC Field Studies program

Previous NYC Field Studies students pose in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, NY. (Joanne Horwood)

Previous NYC Field Studies students pose in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, NY. (Joanne Horwood)

Not just for theatre students

Students are invited to take a trip to New York City this summer to experience world-class theatre and innovative performance as part of Langara’s External Studies program, taking place May 11th – June 1st, 2014.

The entire 3-week long trip costs $2,599 – which doesn’t include airfare. Anyone who meets Langara College’s entrance requirements is welcome to apply, and an additional loan funding may be available for those in need of financial aid.

Langara College instructors Joanne Horwood and Jill Goldberg will take students  to Manhattan, where they will live, learn and experience live theatre, art, poetry and performance in a fun, hands-on environment that is almost completely classroom and textbook-free.

“It’s like learning in a way that is memorable,” said program founder Joanne Horwood. “And that is something that is really special to us, as teachers.”


Unique and flexible learning experience

Langara’s Field Studies program is also unique in it’s flexibility and curriculum – which incorporates English 1191: History of Drama and Theatre II coursework with New York City’s diverse selection of on and off-Broadway plays, poetry slams, and filmmaking events.

Possible performances this year include Of Mice and Men starring James Franco, A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, and an adaptation of TV’s Dexter starring Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall.

The wide range of performances also includes a day trip to Philadelphia and poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, giving students a learning experience that would be hard to recreate anywhere else.

Life-changing experience

“We had one girl who told Jill (Goldberg) that she came back feeling more confident, like she could do anything. She just gained so much confidence just being there.”


For those looking to explore New York, but lacking theatre experience, don’t fret – the program is tailored to include Studio 58 theatre buffs and theatre newbies alike.

“My goal is to get as many students experiencing live theatre as possible,” Horwood said.

Previous NYC Field Studies students pose outside a theatre performance on Broadway. (Joanne Horwood)

Previous NYC Field Studies students pose outside a theatre performance on Broadway. (Joanne Horwood)

Click here for an interactive map of the stops along the New York trip.

The Addict Next Door

Junkies are alive and living next door (to your West Village condo)

Addiction is a painful, overwhelming secret for a lot of people, and I think that the world finally has a chance to clue in on the fact that there are dudes, successful, family men and women, housewives, teenagers…that drift away quietly, unseen, towards a point of no return. Who shoot drugs or take pills and die facedown in the bathroom.

There needs to be another tier to the whole recovery/harm reduction system – one that catches people who haven’t hit rock bottom, yet.

Waiting to hit rock bottom

Rock bottom is a pretty harsh, life-and-death place to be, yet there isn’t anything besides AA meetings and t’ai chi for addicts with jobs, mortgages, kids, sunny dispositions, brushes with happiness, anything to suggest a comfortable life.


In the end, unfortunately, junkies are all the same. They live and die and use drugs and whether or not it’s a secret or an obvious truth, whether it exists in a piss-stained alley or cozy West Village apartment – it’s all the same. Until you enter the weird, weird world of recovery.

Recovery: bottom out or die trying

The process of getting clean is a strange beast, that has yet to evolve from ye olde lock-up rehab clinics and ‘i feel’ statements in group therapy, to something inclusive, or at least familiar with people that don’t fit into the ‘junkie’ stereotype, physically, mentally, in terms of lifestyle, whatever the situation may be.

Nobody really needs the rehab spas and the Dr.Drew crowd hugging it out until probation ends. And not everybody needs the intensive, 72 day hospital-style rehabs and detox clinics. There is little in between, at least in Vancouver, and at least if you are looking to get well within the public healthcare system.


Sadly, aside from a few street detoxes and shelter-cum-sober living operations in the DTES, an addict’s health concerns must fall in the ‘post-treatment, group meetings and therapists’ category or the ‘intensive, long-term rehabilitation’ one. There is no grey area.

Rehabs wait for you to hit rock bottom, but some people don’t want to, or can’t wait to bottom out. There is a lot at stake for many people, too much to risk losing. Treatment almost seems like a jail sentence, one that you must impose upon yourself. That’s a lot to ask from anyone, nevermind the commitment-phobic, constantly running, drug addict tiptoing around the rocks beneath them.

 Rehab isn’t real life

Even when you get in, most inpatient rehab/treatment centres do little more than tossing as many addicts as possible into the temporary, mindless bliss of AA/NA meetings, breakfast, activities, lunch, one-on-one, meds, dinner, bedtime.What the fuck is that? Senior living? Summer camp?

Recovery often means another role, illusion, faking-it-till-you-make-it as a clean, happy person.

There needs to be a place to get help, get sorted, in a way that will be somewhat applicable to real, stressful, chaotic as fuck, life.