St Basilicas Church Montreal CANADA

I love going into churches and lighting candles. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember being able to do it. It is like my own private time away from the hustle and bustle, and a way to just think. The actual part of lighting the candle, always makes me feel like i have just connected with a higher power or my angel spirit guides so to take the time in my day or week to just do this, is significant moving forward. It is also a great time to reflect on life and to just be grateful for all the things I have in life. I don’t really care which church it is, Catholic or Orthodox because the point of it, is not to support a particular religious denomination, but for me, rather a way to have a place to go where I can feel connected.

It was important when I came to Quebec in Canada, to find a place that I felt connected. I am still searching for places but lucky for me, Veronique introduced me to St Basilicas.  The church itself is a Catholic based church and it is apparently one of the most beautifulest ones in the world arena of churches. Considering I have had the pleasure of enjoying the St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, St Peters Cathedral in Rome, as well as Rome itself, and the various Greek Orthodox Churches in Sydney, Wollongong, Mangrove Mountain and the wonderful greek churches on the Greek Islands in Greece, I think I am in a position to comment on the validity of this churches ranking compared to the others. I loved it inside. I loved the displays and angel sculptures that were handcrafted. The blue in the window stain was bright and stood out. The detail was intricate and beautiful. It was grand. It felt like there had been so much effort put into each icon hand made and the ceilings and stained windows. The pictures will be the easiest to show.

My biggest concern and the part that made me feel for a moment disconnected from the actual church was the fact that you had to pay $5 per person to just look inside the church. I am someone who is honest and always donates inside. In fact, I light the candles too and always pay money for this honour. To be forced to pay a fee to enter turned it into a business experience rather than a spiritual connection to be invited inside and welcomed off the street in prayer alone. I felt deeply conflicted with this and was extremely bothered by it. I questioned the staff, to which they replied, they had to pay people to maintain the church and also have it open to the public etc etc. I understand this but so does every other church and they don’t all charge entry fees. We are not going to a theme park for goodness sake. Due to the entry fee, when you enter the church, people are really more interested in taking photos and getting their moneys worth rather than just going in there and being humble and quiet and connecting.

This is the church below. If you are in Montreal, I recommend to go and see it but make sure you have your entry fee.

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Stanley Park, Vancouver CANADA

This is such a beautiful park in Vancouver. I think the park takes up half of the city space it is that big. There is a walking and cycling track that goes all the way around the waters edge of the park and then other tracks going inside various parts of the park. There is a restaurant and big water pool inside it, plus a harbour with boats docked around it and the other ends has views of the famous lions gate bridge.

There are great mountain views around the city of Vancouver and when you walk around the park, you really get to see the great views in the distance. There are some industrial areas that you can see in the distance and tourist site seeing planes are commonly flying over head taking in the views of the city.

You can hire a bike from the bike shops directly across from the park on the city side. It was about $13 to hire for an hour. The bikes are comfortable and you can get a basket for any bags you may have.

It is certainly worth spending the day there (if it’s not raining that is). Walk through it, cycle around it. Eat at the restaurant and just simply enjoy the harbour views, the trees and flowers in bloom. I took photos around the whole park as I rode around it so you will see the shots i took. It wasn’t raining at the time but it was overcast and at times drizzling so you can never be too sure what the weather will do.

 

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Granville Island, Vancouver CANADA

Granville Island is located in North Vancouver. It is really cool and a photographers dream place. Make sure you have an appetite before you go. If you are in the city, you basically need to catch a water taxi called an Aquabus to get there from downtown Vancouver. In fact, if you go and eat breakfast at the restaurant Provence on Marina side, then you can literally walk straight across the road and at the end of the pier is the stop for the Aquabus to Granville Island.

Once you get to the island, you can walk around it and through the different sections. The place has a very industrial feel initially, but when you walk around and see the island, it is also very picturesque like the rest of Vancouver. I loved it. The fresh fruit in the farmers market was soooooo good. It looked so ripe and tasted so good.

You can actually live on the island and enter the shop area from a bridge on the other side of the wharf. I loved the entrance bridge to Granville Island from the other end of Vancouver.

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There were some really cool artists and musicians performing around the island that you could stop and listen too. A stand out for me was Edgar Maenala. I bought his album because it was so beautiful. he plays these windpipe instruments and plays mostly known songs with them. It was so relaxing.

We walked along a side road that had a cool mirror we photographed and there were sculptures around the place also.

 

As we walked around the water side, there were great city views and bridge views of the mountains in the background.

 

 

Downtown Vancouver, CANADA

Downtown Vancouver. It was certainly an experience. I generally love visiting all areas of a city. In Vancouver, Downtown consists of the lower end of the city, China town and other surrounding areas like East Hastings, Eastside Down town Vancouver.

Starting with the homeless problem. There are approx 2,700 homeless people in Vancouver that associate with either being Relative, or absolute homeless. The main cause of the rapid increase of homelessness was due to the housing market price increase and also lack of income. Talking with some locals however, I was informed that the homeless issue has increased since the year 2000. Apparently in trying to clean up some other Canadian areas, the government issued a whole stack of homeless people a one way ticket to Vancouver so that they could survive in the outside areas in a warmer environment. The west side of Canada is a lot warmer than the rest of Canada that basically freezes in Winter.

The whole homeless population has overtaken eastside downtown, specifically on East Hastings Street. I accidentally ended up on the corner innocently taking photos of what I thought was interesting human interaction shots, and groups of people lingering around an area. The next minute I am approached by some obvious mentally challenged people that were eager to volunteer to get their photo taken. I start to look around and notice hundreds of people looking at me wandering what the hell I was doing with a camera on their street. I quickly put my camera away however this did not mean their eyes stopped following my every move. I slowly played the tourist card, looking around, and looking at the fastest way to get the hell out of there before getting rolled. As I start to walk away, a man approached me asking me to hold on. Taking a deep breath, heart racing, I innocently turn and smile, welcoming his approach. He asked what I was doing and at that moment, I am glad i had a strong Aussie accent to which I replied “I’m just a tourist mate, taking photos. I can see that the people here don’t like that much right?”

Thank God he smirked and kindly informed me that most of the people on the street were alcoholics and took drugs and they wanted to make sure I wasn’t a cop, or snitch trying to catch them out. I told him I was an Aussie and he basically wished me a good trip and ‘Hasta La Vista’, I was out of there.

Curiosity killed the cat Right?? So at this stage, I wanted to now check it out more, without my camera in their face this time, so I stopped and got dumplings in the local Chinese shop called Jade Dynasty which was recommended and they were really good. Some quick pics of the shop and the shrimp dumplings I had.


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After that, I walked to the other end of the street and decided to walk along it and get amongst the homeless on the street. I stood out like a sore thumb, however I figured if I just walked quickly and just took in everything i could see and feel, that would give me a good feeling of what people were there.

The fact that these people stick together in big groups and hang out together is a good thing for themselves and company, however, most of the people I saw, were mentally ill or clearly doing drug deals, or more so, trying to ask for money to get their next hit. The concerning part was seeing a a few teenage faces in the crowd. It is sad to know how most of society can sleep peacefully at night with a roof over their head, but these people just stay continuously on the street. Even if the mentally ill people were put into housing, they would stand out and it would be a matter of time before the police were could to settle them down etc. It is always a hard solution dealing with mental illness as well as homeless and drugs etc. The crime rate in this area is also a big concern and it was only a matter of time before I saw cop cars speeding into the area.

Below are some pics of the street adjacent to East Hastings. There is a mural of some great artwork and directly opposite, some locals hanging in the laneways.

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After getting the buzz of experiencing the homeless situation, I wanted to check out China Town a little more and went to the Chinese Botanical Gardens. They were small compared to what we have set up in Sydney but the small amount of garden they do have was pretty. The guy let me in for $5 because I only had half an hour to go. That was more than enough time to see the whole thing and capture it on camera. I love how detailed the Chinese are when they build things. It makes me realize how traditional and passionate they are as a race. What was really cool about the gardens is when you walk to the back end, there is a calligraphy section where they have drawing ink set up and these special drawing boards with symbols displayed. You can take a seat and try and draw the symbol you see with various symbols varying in degree of difficulty. I loved trying this because I had never done it before. It wasn’t long before I realized how precise the Chinese are when writing. Each stroke takes a certain amount of ink, pressure and precision to create the symbol beautifully. I attempted but I think I turned Chinese symbols into a two year old garbage diagram of what they think it should look like. Terrible. I am sure I would improve in time, but really, I sucked at it.

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Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver

I really wanted to see as much as I could in Vancouver so I decided to take the advice of the locals and check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I took a bus as that was the easiest way to get there from the Four Seasons Hotel. It was actually really good for checking out Vancouver from a higher seat in a bus.

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The bus ride takes about 20 minutes and it leaves every half hour to hour, depending on which season it is and what time you wish to get there and leave. The park is opened between 9am and 7pm. The whole park was bought by a lady called Nancy Stibbard. The actual address is 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC V7R, Phone number +1 604 985 7474. Vancouver is part of Brittish Columbia.

I was on my own and most people on the bus kept to themselves with their own company. I was happy to look out the window. I couldn’t help but think how similar Vancouver was to Sydney. It had a similar feel in terms of the harbour, boats docked, the big Stanley Park, the bus rides around, the city buildings, different sections like China town etc. Although, I believe there is a china town in every city. Without being biased, I still find Sydney is on my top list of cities because of the weather factor. It rains alot in Vancouver.

Back to the bridge. It is special because it is so close to the city, however it is this pristine natural habitat park that they have literally built a bridge to join one side to the other. Looking at how long the bridge is, and how high it is suspended above a flowing rapid fall, I was gob smacked about how on earth they built it without damaging the nature around it. It apparently started back in 1988 when George Grant Mackay, a Scottish Engineer bought 6,000 acres of land and they used horses to take hemp ropes across the river so they could build a little cabin on the other side and use a small footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks to get across. When you start to walk along the bridge, you need to just walk steadily across and not move side to side or else you rock the bridge and others walking tend to find it hard to walk when it’s rocking. I love to push the boundaries so of course, I secretly tried to see what I could get away with rocking. The next minute I hear through this speaker mid way on the bridge “Rocking the bridge is forbidden”. Oops, I pretend of course, it isn’t me, and then look ahead to see a bridge officer at the end watching over the bridge. It is fun to experience. When you get to the other side, they have some information signs posted up about the animals in the area etc. There are more wooden bridges set up to allow you to walk around and also experience what it is like looking over the top of the treetops. The energy at the place is really beautiful and a nice day out. Keeping in mind that it mostly rains in Vancouver, they give you rain ponchos that are bright yellow, in case you get stuck in the rain. If you go to the three main attractions at the site, you get to see the bridge from another angle by walking along other bridges that give you a different look of the nature reserve. It is really peaceful. I had my Mark III and enjoyed taking photos and filming.

There is a cafe just past the entrance where you can have some lunch and coffee and just take your time. If you are by yourself and are on a mission, you can do the whole thing in 2 hours with great photos etc. There is a tourist shop next to the cafe and it stocks lots of Maple Syrup products (Which Canada is known for their Maple Syrup). It also has T-shirts, jumpers etc with ‘Vancouver’ and ‘Suspension Bridge’ on it. They actually allow you to order their products if you email retail@capbridge.com

I couldn’t help myself and checked out the Fudge section in the shop and aren’t I glad I did. I ordered the dark chocolate and caramel fudge combined with sea salt on top. It would have to be the best fudge I have eaten in my life. It was amazing. In fact, after writing this blog, I am about to ring them and see if they deliver the actual fudge interstate to Montreal. I can’t stop thinking about how good it was. I really regret only buying one piece. I broke it up into small pieces so the taste would last and I could remember how good it was.

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When you finish the tour and bridge walk, you go out through the entrance and if you managed to participate on the ‘Collect the stamps’ game they run, you hand it in, and get a certificate for making it over the bridge. The game is really set up for kids, to make sure they reach each point they need to locate and get their form stamped to verify they have been to that location. I secretly think adults have more fun doing this and it’s funny to see how committed adults are to making sure their kids get the stamps. I got a certificate too. Not because i participated in the stamp game, but because I played dumb saying I didn’t see the actual form and I really wanted a certificate because I crossed the bridge hahhaa. He gave me one with a smile. Here it is below.

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Below are all the photos I took of the trip at the actual park and some of the displays they have presented on site.

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Next time you are in Vancouver, check out the bridge, save some money for the actual fudge experience of the dark chocolate and caramel one specifically and order a whole heap of it. Enjoy!!!!

On the way back down, nicely ask the bus driver to drop you off at Stanley Park and hire a bike and ride around the park. It is a must see, very beautiful. The bus drivers are not meant to drop you off, but if you are nice enough, they may just throw you out hahaha.

 

 

Old Montreal Canada

I love this town. I cannot wait until Summer until I can go down here and be amongst the beauty and atmosphere in this great part of the city of Montreal, Canada. It is bloody cool.

It reminds me of Spain, Italy (Rome) and a touch of London architecture. It certainly has a european feel and considering most of the signs are in French, let’s throw Paris into the equation, except I haven’t been there, so I can only imagine.

Anyway, I want to share these photos with you of Old Montreal because I love it. The waterside is really nice and you can just stroll or roller blade along it, taking in the old train track and the boats docked in the harbour. There is a science exhibition right on the water too and apparently in summer it’s full of people.

I’m excited as summer is approaching.

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Martin Beau Pre Artist Montreal

I love great artists and this one is brilliant. Martin Beau Pre. I really don’t think the photos do him justice. He is so talented. He travels alot but his artwork for now is on Display in Old Montreal. A place I love dearly because it is so cool. Back to the artist. I want to buy one of his paintings because they are awesome. They are asian inspired and he uses real Swarovski crystals to create the sparkle you see on some of the mountains. He uses this particular type of plaster with his work and if you turn the lights down low, the paintings light up in some spots so the mood it creates in the room is sublime.

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Just Thai – Canada

Just Thai is great. Service is wonderful, the atmosphere in the little one we go to in Terrabonne is so cute and intimate, its fantastic for dinner.

I order number 95 which is aubergines with a few vegetables but i get them to put peking duck in it also and it tastes sensational. I love it. You need some plain rice to be able to soak up a little of the sauce on it but it’s not much sauce. Probably oil from frying the aubergines/eggplants. The tom yum soup is also amazing. I try and get it mild but its apparently best with full spice.

I thought id share this because the idea of good food is always nice to share.

IMG_0623 My aubergine and duck dish with zuchinni too. YummmmIMG_0624 The margarita was amazing…IMG_0625 These noodles look hard but they soften with the sauce. What a cool idea and it was my friends dish and it tasted great. IMG_0626 IMG_0627

Bin System Mascouche

I’ve been living in Mascouche since arriving in Canada. It is definitely an outer suburb North of the City of Montreal. It used to be an industrial area and now they are re zoning it all as residential. There is a lot of construction and there is a train station that is currently being completed with the hope of it opening in January 2014. The area is growing but if you are unfortunate enough to live here at the moment, you need to make noise your best friend and the site of trucks and tractors, a daily viewing. Because the suburb is so new, it hasn’t got a personality yet so everything is new and limited. It is getting there though.

I am impressed though by the bin system I have been using at the condos. It is pretty cool. They basically place four dome like structures in between the unit blocks to share with the residents. these bins are split, two for recycling and two for general rubbish. Every week the truck comes and pulls off the lid of the dome and lifts the huge industrial brown bag out, emptying it in the truck and then placing it back inside the dome. I think its a great system and makes everything look so clean.

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Funny Garages Canada

When I arrived in Canada, I found some things strange because I wasn’t used to seeing things the way they were set up. They basically have driveways and they put like a white marquee up as a garage where they place the cars.

I assume it is an easy set up to protect them from the snow in Winter. I took a few photos of it to show you. 7R1A2822 7R1A2823 7R1A2824 The other thing I found interesting was the fact that they have rows and rows of houses or condos (apartments) that look the same because one builder comes along and builds a series of homes exactly the same so that the area keeps to a particular style of housing. It reminds me of lego land when i drive around with everything looking the same. Heres an example below. It’s a whole street of houses that look identical.

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Cactus Club Cafe Vancouver

Cactus Club is the ‘latest trend’ in Vancouver. This particular cafe only opened in the past 12 months and it is a huge venue that gets ridiculously packed out at lunchtime. I went there at 1130am and was seated. By 1230pm, the cafe was full with a line up of people waiting to be seated. There are a few Cactus Club Cafes that are now opened but this one in the heart of the city, and in walking distance from the Four Seasons Hotel was a great choice.

The waitresses are really quirky and they remind me of the waitresses in the 70s in the old fonz days. Their hairstyles were lifted and curved like beehives and in skirts and heels flirting with the male customers. This is what this cafe is like so when I look around at the mostly male filled room, I completely understand the market they are targeting. High ceilings, trendy furniture, opened windows all around with views of the high rise buildings.

The lady recommended I try the rocket and goats cheese salad and it was delicious. Wasn’t totally keen on the coffee they served but the rest was great. I took a few photos of the atmosphere and some snaps of the waitresses inside. The chef is the first iron chef in Canada, Rob Feenie and they rave about his food. I enjoyed what I ate but I’d need to try a lot more dishes to rate the overall quality.

I loved the lights as they looked like pumpkins hanging from the ceiling. 7R1A1777 7R1A1780 7R1A1781 7R1A1788 7R1A1793 IMG_0320 Directions to walk from the Four Seasons HotelIMG_0321 The rocket and goats cheese salad with chicken. IMG_0325 IMG_0326 IMG_0327

 

Yew Restaurant Vancouver

The Yew Restaurant is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel at 791 W Georgia St, Vancouver. It is a nice restaurant. The atmosphere is really cosy, even the the place is a decent size. It is in an L shape so you get a choice to sit in an intimate dining section with low light and candles, or you can choose to sit on the lounges with low tables, or even at the long bar. They are known for their quality seafood and their cocktails. I tried their popular pear martini. It was nice but you need to be a lover of pear to enjoy it.

The manager and staff were really lovely. The manager came over and spoke with me and the waitress, being another fellow Australian, was really friendly and sociable. The waiter that served me was really knowledgable about the specials, and the cocktails and his recommendations for the food were great. I was impressed with the overall dining experience. I would eat there again. I had this amazing dish as an appetizer made like a taco but it was using crab meat and the shell was made in a mould to form it. Tasted divine.

IMG_0561 The MenuIMG_0562 IMG_0563 IMG_0564 IMG_0565 IMG_0566 IMG_0567 The popular Pear MartiniIMG_0568 This was a shell made of crab. This dish was amazing. IMG_0571 The market fish of the day is always a good choice. The fish was Halibut. It was well cooked and the vegetables were perfectly cooked. IMG_0572 IMG_0573 IMG_0574 People can sit and order at the bar.IMG_0575 IMG_0576 The manager and front staff. Very friendly. IMG_0577

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver

The Four Seasons hotel is located on 791 W Georgia St, Vancouver. Phone Number is +2 604 689 9333. I would recommend this place if you want something central in the city. Somewhere close to the big mall that is located underneath and beside the hotel. The train station is right underneath and it has a popular restaurant ‘Yew’ that has great food, cocktails and atmosphere. The concierge desk is fabulous and the ladies there are really helpful with recommendations about what and where to go. I didn’t like the room I had initially but when I requested to change, it was easy and effortless so I liked the fact they were willing to make my stay as enjoyable as possible. The room itself was very clean and a great size. King size bed, views of the city. I could see the buildings and the stadium from my room and that was better than looking straight out at another building so I was happy.

The bell men were great too, opening my door and supplying me with umbrellas every time I needed it because it does rain most of the time in Vancouver. Lucky for me, it was mostly overcast and I got to experience everything I could in Vancouver in four days. It really helped staying at this hotel, because to get to where I needed was very easy.

In fact, I wanted to go to the Capilano Suspension bridge and lucky for me, the free shuttle stop was in walking distance from the hotel.

My favourite part of the hotel was the gym and pool area. It has a pool that is half indoor and half outdoor. It is heated nicely and has a jacuzzi right next to it. The gym always had people in there working out with various aged people. They provide tea/coffee for guests and fresh fruit in the area so if you wake up and don’t want breakfast, you can walk to the gym level four and get yourself some complimentary tea and fruit and enjoy. This suited me completely. It was a little surreal to be swimming outdoors with high rise buildings around me in a heated pool. It was a great experience overall.

Getting a taxi was simple and never had to wait long. The bellmen organized the taxi the moment you step out of the hotel. They had l’occitane bathroom products available to use in the rooms and I found these products good quality. Here are some photos below of the room and around the hotel.

The Pool areaIMG_0316 Tea and fruit served in the gym and pool areaIMG_0317 IMG_0318 IMG_0319 IMG_0414 IMG_0415 Inside Yew RestaurantIMG_0416 IMG_0417 Inside Reception areaIMG_0418 IMG_0419 The elevatorIMG_0422 IMG_0423 IMG_0424 IMG_0425 The RoomIMG_0578 IMG_0579 The view from the room. i had the top floor, level 28.IMG_0580 IMG_0581 IMG_0582 IMG_0583 IMG_0584 IMG_0585 IMG_0586 IMG_0587 IMG_0588 IMG_0589 IMG_0590 IMG_0591 IMG_0593 IMG_0595 IMG_0596 IMG_0597 IMG_0598 IMG_0600

Canadian International Film Festival Vancouver

Between April 4th – 8th, 2013 I went to Vancouver to attend the Canadian International Film Festival. My film ‘Bloody Henry‘ which I wrote, produced and directed was selected as the Official Selection at the festival. I find festivals a great way to network so when my films get selected at them, I try to attend most of them. It is quite an expensive thing to do but it pays off in the end because the people you meet along the way are interesting and talented. I enjoy watching the films and supporting the artists and it also feels great being able to watch my own films on the big screen with an interested audience.

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Lucky for me, I managed to win an award for “Best First Time Director”. I was stoked about this award because it was on of my first films I directed, as well as Juliana’s Story. It has motivated and encouraged me to keep doing what I love and keep making films that I love to make as I know audiences appreciate my work. I only hope to keep improving my work and making bigger and better films for audiences to enjoy.

CIFF Director I met some great people at the festival such as Venetia Evripiotou who directed Counting Happiness. A great film, made in India about a boy who lives on the streets in India and sells toy chickens. Counting Happiness took out the major prize award at the festival and well deserved. Here is a picture below of Me, Venetia (Greece) and our greek friend on the night Ellenor Argyropoulos (Australia) who also won a student royal reel award for her short film Life through a lens.

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There was a man at the festival called K.Bhavani Shanker. I recognized his face but couldn’t quite work out from where. I was told by his photographers that he was a popular actor in India, having acted in over 220 films. I laughed because the Indians are funny. His photographer kept taking a million photos of him sitting down in the same position whilst the award ceremony was going on and I couldn’t understand why he would be taking a million photos of him. It’s not as if he was going to capture a different angle. It was crazy and I found it amusing. He was at the festival because of a short film he was in called ‘Dream’. It won a Royal Reel Award but wasn’t screened. There was a huge Bollywood Award Ceremony going on the same night next door at the stadium and 6,000 Indian people were in attendance. Hence why he attended the festival as he was in Vancouver for both events. That is him on the left below.

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I also me the Japanese guy that was in the movie Kenny. His name is Morihiko Hasebe. He had a great sense of humour and invited me to come visit him in Tokyo some time. I haven’t been to Tokyo but it is definitely on the agenda. Below is a picture of me with Morihiko.

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I met one of the nicest couples on the night that did a film together about surfing in Canada in the winter but it was mixed with the fact we are destroying the earths sea mammals and the director Myriam Caron compared it to having a cancerous brain tumour and being trapped. Her partner Mathieu Crepeau stars in the film as one of the surfers followed with the cameras. It was a very touching film and her speech was very emotional having shared with the audience the fact that she is suffering from Cancer and that she hopes it will not be the last film she ever makes. Her smile is infectious and she has such a loving soul. The film was called Surf Boreal. Its a documentary. Below are the lovely couple I met, Myriam and Mathieu.

60639_10151368588769499_990326238_nThe actual festival was at Edgewater Casino on the waterfront in Vancouver. I found it weird having the festival on the second level of one of the smallest casinos I’ve ever seen but it had a big theatre room set up where the screenings took place so that was good. The actual awards ceremony was on the Saturday night and it was a full house. They apparently has a record breaking number of entries this year and the quality of the films were really good. I am still waiting for my trophy to come in the mail but at least I have the certificate to comfort me for now whilst I look at it proudly and think about how great a job the cast and crew did with the film. It was such a small last minute film but the two cast members, Tina Bursill and Kevin Healy, who have a long and honourable acting history in Australian Film and Television Industry, made the film such a joy to work on and they really were very professional. No second takes needed. It really pays to work with experienced actors when you are on tight budgets and tight time frames.

I spent a few days exploring Vancouver and you will be able to read about more posts I’ve written about my experience in Vancouver and the wonderful places I visited and photographed.

The Casino.IMG_0439

Bloody Henry on the big screen.IMG_0438

The award ceremony.IMG_0450

Casting Director – Helen Mc Cready with the Special Jury Award for 5 hour Friends.48150_10151368587434499_288446934_n Venetia during her speech for Counting Happiness.537005_10151368587494499_937847404_n The Indian Boys from Montreal.541946_10151368588204499_1365443447_n

Myriam and I.IMG_0491 Anna and I. She won a student award for her short film. IMG_0499 IMG_0503

It was a great experience overall. Congratulations to all the award winners and all the people I met during the festival. Feel free to visit my Website www.littlescreenbigscreen.com to see trailers and links to my other work and projects.

 

Provence Cafe Vancouver

I love this place. I have only been once because I was recommended to go and I had the best breakfast there. I totally recommend it. It’s called Provence. It is located on the waterfront at 1177 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver. Phone number 604 681 4144.

I basically ordered two dishes for brunch as i wanted to try both. I had a warm goat cheese salad which was fabulous but my favorite winner was the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. It was sensational and I highly recommend it. I ordered an appetizer size but if I was to go back, i would order just that and a main version of it. Yummmm.

I totally recommend booking. I was only one person and I had no choice but to sit at the bar. I would prefer to sit at a table normally, however, I met two lovely people whilst sitting at the bar so it is more of a social option if dining alone.

The waterside is beautiful. In summer, you have the option to sit outside and enjoy the location. Inside, there is quote alot of seating but seeing it is quite a popular place, it gets full fairly quickly. After eating at Provence, I met up with a friend and we then caught the aqua bus boat from across the road to Granville Island, however that is another blog in itself.

Here are some photos below of the place and the two dishes I tried.

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Mozza Pizzeria Laval QC

I visited Mozza for lunch recently which is located at 505 Promenade du Centropolis, Laval, which is in the province of Quebec, Canada. It is a modern Pizzeria and it’s done up like a modern cafe with High ceilings, dark furniture and a sense of a lunchtime networking venue for local customers. It’s a pretty cool place to eat at. I think one of the requirements to work there would be you must be gay and have a happy energy about you, because the boys are all gay and happy that serve you. Of course, that means, good looking too.

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I ordered a pizza with mushrooms, tomato, olives and rocket. It was delicious. Veronique ordered a pizza with eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. They were both delicious. Lunchtime is very busy in the cafe because it is based in an area full of shops etc so there are alot of suits inside and group lunches with clients etc.

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Swimming Pool Terrebonne

I’ve checked out this swimming pool lately in Terrebonne. It is one of the biggest swimming pools I’ve seen. Terrebonne is North of Montreal and the pool is right next to a big sporting complex. It costs about $5.00 each time to go and swim and they are really strict with the time periods to swim. It’s not ideal but at least it’s an option because there are not alot of pools here to Swim at. I certainly miss the ocean pools in Australia.

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Bloody Henry at Canada Film Festival

I love creating films, thinking of stories and bringing them to life. I completed a film back in early January 2012 called Bloody Henry. I wanted to make a suspense film that made people laugh too. I came up with the idea of this film when there was a theme at Tropfest for lightbulb. I needed to find an older woman and a much older man to represent older men suffering from Dementia and alzheimer’s disease. I found Tina Bursill, who in the past, has won Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series called Skyways back in the 70s. I found Kevin Healy to play Henry and both of them bring so many years acting experience to the film that it was great working with them. They did a great job and I hardly needed to direct much with Tina as she was brilliant to work with. Both of them have had a long career in Australian Television.

The film is only 7 minutes in length and it was filmed in Sydney. It has recently won a place in the Official Selection of the Canada International Film Festival which means it will premiere on April 5th 2013. I am so pleased that this short film will start to be seen in the festivals.

To see the trailer of the film, check out this link.

The film was shot by Christopher McHardy and edited by George Gryllis.

The flyers for the film designed by Steve Fanale
Bloody Henry JPGThe Riding Santa
IMG_4728 Kevin Healy as HenryScreenshot Bloody HenryBROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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