Artists in Residence Salon
Inspired by the concept of 17th century French salons, VACS Founder Keiko Honda began inviting local residents and out-of-town guests to her Artists in Residence (AIR) Salon since 2010 at her home in Dunbar-Southlands. It is a space created to connect and learn from each other through dialogue. Through various presentations by artists, musicians, business owners, story tellers, and other speakers, a series of meaningful dialogue began to emerge, allowing people to connect with each other and to this unique city we live in that is Vancouver.
"I try to create safe spaces to allow people to take creative risks and explore their strengths and vulnerabilities. I invite artists in the community to speak at the AIR Salons, but I reserve lots of time for group discussion and group storytelling, which stimulates a stronger creative flow between artists and audiences. At the AIR Salons, the presenters and the audience are crossing the line, exchanging roles, eliciting art from the audience and appreciation from the presenters. The audience do some of the work of creative interpretation – to become, in a sense, co-creators." - Founder, Keiko Honda, Ph.D.
“We are all artists.”
- Founder, Keiko Honda, Ph.D.
Salon list est. 2014
63) The 63rd salon was given by Yukiko Onley on January 17, 2014 entitled, “Fabulous Faces.” A painter-turned-photographer from Osaka, Japan, but living in Vancouver since 1976, Yukiko explored the intuitive and spontaneous approaches to her photography; specifically, her passion for photographing theatre and dance productions.
64) The 64th salon was given by Olivia Fermi on February 15, 2014 entitled, “Then and Now: Women Respond to the Manhattan Project.” As the granddaughter of Enrico Fermi, one of the men involved in the Manhattan Project, Olivia discussed how women responded to World War II during and after the war; eventually becoming community leaders and visionaries. Her talk focused on her grandmother, Laura Fermi, a social and environmental leader, and Marian Naranjo, and Indigenous thought leader whose people lived on the land now occupied by the Los Alamos National Lab.
65) The 65th salon was given by Georgia Youngs on March 1, 2014. At her salon, Georgia divulged the ups and downs in her “love affair with art”; detailing the twists and turns that brought her to the recent successes in her work.
66) The 66th salon was given by Brock Tully on March 15, 2014 entitled, “On Kindness.” Brock presented his journey of going on three large-scale bikes trips — totalling 50,000 km — around North America to advocate for a kinder world, including anti-discrimination within the community, anti-bullying, and reducing domestic violence.
67) The 67th salon was given by Yayoi Hirano on April 12, 2014 entitled, “My Journey as a Japanese female Mime-Dance Artist.” Yayoi is a talented Japanese mime-dance artist and Noh mask maker who founded the Yayoi Theatre Movement. Through the art of mime, Yayoi probed the connections between eastern and western elements, as well as the inner and outer world at her salon.
68) At the 68th salon, “Art as Triggers for Experiences,” Timothy J. Sullivan presented his artwork and talked about his journey on April 26, 2014. A contemporary abstract expressionist who creates artwork both large and small, Timothy encouraged others to be bold and experimental in their artistic pursuits.
69) The 69th salon was given by Kagan Goh on May 9, 2014. Kagan is a spoken word artist that performed his piece, “Surviving Samsara” at the salon; ‘samsara’ being defined as the “cycle of rebirth,” or “perpetual wandering” by the Buddhist Dictionary. While also sharing personal stories about his life and struggles with mental illness, he performed alongside Butoh dancer Salome Nieto and cellist composer Nicholas Epperson.
70) The 70th salon was given by Patrick McGuire on May 24, 2014 entitled, “An Evening with Patrick McGuire (a.k.a., ‘Mr. Renaissance’).” A writer, artist and world traveler who is an explorer of both the outer world and his own inner being, Patrick shared some of his visual art and readings from his early creative nonfiction travel writing.
71) On June 16, 2014, the 71st salon was given in honor of Bloomsday — a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce’s Ulysses — and directed by Daniel Conrad. Readings of Ulysses, Ireland, and drinks were abound in the celebratory night.
72) On July 1, 2014, Salome Nieto performed “Camino al Tepeyac” at the 72nd salon. This dance connects to Salome’s Mexican roots and is an investigation into the themes of devotion, ritual, and myth by looking at the convergence of traditional and post-conquest Aztec / Mexican religious beliefs.
73) The 73rd salon was given by Ernesto Ponce on August 9, 2014 entitled, “My Journey.” In this salon, Ernesto shared his life’s journey of being a world-class Mexican tennis champion reawakening a lineage of self-healing within his family.
75) Debra Sparrow presented “Weaving Together a History” on August 23, 2014, for the 75th salon. A Musqueam artist engaging in many different mediums, Debra is most renowned for her Salish weaving designs. In her salon, she examined and discussed how she maintained her integrity and sense of contentment throughout her life and artistic career.
76) The 76th salon was given by Etsuko Inoue on September 13, 2014. Born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan, Etsu specializes in Japanese calligraphy and Japanese watercolor painting. With her salon, Etsu effectuated her goal to unfurl the beauty and spirituality of the two art forms throughout Canada.
77) The 77th salon was given by Pia Massie on October 4, 2014. In the screening of Pia’s documentary, “Just Beyond Hope,” the film’s montage of letters, post cards and newspaper clippings brought the grim realities of Canadian and American Japanese internment camps to life.
78) The 78th salon was given by Daniela Elza on October 18, 2014. Daniela, a poet, was joined by dancer and choreographer Su-Lin Tseng to demonstrate how poetry entwines with philosophy and dance.
79) On November 1, 2014, both Kagan Goh and Salome Nieto made a striking return at the 79th salon! Kagan’s second salon screened two films, “Goh Poh Seng: A Poet In Newfoundland” and “Who Let In the Sky?”, with the former film featuring a dance performance by Salome. The films paid tribute to Kagan’s father, Goh Poh Seng: a playwright, poet, and novelist who had struggled with Parkinson’s disease at the end of his life.
80) The 80th salon was given by Dr. Jan W. Walls on November 15, 2014 entitled, “Poetry and Humor in Chinese Culture.” A professor of Chinese language, culture, and communication for many years, Dr. Walls revealed the satirical and humorous side underlining the wisdom of ancient Chinese poetry.
81) In the 81st salon, Kagan Goh gave a special screening of “Surviving Samsara,” which features pataSola Butoh dancer Salome Nieto, cellist composer Nicholas Epperson, and singer-songwriter Fraser Mackenzie. The salon doubled as the Misfit Lit Magazine Launch of Kagan’s work, focusing on the samsara, or “cycle of rebirth.”
82) Shakuhachi master Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos returned with multi-instrumentalist composer Greg Valou for the 82nd salon, “Spice Melange: A Musical Caravan.” The flow of Alcvin’s shakuhachi, merged with Greg’s rare and obscure instruments created an inimitable atmosphere of spectacular musical fusion.
83) The 83rd salon was given by Oliver Hockenhull on January 16, 2015. In his second salon, spoke about his new documentary film “Citizen Planet: Cybernetics in the Anthropocene,” a film probing how technological governance will impact the future of society. To spark discussion, Oliver exhibited archive clips from various films paired with excerpts of modern and historical texts.
84) The 84th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh and Jason Robinson on January 31, 2015 entitled, “Birth of Consciousness.” For his sixth salon, Synn Kune Loh presented with Jason Robinson, the founder of sustainability TV. Coincidentally, Synn Kune and Jason met at a salon in the previous year! Together, they presented on how synchronicity brought them together to go forward into new areas.
85) The 85th salon was given by Barbara Jackson & Earle Peach on February 14, 2015. Barbara and Earle have been singing together for over 20 years, representing a wide range of folk traditions from the 14th to the 21st century and accompanied by the guitar/bango. At their salon, they celebrated Valentine’s Day with musical reflections and expressions of love in all its different forms.
86) The 86th salon was given by Stuart Ward on March 14, 2015 entitled, “Devine Lights.” Stuart is an artist specializing in digital media and the founder of Hfour Studios. He presented on his interest in the interactions between nature and technology and neural activity when experiencing art.
87) The 87th salon was given by Mary Bennett on April 11, 2015. Mary is a prominent 'community connector' in Kitsilano, holding various art events to connect local artists; all the while being a prolific artist herself. Her art weaves together mediums like poetry, sculpture, and painting, drawing inspiration from everywhere from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to the cave art of ancient Europe. She shared the field of Community Art with the audience, as well as an interactive art-making experience, wherein the audience contributed words to a labyrinth painting.
88) The 88th salon was given by Kevin Spenst on April 17, 2015 entitled, “Conversations with a Poet.” Kevin presented on his debut collection of poetry, “Jabbering with Bing Bong,” a coming-of-age story encompassing religion, mental health, urban energies, and poetic form.
89) The 89th salon was given by Lewis Evans on May 22, 2015 entitled, “Creative Magic.” Lewis gave an illustration of his life and the creative world, focusing on its twists and turns.
90) The 90th salon was given by Ari Lazor on May 29, 2015 entitled, “Sacred Geometry, and the Harmonies of our Once and Future World.” Ari is devoted to exploring the natural forms of the world by using the geometer, the straightedge, and the compass to replicate nature’s beauty in artworks. He presented on the basics of sacred geometry, described how they inspired him, and shared his latest body of work.
91) The 91st salon was given by guitar virtuoso, Keston Barker, on June 13, 2015. In his second salon, Keston returned to share his latest jazz-fusion shredding compositions, along with his journey as a guitarist who has won the Vancouver Guitar Show Shred competition four times.
92) The 92nd salon was given by Paul Dincer on July 5, 2015. Paul is the owner of Koko Monk chocolates, one of Vancouver’s newer chocolatier shops. He used theories involving literature, philosophy, and avant-garde art to explain his approach to his innovative chocolate making, something he sees as an intellectual and artistic endeavor as well as a culinary one.
93) The 93rd salon was given by Robert Naish on July 17, 2015 entitled, “Metropolis.” Robert is an autodidact artist who uses big canvases and the discarded items of the city to speak to one of the largest social movements of our time, urbanization. His canvas “Metropolis,” is a vision of Vancouver which he presented at the salon.
94) The 94th salon was given by Vi-An Diep on August 14, 2015 entitled, “Vin An Music.” Vin-An came to the salon to share his life’s journey and demonstrate his talent with the Chinese long-plucked zither. He also came to share stories from his life about how he discovered community and self-empowerment through his music.
95) The 95th salon was given by Nick Herman on September 4, 2015. Nick — a musician of innumerable genres who went from classical guitar to flamenco, from the jazz scene to the Indonesian Gamelan — performed his eclectic sound blending instruments, recorded sound, software and synthesizers.
96) The 96th salon was given by Lorenzo de Franccesco on October 3, 2015. A socially-conscious sculptor who not only addresses social issues, but offers possible solutions as well, Lorenzo investigated the intersection between creativity, spirituality, art.
97) The 97th salon was given by Deborah E. Chaney on October 17, 2015. Deborah, a mixed-media artist of contemporary abstract art, presented on the parallels between creating an abstract painting and the creation of our lives to empower other creative journeys.
98) The 98th salon was given by Inthirani Arul on November 21, 2015. With her newest book, “Self-Esteem Survival Guide for Living on Planet Earth,” Inthirani presented on how her counseling experiences supporting adults with special needs influenced her journey as an author.
99) The 99th salon was given by Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos on December 5, 2015 entitled, “Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage.” In his third salon, Alcvin presented on the Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage, a journey meant to deepen one’s relationship with Japanese music, Japan, nature, and oneself. His presentation also highlighted the symbiotic relationship between the east and the west.
100) On January 23, 2016, salon founder and host, Keiko Honda, gave the 100th salon was “My Story: The Space and Culture to Create Towards “I AM.” In honour of this milestone, Keiko shared her own life journey, recounting how she came to be interested in the arts and how the idea of the salons came about. The salon was well attended by many previous salon attendees and presenters.
101) The 101st salon was given by Gerard Satamian on February 16, 2016. Gerard came to the salon to give a vocal concert for salon-goers, boasting his superb talent as a baritone singer. He presented a wide assortment of songs for attendees, including the well-beloved arias and sonatas.
102) For the 102nd salon on February 20th, 2016, street musician/multimedia artist/eco-teacher Iven Simonetti exemplified his charity work in hospices and retirement homes through his own improvised melodies.
103) For the 103rd salon on March 25th, 2016, gifted public speaker Magdaleno Rose-Avila spoke out about human rights and environmental justice. This captivating night encompassed more than Magdaleno’s vision, as he shared his extensive history of fighting for social justice. Through sharing his journey, Magdaleno inspires others to “do the impossible!”
104) On April 9th, 2016, Russian-born Canadian artist Mikhail Pertsev presented “East and West – Politics, History and Art: Two Generations of Artists in Two Eras” for the 104th salon. Mikhail investigated the impact of different political regimes on one’s creativity on an intergenerational scale, to determine how it gives rise to new generations of artists.
105) On April 23rd, 2016, Venus Soberanes — a visual artist, Expressive Arts Therapist, jeweler, experimental filmmaker, life coach, published author and shamanic dreamer — presented “An Exploration into Consciousness.” In this salon, Venus examined how consciousness led to her many successes, such as having her jewelry being sold in various gift shops including the Frida Kahlo Museum; or having her films screen in international film festivals; or her visual art exhibiting in galleries across the globe.
106) On May 4th, 2016, classically trained vocalist Jane Perrett spoke and sang at the 106th salon, “Bel Canto Singing: Why this technique is most desired by the human ear”; exploring the subtle intricacies of bel canto singing that make it so desirable to listen to.
107) The 107th salon was given by highly accomplished investment professional and documentarian, Mike Schauch, on August 25th, 2016. In this salon, Mike screened his most recent documentary, Colours of Edziza (2015), which deals with the journey of a Tahltan Nation member and a West Coast mountaineer in the rugged mountains of the Tahltan territory.
108) On September 24th, 2016, filmmaker Jacqueline Levitin presented her experimental film Mahjong and Chicken Feet (2008) for the 108th salon. With her own family history of Russian-Jewish rooted in China, Jacqueline explores the one thousand-year-old Jewish settlement in the city of Harbin, China through candid, filmed conversations about Chinese-Jewish encounters with Chinese patrons.
109) On October 15th, 2016, zero-waste artist Leah Price presented several pieces of her projects generated from the abandoned, unwanted, unloved waste of life, which she infused new purpose by weaving the story of the materials. One of her notable projects was Humatrope Collar, which takes a stand against the lack of indication of the Human Growth Hormone from the Prader-Willi syndrome in Canada through an embroidered yoke created from her daughter’s medical waste.
110) The 110th salon, which took place on November 5th, 2016, was given by artist Wan-Yi Lin and her husband and collaborator, Roger Chen. The artistic duo, also known under the name “Mizzonk,” shared their participatory art project, “Defining Moments,” which invites the public to self-awareness and social empathy.
111) The 110th salon was given by Kira Van Deusen, a professional oral storyteller, writer, and cellist. Kira invited salon-goers into her artistic process through her new novel, Faraj — A Space of Possibility, which centers around star-crossed Persian lovers.
112) Gerry Huang, a Registered Orthopedic Physician from China, presented the first salon of the new year on January 7, 2017. As one of the 6th Generation Descendents of Yang-Style Tai Chi in China with over 20 years clinical experience in healing under his belt, Gerry introduced how the unique system of Tai Chi cultivates the body and mind for good health.
113) Singer-songwriter Lucas Hille presented the 113th salon on January 21st, 2017. Lucas, who has three independent CDs released, expressed his interest in the healing and spiritual power of music and art to the salon-goers, and shared his evolution as a singer-songwriter.
114) For the 114th salon on February 11th, 2017, canoe-builder Robin Clark presented his latest project, “Paddle to Nisqually, Canoe Journey” which convenes natives and non-natives with the common goal of healing and recovering culture, traditional knowledge, and spirituality through slides, videos, and stories.
115) On February 25th, 2017, poets Lillija Valis, Enrico Renz, and Lawren Nemeth shared their musical work that deals with themes of freedom, power, and interpersonal connections, as well as the beauty, humour, and terror of life on this planet, with mystery at the heart of everything.
116) On March 11th, 2017, Lilia D’Acres, founder of the George Woodcock Centre for the Arts and Intellectual Freedom Fund as well as award-winning author presented on her book, “Lion’s Gate,” which highlights the dishonouring of First Nations peoples and land in the building of the Lion’s Gate bridge.
117) On April 15th, 2017, 20-year-old UBC Architecture student and breakdancing gardener Chris Son presented his vision of the future, telling his story of how he overcame his fading ethnic roots by supplanting it with art and new communities.
118) Poet Rudi Krause presented “A Life with Poetry” at the 118th salon. Rudi read and recited selections from his poetry, which reflect on the five decade span of his life.
119) On May 20th, 2017, Judith Atkinson presented “Greece: A Painter’s View”, in which she focused on the various archaeological, cultural, and historic sites (like the Acropolis!) in Greece through the lens of a visiting artist. Judith shared her discovery of the profound presence at Delphi, among other historic sites, with its rich artifacts embedded with the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology.
120) On July 1st, 2017, co-founders of the All Bodies Dance Project Naomi Brand and Sarah Lapp presented “All Bodies Dance Project: Differences as a Creative Strength.” In this salon, Sarah and Naomi discussed the project’s history and their approach to all-inclusive dance practice for people with and without disabilities, which celebrates differences as creative strengths.
121) On July 15th, 2017, Dr. Lily Chunling Liu, a doctor well-versed in Chinese medicinal herbs, presented not only on the renowned, long-standing benefits of medicinal herbs, but the problems arising from their complexity, as well as pointers on growing and using them properly.
122) On August 19th, 2017, shakuhachi master Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos returned for his fifth Salon with Alison Nishihara, a classically-trained pianist. Their unique collaboration is dubbed as ALAL (an amalgamation of their first names), and bridge the East and the West through musical influences ranging from Japan's Fukuda Rando, to Germany's Bach, all the way to Argentine tango composer, Astor Piazzolla. This experimental musical fusion lent a sense of universality in emotions like melancholy, yearning, romance, and pathos of life.
123) On September 16th, 2017, Nathen Aswell, a Vancouver-based international speaker and performing songwriter, used music, stories, and humour to co-create an interactive experience with the audience to encourage them to live life to the fullest.
124) September 30th, 2017 marked the first jointly-led Salon by two former Salon presenters: artist and philosopher Tim Sullivan, and photographer/counselor/coach, Olivia Fermi. Through their own stories of becoming, these two longtime friends and colleagues led what was a "meta-Salon"; a Salon about exploring what makes the Salon environment so conducive to community creating.
125) On October 21st, 2017, Vancouver-based composer and writer Joël Tibbits presented his newest book project, "The Books of Magra"; a seven-volume epic and extensive offering of music encircling his views on consciousness through elements like bioenergy, mysticism, and acoustics.
126) On January 27th, 2018, the interdisciplinary artist Danielle Gagnier presented a film put together by herself, which described her artistic journey and featured photos of her artwork, soundtracks she recorded, and her own narration.
127) On February 17th, 2018, the visual artist Colleen McLaughlin Barlow shared her experience creating art at various telescopes over the world with engineers, starting with the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.
128) On February 24th, 2018, the poet Rudi Krauce told his personal stories and reflected on the power and importance of story-telling in our lives. Rudi has told stories on behalf of the Human Library project, and enjoys telling stories in classroom settings to younger children.
129) On March 17th, 2018, Olivia Fermi shared her experience regarding the Neutron Trail - a cultural inquiry project she started. Olivia Fermi is a psychological counsellor, integrity skills coach and teacher, as well as the granddaughter of Enrico Fermi, who participated in the development of the atomic bomb.
130) On April 21st, 2018, retired Jungian psychotherapist David Roomy recited a selection of poems that he composed over the years, and held a book sale for four of his books. Video for this Salon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge2JOUhswIk
131) On April 28th, 2018, Claudia von der Heyde takes her audience on a virtual tour through the town of Weimar and its history, and provides insight into the founding of Germany's Weimar Republic after WWI.
132) On June 9th, 2018, local playwright and author Chris Gatchalian shared a chapter from his soon-to-be-published memoir Double Melancholy, while his friend Todd Wong performed on his accordion.
133) On July 21th, 2018, self-taught digital artist Gary Nay shared a selection of his artworks, each featuring a scenery in Vancouver drawn from memory, history, imagination, and reality.
134) On August 18th, 2018, self-taught musicians Maya Honda-Granirer and Jocelyn Sue put together a concert program featuring themselves on vocals, guitar, and drums. Their fresh and powerful concert revolved around optimistic themes of love, community, and faith in the self.
135) On September 15th, 2018, David Diamond, renowned founder of the Theatre for Living troupe, introduces the notion of interactive theatre by leading hands-on activities and sharing insights from his life as a theatre director.
136) On October 13th, 2018, Keith Martin, a designer, illustrator, artist and design educator, presented his life-long.professional relationship with Canada Post for designing and illustrating postage stamps. His stamp design training began at the age of 8 when his grandfather introduced him to the magic of stamp collecting. As he matured as a designer and artist, his interest in stamps continued and intensified when he was awarded the opportunity to create them. Over two decades and 50 stamps later Keith still feels honoured to contribute to Canada’s cultural heritage through his practise designing and illustrating our country’s postage stamps.
137) On October 27, 2018, Varouj Gumuchian, a Vancouver based artist, architect, and a founding member of Main Street's Drift arts festival, shared his work in the creation of the Riley Park Community Garden (30th/Ontario), a state-of-art collaborative growing space aiming to tackle local food insecurity while enhancing community engagement. While searching for a roadmap for meaningful communities, he shared his organic process to creative art engagement that has played in community-level change.
138) On November 10th, 2018, classical Indian (kathak) dancer and economic development strategist Koyali Burman gave an introduction of the history of traditional Indian dance and demonstrated three dancing performances. She also taught the audience mudras - hand gestures associated with kathak dance that come with different health benefits when practiced daily.
139) On November 17th, 2018, Dr. Nevanka Stankovic gave a presentation on modernist art and architecture in Yugoslavia - a topic that had been a part of her dissertation thesis in Comparative Literature. Her talk addressed the ambiguities Yugoslavia had to negotiate with, as a nation that became communist after WWII but found itself balancing between the West and the Soviet Union.
140) On December 1st, 2018, soundtrack composer and writer Joël Tibbets launches the first of seven books in his series The Books of Magra and its accompanying music album. The first book, Hax-Sus, is an exploration of the consciousness set in a medieval land, while the music evokes a hypnotic, reverberating soundscape through the combination of electric guitar and percussion.
141) On January 26th, 2019, artist, film-maker, and Jungian psychologist Liliana Kleiner presented her Book of Lilith - a trilingual (Hebrew, Spanish, English) art book featuring her own wood cuts and paper prints created over 15 years. The original materials she used were organic, including hand-made paper (made from tree bark, stinging nettle, hemp, etc.) and natural dyes. The book tells the myth of Lilith - the first wife of the Biblical Adam in Jewish traditions.
142) On February 9, filmmaker Oliver Hockenhull hosted a small-group screening of the 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet, followed by a discussion on the future of technology in the arts. This screening complements Oliver's newest project: The Sublime Horizon: Technoetics and the Arts of Tomorrow.
143) On February 16th, 2019, traditional Chinese watercolour painter Monita Chu shared her creations over 15 years as well as her insights into art and technique. She shared her progress from painting plants and insects to birds and larger animals. Monita emphasizes the difference between a "painting" and a "piece of art."
144) On April 6th, 2019, Filipina artist Tin Gamboa discussed and performed movement art that utilized her whole body. From upper body to tapping toes, Tin hopes to spark conversation and change by tackling questions about community and culture.
145) On April 20th, 2019, Tim Sullivan offered personal reflections on his journey as a visual artist, former scientist, counsellor, coach, would-be writer, mystic and philosopher. Through unpacking himself, he encouraged others to look more deeply into their own life journeys.
146) On May 18th, 2019, visual artist and curator Lam Wong gave a talk on his latest solo exhibition Mind Transition, which took place successfully at Vancouver's Canton-sardine gallery. Aside from unveiling future plans, Lam shared his philosophy about creating and upholding the mysterious connection between artist and future.
147) On June 1st, 2019, Mary Li Ma, a pioneer in fashion hand-painting in China, demonstrated her fluid art techniques live and shared her experience transitioning from capable businesswoman to expressive painter.
148) On June 22nd, 2019, Viktor Barkar, founder of the Vancouver Puppet Theatre, put on a casual puppet show complete with a fun and informative introduction to several varieties of puppets around the world and across centuries.
AIR Series 64: Olivia Fermi
AIR Series 67: Yayoi Hirano
AIR Series 69: Kagan Goh
AIR Series 72: Salome Nieto
AIR Series 75: Debra Sparrow
AIR Series 77: Pia Massie
AIR Series 82: Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos
Synn Kune Loh, Salon regular
AIR Series 86: Stuart Ward
AIR Series 88: Kevin Spenst
AIR Series 92: Paul Dincer
AIR Series 94: Vi-An Diep
AIR Series 96: Lorenzo de Franccesco
AIR Series 98: Inthirani Arul
AIR Series 100: Keiko Honda (Founder)
AIR Series 103: Magdaleno Rose-Avila
AIR Series 104: Mikhail Pertsev
AIR Series 105: Venus Soberanes
AIR Series 107: Mike Schauch
AIR Series 108: Jacqueline Levitin
AIR Series 109: Leah Price
AIR Series 110: Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen
AIR Series 114: Robin Clark
AIR Series 117: Chris Son
AIR Series 120: All Bodies Dance Project
AIR Series 122: ALAL — A Musical Bridging of East and West
AIR Series 123: Nathen Aswell
AIR Series 124: Supporting Our Natural Artistry in Community
AIR Series 127: Making Art at 14,000 Feet
AIR Series 128: Story-Shaped Lives
AIR Series 129: Intersections of Art & Science on the Neutron Trail
AIR Series 131: A Virtual Tour Through Weimar
AIR Series 133: Landscapes from the Edge
AIR Series 134: Maya Honda-Granirer & Jocelyn Sue
AIR Series 135: David Diamond
AIR Series 136: Keith Martin
AIR Series 137: Varouj Gumuchian
AIR Series 138: Koyali Burman
AIR Series 144: Tin Gamboa
AIR Series 147: Mary Li Ma
AIR Series 146: Lam Wong
AIR Series 148: Viktor Barkar
Pre-VACS Salons, 2010-2014
1) Megha Ratna Shakya, September 3, 2010: “Non-Violent Communication Workshop.”
Megha presented salon-goers with a communication workshop emphasizing compassionate connection and collaboration through experiential activities, with communication techniques encompassing personal, professional, as well as parent-child environments.
2) Ken Rice, September 24, 2010: “World Musical Instruments ~debut~.”
Ken played a variety of instruments including the tar, setar, santur, saz, oud, mountain dulcimer, balafon, kalimba, and drums — educating salon-goers about their origins.
3) Luke Collins, October 8, 2010: “Music and Physics Fusion!”
As a Grade 12 student (at the time) with a passion for physics paired with diverse musical talents in many genres, Luke expressed his ardor for both by playing music that he composed himself during his salon.
4) Davide Merino, October 22, 2010: “Art is like Life.”
A native of Mexico with degrees in both Architecture as well as Fine Arts, Davide presented his artwork, which blended Mexican elements to portray themes of man’s journey through life as an immigrant.
5) Joycelin Ng, November 5, 2010: “Musical Salon.”
Joycelin, who has over 10 years’ worth of piano teaching and performance experience as well as a double major in Piano Performance and Psychology from UBC under her belt,presented on her own musical passions, and how to ignite such passion in oneself.
6) Oliver Sarmonte, November 26, 2010 : “Creative Recycling.”
Oliver, who had mastered the art of creative recycling early on, revealed how art and design can transcend its wall-hanging status into something more by using concepts in engineering to create any object (including children’s toys) from plastic recycling.
7) Omer Abel, December 10, 2010: “Making.”
As an industrial designer and architect with a focus levelled on both aestheticism and sentiment, Omer presented his home designs, as well as his work in designing and producing the 1,500 gold, silver, and bronze metals used for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
8) Ken Rice, January 14, 2011: “World Musical Instruments Improv.”
Ken’s second salon involved even more ancient musical instruments from around the world, including the Gu Zheng, the cajons, and the subu from Thailand. His infectious enthusiasm for the instruments shone through his playing, and was a massive hit — particularly with the kids!
9) Markus Fahrner, January 28, 2011: “Book by Design.”
Markus — a graphic designer, writer, and artist originating from Germany — presented on the creative processes behind creating an art book and designing the book specifically for the art market.
10) Michael Silverman, Ph.D., February 11, 2011: “The Machine in the Ghost: A Cell Biological View of the Life and Death of Neurons.”
Dr. Silverman, a neuroscientist at Simon Fraser University, shared some of his extraordinary research on how nerve cells work in the context of Alzheimer’s disease. Through his subtle wit, he effectively communicated the complex yet prevalent issue to a diverse audience.
11) Ann Marie Fleming, February 25, 2011: “Animated Adaptation: Book to Screen and Screen to Book.”
Ann — an independent filmmaker focusing on themes of family, history, and memory — presented her newest film, “I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors,” and parts of her documentary, “The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam,” while sharing about the challenges she faced in book-to-screen (and screen-to-book) adaptation.
12) Misha Bilenky, Ph.D., March 11, 2011 : “ On Colours, Animals, Mountains, and Such.”
Misha, a Russian physicist by training with a lifelong passion for drawing, shared how his hobby materialized into a communication tool that aids relaxation through daring humour, intuition, and design.
13) Graham Good, Ph.D., April 8, 2011: “Creative Process.”
Through his intuitive and highly emotional style of drawing and painting, Dr. Good discussed the process of developing one’s personal vision, using techniques like dramatizing a subject’s certain characteristics through selective emphasis.
14) Luke Collins, April 22, 2011
In his second salon, Luke channeled his musical passions through his original guitar and piano compositions; taking the audience on a powerful and touching journey that shared the birthing process of his music.
15) Andrea Mendoza, May 13, 2011: “My Journey to India.”
Andrea, then a second-year Master of Physiotherapy student at UBC, recounted her venture to India. Andrea narrated how she applied her knowledge from her studies to a health care system in a rural area, all while being richly awashed in a different culture.
16) The 16th Salon was given by Megha Ratna Shakya on May 27, 2011 entitled, “How to know one’s True Self.” In his second salon, Megha took salon-goers on a journey to learn more about who they really are. His process of doing so was to discuss his own experiences with the “ego” and learning how to raise his levels of consciousness.
17) The 17th salon was given by Doug McKegney on June 10, 2011. A business coach by profession, Doug dedicated his life to helping others to improve their businesses and their lives. He presented on his techniques for bettering the futures of organizations, which had recently been distilled into a package that had been proven to work.
18) The 18th salon was given by Maya Honda-Granirer on June 24, 2011 to celebrate her finishing the school year. Maya presented her most recent passions including drawing, Japanese handwriting, piano, chess, 'ikebana,” storytelling as well as many others.
19) On September 2nd, 2011, the 19th salon was given by Mike Hallatt, an architect, designer, and founder of the quintessential Kitsilano cafe, Benny’s Bagels. Mike premiered,“Uncle Herb”, a documentary that deals with end-of-life issues, including health care.
20) The 20th salon was given by Willy Miles-Grenzberg on September 16, 2011.
Willy, who is a renowned performer at the Vancouver Opera, is also a multi-talented musician covering a wide span of genres — from opera to folk! For his salon, he navigated the differences between traditional and contemporary sound, through his extraordinary vocal range and instrumentalism.
21) The 21st salon, entitled “Writing and the Creative Process,” was given by Silvana Goldemberg on October 14, 2011. As an award-winning Argentine-Canadian writer with book and magazine publications spanning throughout Canada and Latin America, Silvana led a creative writing workshop giving writing tips and room for creative expression, while sharing her own experiences as an author.
22) On October 28th, 2011, Barbara Shumiatcher gave the 22nd salon , “Painters of Paris”.She focused on her book about Paris that she wrote for two of her teenaged friends and, more specifically, the artists that had lived and made their start in the city from the late 19th century onwards. Her reading of the first chapter introduced not only the plot of her novel, but also a few Impressionist painters, to the audience.
23) The 23rd salon was given by the alto saxophonist Dylan Cramer on November 11, 2011. Accompanied by pianist Ron Johnston, Dylan performed his four recordings and explored his creative process with the audience.
24) The 24th salon was given by Vancouver-based artist Laura Baird on December 16, 2011. An artist who embraces a miscellany of forms, Laura presented on her artistic processes, while sharing her preferred subject matters, sex and death.
25) On January 27th, 2012, Paul Toolan gave the 25th salon. Hailing from England, Paul’s roots as an actor go way back to his earlier years, though he adopted teaching later in his life as well. In his salon, Paul recounted the the story of his life after being bitten by the acting bug, and divulged his personal approach to acting.
26) On February 10th, 2012, Silvana Goldemberg returned for the 26th salon, “Playing with Words,” in which she extended her first salon’s creative writing workshop. Using music, images, and even videos as writing prompts, Silvana expanded the possibilities in writing for self-expression.
27) Oliver Samonte, aka Dr. Recycle, graced salon goers with his return for the 27th salon on February 24, 2012. In his second salon, Oliver shared his ambition of setting a world record with one of his inventions while also showing how a memory game can be used to adapt to various life interests.
28) The 28th salon was given by Kevin Olafsson on March 30, 2012 entitled, “Come Listen Koto and Shamisen Performance and Talk.” Kevin studied the koto and shamisen in Japan under the direction of Takemura Aiyako and then obtained his graduate degree from University of Hawaii Music Department. He played the instruments for salon goers and talked about his experiences performing and teaching.
29) For the 29th salon, Linda Naiman presented “Art and Power.” Linda, who is an expert on creativity and innovation, traversed the overlap between art and power through visual art of the Renaissance’s Michelangelo, all the way to contemporary graffiti; examining how people in power furthered their agendas through art.
30) For the 30th salon on May 18th, 2012, filmmaker Daniel Conrad screened his documentary, “Accident by Design: Creating and Discovering Beauty” (1998). With academic expertise in cinema and molecular immunology, Daniel explored the human experience of perceiving beauty within the arts and sciences.
31) The 31st salon, “The Most Beautiful Experience,” was given by Dr. John H. Spencer, PhD, who had specialized in Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Physics at Liverpool University. In his salon, Dr. Spencer dissected Einstein’s famous appraisal for the “mysterious” through the role of emotion within the sciences, ultimately questioning the existence of “true art.”
32) The 32nd salon, “Just the Same: Thirty-Seven Years of Music and Friendship,” was given on June 22, 2012 by Jeannie Corsi and Janet Oxley. Between the two of them, they share comprehensive studies and careers in music and dance, which they had used to collaborate on performances. Despite going their separate ways in the mid-to-late 1970s, they reunited in 2012. The duo treated salon goers with their electric collaborative performance.
33) For the 33rd salon, the children of salon-goers gave a talent show, with each child showcasing their unique talents and passions within a given amount of time. What an interesting glimpse into the future of young artists!
34) The 34th salon was given by Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos on August 3, 2012. A professional shakuhachi craftsman, teacher, and performer, Alcvin was also the first Canadian (and one of the few non-Japanese) to receive his Dai Shihan (grand master) license. Alcvin gave salon-goers the honour of a shakuhachi flute performance.
35) On August 17th, 2012, Joy Silver gave the 35th salon, “Storytelling: How do we choose to live our lives?”A retired elementary school teacher and a trainer of the Spirit Play, Joy taught salon-goers how the Spiritual Play Methodology can be used to model universal values and inform and inspire children of all ages to act in the world with compassion.
36) Gail Sparrow gave the 36th salon, “First Nation and Beyond,” on October 5, 2012. As an active member of the First Nations community with an independent vision for community building, Gail presented her First Nations stories and her personal story and her universal passions for her community.
37) “Inspiration” was the 37th salon, given by Judith M. Atkinson on October 19, 2012. Judith, who is a professional artist and Fine Arts instructor, presented on her creative impetus fueling her various bodies of artwork.
38) The 38th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh on November 17, 2012 entitled, “A Poetry Reading Series: A Journey to Camatkara.” Synn Kune presented his poetic work “A Journey to Camatkara” at his salon. It focuses on the idea of esthetic wonder, which is the meaning of Camatkara in Sanskrit.
39) The 39th salon was given by Todd Richery on November 23, 2012 entitled, “The Answer Model.” Along with his partner, John Montgomery, Todd presented the practical uses of his unifying theory of human behavior, as well as a therapeutic model that applies the theory to personal and professional relationships.
40) The 40th salon was given by Daniel Conrad on December 7, 2012 entitled, “Film Screening Night.” In his second salon, Daniel showed several of his dance documentary films as well as a surprise feature. These films were choreographed specifically for the camera in ways that could not exist on the stage and were shot in exotic locations.
41) The 41st salon was given by Robin Clarke on January 14, 2013 entitled, “Tree of Life.” In this salon Robin presented on his e-book “Tree of Life.” The salon-goers were asked to read the e-book beforehand and prepare questions involving topics such as the text, pictures, and philosophical aspects of the book.
42) The 42nd salon was given by Darrin McCloskey on February 1, 2013 entitled, “From Conception to its Natural Ending: Seeing it Through.” Darrin presented on how the creation of his novella “Garden of da Gulf” came about, while doling out pointers for running an independent press.
43) The 43rd salon was given by Synn Kune Loh on February 16, 2013 entitled, “Recovering Keys from the Ancient Mystery School of China.” In his second salon, Synn Kune shared the profound insights he has collected from ancient artifacts, such as sacred texts about the ancient mystery school of China, and the Yellow Emperor, challenging our understanding of human origins.
44) The 44th salon was given by the Land of Deborah on March 8, 2013. Deborah, a singer/songwriter with a unique take on love, life, and the pursuit of fair trade chocolate, presented some of her feel-good music in the style of Jewel and Ingrid Michaelson.
45) The 45th salon was given by Renee Mynott on March 22, 2013 entitled, “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Neighborhoods.” Renee presented on the unique benefits of cohousing in Vancouver, like how getting to know your neighbours by connecting in genuine ways can lead to effective ways of people living together.
46) The 46th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh on April 13, 2013 entitled “Recovering Keys from the Ancient Mystery School of China (Part Two).” In his third salon, Synn Kune delved deeper into the ancient mystery school of China, focusing on the plain-sightedness of the mystery school knowledge in the structure of the Chinese written word and on four sacred texts.
47) The 47th salon was given by Keston Barker on April 23, 2013. Only 22 years old at the time, Keston shared how his passion for guitar led to winning a shred competition at the Vancouver Guitar Show, along with some new work on six- and seven-string guitars to boot.
48) The 48th salon was given by Kesseke Yeo on May 10, 2013. Kesseke started dancing when he was eleven years old and now, in Vancouver, he dances for his own group WEST meets WEST, a multicultural drum and dance group playing the traditional Ivory Coast rhythms from West Africa. He presented drumming, dancing, and songs from West Africa.
49) The 49th salon was given by Michael Lutynski on May 24, 2013. An ex-monk, he sold 99% of the things that he owned and was dedicated to this form of spiritual practice for five years, spanning three countries and using two different languages. He presented on the common conceptions of monks, his practice of meditation, and the nature of thinking.
50) The 50th salon was given by Isabelle Jolly on June 7, 2013. A mystic and a meditator who practices largely through engaging with writing, Isabelle did readings of her stream-of-consciousness writing in this milestone salon; illustrating how her writing helps her to connect to the wider universe.
51) For the 51st salon, Damien Gillis and Daniel Conrad presented the trailer for their documentary, “Fractured Lands,” which follows a man named Caleb, an emerging aboriginal leader that is trying to protect his land and his people; leading a discussion about Aboriginal rights.
52) The 52nd salon was given by Gabriel Pliska on July 5, 2013 entitled, “Time to Grow Urban Farming in Modern Living.” Through a garden tour and a peek into harvesting, Gabriel explained how he became so passionate about urban farming to eventually become a part of Vancouver’s urban farming movement, as well as Frisch Farms, his hyper-local farming initiative.
53) The 53rd salon was given by Judith M. Atkinson on July 19, 2013 entitled, “Revisited Presence: Waterways & Aerial Views & Heroic Transcendence.” Through this selection of her own artwork, Judith underscored the consequences of melting polar ice caps, like the changes to the movement of water and to our planet.
54) The 54th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh on August 10, 2013 entitled, “An Unorthodox Explanation of the Heart Sutra.” In his fourth salon, Synn Kune focused on another popular Buddhist teaching that focuses on illuminating the five senses, and transcending the hardships of life.
55) The 55th salon was given by Joanne Chan on August 23, 2013. Joanne was a professional photographer in New York City for many years, with high-end clientele like Random House Publishing and The New York Times until she changed her life’s direction to live off the land in North Carolina and chasing new passions like turning chicken feathers into hair accessories, and playing the violin.
56) The 56th salon was given by Radu Postole on September 27, 2013 entitled, “Creative Design: How We Can Influence People and the Environment.” An engineer, Radu works as a Building Science Consultant, modeling and improving the efficiency of buildings. His presentation centered on his passion for using his ideas about creative design to improve the relationships between people and the environment.
57) The 57th salon was given by Brent Ray Fraser on October 11, 2013 entitled, “Live Art Salon (Part One): Eat, Sleep, Breathe Art with Brent Ray Fraser.” Brent is an artist whose work hangs in galleries across Canada and the United States. At the salon, he created a live painting while talking about his life story and artistic passions.
58) The 58th salon was given by Oliver Hockenhull on October 25, 2013 entitled, “A Screening of "Neurons to Nirvana" Presented at VIFF 2013 by the Filmmaker.” Oliver’s documentary “Neurons to Nirvana” focuses on the current state of scientific and cultural knowledge on psychedelic drugs and their role as neglected taboo medicine. He screened the film for salon-goers.
59) The 59th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh on November 9, 2013 entitled, “Emergence-An Artist’s Journey of Discovery.” In his fifth salon, Synn Kune displayed his most recent paintings which had been on display at the Chinese Canadian Cultural Museum, while talking about his art-making process and journey.
60) The 60th salon was given by Judith K. Atkinson on November 22, 2013 entitled, “Tuscany: A Painter’s View.” In her third salon, Judith presented on her journey of discovery in Tuscany and displayed the paintings that were inspired by her journey. Her presentation took salon-goers from Florence to Cortona, and then to a Villa Cuiano in Pierle.
61) The 61st salon was given by Brian Robertson on December 6, 2013. A Kerrisdale resident, Brian is a singer-songwriter and, for the previous twenty years, a research historian on indigenous issues. He presented his music, mainly original songs about the west coast where he has lived all his life, and the “Song of the Saltchuck” which focuses on the relationships between indigenous peoples and newcomers to BC’s coast.
62) The 62nd salon was given by Melissa Maan on December 20, 2013 entitled, “Mellie’s Munchies.” Melissa owns “Mellie’s Munchies,” a bakery and catering company and has also always been fascinated by the art world. She shared her passion in both areas and how food and art helped her along her journey of self-discovery at her salon.
By Alice Zhou, July 3rd, 2013
By Katja De Bock, March 3rd, 2013