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Community Calendar: Kitsilano Neighbourhood House throws a party

Kitsilano Kitsilano Neighbourhood House is celebrating the completion of a major restoration project this weekend (Nov. 14 to 16) with housewarming events for all ages. The celebration kicks off Nov.
kits house
Mary Bennett, celebration planner and house-warming coordinator, stands in front of the recently renovated Kits House. Photo Jennifer Gauthier

Kitsilano Neighbourhood House is celebrating the completion of a major restoration project this weekend (Nov. 14 to 16) with housewarming events for all ages.

The celebration kicks off Nov. 14 with the Kits House Review featuring a Musqueam blessing with Debra Sparrow, Musqueam hip hop with Christie Lee, storytellers, Zach Grey of the Zolas and “his old dad John” (as John Maclachlan Gray, composer, performer and playwright likes to be billed), and Barbara Jackson and Friends. VIP guests include Bill Duncan, the first executive director of Kits House, and Kico Gonzalez-Risso, who ran the Kitsilano Theatre Company and coordinated many cultural events in the community, including the annual Kitsilano Folk Festival. The 89-year-old Duncan, who now lives in Qualicum Beach, has been a social activist all of his life. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Duncan graduated with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in 1955 as only the second African-American student to do so. Mary Bennett, celebration planner at

Kits House, describes the event as a “Kitsilano-style love-in.” Tickets are $30/$15.

Other weekend highlights include free site tours — Nov. 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Nov. 16 from noon to 5 p.m. — and an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. offering storytelling circles, performances, workshops, presentations and a youth evening of art featuring a speed-painting workshop. As well, Artists in Our Midst is hosting the Retrospective Art Show in the Kits House hall from Nov. 14 to 21 with a reception Nov. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. For a complete schedule and more information visit or call 604-736-3588. Kits House is located at 2305 West Seventh at Vine.

Join Miscellaneous Productions at Scotiabank Dance Centre Nov. 14, for an evening of raw, unfiltered performances by emerging young talent.

The performances are part of an open rehearsal process for Haunted House, a new site-specific project scheduled for August 2015. This is not your typical “haunted house.” Instead, this house is inhabited by performers who use artistic expression to uncover what haunts them. The performers are 10 culturally and socially diverse youth from the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley between the ages of 15-24. Their backgrounds include coping with and overcoming brutal violence, child abuse, tragic loss and mental wellness issues. Miscellaneous Productions is a community-based, charitable arts organization dedicated to engagement and education through various artistic works.

In Haunted House, these brave young performers reveal excerpts from their personal stories. At the open rehearsal, audience members have a chance to see early versions of the work, to ask questions of the cast members during a Q&A and to further explore ideas and issues in a community forum. Diversity consultant Eric D. Wong will moderate the Q&A.

With Wong acting as mediator, youth and adults will also be invited to discuss issues that arise during the performances.

The open rehearsal, which will provide valuable feedback to the performers and professional artistic team, is a crucial step in the process of bringing Haunted House to complete fruition. In 2015, Haunted House will be staged in and around an old house in the West End. For more information visit

The Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society presents a public workshop on Chinese music and instruments Saturday, Nov. 15 with composer Alan Lau.

The workshop is designed to provide composers with the tools necessary to write effectively for the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble. The characteristics of each instrument will be introduced as well as the techniques required to play them. Formed in 1989, the ensemble is the first professional Chinese music organization established in Canada. The workshop takes place Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, 555 Columbia St. Entrance is by donation.

Will Millar, the former leader of the Irish Rovers folk band, has returned to his first creative love of painting.

Millar’s paintings portray Ireland as it was in the 1950s, at a time before he says glass supermarkets and traffic jams clogged up small villages.
Ireland in the Rare Oul times: The art of Will Millar opens at the Petley Jones Gallery, 1554 West Sixth Ave., Nov. 13 and runs to Nov. 27. An opening reception takes place Nov. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. Millar has a couple of Celtic musicians lined up for the opening, but also invites the public to “bring your mouth organs and Irish grannie.” For more information visit

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