UPDATE: The time and place for the Robert Fisk talk has been changed. The talk will now take place in Flury Hall (B150 of the Bob Wright Centre) at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1.
LECTURES AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
Friday, February 1
Robert Fisk: Arab Awakening, but are we hearing the truth?
If you’re at all into politics, Middle Eastern politics in particular, you probably know who journalist Robert Fisk is, and you know he’s one of the guys, right up there with Chomsky. So I definitely don’t have to tell you why this lecture is a must-see. The event organizers recommend that you get your tickets ASAP, and I would recommend that, too! Ol’ Fisky will be talking about the Arab Spring from the perspective of someone who was right in the thick of it.
For more info, visit events.uvic.ca.
Flury Hall (B150 of the Bob Wright Centre), 7:30 p.m. Advance: $15 regular/$10 students; door: $20 regular/$15 students.
Saturday, February 2
Design Your Own Backyard Food Forest Workshop
Okay, this event might be on the pricey side for some, but think about how much it could benefit you in the long run, not just by cutting down your produce bill, but by helping you deal with stress through gardening. In this workshop, you’ll learn about what goes into making your own urban food forest from permaculture expert Jenny Pell. I think we should all be learning to become more self-sufficient when it comes to food production; I had a brief glimpse of this when a nearby Thrifty’s was temporarily out of kale. For a very small window of time, I had visions of a kale shortage on Vancouver Island and people trampling one another to get at the last tattered leaves in grocery stores. It just goes to show.
For more info, visit fernwoodnrg.ca/2012/12/jenny-pell or call (250) 381-1552.
Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone Ave.), 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. $85.
Saturday, February 2
Dragons’ Den Auditions: Victoria
Budding entrepreneurs, do you think you’re sitting on a million-dollar idea? Time to work on a short (five-minute max) presentation and see if you can make that dream into a reality by pitching it to CBC’s Dragons’ Den! They’ll be stopping in Victoria soon to hear your pitches, so if you haven’t been practising yet, you’d best start now. A couple of tips for the big day: lay off the coffee and be sure to use the bathroom before you go on stage!
For more info, visit cbc.ca/dragonsden/auditions/#cities.
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour Hotel (728 Humboldt St.), 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free.
FILM AND MUSIC
Friday, February 1
Rapper Gift of Gab and DJ Chief Xcel comprise Blackalicious, an act noted for having (besides one of the most awesome names a musical act can have) an emphasis on positive messages in their music. The group is also known for some astounding wordplay courtesy of Gift of Gab; play “Alphabet Aerobics” on YouTube right now and see what I mean. I could barely mentally process that video; it almost made my brain explode. Ever seen the head explosion scene in Scanners? Yeah, like that.
For more info, visit atomiqueproductions.com.
Sugar Nightclub (858 Yates St.), 9 p.m. $24 advance.
Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 10
19th Annual Victoria Film Festival
The annual Victoria Film Festival is like Christmas for movie geeks. I know I’m stoked; I’ve seen a lot of great stuff at these fests in the past. With recent Hollywood fare like The Dark Knight Rises just not quite living up to all the surrounding hype (in my humble opinion), independent cinema is something I often prefer to watch. If you feel the same way, the annual Victoria Film Festival will leave you more than satisfied. There are tons of great indie flicks, not only from across Canada, but from all over the world. I remember seeing some great movies that were made in places like Iraq and the rural Philippines at previous fests. They exposed me to a view of daily life I’d never normally get a chance to see, and it was really eye-opening. So don’t miss out.
For more info, visit victoriafilmfestival.com.
Various locations, various times. $10 per film + mandatory $2 membership.
CULTURE AND SUBCULTURE
Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 3
When I first started playing guitar, I would always read about the idea of the bluesman meeting the devil at the crossroads — it was some sort of cultural touchstone for musicians. But now, things are vastly different; I often see (and totally identify with) the idea of a childhood spent playing Nintendo as a modern cultural touchstone. So what does this mean? I suppose it means people of a certain age group in different nations and cultures all over the world are embracing their inner gamer geek. For those of us on southern Vancouver Island, what better way to embrace geekiness than by attending this year’s GottaCon? For me, there’s plenty to do and see here just in the realm of video games. But others will get their jollies from card games, role-playing games, miniatures, board games and comic books. Time to thicken up those Street Fighter 2 thumb callouses, folks — shoryuken!
For more info, visit gottacon.com.
Pearkes Rec Centre (3100 Tillicum Rd.), Friday, 5 p.m. – Sunday, 6 p.m. $50 (weekend pass); day passes and other passes also available (prices vary).
Sunday, February 3
A Harmonious Celebration – Chinese New Year
The Victoria Conservatory of Music will be ringing in the Chinese New Year (the year of the snake) with “A Harmonious Celebration” at Alix Goolden Hall. There will be all sorts of interesting stuff happening, including dances, costume shows, martial arts demonstrations and musical performances.
You know what I like about Chinese New Year? The fact that I was born in the Year of the Dragon, undoubtedly the coolest of all the animal years in which to be born. Talk about an instant way to feel superior to everyone (except other Dragon-year folks). The Dragon would have no trouble roasting all the other animals with one blast of his fire-breath and gobbling them up whole. Isn’t it weird that so many cultures around the world have fire-breathing dragon myths? Makes you think, doesn’t it . . . I guess Dragonheart must have been based on a true story. Yep, dragons all spoke like Sean Connery.
For more info, visit vcm.bc.ca/calendars/chinese-new-year.
Alix Goolden Hall (907 Pandora Ave.), 2:30 p.m. Free.