Uncle Weed heads east out of Vancouver on a train with 10 bands. Rolling along with Tracks on Tracks, he gets a feel for life on the train with its one-dimensional freedom of movement, CCR-like effect on music, well-matured demographics, and abundance of jam sessions. Live musical performances include acts by Maurice and Portage and Main.
On a trail to interesting boulders along Lynn Creek, Uncle Weed enjoys beer, bread and cheese while exploring the impact of bohemian painter Fredrick Horsman Varley on West Coast art culture. Varley, a member of the venerated Group of 7, lived in Vancouver for 10 years during which he moved from Jericho to Lynn Valley with his student/muse/mistress Vera Weatherbie, while his wife and kids lived in Kits. Anecdotes include: WW1 battlefield painting, trips to Algonquin Park with Tom Thompson, visits from Emily Carr, collaborations with photographer John Vanderpant, exhibits at the Tate in London and his later years with a short NFB film and CBC interviews in which he proclaimed his refusal to paint people who were too beautiful.
Poet Randall Maggs discusses his book “Night Work” about the troubled soul of legendary hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk plus the nuances of story-telling, conversations with goaltenders, Sawchuk’s Ukrainian heritage and convergence of history and hockey with host Dave Thorvald Olson at the Robson Square covered outdoor rink in Vancouver following a poetry reading promoted by publisher Brick Books.
In between Winter Olympics and SXSW, Uncle Weed soothes a sore throat on a couch and talks about global parties of note (including Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras, Carnival, etc.), plus extols about the Olympic Outsider podcast, True North Media House, importance and nobility of documentation, SXSW preview and recap of recent trip to Pe Ell to visit Hemp Ed and the Numbskulz.
Rolling aboard buses, trolleys, Skytrain and Seabus, Uncle Weed discusses changing routes and riding transit for escape, exploration, creativity, inspiration and adds in tourist fun plus concerns about free expression, aggressive security and love for the Seabus in a special documentary dispatch from Upper Lynn Valley to Kitsilano in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
From the vault comes the story of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s honorary Canadian citizenship ceremony at the Canucks rink in Vancouver. Along with a rousing Oh Canada!, and the official ceremony, comes a few words of humour and counsel from HHDL14 and his eloquent assistant and discussion of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace in Vancouver.
Starting at the Great Canadian Beer Fest in Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island), Uncle Weed samples some tasty ales and listens to lovely lasses play Hip tunes and chats with barmen and revelers. Much later (post appendectomy) UW and friends attend Oktoberfest at the German Alpen House in Vancouver where he recounts trips to Munich for while a young choogler and then rambles about old men dancing and such …
At a thwarted benefit concert for Insite, the supervised injection clinic in Vancouver’s troubled downtown Eastside, Uncle Weed chronicles the massive show of force by the Vancouver Police Department who shut down the Bedouin Soundclash concert and blockaded a full block of Hastings Street – ironically because, “pedestrians or motorists may be unduly put at risk by the event”. The volunteers continued the civil disobedience bar-b-q to feed homeless folks despite the hullabaloo by the cops and vocal demonstrators attempting to incite a confrontation. Joined by the Quebecois Correspondent, UW discusses the political situation, harm reduction strategy, and gives a shout out to former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell (now a Canadian federal senator).
What was expected to be a free concert and BBQ in support of Insite, North America’s only injection site, turned into an unnecessary standoff. This was precipitated by the Vancouver Police Department, who stormed in to block access to the event and eventually dismantle it altogether before it even began.
In this particular shot, a man that tries to approach the concert stage is roughly showed away by a member of the force’s Crowd Control Unit, as incredulous bystanders look on.
More than 100 officers descended on the 100 block of E. Hastings Street, where hundreds of people had gathered to attend a barbeque and watch a concert by the Canadian band Bedouin Soundclash, in support of Insite, the city’s safe injection site.
Police said the structures and tents set up for the concert were taken down because the organizer, the PHS Community Services Society, which operates Insite, didn’t have a permit for the event.
More than 100 police officers helped city officials shut down a concert Thursday night in the 100 block of E. Hastings Street.(CBC)
“The city had declined a permit that was requested by the group,” Const. Jana McGuinness said Thursday night.
“The city is concerned that pedestrians or motorists may be unduly put at risk by the event.”
Mark Townsend, a PHS spokesman, said people should have the right to organize street festivities to support the safe injection site.
“It’s a demonstration. It’s what we are allowed to do. We’re allowed to put up tents, and it’s all organized,” Townsend said.
From a new backporch high on the mountain slopes, Uncle Weed talks about his collections of t-shirts and lighters and long-ago trips to Japan – then discusses stoner culture, legal penalties, and travel observations with a Japanese cannabis enthusiast who tells his favourite strains, how he met ganja in Japan, compares Vancouver and Amsterdam, and documents the many strains of BC bud enjoyed on his visit while eating curry rice.
Part two (see Dopefiend.co.uk for Tokes on the Dopecast: Field Trip to Herby’s Secret Garden) features another visit to Herby’s secret garden of Purple Kush, Magik and OG. Along with Dopefiend, Uncle Weed enjoys stories of roaches in Mexico, tips for cooking cannabis, tales from Wreck beach, and comedienne Watermelon’s bust plus lots of growing details, tips and ganja strain comparison from this hobby garden. Uncle Weed’s al fresco supper at Vancouver’s secret-treat Art Gallery cafe before Marc Emery’s speech at Joey Shithead’s Band of Rebels gig.