Archive for April, 2013

Get On The Doc Bus

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment



Join the adventure this summer as documentary filmmaker and OPEN CINEMA founder & director Mandy Leith makes a pilgrimage across Canada to explore our country’s documentary legacy – past, present and future.


Canada has played a leading role in the birth and development of the documentary art form. Today, it’s at a treacherous crossroads. It’s time to meet with documentary lovers and supporters to explore the new territory together, to take the pulse of the industry and put the players on the map.


Traveling from Mile 0 BC to Mile 0 Newfoundland, Mandy will engage community, explore our vast country’s documentary legacy and share OPEN CINEMA’s innovative hybrid event model.  The goal? To seed a Cross Canada Community Cinema Network that will connect existing documentary screening programs and community partners from coast to coast to coast.

While many great documentary screening initiatives already exist, there is no shared learning network, no best practices, no online hub to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. We want to help fix that.

The Website Hub: a map-based database

We’re developing a website that will serve as a database of community screening partners. We’re using a WordPress theme that uses Google Maps API to create a map-based directory. You’ll be able to register your organization, choosing from a dozen categories that specify your affiliation with community screenings. Whether you’re an arts org, screening venue, film producer, distributor, non-profit org, food provider, we want to hear from you! Your organization will then appear as a pin on the map, with links, photos and posts associated to it. This will serve to form the beginnings of a grassroots network.

We Want Your Ideas!

We want your input on everything from the name, to how it can serve the documentary community! For now we’re calling it a Cross Canada Community Screening Network. Tell us your thoughts!

If we all work together, we can make this happen and support our struggling documentary industry.


We want to build community, so that’s why we need you! You can contribute in a variety of ways.

  • We want to CONNECT with film lovers, filmmakers and community screening organizers like YOU as we travel across the country. We’ll discuss what’s working, what issues you’re facing and talk about possible solutions using live and virtual technologies. Please contact us to arrange a meeting when the Doc Bus is in your area June – September 2013. We’ll do our best to meet you, based on scheduling and geography.
  • We want to create a map-based DATABASE of community screening organizers and stakeholders across the country. This will be a first step towards developing a broad grassroots network as we move forward. To that end we’re developing a website using Google Maps API which will become an online database. The website will launch in early May, when you’ll be able to submit your information to Meanwhile, visit our temporary website
  • We need FUNDING to help us make this mapping project happen! We’ll make a pilgrimage across the birthplace of the documentary, so we need money for gas, food, basic living expenses, campsites, a roadie/cinematographer honorarium, website development, social media support, insurance. You can contribute $10, $100 or $1000 or more. Details of our budget breakdown below.


Here’s a detailed breakdown of our budget for the project.

Get on the Doc Bus budget pie chart

The biggest expense is food and living expenses for Mandy and the digital roadies/cinematographers who will join her at different points along the way.

$12,000 covers $100/day for food and basic expenses for two of us for 4 months on the road. And I figure we’ll spend about $3000 on gas. A project like this needs to be filmed as much as possible, so we want to pay someone (or a few someone’s) an honorarium to get on the bus as a  digital roadie.


If we don’t make the full amount during this campaign, Mandy is going anyway, but it might mean she’ll travel alone, or shorten the journey as needed. Your contribution, however small, will help make sure Mandy can go all the way to St John’s Newfoundland, where there are some dedicated documentary fans and committed groups we’d like to meet.


In return for your contribution, we have a bus load of great perks to offer you, including online and offline promotion, custom photos of your favourite spot in Canada and beautiful Get on the Doc Bus 2014 calendars. For bigger donors, we’ll give your logo nationwide exposure by adding it to the bus!

So now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s a bit of background about the rationale for the project…


Documentary is one of the few genres of investigative journalism we have left. They keep us informed, tell our stories and serve as calls to action. Let’s find ways to keep the documentary industry alive and well. Developing a grassroots network of community documentary screening programs is one step in the right direction.


Documentaries are hot, people are hungry for in-depth stories about real people dealing with real issues, locally and globally. Judging by the growing popularity of documentaries at festivals, in cinemas and at award ceremonies, the average filmgoer believes the genre is on the rise.

But behind the screen, the changing economic and digital landscape is throwing the documentary industry into crisis. Broadcast documentary strands are dwindling, production companies are closing their doors or retooling and the traditional models of production and distribution are breaking down. This leaves the industry with a lot of unanswered questions about how best to fund, produce and distribute documentaries, utilizing their potential to inform, entertain, and engage in an always-on digital universe.


We hope you will join our cinematic pilgrimage as we explore and document the grassroots organizations that are doing their best to weather the storm. Mandy’s goal is to share her passion and experience running ‘one of Victoria’s most successful cultural enterprises.’ (Micheal D. Reid, Times Colonist).


We can’t do this without you, so if you love documentary, please contribute to this exciting movement building opportunity.

If you can contribute financially, every $10 helps. Thank you!


A like or a share is also a great way to support documentary. Please, tell your friends, family, co-workers and film lovers. Documentary needs you!



West Coast Oil Pipelines Summit – Livestream today

April 19, 2013 Leave a comment
  • 543782_10152759241330372_645535490_n
  • This is a special invitation for you to watch the LIVESTREAM of today’s soldout Summit events (1-10pmPST) online

    Today, with support from the Cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, Tsleil-Waututh Nation are hosting a conference designed to stimulate discussion, explore clean energy alternatives, and raise public awareness about the expansion of the Canadian tar sands and oil industry transportation infrastructure.

    PLEASE SHARE, TWEET, and REPOST! We encourage you to watch online today’s events and let your community know your opposition to the Kinder Morgan tarsands pipeline expansion. The program includes a Treaty Signing (1-2pm PST), and Summit (3:45pm-10pm PST) from the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. Watch from your computer or mobile device:

    As a community at the terminus of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and with all of the controversy surrounding the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, Tsleil-Waututh felt it was time to organize a large scale “meeting of the minds” to allow for intelligent, respectful and informed debate on the economic and renewable energy alternatives to oil sands expansion in BC.

    The Summit includes compelling speakers and discussion, and a special evening of Indigenous blues music and cultural sharing.


    Please consider watching online today and learning about these important issues. Today’s events willalso be broadcast in a couple of weeks on W2TV (courtesy of ACCESS and Shaw Cable 4) throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.


    Let’s build on the momentum and bring people together from various walks of life and sectors to voice our united voice!

    Say Yes to Beautiful BC – Say No to Kinder Morgan & Oil Sands Expansion


    More Summit background:

    LIKE the Tsleil Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative on Facebook

    LIKE Protect the Sacred on Facebook

Vaisakhi in Vancouver 2013

April 14, 2013 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA and ACCESS TV enjoyed a wonderful Vaisakhi parade in Vancouver. Happy Vaisakhi everyone!! 🙂

Photos from Paint Party at the Old Cop Shop at 312 Main Street in Vancouver

April 14, 2013 1 comment

Downtown Eastsiders paint old police station to claim it for 100% social housing

About 75 Downtown Eastside residents and supporters gathered at the former police station at Main and Cordova today to claim the empty building for social housing and a community space for Aboriginal women and social justice groups. “No corps here. 100% social housing,” said one sign. “People not profit,” said another.

Every resident based group in the Downtown Eastside supports this demand, including the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council, Carnegie Community Centre Association, Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group, Aboriginal Front Door, Gallery Gachet and Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction.

The action was one of a series by Formerly Homeless Dave and his supporters. Dave is on day 24 of a Hunger Strike. His demands include using the city owned former police station for social housing, having the city buy the site at 138 E. Hastings for social housing, and declaring the Downtown Eastside a Social Justice Zone where low income people won’t be pushed out.

Wendy Pedersen, an independent organizer and DTES resident told the group that 5000 SRO residents and over 600 shelter resident in the DTES are in dire need of housing. But instead of using the empty cop shop for what the neighbourhood desperately needs, the city “wants to put in a high tech venture capital hub that will bring more condos, fancy restaurants and displacement.”

Pedersen said we need “drastic action now” because “we’ve been to every city council meeting in the last 10 years and we lose every time.”

Ten year old Agnes, started painting the wall with a three foot high daisy, part of a DTES tradition begun in 1995 when now MLA Jenny Kwan painted a daisy on Woodward’s as part of a fight to get it turned into social housing.

But the 125 units of singles social housing at Woodward came with 536 condos which pushed up land values and prices nearby, and over 400 SROs raised rents, within a block of Woodward’s, beyond what people on welfare and pensions can afford.

“We won’t be tricked again,” said Dave Hamm of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

Homeless Dave said that the Hunger Strike is “not fun.” But it’s necessary because the Mayor is planning to give this building to corporations and then subsidize them instead of building social housing in the community.”

“This gentrification and displacement of human lives is not right,” Elaine Durocher, a DTES resident, told the group. “Housing is a right. I was homeless once and I know what it feels like.”

VANDU president Dave Hamm said that VANDU “is in total support of Homeless Dave’s Hunger Strike and housing.”

DJ Joe of the DNC board said she was also in support of the Hunger Strike.

People drew pictures of flowers, houses, and people on the wall of the old police station. Their slogans read: “100% social housing today.” “We are Human!” “Human capital, not venture capital.” “Homes here now.” “Condos create homelessness.”

Formerly Homeless Dave plans to continue the Hunger Strike until action is taken on his demands.

Contact: Tami Starlight 604.790.9943; Wendy Pedersen 604. 839.0379;


18 AHA MEDIA  and ACCESS TV films Paint Party for Housing in Vancouver

180 AHA MEDIA  and ACCESS TV films Paint Party for Housing in Vancouver

The demands:
1. 100% social community directed social housing at the 138 Sequel location, with a healing and wellness center. (the old pantages theatre site)

2. 100% social housing at the old cop shop on Main St. with a community directed space focused on indigenous women in regards to the horrific damage done to indigenous people by Vancouver police for a very long time at that site.

3. The City of Vancouver declare the downtown eastside a social justice zone and along with the community develop policies to make that happen.

How to get involved: email
Twitter: dteshungrstrike

Paint Party for Housing at Old Cop Shop – 312 Main Street in Vancouver

April 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Cover Photo

  • 312 Main Street Vancouver, B.C
  • Fully inclusive and tons of fun!
    *children welcome!

    Organized and taking place on unceded and occupied Coast Salish Territory – Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum, and S?wxwú7mesh(Squamish) nations.



    LOCATION: 312 Main St. Vancouver.
    When: Sunday, April 14, 2013
    Time: 12 noon

    In conjunction with the DTES Hunger Strike.

    DTES Hunger Strike is about gentrification and the lack of concern by authorities: the City of Vancouver, developers, The Vancouver Police, and the general public. (as well as lying/disinforming mainstream media)

    The artist formerly known as “Homeless Dave” began a hunger strike on March 22/2013.

    The demands:
    1. 100% social community directed social housing at the 138 Sequel location, with a healing and wellness center. (the old pantages theatre site)

    2. 100% social housing at the old cop shop on Main St. with a community directed space focused on indigenous women in regards to the horrific damage done to indigenous people by Vancouver police for a very long time at that site.

    3. The City of Vancouver declare the downtown eastside a social justice zone and along with the community develop policies to make that happen.

    How to get involved: email
    Twitter: dteshungrstrike