Added on by Stephanie Chan.

I attended Westbank's Family + Friend's evening last week with Miss Caela (the 17 year old receptionist that hired me back in 2008) to check out their latest and most adventurous project to date to be completed by 2018.

The Exhibition

From a never-before publicly-shown Arthur Erickson 1955 sketch that set the agenda for Vancouverism, to renderings, models and videos illustrating the most adventurous building here in decades, the Gesamtkunstwerk exhibition explores the thinking behind contemporary city-building.  Design by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) of New York and Copenhagen, this residential tower will rise above the north end of the Granville Bridge, with its adjacent low-rise retail and office buildings defining the new Beach District neighbourhood.  The show opens up the design, context and background of Vancouver House to public understanding with powerful visuals and commentary, showing how "Total Design" can transform contemporary high rise residential living through the synthesis of art, architecture, interior design, urbanism and energy with public-mindedness

The Idea

Gesamtkunstwerk was a new word in German used by composer Richard Wagner in the mid-19th century, then adopted by Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius in the 1920s as re-making the world through "Total Design" - the integration of all of the creative arts and all scales of design, 'from teaspoons to cities' according to the Bauhaus designers.  This is the only word that adequately describes the intentions by BIG as architects and Westbank as a developer for their Vancouver House development, with its ground-breaking organic forms in concrete, glass and copper, its thoughtful interiors and apartment appointments, its integration into the skyline, its tapping into Westbank's new "Creative Energy" community energy system, its inspiring public art by Rodney Graham, and its creation of significant new public spaces for the enjoyment of all Vancouverites.

Ian Gillespie, CEO of Westbank

The Presenter

Westbank is one of North America's leading real estate developers, creator of Fairmont Pacific Rim, Woodward's, Toronto and Vancouver Shangri-La Hotels, and TELUS Garden, one of the world' first LEED Platinum office towers.  Westbank projects have led the market both in design innovation and in creating value through ideas.  With a long0term commitment both to sustainability through such developments as the planned LEED Platinum Vancouver House and their community energy subsidiary, Creative Energy and also to public art, the firm has commissioned works from such leading artists such as Gwen Boyle, Dale Chihuly, Diana Thater, O Zhang, Ken Lum, Elspeth Pratt, Kota Ezawa,  Damian Moppett, Mark Lewis, Stan Douglas, Liam Gillick, Zhang Huan, Ron Terada and (at Vancouver House) Rodney Graham.

A few familiar faces from my office days.

Drinks, Hors d'oeuvres, and music

Sign of the times

Vancouver House Public Art by Rodney Graham

"Spinning Chandelier," by Vancouver artist Rodney Graham is a kinetic sculpture that will transform the vast, cathedral-like spaces under the Granville Street Bridge.  Graham's sculpture extends from his 2005 35-film loop installation Torqued Chandelier Release in which a crystal chandelier whirls rapidly as its supporting cable is unwound.  Installed under the bridge above the intersection of lower Granville with Beach Avenues, a monumental 14 by 21 foot faux glass recreation of the film's 18th century French chandelier will slowly orate and rise over the course of twenty-four hours, then once a day release and dynamically spin back to its starting point.  "Spinning Chandelier" will quickly become an urban icon, turning a dark under-bridge into the enjoyable focus of public celebration.

Giving Back: Home for Home Program

Westbank will be supporting the World Housing non-profit organization in this program by funding new homes for thousands of Third World families for every residence sold at Vancouver House.  

Gesamtkunstwerk Exhibition @ 1460 Howe Street

Visit for more info 


Flower Girl

Added on by Stephanie Chan.

Chloe is going to be a flower girl this summer.  Her first gig was almost 2 years ago, but she was so young she no longer remembers.  The wonderful thing about these two gigs is that they were not for weddings within family, but weddings for two girlfriends that have really been a really huge part of my life, especially since I we started our little family.

18 month old chloe at Renée + Matt's wedding.  Half her life ago!

Caela + Brian will be getting married in August.  Caela was the 17 year old girl that interviewed me for a receptionist position at Westbank back in 2008.  We eventually became friends.  Like many of my most favourite people, she also really enjoys food.  She planned my baby shower at work and has been spoiling both my kids ever since.  5 years later, my 3 year old baby girl is going to look so heartbreakingly beautiful in this ballerina-inspired flower girl ensemble.  

These tutus will all be handmade by Caela.  This was the tester.  She did an amazing job.

As you can tell, Chloe totally adores the gratuitous amount of soft, long, fluffy tulle.

There is a good chance I will be printing a copy of this one

Chloe receive her first dye job on Wednesday from my good friend Taryn.  She did the tips of her daughter's hair and upon seeing the smoky deep magenta in Hanna's tight blonde curls, I immediately requested to have Chloe's ends done.  It should fully wash out in about 3 weeks.  She loves it, but probably not as much as I do.  With the blackest black hair, I never had the desire to suffer through maintaining bleached/dyed hair.

I LOVE THIS PHOTO.  This was the first tutu Caela made.  Although the colour is drop-dead gorgeous, it was too intense for what she was going for.  Fantastic!  Now we have the prettiest tutu ever to add to our collection!

I love this girl.  LOVE HER.



St Paddy's Day Goodies!

Added on by Stephanie Chan.

It's St Paddy's Day this weekend and with Spring around the corner, I figured this would be the perfect time have a SALE on our popular BlahBlahBlah tees for kids!

This Pauhaus design is screen-printed by hand onto comfy, cozy, long-wearing American Apparel cotton tees, and has been a hit with kids and adults alike over the past 4 years.  Tees are available in size 2, 4, and 6 in Green, Blue, Grey and Neon Pink while quantities last.

Moses will be 5 in May and ranks on the taller side.  He is wearing a Size 4 in all colours except  Neon Pink which is a Size 6.

SALE $17.00
Regular $20.00

Sale runs until Friday March 21




F A I T H   H O P E   L O V E   +   L U C K

This set of FAITH HOPE LOVE LUCK magnets is one of my absolute favourite designs… ever.  I came up with them last year and have been waiting eagerly to showcase them again for St Patrick's Day.

As the story goes, Saint Patrick used a shamrock to help explain the nature of The Trinity while he was spreading Roman Catholicism to the Celtic tribes of Ireland (when not driving snakes off the island with his flute).  

The first three leaves represent the united division of Catholicism's Father/Son/Spirit or its virtues of Faith/Hope/Love.  Due to its relative rarity, a four leaf clover brings the Luck of the Irish into the equation. 

Keep Faith in Yourself, Hope for Tomorrow, Love in every Action and I can guarantee you will always have Luck on your side.  A thoughtful gift of gentle reminders for everyone!

Set of 4 Magnets