I don’t know what it is about Vancouver, but we seem to have this extreme navel gazing nebbishy thing about whether or not we are indeed fun. It’s been a subject of public debate for at least the last decade, after The Province published a screaming headline of “NO FUN CITY.” (Punctuation Geek in me wants to play with that. “NO FUN, CITY?” “NO, FUN CITY!” “NO? -FUN CITY.” Okay, I’m done.)
The debate leads to questions about permitting/licensing/bureaucracy etc, which is all well and good, but it also leads to this dogged De-Ter-Min-Ed-Ness around other events, in the vein of “We are going to celebrate these, damnit, and we are going to have a GOOD TIME!”
Cue various celebrations around the one year anniversary of the Olympics.
Timed to coincide with that date, the Yaletown Business Improvement Association has re-launched its Illuminate Yaletown campaign, which involves a number of light/video/sound installations around the nabe. They’re expecting about fifty thousand people to check it out tonight. In the pamphlet, they describe the event, which includes ‘roving fun teams.’
Then I somehow got myself hooked into participating in a “celebrity” ball hockey game on Granville Street on Saturday afternoon. It benefits the food bank, so please:
1. Attend and laugh vigorously at me
2. Bring canned or dried food donations, or better yet cash. $1 = $3 in purchasing power, in the oft-repeated mantra for the food bank.
Bob Kronbauer from Vancouver Is Awesome has the full list of participants for the game, as well as a link to other Oly-versary events. Keep in mind I haven’t played ball hockey since Grade Five, so I think the only strategy is to play dirty: hooking, tripping, and copious use of elbows. #sarcasm
Look, I don’t want to sound like a world weary cynic, because I’m not. I’m actually by default a pretty upbeat enthusiastic person. I checked out some of the light displays last night, and thought they were rather nifty — especially the Frozen Patio Party at Section 3 — and I fully expect I’ll have an uproariously good time at the hockey game.
I just wish that we would have events like this more often, and a little more organically. Let’s foster fun and creativity and general awesomeness by having it around all the time. ‘Just because’ events are just as good, if not better than ‘things we must celebrate’.
After all, that’s what I remember most about the Olympics one year ago — the spontaneous eruption of bonhomie, neighbourly spirits, the national anthem, oceans of red shifts, high fives everywhere. That was incredibly fun.
If we have to keep asking if we’re a fun city or not, well, that in and of itself is an answer.