A portfolio of sorts:
In 2011 I earned my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria's creative writing program, specializing in creative nonfiction. Since then, I have had work appear in a variety of on- and offline publications including: Decline Magazine, Exclaim.ca, CVV Magazine, Renegade Radio, Rifflandia Magazine, and Grayowl Point.
I've written extensively about arts and culture, travel, science and music. Below are some of my favorite clippings from the last few years.
"Tiny Village, Big Mountain." Decline Magazine. April 2013.
Decline Magazine is North America’s largest freeride mountain biking publication. Based in Valencia, California, Decline Magazine releases print and online issues monthly.
In September 2012 I was invited to tag along with Lavan Apparel for their annual year-end road trip to Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, B.C.. An overview of the trip was published as the closing feature of Decline's April 2013 issue.
"The silver star is a colloquial name for the Eidelweisse plant. One of the oldest symbols of alpine mountaineering, the iridescent silver flower grows in mountainous regions around the globe and is known for its mastery of harsh terrain. The resort that shares its name is far more accessible. Nestled deep amidst the Shuswap Highlands of interior B.C.—22 km North East of Vernon, 65 km from the Kelowna airport—the majority of riders are made up of day-trippers, yet the brightly painted strip of buildings that make up Silver Star’s main village create a livable environment year-round. With 12 lifts in the winter, two in the summer, Silver Star is consistently voted one of the best small alpine resorts in British Columbia."
Rifflandia Magazine. September 2012.
Rifflandia is a multi-day, multi-venue arts and culture festival that runs each September in Victoria B.C. This past year, Rifflandia celebrated it's fifth anniversary by releasing it's biggest issue of Rifflandia Magazine, a whopping 125 page print journal showcasing the year's line-up. I was asked to contribute two pieces -- including one on Polaris Prize winning punk-band Fucked Up -- to the issue.
"The word doldrums is a nautical one, used to describe the oceanic regions around the equator where the winds die down and the temperatures spike. These vast expanses of nothingness have become metaphors for a state of limbo. They produce a sense of weightlessness—like floating in space. On a bar-to-bar basis, this description could not be any less suited to Doldrums, whose spastic sampling and polyrhythmic flirtations seem jarring at first. But when seen from a macro-standpoint—say at the timescale of a three-minute song—the sonic fluctuations even out, evoking a state that’s nearly trancedental. Like yoga, jogging, or jumping into a cold lake, there’s an initial discomfort, but once you’ve made it past the breaking point, the result is overwhelmingly visceral."
"The Denim Superlative featuring Brandon Svarc of Naked and Famous Denim." Mosaic Collective. May 2012.
In 2010, I linked up with local writer, Grady Mitchell and designer, Edmund Teh to found Mosaic, an independent online magazine documenting Victoria arts and culture. Throughout the next two years I produced hundreds of daily news posts, Q&A-style interviews and immersive feature articles. Additionally, working behind the scenes with Mosaic gave me a taste of the editorial process from start to finish: brainstorming stories, conducting interviews, writing articles, shooting photos, and designing layouts.
Although my main intent with Mosaic was to showcase Victoria vibrant and often under-represented culture, I was often asked to report on larger stories that may be of local interest. One of my favorite stories involved this interview zany Montreal based designer, Brandon Svarc.
"Brandon Svarc is the Willy Wonka of the denim industry. He’s immaculately groomed, fast talking and emphatic. His company Naked and Famous is notorious for its unorthodox approach to the most pedestrian item in the male wardrobe—its denim line includes 10% stainless steel, raspberry scratch-and-sniff, and glow-in-the-dark jeans. When we meet at Four Horsemen shop in Victoria, B.C.—an early stop on Svarc’s “international denim tour”—he’s showing off a recent creation: a pair of jeans made of denim so stiff they stand erect on their own.
“Guaranteed uncomfortable or your money back,” Svarc says as a customer struggles to cuff the 32 ounce selvedge—a fabric as thick as three regular pairs of jeans. I ask whether he wears them. Svarc says he doesn’t have the calves, but it doesn’t matter.
“People are obsessed with superlatives. This is mine.”"
"Brewing a Community: Exploring Victoria's Craft Beer Renaissance." CVV Magazine. April 2012.
From November 2011 until December 2012 I held a staff writer position at CVV Magazine, Victoria, B.C.’s largest exclusively online publication. I wrote regular features on men’s fashion, music and culture and shot and reviewed many large local events include Rifflandia Festival, David Foster’s Miracle Weekend, V.I.C. Fest, and a handful of stadium concerts such as Snoop Dogg, Hedley and Metric.
On top of my role as a staff writer, I acted as a field producer assistant, assisting with sound and video for CVV's many arts and culture updates and video interviews. Still, my favorite assignments involved longform writing, such as this profile on Victoria's craft beer community.
"The Egyptians used beer as currency. When the Sumerians first settled the delta of the Tigris and the Euphrates, it is said they brewed beer before baking bread. The beverage has longstanding ties to civilization; in that sense, it’s a holy drink. Look further to the West, and beer continues to define our culture: from Northern California to Alaska, the Pacific North West is immersed in a craft-brewing renaissance—an explosion that originated in Portland, Oregon and has propagated its way up the coast.
Victoria’s first independent brewery, Vancouver Island Brewery, set up shop in a small Saanich Warehouse in 1984. Since then, the capital city now has come to house more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country.
One could almost say there’s a Brewery District brewing here…"
"Shirt Cocking with Celebrity Traffic." Renegade Radio (now Feedback Magazine). November 2011.
From September 2009 until September 2012 I was a regular contributor to Renegade Radio Magazine (now Feedback Magazine) – an independent music quarterly with a circulation of 6,000 print issues around the greater Victoria area.
During my three-year period with the journal I interviewed such internationally acclaimed bands as The Stills, Hannah Georgas, and Rococode. Still my favorite assignments involved working with local bands such as electro-funk act Celebrity Traffic.
"The flaccid penis of Brandon Delyzer, one-third of Celebrity Traffic, hangs less than a foot in front of my face. It’s a Tuesday night; the band have just finished recording their first full- length LP, and we’ve agreed to meet up for a quick chat, a preview, and what I assumed would be little more than that. But when I arrive at the bar, I run into Delyzer and Baker, the group’s vocalist, twelve hours into an all-day bender. In all fairness, I realize anyone who’s seen Celebrity Traffic perform live should have seen this coming."