How Cantopop Influenced Me From The Hong Kong Handover 20 Years On.

It’s very rare I usually do an essay/commentary on my blog. For those who know me, I’m a total Cantopop fan/lover when I combined that genre with Canadian indie music when I had a weekly radio show.

Being as a Chinese, my mom used to rent videotapes from Hong Kong’s TVB. Ranging from dramas to music shows, it’s been ingrained since I was young.

How did I become hooked on Cantopop? I would say that the Hong Kong Handover in 1997 affected me because I had relatives living there and my parents were from there. I didn’t want to lose that part of my cultural heritage. It wasn’t until towards the end of high school where I was listening to Hong Kong radio on the Internet and my love of radio came back in a different approach. 

In my University phase, I still kept listening to the classic Cantopop songs and some newer music. 2003 struck when Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui died and the Cantopop industry was never the same since. In the mid-2000s, I was not able to listen to one of the popular Hong Kong radio stations because of the audio streaming and switching to the Mac computers. 

An article published on July 22, 2017 from SCMP explained the decline of Cantopop and who can be the next star to regain the footing. The link can be read here.

Getting into Beyond
Aside from the tragedies, one impact that still hits the mark among Cantopop fans has been the death of Beyond’s frontman, Wong Ka Kui. I’ve been entrenched with their music because their range can soft, slow, fast and heavy. They were mainly a rock band unlike the conventional singers in Cantopop.

Their popular tracks were often love songs towards the end of 1980s and into 1990s, it was getting into the political message.  Continue reading

The 24 Days of Candies and Tea – S12E04

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It’s that yearly time on the final month of the year. It’s the popular advent calendars in the form of DAVIDsTEA and Squish Candy. Squish Candy has opened a location in Rideau Centre for several months and it’s been a great convenience in getting the 24 Days of Candy. DAVIDsTEA offered their hot selling 24 Days of Tea in late October. It used to be released on November.

Here’s the list of the advents calendars. They will be updated for the 24 days.
The openings will be shown on Instagram. Continue reading

Siberian Cat Café in Chelsea, Quebec – S12E03

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On Thanksgiving Monday (Canadian holiday), I had the opportunity to check out the Café Chat Siberien, the French name or the English name, Siberian Cat Café over in Chelsea, Quebec. Cat cafes have become pretty popular throughout the world. I’ve been wanting to check it out as I enjoy seeing adorable cats.

The Siberian Cat Café has opened for over a year and it’s become a fun destination when heading down to Gatineau Park. Being a holiday, there was traffic for people going to Gatineau Park. Luckily for Google Maps, it gave us another route to avoiding the car pileup.

Getting inside to the café and to see the cats, you need to order either a drink (tea, coffee and cola) and grill cheese sandwich or some small sweet bites. They also had the Montreal cola, 1642 Cola. I heard good things about it. It’s a cola with maple syrup in it.

Heading inside the cat room, there were some cats hanging around and some sleeping. The cats were friendly and they didn’t bite or scratch patrons and myself. There were also art installations throughout the building.

Overall, it was a quaint and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday going to the cat cafe. You can check out the photos below.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

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Beau’s Oktoberfest 2016 – S12E02

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It was a fine Saturday afternoon as I went to Vankleek Hill (an hour’s ride from Ottawa) for the 8th annual Beau’s Oktoberfest. I had to go along with my dad and I’m not total beer drinker. He had extra tickets and why not go to the event for the third year.

The 2016 edition of Beau’s Oktoberfest had a lot of craft beer from Ottawa, Quebec, and Toronto (including the GTA and Golden Horseshoe area). Beau’s brought their 16 beers and tap. Aside from the beer, there were restaurants from Ontario and Quebec serving their kind of Bavarian styled food.

This year’s main concert lineup had 54•40 and Born Ruffians for Friday. k-os and Hannah Georgas for Saturday. Even though, I didn’t stay past 6pm at Oktoberfest, I was able to check out part of Montreal’s Motel Raphaël. I haven’t seen the band live for quite awhile and they recently released a new album, System.
Oh yes, Alan Neal of CBC’s All In A Day was MC for Saturday’s concert lineup.

All in all, it was great to be at Beau’s Oktoberfest and it was quite a big turnout as people will have fun and drink beer.

 

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Gala – S12E01

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It’s become a tradition to start the new season in Toronto for the Polaris Music Prize Gala at The Carlu. Congratulations goes out to Kaytranada for winning the 2016 edition of the music prize for the album, 99.9%. It beat out the likes of 9 artists and bands from Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Grimes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, Pup, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls and White Lung.

At the gala, there were live performances from Black Mountain, Jessy Lanza, Basia Bulat, Andy Shauf, White Lung, Carly Rae Jepsen and U.S. Girls. All of the performances were. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra assisted in Bulat’s and Jepsen’s performances. The gala were hosted by Amanda Parris of The Exhibitionist on CBC and Tom Power, new host of CBC Radio q.

To my own delight, there were food served at the Gala. There were perogies, sliders and five spices pork.

Got to hand to Steve Jordan and the Polaris Music Prize staff for the great work as usual.

Don’t forget to check out the photos here.
Enjoy!
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Summer Happenings

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It’s a summer entry as I won’t be posting regularly and it’s considered the off-season.

The biggest craze to hit parts of the world is Pokémon Go. Canadians have been waiting for the release, which came out on July 17th and made the game’s server crash. I haven’t played like crazy with the worry of the phone’s battery life. I’ve noticed seeing people play around my neighbourhood as there’s several Pokéstops located and a competitive gym to clash with.

On Tuesday afternoon, there was a Pokémon Go event in Ottawa called the Confederation Park Lure Party. There were lots of people convening at the park and catch whatever Pokémon are available.

Even the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson came out and joined in the fun to trying out Pokémon Go.
You can check the photos from below.

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Sunday at Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – S11E34

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It was quite a weekend to be at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival. I wasn’t planning to go to Sunday’s event but decided to go because one of my lion dance member was participating in the race and also support Loon Choir play live.

Despite being another scorcher, there were some winds helping cool things slightly. It was fun to hop on the raft to check out the races as mentioned that my lion dance member taking part in it. The schedule for the races were delayed and I was able to catch it while on the raft. It’s just the thrill to seeing the races on the waters. Photos are posted below.

The concert series ended with Loon Choir, Young Empires (from Toronto) and Ottawa’s own A Tribe Called Red. Winds were blowing during Loon Choir’s performance while the loud tone from Young Empires rocked through. Lastly, A Tribe Called Red brought loud, strong beats and getting to crowd to dance it out with excitement. Don’t forget to check out the photos below.

Overall, an excellent 2016 edition of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival and the organizers and volunteers have done a great job holding the festival. It’s become the best in North America. Dragon boat racing, various activities and live music in the hot Summer, you can’t beat it in Ottawa.

This wraps up season 11 of the blog. It’s been fun filled ride with the music and lifestyle events covered in Ottawa. See you in the Fall.

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Saturday at Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival and the Percy Station Opening – S11E33

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There were a lot of events happening in Ottawa. From the Ottawa International Jazz Festival to Escapade to House Of Paint’s Community Jam and the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival.

My afternoon started in Chinatown as there was a popup structure on Somerset and Percy. There was a fire that destroyed businesses in 2015 and the city decided to create a pilot project to transform the streetside parking to space of activity and renewing the urban space. Local businesses from Jackpine and Atelier Ruderal help made the creation possible. On hand at the opening were Somerset Ward Councillor, Catherine McKenney, the Somerset BIA and Awesome Ottawa. Photos from the event are posted below.

After that was off to Mooney’s Bay Park for Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival again. I never had a chance to take photos of the actual race, I have participated in dragon boat race back in the mid/late 1990s but it was the first time to hop on the boat and just have fun shooting the races.

The concert lineup for Saturday night was a good one. It started with Ottawa’s Pony Girl, then Halifax’s Nap Eyes (they’re on the 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List) and topping it off was Alvvays. All three bands were excellent. I originally planned to leave after the third song of Alvvays but I saw a few friends I know that were in the crowd. I decided to dropped by for a bit. The crowd was quite the spontaneity with the crazy jumping, dancing and bumping around.

You can view the photos below.
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Saturday's Glow Fair and a Bit of Ottawa Asian Fest Night Market – S11E31

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There were lots of events happening on Saturday in the Nation’s Capital. From Ottawa Explosion Weekend to UFC to Ottawa Asian Fest Night Market and Glow Fair, there’s not much to miss around with the fun and Summer around the close corner.

I first went to Ottawa Asian Fest Night Market at Lansdowne Park, as my lion dance troupe performed for the opening ceremony. With the hot weather, it was pretty tough to perform in the sun. Photos posted below.

Day 2 of Glow Fair’s concert had Gang Signs from Vancouver, Ottawa’s own The Balconies, Halifax’s Rich Aucoin and Toronto’s Dragonette. Each ranged from the rocking to the dancing beats. Aucoin was the best from Saturday’s lineup because of his interactivity to the crowd and bringing in total fun. The Balconies, who I haven’t seen in a long time had some new members, a change from when they were a trio. Dragonette brought the crowd to its feet as Glow Fair concluded the concert series.

I also took a few Impossible Project black & white instant film photos. Finally tried to B&W 2.0 600 film as it improved the development process but the first photo with Rich Aucoin didn’t turn out good because parts of it was white.

It was a weekend to not forget from the events happening in and around Ottawa.
You can check out the loads of photos below.

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