Rock Lottery 2012!

What if everything you did, you put yourself on a 24-hour deadline? This was the idea at our first ever Rock Lottery held at the Waldorf hotel on Jan 29th, 2012. We took 25 of our favourite Vancouver musicians, gave them some breakfast and coffee, randomly pulled names from a hat to assemble five totally new bands, and gave them a day and a half to write a 15-minute set. The tracks below were recorded from the floor at the final performance, and showcase an incredibly diverse range of musical genres and abilities.

The Rock Lottery was also a triple-whammy effort from The Association of Very Good Ideas, Instruments of Change, and Girls Rock Camp Vancouver. How can you not create something awesome with all three of these organizations involved? All funds raised went to the creation of a new Ladies Rock Camp to be held in a women’s prison.

Thanks to all you amazing musicians and volunteers who made the magic happen! And thanks to The Waldorf!

Frontier Radio: A Media Democracy Day Special

The following short radio piece was created and recorded by a team of ten people totally new to radio. At a workshop yesterday for Media Democracy Day, we threw participants into the thick of it, challenging them to script, plan, and record a short radio piece on a topic of their choice. They chose to discuss and review the panels they had attended for Media Democracy Day on November 12th. This piece will now be used for podcast, broadcast, and has already been transmitted on a low-power radio transmitter, representing the spectrum of radio options in independent media today.

Thanks go to all the participants for jumping in so readily, and to Brady Marks for co-hosting the workshop with me.

What Is The Benefit Of Basement Renovation?

Most homes built in the United States and Canada are built with a basement or underground area which serves as the utility storage area for the home.  Even though the basement area is part of the square footage of the property, it usually serves no purpose for members of the household because it is not part of the living area.  In fact, most members of the household hardly even spend any time in their home’s basement area as this space is usually dark, creepy, and oftentimes littered cockroaches.

The majority of basement spaces are fairly large in size and oftentimes bigger than most bedrooms within the household.  The square footage used for the basement area actually becomes a waste since the space is not being fully utilized.  However, if you are able to make the basement’s square footage area as part of the home’s living space, then the overall living area or space of the home will significantly increase.  This method of re-utilizing the space of the basement is called basement development.

Developing the basement area as part of the home’s living space is not an easy feat as there are a lot of construction work that needs to be done, not to mention the relocating of many of the home’s utility appliance and equipment.  Doing a basement development is usually not something you can do on your own as a sort of DIY project.  There are many complexities involved as structural soundness of the property needs to be always kept in check.

The development process of the basement area involves full renovation of the space.  Renovating and reconstructing the space requires the hiring of licensed contractors.  These contractors are basically construction builders and thus have the necessary knowledge and experience to properly assess structural integrity.

Since basement renovations require plenty of manpower as well as permit from the necessary city departments, it only makes proper sense to hire licensed contractors who will process everything that needs to be done and accomplished themselves.  Once all the required permits are acquired, only then are the contractors able to proceed with the basement renovation process.  Even if the project may seem laborious at first, the end result will surely be to the satisfaction of every member of the household as the home now has more living space than it used to.