I love doing spontaneous things. Although I probably don't do them enough... because I also love schedules.

I found myself in the Kitsilano area this morning for a workshop with Catching the Spirit. We played "knot or not-a-knot". One of the best games I've acquired over my time leading summer camps. Then, I drove home along the gorgeous street of West 4th, passing all kinds of cool shops and restaurants such as The Naam.

I remembered only a couple seconds before it was too late that the 'Winterruption Festival' was happening on Granville Island, and Jasper Sloan Yip was playing at 12:30. I looked at the clock; it was 12:34. Perfect timing.

This being an absolutlely stunning day on a popular Vancouver landmark, parking was a nightmare. By the time I found a place to park it was already 12:47. But not to worry, this was a free concert and I didn't mind only catching half of it. I ran from my car to the heart of the island; but as I ran, rushing to make the show, I realized that I hadn't been to Granville Island for far too long. I stopped for a second to enjoy the beauty of my surroundings. I was standing beside the "Crystal Ark", where I remember going with my family when I was younger. I remember spending ages looking through the giant pile of unique rocks, hoping to find that one that I especially loved. Then my Dad would pay the $1 to make us happy, although he knew we would lose it in an hour anyways.

Then I walked by the little pond where we used to chase the goose right off their feet. As I walked by the many street performers and the boutiques, I was overtaken by the smell of roasting chestnuts. Tourists lined up to have a taste of this taunting treat. I then made my way to the boardwalk where I watched couples, groups of friends and families load the rainbow Aquabuses. The Odland family used to roller blade around the seawall, at least once a year, and the Aquabus across to Granville Island.

Sitting on the ledge of the boardwalk, staring out across the shimmering water, and falling into a deep day dream, I remembered my initial purpose for the stop at Vancouver's little gem.

I found a friendly looking man who was handing out "Winterruption" brochures so I could find an exact location of the Jasper Sloan Yip concert. It was at the other end of the island, yet instead of running, I slowly wandered through the crowded streets, reflecting upon my busy life.

I've always enjoyed spending time alone. I also love being surrounded by people, but more now than ever, I am appreciating the moments I have with myself. Walking around this place alone, where I would usually go with family or friends, was unusual. In a way I felt lonely, but in a way I felt at ease and in peace.

When I finally made my way through the doors of exhibit 20 on the map: 'Performance Works', it was 1:13. The concert started at 12:30, so I was expecting to see only a very small portion of the set. As I took my seat in the back of the room, Jasper was telling his audience about the definition of a "foxtrot".

The foxtrot is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements and the feeling is one of elegance and sophistication. Dancing the foxtrot well takes a high level of technical expertise as well as physical skill.

The young Vancouver alternative-folk artist joked about how this definition is one that he strives for his music to be described as.

I made it in time to catch only the very last song... Foxtrot. But that was enough. It was beautiful. It was stunning. I was satisfied. There's nothing like seeing a local, up-and-coming artist perform a gig, and knowing that someday he'll be huge.

These are some of the highlights (that I love), from the timeline on the Jasper Sloan Yip myspace page.

Summer, 2000
Jasper acquires his first instrument (the bass guitar) at age 13 after attending bible camp. He now begins to write songs and believe in God.

Spring 2003
Now sixteen, Jasper buys his first acoustic guitar. He teaches himself to play, continues to write, and stops believing in God.

Fall 2005 - 2007
Jasper attends the University of British Columbia. For the next two years, Jasper studies everything that the arts faculty offered, loses interest in much, performs satisfactorily, continues to write and record songs at home.

October 19th, 2007
Late at night in a pitch-black park in Amsterdam, Jasper decides to quit school and be a musician.


  1. I don't know if you ever saw it or if you would remember, but Gramma Polly and Grampa Joe used to do the Foxtrot beautifully. It was mesmerizing and I witnesses it many times at the Vauxhall Community Hall at one of my many cousins' wedding dances.


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