Rain City Chronicles – Extra Ordinary

On September 21, 2012 The Vancouver Foundation and SFU Public Square partnered with Rain City Chronicles to host Extra Ordinary, an evening of storytelling and music at the Vancouver Playhouse. The night featured the personal reflections of local community members, women and men who have drawn on their very ordinary-ness to accomplish something extraordinary. These folks represented some of Metro Vancouver's citizens who work tirelessly, thanklessly, to better their neighbourhoods and the lives of those around them. If you didn't know them, or unless heard their story, you would never know the depth of their inspiration and talent. We so enjoyed shining a spotlight on these people who have brought their neighborhoods and communities together and who are helping us to build a more connected city. Extra Ordinary also featured excellent musical performances by local bands e.s.l. and Portage & Main.

The Vancouver Foundation and SFU Public Square will present a Rain City Chronicles evening of storytelling and music at the Vancouver Playhouse. We all know extraordinary people. Some are public heroes – men and women who have attained greatness and global recognition in their field. Some are community leaders, women and men who work tirelessly, thanklessly, to better their neighbourhoods and the lives of those around them. Some of them are ordinary, so ordinary that unless you talked to him or her on the street, you would never know the depth of their inspiration and talent. We’re going to shine a spotlight on people who have brought their neighborhoods and communities together – the people who are building a more connected city.

Please join us as we listen to the personal reflections of local community members, people who surround us, who work to make our lives better and who have drawn on their very ordinary-ness to accomplish something extraordinary. And then, share your own tales of community building and the Extra Ordinary with old friends and new at our post-show reception.

Doors open at 6:00 pm, show at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $15/$12 for general admission, $5 for student and unwaged and can be purchased here.


Cory Ashworth 

Cory is a host on Peak Mornings on 100.5 The Peak, weekdays from 6-10am. He has dreamed of running the seawall with Michelle Obama, hiking the Grouse Grind with Oprah Winfrey and co-hosting Rain City Chronicles with Lizzy Karp. One of those dreams will come true September 21.

Lizzy Karp 

A long-time lover of stories, Lizzy is the co-founder and co-host of the Rain City Chronicles. Since 2009 she has organized live storytelling events across Vancouver with the help of many incredible kind and caring friends. When not thinking about creating communities online and offline, you can find Lizzy sipping coffee, running in Lynn Valley or posting on Instagram.


Jay Balmer

Legendary in the Vancouver skateboarding community, Jay is a producer of world-class events and public parks. With a passion for creating new experience both real and virtual, he has directed and produced innovative video games, working with Electronic Arts and Microsoft Game Studios. Jay is deeply involved with the growth of skateboarding and snowboarding in Canada.

Jamboree Canning Collective – Amy Butler, Dana McDonald and Jennifer McQueen

A fanatical passion for food motivates Amy Butler, Dana McDonald and Jennifer McQueen as the Jamboree Canning Collective directive committee. In the spring of 2010, Jamboree Canning Collective fired up the burners and set out to fit the traditional knowledge of food preservation through water bath canning to the needs of Vancouver citizens.  Now in its third year the Jamboree Canning Collective has involved over 50 members in preserving local seasonal food. Most of their members can be found tasting the sunshine in canned peaches long into Vancouver’s wet winters. Power to the peaches!

Sean Condon

Sean is the executive director of Megaphone, a magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver by homeless and low-income vendors that helps create bridges between different communities and raise awareness about social justice issues. He is also the co-chair of the North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA), a body that represents more than 40 street papers in the continent, and chair of Poetry is Dead magazine. A former senior editor of Adbusters, Sean has written for a number of magazines and newspapers in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Caroline MacGilvary

Caroline is the National Executive Director and founder of Beauty Night Society. Now in its 11th year, Beauty Night has given over 16,000 life-makeovers to women who live in poverty. By guiding and inspiring others to embrace the concept that education can be enjoyable, Caroline has affected the lives of thousands.

Graham Anderson

Graham is passionate about Vancouver, civic politics, local transportation solutions, and building happy, healthy communities. He recently earned a degree in Dialogue, Sustainable Community Development, and Economics at Simon Fraser University. Graham stays volunteers on the board of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council. He works at Climate Smart, a social enterprise that helps organizations measure and reduce their carbon emissions. He is also co-founder of a co-operative urban delivery business (SHIFT) that uses cargo trikes to transport goods downtown.

Sarah Maitland

Sarah is the co-founder and co–project director of the Writers' Exchange, a creative literacy program that inspires Vancouver's inner-city kids to love reading and writing. In Writers' Exchange programs, children and youth work one-on-one with volunteer mentors and professional writers to boost their literacy skills and self-esteem through free homework help, dedicated reading time, and creative writing projects that result in snazzy chapbooks of student writing. The Writers' Exchange is a charitable project of Tides Canada Initiatives.

Chris Diplock

Chris Diplock, President of the Vancouver Tool Library, is no stranger to tools and construction, having spent many hours installing roof-top solar panels and doing hobby projects in his spare time. Chris recently completed a Certificate in Community Economic Development at Simon Fraser University and is now completing a degree in accounting at Langara College. He applies this diverse range of skills and interests to help develop the Vancouver Tool Library and foster the organizations relationships in the community. In his spare time Chris enjoys triathlons, cycling, and playing tennis.

Nathan Coburn

Nathan Coburn is an eleven year old origami and crochet enthusiast. He had hosted an origami Christmas ornament workshop last winter and is currently working on a yarn art project due to be installed sometime this Fall. With both these projects, Nathan has received a Small Grant through Kits Neighbourhood House and the Vancouver Foundation. Nathan enjoys bringing people and artists together that share the same interest.

Naveen Girn

Naveen Girn is a content producer who is passionate about community engagement and storytelling. Recently he co-curated Bhangra.me: Vancouver's Bhangra Story at the Museum of Vancouver, and he is currently collecting oral histories and leading community engagement sessions on the Komangatu Maru Memorial Project with the Simon Fraser University Library.

Diana Joy

Diana is the Co-chair of the Eco-Arts group of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. She serves on the Member Outreach Committee and does just about anything that needs doing in the office. She loves the arts in all forms and the people who practice them.

Al Etamanski

Al is an curator, author, blogger (www.aletmanski.com), advocate and social entrepreneur specializing in innovative, multi-sector solutions to complex societal challenges. He is involved in a variety of organizations and foundations across Vancouver. Al is the co-founder of the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, assisting families across Canada and globally, to address the financial and social well-being of their relative with a disability.

Sonny McHalsie

Sonny is the Cultural Advisor of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre. Sonny has worked for the Stó:lō as a researcher in cultural heritage and aboriginal rights and title issues since 1985. He was a co-author of the book I Am Stó:lō: Katherine Explores Her Heritage (1997) – focusing on his family and his daughter. His areas of expertise include Halq’eméylem Place Names and Stó:lō oral history. He is a member of the Shxw’ow’hamel First Nation, the proud father of two girls and six boys, and has three grandchildren. He continues to fish at his ancestral fishing ground at Aseláw in the lower Fraser River Canyon.

Musical Guests:


Veering wildly between Polish cabaret and chamber pop, to a whimsical and delicate Old Hollywood vibe, the sly and enchanting women of e.s.l. spin Romany-esque melodies that will catch your ear and entangle you in their spell. e.sl. is Marta Jaciubek-McKeever, Cris Derksen, Diona Davies, Joy Mullen and Tess Kitchen.

Portage & Main

Hailing from Vancouver, Portage and Main is no longer just the coldest street corner in Canada. John Sponarski and Harold Donnelly are the raconteurs behind this folk-rock endeavour but the Portage and Main moniker encompasses the talents of Georges Couling on keys, Dave Gens on drums, and Ben Appenheimer on bass to create a sound reminiscent of the lighter side of CSNY's Déjà Vu.