On the corner of 11th and Broadway, on the back wall of the Kiggins Theatre, stands the newest addition to downtown Vancouver’s collection of murals. The 26th mural commissioned by the Clark County Mural Society celebrates Vancouver’s cultural history and thriving relationship with its sister city, Joyo, Japan. Flowing out of a spray painted projector, the mural’s imagery explores the identities of the two cities and how their differences come together to create a cohesive vision.
(Ilko Major and
artist Cimmaron Brodie)
Although the idea of tackling a canvas of this size would seem daunting to most, artist Cimarron Brodie described the experience as fun and comfortable, even with this being her first mural. She initially became involved in the project after discovering the request on the Mural Society’s website.When painting the mural, Brodie explained that the expansive space allowed for a greater freedom. In her artistic career, Brodie has focused on painting and working with unconventional mediums such as broken jewelry and wood. In talking about the mural, Brodie also emphasized the importance of conveying the story of Vancouver and Joyo in her artwork. The mural contains images of plants, animals, landscapes, and architecture tosymbolically represent the history of Vancouver and Joyo, adding a cinematic touch that observes the the mural’s home, the Kiggins Theatre. Neighbors of the mural are ecstatic that more art is being introduced into the downtown area, especially pieces that honor our sister city. When asked about the mural, employees from Salon Moxie said “We hope our sister city loves [the mural] as much as we do!” and an employee from Northwest Personal Training said she enjoyed watching the process of the mural, seeing “a waste of space” become art.
The relationship between Vancouver and Joyo is founded on that of cultural exchanges, whether that be through gifts, art, or personal trips— each way has lead to better understanding and stronger connection between the two cities, in spite of the massive physical distance that separates them. In the bottom right corner of the mural, it reads “a connecting bridge.” This phrase was chosen by the mayor of Joyo and is a perfect way to describe the culmination of the two cities’ interactions and the phrase pervades the images of the mural. For example, the principal image of a plum tree growing out of an offering hand is a reminiscent Joyo’s iconic ancient Ume grove. Furthermore, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Washington’s statehood, the President of America Kotobuki Electronics, Inc. presented a gift of 100 Shirofugen cherry trees to the City of Vancouver. The flowering of these trees and the relationship between Joyo and Vancouver is celebrated every year at Clark College’s Sakura festival. In this way, the image of a blossoming tree represents both Joyo and Vancouver while also highlighting the connection, the exchanging of gifts and culture, between the two.
Also present in the mural is imagery that mimics the mirroring of a reflection pond. On top are images evocative of Joyo’s landscape— hills, water, a Torii (traditional Japanese gateway). On the bottom is water like the Columbia River or the Pacific Ocean and a strip of 35mm film that acts as a stand-in for the interstate bridge. Despite the differences and distance of the cities, an irrevocable similarity is present. The resemblance is further emphasized in the mural through images of Irises and Egrets, wildlife common to both areas.
In the mural are references to cinema— the filmstrip, a 30’s era projector modeled after the theater’s original machine that can be found in the lobby. This is partly due to the placement of the mural on the theatre’s back wall. However, a mural is the perfect decoration for a cinematic theatre, especially one that has played such an important role in the cultural history of Vancouver. Since its birth in 1936, the Kiggins Theatre has celebrated the moving image and the importance of storytelling by bringing movies to the people of Vancouver. In a way, this mural should be viewed as a film poster— a snapshot of the two characters, Vancouver and Joyo, and the story between them.
You can find more of Cimarron Brodie’s work on social media using the handle @terkwoize.
The last weeks of June feature four films and one live event that celebrate strong (mostly young) women!
First up on Thursday the 23rd we are excited to have the 2nd annual edition of GIRLS ROAR featuring a dozen young women with inspiring stories to tell! Their stories will open your mind and infuse you with a renewed sense of hope (something we can all use a bit more of these days)! Tickets are $12 advance, $15 day of show. Students with i.d. are just $10.
Then on August 24th we open two female empowering independent films. First is the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize award-winning THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Directed by Desiree Akhavan and based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, the 1993 set MISEDUCATION follows Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a cruel gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night.
We also open Andrew Bujalski’s indie comedy SUPPORT THE GIRLS on the 24th, in which a put upon den mother of a manager (played to perfection by Regina King) at a highway-side ”sports bar with curves” has her incurable optimism and faith – in her girls, her customers, and herself – tested over the course of a long, hot Austin day.
Then starting on August 31st we have two very different films about women’s empowerment and finding your own voice. SKATE KITCHEN, by acclaimed director Crystal Moselle (THE WOLFPACK) merges narrative and documentary to tell the story of a shy suburban teenaged skateboarder who comes out of her shell after making friends with a bunch of other skateboarding girls. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.
We also open the critically acclaimed drama PUZZLE on the 31st. Featuring a brilliant performance by Golden-Globe nominee Kelly MacDonald (BRAVE, NO COUNTRY FOR A OLD MEN) as Agnes, a taken for granted suburban wife and mother who discovers a talent and passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world – where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined.
As you are probably aware, the Kiggins hosts or co-produces nearly a hundred live events each year including VANTalks, Hello Vancouver, Science on Tap, Comedy on Tap, Re-Imagined Radio, ROAR! and the Vancouver Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra to name but a very few!
Until now we’ve been limited with our simple in-house sound system and a few basic lights, or we’ve had to rent expensive and cumbersome equipment for the more elaborate shows.
But we’ve got exciting news!
Next week we will be enhancing our sound reinforcement for live events, including additional speakers to compliment our current arrangement and hanging them from the auditorium ceiling along with subs tucked behind the screen. We also will be doing some new wiring so we can setup for a live event with minimal downtown by creating a dedicated “plug in” station for the mixer and audio engineer to operate from.
In addition to improved sound, professional motorized and remote controlled lighting fixtures will be hung along with the speakers so theatrical lights are hardwired and programmed to be ready to go for any occasion! With this new set up we can go from a simple stage wash for a single speaker to intricate lighting design for shows like Hello Vancouver which involve music acts and multi-person interview settings.
We will also be making facility improvements to architectural lighting controls, our cinema playback audio and some “behind the scenes” projection components that will allow us to operate more efficiently and thereby be enhance the cinema going experience!
Stay tuned as for updates as those updates come online over the next few months and we offer a more retro as well as up-to-date movie going experience!
In case you missed it, the Scott Hewitt at the Columbian did a really wonderful article about the 2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts programs which started last weekend at the Kiggins and continue thru the the Oscar broadcast on March 4th!
This Friday the Live Action and Documentary Program “B” start, and then the following week the Animation and Documentary Program “A” return.
Full series passes good for any show are still available for just $30 (up to a $2.50 per film discount) which also get you a ballot. See all four programs and vote for your favorite (or more importantly, which films you think will win the the three categories) and you could win a Kiggins Gift Box!
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for the movie lover in your life? How about a Kiggins’ Gift Box?
These custom made boxes (perfect to store or transport your items when coming to see a movie) come standard with one of our sturdy refillable Kiggins’ popcorn bowls, two regular admission movie tickets, and a voucher for a free popcorn and drink refill.
You then can finish the gift package by choosing either a Kiggins’ Anniversary wine or beer glass or one of our awesome new refillable soda cups all for just $55! With the free fills and the custom box, that’s a huge savings!
Stop by our concession stand between now and Wednesday during our regular movie showtimes and pick up one for your cinematic lover (and maybe one for yourself)!