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Vancouver Mayor wants Indigenous leaders to head possible 2030 Olympic bid

It was during one of the early planning sessions for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that Chief Gibby Jacob heard a provincial government official talking about the Callahan Valley, which would eventually host cross-country skiing and ski jumping during the Games. Jacob, who participated in the bidding process for the Olympics and was a member of the Games organizing committee board, finally put up his hand. “I asked who the hell is this Callahan and how the hell did he get his name on our lands,” the Squamish Nation hereditary chief said with a chuckle. “They all looked at each other. I said find out and let us know.” It turns out the Callahan Valley, located near Whistler, B.C., was named after one of the early surveyors in the region. “That was the start of our big push to get our names back on places,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups had a voice in organizing and hosting the 2010 Games. But Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has suggested any movement to bring another Games to the city should be headed by Indigenous leaders. In early November, Vancouver city council voted to postpone a decision on whether it wants to explore making a bid. City staff are expected to present a report to council in early 2021. Stewart has said one of his conditions for supporting a bid is that the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh — the three Indigenous First Nations whose traditional territory includes Vancouver — head the Olympic bid committee. “I have talked to the Nations about this and there’s interest there,” the Vancouver Sun reported Stewart saying in a state-of-the-city address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Emails to Stewart’s office asking to explain the mayor’s proposal were not immediately answered. Khelsilem, a councillor with the Squamish Nation Council, isn’t aware of any formal talks about leading a bid. “We haven’t had any formal discussion about it,” he said. “We haven’t made any formal decision about whether we want or don’t want. And we haven’t had any formal discussions with our neighbouring nations.” Representatives of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh did not respond to interview requests. Khelsilem said before any decision is made, the pros and cons of hosting an Olympics must be weighed. “The reality is that something like hosting an Olympics requires a significant amount of investment and support from both the federal and provincial governments,” he said. “While there are a number of reported advantages, there’s also a number of drawbacks. “I think a lot of that workflow needs to be figured out, especially in the context of the challenges that we’re going to face over the next decade and the challenges that we’re facing on a number of fronts.” Furthermore, Jacob said: “there’s a lot to be gained by being involved [in a bid] for our people.” “I don’t think that our nations, given what we have as far as leadership resources and how fast they seem to change, would be able to take things right from scratch to completion,” he said. Creating a common agenda With 15 of the venues used for the 2010 Olympics built on First Nation traditional territories, Indigenous support was crucial for the Games success. The Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Lil’Wat nations formed The Four Host First Nations, a non-profit organization with the goals of uniting Canada’s Indigenous people and encouraging inclusion across the country. “I think it created a common agenda,” said Jacob. “By doing that and achieving what we set out, it was totally outstanding. “I think it showed leadership that the four separate First nations could work together for a common purpose and get benefits from it.” WATCH | President of 2010 Games says Vancouver should bid for 2030: Involvement in the Games raised awareness of Indigenous issues across Canada, he said. “When we first started out, we were pretty invisible in our own territories,” said Jacob. Indigenous groups did “fairly well in compensation for the use of our lands,” he said. The Olympics also led to traditional Indigenous names being returned to locations and landmarks plus recognition of First Nation arts and culture. John Furlong, who was head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), is part of the group looking at the 2030 Games. He said any bid would be impossible without Indigenous participation. “I see no scenario at all in which First Nations are not involved,” he said. “They were a difference maker in 2010. “First Nations are in multiple new business since 2010. My instincts tell me they will be keenly interested in being involved again.”

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Looked out your window lately? There's bound to be something wild – CBC.ca

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In a drawing that stretches 35 feet long, B.C. artist Sarah Ronald has sketched a ghostly night-time universe. In this inky landscape — which is comprised of 14 connected scenes — nocturnal creatures come out to play: bats, coyotes, bears … and a garden gnome.

Let it be a reminder: there’s a whole world outside your window if you take the time to look. And from Ronald’s house in the Vancouver suburbs, all those animals (plus garden statuary) are a common sight.

“That panorama is about the [animal] activity that’s come and gone through my backyard,” says Ronald. And it appears in Territory, her current solo exhibition, which is on now at the Gibsons Art Gallery to Feb. 7. 

Installation view of Panorama, a 2020 drawing by Sarah Ronald, at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. (Sarah Ronald)

The show includes paintings, animation and several more of her drawings — many rendered in white pencil crayon and pastel to mimic the eerie blur of animals caught on security cams. 

Animals have long been her favourite subject matter, and while researching another project several years ago, she was struck by the incredible wildlife footage that people were getting by rigging cameras in forests and front decks. She loved the blown-out, night-vision aesthetic. “It’s so dreamy and haunting,” says Ronald.

But another aspect was even more intriguing: there was something powerful about seeing an animal in such a candid way. “These [images] exist because we’re not there,” she says. “It really got me thinking about how to incorporate this into my work.”

Sometime in 2019, Ronald began mimicking the look of this found footage in her art. She has her own cameras installed outside her house, actually — though her home security system pre-dates this project. “I know there are a lot of critters out there,” she says, even though the yard itself is not especially big. She estimates it’s roughly 30 feet deep — so a little shorter than the panoramic drawing in Territory. But she’s observed a sort of “wildlife corridor” between her street and a townhouse complex up the hill. 

Sarah Ronald, Territory (XI). 2019. (Sarah Ronald)

“They travel through the neighbourhood behind my fence,” she says. “I’ll go out and see a coyote pop his head around. Or, more often, it’s raccoons. Sometimes I think the raccoons just come here to hang out,” she laughs. The cameras, she explains, just confirmed what she already knew — while capturing all the fauna-drama on video. And when she experiences a wildlife encounter — on camera, or in person — she says that’s usually her cue to hit the studio. 

The panorama drawing, she says, was especially inspired by those backyard happenings. Created over November and December this past year, it actually captures a much longer timeline of her outdoor space. A detail might document specific events: a fallen tree, a visit from a family of raccoons. Other scenes are more speculative. (She confesses, for example, that she’s never seen a bear back there, though they have been known to invade her neighbour’s place.)

“You kind of get a sense of the space when you’ve been there long enough, what kind of activities happen,” says Ronald, but she explains that the image serves as more than a journal. The piece uses her yard as a stand-in for the natural world at large, a place forever churning with change. 

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (5). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (7). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (11). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

With two further exhibitions planned for later this year, Ronald says that she’s continuing to add new works to Territory, and she’s especially interested in producing hand-drawn animation for the series.

A 17-minute piece (Encounter) appears at the exhibition in Gibsons, and the film aims to capture the sensation of crossing paths with a coyote. “Imagine being out in the woods in the middle of the night. Or even on the street at two in the morning when there’s nobody out there,” she says. “I’m interested in using animation as a way to almost have a one-on-one with wildlife.”

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The entire series is an invitation to connect with the wild world around us, and one could argue the pandemic’s already prompted more of that. Yard space is precious. Birdwatching is trending. A knife-wielding Toronto squirrel can capture international headlines. And prior to lockdown, was there ever a time when gawping out a picture window was such a mainstream pastime? 

Ronald was already working from home when the pandemic struck, but she understands what happens when you spend a lot of time within your own property lines. It is, after all, a driving creative force behind Territory. “When you stay in a space for a really long time, you don’t feel ownership — you feel like you’re a part of that space. So to spend time outside, you’re part of it.”

“There’s something about that — that connection — where you can just be present with [nature] instead of trying to control it. Maybe with COVID a lot more people are being present.”

Sarah Ronald, Territory (V). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Nocturnal Journey (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Territory (III). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Wanderer (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald. Territory. To Feb. 7 at Gibsons Art Gallery, Gibsons, B.C. www.gpag.ca

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When Can You Play The ‘Resident Evil: Village’ Demo On PS4 And Xbox? – Forbes

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Yesterday was a big day for fans of Tall Vampire Lady. Not only did we find out that she is a mom with vampire daughters, but we got our first chance to play with her in a video game—or, at least, some of us. Capcom released a special demo of Resident Evil: Village for PS5 only, giving the lucky few who have managed to snag a console another reason to feel smug. It’s me, I feel smug.

It’s got people wondering whether or not, or when, they’ll be able to play the demo on PS4 or Xbox platforms. The answer isn’t entirely clear, but it does, at least seem like you’ll be able to try this thing. According to Capcom “a multiplatform demo is coming this spring”:

The fact that the company definitely seems to be drawing a distinction between the “Maiden” demo and this other multiplatform demo makes me think that it’s going to be a different demo from this one, though hopefully with enough Tall Vampire Lady to go around. For those wondering, Spring officially starts on March 21, and the game comes out on May 7. So the demo will, necessarily, come out between those two dates.

I’ll be excited about this one. I missed Resident Evil VII, though I’m well aware that it’s a bit of a critical darling and look sup my alley, even if there’s no chance in hell that I’ll try the thing with VR goggle son, for reasons of horror and for reasons of motion sickness. This, however, seems like its going to be one of the bigger releases in what’s looking like a slower first half of the year, and I predict it’s going to be one of the more popular game sin the franchise as a result. Plus, because of Tall Vampire lady.

Between this and Monster Hunter Rise, it seems like Capcom is going to be making something of a splash this year, stealing the spotlight in a time without many other major releases. I’d watch both closely, and Monster Hunter, in particular, stands to channel the series’ strong background in portable play to major success in Japan, at least if online play performs better than the demo.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review | Sharp cameras, Director’s View & smart features – The GATE

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G hits a perfect balance of size, style, power, and affordability. Samsung has made a number of improvements from last year’s S20, and that includes better speed, software, new features, and major camera upgrades as well. And on top of everything else, the price is right.

I’ve spent the last week using the Galaxy S21, and it’s an excellent, light, versatile phone that is going to make a lot of Android users want to make the switch. It’s a consistently great experience, with a perfect form factor for users who don’t want a huge phone. There are a couple of small concessions with the new Galaxy, but they’re generally not deal breakers in any way.

So what are you getting for $1,129.99? Here’s the full breakdown.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 back

The Galaxy S21 features a 6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that adjusts the refresh rate, up to 120Hz, depending on whether you’re gaming, watching videos, or just browsing the web.

There are four cameras on the phone, including the 12 MP ultra wide camera, 12 MP wide-angle camera, 64 MP telephoto camera, and a 10 MP selfie camera.

Powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, the phone comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space, with the option of 256 GB of storage for a little more.

And the phone lasts well all day long, on a single charge, with the 4,000 mAh battery.

Galaxy S21 Design

Samsung has made a bolder design choice with the S21 lineup. Following the Galaxy Note 20 last year, the S21 takes that style a step further, pushing the cameras right into the upper corner of the rear side of the phone, while protecting the array with a metal cover, rather than the usual all-glass design.

The phone comes in four colour options: Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom White, and I love the two-tone Violet design that features a bronze accent for the camera array and around the edge in a similar colour to last year’s Mystic Bronze.

Compared to all the recent phones I’ve reviewed, I have to admit that I feel a lot more comfortable with the metal that protects the camera array too. The camera lenses are slightly recessed, so it would be hard to scratch or damage them, and the designs looks and feels safer.

Similar to last year’s Galaxy phones, the S21 also has the simple cutout on the display for the selfie camera, with a gorgeous edge-to-edge display with the slimmest bezels around the edge.

The rear of the phone is gorgeous, but it’s notable that while the design is lighter, it’s plastic. With a good case though, that won’t be an issue for most people, short of a major drop.

Galaxy S21 Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S21 camerasSamsung Galaxy S21 cameras

Between the Galaxy S21’s three rear cameras, the performance is excellent. Samsung put the largest sensor behind the telephoto camera, so you can zoom in to really get the details, and I had great results. Improved focus and subject tracking features also make it easier to get sharp photos.

Samsung also launched a new mode with the Galaxy S21, and it’s a great one. Director’s View previews all three rear-facing cameras on the screen, so you can switch between them while you’re filming. No need to pinch the screen–just tap the camera preview and it switches while you’re recording. You can also show the selfie view picture-in-picture style, or split-view, which feels like a feature content creators will love for YouTube, Instagram, and Tik Tok.

My only complaint with Director’s View is that you can’t control the video quality, and you can only record in standard HD, so you can’t use the feature to capture 4K or 8K video. Hopefully some day we’ll see Director’s View and Pro Video modes combined, or at least more control for DV, since it feels like it could be even more powerful and useful.

Looking at selfies and portraits, the S21 captured excellent results in my tests, even on my cat. After you take the shot, you can also adjust and edit portraits, using Samsung’s built-in portrait editor, to apply studio lighting, and change the backdrop. Photo editing in the gallery app also gives you control over colour, brightness, and cropping.

Like the Note 20 Ultra as well, the S21 shoots up to 8K video, and I absolutely love the Pro Video mode. With all the available options in Pro Video, it’s pretty easy to get extremely high quality video (like with my Note 20 Ultra), taking full control over the shutter speed, ISO, microphones, aspect ratio, while monitoring the white balance.

The scene optimizer also does an excellent job getting the right colour balance, brightness, and contrast for photos, or you can shoot in Pro photo mode to get the shot exactly the way you want.

And if you’re shooting 8K video, Samsung also offers 8K Video Snap to capture images from your videos, so you don’t have to pick between video or photos any more.

Galaxy S21 Performance, Battery, and Features

Samsung Galaxy S21 buttonsSamsung Galaxy S21 buttons

For the size of the phone, the S21 still has lightning fast response times and loads everything quickly thanks to the processor and 8 GB of RAM. Gaming was very quick, and the phone zipped through tasks while switching between apps, and using editing software.

Battery life was also good, and the phone lasted all day for me, even when I was using power-hungry apps and watching videos.

The one change with the S21, over recent Galaxy phones, is that Samsung didn’t include expandable memory, and the box doesn’t come with a wall plug.

For me, this makes it important to decide if you can afford getting the 256 GB model of the phone, since most people will have a much harder time filling up that much space, making expandable memory unnecessary.

In terms of charging, the phone does come with a USB-C cable, and I found charging over that, connected to my laptop, very quick. For those of us who have had Samsung phones before, you can also use those USB-C charging cables still, and I frankly don’t need any more plugs in my house anyway.

The 5G phone also offers the fastest download speeds, where 5G is available, while offering improved Wi-Fi speeds for when you’re home. Plus the S21 is IP68 rated, for water resistance against splashes.

Final Notes

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G is a great phone, it’s affordable versus other phones with similar features, and there are a lot of benefits to switching, especially compared to older phones.

The S21 design is fresh it looks amazing, with colours that pop, especially the two-tone Phantom Violet with bronze accents. If I had to pick between the phones, the S21 is the perfect affordable options, and while the S21 + has some interesting perks for a little more money, if you can spend a bit more, I’d say the S21 Ultra seems like the best buy for a phone that will last you longer.

The Galaxy S21, as well as the S21 + and S21 Ultra, are available for pre-order now, starting at $1,129.99 for the S21, and $1,199.99 for the S21 with 256 GB of memory. The phones arrive in stores and for delivery on January 29, 2021.

Watch my unboxing video below, scroll down to see Director’s View in action, and for sample images with the phone.

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Galaxy S21 Sample Photos

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