Langara Alumni – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students Wed, 27 Mar 2019 23:57:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://www.langaravoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LOGO-100x100.png Langara Alumni – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca 32 32 Wacky travel show a hit at Langara https://www.langaravoice.ca/wacky-travel-show-a-hit-at-langara/ Sat, 30 Mar 2019 00:00:24 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=41850 A Langara photography alumnus’s passion for documenting his travels enabled him to share his unique experience with a wide audience.]]>

Reported by Kim Lau

A Langara photography alumnus’s passion for documenting his travels enabled him to share his unique experience with a wide audience. It was the simple joy of meeting the people on his travels that made him feel lucky and happy.

“The people I met in Tibet, Burma and India are incredibly funny, kind and happy people. The more remote I’ve been, the kinder people are. Simpler life makes it more joyful,” William Jans said.

Jans is a professional photographer who graduated from Langara’s photography department and has a knack for storytelling using images he captured on his travels around the world.

That’s the pull to his long-standing travel shows, which have been seen by 80,000 Canadians over 17 years.

His latest show, A Man, A Plan, Japan, was performed at Langara on March 22.

“I’ve produced nine different shows in total. And I’m very proud to have received a standing ovation for the sold-out Shadows in Morocco show which premiered on March 15,” Jans said.

A sense of adventure

Jans said that his sense of adventure, his willingness to assimilate with the locals and learn their languages while looking for the positives in people, opened himself up to absurd events which enriched his narratives and provided a sense of the unexpected, which his viewers love about him.

The A Man, A Plan, Japan performance at Langara was Tim Nim’s second viewing.

“Jans’s narration was very good. He made it very interesting to follow along. And the way he combined still photographs to video clips made it more entertaining and interesting. It was very good,” Nim said.

Eric and Caroline Liu first saw the show about five years ago. Since then, they have visited Japan three times.

Last Friday, they returned to the theatre to reminisce about their time in Japan.

“Jans’s show was a bit of a reference as to where to go when we finally made the trip to Japan, three times in all.”

“We went to a lot of the places Jans talked about,” Caroline Liu said.

“We were able to compare what we did and what he did. We love it,” Liu said.

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Langara student opens studio to the public at 2018 Eastside Culture Crawl https://www.langaravoice.ca/langara-student-opens-studio-to-the-public-at-2018-eastside-culture-crawl/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 20:00:42 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=34608 Ideet Sharon's geometric art emerged from a discovery of meditation, now her paintings are drawing attention in the Vancouver art scene.]]>

Reported by Patrick Penner

Ideet Sharon’s geometric art emerged from a discovery of meditation, now her paintings are drawing attention in the Vancouver art scene.

The Langara expressive art therapy student walked away from 20 years in the animation industry in pursuit of the abstract art form.

“Something happens when you start meditating and you start thinking about your life and what you are doing,” Sharon said.  “Am I thriving or just surviving?”

Ideet Sharon explains touches up a painting in her workshop. Photo by Partick Penner

Sharon’s illustrations were displayed as part of the East Van Cultural Crawl from Nov.15-18 along with 500 others.  The open studio event attracts over 35,000 visitors who interact with artists from over 70 workshops.

Impressing collectors with unique style

Kurtis Baute and Xianny Ng, a couple who purchased a painting from Sharon, were elated by their find.

“It’s not just chaos, I feel like there is a structure to it in a way I find kind of pleasing,” Baute said.

That chaotic structure was Sharon’s intention.

She says she was influenced by the 19th century philosophy and abstract works of Hilma Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, quantum physics and naturally occurring geometric patterns.

“Some shapes seem separate but actually they are connected, there’s a lot of stories going on and they all are part of the bigger story, little stories within a bigger story,” said Sharon.  “They are all finding balance.”

Inspiration behind art

But above all else, she credits meditation for the inspiration behind her work, saying she now sees herself as a conduit for the art form.

“Physicists are saying on a quantum field everything is connected,” she said.  “Musicians like Mozart and Bach were saying ‘I don’t make this music, I’m just hearing it.'”

Kari Kristensen leases the studio space that Sharon works in.  She said she’s usually picky about who she sublets space too, but has nothing but praise for Sharon’s ability.

“What’s most amazing about her, in the time that she’s been here, [is] the evolution of her work,” Kristensen said. “It’s impressive to see someone grow that much.”

Ideet Sharon stands in front of her artwork in her workshop in Studio 240. Photo by Patrick Penner
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Beyond 49 celebrations continue with honouring 49 of Langara’s alumni https://www.langaravoice.ca/beyond-49-celebrations-continue-with-honouring-49-of-langaras-alumni/ Wed, 17 Oct 2018 22:50:07 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=33649 Reported by Taesa Hodel For the first time Langara will celebrate 49 alumni at their annual awards, rather than their usual three. To recognize the achievements of Langara College as a community, the college will celebrate the graduated students who’ve gone on to create impact within their careers and those still here working towards their […]]]>

Reported by Taesa Hodel

For the first time Langara will celebrate 49 alumni at their annual awards, rather than their usual three.

To recognize the achievements of Langara College as a community, the college will celebrate the graduated students who’ve gone on to create impact within their careers and those still here working towards their achievements.

“It’s important for alumni to be involved in [their] school community,” Langara arts department alum Devin Braunagel, 23, said in an email.

“Not only is it a great learning opportunity for current students, but it’s also a chance for alumni to be mentors.”

Special awards program

As a part of the Beyond 49 celebrations, the communications services and college advancement departments are teaming up to create a special award program in replacement of this year’s annual alumni awards.

Past and present students, staff and community members, will be able to be nominated by either themselves or other parts of the initiative.

“Over the next eight months, we’ll be accepting nominations for 49 inspirational Langarans who have positively impacted the College, their field, or the community via the Beyond 49 website,” said Yvonne Ohara, a creator of the program, who is proud to help cultivate the growing network of past and present students.

“It’s going to be very difficult to choose only 49.”

Up and coming celebrations

Until the end of February, nominations will be open for anyone to recommend someone they think has made the biggest impact within the college or in society in general.

Selections will be made in March of next year, and their stories will be told from April to October.

The awards event itself will take place in November.

49 Langarans will replace the usual Outstanding Alumni Awards for this year only.

For anyone wanting to become more involved with Langara’s alumni network, there will also be a community day hosted at campus on June 15.

Organizer Carly Barrett said everyone is invited to the event, “The community day will be like an open house or a public festival.”

A look back

To commemorate Langara College’s move 49 years ago, students, teachers, alumni and Indigenous groups made the trek from Langara’s old home on King Edward street to 49th Ave. This video captures just some of the moments along the trek down memory lane.

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Langara Studio 58 Alumni star in local play https://www.langaravoice.ca/langara-studio-58-alumni-star-in-local-play/ Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:30:14 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=30841 Reported by Trevor Nault Two Studio 58 alumni are starring in a play that tackles a grim trend in growing hate crimes against Muslims in Canada. Nathan Kay and Brandon Bagg are acting in a co-production between Neworld Theatre and Green Thumb Theatre. The play tells the story of Fatima, a young hijab wearing woman who […]]]>

Reported by Trevor Nault

Two Studio 58 alumni are starring in a play that tackles a grim trend in growing hate crimes against Muslims in Canada.

Nathan Kay and Brandon Bagg are acting in a co-production between Neworld Theatre and Green Thumb Theatre. The play tells the story of Fatima, a young hijab wearing woman who transfers schools after she’s the target of a hate crime. Statistics Canada shows reported hate crimes against Muslims have more than doubled over a four-year period.

Targeting the appropriate crowd

Kay and Bagg have been touring with the production for the last few weeks, performing mostly at middle and high schools.

Kay plays Jorah, an outcast with anger issues and Fatima’s romantic interest. He said he’s glad they’re doing the show in high schools because it encourages young people to have a conversation with someone they don’t understand or someone who looks different than them.

“I think it does a really beautiful job of humanizing something that the media has worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to dehumanize,” Kay said.

Bagg plays Mr. Evans, a high school guidance counsellor who tries to help Fatima adjust to her new school.

“She’s a teenage girl who’s had death threats,” Bagg said. “And the sad truth of this is, this is not something that’s hard to fabricate. This is something that’s happened.”

Matching sensitivity with humour

Chelsea Haberlin, the director, said knew she had a serious subject on her hands but she knew how to handle it, thanks to Marcus Youssef’s script.

“It’s also really funny,” Haberlin said. “[Audiences] are kind of surprised the play is as entertaining as it is.”

Jabber will be performed at Progress Lab 1422 at 8 p.m. Nov. 25 and admission is by donation. All proceeds go to the Immigrant Services Society of BC.

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Photojournalism’s golden age featured in Vancouver exhibition https://www.langaravoice.ca/photojournalisms-golden-age-featured-in-vancouver-exhibition/ Fri, 03 Nov 2017 13:00:40 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=30209 Langara alumni featured in a new photography exhibition on Vancouver’s past century of protests say the display highlights the decline of photojournalism’s golden age.]]>

Reported by Becca Clarkson

Langara alumni featured in a new photography exhibition on Vancouver’s past century of protests say the display highlights the decline of photojournalism’s golden age.

Langara photography alumnus Wayne Leidenfrost, one of 70 photographers featured in City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism, said the industry will never be the same.

“A lot of those things won’t ever be captured again,” Leidenfrost said, claiming that social media’s immediate yet fleeting nature is responsible for a reduction in the necessity of photojournalists.

Exhibition showcases a century of activism

The three-room exhibition, which runs until Feb. 18, 2018, boasts 650 photos curated and based on a book by Kate Bird, who used to manage the photo collection at the Vancouver Sun and The Province.

“There were a dozen photographers for the Sun and Province, each [newspaper] shooting more than 4,000 assignments every year,” Bird said, adding that photojournalists were like “rock stars” in past decades.

“Newspapers don’t want to pay for or support that anymore. There’s a real concern over who will document not just protests, but other events in the city.”

The Museum of Vancouver had just finished working with Bird on an exhibition comprised of photos of Vancouver in the seventies when she pitched the idea for an exhibition of Vancouver’s past century of activism. The museum agreed to host the display before the book was even created.

Fellow Langara trained photojournalist Ric Ernst is also featured in the museum’s collection.

“It’s a front row seat to life, that job,” Ernst said, though he’s frustrated with the industry. “They don’t seem to be able to adapt to digital media or monetize it and now it’s a skeleton crew at both papers. It didn’t have to get to this point”

Leidenfrost, who was briefly an instructor for the photography program at Langara from 1978-79, said he used to like giving students a sense of the job’s “reality.”

“The adrenaline rush is always there. While you’re watching the news, we [were] there living it,” he said.

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Wendy Long earns Outstanding Alumni Award for groundbreaking career in sports reporting https://www.langaravoice.ca/wendy-long-earns-outstanding-alumni-award-for-groundbreaking-career-in-sports-reporting/ Thu, 02 Nov 2017 01:00:22 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=30231 With only a handful of women sports reporters in the industry, Wendy Long entered sports writing in the 1980s to challenge the way female athletes and writers were represented. ]]>

Reported by Jennifer Wilson

With only a handful of women sports reporters in the industry, Wendy Long entered sports writing in the 1980s to challenge the way female athletes and writers were represented.

Long received an Outstanding Alumni Award from Langara College on Wednesday for her pioneering role as the first female sports reporter for the Vancouver Sun, and one of the first in Canada.

During her time as a reporter, she has seen respect for women in journalism and sports grow.

In the the 80s, Long said she saw how women in sports were covered and wanted to make a change.

“The coverage that was there was pretty condescending, so there needed to be a new approach and a different voice and I was one of those voices,” Long said.

After graduating from Langara Journalism, Long got a job at the Sun, Long said she could tell male colleagues wanted to get rid of her.

“Anytime anybody told me I couldn’t do something I worked that much harder just to prove them wrong.”

Long also noticed that if men made an error it was brushed off; if she made an error it was highlighted.

This double standard motivated rather than deterred Long who developed a reputation through hard work and exceptional proficiency. 

Long said her competitive attitude was another asset on the job.

At one event, Long was pushed out of a prime interview spot, and into a snowbank by a photographer. She stood up, threatened him with a snowball and retook her position.

Carly Barrett, communications officer at Langara, said Long’s career has helped woman sports reporters.

“Wendy’s accomplishments really speak for themselves,  she was a trailblazer for sports reporting, breaking down barriers for future female sports reporters.”

After a career in which she covered seven Olympic Games, Long now travels and writes fiction.

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Langara basketball alum give back to youth players https://www.langaravoice.ca/langara-basketball-alum-giving-back-to-youth-players/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:30:47 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=29465 The sound of basketballs pounding hardwood floors, the swish of a net and squeaking rubber soles is more than just familiar noise to coach Jamie Oei. ]]>

Reported by Myra Dionne

The sound of basketballs pounding hardwood floors, the swish of a net and squeaking rubber soles is more than just familiar noise to coach Jamie Oei.

It’s the sound he listened to while watching his father coach high school basketball as a kid.

His father passed away one year ago and now its Oei’s turn to mentor small kids.

Now he coaches and directs Vancity Basketball Academy in North Vancouver. He opened the academy four years ago to provide accessible space for kids to play, even if it meant taking a pay cut.

“I’m not a great business man to be honest,” Oei said. Oei, 40, played for the men’s basketball team at Langara College in 1999. At 23, he became their head coach – a rare achievement. “In the grand scheme of things, it pays off, because when you do positive things for people you get that kickback later on from somewhere else.”

Mother of academy member praises Oei’s coaching style

Rana Lee, who played for the women’s basketball team at Langara in 1999, currently sends her son to the academy. She said Oei is tough on the kids, but fair and fun.

“He’s such a good coach in assessing the kids’ level, where they are and what skills need to be developed. That’s why I trust him, you know he knows basketball,” Lee said.

The importance of life after basketball

Head coach of the UBC basketball team, Kevin Hanson, coached Oei at Langara and said the job can be an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s the relationships that leave the deepest impression.

“Life after basketball is not just about the X’s and O’s on the court. It’s about lifelong friendships,” Hanson said.

He once caught Oei past curfew on a tournament trip to Hawaii, but allowed him to play the following day. They lost their game by one point.

Oei said Hanson is one of his biggest influences next to his father, Ernie Oei.

“It’s funny, you try to get away from your parents when you’re younger but then you actually start becoming a lot like them,” Oei said.

He is organizing a free basketball camp this winter in honour of his dad.

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Colin Mochrie recognized as one of Langara’s greats https://www.langaravoice.ca/colin-mochrie-recognized-as-one-of-langaras-greats/ Tue, 05 Nov 2013 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=7265 “I’m Colin Mochrie and I’m a proud Langara College alumnus.”

The star of the beloved Whose Line Is It Anyway? improv comedy TV show is a recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Awards from Langara College.

Mochrie was a part of Langara’s Studio 58 from 1977 to 1980 under Kathryn Shaw, who is still the artistic director at Studio 58 today.

Mochrie looks back

“I remember no matter how hard we worked it was still fun,” said Mochrie in a Skype interview with Pam Robertson, manager of alumni and donor relations at Langara. “I remember pulling down sets at four in the morning and just giggling and I thought I hope this is what it’s like in the real world in theatre. I hope that this continues forever.”

Mochrie joined Vancouver TheatreSports League in 1980. It was there he discovered his love for improvisational theatre.

Improv became his life

“I never thought that it would become a career,” said Mochrie. “I just thought that this is something I love doing. And I think part of it was, in that world, I felt very secure.”

It was at TheatreSports where he met Ryan Stiles, a fellow star on Whose Line. It was Stiles who got Mochrie into “Whose Line “and it was Stiles who introduced Mochrie to his wife Debra McGrath.

“He’s responsible for my career and my marriage … and still not sure about the son,” Mochrie said with a smirk.

This photograph of Colin Mochrie as Captain Boyle appeared in Langara College's newspaper on September 28, 1977. Mochrie was performing in Studio 58's production of Juno and the Paycock.
This photograph of Colin Mochrie as Captain Boyle appeared in Langara College’s newspaper on Sept. 28, 1979. Mochrie was performing in Studio 58’s production of Juno and the Paycock.

The improv business is fiercely competitive. There were many people that threw Mochrie under the bus and told him that he wasn’t good enough, which just fueled his “thirst for revenge,” he said.

“It made me work harder. The only person you have is you, so use that person to the best of your ability.”

Robertson was pleased to honour Mochrie with the alumni award.

“He’s a very funny man,” said Robertson. “I think we assume that comedians are funny but they’re not always funny when you meet them face-to-face. Making people laugh is something that is important in life.”

Reported by Jesse Lam

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