Creative Kitsilano neighbours come together for a salon



Image: David Dumbrell at work

Kitsilano has long been a nurturing neighbourhood for creative folk. At least as far back as the 60s and 70s, the climate and culture have been a draw for artistic endeavours.

A new salon series features artists from Vancouver’s West Side talking about their art and their creative process. That’s an important part of the evening, but coordinators (salonnieres) Mary Bennett and Kira Van Deusen, say that equally important is bringing people together in a salon-style atmosphere to meet each other and provide a supportive network for arts and culture. Bennett, a visual artist, and Van Deusen, storyteller, dreamed up the idea and applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant to seed the series. Each evening will offer two hours of socializing (and eating dessert) for one hour of presentation and Q&A.

David Dumbrell is the first presenter on Sunday, May 29. David is a sculptor, or more precisely, a maker of automata. He says, “An automaton is, simply put, a moving mechanical device in imitation of a human or animal figure. (Plural: automata.) The art of automata goes back many centuries, usually crafted by superb watchmakers.  Their creations combined exquisite art with precise mechanism.” A picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, a video is worth even more. You can view his work here:

Jackie Conradi-Robertson, President of Artists in Our Midst, the West Side Art Walk, now in its 24th year, will also share updates on the June West Side Art Walk.

Other salons will feature the Kits Poetry Group coordinators, Barbara Strigel and Sarah Ripplinger, Les Blydo, Kira and Mary talking about “Labyrinth Journeys”, painter and sculptor, Louise Bunn and Kira Van Deusen talking about stories gleaned from her world travels.

Your Salonnieres:

Mary Bennett, (, visual artist and community catalyst
Kira Van Deusen, ( storyteller, writer, musician.

Date: Sunday, May 29, 2016

Place: MLA David Eby’s Community Office, 2909 West Broadway (at Bayswater)

Time: 6-7 pm Potluck and social; 7-8 pm Presentation and Q&A; 8-9 pm Socialize and network

Bring: Dessert or finger food for sharing.

Thank you to Vancouver Foundation for funding this project and to Kits House for administering the Neighbourhood Small Grants program in Vancouver’s West Side




Mary Bennett phone and text: 604-617-0142


Jackie Conradi-Robertson,


Last modified: May 26, 2016

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