Tuesday 17 May 2016


Imagine the honour of receiving an invitation to a small, intimate dinner party at the private home of Vancouver’s former mayor Sam Sullivan and his wife Lynn...

Photo credit:John Gurcharan Niijar 
The food being served is exquisite and your fellow dinner guests are as interesting and different as you and I.
Credit: jbtrainingsolutions.com

Intellectuals, educators, rule makers, ground breakers, story tellers, difference makers, passionistas, inventors, die - hards. This eclectic mix is hard to come by, unless of course, you happen to be invited to the Sullivan's dinner table.
Here’s the glitch: these invitations are pretty hard to come by! Not everybody has the opportunity to enjoy an intimate tet a’tete with some of the thought leaders in the field of science, literature, entrepreneurialship or philanthropy. 

Mrs. and Mr. Sullivan are known for their innovative ideas, big kindred spirits and hearts. It comes to no surprise these intimate dinner get- togethers have taken on a life on their own:
Today they are called Public Salon.

Their private home has been swapped for Vancouver’s Playhouse, the dinner has been scrapped and the intellectual stimulation has been brought forward to a wider audience.
Thank you Sam and Lynn.
The real food might be missing from the program but the ‘dishes'(apologies dear presenters) served during the 25th Public Salon were as varied,refreshing, delicious, easy and a bit chewy to absorb just like a real smorgasbord.

And here is what the menu had to offer: 

Like all good parties we were treated to pre-dinner entertainment!  Our Bhangra Performers were a feast for all!
Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar

1. Entree:  Dessert first (Yeah!)

Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar
Funny, witty, stimulating and oh so entertaining with his seven minute long“Can you Imagine" presentation! 
Brian is the living, breathing example that mega success doesn’t necessarily depend on a high school diploma- or any higher education certificate whatsoever (definitely spoke to my Motherpreneurial heart). Yet, I wouldn’t necessarily rub his story into my children! 
His message to us was,
Create a vision in writing!

2. Entree: 
Author, Journalist and associate Professor

The appetizer was served in the form of Minelle's introduction into Creative Serendipity.
So, the question is, how do we create creative serendipity?
Well, bring two strangers together. Two strangers from different socio, economic background and see how the magic unfolds...

3. Main:
VSO Composer in Residence

Ms Morlock gave us brilliant presentation into the Who's Who of Vancouver's culture and music scene. Her highly amusing narration about who visited, just left and who's about to perform in Vancouver not only left us in stitches, it made me wanna visit the city more often.

She introduced us to the Lumiphone! And this particular version had its world premiere during tonight's Public Salon!
Performed by Brian Nesselraad and Colin Van de Reep:

Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar

4. Main:
Author / Bee Time
Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar

Bee-ologist (= lover of bees) author and curious about what we humans can learn from bees!
Well, we can learn a lot actually:
E.g. to be fully present in the moment. Bees only concentrate on one thing at a time. So should we.
Bees are 'restaholics', not workaholics (huge difference). So should we.
Bees don't judge.
Bees and humans are in constant dialogue. And in order to get the most of our communication we need to listen. 
Brian's message was,
Hear without judging!

5. Main:
 Rainbow Refugees
Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar
There are several reasons why people become refugees: 
Some are forced to leave their home as a result of war; others flee persecution for their political or religious beliefs, ethnicity, nationality or membership of a particular social group. And then there are individuals who flee (a country) in fear of persecution due to their sexual orientation.
Chris, a former Franciscan nun, left the order and returned with her girlfriend from Chile back to Canada in fear of prosecution for being gay.
Her message to us: 
Form a small circle of people who can change the world!

6. Main:
Cultural Communicator
Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar
I must have dozed off there for a moment as I don't remember much! Apologies Mo! All I recapture is that music and dance made him a better listener.
And, multiculturalism translates to different cultures getting on with each other, living together.
He introduced us to some pretty awesome dancing:

Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar

7. Main:
Environmental Research
Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar
Have you heard of the Tula Foundation?
No problem, I haven't either.
Now I know it's a private charitable foundation run by Mr. Peterson.
The Tula foundation operates the Hakai Institute, "a research and postgraduate teaching organization that promotes field research at remote locations on British Columbia’s coastal margin".
Puh, what a mouthful.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to listen to Eric's account of life on remote Calvert Island, chatting about the institute's own faculty, staff and research equipment! 

And we finished off with another dessert-or so it felt like it:

Credit: John Gurcharan Niijar
His sparkling, charming explanation of how he survived and left journalism was the perfect end to this eight course meal!

It was light hearted, easy digestible!
And his big question remains:
Is technology the death of journalism?
Are we writers getting too hung up about Likes and Comments of strangers in regards to our pieces?

Johns big question was, how often do we really want to engage?
Isn't it much better to love and be loved by the right people?
The ones who really read what we write, love and care about?
Because these are the readers who love and care about us- a lot!

I may not call Vancouver home. And I don't come here very often!
But with so many interesting "Good-Doers" in the city it easy to fall in love with Vancouver more and more. 
One Public Salon at a time.