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Vancouver residents share their unique stories at annual event

On November 10, “Interesting Vancouver” at SFU Woodward’s showcased 10 speakers with unusual talents, views and stories.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, The Peak stated that Martin Meerman had won the Interesting Vancouver Prize. Robert Chaplin has won the Interesting Vancouver Prize. We regret the error. 

Interesting Vancouver! co-hosted by SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, invited 10 speakers to share their interesting and unusual stories with passion and humour.

Throughout the night, the lecture hall was filled with laughter. Robert Chaplin, an author, won the Interesting Vancouver Prize, for an individual or group in Metro Vancouver doing something particularly interesting.

Among the 10 speakers, aeronautical engineer, Martin Meerman was curious about how small he could make inanimate objects. When he had time away from his job designing satellites, he built miniature sculptures such as dollhouse furniture. He showcased a miniature portrait of president Lincoln, measuring in at under 0.001 mm.

Among these 10 speakers, a grief counsellor named Gaby Eirew described her work and experience of being a mom. She asked, “If you face the loss of one of your parents, especially when you are still children, what would you wish you knew about them?” She went to the street and asked over 100 people in Vancouver over the last five years.

She found people wanted to know what their parents would say about love, their favourite recipes, and what they felt guilty about. Based on the research she had done, she created an app called Record Me Now. This app is free, and designed for people to leave messages for their loved ones, to record their thoughts on life to be treasured after their death.

The night took a turn to the creative side, when Dusty Hagerud a puppeteer, explained his passion and artistry behind living in a world surrounded by puppets. “I am the only child in my family. You can see that.” He came to the stage with a witch puppet in one hand who is described as being based off of his grandmother.

Vanessa Richards, emcee and speaker at Interesting Vancouver, explained that Interesting Vancouver “is an opportunity to bring voices together, bring all kinds of voices together because this is the common breath we share.”

Gopa Biswas Caesar, an SFU student and attendee at the event explained that she often thinks of Vancouver as a “boring” place, but this event sparked her curiosity and she wanted to learn the ways in which Vancouver could be “interesting”. 

She mentioned that she really appreciated the variety of speakers at the event. “It is really uplifting to know there is a group of ordinary people in the Metro Vancouver from different backgrounds doing something extraordinary. ”

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