blogheader_linda_final_large.jpg

"Don't count on Bill Gates for innovation," and more from Douglas Coupland: live blog

Photo by Linda Solomon

Douglas Coupland, the internationally acclaimed writer, artist and thought leader (author of Generation X) is giving his keynote speech. He's introduced as a "satirist of consumerism, leader in pop culture, transition of culture and Vancouver resident". Here are some notes from the speech (disclaimer: not a transcript, just some notable quotes):  

1:40 -- Coupland welcomes everyone.  Talks about Google.  "They're going to be talking about one of their radical new projects, "city without people.'"  We also have with us here Mayor of Kansas City, Sly James.   

Jokes with mayor of Kansas City, Mayor Nenshi.  Introduces Gregor Robertson: Gregor was recently profiled in the up coming spring edition of "sizzlingly hot mayors." 

You will also hopefully be meeting Bob Rennie who has a wonderful private art collection, is also an artist in his own right in the way he creates building. Less well known about Bob is that it was his elbow that went through a Picasso in L.A. a few years ago, lowering the value of it by $40 million or as Vancouverites think about it as a 3 bedroom with a flex space.  Mentions Mayor Diane Watts.

Welcome to Vancouver, welcome to the mountains, ocean, forests.  I grew up here.  All of you need to know Vancouver is deeply locked in an ugly battle with Melbourne, et. Auckland, over who gets to be the most livable city.


Vancouver missed the post world war II frenzy of highway building.  City of neighbourhoods.  We are multi-cultural here.  English, Cantonese-Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Hindi are all spoken here.  Vancouver is a very Chinese city.

There's Kits where the people with all the good bodies live, English Bay, remarkable public gardens, Stanley park and quite a few bachelors, there's Yaletown…my old studio is now a cigar smoking room in a Zagat rated restaurant.  There's Chinatown, Strathcona and our airport which is the city's largest single employer.  When you're headed out to the airport, take out the Canada Line.  If you're a foodie, Vancouver is a restaurant heaven.  You can go to a different restaurant every night for a month and not be disappointed. 

You can also buy sushi at gas stations here, he jokes. You may have heard it rains a lot in Vancouver. We love it because it's actually a warm, gentle rain, not an Eastern rain.  Most Vancouverites know that sensation of disembarking from an airplane and you get that first whiff of ocean air in your nostrils and you know you're home.  

Mentions Stanley Park, and says Lord Stanley never even came to Vancouver. Cites Wikipedia and then asks if Wikipedia is here today (IBM is).  Talks about details of Stanley Park, mentions the Hollow Tree, a beloved Vancouver photo op.  

More in Publisher's Platform

Koch brothers make me mad

"For billionaires who cannot buy good press, there is the option of buying the press," The New Yorker says.

Michaëlle Jean's Canadian love affair

Michaëlle Jean isn't willing to reveal the juicy details about what went on behind the scenes at that pivotal point in Canadian history "on the day the Prime Minister came to me to ask for my...

Dragons' Den's Arlene Dickinson at the Board of Trade on the power of Persuasion

Two guys with a candy company called OMG's stand nervously pitching their product. Kevin O'Leary ridicules their valuation, and the other guys on the Dragons' Den scoff and bow out. None will put...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.