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Tyee and Arsenal Pulp Press kick-start the holidays

Charles Montgomery, John Vaillant, David Beers, and Frances Bula. "Stop whining Vancouver. We live in a great place," Bula said

Though the weather outside was frightful, the guests at the Tyee - Arsenal Pulp party were delightful company. Vancouver's literati, bloggers and media makers gathered to partake in a little holiday cheer at their Chinatown offices.

With so many literary minds under one roof, David Beers, Tyee Publisher, prepared to seize the opportunity. "We've made it hard to get out of the building. If they want me to unlock the elevator, they have to write a blog item for The Hook," Beers said.

Most guests seemed unaware of his hidden motive.

"It's fantastic that people from the industry are getting together to celebrate and honour journalism," Roberta Staley, magazine writer and editor, said. 

For some, the chance to interact with people instead of their laptops was reason enough to celebrate.

"It's fun to talk to other writers. We don't get out much," Chris Keam, freelance writer, told VO.

The Tyee party received rave reviews from Tyee Contributor Monte Paulson. "This is the second best party I've been to this year," he said.

There were, however, a few disappointments. "The balance between the Raincoast crisps and the inferior, generic crackers was terrible," writer Steve Burgess, said as he gestured at snack platters provided by Arsenal Press. "I didn't even go near the cheese. It leads to socially awkward situations," he said.

If you happen to get stuck in a socially awkward situation this holiday season, involving cheese or not, remember this sage advice from author John Vaillant: "Alcohol is the social great lubricant." 

"Try not to get cornered, but if you do, tell them that you have to go to a book club."

A line that's not entirely unbelievable with this crowd.

Nick Smith, high school teacher and freeland writer; Beth Wilkes, librarian and freelance writer; party crasher; Chris Keam, freelance writer

Ian Hanington, writer and editor; Roberta Staley, magazine writer and editor

"The Tyee is a really important voice. It provides a range of voices and information that you don't find in other media," Ian Hanington, former editor of The Georgia Straight, said of the party hosts.

The beautiful team behind Schema Magazine; Alden Habacon, Founder and Publisher; Beth Hong, Managing Editor; Christina Jung, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Jordana Mah, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Gayatri Bajpai, writer

Adrian Mack, journalist; Gregory Adams, journalist

"The future of journalism could either be really good or really bad," Adrian Mack said. (We hope he doesn't moonlight as a fortune teller or meteorologist.)

Shannon Smart, business assistant; Robyn Smith, copy editor; Justin Everett, guest

"Everyone is really friendly," Justin Everett said. But he's not sure that he wants to join the media crowd. "Then you're talking about your blog at a party and it's really awkward."

Carrie Villeneuve and Debby Reis, Geist Magazine

Elee Kreljii Gardiner; Jordan Able, Prism Magazine poetry editor; Kristin Cheung, Geist Magazine circulation manager

"As a poet who makes no money, it's nice to get free beer," Jordan Able said of the night's festivities. Guests at the Tyee party had two beer options labeled "fun" and "funner." By the looks of the crowd, most people chose the latter.

Writers Charles Demers, Steve Burgess and Charles Campbell

Charles Demers  knows what makes Vancouver special over the holidays. "There's a free skytrain on New Year's Eve."

Robert Ballantyne, associate publisher and Brian Lam, publisher, Arsenal Press

Tyee contributors Colleen Kimmett and Monte Paulson; Chris Grabowski, Tyee photographer

As a parting gift, Tyee Publisher Beers, whose holiday plans include "making a lot of soup," shared a favourite recipe with VO.

Ingredients: Chard, onions, a lot of garlic, chicken broth, garbanzo beans, panchetta.

Instructions: Sauté the onions, garlic and panchetta. Add broth, garbanzo beands and the chard. Simmer for about half an hour. Finish with Bombay Sapphire and a little vermouth. Sprinkle with parmesan. Serve and enjoy.

Thanks Mr. Beers.  With soup yours on the stove, the future promises to be a happy one.

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