The Georgia Straight presents Vancouver Mural Festival speaker panel: The Social Good of Partying

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      As part of this Saturday’s first-ever Vancouver Mural Festival, a series of three panels featuring muralists, musicians, curators, and other thought leaders will be held at the Fox Cabaret. With so many events taking place as part of the fest—everything from live art and street parties to concerts and gallery presentations—these speaker panels will provide a platform for art enthusiasts and academics alike to discuss the culture surrounding street art in Vancouver.

      Panel 1: The Social Good of Partying, 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., The Fox Cabaret

      Moderated by now-former CBC Radio q host Shad Kabango, this panel will highlight the social and cultural benefits of partying. It’s no secret that Vancouver has come to be known by some as "no-fun city": red tape and a list of more don’ts than do’s make hosting parties rather difficult. As sites of participation and interaction, parties can have the ability to spur social change and create opportunity for community. Panel members will discuss how they are managing to create these circumstances through the art of partying.

      Panelist Ajay Puri.

      Among the list of speakers is facilitator and social movement builder Ajay Puri. Puri has more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit, academic, government and social innovation sectors, and has dedicated a significant amount of time to volunteering for, working with, and providing important scientific research to improve the lives of marginalized populations including at-risk youth, visible minorities, sex workers, and people suffering from mental illness and addictions.

      Panelist Matt Troy.

      Joining him will be event pioneer, curator, and advocate Matt Troy. In addition to producing events throughout the lower mainland in various industrial, commercial, private and public spaces, Troy is the founder and artistic director of the Vancouver Art and Leisure Society, a radical artist-run group devoted to presentation and advocacy for alternative events. He also worked alongside the City of Vancouver to develop the Indoor Arts and Culture program. Last year, Troy's parties were subject to a private investigation alleging drug use, sex, and over-crowding, making international headlines. (Troy is hosting a the Moon Units 0.3 party on Saturday evening at 1965 Main Street.)

      Panelist Nancy Lee.

      Artist and curator Nancy Lee will be the third panel member. Lee's work involves crafting spaces that stimulate behavioral dynamics. A curator of interactions, her works involves observing as much as it involves creativity. Working as a filmmaker before transitioning into new media and installation, Lee’s work has been exhibited through a number of pop-up events held with the Chapel Sound art collective. She recently organized the inaugural Chapel Sound Festival, a three-day affair that included more than 50 artists. (Lee will join the Chapel Sound Collective on Saturday evening at the Anza Club.)

      Panelist Gary Lachance.

      The final panel member, Gary Lachance, is the co-founder of a group that has spent the last seven years touring the world putting on free parties organized and funded solely through social media, and hosted in public spaces. Using an FM transmitter, and iPod, and hundreds of boomboxes, “Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Parties” are described as parties “with no central audio system and no central location”. (You really have to see it to believe it.)