The Straight's 10 best videos of 2016

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      This time of year is supposedly all about keeping up with traditions.

      With that sentiment in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to follow last year's post with the second annual round up of video features created by the Straight.

      In addition to video elements that went hand-in-hand with written stories, this year brought a few brand new reoccuring video features, related to everything from the way artists in Vancouver live (Open House) to how bartenders in the city mix up their favourite cocktails (Straight, No Chaser).

      In no particular order, here are 10 features that stood out among the catalogue of nearly 100 videos produced by the Straight in 2016.

      Movie riffers Eric Fell and Patrick Maliha are two thirds of the Gentlemen Hecklers. In February, the Straight interviewed them about their upcoming appearance at JFL Northwest.
      Amanda Siebert

      JFL Northwest: The Gentlemen Hecklers

      Ahead of their JFL Northwest apperance in February, Eric Fell and Patrick Maliha provided me with more blooper-appropriate footage than I could ignore. Their on-camera antics and off-the-cuff hilarity made for one of the funniest interviews I've had the pleasure of filming. Trying to stifle laughter and finding space between their jokes to ask questions may have been difficult, but nine months later, it still gets a few chuckles.

      Watch Straight staffer Amanda Siebert try not to poop her pants as she flies high with the Breitling Jet Team during the Abbotsford Air Show in August 2016.
      Amanda Siebert

      Flying High with the Breitling Jet Team

      It began with a last-minute request the day before this video was shot: editor Charlie Smith asked me if I'd be interested in making a trip out to the Fraser Valley to preview the annual Abbotsford Air Show. I had no idea what I was in for, but I agreed. After a quick safety briefing with the Breitling Jet Team and an introduction to one of seven French pilots who would be taking myself and other members of media on the ride of a lifetime, I was airborne. Save for a few near black-outs, I survived.

      It might be hard to believe, but this video proves it: Watch as Adrian Crook shows the Straight around his three-bedroom Yaletown condo, where he lives with his five children.
      Amanda Siebert

      Open House: Five kids in one condo at Adrian Crook's Yaletown pad

      The second instalment in our series that takes a look inside the homes of Vancouver's creatives, this edition of Open House surprised a lot of people on social media. Video game consultant Adrian Crook embraces a minimalist lifestyle in his Yaletown condo, where he lives with his five children. It might sound impossible, but Crook makes it look downright easy.

      The Union Street EcoHeritage project transformed two heritage homes into seven separate LEED Platinum-certified housing units.
      Amanda Siebert

      Inside the Union Street EcoHeritage Project

      It's a housing project that has surely spurred real estate envy in more than a few Vanouverites: When Dick Hellofs and Karli Gillespie set out to find a home that struck an equal balance between heritage status and sustainability, their search quickly came up short. In this video, they chat with Shape Architecture's Nick Sully about the important details of this eco-friendly development and the work that went it to creating it.

      The Straight talked to the one and only Tommy Chong at the International Cannabis Business Conference in October. 
      Amanda Siebert

      Tommy Chong on pot's role in history and being back in Vancouver

      When a media representative asks if you want to chat with legendary pot advocate and comedian Tommy Chong in his hotel room, there are no second thoughts—only frantic nodding. (I reserve the right to be starstuck once a year. Last year, it was Raekwon.) Ahead of his appearance at the Interntional Cannabis Business Conference, I had five minutes to chat with Chong about weed, comedy, and Vancouver.

      In April, the Georgia Straight took a trip out on the (other) Georgia Strait to learn from fishing guide Jason Assonitis.
      Amanda Siebert

      The Urban Angler

      I'm not much of an early riser, but if fishing's on the itinerary, count me in. In April, I took a short trip with Bon Chovy Fishing's Jason Assonitis to find out what it takes to catch chinook salmon in the waters surrounding Vancouver. The veteran fishing guide showed me that you don't have to travel far to feel like you've left the city completely.

      Tattooer Bart Willis travels back and forth between his shop in Texas and the coast of British Columbia every year. We interviewed Willis about his tattoos, his travels, and his favourite artist.
      Amanda Siebert

      Who Did Your Ink?: Bart Willis

      When the Straight's Janet McDonald asked me to film an interview for her weekly tattoo feature, my answer was a resounding 'yes'. We talked to renowned tattoer Bart Willis during his visit to Strathcona Tattoo. He shared some great stories about his Japanese body suit, his favourite tattoo artist, and his obsession with Moby Dick.

      When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion on November 29, Vancouverites were quick to act. This protest was hosted that evening outside Vancouver's CBC headquarters.
      Amanda Siebert

      Bob Chamberlin speaks at November 29 protest against Kinder Morgan decision 

      When a group of enviornmentally minded Vancouverites made their way down to the CBC headquarters on November 29, Bob Chamberlin was there to rally the group together in peaceful display against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion. The vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs had some choice words for our federal leader.

      Laurence Paul Yuxweluptun's Unceded Territories exhibit gave rise to an important question: If given the opportunity, what would you rename B.C.?
      Amanda Siebert

      Rename B.C.: What would you name our province?

      This joint effort by the Straight and the Museum of Anthropology asks visitors to Laurence Paul Yuxweluptun's Unceded Territories exhibit a question that few were prepared to answer: Given the opportunity to rename it, what should replace the name of 'British Columbia'? 

      Overdose Prevention Society Founder and frontline worker Sarah Blyth speaks to the Straight outside one of two overdose tents, when the interview is interrupted by an overdose.
      Amanda Siebert

      On the Front Lines of the Overdose Crisis: Sarah Blyth

      Part of a multimedia feature spearheaded by the Straight's Travis Lupick, this video needs little introduction. As we spoke with Blyth outside of one of two tents set up by her and her team, an overdose occurred just meters behind us. Blyth sums up the situation accurately: "You cannot understand unless you see for yourself what is going on."