Most people just speak at City Council meetings. I sang!

(Note: song starts about 3 1/2 minutes in.) Well, it just seemed so very apropos. I was signed up to speak in support of the Save the Hollywood Theatre Coalition at the public meeting on Dec. 4, where a new staff  report on ways to save heritage structures was being presented to Vancouver City Council. Just a few hours before, I was discussing this with my colleague Lorne Craig of Unicycle Creative, and somehow, I must have sang a bit of “Hooray for Hollywood”, prompting him to remark, “you should sing your comments”! And I realized… Yes – I should! Writing parody songs is something I do often (and, I think, not badly). And an issue like the restoration and expanded cultural use of the Hollywood Theatre is a subject that’s closely connected with the artistic creativity of the local community. So with 30 minutes to spare before I had to head for City Hall, I got to work, with Lorne tossing out suggested phrases and me furiously typing, editing, deleting and arranging the words. Soon, I had something good! And I decided to cut my comments down a bit (but still include them, as there were important and serious points that I still wanted to make) but to end with the song. I’m happy to say that it worked out beautifully! It brought smiles to the faces of the councillors, and – when I finished – a rousing round of applause from the gallery. And hopefully it helped, along with the dozens of other committed, articulate and passionate speakers that day, to emphasize to Council what a cultural space like the Hollywood Theatre means – and can be – for the community.

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