Five Big Questions We’re Asking in Vancouver


It seems like only yesterday that we were launching this year’s Spur festival in Winnipeg.  But after amazing weekends in Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa, the Spur festival is headed to Vancouver!  We’ll be cutting through the chatter on topics ranging from what is the role of punk in pop culture, to how to manage a political brand.

The common thread of the Spur festival is the value of a longform conversation. We are not afraid to ask big questions of our speakers and audiences. We explore the answers to these questions over a weekend of debates, conversations, book readings, walking tours, literary cabarets, parties and more.

Get your tickets now! And check out five of the big questions we’ll be asking this year in Vancouver from May 22 to 25.

1. What happens when politics get in the way of science?
In Signal & Noise in the Brain, Award-winning journalist and author Chris Turner joins the CBC’s Paolo Pietropaolo to discuss the growing challenge of discerning PR policy press releases from objective scientific research.

2. Should an art gallery show its city’s art to the world, or present art from around the world to its city?
Join curator Grant Arnold, urban designer and former Vancouver Chief Planner Brent Toderian, critic Trevor Boddy director of the Vancouver Public Spaces Network Andrew Pask, and Globe and Mail Western arts correspondent Marsha Lederman for On Galleries, a discussion on the role of the art gallery.

3. What makes a city truly sustainable?
The City of Vancouver has set a bold goal for itself: to be the world’s greenest city by 2020. Join us for This City in Seven Years: My Greenest City, where speakers speakers work through their vision of what it means not just to be green, but the greenest city in the world. Moderated by David Beers, founder of The Tyee.

4. How does the culture we consume influence the culture that is created? 
Find out at our Quantified Culture panel, where cultural data practitioners to discuss their craft with Salon’s Andrew Leonard, CBC Music’s Managing Editor Jonas Woost, and Jentery Sayers, Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Maker Lab in the Humanities. Presented in partnership with SFU Public Square.

5. At what point to urban centres become too big to manage?
50 years ago only 10% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, while as of 2008, over 50% of the world did.  In The World in Seven Years: Movement of People, Taras Grescoe looks down the line to public transit in 2021.

These are only five of the events that we’ve got planned! Check out the full schedule, and come share your thoughts in Vancouver!

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