Nanaimo News Bulletin’s most-clicked arts and entertainment stories of 2023

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Local writers, singers, artists and content creators appear in the top 10 most read articles

1. Pamela Anderson appears nude at Paris Fashion WeekOctober 8

Model, actress and Ladysmith resident Pamela Anderson ditched makeup and embraced her natural look during Paris Fashion Week. From September 25 to October 25. 3, celebrities, models and designers gathered in Paris to showcase the best of modern fashion, and the first Baywatch The star stunned onlookers at the Isabel Marant show on September 28.

“An adventure in Paris with fresh eyes,” Anderson posted on Instagram. “There is beauty in self-acceptance, imperfection and love.”

Actor Jamie Lee Curtis praised Anderson on Instagram, saying “the natural beauty revolution has officially begun.” I am so impressed and overwhelmed by this act of courage and rebellion.

2. Real-Life Nanaimo Murder Case Inspires Author's Latest NovelSeptember 4

A Nanaimo-born writer based his latest work on the mysterious deaths of two teenagers in the 1960s.

Author Kim Blank expressed the idea of ​​writing The Observers Club was hidden until he recently discovered a newspaper clipping in a box containing childhood memories and anecdotes.

“I vaguely remember a secret conversation around our house during the murder (in Nanaimo) of Diane Phipps and her boyfriend Leslie Dixon,” he said in an email to the News Bulletin. “My older sister was very close in age to Diane, whom she also knew a little. It was then more than just a distant news event.

At the time, Blank remembered Nanaimo as a small, fast-growing city where everyone seemed to know everyone, especially in the outlying neighborhoods. The parallels between the real crime and what happens in The Observers Club are both near and far, and the location of the murders – Piper's Lagoon – was where Blank and his family often went swimming. However, the author and resolution of his story differ from the actual crime.

3. Nanaimo writer chronicles criminal life of Ladysmith drug dealerJanuary 4

A Nanaimo author, local historian and investigative journalist has finally published a story that was shelved for up to five years after the death of a notorious Ladysmith drug lord.

Daryl Ashby Nobody's Boy: Ralph Harris – The Northern Connection chronicles the life and criminal activities of Ralph Ross Harris, charged with 13 offenses but never convicted.

As the author suggested, his latest book, published in mid-November, can be seen as a sequel to his previous work, 85 grams: Art Williams – Drug Czarto the extent that Harris assumed the market and production of MDA, the “love drug”, after Williams' disappearance in the late 1970s. Unlike Williams, whom the author describes as someone who hated violence in all its forms, Harris did not hesitate to resort to brutality.

“In fact, he seemed quite prone to deadly violence and seemed to find pleasure in it,” Ashby said.

4. Iconic Canadian rock band April Wine plays in NanaimoJune 10

A Canadian Music Hall of Fame band brought their greatest hits to town in June.

According to a press release, the group April Wine, founded in Halifax, rocked the stage of the Port Theater on June 15 during a tour in Western Canada.

The group enjoyed international success in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing more than 20 albums since 1971 and selling more than 20 million albums worldwide. In 2009, the group received a Lifetime Achievement Award for being a part of Canadian music history for 40 years, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

5. Three-story mural brings color to downtown NanaimoJuly 28

A mural spanning the entire wall of a three-story building was nearing completion in downtown Nanaimo at the end of July.

Artist Mehran Razmpoosh began working on this image a year ago and was at the top of an elevator putting the finishing touches on the mural depicting a scene from the British Columbia coast with orcas, tall trees and coastal mountains.

The art was commissioned by Maike Marnet of Marnet Real Estate Services.

Razmpoosh, originally from Iran but now based in Vancouver, said a number of smaller murals are planned in Nanaimo once the three-story one is completed. He created approximately 100 murals in British Columbia, including 20 in Port Hardy.

6. Nanaimo's Lauren Spencer-Smith receives two Juno nominationsJuly 31

Rising Nanaimo pop star Lauren Spencer-Smith continues to rise as she returns, once again, for “Canada's biggest night of music.”

The 20-year-old was one of five musicians nominated for the coveted Entertainer of the Year award at this year's Junos.

The awards ceremony, broadcast from Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton on March 13, saw Spencer-Smith compete against such prominent names as Michael Bublé, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and Avril Lavigne.

This year's set of nominations was the second time Spencer-Smith's work was recognized by the awards ceremony, as a debut album. Unplugged Vol. 1 was also up for the Adult Contemporary Album of the Year award in 2020.

Last year, she also performed at the Junos in Toronto and appeared on network television for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonAnd Dick Clark's New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2023.

7. All four 'Canada's Got Talent' judges say yes to Latzville singer Raymond SalgadoApril 12

Raymond Salgado of Lantzville was one of the best in the Canada has talent the judges have heard.

The 25-year-old singer appeared in front of Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Kardinal Offishall and Trish Stratus on the April 11 episode of the national reality TV show and stunned all four judges with his vocal skills. Salgado showed off his talent on the OLG stage at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls and sang Heaven by Bryan Adams, earning four “yes” across the board and a standing ovation.

On social media, the singer posted a video showing him enthusiastically celebrating his win with host Lindsay Ell, and wrote that he considers it a “full circle” moment he dreams of since he was a child.

8. Diana Krall shows up for surprise performance at Nanaimo Jazz FestivalSeptember 18

A surprise appearance stunned audiences at the Port Theater in September during a special tribute performance.

While groovy tunes and a funky New Orleans vibe could be seen and heard downtown during the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival, September 15-17, the highlight was a performance by the superstar jazz Diana Krall.

Krall appeared at the Port Theater on September 16 in a star-studded concert honoring his beloved musical mentor Bryan Stovell.

Reportedly, “the air pressure dropped from all the panting” as Krall crossed the stage to kiss Stovell. She handed him a small stack of records that she had borrowed and kept “under her bed for 30 years,” before performing her song How Deep is the Ocean.

The all-star concert also included performances by the Connor Stewart Sextet, Decadence and the Nanaimo Musicians' Association Big Band. The Wellington Jazz Band provided pre-show music in the lobby.

9. Vancouver Island TikToker aims for the stars with “retro-futuristic” aestheticJuly 21

A Central Island woman has created an “unrealistic aesthetic” and in doing so, built a following on social media.

Bianca Blakney, 26, known online as Pinup Pixie, is a social media personality and cosplay content creator from Nanaimo-Ladysmith, known for her retro-inspired short cosplay.

The origins of her platform began about seven years ago when she met and became friends with Sarah Bowman, of Sarah Bowman Portraits, who offered to host a free photo shoot for the fantasy cosplayer from the time. At the time, Blakney said she agreed to the photo shoot to distract herself from the death of a family member.

Three years later, in 2019, that's when she really started promoting content in hopes of making a name for herself after noticing the rise of other influencers. Since these humble beginnings, Blakney has amassed nearly 12 million followers on TikTok and over 433,000 followers on Instagram.

ten. Island dance duo Funkanometry compete in Nanaimo Dance BattleFebruary 23

The beats were pumping and the crowd was jumping at a Nanaimo dance studio in February during a freestyle competition.

Vibrant Dance Studio was at capacity and saw several dozen competitors during its 11th annual BattleZone from February 17-19. Midway through the two-day battle, studio owner and director Serra Stewart said BattleZone also featured special performances, including those from Vancouver Island's Carlow Rush and Funkanometry's Jacksun Fryer.

Stewart said the competition was born out of a passion project about 12 years ago when her studio's dance instructor, AJ (Megaman) Kambere, proposed the idea. Since then, Kambere has been the driving force behind this annual event. This year's battle was especially special since it was Kambere's last before he leaves to pursue a degree in the medical field, although Stewart noted that Vibe intends to continue hosting BattleZone competitions.

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