Letter from the Editor
Parents. We all have them. Some nurture, sculpt, and encourage. Others scold, berate, and dissapoint. At the end of the day, they all teach us life lessons in some semblance. Here at PrevailPrevail.com, our parent company, Bloodtype Media, emphatically falls under the former. As the co-founder, I am proud to announce the arrival of the literary division of our team's influential company and the official debut of a writer we are ushering into the family fold: The Arachni. As we gear up for the launch of The Arachni's upcoming 8 volumes of work, set to hit the streets in 2015, our collective creative mind is buzzing with anticipation.
Our mantra at Bloodtype Media is: " Fight For Your Write. " We feel this embodies the spirit necessary to encourage our authors to strive for what they believe in. Our goal is to unite a community of writers that produce works under a chosen pen name, thus creating a protective barrier of anomynity. In short, the readers of said works are presented strictly with the written words to affect an opinion. We aim to let the works truly speak for themselves and be judged purely on what has been scribed. Our excitment level is electric and we hope you will enjoy the upcoming projects as much as we do.
In the land of PrevailPrevail.com, we are also lining up some impactful projects that we have been ideating for some time. A new segment will feature artists of all media who are well deserving of having a spotlight shone upon their works. From photography, to painting, to sculpting and more, we look forward to highlighting some of the talented creators we are privileged enough to know. As I have said before, video content is also paramount for us, and I can't wait to get the Dynamic Duos project underway and out to the world. The Tete A Tete Series has been re-envisioned and the floodgates of possibility are open and rushing with momentum.
Last year was very big for us as a team and we are continually adding talented and passionate contributors to the mix. There has even been talk about orchestrating a podcast where we will have the chance to sit down and talk about topics of importance and influence with people whose voices we appreciate and whose opinions we respect. As we start flipping pages on the calendar and inch towards the Spring and Summer months, we are also exploring wine and food tastings with some of the citiy's most distinguished Sommeliers and Chefs. As we have learned, though, all things in due time.
Allow me to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to all the likeminded entities in our city that have pioneered and spearheaded the world of online and print publications. You inspire us here at PrevailPrevail and we hope to continue our contribution in making Vancouver a more robust place to live in, explore, and champion. Knowledge is power and we strive to teach through continuos learning. Happy New Year to all and let's make 2015 one to remember!
This year has been awesome! A big upswing in readership, new contibutors, fresh content:all this makes us here at PrevailPrevail happy little elves. As we get into the holiday spirit, we will be giving the gift of words, sounds and, thoughts. Our outlook is expanding every calendar year and 2015 is set to be our biggest yet. Without foresahdowing too much, we are aiming for a retail component some time late Spring early Summer. This will be all original limted edition pieces we will colloborate on with various artists. The items will range from household goods to body care products to fashion accessories and more. We have been working on this ideation for some time now and I think we finally have a good path to embark upon. More than anything, we want to offer products that are not only beautiful but above all, functional.
You may have also noticed an improvement in the quality of the Tete A Tete Series. Our new video maestro is not only young and hungry, he is also highly capable and enthusiastic, two qualities we here at the magazine herald. We have decided to hold off on Dynamic Duos until the new year but trust me, it will happen. And when it does, it's going to be full of good food, interesting people and great pairings.
All around the mirror on the back of my door, I have quotes written on recipe cards and they keep me inspired each day. The newest one, "Content is King. But quality rules all." I have tried to focus in on this lately and make sure we are keeping our quality control in line. I am proud to say, in the recent months, we have really started to find our groove. We have started throwing more events, I have been in the fortuitous position to host a variety of fundraisers and soirees, we have added many talented new contributors, and I am so proud to be a new contributor for Montecristo Magazine – a true blessing. As they say, "The Devil's in the details!" This is emphatically true for our team. Through team building and the occasional staff appreciation events during the year, we have become closer as friends and confidants. This approach to bonding has allowed us to focus on a common goal. With all this firepower in one crew, we aim to make 2015 a memorable year. All in all, what I'm really getting at is: Boost up those around you, you never know when you might need a helping hand in turn. And at the core of it all, isn't that what these Holidays are about? Giving, but being willing to recieve a gift as well?
Have an amazing, fun filled, food and beverage abounding, designated driving, snowman building, make sure you have enough eggnogging, family time spending Holiday Season!
De La Soul got it right when they said, "3 Is The Magic Number!" This month marks the 3rd year anniversary of the site. The family at PrevailPrevail has been learning, listening and learning some more over the past few years. I am so proud of the team for their collective efforts and I can't wait for the future plans to unfold. It has been truly amazing to be part of a new adventure and be able to add to the toolkit of creativity. The site has been a huge pivoting point for me and I couldn't imagine life without it.
As you have surely noticed, we now have a whole new look. We love to keep it fresh each year and reinvigorate the platform. This new set up will allow us a new range options and I'm excited to start adapting different content. The Tete-a-Tete Series is back, and there will be some great new interviews in the coming months. We have also given the over all presentation a reboot, making it cleaner and sleeker.
Opportunities that I never imagined possible are arising. The site is a constantly changing canvas that allows us to create and celebrate a variety of different perspectives. This year one of the new categories we are really excited about is Travel & Gravel, a section dedicated to world wide excursions and a range of driving experiences. We have some great contributors lined up for it and I look forward to being able to share their stories with you.
As we enter year three, there's a real sense of direction here at PrevailPrevail. Everyone on the team is starting to hone their crafts and define themselves in their roles. We went into it knowing only that we would work and learn along the way, as a team. Your readership has been the guiding light; it has shown us what's possible and encourages us to always raise the bar. On behalf of myself and the PrevailPrevail family, thank you for your ongoing support and feedback. We hope you enjoy the new look and content, and stay tuned for more. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some digital birthday candles to blow out.
What a month! Being in Australia for two weeks was a great reconnection to one of my favourite places on the planet. I had most of my free time in the wonderfully mysterious city of Melbourne and the secrets of the lane ways and streets unfolded with all the charm one could hope for. I will have a video montage later this month to highlight all the sights and sounds I experienced, including two of the best dinners I have ever had in my life.
October also marks a personal achievement for me in that I am honoured to become one of the proud online contributors for Montecristo Magazine, a publication that has become the benchmark for informative and quality lifestyle editorial. I will be the first to admit that I will be learning as I go. But my thirst to become a better writer is paramount and under the tutelage of Montecristo's expert understanding, I couldn't be in better hands. Look for my debut article this month and assuredly we will be blasting all our collective social media links.
This will also be the last month of our current look for PrevailPrevail. As always, on our birthday, (can you believe it's already been two years?), we buy ourselves a different working template. This keeps it exciting for us and hopefully for you as well. Not only are we switching up the aesthetic, we will also be welcoming new contributors into the fold. My last project is to get Dynamic Duos shot, edited and into the very capable hands of my producer friend to start shopping the sizzle reel.
As we travel along this road of online media, it's all starting to make more sense. After making some hard decisions and re-envisioning the vast potential we have here, it all comes back around to something we echoed from the offset: Without you guys reading and checking in daily to see what we're up to, this is all for not. I am inspired by what we have created together and look forward to the what the future may hold.
Enjoy the month my friends and I will touch base again in November, when we reveal our new look!
After last month, in which I experienced everyting from new creative opportunities, to being a groomsman, to boating, to Diner et Blanc and the power of Shakespeare, I am coming into September with a fulll head of steam and a whole lot of creative juices. To summarize ( in reverse order ): My girlfriend and I attended a stellar performance of The Tempest at Bard on The Beach. The acting, the costumes and, of course, the backdrop, were all perfect. It always hits me when I see a Shakespeare play, "This is writing at it's finest." I will eloborate more on the legendary evening known as Diner et Blanc in my highlight feature below. (please see below for 'A Hawks Eye View' ). Now to boating. We were lucky enough to spend 5 days on a friend's boat, cruising around the coast and taking in some B.C. summer. We ate, we swam, we camped. It was pure magic. Speaking of magic, I was on the shores of Michigan's famed Lake Leelanau last week for my friends' wedding. Two amazing people brought together a crew of other amazing people. I was honoured to be a Groomsman. (Love you guys!) And the creative opportunity I mentioned? I can't let it out yet, but it's a game changer and defitinely one of the reasons I am so excited about September.
When I had a chance to process all these recent events, I came to realize how many influential things are going on around me. Daily I'm reminded that the creative process doesn't work on a constant. It's a flux of ideas, an exchange of thoughts and a whirlwind of energy. We often tell oursleves that 'It is what it is' and let that be a catch all phrase for things we don't undersatnd or can't control. And ceratinly there are events outside of our influence, but when it comes to creating and inventing, not understanding it is more than just a part of the learning process. It is the learnig process.
I had a lot of great moments this Summer. I learned how to start an outboard motor, I witnessed two dear friends excahnge vows, I even learned how to dive. All of which were rewarding and unique. As we get ready for the thrid season of this calender year, no matter where you are, keep an open mind, I find it can also help you keep an open heart.
A HAWKS EYE VIEW
When my dear friend and Absolut Elyx Brand Ambassador, Jacob Sweetapple, invited my girlfriend and I to join he and his team at The Hawksworth Table for this year's Diner et Blanc, J'ai sauté de joie. As he always does, Jacob upped the ante and said he could get me in the door at the very exclusive pre-party, held in the restaurant's sleek lounge. Then, quite unexpectadly, we got an even further extension of hospitality when Tyson Villeneuve, one half of The Socail Concierge,the events' producers, granted PrevailPrevail exclusive media coverage for the pre-soiree. It was awesomee to see our photographer Charles have carte blanche and snap away at will.
I enjoyed a Sidecar while we waited for the speech which was to take place upstairs just before the transportaion arrived. A few minutes later people started filtering up the staircase and gathered in, fittingly enough, an almost all white room, part of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Chad Clark, the dignified G.M. at Hawksworth, delivered a great speech, including what to do before and after you got on one of the handful of buses that were to whisk us away to our secret destination. The vibe on our carriage was awesome. You could feel the genuine excitement in the air, especailly from those who were experiencing Diner et Blanc for the first time. When we arrived at David Lam Park, and mingled our way to our section, the tables were set to perfection. They were the only things constant in a shifting sea of white. When the food came I was blown away by the presentation. When I tasted it I loved it even more. I will leave the description of the menu up to one of the brigade to describe:
After dinner we danced, drank some wine and enjoyed the amazing atmosphere. Another special event by The Social Concierge that brought the city to a better understanding of each other and our unlimited potential. And for those in The Hawksworth section it was all while being able to enjoy some of the best food Vancouver has to offer. There is something unspoken that boosts the community spirit at events of that magnitude. The pure fact that 3500 people can eat, drink, and mingle together, outdoors, and all while wearing white from head to toe, is a form of bonding in itself. Our section was full of fun characters and it made for a great night. In a twist of irony, my girlfriend, a friend and his date, all went out for a nightcap. We sat down and ordered a round of sangria. Only seconds earlier my buddy was telling me how amazed he was that I hadn't spilled anything on my outfit, when he went to move his glass, it tipped over, smashed and spilled all over me. With red wine all over my Diner et Blanc outfit; somewhere in France I knew someone would have been proud.
Yes, Summer! I'm writing this leditor from my friend's boat as we prepare for our second trip in two days. Up to Indian Arm, then off to Alexandra Island. We BBQ'd, we swam, we had a blast. And that is what this time if year is all about. Friends, sunshine, laughter and, a bit of splashing around. Last week was all about Brohm Lake and backgammon. As B.C. Summers go, this is a classic!
From the masters of entertainment, The Social Concierge, we rocked the Deighton Cup last weekend: a Vancouver staple that sees the community get decked out and bet on the ponies, all while enjoying live music and adult beverages. This was followed the next day by a staff appreciation BBQ for the PrevailPrevail family. The end of last month was epic!
This month has started with a bang too. After welcoming two new contributors into the fold, we have grand plans for expanding the site. Farzana will head up video content for Health & Wealth and, Alex will add to the compendium of Happy Hour through the scope of Sommelier extraordinaire. Exciting times abound!
As the sun starts to set earlier each day, take advantage my friends, get outside, kick it with your people and soak it all in. Eat, drink and, be merry. Speaking of which, we are slated to shoot Dynamic Duos at the end of this month and, I'm very hype on the concept of being able to bring the worlds of food and beverage together in a new way. Plus, Dave has a personality that is going to shine on camera, the combo of the two of us should be pretty entertaining.
Well, the Captain has just given orders for us to "Set Sail", so off we go! As we head off into the horizon, I am going to take this day to spend time with some of my closest friends, and, if I may, I suggest you do the same. And remember, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated, the rays of Summer can be powerfully awesome!
Photos by: Tobin Smith / Marc Andrew Photography
Whirlwind. Cyclone. Tornado. The spring/summer tour season has come and gone and, although extremely successful, it wasn’t without it’s hurdles. I was in the cloud of tour manager mode while also wearing the entertainers hat and it made it hard to focus outside of my immediate tasks. I knew in my heart I should have found more time to pay attention to the site. Thankfully we have an amazing team here and my absence was well accounted for.
The re-launch of Prev Ale was extremely well received and we have sold almost all 7,200 bottles that were available, helping to raise a very respectable sum for Music Heals. VCBW was a classic this year, as the market expands and grows, Vancouver Craft Beer Week leads the way and allows for vendors old and new to display their wares.
I also had a chance to run the Scotiabank 5K for Music Heals a few weeks ago and, I don’t want to boast but numbers don’t lie, I came first in my age group and topped out at 25th position over all. I was honestly pretty stoked, but very sore and stiff for the three days that followed!
Now that I’m back we here at PrevailPrevail are on re-build. We have taken a hard look at what’s happening and every month the picture becomes more clear. I’m proud to say we are on pace with providing new and original content almost daily, something we set out to achieve in the New Year. And with Dynamic Duo’s on the up and coming schedule, we look to expand on one of our favourite topics, food and beverage.
So stay tuned for more goodness in the coming weeks, months and years! We knew when we launched the site it was going to be a constant learning curve, an ever developing landscape and most of all, straight up fun. All these things and more are true and we are more excited than ever to unleash our combined projects and continue to grow, learn and most importantly, listen. Thank you for your time and enjoy the rays of July. Until next month, adieu!
Photos by: Marc Andrew Photography.
On the road again! I’m writing this from my hotel room on tour and the hectic day to day of being not only an entertainer but also wearing the tour manager hat is, needless to say, adventurous. But fulfilling. I have learned how to manage time, money and relationships better. I have come to understand the needs of individuals and the importance of communication. All these lessons are making me more open minded and I am trying to apply what I have learned to PrevailPrevail. Case in point, this month is shaping up to be a turning point in my life. Let me explain in point form:
1- PrevailPrevail teams up with The Westender to bring you a cross collaborative effort that includes editorials ranging from music ( I was blessed to interview Bramwell Tovey, Conductor and Music Director for The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) to travel ( Go Graziano Go ) to cocktails ( Mr. Sweetapple does it again ) to driving ( Thank you Izzam and Regency Lexus and our version of The Stig, CJ ). PS- I am also going to be featured on the Westender cover in an artistic rendition of an iconic classic!
2- As the proverbial poster boy for Vancouver Craft Beer Week, we were able to re-introduce the Prev Ale, with partial proceeds going to Music Heals, a charity of which I am proud to be an ambassador. The wonderful people at VCBW ( what up Chris B ) brought together the powerhouse Brewmasters from Phillips and Central City to create a 7% California Common that I can’t wait to sample and especially can’t wait to offer to the public ( but only those who are of age ;). It will be available in Government Liquor stores in B.C. and on tap around Vancouver. Even better, it stands to raise a whack of dough for those in need of music therapy!
3- I have to admit, I’m so very proud of our team at the zine for helping to deliver one of my New Years Resolutio’ns in terms of providing new content daily ( at least every second day but we are getting closer ). Our amazing crew of contributors is really starting to gel and I love the direction of our articles. By allowing our writers to speak from the heart, we have collectively created a platform of truth and honesty and for that I am forever grateful.
4- On a personal note, I am experiencing my first cleanse and, I must say “What a trip!” I have always been cognizant of what I put in my body but this approach has really opened my eyes to the benefits of healthy eating. More energy, better decision making and a positive outlook on life have all come to the forefront in a very profound way.
Put all these elements and opportunities in the churner and the result is summed in one word, INSPIRATION! I hope you are all in a good place right now and if you are struggling a bit, as we all do sometimes, please remember this: There is always room for self empowerment which leads to self improvement. Be motivated by those around you and kick that energy back out to the world – you’ll be amazed at the results! Be well my people and thank you for your youness. ( I’m a rapper, I can make up words if want to:)
Photos by: Charles Zuckerman.
Get ready for the relaunch of the Prev Ale as the feature beer for VCBW with, 7200 bottles going to Government Liquor stores all across B.C. in the hope that we can raise as much as we can for Music Heals as the charity foundation? Check. Start the writing and editing process for our guest collaborative issue with the good folks at the Westender? Check. Hire media guru Pam Groberman as our publicist to take things to the next level? Check. Have fun with all of it and stay focused on future projects? Check. Ok, so my Spring list is almost done and all the check marks are encouraging indeed. Don’t worry closet, your next!
I always find this time of year to offer itself as a great vantage point. A few weeks have been peeled off the calendar, there are still 8 months to line up the rest of your plans, and the weather is starting to become more agreeable. The trees that I view from my patio are starting to get a little colour, ladybugs and other vibrant insects are coming back into the fold, and the ‘bigger picture’ is starting to take form. What now? More work, more collabos, more exciting opportunities.
Last month we teamed up with The Social Concierge and were the main media sponsors for Duelling Arts: A 17th Century-themed fencing tournament complete with the voices of Vancouver Opera, the professional athletes from Academie Duello, and all of this goodness presented inside the luxurious setting of The Vancouver Club! Things are happening. The last few days I had to take a step back and put everything in perspective. Are they happening too fast, or not fast enough? The answer I came to: they are happening exactly as they should be. One of the things I have learned as an entertainer is that once you put your creative works out to the world, they will morph and grow before your very eyes. It’s how you respond that counts.
So how do we respond? By sticking to our original process. Continue to expand and absorb, continue to listen and hone our collective craft of constructing quality material, and continue to continue. Any entrepreneur will tell you that part of success is following your predetermined path, the other half is to forget that you have a destination and pay attention to the signs on the road that help navigate your journey. Learn to learn and things become more effective.
A big shout out to my brother Mike Graziano of Global Degree, who’s story has inspired me tremendously. As he attempts to become the youngest North American to travel to all the U.N. recognized countries, we have been having a blast putting things in motion and trying to get him as much press exposure as we can. As he discovers his path, it has inspired me to keep on task, and continue to trail blaze my own course. In short, always listen to your instincts; they have your best interests in mind.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!!
I ran into an old friend yesterday. I hadn’t seen him since his wife passed away a number of years ago. She was a wonderful woman and the graces of the family extended to all who came in contact with them. In fact, to this day I still use the recipe for brussel sprouts she taught me one year over Christmas dinner. While speaking with my friend, it hit me: the fragility of life is real. We are here, we input, and then we are extracted. You often hear, ” It’s about leaving a legacy.” I agree, in part. For me, the other part of it is creating memories.
My friend had a big smile on his face when he spoke of his late wife; it was a smile full of cheer. You could tell it was a reflection of the great times they had had together. The fact that he could share his memories with someone who had also been touched by her energy was charged with positivity. As humans we feel remorse and sadness and a need to grieve, but we also recognize that celebrating someone’s life is just as important, if not more so.
As Spring approaches, look to life cycles in nature. Flowers are soon to start their initial blooming process, mystical creatures are waking up from their Winter slumber, and I’ve already got some Ladybugs flying around my apartment! Rebirth is natural. As an emcee, I have been trying to expand my boundaries and this month I am hosting B.C. Veggie Day at the Vancouver Art Gallery. More public speaking gigs and event hosting make me a better entertainer. Just because you were born with a certain affinity towards something, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to work on your skill set!
This month we are letting nature take it’s course and ramping up our output! We are glad to announce the contributions of New York Times Best Selling Author Chris Ryan ( Sex At Dawn ) and local foodie superstar Emily Caulfield of The Fat Pigs. We are also co-sponsoring our first soiree with The Social Concierge at The Vancouver Club called Dueling Arts. The more we start to celebrate our creativity and our nature to create memories, the better we become as a team. I thank you all for your ongoing support – it has truly allowed us to realize our potential and how very badly we want to share what we have learned, in hopes that one day, someones face lights up when they speak about our legacy.
PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!