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Trampoline Hall is a lecture series with a twist — the speakers don’t always know what they’re talking about. Canadian author Sheila Heti started this experiment in Toronto where it’s been going on for about eight years but this is the first attempt at Trampoline Hall in Vancouver.
The curator for the evening was Veda Hille and she was responsible for choosing the topics that each speaker would lecture on. Topics of past speeches have included the number thirty-two, horse racing, saying goodbye and one series in which speakers were each assigned a member of the curator’s family to discuss. Kevin Chong started the evening with a lecture on fraternal polyandry in Tibet. In turns out that it’s common in Tibetan villages for a woman to marry several brothers to keep land in the family. I didn't know.
The next speech was by well-known psychotherapist Andrew Feldmar who spoke on the topic of cooking from memory. It’s obvious that these lectures work best when the speaker takes a topic and runs with it, including anecdotes, humour and life experience and melding it all into a work of art. Feldmar’s musings on food, memories and desire did that. And he compared his son making a good goulash to patricide.
Finally Faith Moosang had the daunting task of talking on the subject of “Nancy Drew Knows it's Hard to Live in a Terrorized World. She Wants to Help You and She Can.” Wow - where did Veda get these topics? Faith delivered a very funny talk on lessons that can be drawn from the teenage sleuth and how her knowledge can help us all spot criminals and stop them in their tracks.
The whole thing is a pretty neat concept — anyone can give it a try but it’s clear that it’s hard to perform this new art really well. I hope Vancouver will have another chance or that we’ll come up with our own concept even crazier than Trampoline Hall.