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Upcoming: League play 27 April + PushupKucha 29 April

Two League events exploring cooperation…

Sunday 27 April — League play — Prisoner’s Dilemma

“Stuffie Dilemma,” a game developed with Bruce Emmett’s high school students at a League workshop in February 2013

Noon to 2pm at Elm Park

Prisoner’s Dilemma is a conundrum used in game theory to consider situations in which individuals might choose not to cooperate, even if it might be in their best interests to do so.

The protoypical situation: two gang members are arrested for a major crime and kept separated from each other. The police explain to each of them that there is not enough evidence to convict them on the main charge without one of them confessing, but they can both be convicted on a lesser charge. If one confesses, he will be set free and the other convicted for the maximum sentence. If both confess, they will both be convicted, but serve fewer years. If neither defects, they both serve less time on the lesser charge.

Many specific strategies and real-life examples of cooperation and betrayal have been identified as types of prisoners’ dilemma. For this League play day we’ll explore some of them.

League events are free of charge and open to all. We gather to play sports and games as a practice of creative problem solving. Each game, its equipment, its playing field, and its strategies evolve through trial and improvisation. Drop in prepared for action.

Tuesday 29 April — PushupKucha

7pm at Elm Park field house, 5837 Larch Street (map)

PushupKucha is a new active salon concept that plays on the short presentation format, augmenting ideas with practice. Not only do PushupKucha presenters convey their ideas in a few short minutes, but they also include physical audience action.

The first edition of PushupKucha will take place in and around the Elm Park field house on Tuesday 29 April at 7pm.

Presenters tackling questions of cooperation and neighbourliness are:

  • Matt Hern, author of One Game At A Time: Why Sports Matter
  • Adrienne Pierce and Ari Shine, the musician collaborators known as The Royal Oui
  • Justin Langlois of Windsor-based Broken City Lab, a collective whose creative practice leans towards civic change
  • Members of the Mill Community Project concerned with the presently-buried Inglewood “Mill” skatepark in West Vancouver.
  • Nick Boulding, teacher in Take A Hike adventure-based education program for youth at risk.

Audience:  Come prepared for action. Attendance will be limited; join the facebook event here.


December: board game jam

December is board game month at League. The challenge is to invent new board, card, or table games. We can either jam with existing game materials, play-test ideas that individuals bring, or invent new game equipment. The “League Home Edition” kit of parts is available to get ideas rolling.

Work/play in your own groups, or come to one of the open gatherings at the Elm Park field house:

  • Tuesday December 10, 6-8 pm: with special guests R&D Straker, whose Kickstarter-funded board game Escape from Sunset Island: Zombie Apocalypse Simulator is currently in development.
  • Sunday December 15, 3-6 pm: game jam. Amongst other games, we’ll be working/playing on a game relate to moon phases for grunt gallery later that week.

Then come join us to play and for some seasonal festivities at at the grunt‘s  Early Winter Solstice Party on Thursday December 19.

Moon phases

League this week: Kitchen Science, Crowd Studies, Sports Day in Canada

Mushroom Cultivation using Kitchen Science Methods

Tuesday 26 November, 7:00-8:30 pm
Elm Park field house (sold out)

League regular Matthew from Mushboo is leading a workshop on how to cultivate gourmet and medicinal mushrooms using regular kitchen items. This event is for those with an introductory level of knowledge about fungi and mushrooms.

Participants will learn about the mushroom life cycle; simple growing medium preparation; sterilization methods; inoculation (planting) using liquid and dry methods; cloning from a fresh specimen; fungi in your garden; and identifying mushrooms.


FUSE: Crowd Studies at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Art | Music | Performance at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Friday 29 November
8:00 pm to 1:00 am

FUSE is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s late-night art, music and live performance event, always featuring live performances in the gallery spaces, DJs, eclectic gallery tours and unexpected surprises.

“This FUSE brings the sociability of the artist to the forefront, as relationships are built and explored in a variety of site-specific, socially-charged practices that maintain unique relationships to human interaction.”

Watch for League’s participatory game-like scenarios outside and through the galleries, culminating in a session game invention in the fourth-floor gallery.


Sports Day in Canada

Saturday 30 November, 3:00 pm
Kerrisdale Community Centre
5851 West Boulevard, Vancouver

Sports Day in Canada is a national celebration of sport at all levels, from grassroots to high performance, and a change to celebrate the power of sport, build community, and facilitate active living.

For Sports Day in Canada, League’s regular monthly play date moves over to the nearby Kerrisdale Community Centre, to introduce new groups to our style of creative problem-solving through play.

December is board game month at League

The depths of winter is a time for board games. For the month of December League will be running a board-game invention challenge. Some groups will be lent the “League Home Edition” kit of board game parts (developed by League regular Ian), and challenged to come up with a new board game. We’ll gather to play all the new games at our regular League play day at the end of the month. Contact us if you want to borrow the kit, or get together with friends or colleagues to come up with your own.


Upcoming play — 26 + 27 October

Play equipment for League’s recent event, The n Games, Nuit Blanche edition


Saturday 26 October, noon-2:00 at Great Northern Way Campus
Part of Culture + Community event
Access off East 1st Avenue

Sunday 27 October, noon-3:00 at Elm Park
Regular League play day


This weekend League focuses on urban games for groups, with two play events open to all.

Saturday 26 October we participate in Vancouver’s annual Culture + Community symposium, in which citizens, practitioners, and community leaders consider the impact of culture in the urban environment. League’s contribution will be to put action to thoughts, drawing participants out to the Great Northern Way campus for games that make use of that partially rebuilt industrial space. (In case of rain, we will be in the gym of St. Francis Xavier school, across the street.)

Sunday 27 October, our regular play day, we bring those games back to our Elm Park location. As usual, expect the games and equipment to continue to evolve.

League is a community-based art project that gathers people to invent games and play made-up sports as a practice of creative problem-solving, negotiation, and everyday performance. The games, equipment and space all change through play. Our gatherings, on the last Sunday of every month, are free and open to all; bring both body and mind.


The n Games, Nuit Blanche edition

When: 7pm Saturday 5 October to 7am Sunday 6 October
Where:  Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen Street West, Toronto

The n Games is a tournament of invented sports in which players test their teamwork, strategic skills, and adaptability by playing invented games they do not know. This version of The n Games will be presented in the courtyard of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art extravaganza in Toronto.

It will be an ongoing pick-up game involving the audience as participants, as well as local teams such as the Toronto Roller Derby D-VAS. The games to be played will range from vigorous to cerebral, straightforward to strategic, and will ultimately test the players’ abilities to creatively tackle challenges with both mind and body.

The n Games is presented by League, a community-based art project that gathers people to play invented games and sports as a form of creative problem-solving. For the Nuit Blanche edition of The n Games, we have partnered with the Department of Biological Flow experimental research-creation collective.

Advance press

- Sue Carter Flinn, Toronto Life, “Nuit Blanche 2013 Guide: 15 must-see spectacles at Toronto’s eighth annual all-night art crawl”, 30 September 2013.
- Canadian Art, “10 Artists’ Nuit Blanche Tips & Troubles“, 3 October 2013.
- Murray White, Toronto Star, “Nuit Blanche 2013: Shots in the dark“, 3 October 2013.
Jonathan Zettel, CTV Toronto, “Scotiabank Nuit Blanche: 10 things to see at the art-after-dark show“, 4 October 2013.


Germaine’s play report is here.


The n Games Vancouver edition

Were you looking for information about the inaugural Vancouver edition of The n Games this past September? Go here for information about the tournament and here for a tournament report.

Upcoming play — Sunday 29 September — Forage & Feast

Blackberries along the Arbutus rail corridor; public apple trees in Vancouver; the “One red paperclip” barter project; Bean Race 2013.

Forage & Feast

Sunday 29 September
Elm Park field house
Meet for foraging at 1:00 pm
Reconvene to cook and feast from 5:00 pm

Harvest season: a time of abundance, and a time to reconnect with cycles of production and distribution.

Not all urban residents grow food, but we can still use our wits and local knowledge to obtain it. This League play day will end with a feast of locally-sourced food:  ingredients gathered, gleaned, foraged, or bartered-for during the day.

Foraging:  To participate in the food-gathering, meet at the Elm Park field house at 1:00 pm, when we’ll send out teams with maps of possible food sources. Bring your ideas for gleaning sites, as well as non-monetary items that might be useful to trade for food.

Feasting:  Later, from 5:00pm, we’ll reconvene to cook and feast on the urban harvest. All are welcome at either or both parts of the day.

The feast will also mark the end of Bean Race 2013, the meandering but dramatic contest that has been growing in the field house yard since springtime.

This play date is organized in collaboration with Alisha Hackinen, a roller-derby athlete and graduate student in Soil Sciences, and Bean Race contestants Gropp’s Gallery Collective, who operate art residencies and gardens in their micro-Utopia off Main Street.

League is an open group that gathers to play invented games and sports as a practice of creative problem-solving. Our events are free and open to everyone; just bring both body and mind.

Images:  Blackberries along the Arbutus rail corridor, Vancouver; public apple trees in Vancouver; the “One red paperclip” barter project; Bean Race 2013.

Other upcoming League events

  • Tuesday September 24: How To Kickstart workshop (sold out) with Kickstarter’s art director Stephanie Pereira
  • Saturday October 26: League participates in Culture + Community event
  • Sunday October 26: regular League play day at Elm Park


The n Games tournament schedule & results

Go to event page | Read event report


10:00 — Pool x Match 1
Rethink vs Theatre Replacement
Game played: Petri   Winner: Theatre Replacement

10:40 — Pool y Match 1
Roadhouse vs Double Rainbow
Game played: Extra Sensory Proprioception   Winner: Double Rainbow

11:20 — Pool x Match 2
Manhunt! vs Rethink
Game played: Field Pong   Winner: Rethink

12:00 — Pool y Match 2
Daughters of Beer vs Roadhouse

Game played: Petri   Winner: Roadhouse

12:40 — Pool x Match 3
Theatre Replacement vs Manhunt!
Game played: Scrumble   Winner: Manhunt!

13:20 — Pool y Match 3
Double Rainbow vs Daughters of Beer
Game played: Satellites   Winner: Daughters of Beer

Pool x: Manhunt defaults, Theatre Replacement won head-to-head vs Rethink
Pool y: Sudden Death Extra Sensory Proprioception. Results: 1-Double Rainbow, 2-Roadhouse, 3-Daughters of Beer

14:20 — Semi 1 (x 1st place vs y 2nd place)
Theatre Replacement vs Roadhouse
Game played: Whoseball   Winner: Roadhouse

15:00 — Semi 2 (y 1st place vs x 2nd place)
Double Rainbow vs Rethink
Game played: No Look Pass   Winner: Rethink

Consolation (y 3rd place vs x 3rd place)
(not played)

15:40 — Final (winners of Semis)
Rethink vs Roadhouse
Game played: Lotto Rules   Winner: Roadhouse


Pool x

Manhunt! Vancouver


Theatre Replacement






Admins only: update


Upcoming play — 24-25 August — Sportsapalooza

Several upcoming League events…

24-25 August:  Sportsapalooza

Saturday 24 August, 1-5 pm:  League is participating in the Brockton Sportsapalooza component of the city’s Celebrate! Stanley Park weekend. The sports fields at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park will host an extravaganza of local games and sports groups. League will represent with a couple of our evolving games.

Sunday 25 August, 12-3 pm:  The sports weekend continues at our usual Elm Park location. We will be field-testing and adjusting some of the games that might be played at the upcoming League-organized tournament of invented sports, The n Games.

Upcoming at League

Sunday 8 September:  The n Games
League hosts an innovative tournament for teams of varied backgrounds, testing their teamwork, strategic skills and adaptability by playing League-type invented sports. Spectators are welcome.

Tuesday 24 September:  How To Kickstart workshop
Free but limited admission — get your ticket here beginning 26 August
Recently expanded to Canada, Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Join Kickstarter Art Program Director Stephanie Pereira for a primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life.

Late September:  Bean Race 2013 finish
Bean Race has been a slow race to new heights, ongoing in the field house yard since springtime. It’s almost time for a feast to celebrate the winning beans.

Sunday 29 September: League play day



Upcoming 24 September: How To Kickstart

How To Kickstart

Tuesday 24 September
6:00-8:00 pm
Elm Park field house
Admission is free, but limited: get your ticket here

Recently expanded to Canada, Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

Join Kickstarter Art Program Director Stephanie Pereira for a primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life. We’ll take a look at some favourite projects from across the site and discuss how to structure an engaging campaign, what kind of rewards work best, how to spread the word about your project, and other helpful tips.

The workshop will be followed by one of League’s play events, in which participants modify and improvise games as a form of creative problem-solving.

In the news:

Other upcoming League activity:

  • Saturday August 24, noon-5pm: Celebrate! Stanley Park events. League will be playing at the Brockton Sports Fields
  • Sunday August 25, noon-3pm: League play day at Elm Park.
  • Sunday September 8, all day: The n Games, an innovative tournament of invented sports pitting existing sports- and business teams from different backgrounds.
  • Sunday September 29, noon-3pm: League play day at Elm Park.

Upcoming play — Sunday 28 July — walking the (Arbutus) line

Maple Community Garden

For the next League gathering, we will attempt different ways of pacing out, taking in, and exploring a unique urban space — the 11-km-long Arbutus rail corridor. The League challenge is to read a bit about the history below (or much more here), choose your tools, and find your own way to walk the line, with or without others in the group. How will you connect to the space? Will your expedition focus on length or duration, on the bodies of water that anchor the corridor, on the social histories the space embodies, on the things that might grow along the strip, on actions you could enact, or the objects you might find or bring?

When: Sunday 28 July 2013
Where:  Meet at the 1st and Fir Railway Garden at noon
Duration:  as long as it takes
Bring:  any tools you might need

The Arbutus rail corridor

Once upon a time a city gave itself away in order that a great railway might be induced to establish its terminus there.1

Arbutus Corridor, from D.C. Harris report

The Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver is an intact 11 km rail line running north-south between False Creek and the Fraser River. This 50-to-65-foot-wide strip of land condenses many of the histories and issues of land use in the city.

Part of the large parcel of provincial land granted in 1886 to the Canadian Pacific Railroad to induce the company to move its western terminus to Vancouver, it was used for freight and passenger service from 1902 to 1954, then freight only until 2001, when it was abandoned.2

As the CPR prepared to cease operations on the line, the City of Vancouver in 2000 developed an Official Development Plan for the land, protecting it from development and designating it as a multi-use transportation/greenway corridor. The validity of that plan was unsuccessfully challenged by CPR in the BC Court of Appeals.

The corridor passes through traditional First Nations territories: the Musqueam in the southern Fraser River portion, and the Squamish in the northern False Creek area. The northern end of the Arbutus Corridor was extended in 1886 as the CPR expropriated part of the Squamish Indian Reserve No. 6 (False Creek) in order to extend the rail line to English Bay. As directed by the courts in 2002, that portion has been returned to the reserve as it was no longer used for railway purposes. The False Creek Right-of-Way branching from the Arbutus Corridor was acquired by the city in 1996 after a small portion — where Starbucks now stands on 2nd Avenue under the Granville Bridge — was sold to a developer.

The corridor is now marked by growth of all kinds, ranging from several community gardens to overgrown brambles, while varying opinions and proposals about the fate of the strip continue to exist.


1.  W. Playfair, “Vancouver and the Railways,” (June 1911) British Columbia Magazine at 498, cited in Douglas C. Harris, “A Railway, a City, and the Public Regulation of Private Property: CPR v City of Vancouver,” 31 March 2011.
2.  Historical details rely on Douglas C. Harris, “A Railway, a City, and the Public Regulation of Private Property: CPR v City of Vancouver,” 31 March 2011. Link at http://www.law.ualberta.ca/plpr/2011/Harris_Constructive_Taking_2011.pdf.