Big hearts at the CampOUT gala
Beauty is not only found in art, fashion, nature and faces, and it’s not about facades, textures, and surfaces. Beauty lives inside people, exposed by a simple action or expression of love. And nothing is more beautiful than the act of giving.
Last week, inside the airy downtown residence of John Evans, co-owner of OPUS Hotel, dozens gathered to raise funds for CampOUT, a summer program supported by UBC that encourages queer, trans and allied youth to be themselves, develop leadership skills, build self-esteem, and embrace diversity.
With the walls bulging from our expanded hearts, we listened to the sincere words of John Evans, Louise Cowan, VP Student Services UBC, Fred Lee, Reiko Mackenzie, and Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf and John James Wilson, representing Face of Today. Everyone expressed what the charity means to them, stressing the importance of the program and touching our hearts with warmth.
While nibbling on savoury treats from C Restaurant and drinking wine provided by Sandra Oldfield of Tinhorn Wineries, the crowd showed their generosity by sponsoring multiple campers and bidding on an enticing array of silent auction items. As the moon shone and the sun set, and the sweeping view became more radiant, people exchanged stories and memories of camp and acknowledged their proud association with the cause.
When the evening ended, everyone left with the captivating look of inspiration in their eyes.
Find out more about CampOUT.
Images by Joshua McVeity
~ Sandra O’Connell
Seduction is a science. It’s a formula comprised of calculated and sometimes volatile elements. Biology, chemistry, geometry and psychology intertwine like pairs of long legs wrapped in white sheets. It’s also an art form – a colour-soaked brush caressing objects of desire and an improvised dance choreographed by lust.
Some of us have mastered these skills, fallen prey to them, or aspire to be one of the great seducers of time. Whichever category you fall into, it’s in your best interest to be familiar with the ways of enchantment so you can recognize it or play along with it.
Meet a few seducers from history… and then practice your art in OPUS Bar.
There’s no denying that the luminous Marilyn Monroe had the ability to twirl men around her fingertips with one demure look. She was unquestionably a beautiful woman, but the heart of her seduction lay in her playful attitude towards flirtation and sex. She exuded both in her calculated walk that vibrated across a room and sultry voice that could tickle ears like a feather. Her charming light and energy attracted troops of men, both single and married, and her effervescence lingers on even after death.
“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
Cleopatra’s secret was her power to dazzle men with grand spectacles and theatrical feats. She fed Julius Caesar and Mark Antony with exotic sights, spellbinding them into enchantment. Upon her first meeting with Caesar, she transfixed him with the art of surprise – she presented herself in his chambers rolled up in an opulent carpet on the shoulders of a merchant. Once her targeted men were sufficiently mesmerized, she would feign disinterest only to make them more persistent.
The romantic allure of Casanova reverberated around Europe in the 1700s. He wooed dissatisfied women by whispering sweet words they had never heard before. The seducer snuck in windows, hid in closets, and ran from angry husbands and fathers all in the name of what his victims would call love, but what he merely called lust. He was irresistible simply because he provided a woman with something she subconsciously felt was missing in her life.
And then there’s Jack Nicholson, a man with six children from five different women. If it weren’t for his dark sunglasses, the mischievous sparkle in his eyes could impregnate women with just one glance. Even Jennifer Lawrence fell under the 71 year old’s spell backstage at this year’s Oscars (watch the video).
“I only take Viagra when I’m with more than one woman.” ~ Jack Nicholson
~ Sandra O’Connell
The Intoxications of Coachella
Some may think that the quickest route to intoxication is through vodka martinis or a prohibited substance. But in actual fact, music has the greatest power to morph mental states, bend perspectives, and change moods.
Coachella, held over the past two weekends in Palm Springs, is a mecca for those daring souls who leave themselves vulnerable to music, allowing sounds to twist inside their bodies changing them forever. But it’s not just music that draws people to the desert – it’s a community of people, an eternal runway of fashion that turns on the eyes, and an uninhibited experience never to be forgotten.
Band of Horses, Blur, The XX, Violent Femmes, Hot Chip, Jessie Ware, La Roux, Metric, Moby, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stars, and even Wu-Tang Clan provided a diverse and palatable buffet for the ears.
If you didn’t get the pleasure of feeling the sun on your dance-strained muscles, grass prickling the backs of your legs, or the surprisingly comfortable sensation of thousands of strangers bumping against your bare skin, here are some highlights from the festival…
The most obscure and unexpected collaborations are the most impactful. Phoenix and R. Kelly joined forces in an unbelievable 1901 / Ignition mash up.
Watch the video.
Never believe a band when they say they’re done. Postal Service made their most wished for return with Such Great Heights. (On that note… Dear LCD Soundsystem, please come back quick)
Watch the video.
The Lumineers’ Ho Hey attaches itself to mouths, upturning corners without permission. It is absolutely impossible not to grin when this tune sings.
Watch the video.
Images from Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, Harpers Bazaar.
- Sandra O’Connell
We all have different reasons for permanently marking our bodies. It can be for love lost, love realized, love desired. Tattoos may be a reminder to act or think a certain way – to “believe”, “live without regret” or “breathe”. Ink symbolizes an experience captured forever, or perhaps a decision made in haste or under the influence. And sometimes, the patterns and images are merely art adorning our bodies.
Whatever the reason, tattoos are an expression of you.
Here are a few celebrity tattoos that have caught our discerning eyes.
The melancholically stunning Lana del Rey chose the words “Trust no one” and “Paradise” for her manicured hands.
Angelina Jolie is decorated with several meaningful tattoos. Her shoulder states the beautiful Buddhist Pali incantation written in Khmer script, the language of Cambodia:
May your enemies run far away from you.
If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always.
Your beauty will be that of Apsara.
Wherever you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.
And her upper arm lists the geographical coordinates of her children’s and husband’s birthplaces.
Kate Moss’ anchor tattoo is small yet sweet. A reminder for her to stay tethered to the shore and grounded or to set sail, anchors up?
To symbolize her husband’s love, Victoria Beckham traced her spine with, I am my love’s and my love is mine, who browses among the lilies, in Hebrew.
While we’re on the subject of David Beckham… Is there any better accessory to a white t-shirt than full sleeve tattoos?
The timeline of Johnny Depp’s life is practically written on his body – the regrets and the cherished moments. Ancestral heritage, motherly affection, never forgotten friendships, past and present love, and work memorabilia are all painted upon his skin.
- Sandra O’Connell
At OPUS Hotel we hope to tease you with creativity and caress you with personality. It only seems fitting that with the redesign of our rooms, we should redesign our blog.
Welcome to the new OPUS Hotel blog – a collection of items that tickle our fancy and hopefully yours.
Curated by our OPUS Insider, Sandra O’Connell, the blog will include news from the rooms and bar of OPUS, art, music, fashion, film, and other morsels of the aesthetically and culturally arousing.
Here’s a glimpse of some of our newly redesigned rooms.