New TripAdvisor Accolades for Waikoloa Beach Resort

TripAdvisor.com, the world’s largest travel site, has ranked Waikoloa Beach Resort as 7th on its list of “Top U.S. Destinations for Vacation Rental Stays.” Based on TripAdvisor reviews, the luxury Kohala Coast resort bested Las Vegas, Nevada and two other Hawaii destinations.  Hilton 1

Along with the Top 10 list, TripAdvisor also published results of its recent survey of 1,800 travelers. According to that study, 59 percent of participants plan to stay at a vacation rental this year. Vacationers value cost-savings, space and quality amenities, and place a high priority on having a kitchen.

Hilton 2“Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular as more travelers discover the outstanding amenities, comfort, and value a rental can offer,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “With summer the most popular time for vacation rental stays, savvy travelers should book early for the best options.”  Hilton Waikoloa Village Skyview

With a wide range of vacation rental units within its 1,350 acre boundaries, as well as 30+ dining options, two shopping centers, two golf courses, two resort hotels and a full schedule of entertainment and activities, Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned recognition as one of Hawaii’s top destinations. Last December, the property was ranked 8th on TripAdvisor’s list of “Destinations on the Rise” in the United States.

If you look closely you can see a hot tub in the cave pool

If you look closely you can see a hot tub in the cave pool

“To be named on two significant TripAdvisor lists in such a short time is very exciting for us,” said Scott Head, Vice President of Resort Operations. “We have worked hard to create a Waikoloa Beach Resort experience that works well for visitors, island residents, resort homeowners and vacation rental guests as well.  This kind of recognition shows that offering a variety of excellent choices in dining, shopping, golf, activities and accommodations are a formula that works, that people enjoy and are happy to visit again.”

Hawaii – A Time Lapse Film of Mark Twain’s Favorite Island

Hawaii – A timelapse film of Mark Twain's favorite islands from Matt Johnson @ WhoIsMatt.com on Vimeo.

“Hawaii: No alien land in all the world has any deep strong charm for me but that one, no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done.

For me the balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surfbeat is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud wrack; I can feel the spirit of its wildland solitudes, I can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.

It is the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.”

Mark Twain

Filmed and Edited by Matt Johnson: whoismatt.com
Music by Sleeping At Last: sleepingatlast.com/
Narration by Stan Robinowitz: voices.com/people/stanrobinowitz

Read more and download in HD at: whoismatt.com/hawaiitimelapse

23rd Annual Hawaiian Family afFAIR at UH Hilo

The 23rd annual Hawaiian Family AfFAIR at University of Hawaii Hilo happens this weekend.
2015 Family Affair

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid Announces Official 2015 Film Selections

Now in its tenth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its 50 Official Selections, to be screened May 21-25, 2015. BIFF, the “talk story” film festival is a celebration of films and filmmaking in a luxury resort setting.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

A busy five-day schedule includes free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, plus a new food event, “Taste of the Movies,” on Friday, May 22, to honor BIFF’s tenth anniversary with ten top chefs presenting movie-themed cuisine. At The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, film buffs enjoy daytime movies and nightly double features with no-host bar and pupus, plus celebrity social events, workshops and more. Closing night Best of the Fest features The Rough Riders in concert: Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland—all three BIFF alumni.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

The lineup of new, independent narrative films includes 13 made in the state, six from Hawai‘i Island itself. Returning to BIFF with a new sci fi thriller, Cousins Brothers Productions of Honoka‘a will present “Hangar 52 ‘We Are Not Alone.’”
Hangar52

Kona filmmakers represent, with the new feature “Project Z” by Richard Gonzalez and the short family film “Lost Dog” by Rockwood; both longtime BIFF alumni and supporters.

“2015 is shaping up to be a great year for short films, as well as our usual fine crop of feature films. The quality is outstanding,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “A short film only has 30 minutes or less to tell its story. It is an art of filmmaking that requires special skills. It’s not easy to do.”

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

Other Hawaii-made shorts include “Līhau’s Journey,” starring Leiomalama Solomon and directed by Ari Bernstein of Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, set in the spectacular Waimea countryside, Willy Navarro’s new work “Projection” and, from Oahu, Erin Lau presents “Day Pass,” filmed on Hawai‘i Island. From Maui, Brian Kohne and the Believers of Nonsense present the world premier of their animated short, “Nothing Goin’ On But the Rent.” And, based on a story by Waikoloa author Catherine Tarleton, “The Fishing Club” by Shooters Productions is a short film starring Robert Kekaula and Keali‘i Reichel.

Keali'i Reichel and Robert Kekaula star in "The Fishing Club" based on a book by big island author Catherine Tarleton

Keali’i Reichel and Robert Kekaula star in “The Fishing Club” based on a story by Big Island Author Catherine Tarleton

Hawai‘i is well-represented in the family feature film category as well. One in particular, “Under the Blood Red Sun,” based on Graham Salisbury’s award-winning novel. Set on Oahu during WWII, two young boys grow up quickly after the raid on Pearl Harbor, and help each other deal with its impact on their families, Japanese and American. Directed by Tim Savage and starring Kyler Sakamoto, the film has already garnered numerous awards and accolades.

Under the Blood Red Sun

The Official Selections for BIFF 2015 are:

  • 34th Street Christmas
  • A Standing Still
  • Arthur
  • Bereave
  • BIRTHDAY
  • Butterflies
  • Captive
  • Day Pass
  • Demon Within…
  • Dig Two Graves
  • Dishonestly Yours
  • Flowers
  • Hamlet’s Ghost
  • Hands Off My Child
  • Hangar 52 “We Are Not Alone”
  • HoneyGlue
  • Hotwire
  • If The Trees Could Talk
  • I KNOW YOU
  • Jilel – The Calling of the Shell
  • Līhauʻs Journey
  • Listening
  • Lost Dog
  • Mother Earth
  • N. King
  • Nobody
  • Nothing Going On But The Rent
  • Our Father
  • Out of the Basement
  • Patterson’s Wager
  • Prick
  • Project Z
  • Projection
  • Seahorses
  • Sin Frontera (Without Boundary)
  • Substance
  • SURE THING
  • Take a Stand
  • The Cat’s Cradle
  • The Devil Goes Down
  • The Fishing Club
  • The Hit
  • The Lei Makers
  • The Less Fortunate
  • The Morning After
  • The Rabbit
  • The Story of M
  • The Sun Devil and the Princess
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun
  • Wildlike

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening. Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 25. An exciting closing night event, Best of the Fest will kick off with a concert by the Rough Riders: Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland. The evening includes a silent auction for Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a portion of each ticket sold goes to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

BIFF Leo on StageThe Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

 

16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest Coming Up

The 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center.

Keiki Fest 2015

Designed for children ages 3 to 12, our keiki along with their parents will spend the day exploring a variety of free, hands-on activities addressing environment, fitness, health, mind, nutrition and safety.

Families will have the opportunity to explore more than 30 hands-on learning booths offering activities designed to develop healthy brains, healthy bodies and healthy beings. Activities include:

  • Free bicycle helmets from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Team
  • “Glow Monster” hand hygiene education with NHCH
  • Bike safety course by Lex Brodie’s, PATH, South Kohala Traffic Safety and NHCH’s Trauma Team
  • DIY paper volcanoes with Center of the Study of Active Volcanoes
  • Veggie stamp art with Kohala Village Hub
  • Car seat fitting by the Department of Health – Public Health Nursing
  • Collage making art activity with the Waimea Arts Council
  • Many more hands-on activities

Each child will receive a “passport” to track their participation at each learning booth.  A completed “passport” offers keiki the opportunity to choose from a host of activities, such as a turn on the rock climbing wall or bounce house, or receive an airbrush tattoo.   This event’s mission is to bring the schools and communities of North Hawaii together to celebrate the health and safety of our greatest asset, our keiki.  All activities are free.

This year’s Keiki Fest is brought to you by North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) and Tutu’s House. This event supports the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition”.   The umbrella topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition” allows NHCH to touch the numerous health disparities found within the community. The Parker Ranch Center is located at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela.   For more information and to learn how you can support this hands-on kids’ event, please contact Laurie Edmondson, Community Outreach Coordinator at North Hawaii Community Hospital, at 881-4425 or at Laurie.Edmondson@NHCH.com.

National PBS Documentary Features Local Efforts to Perpetuate Hawaiian Language

What does it take to save a language? Poet Bob Holman travels across the globe to uncover answers – including a stop in Hawaii to feature ongoing efforts to perpetuate our native language. Language Matters with Bob Holman makes its Hawaii broadcast premiere Thursday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. on PBS Hawaii. language matters

Filmed around the world, the two-hour documentary features Hawaii in the third of three acts. Among those featured: Puakea Nogelmeier (pictured in attached photo with Holman), Pele Harman (pictured in attached photo with students from Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u), Kauanoe Kamana, Larry Kimura, Kepa Maly, W.S. Merwin, Lolena Nicholas, Keali‘i Reichel and Kau‘i Sai-Dudoit.

Holman makes two other global stops:

  • In Australia, Holman visits Charlie Mangulda, an Aboriginal songman (poet), who is the only person left on the planet who speaks Amurdak. With linguist Nick Evans, Holman also flies to Goulburn Island off the coast of Northern Australia, where he meets a community of 400 people speaking ten languages, many endangered, all vulnerable.
  • In Wales, Holman explores the humor, rage and lyricism of the Welsh people, who brought their language back from the edge of extinction. Currently, three million people live in Wales and speak the native language.

Language Matters with Bob Holman is a co-production of David Grubin Productions Inc. and Pacific Islanders in Communications. For more information, visit the film’s website: www.languagemattersfilm.com

Jack Johnson and Polynesian Voyaging Society Launch Song Celebrating 40 Years of Hōkūleʻa

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) today launched a special online crowdfunding campaign in partnership with musician Jack Johnson.

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

Nainoa Thompson and Jack Johnson

The campaign, which is now live at RallySong.com, offers users a chance to download the song “Na Ho‘okele Opoipio (The Young Navigators),” which was written by Chucky Boy Chock and recorded with Johnson and Paula Fuga in honor of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

“The Polynesian discovery of islands throughout the Pacific Ocean was one of humanity’s most amazing achievements,” said Jack Johnson, songwriter and musician. “With the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, we have a new generation of navigators exploring the earth and bringing people together to find a sustainable future. We are proud to support them with this song, “Na Hoʻokele Opiopio,” which means, “The Young Navigators.”

Cultivating and nurturing the next generation of navigators is a key focus for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, which seeks to educate people and communities around the world about the values of traditional wayfinding (non-instrument navigation) and the importance of caring for our Island Earth.

Chucky, Jack and Paula

Chucky Boy, Jack and Paula

“We are grateful to Jack Johnson, Chucky Boy, and Paula for honoring our next generation of navigators,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Jack and Paula and Chucky Boy“Across the globe, there are young people with the courage to set a new course and protect our natural environment. They are our leaders and navigators, whether they are on canoes or not, and we hope this campaign will provide a way for more people to join our voyage.”

All proceeds from the RallySong campaign will benefit PVS and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. In addition to purchasing and downloading the song, fans can also purchase collector’s items and enter a raffle for a chance to win grand prizes such as an ukulele autographed by Jack Johnson and a Papa He‘e Nalu (small wood surfboard), crafted with mahagony wood from the deckboards of the Hōkūleʻa. The campaign runs through April 25, 2015 and seeks to meet a fundraising goal of $75,000.

“This fundraiser comes at a critical juncture for PVS and the Worldwide Voyage, as we prepare to leave the Pacific for the first time,” said Clyde Namuʻo, PVS Chief Executive Officer. “In 2015 we will be travelling from New Zealand to Australia and South Africa, and every contribution from our community will make it possible for us to complete this historic leg of our journey around the world.”

Hōkūleʻa, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, is celebrating 40 years this year since her first launch from the sacred shores of Hakipu‘u-Kualoa in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, on March 8, 1975. The iconic canoe helped contribute to a significant generation of renewal for Hawaiian culture and language, and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific Ocean.

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The canoes are currently in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

New Cultural Center Planned for Honoka’a

The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will be a multi-cultural, multi-generational community center situated in the heart of Honoka’a where residents and visitors alike can deepen their connection to Hawaiian culture.

Click to support

Click to support

The center’s adopted emblem of the he’e, or octopus, represents the center’s community outreach efforts. One arm of the he’e will reach out as classes in hula, the arts, Hawaiian language, history, agriculture, philosophy, and more. Another would extend into the community with special events, guest speakers, community service projects, and cultural exchange programs.

Beyond our community, it will be a place where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Hawai’i in an authentic setting. With a mini-museum curated in partnership with UH Hilo’s Heritage Center, visitors will have a chance to browse historic memorabilia and talk story with volunteer docents knowledgeable about the area and Hawaiian history.

Each arm of the he’e is supported through the active participation of committed community members.  All donations are welcome and can be made through the Kickstarter crowd-funding effort at: http://kck.st/1vdR73g

For more information, or to see our full press kit, visit our website at http://www.hccoh.org/

Stanford Chamber Chorale Performs on the Big Island

Friday, March 27, 2015, 7:00 PM, the Stanford Chamber Chorale, directed by Stephen M. Sano, will perform in concert at Kahilu Theatre.

Stanford Choral

The Stanford Chamber Chorale

The Stanford Chamber Chorale is the Stanford Department of Music’s most select choir comprising 24 voices drawn from both graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford University. Hailing from across the United States and around the world, these singers represent a variety of academic disciplines and degree programs.

As members of the Chamber Chorale, these Stanford students meet a demanding schedule of performing, touring, and recording while maintaining their rigorous academic programs. The 24-member Chorale is on tour to Hawaii in late March, and will make their Big Island premiere at Kahilu.

Directed by, Stanford University Music Department Chair, Stephen M. Sano, the Chorale’s performance will consist of chorale works ranging from Gregorian Chant to newly-composed works, to Hawaiian part-song, to folk songs and spirituals.

Dr. Sano

Dr. Sano

The press has described Dr. Sano as “a gifted conductor,” and his work as “Wonderful music making!…evident in an intense engagement with his charges: the musicians responded to this attention with wide-eyed musical acuity.”

Still other reviews have lauded “It is difficult to believe that any choral group anywhere is capable of performing better than the Stanford chorus under the direction of Stephen M. Sano.” The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized the Stanford Chamber Chorale, under Dr. Sano’s leadership, with inclusion in five categories in the preliminary balloting for the 2013 Grammy Award, including the category “Best Choral Performance.”

Dr. Sano is also active in his ancillary fields of interest, Hawaiian choral music, the music of Queen Liliʻuokalani, kī hōʻalu (Hawaiian slack key guitar) and North American Taiko (Japanese American drumming). As a slack key artist, his recordings have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award and the Hawaiian Music Award. His most recent release, Songs from the Taro Patch, was on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Grammy Award in Hawaiian Music.

Tickets are $20/$15/$10/$5 and available online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge

This weekend, award winning author S.P. Grogan and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker held two book signing events for their new book “Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge“, for folks in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island.

Parker and Grogan sign books while Aiden James performs in the background.

Parker and Grogan sign books while Aidan James performs in the background.

The first book signing took place Friday at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery on Ali’i drive where folks gathered to listen to 13-year-old Aidan James jam on his ukulele while checking out the art gallery and getting their books signed.

#AtomicDreams Book Signing 081On Saturday, folks gathered at the Royal Kona Resort where Don’s Mai Tai Bar was converted into the “Red Tiki Lounge” and folks got to listen to both Aidan James and John Cruz!

John Cruz and Aiden James

John Cruz and Aidan James

Atomic Dreams at the Red Tiki Lounge” is a fast-paced historical fantasy, featuring a transoceanic chase, a race against the countdown, battles against war gods and Godzilla-like sea creatures for control over earth and the heavens.

Award winning author S.P. Grogan (www.spgrogan.com – “Vegas Die” and “Captain Cooked”) introduces the readers to a post World War II watering hole, the Red Tiki Lounge and Bar: a Pacific Oasis of Dreams and Visions, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, American Territory.

Hawaii, 1946.  The goddess Pele needs a hero.  But why did she choose an alcoholic, war wounded ex U.S. Naval commander Hunter Hopewell, to battle fire-breathing dragons and evil gods and save the world?  Maybe, because he’s changing… but changing into what?  Meanwhile, attractive, young Tammi Chen, once a Japanese student and spy, now successful in the black market, but not what she seems, is seeking revenge and has decided to steal an atomic bomb… before it explodes.

Body Glove celebrities were on hand as well as famous Hawaii chef Sam Choy to enjoy the show and the book signing event.

Body Glove owner Billy Meistrell, Daughter Jenna and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy

Body Glove owner Billy Meistrell, Daughter Jenna and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy

You can check out Parker’s website (http://www.tikishark.com) and you can purchase the book by visiting Grogan’s website (www.spgrogan.com).

Palace Event Remembers Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka’ahumanu

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe’e on Sunday, Mar. 15. The 4 p.m. event on the grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace remembers the late Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu.

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 17 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu.  Photo by Fern Gavalek

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 15 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu. Photo by Fern Gavalek

The event presents the Merrie Monarchs, the Hulihe‘e Palace West Hawai‘i County Band and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Known as the Citizen Prince, Kuhio was born on Kaua‘i and raised by his aunt and uncle, Queen Kapiolani and King Kalakaua, to become successor to the royal throne. After Hawai‘i became a U.S. territory, the Republican Party persuaded Kuhio to enter politics.

Kuhio was named Hawai‘i’s second delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1902 and served the post 10 times. Honored today as the father of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Kuhio secured an area of Hawai‘i Island’s Kilauea Volcano in 1916 for public enjoyment. He was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission.

Queen Ka‘ahumanu, who hailed from Hana, Maui, was the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great.  Though much younger than her husband, Ka‘ahumanu was charismatic, intelligent and politically shrewd. Kamehameha granted her the title of kuhina nui (queen regent) upon his death in 1819. Tired of the Hawaiian laws of kapu that forbade women from certain activities, she convinced the throne’s successor, Liholiho, to overturn the kapu system.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2015 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace West Hawai‘i County Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

2015 – Kauluwehi Lei Contest

Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), Hawai‘i Island Natural Area Reserves (NARS), the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA), and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center are proud to present Kauluwehi, a juried lei art contest and exhibition celebrating the native species, Hawaiian culture, and sustainable picking practices on Hawai‘i Island.

lei making image

Kauluwehi 2014 features three main categories including Kahiko (traditional style lei), ‘Auana (contemporary lei), and Lei Hulu (feather lei). The Kahiko category features several subcategories, each showcasing a particular material such as the leaves, flowers, or the fruit and seed of a plant. The ‘Auana category moves away from the traditional style of lei making by incorporating recycled materials, synthetic materials, and exotic plant materials. Lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material, and the complexity or effort that is put into it.  We invite amateur and professional lei artist of all ages to take part in the Hawaiian tradition of lei making!

lei making workshop

2015 Lei Hikes:

March 7th: Mauna Kea lei workshop. Spaces are limited.  View flier for registration information – Ka‘ohe Workshop 

More Information:

Lei Submission Form 2015

Kauluwehi Prospectus 2015

CTAHR Article: Hawaiian Ecosystems and Culture – Growing Lei Plants

 

Friday – HawaiiCon’s Cosmic Cosplay Ball

This Friday the 13th, HawaiiCon presents the Cosmic Cosplay Ball.

Winners of HawaiiCon’s 2014 Cosplay Contest – photo credit Tyler Murray

Winners of HawaiiCon’s 2014 Cosplay Contest – photo credit Tyler Murray

Cosplay (“costume play”) was coined in 1984 at WorldCon. Fans celebrate their favorite fictional and non-fictional characters through the construction and wearing of costumes.

This all ages event takes place at the Hilo High School Auditorium from 7-10pm. There will be dancing, a silent auction and refreshments, but the highlight will be the costume contest. This contest will bring out the best costume makers of the Big Island to compete for cash and other prizes.

For more information go to www.hawaiicon.com or follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/hawaiicon or @HawaiiCon on Twitter.

Funds from HawaiiCon’s Cosmic Cosplay Ball will help the Performing Arts Learning Center continue to offer quality arts education experiences to East Hawaii keiki. PALC is an after school theatre arts program open to students in grades 7-12. Hundreds of students over the last three decades have found enrichment through working on stage and acting before the public.

Big Island’s Best Artists Get Ready for 10th Annual Building and Design Expo

Renowned local artists Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with Alex Gupton and Penny Gupton – winners of “The Best of The West” award for 2014 will be some of the high profile celebrity exhibitors showing off their best work at the 10th Annual Building and Design Expo put on by The Kohala Kona Chamber of Commerce.

Alex Gupton and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker show some of their art.

Alex Gupton and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker show some of their art.

This free open to the public event is being help at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Starting this Friday evening from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m, Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tiki Shark Art Inc along with its partner Kona Oceanfront Gallery are cosponsors of this year’s Expo.

“This is the first time we are participating at this event” commented Abbas Hassan Senior VP at Tiki Shark Art Inc “I am sure the artists will add a certain flair that the attendees will certainly enjoy” he added.

“I am putting my best artists to work as a team this weekend” said Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery. “Its not very often this kind of talent comes together to put on a show for the public….it’s going to be an event not to be missed!”

Be sure to stop by Booth Number 26 and 31, say Aloha to the Artists and let your imagination run wild! Plus pick up some limited edition art made available especially for this event for your home, office or the special someone for Valentine’s Day!

For more information and details of the event, please contact: Jill Weiss – Kona Oceanfront Gallery, 808 334 0037.

Pāhoa Pool Nighttime Swim Program Temporarily Suspended

The new nighttime swim program at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center is being temporally suspended so the pool may be upgraded to better meet patrons’ needs.

Pahoa Pool

Until further notice, Monday, January 26, will mark the last of the nighttime open-swim sessions offered at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center. Lighting and other safety enhancements are needed before the pilot program will be reinstated.

In response to swimmers’ requests for longer operating hours, the Department of Parks and Recreation earlier this month started keeping the pool open until 8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.

Normal operating hours of 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closure on weekends) will resume at the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center starting Tuesday, January 27.

Information regarding County of Hawai‘i swimming pools is available at www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-aquatics/.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tiki Shark Art and Author S.P Grogan Confirm Dates for Big Bash on the Big Island to Celebrate New Novel Release

Renowned local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with award winning author S.P. Grogan are hosting a free public event to inaugurate their second novel in collaboration titled – Atomic Dreams at The Red Tiki Lounge.

SP Grogan and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

S.P. Grogan and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Tiki Shark Art Inc., Big Island based, owned by Parker has confirmed that the book signing event will be held on March 6th from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery and on March 7 from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM at The Royal Kona Resort – Don The Beachcomber Bar area.

“I am excited to be doing another book with Brad” commented Grogan, “it is always a pleasure to be back on the Big Island” he added.

Author S.P. Grogan

Author S.P. Grogan at his last book signing

Part of sales proceeds generated from this high profile two day event will be donated to The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.  “We are fortunate to have been chosen by our friends at Tiki Shark Art” commented En Young Executive Director, “We also love the fact that this event is taking place right here and their willingness to support the local charities is a blessing,” he added.

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker in his studio.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker in his studio.

“The novel is written and built around my existing works of art and is a fast paced action piece set in 1946 with lots of romance and Hawaiian History” exclaimed Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker.

Free entertainment will be provided at both events by teenage Aidan James, the YouTube star ukulele player.

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

“I am stoked to share the spotlight with uncle Brad at this event” commented the youngster who is making his debut appearance in Kona. Celebrities from the iconic surf brand Body Glove will be in attendance who along with Brad and S.P. Grogan will be there to sign limited edition surf memorabilia.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker – (www.tikishark.com)
After working for Marvel & DC Comics for many years, he gave it all up and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii over a decade ago. Through his Kailua Kona based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his art though galleries in the USA and around the world. His unmistakable, lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch. His designs can be seen on products from surfboards to skate boards to beach towels and calendars.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a truly a master and a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art with a Hawaiian twist.

About S.P. Grogan – (www.spgrogan.com)

A resident of Las Vegas NV, Grogan has had a career in writing as magazine editor, and a past Shubert Fellow in Playwriting.  In 2011, his novel, Captain CookedHawaiian Mystery of Romance, Revenge…and Recipes” was an island favorite featuring 25 recipes from the top chefs and restaurants on the Big Island with part of the proceeds of  book sales going to The Food Basket program.

Captain Cooked used GPS in its plotting and the book won a prestigious Ka Palapala Po‘okela award from the Hawai’i Book Publishers Association. The book cover was from a Brad ‘Tiki Shark’ Parker painting which started a friendship and dialogue towards the new novel.

Lion Dance, Taiko Drums Launch the New Year at Asian Fest

Queens’ MarketPlace invites the community to kick off the Year of the Sheep with a driving beat, delicious food and dramatic color, Friday, Feb. 6 at Asian Fest, 5-8 p.m. The complimentary event features high-energy Lion Dancers, Filipino dancers, food tasting and powerful Taiko drums.

 PHOTO: Courtesy Queens' MarketPlace


PHOTO: Courtesy Queens’ MarketPlace

“We’re so lucky to have these great performers at our Asian Fest,” said Sales & Operations Manager Margo Mau Bunnell. “It’s an exciting opportunity for everyone to hear three different drumming styles from Japan and Okinawa—with thundering drums that will literally launch the New Year with a big bang.”

Hundreds of mini-firecrackers ignite about 7:20 p.m. at Island Gourmet Markets to wake up the spirits and send off good luck wishes as the lively, fabulously-costumed Lion Dancers hop, skip and jump from one end of the shopping center to the other. To the beat of rattling Chinese drums and clanging cymbals, the Lion will hungrily “eat” red envelopes, (lycee) which onlookers fill with donations for good luck in the year ahead. (Lycee provided by Queens’ MarketPlace).

Throughout the shopping center, tasting booths will feature various samplings of Asian food culture, such as Mango Sticky Rice from Charley’s Thai Cuisine, Teriyaki Pork from Island Gourmet Markets, Orange Chicken from Lemongrass Express, plus ice cream, green tea frappuccino and much more.

Asian Fest is a complimentary event provided by Queens’ MarketPlace and its businesses as a celebratory start to the new year. For more information, please call 886-8822 or visit www.queensmarketplace.net

Asian Fest Entertainment Schedule:

  • 5 p.m., Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Okinawan Style percussion and dance group)
  • 5:55, Hawaii Lion Dance Association: Meet & Greet
  • 6:30 p.m., Kona Daifukuji Taiko
  • 7 p.m., Visayan Club (Filipino Dancers)
  • 7:30 p.m., Hui Okinawan Kobudo Taiko
  • 7:20 p.m., Hawaii Lion Dance Association: Lion Dance (Start point at Island Gourmet Markets)

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Last Chance to Enter Films and Screenplays for 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Now in its tenth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites filmmakers and screenwriters to enter their project before the final deadline, Feb. 1, 2015. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Known as the “talk story” film festival, BIFF takes place May 21-25, 2015 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, and presents a full slate of new, narrative feature-length and short films in a luxurious oceanfront resort setting. Specializing in narrative films, as opposed to documentaries, BIFF provides a perfect complement to Hawai‘i Island’s film festival circuit and much-needed opportunity for filmmakers locally and internationally.

For the first time, BIFF’s script contest will open the door for one winning screenplay to be considered for representation by the Paradigm Agency, one of the industry’s best, with divisions in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville and New York. The contest is open to all completed narrative film scripts that meet submission guidelines.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Attended by returning visitors and independent filmmakers from around the world, as well as local residents who love movies, BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “West Wing” fame, among others.  Last year’s celebrity  honorees were Portia Doubleday of “Carrie,” and “Twighlight” series star Jackson Rathbone who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

One of BIFF’s many success stories last year is Best Hawai’i Feature and Audience Choice Feature, “The Haumana,” by Keo Woolford, now available on DVD after an unprecedented multi-national fesitval tour.  The intriguing sci-fi hit “Time Lapse” has continued to garner  prestigious festival awards internationally, and the haunting drama of homelessness, “3:13” (now in distribution) received accolades from the film industry as well as mental health and homeless advocate organizations.  “Druid Peak,” a drama about a young man’s relationship with wolves, is just being released in theaters after winning numerous festival laurels.

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014.  (Photo Kirk Aeder)

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014. (Photo Kirk Aeder)

BIFF 2013 winner “Chasing Shakespeare,” directed by Norry Niven, and starring Graham Greene and Danny Glover, is now in distribution as “From Above.” Hawai‘i-made BIFF alumni films include wildly-popular comedy “Get A Job” by Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne, GB Hajim’s animated sci fi love story “Strange Frame” by HawaiiCon’s G.B. Hajim, and the poignant “Land of Eb” about South Kona’s Micronesian coffee worker community.

A celebration of narrative filmmaking, the complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, feasts for foodies, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries.  “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 25.

BIFF would like to thank sponsors  The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Kona Brewing Company, and others.

For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, find them on Facebook, or 808-883-0394.

7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

A road trip for quilters and fabric fanatics, the 7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop revs up February 1- 28, 2015, featuring eight different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect quilting squares to create a custom “slippa” quilt for 2015, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Courtesy Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

Courtesy Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

Grand prize, for those who visit and get passports stamped at all eight shops, is a $300 travel voucher for Hawaiian Airlines. Other winners will receive hotel stays, one-yard cuts of fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops.

The eight shops will also have exclusive quilt block patterns, one from each store, plus a custom quilt “center,” for the 2015 Shop Hop quilt. This year’s custom design is a playful take on Hawaii’s favorite footwear: the “rubba slippa.”  Eight different pairs of flip-flops, one from each shop, seem to be kicked off in the sand, flower garden, or at someone’s front door, making for a fun and colorful quilt composition.  Each shop has also designed a custom center block, featuring island images from traditional honu and dolphins to a “yellow polka dot bikini.”

The 7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 22nd Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Hawaiian Quilt Show presented by Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea.  Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for a West Hawaii bus tour by calling Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475 – or an East Hawaii tours, with Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2015 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop shops:

West Hawaii

Topstitch
Waimea Center: 65-1158 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI. (808) 885-4482
www.facebook.com/TopstitchHawaii

Fabric & Quilting Delights
74-5599 Luhia St., Unit D-5, Kailua Kona HI 96740.  (808) 329-8177
www.FabricandQuiltingdelights.com

Quilt Passions
75-5626 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. (808) 329-7475
www.QuiltPassions.net

H. Kimura Store, Inc.
79-7408 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kealakekua, HI 96750.  (808) 322-3771

East Hawai‘i

Pahala Quilting and Creative Sewing Center
96-3196 Maile St., Pahala, HI 96777. (808) 238-0505
www.PahalaQuilting.com

Kilauea Kreations
19-3972 Volcano Rd., Volcano, HI 96785. (808) 967-8090
www.KilaueaKreations.com

Kilauea Kreations II
680 Manono St., Hilo, Hi 96720. (808) 961-1100
www.KilaueaKreations.com

Fabric Impressions
206 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720-2835. (808) 961-4468
www.FabricImpressionsHiloHi.com

Tiki Shark Packs the House

Renowned local artist and owner of Big Island based Tiki Shark Art Inc put on his last show of the year last night with a packed house in attendance. The event was held at Kona Oceanfront Gallery – Parker’s original home base venue where he started to display his work over 5 years ago.

Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery with Staff

Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery with Staff

“Watching Brad in his element is always spectacular” commented gallery owner Mark Hanna, “the art scene in Kona Town comes alive when Mr. Brad Tiki Shark Parker decides to come out and put on a show at our gallery and tonight was no exception” he added.

The Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos Team with Brad and Mark Hanna

The Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos Team with Brad and Mark Hanna

It was quite a party scene with food, entertainment and free tattoos provided to all attending courtesy of Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos and Tattoo Bar.

“It is always a pleasure to hang out and give back to my ohana” said Brad. “I try my best to have this local event in Kona at least twice a year to show my appreciation to folks who originally supported me get started in the Gallery Art world” he added.

Tiki Show 3

Procuring a original piece of art by Brad Tiki Shark Parker is not easy. The current waiting list for his original canvas’s extends over two years long.

Brad and Aidan James

Brad and Aidan James

His next local appearance is scheduled at the same venue on March 6th where he will be launching the release of his first graphic novel written by famous author S.P. Grogan. High profile celebrities including the co-founders of the iconic surf brand Body Glove and YouTube mega start performer Aidan James are said to be attending as well.