Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge 2019

Tuesdays aren’t the only day we dream about Tacos so Vancouver Foodster’s Best Taco Challenge is helping us find a new favourite taco for every day of the week.

The Best Taco Challenge runs May 16 – June 9, 2019 at restaurants around Metro Vancouver! 

Vancouver Foodster has challenged chefs to create their taco however their imagination can dream of; complicated or simple, traditional or uniquely non-traditional, vegetarian or meat-filled.

The public is invited to try out all of the Taco Challenge dishes then vote for their favourite creation at vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge to determine the People’s Choice Best Taco. 

In addition to the public vote, a panel of media judges, of which I’m proud and excited to be one, will be tasting the Best Taco Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner. Follow me, @jminter on Twitter and Instagram to see the Taco Challenge creations landing on my plate and those of the other Media Judges too, follow them at @lforlife_vancouver and @domoiscraving. See what other diners are talking about too by following #TacoChallengeYVR.

Don’t forget to follow the participating restaurants too, to see what they’re entry in the Best Taco Challenge;

Vancouver 
Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street

North Vancouver
Cinco De Mayo Mexican Grill, 200 Esplanade W.

Richmond
Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150

Surrey
Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen,19151 Fraser Highwayn

Richmond
Hugo’s Tacos & Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Rd

Chilliwack
Hugo’s Mexican Food, 7101 Vedder Rd

Start planning your visits to Van Foodster Best Taco Challenge participants, try them all, and remember to vote for your favourite!

2019 Global Soundscapes Festival opens May 31st.

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s (VICO) presents the 2019 Global Soundscapes Festival from May 31st to June 13th. A celebration of the intersection of Canadian cultures with musical traditions from all over the world through the creation and performance of intercultural music. 

VICO Orchestra

This year’s Festival, themed Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves – celebrates Japanese & Canadian intercultural music.  VICO welcomes international guests Naomi Sato (sho), Harrie Starreveld (shakuhachi), Miyama Tokita-McQueen(koto), and Yuji Nakagawa (sarangi). The guests will perform alongside other esteemed musicians, composers, and guest ensembles from BC’s vibrant contemporary classical and world music scenes.

Naomi Sato photo: Robin Wong

The Global Soundscapes Festival features eleven concerts, many free, taking place at the Waterfront Theatre, plus other Vancouver venues, with a special concert performance in Ucluelet, BC.  The festival presents a rich diversity of intercultural works, unique collaborations and world premieres. Featured concerts include “Debris”, a new mini-opera by Rita Uedainspired by the 2011 tsunami and the debris that washed up along the west coast of North America, a special evening where the sounds and instruments of Japan mingle with those of India, a musical showcase co-presented with the Powell Street Festival Society, a gala evening featuring both world and Canadian premieres – and so much more!

Miyama McQueen-Tokita photo: Masanori Yoshie

From tradition to cutting edge innovation, the 2019 festival promises a stunning smorgasbord of sounds and rhythms with inspired connections across continents, cultures and centuries. 

 The Global Soundscapes Festival runs May 31 to June 13, 2019 at venue around Vancouver, plus Ucluelet. For full festival line-up and ticket details visit vi-co.org

Picks of the Week – May 22, 2019

With Victoria Day behind us, we move into the summer entertainment season and plenty of picks of the week…

Festival: The Arts Umbrella Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, continues to bring entertainment to the stage until May 25 at Waterfront Theatre

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets:Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas until October 14, 2019

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Fairytale: Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage until May 26

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports gives audiences the ending of their choosing at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters, but no dragon breath, along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience, until June 15th.

Musical: Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel about the precocious, pint-sized, imaginative student, Matilda the Musical is running at Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until July 14th.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir Photo: Alex Law Photography

Noise: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral.

Country: Award-winning, country superstar Carrie Underwood brings The Cry Pretty Tour to Rogers Arena Saturday night.

Spoken Word: Canadian poet Shane Koyczan takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre Friday May 24

Seven Tyrants : At Steady Rain

Rain: Seven Tyrants closes their first season at Tyrant Studios with the remount from last season’s award-winning “A Steady Rain” from May 23rd – 31st.

Dance: The Dance Centre presents the Global Dance Connections series Davida Monk’s Ashes for Beauty, three varied and beautiful contemporary dance works May 23 – 25

Whitecaps Pride Match

Pride: Whitecaps FC host Dallas FC at BC Place for their annual Pride match on Saturday afternoon.

Punk: Manhattan punk act Gogol Bordello brings their punk & dub sounds to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

Rap: Chinese hip-hop / trap group, Higher Brothers, bring beats and rhymes to the Commodore stage on Saturday night

Colin Mochrie returns to Vancouver TheatreSports

Prepare for loads of laughter when Colin Mochrie, Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) alumnus and star of Whose Line Is It Anyway, returns to Vancouver TheatreSports for three benefit performances.  All performances benefit Vancouver TheatreSports, a registered non-profit charity, and the Colin Mochrie Scholarship Fund at VTS’ theatre school, The Improv Comedy Institute. Established in 2014, this scholarship provides assistance to those wishing to study improv but are unable to do so because of financial barriers.

The trio of funny-bone tickling performances take place at the intimate Improv Centre on Granville Island and historic The Vogue Theatre.

COLIN UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL – Thursday, May 30, 7:30pm at The Improv Centre
See Colin up close and catch every expressive comedic nuance in an intimate space! This very special evening includes a full 90-minute improv performance starring Colin along with VTS ensemble members, and a Q&A session where audience members ask the questions. VTS patrons who arrive early for a drink at The Improv Centre’s Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge might even get lucky and snag a selfie with Colin Mochrie before the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $99 (theatre seats) to $109 (tables/banquette seats).

COLIN AND FRIENDS – Friday, May 31, 7:30pm at The Improv CentreColin returns to The Improv Centre, to perform with some of his improv friends from the VTS ensemble. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch an improv master at work in an evening that is sure to tickle your funny bone. The intimate, 186 seat, Improv Centre is fully-licensed and guests are welcome to take their beverages with them into the theatre to help lubricate their laughter during the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $89 (theatre seats) to $99 (tables/banquette seats).

THE COLIN MOCHRIE EXPERIENCE – Saturday, June 1 | 7:30pm | The Vogue Theatre
Saturday night the laughs move to Vancouver’s Entertainment District as Colin take the stage at The Vogue Theatre. This performance once again features the improv master with some of your favourite VTS  improvisers in a free-wheeling improv laugh-fest. Ticket prices for this performance range from $29 to $65.

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to catch one of the world’s greatest improvisers at his best. Colin Mochrie’s return to VTS and Vancouver is sure to be one of the hottest comedy tickets this spring.

For more information and tickets visit Vancouver TheatreSports online at vtsl.com

Eternal Theatre Collective presents, the musical, bare

Eternal Theatre Collective (ETC), Vancouver’s youth theatre company is bringing Off-Broadway to Off-Oak St when they present their next musical bare, at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver from May 29th to June 8th. 

ETC's bare 
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko
ETC’s bare
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

An acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, bare is a pop opera that focuses on coming out and growing up, told from the perspective of Catholic school students as they navigate the complexities of their own sexuality, identity, and future. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is also featured as the play-within-a-play, the story follows young lovers Jason and Peter as they struggle to be true to themselves, and to each other, in an environment where acceptance is not guaranteed. 

Providing a fresh and utterly honest take on the coming-of-age story, while touching on the perils of gossip, innuendo and knowing who to trust with your truth, bare gives insight on the dangers of baring your soul, and the consequences of continuing to hide. 

ETC's bare 
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko
ETC’s bare
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

Eternal Theatre Collective’s production of bare is site specific, taking place at the beautiful Unitarian Church of Vancouver – mirroring the overlying pious presence within the play.

Eternal Theatre Collective is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to providing young people with hands on, paid experience in theatre. As with every production by ETC, bare is produced and performed by young people aged 13-25.

This production of bare is directed by Seamus Fear, choreographed by Alexandra Ewert and stars Caleb Lagayan, Robbie Hébert, Katrina Teitz, Ashlyn Tegos, YooRa Kang, Hannah Myers, Avidor Manor, Ricardo Pequenino, Jessica Wong, Colin Doig, Jeremy Cruz, Oliver Spilsbury, Shelby Armstrong, Allegra Wright.
The band; Caleb Chuang, Beulah Lee, Nick Range, Felix J.C. Dick, Marshall Henderson, Hannah Myers, and Seth Kitamura, is led by Caleb Chuang. 

Eternal Theatre Collective’s bare plays May 29, 2019 to June 8, 2019 at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 W 49th Ave (at Oak St). For tickets visit eternaltheatre.com/bare 

Good Noise Choir brings the season to a close

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral. Good Noise will be joined by award-winning gospel singers Dawn Pemberton and Warren Dean Flandezin a high-energy celebration of gospel music that will have audiences raising the roof with pure joy and adoration.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

“Our 15th season has been nothing short of spectacular,” says Gail Suderman, Artistic Director of Good Noise. “We decided to celebrate our success by bring together two of Canada’s most powerful gospel singers as guest artists for our grand finale. Dawn and Warren don’t get the chance to sing together very often, so to have them both available was a minor miracle, given their very busy performing schedules —and having them both on stage along with Good Noise and the Good Noise gospel band will be exhilarating beyond belief. The Return of Soul Gospel will be a concert like no other and audiences for these two performances will be on their feet singing right along with us!”

Warren Dean Flandez and the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

Good Noise, Pemberton, and Flandez will join forces in performances of the Reverend Al Green’s “Everything’s Gonna be Alright,” Stevie Wonder’s inspirational “Love’s In Need of Love Today” from his iconic album Songs in the Key of Love, and finally Gail Suderman’s unique arrangement of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” inspired by the Al Green/Annie Lennox performance. Solo sets will be offered by both Pemberton and Flandez, and Good Noise will then perform classic gospel songs including “Lean on Me,” by Bill Withers, “Hosanna,” by Kirk Franklin, and “Souled Out” by contemporary gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker who is the pastor of the prominent Brooklyn megachurch, Love Fellowship Tabernacle.

Accompanying Good Noise, Pemberton and Flandez in this season finale concert will be Michael Kalanj (Hammond B3), Laurence Mollerup (bass), Elliot Polsky (drums), Ingrid Stitt (saxophones), and Good Noise Artistic Director Gail Suderman (piano).

For show details and tickets visit goodnoisevgc.com

DOXA Awards 2019

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival wrapped up for another year last weekend with a closing night screening of Hepi Mita’s Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen.

After screening 82 films from around the world the adjudicators determined the recipients of the 2019 DOXA Awards.  The three awards were presented prior to the closing screening and went to the following recipients; 

Call Me Intern: directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyd

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming was presented to Call Me Intern, directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyde. Jury members Anna Hetherington, Steven Hawkins, Jacob Saltzberg, Maya Biderman and Teagan Dobson stated of the film: “Call Me Intern’s raw, unfettered depiction of the struggle to break into industry is both poignant and devastatingly familiar for millennials like us today.”

Time Is Out Of Joint: by Victor Arroyo

DOXA Short Documentary Award went to Victory Arroyo’s Time is Out of Joint . Jury members Aaron Zeghers, Joella Cabalu and Ananya Ohri awarded the film for its “unconventional style and approach that pushes the tradition of documentary storytelling into new territory.” The jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Haven directed by Colin Askey “for its sensitive and humanizing approach on a life-changing resource in the midst of an urgent crisis.”

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up : by Tasha Hubbard

Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary was given to Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. Jury members Leon Lee, Peg Campbell and John Bolton described the film: “Focusing on the Boushie family’s fight for justice in a rigged legal system, past treaty betrayals, and the legacy of residential schools – the film demonstrates the resilience and strength needed to make a safe future for Indigenous children.” “For its ambition, its stark aesthetic, and its compassionate yet unflinching approach to its subject matter of humanity crushed by capitalism, corrupt government and organized crime”, the jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Julien Elie’s Dark Suns.

Greetings From Free Forests : by Ian Soroka

DOXA Feature Documentary Award was presented to Ian Soroka’s Greetings From Free Forests. Jurors Gregory Coyes, Sean Farnel and Michèle Smolkin said of the film: “The measured, cinematic beauty of these mountain forests, and their vast, underlying limestone caves, revealed a receptacle for both personal memories, and dramatic human history.” Honourable Mention was also given to Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian’s Midnight Traveler for its “courageous and genuine storytelling”. The jurors were impressed by “the filmmaker’s attempt to escape persecution from his own country and to find a safe haven for his family.”

The DOXA Festival team take some well deserved time to unwind and debrief before they start to work on DOXA 2020 and a new line-up of great films from around the world

Picks of the Week – May 15, 2019

It’s that time again, the unofficial kick off to Summer; Victoria Day, May Long, May Two-Four, whatever you might call this long weekend there’s no doubt you’ll find something entertaining to pick from…

Dance: The Scotiabank Dance Centre’s popular Discover Dance! series brings its season to a close with a performance of African dance by Jacky Essombe to the Centre on May 16th, for two shows, at noon + 6pm

Arts Umbrella Expressions Festival – Animal Farm

Festival: The Arts Umbrella brings a variety of performances to the stage with its Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, May 17 – 25 at Waterfront Theatre

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Balls: See if Whitecaps FC can notch another win when they play host to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday evening at BC Place

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets: Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas from May 16 to October 14, 2019.

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Jazz: Vancouver’s Alan Matheson Septet bring their ‘little big band’ sound to the stage at Pyatt Hall on May 18th.

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports slays audiences with laughter at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience.

Art: Celebrate the Class of 2019 at The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the public exhibition of graduating student works until May 19th

Fairytale: May 16 – 26, Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage