Warm up to Hot Chocolate Festival 2019

Hot Chocolate Festival

Winter and Hot Chocolate are perfect match so what could be better than a whole winter month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 9th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is now  on until February 14th, 2019.

The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 70+ varieties of chocolate drinks.  The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Metro Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search of a new favourite Hot Chocolate blend. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.

The Festival reaches across Metro Vancouver; Temper Chocolates & Pastry in West Vancouver, to Trafiq Café and Bakery on Main Street, and Gem Chocolates in Kerrisdale or Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby. Why not take in one of the Chocolate Cooking Class at the Trattoria in the Italian Cultural Centre. Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide and see how Hot Chocolate Makes You Happy.

The Hot Chocolate Festival supports the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families. 

Circle Game : Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell at Firehall Arts Centre

The songs of Canadian legend Joni Mitchell come to The Firehall Arts Centre in Circle Game : Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell.

Circle Game photo: Emily Cooper

In celebration of her recent 75th birthday, the revival of Circle Game pays tribute with a couple dozen tunes rearranged and mixed from Joni Mitchell’s iconic songbook. Co-creators Andrew Cohen and Anna Kuman forgo any storyline, presenting the music in a series of vignettes built around each song, some with a bit of drama, others feature Kuman’s choreography, while others are straight ahead performances. Like the collection of songs from a decades long career, Carolyn Rapanos’ set design it a beautifully curated display of musical paraphernalia.

Circle Game photo: Emily Cooper

The six multi-talented performers; Samantha Bourque, Kimmy Choi, David Z. Cohen, Benjamin Millman, Scott Perrie and Adriana Ravali, dance, sing and perform all the instrument throughout the 2 hour show. The show takes some time to find its rhythm, but once I stopped trying to find a storyline, I was able to let go and just enjoy each song individually. Andrew Cohen’s arrangements have moments reminiscent of Godspell showtunes, a garage-band’s all out jam sessions, other times acapella, and then parts that felt like a 70’s variety show, bringing something for everyone to the stage. Circle game changes the tempo and pace on many of the classic Mitchell tunes, but some of her most recognizable classics get respectful treatment in the second act, with beautiful renditions of River, Both Sides Now, and Big Yellow Taxi to close the show and leave the audience with the memories of their memories of Joni Mitchell’s legacy.

Circle Game photo: Emily Cooper

Circle Game : Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell plays at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova St, until February 9, 2019. Visit firehallartscentre.ca for information, showtimes and tickets.

Dakh Daughters Debut at The Cultch

Part of The Cultch Femme Series, Dakh Daughters it making its Canadian debut at York Theater until January 19, 2019.

Dakh Daughters
Dakh Daughters photo: Tetiana Vasylenko

The cabaret-style performance sees six performers from Kyiv’s Dakh Theatre, taking the stage to create a unique evening of genre-bending music. The Dakh Daughters rotate through a wide variety of instruments; wind, percussion, keyboards and strings. Sung mostly in Ukrainian, and bits of English and French, with English surtitles, the traditional Ukrainian folk, pop, and original works songs are arranged to blend a diverse range of styles. Ballads bleed into rock, rap mixes with pop and reggae lends its beats, to create a weirdly satisfying cacophony of sounds. As with the music, the sextet’s costume changes take them from a start as hip babushkas with hints of DEVO, to burlesque-punk divas, stylish sirens, and political patriots.

Talking about the performance doesn’t do the rock-opera justice, there’s no way to describe the connection the music had with the audience. The opening night audience seemed to have a number of Ukrainian fans who connected to the music, singing along with the tunes, acknowledging the topics. An audience member near me went from laughing with the lyrics to being in tears during one of the heartfelt ballads.

Dakh Daughter
Dakh Daughters photo: Igor Gaidai

During the show’s encore the Dakh Daughters were very thankful to their first Canadian show and felt the audience was receptive enough to draw attention to the Crimean conflict and Oleg Sentsov, and other Ukrainian political prisoners being held in Russia.

Dakh Daughters; Natalia Charpe, Nina Garenetska, Nataliya Halanevych, Tetiana Havrylyuk, Solomiia Melnyk, Ganna Nikitina, take the stage at the York Theatre January 15 – 19, 2019. Visit thecultch.com for tickets and more information.

Picks of the Week – January 16, 2019

We’re already ticking into the middle of January, the post-Holidays hangover has lifted and city’s entertainment scene is back in full swing. Let’s see what’s happening with these picks of the week…

Lights: It’s your last chance to hop the Millenium SkyTrain to Lafarge-Douglas Station and take in Metro Vancouver’s largest winter light display – Lights at Lafarge ending Sunday.

Canyon Lights
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Canyon: Thousands of lights are spread throughout Capilano Bridge Park’s Canyon Lights, lighting up the bridge, Treetops Adventures, as well as 8 of the tallest living Christmas Tree, until January 27th.

Laughs:  Join Vancouver’s queer improv comedy troupe, Queerprov, at The Junction for improv laughter tonight.

Pucks: Vancouver Canucks play a trio of games at Rogers Arena this week; tonight vs Edmonton, Friday vs Buffalo, and Sunday vs Detroit

Noodlemania

Noodles: Tonight, join in the 6th Vancouver Foodster Noodlemania, a tasting tour of noodle dishes from around the world at restaurants all across the city

Queens: Friday night at the Commodore TFD & Live Nation present It’s Just Drag featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race Alumni Vanessa “Vanjie” Mateo & Farrah Moan plus a bevy of Vancouver’s talented drag queens hosted by Joan E.

Arts: The 15th Annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival gets underway on Thursday bringing world-class performing arts to the city until February 3rd

Improv: The sun has come out so it’s true that the laughter beats the winter blahs as Vancouver Theatresports presents Throwdown – International Theatresports Festival, until January 27th.

Stick: Catch Vancouver Warriors Lacrosse on Saturday at Rogers Arena when they host San Diego Seals

Dine Out – Street Food City photo: Carly Whetter

Dine: Canada’s largest food and restaurant festival, Dine Out Vancouver Festival gets underway this Friday, January 18 until February 3rd

Yoga: Don’t miss your chance to take part in a free yoga class at Gateway Theatre in support of their upcoming Yoga Play.

Dakh Daughters photo: Tetiana Vasylenko

Femme: At The Cultch, check out Dakh Daughters on stage at the York Theatre January 15 – 19, as well as the rest of the line-up in the 2019 Femme Series of shows

JFL NorthWest Promises Vancouver Laughs

Vancouver Just for Laughs Festival, JFL NorthWest brings 10 days of international comedy to Vancouver, February 14 – 23, 2019.

For the fourth year, JFL NorthWest fills the city with the best, boldest and most outrageous stars of stand-up, improv, podcasts, and sketch comedy. The Best of the West draws attention to up-and-coming breakout comedy stars of the future. The concurrent 2nd Annual Just for Laughs Film Festival projects comedy on the big screen, with feature and short film screenings, red carpet events, talk-backs, and panels.

Howie Mandel & Friends: February 14, 2019
Howie Mandel & Friends: February 14, 2019

The laughs kick off on Valentine’s Day with Howie Mandel & Friends at the Orpheum Theatre, and closes on February 23rd with shows like Michelle Wolf at Vogue Theatre, Nicole Byers at Rio Theatre and The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler at Yuk Yuk’s. In between, catch shows from Gabriel Inglesias, Aziz Ansari, Ken Jeong, Fred Armisen, Whitney Cummings, Steve-O, Antoni Porowski and more. Our local comedy scene are well represented by The Ryan & Amy Show, Little Mountain Improv, Nasty Women Comedy, Wes Barker and many more Best of the West.

Michelle Wolf: February 23, 2019
Michelle Wolf: February 23, 2019

The laughter plays out at venues across Vancouver, including the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Vogue Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Rio Theatre, Biltmore Cabaret, Fox Cabaret, The Comedy Mix, Yuk Yuk’s and many more spots around town.

JFL NorthWest takes place Thursday February 14 – Saturday February 23, 2019. To find the full line-up and book tickets for all shows visit jfrnorthwest.com

Vancouver Foodster launches 1st Vancouver Soup Festival

In the midst of winter,  when nothing comforts like a bowl of soup,  Vancouver Foodster has introduced the 1st Vancouver Soup Festival.

From January 10 to 31, 2019, a different selection of soups will be featured weekly by each of the participating restaurants.

Over the three weeks, the public is invited to visit and try each of the soup entries and choose their favourites. The Vancouver Soup Festival will then have 3 sets of winners, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place chosen each week over the 3 weeks of the festival. Week one of the festival is on now, until Jan 16, week two runs Jan 17-23, and finally week three is Jan 24-31.

When visiting the and tasting the restaurant’s soup entries, visitors are encouraged to tweet, post on Instagram or Facebook to share their favourite Festival soups, be sure to mention and tag @vanfoodster and #SoupFestYVR so others can follow along.

The weekly entries for the Vancouver Soup Festival include:

Week One:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: 
Harrira (Chick Pea & Lentil)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Hun Dun Mian (Wonton)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St, Vancouver
Soup: Pozole Verde (Mexican Corn Stew)

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr. Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy. Maple Ridge
Soup: Gaeng Liang Soup with Cheese Ice Cream (Kabocha Squash)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: The Naughty Thai (Coconut Chicken Curry)

Week Two:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: Bessara (Green Pea)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Shu Cai Mian (Vegetable Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St. Vancouver
Soup: Mexican Lamb Consomme

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Green Pea with Chicken Ravioli Soup

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Week Three:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St.
Soup: Loubia (White Bean)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St.
Soup: Niu Rou Mian (Taiwanese Beef Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street
Soup: Mexican Red Lentil Soup

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Tom Yum Hot House Soup (Thai Tom Yum Tomato)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Garden Variety Chili (Vegan Chili)

For full details on each soup, participating restaurants and to VOTE for your favourites, visit vancouverfoodster.com.

Whitecaps FC reveals 2019 Season

WhitecapsFCThis week, Whitecaps FC and the MLS revealed the 2019 schedule kicking off the preseason February 8, 2019 in Honolulu, HI.  Home fans will get their first look at new coach Marc Dos Santos’ new look team when 34 regular season  gets underway March 2nd hosting Minnesota United FC at home in BC Place.

Vancouver’s regular season includes a home and away game against each Western Conference team, and one match either home or away against Eastern Conference clubs, including a visit to expansion side FC Cincinnati on August 3 ,and a visit from Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United on August 17 at BC Place

In celebration of the historic 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl triumph by the “team from the Village of Vancouver”, Whitecaps FC will host an anniversary match on August 31 against New York City FC, reminiscent of the 2-leg semi-final victory over New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium which sent the Whitecaps to the Soccer Bowl.

Whitecaps Pride Night

Other highlights of the season include Cascadia Cup home fixtures against Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers in March and May, a visit from Canadian rivals Toronto FC on May 31st.   Community matches include, Jeans Day, in support of BC Children’s Hospital FoundationSaturday, April 27 vs. Philadelphia Union.  Pride Night is Saturday, May 25 vs. FC Dallas and the annual Legends & Stars Charity Match takes place Saturday, September 14 vs. Houston Dynamo.  

The season on Decision Day, as all league matches kick off  at 1 p.m. PT. The ‘Caps host Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake at BC Place in the regular season finale.  The new fixed-bracket, single-elimination format for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs begins on October 19 with the 2019 MLS Cup is set for November 10.

The 2019 Canadian Championships schedule is still to be announced.  For more details and information on the Whitecaps FC 2019 season visit whitecapsfc.com