London 7s wraps up HSBC Sevens Series 2017

This past weekend, the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series wrapped up with the London 7s tournament at Twickenham Stadium in West London. As expected from the home of rugby, the final leg of the 10 tournament Rugby Sevens Series was a raucous atmosphere of 35,000 each day.

The Feast of Rugby theme brought an array of 40 plus food trucks and stalls to the West Fan Village, overseen by the renowned Chef Neil Rankin. Of course there was a selection of beer trucks and bars selling real ale, ciders, and hi-balls. As you can imagine a great number of drinks are sold each day, to cut down on waste, Twickenham and Guinness created a reusable collectors cup. For each drink a refundable £1 was added to the first drink, fans could either keep the cup as a souvenir or return them at the end of the day to get their £1 back. Quite a few entrepreneurial young fans were seen collecting tall stacks of cups from around the stadium to return for their pocket money.  In spite of there being a more than a few drinks being had, the London 7s maintained a good families atmosphere. A bouncy castle, play areas and plenty of children kicking and throwing rugby balls around the site made it an event for all ages.

On the field, exciting play kept the fans on the edge of their seats as the 14 teams battled it out for not only the tournament’s standings but to secure their placings in the overall series.  South Africa had already secured the series title but the remaining teams were vying for their rank and, for those teams who hadn’t already, for qualification in the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. After 45 matches Scotland beat England in the final, with Canada securing third place, and world cup qualification, over the USA.  The USA’s Perry Baker came away the tournament’s top scorer with eight tries over the weekend. Team Canada’s 8th place rank in the series is the team’s highest placement since 2013.

This result plus Canada’s win at the Singapore 7s sets up Canada for an exciting coming season. 

 

Following Victoria Day’s namesake Queen

Since we’re in London this Victoria Day, we’ve been able to explore the city where the long-reigning Queen Victoria lived.  Unless you’re in Victoria BC where Victoria Day is a big day of celebration, for most Canadians it’s a long weekend to mark the unofficial start to summer and it’s one of the few times they might think about the namesake monarch.

However, in the UK, Victoria is everywhere, from memorials to palaces to chapels.  The Victorian era has a long enduring influence on the transportation infrastructure, architecture, and style of the United Kingdom and all around Commonwealth.

When you’re in London here’s a few of easy spots associated with Queen Victoria;

Kensington Palace: the palace is the current home of many Royals, including the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince Harry and has a strong association with Diana Princess of Wales, Kensington Palace was the birthplace of Princess Victoria on May 24, 1819

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace: the original Buckingham House, it was later expanded and became the Monarch’s residence when Queen Victoria moved in after her coronation in 1837.

Westminster Abbey: located across from the Houses of Parliament, the gothic abbey is where the coronation of Victoria and all monarchs, starting with William the Conqueror in 1066, has taken place.

St James’s Palace: the Tudor palace is the oldest of London’s royal residences and where the young Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the palace’s Chapel Royal

Albert Memorial: the hard-to-miss memorial sits in Kensington Gardens across from the Royal Albert Hall, and stands as a monument to Victoria’s beloved husband since the Queen dedicated it in 1872.

Windsor Castle: a main residence for the Monarch and her family, especially after Prince Albert’s death, the magnificent Castle’s grounds also house the Royal Mausoleum the final resting place of both Victoria and Albert.

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial: a visit to Buckingham Palace has to include a look at the Victoria Memorial standing front and centre at the front gates to the palace, begun in the year of her death, 1901 and unveiled a decade later.

London Victoria Station: located not far from Buckingham Palace, and representative of the major growth in transportation during the Victorian era. Since its opening in 1860 Victoria Rail Station has grown to become the second-busiest rail station in London, adding the Underground and Coach Stations nearly 200 million people travel through the station each year, including most visitors.

These are just a few of the many spots around the British capital that have an association with the diminutive monarch but nearly everywhere you look has a royal story. On your next trip, go out and visit Britain’s royal connections for yourself and find the hidden connections.

If you can’t be in London to celebrate, enjoy whatever you do this Victoria Day!

 

4th Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge is on now!

It’s time for the 4th Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge. The sun is finally creeping out of it’s winter cocoon and Taco’s are the perfect food to get you in a sunny mood.

Restaurants from all over the city were invited by Vancouver Foodster to enter their own unique Taco creations into the Taco Challenge. Some of the restaurants and food trucks have created a special taco creation just for this challenge and others have entered their top choice off their existing menu. Each restaurant and food truck will be featuring their taco creation on their menu until June 4, 2017.

The public is invited to order these Taco masterpieces and taste with the judging criteria in mind – originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste. Taco tasters can vote the same day after trying the creation and they can vote once a day throughout the promotion to choose the People’s Choice Winner. 

People are encouraged to Vote for their favourites from until June 4, 2017.

by visiting http://vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge/

In addition to the public tasting, a trio of media judges are making their rounds and selecting to the Judges Choice, follow them on social media to see what gets your mouth watering and seek out the Tacos for yourself. 

The Media judges for Taco Challenge are: 

Mary Sheridan of Vancouver Bits and Bites Blog
Twitter: @MaryinVancity
Instagram @MaryinVancity 

Hanson Do of Nosh and Nibble blog
Twitter: @hansondee
Instagram @noshandnibble 

Zahra Alani, Co-host of CKNW.com Food Glorious Food
Twitter: @ZahraAlani
Instagram @zahra.alani


Look for Taco Challenge entries at:

Vancouver

Holi Masala Food Truck, Seymour & Georgia

Mandalay Burmese Kitchen, varying locations to be advised

Patron Tacos & Cantina, 265 Robson Street

Saj & Co, 813 Davie Street

The Pawn Shop, 1117 Granville Street

Zend Conscious Lounge, 1130 Mainland Street

Richmond

Hugo’s Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Road

 Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150

For details of the taco challenge participating restaurants and to vote for your favourites visit vancouverfoodster.com
The winning restaurants and their Taco creations will be announced on June 7, 2017.

 

Boca del Lupo presents These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad

Boca del Lupo is known for its experimental theatrical productions and spectacular outdoor presentations.  Their upcoming show, These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad, continues this mission. Part of  Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series, These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad, is produced by the award-winning theatre company Nightswimming.

Boca del Lupo - Sad SongsThe production is an intimate, interactive performance by the remarkable singer Jane Miller. Through storytelling and songs, Jane explores the sad songs that have played a role in her life and delves into the link between deep emotions and the musical elements that make these songs so addictive. Audience members are drawn into the action when their favourite sad songs are requested and, in some cases, played by Jane in real-time. Sad Songs examines why we identify certain songs as sad or melancholy, and others as joyful, beautiful or triumphant, and how they weave themselves into our lives.

Co-creator and performer Jane Miller is a Dora Award-nominated actor, singer, and composer who specializes in a cappella and vocal ensemble music. Jane has opened for Jeff Buckley, Moxy Fruvous, and Ani Difranco. Co-creator Brian Quirt is one of Canada’s leading dramaturgs, as well as a director, playwright and the founder of Nightswimming.

Nightswimming and Boca del Lupo are collaborative theatre companies with similar missions to create and present extraordinary experiences in theatre, dance, and music.

Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series is an umbrella to bring together diverse projects and experiences for small audiences, allowing them to be immersed in the production forming a intimate relationship between artists and audience.

These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad runs June 7 – 10, at The Fishbowl on Granville Island. Performances are 8pm nightly, plus a 4pm matinee on June 10. Tickets are available at the door or online at bocadellupo.com

Picks of the Week – May 17, 2017

It’s time for that unofficial kick off to summer, the May Long, May two-four, Victoria Day, or whatever you like to call it, is upon us and maybe the clouds will clear to get out and enjoy the picks of the week!

Eat: Tonight, explore the culinary flavours of The Heights on another edition of Vancouver Foodster’s food tour, Tasting Plates : Burnaby Heights 

Stand-up: Canadian funny man Gerry Dee brings his comedy to the stage at the Vogue Theatre tonight

Art: Tomorrow, catch a preview of the upcoming West of Main Art Walk, with the Roundhouse Exhibition, 10am – 9pm at Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

Ice: Witness the best and brightest of the Figure Skating world as Stars on Ice comes to Rogers Arena Thursday

Drag: Comic Queen Bianca Del Rio brings her unique brand of humour to the Vogue Theatre Thursday night with her “Not Today Satan” Tour

Comedy on Wheels_Tanyalee Davis

Wheels: Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs! from Realwheels Theatre brings a limited 3 day only show to performance works

 

 

Laughs: Mother’s Day may have passed but the laughs and heart tugging tales of the Arts Club Granville Stage Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest Half Empty are holding on for another week, closing May 27th.

Balls: Whitecaps FC kick off versus Sporting Kansas City this Saturday, at BC Place

Comedy: Saturday night, the multi-talented Fred Armisen of Portlandia and SNL fame takes the stage at the Commodore Ballroom

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Icon: There’s still time to head to the Firehall Arts Centre for the unique musical experience, Circle Game: Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell, before it closes May 20

 

West of Main Art Walk Celebrates 25 Years

The West of Main Art Walk presented by Artists in our Midst is celebrating 25 years of open-door artistic explorations May 27 & 28, 2017.

Erin Perry in studio I Have Secrets, I Can Tell Ink and acrylic paint on paper, 11′ x 11′, 2016

Celebrating with its largest-ever event, the Art Walk stretches from Point
Grey to Main Street and from Granville Island to 41st  Avenue, with more than 50 vibrant and diverse artists sharing their works in garden studios, cafés, shops, and community centres all across the area.

“I can think of no finer way to welcome the warmer months than stretching ones legs or getting back on the bike and discovering some of the amazing artists who are a part of Vancouver’s lively art scene,” says Judy Osburn, President of Artists In Our Midst. “More than simply taking in beautiful paintings, textiles, ceramics, and the like, the Art Walk offers an opportunity to form meaningful connections with individuals who enliven and enrich our community. It is an invaluable chance to discover the stories behind the art, and celebrate visual art’s capacity to transform people”

Catch a preview of the festivities this week, May 18th, 10am-9pm in The Roundhouse Exhibit at Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Offering early glimpses of the discoveries to-be-made on the Art Walk, the day-long event highlights a wide range of paintings, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and photography.

Mary Downe : “Bengal”
Silk and Natural Dyes

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary , special partnerships have been created to establish the West of Main Art Walk Legacy Scholarship Fund for Arts Umbrella and the Lord Byng Secondary School Arts Program. During the Art Walk weekend you can also take home some unique items of your own from the silent auction, with proceeds going to the Scholarship Fund.  Scholarships will be presented to young and emerging artists from Arts Umbrella and Lord Byng Secondary School as they continue to develop their skills in the visual arts. In addition to the silent auction, Artist In Our Midst will also support Arts Umbrella and Lord Byng Secondary School visual arts students by displaying their works during the Art Walk.

Roundhouse Exhibit runs May 18, 2017, 10am – 9pm at The Roundhouse Exhibit at Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

The West of Main Art Walk presented by Artists in our Midst takes place May 27 & 28, 2017, 11am – 5pm from Point Grey to Main Street & from Granville Island to 41st Ave. in Vancouver. For route map and details visit artistsinourmidst.com

Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs!

Need to start your Long Weekend with a laugh? Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs! presented by Award-winning theatre company Realwheels Theatre is the just thing you’re looking for this week, May 18-20. 

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Comedy on Wheels will showcase members of the disability community in performances that capitalize on some of our greatest assets – humour and storytelling.  This creative and lively disability-inspired comedy variety show combines original stand-up performances, comical scenes, live music, projections, and fun surprises as Realwheels’ community cast tackles some of our sacred cows.

Comedy on Wheels features a large community cast and is Realwheels’ newest project under the Wheel Voices programming banner.  “A shared laugh strengthens our bonds and dissolves barriers,” says producer and Realwheels’ Managing Artistic Director, Rena Cohen. “Comedy on Wheels will entertain and surprise you with its novel perspective. Prepare to laugh away some of your preconceptions!”

Comedy on Wheels_Tanyalee Davis

Making a special appearance in Comedy on Wheels is UK-based, Canadian-born comic Tanyalee Davis (pictured). At 3’6″, Tanyalee is the Ferrari of comedy – low to the ground and kind of racy! Tanyalee has performed her one-person show “Actual Size” in Melbourne and Sydney (2016), was featured on BBC’sLive at the Apollo” (2015), performed her second solo show, “Big Trouble In Little ‘Gina”, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland (2013), and did a six-month run of her show, “Little Comedian, BIG Laughs” in Las Vegas (2011). Tanyalee is a member of the Abnormally Funny People ensemble, performing throughout the United Kingdom, as well as a writer and star of the Channel 4 series, “I’m Spazticus”.

Comedy on Wheels takes place May 18 to 20, for three performances only, at Performance Works on Granville Island. Tickets are available online at comedy-on-wheels.bpt.me