Friday Finds: Portmanteau Stereo Co

Portmanteau_IMG_4265I’ve been following Portmanteau Stereo Co for a while on social media but until recently I’d not seen one of the unique speakers in person.  At Eco Fashion Week at Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, the DJ’s beats were pumping out of a pair of Portmanteau speakers. The vintage suitcases are repurposed into the most unique boombox you’ll ever see and hear.Portmanteau_IMG_4263
Designed and built in Vancouver by the team of Jeff McConnell & Jay Demerit, the custom-made speakers are reinforced and wired for sound with high end speakers, rechargeable battery and input/output jacks.  The inputs can be connected to your iPhone, DJ decks, or any music source, outputs can connect to headphones or other speakers.
With no two suitcases being alike not two Portmanteau Stereos are alike either. Even if you were to find a pair, the customized contents would ensure your version is one-of-a-kind. From what I heard coming from them, you can rest assured that only premium sound is pumping from your Portmanteau.

Shop for Portmanteau Stereo Co online or enquire about a Custom Design Consultations: (778) 989-8040

Get sweet on DOXA 2015

DOXA15In just over a week, DOXA Documentary Film Festival opens for another season of great non-fiction films and events.
The 14th Annual DOXA Festival runs April 30 – May 10, this year’s program includes nearly 100 films, talks and special programs.  A $3 membership to the non-profit Documentary Media Society, gains access to the global line up of films playing at around the city, with ticket prices ranging from $11 – $17.
Before the Festival begins, get Sweet On DOXA at Xoxolat on Homer Street, Saturday April 25 from 11am – 6pm . The community box office will be open for in-person purchases of tickets and passes for all festival events.  While you’re there, shop Xoxolat’s great selection of chocolates and 20% of your purchase will be donated to DOXA.  From 7-9pm buy a $10 ticket to the exclusive preview event, enjoy canapes and refreshments and hear the Festival programmers’ personal recommendations for this year’s festival.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs April 30 – May 10 in venues around the city. For festival schedule and online ticket sales visit and keep up with the festival action on Twitter at @DOXAfestival or on facebook,com/DOXAFestival

Picks of the Week – April 22, 2015

Earth Day may be today, but there’s lots of Earth Day events coming up to keep you green throughout the week as well as lots of other entertainment in the picks of the week:

Pop: There’s no place you’d rather be, than at the Commodore tonight when Clean Bandit takes the stage.

Playoff: Game 5 brings the Canucks – Flames playoff series back to Rogers Arena on Thursday evening

Tour:  Digitour’s United 26 Tour brings YouTube and Vine stars to the Vogue Theatre on Thursday night

Art: Thursday night, Junita Werk hosts Brain Candy III, a night of music by DJ G-Luve and art sales from Marena Skinner at The Astoria

Rock: American hard rock acts Mastodon and Clutch play two nights at the Commodore Ballroom, Thursday and Friday

Laughs: Laughlines in New Westminster plays host to a taping of a new queer talk show style The Amy Wilding Show on Friday evening.

Stage: Find out what happened when CS Lewis & Sigmund Freud go head to head when Freud’s Last Session opens at the Pacific Theatre, running until May 30th

Indie: Dominican-American writer, producer, musician Twin Shadow (George Lewis Jr), brings his synth-pop to the Imperial on Friday night.

Kicks: League leading, Vancouver Whitecaps return home to host DC United at BC Place on Saturday evening.


Earth Day 2015

EarthDayWhile Earth Day is officially tomorrow, April 22nd, there are plenty of events through the week to help bring awareness to our planet.

Earth Day began in 1970 at a time of increased awareness of global issues, the war in Vietnam was raging on, Americans who were consuming gas at record rates and about to hit crisis proportions, and the hippy / flower child movement brought attention to environmental causes.  Now, 40+ years later, there’s still a need to bring awareness to everyday and planet-wide environmental issues.

Around Vancouver, there are plenty of events to bring fun and attention to Earth Day 2015.  Here are a few of the big ones but if you look around your neighbourhood, there’s sure to be something near you.

Surrey: Party for the Planet, Saturday April 25th starting at 10am at Surrey City Hall Plaza; day-long concerts and entertainment

East Vancouver: Earth Day Vancouver (pictured), Saturday April 25th starting at 11am, at Everett Crowley Park; entertainment, tree-planting and exhibits

Downtown Vancouver: Keep Vancouver Spectacular, Saturday April 25th, Noon – 2pm at Vancouver Art Gallery; help clean up Vancouver with anti-graffiti teams, litter pick ups with entertainment and other activities

Commercial Drive: Earth Day Parade,  Sunday April 26th, starting at Noon at Grandview Park; Parade, Speakers and Music.

North Vancouver: Celebrate Earth Day!, Sunday April 26th, Noon – 4pm, at Moodyville Park; learn to remove invasive plants and replace with local species, alongside family fun, prizes and games


Food Talks Vol 12 – April 27

Food TalksSpring is here and with the coming growing season it’s time for a new season of Food Talks.

Food Talks Volume 12 hosted by Vancouver Foodster, Richard Wolak, is coming up next week, bringing a new cycle of great speakers to discuss their food based businesses and relation to the local food chain.

This edition of Food Talks welcomes;

Peter Van Stolk, CEO – SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery), online grocery store. 

Dominique and Cindy Duby – Chefs and Co-Owners Wild Sweets, Canada’s only science-based artisan cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate-maker

Takayuki Omi – Chef at The Raw Bar, sushi restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Barbara-jo McIntosh – Author and Owner of Barbara-jo’s Books to Cooks located in Vancouver’s Armoury District

Loren Taves – Owner, Taves Family Farms and Applebarn Pumpkin Farm, Abbotsford based artisan vegetable growers and Apple Cidery 

Join other foodies and friends at Momento Coffee House, 577 Great Northern Way, on April 27, 2015 and listen to the distinguished panel discuss Perfectionism in our Food CommunityFood Talks Volume 12 begins at 6:30pm for mixing and mingling over light refreshments before the speaker’s talks at 7:15 followed by a Q&A session.  Tickets are on sale for $20 online now at Eventbrite

Friday Finds: Silk Road Teabags

SilkRoad_IMG_6674Since 1992, Silk Road Tea has created a name for itself as one of the foremost purveyors of organic loose tea as well as skin and body products.  From the shops located in Victoria’s historic Chinatown and Victoria Public Market, owner and Chief Tea Ambassador, Daniela Cubelic has established a reputation for creating unique tea blends using premium, quality ingredients without any artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.  For years, Silk Road has been available as loose tea, but Cubelic has recently found a revolutionary new teabag.  Until this bag, and its ultra gentle packaging equipment that doesn’t damage the tea leaves and ensuring the tea leaves maintain their maximum freshness. The new bags offer the convenience of 2 cup-teabags for on-the-go drinks and are also made from compostable plant material to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible.
Silk Road Teabags are available in 10 varieties of wellness, green, herbal, black,  and chai teas.  I’ve recently tried Imperial Earl Grey, a quality classic blend of Ceylon black tea with floral bergamot essence. Silk Road’s top selling, Angelwater is one of the most fragrant teas I’ve ever tried, spearmint, lavender, rose, and elder flowers with red clover blend into a fresh, light cup of tea.

With the convenience of teabags making it easy to have Silk Road at the office, I look forward to trying more blends.
Silk Road Teabags are available instore or online in rice paper satchels of 10 as well as their loose teas in tins.

Silk Road Tea Shop & Spa is located at 1624 Government Street in Victoria’s Chinatown.

Invisible Threads at Vancouver Maritime Museum

InvisibleThreads_6833Last week, a very interesting and historic exhibit opened at Vancouver Maritime Museum, Invisible Threads: Life Saving Sugihara Visas and the Journey to Vancouver.
The exhibit tells the history of thousands of Jewish refugees who fled Nazi occupied Europe and were able to escape to Japan as a result of Japanese vice-council to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara.  Going against the wishes of his bosses in Japan, Sugihara issued 4500 refugee visas, many personally handwritten, which allowed 6000 Jewish refugees transit to Japan and safety beyond.  Those refugees, many of whom came on ships to Seattle and Vancouver, and their descendants have spread around the world and are now estimated to number 40,000 people who are alive as a direct result of Chiune Sugihara.
At the opening of the exhibit, part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Vancouver – Yokohama sister city, many of the families of Sugihara Visa recipients were on hand to lend some personal meaning to the history of the exhibit and show how the Invisible Threads bind generations and people around the world.

Invisible Threads: Life Saving Sugihara Visas and the Journey to Vancouver, runs until July 1, 2015 at Vancouver Maritime Museum, at 1905 Ogden Ave, in Vanier Park.

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