Friday Find: Dames Wine

This week, our friends at Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter* uncorked a very special fundraising project that’s easy for all of us to get behind, Dames Wine.  As with all of Les Dames’ efforts, proceeds from Dames Wine goes towards supporting BC women’s food and beverage education.
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Dame Mireille Sauvé, director of the Wine Umbrella and member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, has put her wine skills to work to blend Dames Red and Dames White.  Produced at Meyer Family Vineyard, using grapes from around the Okanagan the limited edition wines are available now.
Ms Sauvé refers to the red as a “fireplace” wine, enjoyed on its own or with charcuterie, cheeses, burgers or stews. It has a deep crimson colour and a rich, vanilla-infused mulled berry aroma with bright red cherry juice and notes of star anise.
The Dames White is a light straw colour with aromas of apricot, apple, pineapple and a hint of lime zest and mineral undertones. On the palate — light-bodied with lively acidity, racy lemon and lime. Pear, apricot and lychee fruit flavours.
As mentioned all the proceeds from Dames Wine goes towards Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship and education programs, of which Ms Sauvé is herself a recipient.
While I missed the debut, myself I’m looking forward to tasting the results of Dame Sauvé’s craft.  You too, can get a taste by purchasing Dames Wine online or in select retail stores now.

*Les Dames d’Escoffier is a a society of professional woman. Its purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table and other fields as they relate to these disciplines. Women in BC are invited to apply for scholarships annually to pursue their education in these fields.

Rock Of Ages at Arts Club Theatre

She’s just a small town girl, living in a lonely world and he’s just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit.  Sound familiar? If Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing brings back fond memories for you, you’re going to get along just fine with Rock Of Ages.

Now playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, Rock Of Ages is a completely absurd jukebox musical filled with every bit of 80s nostalgia they could pack into 2 hours. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the narrator, Lonny, opens the show by setting the scene on the Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip in the mid-late 80s.  Along with the required boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl of every classic John Hughes-esque story, we are then treated to a non-stop stream of 80s power ballads and rock anthems.  The music is definitely the star of the musical as the tracks are applied to tell the story, or in some cases the story is built to fit the song.  In the effort to pack as much in as possible the duelling tunes occasionally overwhelm each other, but you’ll still find yourself singing along. Rock Of Ages makes overlooking little foibles easier as it knows you’re here for a good time, not a long time (although Trooper’s song isn’t part of the songbook) and treats the audience like part of the show.
The performers are all strong but at times the audio let them down with some feedback from so many voices on the small stage.  Making his Arts Club debut, Brett Harris’ Lonny is an over-the-top character, part ringleader and part court jester. The rapport and chemistry between Lonny and Bar Owner Dennis Dupris, played by Kieran Martin, makes for many memorable moments. Romantic leads Sherrie, played by Marlie Collins and Kale Penny’s Drew are both great voices but didn’t quite hit the chemistry to ignite a fire.  For those of us who lived through this era, extra laughs come from the 80s references, language and costumes. Though some of the 80s wigs, especially mile-high Drew’s mullet and oddly un-80s loose trousers were at first distracting and kept me from really buying into the character.
While it’s not perfect, Rock Of Ages is a foolish, good time and a good chance to let your hair down.  Some in the audiences join in the theme with their own outfits and hairstyles. Breaking the fourth wall allows Rock Of Ages to keep an awareness of its ridiculousness making it easier to forgive its flaws as you let yourself drift off in the memory of the nostalgic soundtrack and simple story. Sing-along and enjoy!

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Rock of Ages runs through July 30th at the Granville Island Stage


Picks of the Week – June 22, 2016

Let’s see what the first week of Summer has brought for our picks of the week:

Sing:  On Wednesdays at XY sing along to live Showtunes at Keys – Piano Bar & Live Showtunes

Laughs: The hilarious Kiwi acts, Flight of the Conchords bring their music and comedy to the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday

Ska: Jamaican band, Toots & The Maytals play their pioneering blend of ska, rock-steady and reggae to the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night

Stage:  The Arts Club Stanley Stage features Billy Elliot dancing until July 10th and previews begin Thursday for Rock Of Ages at the Granville Island Stage

Pack: Thursdays, The Bratpack get up to their naughty tricks with DJ Nick Bertossi at XYYVR

Bard: The 2016 season of Bard on the Beach is underway with Romeo & Juliet now playing and The Merry Wives of Windsor opening night this Friday, under the tents at Vanier Park

Fest: The Vancouver International Jazz Festival gets underway on Friday bringing music and performances throughout the city until July 3rd.

Singer: For Jazz Fest, legendary singer-singwriter and composer Joe Jackson plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday night.

Video: Friday at The Odyssey,  Full-Length Feature Friday VJ experience features Dynasty keeping you dancing along to the videos onscreen

HutHut: BC Lions open their home season at BC Place with a Saturday game versus Calgary Stampeders

Anniversary: Saturday night, XYYVR celebrates their first anniversary with ONYX featuring Teayana and DJ Domtop

Bawdy: Head down to the basement for Bawdyhaus: Backdoor Basement Party with DJ Gingerbear, on Saturday night at 23 West Cordova, Blood Alley entrance

Blow: Portland meets East Van when Blow Pony! Vancity brings DJ Wil Sheridan from Brookly to The Waldorf on Saturday night.

Soul: Sunday night, Ms Lauryn Hill performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatres, also part of Jazz Festival.

Pop: Another highlight of Jazz Fest is a Monday night performance by Sarah McLachlan at the Queen E Theatre.

Polaris Music Prize 2016 Long List Revealed

Polaris_400x400Last week in Whitehorse,  the Polaris Music Prize revealed the Long List of 40 albums in contention for the 2016 prize.  This year’s list includes 19 returning and 21 new nominees.

The Polaris Prize Long List and Short List are selected by an independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada. Then eleven people are selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the Grand Jury and they will convene the night of the Polaris Gala to select the 2016 Polaris Music Prize winner. The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year.  Each of the nine other short listed artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List:

  • Art Bergmann – The Apostate
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Black Mountain – IV
  • Jean-Michel Blais – II
  • Basia Bulat – Good Advice
  • Daniel Caesar – Pilgrim’s Paradise
  • Tanika Charles – Soul Run
  • City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
  • Coeur de pirate – Roses
  • Dead Obies – Gesamtkunstwerk
  • Destroyer – Poison Season
  • Dilly Dally – Sore
  • Drake – VIEWS
  • Essaie pas – Demain est une autre nuit
  • Fred Fortin – Ultramarr
  • FOXTROTT – A Taller Us
  • Grimes – Art Angels
  • Half Moon Run – Sun Leads Me On
  • Veda Hille – Love Waves
  • Jazz Cartier – Hotel Paranoia
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
  • Junior Boys – Big Black Coat
  • Kaytranada – 99.90%
  • Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  • Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan
  • Michelle McAdorey – Into Her Future
  • Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
  • Safia Nolin – Limoilou
  • Operators – Blue Wave
  • Peaches – Rub
  • PUP – The Dream Is Over
  • Daniel Romano – Mosey
  • Andy Shauf – The Party
  • The Strumbellas – HOPE
  • Suuns – Hold/Still
  • U.S. Girls – Half Free
  • Un Blonde – Good Will Come To You
  • The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
  • White Lung – Paradise
  • Donovan Woods – Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled

The 10 album Short List will be announced on July 14 at The Carlu in Toronto. On September 19th, The Polaris Gala will be held at The Carlu in Toronto and streamed live by CBC Music and

Pemberton Festival 2016 Daily Line-Up


Pemberton Festival has announced the daily line up for the 2016 edition of the festival.  While Pemby Fest 4-day passes are getting close to selling out, a limited number of single-day passes have been released as well.

If you can’t make the whole 4 days of the festival, now is your chance to get the day-trip Pemby experience. With hundreds of music and comedy performances happening over the festival, there’s sure to be a day packed with entertainment to suit you.

Following are just some of the artists expected each day;

Thursday, July 14: Snoop Dogg, Bassnectar, Wolf Parade, Cypress Hill, Akrells, Thievery Corporation, Mark Farina, Shawn Hook

Friday, July 15: J. Cole, Kaskade, FKA Twigs, Flosstradamus, Method Man & Redman, Cold War Kids, Braids

Saturday, July 16: The Killers, Wiz Khalifa, Ice Cube, Billy Idol, Chainsmokers, Cheech and Chong

Sunday, July 17: Pearl Jam, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Halsey, Tyler the Creator, DJ Snake, Mac Miller, The Funk Hunters

Single Day General Admission tickets are $169, including shuttle pass, single Day VIP tickets are $344 including shuttle pass(plus applicable fees and service charges).

Single day camping passes are not available but check the lodging page for information other accommodation options.

Friday Find – Picasso: The Artist & His Muses at VAG

This summer at the Vancouver Art Gallery, discover the most significant exhibition of the master of modernism, Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses examines the relationship of his artwork and the six women who provided his creative inspiration. From the early 20th Century Paris through to his last year’s the exhibition delves into the evolution of this work in association with his life and loves.   Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque, all the played a significant role in his personal life and development of his artistic endeavours.

The exhibition includes a wide variety of this work, from pencil sketches, prints, paintings, and sculpture.  It’s interesting to see some of his work evolve from more true-to-life sketches to the abstract Moderism style we are usually associate with Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses is open until October 2, 2016 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Visit for more information

Tasting Plates in The Fraserhood – July 20

vf_TastingPlates_TheFraserhoodAfter a short break, Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates returns July 20th for a summer feast in The Fraserhood – Fraser Street between Kingsway & 28th Avenue.

In my opinion, these are the perfect neighbourhoods for Tasting Plates, an across town location that we don’t make it to very often. Tasting Plates offers a great opportunity to find out what the Fraserhood has to offer our tastebuds.  As with all of Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates, participants will check in and pick up their Tasting Plates Map-Card and then head off on a taste adventure around the ‘hood.  Each participating chef prepares a tasting plate / cup that highlights their restaurants style and influences for the hungry Tasters.

Some of The Fraserhood restaurant’s participating in Tasting Plates on July 20th are;

Straight Outta Brooklyn – NYC Pizzeria – 701 Kingsway (at Fraser)

Nammos Estiatorio – Greek – 3980 Fraser Street

Commodity Juicery – Juice Bar – 3975 Fraser Street

Chomp Vegan Eatery – Vegan – 3585 Fraser Street

Fairy Cakes – Bakery – 3586 Fraser Street

Watch for more restaurants to join the adventure.

Tickets for Tasting Plates The Fraserhood, July 20th, are on sale now via Eventbrite

Early-Bird Tickets: $29 per person until June 22, 2016
Advance Tickets: $40 per person until July 17, 2016
Regular Tickets: $55 per person after July 17, 2016




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