2019 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Blooms

CherryBlossoms

The 2019 Vancouver Cherry  Blossom Festival blossoms from April 4th to April 28th, highlighting the city’s vibrant colourful cherry trees. 

This year’s record cold February gave way to some record warmth for the start of spring and now the city’s Cherry trees are coming into bloom to welcome the new season.

Once again the Festival kicks off with the Cherry Jam, a free concert on April 4th, at the Burrard Station concourse. A festival atmosphere, the event features music by Zimbamoto, Katari Taiko, NoriNori & Kage, MNGWA as well as readings by the 2018 Haiku Invitational winners.

April 27th finds the Festival coming to a close with Big Sing, a free choral event that invites choirs and individuals to join the new free event for an uplifting and exhilarating public experience. Rehearsals for the Big Sing take place throughout the month around Metro Vancouver. 

In the midst of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Days Japanese Fair at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens (admission ticket required) returns April 13th and 914h.  The popular event invites the public to enjoy Japanese Traditional Tea Ceremonies, Food, Sake, Haiku readings and Tree Talks and Walks through the gardens to soak up the beautiful blossoms all around the gardens.

Other community events during the Cherry Blossom Festival include; Haiku Invitational writing competition and Haiku workshop, The Big Picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park April 13th, BC Blossom Photo Watch, Bike The Blossoms on April 27th, Lantern Workshops.

Another highlight outside of the official Festival dates is the Sakura Night Gala at Stanley Park Pavilion on May 5th. The gala fundraiser celebrating Vancouver’s top chef’s with an asian influenced menu. 

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs all over the city from April 4th to April 28th, 2019 visit vcbf.ca for the full line-up of activities.  Follow the Festival hashtag  #vancherryblossomfest  on social media to find out what others are exploring during the Festival

Surrey Civic Theatres Brings Mature Puppet Performance: ‘Metamorphosis’ to the Stage

Coming next week, Surrey Civic Theatres presents Metamorphosis, a unique piece of puppet theatre. An imaginative and poignant series of vignettes that range from the trivial to the metaphysical, the multi-faceted work created and performed by Iceland’s famed master puppeteer Bernd Ogrodnik is a poetic — and often hilarious — exploration of the nature of our existence, inviting audience members to change how they perceive the objects of their everyday lives.

Metamorphosis photo: EDDI

“There is a surreal quality inherent in puppetry,” says Ogrodnik, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Iceland-based Worlds of Puppets. “When the audience actively contributes to the process of bringing puppets to life, breathing these fragile figures into existence, they have the capacity to express our deepest emotions, joys, and fears; thereby, creating magic and provoking thought. 

Metamorphosis brings a delightfully eclectic cast of characters to life, ranging from intricate, hand-carved marionettes and rod puppets to unusual characters created simply from silk scarves or Ogrodnik’s own hands and feet. Set on a minimalistic black stage, the 10 vignettes effortlessly journey from one story to the next, captivating audiences through a deeply meditative atmosphere. The presentation, which includes some mature content, offers a contemplative reflection on the varied aspects of the human experience.

Metamorphosis photo: EDDI

Neil Scott, Cultural Production Coordinator for Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall adds, “Metamorphosis is a delight for the senses. Bernd Ogrodnik’s series of original short stories is poetry in motion — a theatrical expression of the nuances of our lives from the ordinary to the sublime. It encourages us to question not just what we see, but how we see it.”

Originally commissioned in 2006 by the National Theatre of Iceland for adult audiences, the 90-minute presentation of Metamorphosis has toured the world extensively and comes to Canada for the first time. Featuring original stories ranging in length from just a few minutes to nearly 20 minutes. Mostly presented in silence, three stories are set to an eclectic mix of musical accompaniment including instrumental melodies composed and performed live by the German born, Ogrodnik.

Metamorphosis plays at Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall on March 13, 2019 at 7:30pm. Visit surrey.ca/theatre for more show information and to purchase tickets.
Audience advisory:  One of the vignettes contains some mature content. This performance is intended for audience members ages 16+. 

Vancouver Foodster Takes You On A Between The Buns Crawl

Take a walk in the East Village with Vancouver Foodster and find out what’s Between The Buns. The brand new tasting tour, Between The Buns Crawl, takes advantage of the plethora of neighbourhood bakeries and restaurants to celebrate what lies between the bun: salmon burgers, to sandwiches, to custard puffs and anything in between.

Between The Buns Crawls takes in the neighbourhood of East Village (aka Hastings Sunrise) centered between Renfrew and Nanaimo on Hastings Street. This walkable neighbourhood tour means that you can park your car (if you drive) nearby or take transit to the starting point and then walk the event at your leisure.

Participating establishments include;

High Point Beer Wine Spirits: 2769 E Hastings Street

Italia Bakery:  #104 – 2828 E Hastings Street

Wheelhouse Seafoods: 2605 E. Hastings Street

Di Olvia: 2632 East Hastings Street

Delish Gluten Free: 2166 E Hastings Street

Join in this tasting tour on Wednesday March 27 from 6pm until 10pm. Tickets are on sale from Eventbrite now:

Ultra-Early Bird Tickets: $30 per person before March 12, 2019
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person before March 18, 2019
Advance Tickets $45 per person after March 18, 2019
Regular $55 per person after March 24, 2019
Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Join Tasting Plates in Mount Pleasant & Yaletown

As Vancouver Foodster moves into its 8th year of Tasting Plates, a pair of events bring hungry patrons to the neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Yaletown.

Like all Tasting Place events, guests will check-in at their starting location, collect their Tasting Maps & Menus then set off on a flavourful adventure.  Chefs will present tasting plates, dishes and cups that they think best exemplify what their kitchens are all about. It’s your chance to learn from them and mingle with other foodies and friends as you devour the tasting plates offered.

Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant is coming next week, February 27. Restaurants in the Mount Pleasant and Olympic Village area, starting off at Papparoti, include;

Registration Location: Papparoti – 1778 Columbia Street

Maizal – 2815 Main Street

Westcoast Poke – 463 West 8th Avenue

Uma Sushi – 450 West 8th Avenue

Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite: Advance $45 ticket sales close tomorrow, February 22, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Tasting Plates Yaletown takes place March 6, starting at Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown, the restaurants in the neighbourhood include;

Registration Location: Living Produce Aisle – 1168 Hamilton Street

Manoush’eh – 620 Davie Street

Patron Tacos & Cantina – 265 Robson Street

Robba Da Matti – 1127 Mainland Street

Ticket Sales are on sale via Eventbrite: Early Bird $35 tickets are on sale until February 28, Advance $50 tickets are on sale from February 28 – March 3, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Tasting Plates celebrates its 7th Anniversary

Wednesday night, Vancouver Foodster and dozens of hungry foodies celebrated the 7th Anniversary of Tasting Plates. For seven years, Vancouver Foodster has been helping people discover the city’s food scene and neighbourhoods. Through the years, hundreds of patrons have found newly opened restaurants, revisited old favourites, and explored neighbourhoods that might not be in their radar. While some restaurants have come and gone, Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates events can be credited with bringing attention to some of the city’s now go-to spaces.

On Wednesday night, it was another evening of taste tourism as Tasting Plates roamed throughout downtown Vancouver. The 7th Anniversary Tasting Plates visited:

Bonus Bakery

Bonus Bakery Cafe: 1185 West Georgia Street
The plant-based Bonus Bakery Cafe, sibling to the adjacent Freshii outlet, presented a box full of fresh-baked goodies. Blueberry Muffin, Walnut Brownie, and Bonus Cookie – Chocolate Chip, Oreo, Corn Flakes, Pretzels, Vegan Marshmallows



Pacific Poke


Pacific Poke: 1795 Robson Street
On the corner of Robson & Denman, Pacific Poke scooped up a selection of their Chef Inspired Poke Bowls like The Keefer – Ahi Tuna, Ahi Negitora, Avocado Nori, Wasabi Peas, Organic Seaweed Salad, Wasabi Mayo, Shoyu, Yuzu, Lime Juice, Ginger, Sprouts and Herbs. To sip, Coco Panda, a refreshing drink of Coconut Milk, Pandan Milk and Young Coconut, nicely complimented the poke bowl.



Davie Dosa Company

Davie Dosa Company: 1235 Davie Street
The always flavourful Davie Dosa Company served up a selection of its South Asian menu; Adai – Sprouted Lentil Pancakes, Avial – Coconut Veggies, Chettinad Kara Paniyaram – A Savoury Muffin, Kesari – Semolina Halwa (a sweet pudding like dessert).



Mumbai Local

Mumbai Local: 1148 Davie Street
Mumbai Local delivered a taste of the bustling Indian metropolis with a pretty plate of snacks including; Shev Puri – Potatoes, Onions, Shev (crunchy noodles), served on Cracker with Tamarind & Chili Chutney, Prawns Rava – Semolina Coated Fried Prawn, Fried Chicken Lollipop – with Szechuan Dipping Sauce, Shrikhand – Sweet Thick Yoghurt & Fruit


Donnellan’s Chipper

Donnellan’s Chipper: 1224 Granville Street
The newly opened Donnellan’s Chipper serves Irish comfort food that anyone from the Isle will feel at home with, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or after the pub including; Spice Bag – Spicey Fries & Chicken, Taco Fries – topped with zesty Taco Meat & Cheese, DC Burger, Battered Sausage, Breakfast Roll – Sausage, Egg, Bacon. Their grand opening and liquor license is coming soon.

Congratulations to Vancouver Foodster for 7 years of great Tasting Plates experiences, here’s to many more.
If you’d like to explore the flavours of the city, get tickets for the next Tasting Plates, Mount Pleasant on February 27th.

5 Lunar New Year Events for 2019

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is one of the major events for Asian families as millions make visits to their home countries, towns and family, to celebrate the Year of the Pig, New Year celebrations and traditions.  With Vancouver and Richmond’s large Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian communities, the cities are filled with events for who can’t make the trip home or are returning here to visit family.  The Year of the Pig begins February 5, 2019.

Events to commemorate the Lunar New Year Festival include:

Lunar Fest 2019 welcomes the whole family to events across the city, with celebrations at Jack Poole Plaza and šx????n?q Xwtl’e7énk Square (Vancouver Art Gallery) featuring entertainment, exhibits, crafts, markets, as well as events at Oakridge Centre and Vancouver Playhouse. Events run from January 29 to February 19, 2019

Fly Over Canada
Fly Over Canada – Flight Of The Dragon

Fly Over Canada – its annual double bill ‘flies’ over Canada and then follows through the peaks and valleys of China’s vibrant landscape in the Flight Of The Dragon, until February 24th

Year of the Pig Temple Fair at Dr Sun Yat Sen classical Chinese Garden, celebrates the New Year on February 10th with lanterns, food, and family activities

International Village MallAberdeen CentreOakridge Centre  and other Shopping Centres all around Metro Vancouver are hosting Chinese and Lunar New Year events;  Exhibits, Craft & Flower Market, Stage Performances, Dragon and Lion Dances, Kids Activities, Prizes and more fill the Malls through the New Year.

Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Parade

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival, rings in the new year with the snap, crackle and bang of firecrackers, drums and dancers on February 10th. Joins the thousands of spectators and revellers lining the route of the 46th Chinatown Parade from 11am, along East Pender, Gore and Keefer Streets. After the parade watch for ‘the Lions’ as they visit and perform for local Chinatown businesses to bring good fortune through the new year.

For more Vancouver and Richmond events and information visit lunarfestival.com

Vancouver Art Gallery makes major announcements

This week, the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrated a major step forward to the development of a new home for the Gallery.  The announcement of a $40 million lead gift from the Chan Family, brings the Gallery’s capital campaign to $85 million in private sector funding toward the new purpose-built facility. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building will be named Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.

Vancouver Art Gallery – New Building 01 © Herzog & de Meuron Herzog & de Meuron View across Queen Elizabeth Square

“This is a historic time for the Vancouver Art Gallery in its 88th year! We are all inspired by the Chan Family’s extraordinary generosity, and their philanthropic passion for enriching our community,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “With this unprecedented gift to the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Chans are demonstrating a profound investment in the future of this city and country, and one that will impact many generations to come.“

“We are also extremely grateful for the incredible generosity of the Board of Trustees and the many significant donors from across the community for helping us reach this milestone as we continue to work towards the new Vancouver Art Gallery Building,” added Bartels.

The gift from the Chan Family —the largest-ever single private donation to an arts and culture organization in British Columbia—builds on the Family’s long-standing history of supporting education as well as arts and culture institutions and programs with the aim of enriching communities in Canada and beyond.

Vancouver Art Gallery- New Building 03 © Herzog & de Meuron Herzog & de Meuron West Georgia Street entrance

“The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building project fits perfectly into our family’s philosophy, mandate, and charitable mission, which is to create equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy and nurture a healthy body, mind and soul,” said Christian Chan, Gallery Trustee and speaking on behalf of his family. “We truly believe in the power of art to bring people together and to bridge divides, cultural gaps, to promote social understanding, and to help people better understand themselves and others, and that is what the new Vancouver Art Gallery building will help accomplish.”

Coinciding with the announcement of its fundraising progress, the Vancouver Art Gallery also unveiled the final designs, by world-renowned, Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, for its new 300,000-square-foot building to be located at Larwill Park.

“The new Vancouver Art Gallery is a vertical building, distinctly spectacular at first sight, with an arrangement that resonates with the place where it is built. It offers ample outdoor spaces that are sunny in summer and protected from rain in winter, to suit the climate and life in British Columbia. Visitors to the building will be able to perceive Vancouver’s urbanity and its amazing natural setting in many different ways”, described Herzog & de Meuron.

“Together with our team of BC experts and our client, we defined the building to a much higher degree: galleries, classrooms and reading rooms, the theatre, restaurants and shops, and all the public outdoor spaces are well enhanced. The new Vancouver Art Gallery is close to reality.”

With a generous designation of the land at Larwill Park from the City of Vancouver in place and $135 million in total private and public sector funding secured, the Vancouver Art Gallery Capital Campaign will continue its work with senior levels of government and the private sector to secure the additional final funds needed to begin construction.

“We are thankful to be the beneficiaries of strong support from our partners at the City of Vancouver with all aspects of the project including the generous contribution of two thirds of the land at Larwill Park,” added Bartels. “We are pleased that the Provincial and the Federal governments remain keenly interested in this project and have been steadfast in their encouragement as we continue our private sector fundraising efforts”

Look for more on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s current exhibitions and what’s coming for the future at vanartgallery.bc.ca