Kick off Pride Season with The Lady In Red Ball

The Vancouver Pride season is almost upon us, to kick-off the festivities the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is hosting the first Lady In Red Ball, on July 27th.

Benefitting the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation, the inaugural Lady In Red Ball will be hosted Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar 2017 winner, Kendall Gender.  The host will also delight attendees with a special performance with Vancouver’s drag troupe, The Brat Pack.  Taking place at The Roof (15th Floor) of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, guests will relive the heydays of the dinner & dances of the famed hot spot, the Panorama Roof.   Instead of the Dal Richards Orchestra performances of old, additional entertainment will come as Ballet BC leaps to the floor showcasing a specially choreographed work celebrating Pride.   Vancouver country music artist Patrick Masse will perform live, and a DJ will keep the party going into the evening.  Perhaps the Hotel Vancouver’s infamous ghost of the lady in red will also make an appearance to dance the night way?

Guests will find light reception fare at food stations around The Roof, tickets also include three beverages from the bar, additional drinks are available for purchase.  Partial proceeds from The Lady In Red Ball support The Dr Peter AIDS Foundation.  The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation raises funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre in Metro Vancouver. The Centre is British Columbia’s only HIV/AIDS Day Health Program and 24-hour specialized nursing care Residence.

The Lady In Red Ball takes place from 7pm – 10pm on July 27, 2018. Guests must be 19+years of age to attend. Tickets are just $99 per person and available for purchase online at Eventbrite (fees extra)

Chill with Vancouver Foodster Iced Tea Challenge

Just in time for sunny, summer weather the Vancouver Foodster Best Iced Tea Challenge is here to find you the coolest chilled summer drink in the city.

Until August 5th, 2018, Vancouver Foodster has challenged cafes around Metro Vancouver to create their best cold tea drink.  Sweet, tart, milky, black tea, green tea and anything in between is being poured into glasses. Get out and try any or all of the unique Iced Tea entries prepared by the participating cafes.

The restaurants have entered their favourite glass of chilled tea either existing from their menu or they have come up with a unique recipe for their Vancouver Foodster Best Iced Tea Challenge cup. The chef’s entries range from simple to fancy, from whole leaf teas, to bubble tea, or milk tea, fruits and infusions might also be on the menu.
As with all of Vancouver Foodster’s food challenges, a panel of media judges (including myself, eatwithmao.com and vieamaggi.com) will taste and crown the Judges’ Choice Best Iced Tea.  The public is also invited to try any or all of the entries, then vote for the People’s Choice Iced Tea creation at vancouverfoodster.com/ice-tea-challenge. On social media, tag your iced tea drinks with #IceTeaChallengeYVR and see what other’s are enjoying along the Best Iced Tea Challenge.
The participating cafes in Vancouver Foodster Best Iced Tea Challenge are;

Boba Monster, 5766 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Sencha Tea Lounge, 3468 W Broadway, Vancouver

Taan Char, 7908 Granville Street, Vancouver

Treasure Green Tea, 227 East Georgia Street, Vancouver

Vietnamese Tea House, 2526 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver

T-Go Tea, 4720 Mcclelland Road #1810, Richmond

For more details and how to vote for your fave Iced Tea Challenge entry visit vancouverfoodster.com/ice-tea-challenge

August 15th Dine Out for Les Dames d’Escoffier Summerdine

This August 15th, Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter present their unique annual dining event Summerdine.  A delicious province-wide dining celebration featuring fabulous food and glorious wines, Summerdine takes place on one evening only at different restaurants, wineries, and culinary venues across BC. It could be in a vineyard, aboard a yacht, at a picnic table or in an elegant dining room.

Some of the locations participating in Summerdine 2018 include:

Forage Private Courtyard

VANCOUVER

  • AnnaLena in Kitsilano
  • Boulevard in The Sutton Place Hotel.
  • Burdock & Co. on Main Street
  • Forage on Robson Street (weather permitting, in the private courtyard)
  • A long table set on Pacific Yacht Charters moored in Coal Harbour
  • A private dining room at Vij’s on Cambie Street

OKANAGAN

  • al fresco dinner hosted by Dame Wendy Rose at Bella Wines on the Naramata Bench
  • Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ
Sea Cider Ciderhouse

VICTORIA

  • al fresco long table at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse  in Saanichton catered by Dame Chef Ali Ryan of Victoria’s popular Spinnakers Gastro Pub.

See the complete Summerdine list and book tickets online at lesdames.ca/summerdine for locations, menus and photos.  Regardless of the location, all diners will be treated to a specially-designed multiple-course menu, wines selected to complement that menu, a special table or location and an opportunity to meet and chat with the chefs and restaurateurs. 

All Summerdine dinners are priced at $80 per person and include the multi-course meal with wine (gratuity not included). One exception is the Victoria event at Sea Cider which is priced at $100 per person. All funds raised from Summerdine go to support Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter’s Scholarship and Outreach programs.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a world-wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality, with a mandate to support the advancement of women in the hospitality and culinary domains as well as fostering industry excellence through educational and charitable activities.

CONTEST: Vancouver Queer Film Fest 2018

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has released its lineup for the 30th Anniversary edition of the festival, taking place August 9-19.  Over the 11-day festival, more than 70 films from 15 countries will be featured, along with 11 visiting filmmakers, 27 local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions & seminars. Festival passes and tickets are now on sale online.

“Our 30th year is the perfect time to reflect on how queer cinema has evolved,” says Co-Artistic Director Amber Dawn. “We now see queer, trans, and two-spirit themed films routinely winning awards and gaining wide viewership. Even with this recognition, there are still so many stories to be told and so many innovative possibilities for media-based storytelling. You’ll only get a chance to see groundbreaking stories like these at festivals like Vancouver Queer Film Festival.”

Curated by Co-Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) 2018 opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with Malaysian-born writer and director Yen Tan’s 1985, featuring an acclaimed cast including Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen, and Jamie Chung.

Alaska Is A Drag

This year’s VQFF Centrepiece Gala Film is from LA-based comedian, writer and actress Vivian Bang, who co-wrote and stars in, White Rabbit. In this comedy that premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Vivian Bang plays a Korean-American performance artist who tries to remain dedicated to her art and struggles to pay the bills by doing odd jobs on “TaskRabbit”.  The 2018 Youth Gala Film is Shaz Bennett’s debut feature film, Alaska Is A Drag, a

fish out of water story about life in a small Alaska cannery town.

Festival favourites The Coast is Queer and Troublemakers return, and new this year is The Coast is Genderqueer – VQFF’s first short film program that showcases local transgender, genderfluid, and non-binary stories. As well, Festival Programmer Justin Ducharme curates Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island and Aotearoa, a collection of two-spirit films that subvert colonial constructs of Indigiqueer bodies and sexual agency.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

VQFF 2018 wraps up August 19th, with the Closing Gala Film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the sophomore feature from Desiree Akhavan and 2018 Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Drama at Sundance Film Festival.  Based on the novel of the same name and set in the early ‘90s, the film follows high school senior Cameron Post, who is caught in a small-town scandal when she’s discovered having a secret relationship with her best friend. Deemed a sinner, Cameron is sent by her conservative aunt and guardian to a Christian conversion therapy camp called ‘Promises’.

Festival program guides are now available at Festival venues as well as Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium and Black Dog Video. The complete Festival lineup can also be viewed online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Full ticketing details, including pricing, can be found at www.queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets.

CONTEST:
Vancouver Queer Film Festival has graciously offered a lucky reader, a 6 pack of tickets for your oppertunity to attend Vancouver’s second largest film festival

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who you would take along with you to be your VQFF #Festie  (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your #Festie (1 entry) :

RT to #Win : Me & my #festie want to win tickets to @QueerFilmFest via @jminter http://ow.ly/hMOk30kPedM #VQFF2018 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday July 30, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random.

There’s more than just Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach

Last night Chor Leoni’s Mane Event at Bard on the Beach filled the mainstage tent with the sounds of music.

The perfect way to wrap up the Canada Day weekend, the Lions brought to stage a varied selection of songs including a taste of Canadiana including iconic hits by Tragically Hip,  Ian & Sylvia Tyson along with Quebecois and Maritime folk faves and the touching Gimikwenden Ina from the Indigenous musical Children of God. In the second act, the men of Chor Leoni really let loose and ramp up the fun with the pop and Broadway hits.  Rob McAllister’s colourful costumes add to the comedic flare pop and Broadway hits.  Even Bollywood makes a showing too, really highlighting Ariana Barer’s choreography. Meghan Trainor’s Me Too, a Lady Gaga/Madonna mash-up Born To Express Yourself This Way, and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling brings out the Trolls (not the internet type), to wrap up the feel good show.

This year’s Mane Event was the 25th and final Chor Leoni show at Bard on the Beach but it is just one of the many special events Bard on the Beach hosts each summer.  In addition to the plays in repertoire; Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens & Lysistrata, this year also features;

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 28, August 1 & 4 | 5:30pm & 6pm*
See As You Like It or Timon of Athens* followed by a salmon barbecue from Emelle’s Catering. Visit the PIXSTAR Photobooth, take in the award-winning Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and more, before enjoying a private view of the spectacular Celebration of Light fireworks.

 Family Nights July 24 & August 21 | 6pm
A perfect night for the whole family! Geared for ages 6 and up, this special evening is filled with family-friendly activities. Arrive at the Village early for the PIXSTAR Photobooth, face painting, food truck, an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids and more. Then enjoy a performance of the Bard/Beatles musical-comedy mash-up As You Like It. 

Operas & Arias: Bold and Beautiful August 27 & September 3 | 2pm & 7:30pm (both days)
Join the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a costumed concert performance. Drawn from a set of best-loved operas, the programme will include favourite selections from La TraviataLa BohèmeDie Fledermausand more. Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze hosts all performances, presented on the BMO Mainstage. 

For more information on these and all the other special events, education and speakers at Bard On The Beach visit bardonthebeach.org/special-events

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28th Annual Harmony Arts Festival opens August 3rd

As it enters its 28th year, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver keeps going from strength to strength.  Surrounding the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival fills the calendar from August 3rd to 12th with over 150 music, arts, film and food events, much of it free!

Highlights of the festival events include;

ARTS:

Indigenous Exhibition: A new feature in the festival, the Indigenous Exhibition, celebrates Indigenous artists and communities, while honouring the tradition of gathering and sharing. The exhibition is inspired by West Vancouver’s origins on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish People, in particular, the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. Opening at Ambleside Landing August 3rd, with a traditional welcome ceremony, the program invites visitors to learn about Indigenous culture through an exploration of 30 artists in an authentic marketplace and art exhibition.
Indigenous Exhibition runs August 2 – 12, daily until 9pm

ArtSpeaks: Expand your knowledge with over 20 artist talks, demonstrations, workshops, hands-on classes and more. Offered in two waterfront tents near the Ferry Building Gallery. Select artists will also showcase their works as part of the Harmony Showcase Exhibition, held in the Silk Purse Arts Centre. For fashion enthusiasts, the Slow Clothes Fashion Show, takes place on Wednesday, August 8 at 2 p.m. on the John Lawson Stage.
Art Speaks opens August 3–12: 12 – 9p.m.

Art Beat: Discover more than 40 artists showcasing their works on the Ambleside and Dundarave beat as you local shops and restaurants together with West Vancouver’s vibrant waterfront. A street celebration takes place on August 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ?Art Beat opens August 3–12, store hours

Fresh St. Market Art Market: Argyle Street is filled with a diverse array of juried products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, leather, painting, photography, textiles and wood, the Fresh St. Market Art Market is the place to find incredible gifts and one-of-a-kind artistic treasures. Meet artists and artisans who display awe-inspiring works in a row of white tents.
Fresh St. Market Art Market runs August 3–6 and August 10–12, times vary

A complete list of participating vendors can be found at  harmonyarts.ca/art/art-market

MUSIC:
Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.

ONNI Group Sunset Concerts evenings at John Lawson Park features Buckman Coe, Sara Jane Scouten, Jane Mortiffee & Friends, The Paperboys and more

Jim Byrnes

Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts at Millennium Park, feature Jim Byrnes, The Adam Woodall Band, Coco Jafro, plus tribute bands The Hip Show, and Eagle Eyes, to name just a few.

Seniors’ Series
, finds Dal Richards Orchestra (August 5), The Bruce James Orchestra – Vancouver’s Big Band (August 6) and The Beauty Shop Dolls (August 12) playing afternoons at John Lawson Park

Live Music at The Silk Purse
 has live jazz and classic sounds in the afternoons August 8, 9 & 10

FILM:?

Outdoor Cinema

Following the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts John Lawson Park becomes an outdoor cinema, with free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm.
This year’s line-up includes award-winning films like The Greatest Showman, Coco, Beatlejuice, My Fair Lady, Rocky, Wonder Woman and more.

FOOD:
Every good festival offers good food and Harmony Arts Festival doesn’t disappoint with a hearty selection of its own.

Artisan Eats
, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.

The Park Royal Beachside Patio
finds a pop-up version of Feast The Neighbourhood Table to Argyle Street.

The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge
features a pop-up Salt & Earth Oyster Bar offering dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.

Ambleside Pier

Harmony Arts Festival also offers three special ticketed events:

?Indigenous Feast: at Ambleside Landing August 7th, 6pm is a brand new event with a traditional indigenous menu from Salmon & Bannock, accompanied by a performance by Murray Porter.

8th Annual Best of the West:
on Ambleside Pier August 8th, 7-9pm is a tasty curated evening featuring a dozen local restaurants paired with wineries celebrating the best of BC.

3rd Annual Mixology Night on the Pier
: on the Ambleside Pier August 9, 7:30-9:30pm welcomes eight of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees.

With so much to keep young and old entertained from day time to evening, it’s not surprising to see why Harmony Arts Festival has kept visitors returning year after year. ?There’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy at Harmony Arts Festival.
Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

Ensemble Theatre Company 2018 Summer Festival

The Ensemble Theatre Company has announced the trio of dramas in the 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival.  Taking the stage at the Jericho Arts Centre, Ensemble has programmed a dramatic trio of thrilling, entertaining, and challenging plays. 

Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama A Few Good Men, Martin McDonagh’s tragic-comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Dark Road, the first play from Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, are brought to life by the Ensemble Theatre’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers.

This selection of three highly entertaining plays from three celebrated writers showcases the humour, intricacies, and depths of the darker recesses of our lives. As Tariq Leslie, Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company explains: “To me, theatre is a means of generating empathy. It gives us a window to understanding each other a little more – our different and diverse hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. Join us for our 6th Annual Festival, and for the journeys that A Few Good MenThe Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Dark Road will take you on.”

6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival features:

Dark Road, by Ian Rankin and Mark Thomson
Directed by Chris Lam 

Featuring Alysson Hall, Paul Herbert, Lindsay Nelson, Christine Reinfort, Anthony Santiago, David Wallace, and Rebecca Walters 

Preview Performance July 9
Opening Night 7:30pm July 12
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 22
Matinée 2:00pm July 22
Closing Night 7:30pm August 16

A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Alan Brodie and Tariq Leslie

Featuring Zac Scott, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Yurij Kis, Sean Anthony, James Gill, Alysson Hall, Marc LeBlanc, David Wallace, Francis Winter

Preview Performance July 10
Opening Night 7:30 July 13
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 29
Matinée 2pm July 29
Closing Night 7:30 August 17

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Kathleen Duborg

Featuring Tanja Dixon-Warren, Ashley O’Connell, Kristen Slenning, Francis Winter 

Preview Performance July 8
Opening Night 7:30pm July 14
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am August 5,
Matinée 2pm August 5
Closing Night 7:30pm August 15

Ensemble Theatre Company’s 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival, runs July 8 to August 17, at Jericho Art Centre. Single show tickets and Festival Passes are on sale now at ensembletheatrecompany.ca