Colin Mochrie returns to Vancouver TheatreSports

Prepare for loads of laughter when Colin Mochrie, Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) alumnus and star of Whose Line Is It Anyway, returns to Vancouver TheatreSports for three benefit performances.  All performances benefit Vancouver TheatreSports, a registered non-profit charity, and the Colin Mochrie Scholarship Fund at VTS’ theatre school, The Improv Comedy Institute. Established in 2014, this scholarship provides assistance to those wishing to study improv but are unable to do so because of financial barriers.

The trio of funny-bone tickling performances take place at the intimate Improv Centre on Granville Island and historic The Vogue Theatre.

COLIN UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL – Thursday, May 30, 7:30pm at The Improv Centre
See Colin up close and catch every expressive comedic nuance in an intimate space! This very special evening includes a full 90-minute improv performance starring Colin along with VTS ensemble members, and a Q&A session where audience members ask the questions. VTS patrons who arrive early for a drink at The Improv Centre’s Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge might even get lucky and snag a selfie with Colin Mochrie before the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $99 (theatre seats) to $109 (tables/banquette seats).

COLIN AND FRIENDS – Friday, May 31, 7:30pm at The Improv CentreColin returns to The Improv Centre, to perform with some of his improv friends from the VTS ensemble. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch an improv master at work in an evening that is sure to tickle your funny bone. The intimate, 186 seat, Improv Centre is fully-licensed and guests are welcome to take their beverages with them into the theatre to help lubricate their laughter during the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $89 (theatre seats) to $99 (tables/banquette seats).

THE COLIN MOCHRIE EXPERIENCE – Saturday, June 1 | 7:30pm | The Vogue Theatre
Saturday night the laughs move to Vancouver’s Entertainment District as Colin take the stage at The Vogue Theatre. This performance once again features the improv master with some of your favourite VTS  improvisers in a free-wheeling improv laugh-fest. Ticket prices for this performance range from $29 to $65.

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to catch one of the world’s greatest improvisers at his best. Colin Mochrie’s return to VTS and Vancouver is sure to be one of the hottest comedy tickets this spring.

For more information and tickets visit Vancouver TheatreSports online at vtsl.com

DOXA Awards 2019

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival wrapped up for another year last weekend with a closing night screening of Hepi Mita’s Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen.

After screening 82 films from around the world the adjudicators determined the recipients of the 2019 DOXA Awards.  The three awards were presented prior to the closing screening and went to the following recipients; 

Call Me Intern: directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyd

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming was presented to Call Me Intern, directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyde. Jury members Anna Hetherington, Steven Hawkins, Jacob Saltzberg, Maya Biderman and Teagan Dobson stated of the film: “Call Me Intern’s raw, unfettered depiction of the struggle to break into industry is both poignant and devastatingly familiar for millennials like us today.”

Time Is Out Of Joint: by Victor Arroyo

DOXA Short Documentary Award went to Victory Arroyo’s Time is Out of Joint . Jury members Aaron Zeghers, Joella Cabalu and Ananya Ohri awarded the film for its “unconventional style and approach that pushes the tradition of documentary storytelling into new territory.” The jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Haven directed by Colin Askey “for its sensitive and humanizing approach on a life-changing resource in the midst of an urgent crisis.”

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up : by Tasha Hubbard

Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary was given to Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. Jury members Leon Lee, Peg Campbell and John Bolton described the film: “Focusing on the Boushie family’s fight for justice in a rigged legal system, past treaty betrayals, and the legacy of residential schools – the film demonstrates the resilience and strength needed to make a safe future for Indigenous children.” “For its ambition, its stark aesthetic, and its compassionate yet unflinching approach to its subject matter of humanity crushed by capitalism, corrupt government and organized crime”, the jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Julien Elie’s Dark Suns.

Greetings From Free Forests : by Ian Soroka

DOXA Feature Documentary Award was presented to Ian Soroka’s Greetings From Free Forests. Jurors Gregory Coyes, Sean Farnel and Michèle Smolkin said of the film: “The measured, cinematic beauty of these mountain forests, and their vast, underlying limestone caves, revealed a receptacle for both personal memories, and dramatic human history.” Honourable Mention was also given to Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian’s Midnight Traveler for its “courageous and genuine storytelling”. The jurors were impressed by “the filmmaker’s attempt to escape persecution from his own country and to find a safe haven for his family.”

The DOXA Festival team take some well deserved time to unwind and debrief before they start to work on DOXA 2020 and a new line-up of great films from around the world

Chan Centre brings the world to 2019/2020 Concert Series

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC has announced a diverse, global selection of performances for its 2019/20 series. The nine concerts at Chan Shun Concert Hall will welcome extraordinary talent from around the world, including an icon of Americana, the height of jazz royalty, and a compelling Norwegian songstress. Also announced is the 2019/20 Beyond Words series, featuring four heartrending interdisciplinary performances that affirm the importance of diversity in storytelling. In addition, Chan Centre Connects Series complements presentations with artist and expert talks, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings, offering more in-depth engagement with the season’s programming. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as curator for the Chan Centre Presents series is the sheer delight of discovery.” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “This season brings Vancouver debuts, fresh new sounds, and time-honoured art forms from around the world to the Chan Centre stage. Encounter the ethereal harmonies of an extraordinary Sámi artist from Norway, the impactful gospel-inspired songs of the civil rights movement, and the romance of Cuba’s golden era revived for a new generation. Each of the brilliant artists we welcome will be taking us on an exploratory journey — so bring your sense of adventure!”

The 2019/20 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

Rosanne Cash
photo: Michael Lavine

ROSANNE CASH
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pmThe Grammy award-winning icon of roots music, Rosanne Cash, tours in support of her first album in five years, She Remembers Everything

MARI BOINE
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8pmBringing to life the rich sound of her native Sámi languagevocalist Mari Boine has cultivated a following with her trailblazing sound that harmonizes shamanic beats with bold expressionism.

DAKHABRAKHA
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8pmEastern European quartet DakhaBrakha presents their brand of “ethno chaos,” melding together Ukrainian folk music with Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instrumentation. 

FLAMENCO LEGENDS: THE PACO DE LUCÍA PROJECT
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pmPaying tribute to their former bandleader, the Flamenco Legends project celebrates the late guitarist Paco de Lucía with an evening of incredible music and dance that delves into his rich legacy. 

ORQUESTA AKOKÁN
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8pmOld Havana comes to life with this 13-piece ensemble that brings together Cuba’s top musicians and the best of New York’s Latin music scene. 

WE SHALL OVERCOME: A CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8pmPianist, conductor, composer, arranger, and arts educator Damien Sneed commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a vibrant, multi-genre performance. 

DIANNE REEVES: BELEZA BRAZIL
Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 7pmFive-time Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves explores the sounds of South America in her brand new project Beleza Brazil (“the beauty of Brazil”). 

LA SANTA CECILIA
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pmInspired by Pan-American influences while drawing on their own Mexican heritage, LA-based band La Santa Cecilia weave together influences from cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, R&B, jazz, and more.

Kalabanté – Afrique en Cirque
photo: Peter Graham

KALABANTÉ: AFRIQUE EN CIRQUE
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pmMontreal-based Guinean Yamoussa Bangoura imports the athleticism, agility, and animation of African music and arts by fusing them with European circus traditions in his stunning multidisciplinary performances. 

The 2019/20 Beyond Words series includes:

HUFF
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12pm + 7:30pmPerformed by award-winning playwright Cliff Cardinal, the brutally honest, darkly comic one-man performance dives into the lives of three Indigenous siblings caught in a maelstrom of institutional prejudice and abuse.

TRADER TIME
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 7:30pmLong-term collaborators Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall present their latest multidisciplinary work, Trader Time. Made up of a series of interrelated vignettes based on a local Whitehorse buy-and-sell radio show, 

BLACK LIKE ME: AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORD N–––––
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:30pm + Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12pmInnovative dance artist and choreographer Jade Solomon Curtis uses African, jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, and club dance vocabularies to investigate the reverberations of a single word across the global landscape. 

RIDGE
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:30pmAward-winning writer, musician, and slam poet Brendan MacLeod confronts the misconceptions and misunderstandings of the now-famed Battle at Vimy Ridge, in which more than 10,000 Canadian casualties were recorded.

For more details, season subscriptions and single tickets (on sale from June 18, 2019) visit chancentre.com

Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge 2019

Tuesdays aren’t the only day we dream about Tacos so Vancouver Foodster’s Best Taco Challenge is helping us find a new favourite taco for every day of the week.

The Best Taco Challenge runs May 16 – June 9, 2019 at restaurants around Metro Vancouver! 

Vancouver Foodster has challenged chefs to create their taco however their imagination can dream of; complicated or simple, traditional or uniquely non-traditional, vegetarian or meat-filled.

The public is invited to try out all of the Taco Challenge dishes then vote for their favourite creation at vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge to determine the People’s Choice Best Taco. 

In addition to the public vote, a panel of media judges, of which I’m proud and excited to be one, will be tasting the Best Taco Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner. Follow me, @jminter on Twitter and Instagram to see the Taco Challenge creations landing on my plate and those of the other Media Judges too, follow them at @lforlife_vancouver and @domoiscraving. See what other diners are talking about too by following #TacoChallengeYVR.

Don’t forget to follow the participating restaurants too, to see what they’re entry in the Best Taco Challenge;

Vancouver 
Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street

North Vancouver
Cinco De Mayo Mexican Grill, 200 Esplanade W.

Richmond
Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150

Surrey
Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen,19151 Fraser Highwayn

Richmond
Hugo’s Tacos & Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Rd

Chilliwack
Hugo’s Mexican Food, 7101 Vedder Rd

Start planning your visits to Van Foodster Best Taco Challenge participants, try them all, and remember to vote for your favourite!

5 Mother’s Day Picks for 2019 That Aren’t Brunch

This Sunday, much of the world celebrates Mother’s Day. While each country & culture has its own traditions, here in North America, the 2nd Sunday in May usually includes brunch, flowers & family.

While a family meal with the matriarch is common, you might be looking for a different option to celebrate Mom. Here’s a five options for Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019, in Metro Vancouver that don’t include making reservations but do included doing something with Mom.

RUN: Blueshore Financial Mother’s Day Run presented by Westin Bayshore: start the day with a 3k, 5k, 10k family fun run / walk through scenic Stanley Park, from Ceperley Field to Coal Harbour with a festival-like wrap up at the finish line or brunch at Westin Bayshore.

MOM=WOW

LAUGH: Vancouver TheatreSports celebrates Moms everywhere with its ‘mother of all Mother’s Day shows’ – MOM=WOW – a special, one-performance-only, Mom-themed show just for her at 4:00pm, after toast mom with a sip and the sunny views of the marina from the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge.

MUSEUM: Celebrate Mom at Burnaby Village Museum, from 11am to 4:30pm, with a day packed with special activities, exhibitions and crafts planned with Moms and families in mind, top off your visit with a visit to the Ice Cream Parlour for a slice of Mother’s Day lavender cheesecake & tea.

TREES: If you’ve taken Mom for a visit to enjoy the gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park, enhance your own urban forest with the Vancouver Park Board Tree Sale, any unclaimed or unpurchased trees from the online sale may be purchased for cash on between 2-4pm at Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot.

MATINEE: Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM) Symphony Orchestra, joined by internationally renowned pianist and VAM alumnus Jon Kimura Parker, brings its season to a close with a riveting performance of Stravinsky’s vibrant, folk-inspired Suite from The Firebird, at The Orpheum at 2pm.

BE MOVED by Arts Umbrella Dance Company’s Season Finale

Arts Umbrella follows its theatre & music department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival with the Dance Company’s season finale BE MOVED.

AUDC Be Moved

Arts Umbrella Dance Company’s (AUDC) BE MOVED, is the company’s season finale and a chance for audiences to see creations by acclaimed international, Canadian, and local Vancouver choreographers. 

In four shows over three days, May 23 – 25, BE MOVED offers audiences the chance to see work that is rarely performed in Canada. Each performances features the contributions of over a dozen international dance artists, including luminaries such as Johan Inger (The Netherlands), Marts Ek (Sweden), and Crystal Pite (Vancouver). 

“What is most extraordinary about our performances is the roster of international choreographers that come to Vancouver to create new works and set existing repertoire on our dancers,” AUDC Artistic Director Artemis Gordon said. “The quality of the work being performed is exceptional, and these performances offer Vancouver audiences a glimpse into the international stage.” 

An outstanding, must-see event in the Vancouver arts calendar, this end-of-year presentation represents the culmination of months of exploration and rehearsal for AUDC students.

AUDC Be Moved

“BE MOVED offers audience-goers incomparable access to view works by international choreographers, many of which have never been previously performed on Vancouver stages,” Gordon said. “These extraordinary performances provide a glimpse into the future of international dance through the artistry of a dynamic group of emerging artists.”

Arts Umbrella Dance Company Season Finale BE MOVED runs at Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, on May 23-25, at 7:30pm nightly, plus 2:30pm Saturday matinee. Tickets are on sale now at artsumbrella.com

Tasting Plates Fraser & Main – recap

Last night Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates headed to Fraser & Main Streets for a roaming food tour of the diverse neighbourhood. Centred on Fraser and Main Streets, around King Edward, Tasting Plates patrons found something for everyone’s taste as they roamed the evening’s eateries. As with all Tasting Plates events, patrons will checked in to recieve at the fist stop – Main Street Honey Shoppe – to receive their Tasting Plates map. Then it was off to try each restaurant’s ‘tasting plate’ or ‘tasting cup’. Check out #TastingPlatesYVR on social media to see some of the other patron’s posts of their experience.

Tasting Plates Fraser & Main included the following establishment

The Main Street Honey Shoppe for a tasting of their wide variety of their own pure and natural honey, and honey products, produced by their own local beehives.
Nammos Estiatorio, brought us a taste of Greece with their trio of flavours: Zucchini & Cheese Fritter, Keftes (grilled Greek meatball), and Deep-Fried Pita topped with Tarama (fish roe paste)
Eclettico Art & Coffee, a calm, quaint cafe and gallery plated a pair of food and drink pairings; Apple & Triple Cream Brie Panino + Bacio Rosa (Italian Lemonade, Wildberry Puree & Lime drink), as well as an Espresso Shot + Torroncini biscuit

Quesava, brought a quartet of gluten-free plant-based treats to the table to highlight their delicious good-for-you, ethically sourced foods; Porky Empanada (vegetarian, filled with smoked, spiced jackfruit), Bruschetta (topped with eggplant, zucchini ratatouille & vegan cheese on sourdough), Garlic Cheese Popper (plant based baked bites), & Vanilla Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co, welcomed patrons with a glass of Sangria or fresh fruity Lemonade, then rolled out three slices of their handmade pizza fresh from the forno; Vegan Beyond Sausage (topped with Beyond Sausage, fresh veggies and balsamic reduction), Vegetarian Farmers Market (topped with today’s finds from the market – Kale, Rhubarb, Cherry Tomatoes, Pea Shoots), and Parma Flatbread (topped with Schinken Speck Ham, Mozzarella, Crimini Mushrooms, Mango and Arugula)

If this edition of Tasting Plates along Fraser & Main whet your appetite, why not check out an upcoming edition when Tasting Plates visits North Vancouver’s Lonsdale neighbourhood on June 12th, then Tasting Plates ventures to Richmond June 19th, or check out what’s new in the East Van Vegetarian scene on June 26th. Tickets are on sale now for all three events.