Picks of the Week – November 8, 2017

This week we honour Remembrance Day and find a long weekend loaded with with these picks of the week.

Ceremonies: Remembrance Day ceremonies take place in all communities giving you plenty of picks to choose from, with one of the biggest annual events held at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver beginning at 9:45am Saturday.

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

Tex: Tonight, a trio of Texas Troubadours; Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmour, and Carrie Rodriguez take to the stage at the Chan Shue Concert Hall.

Craft: The Christmas craft market season kicks off with the annual Circle Craft Market opening today until Sunday

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company hails King Charles III at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Laughs: Stand-up John Mulaney brings his comedy to Queen Elizabeth Theatre for three shows; Thursday at 7pm, and Friday at 7pm and 9:30pm

Joseph: Align Entertainment brings the celebrated musical Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat to the Michael J Fox Theatre until November 18th

Pitch: One of the fiercest rivalries in all sports kick-off Thursday as Canadian  Women’s National Soccer team hosts Team USA  takes the pitch at BC Place

Pop: Saturday night, Halsey brings her electropop sounds to the stage at Rogers Arena

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities continues under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place until December 31

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Mashup: From November 11 – 19, Alley Theatre presents The Ridiculous Darkness, a satirical mash-up of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now at the Annex Theatre

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Oak Bay Beach Hotel – a home away from home

Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Pools

For 90 years, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has stood overlooking the waters off the Victoria suburb. The current luxurious property is the third hotel to occupy the position after the original was destroyed by fire and the replica closed in its old age.  Since reopening in 2012, the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel was rebuilt to an elevated standard and has won accolades for its service ever since.

For a recent family gathering in Victoria, we wanted to stay out of downtown Victoria and Oak Bay Beach Hotel provided a perfect home, away from home for the weekend. Even though the new hotel is larger it still retains much of the old world charm of the original property.  In fact, the new property retains many original architectural elements and furnishings from the original, including windows, bricks, beams. The original doors of the hotel were reinstalled as the entrance to Kate’s Cafe, the hotel’s cozy, neighbourhood coffee house.  The Snug Pub, was Victoria’s first neighbourhood pub and is still welcoming locals and visitors for a pint and good grub with stunning views over the beautiful gardens and seaside outdoor spa pools.

Our sumptuous corner suite featured stunning views from all sides over Oak Bay Marina and over the pools, looking out to the Chain Islets. We didn’t witness any first hand but pods of Orca has been known to frolic offshore to the thrill of guests.  The suite’s double aspect meant guests can enjoy views from the bedroom and the spacious living room while sitting by the fire. We could make coffee or tea in the kitchenette and enjoy watching the sunrise from the one of the two balconies.  The large bathroom, featured a soaker tub, stand-up surround shower, double basins, heated tiled floors and separate WC.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s location is ideal for a peaceful excursion out of downtown Victoria. There’s not really any need to leave the resort but when you do, Oak Bay and Estevan Villages are close at hand with many shopping and dining options.   We had the pleasure of driving an Acura TLX for the weekend which made the road-trip a driving joy.  The Acura TLX made smooth work of the open highway from Vancouver to Victoria, then hugged the winding coastal roads around Greater Victoria.  The comfort and space of the vehicle was great for the family visit too, having plenty of room to take extra family members out for brunch or lunch. The luxury of the Acura TLX matched the luxurious surroundings of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

After getting a taste of the beautiful property and experiencing the excellent customer services we look forward to returning for another stay at Oak Bay Beach Hotel.  With so much else to do on our weekend, we didn’t get a chance to make use of the hotel’s pools, spa or take in much of the dining options.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel is located at 1175 Beach Drive in the Oak Bay suburb of Greater Victoria. Call 250.598.4556 or visit oakbaybeachhotel.com for information and reservations.

Rugby Canada v Maori All Blacks draw record crowd

On Friday night, BC Place hosted the largest audience for fifteens rugby ever in Canada as our national team played host to Maori All Blacks from New Zealand.

A post shared by Jay Minter (@jminter) on

The energy of the 29,480 fans in BC Place was electric as the two teams made to the pitch for the anthems.  Then the Maori All Blacks performed the much anticipated Haka.  It was a thrill for all in attendance to witness the iconic Maori challenge in person.

While it was a long stretch for a Rugby Canada team to triumph over any All Blacks team, especially with new head coach Kingsley Jones only having just come onboard and getting used to the team.  With just 4 practices in the books with the young team, Jones had to be pleased with their performance. Although it wasn’t a win, the Canadians held the Kiwis to 9-51, not nearly the rout expected.  The Canadians had chances throughout the match showing flashes of skilled play but some costly errors and turnovers allowed the visitors’ skill to shine through.

There was plenty of All Blacks fans amongst the Red and White army but everyone was a fan of an exciting rugby match, which these teams delivered, in spades.
Next up for Rugby Canada is a series of European matches then a World Cup qualifier at BC Place on January 27th as Canada strives to secure a berth in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Tasting Plates – North Van Brunch comes November 25th

The burgeoning neighbourhood of Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver is preparing to welcome Tasting Plates for Brunch on November 25, 2017.  Start your Saturday morning with other foodies, family and friends as you take your taste buds on an exploration of the North Vancouver neighbourhood’s eateries for some one of a kind food finds.

As with other Tasting Plates events, patrons will check in to collect their Tasting Plates Brunch card and map, then set off to visit the area and see what flavours are in store.  North Vancouver diverse food scene is will certainly not disappoint as Tasting Platers dive into everything from baked goods to ice cream.

Participating establishments for Tasting Plates Brunch North Vancouver include;

Maru Korean Bistro – 125 2nd St E, North Vancouver

The Juicery Co – 254 1st St E, North Vancouver

Two Daughters Bakery – 121 E 1st Sreet (rear), North Vancouver

Welcome Parlour Ice Cream – 277 8th St E, North Vancouve

See what the local chefs and proprietors have come up with to show off their best brunch plates on November 25th from 10am to 2pm.  $30 Early Bird Tickets are on sale until November 10th, buy tickets for Tasting Plates North Vancouver Brunch online now.

12 Christmas Craft Markets & Holiday Fairs for 2017 Gift Shopping

We’ve only just put away our Halloween costumers but the Holiday season is racing towards us. Along with the Holiday season, comes shopping.  Skip the malls, experience one of the fun and festive Christmas Craft Markets to find something unique and handmade.

Here’s Twelve Christmas Craft Markets to get you in the festive spirit.

Circle Craft Christmas Market : November 8 – 12 – Vancouver Convention Centre West, the biggest market of them all, kicks off the Christmas Craft Season. Admission $15

Christmas at Hycroft : November 16th – 19th – For 45 years the annual fair at the Edwardian Hycroft Manor plays host to decor, artisans, family fun, entertainment and Santa. Admission $15

VCM at Jack Poole
Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza

Vancouver Christmas Market : November 22nd – December 24th – The popular Holiday Market moves to a new and larger waterfront location at Jack Poole Plaza for the 2017 season. Admission $10

 

West End Holiday Craft Fair : November 25th – 26th – West End Community Centre hosts 55 artisans and vendors selling only handcrafted gifts.  Admission: Free

Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair : The 35th edition, on November 25th – Hundreds of artists and vendors at Dunbar Community Centre with crafts, edible gifts, and entertainment. Admission $5 at door / $4 presale online

Strathcona Winter Fair : November 25th – The Annual Strathcona Winter Fair finds 50+ neighbourhood artists and non-profit vendors at Strathcona Community Centre at 601 Keefer – Admission $2 / Kids under 12, Free

Portobello West Handmade for the Holidays Market : November 25 & 26 – Portobello’s annual market  returns to Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village with live music, food trucks and vendors for all your local shopping needs. Admission $2 / Kids under 12, Free

River District Winter Craft Fair : Sundays November 26, December 3, 10, 17 – expanded to 4 weekends, visit vendors at the River District Centre on Kerr Street. Free admission

Toque: December 1st to 3rd – The Western Front Annual Fundraiser and Craft Sale has great options for shopping as you support for the Wester Front’s year-round arts & music programs. Admission by donation

Make It! The Handmade Revolution Holiday Show: December 7th – 10th at PNE Forum, join the handmade revolution with over 250 crafters, artisans and makers. Weekend admission $8 / Kids under 12, Free ($1 off coupon online)

Got Craft? Holiday Market : December 9th – 10th – At the Maritime Labour Centre is the place to be for DIYers, crafters and handmade enthusiasts to come together. Admission $5 at the door / $3 with coupon

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy : December 9 – 10, 2017 – The Arts Collective’s annual Holiday Show fills Heritage Hall on Main Street with vendors. Admission $3

Get out and get shopping, have fun! Happy Holidays

Picks of the Week – November 1, 2017

How did it get to be November already?! Halloween is behind us but these picks of the week are here to keep us entertained

URP – Jesus Christ Superstar

Star: See what’s the buzz as URP Productions presents Jesus Christ Superstar at Centennial Theatre until Sunday.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to New Jersey Devils tonight then on Saturday Pittsburgh comes to Rogers Arena

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company sets the table for Thanks For Giving wraps up at the Granville Island Stage on November 4th and King Charles III runs at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

Try: Friday night, international rugby comes to BC Place as Team Canada host the Maori All-Blacks

MISSING
Baritone – Clarence Logan
Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols
Soprano-Melody Courage
Photo : Emily Coopper

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Orange:  Show your BC Lions support as they take on the Toronto Argonauts at BC Place on Saturday.

Laughs: Comedian Gad Elmaleh, known as the Seinfeld of France, brings his stand-up to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Sunday

Missing from City Opera Vancouver Honours the Missing

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opening this Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, a profoundly moving and pivotal opera ripped from the headlines. 

Focusing on the national crisis of missing and murdered, Missing is written by distinguished Canadian Métis playwright Marie Clements, with a gripping score by JUNO Award-winning composer Brian Current.  The work confronts the tragedy of more than 1,200 missing and murdered First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls in Canada, and the affect it has on the communities and families – both First Nations and non-First Nations – dealing with their loss.

Baritone – Clarence Logan Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols Soprano-Melody Courage Photo : Emily Coopper

“With Missing we have the rare opportunity to inform about this crisis in a meaningful and unprecedented way,” says Charles Barber, Artistic Director, City Opera Vancouver. “We commissioned Marie Clements to write her first-ever opera libretto to honour the memory of each and every missing and murdered Indigenous woman. The poignant tale she so brilliantly conceived lends itself to opera, as the human voice is a powerful vehicle to draw deep emotion and introspection. It is the story of two women who represent so many – one who survives and one who does not, and it’s through their story we find hope and, for some, healing.”

“The story of Missing can’t answer the questions I’ve been asking my whole life, but I am hoping it will join other voices who are asking the same questions, telling their stories, and demanding an end to what should be unfathomable,” says Marie Clements, Librettist.

Missing is set between Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and BC’s notorious Highway 16 – the Highway of Tears, where at least 18 women have vanished or been found murdered since 1969. Told through both English and the First Nations language of Gitxsan (widely spoken in First Nations communities along Highway 16), this chamber opera follows the fate of an Indigenous and non-Indigenous young woman whose lives become tragically intertwined. White girl ‘Ava’ becomes mysteriously drawn to the language, traditions and sufferings of the ‘unknown Native Girl’ with whom she crosses paths, and, thereafter, she finds herself in internal conflict as her community struggles toward reconciliation.

Missing takes the stage, November 3,7,9 & 11 at 8pm, and November 5 at 2pm at The York Theatre. Tickets are available online at thecultch.com