In preparation for the theatrical release of Downton Abbey: The Movie, Fairmont Empress in Victoria is celebrating with special Downton features.
The Grand Dame of Victoria, is the perfect location to revisit the memories of the quick tongue of Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham. Throughout September, raise a glass (and pinky) to toast with The Violet Crawley, a Dubonet Cocktail served in a tea cup with saucer, on ice with a cucumber garnish, and a cucumber finger sandwich. Linger longer like the lord of the manor with The Lord Grantham, a tea infused Old Fashioned served on the rocks glass with an orange twist.
For one special afternoon, Sunday September 15th the Fairmont Empress invites guests to join them for Tea at the Empress in the style of the Lords and Ladies from Downton Abbey. Take a stroll back in time, and imagine yourself enjoying Afternoon Tea at Downton Abbey. In addition to the customary treats on the tea tier, a special Downton Abbey inspired Dundee Cake will be served. The grand Lobby Lounge will be adorned with Downton décor and guests can step into a larger than life Downton Abbey photo station. One lucky guest will win two tickets to the premiere screening of Downton Abbey The Movie on September 18th in Vancouver. Downton attire welcome! Afternoon Tea reservations can be made by phone at 250-389-2727.
A sunny, summer evening on the waterfront, cocktails, nibbles and a few hundred revellers roaming Ambleside Pier, is the recipe for another great Night On The Pier. Part of West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival, Night On The Pier brought together seven of Vancouver’s top bartenders and mixologists to complete with each other for the superior sip.
Visitors were able to stroll Ambleside Pier and sample each of the libations created with a featured spirit. Amongst the cocktail stations were light bites from Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats, Las Margaritas, Cocoa Progressive Latin Restaurant.
Scroll through the participating bartenders’ beautiful cocktails to find the #1:
And voted number 1 cocktail for the 4th Annual Night On The Pier…
If you missed out on sipping these cocktails at Night On The Pier, you can see what these bartenders are mixing by visiting their bars.
Last night, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver kicked off Pride with the annual Lady In Red Ball. Hosted by Fairmont Pride Ambassador, Kendal Gender, hundreds of revellers celebrated while raising funds for the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. Not to be left out, the rest of the local Fairmont family of hotels and resorts are also inviting visitors and locals to celebrate pride.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is offering 10% off at any of the Vancouver and Victoria property with a special amenity, as well as food and beverage specials to help celebrate love. Your stay will enable the hotels to make a donation to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.
Some of the specials at the local area Fairmont Hotels include:
Cocktails: Stop by any of the downtown sister properties, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Pacific Rim to sip on special Fairmont Pride cocktails with a $1 donation from each of them.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport: Stopover at Jetset Lounge until August 5th to sip on the 1181, a cocktail featuring Empress Gin and Fort Berens Rosé, that gives a nod to the iconic Davie Village lounge. $15 each with $1 donated to the Dr. Peter Aids Foundation.
Fairmont Pacific Rim: In addition to a Love Is Love overnight package, get a sweet treat from Giovane. Pride Sugar Buns are back, these rainbow buns are only available until August 5th, pre-order via the Ritual app to save time & money on your order.
Fairmont Waterfront: Until September 30th, staycation in luxury and be close to the downtown Vancouver Pride and Vancouver Queer Film Festival action, with the Fairmont Waterfront Love Is Love Pride Package, 10% discounted room rate, welcome amenity and $10 per night donation to Dr Peter AIDS Foundation.
Fairmont Empress: Wrap up your pride season with a getaway to Victoria for some rest and relaxation with the Fairmont Empress Love Is Love package, until September 30th, treat yourself to a luxury stay with special amenities and the hotel will make a $10 donation to Victoria Pride Society.
Watch for all the sister properties on the Fairmont Pride Float in the 2019 Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday, August 4th.
Playland Nights is returning for another summer of adults only entertainment, beginning July 5th. Every Friday evening from 7pm to midnight in July will bring dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up to make you forget about heading to a night club.
Dance the evening away to guest DJs spinning tunes under the twinkling lights, while enjoying Playland-inspired adult beverages, specialty cocktails, craft beer and wine to sip while taking in the amusement park’s activities.
This year, watch out for the roaming Underground Circus crew who are just one of the entertainment features for 2019. They are a roaming group of acrobats who bring with them a roaming Circus a la Carte full of circus menu items. The troupe will interact with guests to show off their best balancing, juggling or acrobatic moves, and maybe even get visitors to join in their acts (where appropriate).
At 8 pm each Friday-in-July evening, things heat up with Drum N Dirty, a live percussion DJ who drums to reimagined and remixed party music.
At 9 pm, guests can dance along to Samba Fusion, a group of Brazilian samba showgirls who are known for lighting up an event with their carnival costumes and high-impact energy.
America’s Got Talent and MTV’s stunt magician, comedian extraordinaire and Instagram influencer Wes Barkerwill be on stage at 10 pm for each of the evenings. Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Barker is known for his ability to interact with the crowd and fool even the best of them including the iconic magician team Penn & Teller– as seen on Netflix.
Finally rounding out the stage entertainment is none other than the Dancing Teasing Fabulousness team whose Dezi Desire and Mister Nickel inspired burlesque show is the perfect evening entertainment cap.
Of course, a visit to Playland wouldn’t be complete without the rides. More than 20 of Playland’s games and 20 of the park’s favourite rides will be open each evening, including the Flume, with its40-foot drop, The Beast, with its unparalleled g-forces, and the heart-stopping Hellevator.
New this year is the VIP Experience, VIP ticket holders will have their very-own exclusive magical journeys in the park with a different theme for each of the Fridays in July to choose from. With a VIP ticket pass, they will receive express park entry, access to a VIP bar and the ability to skip-the-line ONCE at Playland’s most iconic rides like the wooden rollercoaster, Atmosfear, The Beast, Pirate Ship, Music Express, Hellevator, Breakdance and even the new Sea to Sky Swin
Last week Harmony Arts Festival presented its 3rd Night on the Pier, a celebration of cocktail culture. Under the late-day heat of the setting sun, Ambleside Pier was filled with visitors seeking thirst quenching cocktails.
Nine of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists poured their original cocktail creations for guests to sample and enjoy, alongside small bites from Mamie Taylor’s, Feast the Neighbourhood Table, Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats Ltd, Las Margaritas, Two Rivers Meats & Backyard Eatery.
After sipping all the cocktails, guests were invited to vote for their favourite to be crowned top mixologist.
After the votes were counted, Milestones’ bartender Souhail Rostainajad was crowned the people’s choice for top cocktail with his refreshing “Cocktails at Tiffany’s” featuring spirit sponsor Barcardi White Rum.
The other competing cocktails, bartenders, restaurant and spirit sponsors were:
Where better than the iconic Fairmont Empress in Victoria to host a leisurely garden party and croquet tournament.
On August 26, 2018, don your best summer garden party, cricket-friendly attire and join MC Joe Perkins of CTV Vancouver Island as the Fairmont Empress brings the beloved pastime to the front lawns of the restored grand hotel. Just as the hotel has gone under a $60+million rebirth to bring new life to the hotel’s rooms and interior spaces, the social scene is returning to the hub of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Like the social affairs of the colonial era, the verdant front lawns of Fairmont Empress, have been transformed to roll out a civilized Croquet tournament. The lush flower gardens Victoria is famous for, bloom around comfortable lounge seating, as the participants and guests enjoy culinary treats and craft cocktails from the Fairmont Empress team of chefs and bartenders, creating an ‘only in Victoria’ afternoon.
No experience is required to participate in the tournament, croquet attire consists of grass friendly footwear (flats, sandals, or wedges, no heels on the lawn), a sun hat to shield your eyes, and your smartest summer outfit to impress and intimidate the competition. Prizes are awarded for best dressed croquet team. If you don’t want to play, spectator tickets are available also.
Register, on Eventbrite, as a team (two people), or as a single to be paired with a teammate at the event: $89 per person plus tax & gratuity after August 1, 2018 at 5pm (must be 19+ to attend)
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;
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
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
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.
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.