Who will be the Best Sommelier of BC 2018?

On January 29, 2018,  the fourth annual Best Sommelier of BC Competition returns to Rogers Arena, Hosted by The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC).  Canadian Assoc Professional Sommeliers

This annual competition brings some of the best and brightest sommeliers from across the province together to compete for the title of BC’s Best Sommelier 2018 . The challenging competition includes both a written and practical examination. The practical exam will be held live as the top three sommeliers from the written portion compete for the 2018 title.

Eligible competitors must be accredited members of CAPS BC, and Canadian citizens or permanent residents earning at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment as a sommelier. 

For the first time, this year CAPS BC is also hosting the 2018 BC Aspiring Somm Competition.

This additional event is open to any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role and also has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier of BC competitions. Shadowing the Best Sommelier of BC format the competition gives aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is really all about.  The 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Winner will be announced prior to the Best Sommelier of BC announcement on Monday evening.

Esteemed judges for this year: Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris and Sebastien Le Goff. Emcee is DJ Kearney and Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition.

On competition day, the hard work for the contestants starts at  9:00am behind closed doors as the preliminary competition, including written exam and blind tasting, with all candidates gets underway.  

Then at noon, the Top 3 Competitors will be announced, and then immediately compete live, before the public and industry, for Best Somm BC 2018. Tickets for the live competition only are just $10 at the door.

In the evening celebrate the day’s competition at the Champions Dinner, starting with cocktails at 4:30pm followed by dinner and the announcement of the winners of BC’s Best Sommelier 2018.

For registration and more details on the events visit bc.sommelierscanada.ca

2018 Canadian Figure Skating Championships hit the ice

Skate CanadaStarting today the best and brightest of the Canadian figure skating world are sharpening their skates for the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

The Championships return to Vancouver for the first time since 2008, when Patrick Chan scored the first of his 9 Senior Men’s titles, will he secure #10 as he returns to the Vancouver ice?

The 2017 champions in senior disciplines, Kaetlyn Osmond (Women), Patrick Chan (Men),  Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (Pairs),  Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (Dance) hope to remain atop the podium in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

As they hit the ice at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre the defending gold medalists will face tough competition from returning 2017 silver and bronze medalists; Gabrielle Daleman, Alaine Chartrand, Kevin Reynolds, Nam Nguyen, Lubov Ilyushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch, Kirsten Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier as well as dozens of others hoping to step up to the podium.  With Canada having qualified the most entries (17) of any country for the 2018 Winter Olympics, everyone will be hoping to make a mark to gain one of those coveted spots.

In addition to the senior categories, competitors in Novice and Junior disciplines will complete in the week-long figure skating competition. All are hoping to make their name in the field and secure a place in respective national teams for International competitions.

The 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships take place January 8 – 14, 2018 at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC, Vancouver.  For schedule, ticket information, stats and live stream visit skatecanada.ca


Find out who will be Canada’s Best Sommelier?

For the first time ever, oenophiles, vintners, other wine industry, and friends from all across Canada will descend upon Vancouver to find out who is Best Sommelier of Canada.

Presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers the day long competition takes place at Rogers Arena starting at 9am on September 5, 2017.  The live competition is open to industry and public, and finds the top three sommeliers from across the country testing their skills against each other to who will be uncorked as #BestSommCanada.  Preliminary, closed-door competitions the day prior will select the top three from the regional winners;

British Columbia
Shane Taylor, wine director,  Cin Cin Ristorante + Bar
Alistair Veen, chef & owner, Tap Restaurant
Jason Yamasaki, group sommelier, Joey Wine Group 

The Prairies
Domar Rafael, food & beverage manager, The Manitoba Club 

Emily Pearce Bibona, sommelier, The York Club
Steven Robinson, sommelier, Atelier Restaurant

Carl LePage Villeneuve, sommelier, Restaurant Toque
Pier Alexis Souliere, sommelier, Manresa Restaurant

Atlantic Canada
Lesley Quinn, sommelier, Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

Lunch for all guests will follow the Live Competition then the day continues with educational and interesting sponsor seminars from Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge and Wines of Ontario

Dinner, at Victoria Chinese Restaurant will be preceded by a cocktail reception sponsored by Lifford Wines and Spirits and presented by the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association.  The Best Sommelier of Canada winner will be announced later in the evening. The Grand Prize will be presented to the winner by Gallo along with other prizes, including: trips to Argentina, flights around the world presented by the Vancouver International Wine Festival, a special trip arranged by Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, premium wines, spirits, fine Crystal from Nova Scotian Crystal, and more.

Winner of Best Sommelier of Canada earns the right to compete in Best Sommelier of The Americas in hopes of competing at Best Sommelier of the World.

Tickets and a full schedule are bc.sommelierscanada.ca/events

Unique views of Honda Celebration of Light

The 27th Honda Celebration of Light is expected to bring one million plus spectators to the shores of English Bay July 29th, August 2nd and 5th.

If standing amongst the masses to witness the fireworks spectacular isn’t your cup of tea there are a number of options for a more exclusive viewpoint of the event.  If you or a friend have a boat or English Bay facing apartment you’re set, if not here are a few other spots that will give you a unique outlook on the Celebration of Light.

The Honda Celebration of Light ticketed spectator spots offer guests front and centre views of the action from;

The YVR Observation Deck – reserved-seating bleachers with dedicated cash bar and food services
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Lounge – a VIP 19+ lounge, located on the roof of the Bathhouse Roof at English Bay including live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk – the closest water-side view of the fireworks from the lounge surrounding the Inukshuk with DJ, buffet and cocktails.
YVR Business Class Cabanas – take your private party hosting up a notch with a private cabana for 24. July 29 and August 2 are already sold out so book August 5 soon

Other spots around the English Bay to watch include:

Vancouver Maritime Museum presents Fire & Light Fireworks Night, a fundraiser and entertaining evening on the VMM’s exclusive patio at Vanier Park, filled with food, wine, fireworks, dancing with The Raincity 6 Band plus silent and live auctions.

Bard on the Beach offers Bard-B-Q and Fireworks : a special night, watch a performance of Much Ado About Nothing or Two Gentlemen of Verona then stay for a Salmon BBQ by Emelle’s Catering and watch the fireworks from the Bard Village.

While reservations this close may be hard to come by restaurants ringing English Bay also offer great vantage points;

Cactus Club Cafe – English Bay
The Boathouse – English Bay & Kits Beach
Hook Seabar – English Bay
The Three Brits Pub – English Bay
Bayside Lounge – West End
Beach Bay Cafe & Patio – West End
The Sylvia Hotel – West End

Wherever you end up watching the Honda Celebration of Lights, enjoy the nights and lights!

Get some Spring in your ski at Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival

Take a spring festival to the top of a mountain resort and you have the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival.  The 2017 festival runs April 7 – 16, 2017, combining the renewal of spring and the best of mountain snow culture.

The village of Whistler is always a lively location but during ten day festival the vibe is electric.  When visitors aren’t taking to the slopes for the premium spring skiing that this exceptional winter has set up, the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival brings art, music, photography, film presentations, ski and snowboard competitions, nightlife and more to the village, making for exciting apres-ski sessions.

The Olympus 72Hr Filmmaker Showdown is always a hit. The competition challenges filmmakers to create a 3-5 minute short film from scratch.  Shot within 100km radius of Whistler over the course of 72 hours, edited on site with the results shown during the festival.  The concurrent Olympus Pro-Photographer Showdown welcomes five of the world’s top action photographers to showcase their work in another festival competition.

Throughout the festival, some great music acts visit the village to entertain the masses in the FIDO Free Outdoor Concert Series or the Kokanee Freeride Club Series.  The acts to look out for include; Virginia To Vegas, Walk Off The Earth, Willa, Busty And The Brass, The Funky Snow Monkeys, Swollen Members, Kyprios, Keys N Krates, Busta Rhymes, Ozomalti and many more.

Even without all the extras provided by the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival, Whistler has plenty to entertain, pamper and play.

Get information and tickets about the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival online

Celebration Of Light announces 2017 competitors

The Honda Celebration of Light has revealed the 2017 competitors for the annual summer fireworks festival.

Canada’s largest fireworks festival brings thousands to the shores around English Bay July 29, August 2 & August 5 at 10pm each evening.  Since its inception millions of spectators have welcomed fireworks crews from around the world for awe-inspiring displays

This year the Honda Celebration of Light welcomes Japan
represented by Akariya Fireworks on July 29,  UK represented by Jubilee Fireworks on August 2 and Canada represented by  Royal Pyrotechnie on August 5.

In honour of Canada 150, this year’s Celebration of Light will highlight Canadian Music with a contest to choose the Top 3 Canadian Tunes that will be featured during the festival. Cast your vote online for your favourite song in the #HCL150Song Contest for the chance to win 2 tickets to the YVR Observation Deck.

The YVR Observation Deck, YVR Business Class, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Lounge and the Inukshuk Lounge provide ticketed seating in bleachers or VIP Lounges for upgraded experiences, to make the most of your Honda Celebration of Light summer night.


Vancouver Foodster 3rd Pizza Challenge

Vancouver Foodster has just launched the 3rd Pizza Challenge with a dozen city restaurants signed up to participate. Until March 26th, the public is invited to get out and try any or all of the pizza creations then vote for their favourites to help choose the Pizza Challenge winner.

The participating restaurants have been challenged to be as creative as they would like or create a perfect classic pie that will wow the tasters. The chefs were advised that the criteria voters will consider when tasting is originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

In addition to the public vote, a trio of media judges will be tasting the Pizza Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner.
The Media Judges are:

Tara Lee:  Writer for Inside Vancouver and other publications.
Twitter: @VanGlutton

Corey Basso: Executive Producer of Whitecaps FC Broadcasts, Announcer, Reporter at Bell Media Vancouver
Twitter: @CDBasso

David Peng:  Blogger at Picky Diners and Vancouver Foodie Pulse
Twitter: @pickydiner

The participating restaurants in the Vancouver Foodster Pizza Challenge are:


Caffe Mangia Pizzeria, 2211 Manitoba St.
Twitter @caffe_mangia

Grain Tasting Bar (inside the Hyatt Regency), 655 Burrard Street
Twitter:   @Grain_Bar

Megabite Pizza, 1005 Granville Street
Twitter: @megabitecanada

Novo Pizzeria, 2118 Burrard Street
Twitter @NOVOPizzeria

Olympia Pizza, 3205 West Broadway
Instagram: @olympiapizzakits

Ragazzi Pizza, 2996 E. 22nd Avenue, Vancouver
Twitter:   @RagazziPizza


Pizza Garden, 4464 Beresford Street
Twitter: @PizzaGardenCa

Port Moody

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria, 2801 St Johns Street, Port Moody
Twitter @Spacca_NapoliPM

West Vancouver

Bay Moorings Restaurant, 6330 Bay Street
Instagram: @bay_moorings

North Vancouver

Alberello Pizzeria, 115 W 15th Street,
Twitter @Alberellopizza

Hearthstone Brewery Tap & Forno, 1015 Marine Drive
Twitter: @hearthstonebeer

Fort Langley

Mangia e Scappa Italian Foods, 23238 Mavis Ave
Twitter: @mangiaescappaif