Warm up to Hot Chocolate Festival 2019

Hot Chocolate Festival

Winter and Hot Chocolate are perfect match so what could be better than a whole winter month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 9th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is now  on until February 14th, 2019.

The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 70+ varieties of chocolate drinks.  The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Metro Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search of a new favourite Hot Chocolate blend. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.

The Festival reaches across Metro Vancouver; Temper Chocolates & Pastry in West Vancouver, to Trafiq Café and Bakery on Main Street, and Gem Chocolates in Kerrisdale or Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby. Why not take in one of the Chocolate Cooking Class at the Trattoria in the Italian Cultural Centre. Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide and see how Hot Chocolate Makes You Happy.

The Hot Chocolate Festival supports the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families. 

Vancouver Foodster launches 1st Vancouver Soup Festival

In the midst of winter,  when nothing comforts like a bowl of soup,  Vancouver Foodster has introduced the 1st Vancouver Soup Festival.

From January 10 to 31, 2019, a different selection of soups will be featured weekly by each of the participating restaurants.

Over the three weeks, the public is invited to visit and try each of the soup entries and choose their favourites. The Vancouver Soup Festival will then have 3 sets of winners, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place chosen each week over the 3 weeks of the festival. Week one of the festival is on now, until Jan 16, week two runs Jan 17-23, and finally week three is Jan 24-31.

When visiting the and tasting the restaurant’s soup entries, visitors are encouraged to tweet, post on Instagram or Facebook to share their favourite Festival soups, be sure to mention and tag @vanfoodster and #SoupFestYVR so others can follow along.

The weekly entries for the Vancouver Soup Festival include:

Week One:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: 
Harrira (Chick Pea & Lentil)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Hun Dun Mian (Wonton)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St, Vancouver
Soup: Pozole Verde (Mexican Corn Stew)

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr. Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy. Maple Ridge
Soup: Gaeng Liang Soup with Cheese Ice Cream (Kabocha Squash)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: The Naughty Thai (Coconut Chicken Curry)

Week Two:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: Bessara (Green Pea)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Shu Cai Mian (Vegetable Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St. Vancouver
Soup: Mexican Lamb Consomme

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Green Pea with Chicken Ravioli Soup

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Week Three:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St.
Soup: Loubia (White Bean)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St.
Soup: Niu Rou Mian (Taiwanese Beef Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street
Soup: Mexican Red Lentil Soup

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Tom Yum Hot House Soup (Thai Tom Yum Tomato)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Garden Variety Chili (Vegan Chili)

For full details on each soup, participating restaurants and to VOTE for your favourites, visit vancouverfoodster.com.

Make a Dash for Dine Out 2019 Tickets

Since 2002 Vancouverites have been filling their winters and bellies with Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s prix fixe menu deals.  What started with just 57 restaurants has grown to become Canada’s largest food and drink festival, with 300+ restaurants, breweries, wineries, events and more to indulge.

Grand Tasting
photo: Carly Whetter

From January 18 to February 3, 2019 restaurants from South Surrey to North Vancouver welcome guests with $15, $25, $35 and $45 fixed price brunch, lunch and dinner menus.  The restaurant menus are revealed and reservations are open to the public today, January 10th,  visit dineoutvancouver.com to start your Dine Out planning.

In addition to a restaurant menus, a series of spectacular tasting events fill the days and evenings.  The events start off with The Grand Tasting, a preview launch event January 17th at Rocky Mountaineer Station. The World Chef Exchange brings chefs from San Diego, London, Sydney, Montreal and Dusseldorf to work with local chefs in their restaurants. Street Food City, the food truck fest is back for its eighth year.

Street Food City
photo: Carly Whetter

Secret Supper Soirees are are back for mysterious dinners. Food & Drink Tours of all kinds fill the festival dates. Many events are already sold out, so if you haven’t check out the Events listings and book soon.

Coming from out of town, or even if you’re local, why not make a night of it and book a night at the Dine Out Special Room Rates or a Dine & Stay package with one of the participating Dine Out Hotel Partners. 

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2019 runs January 18 – February 3, 2019. For menu information, restaurant and hotel reservations and event tickets visit dineoutvancouver.com

Beat Back The Winter Blahs with Throwdown TheatreSports Festival

Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) is getting ready to beat away the winter blahs with laughter during its annual improv celebration, Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival. Taking place at The Improv Centre on Granville Island from January 2 to 27, 2019.

The best antidote to those dreary January days is a good dose of hearty laughter and Vancouver TheatreSports has it in spades.

Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival welcomes TheatreSports teams from other cities to join the top Vancouver improvisers in head-to-head matches with each other.

VTS Artistic & Executive Director Jay Ono adds, “This year, we concentrated on inviting the best teams from the U.S. because later this year [2019] in October, the entire TheatreSports world will be gathering in Vancouver for the 2019 International TheatreSports Institute Conference, which VTS is privileged to host. Throwdown 2019 features fabulous team companies from Honolulu, Bellingham, Portland and returning champs, the talented group from Orlando – who have won for the past three consecutive years.”

From January 2 to 19, local teams comprised of VTS ensemble members play in a classic TheatreSports round-robin competition for bragging rights of the best team in Vancouver. Working from audience suggestions, the players start improvising in hopes of scoring the biggest cheers from audience members. As in all classic TheatreSports matches, the final outcome is determined by audience judges scoring each of the ‘games’ within a match. The team with the most points wins.

January 22 to 27 welcomes the four U.S. teams in a series of hilarious matches and showcases designed to banish even the gloomiest of times. The lineup features: Sak Comedy Lab – Orlando, Florida (returning champions); Curious Comedy Theatre – Portland, Oregon; On the Spot Improv – Honolulu, Hawaii; Upfront Theatre – Bellingham, Washington.

On the last evening of Throwdown, January 27, the winners of the international competitions play with the local victors from the previous weeks in a winner-takes-all laugh fest. 

“There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to bring out the best in improv comedy,” comments Ono. “And the winner gets bragging rights for an entire year plus an invitation to return in 2020 to defend their crown.”

While no one can predict the outcome, one thing is for certain – audience members will be the winners. Arriving with winter weighing them down, and leaving with an added spring in their step after an evening of laughter.

For a full schedule of time, match information and tickets (starting from $10.75) for Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival,  visit vtsl.com.

PuSh Festival Debuts Its 15th Anniversary Program

This week, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival launched its 2019 Festival Program, at a party at John Fluevog Shoes in Gastown. The 2019 Push Festival, January 17 to February 3 will mark the milestone 15th annual festival, bringing international performing arts to venues around Vancouver. Featuring 26 works from 24 companies from 13 countries — including six world premieres — this showcase of visionary collaboration and cutting-edge arts brings a welcome highlight to the winter culture season.

Lucy McCormick’s Triple Threat
Feb 2 –
Club Push at XY
Photo: The Other Richard

 “We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

 Joyce Rosario, Interim Artistic Director of the PuSh Festival, adds: “Our programming ignites important, meaningful discussions about the world around us and is a reminder that we are a part of something bigger. The 15th anniversary holds personal significance to me. Not only does it mark the final iteration guided by the vision of Norman Armour, PuSh’s co-founder and former Artistic and Executive Director, but it’s also the sixth shaped by our collaboration together as a curatorial team. This year’s festival is the result of many such partnerships, amongst the intrepid team at PuSh and with our presentation partners — some of whom have been with us since the very beginning. In 2019, we bring audiences face-to-face with a broad range of thought-provoking works that subvert the dominant narrative by changing whose perspectives are centred.”

Kids by Liu Kuan-Hsiang
Jan 24-26 at Dance Centre
Photo: Etang Chen

The six world premiere performances will be presented by contemporary dance organization Company 605; boundary-breaking dance company MACHiNENOiSY; composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea; Dora Award-winning dub poet and actor D’BI; the performers of Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons; and Guatemalan performance artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

In addition to the world premieres, another 11 performances will be Canadian premieres, including a suite of three sound-based works from Japan by ASUNA, Marginal Consort, and Tetsuya Umeda; Dancenorth Australia featuring music from Indonesian band Senyawa; and a piece from Taiwanese choreographer Liu Kuan-Hsiang.

X Marks the Movement – Opening Night at The Beaumont Studios
Photo: Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons

New for the 2019 season, Club PuSh, the home of the festival’s most edgy and experimental work,  will be located in multiple spaces across the city and home to Opening and Closing Night parties.

The PuSh Film Series at Vancity Theatre, presents movies perfectly paired to the program,  and PuSh Assembly will stimulate dialogue through free talks for the public and industry networking events.

To celebrate its 15th year, PuSh Festival is offering audiences a limited time offer of $15 tickets for 15 days. The 15x15x15 offer applies to the full festival program: 26 critically acclaimed works from different artistic disciplines. The 15X15X15 promotion is on now and November 30th so get your tickets at pushfestival.ca before they’re all gone.

Lumiere Vancouver brings light to the nights

Just as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end, Lumiere Vancouver returns for a 5th year to light up long Vancouver nights.  This weekend the beloved winter festival brings three nights of interactive art installations land activities to three iconic Vancouver sites: English Bay, Jim Deva Plaza,
šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square, formerly known as the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Lumiere – Luna

This year, the festival, with the support of its partners, will feature 17 public artworks created by local and international artists. Like a beacon on the bay, the now iconic Luna the illuminated Orca, returns to Morton Park, at Davie & Denman Streets, lighting the shores of English Bay. Look for Luna to be joined by Stanley, an illuminated 13 foot heron honouring Stanley Park’s Great Blue Heron colony. Both brilliant beasts are created by MK Illumination Canada

New this year, Lumiere expands to the šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (Art Gallery north), with seven interactive installations to help celebrate the return of Standard Time and the earlier nightfall. The plaza welcomes the public to be inspired, intrigued and interact with the music and light art works.

Public Disco shakes up Davie Village on Saturday November 3 for a night of music and dancing. Featuring a lineup of local DJ’s, hundreds of disco balls and a variety of immersive art works, it will be a night to remember.

Lumiere will kick off tonight, Friday November 2, 2018 and runs until Sunday November 4, 2018 in all three locations. Events take place 5:30 – 10pm nightly. For more information on the featured artists and the full schedule, visit lumiereyvr.com

Music on Main brings Modulus Festival 2018

Music on Main invites you to immerse yourself in the 2018 Modulus Festival from November 2 – 6, 2018.

Acclaimed music and sounds will fill The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700 over the five day festival. A collaborative festival, Modulus brings together other Arts organizations from near and far to mount the series of great events. DOXA, Coastal Jazz, Western Front Music, Standing Wave, NOW Society, Driftwood Percussion, Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo, France’s Ensemble Variances and Britain’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival all contribute to Modulus.

Evening and afternoon performances bring concerts, talks, films and even a kitchen party to the stages.  Covering jazz, percussion, classical,  chamber music and more, featured events include a night of music and video with acclaimed pianist Eve Egoyan including Nicole Lizée’s “glitch” inspired piece David Lynch Etudes, a world premiere by Nicole Lizée performed by flutist Claire Marchand and harpist Albertina Chan, composer and vocalist Laura Bowler.

Modulus Festival begins Friday, November 2 at 8pm running to Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700. Events are free and/or ticketed, visit musiconmain.ca for more details and to purchase tickets.