Richmond Maritime Festival took over Steveston

This past weekend, the 14th Annual Richmond Maritime Festival brought thousands out to the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site in Steveston Village.

With the first smoke-free days after weeks of haze engulfing the city, the refreshing breeze and blue skies made for a perfect day to stroll the Fraser Riverfront, visit the historic Britannia Shipyard buildings; like the Seine Net Loft, Chinese Bunkhouse, Shipyards, or Murkani House. Intermixed with the permanent exhibits Maritime Festival zones hosted activities and entertainment for the whole family.

Music stages, games, puppet shows, historical and cultural arts and crafts.  Visitors could try their hands at paddling a Dragon Boat, tie nautical knots, learn about the cargo and work that goes on at Port Metro Vancouver and Steveston Harbour.

The highlight for many was the local and visiting boats on display along the waterfront.  Boat owners and crews welcomed visitors, young and old, aboard to explore the wooden boats, sailboats, tugs, lifeboat and more.  People scrambled up and down the decks, engine rooms and berths as they learned about the life aquatic. All the while a band of pirates in their scaled-down ships chased each other along the riverwith smoke from their cannon fire circling the sails.

Saturday evening’s entertainment was unfortunately cut short when a real fire broke out at the nearby Colonial Cannery building. Thankfully it was brought under control by the Steveston Harbour Authority, who were on site at the Festival, and Richmond Fire Department.  The Festival was able to recommence Sunday morning as scheduled, allowing even more families to enjoy the Richmond Maritime Festival.

Mixology Night On The Pier Crowns A Cocktail Champion

Ambleside Pier

Last night, Harmony Arts Festival presented the 2nd Annual Mixology Night On The Pier, a celebration of cocktail culture.  Eight of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists crafted unique cocktail creations for the Mixology Night guests to sample and enjoy.  After tasting, guests were invited to vote for their favourite to be crowned top bartender.

Under an amber sunset the Ambleside seaside pier twinkled with light as it filled with patrons enjoying bites catered by Cocktails and Canapes, Memphis Blues and Mamie Taylors while sipping the cocktail creations by the competing bartenders (in alphabetical order);

Chelsea Schulte, Cocktails and Canapes
Better Of Red : Campari, Tarragon infused Lillet Blanc, Sparkling Cucumber & Green Apple Juice, Raspberry Lemon Sherbet

 

 

 

Justin Darnes, Mott 32 & Trump Hotels Champagne Lounge
Blood & Champagne : Sparkling Wine, Clarified Orange & Egyptian Geranium Blossom Cordial, Negroni Pearls

 

 

 

 

Katie Ingram, L’Abattoir
Pachamama : El Gobernador Pisco, Amaro Nonino, Giffard Elderflower, Lemon Juice, Bittered Sling Western Haskup

 

 

 

 

Max Borrowman, Juniper Kitchen + Bar
The Cascadian : Grand Marnier, Lime Juice, Pear Puree, Maple Pecan Syrup, Egg White, Smoked Pear Bitters

 

 

 

 

Philipp Karatsyupa, Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
Voila Venezuelan Festivus : Diplomatico Reserva, Charred Pineapple Shrub, Lionello Stock Rosso Vermouth, Cuvee Jean Louis Bubbles Top Up, Green Strawberry Bitters, Odd Society Creme De Cassis, Caviar Garnish

 

 


Robyn Gray ,Prohibition at Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Toki Ice Tea : Suntory Toki Whisky, Genmaicha Tea, Honey, on the rocks with a Shiso Leaf Garnish

 

 

 


Sabrine Dhaliwal, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar
Evening Whispers : Belvedere Vodka, Lemon Juice, White Port, Aperol, Jasmine Green Tea, Bittered Sling Sulus Cherry Bitters

 

 

 

 

Sergio Grandolfo, Cacao Vancouver
La Tierra Del Fuego : El Gobernador Pisco, Corn Syrup, Lemon Juice, Spicy Extract, Sorel Molecular Foam, Edible Petals

 

 

 

 

Guests voted by ballot for their favourite cocktail and bartender plus a chance to win a Helijet roundtrip flight.  After the votes were counted, Winner Sergio Grandolfo from Cacao Vancouver was crowned the people’s choice for top cocktail. A trip will also be awarded to Sergio.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival starts August 10, 2017

Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), the city’s second largest film fest gets under way in one week.  Running August 10 to 20, 2017, VQFF brings 11 days of award winning films, talkbacks, performances and parties.

I Dream In Another Language

The Festival opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with the 2017 Sundance Award-winning film, I Dream in Another Language (Sueño en Otro Idioma). Following the screening the Festival’s Opening Gala Party, a celebration under the stars at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.

The VQFF Artist in Residence for 2017 is the prolific and multi-talented Vivek Shraya. The filmmaker, visual artist, musician, and author will spend the Festival’s opening weekend with audiences at events featuring a breadth of work from her diverse portfolio.

VQFF Artistic Directors Amber Dawn & Anoushka Ratnarajah

“We’re thrilled to be bringing audiences and artists together for once in a lifetime connections at our Festival,” said Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn. “The caliber of talent and diverse perspectives of our visiting and local filmmakers are sure to challenge and delight our highly intelligent and invested audiences. We look forward to the time we will share together.”

 


Some of the artists in attendance at VQFF include;

Taxi Stories

– Doris Yeung, writer, director and executive producer of Taxi Stories, the most ambitious film of the Festival, filmed in three countries and featuring a mostly non-actor cast.
– Philippines filmmaker Samantha Lee, whose film, Maybe Tomorrow (Baka Bukas), won the Audience Choice Award at the Cinema One Originals Festival in Manila.
– New York City poet and author, t’ai freedom ford, whose work is featured in The Revival: Women and the Word.
– Pakistani-Canadian film and television actress, writer and producer, Fawzia Mirza, for the screening of Signature Move.
– Emerging filmmaker Francis Luta, will speak with audiences after his film Project Gelb.
– Award-winning writer, playwright, performer and filmmaker, Steen Starr, whose short documentary Older than What? tells the story of twelve queer and trans elders responding to ten questions about aging, visibility, and social change.

One of the festival’s fan favourite events, The Coast is Queer, an evening dedicated to local talent, will screen on Friday, August 18 at the York Theatre. Featuring nine stellar short films from some of BC’s most standout emerging and established filmmakers, our annual local programming covers documentaries, romance, fantasy, and drama.

Handsome Devil

The Festival closes August 20th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Closing Gala screening of 2016 Dublin Film Critics Circle Award winner Handsome Devil by Irish director John Butler.  Following the  screening the annual Closing Party at The Junction wraps another VQFF.

For full Vancouver Queer Film Festival line-up and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.com

Vancouver Bach Festival welcomes Cinquecento

The Vancouver Bach Festival presented by Early Music Vancouver is now underway with shows at Christ Church Cathedral and The Chan Centre. Wednesday night’s program, Songs of Religious Upheaval featured the European quintet Cinquecento.  For their first performance in Vancouver the group performed a selection of music from Reformation England by composers Thomas Tallis, Christopher Tye and William Byrd.  The group’s name Cinquecento is taken from the Italian term for the sixteenth century, the period of the reformation.  The pre-show talk with Countertenor Terry Wey and Baritone Tim Scott Whiteley moderated by Early Music Vancouver Artistic Director Matthew White introduced the groups history as well as a bit more about the era of their speciality Renaissance Music.

The Religious Upheaval refers to this period as Henry VIII broke with the Pope and Catholic Church, forming the Church of England in its wake. Then Catholicism was restored under Mary I before again being replaced by the Church of England under the reign of Elizabeth I. During this time musical works switched from melismatic (multiple notes to sing a single syllable of text) Latin favoured by the Catholic Church to simple syllabic English composition as decreed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, compositions to a more moderate blend under Elizabeth I.

Knowing this back story added to the evening’s performance, being able to contrast the styles.  A melismatic composition with just a few lyrics taking twice as long as a lengthy syllabic one but both are equally stunning as performed by Cinquecento.  The evening of beautiful music in the beautiful setting of Christ Church Cathedral was well attended with few empty seats in the pews. With tickets from $20 and shows throughout the days until August 11th, there’s surely something to appeal to all music fans, not just those interested in classical works.

For the full program and for tickets visit the Vancouver Bach Festival website

Picks of the Week – Aug 2, 2017

The August long weekend in Vancouver is always packed with so much entertainment; Pride, Fireworks, Festivals, Concerts and more make it hard to choose the picks of the week…

Lights: Look up, way up and witness the explosive entertainment of Celebration of Lights as United Kingdom lights the night tonight and Canada wows the crowds on Saturday

Punks: Reminisce with the contrasting of rock styles when Echo & The Bunnymen and Violent Femmes take the PNE Amphitheatre stage on Thursday

Arts: As if you need more to do this weekend, the 27th Harmony Arts Festival kicks off on Friday bringing 10 days of arts & entertainment to West Vancouver.

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach is under the tents at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona in previews on the Howard Family Stage

Pier: Pride comes to North Vancouver this year with the new Prance on the Pier, an all-ages dance party at the Shipyards pier in lower Lonsdale

Bingo: At Wednesday’s Bingo 4 Life Pride Edition Grease is the word as Mina Mercury and Carlotta Gurl channel their inner Sandy’s while calling numbers to raise money for Vancouver Friends For Life

Bach: Early Music Vancouver presents the 2nd Vancouver Bach Festival with chamber music concerts, ensembles and soloists bringing classical music to Christ Church Cathdral and The Chan Centre until Aug 11th

Run: Get your weekend off and running, supporting charities while you’re at it. Drop your gear for the Pride Undie Run, a quick jog from the Vancouver Art Gallery to the Davie Street Party on Friday night.

Street: Pride really gets going with the annual Davie Street Dance Party filling the street from Burrard to Jervis with music, food, drink and entertainment

Stars: Enjoy the evening in Stanley Park at Theatre Under The Stars this season presenting Mary Poppins and The Drowsey Chaperone on alternating evenings.

Beach: Sunday the Sunset Beach Festival opens at 11am for a day of music, outdoor beer garden, food trucks and marketplace. 

Parade: The main event of Vancouver Pride the 39th Annual Pride Parade starts at Noon at Robson & Bute then makes its way to Sunset Beach entertaining thousands of spectators along the way.

Parties: Fill in the weekend with any of the multitude of parties and cruises like Love & Freedom Events’ Big Pride Weekend,  Ruff Vancouver, TFD Presents’ Rapture Pride Weekend, Vancouver Arts & Leisure’s Alternative Pride, Cruisy-T’s Boat Cruise and more

 

 

Harmony Arts Festival kicks off Friday

As other festivals come and go, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver is still going strong after more than a quarter century.   Centred on the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival packs August 4th to 13th with music, arts, film and food, much of it free!

Highlights of the free festival events include;

Music:
Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.
ONNI Group Sunset Concerts at John Lawson Park feature the likes of Valdy, Dawn Pemberton, The Paperboys and more
Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts feature Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and The Solitary Band, Coco Jafra, Lion Bear Fox, Melanie Dekker, Jim Byrnes, The Boom Booms to name just a few.
Hollyburn House Seniors’ Series finds Dal Richards Orchestra and others playing afternoon sets
Live Music at The Silk Purse has live jazz and classic sounds

Arts:
Fresh St. Market Art Market lines Argyle Street with an open air art market keeping the attention on visual arts that have been the core of Harmony Arts Festival since the beginning.
Fresh St. Market Art Market Daylight and Twilight is a multi-media installation featuring photography, film and interactive mediums.
Art Beat invites visitors to walk the beat in Ambleside Beach and Dundarave Village exploring the multitude of artists displaying their works in shops and galleries around areas.
Plenty of other visual arts exhibitions, shows and even competitions take place throughout the Festival to keep your senses amazed.

Film:
After the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts stick around John Lawson Park for free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm including classics like In The Heat Of The Night, or From Russia With Love, action hits Jurassic Park or E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, to the contemporary musical Moulin Rouge, or animated Zootopia.

Food:
What’s a festival without great food, Harmony Arts doesn’t disappoint with Artisan Eats, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.  The Park Royal Beachside Patio brings The Fish Shack by Glowbal Group to West Van. The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge welcomes Caffé Al Mercato to provide al fresco dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.
Along with these dining options two special ticketed events:
Best of the West is a sold out evening featuring 13 local restaurants paired with 13 wineries celebrating the best BC has to offer.
Mixology Night on the Pier, now in its 2nd year, celebrates the rebirth of cocktail culture with eight of Metro Vancouver’s competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees. Tickets are just $75

With plenty of events to amuse young and old, from day time to evening, 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.

3rd Annual African Descent Festival this weekend

The 3rd annual African Descent Festival gets underway at Thornton Park on Main Street this weekend, July 22 – 23, 2017. Presented by the African Descent Society, the festival is a celebration and promotion of the arts, culture, and music of the African descendants who make up Vancouver’s often unknown rich African history.

Vancouver boasts a vibrant and long-standing African descendent community, going back to the historic Hogan’s Alley, the first and only neighbourhood in Vancouver with a highly concentrated African-Canadian population.  Hogan’s Alley, not far from where Thornton Park stand now, came to an end with the construction of the Georgia Viaduct, part of a proposed freeway which destroyed most of Hogan’s Alley, but was halted in time to spare Chinatown and Gastown.  African Descent Festival commemorates the lives of the African descendants that lived then and the communities that are continuing to be fostered today. 

Entertainment includes 30+ artists over the weekend of July 22 and 23, headlined by South African top reggae star Nkulee Duke.  The festival also boasts an African Fashion Show curated by Zao Zeus Mohammed, traditional dances, a marketplace, tours of historic Hogan’s Alley, crafts and many guest speakers.   The African Descent Festival  takes place at 1166 Main Street, beside Main Street-Chinatown Skytrain Station and is a free community event but donations are welcome.  Festival marketplace and events run 10am – 8pm Saturday and Sunday. For a full line up and event details visit africandescentfestival.com