Picks of the Week – August 15, 2018

Mid-August and the annual smokey overlay above the city is upon us, there’s lots of entertainment to keep you indoors and out of the poor air.

Jericho:  It’s the final weekend of Ensemble Theatre Company Summer Repertory Festival  the trio of plays at Jericho Arts Centre: Dark Road by Ian Rankin, A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin & The Beauty Queen of Leenane wraps up August 17th.

Synth: Show a little respect as Erasure takes the stage at The Orpheum Theatre tonight, August 15th.

VQFF Closing Film: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Festies: The Vancouver Queer Film Festival also wraps up this weekend but not before many more days of world class films.

Laugh:  Visit one of the best patios in Vancouver, the Neil McRae Bar at the Improv Centre on Granville Island and while you’re there get a good laugh a at Vancouver Theatresports League zany improv antics when you check out the fun at Avocado Toast or stay for the late night show WTF – What The Fun!

WhitecapsKicks: Whitecaps FC hope to continue the forward momentum into the playoffs as they host NY Red Bulls on Saturday

Tyrant: Enjoy the August line-up of comedy and jazz at Tyrant Studios Summer Lounge Series: Friday Jazz & The Comic Strip Saturdays

Cabaret: Fabulist Theatre presents Our Time: An Empowerment Cabaret, a celebration of women in stories and songs from the suffragette to the #MeToo movement

Rock: It’s the weekend to Rock Ambleside Park, as it welcomes a bevy of classic rock acts, including Loverboy, Lee Aaron, Trooper, Chilliwack, Nazareth and more on Aug 17, 18, & 19.

PNE: The 2018 Fair at the PNE opens this weekend, this year the Fair celebrates the40th Anniversary of SuperDogs, the Pacific Coliseum’s 50th Anniversary and the 60th Anniversary of the famed Wooden Roller Coaster.

PNE Summer Nights Concerts

Nights: The opening of the PNE also kicks off the Summer Nights Concert Series fan picks between free concerts from Boyz II Men and Air Supply this Saturday and Sunday

Music: The CBC Musical Nooners are back for another year, bringing lunch time music to the outdoor CBC Plaza on Hamilton Street

Dine:  Provence Marinaside’s Tomato Festival picks the best of the summer’s crop and brings it to your plate through the month of August

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Exhibit:  Experience a visit to the cabin and stay indoors, at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever  an exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018.
As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver latest exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, brings the great outdoors, indoors to take a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city, showing until 2019

TUTS CInderella: Tré Cotten(Topher) & Mallory James(Ella)
photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars:  Theatre Under The Stars has extended the 2018 season of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and 42ND Street on alternating nights at Malkin Bowl, now closing August 25th.

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  now extended until September 28, or the dramatic Macbeth on the Mainstage, and find Timon of Athens or Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach 2018

 

Harmony Arts’ Night on the Pier Crowns Top Mixologist

Harmony Arts Festival – Night On The Pier

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.

Winner: Cocktails At Tiffany’s, and Las Margaritas house-made salsa & chips

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:

 

Matthew Benevoli, Nomad – “West Coast Windstorm” featuring Southern Comfort & Charton Hobbs

 

 

 

 

 

Max Borrowman, Juniper Kitchen and Bar – Essence de Rouge featuring  Grand Marnier

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Bruce, Keefer Bar – “From Sea to Sea” featuring Giffard & Torres Pisco, & Tempo Renovo Gin

 

 

 

 

 

Daniela Campos, Feast The Neighbourhood Table – “Hazy Prophet” featuring Aviation Gin

 

 

 

 

 

Levon Culbertson-Bottomley, Edible Canada – “Sheringham Oolong Sout” featuring Sheringham Distillery

 

 

 

 

 

Sabrine Dhaliwal, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar – “Cherry Road” featuring Belvedere Vodka

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn Gray, Rosewood Hotel Georgia – “Bahamian Swizzle” featuring Mount Gay Eclipse Rum

 

 

 

 

 

Skye Haneul Kim, Cacao Progressive Latin – “atardecer en Ica” featuring Tacama Demonio de los Andes Pisco

 

 

 

Picks of the Week – August 1, 2018

How did July fly by so quickly? Here we are at the start of August, with a long weekend and Vancouver Pride ahead to give us plenty to keep busy in these picks of the week

Icons: Tonight and Thursday, comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short entertain the audiences at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Bach Festival

Bach: Early Music Vancouver’s 3rd Bach Festival is underway bringing the sounds of the composer to Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts until August 10th

Pride: As Vancouver Pride is in full swing, there’s plenty of pride parties, events and dances to appeal to every niche the community, plus there’s free Pride events too.

Arts: West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival gets underway Friday bringing nearly two weeks of food, fun and entertainment to Ambleside

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  now extended until September 28, or the dramatic Macbeth on the Mainstage, and find Timon of Athens or Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach 2018

View from Keg Lounge

Lights: The Honda Celebration of Light continues Aug 1 and Aug 4, with presentations by Sweden and South Korea, respectively, lighting up the skies above English Bay

Laugh: Get a good laugh at those millennials and a whole lot more at Vancouver Theatresports League when you check out the fun at Avocado Toast or stay for the late night show WTF – What The Fun!, and enjoy a the views and cocktails at the Neil McRae Bar between shows.

SkyHigh: Take your dining experience to new heights with Dinner In The Sky, high above the shore of West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park Aug 4 – Sep 3.

Stars: The stars and future stars come out as Theatre Under The Stars opens its 2018 season of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and 42ND Street on alternating nights at Malkin Bowl.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Irish:  Once is not enough to see, the final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season, ONCE, now extended until August 5th at the Granville Island Stage.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland opens daily from July 29th for all your family’s summer excitement, or leave the kids at home for Playland Nights, Fridays from 7pm to Midnight

Music: The CBC Musical Nooners are back for another year, bringing lunch time music to the outdoor CBC Plaza on Hamilton Street

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018.
As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Stage: The Ensemble Theatre Company Summer Repertory Festival continues until August 17 with a trio of plays running through August: Dark Road by Ian Rankin, A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin & The Beauty Queen of Leenane

 

Provence Marinaside 9th Annual Tomato Festival

La Tomatina, the famed tomato throwing festival takes place in Spain in August, but you don’t have to go across the globe to get a your hand on fresh tomatoes.

For the entire month of August, Provence Marinaside celebrates all things tomato with its Ninth Annual Tomato Festival. You might not get to take out your aggressions by throwing them but you’ll certainly get to enjoy the summer fresh goodness. Provence Marinaside is offering special prix fixe menu that will satisfy even the most addicted tomato-holic.

Whether eaten fresh-picked from the vine, mixed into salsas and salads, juiced, roasted or sun-dried – there are almost as many ways to enjoy tomato’s flavourful goodness as there are varieties.  “They are the taste of the sun, and remind me of long summer days when I was a child in Provence,” says Provence Marinaside’s Executive Chef Jean Francis Quaglia.

Grilled Halibut with Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette
Photo: N Wong

This three-course seasonal menu is priced at $58 with an optional rosé wine pairing which has been carefully selected by Wine Director Joshua Carlson and his sommelier team. The wine pairing is priced at $30 for a different rosé with each course, or only $20 for a smaller pour. Both the individual dishes and the wines are also available à la carte should you so choose.   For the three-course Tomato Festival menu options; starters, mains and dessert visit Provence Marinaside online.

“Locally-grown tomatoes have a more intense flavor profile,” says Chef de Cuisine Sheldon Maloff who worked with Chef Jean Francis to design the Tomato Festival Menu. “They could not be more different from the tasteless varieties you find at the large grocery stores. We are fortunate to work with BC producers who supply us with amazing varieties of heirloom and modern varieties. Local tomatoes just taste so much better.”

Provence Marinaside Patio
Photo: N Wong

The Ninth Annual Tomato Festival, starts tomorrow, August 1 and continues throughout the month at Provence Marinaside, located at the foot of Davie St. and across from the Quayside Marina in Yaletown.

6 Free Events for your Vancouver Pride Weekend

Today, at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza) the City Of Vancouver councillor Stephenson, Joan-E Drag and members of Vancouver Pride Society will officially proclaim Pride Week In Vancouver.

The proclamation kicks off a week of events, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Vancouver Pride. While the week is packed with ticketed parties, fundraisers, and dances, there are plenty of free events to fill your agenda.

Here’s six free events to fill your Vancouver Pride weekend:

Pride At The Pier: Tuesday July 31, 5pm-10pm at Shipbuilders Square, North Vancouver
Music, activities, performers and more come to North Vancouver’s pride party for the young or young at heart.

Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast: Saturday August 4, 8am-noon at Jim Deva Plaza, West End
The by-donation pancake breakfast celebrates the legacy of Terry Wallace on of the Pride Society’s founders.

15th Annual Dyck March & Festival: Saturday August 4, 11am-5pm at Grandview Park, East Vancouver
The March leaves McSpadden Park at noon, makes its way down Commercial Drive to Grandview Park

Celebration of Light: Saturday August 4, 10pm in English Bay
While not an official Pride event the fireworks festival starts your Saturday night off with a bang as the skies above English Bay come to life.

Sunset Beach Festival: Sunday August 5, 11am – 6pm, Sunset Beach, West End
Start early, or stop by after the Parade for beer gardens, entertainers on the Main Stage, Community Zone, Family activities, food trucks and more.

40th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade: Sunday August 5, Noon – 3pm, route along Robson St, Denman St, and Beach Ave.
Join the thousands of spectators who line the streets of the West End to watch the Parade and celebrations.

 

Where to watch Honda Celebration of Light 2018

The 2018 Honda Celebration of Light is upon us and expected to bring more than a million spectators to the shores of English Bay July 28th (South Africa), August 1st (Sweden) and 4th (South Korea). This year the teams must all incorporate the same theme – Love – into their competition entry.

The audience gathers early around English Bay Beach and Kits Beach, to watch the live performances at the Honda Zone, Z-Fest and Second Beach Park Stages or the Red Bull Air Show.

If standing amongst the masses to witness the fireworks spectacular isn’t your cup of tea, and you don’t have a friend with a balcony view of the fireworks barge in English Bay, a boat to take you out on the waters or a flight above the city to look down to the Celebration, here are a few other spots that will give you another 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;

View from Keg Lounge

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.

The YVR Observation Deck – reserved-seating bleachers with dedicated cash bar and food services

YVR Business Class Cabanas – are almost all sold out for the chance to take your private party hosting up a notch with a private cabana for 24, limited numbers are available for August 4th only.

A couple of other special spots around over in Kits to watch are:

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, performances by ABRA-Cadabra : an Abba tribute band, plus silent and live auctions.

Bard on the Beach offers Bard-B-Q and Fireworks : a special night, watch a performance of As You Like It or Timon of Athens then stay for a Salmon BBQ by Emelle’s Catering, visit the PIXSTAR photo booth, enjoy music by Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and, of course, 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
Avocado Bay – West End
Bayside Lounge – West End
Beach Bay Cafe & Patio – West End
The Sylvia Hotel – West End

Prince of Whales Whale Watching is also offering 2 hour cruise packages to enjoy the fireworks from the water,  limited tickets still available online.

Wherever you end up watching the Honda Celebration of Lights, may it light up your night! 

Ensemble Theatre Festival has more than A Few Good Men

Ensemble Theatre Company 6th Annual Repertory Festival is now underway with A Few Good Men running in the repertoire at Jericho Arts Centre.

The military courtroom drama is best known for the star-studded film of the same name but this intimate stage version really allows Aaron Sorkin’s script to be the star.  Jericho Arts Centre layout brings the audience in so close to the players we felt like members of the jury. The intimacy draws the audience into the drama but also magnifies even the slightest of mistakes, some (presumably) opening-night nerves got the best of some actors. However, in such a dialogue heavy script some miscues and stumbles in delivery make it feel more natural.

The story follows the defendants, lawyers and witnesses in a high-profile court-martial, that the U.S. Marine Corp wants to quietly disappear, but internal affairs believes it’s more than an open and shut case.  The team soon uncover a high-level conspiracy that slowly unravels before them.  At first, the film comes to mind, but soon the cast steps out from the shadow of Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson to make the roles their own. Directors Alan Brodie and Tariq Leslie recast some of the characters with players of the opposite sex as in the film, making it even easier to look at them with fresh eyes.

Alexis Kellum-Creer (as Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway) & Zac Scott (as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffe)
photo: Derek Fu

As lead prosecutor Lt Daniel Kaffe, Zac Scott brings his own brand of cockiness to the first act, then really embodies the role as he emotionally connects to his clients and the audience.  Alexis Kellum-Creer brings a mix of bravado and innocence to the character of Lt Commander Joanne Galloway, boldly asserting herself into the defense team but humbled by missteps in her ability make her realize her junior officer, Kaffe, is not all style and show.  With the help of Sean Anthony’s Lt Sam Weinberg, the trio form a realistic camaraderie as they race to defend the pair of Marines accused of murder.  As the play evolves the guilt shifts from the accused to others involved in the major cover up of a murder.   Yurij Kis, as Col. Nathan Jessep, has one of the most difficult challenges to break free from the memory of Jack Nicolson’s Oscar nominated turn as the play’s villain.  However, in spite of it being one of the most famous scenes in film, Kis really connects as he takes the witness stand and delivers a scorching monologue to implicate himself in the show’s climax.

As a fan of Aaron Sorkin, the cast and direction of Ensemble Theatre’s A Few Good Men keep the pace and deliver the drama expected of the well written script.

A Few Good Men runs alongside Ian Rankin’s Dark Road and The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Jericho Arts Centre in Ensemble Theatre Company’s Annual Repertory Festival until August 17th.

Visit ensembletheatrecompany.ca for festival passes and single tickets