29th Annual Harmony Arts Festival comes to Ambleside August 2nd

West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival is an annual summer destination for people from all over Metro Vancouver.  Filling the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival brings a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free!

Highlights of the festival events include;

ARTS:

Indigenous Showcase: the indigenous exhibition returns to Harmony Arts for a second year, recognizing the tradition of gathering and celebrates Indigenous artists and communities in a modern context to share in the richness of their arts

ArtSpeaks: Artist talks, art demonstrations, workshops, hands-on classes and more. ArtSpeaks takes place daily and most classes are free!

Art Beat: the Ambleside and Dundarave local shops and restaurants highlight local artists in their storefronts. 

Fresh St. Market Art Market: Argyle Street is filled with a diverse array of one-of-a-kind, gifts, and products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, leather, painting, photography, textiles and wood. Meet artists and artisans who display awe-inspiring works in a row of white tents.

MUSIC:

Harmony Arts Festival

Over the 10 days, Harmony Arts Festival includes 50 live music performances on two stages.

The PARC Retirement Living Garden Stage in Millennium Park, features daytime concerts, dinner concerts at 5:30 p.m. and evening headline concerts at 8:45 p.m. 

The Main Stage in John Lawson Park is home to the popular Sunset Concerts, daily at 7:30 p.m., as well as timeless melodies of the Seniors Series, sponsored by Revera Retirement Living – Hollyburn House on August 4, 5 & 11. 
The 2019 line-up includes: The Paperboys, The Matinée, Dreams: The Ultimate Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band, R&B Allstars, Desirée Dawson and more. 

FILM:

Outdoor Cinema in the Park takes place each night at 9pm at the John Lawson Park stage. 
This year’s line-up includes award-winning current and classic family-friendly films like Green Book, Crazy Rich Asians, The Incredibles 2, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Black Panther, Top Gun and more. 

FOOD:

Every good festival needs good food, and places to take a break and enjoy the music with your friends. Harmony Arts Festival doesn’t disappoint with a hearty selection of its own free dining spots and ticketed events.

Harmony Arts Festival offers three special ticketed culinary events:

Ambleside Pier

2nd Annual Indigenous Feast: at Ambleside Landing August 6th, 6pm features a traditional indigenous menu paired with Nk’Mip wines

9th Annual Best of the West:
 on Ambleside Pier August 7th, 7-9pm 12 of the Lower Mainland’s best restaurants paired with 12 wineries for a culinary arts event and competition

4th Annual Night on the Pier
: on the Ambleside Pier August 8th, 7:30-9:30pm welcomes some of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees.

Other dining options around Harmony Arts Festival include;

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
 enjoy dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.

Harmony Arts Festival packs in so much entertainment and activities there’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy. 
Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

Vancouver Christmas Market returns for 2018

Celebrating its 9th anniversary, the Vancouver Christmas Market returns to Jack Poole Plaza. Surrounding the Olympic Cauldron the Vancouver holiday tradition runs November 21 – December 24, 2018. This year, the yuletide celebration amplifies and expands its festive offerings with more than 80 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, trinkets and much more alongside an expanded lineup of activities and live entertainment.

“Every season, families, couples, and friends make their annual pilgrimage to feast upon festive delights, warm themselves with mulled wine, shop for unique treasures, and share the Christmas cheer,” says Malte Kluetz, Founder and President of the Vancouver Christmas Market. “This year, we are thrilled to present even more engaging holiday experiences for visitors of all ages to create lasting memories with their loved ones. Whether gathering to indulge in traditional German delicacies, shopping together for that one-of-a-kind gift, or meeting with friends to take in a wide range of special events including Children’s Wish Weeks with an exclusive visit and on-site activity with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson, Deluxe Date Night, Kids Day, Club Christmas Thursdays, or Carousel Fridays, we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests to celebrate this joyous time of year!” 

As always, the market vendors offer a great shopping experience, and the traditional German-style food and drink, especially Glühwein to keep you warm on a winter’s night. The bigger and bolder Christmas Market will offer visitors an abundance of new local vendors, as well as new attractions and events. Some of the highlights include the new Winterdeck located beside the Alpine Lounge, featuring a charming entrance arch, a giant lit up picture frame, and stunning views of the North Shore. Couples will want to stroll down Lovers’ Lane – an Instagram-worthy 30-foot long tunnel adorned with 10,000 twinkling lights and mistletoe. A Love Lock Installation will be placed near the tunnel to which lovers can attach a ‘Vancouver Christmas Market Love Lock’, serving as a touching symbol of love and partnership over the holiday season. Families will enjoy a multitude of holiday activities including the market’s new Kinder Kraft Igloo, featuring a market-wide Christmas scavenger hunt for children, plus free arts and crafts.

 The Vancouver Christmas Market will also offer expanded holiday activities for 2018 visitors of all ages.

Photo: Lindsay Elliott

New events and highlights at the 9th annual Vancouver Christmas Market include:

Children’s Wish Weeks : November 23 to December 7
The Vancouver Christmas Market is honoured to work with and support its charitable partner the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Free Carousel Fridays : November 23 & 30 + December 7
Enjoy carousel rides on the Christmas Carousel offered by donation to Children’s Wish.

Shopping Day : November 25
Get your Christmas shopping done early at the Vancouver Christmas Market! This special day will feature one-day-only deals at gift vendors throughout the market.

Foodie Tuesdays : November 27 & December 4
A chance to try more for less featuring bites and beverages from select vendors that are $4 and under.

Club Christmas : November 29, December 6,  13 & 20
Every Thursday, join us for some after-work drinks, and enjoy our new, later market hours as you bust-a-move with Vancouver’s coolest DJs at the Christmas Pyramid or belt out a tune at karaoke in the Alpine Lounge.

Kids Day : December 1
Join Holly & Jolly, the Market’s Gingerbread mascots, for a day of family fun! Youth (13 and under) will be able to enter the market and enjoy rides on the Christmas Carousel by providing a donation to Children’s Wish Foundation.

Deluxe Date Night : December 5
Romance is always in the air at the Vancouver Christmas Market, but we’re hanging a little extra mistletoe for this special night of love! Enjoy 2-for-1 Entry at the gate as well as ‘deals for duos’ including 2-for-1 carousel rides, pretzels, ciders, and other paired discounts at select vendors.

Canucks Defenseman Erik Gudbranson Visits the Market : December 7
In support of Children’s Wish Weeks, Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson will visit the Market to help make a child’s wish come true. Visitors who make a donation to Children’s Wish Foundation will have the chance to go head-to-head with Erik as they try to score against him.

Tickets for Vancouver Christmas Market are on sale now:
Adult $12, Seniors $11, Youth Age 7-12 $5, Children Age 0-6, FREE.

Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market December 5th

The Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market is coming to neighbourhoods near you on December 5, 2018.  Building on last year’s Holiday Market, Vancouver Foodster market locations bring tastes, gifts and more to different corners of Vancouver.

At the Market locations – Main Street Honey Shoppe, Be Fresh Market & Cafe, Espressotec, and Silk Road Tea – multiple vendors, introduce participants to their products, goods and services.  Find out from producers, crafters, and vendors first hand what goes into their products or flavours.  The Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market is a perfect night for your holiday gift shopping, learning about what’s new on the shelves, shops and online, and mingling with your friends while meeting new ones.

Guests will register at Main Street Honey Shoppe to collect their Holiday Market Passport.  Then, they’ll set off to explore the market locations.

Espressotec, 1015 Clark Drive, will feature local food, baristas, coffee-roasters and coffees, along with general gift items including; Bean Around The World, East Van Roasters, Nutmeg Mylk, and Porchlight Press Cards.

Be Fresh Market & Cafe, 2951 W Broadway, will feature multiple vendors showcasing local foods and beverages.

Silk Road Tea, 2066 West 4th Avenue, presents their imported & custom blended organic, premium loose teas, as well as their organic skincare, haircare & bodycare products.

Tickets for Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market are on sale on Eventbrite now:

Ultra Early-Bird: $29 per person until November 8, 2018
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person November 9 – November 28, 2018
Regular: $50 per person after November 28, 2018 until December 5, 2018
Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.
Ticket price includes food and beverages tasting at each of the participating markets throughout the evening.

 

 

 

Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market Recap

This week, Vancouver Foodster presented the first edition of Holiday Market, a great evening of browsing, shopping and tasting.

The event brought together two dozen vendors at 4 locations around South Granville, Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant. The evening’s vendors included a mix of food products, artisans, and gift ideas just in time for Holiday shopping.  New enterprises, established ventures and collaborations were all presented by the vendors to educate the participants on their wares and services.

All participants checked in at Milano Coffee Roasters on West 8th Avenue which was filled with Holiday Market patrons anxious to see what lay ahead.

Within the cafe, Milano was warming everyone up, serving a duo of their award winning coffees to sip while browsing the vendors around the room including;

Olympia Komianos: Jeweler, Olympia showed her beautiful, rustic hand made silver and gold jewelry.

Foodie Books: Cookbooks by Brad Hill – The North Shore Foodie, The East Van Foodie, The Gastown Foodie are all part cookbook, neighbourhood restaurant guide and history book.

Hayat’s Garden: Floral salads and nutritious, athletic foods created by Saj & Co

Livia Sweets: a small, boutique bakery creating homestyle goodies for sale in cafes and markets around the city.

Jonny Hetherington Essentials: Clean, simple and delicious fruit based Hot Sauces and Ketchups from Jonny Hetherington

Whipped and Beaten: a brand new Vancouver baker creating gluten-free and traditional cakes and pastries.

Faculty Brewing: The False Creek brewer works in collaboration with Milano to brew the 599 Cold Brew ESB also serving their popular Citra (citrus based) Pale Ale.

Next up we visited Meinhardt Fine Foods at 14th & Granville in South Granville, where the store itself is a treasure trove of sweet and savoury gifts for everyone on your lists.  Here we found even more new and established vendors to show us what they’re all about;

Meinhardt’s kitchens prepared some of their renowned bites for patrons to indulge in as they walked over the threshold.  Perfectly balanced housemade Egg Nog, Fried Shrimp of savoury crackers, and Curry Chicken.

ARC Iberico: reminiscing of Spain, we sampled some Chorizo, Iberico Ham and more.

Sal de Ibiza: now in North American Sal de Ibiza presents 30+ products all touched by the Queen of Salts, Fleur de Sel.

Paw Paw’s Cocktail Cherries: Paw Paw is a Southern US term of endearment for Grandfather, who in this case, is on the bottle of these sweet, tart and perfect cocktail cherries.

Justea: Ethically, fair-trade tea direct from Kenyan farmers served their vibrant Purple Rain and Purple Mint teas, yes they’re really purple.

Maureen’s Natural Foods:  Maureen served her classic Caribbean Rum Cake

Terra International Foods: Great European foods gifts sourced from around the continent, like Stollen, Speculaas and more

Laiki Crackers: Simple and Satisfying red and black rice crackers, collaborated with
Blue Heron Creamery: a Vancouver plant-based non-dairy cheese maker
creating savoury cheese and cracker bites

Be Fresh Market Cafe on Bayswater was the next stop filled with more vendors from the shelves of the market curated by Spud.ca

Be Fresh Catering: tempting, tasty vegetarian bites, perfect for your next party like Roasted Zucchini and Brie Cheese Sliders and more.

Tempea Foods:  Rich, and ‘meaty’ Tempeh ‘meatballs’ do not make you miss the beef .

Biota Fermentation:  The small batch fermentor, specialized in fermented pro-biotic foods and kombucha and served a fresh tart and tangy wheatberry salad

Blume Latte:  Zesty, Spice, Sweet are the flavour palate that comes when you try Blume’s trio of Latte Mixes. Turmeric, Chili Turmeric, Beetroot

Kapow Now!: Plant-based superfoods crafts crispy, healthy crackers and much more.

Talk To Me Naked: Artist Tori Swanson is inspired by you, your body is her muse for her custom ink works

On 4th Avenue, Silk Road Tea has so much in-store they didn’t need other vendors to fill out our Holiday Market evening.

Serving a selection of their Wellness Teas, and a rich and decadent Tea Hot Chocolate, the Silk Road Tea shop is filled with create gifts for yourself or those on your lists.

The Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market was truly and evening of delicious inspiration.

Look out for the next Vancouver Foodster event, Noodle Mania January 10, 2018. 

 

 

12 Christmas Craft Markets & Holiday Fairs for 2017 Gift Shopping

We’ve only just put away our Halloween costumers but the Holiday season is racing towards us. Along with the Holiday season, comes shopping.  Skip the malls, experience one of the fun and festive Christmas Craft Markets to find something unique and handmade.

Here’s Twelve Christmas Craft Markets to get you in the festive spirit.

Circle Craft Christmas Market : November 8 – 12 – Vancouver Convention Centre West, the biggest market of them all, kicks off the Christmas Craft Season. Admission $15

Christmas at Hycroft : November 16th – 19th – For 45 years the annual fair at the Edwardian Hycroft Manor plays host to decor, artisans, family fun, entertainment and Santa. Admission $15

VCM at Jack Poole
Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza

Vancouver Christmas Market : November 22nd – December 24th – The popular Holiday Market moves to a new and larger waterfront location at Jack Poole Plaza for the 2017 season. Admission $10

 

West End Holiday Craft Fair : November 25th – 26th – West End Community Centre hosts 55 artisans and vendors selling only handcrafted gifts.  Admission: Free

Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair : The 35th edition, on November 25th – Hundreds of artists and vendors at Dunbar Community Centre with crafts, edible gifts, and entertainment. Admission $5 at door / $4 presale online

Strathcona Winter Fair : November 25th – The Annual Strathcona Winter Fair finds 50+ neighbourhood artists and non-profit vendors at Strathcona Community Centre at 601 Keefer – Admission $2 / Kids under 12, Free

Portobello West Handmade for the Holidays Market : November 25 & 26 – Portobello’s annual market  returns to Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village with live music, food trucks and vendors for all your local shopping needs. Admission $2 / Kids under 12, Free

River District Winter Craft Fair : Sundays November 26, December 3, 10, 17 – expanded to 4 weekends, visit vendors at the River District Centre on Kerr Street. Free admission

Toque: December 1st to 3rd – The Western Front Annual Fundraiser and Craft Sale has great options for shopping as you support for the Wester Front’s year-round arts & music programs. Admission by donation

Make It! The Handmade Revolution Holiday Show: December 7th – 10th at PNE Forum, join the handmade revolution with over 250 crafters, artisans and makers. Weekend admission $8 / Kids under 12, Free ($1 off coupon online)

Got Craft? Holiday Market : December 9th – 10th – At the Maritime Labour Centre is the place to be for DIYers, crafters and handmade enthusiasts to come together. Admission $5 at the door / $3 with coupon

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy : December 9 – 10, 2017 – The Arts Collective’s annual Holiday Show fills Heritage Hall on Main Street with vendors. Admission $3

Get out and get shopping, have fun! Happy Holidays

Vancouver Christmas Market Returns

In just under a month, the 8th annual Vancouver Christmas Market is set to return to Jack Poole Plaza for the second year.

From November 22 – December 24, 2017 Vancouver Christmas Market takes over the 55,000 square feet square creating the largest, authentic German festivities to date. The Vancouver holiday tradition will entertain the whole family with more than 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats and treasures, festive activities and live entertainment. Last year, the Christmas Market drew a record number of visitors as more than 215,000 walked through the gates.

VCM at Jack Poole
Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza

“We are delighted to return to Jack Poole Plaza again this season, warmly welcoming new and returning visitors to partake in our wide array of Christmas festivities, while discovering a number of exciting new activities and expanded highlights,” said Malte Kluetz, Founder and President of the Vancouver Christmas Market. “As we move into our 8th season, and continue to grow in popularity, we are also pleased to unveil our revitalized logo and updated website, developed to help guests easily plan their visit. Whether shopping the market for that special, one-of-kind gift or indulging in the mouth-watering array of German delicacies, we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces during the most wonderful time of the year!”

Meet Santa at VCM
Meeting Santa

Highlights of this year’s expanded festivities include;
– Canada’s first-ever Walk-In Christmas Tree: a 30ft tall tree covered with 36,000 twinkling lights that guests can enter to experience a spectacular – and selfie-worthy light display.
– The Christmas Pyramid returns, this year even taller than last with the addition of a brand new ‘Flying Stage’ perched 10ft high above the market.
– The Flying Stage plays host to a lively line-up of festive musical entertainment daily.

While visitors have come to cherish the Vancouver Christmas Market’s signature savouries, including Glühwein (a hot-spiced mulled wine), Bratwurst, Gulasch, Spätzle, Schnitzel, Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Strudels, and more.
New local vendors will bring the best of BC food and drink including fresh sustainable seafood from Eat F.I.S.H., made-from-scratch Sicilian cannoli by the Cannoli King, award-winning German style wine from Wild Goose Winery, and organic beer made from local ingredients by Persephone Brewing Co.

In addition to the Old World delights, entertainment, and other returning family favourites like the Christmas Carousel and Alpine Haus tent, visitors can wander throughout the market’s quaint pathways of huts, seeking hand crafted gifts and treasures to slip under the Christmas Tree this holiday season.

The Vancouver Christmas Market opens daily from November 22nd until Christmas Eve. Full vendor line-up, information and tickets are available online at vancouverchristmasmarket.com

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market

The recently opened Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market on Cambie Street, in downtown Vancouver gives me a bit of hometown pride.  Growing up in the Comox Valley, it’s great to see a new locale from one of my local hometown companies.

FBOysterBar_IMG_6745One of the best things, for me who does not eat oysters, about Fanny Bay Oyster Bar, is that they have so much more than just oysters. Of course there are plenty of fresh oysters, straight from the waters of BC and around the globe. Sitting at the bar, the friendly staff work double time to shuck the shells and get them trayed and on their way to the table with their house selection of vinaigrettes.  Billy enjoyed the first appetizer tray enough to order another batch of oysters with his meal.

In addition to the Raw Bar, the menu is broken into Small Plates; chowder, salad, ceviche, calamari, crab cakes, or Big Plates; fish & chips, grilled ling cod, bouillabaise, steak & frites, mussels & clams.  The brunch menu is similarly split and I look forward to trying items from that menu soon too.  A nice touch, while we were perusing the menu, is the cup of freshcut, house-made potato chips.

In addition to oysters, Billy ordered from the Big Plates, Salish Mussels and Manila Clams (which comes solo or mixed).  It was a generous sized bowl of steam shellfish served in the signature house broth.

I ordered a Small Plates duo of large Chefs Salad and Crab Cakes. The salad was an impressive work of art, colourful, crisp and fresh. The Crab Cakes were very nice too, served with a zesty chipotle aioli and tangy-dressed arugula. Everything we ate was flavourful, fresh and simple.  We definitely look forward to trying more from this menu.

In addition to the Raw Bar and kitchen menu the Shellfish Market offers fresh and frozen shellfish for you to cook at home.  A wide selection is on display, oysters, clams, geoducks, lobster, crabs and more are ready to go, highlighting their From Tide To Table slogan.

The Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market is located at 762 Cambie Street (near Robson) in the Hotel Blu complex. The kitchen is open from brunch until late 7 days per week and the shellfish market is open from 10am – 6pm daily for retail/wholesale purchases. Happy Hour is 3pm – 6pm daily with a rotation of menu and bar specials.