6 Shops for Great Grab and Go Christmas Gifts

Time is quickly ticking closer to Christmas Day!  It’s probably too late for any online shopping and with our busy schedules there’s hardly any time to get out and shop. Here’s a few handy local shops to grab & go,  during your lunch hour or after-work, with lots of great gift ideas.

Cook Culture Cooking School

Cook Culture:  Find all the kitchenware, large and small, that anyone could dream of, and cooking classes too.
Three Vancouver Locations: Downtown – 377 Howe Street, 1548 W. Broadway (near Granville), North Vancouver – 1238 Lonsdale Avenue and in Victoria too. 

Masc:  A huge inventory of skincare and grooming products plus a knowledgeable team to help find the best gift for the men on your list.
Yaletown – 433 Davie Street (near Homer)

Silk Road

Silk Road Tea:  Seasonal, herbal, black, white, green and wellness tea blends to match every need, and a great selection of tea inspired gifts and bundles.
Kitsilano – 2066 West 4th Avenue and in 2 Victoria locations.

Old Faithful Shop: Gifts, gadgets, stationary, furniture, homewares and more. Cool gift ideas and stocking stuffers at every turn.
Gastown – 320 West Cordova Street

Walrus: Clothing and accessories, home, garden, decor and more, Walrus has all sorts of fun, and interesting items to wrap up this Christmas.
Cambie Village – 3408 Cambie Street

Meinhardt Fine Foods: Festive foods, tastes from around the globe, gourmet gift boxes for every kitchen and grab a tasty take-out hot lunch or dinner while you’re shopping too.
2 Vancouver Locations: Downtown, Pacific Centre – 609 Granville Street, South Granville – 3002 Granville Street

 

10 Experiences for Last Minute Gift Giving.

If you’re still looking for Christmas gift giving ideas, time is running out, the shops are packed and delivery for online shopping is getting tight.  Why not choose a fun experience to give as a gift this year? A perfect gift for the person who has everythings, it’s also a green gift – no waste, no returns and no wrapping.

Here’s a few local experiences that are sure to suit someone on your Christmas list:

Theatre: Vancouver has a vibrant theatre scene, with theatre companies presenting shows for all tastes. Pick up tickets or a gift certificate from The Arts Club Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, The Cultch and more.

Cinema in Concert

Orchestra: There’s some great symphonic music experiences coming to town  that will make great gifts; Cinema in Concert with the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra, A Salute to Sinatra or A Classical Mystery Tour; Beatles Tribute with the VSO, Bach to the Future or other shows from Early Music BC’s spring line up

Cooking: Novices and experienced home cooks alike will each enjoy a cooking class at Cook Culture is just the ticket; learn some new skills or have a fun and tasty night out with a group of friends.

Mystery: Team building, a family challenge or an adventurous night out; Forbidden Vancouver take you on a walk through the city’s scandalous past or Vancouver Mysteries put you in the action to hit the street to solve a crime.

Pop: Tickets to a favourite concert are never a bad gift, with Bruce Cockburn, Lights, Portugal the Man, Milky Chance, Dua Lipa, Miguel and Katy Perry coming to town in the next couple months there’s plenty to choose from.

Canada Sevens

Sports:  First hand or arm-chair athletes will love a sports experience in their stocking; Canucks, Whitecaps, Lions or Canadians are great choices or Canada Sevens in March or get ahead with World Juniors Hockey Championships coming to Vancouver/Victoria in 2019

 

Festivals: Vancouver has some unique festivals that bring an ensemble of events together under one theme sure to appeal to someone on your list; PuSh Festival and Dine Out Vancouver are in January, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and Cherry Blossom Festival are in Spring, and many more gift options for passes and tickets run throughout the year.

Staycation: Everyone loves a getaway, even if it’s in your own town, a night at at a one of Vancouver’s great hotel can make an amazing change of pace at any time of year.

Pamper:  Spa, Floatation Tank, Salon gift certificates, even for just an hour can be rejuvenating as your recipient lets someone tend to their manicure, pedicure, massage or more.

Homecare: Almost everyone loathes having to do housework, why not give someone on your list a break with a gift certificate for housework, laundry or any household odd jobs,  do-it-yourself or hire a service to do it.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on experiences and events to put under the tree to fit your Christmas gift giving list.

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. 

 

 

Holiday Market from Vancouver Foodster

‘Tis the season for shopping and browsing the Holiday Markets around the city and on December 6th Vancouver Foodster introduces a Holiday Market like no other.  A night of tastings to celebrate the Holiday Season, Vancouver Foodster’s Holiday Market explores a trio of neighbourhoods to see what merchants have in store.

South Granville, False Creek and Kitsilano welcome holiday explorers to visit a selection of markets that will feature various vendors offering a  selection of savoury and sweets, plus beverages for guests to enjoy and peruse.  Market visitors will have a chance to browse, try and perhaps purchase many different foods and beverages throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the producers and chefs, and learn about each of the participating vendors and markets.

Guests will check in at Milano Coffee Roasters, at 156 West 8th Avenue to receive their Market Passport and Menu before setting off to explore the rest of the Holiday Market.

In addition to Milano Coffee Roasters the Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market also includes;

Meinhardt Fine Foods
3002 Granville Street, Vancouver

Be Fresh Market Cafe
1900 West First Avenue, Vancouver

Silk Road Tea
2066 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tickets for Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market are on sale now from Eventbrite.
Ultra Early-Bird: $18 per person before November 22, 2017
Early-Bird: $25 per person after November 22, 2017
Regular $30 per person after November 29, 2017

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

Audi of Richmond Flagship Opens

This week, Audi of Richmond opened the doors to its stunning, new state-of-the-art, building at 5600 Parkwood Cr. in the Richmond Auto Mall. At over 100,000sq feet the new building is the largest in new car showroom in Metro Vancouver and one of the largest in the country.  

Owner’s Cowell Auto Group, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, are in the process of redeveloping all of their Richmond Auto Mall locations, Audi of Richmond is first out of the gate.  At the glamourous opening night event, Cowell Auto Group President Rand Cowell welcomed their opening night guests; customers, staff, family and friends, to the stunning new Audi Terminal.  Audi of Canada President Daniel Weissland reaffirmed Audi’s stature as the most-progressive luxury brand in the Canadian market, with 13 new models arriving this year.  Audi of Richmond’s massive showroom is poised to bring customers the ultimate one-stop-shop for all things Audi. 

Cowell Family Members & Audi Canada President Daniel Weissland cut the ribbon to open the new Audi of Richmond

From the one-of-a-kind Audi Direct Reception, the covered drive-in entry way keeps visitors out of the elements. Then flows into the sleek and modern terminal comfortable customer experiences await in all directions; Parts, Service or Sales. The overheight ceilings and windows provide a bright, natural backdrop to the new car showroom.  Space for more inventory on site makes the Audi of Richmond shopping experience seamless.  Even the Certified Pre-Owned shoppers get the largest showroom in Metro Vancouver. The unique to Audi of Richmond Audi Sport Customization Lounge allows personal touches to be added to new Audi Sport purchases.
Customer waiting areas on each of the three levels ensure every moment of a visit to Audi of Richmond is never far comfort.  European Coffee machines, instant filtered chilled water dispensers, cafes and more, elevate the service most other auto stores.  The luxury treatment is throughout the store, gone are the days when the service and parts department are relegated to a grimy, backdoor.
Even if you’re just browsing, the new Audi of Richmond building is worth a visit next time you’re in the Richmond Auto Mall.