Jazz and Strings with Surrey City Orchestra

This weekend, the Surrey City Orchestra (SCO), led by conductor Stuart Martin, presented an evening filled with the sounds of jazz and music from film. The Surrey City Orchestra strings were joined by the Miles Black Trio: Miles Black on piano, Jodi Proznik on bass and Jesse Cahill on drums.

Cellist Harold Birston arranged the evening’s program to creatively combine the lush symphonic strings with the classic jazz trio sounds. Birston’s arrangements made both genres uplifting and accessible for everyone listening. Familiar tunes helped to get everyone in the audience tapping their feet along to the snappy beats from the likes of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Gordon Goodwin, John Barry and others. Miles Black’s and Harold Birston’s own originals also joined the setlist.

If having the accomplished and acclaimed Black, Proznik and Cahill, the SCO was also joined by Amarjeet Singh on the Tabla, Coach Sandhu and Robert Alexander on Guitars, plus special guest vocalist Julia Copeman-Haynes. When incorporated, bringing the unique eastern sound of the tabla brought a new depth to the usual beats of the jazz percussion. Teenagers Alexander and Copeman-Haynes demonstrated the quality of music education coming from our local schools. Alexander’s own group of other Semiahmoo students performed pre-show and during the interval to the delight of the audience. Without trying to emulate Dame Shirley Bassey, North Delta graduate, Julia Copeman-Haynes brought clear crisp vocals to John Barry’s Bond iconic themes; Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Surrey City Orchestra led by Conductor Stuart Martin

The rousing 2 hour (plus intermission) performance held the audience’s interest throughout and made those of us seeing the SCO for the first time, look forward to returning. According to the program, other shows from the performers include a charity show from The Miles Black Trio, along with Julia Copeman-Haynes, June 15, 2019 at Crossroads United Church. The SCO performs The Nutcracker, joined by local ethnic dance troupes in December 2019. The Music of Bollywood, and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, are brought to comes to the SCO stage in Spring 2020.

Visit Surrey City Orchestra online for more information and tickets when they come available. You won’t be disappointed if Jazz and Strings was a taste of what just part of an orchestra can produce.

Five Canada Day 2018 Celebrations

Canada Day is upon us, after last year’s 150 celebrations it’s easy to think 2018 will be more subdued but there are still plenty of great ways to celebrate your Canadian Pride.

Canada Day Fireworks

Here’s a selection of celebrations from around Metro Vancouver:

Canada Day at Canada Place : The hub of Metro Vancouver’s celebrations starts with a citizenship ceremony at 10am then entertainment and activities begin at 11am. Canada Day wraps with a bang, as a fireworks show illuminates Burrard Inlet at 10:50pm.

Steveston Salmon Festival : Since 1945 the community of Steveston has celebrated Canada Day and the bounty of Steveston’s rich waters and farms. Beginning at 6:30am with a pancake breakfast with a 10am Canada Day Parade then entertainment, food and fun all through the day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Surrey Canada Day : Amusement rides, food trucks, strawberry tea and headliners Serena Ryder and Brett Kissel bring something for all ages to Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre from 11am until a 10:30pm fireworks show.

Canada Day #onRobson Street : From Noon to 4pm, Robson Street sidewalks between Burrard and Denman will be filled with giveaways, promotions and treats from local merchants, plus entertainment and music from Krystal Dos Santos, Diamond Crew, DJ Static, Dueling Pianos and more.

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum : Celebrate 1920s style at the historic village museum with multicultural entertainment, carousel rides, a parade, Red Serge RCMP, and roaming costumed characters.

This is just a few of the many Canada Celebrations happening this weekend, look in your neighbourhood for other events, plan your own celebrations with family and friends, or check out Jazz Festival, Vancouver Canadians Baseball, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Spring Equinox Celebration with Vinoscenti Vineyard

Raise a glass to the beginning of Spring as Surrey’s Vinoscenti Vineyards present the first of their European Wine & Culture 2018 Series.  Future events in the series will highlight France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. To start the series, celebrate the vernal equinox in the authentic German style while learning and enjoying the wine and culture.

Tickets are on sale now for the German Spring Equinox Celebration but you could win your way to the special evening.   Vinoscenti Vineyards owner and International Wine & Spirit Judge and Educator, Dr. Clinton Lee, will welcome ticket holders to the Vineyards with a glass of German styled wine & charcuterie before presenting a brief introduction to German culture and wines.
Then mix and mingle with other guests on the veranda while grazing the spread of German food catered by the Vancouver Alpen Club, including German sausage, Sauerkraut, freshly made German pretzels, and traditional German cheesecake.  Dr. Lee will also welcome questions from the audience and offer a chance to win prizes.  At 8:15pm the fantastic German dance group, The Alpen Platters will perform a traditional and entertaining Schuhplattler dance.  The entertaining evening runs from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, $65 tickets including everything mentioned above are on sale now on Eventbrite. 

CONTEST: This contest is now closed, thank you to those who entered. Thanks to Vinoscenti Vineyard you can win your way to the German Spring Equinox Celebration on Wednesday, March 21rd,  Vinoscenti Vineyards, 15560 Colebrook Road, Surrey, BC

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would join you to sip and celebrate at the German Spring Equinox Celebration with Vinoscenti Vineyard and Vancouver Alpen Club (1 entry)

Tweet the Following (1 entry) :

RT to Enter to #Win a pair of tickets to the @vinoscentivines German Spring Equinox Celebration via @jminter http://ow.ly/X3AG30iM5PS #contest @alpenclub @deutschhausYVR #german #wine #spring #equinox

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random.

FVDED In The Park Returns For 2018

FVDEDFVDED In The Parkone of the hottest summer tickets in Metro Vancouver goes on sale today.  On July 6 & 7, 2018, Western Canada’s largest urban music festival, returns to Holland Park in Surrey, BC with headliner acts Future and Kygo. 

Presented by Blueprint and Live Nation Canada, FVDED will once again feature some of the biggest names in dance, hip hop, rap, and R&B. with non-music spread across three stages, including a fresh new look and feel planned for the Northwest Stage, fans will surely find something to keep them moving and grooving all weekend.  

“Once again, we are thrilled to be back with our favorite event of the year FVDED in the Park where all genres of today’s hottest music come together,” says Blueprint founder Alvaro Prol. “And this year promises to be better than ever with increased capacity for bigger crowds, an edgy, high-calibre lineup and state-of-the-art stages that serve as the perfect backdrop for all of our artists.” 

FVDED in the Park is the largest outdoor music event in Metro Vancouver with over 40,000 festival goers attending the two day event in 2017.  Conveniently located adjacent to King George SkyTrain station, FVDED is also one of the most accessible festivals in the region. 

In addition to headliners Future and Kygo, the 2018 FVDED In The Park lineup also includes:

Kaskade, A$AP Ferg, Kehlani, Brockhampton, Illenium, Ress, Nav, Duke Dumont, Trippie Redd, Lil Skies, Slander, Bazzi, K?D, Ookay, 88Glam, Chris Lake, AC Slater, Destructo, Killy and many, many more over the two day festival.

General Admission Passes and 19+ VIP Passes for FVDED In The Park 2018 will be released today Thursday, March 1 at 11am. The single day schedule will be announced in the coming weeks with single day tickets also available at that time.


Vancouver Foodster Best Chicken Wings Challenge – Recap

From June 8 – 29, Metro Vancouver restaurants offered their own unique entries into Vancouver Foodster’s Best Chicken Wings Challenge.

Like all Vancouver Foodster challenges, the chefs were invited to be as creative as they like to highlight either an already existing menu item or create a wholly unique dish for their entry.

In the 2017 Best Chicken Wings Challenge, seven chefs plated their take on chicken wings, resulting in a great diversity of flavours to sample.  The wings were served at nine different eateries from all across Metro Vancouver, from Langley to North Vancouver.  The public was encouraged to try any or all the Best Chicken Wings entries and then vote on Vancouver Foodster’s website for their favourites to be crowned People’s Choice Best Chicken Wings.  A panel of media judging, including myself, was also busy trying all the selections to choose the Judges’ Choice Winner.  Sabai Thai’s flavourful Deep Fried Tom Yum Wings came out on top of both lists. Visit vancouverfoodster.com to find out the top three winners from each category.

The entries of the 2017 Best Chicken Wings Challenge were (in random order);

Maru Korean Bistro – North Vancouver
Koritalian Snow Wings – crispy, sous vide cooked, parmesan topped wings



Preston’s – Downtown Vancouver
Comox Chicken Wings – dry rubbed or wet sauces classic whole wings.




House Special – Yaletown
Food Court Wings – wings two ways; hoisin and five spice flavoured served as a food court two item special with rice and veggies.





Ban Chok Dee – Maple Ridge & Langley
Massaman Dragon Wings – elaborately presented under a coconut smoke-filled glass cloche, a stuffed wing with rice berry and more in massaman curry




U & I Thai – Cambie Village & Mission
Red Wings with Thai Herbs – mildly, spices dry wings on a slaw of green papaya





Storm Crow Tavern – Commercial Drive
Rick’s Elusive Szechuan Sauce Wings – wet and sticky, szechuan sauce coated wings with a sharp spice cooled by the sour crema


Sabai Thai Restaurant – Guildford, Surrey
Deep Fried Tom Yum Wings – crispy, mildly spicy, wings served with a sweet dipping sauce and coconut rice.





Canada 150! Where to Celebrate Canada Day 2017

After a year long build up Canada 150 celebrations reach their peak this weekend.  With Canada Day, July 1st falling on Saturday there’s plenty of time to relax after your celebrations. Here’s a few of the events happening around Metro Vancouver this Canada Day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Canada Day at Canada Place: 9:45am – 10pm July 1 / 8:30am – 6:30pm July 2 Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and Canada Place Way.
For Canada 150, Western Canada’s largest celebrations spread over two days, July 1 & 2, featuring the Canada Day parade, Citizenship Ceremony, Canadian Forces Displays, Kids Zones, Pancake Breakfast, five Concert Stages with Sam Roberts, FEFE, Emerson Drive, Hey Ocean!, Dragonette and more.


Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

Canada Day Fireworks: 10:30pm two barges; Coal Harbour off Canada Place and off shore of Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver
Ticketed viewing available on Canadian Trail at Canada Place, tickets $15 open from 8:30pm
Best free viewing locations; Coal Harbour, Vancouver Convention Centre, Stanley Park (near 9 o’clock gun), Crab Park or Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver.

Canada Day on Granville Island: All-Day Granville Island
Fun and festivities for the whole family fill Granville Island on Canada Day. First Nations performers, Buskers, Parade, Kayak demonstrations, Lobster Man Cook Out, Water Park & Picnic Areas, Kids Market activities, Artisan Markets, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival performances throughout the day.

North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations: noon – 4pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Artisan Craft Market, Food Trucks, Kids Play Area, and performances including Lions Gate Chorus, Axé Capoeira, Pro Arté, Mazacote, and many more.

North Vancouver Canada 150 Evening: 6:30pm – 10:30pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Canada 150 event sponsored by Rotary Club of Lions Gate featuring a free concert with Dreams; Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band and Arrival; Abba Tribute Band plus Tom Lanvin & the Legendary Powder Blues Band. After, watch the Canada Day Fireworks

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum: 11am – 4:30pm Burnaby Village Museum
A historic Canada Day deserves a day with history, experience how things were done in the 1920s with photo stops, RCMP Red Serge, entertainment from Coast Salish Singers and Dancers, Tian-Jin Temple Drummers, Kokomo African Heritage Ensemble, Acadamie Duello, and much more

Canada 150 at Queen’s Park: 11:30am – 3:30pm Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Art, music, demonstrations, displays and activities for the whole family at Queens Park. Plus evening Fireworks at 10pm on the Fraser River between River Market and Inn at the Quay.

Richmond Canada Day in Steveston: 10:00am – 10:30pm Steveston Village, Richmond
Combined with Steveston Salmon Festival, the village is packed with food trucks, entertainment and activities.  The Concert Stage features Wintersleep, Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Youngblood, DJ Seko, Watasun and more. Then Fireworks Show along the Steveston Waterfront at 10:15pm

Canada Day Surrey: 10am – 10:30pm Bill Reid Amphitheatre, Surrey.
Amusement Rides, Toddler Town & Kids Zone, Strawberry Tea, Demos, Sports Zone, plus day-long concerts stage featuring Chilliwack, Magic!, Hedley and many more wrapping up the day with Fireworks at 10:30pm

Vancouver Foodster Best Chicken Wings Challenge

There will be no ‘winging it’ when the winner of the Vancouver Foodster Best Chicken Wings Challenge is crowned.

Starting June 8 and running until June 29, The Best Chicken Wings Challenge will bring out the best wings the city has to offer. Participating restaurants are entering their favourite Chicken Wings from their menu or have devised a new unique recipe for their Best Chicken Wings Challenge entry. The imaginative entries may range from simple to elaborate, feature unique and innovative ingredients, they may be breaded or naked; saucy or dry seasoned; baked or fried.
As with all of Vancouver Foodster’s food challenges, the public will vote for a People’s Choice Winner and the judges will choose who is the Judges’ Choice Best Chickens Wing.  The public is invited to try any or all of the entries, then vote for their favourite Chicken Wing creation on vancouverfoodster.com/chicken-wings-challenge.  The top vote getter will be crowned People’s Choice.  Alongside the public vote, a panel of judges, including myself, will be trying all of the entries to select the Judge’s Choice.
The participating restaurants & locations are:


Preston’s at Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 West Hastings Street

House Special, 1269 Hamilton St 

Storm Crow Tavern, 1305 Commercial Drive 

U & I Thai, 3364 Cambie Street 

North Vancouver 

Maru Korean Bistro, 125 2nd St E


Sabai Thai Restaurant, 10391 150 Street 


U & I Thai, 33261 1 Ave 


Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Crescent

Maple Ridge

Ban Chok Dee, 20395 Lougheed Hwy

For more details on the Best Chicken Wings Challenge visit vancouverfoodster.com/chicken-wings-challenge . Follow #ChickenWingsChallengeYVR on Social Media to see all the great dishes people are eating during the run of the challenge, then get out and taste for yourself then Vote for your favourite.