Texas Troubadours sing-along at Chan Centre

This week, the Chan Centre for Performing Arts held a hootenanny as a trio of Texas Troubadours – Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Carrie Rodriguez took the stage.

The Chan Centre’s stellar acoustics added to the simple staging and sounds of the award winning trio.  Starting off the evening, Carrie Rodriguez fiddled her way into the hearts of the audience with her folksy stories of growing up surrounded by musical influences of family and friends in Texas.  Her self-described “Ameri-Chicana” attitude, Spanglish lyrics and timeless melodies were vaguely reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt but at the same time fresh and new.  An old friend of her father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore brought his guitar to join Ms Rodriguez onstage for a duet, then took the reins for his own solo set.  A classic Texas troubadour’s voice, Gilmore’s country twang fed the audience some ‘down home’ country-folk sounds and jovial meandering stories.  Ruthie Foster joined Gilmore for one song, then displayed her own powerhouse voice for a few of her own numbers before Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Carrie Rodriguez returned for a group number before the interval.

Upon return to the stage, the second set was casual, impromptu feeling collection of tunes. Each singer lead the way with some of their own tunes, with the others joining in.  Like an old fashioned hootenanny or front porch sing-along, the audience was encouraged to join in on choruses and lend their voices whenever they felt the desire.  A great number of the audience took part and filled the Chan Centre like a country or gospel choir.  The mutual respect and admiration of the three performers was clearly evident as they supported and collaborated to the delight of the audience.

The Texas Troubadours continue to perform together and separately through the winter and spring.  Visit carrierodriguez.com, ruthiefoster.com and jimmiegilmore.com for more tour information.

Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks Vol 15 – recap

Tuesday night, Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks Volume 15 “From Your Roots” brought food enthusiasts together at Pacific Restaurant Supply.  Attendees gathered early in the Pacific Restaurant Supply Test Kitchen, a unique and surprising food preparation and service, event space atop the restaurant supplies showroom.  Snacking on Cannolis and other baked delights from Italia Bakery and Milano Coffee, guests mingled amongst themselves and the speakers before they spent the evening listening and learning about the food roots of the five presenters.

For Food Talks, Vancouver Foodster always reaches out to his vast network of chefs and food purveyors, and Volume 15 was another impressive line-up of speakers;

Speakers at Food Talks Vol 15 include;

Jason Gilron – President, Pacific Restaurant Supply

Ian Bruce – Founder, Umaluma Gelato

Paul Grunberg – co-owner L’Abbatoir and Osteria Savio Volpe

Caren McSherry – Founder, The Gourmet Warehouse

Brian Turko – Owner & Master Roaster, Milano Coffee

In discussing their roots in the food industry, a common theme for most of the speakers was that their current positions in the food industry came to them after trying other ventures or as a way out from things in their life that weren’t working.  Caren McSherry worked as a Flight Attendant, picking up a love for food from around the world,  while Jason Gilron worked in kitchens until marriage and children prompted a move to more family friendly work hours. Ian Bruce went from fisheries to IT to film industry before finding a passion for Gelato.  Paul Grunberg found a natural affinity to food and cooking while struggling with academics and Brian Turko went from welfare to master roaster. From all their journeys we can discover that it’s never too late to find your passion and pursue it.  Surely a lesson everyone can apply to their lives.

Food Talks is just one of the plethora of foodie events put on by Vancouver Foodster, upcoming Tasting Plates North Van Brunch is coming up on November 25th, Vancouver Foodster Burger Challenge is on until Sunday and Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market – a night of tasting takes place December 6th. For more information visit vancouverfoodster.com

 

 

Rugby Canada v Maori All Blacks draw record crowd

On Friday night, BC Place hosted the largest audience for fifteens rugby ever in Canada as our national team played host to Maori All Blacks from New Zealand.

A post shared by Jay Minter (@jminter) on

The energy of the 29,480 fans in BC Place was electric as the two teams made to the pitch for the anthems.  Then the Maori All Blacks performed the much anticipated Haka.  It was a thrill for all in attendance to witness the iconic Maori challenge in person.

While it was a long stretch for a Rugby Canada team to triumph over any All Blacks team, especially with new head coach Kingsley Jones only having just come onboard and getting used to the team.  With just 4 practices in the books with the young team, Jones had to be pleased with their performance. Although it wasn’t a win, the Canadians held the Kiwis to 9-51, not nearly the rout expected.  The Canadians had chances throughout the match showing flashes of skilled play but some costly errors and turnovers allowed the visitors’ skill to shine through.

There was plenty of All Blacks fans amongst the Red and White army but everyone was a fan of an exciting rugby match, which these teams delivered, in spades.
Next up for Rugby Canada is a series of European matches then a World Cup qualifier at BC Place on January 27th as Canada strives to secure a berth in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

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

Picks of the Week – November 1, 2017

How did it get to be November already?! Halloween is behind us but these picks of the week are here to keep us entertained

URP – Jesus Christ Superstar

Star: See what’s the buzz as URP Productions presents Jesus Christ Superstar at Centennial Theatre until Sunday.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to New Jersey Devils tonight then on Saturday Pittsburgh comes to Rogers Arena

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company sets the table for Thanks For Giving wraps up at the Granville Island Stage on November 4th and King Charles III runs at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

Try: Friday night, international rugby comes to BC Place as Team Canada host the Maori All-Blacks

MISSING
Baritone – Clarence Logan
Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols
Soprano-Melody Courage
Photo : Emily Coopper

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Orange:  Show your BC Lions support as they take on the Toronto Argonauts at BC Place on Saturday.

Laughs: Comedian Gad Elmaleh, known as the Seinfeld of France, brings his stand-up to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Sunday

Missing from City Opera Vancouver Honours the Missing

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opening this Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, a profoundly moving and pivotal opera ripped from the headlines. 

Focusing on the national crisis of missing and murdered, Missing is written by distinguished Canadian Métis playwright Marie Clements, with a gripping score by JUNO Award-winning composer Brian Current.  The work confronts the tragedy of more than 1,200 missing and murdered First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls in Canada, and the affect it has on the communities and families – both First Nations and non-First Nations – dealing with their loss.

Baritone – Clarence Logan Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols Soprano-Melody Courage Photo : Emily Coopper

“With Missing we have the rare opportunity to inform about this crisis in a meaningful and unprecedented way,” says Charles Barber, Artistic Director, City Opera Vancouver. “We commissioned Marie Clements to write her first-ever opera libretto to honour the memory of each and every missing and murdered Indigenous woman. The poignant tale she so brilliantly conceived lends itself to opera, as the human voice is a powerful vehicle to draw deep emotion and introspection. It is the story of two women who represent so many – one who survives and one who does not, and it’s through their story we find hope and, for some, healing.”

“The story of Missing can’t answer the questions I’ve been asking my whole life, but I am hoping it will join other voices who are asking the same questions, telling their stories, and demanding an end to what should be unfathomable,” says Marie Clements, Librettist.

Missing is set between Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and BC’s notorious Highway 16 – the Highway of Tears, where at least 18 women have vanished or been found murdered since 1969. Told through both English and the First Nations language of Gitxsan (widely spoken in First Nations communities along Highway 16), this chamber opera follows the fate of an Indigenous and non-Indigenous young woman whose lives become tragically intertwined. White girl ‘Ava’ becomes mysteriously drawn to the language, traditions and sufferings of the ‘unknown Native Girl’ with whom she crosses paths, and, thereafter, she finds herself in internal conflict as her community struggles toward reconciliation.

Missing takes the stage, November 3,7,9 & 11 at 8pm, and November 5 at 2pm at The York Theatre. Tickets are available online at thecultch.com

Early Music Vancouver welcomes early opera Orfeo

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

This weekend, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presented Monteverdi’s Orfeo, at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, at UBC.  Often described as a “game changer” in the history of music, the historic work marks the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Baroque. Orfeo was brought to life under the guidance of GRAMMY award-winner and Monteverdi specialist, Stephen Stubbs, leading the singers and musicians of Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks. This production starred Vancouver’s Colin Balzer, an internationally celebrated tenor in the title role, and also included San Francisco’s Dark Horse Consort, North America’s most respected  17th century wind ensemble.   The surprisingly lively work is a relatively quick 2 hour performance.  Even though this was a performance sung in the original Italian, it was filled with bold performances lead by Balzer’s emotional turn as Orfeo.

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

Monteverdi’s Orpheo follows the Greek musician and demi-god, Orfeo (Orpheus in the original legend), who after losing his beloved Euridice to a snake bite, descends into Hades to use the power of music to convince the god of the underworld, Plutone, to return his beloved to life. Orfeo sings and plays so convincingly that Plutone agrees to grant his request, but on one condition – that he not look back when leading his love out of the darkness. Tragically, Orfeo, wracked by doubt and unable to control his own passion, glances back, condemning his beloved to an eternity in darkness, and Orfeo to a life without love. Returning to the light alone, Orfeo sings one of the most poignant and powerful laments in operatic history, ultimately reaching the ears of his father Apollo, the God of Music. Out of pity for his son, Apollo descends from the heavens to bring Orfeo comfort, thereby restoring balance to the world.

Early Music Vancouver produces a series of classical and choral works throughout the year. Visit earlymusic.bc.ca for the full calendar and more information.