13: The Musical brings back teen spirit

L to R: Julian Lokash (Archie), Julia Mclean (Patrice), Graham Verchere (Evan), Jason Sakaki (Brett), Kyra Leroux (Kendra), Michelle Creber (Lucy)
Photo Credit: Anita Alberto

Bring On Tomorrow Co’s production of 13 : The Musical, now playing at Waterfront Theatre, brilliantly brings back all the feelings of adolescents.  We’ve all been haunted by the spirits of teen angst but thankfully it’s much more enjoyable watching the trials and tribulations when it’s happening to someone else.

The company, made completely of teenaged actors, bring to life Dan Elish’s story of Evan Goldman.  Ripped from the comfort of his New York City life and plunked into Appleton, Indiana just as he turns 13 years old.  With his Bar Mitzvah plans now thrown into array, Evan must balance the tricky teen worlds of popularity and friendship.

Graham Verchere brings Evan to the stage with a believable awkward innocence of a boy becoming a man, or at least trying to navigate his way to teenhood, with a little help from his friends.  Patrice, literally the girl next door, played beautifully by Julia Maclean, and Archie, Julian Lokash, plays the ‘boy with the terminal illness’ not to be laughed at but laughed with.  While every character has moments of light and dark the powerhouse performance of Michelle Creber as Lucy the main manipulator of the gang, is a girl everyone remembers from school as is Brett, played by Jason Sakaki, the quintessential jock.

Just like back in school, the girls have developed earlier than the boys.  Most of these female performers have rich powerful voices while the adolescent boys bring back those memories and blushes of the occasional cracks and squeaks when you least expect them, bringing even more reality to Jason Robert Brown’s songs.  Chris Adams direction and Nicol Spinola’s choreography work hand in hand to juggle the large ensemble as they recreate the energy of the Dan Quayle Junior High School student body. Christopher David Gauthier’s simple set design makes quick changes to reveal all the halls and rooms of the school.

While Bring On Tomorrow Co’s 13 : The Musical ends on October 8th, if you have the chance get out and see it.  Relive the comedy and tragedy of being 13,  there’s sure to be a character who reminds you of someone you went to school with, if not yourself.

James & Jamesy In The Dark at Waterfront Theatre

jamesandjamesyFor a unique evening of theatre, catch James & Jamesy In The Dark at Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island until October 16th.

In The Dark is a performance that literally begins in the dark with the only lighting coming from the players’ custom created illuminated costumes. Start with the whimsy of Pixar’s earliest work,  add surreal philosophical questions of Samuel Beckett, then throw in a bit of clown-like physical comedy and ad-libbed audience interaction, the end result is James & Jamesy In The Dark.  While that description may defy logic, the play is indescribable and with audience interaction it can be a different show every night.

James & Jamesy (played by Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles) have appeared in three shows co-created by director David MacMurray Smith and the collaboration and camaraderie of the duo is evident especially as they improvise aspects of the show based on the audience.  The award-winning duos mime-like physicality is entrancing and entertaining with their fluidity and agility, it’s no wonder the show has been a Fringe Festival favourite as it’s toured across the country.

James & Jamesy In The Dark plays until October 16, 2016 at the Waterfront Theatre 1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island. Tickets are available online or at Tickets Tonight.

Visit jamesandjamesy.com/in-the-dark for more information

Watch the trailer for James & Jamesy In The Dark


Water’s Edge Day 2014

Vancouver is surrounded by water and its citizens cherish the easy access to the beaches, seawalls and waterfront parks but how much do you know about the water?

Do you know the animals that live in English Bay? What did False Creek look like a century ago?

SYW-header-smSunday, October 5th spend the day celebrating the Vancouver waterfront on the first Water’s Edge Day at Vancouver Maritime Museum from 10am – 5pm.  The day is filled with fun, free activities for the whole family to enjoy.

  • Take a paddle tour in a Tsleil-Waututh paddle canoe or a kayak eco-tour.
  • Interact with the Vancouver Aquarium’s critter tanks.
  • Cycle the seawall and learn the history around False Creek.
  • Learn about ocean science at Science World.
  • Participate and create in art workshops.
  • Explore the city’s martime history with free access to Maritime Museum.

Take part in the #MyVanWaterfront photo contest to win some great prizes by posting your favourite photos and stories on Twitter & Instagram and tagging them #myvanwaterfront. Enter your posts now for the prizes to be drawn on Water’s Edge Day.

Water’s Edge Day takes place Sunday October 5, 2014 from 10am-5pm at the Vancouver Maritime Museum on 1905 Ogden Ave.

Fairmont Hotels “Get Steeped” For November

For the second November in a row, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is celebrating the age old tradition of taking tea. The “Get Steeped with Fairmont” program runs in hotels and resorts around the world. With iconic properties like The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, London’s The Savoy, New York City’s The Plaza or the brand new Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai all brewing up special tea services. There is something for everyone, from tea-sommelier led tastings and unique tea infused cocktails each property across the chain is putting their own spin on tea.


In addition to the hotel tea services, guests can create their own tea tradition with Fairmont’s new limited-edition Eclipse blend, the first in a new series of select teas to be offered annually for “Get Steeped”.  The unique-to-Fairmont black tea blend, created in partnership with The Metropolitan Tea Company, is available at select properties and online at Fairmont shop alongside Fairmont’s wide selection of other signature tea blends.


With The Fairmont Empress, The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Fairmont Waterfront, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Fairmont Pacific Rim, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and The Fairmont Olympic Hotel all nearby, we Vancouverites have plenty of opportunities to “Get Steeped”.

Aura Restaurant at The Inn At Laurel Point

Off a corner of the lobby of The Inn At Laurel Point, Aura Waterfront Restaurant & Patio is a hidden gem on Victoria’s Inner Harbour.  Surrounded by windows, diners are treated to a beautiful view of the grounds of The Inn as well as the Harbour.  The modern but comfortable room is a good spot for a business lunch or a perfect date night, sitting next to the fireplace.
When the room and view is so fantastic the food needs to match, and Executive Chef Takashi Ito’s menu lives up to the bill.  Of the items that our group tried they were all memorable.

I went with the Smoked Albacore Tuna Sandwich; generous slices of cold smoked tuna with tomato, avocado on an inn-baked torpedo bun spread with a very tasty shiso mayonnaise. It was one of those sandwiches that made you say “oh my gosh, that’s so good” when you take the first bite. The tuna was perfectly fresh and well cut,  the smoke and shiso mayonnaise were a great combination with the creamy avocado. Served with crispy long cut fries made it a modern take on fish and chips.

My companion went with the recommended Dungeness Crab Cake Moco, sumptuous crab cake served on Japanese short grain rice, topped with a soft poached egg with a shiso – soy mayonnaise dressing. The unlikely combination of egg with crab cake and rice made it a rich and well blended plate as the egg yoke mixed with all parts. 

The third dish at our table was a simple but fulfilling salad of fresh greens and fillet of BC Salmon. It is truly a dish that equaled the verdant surroundings of the restaurant, bringing the outside in, beautifully plated using some of the natural ingredients from the Inn’s own gardens.

While we loved everything brought to our table, watching other plates coming to different tables made us look forward to a return visit to Aura.

Aura Waterfront Restaurant & Patio is located within the Inn At Laurel Point at 680 Montreal Street, Victoria BC, V8V 1Z8 Phone: (250) 414-6739
Hours: Breakfast 7am – 11am All Day 11:30am – 10pm Dinner 5pm – 9pm Sunday Brunch 10am – 2pm

The Fairmont Waterfront’s New Chef Introduces New Menu

Executive Chef Dana Hauser

In firsts for both The Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Dana Hauser has been appointed as the luxury brand’s first female Executive Chef, taking the lead at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant Heron’s West Coast Kitchen + Bar as well as overseeing banqueting, in-room dining and all food and beverage operations at the hotel.

Recently Chef Hauser and Heron’s introduced the public to some elements of their new menu. Carved tenderloin with a slow cooked short rib croquette, potato puree and bone marrow jus was a melt in your mouth morsel. Cedar plank crispy sweetbreads with mushrooms and sorrel in a bourbon balsalmic reduction was a surprisingly tasty way to try sweetbreads. Light and fresh Caesar salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon is a perfect accompaniment.  Trying the raw bar, the spicy clam tomato Caesar shooter paired with fresh shucked oysters along with thinly sliced fresh salmon. Dessert of the moment, macarons, were given a twist by filling with a icy sorbet. Cake pops were bright and spring time yellow. As a sampling of the new menu, the evening’s selections whetted the pallet for more to come on a future sit-down visit at Heron’s.

Assemble alongside the established Fairmont team at Heron’s, brings Chef Hauser’s experience to the menu.  Raised on the East Coast of Canada, Chef Hauser developed a natural passion for local ingredients and being true to the product. “British Columbia provides an abundance of the finest ingredients.” comments Dana. “Combine this with being the first female Executive Chef in the Company; it’s a dream come true.” A classically trained chef, Hauser is keen to share her true devotion to fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.

“While Fairmont has had and continues to have many excellent female chefs in the kitchen, we’re very excited to announce our first Executive Chef position to be filled by a woman,” said Jean Michel Offe, the hotel company’s Vice President, Food & Beverage.

Dana soon discovered her culinary cravings and enrolled in the culinary program at Canadore College.  Her apprenticeship began at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge where the Executive Chef immediately recognized a natural talent; offering Dana the option to complete her apprenticeship at the resort. Leaping at this opportunity, Dana enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s professional cooking program.

From the shores of Bermuda to the epicenter of Toronto; Chef Hauser has an extensive career with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “We are thrilled to have Chef Hauser join our team at The Fairmont Waterfront,” comments General Manager, Ian Pullan. “We have undergone significant changes at the hotel with the recent meeting space renovations and the revitalization of Herons West Coast Kitchen + Bar. Dana brings a wealth of knowledge and we are excited to have her lead our West Coast epicurean experience.”

“It is a perfect time to be joining the Waterfront,” comments Dana. “This is a very talented team, complemented by warm, welcoming service and an unparalleled waterfront location. I truly can’t wait to add my own element to this dynamic hotel and destination.”

Heron’s West Coast Kitchen + Bar is located in The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel at 900 Canada Place Way
Open for
Sunday-Friday (buffet) – 6:30 am to 10:30 am
Sunday-Friday (à la carte) – 6:30 am to 11:30 am
Saturdays (buffet and à la carte) – 6:30 am to 11:30 am

11:30 am to 2:30 pm

5:30 pm to 10:00 pm



Fairmont Hotels – Helijet : Vancouver & Victoria just got closer

Toasting a new partnership

How many great partnerships have started over a drink? For the new partnership between Helijet and The Fairmont Waterfront and The Fairmont Empress it’s over a cup of tea!

The Fairmont Empress General Manager, Martin Leclerc, landed in Vancouver this morning with a hot pot of tea to toast the new partnership with Helijet President Danny Sitnam and The Fairmont Waterfront General Manager Ian Pullan.  With two great properties just 35 minutes apart the tea was still steaming as the three gentlemen unveiled a Helijet helicopter newly emblazoned with the two iconic hotels’ logos.

The new partnership brings together great local brands and offers their guests some great value and exciting packages.
Fairmont Presidents Club members (free to enrol) get a preferred rate on Helijet flights.

Cocktails on The Veranda, a perfect summer afternoon!

What a great way to quickly get from Vancouver Harbour to Victoria and experience the renowned Empress Afternoon Tea.  A Victoria tradition since 1908 Afternoon Tea should be taken at a leisurely pace,  why spend half the day in your car to get there, fly over then let Helijet’s shuttle van drop you at the front door of the hotel. If tea is not your thing, The Veranda at The Fairmont Empress has the best front and centre seat in the city, a great spot to enjoy a meal or martini. (Try the Empress 1908 cocktail…it’s perfect on a summer day!)

The Fairmont Waterfront offers an amazing new VIP tour package.
The Ultimate 48 Hours In Vancouver Experience” includes Fairmont Gold accommodation at the hotel,  a guided culinary tour on Granville Island, exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the hotel’s rooftop chef’s garden or an inside look at the hotels bee hives with the resident Bee Keepers plus a Helijet sighting adventure from the Harbour to the peak of Grouse Mountain, a gourmet picnic lunch packed by the hotel’s chefs to enjoy on the mountaintop.

Take off on the Ulimate 48 Hours Package from Vancouver Harbour
Land at Grouse Mountain, "The Peak of Vancouver"

Experience them individually or link a visit to both properties with a Helijet flight and make it the ultimate getaway in your own backyard!