Warm up to Hot Chocolate Festival 2019

Hot Chocolate Festival

Winter and Hot Chocolate are perfect match so what could be better than a whole winter month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 9th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is now  on until February 14th, 2019.

The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 70+ varieties of chocolate drinks.  The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Metro Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search of a new favourite Hot Chocolate blend. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.

The Festival reaches across Metro Vancouver; Temper Chocolates & Pastry in West Vancouver, to Trafiq Café and Bakery on Main Street, and Gem Chocolates in Kerrisdale or Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby. Why not take in one of the Chocolate Cooking Class at the Trattoria in the Italian Cultural Centre. Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide and see how Hot Chocolate Makes You Happy.

The Hot Chocolate Festival supports the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families. 

10 Plays For The Whole Family This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to gather the family together and enjoy the fun of live theatre.

Align Entertainment started the season off with their, just ended run of, A Christmas Story : The Musical. This holiday season finds theatre offering something for everyone in the family, from romance, to drama, comedy to fantasy.

Check out the list of 10 plays to find something that’s sure to please you and your family or friends this season.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – November 15 – December 30, 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
In this modern follow up to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, take another trip to Pemberley as romance and comedy mix with Christmas festivities.

Merry Kiss-mas

Merry Kiss-Mas – November 21 – December 24, 2018 – Improv Centre, Granville Island, 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
‘VTS Channel’ presents Merry Kiss-mas – an improvised holiday comedy parodying all the inane clichés and funny, awkward moments you’d expect to see in a holiday TV special or film.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr – November 24 – 25, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s production of Disney’s musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.

East Van Panto – Wizard of Oz

East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz – November 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – The Cultch York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
East Van Panto returns for its sixth year, finding Dorothy and Toto flung to the Land of Oz in the depths of East Van

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast – December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
Disney’s tale as old as time comes to life, with a song as old as rhyme, lavish costumes, lush sets and great casting in this remount.

James & Jamesy – O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tea – Various Locations including; December 1, 2018 -Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster // December 10 – 11, 2018 – Kay Meek Arts Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver
The award winning duo, James & Jamesy bring their physical comedy to the regioni with a Christmas cuppa brimming with holiday cheer, and much more.

Little Dickens – December 4 – 22, 2018 – The Cultch Historic Theatre – 1895 Venables, Vancouver
Ronnie Burkett’s Little Dickens, finds the cast of The Daisy Theatre take on the beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, in the merriest marionette mash-up ever.

It’s a Wonderful Life – December 6 – 31, 2018 Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Take a trip to Bedford Falls and watch George Bailey come back from despair to realize that it is a wonderful life.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – December 6 – 16, 2018 – Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
In this lively Christmas classic, the six Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the history of the world”, take over the annual Christmas pageant, much mayhem and fun follows in this hilarious and heartwarming story.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr – December 7 – 8, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s version of Disney’s beloved musical


Picks of the Week – August 9, 2017

The buzz of the BC Day long weekend, Vancouver Pride, Celebration of Light and so much more has come and gone but there’s still plenty in the picks of the week to keep you entertained all week.

Arts: The 27th Harmony Arts Festival  is underway now. Tonight, Best Of The West showcases local restaurants and wineries, then tomorrow Mixology Night On The Pier is a cocktail competition, all alongside the rest of the line up of arts & entertainment to West Vancouver.

Laughs: The dynamic duo of comedy Ryan Steele and Amy Goodmurphy bring another edition of The Ryan and Amy Show to XYYVR for two nights, August 10th & 11th

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach is under the tents at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona in previews on the Howard Family Stage

Culture: The New West Culture Crawl gets underway Friday night with an Opening Night party at Anvil Centre, kicking off the weekend Culture Crawl around the Royal City

Bach:  2nd Vancouver Bach Festival presented by Early Music Vancouver brings chamber music concerts, ensembles and soloists bringing classical music to Christ Church Cathdral and The Chan Centre until Friday.


Murals: Saturday the Vancouver Mural Festival hosts the Mount Pleasant Street Party, 10 blocks of car-free entertainment, arts, markets and performances by Yukon Blonde and Louise Burns.

HeldOver: Now that the season has been extended until August 26, there’s even more evenings to enjoy in Stanley Park at Theatre Under The Stars presenting Mary Poppins and The Drowsey Chaperone on alternating evenings.

Take Off: Celebration all things aviation at the 50th Abbotsford International Airshow, as static displays, aerial exhibitions, entertainment and fireworks fill Abbotsford Airport this Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Roar: Sunday, BC Lions play host to Saskatchewan Roughriders and their hardcore fans at BC Place

Croon: Famed English singer/songwriter Bryan Ferry brings his smooth sounds to the Orpheum Theatre on Sunday evening.

Harmony Arts Festival kicks off Friday

As other festivals come and go, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver is still going strong after more than a quarter century.   Centred on the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival packs August 4th to 13th with music, arts, film and food, much of it free!

Highlights of the free festival events include;

Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.
ONNI Group Sunset Concerts at John Lawson Park feature the likes of Valdy, Dawn Pemberton, The Paperboys and more
Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts feature Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and The Solitary Band, Coco Jafra, Lion Bear Fox, Melanie Dekker, Jim Byrnes, The Boom Booms to name just a few.
Hollyburn House Seniors’ Series finds Dal Richards Orchestra and others playing afternoon sets
Live Music at The Silk Purse has live jazz and classic sounds

Fresh St. Market Art Market lines Argyle Street with an open air art market keeping the attention on visual arts that have been the core of Harmony Arts Festival since the beginning.
Fresh St. Market Art Market Daylight and Twilight is a multi-media installation featuring photography, film and interactive mediums.
Art Beat invites visitors to walk the beat in Ambleside Beach and Dundarave Village exploring the multitude of artists displaying their works in shops and galleries around areas.
Plenty of other visual arts exhibitions, shows and even competitions take place throughout the Festival to keep your senses amazed.

After the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts stick around John Lawson Park for free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm including classics like In The Heat Of The Night, or From Russia With Love, action hits Jurassic Park or E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, to the contemporary musical Moulin Rouge, or animated Zootopia.

What’s a festival without great food, Harmony Arts doesn’t disappoint with Artisan Eats, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.  The Park Royal Beachside Patio brings The Fish Shack by Glowbal Group to West Van. The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge welcomes Caffé Al Mercato to provide al fresco dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.
Along with these dining options two special ticketed events:
Best of the West is a sold out evening featuring 13 local restaurants paired with 13 wineries celebrating the best BC has to offer.
Mixology Night on the Pier, now in its 2nd year, celebrates the rebirth of cocktail culture with eight of Metro Vancouver’s competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees. Tickets are just $75

With plenty of events to amuse young and old, from day time to evening, there’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy at Harmony Arts Festival. Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

Mixology Night On The Pier

West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival is now underway, one of the signature events this year is Mixology Night On The Pier.  In celebration of the rebirth of cocktail culture, Mixology Night On The Pier brings together some of the city’s top bartenders for an evening of competitive cocktail creations.  Ticketed guests are invited to the pop-up beach lounge at Ambleside Pier to vote for their favourite libation, enjoy food from Bon Vivant Catering and listen to surfside entertainment throughout the evening.

Bartenders competing for votes in Mixology Night On The Pier are:

Alex Black – Nightingale Restaurant
Jayton Paul – Nightingale Restaurant
Grant Sceney – Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge
Katie Ingram – L’Abbatoir
Olivia Povarchook – Juniper Bar & Kitchen
Robyn Gray – Prohibition Bar
Sabrine Dhaliwal – UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar
Shea Hogan – Shameful Tiki Bar

In addition to an evening of cocktails, food and entertainment voting enters guests for the chance to win a Victoria Trip from Helijet and Cactus Club Cafe – roundtrip flights for two plus lunch or dinner at Cactus Club Cafe in downtown Victoria.

Mixology Night On The Pier takes place at Ambleside Pier from 8 – 10pm on Thursday August 4th.
Tickets are on sale online now

Tasting Plates West Vancouver – September 23

tastingplate_westVan_x250Get ready for a new adventure as Tasting Plates takes a trip to West Vancouver!

New restaurants, locations and tastes await as the roving food tour heads across the Lions Gate Bridge to experience what chefs have prepared for their Tasting Plates on September 23rd.

Join other locals friends and foodies as we walk, bike or drive around the West Vancouver and sample the Tasting Plates on offer from each of the participating restaurants. Check in at Caffe al Mercato at 2215 Marine Drive at 6pm, to collect your Tasting Plates card then taste until your hearts (and stomach’s) content at 9:30pm.

Look for a tempting array of flavours to come from the confirmed restaurants:

Caffe al Mercato, 2215 Marine Drive
Twitter: @CaffeAlMercato

Temper Chocolate & Pastry, 2409 Marine Drive
Twitter: @Temperpastry

Milestones Park Royal, 1096 Park Royal S
Twitter: @milestoneswvan

Truffle House & Cafe, 2452 Marine Drive
Twitter: @TheTruffleHouse

Mangia E Bevi Restorante, 2222 Marine Drive
Twitter: @mangiaebevi

Blue Eyed Marys, 1735 Marine Drive
Twitter: @blueeyedmarys

Advance Tickets for Tasting Plates West Vancouver are on sale now on Eventbrite for $40+fees

Be sure to follow the restaurants and @VanFoodster Tasting Plates on Twitter & Instagram and the hashtag #TastingPlatesYVR to get the inside scoop on the evening.

Ed Sheeran makes Ambleside Live ‘Sing’

Ed Sheeran – Ambleside Live – August 23, 2014

On a warm Saturday evening, 14,000 people showed up for the 2014 edition of Ambleside Live.  Headliner Ed Sheeran impressively commanded the attention of the massive audience as he took to the stage on his own with just the help of a guitar and a microphone.

Having been warmed up by Rudimental, the audience was eagerly anticipating the moment Ed Sheeran came onstage and erupted in applause as he broke into “I’m A Mess”.  The engaging Brit, set the tone of the night when he said “…my job is to entertain you and your job is to be entertained” and indeed both jobs were fulfilled over the course of the near 2 hour set.


While the talented singer/songwriter was more than capable to keep the night moving along with his guitar and strong singing voice he added variety to the night by displaying his talent as a rapper as well, stringing together great, often witty rhymes during the set. Not content to just give the audience a repeat of his recorded tunes, he interspersed many of them with snippets and samples of other tunes including; “No Diggity”, “Backstreet’s Back” and more retro goodies.

Except during “Afire Love”, when asked not to, the audience sang along throughout the set.  Sheeran himself encouraged the audience participation stating ” …this is a 50/50 show, 50% my singing and 50% yours [the audience’s]”.  Even on some of the lesser known songs the whole of Ambleside Park was filled with thousands of voices and then during the encore, “The A Team” and “Sing” the sounds of an entire audience resonated throughout West Vancouver.  Even after the artist left the stage, the hook from “Sing” could be heard sung and hummed as the audience made their way from the venue taking the show out into the night with them.

Ed Sheeran continues on tour through North America into September before returning to Europe in October

EdSheeran_2014-08-24, 23 13 36Follow @EdSheeran on Twitter and check out his Instagram @TeddysPhotos to see how the audience looks from his point of view onstage.