by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in The Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!
MURDER | Crows are dark, mischievous and calculating. They travel in flocks known as ‘murders’ and have a slightly sinister bent when you let your imagination fly. The notoriously clever birds live in complex social networks with highly developed forms of communication and a progressive approach to chick raising (it’s a community thing). If you’re interested in adding some depth to your understanding of what makes them tick, make your way to the West End Community Centre on Thursday night where wildlife biologist Rob Butler will present a talk about the many ways of the crow. Admission is by donation and space is limited, so do yourself a favour and register early by calling the Community Center at 604-257-8333.
Thu, Nov 20 | 7-8pm | West End Community Centre (870 Denman)| DETAILS
PLANTS | Not only are the grounds of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens a stunning place for a wander, but it also makes for a fantastic place for learning. This Thursday, VanDusen offers an informative talk on the history of perfume. The official word: “Perfumes begin with plants, and the earliest of perfumes were incense – burnt resins and fragrant woods – whose smoke was believed to carry one’s prayers to the gods. Take a journey beginning with the incense and perfumes created in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, India and Arabia, then over to Europe to the alcohol-based eau de colognes concocted by European monks and nuns that doubled as liqueurs, medicine and bathing liquid.” This lecture will include a Q&A session and tons of intel on local plants.
Thu, Nov 20, 6:30-8:30pm | VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak St) | DETAILS
DESIGN | The Lighting Architecture Movement Project (LAMP) is part art installation, part design competition, and part performance. Using light and form as canvas, LAMP organizers challenged participants to design an indoor light in any format (floor, pendant, table, etc) that incorporated the theme of ‘fibre’. A panel comprised of architects, designers and media then chose their favourite entries and the winners will be premiering at a public opening this Thursday night. Visit The Independent pop-up space on Kingsway to check out the inspiring and creative series of design sketches along with the top 10 jury-picked finished products. Lighting is everything!
Thu, Nov 20 6-11pm | The Independent (188 Kingsway) | $10-$50 | DETAILS
EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL | In our books, the East Side Culture Crawl is the greatest thing about November in Vancouver. We look forward to this event all year long. The annual three day crawl sees over 414 East Side artists (painters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, etc) open their studios to the public. There’s no schedule per se; only the one you choose to structure for yourself. There’s no pressure to buy, either, as it’s treated as a chance to float from one studio to the next, talking to artists about their processes and enjoying the diversity of creativity that the East Side has to offer. Grab a map and get crawling (available at studios and shops in the community or online at the Crawl website here).
Nov. 20-23 | East Side, baby | Free | DETAILS
PEROGIES | There’s a Perogy Lunch at the Strathcona Ukrainian Hall this weekend. Dig into generous helpings of homemade perogies, sliced sausage, cabbage rolls and bowls of borscht. Don’t be put off by the line-up at the door. It moves fast and you might make friends, as perogy eaters are generally a jolly bunch. Also expect a bake sale and Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) making. Bonus: This event takes place smack in the middle of Eastside Culture Crawl territory (Pender at Hawks) and fits nicely between studio visits.
Sat, Nov 22 + Sun, Nov 23 | 11-3:30 | 805 E. Pender | DETAILS
POP-UP | Eastvan will be hopping this weekend. If you’re in the neighbourhood checking out artists studios during the Crawl and you’re feeling in need of a little sustenance, consider hitting up the Les Amis Du Formage-hosted pop-up at 843 E. Hastings. Les Amis have invited East Van Jam (we hear that the Duchess of Strawberry tastes just like summer), The Salty Cookie Co. (famous for their Salty Brown Sugar cookies) and The Lemon Square (individually wrapped and made with loads of fresh lemons, BC butter and and finished with a dusting of coconut) to set up shop for the weekend. Treat yourself and support local. Bonus: cheese!
Sat, Nov 22 + Sun, Nov 23 | Noon-4pm | 843 E. Hastings St. | DETAILS
HOPSCOTCH | November brings with it the start of prime scotch drinking weather. The clever organizers behind Hopscotch (Vancouver’s week long celebration of premium whisky) know this and have lined up a litany of tasting events and dinners that will replace that near winter chill with a warm amber glow. But this isn’t just a party, Hopscotch is also an opportunity to catapult yourself from consumer to connoisseur when you sign up for whisky-centric talks and workshops. Events sell out quickly (most tasting dinners are already full), but if you hurry – and I mean click here RIGHT NOW – you may still score a ticket to the Hopscotch Annual Grand Tasting Hall, with over 100 exhibitors.
Now through Nov 23 | Various Locations | Various prices | DETAILS
BAZAAR | The Russian Community Centre Christmas Bazaar goes down in Kits this weekend. Score yourself a day of Russian food, baking, music, dance and crafts. And what respectable bazaar wouldn’t include a raffle? Not this one! Raffle tickets are $2 and prizes will be awesome. Do some early holiday shopping, fill your belly with Knish and Bliny’s and enjoy some folk dancing.
Sat, Nov 22 | 11am–5pm | Russian Community Centre (2114 W. 4th) | DETAILS
LISTEN | The Vancouver Academy of Music and the Vancouver Bach Choir join forces this Sunday to present an affordable concert perfectly suited to a November afternoon: Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony No. 8 and Mozart’s Requiem. Purchase tickets online 5pm on Saturday, November 22nd (in-person at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office). 10 beans for a comfortable seat in a beautiful room full of genius music – not a bad deal at all!
Sun, Nov 23 | 2pm | Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe St) | $10 | DETAILS
EAT LOCAL | There are two Winter Farmers Market to choose from this weekend. Head to the Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot on Saturday or skip over to the skatepark at the PNE on Sunday and load up on locally grown fruits and veggies as well as fresh bread, honey, dried fruits and scores of other goodies. Bonus: farmers are awesome people and awesome people will only make your weekend better.
Sat, Nov 22| 10am – 2pm | Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St) | DETAILS
Sun, Nov 23 | 10am-2pm | Hastings Skatepark, PNE (Renfrew and Hastings) | DETAILS
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
by Andrew Morrison | Nomad, a new 75-ish seat restaurant at 3950 Main Street (across from The Acorn), is set to “officially” open this Saturday after successfully navigating over a week of soft openings for friends, family, and curious walk-ins.
In actual fact, it’s open right now. You can waltz right in and get served seven days a week from 3pm to midnight. They’re just not firing on all cylinders yet. They don’t even have a website at the moment, though you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram.
The brand new, open-concept eatery is owned and operated by its two chefs, Scott Swanson and Ryan Reed, as well as its two front of house managers, Matthew van Dinther and Taylor Burnham. I recognised Swanson from when he was an apprentice at chef Mark Filatow’s Waterfront Wines in Kelowna. Reed was Filatow’s sous chef on opening day, and has toiled in Victoria hotels since leaving the Okanagan in 2010 (you might remember him from his Chopped Canada victory back in January). Burnham is also a Kelowna guy, but he’s been in Vancouver for several years now, having managed at Burgoo and earned his BComm from the Sauder School of Business at UBC. Regulars at either The Diamond or Wildebeest should recall Van Dinther, a capable bartender who has a couple of years at London’s Savoy under his belt. For each of them, Nomad marks their first shot at ownership.
The space they’ve leased is brand-spanking new – a modern concrete-and-glass job with a lovely loft kitchen with chef’s tables overlooking the smartly spartan dining room and bar below. Its soaring glass frontage and large skylights combine for an almost silly amount of natural light (really more than any restaurant could possibly hope for), but its hard, flat surfaces and muted colour palette saps and contains enough of it so that the whole place smoulders with a steady, attractive glow (this effect will be especially pronounced in summer, when the light lasts considerably longer). If the bones look familiar, it’s likely because the landlord/owner is that same fellow who built the nearby Copper Tank space (now Portland Craft). Nomad’s is a more attractive interior, however. Truly, if a large bath was fitted near the bar, I’d consider moving in.
I know next to nothing of the food as I’ve only given their limited pre-opening menu the most cursory of glances. I won’t be eating any of it until they’re out of their “soft” phase and they start plating in full. Still, mushroom arancini with bacon sabayon and parmesan-dusted frites dipped in marrow aioli suggests the kitchen is into dressed up/priced up comfort food, and that’s fine by me just so long as it’s good. I imagine it will be, of course. Any disciple of Mark Filatow’s has got to be worth a bite. In the meantime, take a look…
by Andrew Morrison | I took a peek inside the imminent Lukes General Store at 49 West Hastings last night (between Acme Cafe and Save On Meats). It’s a huge step up from their old pop up digs in Chinatown. It’s small, to be sure, but they’ve managed to cram a lot of cool stuff in there without making it feel cramped. The impossibly high ceilings help. Immediately catching my eye was the vinyl collection, which is pretty awesome for a limited selection, and the Chronograph, which you’ll read about below. First, here’s an excerpt from our first story on Lukes, which was published back in August. It’ll give you the basic skinny of what we’re looking at:
“Vancouver has been really great to us”, says owner Gareth Lukes, whose family has operated Calgary fixture Lukes Drug Mart since 1951.” We love being here. There is so much great energy in this city right now and great communities with a lot of interest in the products and experiences we offer.” The move to the larger, fixed address will allow Lukes to broaden their retail offerings and table a cafe experience featuring donuts from nearby Cartem’s Donuterie and coffee from the Bay Area’s highly regarded Four Barrel. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, it’s the outstanding stuff they brew at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery. This will be the first time their beans will see retail action in Canada. For the shop’s shelves, Dry Goods Manager Veronika Rezucha (formerly of Lark on Main) will be bringing in bars from Mast Brothers Chocolate and products from Malin + Goetz Apothecary, Baxter of California Shaving, Juniper Ridge, Pendleton Woolen Mills, and McClure’s Pickles (to name just a few). Music aficionado Shaun Cowan, formerly of Scratch Records, is on board to manage the store’s vinyl selection.
Everyone involved (as far as I could tell) was on hand last night, stocking the shelves and putting the finishing touches on things. That includes coffee pro Laura Cummings, who was tinkering with the espresso machine, project manager Aaron Schubert, Shawn Mankowse of Calgary’s Wreck City Collective (the crew responsible for the dreamy “Chronograph” light installation above the espresso bar), and Sara Sheridan, whose origami firm Along Came The Fold designed the stunning light fixtures above the communal table.
Regarding the Chronograph, which is the major talking point in the store (until you’re faced with a Four Barrel coffee and a Cartem’s donut), the artist’s statement says it’s “a large scale analog light clock created [...] It uses light and projections to show the passage of time as well as highlight found and reclaimed objects from East Vancouver. The clock serves as a tangible marker for a changing neighbourhood, and a reminder of our unfaltering future, forever influenced by ghosts of the past.”
It’ll be a cool little shop/cafe when it officially opens, which is tomorrow morning (Saturday, November 8th). The Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6pm, and from 10am to 5pm on the weekends.
The Vancouver Lexicon – our A-Z dictionary of local slang, myths, legends, and such – might appear to be complete, but we mean to keep adding to it every week. Today we aim to highlight five more localisms that everyone in BC should know about, that is if they don’t already. They are Gastown Intercom, Green Death, Post-Traumatic Aritzia Disorder, Bentall Burbs, and Psychopod.
by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our monthly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, you’ll find The Track – the song on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – our selection of videos; and The Gig – the “must-see show” on the horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy… Read more
by Stevie Wilson | Earlier this year it was announced that the Vancouver Art Gallery would be relocated from its current home to a brand-new structure at West Georgia and Cambie Streets. With this news came a second ruling that the 48 year-old Centennial Fountain out front of the gallery would not be preserved. The decision was met with a variety of perspectives, most arguing that the large fountain wasn’t conducive to the flow of pedestrians in the common area, and was no longer valuable as a gathering place – not to mention it had become prone to leaks. Others pointed out its historic character, and its value as a work of art itself, constructed of small, hand-chosen mosaic tiles by artist Alex von Svoboda. Whatever your thoughts on the fountain may be, there’s no denying that it’s a big piece (both literally and figuratively) of the Downtown core’s history.
Prior to its official unveiling in 1966, Premier W.A.C. Bennett wished to have the fountain’s construction kept hidden in order for it to be a surprise for the public. The fountain was intended to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the colonial union between BC and Vancouver Island in 1886. In 1966 the grounds were still home to the provincial courthouse – the VAG didn’t take it over until 1983. A memorial drinking fountain honouring King Edward VII was also sharing the ground out front on Georgia Street; it was moved to the side of the courthouse building in 1972.
Bennett requested the construction hoarding around the fountain site to be painted green and white, which conveniently enough were the colours of his BC Social Credit Party. However, this simply wouldn’t do for the more creative types at City Hall. Despite not being the renowned tourist attraction it is today, the location was nonetheless at the center of a growing cultural epicenter and therefore was a prime location for Mayor William Rathie’s alternative proposal to allow local artists to paint the hoarding instead.
The “Paint-In”, held on April 6th, 1966, featured over 100 local amateur and professional artists and displayed a wide range of styles and subjects. Artists had been encouraged to sign up and individual spots along the hoarding were assigned. Georgia and Howe Streets were closed as a large, curious crowd watched the painters get to work. The newly-formed Vancouver Life magazine even featured a photo of the artworks on the cover of their May issue.
The artists’ murals remained on view until the centennial fountain’s unveiling in December; what became of the artists’ work isn’t clear. Regardless, the creative stunt is not without its legacy. In 1968, the British Columbia Provincial Museum in Victoria staged a similar gathering and invited several local artists to paint on the hoarding around its construction zone. Check out the gallery below to view some of the unique works that helped add a little extra fleeting colour to our city.
Vancouver Life and BC Motorist magazine images courtesy of Jason Vanderhill. Archival photography of the murals is the work of Ernie H. Reksten and Leslie F. Sheraton.