ZULU REPORT | All Of The Awesome Sounds That You Should Be Listening To Right Now

October 23, 2014 

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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

Wolf In The Fog & The Farmer’s Apprentice Lauded As Best New Restaurants In Canada

October 23, 2014 

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by Andrew Morrison | The annually anticipated list of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants is out today from enRoute magazine and it’s a one-two knockout combo for BC. The Farmer’s Apprentice in South Granville took the #2 spot and #1 went to Tofino’s Wolf In The Fog. Congrats to all who cracked the list, with a special high-five to former Vancouverite Dale Mackay and his crew at Ayden in Saskatoon for not only landing the #8 spot, but also for winning the People’s Choice Award.

Here’s the basic skinny in the words of enRoute…

On a month-long culinary journey that took noted food writer Andrew Braithwaite from Tofino, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland, he discovered a group of chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs who continued to explore this country’s terroir and redefine what it means to dine out in Canada. The Top 10 restaurants in order are:

1. Wolf in the Fog (Tofino): “On the extreme west coast of Vancouver Island, where rainforest meets ocean, you stumble up a flight of stairs and into a soaring cedar-clad room above a surf shop where chef Nick Nutting leads a crew trained in the precise details of fine dining.”

2. The Farmer’s Apprentice (Vancouver): “Each small plate – more often, a bowl – conjured by owner David Gunawan is a precise jumble of textures and flavours. Digging in is a sort of black magic.”

3. Le Vin Papillon (Montreal): “Long-time Joe Beef guru Vanya Filipovic fills massive chalkboards with organic wines to run with a vegetable-focused cuisine from boyfriend and chef Marc-Olivier Frappier.”

4. RGE RD (Edmonton): “The heart of Blair Lebsack’s kitchen is a wood-burning oven that consumes birch and maple at 700oF, curing honey ham and smoking Salt Spring Island mussels or even dehydrated local milk during the off-hours.”

5. Mallard Cottage (St. John’s): “Todd Perrin spent two years restoring a heritage property in Quidi Vidi Harbour for this brilliant mash-up of fine dining and comfort cuisine on the outskirts of St. John’s.”

6. Bar Buca (Toronto): “Rob Gentile’s restaurant likes to pretend it’s a simple bar for sipping Barolo. You’re here to drink, sure, but you’re also here to eat things like tiny fried smelt dusted with fennel salt.”

7. The Chase (Toronto): Chef Michael Steh doesn’t lean on molecular trickery or audacious ingredients to wow. His food is more direct and more delightful than that, in an atmosphere that makes you want to say yes to things.

8. Ayden (Saskatoon): Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay gambled that Saskatoon was ready for lime – and lemongrass – and ginger-dusted chicken wings. Ayden isn’t about showing off Prairie cooking to the world – it’s about bringing the world home.”

9. Légende (Quebec City): Northern Quebec is the culinary hunting ground that Frédéric Laplante mythologizes at his capital-city bistro. Cornish hen gets a boreal accent from balsam fir fleur de sel.”

10. Edna (Halifax): Jenna Mooers’ North End bistro digs up treasure from the fertile soils of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and hauls it out of the brisk Atlantic waters.”

The Top 10 restaurants will officially receive their awards during the annual Canada’s Best New Restaurants Gala celebration on November 20 in Toronto.

SCOUT LIST | Ten Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now And Next Week

October 21, 2014 

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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!

LECTURE | Head to the Museum of Vancouver this Thursday for a Built City lecture with landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. Her style of low tech, sustainable landscaping that integrates with the architecture and reflects the natural surroundings can be seen locally in projects such as the Museum of Anthropology and Robson Square where she collaborated with architect Arthur Erickson. Oberlander will be joined by a panel of experts and peers for an illustrated discussion of her work and the future of design.
Thu, Oct 23 | 7-9 pm | Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut) | $14 | DETAILS

HOT TALK | Vancouver-based author and designer Leanne Prain will be at Hot Art Wet City Gallery on Thursday night. She will give a quick 30 minute talk that investigates ways that textiles tell us about ourselves and the lives of those around us. Having recently published her third book on textile art and culture (Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles), Prain is amply qualified to speak on the topic so we’re sure she’ll have some interesting things to say in the Q&A period immediately following. PS – Brassneck Brewery is only steps away for that pre or post event beer! 
Thu, Oct 23 | 7-8 pm | Hot Art Wet City Gallery (2206 Main St) | Free | DETAILS

TASTE | Imagine how awesome it would be if you were drinking chocolate milk at the very moment that Augustus Gloop fell in the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or had home-cooked spaghetti sauce on your tongue while watching The Godfather. Enhancing a movie experience with scene-specific tastes is what Sensory Cinema is all about. This Friday night, the gang at the Juice Truck team up with Here There Studio for an evening of just that. Film title and details of food pairings are being kept under wraps for now, but we’re told that an usher will cue each selection from your very own tray of house made canapés. How cool is that?
Fri, Oct. 24 | 7pm | The Juice Truck (28 W 5th Ave) | $18 | DETAILS

THROWBACK | Get your fix of fast cars and slick 70′s style with the Two-Lane Blacktops: The 1970s American Road Movie series at The Cinematheque this week. Highlights include Clint Eastwood in The Gauntlet, Jack Nicholson in The Passenger, and David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in the forever creepy Death Race 2000.
Oct 23-26 | Various times | Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | $11 | DETAILS

CRAFT NIGHT | Part store, part workshop, Collage Collage encourages imagination and creativity while arming their customers with tools and inspiration to turn both in to art. You’ll most often find the bright, book-filled room full of curious children. This week, however, you’ll find author, art enthusiast and creativity guru Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) guest hosting a special adult evening that will involve glue sticks and collage making.
Fri, Oct 24 | 7-9pm | Collage Collage (621 Kingsway @ 15th + Fraser) | $30 | DETAILS

WRITERS FEST | The excellent Vancouver Writers Festival fills its stages with local and international writers of every genre each autumn. This year, the theme is Discovery. Discover new authors, new books by known authors, new genres and new interests, and expect everything from literary fiction and poetry readings to kid’s authors and non-fiction panels. Literature enthusiasts are a wily bunch and tickets have a way of selling out, but if you move fast you can still score a seat!
Oct. 21-26 | various times | Various locations – mostly Granville Island |  DETAILS

ARCHITECTURE | With a view to demonstrating laneway housing as a clever solution to “Densification without Demolition”, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation has arranged for a series of homes to be opened to the public for their annual Laneway Home Tour. Take a peek inside 8 unique houses and be inspired by designs and innovations that show how increased density can be smart, stylish and comfortable while making good use of underused land on existing lots.
Sat, Oct. 25 | 1pm | Various Locations | $30 | DETAILS

GATHER | Make room on your schedule and head to Mountain View Cemetery on Saturday to celebrate All Souls Night. This unique community event brings together a series of thoughtful and culturally diverse activities designed to give participants the opportunity to remember the dead in – as Mountain View calls it – a “gentle atmosphere of contemplative beauty”. Candles and lanterns will light the cemetery and there will be music and hot tea for sipping. Take time to create a personal memorial or take a historian or genealogist-guided walking tour to learn about some of the plot inhabitants. While there will be corners for serious conversations about death and dying, there will also be light-hearted and fun activities. I’m personally stoked for the screening of Harold & Maude and the decorating of Mexican sugar skulls!
Sat, Oct. 25 | 6 – 10pm | Mountain View Cemetery (5455 Fraser St) | DETAILS

HARVEST | This weekend is the last market of the 2014 farming season out at the UBC Farm, so be sure to stock up on veggies, crispy apples, free-range eggs and beautiful flowers. Most importantly, grab yourself one of those stunning Cinderella pumpkins to carve up in time for Halloween. Dusty orange, light green, even white – the best pumpkins!
Sat, October 25 | 9am – 1pm | UBC Farm (3461 Ross Dr) | DETAILS

SHROOMS | Are you fascinated by mushrooms and fungi? Have you seen wonky specimens popping out from local lawns and sprouting up in forests and trails around town and wondered what they were? The Vancouver Mushroom Show goes down this Sunday and with it comes the rare opportunity to hook up with experts from the The Vancouver Mycological Society. Ask ‘em all manner of mushroom-related questions and basically nerd out about fungi. There will be oodles of shrooms on display – edible, poisonous, dubious and deadly. How could you not come out ahead of the game by learning a little more about these tasty, tricky, trippy little things?
Sun, Oct. 26 | 11am-4pm | Van Dusen Botanical Garden (37th & Oak) | $3 | DETAILS

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late-may-2009-169Michelle 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.

GOODS | What You Need To Check Out This Year At Whistler’s “Cornucopia” | Nov. 6-16

October 20, 2014 

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True to its name, Whistler’s “Cornucopia” is a festival tailored toward indulgent connoisseurs of food and drink.

THE GOODS FROM WHISTLER CORNUCOPIA

Cornucopia, Whistler’s annual celebration of food and drink, is set to return to the mountain and will run from November 6th to the 16th. The festival attracts countless chefs, restaurateurs, vintners, distillers, and brewers from across BC to the village for a seemingly endless battery of winemaker dinners, special lunches, seminars, soirees, tastings, and all manner of delicious events besides. That it lasts for a full 11 days is not only a testament to the breadth and depth of the festival’s excellent programming, but also evidence that Whistler itself can not be “done” in a day. There’s just too much going on, especially during Cornucopia. You can access the full program here, but you can find our picks for what shouldn’t be missed below…

Thursday, Nov. 6 | HOUSE PARTY | “Now established as one of the hottest events of the year, House Party combines live music with local foods and domestic wines. Featuring the best of ‘local’ talent in music, food and wine, we invite you to Our House; a party of epic proportions. Indulge in a BBQ from SIDECUT, home-grown vodka, micro-brewed beer and much more from our land of plenty.” This always proves to be great way to kick off Cornucopia. | DETAILS

Friday, Nov. 7 | CELLAR DOOR | “Cellar Door is a smaller, more intimate tasting featuring more than 25 wineries and showcasing more than 100 wines priced at $35 and up per bottle.” Held in the Grand Foyer of the Whistler Conference Centre, we imagine this event as a concentrated collection of the best and most exclusive wines that can be had during the festival. | DETAILS

Saturday, Nov. 8 | CRUSH GALA GRAND TASTING | “Mingle with friends and discover your new favourite wine among the many red, white and sparkling glasses at this flagship tasting event, held in the Ballroom of the Whistler Conference Centre.” Crush is always a glamorous blast, and with 70 vendors this year, it’s so many tasty birds with just one stone. | DETAILS

Sunday, Nov. 9 | WITH A TWIST | “Wander With a Twist, enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere and decide what works best for you. Create your own mixed drink from the large variety of options provided, listen to tips from our mixologists or taste something they have prepared, or try something about which you have always been curious. Alternatively, have the fine products featured on the rocks or neat – your choice.” It sounds like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, written with booze. Count us in! | DETAILS

Monday, Nov. 10 | BEARFOOT BISTRO LATE-NIGHT WINE MIXER | This includes “a sampling of different wines and a variety of culinary treats by Chef Melissa Craig and her team while the room beats to the vibe of Whistler’s DJs.” Where else but Bearfoot? | DETAILS

Wednesday, Nov. 12 | DINNER AT ARAXI WITH PAINTED ROCK | “Get to know the glorious wines of the Skaha Lake bench from one of BC’s most spectacular vineyards as we welcome proprietor John Skinner of Painted Rock. If you’ve tried these wines before, you know what all the fuss is about; if you haven’t don’t miss this opportunity to get up close and personal with a BC Icon.” If you can go to just one winemaker supper over Cornucopia, let this be it! | DETAILS

Friday, Nov. 14 | NIGHT MARKET: TASTE THE WORLD | “Demonstrating the wonderful adaptability of wines, beers and liquors, attendees enjoy this fun-filled evening in a casual yet refined environment emulating a food market. Sample different beverages with cuisine to experience the magic in matching with exotic and creative fare. A truly gastronomic experience for the fun and adventurous.” Street food in a refined environment may sound a little odd, but the combo certainly makes for a more memorable evening. Expect variety! | DETAILS

Saturday, Nov. 15 | POURED | This event “encompasses an intimate tasting experience of wine, spirits, cider, beer and food. Ticket prices include your own glass to take home and five tokens that can be used for food or wine sampling.” Sounds like a fun mingler with plenty of food and wine, which is exactly what Cornucopia is all about. | DETAILS

To further wet your whistle, we’ve compiled a gallery from past Cornucopia events below…

EVERYTHING CORNUCOPIA

LEXICON | Defining Strathcona Village, East Van Calamari, Snortside, Kinfolked, & More

October 16, 2014 

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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 British Columbia should know about, that is if they don’t already. They are East Van Calamari, Strathcona Village, Kinfolked, Fogtober, and Snortside.

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YOU SHOULD KNOW | On The “Paint In” Of 1966 & The End Of The Centennial Fountain

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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.

MORE VANCOUVER HISTORY