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 yours…
GOT CRAFT | With handmade and DIY culture so strong these days, there are fewer and fewer reasons why discerning Vancouverites would ever have to head to a big-box store for holiday shopping. The good folks at Got Craft? recognize this and work hard to bring together some of the finest artisans, designers and makers in the city to one location in order to deliver the best in local and handmade quality. So swing by the Maritime Labour Centre this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to check out what people living, designing and producing in your community have to offer and skip the trip to the mall. Bonus: Not only will there be over 75 vendors selling everything from cupcakes and t-shirts to jewellery and stationary, but – if you act fast – you can also sign up for a Beginner Hand Lettering Workshop ($48) and leave with great holiday gifts AND a new skill. Support local, folks. Visit Got Craft!
Sat & Sun, Dec 14 & 15 | 10am-8pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun | 1880 Triumph St | DETAILS
PHOTOGRAPHY | North Vancouver’s Presentation House Gallery is holding a holiday photography book sale this weekend. As Western Canada’s largest non-profit photographic gallery you can expect that there will be a healthy selection of items to sift through. While the sale will offer both contemporary and vintage images as well as PHG publications and books on photography, the exhibition will include “rare tintypes, albumen photographs, carte de visite, photogravures and silver gelatin prints”. There are some really fascinating books in the collection! Take an online tour here.
Dec 14-Dec 22 | 12–5pm | Presentation House Gallery (333 Chesterfield Ave) | DETAILS
CHEER | If you’re looking for a way to get in to the holiday spirit, consider hitting Christ Church Cathedral for an evening of music performed by the Coastal Sound Youth Choir. Sure, you’ll hear a selection of traditional carols that would make Bing Crosby proud, but this choir will also throw in some old school rock and indie tracks. Plus, Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning venue. Instant cheer.
Sun, Dec 15 | 7:30 | Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard) | $20 / Kids $10 | DETAILS
DESIGN | When was the last time you sat down with a pile of Lego? If it was a while ago, consider how this weekend brings a chance to rectify your poor judgement in the use of your recreational time. The Museum of Vancouver is currently showing Play House: The Architecture of Daniel Evan White and they’ve asked some grown-ups who they know to be good with Lego (the Vancouver Brick Games, the Vancouver LEGO Club and local Lego enthusiast, Johnathon Vaughn Strebly) to hang around the museum this Saturday and help you play with Lego in a way that compliments the architectural theme of the show. Take a wander through the Daniel Evan White exhibit for inspiration and then build your own Modernist masterpiece. Get creative. A number of workshops are available.
Sat, Dec 14 | 11am – 5pm | Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut) | DETAILS
BREAD | When winter settles in there are few things as comforting as coming in from the cold to a home filled with the smell of fresh baking. Head out to UBC Farm this Friday to take part in Knead to Know, a bread-making workshop lead by artisan baker Florin Moldovan. This beginner workshop will arm you with what you need to know to make excellent loaves at home using readily available ingredients. Moldovan will cover everything from grains and techniques to folklore and the science behind making the perfect loaf of bread.
Fri, Dec 13 | 5:30-8:30pm | UBC Farm (6182 South Campus Rd.) | $35 | DETAILS
POSADA NAVIDENA | The Museum of Anthropology is currently showing The Marvellous Real, Art from Mexico, 1926-2011. The show boasts over fifty pieces of abstract and surreal art – painting, sculpture and mixed media as well as photography, video, and more. In keeping with the Mexican theme, the museum is holding a Posada Navidena procession this weekend. From The MOA: “Posadas are a cultural tradition rooted in the blending of Christianity with Mesoamerican cultures. The word posada means shelter or lodging, and refers to the place Jesus Christ was born. With roots in Spain and Catholicism, the posada has been practiced in Mexico since the 16th century. To this day, people in Mexico and Central America mark the nine days for Christmas by holding a posada each night. The Posada Navidena at MOA will feature a procession with musicians singing the letania and culminate in the breaking of a traditional pinata in MOA’s Great Hall.” This event is free with Museum admission.
Sat, Dec 14 | 11-2 | Museum of Anthropology (6393 NW Marine Dr, UBC) | $16.75 | DETAILS
FINALLY | The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes to the big screen on Friday. If there is one movie that you should make it to the theatre for this month, it’s got to be this one. Orcs and goblins just don’t translate with as much disgusting awesomeness at home as they do in the theatre, and nothing says holiday season like a Peter Jackson flick.
Fri, Dec 13 | TRAILER
MESSIAH | Handel’s Messiah takes the stage at the Orpheum Saturday night. The Vancouver Bach Choir will perform accompanied by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Music Director Leslie Dala). There isn’t too much more that you need to know about that. It’s going to be awesome, in the truest sense of the word.
Sat, Dec 14 | 8pm | The Orpheum (601 Smithe St) | $25 – $59 | DETAILS
EXPLORE | There are two great reasons to make your way to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown this weekend: lantern-making and tea. Winter Solstice is approaching (December 21) and the Gardens will once again be the end point for a community solstice parade. Be prepared for the mid-winter procession by using this Saturday afternoon to construct your own lantern to carry next week. And then Sunday is Tea Day at the Gardens. Wander the paths and take in the calm (it’s beautiful in any weather) and then head inside to warm up with afternoon tea. Experts will explain the different types of tea and provide some interesting information about the historical and cultural traditions surrounding tea drinking. You can even paint a pair of porcelain teacups for your own home ($5). There’s an ancient Chinese Proverb that says: “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.” Word.
LANTERNS | Sat, Dec 14 | 2-4pm | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden (578 Carrall St) | $15 | DETAILS
TEA | Sun, Dec 15 | 1-4pm | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden (578 Carrall St) | $12 | DETAILS
EAT LOCAL | The Holiday Farmers Market is on, so spread the love with some local food. Not only will there be lots of good grub (right now you can expect to see fresh kale, beets, fennel, artisan breads, dried fruits, preserves, cheeses), but with this special holiday edition of the Farmers Market boasting over 75 vendors, there will also be things like beeswax candles and infused honeys, candy and baked goods, crafts and more.
Sat, Dec 14 | 10am–4pm | Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Dr) | DETAILS
Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List
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 shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.
by Andrew Morrison | It’s been a few years now since Vancouver’s long overdue pizza renaissance began. If we had to pin a start date to it, it would be December 3rd, 2008, the day that Campagnolo launched on Main Street.
For certain, there were already one or two places to get really good pizza in town (CinCin comes to mind), but Campagnolo signalled the start of what would eventually become a flood. And the torrent brought not only great pies, but also new intel and greater appreciation for the pizza-making process.
We learned, for example, what VPN stood for (Vera Pizza Napoletana – the association that certifies Neapolitan pizza “authenticity”), and we started to understand the flours mixes more and respect the provenance of the tomatoes that put zip in the sauce. We became mozzarella freaks, accepted the fact that good pizza seldom arrives in a box, and basically stuffed our faces happy in the knowledge that we never had to suffer the indignity of shitty pizza for lack of alternatives ever again. Truly, what a delicious difference five years makes! Vancouver is now fluent in Great Pizza, and has left the basic pidgin of Panago et al behind.
Click ahead to view the Top 10 Pizzeria’s In Vancouver and vote for your own #1 pick.
by Nic Bragg | From Kitsilano’s Zulu Records, we once again present our weekly Scout feature, the Zulu Report. Within, we provide The Track – the song that is on heavy rotation in the shop this week; The Playlist – which is pretty self-explanatory; The Gig – the ‘must see’ show of the week; and The Glance – which details the best live acts that are on the immediate horizon. From our ears to yours, enjoy…
MOGWAI The Lord Is Out of Control
I keep watching this video waiting for something terrible or horrifying to happen, but it never does. Scottish post-rockers Mogwai know how to create mood, capture one’s attention and focus our listening experience. There’s a hypnotic slow burn to their compositions. Using classic vintage synth swells and fried fuzz guitars, the tones flow together perfectly into an enthralling elixir. The video was shot on location in Hawaii, capturing the eerie beauty of its natural setting inter-cut with some really nice footage of late night acrobatics classes, a man living off the grid and raising masks to the sun, and a woman trekking out to take in the sunrise. In the back of your mind you know that Mogwai live for the blissed out massive volume distortion rock outs, so when this new song just manages to keep the intensity in check the result is really seductive. Mogwai’s Rave Tapes release is one to look forward to in 2014.
BONNIE PRINCE BILLY Black Captain
Will Oldham drops a nugget from his songbook for Greenpeace’s boat The Arctic Sunrise which was detained by on piracy charges in September after they attempted to protest offshore drilling in the Russian Arctic. Black Captain is already a highly moving song, but in this politicized context and with Will just set up on a dock strumming his guitar, you can’t help but feel the vibe.
Remember the good old days when bands could jam on drone rock for 14 minutes in a vain attempt to capture the glory of Can and Faust? Those days are alive and well in the city of Chicago! Long live the trippy sound of Jazzmasters running through Roland Space Echo!
CALIFONE 3Voor12 Session
Next November when you are planning your escape from town I strongly suggest a cheap flight to Amsterdam, a train to the tiny University town of Utrecht, and a 3 day pass to one of the most underground music festivals in Europe – Le Guess Who. The shows all have a unified intimacy that makes you feel like you’re witnessing something special and unique. Here we see Chicago blues rockers Califone in a more stripped down incarnation entertaining fans in the Village Coffee Shop (not that kind of coffee shop!).
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Higgs Boson Blues
This week we took an informal poll on Twitter to find out from our customers/followers their favourite live show of the year. Nick Cave’s sold out April 6th performance at the marvelous Vogue Theater received a ton of votes and provided a fine excuse to relive the glory of seeing an amazing band in an amazing setting with an amazing set of fans loving every minute of it. The good news is Cave and Co. have a new live record and have announced another Vancouver show (in a larger room). The bad news is that it’s sold out already!
BLOUSE A Feeling Like This
Every New Year you should really make a point of discovering a few new young bands. Choose a label you like and do a little bit of investigating. Portland’s latest breakout band is Blouse, and with the impending release on Captured Tracks they should be making waves in 2014. This is a nice black and white tone poem that plays with one’s subconscious dream psyche.
“The venue is condemned but they still do shows on the weekend”… Hilarious chit-chat from an a-list of American hipster comedians (including Superchunk drummer Jon W.) as they line up to get into the club. If you can’t laugh at yourself…
TENNIS Monday January 6th FORTUNE SOUND CLUB
The idea that Denver’s slick indie pop outfit Tennis will be on the road this early in the year is crazy! Most bands wait for things to start to thaw before booking shows. Maybe they just have lots of practice booting around the icy Rockies roads en route to the next gig. Anyway, mark your 2014 calendars with this show and make it your New Year’s resolution to get out and see more bands. Tennis offer the sharp hooks of bigger more acclaimed bands such as Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend and will definitely have to bring their a-game if they want to outshine local openers The Shilohs who round out the bill. Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of December after the jump… Read more
Pecha Kucha is coming up tomorrow night (watch for our ticket giveaway on Twitter), and as per usual we’ve sought out one of the interesting speakers for a sit down. Lyndon Cormack is the Co-Founder of Herschel Supply Co.. He launched the company with his brother, Jamie, in 2009, and the two of them have since changed the way we look at the humble backpack as an everyday fashion accessory. Herschel Supply products are sold in Canada, from the foothills of the Rockies and Europe to Australia and all across Asia (and everywhere in between). Their company was named after the small town in Saskatchewan where three generations of the Cormack family grew up. Scout recently took a tour of the Herschel headquarters in Railtown last week and spent some time talking to Jamie and Lyndon. Here is that conversation:
Herschel is an outdoor-focused brand. It’s in the DNA of the company. Tell us about your favourite local excursions. Where do you go? (Lyndon) I live in Deep Cove and I have kids, so I stay pretty close to home, I think our family is personally responsible for some of the cutaway trails that go to Quarry Rock. We use the trails all the time and run them. During the recent fog we were getting above it and going up to Seymour where it was scorching hot and sunny. Being from Deep Cove, it’s even an excursion to go to Granville Island. Places that other parts of Vancouver consider to be their backyards are excursions to us. Both Jamie and I have boats (Boston Whalers), so we’re boating around there all the time. (Jamie) Last trip in the Whaler? I use it weekly. I was out last week, fishing out by Bowen. We caught lots of pinks. Didn’t keep any, but it’s fun to get out there.
While we’re on the topic of Deep Cove, the two of you recently launched a side project – a new retail shop – there called A’hoy with your brother Jamie and Deep Cove business veteran Megan Curran of Room6. How on earth did you find the time and vision to start a side project on top of running Herschel? (Lyndon) We LOVE Deep Cove. I mean, we both live there. We boat there and spend a bunch of time there. With the geographic location of it, the beauty of it and the access to nature, it’s amazing to me that it’s just not THAT good. It hasn’t developed into something ridiculous. I mean, we have a fantastic, Vancouver-famous doughnut shop called Honey Doughnuts; we have a fantastic restaurant called The Arms Reach Bistro; and there is a great gift shop called Room6, which is also amazing.
So there is some good stuff, just not enough? Jamie and I were saying: “Rather than bitch, why not do something great here?” We had an opportunity to partner with Megan [Curran] and open something else with a different concept; something that would cater to men, women and kids. It’s a small space (800 square feet), but we fill it up with our favourite classic brands: Vans, Cons, Ray Ban, Levi’s, HBC, Pendleton and Herschel Supply. We wanted a business that could cater to the local community as well as have some cache for Vancouverites to come out for a visit. A’hoy aims to portray a picture of what Deep Cove is about: comfort, casual, classic.
So, Deep Cove is home, but you think that it could be a lot better. The new shop is a move in that direction. How else would you like to see it change? Why hasn’t someone opened the best fish and chips joint? A cute, organic fish n’ chip shop with perfect packaging and clever design. Why isn’t it there? I mean, there is a fish n’ chip shop there, but…put it this way, I think Bestie is a perfect example of something that has been able to come in and offer a fresh story. It was done through good design. Good design isn’t expensive. It’s the thoughtfulness and the passion that are the hard part. So why isn’t it there? I don’t know. I find it shocking and that’s why we need to fix it.
It’s about doing things differently. I think the clients in Deep Cove will spend money, if it’s worth it. If you’re just jacking up your prices because you feel you can, you’ll fail miserably because but it’s just not the community that is going to pay for that. They like value but they also care about quality. And they care about design. I’m probably guilty of thinking of the macro rather than the micro. I see the big picture of these businesses and I see the way that Deep Cove could evolve. There are a whole bunch of people who could do it better than us. They should come. Come to Deep Cove! Start a trend!
So, if you have a predilection for the ‘macro’ view with your hobbies, that’s probably true of your business as well. How do you draw the line and stay on track? Both Jamie and I are idea guys. We have to show a lot of restraint in not developing a lot of new products. We’re very focused. It’s not because we can’t. We have every opportunity in the world. We can, wether it be t-shirts, hats, footwear, or glasses or watches or what have you. We could do anything. Right now, what’s important for us is to solidify our foundation, because the foundation’s not set yet. Once we have that firm foundation we can built a lot on that.
The goal is to always worry about that that target on our back, continue to innovate, continue to create, change, continue to adapt . You’ve got to own your space in the market. We earned it, now we have to own it. Globally. That’s a challenge.
How do you avoid the trap of becoming a fad and burning out? We talk a lot internally about ‘getting too comfortable’ and I think that would turn us in to a fad and that would possibly have the ‘fizzle out’ affect. If we got too comfortable and started saying things like “Hey, we sold ‘this many’ black this year and we sold ‘this many’ navy last year” and all of a sudden you stop trying to innovate, stop trying to change, stop trying to be better and you worry about the anniversary of your business rather than creating new stories to tell.
There is a cycle that comes through. Someone who bought a bag in year one might not buy a bag the next year, but they might come through in year three. They need to have that same excitement and sense of discovery at that point. Sure, they know the brand, but now they want to know a new story or a new product within that brand. That requires innovation. That’s going to be the key. That’s the key for every brand. And any great brand that’s actually managed to succeed has constantly innovated, constantly changed. If we don’t do that, we deserve to fizzle out.
In order to make sure we stay on track, we rely on not only our eye and our travel but our partners’ eyes and their travels. We rely on our ‘reps’ who have eyes on the road and in retail stores, and we rely our design team who is well-travelled and well-versed in culture. We listen to what they tell us about what they see. We trust that – with the number of eyes that we have on things now [hundreds] – that we can come up with a pretty good sense of what will work. After that, you’ve got to just go with your gut.
(Jamie) Pushing in to new categories so that even if someone does own a bag and they are not looking for a bag that day, they are going to come back and buy a wallet, buy a computer sleeve, want that new duffle bag. Our range has expanded. That’s one thing that we knew right from our first season, we did not want to be pigeon holed. We wanted to offer range. It allowed us some creative freedom. It allowed us to be able go out there and think about more than just one thing. We had it on our minds because we were travelling.
At this stage, we’ve been able to stand back and look at things like: how do you us devices, how do you use an iPad, how do you travel with your bag? So our bags have a heritage feel for the user, but once you open them up, they function. Constantly innovating.
Is part of the plan to have a little boutique for Herschel, a flagship? (Lyndon) I would have to say yes. It’s definitely going to be something we do. We have some shops in Hong Kong and Taiwan, some kiosks in Korea. Eventually we would move to having a couple of flagships, but they have to be in the right place at the right time. We’re just getting started here in terms of our brand, we’re only 4 years old.
by Stevie Wilson | If you live or work in Mount Pleasant – or simply enjoy visits to its plethora of shops and coffee joints – you’ve likely strolled past the towering Heritage Hall on the on the corner of Main and 15th Avenue (either that or you recognize it as a classic X-Files filming location). It’s the neighbourhood’s go-to wedding reception spot in summer, and for the rest of the year it’s home to a number of community events, art collectives, and meetings of all sorts. But enriching all of the Hall’s modern uses is its century-long history, the outline of which we’ll trace today.
The land upon which it sits once belonged to the Federal Government. It was purchased in 1912 to the cool tune of $40,000. The building got its start in 1914 as a civic Post Office. Postal Station “C”, to be exact. It was designed by Englishman Archibald Campbell Hope and lead architect David Ewart. Hope was also responsible for several historic apartments, halls, stores, and other buildings across the Lower Mainland, including Britannia High School and Fort Langley’s imposing Community Hall.
It’s unusual to find such a large, expensive (original cost was $92,000), and elaborate building like this in an area that was, despite being a major thoroughfare, not prime real estate or a commercial hotspot at the time of its construction. In fact, it was among the very few contemporary buildings in the neighbourhood – such as the 1912 Lee Building – that were poised to spur economic growth south into Mount Pleasant from the Gastown area. The commercial tide, however, would take several more decades before it reached the top of the hill.
By 1950, the Beaux-Arts-inspired pile was no longer being used as a Post Office and was operating as the Dominion Agricultural Building. In 1963, a special investigations branch of the RCMP moved in, taking advantage of the office spaces until 1976, when the building fell into disrepair, a mere two years after its “heritage” status had been cemented by the City (the hall was among the first buildings in Vancouver to be officially imbued with historical importance). Both the interior and exterior were in need of significant overhaul.
Heritage Hall was left dormant until 1982, when Main Source – a community group made up of passionate volunteers – rallied to initiate its reconstruction and the development of the site into the multipurpose resource space that it is today. Among its many Edwardian features are a sandstone portrait of King George V on its Main Street facade and a working bell inside a clock tower, which was built by the same company responsible for Big Ben in London. Late Vancouver historian Chuck Davis noted how animal and plant fossils in the interior marble were evident to the naked eye. The interior boasts a 3,300 square foot, French-inspired ballroom that features many re-conceived details, including a large mural, a tile floor, and stained glass chandeliers.
Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she’s decided to branch out with a cryptic agenda: encouraging the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with You Should Know, a Scout column that aims to reveal to readers the many historial things that they already see but might not undertstand.