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!
NERD OUT | If you’re walking around downtown this weekend and you notice an increase in the number of adults cruising around in full-on superhero / anime costume, that’s probably because Fan Expo Vancouver is on. The day will include special celebrity guests, panels, comic dealers, workshops, and lots and lots of really awesome costumes.
Apr. 18 – 20 | Various times | Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) | $20-$69
FOUNDATIONS | The Emily Carr University of Art + Design Foundation Show will line the walls of the ECUAD Concourse Gallery with works by first year students. Sure the show is an opportunity for new students to bring their family and friends down to see what’s been keeping them so busy over the past eight months, but it’s also an opportunity for the general public to size up the next wave of emerging art, design and media makers, and even place bets on their futures by purchasing their work. Pop down to Granville Island for the opening reception on Thursday night. This show continues until April 27.
Opening night | Thu, Apr. 17 | 7 – 10pm | Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Ongoing | Apr. 19 – 26 | 10am -6pm daily | Emily Carr University of Art & Design | DETAILS
RECORD STORE DAY | It’s Record Store Day on Saturday so independently run record stores across the city are fixin’ to help you celebrate. Expect in-store performances, record releases, sales and the coming together of people who love music. Hit Red Cat Records, Neptoon and Dandelion on Main, Zulu Records on 4th Avenue, plus Vinyl, Noize, Beat Street, and Highlife for all sorts of record-related fun. Oh, and let’s not forget the classical grooves at Sikora downtown! Tip: Neptoon Records in particular has a full roster of performances planned, so skip over to their website to see their impressive line-up (running from 11am through until 7pm).
Sat, Apr. 19 | All Day | Various Locations Around Town | Free | DETAILS
CREATE | Looking for some artistic inspiration? There’s a Gastown gig going this Friday called ‘Late Nite Art’ that might be just the ticket. It’s not your basic “still life” class, but rather an evening of creativity and collaborative art-making lubricated by music, food and discussion. For this edition of Late Nite Art, “a facilitator, a chef, an artist, and a photographer combine forces to create an intimate, socially conducive environment and produce an engaging and entertaining night.” No previous experience needed. Just bring your imagination. Ticket price includes workshop, dinner, tax, and a tip.
Fri, Apr. 18 | 7:30pm | Archive at Revolver (325 Cambie St) | $35 | DETAILS
FILM | The David Cronenberg retrospective continues at Pacific Cinematheque. From early experimental features like Crimes of the Future and Stereo to well known blockbusters like Crash, the selection of 13 full length films and four shorts was curated by the Toronto Film Festival and will be presented over the next few weeks on the big screen. Dark, smart and tense, Cronenberg films are consistently provocative, so spreading a retrospective out over time is probably better for everyone! You can catch films in this series at various times and dates over the next month. This long weekend, for example, you can catch The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch and M. Butterfly.
Now – May 2 | Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | DETAILS
EXPLORE | The Vancouver Natural History Society is leading a walk through the shoreline of Stanley Park this Friday. As Nature Vancouver explains, “Spring often yields seasonal finds such as barnacle-eating nudibranchs, or their eggs, and bryozoans on kelp. The seaweed should not be too extensive yet, allowing a good look at the cobbled areas. We will also be looking for the presence/absence of seastars after 2013′s devastating seastar wasting syndrome.” Sounds fascinating, right? So pull on some sensible footwear, pack a rain slicker just in case, and head to Stanley Park to stuff your brain full of all sorts of science.
Fri, Apr. 18 | 12noon | Children’s water park at the north end of Stanley Park | DETAILS
BRUNCH | What are long weekends for if not lazy brunches? Our suggestions: gather some friends and hit Lynn Canyon for an early morning hike and then stop in at North Vancouver’s Tomahawk Restaurant for Yukon-style bacon and eggs or fluffy french toast. Over on the East Side, Yolks (in the old Brave Bull site at Hastings and Clark) is the perfect Easter brunch venue with its easy pastel blue and yellow colour palette and, well, eggs. Try a build-your-own poached free-range egg sandwich and a manmosa (fresh squeezed orange juice and Parallel 49′s Hayfever beer). At Railtown’s Ask For Luigi, Chef J.C. Poirier has transported the simple Italian spirit of their evening service to a brunch menu that includes house-made bread with jam and taleggio cheese, frittata with pancetta and potatoes or tomatoes and mozzarella, and waffles with apples, hazelnuts and tiramisu crema.
Tomahawk | 1550 Philip Ave | Sun-Thurs 8am-on, Fri-Sun from 9am | DETAILS
Yolks | 1298 East Hastings St | Mon-Fri (8-3pm); Sat-Sun (9-4) | DETAILS
Ask For Luigi | 305 Alexander St | Sat-Sun 9:30 – 2:30pm | DETAILS
4:20 | On the 20th day of the 4th month (that would be this Sunday), thousands of people gather in, on, and around the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate one of BC’s strongest industries: marijuana. Pot cookies, smoking tents, bongo drums, naked people and dreadlocks…expect it all. The first reefers are lit early in the day and the cloud of blue love gathers all day, reaching it’s zenith in a storm at 4:20pm. If you’re driving through downtown, take caution around the VAG parameter, as there may be a few slow moving pedestrians to avoid.
Sun, Apr. 20 | 4:20pm | Vancouver Art Gallery | Free (or $5 a joint)
EAT LOCAL | Pick up provisions for the long week at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday. Locally grown fruits and veggies, fresh eggs and artisan cheese, baked goods and preserves, picked, coffee, honey and wild salmon – it’s all at Nat Bailey Framers Market. Get over there and buy local! These are the last days of the Winter Farmer’s Markets. After next Saturday’s market (April 26) we wait for the first of the regular spring/summer season farmers markets to start up. Yaletown starts May 1st and Trout Lake and Kits open May 10th + 11th respectively.
Saturday, March 19 | Parking Lot – Nat Bailey | Free | DETAILS
TOTALLY BAKED | The Bakers Market is on this weekend. Load up with artisanal breads, scones, cookies and cakes out at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. We’re guessing this weekend will see all manner of Easter-themed goodies like pastel coloured macaroons, madeleines, cupcakes and marshmallows, plus lots of gluten free and vegan options – the whole shebang. It’s like a dreamy dessert buffet or the biggest bakery you’ve ever set foot in.
Sun, Apr. 20 | 11am–3pm | Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, 7646 Prince Albert | 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 streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
by Andrew Morrison | 55 Dunlevy St. has seen a lot since the Vancouver Urban Winery took it over a couple of years ago. The old railtown address, all 7,700 sqft of it, is home to not only VUW – with its own Roaring Twenties Wine label, retail shop, and 36 tap wine lounge open to the public – but also FreshTAP, the company that brings BC wine to Vancouver’s forward-thinking restaurants serving the stuff on tap. It can be a little confusing with so much going on under one roof, so they’ve gone ahead and rebranded the whole building, sort of as an umbrella moniker. As of this afternoon, it’s called The Settlement Building. The rebrand is just as well, as the place will soon shelter two new companies.
The first of these is a 65 seat eatery called Belgard Kitchen. It’ll offer day/night service, low and cozy hideaway booths, and bar height tables. Overseeing the food program is 19 year Earls veteran, Reuben Major. Together with chef de cuisine Jason Masuch (ex-Brix) and sous chef Mark Reder (ex-Fish Shack), Major plans on serving shareable small plates in the evening (eg. Swiss cheese fondue, bacon mushroom pate) and a larger lunch program that will see sandwiches, chile, soups, salads, slaws, a house special ramen, and a daily crockpot. I looked in on construction yesterday and they were just about to start installing the bulk of their kitchen equipment.
What’s in a name? I had to consult a 20 volume version of the OED to find the answer. It turns out that a belgard came to English (the poets, natch) from the Italian in the 16th century or so, and it means “a kind and loving look.” ”The team felt the meaning captured what they’re all about and what guests through the doors can expect,” The Settlement’s PR person, Kate MacDougall, explained. “It’s their everyday disposition – made easier, I’m sure, surrounded by wine – and their service style.”
Opening Day for Belgard Kitchen is set for the middle of April.
The second new company in The Settlement Building is a microbrewery called Postmark Brewing. It’s being led by managing director Nate Rayment, formerly of Howe Sound Brewing, while the “brew chief” is none other than polymath Craig Noble, who made the engrossing 2007 Tableland documentary (also the brother of JoieFarm‘s Heidi Noble).
Postmark will produce four sessionable beers that will be available for growler purchase/refill, on tap (one presumes) 20 feet away at Belgard Kitchen, and in local beer-loving restaurants around town. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be drinking their first beers in June.
The one catch to it all is that FreshTAP is moving out to make room for Postmark, which matters not to the public because it never provided any on-site services to the end consumer. In the grand scheme of things, however, it’s worth noting that the little company with the big idea of selling local wine in steel kegs to local eateries has already outgrown its nursery (slow clap all around). They’re looking at options for a new and scaleable space as we speak. Good luck, and well done indeed.
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…
Los Angeles is the place to be if you want to cut a smooth operator-style modern R&B record. LA-based electronic soul singer Banks teams up with fellow Hollywood producer Shlohmo to create a broodingly spooky new track that somehow defines the new genre of ethereal mood music currently blowing up. Jessie Ware, Finister, Kid A, SZA, and more tread the same dark late night chill diva vibe as Banks, but the push coming behind her self-titled debut release indicates that she might be a name to watch in 2014. This highly cinematic clip makes the most out of a dark colour palette and a series of hypnotic shots of Banks shrouded by a veil. Obviously there’s more below the surface!
THE BLACK LIPS Justice After All
As the intro notes, The Black Lips are the pride of Atlanta’s Five Points hood. Together with their pals Deerhunter they have established the strip by the Variety Playhouse as more than just a place to find cheap booze and good times. The Black Lips seem to embody the fucked up spirit of American rock music at present. Underneath The Rainbow now out on Vice Records is pretty great!
S. CAREY Crown The Pines
As a member of Bon Iver, S. Carey’s new release ‘Range of Light’ is going to get a lot of airplay. He’s kind of been in the shadow of Justin Vernon for a long time, so it will be nice to see his more orchestral oeuvre get the attention it deserves.
THE WAR ON DRUGS Under Pressure
Everyone knows how much we dig Philly’s War on Drugs – they played a smoking in-store show at Zulu last year! Here’s some live footage of the first track off ‘Lost in The Dream’ – it shows just how much they have upped their game! If you saw their sold out show at The Biltmore the other day, you know just how lucky you are!
EX HEX Hot and Cold
Merge Records is like a family record label. Having previously released supergroup Wild Flag featuring Mary Timony, they also put out her latest effort as Ex Hex. With its crunchy riffage and tons of bouncy beats, this track is a who’s who of Washington D.C. punk legacy – and yes, that’s The Make Up’s Ian S. going out on a dinner date with Mary!
Chromeo are back! The electro vibe is alive and well. This new track seems to channel the Daft Punk thumbing bass pretty well. Time to lease a sweet ride and hit the open road.
THEE OH SEES The Lens
If you’re a fan of lo-fi animation you will certainly want to sit through this mellow new cut from John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees. Dreamy spaceman imagery galore!
GOAT w/ HOLY WAVE – RICKSHAW THEATRE Tue Apr 15
Psychedelic freak rockers Goat hail from the musical hotbed of Gothenburg, Sweden. Well, in actual fact they claim to trace their roots to a tiny town in northern Sweden that has a history steeped in voodoo worship and a common ancestor who was a famous witch doctor. With this in mind they will put a spell on you, and seduce your minds with their deep and trippy interpretations of ‘world music’ – a universal musical language that combines all forms of music into a fusion of art-rock, tribal rhythms, afrobeat, kraut groove, and lush hedonistic freak folk. Imagine Eddie Hazel as leader of Sun Ra’s Arkestra working through the ecstatic moments of a Damo Suzuki jam while the burnt daydreams of Vashti Bunyan breeze by… Sounds like a dream, right? Or maybe more like a nightmare? Hmm. Regardless, the element of spectacle will be on display on the Ides of April as Goat are known to perform in elaborate wardrobe (think exotic beaded garb). Openers Holy Wave from Texas should get the night off to a good start. Their music is pressed by the people who put on the legendary Austin Psyche Fest.
Take a deeper look at Vancouver’s gigscape for the rest of January after the jump… Read more
On Saturday, May 10, 2014, sixteen of the province’s leading small-batch distilleries (plus one from the Yukon) will be bringing their gin, vodka, whisky, and other fine spirits and liqueurs to Vancouver for BC Distilled – British Columbia’s premier micro-distillery festival.
In recent years and at an accelerating pace, bottles of local artisanal spirits have been landing on (and flying off) the shelves at restaurants, bars, and liquor stores across the province. Hosted at CBC Vancouver, BC Distilled will not only provide a single-stop opportunity for craft spirit lovers to taste and appreciate a huge number of these new products, but also a chance to meet and greet the people who have been doing the crafting.
Beverages from Bittered Sling Extracts, Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix, and SIP Soda will complement the wide range of spirits on offer, and attendees will also be able to enjoy bites from local restaurants such as Grain Tasting Bar, Forage, Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, The Distillery Bar + Kitchen, and Edible Canada.
Proudly supported by Scout Magazine and Vancouver Magazine, BC Distilled promotes locally-conscious drinking and supports the advancement of the micro-distillery industry within British Columbia.
BC Distilled is also a proud supporter of The BC Hospitality Foundation, which provides financial support for individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a medical condition. Partial proceeds from the festival will go directly to the BCHF.
“The BC Hospitality Foundation is an organization that positively impacts those who work in the food and beverage industry,” says Alex Hamer, Founder and Event Organizer of BC Distilled. “BC Distilled is honoured to help spread the word about the important work the BCHF does for our professional community.”
Participating Distilleries to Date:
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers
Dragon Mist Vodka
Long Table Distillery
Maple Leaf Spirits
Odd Society Spirits
Shelter Point Distillery
Sons of Vancouver
SR Winery & Distillery
The Liberty Distillery
BC Distilled Facts
Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014 | Time: 6PM – 9PM
Location: CBC Studios, 700 Hamilton St., Vancouver, B.C. (Studio One)
Price: $39.99 plus service charge until April 4 ($49.99 after April 4)
by Stevie Wilson | Looking over a city recognized for its abundance of greenery and glass, the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is a unique, historic example of Vancouver’s propensity for design. Full of exotic flowers and more than a few awesome-looking tropical birds, it’s a family-friendly city escape with a brilliant view to match.
Construction began in 1967 with funds donated from Prentice Bloedel, a wealthy timber industrialist known for his devotion to the protection of natural resources, reforestation, and recycling. His patronage of 1.4 million dollars (the largest gift to the city thus far) exemplified the post-war trend of large industries wishing to associate themselves with civic development, and complemented smaller financial contributions from the Provincial and Federal governments. Architect McKinley Underwood designed the triodetic dome, surrounding plaza, and fountain to coincide with the Vancouver Park Board’s vision for celebrating Canada’s centennial that same year. Henry Moore’s imposing Knife Edge – Two Piece sculpture also offers guests of the plaza a look into mid-century artistic flair.
The main structure’s design borrows from Buckminster Fuller’s larger Biosphere built for Expo ’67 in Montreal, and features materials manufactured in Ottawa that were then shipped to Vancouver. While the aluminum framework was constructed in 10 days, it took over a year for the entire design, complete with walkways and fountain, to be completed. The design purpose of the Modernist, geodesic styling is two-fold: to capture the optimistic and future-facing mid-century sensibilities of locals and tourists, and offer a new take on the pioneering 18th and 19th-century glass and metal solarium design.
The site also boasts the honour of being the first large triodetic dome conservatory in the country and was intended, as it remains today, to be an educational and scenic display of exotic plants. In its first year, the conservatory hosted over 500,000 guests. Attendance at the conservatory waned over the following decades, and in November of 2009 the Park Board voted in favour of closing the attraction due to growing repair and maintenance costs and the need for a complete replacement of the roof. The conservatory was set to close just after the 2010 Winter Olympics in March, though in January it was noted that attendance had increased dramatically now that pre-Olympic construction in other areas of Little Mountain and Cambie Street has been completed (go figure!). In February, public interest groups and financing, including $50,000 from the Friends of the Bloedel Association, inspired the Board to revise their decision.
The Parks Board ultimately accepted a proposal for the conservatory to be run under the jurisdiction of the VanDusen Botanical Garden, and it remains a gorgeous city escape, especially during the chilly months. The roof is currently undergoing a massive renovation, but inside the spot remains as peaceful as ever. We’re lucky to still have this lush piece of history, so pay a visit next time you need a little escape from winter. It makes a great date spot, too.
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 historical things that they walk past every day without noticing.
by Andrew Morrison | Danny Fazio and Thomas Anselmi of Arrival Agency invited me to take a look at how things were going at The Fox Cabaret yesterday. The space has come a long way since the mess left behind by the building’s previous long-term tenant, The Fox Cinema. The Fox, of course, was an old school porn theatre, and well documented as a grossed-out, fap-fest house of carnal horrors. Though it was an institution of sorts and very much part of the Main streetscape, screening 35mm adult films throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s, and well beyond 2003 when it switched over to DVD format. You can click here to learn more about the theatre and its 2010 end while empathetically lamenting the loss for commuting masturbators from across the Lower Mainland, but I don’t think it has been missed by that many people in the neighbourhood.
So what is The Fox Cabaret? I think we’re supposed to think of it as another “cultural compound”, the second coming of The Waldorf, which was sacrificed to false real estate idols last year. It’ll be operated by the same crew as before – led by Arrival founders Thomas Anselmi and Ernesto Gomez with partners Rachel Zottenberg and David Duprey (see also The Emerald, Rickshaw, The Narrow) – so I trust that we can expect similar programming as before. If you require a refresher, these guys arranged for The Cheaper Show, the East Side Culture Crawl, the New Forms Festival, the Polaris Music Prize, the Presentation House Gallery, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Vancouver International Film Festival to hold events at The Waldorf, and for Black Mountain, Japandroids, Douglas Coupland, Rodney Graham, Grimes, Michael Turner, and Paul Wong to headline evenings as well. In addition to the great gigs and events that I feel confident in anticipating, I know that Music On Main will be doing some of the programming, and that comedy group The Sunday Service is set to become an entertaining fixture. Diversity for the win.
Clearly, Mount Pleasant’s cultural landscape is about to get a big shot in the arm. When The Fox opens, it will offer a cavernous space (with all the theatre seats gone) for 190 people. An upper balcony will have room for another 25 or so, and then an upstairs bar will seat another 50 when it opens later – possibly as soon as April – in what used to be the theatre’s old projector room (check out the disco ball, plucked from the destruction of Richards On Richards). The bar operations are going to be the province of Kevin Brownlee, who also works the wood at South Granville’s storied West Restaurant. The hours will be in the evenings until midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends, with those being extended to 1am and 2am respectively after six months. There will be a food component, but it will basic – snacks only.
The Fox Cabaret is on track to open for its first events next weekend. Get your sneak peek below…