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!
BODY ART | There’s a tattoo show going down at the Vancouver Convention Centre over the weekend. In addition to booths and tables manned by vendors and artists, expect special guest artists, demonstrations, workshops and contests, not to mention a lot of inked skin.
Apr. 25-17 | Various times | Vancouver Convention Centre | $20 | DETAILS
AFFORDABLE ART | Phantoms in the Front Yard is an 8-person artists’ collective comprised of established local artists that use the human figure as their muse. Phantoms will be doing a one night only show at the Burrard Hotel this Friday night. The crew will be taking over 3 hotel rooms to exhibit hundreds of miniature paintings and drawings (everything shown will be in an under 10″ x 10″ format) based on the theme of ‘Everyone I’ve Never Known’. As explained by Phantoms in the Front Yard member Jay Senetchko, the show is about “strangers who have influenced us but we’ve never really known, or, strangers we feel like we know but have never met. From Charles Darwin to your local bank teller…” The super good news is that the art will be priced in the $200-$500 range, and there will be music, cool people, a cash bar, and an after-party (also free).
Fri, Apr. 25 | 6pm – 8:30pm with after party to follow | 1100 Burrard St. | DETAILS
EVEN MORE AFFORDABLE ART | Once a year Vancouver art enthusiast Chris Bentzen curates a show of the works of 50 (mostly) local artists. It’s called Carded, and the twist is that every piece in the show fits on a 2.5 x 3.5 card. All of the card-sized works are displayed on the walls of the gallery but show attendees are also able to purchase a mixed pack of five pieces of the baseball/hockey card-sized art for $5. The only catch is that the pack will be random and you may not score the item you were after. And that’s when the fun begins…people start bargaining and trading. Don’t be alarmed to hear statements like: “You’ve got a Sophia Ahamed? I’ll trade you my Exploding Haggis for your Ahamed!” It’s a fun and interactive way to score some art at affordable prices. Organisers expect the show to sell out so think about arriving early to avoid disappointment.
Sat, Apr. 26 | 7-11pm | Hot Art Wet City (2206 Main @ 6th) | DETAILS
DINE | The Swallow Tail Secret Supper Club is holding one of their quick-to-sell-out dinners this weekend. This meal will be a South Indian vegetarian feast, so you can expect everything from kormas and curries to chutneys and fritters. Swallow Tail – always looking to add an extra level of detail to their dining experiences – has arranged for each guest at their table to take home an original watercolour (inspired by ingredients used for the meal) by local artist Angela Fama. Seats are going fast, so don’t dilly-dally.
Sat, Apr. 26 | 6:30 – 9:30pm | Location revealed with ticket purchase | $59 | DETAILS
COMMUNITY | The development of the site is still in the early planning stages but The Vancouver Park Board is planning to slap a new park on corner of Yukon Street and 17th Avenue. Hooray for more parks! It’s not often that a community gets to be in on the planning stages of a new green space in their neighbourhood, so get involved by attending an open house on Saturday. Learn more about the project, offer your insights and impressions, and swap ideas with your neighbours.
Sat, Apr. 26 | 10am – 2pm | 17th Avenue and Yukon Street | DETAILS
GET GROWING | Evidence of Spring is already pushing through the soil. Feeling perplexed as to how to get things growing? The ladies of Victory Gardens are offering a Spring Gardening Basics class this Saturday morning that will walk you through the steps of preparing your garden for a season of plentiful food production. Not only will participants of this 101 style workshop leave schooled on the importance of compost and soil, they’ll also learn about when to plant what, which edible plants will do well in Vancouver soil, how to sew seeds and how to safely transplant seedlings from pot to garden, and so on. Each participant will receive a pack of organic seeds and some notes on Spring Gardening Basics. Following this workshop there will be a gardening supply sale. The perfect way to start the first week of Spring!
Saturday, April 26 | 10:30am | 151 W 1st Ave | $20 | DETAILS
PITCH IN | Here’s a fine way to rack up some karma points: roll up your sleeves and join in a city-wide spring cleanup. Keep Vancouver Spectacular is a City program that provides community members with gloves, garbage bags, and tools for trash pickup when they carry out coordinated block-clean ups. This Saturday morning you can put on your grubby clothes and spend an hour or two picking up litter from streets and laneways in the Fraser & Broadway area. After the work is done, everyone is invited to head to the Mount Pleasant Community Centre for lunch. Block cleanup are happening all across the city throughout May.
Sat, Apr. 26 | 9:30am | Fraser & Broadway (2500 Block Fraser) | DETAILS
ARCHITECTURE | The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is hosting their annual Vancouver Special Tour this weekend. Look inside five new and amazingly renovated Vancouver Specials! It’s a one day, ticketed, self-guided event that celebrates innovation and design and asks the important question: ‘What can you do to make one of the least appealing architectural styles livable in a modern context?’ From Vancouver Heritage Foundation: “In 2014 we’ll visit visit a Joe Wai Special – an architectural style unique to Strathcona, as well as an unexpectedly beautiful in-law suite, and a Special constructed entirely of cinder block. Come see what it took to make a bunker-like Special into a success (hint, concrete saws were required). Explore how a standardized design continues to flourish behind a Vancouver movement to revitalize and reinterpret this uniquely-Vancouver house style today.”
Sat, Apr. 26 | 12-3pm | Various locations | $30 | DETAILS
ICONS | Head to the magical subterranean caverns of the Biltmore Cabaret this Sunday and browse hand-picked vintage like you’ve never seen before. Expect vintage-clothing vendors, flea-market finds, fancy antiques, accessories, stuffed animals, shoes, jewellery, records, retro household items, cameras, and all manner of other curious trinkets. This is a cabaret, so the bar will be open! Shoppin’, drinkin’, and dancin’ encouraged!
Sun, Apr. 27 | 11 am–5 pm | Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward) | DETAILS
BIKE SWAP | It’s getting to be that time of the year when we can start to think about cruising around the city on a bike (and not just for transportation sake but for, well, for the mere sun-on-your-face-with-a-breeze pleasure of it). Don’t have a bike or looking to trade in your old ride for something slicker? You’re in luck, because this weekend brings with it a vintage bicycle swap at Britannia Centre. Buy, sell or trade bikes as well as parts and tools. Cruisers, BMX, road bikes and muscle bikes – they’ll all be there, looking for new homes.
Sun, Apr. 27 | 10am | Britannia Community Centre (1661 Napier) | 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 Stevie Wilson | It’s no secret that Vancouverites love the beach, and despite our city’s proclivity for short-and-sweet summers, English Bay proves to be a popular spot even in the shoulder seasons, year after year. Since its establishment as a public recreational area in 1893, the beach has been a prime spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s known by many as First Beach, but the original First Nations inhabitants referred to it as “Ayyulshun” (soft under feet), and its official name commemorates the meeting of George Vancouver and captains Valdes and Galiano from Spain.
But more important than all that…what’s the story with those amazing art deco bathrooms?
When sand was added to the English Bay beach in 1898 it quickly became a magnet for rest, relaxation, and the occasional swim for locals. A bathhouse seemed a charming – and practical – addition to the landscape. However, like many landmarks in Vancouver (including the Georgia Street Viaduct, the Granville Street Bridge, and the Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park, to name a few), the bathhouse we see today is not the original design. The first Bathing Pavilion, completed in 1906, was built by the Parks Board at a cost of $6,000, and could boast the title of the city’s first bathhouse.
Other beachside attractions in the early 1900s included a long wooden pier, cottages, and a glassed-in dancehall known as “The Prom”. The beach was also the home of the celebrated Joe Fortes, Vancouver’s first official lifeguard who is credited with saving at least 29 lives while on (volunteer) duty at English Bay.
The original frame bathhouse was a large brick and wooden structure, 3-storeys high, with long open verandas stretching out on either side. While it offered impressive views of the water (and a private place to change), its 1931 successor saw a stylish new design in keeping with the sensibilities of the times. Earlier, in 1909, it was determined that additional facilities were needed at the beach, and a new building designed by E.E. Blackmore of Pantages Theatre and Jackson Apartments fame popped up on the northern side of the original bathhouse. This Bathing Pavilion closed in 1939 and the building became home to Vancouver’s first public aquarium until its closure in 1955. The attraction’s biggest draw? Oscar the Octopus. Word has it he had eight arms. Eight arms!
By 1913, beach-goers could rent lockers, towels, and even woolen bathing suits to enjoy their stay with. Circa 1938, a short 7 years after the new concrete art deco bathhouse was constructed, the wooden pier and The Prom were both torn down. Fortes, who had already seen so much come and go, passed away in 1922.
The current bathhouse has undergone significant renovations over the years, including several updates in 1986 and a complete interior restoration in 2002 that won the Parks Board an Award of Recognition from the City. In 2012, a beachfront Cactus Club location was opened adjacent to the historic site, proving that if there’s one thing this beach is used to (other than laughter, bare feet, waves, and cops pouring out perfectly good liquor), it’s change.
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…