Seen In Vancouver #306: Reflections Duel Outside Catalog Gallery Opening On Powell

Opening night of the Justin Wright & Dan Climan dual show at Gastown’s Catalog Gallery (56 Powell Street).

Cool Thing We Want #288: Myne Sienna Summer Dress At Chinatown’s Charlie & Lee

Sienna Dress by Myne | Charlie & Lee | 223 Union St. | Chinatown | $259

I’m lusting after this laid back and flirty summer dress by LA-based Myne at Chinatown’s little Charlie & Lee shop.  Accessorise with a strong mint julep and you’re pretty much good to go.


Post-Riot Therapy: 101 Greatest Things About Life In Vancouver

by Andrew Morrison | Ever since the post-game riot nearly two weeks ago and penning my admittedly angry, totally knee jerk reaction to it (amplified in fury 10-fold by my hockey team losing the Stanley Cup), I’ve wanted to be reminded of all the things that make Vancouver worth getting into such a tizzy over in the first place.

It’s not like I forgot, but it feels good to write them down.

I’m over the loss of Game 7 (total lie), but anger nevertheless lingers at the jackasses who posed for photos on burning cop cars, beat down innocents and otherwise abused the name and reputation of this city.

Still, it’s time to move on.

It was in that spirit that my wife and I sat down with a bottle of wine after the kids went to sleep the other night and began trading our favourite things to do, see, eat, drink and be a part of in Vancouver.

We left out most of the glossy brochure fluff – the healthy walks along the seawall, the abundance of yoga studios, the vibrant multi-culturalism and so on (all great things, sure) – and narrowed down what started as a massive list to just 101 things that we could agree on.

Naturally, what follows reflects our own interests, work and personal affections (notice the heavy food component), so it’s doubtful that you’ll hold dear the exact same things. To some, our list might seem bourgeois, blinkered or bullshit, and that’s fine. These are the best things that we get out of our city, and we feel no shame in the way we fashion our good times.

So without further et cetera…

Scout’s 101 Greatest Things About Life In Vancouver

1 | The Nine O’Clock Gun

We might as well start off with a bang! It’s 9 o’clock! So sayeth Stanley Park’s 9′oclock gun:

It’s been hit by lightning, plugged with rocks, short-circuited, silenced by work stoppages and even (briefly) stolen but Vancouver’s famed old Nine O’Clock Gun has—as faithfully as circumstances have allowed—boomed out the time of day from its home in Stanley Park for 107 years now.

What other city in Canada shoots off a canon to tell you with a resounding note of insistence that it’s time to go out and have some fun?

2 | Laneway Housing

For a long time, Vancouver home owners weren’t allowed laneway housing to help pay their mortgages through renters, house aging grandparents or cloister their wayward teens thereby increasing the city’s population density. That changed in the summer of 2009 when City Council approved 70,000 properties for laneway development, thanks in no small part to the lobbying (and awesomeness) of a couple of cool and conscientious little companies that are doing it right. Honour is due.

3 | Tuesday Nights At The VAG

The Vancouver Art Gallery is free (er, by donation) on Tuesday nights. Bring a twoonie and take advantage.

4 | Bike Lanes

Hooray for not getting hit by cars (as much) anymore!

5 | Sunday Soccer at McLean Park

A diverse group of people of every age and background show up at McLean Park in Strathcona every Sunday afternoon to play a legendary – if totally casual – game of footie without nets, refs, corners, throw-ins,  rules or clocks. What if it rains or snows? Big deal. Game on. Come and play! (Don’t worry about the old Korean man looking terrified above. That’s just Kip. He’s a power forward, always lurking on the wing) Read more

DINER: Chris Stewart & Andrey Durbach Open Cool Little “Commissary” Food Store

Seasoned, acclaimed restaurateurs Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach (interview), owners of La Buca, Pied-a-Terre and Cafeteria, have just opened Commissary, a rather cool-looking little shop selling “prepared foods to take home.”

It’s located at 4027 Macdonald St. – right beside La Buca. They’re selling stocks, terrines, patés, soups, sauces, stuffed pastas and basically any of the ingredients that they employ in the recipes articulated in each of their restaurant kitchens. In addition to these staples, they also table proteins (we picked up some sweet sockeye for dinner) and gastro-esoterics like truffle paste and Callebaut baking chocolate. Cuteness aside, it’s cunningly utilitarian in its functionality for both them and us, serving not just as a space and means to make and sell what they’re already doing for themselves, but also to allow us in on the action with their surplus. Clever.


“The Found And The Freed” Pop Up Shop Arrives At 206 Carrall

Like a cross between a kickass garage sale and a DIY museum exhibit, The Found and The Freed pop-up shop (brand new to Gastown) features beautiful antiques, artifacts and found objects. Check it out!

The Found and the Freed | 206 Carrall St. | Gastown | Until July 16

The Hotly Anticipated “Save On Meats” Opens Today In Gastown

Michelle took these shots at the first “friends and family” dinner service at the highly anticipated Save On Meats last night (since forever referred to colloquially as “Save On”).

The venerated, salt-of-the-earth restaurant at 43 West Hastings has taken over a year to resurrect itself under new stewardship, this after 50 years spent serving honest, prepped-in-house diner fare to every stripe of Vancouverite.

Scout broke the news of its coming with Mark Brand at the helm over a year ago and took many shots during the construction phase. Because of the building’s history and our memories of the original Save On, we’ve been especially keen. We’re thrilled to the wait come to an end. Brand – who has the lease for 20 years – assures me it’ll open to the public in 12 hours from now – that’s at noon, Wednesday, June 22nd – come “hell or high water.”

A lot of people had a hand in this project and worked very hard on it (Nico, Guy, Rodney, Jason et al, take a bow). I imagine it will be fixed as an unforgettable experience for all who dedicated their and sweat time to it. From the look of these shots, their hard toil has paid off. The photos reveal their superb job at improving on a Vancouver legend without diminishing its working class spirit and feel. And the prices on the draft menu are pretty sweet, too (nevermind the spelling, it’s just a draft). We’ll leave it at that and the imagery, without captions. The rest is to your imaginations as we fully expect that you’d like to check it out for yourselves.

We’re hardly impartial on this one. Welcome back, Save On. We hope you kill it.


Awesome Thing We Ate #838: Honest Diner Feast At Hastings’ Imminent Save On Meats

Save On Meats | 43 West Hastings | Opening Imminent | More tonight


Scout List: Our Eclectic Agenda For Discerning Vancouverites…

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. From our calendar to yours… Read more

Sizing Up Gastown’s Cool New “Community Thrift & Vintage”

by Michelle Sproule | Owned by The Portland Hotel Society, a Vancouver organization aimed at providing housing, advocacy and support to people in the Downtown Eastside, brand new Community Thrift & Vintage isn’t just Gastown’s freshest storefront, it’s also a social enterprise that runs as a not-for-profit business that accepts donations of gently-used clothing and redirects all profits to charities in Vancouver (bonus: it employs residents of the DTES in a graduated job training program).

But this is not your average not-for-profit shop. There aren’t gnarly stains, mothballs and mountains of crap to sift through. From its “no polyester” policy and its emphasis on natural fibres to the obvious knack the staff have for zeroing in on great pieces, this joint could easily occupy a heart-of-Main Street address and gouge dollars from those who frequent cool-kid stops like Front & Co. This place definitely has that specialty, carefully curated feel, minus the glam, glitter and holy shit, really? mark-ups. In other words, they aren’t surcharging for cool.

Shop manager Jenni Nelson and some of her core staff (like local fashion sage Katie Piasta) throw in their expertise at no extra charge. Equal parts stylists, seamstresses and thrifters of the first order, these girls know what they are doing and are happy to advise on what works and what doesn’t. On my visit this afternoon (they opened this morning), I walked out with a beautiful French cotton summer top (see below, $10), a simple navy blouse ($10) and a vintage, sand-coloured linen dress ($24). I’m not sure that I would have picked the dress off the rack if left to my own devices, but Katie sized up the items I was carting off to the changing room and pulled it out for me. It fit perfectly.

The interior is all reclaimed wood and exposed brick walls with vintage mirrors and the occasional retro schoolhouse chair thrown in for good measure. Jenni and her husband Jeff Lee (both of the band Hard Drugs) renovated the space on their own, salvaging most of the material in the long neglected space. Have a look at the before/after piece on their blog. Woah. Nice work!

Here are some more shots from today…

You have to check this place out. The prices are in line with what you would find at a typical no-frills thrift shop, and boys…don’t fret. There’s plenty for you to score, too.

41 W Cordova (between Carrall & Abbott) | Tues – Sat, 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm


On Your Radar #326: Pecha Kucha Special On “West Coast Modernism” At The Vogue

The next Pecha Kucha night is coming down the pipe and should be on your radar. It’s a good idea to snag tickets early for this one, because this time around, each presenter will tie their words and images to the theme of West Coast Modernism in architecture. As per usual, each person will show 20 images for 20 seconds and speak over them (going too long at their peril). This gives them 6 minutes and 40 seconds before the lights dim and the next presenter is announced, keeping it concise and episodic with the interest level always topped up. The line-up looks amazing and includes different strokes from architects and designers to community leaders and artists. Bonus: filmmakers Michael Bernard and Gavin Froome will be there! They collaborated to produce this amazing film on Coast Modern architectural style from Los Angeles to Vancouver; from 1922 up to the present (trailer above). Scout is a proud sponsor, so we’ll see you there.

Pecha Kucha Night volume 17 | Thursday, June 23 | 7pm | Vogue Theatre (918 Granville) | $15

Scout List: Our Eclectic Agenda For Discerning Vancouverites…

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. From our calendar to yours…

The Waste Festival spreads across the city. The playoffs are on.  And the sun is set to make an appearance. Do you even need a Scout List? Just walk out the door.


Music Waste is on and events are so numerous and so flippin’ good that it’s almost pointless to try to narrow it down. Skip over to the Waste website for a look at the schedule and you’ll see what I’m on about. I guess if someone held a gun to my head I could come up with a shortlist of gigs that would be on my must-see list, and that list would go something like this: On Friday I’d hit Zulu for in-store’s with War Baby (6pm), Walter TV (7pm) , and Spring Break (8pm), then I might high-tail it over to Campagnolo for some crispy ceci and wine before stopping in at the Electric Owl to hear the Shilohs play (10pm), after which I’d bolt to the Biltmore for a bit of Fine Mist (11pm). Finally, I’d wander back down to Hastings Street to catch Apollo Ghosts at the Astoria (1am).

On Saturday I’d take the kids to Red Cat Records for the all ages afternoon show with Woolworm at 2pm and Thee Ahs at 3pm before skipping down to Gene for Prophecy Sun at 4pm. In the evening I’d start out at Antisocial (The Spreads play at 10pm), head to Electric Owl for Sun Wizard at 12:30am and then scoot over to the Waldorf for No Gold at 1am. All of the venues are within walking distance (they say) of each other and full festival passes are only $15 (deal of the century). Passes can be found at: Neptoon Records (3561 Main Street); Zulu Records (1972 W 4th Ave); Scratch Records (726 Richards Street) and Redcat Records (4332 Main Street).

Gastown’s Catalog Gallery opens a new show this Friday. This one features work by Caleb Beyers…I read something about a Lamborghini cast out of materials from the earth? Catalog never disappoints. More here.
Opening Reception: Friday June 3 | 56 Powell (right across from Sea Monstr Sushi) | Free

This is a good weekend to take small people to the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s Family FUSE Weekend! “Expect the unexpected and consider the absurd as artists, dancers, musicians, filmmakers and other creative artists lead workshops, performances, tours and activities proving that there are no limits to the imagination.” Kids under 12 get in for free (score!) with a paying adult. Imagine the unimaginable and turn the world upside down. Or something…
Saturday–Sunday, June 4–5 | 10am–5pm | Vancouver Art Gallery | 22.50 for grown-ups

George Vergette: Stranded and Broke in a Strange Town opens at Gallery Jones (1725 W 3rd) this week.  New paintings by Vergette will be on display starting on Saturday (June 4) with an opening reception on Thursday, June 9. Get out there and expose yourself to art!

Catch the Spread at Chapel Arts over the weekend. This is an art show with a special focus on community building and artist promotion exploring alternative strategies for young and emerging artists to show their work in an underfunded art’s community. All work shown will be under $300. Find out more.
June 3 | 8pm-2am | Chapel Arts (304 Dunlevy)

The Fair (International Contemporary Art in Vancouver) gathers 18 local and international galleries about town and stuffs them all in to one super-fantastic exhibition of contemporary art at The Waldorf. Ooh, the efficiency of seeing the wares of 18 galleries in one location!
June 2 – 5 | The Waldorf Hotel (1489 E. Hastings)
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 2, 7pm – 11pm
Friday, June 3, 5pm – 11pm
Saturday, June 4, 1pm – 5pm
Closing Reception: Saturday, June 4, 7pm – 11pm
Sunday, June 5, 11am – 2pm

It’s Italian Day on the Drive. Music, food, bocce and soccer. Throw in a good cup of coffee and a little bit of sunshine. Does it get any better?
June 5 | 12pm – 5pm | Commercial Drive (Venables to Grandview)

Velopalooza is on, get your bike out and join in on some of the activities. There’s something for everyone:  DIY bike fixing workshops, bird-watching biking, garden-admiring biking, bike church, hoolahooping and biking, bike-poker, bike-bbq, bike-jousting, a bike sandwich nazi ride, the Deep Cove Doughnut Dive, bikes and beers…and I’m not freakin’ kidding about any of that. You name it and add a bike to it and it’s likely going down. Velopalooza is on now and runs through to June 19. Check it.

Collingwood Days are on. This year, it’s an “old fashion fair with a multicultural flair! There will be multicultural food, activities and entertainment, as well as a world class BMX bike air show, carnival games and bouncy castles.” And you know it’s gonna be good when they break out them bouncy castles!
Saturday, June 4 | Carleton Elementary School (3250 Kingsway) | Free

Does the relationship between a strong economy and a healthy planet seem at odds? Join a collection of authors, economists, filmmakers, and activists to discuss whether or not we can simultaneously expand our economy and decrease our ecological footprint at the De-Growth Conference this weekend. Considering the kind of conversation and inspiration you will be party to at this hot mess, the $30 ticket price seems like a steal. Go earth!
Saturday + Sunday, June 3-4 | SFU Harbour Centre (515 W. Hastings).

It’s Heritage House Tour time. This is your chance to peek inside historic buildings throughout the city on a self-guided tour without being charged with B&E or being thrown in the slammer for peeping your Tom. Each year, a different selection of homes in neighbourhoods across the city are lined-up for participants to shuffle through. Eastside tip: Benny’s in Strathcona (Union and Princess) will be having a BBQ for tour goers.. Meat!
Sunday, June 5 | 10am-5pm | $40

Jewellery and fashion accessory designers slide in to Heritage Hall over the weekend to make sure you’re properly accessorised for the summer. Score handcrafted jewellery, bags, hats, belts and various other trinkets of probably high awesomeness.
Saturday, June 4 | 11am-5pm | Heritage Hall (3102 Main) | $2

There’s a Memory Box Workshop at Chalk. What’s that, you ask? “Not sure what to do with that drawer full of found objects, mementos, photos and keepsakes? Local artist Valerie Arntzen has a passion for these objects and will show you how to incorporate them into a Memory Box. A Memory Box is a place to honour a person, place or thing. It can reflect your childhood, your family, your travels, a special occasion or someone you want to honour..the ideas are endless. This workshop will introduce students to assembled art techniques, with the goal being to create one finished Memory Box.” So there you go. Click here to register.
June 5th | 1pm-4:30pm | Chalk | $65

On Tuesday night, former first lady Laura W. Bush takes the stage at the Centre For Performing Arts to talk about her life experiences. Zzzzzz. She’s expected to talk about life before, during, and after the White House, which is to say it’ll be too long. BYOB.
Tuesday, June 7 | Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts (777 Homer) | $40-125


Wander and people-watch through the “shopping extravaganza” at the Chinatown Night Market and then grab a cocktail at The Keefer or Bao Bei.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night | 6:30-11pm | Keefer between Main and Columbia

This is weird. There’s a cruelty-to-artists meanathon called East Feast going down this Sunday. Here’s how it works: pay a modest amount ($15) to enjoy afternoon tea while three preselected artists each make presentations promoting their work. The audience then votes on which artist will receive their funding. Grassroots micro-funding at its most bizarre, relying on a hybrid of community engagement and schadenfreude to get by.
Sunday, June 5 | 2pm-4pm | The Canucks Family Education Centre, Britannia Community Centre | $15

If you’ve got a c-note burning a hole in your pocket, consider hitting this cool fundraising dinner for the Downtown Eastside Centre For The Arts. $100 will get you dinner prepared by local chef Marci Toms and live music. The venue is a heritage house in Kitsilano (you get details of the exact location once you purchase a ticket). Your dough is going to a good cause, providing opportunities for creative exploration, engagement, and expression in the heart of the city. The Centre gives artists, social enterprises, and community groups interested in contributing to the cultural, social, and community development of the neighbourhood the opportunity to participate in creating. If you’re interested, contact Mel ASAP, (there are only a few tickets left):
June 4 | 6pm | Location is TBA | $100

Trout Lake Farmers Market | Saturday | 9am-2pm | Trout Lake | Free
Kitsilano Farmers Market | Sunday | 10am – 2pm | 2690 Larch @ 10th | Free
West End Farmers Market | Saturday | 9am-2pm | 1100 Block Comox | Free
Thornton Park | Wednesday | 3pm – 7pm | Main Street Station at Terminal | Free


The Outsiders AND Rumble Fish play at the Rio. Wanna go?
Friday, June 3 | 11:55pm | Rio Theatre | $8

Machete Maidens are unleashed at Pacific Cinematheque.
Friday, June 2-5 | various times | Pacific Cinematheque | $11

Meanwhile, Vancity throws down in Lynchian fashion with Blue Velvet and Eraserhead!
Friday, June 3 | 7pm | Vancity Theatre | $11

Sadly, there’s nothing is playing at the Hollywood on Broadway. “The Fairleigh family is truly heartbroken to announce that in late May the Hollywood Theatre will be undergoing a change in ownership, largely due to increasing property taxes, HST, and the changing market for movie consumption, in which films can be downloaded for free. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have supported the Hollywood all these years. All the best to you, Vancouver film-lovers!”


If you are involved in or know of an event that you think we should add to the Scout List, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do. Keep in mind that we’re looking for cool, cheap and accessible events. Michelle [@] Scoutmagazine [dot] ca.


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended Bond 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.


Cool Thing We Want #278: Local Artist Julie Morstad’s Sweet “Milk Teeth” Drawings

Love the sweet and macabre illustrations by local artist Julie Morstad. A collection of her Marcel Dzama-reminiscent drawings is back in print and popping up around town. We spied some at Dandelion Emporium (2442 Main) the other day. Milk Teeth ($17) is published by Drawn and Quarterly.


Scout List: Our Eclectic Agenda For Discerning Vancouverites…

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. From our calendar to yours… Read more

RECAP: Container Gardening Class For City’s Backyardless At Gastown’s “Old Faithful”

by Michelle Sproule | Gastown’s Old Faithful – truly of Vancouver’s coolest stores – held a workshop last weekend called Container Gardening 101. This was an in-store class teaching the basics of growing herbs and greens well above the earth’s surface for those bereft of backyards. We snuck in to catch the tail end and were so inspired by the throng of happy gardeners that we got in touch with workshop instructor Lisa Giroday to ask her about how our readers could pull together a container garden on their own. Lisa sent us back the following:

5 tips to consider for anyone who wants to grow in a container…

1: Before you put anything inside your container, the most important factor to consider is drainage. The ideal container has holes in the bottom for water to drain out completely, most plants are NOT happy when there roots are constantly soaking in water. With this in mind, you want the container to elevated so that the water can drain completely and not collected in a pan below.

2: Do a little research and plant what’s right for what you have. Most plants are happy with 4 hours of sun a day, but there are a few such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers that love the heat and south facing sun, so make sure your spot is the right fit for your food.

3: Soil is also a very important component to the success of your container plants. It needs to be nutrient rich, but not too heavy. A light-weight soil than can drain well is ideal. Also don’t forget, if you’re eating what you’re going, don’t save money buying the cheap stuff, splurge, spend a few extra and buy organic.

4: There are two options for planting: seed and started plants. For either, timing is important. If you plant too late, the plant won’t have time to mature before it gets cold and it can no longer survive. If you plant too early, there may not be enough heat for the seed to germinate or the plant to survive the cold weather. So like in various steps above, do a little research and figure out when the best time to plant your food.

5: Maintenance is very important. By this, I mean watering and feeding. Containers dry out or get water logged rather quickly, so be sure to check everyday if your plant is not getting enough or too much water. Also be sure to feed your plant with some organic compost by mulching (piling up) at the base where the plant meets to the soil to ensure that all the right nutrients are available for your plant to grow.

For those looking for further guidance, Old Faithful also carries a few great gardening books.

Garden Wisdom & Know-How ($24.95)

A Little Piece of Earth – Maria Finn  ($24.95)

Terrarium Craft – Amy Bryan Aiello & Kate Bryant  ($22.95)

Considering how many young Vancouverites can’t afford the luxury of a backyard, it’s no surprise that this sold out on the double quick. If you weren’t one of the lucky, forethinking ones and you’ve been troubled by it in your highrise ever since, don’t fret your would-be greenthumb a second more, for there are similarly-themed workshops coming down the pipe. Bookmark the Old Faithful blog and the Scout List for news about an upcoming Terrarium workshop.

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