DRINKER | Spain’s “Bodegas Torres” Uses Drone & GoPros To Create Interactive Tour

November 20, 2014 


by Treve Ring | Spain’s Bodegas Torres has merged wine geekery with aeronautic nerdery to create an innovative and interactive 360 degree view of their Spanish estates via a drone and six GoPro cameras. In just over two minutes, viewers travel over a distance of one thousand kilometers over the Penedes, Conca de Barbera, Priorat, La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Rias Baixas vineyards. The video above shows how it works, but be sure to try it yourself!


GOODS | “Meyer Family Vineyards” Tasting Room To Serve Up Holiday Spirit Nov. 29|30

November 20, 2014 

Meyer Family Vineyards | 4287 McLean Creek Rd | Okanagan Falls | 250-497-8553 | meyerfamilyvineyards.com

Meyer Family Vineyards | 4287 McLean Creek Rd | Okanagan Falls | 250-497-8553 | meyerfamilyvineyards.com

The GOODS from Meyer Family Vineyards

Okanagan Falls | Together with the other 11 wineries of the Okanagan Falls Winery Association, on Nov 29th & Nov 30th Meyer Family Vineyards will be participating in the 3rd Annual Holiday Cheer Open House. Our tasting room will be open from 11am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of wine tasting to get you in the holiday spirit. Drop in for complimentary wine tastings, home-made holiday nibbles, and exclusive holiday wine promotions and gift ideas. Get all the festive details after the jump… Read more

COOL THING WE WANT #451 | A Beautiful Waxed Canvas ‘Woodsman’ Growler Carrier

November 20, 2014 


Need to find something for the camping beer lover on your Christmas list? This 64oz “Woodsman” growler carrier – a real thing of beauty – was hand-crafted in a South Granville living room by a local start-up called Greff. It’s constructed out of olive green waxed canvas and labrador brown leather tanned with vegetable tannins gathered from organic materials such as tree bark and leaves. The interior is insulated with felted wool, and the matching drawstring appears to be super robust. Perfect to keep your brew cool across the water and into the trees. The cost? $75.


GOODS | Daytime Hotspot “Cafe Medina” Expands Service, Menus For Private Nights

November 20, 2014 

Cafe Medina is located at 780 Richards Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-879-3114 | medinacafe.com

Cafe Medina is located at 780 Richards Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-879-3114 | medinacafe.com

The GOODS from Cafe Medina

Vancouver BC | The new incarnation of Café Medina continues to evolve, as the breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch hotspot is now available to be booked for a variety of private evening functions in its new home at 780 Richards St. in Vancouver’s Library District.

Boasting high ceilings, up-cycled lighting fixtures, antique mirrors and traditional art deco panel moulding, Café Medina’s expansive dining room marries the romance of 1920s Paris and the utilitarian sensibilities of a working person’s café. It offers a truly unique and instantly memorable setting for celebrations, parties and gatherings for up to 60 guests seated or 100 guests reception-style.

Whether it’s a cocktail-and-canapé mingler or a sit-down dinner, Executive Chef Jonathan Chovancek has designed an array of seasonal evening menu options featuring Café Medina’s signature rustic, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Besides a variety of sumptuous canapés and appetizer platters, Café Medina offers a dinner buffet for $50 per person and three-, four- or six-course plated dinner menus at $35, $50 and $75 per person, respectively — all of which can also be paired with a variety of custom cocktail creations, wine or beer. Read more

DINER | La Taqueria To Open New Location & Commissary Kitchen On The North Shore

November 20, 2014 


by Andrew Morrison | Good news for the North Shore. Marcelo Ramirez Romero and Alfonso Sanz of La Taqueria are getting set to open a new location, one that comes complete with a commissary kitchen/tortilleria. Construction is already well underway at 1305 Welch Street, and the opening is slated for January 5th. According to Romero, the “factory” will produce gluten-free, non-GMO tortillas made with nixtamal dough derived from corn specially imported from Culiacán, Mexico. These tortillas will be used exclusively at their “pinche taco shops”. The official word:

“Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa in Northern Mexico, is one of the most economically-driving municipalities due to its major agricultural production. It heavily supports its domestic market through its large-scale production of corn. The yellow commercialized corn found in North America is incomparable to the varieties that are grown in Mexico. Corn is significant to Mexican identity as it is a central component to their cooking and daily meals.

The success of La Taqueria’s first two locations sparked the decision for co-owners Marcelo Ramirez Romero and Alfonso Sanz to open a new kitchen: To meet the growing demand for their food while upholding the consistency, quality and authenticity of their tacos.

La Taqueria was built on the premise of replicating the authentic taste and feel of street food in Mexico, and will continue to do so as they expand into North Vancouver: “We’re excited to be a part of the North Vancouver community”.”

Come opening day, the hours are expected to be Monday to Friday from 11am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.


GOODS | Okanagan Crush Pad Releases A Robust & Philanthropic “Samantha Syrah”

November 20, 2014 

Okanagan Crush Pad is located at 16576 Fosbery Road in Summerland | 250-494-4445 | okanagancrushpad.com

Okanagan Crush Pad is located at 16576 Fosbery Road in Summerland | 250-494-4445 | okanagancrushpad.com

The GOODS from Okanagan Crush Pad

Kelowna, BC | Whistler’s Samantha Rahn, wine director at Araxi Restaurant and Sommelier of the Year 2013, releases Samantha Syrah ($24.90), a wine she made at Okanagan Crush Pad winery through their Okanagan Wine Campus program, with proceeds to the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Okanagan Crush Pad, a winery in Summerland, BC, introduced the Okanagan Wine Campus series in 2011 in an effort to further British Columbia’s already rich wine and food culture. The philanthropic program aims to foster the education of professionals in the industry by connecting all facets of the wine industry, from budding professionals to industry leaders.

Each year, the winery opens its doors to the recipient of the British Columbia Sommelier of the Year award, and invites that person to create his or her own wine label at Okanagan Crush Pad. The Sommelier of the Year award has long been regarded as an industry nod to an individual who is recognized by their peers to be top in their field.

The winners of this coveted Okanagan Wine Campus award takes part in the full decision-making process that is involved in creating a wine label, from viticulture, grape selection and winemaking, to the final blending, labeling, marketing, and bottling process. The result is a unique 100-case production from which profits are redirected.

The proceeds from the sale of Wine Campus projects are donated annually to the BC Hospitality Foundation. These funds are put toward scholarships for students enrolled in recognized, accredited wine programs in British Columbia. To date, $15,000 has been awarded to 16 individuals with further scholarships.

Samantha Rahn, winner of Sommelier of the Year in 2013, balances her time between Araxi, the renowned restaurant where she has worked since 2007, and biking on the local mountains. An accomplished musician, Samantha is also a former snowboard cross racer, certified snowboard coach, and avid downhill mountain bike competitor. She selected a Syrah for her project, and the bottle presents an image of her biking on the label.

The Samantha Syrah ($24.90) is from the beautiful Cerqueira Vineyard in Oliver and is a lot like Samantha Rahn – medium bodied and robust, yet fairly soft and feminine. Layered and complex with fruity notes and a hint of spice, this wine is sure to continue improving with age.

“I believe in the quality and distinctiveness of Syrah in the Okanagan, and the wine turned out just as I had envisioned,” Rahn shares. “I wanted the spice/savoury character to display, and also show people that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to red wine.” Read more

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Jingo Journalism And Councillors Setting Themselves On Fire

November 19, 2014 


by Sean Orr | Analysis paralysis: Vancouver municipal election campaigns cost almost $5 million but led to very little change on council. Hey man, the status quo ain’t cheap, and I ain’t complaining.

Kirk LaPointe channels Biggie Smalls: It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up Magazine…

So it was just you that was tired and not your ideas? I see…

Hyperbole much? Decision 2014, The Aftermath: A Permanent, Dystopian Nightmare. Seriously, I’ve been reading Ray Tomlin’s blog for months now and I still don’t know if it’s satire or not.

Bill Tieleman knows a thing or two about losing campaigns: Vision lost school and park boards from split vote. Or…you know, because people didn’t want to vote for them.

Role model: Newly elected B.C. councillor will light himself on fire. Ooh! Ooh! Can the rest of them do it as well?

Something’s fishy: Marineland Suing Vancouver Free Press. “One seal passed away while the four others allegedly went blind due to poor water conditions according to ex staffers…” I think that’s as good as any opportunity I will get to link to a Hootie and the Blowfish song.

Media watch: Why journalism and jingoism shouldn’t mix.

Harper’s carefully orchestrated, self-serving pantomime in Australia reveals him as the worst kind of hypocrite: rank and bellicose. But he’s a hypocrite with a lot of help — media help.

Well, since I’m on a roll posting songs that go with news articles, here’s Bellicose Minds.

Docu drama: The CBC is poised to dramatically scale back production of its cutting-edge documentaries.

Man bites ignores sign about leashing your dog: Dog dies after jumping killer ledge at BC Place. “Spooner said although there are signs around the wall warning people, dogs can’t read them…” That’s an actual quote. Someone actually just said that. Reminds me of Donna the Deer Lady. Maybe BC Place is haunted like Scottish Suicide Bridge at Overtoun.

In more animal news: Farm owner fears his horses will be “swimming in oil”. Well, then they can just pull themselves out by their bootstraps.

Pretty cocky: Vancouver Man Dressed As Rooster Offers Free Rides. Doesn’t this just end up hurting cabbies? Read this: Welcome to Taxiland. Also, Uber is evil.

Bonus: The Sointula Art Shed: Colleen Heslin & Les Ramsay.

GOODS | Curious Oyster & Racine Wines Pair For ‘Bon Hiver’ At Le Marche St. George

November 19, 2014 

Curious Oyster | Telephone: 778-988-4699 | Website: www.curiousoyster.ca | Email: info@curiousoyster.ca

Curious Oyster | Telephone: 778-988-4699 | Website: www.curiousoyster.ca | Email: info@curiousoyster.ca

The GOODS from Curious Oyster

Vancouver, BC | West coast oyster season is here. To mark the occasion, Curious Oyster is teaming up with Racine Wine Imports to host Bon Hiver, a casual evening of food and drink at the beautiful Le Marché St. George on November 28th. Guests will enjoy some of BC’s most gourmet indulgences, such as oyster varieties grown by Outlandish Shellfish Guild’s family-run farms, and delicious sausages and terrines from Oyama Sausage Co. served with artisanal breads. To pair, Brian and Ramona of Racine Wine Imports will serve a Muscadet and a sparkling wine from organic wine producers Domaine de la Pépière. Bon Hiver will transport guests to a French Winter Market in one of the city’s most special neighbourhood settings, Le Marché St. George.

After enjoying the freshly shucked oysters, small bites and Loire Valley wine, guests can meander over the Winter Pop-Up Shop in the next room. Event guests will get a sneak preview of Le Marché’s Winter Shop, which opens the next morning and features fine goods, such as linens, clothing, photography and ceramics from local and international artisans.

Bon Hiver is a Curious Event, a series of collaborations between Curious Oyster and exceptional artists, artisans and food producers in memorable spaces. Tickets include open oyster bar, food and one glass of wine (Stand-up cocktail service is additional). Tickets are limited — reserve now and get all of the delicious details after the jump… Read more

HEADS UP | Tickets Now On Sale For Pecha Kucha Night Vol. 35 At ‘The Vogue Theatre’

November 19, 2014 


Only ten days remain until PechaKucha Night Vol. 35 and we are pleased to share the full speaker lineup and musical guest for the evening. This is our last event of the year before a period of winter dormancy. We hope to see you before our hibernation. Purchase your tickets here and learn about the presenters and the musical guest after the jump… Read more

GOODS | Music Direction Makes November Playlist To Explore Vast Wildernesses With

November 19, 2014 

Scout Series | Arc'teryx from Music Direction on 8tracks Radio.

The GOODS from Music Direction

Vancouver, BC | Get ready for the ascend – music for North Shore based outdoor specialist Arc’teryx. Best-in-class gear and impeccable store design inspired the playlists for Arc’teryx’ new stores in North America. The lists have an uplifting and inspiring quality to them while also including elements of pure outdoor fun. Music to climb mountains to! Read more

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

November 18, 2014 


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!

MURDER | Crows are dark, mischievous and calculating. They travel in flocks known as ‘murders’ and have a slightly sinister bent when you let your imagination fly. The notoriously clever birds live in complex social networks with highly developed forms of communication and a progressive approach to chick raising (it’s a community thing). If you’re interested in adding some depth to your understanding of what makes them tick, make your way to the West End Community Centre on Thursday night where wildlife biologist Rob Butler will present a talk about the many ways of the crow. Admission is by donation and space is limited, so do yourself a favour and register early by calling the Community Center at 604-257-8333.
Thu, Nov 20 | 7-8pm | West End Community Centre (870 Denman)| DETAILS

PLANTS | Not only are the grounds of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens a stunning place for a wander, but it also makes for a fantastic place for learning. This Thursday, VanDusen offers an informative talk on the history of perfume. The official word: “Perfumes begin with plants, and the earliest of perfumes were incense – burnt resins and fragrant woods – whose smoke was believed to carry one’s prayers to the gods. Take a journey beginning with the incense and perfumes created in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, India and Arabia, then over to Europe to the alcohol-based eau de colognes concocted by European monks and nuns that doubled as liqueurs, medicine and bathing liquid.” This lecture will include a Q&A session and tons of intel on local plants.
Thu, Nov 20, 6:30-8:30pm | VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak St) | DETAILS 

DESIGN | The Lighting Architecture Movement Project (LAMP) is part art installation, part design competition, and part performance. Using light and form as canvas, LAMP organizers challenged participants to design an indoor light in any format (floor, pendant, table, etc) that incorporated the theme of ‘fibre’. A panel comprised of architects, designers and media then chose their favourite entries and the winners will be premiering at a public opening this Thursday night. Visit The Independent pop-up space on Kingsway to check out the inspiring and creative series of design sketches along with the top 10 jury-picked finished products. Lighting is everything!
Thu, Nov 20 6-11pm | The Independent (188 Kingsway) |  $10-$50 |  DETAILS

EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL | In our books, the East Side Culture Crawl is the greatest thing about November in Vancouver. We look forward to this event all year long. The annual three day crawl sees over 414 East Side artists (painters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, etc) open their studios to the public. There’s no schedule per se; only the one you choose to structure for yourself. There’s no pressure to buy, either, as it’s treated as a chance to float from one studio to the next, talking to artists about their processes and enjoying the diversity of creativity that the East Side has to offer. Grab a map and get crawling (available at studios and shops in the community or online at the Crawl website here).
Nov. 20-23 | East Side, baby | Free | DETAILS

PEROGIES | There’s a Perogy Lunch at the Strathcona Ukrainian Hall this weekend. Dig into generous helpings of homemade perogies, sliced sausage, cabbage rolls and bowls of borscht. Don’t be put off by the line-up at the door. It moves fast and you might make friends, as perogy eaters are generally a jolly bunch. Also expect a bake sale and Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) making. Bonus: This event takes place smack in the middle of Eastside Culture Crawl territory (Pender at Hawks) and fits nicely between studio visits.
Sat, Nov 22 + Sun, Nov 23 | 11-3:30 | 805 E. Pender | DETAILS

POP-UP | Eastvan will be hopping this weekend. If you’re in the neighbourhood checking out artists studios during the Crawl and you’re feeling in need of a little sustenance, consider hitting up the Les Amis Du Formage-hosted pop-up at 843 E. Hastings. Les Amis have invited East Van Jam (we hear that the Duchess of Strawberry tastes just like summer), The Salty Cookie Co. (famous for their Salty Brown Sugar cookies) and The Lemon Square (individually wrapped and made with loads of fresh lemons, BC butter and and finished with a dusting of coconut) to set up shop for the weekend. Treat yourself and support local. Bonus: cheese!
Sat, Nov 22 + Sun, Nov 23 | Noon-4pm | 843 E. Hastings St. | DETAILS 

HOPSCOTCH | November brings with it the start of prime scotch drinking weather. The clever organizers behind Hopscotch (Vancouver’s week long celebration of premium whisky) know this and have lined up a litany of tasting events and dinners that will replace that near winter chill with a warm amber glow. But this isn’t just a party, Hopscotch is also an opportunity to catapult yourself from consumer to connoisseur when you sign up for  whisky-centric talks and workshops. Events sell out quickly (most tasting dinners are already full), but if you hurry – and I mean click here RIGHT NOW – you may still score a ticket to the Hopscotch Annual Grand Tasting Hall, with over 100 exhibitors.
Now through Nov 23 | Various Locations | Various prices | DETAILS

BAZAAR | The Russian Community Centre Christmas Bazaar goes down in Kits this weekend. Score yourself a day of Russian food, baking, music, dance and crafts. And what respectable bazaar wouldn’t include a raffle? Not this one! Raffle tickets are $2 and prizes will be awesome. Do some early holiday shopping, fill your belly with Knish and Bliny’s and enjoy some folk dancing.
Sat, Nov 22 | 11am–5pm | Russian Community Centre (2114 W. 4th) | DETAILS

LISTEN | The Vancouver Academy of Music and the Vancouver Bach Choir join forces this Sunday to present an affordable concert perfectly suited to a November afternoon: Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony No. 8 and Mozart’s Requiem. Purchase tickets online 5pm on Saturday, November 22nd (in-person at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office). 10 beans for a comfortable seat in a beautiful room full of genius music – not a bad deal at all!
Sun, Nov 23 | 2pm | Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe St) | $10 | DETAILS 

EAT LOCAL | There are two Winter Farmers Market to choose from this weekend. Head to the Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot on Saturday or skip over to the skatepark at the PNE on Sunday and load up on locally grown fruits and veggies as well as fresh bread, honey, dried fruits and scores of other goodies. Bonus: farmers are awesome people and awesome people will only make your weekend better.
Sat, Nov 22| 10am – 2pm | Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St) | DETAILS
Sun, Nov 23 | 10am-2pm | Hastings Skatepark, PNE (Renfrew and Hastings) | DETAILS


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.

GOODS | Chinatown’s “Bestie” Gets Set To Pour Cups Of Liquid Gold Over Cider Week

November 18, 2014 

Bestie is located at 105 East Pender Street in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown | 604-620-1175 | bestie.ca

Bestie is located at 105 East Pender Street in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown | 604-620-1175 | bestie.ca

The GOODS from Bestie

Vancouver, BC | There’s a lot of talk about craft cider these days and up here in the Pacific Northwest we grow a lot of apples. The harvesting of these apples happens at two times, late summer and mid autumn, depending on the varietal.

After the apples are picked, cider can be made. To celebrate this glorious time of year, Bestie is doing a cider week to showcase this beautiful, historic beverage.

Running Monday, November 17th to Sunday, November 23rd, you can try small batch farmhouse cider and limited edition seasonals from some of the finest, (and newest) cideries in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia are all represented, and there’s even a few from across the pond. So come by for a cup and see what’s going on in craft cider. Read more

TEA & TWO SLICES | On Gregor’s Big Victory And Calling The DTES A “Failed Community”

November 17, 2014 


by Sean Orr | I voted neigh: Gregor Robertson re-elected mare of Vancouver. Oh, c’mon you kids! Quit horsing around!

Analysis: Why Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson won. It turns out it was because “Vision clearly held the lead in pork pie hats and skinny jeans…” Also, to borrow an old adage from the straight-edge scene, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything: “It was an energy that felt positive, as if these people were for something rather than against it…”

A case for wards? Interactive map shows you how your Vancouver neighbourhood voted. To borrow a lyric from my old band, Taxes: ”This city is divided / in two halves / east-side west-side / have-nots and the haves…”

How many people plumped? Anne Roberts: Boost your voting power by plumping.

Pregnant with power: Vancouver Aquarium breeding ban to be lifted say NPA commissioner. So you run on a platform that Vision pushes its ideology without due consultation and this is the first thing you do? I mean, not even Tea & Two Slices will take a stand on this issue (we’ll leave that to Reddit).

Solzhenitsyn rolling in his grave: Vancouver’s ‘gulag’: Canada’s poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending. Once again, the mainstream press conflates the idea that maybe we shouldn’t be letting people die with enabling. “… the result was a 221-page document that expertly skirted around any mention of the Downtown Eastside as a failed community in need of a drastic turnaround. The report only mentioned the word ‘drug’ six times…” That’s funny, because your article mentions federal transfer payments, the non-existent national housing plan, frozen welfare rates, renovictions, slum lords, harm reduction, NIMBYism, and the fact that it costs more to leave people on the street than to house them a grand total of zero times. Perhaps the author – an award-winning reporter who has written stories for Reader’s Digest and the inflight magazine of a helicopter company – would rather we killed all the poor.

Meanwhile, in Opposite Land: Insite Loves People Right Where They Are.

To calm you down, here’s a Buzzfeed article about Mr. Rogers. Aw…

Totally unrelated:

The heritage battle for Chinatown. OMG, do not touch Tosi’s! Can someone copyright it as an art project? Super dis: “Almost immediately, the two (highrise) buildings in the 600-, 700-block Main go up, and they’re just basically Yaletown condos. Not even Yaletown — Yaletown has more character.”

Meanwhile, Portland Hotel Society sells Downtown Eastside building to B.C. Housing. RIP, The Only.

Speaking of audits: As CRA audits charities, there’s a scandal within a scandal. This is CRAzy.

While the CRA is disrupting the work of often tiny NGOs, the government is simultaneously laying off international tax auditors who specialized in investigating the tax avoidance strategies of 1-per-cent-ers and corporations.

Bonus: It Only Takes 175 Words for this Canadian to Lay an Epic Smackdown on Idiot Americans Who Rejected Obama for the GOP.

WELCOME | “Blasted Church Vineyards” Has Joined The Growing Scout Community

November 17, 2014 


We’ve invited Okanagan Falls’ Blasted Church Vineyards to join the Wine & Spirits section of our GOODS program as a recommended maker of fine British Columbian wines. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making the Okanagan a more delicious place to be.


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