Local Events & Field Trips That Rescue November From Sucking

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by Michelle Sproule | We were so transfixed by Halloween that we didn’t see November coming, and now here it is, sobering and mushy, like a slowly rotting piles of leaves. The consequences of eating all of those cute little chocolate bars starts to settle in and the rain starts to fall a little harder, longer and colder. It’s not a highlight on the calendar. Poor November. But here’s the thing, it does have a lot to offer, more – I would argue – than October or even September. Consider, if you will…

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What could brighten up seasonal doldrums better than a whack of Spring/Summer fashion? Vancouver Fashion Week goes down with over 50 events (fashion shows, galas and after parties) featuring Canadian and international designers. Scout is looking forward to it all, especially the Eco Friendly show this Friday, November 5, when local designers Nate Organics and Hawks Ave share the runway with New York’s at the Empire Landmark Hotel.
November 2 – 7 | Various Locations | Various prices | More information here

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Cornucopia Wine & Food Festival is arguably the most decadently consumptive weekend on the calendar, and here it is, right in the middle of November. The scoop: “Cornucopia is Whistler’s premier wine and food extravaganza. The annual event is a unique opportunity to mingle, mix and learn from acclaimed chefs, sommeliers, vintners and restaurateurs’ visiting Whistler […] Featuring a sumptuous variety of hands-on seminars, fascinating winemaker dinners, gala tasting events and sizzling after-parties, Cornucopia offers something for both the experienced gourmet and those seeking to better appreciate the epicurean delights of wine and food.” Scout’s been going for years, and highly recommends trying to get yourself to The Big Guns dinner at Araxi, sitting in on a few educational seminars (Pinot Nior From Around the Globe, It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, and Keeping it Local: BC Wines with BC Cheese all sound like winners) and a self-indulgent stop in at Bearfoot soaked in champers.
Nov 11-14 | Whistler BC | Cornucopia Wine & Food Festival

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If you hurry – I mean click here RIGHT NOW – you may still score a ticket to the Hopscotch Annual Grand Tasting Hall. Much of it is already sold out, and with over two hundred products to sip and sample, it’s no surprise. If booze is your thing (and we suspect it might be in November), welcome home. See you there.
November 15 – 21 | Various Locations | Various prices

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We Canucks don’t have any holidays of our own this month. OK, we have one, but it’s not a particularly cheery one (Remembrance Day), so lets focus on the Americans – if only this once – because their Thanksgiving is a notoriously lucrative few days at the movie box office. Accordingly, November brings with it a wave of new movie releases. Anticipated flicks this month include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, Love and Other Drugs, The newest Twilight flick, and more. Admittedly, this Thanksgiving/good movie connection is a bit of a stretch, but wait, what’s this? William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, narrated by Peter Weller and with a soundtrack by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth (trailer). Score! Release date: November 17. Theory proved.

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If you’re going to go for it in November, you should go for it in Tofino. The colours grey, green and brown are at their most beautiful on the West Coast and the strength of the late Fall ocean has a calming effect that can lull you all the way through to Christmas if you score a place with a big bathtub and a fireplace. Beyond that, it’s Oyster season. “The Clayoquot Oyster Festival is a celebration of the abundance and beauty of the sea. As a region we harvest 50,000 gallons of Pacific Oysters (Crassiostrea Gigas) annually, thus giving us much cause to rejoice in the bounty we are blessed with in our own backyard. It is for this reason that on the weekend of November 18-20, 2010, the community of Tofino in beautiful Clayoquot Sound will go to great lengths to honour the humble oyster.” And so should you. Really. Events include oyster farm tours, educational seminars, the Mermaid’s Ball, and the legendary Oyster Gala. Scout will be there. Again, so should you.
Nov 18 -20 | Various locations around Tofino | For more details on festival events, click here

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In our books, the East Side Culture Crawl the greatest thing about November in Vancouver. We look forward to this event all year long (disclosure: I’m on the board of directors). The annual three day event sees East Side artists (painters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, etc) open their studios to the public. There is no schedule per se; only the one you choose to structure for yourself. There’s no pressure to buy, as its treated as a chance to float from one studio to the next, talking to artists about their processes and enjoying the diversity of art that the East Side has to offer. The Crawl can be quiet and introspective or engaging and social. It’s entirely up to you. Scout plans to hit the Arc Building, School of Chalk and the Parker Street Studios. Factor in a stop for coffee and baked goods at the Wilder Snail, a perogy lunch at the Ukrainian Church and a finishing glass of wine at Au Petit Chavignol. Now that’s a pretty perfect November day. Grab a map and get crawling (available at studios and shops in the community or online at Crawl website)
November 26, 27, 28 | East Side, baby | Free

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We dig Pecha Kucha plenty. What is it? In dozens of cities around the world, different groups of people from the local “creative” community are asked to speak in front of their peers. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, and each one is shown for 20 seconds. This gives each presenter 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, giving more people the chance to show and tell. Pecha Kucha is pretty much guaranteed to sell out early, so don’t wait – grab your tickets here. From what we understand the line-up for #14 is looking pretty sweet.
November 25 | 6:30 pm | The Vogue Theatre (918 Granville) | $15

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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.

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