SCOUT LIST: 10 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

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. From our calendar to yours…

PIDGIN | Former Canadian Culinary Champion Makoto Ono has just opened a Japanese/French/Korean restaurant called PiDGiN in Gastown and word on the street suggests it’s all that and a bottle of soju. Designed by Craig Stanghetta with several showcased art pieces by Ricky Alvarez, it’s also very easy on the eyes. Take a look at Scout’s run through here.

CITY | Any city’s commitment to respect and preserve its heritage is a testament to its collective character, so bring your voice to the conversation about how we can move forward with development in Vancouver in a productive and socio-economically responsible way while retaining the important structures that speak to our past. This Monday night, Brian Jackson (General Manager, Planning and Development Services for the City of Vancouver) gives a talk about the the city’s heritage priorities for the year ahead. He’ll also give a re-cap of what went down in 2012 to provide some context. Participants are invited to contribute with questions, ideas and comments. Do it!
Mon, Feb. 4 | Doors open at 6:45pm | Vancouver City Hall (453 W 12th) | Free | DETAILS

BEGGARS BANQUET | February may technically be the shortest month of the year, but with its lousy weather it rather feels like the longest. This year’s upside? The Beggars Banquet. Organisers of the popular market have moved locations from Gastown to Chinatown. They’ve set up shop at 213 East Georgia at Main. Take some time out this weekend to browse vintage clothing and housewares, curated records and books, as well as a tight selection of hand-crafted goods (that’s everything from textiles and leathers to local honey and tomato sauces). Bonus: cash bar on Friday night.
Fri & Sat, Feb 8 & 9 | 6pm-11pm Fri, 11am-6pm Sat | 213 E Georgia (Chinatown) | DETAILS

WINTER FESTIVAL | Canadians don’t hide in winter. We celebrate the cold, especially when there’s a lot of snow involved. The white stuff sort of validates winter (a rain festival hasn’t really ever gained momentum), but should the West Coast be deprived of a Winter Festival just because we don’t have the requisite weather? Hell no. We still love skiing and hockey and hot chocolate, right? Of course we do, and that’s why we’re stoked for the River Market Winter Festival that launches this week. New West’s River Market has lined up all kinds of awesome ways to get excited about winter, including a hockey shootout contest, an Artisan Market, a Canadian-themed Say Wha?! comedy show, a Chinese New Year dinner at Wild Rice (yes they have a 2nd location), ice carvings, maple-flavoured things, and maybe even beer.
Feb. 7 – 10 | River Market (810 Quayside Dr.) | New Westminster | DETAILS

LOVE LETTERS | Valentines Day is fast approaching. Be bold by sitting down to craft a hand-written letter to that (literate) special someone in your life. If you’re unsure of how to get things rolling, allow The Regional Assembly of Text on Main St. to help out. You take your romantic thoughts and secret confessions (keep it clean for everyone’s sake) and they will hook you up with a brilliant collection of paper, cards and stamps to help you get the job done. It’s called the Letter Writing Club, and it’s free, open to everyone, and supplies are provided. Go ahead, give someone a written thrill!
Thurs, Feb. 7 | 7:30 pm | Regional Assembly of Text (3934 Main St) | Free | DETAILS

STEELIN’ IN THE YEARS | A Steely Dan tribute band playing a gig on the Downtown Eastside? Yes! Grab a seat at Pat’s pub and slip back in to the 70’s for a little while over a couple pints of Pat’s liquid gold.
Fri, Feb. 8 | 8:30pm | Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse (403 E. Hastings St) | $10 | DETAILS

INVOKING VENUS | From the moment one enters the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (yes, you have a natural history museum) and beholds the 26-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, it’s hard not to be struck with quasi-ecclesiastic awe. Not only is the cultural facility packed with 20,000 square feet of beautifully styled exhibits, it is also stunningly designed and bursting with great programming. This weekend, the museum launches Invoking Venus, Feathers and Fashion, an exhibition that cleverly investigates the intersections of colour and display in courtship and attraction and where we see parallels between birds and humans. Opening night includes a fashion show!
Feb. 7-10 | Tues to Sun, 10am – 5pm | Beaty Biodiversity Museum (2212 Main Mall), UBC | DETAILS 

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | Giving your valentine crappy confectionary or strawberry bodybutter made in China could be construed as a passive aggressive. In fact, given the plethora of awesome, locally handmade goods available to you, it should be construed as cruel and unusual. So don’t do it. Either get out now before it comes to a late night, guilt-motivated run to Shoppers Drug Mart for a fuzzy, red heart-shaped box of waxy chocolate, or plan ahead to buy something cool that says “I love you more than the average dork because I take the big picture in to account and support independent artisans in our community so that you can live in a more vibrant and culturally simulating world”. Now that is love. With that in mind, check out Planet Claire Sustainable Fashion & Jordan River Soapworks at The Chinatown Experiment this week. They’ll be happy to sort you out with something great.
Feb. 8th – 14 | 434 Columbia Street (The Chinatown Experiment) | DETAILS 

HOW ROMANTIC | Stanley Park is a great place for running, walking, birding, exploring and picnicking, but it’s also known to be a pretty good place for romance, because nothing says love like a make-out session in the park. If you’re looking for some inspirational evidence of this, there’s a walk going down this Sunday afternoon. It’s called Romantic Stanley Park: Amorous, Curious, and Shady Sides. It will fill everyone who participates in on some of the juicy bits of park history that you may not have been aware of. Pre-registration is advised given the popularity of these programs. To pre-register, email
Sun, Feb. 10 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm | Stanley Park Nature House | DETAILS 

SNOW | There may not be any in the city, but the local mountains are looking good and February is a great month to take advantage of the fact that you can be up a mountain and under the tranquil canopy of a snow blanketed forest in well under an hour.  The Legends and Lanterns Snowshoe Tour at Mt Seymour will see a lantern-lit procession through the winter trails with a guide filling everyone in on legends about local animals, trees and the night sky as well as special legends relating to the Lunar New Year. Snow, lanterns and a little magic? That’s a really solid use of a Sunday night! Pre-registration is required the day before by 3pm. Call 604.986.2261 (ext 206) or email
Sun, Feb. 10 | 7pm | $35 | Mt Seymour | DETAILS

FAMILY DAY | February finally scored an official holiday! February 11th will hitherto be known as Family Day. Hooray for family!  If you don’t have one, that’s too bad. But you can build one out of friends, and sometimes it’s easier that way. However you roll, make good use of this day off by getting together for brunch. Red Wagon or Medina would be good places to start. Then hit up the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Making Space programming will keep you all kinds of busy with get-your-hands-dirty workshops. Later, book a family-style dinner (Campagolo does a nice job). Alternatively, just stay at home and ignore each other when not fighting over the remote control.

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List


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 shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.


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