From our calendar to yours comes this carefully considered agenda of cool things we are doing, wishing we could do, or conspiring to do in Vancouver from now until the end of the month. Note that you can now get the Scout List – with a few extra pieces of intel included – sent to your inbox by signing up for your subscription in the sidebar.
GROUNDHOG DAY | Tradition has it that if a groundhog crawls out of its burrow on this day and fails to see its shadow, we can expect an early end to winter. On the other hand, if the little bugger sees its shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. Regardless of the outcome, Thursday is a perfect day to get yourself to the Rio Theatre for the 30th anniversary screening of Groundhog Day. Because when is Bill Murray ever a bad idea? Details here.
BONHOMIE | You know what goes nicely with cold weather? French Canadian cheer! Hit up Strange Fellows on Thursday night for a nice pint of beer and an evening of traditional French-Canadian music performed by Cabane à Sucre, who will be playing instrumental tunes from the repertoire of Quebec and other French-Canadian regions of Canada. Find out more.
LISTEN UP | The weather is going to be dismal for the foreseeable future. Keeping cozy and hunkering down at home to ride it out might sound awfully tempting… but so does sucking it up, braving the rain, and letting out some of that pent-up energy, flailing to some live music – don’t you think? This Saturday night, three local garage rock bands are playing a show in the Nextdoor space at Slice of Life. Even if you aren’t familiar with the line-up (Doom Cocoon, Never Plenty, and Spice Tuna), tickets are only $10 each, which seems like a pretty damn good gamble to us. Scoop up some advance ones here.
STEAM | The distance between spotting the first crocus and “actually feeling warm enough to leave your coat at home” weather is brutal, isn’t it? To escape the another week of ‘blah’ weather, sometimes I just slip into the community centre sauna, close my eyes, and pretend to be in a stupidly hot jungle… Saunas are also good for increasing metabolism, improving circulatory health, boosting cardiovascular function, promoting deeper sleep, and bolstering immune function – all good side effects. Not sure where to begin? From the luxurious steam rooms at hotel spas to rec centres and gyms, Vancouver offers a diverse range of detoxifying venues. Check out our list of Vancouver steam and sauna options here. Good to know: Wood-fired Finnish Sauna and cold therapy experience, The Good Sauna, has extended their pop-up hours at The Ellis Building to take you all the way through February (and possibly beyond). Make an appointment here.
ART | Elin O’Hara Slavick’s solo exhibition, Make Me A Summary of The World, goes up on the walls of This Gallery on Saturday, February 4th. From the gallery: “This exhibition, made up entirely of collaged works, is full of hysterical surprises, fragmented landscapes, delirious layers of appropriation and ambiguity, shocks of juxtaposition, subconscious reactions, and automatic narratives in the surrealist spirit. Many of the collages focus on the female body and celebrate, critique, or otherwise make visual the complexity of feminism, pleasure, eroticism, psychological states, marginalized positions, sexuality, political identifications, and historical positions. Many of these conditions overlap and clash. Making feminist art is critical for emotional, political, and actual survival.” Lots to take in! Hit the opening reception to meet the artist in-person, this Saturday from Noon to 4pm. Find out more.
POP-UP | On Saturday, February 4th, Mount Pleasant’s Coffee Roastery Modus will take on a second, nighttime persona with their new “dinner/bevy/collab” series called Modus After Hours… The first guest talents slated to segue the 112 W Broadway spot from daytime cafe into casual, after hours vibes will be Jian Hui Cheng (previously Nancy Go Yaya) and Daniel Muñoz (Toña chocolates). Expect a tasting menu of six courses hitting all the sweet and savoury notes you’d expect from the two talented local chefs – including some incredibly imaginative ones, like rabbit & bone marrow puff with Chinese five spice and parsley, mustard spaetzle with rabbit bulldog stroganoff, mushroom and Grana Padano, and a clementine, bergamot & jasmine cake to finish. We’re convinced! There are two seatings: 5:30-7:30pm and 8:30-10:30pm. Tickets are just $75 per person for all of the food (and fun). If wine is your thing, then choosing the pairing option for an additional $55 is definitely not a bad idea. Set yourself up here.
FARMERS BBQ | Farmer’s Apprentice is bringing back lunch service – and they’re getting smokey about it! Starting Friday, February 3rd, the West Side restaurant will offer Basta Barbecue & Wine lunch every Friday and Saturday from noon until 4pm. This week’s menu has just been published, and it featured tasty items such as BBQ cabbage with calabrian chile, quince, ginger cream and puffed wild rice, Filipino style BBQ chicken with fragrant garlic chicken fat rice, ginger scallion, peanut sauce and pickled green papaya, as well as a BBQ pork sandwich and a variety of sides and salads. Check the full menu here. Basta Barbecue & Wine goes down every Friday and Saturday from Noon until 4pm. Could be the perfect excuse to cut out of work and begin your weekend early!
INDULGE | From the Department of “We Can’t Believe There Are Still Tickets Available”: On February 7th and 8th, Botanist’s Executive Chef Hector Laguna and Head Bartender Jeff Savage host Singapore’s award-winning cocktail bar, Manhattan (who currently sits pretty at No. 33 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list) for a six-course tasting menu that pairs delicious food with equally tasty cocktails. Tickets are def not cheap at $267.25 per person, but we’re betting it will be a spectacular meal, and it’s nowhere near what it would cost you to fly to NYC. If you can swing it, then get yourself sorted here.
COCKTAIL COMPETITION | February is a short but tough month. If escaping to sunnier, warmer climes isn’t an option, then locking and loading your calendar with fun activities is also a good coping strategy…and a bit of booze doesn’t hurt, either. Lucky for us, Tocador is hosting a cocktail competition on Tuesday, February 7th, that’s sure to be packed with fun, tropical vibes and tasty drinks aplenty… The “Man I Love Flamingoes” (MILF) cocktail competition will see teams of two local cocktail bartenders going head-to-head to create three cocktails: Shaken Margarita, Blended Pina Colada and Stirred Negroni. The twist? Teammates will be competing with one hand and one foot tied together. Tickets are $15 each, with full proceeds from the event (including those from the auctioned off cocktails) being generously donated to SUPA Society. Reserve your spot to take in all the fun(ny) bartending action here.
PIE MAKING | The French Sisters are hosting three of their famous Pie Making workshops on February 13th, 22nd, and March 6th. The Pie Shoppe’s three-hour-long ‘Fundamentals 101’ class will school you on all the basics of how to make a killer pie from scratch, using seasonal organic tree-ripe fruit, stone milled organic flour and good butter (mmmm…good butter). Plus, the room will smell of freshly baked pies, be full of interesting people, AND you’ll be offered wine (and other non-alcoholic beverages). Each guest will be sent home with a pie they made (apple or pear), which should make everyone happy. Unsurprisingly, this workshop will fill up fast, so don’t dilly-dally! Score a place at the table here.
PLAN | Another event that is sure to sell out is Meaghan Kennedy’s Piñata’s and Pints Workshop, happening on Tuesday, February 14th. A Valentine’s Day piñata project can go any way you want it to: bring your Valentine to bond over creativity and sticky glue; or roll solo and make some new friends (you could even work out some frustration for past Valentines by creating a piñata in their likeness). A three-hour-long class will get you sorted with a super amazing custom job to take home, all supplies included. Throw a few pints of local beer into the equation, and you’re golden! Again, this workshop has a strong chance of filling up fast, folks! So don’t wait, and grab a ticket NOW.
MARCHE DINNER SERIES | Ça Marche is switching things up this month by inviting some of their pals to join them at the Vancouver House Crêperie and Cider Bar to have some fun with the restaurant’s new evening Bistro concept (think spins on bistro classics like moules frites and steak frites). Check out the line-up: Chef Lucais Syme (Founder + Executive Chef, Autostrada) will be cooking Thursday, February 9th; Chef Ivy Yang (Elisa) will be in the kitchen February 16th; Jean-Francis Quaglia (Founder + Executive Chef, Provence Marinaside) takes over on February 23rd; and Chef Jefferson Alvarez (Acquafarina) will be at the helm on March 2nd. Sounds like a lot of good times! Score tickets here.