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 for Lunar New Year 2024. Note that you can now get the Scout List straight to your inbox by signing up for your subscription here.
YEAR OF THE DRAGON | Get yourself to Chinatown for the 50th Chinese New Year parade on Sunday, February 11th. This year, expect to be vying for viewing space with anywhere between 100,000-150,000+ other enthusiastic parade-goers – so arrive early to claim your piece of sidewalk! The parade starts at 11am at the Millennium Gate, travelling east along Pender, before turning south onto Gore, then west onto Keefer, and ending at the Abbott intersection. The parade usually lasts a few hours, so we suggest taking along a hot drink to keep your hands warm and wearing a nice, thick red (lucky coloured) sweater. Find out more.
CELEBRATE | Make the most of the New Year festivities by extending your Chinatown stay to explore Chinatown’s Classical Chinese Gardens, open from 11am to 4pm. Expect hands-on Year of the Dragon activities and demonstrations, as well as music, a tea ceremony, traditional calligraphy demonstrations, fortune tellings, a wishing tree, and many, many dumplings! Find out more.
GET LUCKY | Over 300 original artworks on lucky by more than 88 local artists on red envelopes, will all available for purchase from the Get Lucky Art Show. There will also be a ‘lucky raffle’, silent auction, and dumpling bar by Dicky’s Dumps. Set against the backdrop of the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, this family-friendly celebration is all about affordable art, good food ,and community connectivity. Set yourself up with your free ticket here.
LIBATIONS | Enter the Year of the Dragon with courage and a happy heart via a Lunar New Year inspired Chinatown Cocktail Showdown. This boozeforward event, presented by the Chinatown Foundation, features eight of Chinatown’s coolest spots – Bagheera, Bao Bei, The Chickadee Room, Fiorino, The Keefer Bar, Kissa Tanto, Laowai, and (soon to open) Meo – going head-to-head in a friendly drink-making battle. Each establishment will be whipping up its own killer cocktail, using ingredients sourced from a Chinatown legacy business. There are two titles on the line: the ‘Popular Vote’ (guests will be charged with keeping tally of their favourites on a score card), and the ‘Judge’s Vote’ (all in the hands of a seasoned panel). Tickets run $100 each, and include eight rounds of cocktail tastings, as well as some standout eats from Chinatown BBQ, DD Mau, and Juke Fried Chicken. Get yours here .
FANCY | Notch8 Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has a sweet Lunar New Year afternoon tea service featuring items like: Char Siu Pork Belly; Duck Confit with a green onion pancake and apricot duck sauce; Shrimp & Egg Tart; Curry Puffs; Turnip Cake; plus some killer sweets: Dragon Ball Cream Puff with oolong pastry cream; Black Sesame Macarons; Matcha Opera Cake with red bean paste; and Pandan Swiss Rolls. Also, Year of the Dragon themed cocktails, and (obviously) tea. The service runs every Wednesday through Sunday until February 25th, with various reservable sittings at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Tea will run you $69 per adult, and $34.50 per child (ages 12 and under). Bonus: You can also order Afternoon Tea to go! Find out more. Also of note: this year, The Fairmont is offering an evening The Moonlight Lounge experience that’s a concept room and menu focussing on cocktails and small bites.
THIS GALLERY | While you’re out-and-about eating and drinking up the LNY vibes, enjoying the Taste of Chinatown Festival (Feb. 9-11th), make a cultural pit-stop at THIS Gallery to feast your eyes on the new solo exhibition by Vancouver artist/illustrator/writer, Donna Seto, depicting Chinatown’s colourful, unique architecture in watercolours and ink. “Embedded in the paintings are questions regarding place and memory and the opportunity to create a dialogue that unravels and re-imagines a Chinatown that once was and could be. Through dreamy windows and shopfronts full of goods, Seto further depicts how buildings are more than just brick and mortar but keepers of secrets and history.” Re-Imagining Chinatown runs until February 10th. DETAILS | Then, be sure to return for The Way I See It (Feb. 16-24th), Katie So‘s new large scale floral- and botanical-centred series of paintings. “Beyond being a mere artistic endeavour, these paintings take on the role of a sensory soothing exercise during their creation, striving to articulate not only the artist’s perspective but also to convey the unique experience of their visual world.” Meet So in-person at the opening reception on Saturday, Feb. 17th from 12-4pm. DETAILS
WATCH | Family is central to Lunar New Year festivities. Happen to have one (blood-related or non) that loves film? The Vancouver International Film Festival Centre’s LNY programming (as part of LNY Splash) includes seven full-length films (several of which are also preceded by shorts) hailing from Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, playing at the VIFF Centre over the course of three days, from Friday, February 16th through Sunday the 18th. From recently released modern and historical dramas, to a late-90s-era animated classic, the common denominator of each film is the theme of family. Now that’s what we call quality screen time. DETAILS
EAT | Dicky’s Dumps and Rosie’s BBQ are teaming up for a special Chinese New Year collaboration that sounds pretty tasty, offering up a unique menu of dishes combining Chinese dumplings with Texas BBQ, including Crispy Dumplings & Brisket, Brisket & Dumplings Ramen, and Brisket & Dumplings Noodle Plate. This one-of-a-kind culinary experience will be available February 10th and 11th at Dalina on Main, and on February 17th at Parkside Brewery in Port Moody. Don’t miss the opportunity to savour this delicious fusion of flavours from two culinary worlds. Check Rosie’s for details here.