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Scout List: Of Sweet Respites & Finding Your Christmas Spirit…


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. This is our carefully considered first rate list 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…


The Regional Assembly of Text is a magically inspired store with a brilliant collection of books, paper, cards, stamps, chalkboards, boxes and yes, even clothing. On the first Thursday of every month they host a Letter Writing Club. It’s free, open to everyone, and supplies are provided. Santa’s waiting.
Dec 2 | 7 pm | Regional Assembly of Text (3934 Main ) | FREE


There is still time to catch the Movember Show at the Ayden Gallery. Find out all about it here.

Shudder Gallery has Patrick Cruz lined up for his ‘Concrete Mirage’ exhibit.
December 3 – 18 | (opening reception December 2, 7 pm) | 433 Columbia St | Details here.

No Man’s Land (works by Matt Watson) opens at Blim on Friday night. I really like the sound of this one:
from Blim: “No Man’s Land is a collection of drawn memories, assembled fragments and remixed snapshots from the wrong side of the tracks. It’s a shout out to the creatures and characters who inhabit society’s forgotten corners where blackberry bushes and wildflowers grow like weeds, generations of drained whiskey bottles lie in ditches and lives go unnoticed. The raw beauty in the world’s discarded remnants is a crucial source of inspiration to this work. From the margins and gutters come stories and materials rich with character, surrounded by anonymity and legend. The pieces evolve as patchwork mosaics, reviving traces of information while fresh narratives are woven between rusted steel, greyed wood, aged paper, patterns in paint and textures in ink.”
Friday, December 3 | 8- midnight| Blim | Free

The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs by Robert Adams is still showing at the VAG, and worth the stupidly high price of admission. “Over the past four decades photographer Robert Adams has come to be widely regarded as one of the most original and significant chroniclers of the western American landscape. The first large-scale exhibition of Adams’ work to be presented in Canada, The Place We Live traces his longstanding engagement with the degradation of the environment in the face of suburban development. The exhibition includes more than 300 photographs representing each of Adams’ major projects, from his austere photographs of the Colorado prairie that pay homage to earlier inhabitants, to his unflinching images of the land, workplaces, shopping centres and homes around Denver, as well as recent images of the remains of the great rainforest near his present home in the American Pacific Northwest.”

If you’ve ever seriously considered getting yourself an art + design gig, you probably don’t want to miss this event. National Portfolio Day is free and open to the public, on a first-come, first serve basis.
Saturday, December 4  |  11:00am – 3:00pm | ECUAD | Free – unless you get in


One of my very favourite new December traditions is to stop in at the Four Seasons Hotel for a cocktail at Yew and a stroll through the forest of decorated trees that fill the lobby and foyer.
Now | Yew at the Four Seasons (791 West Georgia) | Christmas cheer is free

Get yourself into the holiday spirit by grabbing a hot chocolate and a bag of freshly roasted chestnuts and taking a ride on the Stanley Park Christmas train. Cuddle up with a loved one as the tiny train chugs its way through a heavily decked out forest while Christmas carols are cranked through speakers dotting the surrounds. Afterward, walk over to the farmyard to savour the smell of a manger from way back when (the kids love the bunny rabbits too). It is recommended that you buy tickets in advance. More here.
Today – Jan 2 | 3:00 – 10:00 pm | Stanley Park |Train: $9 Adults / $6 Kids

Bands, floats and candy canes – the whole thing…the Rogers Santa Claus Parade rips through downtown Vancouver streets this Sunday. Just remember to take your coffee and hot chocolate with you in your stainless steal thermos as nearby coffee chain joints boast line-ups that grow unbearably long before, during, and after the parade.
Dec 5 | 1pm | Down Town Vancouver | FREE

Trinity Street Light Festival = awesome.
December 4 – January 2 | 2400 – 2900 blocks of Trinity

Buschlen Mowatt is hosting a Fundraiser for Lookout Emergency Aid Society.  For only $25 you get a turkey dinner, live music and a free fine arts calendar showing work of The Lookout by local photographers Kris Krug and Josh Dunford. Proceeds benefit the Lookout Emergency Aid Society which provides solutions to homelessness that include and exceed temporary measures. More information here.
December 8 | 6-9 pm| Buschlen Mowatt (1445 W Georgia) | $25

The Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden is rad, and we’re not just saying that because they’re advertisers (we go every year and it kicks ass). Mark your calendars for next week when you can grab a fresh-made sweet or savoury waffles and an apple cider or some Thomas Haas hot chocolate and take an invigorating walk through a 15 acre garden festively lit by more than a million dazzling lights. The only thing that beats it is watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. More details here.
Friday, Dec 10 – Sunday, Jan 2 | 4:30pm – 9pm | VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak)


One of my all-time favourite movies is playing at the Rio this Friday night and I encourage all of you to go. The Royal Tenenbaums is the Rio’s Midnight movie this week.  The Rio’s descriptor simply doesn’t do the film justice: “An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when their father announces he has a terminal illness.” Click here for a refresher of Wes Anderson’s genius.

Our Beloved Month of August. From the Guardian: “Our Beloved Month Of August is a real one-off: eccentric and singular and cerebral: an arthouse event, yes, but also witty and emotionally engaged. I found myself thinking about it for days afterwards – and smiling a very great deal. Try it.” Get the full scoop here.

Coincidentally, Pacific Cinematheque has a Miguel Gomes retrospective slated for next week (December 10 -12). “With just two features and half a dozen shorts to his name, Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes (b. 1972) has established himself as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema, developing an exhilaratingly original, truly head-scratching, and inexplicably beguiling approach to filmmaking.”  Find out more…

The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (starring Alistair Sim) is playing at the Cultch on Monday night. What a beautiful theatre to watch a movie in! “We here at The Cultch will not offer an apology for this. The Alastair Sim version of  Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) is over and above the best version of them all. Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge learns the error of his ways through the intervention of the ghost of his former partner and of three spirits in this faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic. Bring the whole family to watch! ” If you’re interested, send the Cultch an email including your first and last name and number of tickets required (up to 4 tickets) by Friday, December 3rd ([email protected])
Monday, December 6 | Door 6pmm, Movie 7pm |  The Cultch  (1895 Venables) | By donation

Main Street Theatre is putting on Sam Shepherd’s “A Lie Of The Mind.” at Little Mountain. “Exhilarating exploration of the American Heartland”. It is the story of two families in full meltdown, armed against each other and divided amongst themselves. Details.
Thur, Fri, Sat, December 2, 3, 4 at 7:00pm


Wiring the Social Economy is an all day event organized to bring diverse professional groups together to create shared understanding of goals and challenges and to discover possibilities for collaborations.
December 4 |  9am to 4:30pm | W2 Storyeum | More info.

Concepts In Year-Round Gardening | Learn about the whys and wherefores of food cycles, and plan a year-round calendar for producing food from your garden.
December 5 | 3:15-5:15 pm | Strathcona Community Centre (601 Keefer) | $25

Heard about the recently-adopted Mount Pleasant Community Plan? Want to know more? Stuart Atlock and Joseph Jones will speak about his involvement in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan. More information here.
December 6 | 7:30 pm |Britannia Community Centre ( 1661 Napier) | Free

Banyen Books is having a 40th Anniversary Party at the Ridge next Thursday. Lots of exciting Banyan-style things going on. Find out all about it here.
December 9 | Ridge Theatre | $20 at Banyen Books or the Ridge

Vancouver’s New Food Writing | Meet Vancouver’s food writers as they discuss the current passion for food writing and how urban kitchens are linking their food to the planet.
Wednesday, December 8 | 7pm | Museum of Vancouver | $15

Got Craft? goes down Sunday. From the Got Craft blog: “…because MALL is a four-letter word… Now it’s your turn to pledge handmade and shop local. Why? It provides indie crafters an opportunity to sell and promote their products to the community!”  Make a pledge  – and take a look at the line-up of exhibitors here.
Sunday, December 5 | 10 am –5 pm | Royal Canadian Legion (2205 Commercial) | $2

Retro Design and Antiques Fair offer 175 tables of mid-century Modernist decor, vintage & estate jewelry, pop culture classics, boho & shabby chic accents.
December 5 | 10 am  – 3pm | Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial)

Own Your Own – cool stuff going on at the Chapel this Saturday. Drop around to see the best of what Strathcona has to offer. Tip: hit the new Dunlevy Cafe for coffee beforehand.
December 4 | 11-6pm | Chapel Arts (304 Dunlevy)

Toque, Western Front’s annual craft sale, gets a new look this year with a focus on books, text and printed material.
“Long-time Toque favourites return, such as local publisher Simply Read’s  children’s books, Perro Verlag’s wide selection of indie art publications from around the world,  and Contexture Design’s map based mobiles. These Toque regulars appear alongside exciting newcomers  such as the West Coast classic Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver’s independent music collective Safe Amplification Society as well as legendary New York Based contemporary art publisher Printed Matter, and many others. Look for exclusive Western Front publications, as well as  a limited edition commissioned tea towel and colouring poster by Jeff Hamada, Vancouver based artist and creator of the popular blog www.booooooom.com. It’s gonna rock. More info here.
Friday from 6 – 9 pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm |  The Western Front Luxe Hall


Start your weekend right with a “set of full on rock action” from Duffy and the Doubters over at Zulu Records. From Zulu: “Yes! We have always loved DUFFY’s work both solo and as a member of LADYHAWK, and finally we have twisted his arm into making things merry in the store for us all. Duffy is Vancouver’s finest source for cathartic down on the corner rock and roll and now joined by the ace band THE DOUBTERS he has some real balls behind him!. This will be fun, there will be refreshments, bring your friends.” Seriously good times.
Friday, December 3 | 730 | Zulu Records | Free

Opera Pro Cantanti throws down with La Traviata! From event organisers: “With its breathtaking music and timeless story of passionate love, La Traviata is grand opera at its absolute pinnacle. This production features soprano Julie Duerichen as Violetta Valery, tenor Paul Duerichen as her lover Alfredo, and Richard Williams as the senior Germont. Roger Parton accompanies on piano.”
December | 7 pm | Welsh Society’s Cambrian Hall (215, E17) |$18|  More details here.


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.


There are 2 comments

  1. Hi Michelle (or anyone else in the Scout community who could point me in the right direction) – I was wondering how I might be able to suggest an event listing for the next “Scout List”? Thanks!

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