New In Town: To Live For Bakery

23 Jan

This weekend we had the pleasure of checking out the newly opened To Live For Bakery located at 1508 Nanaimo Street at Grant Street. This is the brain child of Vancouver based vegan food blogger and business owner, Erin Ireland. Erin has had a passion for plant based cooking and baking for some time. You may have seen her vegan banana bread, then named To Die For Banana Bread, which was a part of her ongoing business evolution. Erin operated her bakery business from a commissary kitchen and supplied over 150 cafes.   Erin has taken the next logical leap and embarked on a bricks and mortar vegan bakery which opened last November in East Van. We’ve been hearing good things, so we stopped by this weekend to check it out. We had the added pleasure of chatting with Erin herself who was handing out samples of carrot cake to those waiting in line. We can attest that the carrot cake was light, flavourful and oh so delicious.  We also sampled the hazelnut mousse cake, only available to the end of the month, croissant and cinnamon bun.

To Live For Bakery has lots to offer including coffee, sweet and savoury treats, bread and beautiful cakes. Erin has chosen a bright white modern décor accented by natural wood.  There is seating inside, but fair warning this is a busy spot, so be prepared for a short wait. The line moves fairly quickly and the samples certainly help, but the short wait allows you to view all that’s on offer. In good news, more seating is planned for the outdoor space in the summer.  We love seeing these community spaces pop up in East Van neighbourhoods and wish Erin nothing but success and look forward to our next visit. To Live For Bakery is open 7 days a week from 7:00 to 5:00 pm.  Stop by and check out this great new local spot.

Seedy Saturday Hosted By Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library Happens February 11th

25 Jan

It may be cool outside, but if you’ve got the gardening bug, you will already be thinking about what plants you’d like to grow this Spring.   There is no better time than now to start planning.   Whether you are a novice or experienced gardener, you may wish to check out the upcoming Seedy Saturday hosted by the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library. Their first event of the year happens Saturday, February 11th at the Britannia Teen Centre, 1661 Napier Street, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.   There will be free seeds available to pick up or swap along with prizes and a draw. To learn more about this event and future events, visit www.gwcseedlibrary.wordpress.com.

Stayin’ Alive – An 80s Themed Fundraiser At The Firehall Arts Centre February 25th

24 Jan

If you are a star at karaoke and love your 80s tunes, we’ve got a fun night out for you.  On February 25th the Firehall Arts Centre is hosting Stayin’ Alive which is an 80s themed fundraiser.   You are invited to bring you best 80s attire, learn your favourite 80s tune and get on stage for a lip sync contest. Are you ready for your 5 minutes of fame? Maybe dressed like some memorable 80s musical icons namely Madonna, Prince, Cindy Lauper or Billy Idol just to name a few.   There will be prizes, dance demonstrations and a DJ along with good eats and a specially crafted Firehall 1906 Martini from the good folks at Odd Society Spirits.  Tickets for this fundraising event are $75 ($50 tax receipt).  To grab your tickets, or get more information, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

Tiva Quinn Reviews FADO The Saddest Music In The World On At The Firehall Arts Centre Until February 5th

20 Jan

It’s very easy to see why Fado was such a big hit at the Firehall in 2019 and why they decided to bring it back as part of getting into the swing of things with live theatre again.

This play attempts to blend an ambitious number of themes into a typical runtime of 90 minutes or so and not only succeeds but makes it look easy.

I went in not knowing much about it besides that I like Fado music even if I don’t listen to it very often. I expected to be impressed with Fado as a musical and a story of artistic ambition and development, and that’s 100% true. We get not just one but 3 incredibly talented singers showing us how an entire country could be in love with “the saddest music in the world” and the way it turns pain into beauty.

We get an appealing and sympathetic main character who wants to learn to sing Fado with true Portuguese passion even if she was born in Canada and some people think that makes her too happy and too lucky to pull it off. We get a cantankerous yet charming mentor figure. We get singing that shows strong yet unrealized potential – which is quite something to pull off when a lot of the audience isn’t very familiar with what the fullest expression of the form would sound like.

At the same time, we also get an interesting examination of Portugal’s 20th Century history and politics as seen from contrasting points of view – with a couple of questions that you may have never considered before such as, “can a song be fascist?” We get a conversation about whether emigrants can ever really leave the home country behind and whether they can ever really return to it, as well as what the imagined homeland means to the second generation. We get two love stories with some surprising twists and turns. And Fado fits all of this in with a script that feels like natural conversation, never forcing large chunks of backstory or introspection into anyone’s lines.

Performances are very strong across the board but for me the standout is Natércia Napoleao’s Luisa, the main character’s mother. She seems at first meeting like she’s going to be an Old-World Mum cliché, a bit of comic relief that we return to occasionally, wielding her precious iron to make everything fancy. However, she quickly blossoms into a complex character, although not always a likable one. She’s a woman who actively resists being stereotyped and complicates the narrative or speaks volumes by simply walking away when others try to dismiss her too easily. 

If I have any quibbles it would be that the play introduces a gay character whose story feels like it doesn’t quite have time enough to breathe or resolve properly. That said the character and his storyline are every bit as strong as the rest of this tale in the moments he does get – and it’s possible that too neat a resolution would be a dishonest way of presenting what it’s like to be gay in a very Catholic country. 

For tickets, visit the Firehall Arts Centre.

By Tiva Quinn

PushOFF Artist-Run Curated Event Takes The Stage At The Russian Hall January 30 – February 4

13 Jan

PushOFF comes to the Russian Hall January 30 to February 4, 2023.  PushOFF is an independently produced artist-run curated platform featuring tour-ready work and projects in development. This hyper-local event fosters the artistic practices of a community of artists and allows them to share bold new work with Canadian and international audiences. Now in its 13th season PUSHoff will present live in-person shows at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue, between January 30 to February 4, 2023. If you prefer to take in a performance from the comfort of home, you can check out their digital offerings at pushoff.org. Tickets range from $15 to $20 for in person and on-line shows. For more information, visit pushoff.org.

Beauty And The Beast An Immersive Cocktail Experience At Vancouver Alpen Club Until January 15th

3 Jan

Something different has landed in the space of the Vancouver Alpen Club (Victoria Ave & 33rd Avenue) this January.  Beauty and The Beast Cocktail Experience is now running until January 15th.   This is billed as an escape room, theatre show and adventure all blended into one.

The event is based on the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont fairytale. You are invited on a 90-minute journey that steps into the enchanted and cursed world of Beauty & The Beast.   The theme is an elegant Victorian cocktail party (dress-up is encouraged). You’ll be invited to dance, sample from the Castle’s finest delights (of the alcoholic and edible variety), but they say to be careful not to overstay your welcome to take anything that’s not yours – or you may not get home at all.  The event is bill as theatrical, alternate reality experience that dives into some magic and fantasy along with fabulous cocktails. The event is brought to you by the interactive team behind The Wizard’s Den, Beyond Cinema and The Alice. Tickets are $45 and available now at Explore Hidden.

Workshop: Make A Glass Heart February 11, 2023 At Terminal City Glass

2 Jan

Looking for something fun and different to do for Valentine’s Day this year?  Check out this Make A Glass Heart workshop being offered by Terminal City Glass on February 11th? In this workshop, two people will work with a professional glass artist to make a colourful glass heart-shaped paperweight that will be a keepsake for years to come.  No experience is required, but you must be a least 16 years of age. There are a number of time slots throughout the day, but note each time slot has a limit of 4 spaces.    To register or for more information, visit Terminal City Glass Co-Op.

Photo: Terminal City Glass Co-Op

Gourmet Warehouse Lines Up Delish Cooking Class In The New Year

28 Dec

Gourmet Warehouse has some great new cooking classes lined up for 2023, but fair warning many of the upcoming classes are already sold out. So if something piques your interest, we recommend registering. If you haven’t already experienced one of their classes, it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening with some like-minded food lovers. If you have participated, you know it’s a great way to pick up some knowledge and some great tips in the kitchen. Added bonus is after each cooking class all the participants are offered a 10% discount for purchases made the day of your class. We have set a few of their upcoming classes that caught our eye.  For a full line up of all the classes Gourmet Warehouse is offering visit Cooking Classes.

Pasta Like A Pro: Southern Italia – February 23, 2023

If you love fresh pasta, this class is for you. You are invited to roll up your sleeves and learn how to make some Italian staples from scratch. This is a hands-on class in which Chef Deniz while guide you through each step. You’ll leave this class with the working knowledge of how to make your own dough, form authentic Italian pasta shapes, create a timeless ragu, plus garnishing the Mediterranean way. We’ve set out the menu for this class below:

MENU

• Winter Salad with Caramelized Squash, Goat’s Cheese Truffles, Winter Greens,
and Fine Balsamic, Crostini
• Hand Shaped Orecchiette with Light Sausage Ragu,
and Roasted Rapini, Parmesan Reggiano
• Fresh Maccheroni Cacio Pepe with Pecorino Romano and Burnt Hazelnuts
• Vanilla Gelato with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Maldon Salt

Modern Peruvian – March 7, 2023

Acclaimed local chef Shelome Bouvette invites you on a journey of flavours through Peru. You will be introduced to classic Peruvian comfort food with a contemporary twist. We’ve set out the menu below:

MENU

• Huacatay Vinaigrette Quinoa Salad with Mango, Avocado, Roasted Pepper, and Rocota Chili
• Verduras Causa – Whipped Beetroot and Potato, Lima Bean Puree, Aji Salsa, Pickled Beet, Huacatay, and Yam Chips
• Nikkei Ceviche – Wild Sockeye Salmon, Ginger, Avocado with Passion Fruit Ponzu, Wasabi Aioli, and Nori
• Lomo Saltado – Skirt Steak with Onion, Tomatoes, and Peppers with Kennebec Fries

Cheesemaking 101: Mozzarella, Bocconcini & Burrata – March 5, 2023

You are invited to learn how to create your own  mozzarella, burrata and bocconcini using store bought milk. This class is led by Paula Nelson-Maddison who will teach you the science behind cheese in this 2 hour taste, touch and feel demonstration class. Paula will also show you unique and creative ways of serving these cheeses. For this demonstration class, each student will take home a kit so you can make 4 pounds of cheese at home along with online support.

MENU

• Fresh Mozzarella, Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes, Artisanal Crackers and Bread

To see all the classes being offered and or to register, we invite you to visit GourmetWarehouse.ca.

Photo Credit: Gourmet Warehouse

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten East Vancouver

24 Dec

Merry Christmas

Frohe Weihnachten

Buon Natale

Joyeux Noël

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Natal

Maligayang PaskoSretan Božić

Vrolijk kerstfeest

Wesołych Świąt

Καλά Χριστούγεννα

Fado –The Saddest Music In The World Returns to The Firehall Arts Centre January 14 – February 5, 2023

16 Dec

The Firehall Arts Centre and Victoria’s Puente Theatre bring FADO – The Saddest Music in the World back to The Firehall Arts Centre from Saturday, January 14 to Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Acclaimed Portuguese-Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila’s play, FADO, is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. This musical, which premiered at The Firehall in 2019 and enjoyed a wildly successful run, tells the story of a young woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as Fado, which means “fate.”

If you have not experienced Fado music, you are missing out. What is Fado?  Wikipedia describes it as “a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia.”  We can tell you it is passionate, emotional and relatable. For a taste of Fado music, listen to Amália Rodrigues singing “Abandono” here. To see it live and person, visit the Firehall Arts Centre for tickets which start from $25.

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