Archive | May, 2016

East Van Garden Tour Sunday June 19th

31 May

EastVanGardenTourWell there will certainly be no lack of things to do in East Van on Sunday, June 19th. There will be Car Free Day on Commercial Drive and Main Street, the Vancouver Farmers Market in Mount Pleasant and a personal favourite the East Van Garden Tour.  We have in the past taken in this tour which was through Strathcona and it was amazing to see what people were doing with their gardens.  Whether you have a home, patio garden or community garden, the East Van Garden Tour is a great source of inspiration and ideas.

This year, the East Van Garden Tour will focus on the area immediately surrounding Figaro’s Garden Centre which is located at 1896 Victoria Drive (at 3rd Avenue). If you haven’t participated in this event, it’s a great way to see how creative people get with their gardens.  You will need to purchase tickets for this event which is best done in advance. Tickets are available via Eventbrite, from Figaro’s Garden Centre, 1896 Victoria Drive or by contacting the Britannia Community Services Centre, 1661 Napier Street, in person or by phone 604-718-5800. Tickets are $15 each.

On the day of the event, show up at Figaro’s Garden Centre to check in, pick up your tour map from 10:00 am onwards and then head off to the gardens. The tour is popular and has sold out in previous years, so we recommend that you get your tickets in advance.  People who attend the tour will also get a one-time 20% discount at Figaro’s starting on the day of the tour through to July 1st (Canada Day).  Note: This is a very walkable tour, but it is not wheelchair accessible and pets are not allowed.

Italian Day Happens Sunday June 12th On The Drive

30 May

ItalianDayEast Van is home to many great community events and June is shaping up to be a busy month. We can look forward to Car Free Day, The Italian Market, East Van Garden Tour, but one of our favourites is coming up Italian Day on Sunday, June 12th.  This is your chance to experience everything Italian from food, to music to culture.  Now in its 7th year, the Drive will basically be transformed into one large piazza where you can wander from one end of the Drive to the other. This year’s theme is Mangiamo! Let’s Eat!  As you might expect, Italian food will be showcased and they do it so well.  There will be lots of events, live music and entertainment along the Drive throughout the day.  The Britannia Community Centre will also host a special Pasta Jewellery project led by East Van artist Paula Luther. This will be a free outdoor workshop set up in the Napier Greenway for pasta lovers of any age.  It’s on a drop-in basis and all the materials are supplied. The Pasta Jewellery Project runs from Noon to 4:00 pm.  Also for the kids, there will be arts and crafts in the Little Italy Kids Zone and Funswing amusement rides in Grandview Park as well as balloon twisting and face painting.  Some other fun activities include the Whitecaps/BMO Fun Zone with kicking cage as well as the very popular Bocce Court.

On Italian Day, you will be able to walk the Drive from Broadway to Venables and find over 100 merchants and guest vendors, a line up of food trucks and carts, more than 20 restaurant patios and an array of things to see and do. Of course, we do expect to find Federico Fuoco center stage drawing a crowd as always at the 2nd Avenue Main Stage.  There is also a special feature planned to celebrate the official ‘Little Italy’ designation which pays tribute to over 50 years of Italian heritage on Commercial Drive. There have been 8 blocks officially sanctioned Little Italy by the City of Vancouver which will be christened with banners and crosswalks on June 12th. Come out and celebrate all things Italian!

Foto Friday – Featuring The Art Of L.J. Throstle

27 May

LJThrostleGreatGreyIn today’s Foto Friday, we would like to introduce you to the artwork of L.J. Throstle. L.J. hails from the UK, but has made East Van home for many years.  You can see that L.J. has a very unique style developed from pen and ink drawings and is mixed with acrylics with an emphasis on the many layers of light and contrast. More recently, her work is in mixed media using single use stencils and acrylic spray paint. Her subjects vary from people to animals to whatever inspires her. L.J. also lives with epilepsy which is often disruptive and debilitating. Therefore, her work is in spurts and works when she is well enough to do so.   We think L.J.’s art is very unique and would like to share some of her pieces with you on this week’s Foto Friday. If you would like to check out more of L.J.’s work, we invite you to check out her website at L.J. Throstle.  You will see some of her works are available for purchase. Personally, we are quite in love the Great Grey Owl (pictured above). Stunning piece, I envision it hanging on the wall of a new brewery.  Just saying!

LJThrostleTrueNorth LJThrostleTethered LJThrostleShadowParliament LJThrostleLittlePhoebe LJThrostleGutterBall LJThrostleEastVanGarden LJThrostleBigHornSheep LJThrostleBaxter

Free Events Happening In East Van

26 May

FreeEventWe all know, life is expensive. That got us to thinking about the many free events that regularly take place in and around East Vancouver.  Our community centers always have lots of family friendly events open to all ages.  There also free movies, art exhibitions and much more.  We wanted to share some of the free events that we’ve come across that will be happening in East Van in the coming months. Note, we do update this list regularly.


APRIL 2018

Apr. 1: Golden Egg Hunt – River District 10 am – 1 pm
Apr. 1: Easter Eggstravaganza Swim – Britannia Pool 2:30 – 5:00 pm

Apr. 2: Holiday Free Skate – Britannia Rink 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Apr. 4: Exhibit Opening Reception – Cultch Gallery 6-8 pm
Apr. 4: Drop In Stitch & Craft In The Lounge – Wise Hall 5-10 pm

Apr. 6: Youth Free Swim – Britannia Pool 8 – 10 pm
Apr. 6: Flavours of Puglia – Italian Cultural Centre 7 pm
Apr. 6: Movie ‘Wall-E’ – Renfrew Public Library 3:30 pm

Apr. 11: Drop In Stitch & Craft In The Lounge – Wise Hall 5-10 pm

Apr. 13: Movie ‘Mother’ – Mount Pleasant Branch Library 6 pm

Apr. 15: Bird On Stilts Workshop – Trout Lake Comm. Centre 11:15 am

Apr. 21: Earth Day Parade – Commercial Drive & Broadway 1 pm Start
Apr. 21: Earth Day Festival – Grandview Park 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Apr. 21: Earth Day Celebration – Everett Crowley Park 11 am – 3 pm

Apr. 25: Emergency Preparedness Workshop – Sunset Community Centre 7 pm

Apr. 28: Workshop ‘Plastic Free Living‘ – Lupii Cafe

Apr. 29: World Music Festival All Ages Event – Trout Lake Comm. 11:30 – 3:30 

MAY 2018

May 2: Emergency Preparedness Workshop – Sunset Community Centre 1 pm
May 2: Emergency Preparedness Workshop – Trout Lake Comm. Centre 7 pm
May 2: Emergency Preparedness Workshop – Renfrew Park Comm. Centre 7 pm

May 5: Mother’s Day Crafternoon – Lupii Café

May 6: Bird On Stilts Workshop – Trout Lake Comm. Centre 11 am 

May 12: 23rd Annual Stone Soup Festival – Napier Greenway Noon – 5 pm

May 26:  Cedar Cottage Community Garden Spring Fling 11-3

If you know of a free event you think should be added to this list, drop us a line We’d love to hear about it.

The Uncommon Café Hosts Oriental Inspiration, Brioche Making & Ice Cream Making

25 May

UncommonCafeOrientalInspirationOur friends at The Uncommon Café, 477 Powell Street, have a few fun cooking classes coming up. The classes are led by  Valentine Kitamura owner of Tartine Maple.   Valentine was born and raised in France and is a chef that has worked in hotels in Paris, Singapore, New Orleans and Toronto.  She now works with The Uncommon Café, a commissary and café located just across the street from Oppenheimer Park. This great spot now has a lot of great company with Ed’s Daily, The Heatley and The MacKenzie Room just minutes away. We’ve set out below their upcoming classes which we expect will be delicious and fun.

Cooking Class & Dinner: Oriental Inspiration – June 1st 6-9 pm

This is a demonstration cooking class after which dinner will be served to all the class participants.  Some of the delish dishes you will learn to make include Lebanese Tabbouleh, Chicken Lemon Tagine, Coconut Mousse and Mango Coulis. The cost of this class is $75 per person, but if you book in advance (by May 27th), cost is $65. You can book your spot online via Eventbrite.

Cooking Class: Brioche Making – June 15th 6-9 pm

In this class, Valentine will teach you how to make Brioche. Once you have the basic dough mastered, she will teach you how to make a Basic Brioche Loaf, Braided Brioche, Brioche Cinnamon Rolls and Brioche BBQ Pork Buns. What I love best about their classes, you get to enjoy a class of wine while brushing up on your kitchen skills.  The cost of this class is $65 per person, but again if you book one week in advance, the cost is $55.  You can book your spot online via Eventbrite.

Ice Cream Without A Machine – June 22nd 6-9 pm

Yes, you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Having said that, you will need a blender whether a standing blender, food processor or immersion blender AND a mixer (such as Kitchen-Aid or hand mixer). Valentine will teach you how to make some great ice cream and other frozen desserts including Lemon & Raspberry Semifreddo, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, Vanilla Ice Cream Base and One Endless Possibility Ice Cream.  To get you into the mood for your class, you will be greeted with a Margarita Granita served upon your arrival. How sweet is that?  We love the way they do classes!  The cost of this class is $65 per person, and again if you book on week in advance, the cost is $55. Visit Eventbrite to book your spot.UncommonCafeFrozenDesserts

As you can see, signing up early guarantees you a spot at a reduced rate.  If you haven’t already checked out their classes, we encourage to pop down and give them a try.


Documentary ‘Slow Food Story’ At The Rio Theatre June 6th With Wine Tasting

24 May

slow-food-story-225x300June is Italian Heritage Month and that means in true Italian form, you can expect a colourful celebration of this heritage from food to art to film and everything in between. All things Italian will be showcased on June 12th at Italian Day on Commercial Drive.  There is a great event happening the week before as part of Italian Heritage Month. On June 6th, The Rio Theatre will be presenting Stefano Sardo’s acclaimed documentary Slow Food Story which is based on the best-selling book and, of course, the cultural movement of the same name that then followed. The Slow Food movement has now grown roots in more than 150 countries and includes cheese-makers, vintners and artisanal food makers. On June 6th prior to the movie, there will be a VIP Wine Tasting from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  You can purchase tickets for this portion and the film for $30 in advance or $35 at the door.  If you wish to see the film only, you can purchase tickets in advance for $13 or $15 at the door.   To purchase your advance tickets, visit Rio Theatre online.

The Whip Hosts 9th Annual Show & Shine May 29th

23 May

WhipShow&Shine2016The Whip Restaurant, 209 E. 6th Avenue, is hosting the East Van Vintage Car and Bike Show on Sunday, May 29th.  The event now in its 9th year will show case pre 1989 cars, trucks and bikes. If you wish to register, stop by with your vehicle from 9:30 am onwards.  For the event, The Whip will be putting on a BBQ plus there will be live music by the Hells Gate Blues Band. So good food, good tunes, some car history, we are sure it will draw a good crowd.  The event kicks off at 11:00 am and runs till 4:00 pm.

Foto Friday – STILL A Record Number Of Canines In Foster At Vancouver SPCA – Can We Change That?

20 May

VanSPCAFostersSo as many know that follow us regularly, we are big supporters of the BC SPCA and the work they do.  We regularly feature pets waiting for adoption and often they are ones that are a bit harder to place.  In last week’s Foto Friday we featured a collage of pets that have been patiently waiting in foster for that forever home.  We mentioned that the Vancouver BC SPCA currently has a record number of canines in foster care.  As of last week’s writing, all the dogs are STILL WAITING, so we are giving them another chance, as they so deserve, for that forever home on today’s Foto Friday.  If you would like more information about any one of these dogs, you can find more information on their website at Vancouver BC SPCA, 1205 East 7th Avenue. You can also reach them by telephone at 604-879-7721 or by email at They will be more than happy to arrange a visit for you.  As always, we welcome any shares, but today we ask that you do. Please share so these canines can finally find their forever home.

Wreath & Floral Crown Workshops At Bird On A Wire Creations

19 May

BouquetsByMaryWe recently stopped in at Bird On A Wire Creations in Mount Pleasant. If you don’t know the store, it is a great artisanal gift shop located at 2535 Main Street near Broadway. We noted a few personal favourite artisans in store, but what was hard to miss was a colourful display  of flowers in the corner of the store which we learnt was Bouquets by Mary.  On some Saturdays, you will find Mary Kelava hosting a small Pop Up Shop with stunning bouquets available for very reasonable prices. The bouquets we saw featured were $25 and beautiful.  What we also learnt is that Mary will be conducting some floral workshops at Bird On A Wire Creations in June.   We’ve set out the two upcoming workshops below:

Living Wreath Workshop – June 4th

You will learn how to make a succulent living wreath in a 2 hour class which runs from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at a cost of $55 which includes all the materials.  You can book your spot by calling Bird On A Wire Creations at T:  604.315.1188 or by booking online at Bird On A Wire.

Floral Crown Workshop – June 11th

Have a wedding come up? Well these would be a great idea for the bride to be whether for the actual day or for her wedding shower. On June 11th, learn how to make a floral crown. Everything will be provided for you.  Cost of this class is also $55 and also runs from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

If you are interested in the Floral Pop Up shops and picking up some stunning flowers, note Mary is not in store every Saturday and we hear she won’t be there over the upcoming long weekend, but she will be back on May 28th.

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread – The Jean Hanger Being Designed At MakerLabs

18 May

JeanHangerSomething very cool has been happening at MakerLabs in East Vancouver. This creative co-operative hub space is currently home to another innovation.  Steven Sal Debus, a Vancouver designer, has been working on a new product idea and prototype, specifically the Jean Hanger.  His initial steps with his new design were met with quick success.  He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise a funding goal of $20,000 to cover his initial costs which goal he reached in under 48 hours.

So what is the Jean Hanger?  The Jean Hanger is made for yes, you guessed it jeans. It is one solid piece of  beech wood with no moving parts, but allows for easy hanging by the belt loops of your jeans.  As we know, putting jeans in the dyer, shortens the life span, so the Jean Hangar can be used for drying your jeans as well as hanging them right into the closet.  Steven Sal Debus believes that nothing needs to be created unless it solves a problem.  He hopes to use the proceeds from a successful crowdfunding campaign to launch a design company dedicated to building smarter products that save time and conserve energy. Steven’s aim now that he’s recovered his initial design costs is to raise $100,000 to launch his design company at MakerLabs.  If you would like to learn more about Steven’s Kickstarter campaign and the Jean Hangar, we invite you to check out Kickstarter-Jean Hanger.  Last check we made, Steven had 888 backers and has raised over $50,000 so he is well on his way. Of course, we think it’s great to see so much support for this local designer.  The kickstarter campaign runs till June 17th, we invite you to check out the best thing since sliced bread.

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