Archive | July, 2017

Artful Sundays at Britannia Community Centre

31 Jul

Artful Sundays 2017 Poster

Artful Sundays return to the Britannia Community Centre this summer. This is an outdoor visual arts market that begins Sunday, August 13th, 2017.  The event will run every consecutive Sunday until September 3rd. This event now in its 17th year and features local artists, workshops, artist demonstrations, live music and more. Some of the artists on hand include Sue Griese with ceramics, Hive Printing with screen printed clothing, Jen Conway with mixed media art, jewellery and accessories, Kirsten Brundin with her photography, Amy Lee with paintings and jewellery to name just a few.  There will also be live music each week throughout the day varying from week to week, but we hear that Clara Shandler, The Sidewalk Cellist will be on hand as will Russell Shunsky and Bud Kurz.   There will be workshops available each Sunday.  The event will take place in the Napier Greenway at Napier Street & Commercial Drive from Noon – 5:00 p.m. To learn about what’s happening on which date, we invite you to check out their Facebook page for updates, or stop by on any given Sunday from Noon to 5:00 pm.

What’s On East Van: July 28

28 Jul

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Lots happening in East Van this next week.  Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out cool events for the upcoming week. Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Playland Nights – July 28, 2017

Last chance to catch Playland Nights which is an evening set aside for adults having fun at Playland without the kids. Kicks off at 7:00 pm till midnight. If you prefer to go with the kids, Playland is now open during the week 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. After July 31st, it’s open 7 days a week 10:00 am to 7:00 pm until the Fair at the PNE begins August 19th.

80s Night at Federico’s Supper Club – July 28, 2017

If you love 80s music and are looking for a fun night that includes dinner, dancing and great tunes, you may wish to see if there’s still a spot left at 80s Night at Federico’s Supper Club on The Drive.  Mark Olexson and The A-Deez are performing some hits from the icons from the 80s including Prince, George Michael, The Police, INXS, Simple Minds, Bon Jovi and more.  To reserve your spot, contact Federico’s Supper Club.

The Big Sound – Vancouver 26 Piece Soul Orchestra – July 29, 2017

If you prefer the big band sound, you will want to check out The Big Sound at the Wise Hall on Saturday, July 29th. This is a bi-monthly event featuring a 26 musicians that will recreate a Motown sound. Tickets are $25 and available from Brown Paper Tickets.

 Free Pancake Breakfast – July 30, 2017

There may not be a free lunch anymore, but there is a free pancake breakfast this Sunday, July 30th at The Cultch.  You are invited to breakfast outdoors with the gang at The Cultch and enjoy some good food, make some new friends and maybe learn more about some of the great art coming at The Cultch for the 2017-2018 season. An RSVP is requested which can be done online at The Cultch. Breakfast runs form 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

 The Geekenders Present A Harry Potter Burlesque Birthday Bash – July 31, 2017

If you are looking for a silly and sexy fun night out, this is your ticket. You can expect an evening with Harry Potter styled Burlesque hosted by the Geekenders.  Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Show gets under way at 8:00 pm at the Rio Theatre.

Image: June Hunter

 

A Slice Of Life In East Van: Henry’s Shoes

26 Jul

Henry'sShoes

The French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte – he of the short stature and tall hat -supposedly once said an army marches on itʼs stomach. But thinking about it, an army actually marches on quality comfortable shoes. We as upright mammals, crave the kind of shoes that absorb the day to day pounding on our feet traversing East Van. But what happens when your favorite shoes blow a heel? Or the sole comes apart? The stitching frays or the tongue detaches? Do you toss them? No! Theyʼre your favorite shoes! Do you try Gorilla Gluing them? Yes! But when the glue no longer holds do you toss them then? No! Never! Thereʼs got to be a way to fix them. But where? Whoʼll do quality work and not charge you so much you start fantasizing about Boxing Day sales? 

 I found the answer. Sort of.

 A year or so back, I begin to patronize a short commercial strip on the west side of Main at 48th. Itʼs one of those groupings of two storey buildings that canʼt possibly last in the condo clearcut we call home. I love these spots but always wonder, how much longer? This particular spot features two grocers, one of which Persian Foods has an inventory to match itʼs name, and a hair salon and a dentist. But it was only after multiple grocery runs, that a side glance lead me to the other business in this little block.

Henryʼs Shoe and Shoe Repair.

From the outside, I thought this space was an abandoned storefront. With itʼs faded sign and what looked like cramped cluttered shelves, I assumed the space had once had a business but now was sitting idle and empty. Then one day, the door was open, and the sign, which Iʼd never paid attention to, caught my eye. It was two words on the sign that drew me in; Skate Sharpening.

My immediate thought; ʻ Bullshit. Nobodyʼs sharpening skates in there. “

So in I went. It was small tight like it appeared on the outside, and crammed with old school Geppetto-esque machinery. An elderly Asian man worked hunched over one of the machines. I yelled to him, but nothing. Eventually he looked up.

Me; “ You sharpen skates here? “
Him; “ No more. I do hockey pants, hockey gloves, goalie pads. “

He pointed to a rack of things to be picked-up and amongst piles of shoes, was a pristine pair of goalie pads. That was the ice breaker. Turns out I was talking to Henry Ng an 88 year old cobbler who escaped from Maoʼs China in 1949 because in his words; “ Canʼt make money there. “ He went to Hong Kong then came to Vancouver in 1951. He got into shoe repair. Works everyday 11 to 7pm. Takes one holiday a year to go on a boat cruise. ʻTold me heʼd been in that location since the mid 1960ʼs. He even owned the building but wasnʼt interested in cashing in and selling. I was hooked. I gave him my hockey gloves to re-palm. I just one tiny concern. Henryʼs is a cash up front only business. The sole record of our transaction was a tattered stub of paper with a piece of green masking tape on it. He did have a business card with a phone number, but it was so old it didnʼt even have an area code. Plus at his advanced age, you know, Iʼm going to sound insensitive but, you wouldnʼt want to show up one day looking to pick up your stuff, and find the doors locked no Henry. It would be a tragedy, of course. But also it would be a huge hassle. I just want my gloves back I donʼt want to wait for probate.

Fortunately, Henry came through. A pro job on the gloves. Then I mentioned him to a lady friend and she went in with a favorite pair of multiply repaired broken heeled boots. After Henry did a nice job on the boots, she started rummaging through her closet for every favorite shoe sheʼd thought she might want fixed.

But then one day, a week ago, I saw a ragged hand written sign on his door. He was closing July 23rd. What? No! I went inside.

Me: “ What happened? “
Henry: “ I sell the business. “

He emphasized that he hadnʼt sold the building heʼd just sold the business. But nonetheless, after decades of repairing and extending the life of peoples footwear and equipment, slapping them together with what ever parts he could find, Henryʼs own parts were finally wearing out.

Henry; “ Canʼt hear. Feet no good. Back no good. Retire. “Henry'sShoesFront

Henry did say though, it was still going to be a shoe repair shop. Somehow I suspect the clutter will disappear, and a new artisanal blacksmith will operate the premises. But then, is there such a thing as shoe repair gentrification?

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

Upcoming Foodie Events In East Vancouver

24 Jul

We love food and checking out foodie events in and around East Vancouver. Honestly, there are a swack of them to choose from this summer and into the fall months.  Some from past experience we’ve learnt do sell out quickly. Thus, if there is something that’s up your alley, we recommend grabbing tickets sooner vs. later.  Whether you like pie, cookbooks, BBQ, wine, cocktails or cheese, we think there’s something for everyone.

July 26, 2017: Midsummer Evening Cocktail Class – Odd Society Spirits

Local craft distillers, Odd Society Spirits, and makers of some very fine cocktails are hosting a Midsummer Evening Cocktail Class Wednesday, July 26th.  You will learn to create 3 cocktails at your own cocktail station equipped with all the tools you’ll need. The class is led by Shaun Layton in partnership with Lavish Liquid Bar. Folks from Odd Society Spirits will also be on hand to assist so ensure everyone learns what they came to and, of course, answer any questions. Tickets for the event are $95 per person which includes a copper Moscow Mule cup and 10% off any bottles of their spirits you wish to purchase.   To purchase your ticket, you can email Miriam at info@oddsocietyspirits.com.

September – November 2017: Cheese & Wine Tasting – les amis du fromage

 The fine folks at les amis du fromage have a great line of cheese & wine tasting classes starting September 12th with Wine & Cheese 101. More classes follow in September featuring cheese from Italy, France and Quebec. Price runs $65 – 70 per person per class and includes wine with your cheese tasting. Although the dates seem a little ways off, these classes do sell out.  To purchase your ticket(s), visit les amis du fromage. Note, all classes take place at their East Vancouver location at 843 East Hastings Street.

August – September 2017: Summer Pie Workshops – The Pie Shoppe

We can personally speak to the pie making talents of the French sisters that created this shop. These two sisters have some serious pie making experience under their belts and we have to say make some pretty dam fine pie.  They are teaching a number of workshops this summer if wish to master the art of pie making. If you prefer to start with pastry fundamentals, they have a workshop dedicated solely to that on September 13th. To register for their workshops, visit The Pie Shoppe.

October 5, 2017: Book Launch ‘Starters, Salads & Sexy Sides’ by Caren McSherry – Gourmet Warehouse

Caren McSherry, chef and owner of the Gourmet Warehouse, has written a cookbook ‘Starters, Salads and Sexy Sides’. They are hosting a book launch on ThursdSexyStarters&SidesKarenMcSherryay, October 5th which includes a cast of local culinary talent such as Scott Jaeger from The Pear Tree, Robert Clark from The Fish Counter, Trevor Bird from the Fable Kitchen to name a few.  Tickets for the evening event are $50 and include a copy of Caren’s new cookbook. To reserve your spot, we recommend you call the store directly at 604. 253.3022.  

Photo Credit Cocktails: RD Cane 

What’s On East Van: July 21, 2017

21 Jul

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Lots happening in East Van this next week.  Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out cool events for the upcoming week. Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Italian Market – July 21, 2017

The Italian Cultural Centre is back hosting their monthly outdoor market which runs from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Lots of great local vendors, food trucks and if you feel like taking in some dancing, tango lessons will be happening from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Or you could join in, cost is $20.

Grease Sing-A-Long – July 22, 2017

If you missed a recent showing of Grease at The Rio Theatre complete with Sing-A-Long, you are in luck it’s back by popular demand Saturday, July 22nd at 7:30 pm. For advance tickets, visit Rio Theatre.

MacDonald Park Block Party – July 22, 2017

The residents of South Hill are hosting a big neighbourhood potluck lunch at MacDonald Park from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The afternoon includes kite making, face painting, bike decorating, ice cream for the kids and a book swap. So have a book to share, bring it down.

You Can Can! Preserve The Summer Bounty – July 26, 2017

The Uncommon Café is hosting a class on canning. They will demonstrate how to make Blueberry Jam, Pesto, Raspberry Vinegar and Dill Pickles. While they show you how it’s done, you get to sip on a glass of wine, all very civil and of course you get to home with samples of everything made during the class. To register, visit Tartine & Maple.

Wheat In The Barley – July 26, 2017

Trout Lake Community Centre is playing host to a line up of free concerts every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This week Wheat In The Barley takes the stage. In the event of rain, the event goes indoors.

Free Opera ‘Laughter & Love’ – July 26, 2017

The Italian Cultural Centre is hosting an evening of love and laughter.  It will be brought to you by two young opera singers in a program of operatic duets. The performance features humour and scheming between lovers. A host will fill in the plot details.  This a free show beginning at 7:00 pm. Food and drinks are available for sale if you wish from 6:30 pm.

Entertainment, Comedy, Live Music + Theatre

Playland is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday and plays host to adult only evening Friday, July 21st from 7:00 pm to midnight.   Looking for live music Breaking Boundaries is at Café Deux Soleils Friday at 9:00 pm. If you are interested in checking out some East Van history, Powell Street Walking Tour happens this Saturday afternoon. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Image: June Hunter

Off The Beaten Track – Casa Verde & Spartacus Books

19 Jul

ACasaVerdeccording to Robert Stone – I recommend the Netflix doc “ Get Me Robert Stone “- the past is prologue. Now if you donʼt subscribe to that theory then you most likely werenʼt inspired by my suggestions to stop in at what was once Commercial Village. But if you do, you may want to check out another curiosity. Right in the middle of Commercial Street, at 3532, is a restaurant. Itʼs called Casa Verde and unless you were looking for it, you wouldnʼt even give it a side glance. With itʼs fading green awning and neutral storefront, the place looks like one of those “ social clubs “Tony Sopranoʼs pals would hang at. But actually itʼs a real restaurant. A Portuguese restaurant thatʼs been run by the same family for twenty years. Iʼm not going to review Casa Verdeʼs fare. Which is a good thing. I may not be the best food critic given that I did not like the much praised and acclaimed Savio Volpe on Kingsway and Fraser. I can tell you that the proprietors of Casa Verde recommend the salted Cod or their weekend chicken barbecue special. But thatʼs not whatʼs interesting. Whatʼs interesting is that behind Casa Verdeʼs almost invisible storefront, thereʼs also a banquet hall that holds up to one hundred. The hall feels like it should be accessible through a bookcase operated secret passage. Itʼs discreet and it might be the perfect venue to roll out your start-up launch, or throw that party when your new single drops.

On the other hand, maybe you donʼt have time for something as frivolous as checking out a restaurant you may never dine in. How could you have time when thereʼs injustice and inequality in the world? After all, you are a social justice warrior. Thatʼs why you live in East Van the birthplace of Vancouverʼs progressive thought. East Van was home to the first Lefties on city council Bruces Yorke and Erickson and the Godfather of Progressive Vancouver Trout Laker Harry Rankin. Itʼs also home to long serving former NDP MP Libby Davies and future long serving NDP MP Jenny Kwan. So itʼs ironic that in your rush to those committee meetings youʼve never stopped, right at where Commercial Street meets Commercial Drive, and checked out Spartacus Books at 3378 Findlay.

Spartacus Books is Vancouverʼs original Lefty book store. Itʼs been around since 1973 and for years was a beacon of socialist thought on the Downtown East Side. But eventually evil forces – think developers not CSIS- conspired to run Spartacus Books out of itʼs long time location and over to this innocuous spot under the Sky Train behind the Croatian Cultural Centre. Banished to this location, Spartacus Books soldiers on encouraging truth justice and the East Van way. Theyʼre friendly folk, mostly volunteers, and they wonʼt try and force feed you Das Kapital or insist you watch a North Korean video. If youʼre trying to establish an ideological position, validate your East Van political street cred, or just worry about the fires of capitalism being highly infectious, Spartacus Books can help.SpartacusBooks

By Contributing Writer: Al Tee

 

 

East Vancouver Newcomers Camp – Local Group Helps Refugee Children Break Social Barriers

17 Jul

EVNCWe recently learnt of an interesting non-profit based in East Vancouver we are excited about. It’s the East Vancouver Newcomers Camp.  This organization was founded by Duncan Bernardo and Dakota Koch just over a year ago. The founders have created and run summer day camps for refugee children. They currently run day camps in two locations, Surrey and East Vancouver.  Each camp has approximately 30 kids aged 6 to 12 years of age.  The day begins with English lessons by certified instructors that speak the children’s native language, then a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon of sports and games.   The summer camp helps children integrate into North American culture and break down social barriers.   Founder Duncan Bernardo understands this first hand having moved to Spain at 11 years old. He didn’t speak a word of Spanish and initially was quite isolated, but he had a love of soccer on his side. As many may know Spain is a soccer nation. Sport was an avenue for him to make friends and break down the language barrier. With the recent influx of refugees coming from Syria, the founders saw from personal experience how they could assist children integrate into a new culture and make friends. The founders, Duncan and Dakota, were able to obtain a grant from the federal government that covers the cost of teachers and organizers to run the camps, but they are currently running at 50% of their potential capacity as they don’t have  the funds to meet the needs of food and transportation for all the children.  They have some wonderful sponsors to assist with donations in-kind to help them get their footing, but they still need some financial assistance to help meet the demand of the day to day costs of running the day camps.   There are a couple of ways you can assist them, if you are able. You can provide financial assistance on their Donate page online. It costs $500 to send one child to camp for the summer. They also welcome gift cards for groceries as they provide snacks and refreshments for the children throughout the day. Should you be in a position to provide any new or gently used sporting equipment, that would graciously be received as well. To provide donations in kind or gift cards, you can contact Duncan Bernardo directly at info@evnc.ca.

Photo Credit: East Vancouver Newcomers Camp  

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