Archive | February, 2022

National Invasive Species Awareness Week February 28 to March 4, 2022

28 Feb

February 28 to March 4, 2022 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. What are invasive species and why should you care?

By happenstance, we’ve been learning a bit more about invasive plants over the last couple of years. It started with working with the City of Vancouver to create Green Street Gardens on City owned landed. It has been an ongoing learning process throughout that time. It also meant removing some invasive shrubs like Himalayan Blackberries and grasses. There are many groups doing this kind of work all over the Province of BC. One local group Free The Fern launched during the pandemic works with volunteers to remove invasive plants in Champlain Heights and replacing them with native plants, but invasive species are not limited to plants.

So what are invasive species? “An invasive species is an introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment. Although most introduced species are neutral or beneficial with respect to other species, invasive species adversely affect habitats and bioregions, causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage“. Wikipedia

Why should you care? Native plants, animals and habitats provide us with ecosystem services such as removal of pollution, recreational opportunities, food and medicine, protection of water, soil, climate and nutrients. Some invasive plants are toxic and could cause medical problems for wildlife, domestic animals and people.

On walks, we often see English Ivy crawling up the trunks of trees which looks beautiful, but in effect is killing the tree by suffocating it. Urban wildlife and people will be relying on those trees more as we deal with climate change going forward. To learn how you can play your part in protecting our environment from invasive species, we encourage you to check all the information provided by the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia. ISCBC is an action-oriented organization working to stop the spread of invasive species in BC. They spearhead behaviour change in communities, organizations, governments and industry to help protect our province’s healthy habitats from invasive species. What can you do? We’ve set out some of the Invasive Species Council of BC’s programs below to help you become aware of things you can do to help stop the spread of invasives species in BC.

Don’t Let It Loose

Do not let unwanted pets like goldfish, rabbits, turtles and frogs loose in the wild. If you no longer want a pet, return it to the pet store you purchased it from, rehome it or deliver it to an appropriate animal rescue organization. For instance, Rabbitats in Richmond focuses on rescuing and rehoming rabbits. Do the right thing.

Plant Wise

Are you a new gardener? Learn to be Plant Wise and become aware of what plants are considered invasive before planting anything in the ground. Most reputable garden centres have stopped selling invasive plants, but some still do. There are many alternatives.

Buy Local Burn Local

If you are planning to go camping soon and plan to have a camp fire, ensure you buy and burn local wood. Why? Moving firewood, to or from a campground or cabin, can spread invasive species and diseases that can destroy forests and harm our air and water.

Clean Drain Dry

If you are planning on participating in any water sports such as boating, kayaking or taking the canoe out, you can easily spread invasives from one body of water to another. These aquatic invaders are entering BC’s beautiful lakes, streams, and wetlands. Boaters, anglers and paddlers can all take action now to help stop the spread by practicing Clean Drain Dry. 

Play Clean Go

You can stop invasive species in its tracks with cleaning your shoes when travelling to and from different areas. Seeds are easily transferred by shoes.

Report A Weed

To help curtail the spread of invasives, knowing where they are located is key. To that end, YOU can be a steward of your own neighbourhood by reporting invasives to the Invasive Species Council of BC. It’s easy to do on your walks, hikes and travels around Vancouver, or within the Province. There are several ways to report invasives, but we found the easiest is the Report A Weed app. We’ve given this one a test run. It’s easy to use, take a photo, provide some contact info and submit. If you are unsure if something is in fact an invasive, iNaturalist is an excellent app and resource. If you aren’t already familiar with this app, upload a photo and the app with determine through AI what the plant is and at the same other citizen scientists will provide feedback as to their observations and can help confirm the identity of the plant.

What’s a really bad invasive? There are a number and that answer may vary depending on where you live in the Province. There are some invasives that are toxic to grazing animals, but for those of us located in Vancouver, our guess would be Japanese Knotweed. Japanese Knotweed has bamboo like stems and roots so strong, they can penetrate thick asphalt. This invasive can damage building foundations, pipes and if on your property, devalue your home. If you’d like to learn more about invasive species and how you can do your part to stop the spread of invasives, we invite you to visit Invasive Species Council of BC.

Vancouver Story Slam Returns To The Stage March 8

24 Feb

After a long run of online shows, Vancouver Story Slam returns to the stage with a live audience Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Ten storytellers share original stories and compete for prizes and bragging rights for best story. There’s a great line up of storytellers including our very own Al Tee who some may recognize as writing some great historical pieces for ILiveInEastVan. Also on hand to share their stories will be Bill Burnyeat, Emily Kelsall, Karen Spears, Karly Pinch, Maia Brundage, Marylee Stephenson, Reive Doig, Shwicks, and Zed Payne. Special guest storyteller and two-time storytelling champion Bryant Ross will also take the stage.

Vancouver Story Slam takes place at Hero’s Welcome (formerly the Legion) at 3917 Main Street (at 23rd Ave). Admission is $5 at the door and the show kicks off at 8:00 pm.

Note: Covid safety protocols will be in place and all audience members and participants must show proof of vaccination (vax card +ID) and masks are required when not seated or onstage.

Firehall Arts Centre Presents Mary’s Wedding February 25 – March 13

21 Feb

The Firehall Arts Centre invites you to witness an unforgettable story of love and survival in their production of Mary’s Wedding. This is a play that weaves a theatrical spell of hope, regret, memory and dreams.

When Mary and Charlie – young, passionate, vulnerable, and impulsive – unexpectedly take shelter in a barn during a thunderstorm, a tentative love is born. But the year is 1914, and Mary and Charlie must surrender to the uncertainties of their tumultuous times.

Mary’s Wedding is written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte and directed by Donna Spencer, the Firehall’s production of this award-winning script features two teams of performers: Sarah Roa (Mary) and Tanner Zerr (Charlie); and Emma Ross (Mary) and Jacob Leonard (Charlie). This play is an in person production with Covid safety protocols in place. To purchase tickets, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

The Cultch Presents Beautiful Man February 24 – March 5

20 Feb

The Cultch presents Beautiful Man, from Pi Theatre, at the Historic Theatre, February 24 – March 5, 2022.

Governor General Award-winning playwright Erin Shields’ Beautiful Man examines traditional gender roles as they are portrayed in popular media, and turns them on their head. In this satirical play, three women chat about the Hollywood movies they have been watching. Only, in the world of Beautiful Man, men are the objects, while women are the subjects. From genre to genre—everything from cop shows to greek tragedies—the absurdity of traditional conventions are brought to the surface. Beautiful Man not only mocks the media’s representation of women, it exposes the underlying violence of objectification with a sharp wit.

Vancouver’s Pi Theatre has made a reputation producing plays that are “intellectually alive and emotionally charged.” In business since 1984, and under the leadership of Richard Wolfe since 2008, they have produced over 100 shows, and been awarded 34 Jessie Awards. “I chose to produce Beautiful Man here in ‘Hollywood North’,” says Wolfe, “because I feel Erin Shields’ relevant play takes an incisive look at how capitalism packages bodies, most often women’s bodies, and sells them as mere objects of entertainment.” Chosen specifically for the task of directing, Keltie Forsyth feels that rage is a powerful tool. “I have shared that rage many times in my life. As has every femme person I know,” she says “… In this piece, Shields finds a way to channel her rage and use it to target the ways the media feeds and upholds patriarchal structures.” Part of The Cultch’s fifth annual Femme Festival, Beautiful Man brings a powerful feminist perspective. Here’s what people are saying about Beautiful Man:

“Erin Shields’s Beautiful Man is a razor-sharp satire that hilariously skewers the tropes of female characters in film and TV.”
Samantha Edwards, Now Toronto

“Shields is a very talented, intelligent, and funny writer with a powerful message”
Ilana Lucas, Mooney on Theatre

“Beautiful Man is a deeply insightful criticism of gender roles enforced by society through the media we consume…”
Isabella Perrone, Broadway World review 

“[Shields is] still writing directly in dialogue with contemporary culture, getting inside it, wrestling with it, taking the royal piss and then throwing it down.”
The Star

This is an in person production with Covid-19 protocols in place. To purchase your tickets, visit The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Emily Cooper

Gourmet Warehouse Lines Up More Cooking Classes

7 Feb

If you are ready for in person events, Gourmet Warehouse has added more cooking classes to their Spring schedule. 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. We also like shopping after the cooking class as 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.

A Taste Of The Mediterranean – March 31, 2022

Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu returns to teach a cooking class that explores the incredible tastes of the Mediterranean. Chef Deniz draws from his own background to guide you through these vibrant, healthy dishes. These versatile recipes are perfect for everyday meal, entertaining or picnics.


• Crispy kale & feta pie with dill and best tzatziki
• Spicy lamb dumplings with merguez sausage, roasted garlic yogurt, and harissa
• Chicken souvlaki with lemon roasted potatoes and Greek salad with feta
• Walnut baklava with cream

Sprouted: Spring Vegetables Re-Imagined – April 6, 2022

Chef Brian Luptak and Shira Blustein of critically acclaimed Vancouver restaurant Acorn will teach you chef-perfected techniques to elevate your vegetables to the next level. Note the menu that will be prepared is vegetarian not vegan.


• Hop shoot salad with browned hazelnut butter and pickled hop shoots
• Rosemary roasted cabbage with Bavarian mustard cream and pickled vegetables
• Puff pastry tart with vanilla caramelized whey ricotta & red flowering currant jelly

Cuckoo For Keto – April 21, 2022

Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu will also lead this demonstration cooking class which invites you to think outside the box when preparing low carb food that’s tasty. He will help you level up your weekly meal plan with crispy halloumi. chorizo skewer, flavour-packed chicken and peanut lettuce wraps.


• Crispy halloumi and chorizo skewer with cauliflower tabbouleh
• Spicy chicken and peanut lettuce wraps with marinated vegetable slaw
• Baked spaghetti squash with keto sausage ragu and provolone
• Keto brownies

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

Photo Credit: Gourmet Warehouse

Find Out What’s At The Bottom Of The Ocean In Sea Sick Coming To The Cultch Feb. 9-19

5 Feb

The Cultch brings you Alanna Mitchell’s production Sea Sick to The Cultch February 9-19, 2022.

Based on Mitchell’s international bestselling book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis (2009), Sea Sick is a critically acclaimed production about climate change, and the state of the global ocean. This production has toured Canada and the world including two previous sold out runs in Vancouver (2015 & 2019). Mitchell’s non-fiction play uses science and delicate wit to tell us about her journey to the bottom of the ocean, the demons she discovered there, and her hope for the future.

An award-winning Canadian journalist and author (New York Times, CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, Globe and Mail, and more), Alanna Mitchell writes about science and social trends specializing in investigative reporting. Before writing Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis she set out on a three year quest to find out information from top scientists all around the world. Over the course of 13 journeys, from Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico, to Zanzibar, and even to the very depth of the ocean in a submersible, Mitchell sought the answers to her questions. Her book, and later her play—commissioned by The Theatre Centre, with directions from Franco Boni and Ravi Jain—would open many people’s eyes to the perilous state we find ourselves in if we do not pay attention to our oceans. What people are saying about Sea Sick:

“Almost like a glacier, Sea Sick steadily and robustly ploughs through the vast ecosystem  that is the current discourse on climate change, and indelibly transforms the  landscape which came before.”
Exeunt Magazine

“This isn’t a lecture about the catastrophic repercussions of burning fossil fuels, or a guilt trip about how we’re to blame for the state of the Great Barrier Reef. Instead, it’s an unravelling – an unveiling – of a crisis; a clear-eyed pathway toward comprehension and a knitting together of the important, largely siloed work of marine biologists across the world.”
The Guardian

“80 minutes flies by because of Mitchell’s inspired storytelling… Terrifying, laugh-out-loud funny, and ultimately hopeful, Mitchell’s Sea Sick is a must-see”
Vancouver Observer

This is an in person production with all Covid protocols in place and 50% seating capacity. To purchase tickets, visit The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Santiago

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