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Gourmet Warehouse Announces Summer Cooking Classes

19 May

Gourmet Warehouse has just announced some great in person cooking classes for the summer season. 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.

BC Bounty Farmers’ Market – June 17, 2022

Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu will teach this cooking class that explores the flavours of seasonal summer fare grown in BC. Chef Deniz will help you discover the adventure that comes from creating one-of-a-kind dishes from local ingredients. The menu for this upcoming class is set out below:

MENU

• Hand-Rolled Cavatelli with Zucchini, Lemon, and Chicories
• Harissa-Glazed Sablefish with Zalouk
• Moroccan-Style Couscous with Dried Fruit & Nuts
• BC Berry Tarte with Orange Blossom Chantilly Cream

Summer Garden Party: Salads & Sides – June 23, 2022

Gourmet Warehouse Founder, Cookbook Author and Chef Caren McSherry will lead this demonstration cooking class. She will be sharing her tips and recipes so you can go home and create delicious side dishes. We’ve set out the menu that will be prepared in class, with tasting to follow:

MENU

• New Wave Niçoise with Fresh Tuna
• Fancy Grilled Cheese on a Mushroom Madeira Sauce
• Fresh Corn Pancakes with Horseradish Crème Fraîche & Wild Salmon Candy
• Taco Salad Baskets
• The Perfect Pavlova

Mediterranean Al Fresco – June 29, 2022

Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu will also lead this demonstration cooking class which invites you to envision the clear waters and blue skies of the Mediterranean. Chef Deniz has created a menu that is perfect for summer entertaining.

MENU

• Chili-Infused Clam Pot with Chorizo, Leeks, and Sourdough
• Spot Prawn Risotto with Summer Squash and Bottarga
• BC Berry Galette with Pastry Cream and Chantilly

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

Photo Credit: Gourmet Warehouse

South Van Strawberry Social June 5, 2022

12 May

In South Vancouver, there is amazing non-profit called Free The Fern that has been working hard to remove invasive plants from the Red Alder Trail in Champlain Heights. In doing so, they’ve built a great community supporting their work. Their projects have been funded in part by TD Park People and Neighbourhood Small Grants.  This is a passionate group making a difference in their community.   On Sunday, June 5th, they are hosting an event and showcasing their passion and projects with you.  

Free The Fern invites you to the South Van Strawberry Social being held Sunday, June 5th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the Red Alder Trail, 3530 Swansacre.  On hand, you can expect to find:

  • 200 free servings of strawberries (with shortcake and whipped cream) – First come first serve.
  • live music, including a 20s-40s jazz trio.
  • local craft vendors: Resistance Kitters (fundraising for Ukraine), Wild Rose Natural SkincareGoodfellow Craftery, and more.
  • an eco art workshop: learn how to make a pencil from an invasive blackberry stem.
  • tours of our new Douglas Fir Teaching Garden: with hundreds of native flowers, berries, and ferns. Note, this teaching garden includes a Douglas Fir which is estimated at 162 years old.

To learn more, visit them online at Free The Fern or reach out to them directly at freethefern@gmail.com.

Call For Artists For 20th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

5 May

The Still Moon Arts Society is planning the 20th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival this September. This year’s theme is aptly named “Resurfacing”. This is an amazing community event that celebrates the full moon, Autumnal Equinox as well as Renfrew-Collingwood’s diverse community and natural environment through interdisciplinary arts events. Still Moon is now recruiting artists, musicians and performers for the Harvest Fair which takes place on Saturday, September 10th and the magical Streamside Lantern Installation which takes place on September 17th.

Specifically, they are looking for five musical groups, one to three dance groups, and one to two interactive performers (i.e. clowns, face painter). Musicians and performers will receive an honoraria. Still Moon Arts Society is focused on ensuring everyone is represented in their event including visible minorities, persons with disabilities, newcomers, BIPOC, and LGBTQAI2s+ folks. Diversity of artists is very important to them. To learn more about the event, or to complete an application, we invite you to visit Still Moon Arts Society.

Photo Credit: Still Moon Arts Society

Vancouver Farmers Markets Summer Season

5 May

VFMChardVancouver Farmers Markets is back for the summer season which means the return of the ever popular Trout Lake Farmers Market. This market which takes place in John Hendry Park is now under way every Saturday until October 29th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Riley Park Farmers Market continues every Saturday near Nat Bailey Stadium until October 29th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Another favourite is the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market which opens Sunday May 22nd and continues every Sunday until October 30th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We’ve set out below the markets taking place in East Van. To see a full listing of Vancouver Farmer Markets, visit eatlocal.org.


Trout Lake Famers Market
13th Ave & Lakewood Drive
Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
April 23, 2022 – October 29, 2022 

Riley Park Farmers Market
50 East 30th Avenue & Ontario Street
Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
April 23, 2022 – October 29, 2022  

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
8th Avenue & Guelph Street
Sundays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
May 22, 2022 – October 30, 2022

Main Street Farmers Market
Still Closed For Construction

Artisan Pottery & Bake Sale at Trout Lake Community Centre May 7th

4 May

It will be a busy weekend at John Hendry Park and Trout Lake Community Centre this weekend. The Trout Lake Farmers Market hosted by Vancouver Farmers Market is officially back for the season on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  This Saturday, May 7th, the Trout Lake Pottery Club is also hosting an Artisan Pottery & Bake Sale from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Lots of opportunity to support your local community and pick up something special for mom.

Got Craft At The Croatian Cultural Centre May 7 & 8, 2022

21 Apr

Got Craft celebrates its 15th year in Vancouver as one of BC’s largest curated markets featuring makers, designers and small shops.   They will be hosting their next event Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th at the Croatian Cultural Centre from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event is just in time for Mother’s Day and features 80 independent makers and small business.  

What can you expect to find at Got Craft?  Some of the goods you can find include ceramics, clothing, bath + body goods, jewelry, food + beverage, homewares, greeting cards, art along with a mini maker area with kidpreneurs aged 5-13 years old.    You can also expect food carts to be on site if get hungry while shopping.   Advance tickets are available online for $5 which also gets you an opportunity to win a handmade prize pack.   Kids 12 and under are free.  To learn more about all the vendors on hand, or to grab your advance ticket(s), visit Got Craft.

First Saturday Open Studios Happens Saturday, April 2nd

30 Mar

First Saturday Open Studios happens this Saturday, April 2nd from Noon to 5:00 pm. What is it? It is an opportunity to visit artists in their studios and get a chance to ask questions, learn techniques, see work in progress and if the urge strikes, buy artwork directly from the artist.

This is a once monthly event as the name eludes, the first Saturday of the month, in Vancouver and North Vancouver with different artists participating in each month.

This weekend, we know Jesse Toso, of Toso Wood Works, is hosting an Open Studio with a number of other artists at The Annex, 1001 Parker Street. Expect beautiful handmade furniture in this space along with beautiful art. If you are looking for things to do this weekend, this is definitely something worth checking out. What studios are open this weekend? Visit Next Open Studios here for more info.

Neighbourhood Small Grants Applications Now Being Accepted Until April 30, 2022

27 Mar

The Neigbourhood Small Grant program is back for 2022.  The foundation of this program is connecting people within their own communities.  The premise of the program is fairly simple. It is the belief that the best people to affect change in a community, are those that live within it. When money is less of an issue, it allows more ideas to flow.  This is where the grants come in. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program allows you to apply for up to $500 for your idea to connect your community.

What have other people done?   A few ideas include book exchanges, benches and community gardens.  Some other ideas include creating small care packages for seniors with a few spring flowers and crossword puzzles and/or word search games.  For young children, creating a scavenger hunt in a park with prizes. People have also created art cards for seniors in long term care. Connection is the key and the ideas are only limited by your imagination and, of course, the $500 budget. Want more ideas or thinking about applying? We invite you to visit Neighbourhood Small Grants for more information.

The basic principles of the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program:

  1. Small is beautiful. Small ideas are beautiful and manageable.

  2. Everyone has something to offer. Whether you can teach a skill or give some tips, or provide a service. We all have something valuable to share.

  3. It’s your project. You create how you want it to look and feel.

  4. Create your chosen family.  A platform to help build networks within your community.

Applications are now open until April 30, 2022.   Applications may be accepted for a second cycle in the Fall depending on whether funds are still available. This is a great opportunity to create something memorable for your community.

First Pick Handmade Spring Pop Up At The Heritage Hall March 27th

13 Mar

First Pick Handmade is returning to the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, on Sunday, March 27, 2022 for a Spring Pop Up Market. They will be featuring a wide range of high quality Canadian made fashion and accessories.   Some of the makers that will be on hand include Bronsino, Silver & Gold Clothing, Mimi and Moo, Mata Home, Dougherty Glass Works, Callipyge Collection and Heather Johnston Art which will have some beautiful cushions with iconic Vancouver imagery.  So whether you are looking for something for your home, for yourself, or a gift, lots to choose from with all this talent under one roof. We encourage you to stop by and check it out between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Admission is free.

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.

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