Tag Archives: Commercial Drive

New In Town: Oh Sweet Day! At 1st Avenue & Commercial Drive

15 Jul

 

If you love cheesecake, you will want to check out this newly opened spot, Oh Sweet Day! located at 1706 East 1st Avenue just off the Drive.  The force behind this sweet space is Fanny Lam, a self-taught home baker who turned her love of baking into a blog, then a cookbook then a storefront.  Outside of running a popular blog, writing a cookbook, Fanny has been selling her cakes for 2 years at farmer markets around the Lower Mainland. Lucky for us you can now find her signature cheesecakes as well as mousse cakes, ganache drip cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, shortbread tartlets and cookies at this sweet space off The Drive. If you are looking for gluten free or vegan options, they’ve got that too.  We invite you to stop by and check out this new space. Alternatively, you can drool over the photos on her website at Visit Oh Sweet Day! online or in person. Their hours are currently Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 10-6 and Friday and Saturday 10-7 and closed Tuesday.   You can also find Oh Sweet Day! at the following farmer markets around the Lower Mainland:

July 14th   Coquitlam Farmers Market
July 18th   Port Coquitlam Farmers Market
July 20th   Riley Park Farmers Market
July 21st   Steveston Farmers Market
July 25th   New Westminster Farmers Market
July 27th   Burnaby Farmers Market
July 28th   Coquitlam Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Oh Sweet Day!

What’s On East Van: July 5th Edition

5 Jul

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

Vancouver Greek Summerfest – All Weekend Long

The Vancouver Greek Summerfest is now daily until July 14th at 4541 Boundary Road and 29th Avenue. Lots of great food and live music. If you head down on a weekend, it does get busy when it comes to seating. Taking transit? The location is a 10 minute walk from the Joyce Skytrain Station. We also learnt that all proceeds from food sales go back into supporting registered charities in the community.  Is there a reason not to go? To see the full schedule of talent and hours, visit Vancouver Greek Summerfest.

Playland Nights – Playland – July 5th

Playland Nights returns tonight and will continue every Friday in July.  This is an adult only evening (19+) which features the usual fun, food and rides, but with fully licensed grounds. This means you can enjoy your beverage of choice throughout the park while taking in the entertainment available.  General admission is $29.00. for tickets visit Playland Nights.

If You Could Read My Mind: Gordon Lightfoot – Rio Theatre – July 5th & July 7th

The Rio Theatre hosts the documentary If You Could Read My Mind Friday night. It features the life and music of the Canadian music icon, Gordon Lightfoot and some of his famous friends and fans including Geddy Lee (Rush), Randy Bachman, Anne Murray and many others.  This is billed is an intimate and emotional examination of the artist’s profound relationship to his music and his Canadian roots. Documentary runs Friday night at 6:15 pm. If you can’t make that, it’s showing again on Sunday at 1:20 pm. For tickets, visit Rio Theatre.

Car Free Day – Commercial Drive – July 7th

Car Free Day where it all began happens this Sunday on Commercial Drive between Noon and 7:00 pm. Car Free Day  stretches 15 blocks along Commercial Drive between Venables and The Grandview Cut. and features activities for all ages, food and entertainment all day long.   This is a free family friendly event which is accessible by bus, Skytrain and cycling all of which is encouraged.

Mini Car Free Day – Commercial Street/Cedar Cottage – July 7th

The great street in Cedar Cottage that boasts the Commercial Street Café, Second Nature Home, Toso Wood Gallery, Vancouver Tool Library and Chance Café and soon to be Flourist, are hosting their own Mini Car Free Day this Sunday on the 3400-3500 block of Commercial Street.  Expect to find live music, chainsaw carving, giant Jenga game, street art, bike repair, chocolate tasting, artisans and kids activities. Although Flourist is not open just yet, we hear they will have a table with delectable things on hand. We suggest you get there early.  Event happens 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The Vancouver Market – Wise Hall – July 7th

The Vancouver Market featuring 20+ local vendors happens at The Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street this Sunday, July 7th.  Whether you are looking for new or vintage, likely to find an array of unique items. Event happens 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $2.00.

21st Century Flea Market – Croatian Cultural Centre – July 7th

21st Century Flea Market is back at the Croatian Cultural Centre this Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Some 175 vendors will be on hand with collectibles, antiques, kitsch, vintage and whole lot more.  Who knows you could find.  Admission is $5.00 OR for early birds wanting to get a jump on things $20 from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.

Comedy, Music & Entertainment & More 

Looking for more live music, did you know The Heatley in Strathcona regularly features live music?  Every Sunday they offer bluegrass music with brunch 11 am – 3 pm. UPDATE We’ve just learnt they are taking a hiatus for the summer.

Also 7 days a week, you will find live music at the Libra Room on The Drive. Tangent Café hosts live jazz Sunday nights  from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Saturday, Pat’s Pub has live jazz Saturday afternoons from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, no cover.

Looking to shop and support local? Be sure to check out one of the farmer markets happening this weekend. Saturday is Riley Park Farmers Market at 30th & Ontario from 10 am – 2 pm and Trout Lake Farmers Market from 9 am – 2 pm at John Hendry Park. Sunday, Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is back in Dude Chilling Park from 10:00 am – 2 pm. To see more of What’s On in East Vancouver,  check our Event Listing.  We also have a separate listing of Free Events for those on a budget and in Vancouver, who isn’t.

Image Credit: June Hunter

The Napier Greenway: The City of Vancouver is Renaming Without Consultation

3 Jul

So, every once in a while, we happen across things that make us shake our heads. What we are about to share is one of those things.  For the last few years we have featured the East Van Garden Tour, which is a fundraiser for Britannia Neighbours who do an amazing job of beautifying and maintaining what we all know as the Napier Greenway. For those who don’t know it, this space is located off Commercial Drive at the entrance to Britannia Community Centre.  This is a great community space created in 2001 by the City and Britannia Neighbours (a group of community volunteers), under the City’s Green Streets Program and which has been lovingly tended to by Britannia Neighbours for the last 18 years.   We have to say we were rather surprised when we stumbled across a letter from Britannia Neighbours to the City of Vancouver about the renaming of this space to Margaret Mitchell Plaza.

For those who may not know the name, Margaret Mitchell was a Vancouver resident, social worker, and activist who was elected to the House of Commons four times to serve the riding of Vancouver East. She was the longest serving female MP when she left in 1993 after 14 years in which she boldly advanced women’s rights.  This is without a doubt someone who is worthy of recognition.

Now, getting back to the Napier Greenway, Britannia Neighbours is a group of local volunteers who started working with the City of Vancouver in 2000 to create the Napier Greenway and has, since its completion in 2001, maintained it.  They have weekly work parties, they rake and weed and prune and plant new plants and move old ones, they clean up graffiti on benches, and do other repairs as needed. They also hire someone from the nearby Kettle Friendship Society to pick up litter daily and hire someone else to water all summer.   This greenway is a gathering space that regularly hosts free community events such as Artful Sundays, the Stone Soup Festival, and activities during Car Free Day and Italian Day.  The Napier Greenway was created and is regularly invigorated by the community that surrounds and cares for it.  With no disrespect to Margaret Mitchell, the renaming of it dismisses and disrespects the hard work this community and its volunteers have put and continue to put into this space.NapierGreenway7

We have learned that there is actually a Naming Committee at the City of Vancouver which makes recommendations about places that need new names; the previous Council, however, made this decision without consulting either Britannia Neighbours or its own Naming Committee. During an in-camera meeting, the previous Council agreed, by a majority vote, without any consultation whatsoever, to rename the Napier Greenway Margaret Mitchell Plaza. The initiative for the new name we understand was led by then Vision Councillor, Andrea Reimer. The ‘without consultation’ is the part that really gets under our skin whether this issue or others that affect the communities they represent. Elected officials serve residents of the City, that includes ALL of us, those that may not have such a public face, but serve their communities tirelessly and don’t get the public recognition they deserve.

The Napier Greenway is a space residents and volunteers are proud of and we feel they have the right to maintain the name.

Margaret Mitchell was a tireless advocate for some of the poorest areas in Vancouver, so we think it is fitting that Vancouver’s second temporary modular housing facility at 2132 Ash Street was named Margaret Mitchell Place. This space creates housing for 52 members, teaches life skills, has health teams and support, and employment programs, as well as a community garden.  We think this new housing facility is a fitting tribute to Margaret Mitchell and is reflective of the work she undertook. The Napier Greenway was created and has been maintained for 18 years by Britannia Neighbours, who may be nameless and faceless, but who are worthy of recognition. All they wish to do is retain the name they created for this community gathering space, Napier Greenway.  We hope the current City Council rights this wrong.

 

Car Free Day On Commercial Drive Sunday July 7th

26 Jun

CarFreeDay2019GreenYou are invited to another great street party on The Drive. On Sunday, July 7th Car Free Day happens from Noon to 7:00 pm. The event stretches 15 blocks along Commercial Drive between Venables and The Grandview Cut.  Car Free Day will feature activities for all ages, great food, entertainment, local artisans and advocacy for car free and green spaces.  This is a free family friendly event which is very accessible by bus, Skytrain and cycling all of which are encouraged.

Italian Day Happens Sunday June 9th On The Drive

15 May

ItalianDayThe much loved Italian Day returns to Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9th.  This 14 block vibrant street party takes place on The Drive from the Grandview Cut to Venables.  The day is filled with food, entertainment, things to do and see and experience.  Grab some friends and stop at one of the many outdoor patios set up for the day for a bite and refreshment. Or take in one of the many food trucks lined up and down the stretch.  You will certainly not go hungry whilst you wander and take in all the sights and sounds.

Each year, Italian Day, hosts a theme, this year’s is community an important piece of Italian culture and heritage. This year’s festival looks to celebrate community and the common ground we all share and how together we can make a positive difference in our community.

Britannia Community Centre is again hosting a free family friendly activity. This year, local artists will help host a Friendship Bracelet Workshop from Noon to 4:00 pm in the Napier Greenway.  All materials are supplied. Everyone is welcome to stop by and participate.

Italian Day kicks off at Noon and the party runs till 8:00 pm. Just a reminder that vehicle traffic on Commercial Drive is blocked off, so it is best to take transit, walk or cycle in. For those cycling to Italian Day, we expect a Bike Valet will be set up again at 1st Avenue & Commercial, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. We invite you come out and celebrate all things Italian. Italian Day represents the largest one day cultural street festival in Vancouver – and perhaps in Canada – drawing over 200,000 attendees of all cultures and ages.  Stop by and see some of the magic of this great street festival.

 

The Fitting Room At Havana Theatre May 14 – 18, 2019

13 May

fitting room_ensemble_amy henryFour teens. A Mom. A rabbi. One fitting room. Six people all linked to the sudden death of thirteen-year-old Noah after a dare. The Fitting Room is a play about growing up, coming out, facing loss and finding faith. This production on stage at the Havana Theatre starting May 14th until May 18th is brought to you by Victoria Playwright Ellery Lamm and directed by Anna Marie Anderson. The production received Victoria Fringe’s Best Overall Favourite and Bravest Awards. Tickets are $15-$20 and available through Showpass.com.

Tiva Quinn Reviews Children Of God On Now At The York Until March 10th

26 Feb

ChildrenOfGodI didn’t make it when Children of God was in Vancouver last year partly because the idea of making a musical about child abuse and cultural genocide seemed a bit implausible, I wasn’t sure it could really work. In fact, it works brilliantly. The script does a fantastic job of including some humour and even some redemption amidst the pain without shying away from the worst things that happened at residential schools.

If you haven’t seen Children of God yet, you should go. Yes, partly because every Canadian needs to understand the legacy of residential schools, but also because it’s an excellent script performed by top-notch double-threat actor/singers and, even when the subject matter gets dark, it’s a real treat to see them perform.

For anyone who has a personal relationship or strong reaction to this material, emotional support workers are available in the lobby throughout the show.

There’s a Q and A period with the performers after the show that’s worth sticking around for. The Q and A I attended had a lot of interesting questions and commentary from both indigenous and settler audience members, and the cast themselves were just as impressive speaking off the cuff as they were during the show. Children Of God is on now at The York Theatre until March 10, 2019.  Tickets available through The Cultch.

Note – during the Q&A I attended someone suggested that people refrain from drinking or at least from bringing alcohol into the theater, as many people in the audience have intergenerational trauma related to the smell of alcohol.

By Contributing Writer: Tiva Quinn

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