We recently attended the Health & Wellness Show held in Vancouver and had the pleasure of chatting with Carolyn Trotter of Mandala Blooms Creative. Carolyn is an East Vancouver artist that makes beautiful meditation mats under the name of Mandala Creative Blooms. She received a Diploma in Art in Merchandising from Langara College and has studied graphic design, printmaking, sacred geometry, technical illustration, interior design and visual marketing in both Canada and Mexico. A series of life experiences and health challenges brought Carolyn to study yoga and meditation. In 2014, Carolyn launched her business designing floral meditation mats with mandala centres. They are designed to provide a sacred centerpiece for a serene space to meditate. Carolyn is committed to the integration of art, personal health and daily mindfulness with the intention of helping people heal. Carolyn herself has faced many challenges in her life and her secrets for getting well were yoga and meditation. These practices enabled Carolyn to stay focused on the things that matter most. We invite you to visit Mandala Blooms Creative online shop open 24/7. Carolyn also makes colourful yoga towels with her designs as well as framed prints of her designs. If you dig a bit deeper, you can also find some paintings at CarolynTrotter.com which we have to say, we’d love to see on any of our walls.
For one that was educated by a little East Van School, Queen Alexandra Elementary School, in the writer’s case, we are all about supporting efforts that make our community a better place. With that view in mind, we would like to introduce you to the efforts of some East Van parents raising money for Dr. A.R. Lord Elementary School. Local parents got together and designed a, we think, pretty cool T-shirt with the theme of All Roads Lead To East Van. Outside of that statement being true, we are loving the design. Parents have been working to raise funds for various projects including field trips, a community garden and most recently a new robotics program for students. An online store was recently set up which link we’ve included here. We invite you to check it out and support this cool initiative by purchasing a T-shirt(s). This simple act will make you look a) so cool b) show your love for East Van and c) provide a wider range of learning opportunities for our East Van kids. T-shirts are a very reasonable $25 and if you wish to save on shipping costs, pick up can be arranged in the Hastings Sunrise area.
The Daisy Theatre returns to The Cultch on March 21st until April 9th. What is the Daisy Theatre? Well it’s a puppet show by the one and only Bonnie Burkett and this is NOT any puppet show. If you think you might not be interested in seeing puppets, you will likely be wrong. The Daisy Theatre is unlike anything you have ever seen. Ronnie Burkett, puppeteer provocateur and his company of over 40 marionettes, will not only entertain you, but will be sure to have you riding a wave of emotion as he brings his puppets to life. The energy he brings to his puppetry is rather awe inspiring and how he seamlessly transitions between all the characters on his stage. Did we mention it’s funny? Side splitting funny, Ronnie Burkett brings a sharp wit to his characters when he needs to, but he can be as soft as kitten when playing the character Schnitzel who usually begins and finishes his show. But having said that, each show is different so you don’t always know who is coming on stage to perform. We can say each performance is different, daring, ridiculous and honestly dam funny. It’s just not us saying it though, The Georgia Straight has previously called it “one of the best shows you’ll ever see”. Tickets start at $20 and are available online at The Cultch. Note, due to the mature content this is a 19+ show.
Photo Credit: Alejandro Santiago
If you are looking for a fun, creative summer camp for your kids, you may wish to mark your calendar for registration day which is Monday, March 20th. Theatre Replacement is offering a great 5 day summer camp for kids aged 5-10 years of age called PantoLand Academy. The camp is based on the East Van Panto and can accommodate up to 70 children. They will learn the whacky and fun world of panto which includes learning to sing, dance, dress up and create. The camps will be led by a team of accredited teachers and members of the East Van Panto’s creative team. At the end of the camp, the children will get to perform onstage at The Cultch for their friends and families. Two camps are being offered, one being July 31st to August 4th, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm (Monday – Friday) and the second camp runs from August 8th to August 12th, 2017 (Tuesday – Saturday). Cost is $275 per child plus tax. The camps will be held at The Cultch at Venables & Victoria Drive. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 20th, 2017 and can be done online at East Van Panto/PantoLand. Note, registration is first-come, first served and we heard last year’s camp sold out in a matter of minutes. Although they are offering 2 camps this year, we expect these spots will fill quickly. For those interested, you may wish to mark you calendar so you don’t miss it. If you have questions about the program, you can contact Theatre Replacement’s Associate Producer, June Fukumura at email@example.com.
Liberty Merchant Company presents the 5th Annual East Side Beer Fest tasting event on Wednesday, March 15th at the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street. The event will feature craft beers from all over the world as well as bits of food from food purveyors on Commercial Drive. This event is also a fundraiser for the Great Vancouver Food Bank Society which helps provides some 25,000 people in need each week. All ticket sales and draw prizes directly support the Great Vancouver Food Bank Society. Tickets are $24.99 each and available at all Liberty Wine Merchant locations. In East Vancouver, visit them at 1622 Commercial Drive or call them at 604.633.1922. The event gets under way at 7:00 pm and goes till 9:00 pm.
One of our earliest posts was a self-guided tour aimed at discovering some of the hidden gems tucked away below East Hastings Street at the foot of Commercial Drive. Now the Hastings North Business Improvement Association has created the East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport to help guide you to the 6 craft breweries and 1 craft distiller tucked away in the less travelled routes of the City. To participate in this self-guided tour, all you need to do is pick up a Passport at any one of the 7 participating locations in the East Village. Your Passport contains a map with all the participating breweries and distillery located within easy sipping distance from each other. All you are required to do is, to start exploring and tasting. Generally speaking, this exploration is fairly walkable, save for Bomber Brewing which is a little further South. Lots (if not all) of the breweries have bike racks out front for those that wish to cycle between their destinations. When you take your passport to each destination, get a stamp from each participating brewery/distiller. Once you’ve collected your 7 stamps, you will receive an East Village branded growler. Taking part in The East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport will be the area’s oldest brewery (established in 1995) Storm Brewing, as well as Parallel 49 Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Doan’s Craft Brewing Co., Callister Brewing Co., Bomber Brewing, Andina Brewing and Odd Society Spirits. If you are taking the tour on a weekend, our personal recommendation would be to land at Odd Society Spirits for their free tour that happens every Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm. They provide a great background and history on the process and science of making craft spirits. Did we mention the owners are pretty passionate about what they do? It certainly comes across in everything they do.
However you choose to do the East Village Brewery & Distillery Tour is up to you, ie. you could hit all the spots in one day, break it down into 2 days or more. While in the area though, we do have a few suggestions. When you stop in at Callister Brewing Co., which houses a few micro breweries, be sure to check out the art on the wall. When stopping at Doan’s Craft Brewing, make some time for the arcade games while sampling their beer. Pac Man is our go to, but there some 80+ games to choose from. Whilst taste testing, we encourage food and some of the spots have snacks available or food trucks that are often nearby offering good eats. En route you will find lots of great spots to start or finish your day or for a pit spot, some we recommend that you may stumble across in your path include Scandillious or Yolk’s for breakfast, The Pie Shoppe for a sweet treat, Bistro Wagon Rogue for dinner at the end of the day. NOTE: The good folks that bring you Parallel 49 Brewing are just working on some renovations to their Tasting Room which will soon include eats in house. We understand they will be up and running end of March to serve you beer & food. Further note, Andina’s Brewing is just finishing up their space and will be opening soon. In the meantime, you can get tasting and working on that Passport of taste.
There are so many interesting events popping up around East Van, it’s hard to keep up with them all. As we love all things food and drink , this event caught our eye, The Renaissance of Vermouth. It is being hosted by Odd Society Spirits this Thursday, February 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The cocktail lounge at Odd Society will be transformed into a Mediterranean tapas bar which will feature Italian and Spanish style bites prepared by Chef Jesse McMillan of Campagnolo ROMA. Vermouth will be poured with drinks expert Shaun Layton. This is a casual standing room only event with tickets running $65 per person which includes tax and tip. You can purchase your ticket(s) for this event by emailing Odd Society Spirits at firstname.lastname@example.org.