Picnics, Synchronized Swimming & Hand Holding at Trout Lake Day Sunday, June 23

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Take part in a truly Vancouver-style party at Trout Lake Day held in John Hendry Park at 3300 Victoria Drive (at East 15th), June 23 from 2 to 6pm. The free event celebrates the start of summer at this well-loved East Van community centre.

The Trout Lake Day event line-up is as imaginative as one might expect from the Commercial Drive community. The fun includes attempting to break the world record for the number of folks holding hands around a lake (4pm), a synchronized swimming display, theatrical bird watching installations in trees (experience it to believe it) and live blue grass.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in bright summer colours, or animal costumes (!), and bring picnics, frisbees and even marching bands. Expect free cake at the cake-cutting celebration at 5pm. Continue reading:
Picnics, Synchronized Swimming & Hand Holding at Trout Lake Day Sunday, June 23

Inside Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive is home to an exciting mix of independent cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. After all, “The Drive” is arguably the most diverse and colourful neighbourhood in Vancouver. It’s also ground zero for many of Vancouver’s largest festivals, including Illuminares, the Dyke March, Italian Day, the Vancouver Poetry Festival, the Parade of Lost Souls, East Side Pride and Car-Free Day.

Continue reading:
Inside Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive

No Cars, 4 Huge Parties: Car Free Vancouver Day Returns

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

(Don’t) Start your engines!

The sixth instalment of Car Free Vancouver Day is scheduled to hit city neighbourhoods June 16 (Father’s Day).  The premise of the festival is simple: Main streets throughout Vancouver are closed to traffic, so everyone can get out, stretch their legs and actually rub shoulders with friends and neighbours.

Over the years, Car Free Day has evolved into one of the best, totally grassroots events of the summer.  Pedestrianized streets are transformed into carnivals full of food, music, performers and general revelry.  It’s all volunteer-based and community-organized, so you’re sure to get a healthy dose of local colour and local weirdness.

As in past years, Car Free Vancouver Day will take place in four neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive, Main Street, the West End and Kitsilano.  Here are details on what you can expect if you leave the car behind: Continue reading:
No Cars, 4 Huge Parties: Car Free Vancouver Day Returns

Celebrate Italian Day on Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9

Photo credit: Italian Day

Photo credit: Italian Day

Italian Day returns to Vancouver’s very own Little Italy, aka Commercial Drive, on Sunday, June 9. Last year, 100,000 revelers turned out to enjoy the free street party. In 2013, the Italian Day Festival Society has stepped up their game with a “Carnevale di Venezia” theme. Many attendees will be decked out ‘Venetian style’ with masks and costumes. So consider getting dressed up and adding to the spectacle.

What happens on Italian Day? Commercial Drive closes to car traffic from 4th Avenue to Parker Street. The crowds move between two main stages featuring live Italian music, folk dancing, fashion shows and more. This year, performers include includes crooner Federico Fuoco, international singer/songwriter Carmelina Cupo and Langley’s youth Ukulele Ensemble.

In addition to the events on stage, visitors can check out classic car displays, Vespa shows and Italian cooking demos, as well as participate in a contest to win a trip to Venice.

The most exciting events at Italian Day are the Italian-inspired food contests: grape stomping, pizza tossing, pasta and watermelon eating (photos after the jump). It gets loud and messy. You may even learn something.

Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for: the food. Italian Day is an eat-athon. From gelato carts to PazzaRella Pizza–Vancouver’s only food truck with a wood-fired pizza oven–and profiterole stands, you’re going to need a lot of room. Many of Commercial Drive’s well-known Italian restaurants have extended patios on Italian Day, so you can eat, put up your feet and watch the crowd surge by. Consider pre-gaming the Vancouver way with an extreme run on Saturday. Continue reading:
Celebrate Italian Day on Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9

5 things you should know about the Laugh Gallery

TheGrosvenorBoy

Laugh Gallery host Graham Clark

Those keen on comedy are probably familiar with the Laugh Gallery, a monthly event that brings together some of the top comedic talent this city (and country) has to offer. In its 13 years, the Laugh Gallery has taken on various incarnations – from a weekly show at El Cocal, to one-off events for New Years and the Vancouver Comedy Festival. It’s currently a monthly show at the Havana theatre, with the next one taking place on April 15. I spoke with host Graham Clark about the five things people need to know about this Vancouver comedic institution. Continue reading:
5 things you should know about the Laugh Gallery