2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival Preview

2012_StreetFoodCity1As the weather turns colder in Vancouver, the days get shorter and snow blankets the North Shore Mountains, thoughts naturally turn to … the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

Each winter, 100,000 foodies descend on the city’s restaurants as part of Canada’s largest annual dining celebration. Bargain-priced prix-fix menus, plus a bevy of special food-themed events turn Vancouver into Canada’s culinary capital for more than two weeks each year.

The 2015 festival, Jan. 16-Feb. 1, is still more than a month away.  But tickets for special events, which tend to sell out fast, go on sale Dec. 1. To whet your appetite, here’s a quick preview of the culinary thrills planned for the 2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival:

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2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival Preview

Passes on Sale for 2014 Vancouver International Film Fest: Sneak Peek

Charlie's Country

Charlie’s Country

The best of world cinema is coming to Vancouver, again.

The 33rd instalment of the Vancouver International Film Festival is just around the corner, Sept. 25-Oct. 10.  The two-week-plus fest highlights more than 300 edgy, thought-provoking, award-winning films from more than 70 countries.  An estimated 130,000 cinema buffs are expected to turn out to see the films at seven theatres across the city, from intimate Cinematheque on Howe Street to the cavernous Centre for the Performing Arts on Homer Street.

All those moviegoers means one thing: You better get your tickets fast.  Festival passes and ticket packs are officially on sale as of Aug. 18 on the Vancouver International Film Festival website.  The full festival program isn’t available until Sept. 4 (when the advance box office opens for individual ticket sales), but organizers have already revealed a selection of Cannes award winners and highlights that will be shown in Vancouver.  Here are a few early can’t-miss picks: Continue reading:
Passes on Sale for 2014 Vancouver International Film Fest: Sneak Peek

80 films, 11 countries, 11 days: Vancouver’s Biggest Summer Film Fest is Back

DrunktownsFinest-03-thumb-620x322-74813Film buffs in Vancouver are already gearing up for the big Vancouver International Film Festival in late September, which showcases hundreds of films from more than 80 countries.  For those who need their cinema fix a little earlier, however, there is another option.

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs from Aug. 14-Aug. 24, screening  the very best in independent queer cinema: 80 films from 11 countries over 11 days at the city’s top theatres.  More than 14,000 people attend every year, making it the second largest film festival in the city.

For powerful filmmaking, original characters and independent points of view, movie lovers need look no further.  Here are five picks from the festival:

Drunktown’s FinestProduced by Robert Redford, this spellbinding film profiles the lives of three Navajo people living on an American reservation.  One of the three people is transgender, adding additional challenges to an already hardscrabble life.  The film’s director and former Navajo resident Sydney Freeland will be on hand for the screening. Sunday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. at Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas  Continue reading:
80 films, 11 countries, 11 days: Vancouver’s Biggest Summer Film Fest is Back

Canadian Rock Legends Coming to Burnaby Blues Fest, Aug. 9

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

Blues legends are in Burnaby this Saturday, Aug. 9, for the annual Blues + Roots Festival at Deer Lake Park.  Headlining the show is the incomparable Big Sugar: the Canadian blues-rock-reggae band have inspired acts like The Black Crowes over their illustrious 20-year career.  Opening acts include Matt Andersen, the blues artist from New Brunswick known for his impassioned vocals and guitar playing, as well as Bettye LeVette, the Motown legend who toured with Otis Redding and James Brown.

The venue for the day-long festival, which features a dozen acts in total is Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park.  Located just off Highway 1 in Burnaby, the park is a unique natural oasis in the middle of the city.  Walking trails wind around the lake and through acres of parkland.  Musicians will be performing on three separate stages throughout the day, starting at 1 p.m. with the local acts and finishing up with Big Sugar on the main stage at 8:30 p.m.

big.sugar.toronto.295_16x9_620x350

Big Sugar

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Canadian Rock Legends Coming to Burnaby Blues Fest, Aug. 9

Caribbean Days Festival 2014 Coming to Vancouver

Image courtesy of TTCS of BC | Flickr

Image courtesy of TTCS of BC | Flickr

Ready for a taste of the Caribbean on Vancouver’s North Shore?

The Caribbean Days Festival returns to the city for a full weekend of sun, music and food straight from the islands, July 26-July 27.  More than 30,000 people converge on North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park – just next to the Lonsdale Quay – for the largest event of its kind in the province.

The free festival, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, highlights the best of tropical rhythms, cuisine and culture.  It kicks off with a Carnival-style parade on Saturday, July 26 (starting at approximately 10 a.m.).  Costumed performers – many in feathers and skimpy, sequined outfits – strut their stuff down Lonsdale Avenue, grooving to Caribbean beats before turning onto Esplanade and making their way to Waterfront Park.

Action inside the park centres around a free outdoor music festival, backdropped by the Burrard Inlet and gorgeous views of the downtown Vancouver skyline.  Continue reading:
Caribbean Days Festival 2014 Coming to Vancouver