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

5 Can’t-Miss Events at Vancouver’s Indian Summer Fest

Photo sourced from Indian Summer Festival

Photo sourced from Indian Summer Festival

The term Indian Summer usually refers to a period of uncommonly warm weather in the fall, when summer’s hot days should be a distant memory.

In Vancouver, however, the Indian Summer Festival happens every July, with a week-long celebration of South Asian arts and cuisine in the Lower Mainland.  Staged at venues throughout the city, this year’s festival features nearly two dozen events that showcase performing, visual, literary and culinary arts from India.

Here are 5 can’t-miss happenings at the 2014 Indian Summer Festival:

A Culinary Tour of Asia by Vikram Vij, July 3Master chef Vikram Vij (of Vij’s restaurant fame) curates a foodie tour of Asia in the intimate confines of downtown’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.  The event features dishes from some of the city’s top restaurants (Blue Water Cafe, Bob Likes Thai Food, Bao Bei, Atithi, Cafe Kathmandu and Vij’s), paired with award-winning wines and signature cocktails.  While nibbling, guests soak up live performances from acclaimed musicians and poets. July 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden; $85.  Continue reading:
5 Can’t-Miss Events at Vancouver’s Indian Summer Fest

Lots of Meat and Lots of Beer: Brewery and the Beast Festival Returns to Vancouver

Photo sourced from Brewery and the Beast

Photo sourced from Brewery and the Beast

Calling all carnivores: Vancouver’s festival of meat is back.

Brewery and the Beast returns to False Creek, July 27.  The outdoor beef-and-beer themed festival is the mother of all summer barbecues.  Chefs from 35 restaurants from throughout the Lower Mainland will be grilling, roasting, basting and baking for hundreds of hungry carnivores.  Meanwhile, local beer, wine and even cider will be available to wash it all down.

At $89, the event is a serious splurge for meat lovers.  Then again, it’s no ordinary barbecue. Continue reading:
Lots of Meat and Lots of Beer: Brewery and the Beast Festival Returns to Vancouver

North America’s Biggest Bhangra Fest Comes to Vancouver

Photo credit: Brendan | Flickr

Photo credit: Brendan | Flickr

Ready to bhangra?

The dance and music style from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan is about to take over Vancouver for the 10-day City of Bhangra Festival, May 29-June 7. The largest event of its kind in North America, the event highlights the infectious rhythms, elaborate and colourful costumes and sultry choreography of bhangra, both traditional forms and creative new interpretations.

Here’s a peek at what’s on tap:

May 29: TransfusionExperience First Nations, Jewish, Hip-Hop, and Garba dancers creating intercultural mash-ups by blending bhangra moves and music with their own indigenous folk traditions. Thursday, May 29 at 8 p.m.; Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodwards (149 W. Hastings); $10.  

May 30: Media Arts MehfilTraditionally, “mehfil” refers to an evening of entertainment in an intimate setting. A twist on the traditional mehfil style, this gathering brings together gifted musicians for playful improvisation. The result is a unique and mesmerizing mosaic of North Indian classical, progressive rock , jazz, funk, Punjabi folk and Caribbean groove. Friday, May 30 at 7 p.m.; Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Avenue); $20. Continue reading:
North America’s Biggest Bhangra Fest Comes to Vancouver

Gypsy Jazz Fest Coming to Vancouver

Django_Reinhardt_(Gottlieb_07301)Ready to get down to some gypsy jazz?

The annual April in Paris festival comes to Vancouver’s St. James Hall, April 25-April 27, celebrating the unmistakeable rhythms and energy of gypsy jazz.  Pioneered in 1930s’ France by the likes of guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, the distinctive music combines a dark, chromatic style typical of traditional “gypsy” music with the swing and virtuosity of jazz.   Continue reading:
Gypsy Jazz Fest Coming to Vancouver