5 Must-See Shows at Vancouver’s aboriginal culture fest: Talking Stick 2016

Image from fullcircle.ca

Image from fullcircle.ca

Slam poetry. Independent films. Original theatre and dance. And one powwow to remember.

The best of aboriginal art and culture is coming to Vancouver this Feb. 18-Feb. 28 as part of the 2016 Talking Stick Festival. Staged at venues throughout the city, from night clubs to community centres, the festival puts the spotlight on emerging and established indigenous artists.

For anyone seeking perspective on contemporary aboriginal culture in Vancouver and beyond, Talking Stick is a rare window into a world of rich history and cutting-edge art. Here are five can’t-miss events this year:  Continue reading:
5 Must-See Shows at Vancouver’s aboriginal culture fest: Talking Stick 2016

5 Can’t-Miss Speakers at TED2016 in Vancouver, Feb 15-19

Photo credit: Danny Robinson | Flickr

Photo credit: Danny Robinson | Flickr

Some of the brightest minds on the planet are converging on Vancouver (again).

TED, the conference known for its inspired 18-minute speeches on “ideas worth spreading,” returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre for the third year, this Feb. 15-Feb. 19.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, premiered 30 years ago and has since become a global phenomenon. To date, TED talks – on just about every topic under the sun – have attracted more than 1 billion views online.

Tickets to the TED2016 conference itself require a full written application (think university admission essay) and price in at $8,500 a pop. But – luckily for the rest of us – talks are also simulcast live to community centres, schools and other venues throughout the city (full list TBD, but here’s a rundown of venues from last year).

The theme for this year’s TED is Dream! In the words of organizers, the conference is “dedicated to great feats of imagineering, invention, innovation … and the courageous dreamers who can bring us with them on their journey.” Here’s a sneak peek of five of the biggest name dreamers coming to TED2016. (The times below indicate the window during which the individual is set to speak.)

Al Gore: The former US Vice President, nobel laureate and global-warming whistleblower takes the stage as part of a series of presentations ominously titled “Nightmare?” Gore is determined to take a hard look at the challenges posed by climate change, while also encouraging us to move toward real solutions. No word yet if he’ll discuss the time he invented the Internet. Wed., Feb. 17, from 5 p.m.-6:45 p.m. 
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5 Can’t-Miss Speakers at TED2016 in Vancouver, Feb 15-19

5 Can’t-Miss Free Events for Chinese New Year 2016 in Vancouver

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Kenny Louie | Wikipedia

Ready to ring in the Year of the Monkey?

This year, the Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Monday, Feb. 8. Traditionally, people born in a year of the monkey are said to be intelligent, but also a little mischievous and naughty. They’re masters of practical jokes and enjoy playing more than working.

Vancouver itself is getting ready for some serious monkey business in celebration of the New Year. Chinatown will see festive expos and parades, while Lunarfest brings the party to the heart of downtown. Here are a few can’t-miss free (or almost free) events this year:

  • Year of the Monkey at International Village MallFestivities get underway with a four-day celebration of Chinese culture inside the International Village Mall in Chinatown. Parts of the mall will be transformed into a traditionally decorated Chinese village, and visitors can also enjoy live cultural performances and authentic New Year foods. Feb. 11-Feb. 14 at International Village Mall

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5 Can’t-Miss Free Events for Chinese New Year 2016 in Vancouver

34,100 people voted on Metro Vancouver’s best Chinese food: Here are the results

Photography by Sherman's Food Adventures

Photography by Sherman’s Food Adventures

Metro Vancouver is known for having some of the most authentic Chinese food this side of Beijing. But with literally hundreds of restaurants serving countless variation on regional cuisine, how do you know where to start?

Well, this list is a good place. The results of the 2016 Chinese Restaurant Diners’ Choice Awards are in. More than 34,100 people cast their votes as part of the annual awards competition. They voted on 21 different restaurant categories, everything from best Cantonese restaurant and best food court stall to best barbecue shop and bakery.

In addition, this year a special “Iconic Dishes” division was added to the awards. Diners were tasked with identifying the top spots to order five regional dishes considered iconic to particular parts of China: braised pork rice from Taiwan, roast duck from Hong Kong, drunken chicken from Shanghai, mango sago from South China and water-boiled fish from Sichuan.

In one popular category – best barbecue shop – the results were pretty much a forgone conclusion. Richmond’s H.K. BBQ Master again took home top honours, as it has done every year in recent memory.

Here’s the full list of winners of the 2016 Chinese Restaurant Diners’ Choice Awards: Continue reading:
34,100 people voted on Metro Vancouver’s best Chinese food: Here are the results

5 Comedy Icons Coming to Vancouver’s JFL Northwest Fest this February

Image from JFLNorthwest.com

Image from JFLNorthwest.com

This February, some of the biggest names in comedy are coming to Vancouver.

The inaugural JFL Northwest Festival rolls into town Feb. 18-Feb. 27. The 10-day blowout, at venues throughout the city, highlights some of the planet’s best-known standup comedians, as well as emerging talent from Canada and beyond. Plus there’s plenty of improv and sketch comedy, not to mention family-friendly events.

Here are five huge standup icons who will be gracing Vancouver stages as part of the festival and in its lead-up this month:

Trevor Noah: The new host of The Daily Show is possibly the hottest act coming to JFL Northwest. Noah, who hails from South Africa, is known for his razor sharp analysis of American culture and world affairs. He manages to bring out the absurd on subjects as diverse and seemingly unfunny as racial tensions in America, terrorism and even the Ebola crisis. Feb. 19 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre; starting at $39.50

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5 Comedy Icons Coming to Vancouver’s JFL Northwest Fest this February