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

Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

1_33Acres

Photo from the 33 Acres website

With a comprehensive offering of local ingredients, a notable desire to support local, and evolving provincial liquor laws, Greater Vancouver has seen a surge in microbreweries that shows no sign of slowing down.

Recent government announcements have unveiled plans to phase in the sale of beer, wine and spirits in British Columbia grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as new regulations around happy hour and larger site licenses at music festivals. These developments have seen provincial market shares for artisanal beer double over the past four years, with industry experts forecasting a count of more than 80 active breweries by the end of 2014.

With this, visitors and residents of Vancouver have an inspiring selection of local suds, with many incorporating tasting rooms, growler shops and the inclusion of local food trucks offerings.

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Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

Pirate Pak Day for Adults Coming to White Spot, Aug. 13

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

Photo credit: Rick Chung | Flickr

It’s the one day of the year when adults – with a straight face – can order a Pirate Pak.

On Wednesday, August 13, White Spot is holding its annual Adult Pirate Pak Day. Normally just for the kiddies, the special meals packed with fast-food goodness will be available to everyone, for one day only.

For the uninitiated, a Pirate Pak is basically a kids meal, laid out inside a paper boat with a paper sail supported by a straw. On the deck of the boat, there’s a spot for a burger, fries, coleslaw and a soft drink.  A scoop of ice cream goes into the prow and, of course, there’s the pirate treasure: one solid gold (er … chocolate) coin.

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Pirate Pak Day for Adults Coming to White Spot, Aug. 13

Scandinavia in Vancouver

Midsummer 2014, photo by

Midsummer 2014, photo by Randall Peterman

It’s the time of year for beaches, popsicles, fresh cherries, and the summer feature embraced by all: vacation time.

For some, this means assembling travel essentials of an exotic nature like passports, water purification tablets and translator apps. Upcoming 5am wake up calls sing in the distance with sweet promises of crowded airports and jetlag.

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Scandinavia in Vancouver

Hungry? Free Indian Feast (for 20,000 people) in Vancouver for Chariot Day

Photo sourced from vanchariotfestival.com

Photo sourced from vanchariotfestival.com

Does free, authentic Indian food in a waterfront park in downtown Vancouver sound like your idea of a fun Sunday afternoon?

The Chariot Fest of India returns to Vancouver on Sunday, Aug. 10, with a parade of colourful, over-the-top floats and costumed Indian dancers followed by a free festival (and free lunch for about 20,000 people) at Stanley Park’s Second Beach.

Now in its 41st year, the Chariot Fest – also known as the Jagannath Rath Yatra – is a Hindu celebration that involves transporting massive deities on chariots. According to the authorities at Wikipedia: “The rath (chariot) is carrying Lord Jaggannath and due to its massive size and weight and sometimes seemingly unstoppable nature, has led to the English word juggernaut … ”  

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Hungry? Free Indian Feast (for 20,000 people) in Vancouver for Chariot Day