Dine Out Vancouver 2015: Street Food City

January 12th, 2015 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Dine Out Vancouver returns January 16 to February 1, 2015 with more than 70 food-themed events, 25 hotels offering special room rates and packages, a record-setting 277 restaurants dishing up prix fixe menus at $18, $28 and $38 price points. A big part of Dine Out Vancouver over the years has been its events and nothing gets Vancouverites quite as excited as food trucks and unique street eats.

Yolks Breakfast

Tacofino World's Best Food Truck Tour

Street Food City

Now in its fourth year, Street Food City will be a pod of food trucks and mobile vendors centered at the Vancouver Art Gallery from January 19th to January 25th, 2015. Showcasing more than 25 food trucks, Street Food City will be open to the public Monday to Thursday from 11:00am to 3:00pm and Friday to Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

World's Best Food Truck Tour World's Best Food Truck Tour Yolks Breakfast

There will be special Dine Out Vancouver creations and pricing along with tents, tables, seating, and a soundtrack provided by 96.9 JACK FM and LG 104.3 FM daily. Find all the trucks on the north side of the art gallery plaza. Entry is free.

Street Food City Participating Food Trucks

Aussie Pie Guy
Roaming Dragon
Blue Smoke BBQ
Jonnys Crème Brulee
Serious Sausage
Chili Tank
The Juice Truck
Soho Road
Community Pizza
The Kaboom Box
Super Thai
Culver City Salads
le tigre
Taser Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dougie Dog
Mangal Kiss
Varinicey Pakoras
Fat Duck Mobile Eatery
Vij’s Railway Express
Feastro Bistro
Mom’s Grilled Cheese
Yolks Breakfast
Reef Runner
Holy Perogy
Reel Mac and Cheese

Follow Street Food City on Twitter with the tag #StreetFoodCity and for the latest festival information follow Dine Out Vancouver on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, along with the tag #dovf.

SPES Saturday: Putting the Chill Back in Winter

January 10th, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Guest Author

StanleyParkEcologyThis post has been contributed by Kathleen Stormont, Fundraising & Communications Specialist with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End almost a decade ago and I have been a member for two years. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they contribute and share stories with my audience once a month.

Putting the Chill Back in Winter

A lunchroom fridge offers native bees an edge in Stanley Park

A native orchard mason bee pollinates an
apple blossom. Photo by Red58bill, Wikimedia.org

Lunchtime at Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”) can be a tricky affair. A moment of inattention and someone’s grabbing a yogurt container full of mason bees from the fridge, or mixing up their sandwich sprouts with the wild flower seeds germinating in the crisper. With a little forewarning, though, SPES staffers willingly navigate around these fridge obstacles, cognizant of the important conservation role their fridge plays in Stanley Park.

Unlike Vancouver’s increasingly variable winter temperatures, a fridge’s interior provides a consistent chill that’s perfect for animals and plants adapted to cold winters. The larvae of mason bees, for instance, rely on an even cold temperature to keep them “asleep” in cocoons over winter – emerging only with the warmth of spring and blooming flowers. A sudden onset of warm winter temperatures, though, can stimulate the bees to emerge too early when their flowery food source isn’t yet available; a return to regular winter temperatures can also threaten the newly hatched bees’ survival.

SPES works to support these important pollinators by providing them with mason bee “condos” or blocks of tubes in which the solitary bees live. In late fall, SPES volunteers clean out the bee condos, wash any parasitic mites off the bee cocoons, and store the cocoons in the safety of our fridge until spring.

beecondo volunteer
(Left) An orchard mason bee rests on its “condo”. Photo by Michael Schmidt. (Right) A SPES volunteer removes mason bee cocoons from the bee “condo” in late fall. Photo by SPES.

Like many bee species around the world, our blue orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria) are threatened by loss of habitat, pesticide use, and pollen mites. Although we are hosting only a small number of mason bees (about 300), the benefits may be significant: six mason bees will pollinate one fruit tree compared to 10,000 honey bees!

In Stanley Park, the bees work hard to pollinate early spring flowers like our native salmonberries. A single mason bee will visit between 1,600 to 2,400 blossoms daily, and pollinate over 90% of them. SPES’ biggest mason bee collection lives outside our offices on the porch of the Stanley Park Dining Pavilion.

You can visit other mason bee condos in the Stanley Park Rose Garden and in our Native Plant Demonstration Garden.

Keeping mason bees in your own garden is an easy way to promote pollination and support this important pollinator. Learn about mason bees and their care online – and remember to label that yogurt container in your fridge.

About the Guest Author:

This post has been contributed by Kathleen Stormont, Fundraising & Communications Specialist with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Vancouver Fog Photos January 2015

January 9th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Every January and October, like clockwork, a blanket of fog moves in. It bubbles up from Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River, shrouds office towers, and we get what social media users dub #Fogcouver. City lights are dulled by the enveloping cloud while streets become eerily quiet and photographers capture beautiful and haunting scenes.

Vancouver Fog Photos January 2015

WHAT'S MISSING? Somewhere beneath this thick cover of fog is the Pacific Ocean, the city of Vancouver BC, dozens of freighters in her harbour and many  landmarks including Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and the University of British Columbia.
Photo credit: Rosey-Noelle on Flickr

A photo posted by Bon (@vancougarmomma) on

Peek-a-boo 2.....Only the tallest skyscrapers in Vancouver, BC are able to break through the thick fog.
Photo credit: Rosey-Noelle on Flickr

Grounded - 8
Photo credit: Chris Maki on Flickr

Looking Downtown
Photo credit: John Allison on Flickr

foggy Vancouver, from Stanley Park The fog is lifting :) #yvr #bdlife #vancouver
Photo credit: roaming-the-planet & Kemp Edmonds on Flickr

False Creek Morning Fog
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

"Fogcouver.".......for a brief moment this afternoon the fog lifted and a bit of blue sky and sunshine appeared....just in time for the evening hours to begin
Photo credit: Rosey-Noelle on Flickr

Ghosts Ghosts
Photo credit: Greg Herringer & Greg Herringer on Flickr

Fog and Fly
Photo credit: Haroon Bux on Flickr

The Fog continues...
Photo credit: Susanne on Flickr

Foggy night
Photo credit: Susanne on Flickr

2015-01-08 WEst Vancouver Cypress Bowl Fog View-14a
Photo credit: Michael Schmidt on Flickr

Edgewater Casino, foggy
Photo credit: colink. on Flickr

Related: Vancouver Fog Videos.

Yoda the Pug, Mad Dog, and The Real People of Vancouver

January 9th, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I have curated the Miss604 Flickr Pool for the last seven years and I believe that no other animal has piqued the interest of local photographers quite like Yoda the Pug, aka The Red Baron. However upon looking around the corners of the internet to find out more about Yoda, I discovered that his pet parent, Mad Dog — who made his signature sidecar — was even more of a legend.

Yoda ready for action
Photo credit: Norm Lee on Flickr

Mad Dog, referred to as the “Heritage Punk of Vancouver”, was featured earlier this year in a web series about The Real People of Vancouver. This multi-part documentary aims to showcase people who inspire, intrigue, who stand out from the crowd, and who the creators of the series believe should have their stories told.

Still from the Real People of Vancouver video

I started watching a 25 minute clip and within the first 30 seconds Bev Davies began introducing Mad Dog. Davies, a legendary punk rock photographer, is one of my local idols.

The Little Red Baron
Photo credit: John Allison on Flickr

Mad Dog’s is a fascinating story about the city’s gritty past, its punk history, and his one-of-a-kind art.

Every neighbourhood has “that guy”. The kind of crazy looking eccentric you see playing a keyboard with a peg leg or some woman in a cape who sells the most amazing jewelry known to man kind for chump change. In my neighbourhood, Mount Pleasant, just south of Downtown Vancouver, that guy is a bleached-out old punk dude named Mad Dog.

I didn’t know much about Mad Dog when I first saw him around. All I knew was that he rode a old, suped-up motorbike with a side car that held his tiny pug who wore goggles and a black vest. Then Mad Dog came into my work place and noticed my Germs circle tattoo. “You’re a little punk!” he yelled at me. “That band was great.” I was immediately intrigued. Asking around, I found out that Mad Dog was not only an artist who did everything from rebuilding old bikes to revamping baby dolls into Chucky-like sculptures to creating miniature replicas of now-destroyed hotels and clubs in our city, he also used to front one of Vancouver’s early ’80s hardcore punk bands, Slaughter Squad. For a tall can and some smokes, Mad Dog let me come over to his place and listen to his stories of what it was like to be a broke, starving, junkie punk in the days of D.O.A., shooting galleries, soup-kitchen handouts and moneyless freedom.

[Source: Michelle Ford for VICE]
Snoopy! We found him!
Photo credit: on Flickr

Other Real People of Vancouver that have been featured in these documentaries include Ken Foster, #Streetscript, and Mabel Todd. As for Yoda, we don’t learn too much about this adventurous canine but if you spot him around town, you’ll know a bit more about the person riding the bicycle next to him.

Win Tickets to Yoga on the Ice with the Canucks

January 9th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver is a hockey town but it’s also a world renowned yoga hotbed, making this weekend’s Yoga on the Ice event with the Canucks and lululemon even that more fitting. On Sunday, January 11, 2015, Shawn Matthias, lululemon and friends invite you to get bendy for charity. Join them to support the Canucks for Kids Fund for an hour of yoga on the ice of Rogers Arena led by instructor Alex Mazerolle.


The Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to assist charities which support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in British Columbia.

Tickets are available online now for $40, including parking in the Rogers Arena parkade for the duration of the event. The first 100 participants to arrive will receive a special gift from lululemon athletica.

Tips: Dress in layers and bring your game face as just a thin sheet of flooring will separate you from the home ice of your Vancouver Canucks. Bring your own mat and water bottle. Enter via Gate 10 starting at 4:00pm on Sunday and the yoga session will begin at 5:00pm. Culver City Salads will be on site with a selection of healthy salads available for purchase after the session.

Win Tickets to Yoga on the Ice with the Canucks

I have two tickets to give away for Yoga on the Ice on Sunday, thanks to lululemon. Here’s how you can enter to win your way in:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tix to #YogaonIce with @VanCanucks @lululemon from @miss604 http://ow.ly/H4hu2

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 4:00pm TODAY (Friday, January 9, 2015) in order to notify and confirm the winner for Sunday. All event participants (or, in the case of minors, their parents/legal guardians) will be required to sign a waiver in order to participate in the yoga session.

Update The winner is Rita!

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

January 9th, 2015 @ 7:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt
Dream City ~ Vancouver, B
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green below.

Friday, January 9, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Friday Late Night Movies at the Rio Theatre
Eros and Thanatos Featuring Nomi Chi & Pandora Young Opening Reception
Opening Reception: Gallery Gachet Annual Members Show

Pacific Theatre Presents: Underneath the Lintel
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily at Jericho Arts
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Saturday, January 10, 2015
Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey
My Dream Wedding Show
Vancouver Wedding Show
JUNO Award Winning Multi-Instrumentalist Gabriel Mark Hasselbach
Jonathan Tessero Conducts VSO Pops: In the Mood for a Melody
Stand Up for the Little Guy Comedy Showcase
Pacific Theatre Presents: Underneath the Lintel
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Sunday, January 11, 2015
Free Golden Globes Viewing Party at the Rio Theatre
Vancouver Wedding Show
No Pants SkyTrain Ride
Cultured at Graze Restaurant
Nancy DiNovo and Stephen Smith, Sonatas by Brahms and Fauré
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily at Jericho Arts
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2015

January 8th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival returns this month as over two dozen local purveyors offer up almost sixty delightfully tasty and creative cocoa concoctions that you can order between January 17th and February 14th.

Photo credit: stephbond on Flickr

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, gelato and ice cream shops draw on their talent and imagination to create the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.

Organizers sent out a list of trends and some of the most unique flavours you’ll find this year which include salted caramel, Earl Grey tea and coconut. Ready for something a bit more adventurous? Mink Chocolates will incorporate crickets; Soirette will stuff one of their drinks with hints of potato, sage and cinnamon; Koko Monk Chocolates’ “Mona Rosa” will have chocolate, anise and bay leaf; also look for apple cider and scotch, wasabi, and even more twists on hot chocolate.

Traditional, high quality favourites like Bel Cafe, Thierry, Thomas Haas and Chocolate Arts are back this year along with new participants such as 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, Butter Baked Goods, Diva at the Met, Chez Christophe, and Glenburn Soda Fountain and Cafe.

Bella Gelateria and Schokolade Artisan Chocolate will serve up scoops of gelato and Lauren Mote will be shaking up chocolate cocktails incorporating Bittered Sling bitters at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar.

Profits from festival sales will be donated to The PHS Community Services program for Downtown Eastside women’s employment and job skills training programs, as run by East Van Roasters.

Look for the new self-guided walking map online, which will be available after January 17th and read up on the Social Media Contest. Follow CityFood Magazine on Facebook and Twitter with the tag #HotChocolateFest for Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival updates.

In Conversation With Sandra Oh at The Cinematheque

January 8th, 2015 @ 11:41am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Cinematheque presents Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, starting January 8th and running until January 18th, featuring the best Canadian films from the last year. Established in 2001 by the Toronto International Film Festival, this celebration of excellence in our national cinema showcases Canadian achievements in both feature-length and short-form films.

The festival also includes a special onstage conversation with award-winning film and television actress Sandra Oh (Double Happiness, Sideways, Grey’s Anatomy) on January 18th at The Cinematheque.


In Conversation With Sandra Oh

At TIFF’s first-ever presentation of its popular In Conversation With event series in Vancouver, TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey will sit down with Sandra Oh, as well as Vancouver filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, to talk about Oh’s career and her upcoming animated feature with Fleming, Window Horses.

What: In Conversation with Sandra Oh
When: Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 6:00pm
Where: The Cinematheque at 1131 Howe Street in Vancouver
Tickets: $21 online. Cinematheque membership not required. No passes accepted for this special event.

Sandra Oh grew up in Ottawa and studied at Canada’s National Theatre School in Montreal. She is celebrated for her Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award-winning work on the popular TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, and for her work in groundbreaking independent films from both sides of the border, including Mina Shum’s Double Happiness and Alexander Payne’s Sideways.

Win Tickets

I have a very special opportunity to give away a pair of tickets to In Conversation With Sandra Oh at The Cinematheque. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite Sandra Oh character or quote (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to see Sandra Oh at @TheCinematheque during #TIFFCTT from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/H0Xt6

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Follow The Cinematheque on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winner is Karen!