Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vancouver's Bard on the Beach celebrates 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death

The world will be honoring the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's passing on April 23, 2016. Joining in the global celebration is Vancouver's Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, which will stage a classic wake.

Will's Wake, hosted by Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze, joins together members and friends of Bard's Acting Company with Shakespeare lovers for a lively words-and-music tribute at the BMO Theatre Centre in Vancouver's Olympic Village. 

Christopher Gaze
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the legacy of the greatest English playwright of all time," said Gaze. "In 2016, the company is joining the global movement in recognizing the 400th anniversary of his death."

Joining in the April 23 festivities will be the British Consul General in Vancouver, along with honorary guest Vancouver Deputy Mayor Heather Deal. On behalf of Mayor Gregor Robertson, she will officially proclaim April 23, 2016 as Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Day in Vancouver

Will's Wake, which runs from 7-10 PM on Saturday, April 23 in the BMO Theatre Centre, begins with a pre-show hors d'oeuvres reception. Bard revelers will enter the BMO Theatre for on-stage readings and music. Presenters include Gaze, along with Vancouver theatre luminaries Bernard Cuffling and Dean Paul Gibson. Also presenting will be 2016 Bard on the Beach Company members Bob Frazer, Hailey Gillis, Jennifer Lines, Tom Pickett, Kamyar Pazandeh and Andrew Chown. 

The presenters will not only be reading some of Shakespeare's most celebrated words, but some will be performing music during the evening. "We can't think of a better way to honor Shakespeare than by hosting this classic wake," said Gaze. "An evening full of eloquent language and sparked by music." At the end of the program, there will be live music by Jeff Gladstone & The Bad Ideas ("a Vancouver based band of scoundrels and minstrels performing songs about lost love and lost minds"). 

Tickets are $39, with funds going to support Bard Education programs. they're available online or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604.739.0559.

Bard on the Beach is Western Canada's largest non-profit professional Shakespeare company. Established in 1990, the annual festival is in Kitsilano's Vanier Park, located next to Vancouver's downtown core. The 2016 Festival runs June 3 - September 24 and productions include The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Pericles.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook: Save Food, Save Money, and Save the Planet

Victoria, BC freelance journalist Cinda Chavich's latest cookbook, The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook: Save Food, Save Money, and Save the Planet, has been nominated for a prestigious International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Award. Chavich, who specializes in food, wine and travel writing, is an award winning author of six cookbooks -- including The Girl Can't Cook and The Guy Can't Cook. The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook was nominated in the Food Matters category, which celebrates cookbooks that focus on the impact of food choices on personal health and the health of the planet. 
Freelance journalist Cinda Chavich
The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook tackles the global issue of waste on an individual level, advocating that if people are to reduce their own collective food prints, they must focus on diminishing the amount of food wasted in their own kitchens. Chavich is a longtime proponent of sustainable, local cuisine and eco-tourism, and inspired to write her latest cookbook when realizing she could do her part to address one of the globe's most pressing issues. Highlights of the cookbook include: 

  • More than 140 recipes
  • Transforming leftovers into delicious new dishes
  • Storing and preserving fresh foods to make them last
  • Shopping smart when buying in bulk
  • Debunking the myth of composting
  • All about the science (or lack thereof) of 'best/before' dates
  • Six weekly feasts (family sized meals)
  • Tips and tricks to stay on track

"I'm humbled to be nominated by such an important culinary organization and be in such esteemed company," said Chavich. "It's a big win for spreading the word about how we can end the global crisis of food waste by helping people take some easy steps at home to be part of the global solution." The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook was also the recipient of the Gourmand World Food Cookbook Award for Best Sustainable Cookbook in the English Canada competition.

Chavich's cookbook is competing against two others in the Food Matters category: The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Cookbook by the OAEC Collective and Olivia Rathbone and Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) by Marion Nestle. 
That's me on the left with Cinda Chavich on a gourmet kayaking trip in BC's Gulf Islands in 2006

Click on for a complete list of IACP Cookbook Awards Finalists. The winners will be announced on April 3, 2016 at the 38th annual IACP conference in Los Angeles.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

John Lennon's Rolls-Royce returns to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC

John Lennon's Rolls-Royce at the Royal BC Museum in 2011.

John Lennon's "psychedelic" Rolls-Royce has returned to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC. Conservators of the museum squeezed Lennon's massive 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine through the front doors of the museum into the main lobby. It will be parked on public display through April 28, 2016. 

The Beatles rode to Buckingham Palace in this Rolls-Royce to receive medals from the Queen in 1965. But back then, it sported its original color, matte black. 

Two years later, Lennon sent the Rolls to artist Steve Weaver, who designed custom paintwork in a Romany Gypsy style, with elements of the psychedelic era. The car was delivered to Lennon just before the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released. 

The paint that Weaver used was ordinary but very vulnerable latex house paint. The Royal BC Museum monitors the paint condition closely and has done conservation work on the paint over the years. 

BC entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Pattison donated the vehicle to the Royal BC Museum in 1987 after its display at Expo '86 in Vancouver. Since then, it has been on display at various Royal BC Museum special events. It has also been exhibited across North American, most recently at exhibits in Montreal and in Vancouver at the 2015 PNE. The Rolls Royce was selected as one of the Royal BC Museum's 100 Objects of Interest in 2014 (click on to read more details about the Rolls). 

The Beatles arrive at Buckingham Palace in the 1965 Rolls-Royce. Photo courtesy Joe Johnson's Beatle Brunch Club.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

COOL CANADIAN INFOGRAPHIC: The Essential Guide to Skiing the Rockies

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has designed a cool infographic titled The Essential Guide to Skiing the Rockies. The chart includes some of Alberta and British Columbia's best ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies and Western Mountains. Click on for an expanded view

Friday, December 04, 2015

Brightly lit CP Holiday Trains rock the rails in Canada and the U.S. for a good cause

Canadian Pacific Photo
Now in its 17th year, the CP Holiday Train is bringing food, cash donations and awareness to local food banks and food shelves across North America. Two brightly lit Canadian Pacific trains -- one U.S. and the other Canadian -- kicked off their tours in the Montreal area the last weekend of November. They'll be visiting approximately 150 communities along the way through December 19, 2015. 

Canadian Pacific Photo
The Canadian train travels west across Canada, ending in Port Coquitlam, BC. The U.S. Train visits communities in Quebec, New York and Southern Ontario before traveling across the US Northeast and Midwest, returning to Canada for its final "shows" in Saskatchewan and Alberta. 
Bill Watson Photo

Each Holiday Train event features performances by professional musicians performing holiday-themed songs. The shows are complimentary, but patrons are asked to bring cash or a non-perishable food donation. All the money and food donated in a community stays in the community. 

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Cuddy will be on the Canadian train, joined by his son Devin.  Also on the Canadian train is the band Chic Gamin, who will play all the shows in Quebec, offering Francophone performances. Country singer Kelly Prescott is also part of the talent line-up. 

The U.S. Train showcases Canadian country music star Kira Isabella, winner of the 2013 Canadian Country Music Association's Female Artist of the Year. She'll be joined by Wes Mack and Doc Walker. 

For a complete schedule of dates and times, and to see a video of the train, click on the CP Holiday Train website. 

If the train doesn't pass through your community, follow its journey via social media: Twitter @CPHolidayTrain and Instagram @CPHoliday Train. Fans are posting images of the trains and entertainment, and are eligible to enter the Capture the Spirit photo contest to win an exclusive ride on next year's train. Details about the contest may be found on the Holiday Train Facebook page.