Saturday, November 07, 2015

Michael Buble, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean among six inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame 2015

Michael Buble, Musician

Don Cherry and Don MacLean, Hockey Broadcasters
Coach's Corner

Loren Green, Actor
Cineplex Legends Inductee

Silken Laumen, Athlete
Wendy Crewson, Actor

Lawrence Hill, Author
Canada's Walk of Fame 2015 takes place Saturday, November 7 at Toronto's Sony Centre. The event will honor this year's Canada's Walk of Fame Inductees (above) and the Allan Slaight Honour recipient, Shawn Mendes. Presenters for this year's Inductees are:

Trevor Linden for Michael Buble
Rex Murphy for Don Cherry and Ron MacLean
Richard Hatch for Lorne Green
Johann Koss for Silken Laumann
Brian Topp for Wendy Crewson
Molly Johnson for Lawrence Hill

Shawn Mendes, the 17-year-old singer/songwriter and multi-platinum recording artist, will perform on stage at the event. Also on the program is four-time JUNO Award winner Johnny Reid, performing music from his upcoming album (What Love is All About), to be released November 13, 2015. The ceremony, hosted by Jason Priestley, will be filmed for national broadcast on Global and is scheduled to air on Thursday, December 17 at 8PM ET/PT.
Canada's Walk of Fame acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians in the fields of music, science, literature, sports, film and social justice. A series of maple leaf-like stars is imbedded along 13 designated blocks in Toronto, located in front of Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theatre, The Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street and Simcoe Street. The first group was inducted in 1998. To date, 161 Canadians have been honored.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Canada's Best New Restaurants 2015 via Air Canada's enRoute magazine

Bar in Montreal. Photo by Sue Frause.

Each year when when Air Canada's enRoute magazine announces the winners of Canada's Best New Restaurants, my list grows longer. Too many restos, too little time. This year's list contains ten more that I need to experience. Luckily, two of them are fairly near me, just across the border in British Columbia. 

This year's top ten hail from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

So how are they selected? One writer visited 30 nominated restaurants across Canada selected by a panel of food professionals ("expert regional scouts"). Restaurants that opened between late spring 2014 and June 2015 were eligible. Air Canada's enRoute writer visited them all anonymously and the meals were paid for. Here are the winners!


1. Pigeonhole: CALGARY | 306 17TH AVE. S.W. | 403-452-4694 

2. Port City Royal: SAINT JOHN | 45 GRANNAN ST. | 506-631-3714 

3. Pilgrimme: GALIANO ISLAND, BC | 2806 MONTAGUE RD. | 250-539-5392

4. Dailo: TORONTO | 503 COLLEGE ST. | 647-341-8882 |

5. Bar raval: TORONTO | 505 COLLEGE ST. 

6. Annalena: VANCOUVER | 1809 W. 1ST AVE. | 778-379-4052 

7. ADELAIDE OYSTER HOUSE: ST-JOHN'S | 334 WATER ST. | 709-722-7222 

8. yasu: TORONTO | 81 HARBORD ST. | 416-477-2361 

9. Enoteca: WINNIPEG | 1670 CORYDON AVE. | 204-487-1529

10. SOIF: GATINEAU | 88, RUE MONTCALM | 819-600-7643

Restaurant in Vancouver. Sue Frause Photo.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

'Treasures of the Chinese Scholar's Studio' opens at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

A Gathering of Literati handscroll, ink and colours on silk attributed to Qiu Ying (1494? – 1552), but an exquisite 18th century copy Intended Gift of Robin Bassett.
Traditional Chinese culture highly values all things related to the scholar's studio -- where most of the nation's art and literature were created. To appreciate the scholar's studio up close, see the new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Treasures of the Chinese Scholar's Studio opened August 14 and runs through November 15, 2015. 

According to AGGV's Asian Art curator Barry Till, Chinese scholars were the educated and privileged elite -- officials, academics, poets, calligraphers, painters and connoisseurs. "They were highly esteemed," said Till. "Their tastes and artwork had tremendous influence on their country's culture." 

The AGGV's collection of 200 treasures on display gives a glimpse into the life of a Chinese scholar. The exhibition includes pieces from the Shang dynasty (16 to 11 century BCE), to the later Ming dynasty (17 century ADE) and Qing dynasty (early 19 century ADE). It includes many recently donated pieces that have never been previously exhibited. Among the artifacts are the scholars' studio materials, antiques and works of art.

Till says that a Chinese scholar's studio would have been strewn with brushes, inkstones, paper, seals, paper weights, teapots, wine cups, incense burners and paper. "The most important were known as the four treasures, and they were the essentials: brush, ink, inkstone and paper," said Till.

The exhibition includes 20 important ancient inkstones recently donated to the AGGV. Inkstones are the stones used for the grinding and containment of ink. Because the stone affects the texture of the ink, a good inkstone is as important as good ink for serious calligraphers and painters.

Running in conjunction with the exhibition are a lecture and a tour, both included with Gallery admission or membership:

  • The Rocks, Stones and Seals: An Excursion into Daoist Aesthetics. September 9, 2PM. Dr. Jordan Paper highlights the relevance of sealstones, inkstones and rocks as they pertain to Daoist aesthetics upheld by Chinese scholars. 
  • Curator's Tour led by Barry Till. September 30, 2-3PM. 

Monday, August 03, 2015

Go for the Gold! Discover the Past's Gold Fever Trail Walking Tour in Victoria, BC

John Adams of Discover the Past walking tours. ©SueFrausePhoto

I've been on several of John Adams' Discover the Past walking tours, and they're a fun way to explore Victoria and learn more about the provincial capital's history. This summer, Adams has teamed up with the Royal BC Museum, and is offering a Gold Fever Trail Walking Tour. 

Participants will walk in the footsteps of gold rush personalities, plus see some of Victoria's legendary and lesser-known sites that served the miners of BC's gold rushes. Victoria was the port of entry for merchants, prospectors, card sharks, heroes and villains -- and even a herd of camels. 

During the 90-minute walking tour, each participant will take on a real character, making choices that will determine his/her fate. Along the way, you'll hear anecdotes about the colorful people; see some of the city's famous sites in Old Town; and learn how to pan for gold. 

Tours run daily at 1PM through September 6, 2015. Meet in front of the Royal BC Museum at the gold panning trough. Tickets are $15, and may be purchased online. 

To learn more about the Gold Rush, visit the Gold Rush!: El Dorado in BC exhibition now on display at the Royal BC Museum through October 31, 2015. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Vancouver's Raincity Grill morphs into the sleek Beach Bay Cafe and Patio

I was sad to hear of the Raincity Grill's closure in Vancouver's West End. But all is not lost! A new restaurant, the Beach Bay Cafe and Patio, has opened in its space on Denman Street -- just a few steps away from the beach at English Bay. And although I've yet to experience it, the images and descriptions of the new resto have put it at the top of my list the next time I take Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver. 

Now featuring a sleek and contemporary interior, there's also a heated patio for outdoor dining. The executive chef is Scott Korzack, a culinary alum of L'Abattoir. The Beach Bay Cafe's menu features west coast cuisine, ranging from black cod with green tomatoes and grilled cabbage to Carolina gold rice risotto with a soft poached egg, ramps and fresh herbs. The West End restaurant is also a part of Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program, with all seafood on the menu being sustainable. 

Head mixologist Adrian Lindner.
The bar, headed up by mixologist Adrian Lindner (formerly of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise), offers a wide array of cocktails that complement the menu's dishes. Enjoy such classics as a rye Old Fashioned or creative concoctions like the Blanco Sour -- Sauvignon Blanc, lillet, lime, egg white and black walnut bitters. One of my fondest memories of the Rain City Grill is experiencing Burrowing Owl wine for the first time -- it's still one of my BC favorites. The Beach Bay Cafe features both local and global wines, at multiple price points. 

1193 Denman Street, Vancouver
Open Daily: 5-11 PM (future plans include lunch)

Images courtesy Beach Bay Cafe and Patio