Archive for November, 2013

All that Jazz…..a look at some great venues for live Jazz music.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Vancouver has a very vibrant Music scene and one of the most popular musical joints to visit are the various Jazz bars that are dotted around the area. At the Sunset we do get asked quite a lot ‘Where can we find a great venue for Jazz” so to answer the question we will point you in the right direction here…

Before we get going, one of the reasons we are highlighting the Jazz venues is because of the news that the infamous Cellar Jazz Club run by Corey Weeds will be closing its doors in early 2014 after 13 years of business. This is very sad news for Jazz lovers and its a sad moment in Vancouver as it is yet another long term favorite establishment soon to be gone.

So we encourage any of our guests to check this venue out before its too late, we promise you will not be disappointed.

THE CELLAR JAZZ CLUB – Kitsilano.
One of the most popular Jazz Venues in the city and also run by the great musician Corey Weeds who is known for his award winning Saxophone playing.
Opened way back in 2000 The Cellar has been entertaining the masses 7 nights a week showcasing popular local Jazz musicians and more from the International community. The clubs focus was to highlight the very best of local and Canadian Jazz musicians and in time it has caught the attention of the international Jazz community making it the premier Jazz Venue in Vancouver. It has appeared in ‘Downbeat’ magazine as the best Jazz club for the last 6 years.

Website: http://www.cellarjazz.com/

THE POURHOUSE – Gastown
This venue is fantastic for its famous prohibition period Cocktails, very good food and its decor, the Pourhouse is very much in touch with its turn of the century end of the Victorian era concept, it really embodies the feel, style and look of a building and establishment that was built in 1910.

Every Sunday there is live Jazz that starts at 7pm for you to really soak up the mood and atmosphere of this little Gem in the heart of the Gastown district – the are of which is also a step back in time for us as it is the oldest and most touristic district in Vancouver.

Website: http://www.pourhousevancouver.com/about/music/

THE FAIRVIEW PUB – Fairview/Westside.
Located near Vancouver General Hospital on Broadway this venue host various types of music ranging from Rock to Blues and Jazz.
Jazz nights are every Thursday at a convieniant time beginning at 6pm till 9pm with just a $3 entrance fee. Definitely a venue for the older crowd and Jazz lovers of all ages. Good old fashioned and inexpensive Bar food too.

Website: http://www.fairviewpub.ca/

CENTRAL BISTRO – Denman St – Westend
A great restaurant that is located on the bustling Denman Street area not too far away from English Bay. This is not only a great place to relax and enjoy great food and drinks (great cocktails) it also has some intimate Jazz every Sunday evening – a perfect location to unwind on dark Winters evening at the end of the weekend. It is also a great venue for delicious Brunches too….

Website: http://www.centralbistro.com/events/sunday-jazz.php

Santa Claus Parade, The Nutcracker Ballet and more. Plus a Christmas Cake recipe! (Christmas Events Part 2)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Santa is getting ready for his busy work load next month and that means he will warm up by saying hello to the masses before he gets his head down, to get himself all geared up for festive season he will be paying a visit to Vancouver this Sunday for his annual Santa Claus Parade!

The parade will be happening in downtown Vancouver and it will be starting at Georgia and Broughton St, it will then travel East along Georgia to Howe St, the parade will then turn south on Howe where it will finish not too far away from the Sunset Inn at Howe and Davie St.

As always when Santa is coming to town there will be very large crowds, it is expected that at least 300,000 people will be attending this fab day, 3,500 of these people will be volunteers who will do their very best to ensure that Santa has the best welcome and send off before his duties begin.

Santa really knows how to party, so this year there will be entertainers such as Festive Floats, Choirs to get you in the Festive Cheer, 65 Marching bands and many local community groups participating.
In front of the Vancouver Art Gallery there will be a designated area that will be known as Christmas Square, here you can get your Face Painted, write letters to Santa, Balloon twisting and you can even decorate Ginger Bread men, plus live music to entertain everyone. Once the Parade has finished you should head down to Robson Square Ice Rink where the kids can get their picture taken with Santa

This is also all for a good cause too, there will be a donation drop off zone for the Vancouver Food Bank, the parade has been recognised as one of the leaders for raising fund for the Food bank and since 2004 collected $110,000 and more than 67,380 lbs. of food for families who are in need though-out the Lower Mainland.
It is encouraged that people donate at least a dollar to the Food Bank as this equals to $3 worth of Food for each $1 donation and if you wish to donate food, make sure that it is non perishable.

For further information on the Santa Clause Parade: http://rogerssantaclausparade.com/

THE NUTCRACKER (GOH BALLET)
Probably one of the most famous Ballet’s for the Festive season returns once again to entertain the masses through December.
Prepare to be dazzled by the amazing costumes, choreography and and dramatic set design that the GOH Ballet offers, all danced to the music of Tchaikovsky’s memorable score and performed live by the members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
The story of the Nutcracker will take you on an unforgettable journey of Clara’s dream as it comes to life, you will embark on her magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy, and you will see her battle against the evil mice along the way.

For further information, dates and times: http://gohnutcracker.com/

VAN DUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS – FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

From December 11th 2013 through to January 4th 2014 4:30 to 9 p.m. each evening , except December 25th when the Garden is closed. A magical experience for the whole family with 1.4 million twinkling lights all in the stunning setting of these beautiful Botanical gardens.

Check out their Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kF–83rIjSE

And for further information: www.vandusengarden.org

CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPE
It may seem a tad early to bring out the Christmas cake recipe, but there is a reason! If you like to prepare the cake properly with the appropriate amount of the fine liquor then it is wise that you prepare the cake now, and over the next few weeks add the liquor to the cake between now and Christmas so it turns out great!

Cooking time
Prep:25 mins
Cook:2 hrs, 10 mins Plus cooling
Skill level is easy, Cuts into 12-15 slices
Prepare this fruit cake in advance and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist over the coming weeks for maximum flavour.

Ingredients
1kg mixed dried fruits (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
250g pack butter, softened
200g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
100g flaked almonds
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Buy Ingredients

Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Recipe courtesy of the Good Food Magazine (UK)

Read about the Festive events happening during November and into December. Its never too early to think about Christmas…Part 1

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Ok ok so its still November and we are about to talk Christmas, but for very good reason. Although we all know that the Christmas Season really gets going around the mid December mark in Vancouver the festivities begin to get underway come Mid November.

If you are planning to visit us between now and the end of the December then this blog will hopefully help you plan some festive activities for all the family, we do hope that you get to visit some of these awesome events.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

4th ANNUAL VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 2P1
Fri November 22, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

Now running in its 4th year, this is a fun market to get you all revved up and in the full festive spirit of Christmas. At this market you will get to experience the feel and vibe of a traditional German styled Christmas Market with all the goodies you can expect, with lots of delicious foods, drinks and festive items for you to enjoy!

Website: http://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com

CANDYTOWN – A YALETOWN HOLIDAY FESTIVAL
Throughout the Yaletown District
Saturday November 23 from 12pm – 9pm

Candy Candy Candy all around! Check out the Yaletown district and experience Candy treats like you have never done before, after the success of the Candytown of 2012 the event is returning again this year. At Candytown you will be able to buy some delicious items that will sweeten your mouth-buds you will be able to make your own Candy treats, enjoy sleigh rides, listen to great live music and much much more!!!!

Website: http://yaletowninfo.com/events/candytown/

THE PEAK OF CHRISTMAS – GROUSE MOUNTAIN
At Grouse mountain Ski Hill
Sat November 23, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

A host of activities will welcome you at this stunning location right at the very top of Grouse Mountain, here you will get to see Reindeer’s, Santa Clause, outdoor Ice Skating, Sleigh Rides, Carol Singing and Christmas Movies.

Website: http://www.grousemountain.com/

LUMINESCENCE AT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
845 Avison Way
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 3X8

Thu November 28, 2013 – Wed January 22, 2014

Get into the holiday spirit by exploring this celebration of aquatic light. Gaze at a display of 100-plus origami jellyfish, marvel at an electric eel-powered holiday tree & learn how sea creatures create & reflect light. Take a virtual tour through the depths of the ocean with a deep-dive installation & don’t miss the exhilarating 4-D film Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas. Afterwards, continue the journey to a winter wonderland in Canada’s Arctic Gallery & meet Scuba Claus. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for students, youth & seniors & $14 for children (ages 4 to 12).

Website: http://www.vanaqua.org/

CHRISTMAS AT FLYOVER CANADA
999 Canada Place
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 3C1

Fri November 29, 2013 – Mon January 06, 2014

Enjoy the ride of a lifetime from the comfort of your chair at Flyover Canada – here you will get to see Canada as you have never before with a Christmas twist!

Website: http://www.flyovercanada.com/

CANYON LIGHTS AT CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
3735 Capilano Rd
North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7R 4J1

Sat November 30, 2013 – Sat January 04, 2014

Come visit the worlds tallest Christmas tree at the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Prepare to be dazzled by the thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge & on CLIFFWALK, the Park’s newest attraction. Also part of the fun – a children’s scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the holiday band & glass blowing.

Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

The mountains have a dusting of snow…Time to think about the North Shore Mountain Ski Resorts!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Earlier in the week Vancouver witnessed the very first dusting of snow high up on the peaks of the North Shore mountains that overlook the city. It’s a nice change to see first hand the beginnings of the impending Winter that will be soon upon us in over a month and half’s time, and we do not complain, when the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here, the White fluffy flakes of snow will be falling in abundance guaranteeing the locals and visitors alike some Winter Alpine fun.

In this blog we will give you a detailed look at the 3 popular Ski Resorts of the North Shore Mountains that dominate the Vancouver Skyline and bring in various visitors from all over the world who love to Ski, Snowboard and more….

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
A popular resort for Skiing and especially for those who prefer the more challenging runs then this will be the place for you. Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in the West Vancouver area and is part of the Cypress Provincial Park which is avery popular area for Hiking in the Summer and long distance Skiing in the Winter.

Cypress mountain was also used for certain events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that was hosted between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain resorts, the climate leading up to the games had some worried as the weather was unusually warm leading up to the games which had an impact on the amount of Snow on the hills, as the pack was very very low, it was decided that snow would be transported in and extra time was given for the Snow Making machines to salvage the events due – and thankfully it was a success…huzzah! Cypress hosted all of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions (Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom)

The Ski hill have 53 different Alpine Runs and 19 km cross country of trails which are extremely popular for Snowshoeing. Tours are available for many of these activities.

For further information: http://cypressmountain.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Probably the most well known of all 3 Ski hills, Grouse Mountain sits directly above the city of North Vancouver and is just one Bus Stop away from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Grouse Mountain is a very popular destination all year round due to its well known hiking paths such as the Grouse Grind and its Summer activities at the top of the peak such as the Lumberjack shows, Eye in the Sky (Wind Turbine) Theater & Restaurant.

Skiing on Grouse is certainly the most popular for all ages and abilities, so if you are a complete newbie then this will be the ideal location for you to fin your feet so to speak, some runs are much more gentle than others.

The resort has 26 runs, half of which are lit for Night Skiing and Snowboarding The most prominent run on the mountain is the Cut, one of two beginner runs, which is easily visible from the Vancouver area. It runs alongside the Screaming Eagle chairlift. East of the Cut are several intermediate runs, which take skiers and snowboarders down to the Olympic Express, which accesses the mountain’s easternmost expert runs, most of which originate from the mountain’s 4,100-foot (1,200 m) peak. Grouse Mountain features three green (beginner), 15 blue (intermediate), six black diamond (advanced) and two double black diamond. There is also an Outdoor Ice Rink located in the Village.

For further information: http://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Located above North Vancouver, Deep Cove (a popular area for kayaking in the Summer season) and the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm waterways The resort has 4 lifts, the Mystery Peak Express quad chairlift, Brockton, and Lodge double chairlifts, and the Goldie Lake covered magic carpet. Seymour also offers great Snowshoeing trails that are very popular with groups or just as a solo excursion.

For further information: http://www.mountseymour.com/