Posts Tagged ‘West end’

West End Farmers Markets returns and it is 20 years young!

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

This stunning spell of dry and Sunny weather that Vancouver is happily basking in could not come at a better time for the return of the annual Farmers Markets.
We have a market that is close to the hotel and it is a perfect opportunity to purchase the very best Fruits and Vegetables right from the Farmers themselves.

Farmers Markets are an excellent way to bring the various communities together all over the city, the benefits of such markets is that they bring to your table the most fresh produce than what you would find at a regular supermarket, it also has a great impact on the local community by directly helping them economically so it is a win win all round for us.

Farmers Markets 20th birthday!
The farmers markets began in 1995 and they want you to enjoy their birthday too. To celebrate their birthday they are inviting the public to take part in an Instagram photo competition where you can win $100 in market money. Please click on the link for further details of this Instagram competition http://eatlocal.org/20th-anniversary/ #VFM20 CONTEST

Westend Farmers Market
Every Saturday, 9am – 2pm
from May 30 to Oct 24, 2015 West End Farmers Market, Comox Street

The opening ceremony will be at 8.45am on Saturday May 30th with the Executive Director, Tara McDonald, board member, Eric Patelwith our local MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert running the ceremony. If you have a sweet tooth at that time of day you are in luck – Stick around to enjoy sweet treats one of the earliest West End vendors, John from Cookies by John.

The markets not only sell food but they also sell arts and crafts from local vendors – and here is something new that we are sure will be a huge hit – You can now Sample beer, cider, wine & spirits! This will be provided by BC Wine Studio, Bomber Brewing & Odd Society Spirits handing out samples for opening day. Pick up your favourite bottle or 6-pack!

So if you planning on staying with us, remember that all this yummy produce that you can purchase at these really awesome markets can be brought back to the hotel, we have fully equipped kitchens for you to use and will add to the experience of our Suite hotel, and the true full flavour of the West End!

Farmers Markets: http://eatlocal.org/
BC Wine Studio: https://www.bcwinestudio.ca/
Bomber Brewing: http://www.bomberbrewing.com/
Odd Society Spirits: http://www.oddsocietyspirits.com/

MAY 2015 EVENTS

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Here are some great events and festivals to check out during the month of May.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival – Runs till May 10th
DOXA is presented by The Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver based non-profit, charitable society (incorporated in 1998) devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences.
The society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form through DOXA Documentary Film Festival, a curated and juried festival comprised of public screenings, panel discussions, public forums and educational programs.

Website: http://www.doxafestival.ca/

Vancouver Farmers Markets – Every Saturday at various locations around the city.
Since 1995, Vancouver Farmers Markets have been supporting small BC farms and producers and bringing you the freshest, most local food in the city.
Along the way, they’ve nourished people, connected neighbours, and contributed millions of dollars to the local and regional economy.

Website: http://eatlocal.org/

Mothers Day – Sunday May 10th
Many happenings around Vancouver that will be a sure treat for Mum – Check out the Vancouver Couriers suggestions http://www.vancourier.com/top-10-things-to-do-on-mother-s-day-in-vancouver-1.1871881

Roedde House Jazz Concert Series presents: Braveheart feat. Ted Crosby, James Meger and Omar Amlani – Thursday, May 14
Braveheart is a jazz saxophone trio that explores group improvisation and composition with an obstinate sense of honesty and integrity.

The Roedde House museum is a uniquely restored Heritage house in the heart of the West End. Take a stroll through the peaceful, leafy Barclay Heritage Square; sit under the gazebo or on one of the many benches and take in the sights of Roedde House and its Victorian neighbours, such as Barclay Manor.

Website: http://www.roeddehouse.org/en/activities/cultural-activities/jazz-nights-xbq

Old Money: West of Denman Historical Walking Tour
Sunday May 17, 2015 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Before Vancouver’s upper class elite moved to Shaughnessy Heights, “West of Denman” by Stanley Park, was where many of the “Who’s Who” lived until the First World War. Discover who they were, where and how they lived and what lured them out. This tour also explores the lives of the domestic workers, sellers and nursemaids like Janet Smith. Stroll the streets of the West End to hear fascinating stories about this early Vancouver neighbourhood. Meet beside the Buchan Hotel at 1906 Haro St. (at Gilford Street). $10 cash. Drop-in only.

Website: https://stanleyparkhistory.wordpress.com/

Victoria Day – MAY 18th 2015
Victoria Day is a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25 in every province and territory. It honours Queen Victoria’s birthday.

Spring in Vancouver

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

As the rest of Canada is still locked in the deep cold of Winter, it is looking and feeling more like the end of April in Vancouver. The rains have cleared away and we anticipate that the Flowers, trees and wildlife are going to be waking up from the slumber of the long nights of Winter.

Here we want to show you what Vancouver has to offer during the Spring time – it is one of the most gorgeous seasons as the city erupts in Colour and life!

WHALE WATCHING
Wild Whales Vancouver offer great trips to watch the majestic Whales as they swim through the Georgia Strait. The Whales will be migrating sooner than April when Wild Whales begins its operations so if you travel between Vancouver and Victoria you may catch them.
Beginning in April and departing from Granville Island in downtown Vancouver, the Wild Whales experience allows you to observe Killer Whales and the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable, trip of a lifetime!
Board one of our three vessels at Vancouver’s unique and historic Granville Island. Keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia.
Trips and Rates: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/trips-rates/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
If you visit Vancouver you must visit Granville Island – it is famous for its world renowned Public Market, Artisan Shops and entertainment that includes Theatres, Live buskers and more.
The Granville Island Public Market features a farmers’ market, day vendors, and artists offering local Vancouver goods. There are fifty permanent retailers and over one-hundred day vendors in stalls throughout the market selling a variety of artisan cottage-industry foods and handmade crafts on a rotating schedule – a true jewel in the crown of Vancouver
Website: http://granvilleisland.com/

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
This annual festival for us heralds the fact that Spring is well and truly here, the city looks absolutely incredible once the Blossoms are in full bloom, it is impressively bright and really tells us that the gloom of Winter becomes a distant memory.

Best Places to View Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver
“This is why I live here!” is a phrase many Vancouverites exclaim during cherry blossom season. Each spring, as the rainy season fades, city dwellers pack their sweaters away and are rewarded with one of the world’s most cheerful sites: 40,000 cherry trees bursting with pink and white blooms.

The West End is flush with the Blossoms, Harwood St which is one block South of us becomes quite an impressive site, also, check out Bute St the architecture and the trees make this street look very romantic.
Vancouver’s many parks and gardens are ideal showcases for the beloved trees, but there are also a number of urban places to view these pink beauties.
Queen Elizabeth Park touts several varieties of cherry trees, which bloom at different intervals throughout early March and late April
Stanley Park also has rows of blossoming trees near the formal rose garden and the Japanese Canadian WWI war memorial
VanDusen Botanical Garden boasts more than 100 cherry trees, representing 24 varieties.
Vancouver international Cherry Blossom Website: http://www.vcbf.ca/

BIG BUS CITY TOURS
This is an excellent way to sight-see around the city and to take in all the major attractions. Big Bus have an excellent reputation and the Big Bus staff are incredibly knowledgeable and fun! They offer 1 day and 2 day passes where you can Hop on and Hop off at your leisure. Tickets can be purchased directly at the Hotel, ask the staff about discounts!
Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

SEAWALL, STANLEY PARK AND VANCOUVER WILDLIFE
The Vancouver Seawall is absolutely breathtaking and circles the majority of the Downtown Peninsula and encircles Stanley Park. This area is great to walk around during the Spring as there is no shortage of incredible Trees, Flowers and wildlife to stun your senses. We recommend that you look all around you as there will be Racoons, Geese, Herons that nest in the Spring in the Park and plenty of Birds of Prey and more. We are very lucky to have such stunning nature within this busy metropolis.
Stanley Park Ecological Society Website: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

We also recommend Cycling around the Seawall and Stanley Park, you can get a great deal with a selection of Bikes to choose from using English Bay Bike Rentals – we have discount vouchers at the Front Desk.
English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

SHOPPING FOR THE SPRING SEASON ON ROBSON ST
Robson Street is Vancouver’s main shopping district that connects the West End to the downtown area and is a little over a 10 minutes walk north of the Sunset Inn Hotel.
If you are really up for a good old fashioned spending spree why don’t you go on a Shopping tour? Posh Shopping Tours will help out you out with exactly that, taking you to some great brand named stores and other major Shopping areas that Vancouver has to offer.
Robson St Website: http://www.robsonstreet.ca/
Posh Shopping Tours: http://www.poshshoppingtours.com/

For further tourism information click here Tourism Vancouver: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/

2014 Pride Festival and Parade returns to Davie Village and Fireworks!

Friday, July 25th, 2014

It is that time of year once again when over the next couple of weeks our own Davie Village becomes the main focus for the festivities in Vancouver, its our time of the Summer season where the West End comes alive with the fantastic and colourful Pride Parade, Street party and Fireworks display – ending with a bang over the August long weekend.

We will break down how the events will transpire and what you can expect – we hope that you will join us in all the fun!

Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks July 26th July 30th & August 2nd
As we have written previously at the end of July and the very first weekend of August is dominated by the incredible Celebration of Light Fireworks display that lights up all of English Bay – as well as the Fireworks there is also a huge Music Festival called Shorefest that is located down at our namesake Beach Sunset Beach which is little over a 5 minute walk away from us.

Important Information:
Please click on this link for further details as it explains where the festival is located and any Road closures you may need to be concerned about: http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?p=5642

Pride Festival, Davie Street Party and Pride Parade July 28th to August 4th.
On July 28th Vancouver City Hall will proudly hoist up the familiar Pride rainbow flag to commemorate the beginning of the main festivities – it is a proud reminder of how important this Parade and festival is and how far it has come with recognition and support since the first parade occurred way back in 1978.

Davie Street Block Party – Friday August 1st
Davie Street once again kicks off the long weekend in style with a street party to remember, the 3 main blocks of Davie Village from Burrard Street to Jervis St closes down for the evening for lots of dancing, singing, live music and more – the main event is ticket only and will have booths where you can buy alcoholic drinks, there are also designated areas that are family friendly where there will be plenty of stalls to visit, live music, karaoke and more…..

Tickets for the Beer Garden can be found here – this area is for ages 19 and over only – $10 and available at Little Sisters (1238 Davie Street, Top Drawers (Davie St) – See more at: http://vancouverpride.ca/events/davie-street-block-party-presented-by-barefoot/#sthash.edor7f1a.dpuf

Davie Village Block Party Map:
https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Davie+St+%26+Bute+St,+Vancouver,+BC/Burrard+St+%26+Davie+St,+Vancouver,+BC/@49.2804426,-123.1334252,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x5486722b790e17b9:0x7e5dfa6f45592272!2m2!1d-123.1333493!2d49.2817893!1m5!1m1!1s0x548673d497d96575:0xa77311b3ff332f42!2m2!1d-123.1291853!2d49.2790867!3e2
You can see our location on this map so you can clearly see where we are in relation to all the events.

Pride Festival, Market and Sunset Beach
Celebrate Pride in one of Vancouver’s most beautiful Waterfront parks that is Sunset Beach! Browse through over one hundred exhibitors in our Pride Market, including local artisans, community supporters and non-proft organizations. This is a pedestrian event for the general public to come and enjoy the day, watch live performances on the main stage, sample great food at the food zone and dance to DJ’s in the 19+ Beer garden area. After a hot afternoon cheering on the fabulous parade entries, stroll on down to the Pride Festival Family Picnic zone at Jervis and Beach for some delicious street food and cool beverages. The new family fun zone has all kind of kid friendly events.

The Main event – The Pride Parade and Beach Party Finale.
Join us for one of the most beautiful and diverse parades in the world. The Vancouver Pride parade was granted civic status in 2013 and is one of the city’s largest flagship events.
Attracting crowds of more than 650,000 the Pride Parade is renowned in the international stage as one of the largest and most successful LGBTQ events in the world. Find your place along one of the most beautiful and diverse parade routes* in the world!

* The parade begins at Robson Street (Shopping district) and Thurlow Street, heads west to Denman St and to Pacific then Beach Avenue and finishes at Sunset Beach where the Pride Festival and markets join forces for a spectacular finale.

For full details on the Pride Parade and more click here: http://vancouverpride.ca/events/pride-parade/

Vancouver Pride Parade 2014 Live Stream.
If for some reason you cannot make it to the Parade or just cannot handle the crowds but still want to see the parade there will be a live stream of the Parade as it happens - Click on the clink to enjoy Pride 2014 in real time! http://vancouverpride.ca/live-stream-2014-pride-parade/

Celebration of Light Fireworks and Shorefest at Sunset Beach

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

The Sunset Inn hotel and the West End is getting ready for the return of the annual Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks display.
The first of 3 displays begins on Saturday July 26th with two more following on Wednesday July 30th and Saturday August 2nd which is also Pride Weekend in the district, this spectacular pyrotechnic display that is a staple in the Vancouver Festival calender lights up the sky at English Bay.
The fireworks displays are an actual competition and each year a different country is chosen to create an impressive display all in sync to the music of their choice. Previous participants have used creative ideas such as James Bond theme and The Wizard of Oz film which was fantastic.
This is an event that is by far one of the most popular in Vancouver, and for all those who live in the West End we see this as the true beginning of summer and its time for the West End to show off and party in the gorgeous Summer weather.

Shorefest at Sunset Beach
Not only are we treated to a late evening display there is a live music festival that begins at 2pm down at Sunset Beach which is only a five minute walk away from us. This is a great day out and best of all it is free and runs up until the fireworks display.
The bands are really really good and in the past we have been treated to great live music from well known bands such as The Trews and The Barenaked Ladies to name but a few.
Please click the following link to know what to expect:
http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/artists/shorefest-2014

Celebration of light website:http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Sunset Suggestion and tips!
We always suggest that you head straight down to the Beach via the seawall on Thurlow Street to Sunset Beach and towards English Bay…..you do not have to be right at English Bay to see the display, it will be pretty crazy and crowded and if anything Sunset Beach will be quieter with an amazing vantage point, try and go early as there will be plenty of entertainment to occupy you before the big show shoots into the sky at 10pm.

Road Closures at 4pm
This is a major event in the city, and with any huge event such as this you will have to expect road closures, so, we do strongly suggest that if you do have a vehicle this will be the best day to leave it at the hotel, the West End completely shuts down for traffic at around 4pm, so the streets can let around half a million people migrate through the West End towards English Bay.
Click on this link to see the Map of the event road closures – you will see that we are in the closure zone at Burnaby St and Thurlow St. https://www.dropbox.com/s/b6qx1bwbpgwhpoq/HCOL2014%20FINAL%20Site%20map%20with%20flags.pdf

Natural display rivals the fireworks!
In 2009 during the South African display at the celebration of light, a very rare strong thunderstorm moved over the city and very nearly upstaged the event itself, I believe the footage will speak for itself…..the first is a timelapse of the day which is pretty breathtaking, the second video is the full display itself…enjoy!

June 2014 Events in Vancouver.

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Here are some great events to enjoy during the month of June in Vancouver!

The Vancouver International Children's Festival - This event is actually occuring right now but will end on June 1st
A world-renowned festival of performing arts for young audiences, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival has been educating, entertaining and inspiring young audiences since 1978.
Festival Site on Granville Island
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival moved to Granville Island in 2011, after 33 years at Vanier Park.

Website: http://www.childrensfestival.ca/tickets_and_info/public_tickets.php

The PNE at Playland – every weekend during the month of June.
The PNE has played an important role in the history of Vancouver. From its beginnings as a showcase for the region’s agriculture and economy, it has grown immensely. This growth has resulted in many questions about the fair’s future at Hastings Park. Beginning in 1997, the city has restored a large portion of the park. Many old fair buildings have been demolished and replaced by a more natural character.

Other than the fair, Hastings Park is also the home of Playland, a horse racetrack (which also bears the name Hastings Park), the Pacific Coliseum (an ice hockey arena), the PNE Forum, and the PNE Agrodome. It was formerly the site of Empire Stadium, which has been demolished and replaced with a public soccer field. It is also the location of Hastings Skatepark, a skateboard bowl located to the south of the Pacific Coliseum.

Playland Hours and Admissions: http://www.pne.ca/playland/index.html

Monty Python’s Spamalot – running till June 29th.
Whether or not you’ve seen the movie that inspired it, Spamalot will make you laughalot. Favourites old and new—the Knights Who Say “Ni!” and the Laker Girls among them—appear in this highly irreverent and ironic musical that parodies not only the legend of King Arthur but also well-tread Broadway theatrical conventions. With songs like “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Twice in Every Show,” and “Find Your Grail,” the show will have you looking on the bright side of life.

Running time: Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, including intermission.

Artsclub Tickets: https://secure.artsclub.com/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=8639

The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market 2014 event is located at No. 3 Road & River Road, Richmond, just 1 block from Bridgeport SkyTrain Station. It runs from May 18 to Oct 8 on every weekend starting at 7:00 pm. This outdoor event offers 88 food booths (the largest international food court ever), over 200 merchants & corporate sponsor booths, more than 1,700 on-site parking stalls, free admission, free live entertainment nightly on a top-notch performing stage, games, contests & hundreds of give-away prizes. Come & spend your summer in this fun-filled shopping & eating paradise with us!

Website: http://www.richmondnightmarket.com

Bard On The Beach – Shakespeare Festival 11th June till 20th September
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival was established in 1990 with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest quality
Over the years Bard on the Beach attendance has grown significantly from 6,000 patrons in 1990 to more than 90,000 patrons in 2009. Over a million patrons have enjoyed the Bard experience over its 23 seasons. Its budget has increased from $35,000 in 1990 to $4 million in 2012. The programming has of course expanded from one play to four, and from 34 performances to almost 200 two decades later. In 2003, through a collaboration with Mission Hill Family Estate winery called ‘Bard in the Vineyard’, Bard on the Beach also presented a production in the Okanagan for the month of August.

Through its constantly expanding community outreach, Bard hosts the immensely popular Young Shakespeareans Summer Workshops for youth and teens on site during the summer, and Bard in the Classroom workshops for students and teachers during the school term. Artistic Director Christopher Gaze spreads enthusiasm for the magic of Shakespeare’s plays through frequent guest appearances at corporate, scholastic and private events.

Website: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

Fathers Day – June 15th AND CAR FREE DAY VANCOUVER
Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days.
So get papa top enjoy the Car free day festivals that happen to fall on the same day, click on the link below and see where the Car Free Festivals are happening!

Celebrate with your neighbours at one or all of the festival sites: Commercial Drive, Main Street, West End and Kitsilano (Kits block parties take place Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th).

Car free days: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 4. Parks and play areas.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

To end our series on the West End we will point you in the direction of the numerous parks in the district that you can enjoy. The parks and play areas in the West End vary in all shapes and sizes and appear in areas where you will least expect it, we want to make sure that you can get to enjoy these areas just as much as we do.

Green Space Parks within the West End
As built up as Vancouver seems to be you have to applaud the effort that has been made at integrating the Green spaces that seem to be dwindling from many other cities around the world.
As many people make their way into Vancouver for the first time you would not be wrong in thinking that the city just looks like it is a built up mass of Glass Skyscrapers, however, once you make your way to the West End area all is not what it seems. The West End has really done a great job with the immersion of nature and suburbia and many of the parks have their own unique style and charm, so we will guide you through them by starting with the smaller ‘hidden’ parks to the larger parks more well known parks in the area.

West End Garden Oasis among the Streets and Lanes.
Before we head to the larger parks in the area, take a small wander around the West End and look out for some of the many Bike Paths that connect the small streets to the more larger Streets that criss- cross the area, along some of these pathways you will come across cute mini gardens that are dotted all over the city. These areas are surprisingly cute and are awash with colour and all kinds of Plant and Tree life. These spots are quite good at nullifying the city noise and always have some cute animals going about their business, expect to be greeted by a Black or Gray Squirrel, or even later on in the day a Skunk or Raccoon will likely amble on its way.

One of the closest little gardens that connect the Bike Paths to the Streets in the city is just two very short blocks away on Burnaby St and the cross street of Jervis St, there is a really cute park with a cobbled pathway that is a used for biking as well as pedestrians, this is a stunning spot if you just need a small rest on your travels. It will take a little over 5 minutes to reach this little city Oasis.

Click on this interactive Map and you can check out where the local parks are situated in the West End.
https://www.google.ca/maps/dir//49.28718,-123.132167/@49.2871023,-123.1371274,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m3!4m2!1m0!1m0?hl=en

Nelson Park & Mole Hill
Located just a couple of small blocks away from us & easily reached when you head North on Thurlow St – you will be there in 5 minutes.
After some major redevelopment in 2007 Nelson Park has been treating our local neighbourhood for quite some time now, it looks beautiful at all times of the year, but is particularly striking in the Spring (with blooms) and Fall (with the falling leaves in the park).
At this park you will find a play area for the little kids, some nice benches dotted all around – and one quarter of the park is a dedicated Off Leash Dog park, where the pooches are allowed to be unleashed and run amok without a care in the world.
Mole Hill
Like we had mentioned in previous Blogs, the West End has many areas that are classified as heritage building, well, Mole Hill which is situated next door to Nelson Park is a whole block of Co Op Heritage Houses that have been kept in excellent shape by the people for the people who reside there.
The Alley and gardens are stunning and if you go for a little exploration in the area, you will find that half along the Alley you will come across a small pathway that connects the Alley to Nelson St, here, you will find a cute small creek and a little bench, its a really nice ‘secret’ nook where you can have a small moment among the flowers and trees.
Where? Thurlow St and Nelson St

Barclay Heritage Square
As we have also mentioned in previous blogs Barclay Square is surrounded by some very interesting Heritage Buildings that lets you step back in time at what Vancouver looked like at the end of the 1800s.
whether you are a local or visitor the Barclay Square gardens are among many a really nice and tranquil spot to enjoy all year round. The Gardens are well kept and are inviting for all who wish to laze around and enjoy the natural colours that flowers, shrubs and trees can offer!
Where? Barclay St, Broughton St and Nicola St

Alexandra Park
Just nestled into the corner of the West End where English Bay meets False Creek this corner nook is a great place to watch the ocean without stepping foot onto the sandy beach. You can enjoy people watching here if that is your kind of thing to do, and you can even check out the stunning Bandstand that is the center piece of Alexandra Park. The park has been around for over 100 years and the Bandstand is exactly 100yrs old this year opening up for the public in 1914.
Where? Beach Ave and Burnaby St

Sunset Beach Park
Sunset Beach park overlooks Sunset Beach of course! This just a small 5 minute walk down the steep hill from the hotel, the Park overlooks Sunset Beach and False Creek and is a hit among all the locals here, you get amazing views of English Bay, Bowen Island and some of Vancouver Island from here, and you can also enjoy a play Hockey, kick around of a football or skateboard and Rollerblade in the designated play areas here.

So get out there and enjoy the Green Spaces among the concrete Jungle!

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 2 – Historical buildings of the West End.

Friday, April 11th, 2014

When exploring the West End pay attention to the buildings and architecture that is a mixture of young and old, Victorian among modern era which makes the West End one of the most unique districts that Vancouver has to offer. As you wander around the area you will find an interesting mix which makes the West End stand out very strikingly, it really sets up your imagination where you can wonder what this area actually looked like around the end of the turn of the century, it also coincides with the incorporation of the city of Vancouver (April 6, 1886 – looking good for 128).

HISTORICAL BUILDINGS AND COLOURFUL STREETS
We wholeheartedly encourage you to meander around the suburbs of the West End and more specifically we will guide you to some of the more notable buildings and streets to visit.

Bute Street
This is one of our most favorate streets to walk along as it has plenty of history and some really quirky looking buildings that are awash in colour, at different times of year these properties (specifically Ashby House) are decked out in plenty of festive cheer depending on what event is happening at the time of year. As you wander further along Bute Street you will see some pretty large impressive buildings all the way up till Robson St many of these were built at the turn of the century and were residential buildings for many of the large Corporations that were making homes for themeselves and staff alike, nowadays these buildings are purely residential.

Check out the Google Street-view of this area: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.284092,-123.129884,3a,75y,287.02h,85.53t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sKefKwZHuWqY_B3x2BCwkVw!2e0

Roedde House Museum and Barclay Square
Coming to visit the famous Roedde House which is part of the Barclay Square complex you will immediately find yourself back in time to the late 1800s era. The house is named after the very first Bookbinder in Vancouver named Gustav Roedde and the house was built in 1893
The house is under the property of the City of Vancouver and way back in 1976 it was decided to be placed under the Heritage building list.
The most unique aspect about this museum is the fact that none of the Artifacts are behind Rope or a Glass box – the idea is that you are literally meant to realistically take a step back in time so you experience the House as it was in 1893.

Website: http://www.roeddehouse.org/

Barclay Square Gardens
The Roedde House museum is one of a few properties that are built around the gorgeous Barclay Square gardens The gardens are tended by the city and are open for not only the visitors to Vancouver but West End residents alike. The park opened up in 1985 a year before the Roedde House opened for the public – the reasoning behind the park was to encourage more Green spaces in the already congested downtown core, even though there is Stanley Park which is not too far away and is pretty huge, it is still a nice surprise to find a little Oasis among the smaller older properties and the towering high rises.

The Gabriola House
This was built for a Mr B.T. Rogers who was the founder of B.C. Sugar Refining Co. This Queen Anne style grand mansion, is located on Davie Street and Nicola Street.
This is a gorgeous building that really stands out in the neighbourhood, however unfortunately it is standing derelict at this time with rumours that it will open as a Keg restaurant. Even though the property is currently empty the stunning gardens are still maintained and certainly worth a visit on lovely Summer days.

Heritage Vancouver Society
For further information on the West End historical buildings click on this link:http://www.heritagevancouver.org/topten/2013/topten2013_08.html

ART DECO – Where to look for Art Deco buildings in Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours are promoting the Month of March as Art Deco Month and want to show off the buildings that were built in this style around the city, we will also like to write a little about this as we feel Art Deco Buildings are truly magnificent and really do stand out in the city. Vancouver does not have too many buildings left in this style – but what we do have is truly stunning and each place has its own piece of history besides just the look.

For further information on Forbidden Vancouver, please click on the link below….
Forbidden Vancouver: http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/

Art Deco can be traced back as early as the 1900s with its origins hailing from France, it became popular during the 1920s before flourishing widely through the 1930s and 1940s where it pretty much reached its peak, after the second World War its popularity waned and in time became an historical relic as other modernistic designs and fashion had a greater influence.

Art Deco can be found not only in Buildings but in Art, movies and fashion – if you spend time in coffee shops around the city you can see the influence of Art Deco merging with Abstract inspired works of Art, there are some amazing works hung up on the walls that have images of Vancouver in the style of Art Deco with a more modern twist, an example of this are some works from a local artist called Laura Zerebeski who works at The Beaumont Studios. Laura’s Art is certainly in the flavour of Surrealism yet from what we can see it looks like some Art Deco influence has crept in too….

To see more work from Laura Zerebeski: http://laurazee.com/

The Beaumont Studios: http://www.thebeaumontstudios.com/

Vancouver is home to some exquisite Art Deco designs and the first building that comes to mind is the old Marine Building. Located in the Downtown Core where today the district is now home to the Financial Sector, this building still stands out today (although it is dwarfed by the more modern day glass structures), however, when you do walk by it, you will see the unmistakable design which tells it apart from the other structures in the area and that it is truly Art Deco at its finest.
The inside of the Marine Building is stunning too, there is so much to look out for within this building and it has so much intricate detail that you could spend a few days uncovering the Artwork that is so special and unique to this wonderfully historical landmark in the heart of the city.

The Marine building opened its doors on October 7th 1930 right in the heyday of this popular design and at that time it proudly held the record of being the tallest skyscraper structure within the British Empire, standing at an impressive 97.8m and holding 22 floors the building kept this record until 1939. It would have been quite the sight if you were coming to Vancouver back in the day, as many of the surrounding buildings and structures were no bigger than a couple of storey’s high with a few buildings barely reaching ‘mid level status’ – the few buildings that did were likely built by the big CEO’s of their day as large mansion houses for themselves, staffers and workers that were earning their keep at the various industries of the day.
The building that was originally the tallest prior to the Maritime building as the tallest skyscraper within the British Empire was ‘The Sun Tower’, this too being a very popular building in Vancouver with its distinctive faux-patina steel dome painted to imitate copper cladding, is a structure that is easily spotted from many vantage points around the city – especially if you are looking with your back facing the North East looking at the downtown skyline.
The design of the Sun tower also hails from the influence of French architecture that is known as Beaux-Arts architecture this type of design was very popular from around the 1600s right through to the same era as Art Deco, this can be seen throughout Canada and especially The Prairies with many of the structures being built between the 1900s and 1960s.

Other notable buildings that were built in the Art Deco design are the Vancouver City Hall which reminds me of the Fritz Lang Movie ‘Metropolis’ which was undoubtedly a champion of Art Deco in film – even the Band Queen got in the act when they were promoting one of their biggest hits Radio Ga Ga which used footage from the film and created their stage set courtesy of this movie from 1927.
The Bay Theatre (Starlight Theatre) which was built in the Art Moderne style of Art Deco and is now home to Blenz coffee shop located on Denman Street which is not too far away from us here in the West End.
The Vogue Theatre – located in the heart of downtown Vancouver on 918 Granville Street, the Vogue has been one of the defining architectural achievements in Vancouver since its opening in 1941 (and still entertains the masses to this day) it is a true Art Deco/Art Moderne building.

The Vogue Theatre is a very popular venue and it actually features extensively within the entertainment scene in Vancouver, in our last few blogs we had written about events in March – well take a look at the Vogue as it will be showcasing performances from the upcoming CelticFest as well as many other acts….

The Vogue Theatre: http://voguetheatre.com/

For further information on historical buildings take a look at the Vancouver Heritage Society http://www.heritagevancouver.org/

Events to enjoy in March 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The event season is really beginning to to get going during the month of March, here are some of the highlights to look out for that we feel you will enjoy, we welcome back some regular annual events that are staples of the Vancouver calender, and as always March brings with it a Celtic twist for you all to enjoy and get your Jig on!

CELTIC FEST 10th ANNIVERSARY
When? March 8th-16th
Yes it IS that time of year again when many of us look to our Celtic roots and immerse ourselves in the Celtic culture with Song, Dance and an extra special amount of frivolity as it is done Celtic style.
Celtic Fest is celebrating its 10th anniversary so we are in no doubt that this years shenanigans will be big and you will be treated to 9 days worth of great Music, Theatre and a great Parade to really get you in the swing of things…….it promises to be the biggest and best this year around and we are sure it will be awesome. There will be more details on the big parade down below under the St Patricks Day celebrations….

The Festival will be occurring at various venues throughout the city, please click on the link below for further information…
Celtic Fest: http://www.celticfestvancouver.com/

STANLEY PARK HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS
When? Sunday March 9th, 2014
In memory of E. Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: ‘double-life’) was a famous Canuck writer originally from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ontario. In later life she was a West End resident in Vancouver until her death on March 7th 1913. She was widely known for her written works of poetry and her performances that celebrated her First Nations heritage. While living in Vancouver – she was well known here for her appreciation of Stanley Park and had written various stories regarding the Park, specifically on Deadmans Island and the famous Siwash Rock where her Ashes were scattered after her untimely death to Breast Cancer at the age of 51. Her funeral was noted as one of the largest seen in Vancouver at that time and was held on what would have been her 52nd birthday.

Pauline Johnson will also be remembered at the 17th annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner, we have written more about this event further along the page….

To commemorate her life and works, there will be a walking tour in Stanley Park in her memory and the walking tour will happen come rain or shine – all you need to do is show up with a cash donation of $10 which will go towards the Stanley Park Ecological Society.

Stanley Park History: events, walking tours, exhibits & programs: http://stanleyparkhistory.wordpress.com/

Stanley Park Ecological Society: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

ST PATRICKS DAY
When? March 16th
With Celtic Fest bowing out on March 16th – this can only mean one thing, a finale to end all finales and an excuse to be Irish on the one and only St Patricks Day!
A huge Parade as always will be making its way through the streets of Vancouver with Green and lots of Shamrocks, Green Beer and plenty of Guinness all courtesy of the Celtic Fest Finale and of course St Paddy!

There are some great Irish Bars in Vancouver for you to choose from that will of course be taking part in the celebrations, here is a little information on each of the downtown Irish bars…
The Blarney Stone

One of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Vancouver, the Blarney Stone throws a huge St. Patrick’s Day party on March 17 with green beer, Irish Dancers, full Irish menu, and live music.
This year, the entire street closes down for an all-day party that runs from 9am to 2am on Tuesday, March 18. The event is all ages until 6pm.
Website:http://blarneystone.ca/

Doolin’s Irish Pub
Doolin’s teams up with Vancouver CelticFest for five days of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, March 12 – 17, and includes live bands, Celtic Folk Singers, dancers, Irish food, and more.
Website:http://www.doolins.ca/

The Irish Heather
One of Gastown’s favourite neighbourhood bars, the Irish Heather is a classic location for tossing back Guiness and Irish Whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day!
Website:http://www.irishheather.com/

Ceili’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Vancouver’s largest Irish pub and eatery, Ceili’s celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with live music, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and a huge crowd.
Website:http://www.ceilis.com/home?sid=63178

St. Patricks Day Club Crawl 2014
Aimed at students–tickets are $25 and include transportation between venues–this St. Patrick’s Day Club Crawl starts at downtown Vancouver’s famous Roxy Nightclub or the Blarney Stone and gets you “front of the line” entrance to three more nightclubs (all entrance fees are included in the $25 ticket), plus party favours, prizes and contests.
Website:

Now in its 10th year Gung Haggis Fat Choy is now happening on March 16th.

GUNG HAGGIS FAT CHOY
When? March 16th
A familiar event with an unusual connection – this event marries the Chinese New Year and the celebration of the famous Bard Robert ‘Rabbi’ Burns. Now running in its 17th consecutive year the dinner will not only mark and ring in the Chinese New Year (the year of the Horse), there will be poetry read over dinner not only from the great Bard himself but will pay homage to Pauline Johnson.
Website:http://www.gunghaggis.com/2013/12/24/2014-gung-haggis-fat-choy-dinner-tickets-now-on-sale/

TEDtalks
When? March 17th-21st
The infamous TEDtalks come to Vancouver this month and they are in celebratory mood, TED talks are 30 years old and will be welcoming the masses at the Vancouver Convention centre, we expect the city to be pretty busy for just this conference alone.
Website:http://conferences.ted.com/TED2014