Summer is here and that means patio season! Joe Fortes held a patio party last week to officially open their rooftop garden patio, complete with bar, and to celebrate Joe Fortes' 30th anniversary! It was a full house with lots of delicious food to go around!



Mmm number one in my books! Fresh shucked oysters at Joe Fortes. I always love going to their happy hour. They have buck-a-shuck every day from 4 to 6 p.m. and a discount on the bar menu - the patio bar applies!

Dungeness crab cones
 Mmmm.

Miso marinated sablefish
One of the best dishes you can order at Joe Fortes is the Miso Marinated Sablefish. These tasty morsels were practically inhaled; they disappeared the instant they were brought out!

Crab & Corn Fritters


Halibut burgers

There was a Build Your Own Taco station as well as a Make Your Own Margarita station.


Thai Chicken Drumlettes
I know Joe Fortes is a seafood place but these Thai Chicken Drumlette were amazing! So delicious. Not part of the regular menu unfortunately. But it is part of the blue plate special!

Desserts rounded up the evening.



Happy 30th birthday, Joe Fortes!


Disclosure: I was invited to take part in the JFSummer Patio Party. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.


Vancouver

Chasing Sunrise x Canada Day
Meeting at 3:10AM. Taking off from the lot at 3:30AM sharp. 
Mount Seymour overnight parking lot (1700 Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver BC)
100s of Canadians standing on the edge of the world, anticipating sunrise after an hour long hike through the pre-dawn wilderness. The silence of the morning surrounding them. From the back, a voice begins to sing out "O' Canada..." and within seconds, her voice is echoed by the 100s around her, all joining in to kick Canada Day off like it's never been done before! Their passion, their pride, their appreciation for what this country has given us travelling down from the mountains across the Vancouver landscape... This is going to be a Canada Day you will never, ever forget.

Canada Day Celebration on Granville Island
9:00am - 8:00pm 
1:30pm – 2pm 16th Annual Canada Day Parade, Starting at Ocean Construction and ending at Ron Basford Park
 2pm – 2:30pm Official Canada Day Ceremony at Ron Basford Park, Johnston Street Vancouver BC Get your flags ready! Canada Day is on its way again and as always we’ll be throwing the best party in the city! With free jazz performances courtesy of Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, face painting, roving characters, tattoos, a parade, and more, this is a birthday bash that everyone can enjoy! We’ll be posting all the event details on the website soon, so stay tuned and make sure you save the date; July 1st on Granville Island is an event you don’t want to miss!

Canada Day Run & Celebrate at Wesbrook Village
9:30am - 2:00pm 
Wesbrook Village, 3378 Wesbrook Mall, UBC, Vancouver
Celebrate Canada Day with the UNA and Wesbrook Running Room! Food, live music, fitness, dance classes, and Kids Zone with bouncing castle, face-painting, crafts, and much more!  If you are looking for a sportier way to celebrate Canada Day, sign up for the Kids Run, 5K Run, or 10K Run through Pacific Spirit Park! Run requires registration and fee. Activities are free!

Canada Day at Royal Canadian Mint
10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
752 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1E4
The Royal Canadian Mint invites family and friends to celebrate Canada Day with us. Strike your very own Canada Day Souvenir token!!! See you at the Royal Canadian Mint, July 1 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Canada Day at Canada Place 2015
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4
Canada Day at Canada Place presented by Port Metro Vancouver returns for its 28th year, inviting locals and visitors to celebrate the country’s birthday with a daytime event, parade and fireworks show. Highlights include live music and dance performances with popular acts including Hannah Georgas, The Hairfarmers and Watasun, and interactive activity zones featuring food carts, street hockey, an armed forces display, Salty’s Fun Zone and a circus show.

Vancouver Convention Centre Open House
10:00am - 6:00pm 
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver BC, West building
You are invited! The Vancouver Convention Centre is hosting an Open House in its West building on Canada Day. Explore the world’s first LEED® Platinum-certified convention centre, home to the renowned TED Conference and other exciting events from around the globe. Learn about the facility’s many “unconventional” features including its marine habit and six-acre living roof; learn about the convention and meetings business; and participate in fun family-friendly activities.

Vancouver FIFA Fan Zone
June 6 – July 5 June 6, 12pm - 7pm 
Larwill Park, Vancouver 
Let’s celebrate the beautiful game together, Vancouver! The City and FIFA invite you and your family to join us at the Fan Zone in downtown Vancouver at Larwill Park during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM, June 6 – July 5. This free, family-friendly soccer-celebration destination has been created to welcome the world and share the spirit of the World Cup with Vancouverites and visitors alike. The Fan Zone is open: June 27, July 1 (Canada Day), July 4, and July 5.

Nike #NOMAYBES Soccer Experience
Wed - Sunday, 12pm - 6pm
CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre, 775 Cambie Street
The Nike Underground, a unique pop-up experience in downtown Vancouver that enables soccer-obsessed fans and players to experience the latest soccer innovations the brand has to offer and take part in a fast-paced, small-sided tournament.

Crab Park July 1st Festival 
1pm - 4pm 
Crab Park at north foot of Main Street, Vancouver BC
Come enjoy a FREE outdoor concert at Vancouver's hidden oasis Crab Park July 1st from 1pm to 4pm! 33 years ago Northern Electric Sound's Ian Tiles (Pointed Sticks, Stingin' Hornets, The New V2's) performed there when Don Larson and his CRAB Water For Life Society first fought to have a waterfront park in the Downtown Eastside. They celebrate their victory and the park every July 1st.

Canada Day Parade
7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Starts at Georgia & Broughton Street, Vancouver
The 7th annual Canada Day parade presented by Port Metro Vancouver takes place at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 1. Catch the parade starting at Georgia & Broughton Street moving eastbound, left onto Burrard Street and ending at West Pender.

Canada Day Fireworks
10:30pm
Vancouver’s only two-barge simultaneous pyrotechnic extravaganza. Watch as the sky lights up in celebration of our nation’s birthday! The two fireworks barges are located in Coal Harbour and Dundarave in West Vancouver. Best viewing locations include: Hudson's Bay Fireworks Viewing Zone at Canada Place Harbour, Green Park Coal Harbour, Stanley Park (9 o'clock gun), Crab Park, West Vancouver Seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave, and North Vancouver, Lower Lonsdale Area. Fireworks are not viewable from English Bay or Kitsilano. Limited viewing at Jack Poole Plaza.




Richmond

Steveston Salmon Festival
6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
around Steveston Community Centre, 4111 Moncton St, Richmond BC
The 70th Annual Steveston Salmon Festival – “Canada’s biggest little birthday party” – will celebrate our nation’s birthday and the local heritage of the village of Steveston. The Festival’s main attractions are the Canada Day parade, and the famous salmon bake, which serves wild sockeye salmon expertly cooked over open alder wood fire pits. It is a fun filled day of live entertainment, trade, art, craft shows and many fun activities for children and youth. The day starts early at 6:30 am with a pancake breakfast. The children’s bike parade takes off at 9:30 am, followed at 10:00 am by the big Canada Day parade which includes floats, marching bands, celebrities, politicians, community groups, vintage vehicles & much more.

Ships to Shore Steveston 2015
Noon - 7:00 p.m.
Imperial Landing and Britannia Shipyards, National Historic Site in Steveston - just east of Bayview Street and No. 1 Road, along the Steveston boardwalk, Richmond, BC.
Ships to Shore, which coincides with the Steveston Salmon Festival will make Steveston village come alive with free events and activities for the whole family. Ships will be anchored along the Steveston waterfront at Imperial Landing and Britannia Shipyards, National Historic Site. The event site is just a few minutes walk from Steveston Park, home of the Steveston Salmon Festival, Canada's biggest little birthday party. There will be something fun to do for everyone. Free public viewing, on-board tours and other activities. Canada Day fireworks show at 10:15 p.m. Dragon boating demonstrations, food trucks and a wooden boat show. Expand the fun by visiting the Steveston Salmon Festival, one of the region's most popular and longest running Canada Day celebrations on Wednesday, July 1.




Burnaby

Canada Day Celebration at Edmonds Park
11am-2:30pm 
7433 Edmonds Street, Burnaby, BC 
Celebrate Canada Day in festive style outdoors at Edmonds Park. It’s a fun day of free family activities, face painting, music, arts and crafts, the ever popular bingo, cake, amazing multi-cultural entertainment as well as a special performance by Canadian children’s performing icon Charlotte Diamond and more. Event runs from 11am-2:30pm, Edmonds Park is located behind the Edmonds Community Centre in southeast Burnaby.

Burnaby Village Museum
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM 
Burnaby Village Museum 6501 Deer Lake Ave Burnaby, BC 
It's a Party! Burnaby Village Museum hosts Burnaby's Official Canada Day celebrations offering visitors the backdrop of its 1920s village streets, multi-cultural family entertainment including musicians, displays & demonstrations. Admission is free. Heritage games, official parade, red velvet cupcakes will be served. Be sure to bring your cameras and pose for a picture at one of our many photo stops or with members of the Burnaby RCMP detachment, in their splendid red serge uniforms.

Canada Day concert at Swangard Stadium
Doors: 5pm, Show: 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Swangard Stadium, 3883 Imperial Street (Kingsway & Boundary Road) Burnaby, BC
Burnaby’s premier Canada Day concert is coming to Swangard Stadium! Don’t miss Burnaby’s free family Canada Day event. Enjoy activities, face painting, festive characters, and community tents with games, prizes and giveaways. Performances by 54-40, Jon and Roy and Mostly Marley, followed by a fireworks display, presented by G&F Financial Group.




Surrey

Surrey Canada Day
10:00am to 10:30pm
Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176 Street & 64th Avenue, Surrey, BC Canada 
Over 100,000 people celebrate Canada's birthday in Surrey. Our festival features outstanding musical acts, the Shooting Stars Midway, great food, and plenty of interactive activities for all ages. Be sure to stay all night and experience the Fireworks Finale.

Fireworks Spectacular
10:30 p.m.
The spectacular Surrey Canada Day fireworks display will light up the sky again this year and will close out a day filled with Canadian pride. For the best view of the fireworks, we recommend being on the field of the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheater, looking above the Chevron Mainstage.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Nike #NOMAYBES Soccer Experience
Wed - Sunday, 12pm - 6pm
CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre, 775 Cambie Street
The Nike Underground, a unique pop-up experience in downtown Vancouver that enables soccer-obsessed fans and players to experience the latest soccer innovations the brand has to offer and take part in a fast-paced, small-sided tournament.

Vancouver Buskerfest
Friday June 26th to Sunday June 28th. Noon to 9pm Daily
Along Granville St from Smithe to Dunsmir
Watch astonishing and Diverse Street performers from all around Vancouver and all around the globe deliver comedy, circus, music and mayhem on Downtown Vancouver's main street.

Urban Digs Farm's Summer Kick-off Party
Friday, 26 June 2015 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Urban Digs Farm 4992 Byrne Rd Burnaby, BC V5J 3H9
Join Urban Digs Farm as they celebrate the start of summer and opening of their NEW butcher shop and farm stand! Admission includes a boozy or non-boozy beverage, entertainment and a farm tour. The Tishomingo String Band will keep the party going with their barn burning instrumentals. Reup BBQ will be working their magic on local, organic chicken, their world famous biscuits & gravy and we'll have some delicious coleslaw made with local organic cabbage too.

Shipbuilders' Night Market
Friday Nights 5-10pm - 2015 from May 1st to Sept 25th 
Shipbuilders' Square, 138 Victory Ship Way V7L 0B1 North Vancouver 
Food, art, music entertainment and shopping. On the Shipbuilders' Stage there is live music going until 10pm, showcasing talent from all over BC. The Friday Night Market also includes a Beer Garden that features local craft beer and ciders on tap. The Shipyards Night Market showcases BC's artisans, bakers and farmers. Products include; jewelry, clothing, kids wear, bakers, produce, preserves, soaps, organic meats, honey, plants, chocolate and many more must have handmade products. Don't eat dinner before you come to the Night Market, as there are at least 20 food trucks in "hot food alley" selling unique and delicious locally made food.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Vancouver FIFA Fan Zone
June 6 – July 5 June 6, 12pm - 7pm 
Larwill Park, Vancouver 
Let’s celebrate the beautiful game together, Vancouver! The City and FIFA invite you and your family to join us at the Fan Zone in downtown Vancouver at Larwill Park during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM, June 6 – July 5. This free, family-friendly soccer-celebration destination has been created to welcome the world and share the spirit of the World Cup with Vancouverites and visitors alike. Musical performance by Pacifika at 5pm. The Fan Zone is open: June 27, July 1 (Canada Day), July 4, and July 5.

Nike #NOMAYBES Soccer Experience
Wed - Sunday, 12pm - 6pm
CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre, 775 Cambie Street
The Nike Underground, a unique pop-up experience in downtown Vancouver that enables soccer-obsessed fans and players to experience the latest soccer innovations the brand has to offer and take part in a fast-paced, small-sided tournament.

Vancouver Buskerfest
Friday June 26th to Sunday June 28th. Noon to 9pm Daily
Along Granville St from Smithe to Dunsmir
Watch astonishing and Diverse Street performers from all around Vancouver and all around the globe deliver comedy, circus, music and mayhem on Downtown Vancouver's main street.

Meet The Maker Xoxolat - Fresco 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015 from 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Xoxolat 1271 Homer St Vancouver, BC V6B 2Y9
Learning is more fun with Chocolate! Come taste the difference the maker makes! Through his small-batch processed chocolates, Rob Anderson, Engineer by day & Chocolatier by night will be demonstrating how roasting & conching affect overall experience of chocolate.

SFU Anime Summer Festival
Saturday, 2pm - 9pm
SFU Burnaby Convocation Mall
The Summer Festival is an annual event held in the Convocation Mall at SFU Burnaby Campus. Hosted by SFU Anime, the festival gives anime fans a chance to check out artist booths, food vendors, games, and stage events all in the style of the “matsuri” summer festivals you may have seen in some of your favourite series. The event has been a huge hit since it began four years ago, and we’re expecting this year to be better than ever.

Plaza of Nations Saturday Concerts
Every Saturday, 5pm - 10pm 
750 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7
Starting this Summer Plaza of Nations will be transformed into a brand new Concert series at the best Venue in the city! Come and enjoy your favorite local food trucks and jam out to some awesome local music and kick back in the outdoor beer garden located in the heart of the market. Artist on June 27th: MOSTLY MARLEY

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Just For Cats: Internet Cat Video Festival - $11 adult
Sunday, June 28th, 5 Showings: 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM
VIFF/Vancity Theatre 1181 Seymour Street 
Tickets: $11 adult, $9 seniors/students, $5 for children under 16 years old, VIP showing: $25 Meet super-cute BC SPCA kittens! Express your inner cat! Free Henrik Sedin posters! And so much more! Proceeds support the BC SPCA and the CFHS.

REV.local - $2
Sunday June 28.2015 11:00AM - 05:00PM
Heritage Hall 3102 Main Street Vancouver, B.C. V5T 3G7
Local x market = REV.local, a one day summer market that features local BC artisans, artistis, and musicians.

Food Cart Festival
Every Sunday from Jun 28 - Sept 8, 12pm - 5pm
215 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Food Cart Fest Vancouver is a gathering of over 20 of the city’s top Food Carts presented by Vancity, Arrival and The Streetfood Vancouver Society. Join us every Sunday in the Summer at the Olympic Village for food, fun, and sun complemented by community markets, live music, DJs, craft food vendors, kids activities, ping pong, urban gardening, and more. Always free to Vancity and Car2go members, this year is also free with a non-perishable food donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Greek Day on Broadway
Sunday, 11AM - 9PM
on Broadway, from MacDonald to Blenheim Street 
FREE ENTRY, award-winning family-friendly event, open to all Attracting nearly 100,000 attendees from across the Lower Mainland Serving authentic Greek food and much more! Beer and wine will be available. Haggle a price and strike a bargain! Discover treasures, trinkets, and more.

Nike #NOMAYBES Soccer Experience
Wed - Sunday, 12pm - 6pm
CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre, 775 Cambie Street
The Nike Underground, a unique pop-up experience in downtown Vancouver that enables soccer-obsessed fans and players to experience the latest soccer innovations the brand has to offer and take part in a fast-paced, small-sided tournament.

Vancouver Buskerfest
Friday June 26th to Sunday June 28th. Noon to 9pm Daily
Along Granville St from Smithe to Dunsmir
Watch astonishing and Diverse Street performers from all around Vancouver and all around the globe deliver comedy, circus, music and mayhem on Downtown Vancouver's main street.



Yummy, tasty, delicious hot pot! ChineseBites invited a group of foodies to try out Boiling Point in Burnaby last week. Boiling Point specializes in Taiwanese hot pot and has 2 locations in BC and 15 more in the USA. The Burnaby location is on Kingsway, near Royal Oak.




Boiling Point's House Special is the authentic Taiwanese Fermented Tofu Hot Soup (#1 on the menu). They currently offer 10 diverse hot soups on their menu and is continuing to develop new combinations and flavours, which we had the opportunity to try.

They have specially made combinations of ingredients for each hot hot instead of having the customer choose a hodge-podge of ingredients and ending up with a sludge soup. This way the soup tastes different depending on which hotpot you order.


My favourite ones were Seafood & Tofu (#2), Beef Hot Soup (#4), Curry Fish Balls (#6), Japanese Miso (#9) and Organic Tofu (#11). But I avoided the spicy ones so almost all the ones I tried were very good. The only one I didn't really like was the Tomato Veggie (#7). It is a vegetarian hot pot soup and had a sweet taste - most likely due to the tomatoes. Those who tried Taiwanese Spicy said it was very spicy. You must be able to take the heat because it's only available in flaming spicy level! For all the others, you are able to customize up to five levels of heat - from none to flaming spicy.



#1 House Special Hot Soup - Napa, Fermented Tofu, Sliced Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Kamaboko, Meat Ball, Clam, Quail Egg, Pork Blood, Pork Intesetine, Nira, Preserved Vegetables, Tomato, Cilantro

#2 Seafood & Tofu - Taiwanese Bok Choy, Shrimp, Sliced Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Tofu, Baby Octopus, Clam, Cuttlefish Ring, Fish Fillet, Fuzhou Fish Ball, Vermicelli, Egg, Green Onion.

#3 Korean Kimchi - Napa, Vermicelli, Sliced Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Egg, Kamaboko, Meat Ball, Tempura, Clam, Fuzhou Fish Ball, Kimchi, Firm Tofu, Fried Tofu Skin, Imitation Crab Stick, Green Onion

#4 Beef - Napa, Vermicelli, Sliced Angus Beef, Enoki Mushroom, Tomato, Firm Tofu, Tempura, Corn, Meat Ball (Pork), Kamaboko, Fried Tofu Skin, Imitation Crab Stick, Green Onion, Cilantro.

#5 Lamb - Napa, Vermicelli, Sliced Lamb, Enoki Mushroom, Imitation Crab Stick, Kamanoko, Pork Blood Rice Cake, Organic Maitake Mushroom, Clam, Pickled Mustard Greens, Firm Tofu, Tempura, Fried Tofu Skin, Egg, Green Onion, Cilantro.

#6 Curry Fishball - Napa, Vermicelli, Slice Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Imitation Crab Stick, Fish Ball, Fried Tofu Skin, Corn, Tempura, Mountain Yam, Chinese String Bean, Egg, Green Onion.
#7 Tomato Veggie - Napa, Vermicelli, Slice Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Firm Tofu, Corn, Lotus Root, Bean Curd, Chinese String Bean, King Oyster Mushroom, Taiwanese Bok Choy.
#8 Taiwanese Spicy - Cabbage, Instant Noodle, Sliced Angus Beef, Tempura, Enoki Mushroom, Clam, Fuzhou Fish Ball, Cuttlefish Ring, Pork Intestine, Pork Blood Rice Cake, Fried Tofu Skin, Maitake Mushroom, Frozen Tofu, Green Onion, Cilantro.
#9 Japanese Miso - Cabbage, Udon, Sliced Pork, Enoki Mushroom, Clam, Fuzhou Fish Ball, Fish Fillet, Organic Maitake Mushroom, Crab, Fried Tofu Skin, Soft Tofu, Egg, Green Onion.

We also tried three types of noodles: udon, and the original and spinach wok noodles, which Boiling Point also sells packaged. The noodles were delicious! I really liked the spinach wok noodle.



Spicy Fermented Tofu
Another side dish we tried was Boiling Point's Spicy Fermented Tofu aka stinky tofu! If the smell doesn't hit you on the way in, ordering this dish will. It certainly is an acquired taste! It is very strong in smell and the taste seems to coat your mouth. I was battling it on two fronts - the spiciness and the classic stinky tofu taste. Phew!

Thankfully, these snow cube came at the end of the meal for cooling down. It's very creative way to present dessert. They come in six different flavours: Strawberry, Sesame, Matcha, Chocolate, Taro, and Hokkaido Flavour with Brown Sugar Konjac. My top two favourites were Taro and Sesame. They weren't as sweet as the others but had great taste. Matcha and Hokkaido were good too. Chocolate was ok. Strawberry was the only one that I didn't like - it was very sweet like jam. But all in all a great way to end a hot pot meal!

Disclosure: The meal was provided free of charge by the restaurant. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
Friday, 5pm Blessing Ceremony 
Friday, 6pm Friday Night Opening Kick Off Begins
Saturday, 8am - 7pm
Sunday, 8am - 6pm
Creekside Community Centre, Village Plaza and the waters of False Creek, near Science World
Beginning on Friday afternoon with the colourful Eye-dotting Ceremony and evening opening concert, the festival continues with two more days of non-stop entertainment on the World Beat Stage, fabulous food, children’s activities,art installations, the Urban Tea Lounge, shopping, and of course, dragon boat racing of the highest caliber.

The Summer Kickoff Party
Friday, 10pm 
1888 Main Street, Vancouver
he surf community of the Pacific Northwest will come together this Friday night at @shaperstudios_van for the official summer kick off party brought to you by @postmarkbrewing @visslasurf @dblanc || @nolimitsgroup

Shipbuilders' Night Market
Friday Nights 5-10pm - 2015 from May 1st to Sept 25th 
Shipbuilders' Square, 138 Victory Ship Way V7L 0B1 North Vancouver 
Food, art, music entertainment and shopping. On the Shipbuilders' Stage there is live music going until 10pm, showcasing talent from all over BC. The Friday Night Market also includes a Beer Garden that features local craft beer and ciders on tap. The Shipyards Night Market showcases BC's artisans, bakers and farmers. Products include; jewelry, clothing, kids wear, bakers, produce, preserves, soaps, organic meats, honey, plants, chocolate and many more must have handmade products. Don't eat dinner before you come to the Night Market, as there are at least 20 food trucks in "hot food alley" selling unique and delicious locally made food.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
Friday, 5pm Blessing Ceremony 
Friday, 6pm Friday Night Opening Kick Off Begins
Saturday, 8am - 7pm
Sunday, 8am - 6pm
Creekside Community Centre, Village Plaza and the waters of False Creek, near Science World
Beginning on Friday afternoon with the colourful Eye-dotting Ceremony and evening opening concert, the festival continues with two more days of non-stop entertainment on the World Beat Stage, fabulous food, children’s activities,art installations, the Urban Tea Lounge, shopping, and of course, dragon boat racing of the highest caliber.

Great Grandview Garage Sale
Saturday, 10am - 2pm
Various locations around Grandview area
East Vancouver homes are full of great stuff. Crates of records, dressers overflowing with vintage clothes, toys and books falling off of shelves. Come to the Great Grandview Garage Sale and help the residents of Grandview Woodland rid themselves of their treasures. Don't limit yourself to just one garage sale. There are tons!

Treats and Treasures Lawn Sale
Saturday, 10:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Colbourne House, 8743 SW Marine Drive
Marpole Museum & Historical Society invites you to the Treats and Treasures lawn sale!

Vancouver Draw Down
Various times and locations all day (see schedule here)
Inspire fellow Vancouverites to make their mark by sharing your #DrawDown experiences and drawings online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Spend the day drawing at FREE workshops across Vancouver, learn something new, or develop your skills with our artists.

National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Canada Place
Join us for a day of celebration that kicks off with a traditional Coast Salish welcome, followed by a variety of Aboriginal performances, including traditional dances, storytelling and more. National Aboriginal Day is officially designated on Sunday, June 21, 2015 to coincide with the summer solstice. This is a special opportunity to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

Super Mario Maker Demo
Saturday, 12pm - 5pm
Best Buy 2220 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC, V5T 2T7
Best Buy 4805 Kinsgway, Burnaby, BC, V5H 4T6
Take the upcoming Super Mario Maker game for Wii U for a spin before it's released during this special demo event at Best Buy locations across North America, where you can play and create the Mario levels of your dreams. Plus, receive a free, limited-edition Super Mario Bros. 30th anniversary button while supplies last. In Super Mario Maker, you get to create, play, and share levels in a variety of Super Mario Bros.™ styles.

Car Free Day - West End
Saturday, June 20th, Noon-6pm 
from Davie to Robson on Denman Street
Fun for young, old, families, couples and single folks, which includes music, artists, artisans, and lots of local community groups.

Plaza of Nations Saturday Concerts
Every Saturday, 5pm - 10pm 
750 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7
Starting this Summer Plaza of Nations will be transformed into a brand new Concert series at the best Venue in the city! Come and enjoy your favorite local food trucks and jam out to some awesome local music! Heck you can even come kick back in our outdoor beer garden located in the heart of the market. Artists on June 20th: 5-7 LOVE COAST, 7-10 ADAM WOODALL BAND

Sunday, June 21, 2015 - Happy Father's Day!

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
Friday, 5pm Blessing Ceremony 
Friday, 6pm Friday Night Opening Kick Off Begins
Saturday, 8am - 7pm
Sunday, 8am - 6pm
Creekside Community Centre, Village Plaza and the waters of False Creek, near Science World
Beginning on Friday afternoon with the colourful Eye-dotting Ceremony and evening opening concert, the festival continues with two more days of non-stop entertainment on the World Beat Stage, fabulous food, children’s activities,art installations, the Urban Tea Lounge, shopping, and of course, dragon boat racing of the highest caliber.

Car Free Day - Commercial Drive
Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm 
from Venables to Grandview on Commercial Drive
Roller disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs spinning beats, and all your friends and neighbours hanging out.

Car Free Day - Main Street
Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm 
from Broadway to 30th on Main Street
Mini-festivals, community-supported stages with dozens of bands, multiple kids zones, artisan markets, roller derby, skateboarding, parkour and more!




From the time you hear first note of Disney's THE LION KING's signature opening song, The Circle of Life, sung by Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, it was evident you are not watching any ordinary musical. It is imperative that you are not late for this musical, as you will miss the greatest opening ever! I do not want to spoil it for those who are seeing for the first time but think of that sense of awe you felt when you first watched the opening sequence in The Lion King on screen. You will experience that exact same feeling during the opening of the musical; the scene was very true to the movie. At times, the stage did not seem big enough to fit all the elaborate costumes. The strong vocals of the opening and impressive set design set the bar for the rest of the musical.

Tre' Jones who played young Simba conveyed the spunky rebellious young lion cub very well. Young Simba and Nala (Mikari Tarpley) carried the first half of the show with impressive vocal skill for eleven year olds. Zazu (Drew Hirshfield) provided comedic relief and breaks the fourth wall several times. The entire cast performed extremely well and it is hard to pick who performed best. Scar (Patrick R. Brown), Timon (Nick Cordileone) and Pumbaa (Ben Lipitz) were practically lifted from the Disney movie, their voices and mannerisms were spot on.

Jelani Remy as “Simba” and the ensemble in “He Lives in You” from THE LION KING National Tour. ©Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The set design and different animal characters help create believable surroundings in the Savannah. Each character had their own movement style, like the elegant zebras and antelopes that made the stage a very interesting place to watch. Head pieces are used instead of masks so you can see the actors expressions; actors were transparently visible when controlling the animal's costumes, allowing the audience to see the characters as animal and human at the same time. The costuming and set design is the very best I've seen in a while in Vancouver. The different colors of the set and lights are used to convey different scenes, seasons and moods. The costumes employ plenty of yellows and browns often found in the grasslands of the Savannah.

The wildebeest stampede was very well done with use of background and different sized masks to show depth and create a herd of wildebeest stampeding toward the audience. The scene where Mufasa dies is one of the saddest scenes in Disney movies and watching Tre' Jones portray Simba at this particular moment was heartbreaking.

The dancing is very graceful and combined with the singing, there are a lot of fun scenes that convey the joy of Africa. The Lion King features familiar and new original songs written by the original songwriters, Elton John and Tim Rice, just for the musical. The audience will recognize the songs from the original Lion King as well as the sequel. I loved Simba's original solo, "Endless Night" sung by Jelani Remy, where he sings about his loneliness and bitterly recalls Mufasa's promise to always be there for him. It is a sad song but ends with a glimmer of hope.

I can see why this is the world's number one musical; the set, costuming and choreography were top notch. Disney's THE LION KING had a well deserved standing ovation on Friday night of opening week. Make sure to see this astounding musical while it is in town! It is one you don't want to miss!


Performances run from now through Sunday July 12th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre:



Week 1: Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20 evenings at 7:30pm, Sunday, June 21 evening at 6:30pm. Matinees runSaturday, June 20 at 2pm, Sunday, June 21 matinee at 1pm.

Week 2: Tuesday, June 23 through Saturday, June 27 evenings at 7:30pm, Sunday June 28 evening at 6:30pm. Matinees runThursday, June 25 and Saturday, June 27 at 2pm, Sunday, June 28 at 1pm.

Week 3: Tuesday, June 30 through Saturday, July 4 evenings at 7:30pm, Sunday, July 5 at 6:30pm, matinees Saturday, July 4 at 2pmand Sunday, July 5 at 1pm.

Week 4: Tuesday, July 7 through Saturday, July 11 evenings at 7:30pm. Matinees run Thursday, July 9 at 2pm, Saturday, July 11 at 2pm and Sunday, July 12 at 1pm.


Tickets for Disney’s THE LION KING vary in range depending on performance, seat location, and date of purchase and start at $35.00 plus applicable service fees.

Disney’s THE LION KING in Vancouver, presented by Broadway Across Canada, is part of a North American tour through September 2015. Find more information and buy tickets, please visit the Broadway Across Canada website.




For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.


Disclosure: Tickets to the show were received from Broadway Across Canada free of charge. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

The Soup House has always been popular and I went there when they were just a hole in the wall on Victoria Drive but has since moved to a bigger space last year. I revisited them recently and they did not disappoint. The Soup House specializes in clay pot rice. You can call in and order ahead of time so you don't have to wait for them to cook the clay pot rice at the restaurant, which takes around 20 minutes. You can also order for home delivery. They come in the actual clay pots so you have to pay a small deposit to ensure you will return them.




Each clay pot meal comes with a small dish of wakame salad and a bowl of soup.

This crispy rice is what you end up with at the bottom of your clay pot. Yum!


It's a great place to eat with cheap yummy food. One of the clay pot rice starts at $7.95.


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