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Category: exhibitions Page 1 of 3

The Tours for the Recently Deceased, Beaumont Studios

I am excited to write about this one! This is a one of a kind interactive display, musical, cabernet, comedy show, haunted house, and dance hall; all in one. A performance like no other that celebrates the arts and Halloween across 13 spooky nights: October 18th to 27th from 7-10pm (11pm on weekends).

This is “The Tours for the Recently Deceased”, brought to the you by “Beaumont Studios” in partnership with “Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret”. This is the studio’s largest “most outrageous theatrical initiative to date”. My coverage is based on my media night attendance, where we were able to take photos and videos to help share this experience. Something that I am more than happy to do. I have honestly been raving about the following since its launch night.

I have never been to “Beaumont Studios” before, so this was just as much an opportunity to explore this shared space (I didn’t know this was even a thing), as it was to see the actors within them. The building is set up like “WeWork”, but for artists. “An open and supportive environment to cater to a wide variety of emerging artists and creative professionals”. Several studios/rooms under one roof: hair salon, mechanical garage, musical studio, art gallery, and fashion house; to name a few.

All together, a great location for the 13 nights of guided Halloween Tours. Which includes 8 audience participation performances, and the spooky Tim Burton inspired characters they are hosted by. You were not only able to engage with the actors and take part in the scenes, but can explore the elaborately deviated setting they were in as well.

Your journey begins as you check-in at the front counter. There, you are greeted by your “afterlife” caseworker, June. With cheek and humour she explains that you are dead, but can still escape the afterlife yet. You receive “your handbook”, which are a series of riddles to solve. One by one you visit each character listed and from them and their performance, you extract a clue. A number that correlates to a letter in the alphabet. And together they spell out a word, a password to get you into purgatory, and past that: the land of the living (aka the exit).

You are able to explore the rooms at your leisure and pace, in whatever order you please; even doubling back the way you came, so should you need to. I liked the freedom of exploration, and the choose your own type adventure that puts you in the shoes of the protagonist. Although letting a group of people loose in a limited space can become chaotic quick.

There were points where we didn’t know where to go. We found ourselves bumping into others, joining scenes mid way, interrupting performances/actors, and missing out on key narratives. But worst of all, we had puzzles solved by those before us. And for a completion-ist like myself, and those who are heavily invested in the experience, this takes away from its entirety. Not to mention we were scolded several times by the in-character actors, telling us that we weren’t suppose to be here. For a couple I couldn’t tell if they were acting out acting out. And that shift the mood. With no instructions and no guides, who are we the guests to know where we are suppose to be and when? Therefore, what I am proposing is set groups that roam the space together. Being ushered by a “tour guide” from scene to scene. You pause, solve any mystery as a group (escape room style), and enjoy the fullness of the show. After all, tickets are already booked in 20 minute intervals to facilitate this.

The following recap is in the order in which we experienced it. I will not be divulging too much detail as to what we saw. I don’t want to give away any of the suspense and surprise. Just enough to entice you to visit yourself. And at $30 per ticket ($25 for members) you well get your money’s worth. All the following to see and be a part of, and strategically placed snacks to munch on, along the way.

Please excuse the quality of my photos. I avoided using flash as to not distract the performers even more. It was also hard to focus on the moving actors.

A witch and the Headless Horseman gave you the scare of your life.

In the hair salon, Edward Scissorhands give you one heck of a hair cut.

We walked in on the Mad Hatter having his tea party. Alice and the white rabbit joined us around the table with cookies and mini cupcakes to enjoy.

There was also chips and salsa in the kitchen.

Outback, a mirrored maze stood between you and the Red Queen. She invites you to a croquet match, but on her terms. She supplies the balls and the flamingos.

I enjoyed the comedic stylings of the Penguin, and marvelled at the beauty of Cat Woman and her flexibility.

The Corpse Bride was an amazing singer. She sang of loved lost and curses broken.

Meat Pie was on the menu in Sweeney Todd’s barber shop. A saucy baker gave us a memorable cooking lesson. She also let us in on the secret ingredient in her famous pies.

While Sweeney himself offered guests free shaves. All in a studio of an artist that makes knives, how fitting.

Also roaming around were a host of characters that could help and guide you on your journey in the afterlife. Like Jack Skellington and Sally from “A Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Along the way, each connecting hallway or corridor was just as elaborately decorated. Be it a mystical wonderland or a spooky scene. Plenty of photo ops and backdrops to take advantage of.

And if you make it through this choose your own adventure theatre experience, you meet the ghost with the most himself: Beetlejuice. Purgatory’s most entertaining and most mischievous DJ.

With a cash bar and an open dance floor, visitors are invited to get down and boogie with all that go bump in the night. Admission includes a complimentary drink ticket to get you started. Exchange it or cash for soda, water, beer, wine, or highballs.

In conclusion, for those who like the macabre and art that is off the beaten path, this is for you. Hands down my favourite Halloween experience for this season and year, and one that I highly recommend. A great first of its kind event, that already has me looking forward to next year’s assembly. Get your tickets now with the link below!!

BEAUMONT STUDIOS
316 W 5th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1J0
(604) 733-3783
https://www.thebeaumontstudios.com/
#beaumonthaunt

VanDusen Glow in the Garden

One week to Halloween, and VanDusen Garden’s fall light show is back for another year. But as my first time, this was all new to me. From October 17th to the 27th the garden is open daily at 5pm to 9pm. Visitors can take in the displays with the last bit of day light, break for dinner at one of the available food trucks; and then go back to enjoying the sights, with the dark of the night making the lights glow even brighter.

Where last year the theme was Hansel & Gretel, this year we have woodland magic. As taken from their press release, “The old barred owl has played a Halloween trick by casting a “hootenanny” spell and making it glow. Take a journey through the garden and help Anna the hummingbird and her friends lift the spell by collecting Halloween treats along the way.”

Also new for this year is the expansion of the arena, new on-site food vendors; and a new timed ticket system, that ensures you are fighting the crowds for your perfect shot. Your ticket choices are between 5-6pm, 6:30-7:30pm, or 8-9pm. Tickets are priced at $9.50-13.50, with kids 2 and under free.

As an all ages event, there are crafts for the kids and a scavenger hunt that has them collecting stamps, in exchange for prizes and treats.

The following are a few of the features you can expect, to help plan your adventure and ensure that you don’t miss anything. We arrived early enough to capture some photos with the last bit of day light, then more when the sun set.

“Hootenanny” is the above described magical trickster owl. With colour changing eyes, she perches at the entrance eliciting a scare with the giant letters “b-o-o-!”

The “Scarecrow” sits at the centre of the lake, guarding the lantern lit walkway.

The “Acranophobia” section plays on the age old fear of spiders. But these are less threatening with tinsel limbs and large glowing eyes.

“Harvest Fest” was hosted by a “squirrel”, she solicits your help in lifting the aforementioned spell. You can find her amongst the hay barrels, corn husks, and pumpkins.

I foresee the giant pumpkin being a popular backdrop.

But preferred the highly detailed carved pumpkins, and the ones in the pumpkin patch.

The latter was a collection of jack-o-lanterns, lit from within. Gathering at a stopping point, in a clearing.

The “Enchanted Forest” came with forest sounds and mystical melodies, adding depth to a lit pathway. You walk along and take note of the mushrooms and caterpillars made out of pumpkins, and the projectors adding blinking eyes and the bat signal to the scene.

“Anna the hummingbird” is a large display in green and pink lights. The character also comes personified, greeting the littlest of guests with purple hair, a large tulle dress, and a masquerade mask.

There were also natural features of the park that they decorated with lights, like the berry tone lit cave and the garden dome.

In conclusion, this is a unique outdoor event that gives guests another reason to visit the garden, and a new way to take in the space. Ideal for families and kids who get into the spirit by dawning their own costumes. For how to get tickets and more on the event, visit the link below.

GLOW
5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1
https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/glow-in-the-garden.aspx

Harvest Land & Harvest Haus

After missing last year, “Harvest Haus” is back in a big way, and at a larger venue. From October 10-20th celebrate Oktoberfest with “The Social Concierge” and “Playland”. This year they have made the occasion a family affair, with two features: “Harvest Land” and “Harvest Haus”. The latter is a drink hall for adults; the former a German themed farm festival, with numerous attractions for young and old. I visited opening night and partook in both for the review below.

“Harvest Land” is open at 4pm. Kid friendly, there is plenty to keep them occupied. With a map and well labelled areas, it is fun to explore the expanse of the outdoor fair ground. But be warned, majority of the attractions do require a fee to play.

“Woodland Den” has axe throwing. You pay for throws and get a crash course before you start. A flick of the wrist to make the axe spin and stick, it is harder than it looks. Here, you can also try your hand at log sawing, or simply watch it being done below.

I enjoyed the comedy of the lumberjacks performing in the “logger area”. A show in the use of a chainsaw and the two man hand saw. Two professional teams competed and hilariousness ensued.

I was most excited about the “woodland labyrinth”, so was disappointed by it the most. What looked like hedges to weave through on the map, was actually a series of fencing arranged like a maze. A few panels were decorated, many more left plain. You simply walked along the path, ending up where you started from. Near the exit was a feature that felt undone. As a whole, this exhibit felt rushed. I wish the show runners created pausing points and photo ops within the labyrinth. Or had projectors strobing light and casting patterns for more visual interest. Day or night it is the same with varying amounts of light.

The “Kinder Farm” zone cleverly used exhibits and props from PNE’s agrodome. Tractors, plastic farm animals, and the petting zoo. Lambs, goats, rabbits, chicks, and a donkey made an appearance here.

There were also pony rides from some of the most fashionable horses around. With their manes dyed and their harnesses bedazzled they were like pageant contestants.

 

There was even a pumpkin patch to take photos in. Not the ones on farms where you can pick your own from the patch. But many individual pumpkins assembled on the grass to simulate the experience, without any of the mud associated.

I especially liked the giant pumpkins in planters, still on stem. And the shelf stocked with pumpkins and gourds of various sizes and colours.

Here, you could also purchase pumpkin and cabbages for throwing and slicing. Baby porcelain pumpkins were armed into sling shot holsters; you fired them in a contained hay and grass field. For kids under 12 it was free, parents paid. And no, you don’t get to keep the pumpkin afterwards.

As for the cabbage, at $5 a head, you took each to the “Bavarian Village”, where you could live out your fruit ninja dreams. Wielding a real metal sword, you could stab, slice, or chop your cabbage head down to size. But you aren’t able to keep the salad afterwards.

If you don’t feel comfortable swinging a sword, you can watch the professionals handle theirs with sword play demonstrations, or get more comfortable with one through “knight camp training” in the “Marketplatz”.

And if swords aren’t your weapon of choice, there is also archery lessons and the opportunity to pull an arrow at a target.

Looking for more fun and games, then take part in classic fair games for prizes. Like ring toss and gone fishing.

All the above is located outdoors, so if and when it rains you can retreat into the “Marketplatz” to keep dry. Here you can ride on a merry-go-round or mini coaster. Or run around in their fun house. There are also vendors selling handmade wares to shop.

And for those needing an outfit for “Harvest Haus”, traditional lederhosen and dirndls are available for sale, as well as felt hats and steins. All of which are highly recommended when partying it up in the beer hall, which opens to ticket holders (separate from Harvest Land) at 6pm.

All “Harvest Haus” guests are required to rent and drink out of one of their branded steins for $3, plus a $5 deposit you get back when the stein is returned. If you spring for the VIP ticket, your admission includes the cost of the stein rental, and access to the raised Bavarian-themed long table VIP seating area, with its own VIP bar. This area guarantees you a seat in front of the band and the live performers.

Acrobats, jugglers, fire twirlers, and unicycle performers roamed the beer hall and fair grounds engaging in guests and posing for photos.

For those who are planning to stay for the evening’s festivities, I suggest eating before. Fuel up when exploring “Harvest Land”, as only salted and sweet pretzels are available within “Harvest Haus”. Majority of the food trucks and food stands are open and operating outdoors. You can bring said food in to “Harvest Haus”, but will need to check your stein in when leaving, and line up to get back in. And that is a missed opportunity, had their been food available indoors we probably would have spent more and stayed longer.

Food vendors included PNE staples like the grilled cheese stand, the one that specializes in chicken and waffles, and flavoured mini doughnuts. For the Oktoberfest theme there were plenty of German meat options available like pork hocs, bratwurst and sauerkraut, porchetta sandwiches, and pulled pork buns for various food trucks.

As for “Harvest Haus” itself, the event gives you the ability to drink and engage with other German and European beer-loving folk. All while partaking in drinking chants, and regale in the music of an oompah band: the official Harvest Haus sound of the Halle; as well as DJ Meike Zeddam, der mann über die stadt. The event runs every night until the 20th, with special seatings on certain days. So for more on that and to learn how to get your tickets for the largest fall themed celebration and Oktoberfest party, visit the link below.

Opening Night: Thur, Oct 10, 4pm – 10pm
Friday Night: Fri, Oct 11, 4pm – 10pm
Thanksgiving Weekend: Sat, Oct 12— Mon, Oct 14, 12pm – 10pm
Weeknights: Wed, Oct 16 — Fri, Oct 18, 4pm – 10pm
Closing Weekend: Sat, Oct 19 — Sun, Oct 20, 12pm – 10pm

HARVEST HAUS
Hastings Park – Home of the PNE Fair
2901 E Hastings St
Vancouver, BC V5K 5J1

Interior Design Show 2019

2019 marks the 15th year of the Interior Design Show (IDS) in Vancouver. A trade show known for “Igniting innovation & celebrating design tradition”. It hosts and welcomes “individual designers, artists, makers and design-centric brands who have come together to showcase their current works, concepts and products”.

As my first visit and first time, I simply thought this was a trade show with vendors hawking carpet by the foot, light installations, and/or wallpaper. But this show is so much more than just a live-action catalogue, more than a space where you can shop for your next renovation or home project. There is plenty to see and do, and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves art and an interactive experience.

2019’s theme is “Design DNA”. “DNA is the building blocks of who we are, our identity. For IDS Vancouver 2019, each component, each varied shape represents a designer, concept, product, idea, moment, or experience – a piece of the overall DNA. Beyond the look and feel, the theme will be explored and interpreted in all facets of the show, including their onsite and offsite programming, special features and show floor activations.”

And “In addition to experiencing installations and features, there will also be opportunities to hear from some of the design world’s most notable and talented personalities and connect with a long list of world-class designers that either call Vancouver home, or call on Vancouver for inspiration.”

IDS is running this weekend from September 26-29 with additional parties and studios highlighting the design show at various locations. For more information on that visit the link below. https://vancouver.interiordesignshow.com/en/home.html

In this blog, I will only be covering exhibitors at the actual showcase, held at the Convention centre. A few of the highlights that were brought to our attention during the media preview, and a few of the displays that caught my eye as we explored the exhibition hall, as they were still setting up.

Right at the entrance is “A sense of place”. An feature brought to you by Benjamin Moore and a London based multidisciplinary artist. Emily Forgot looked at Canadian architecture when she combined shapes and colour palettes. You may recognize what was referenced, but it is all pretty abstract. Like the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Museum of Anthropology. All 14 of these original custom pieces are for sale, with 50% of those sales going to “out of schools”. “Out of schools” is “BC’s award-winning education program that uses film and video with facilitated group discussion to engage students on issues of homophobia, transphobia and bullying”.

At the “Edible Futures” section you take an audio tour through a “what if” world. Artists envision what our food sources would be like between now and the far future, and go into detail on how we get to that place. It presents multiple perspectives on global food security issues like climate change, declining fresh water supply, loss of biodiversity, food waste, and the gap between producers and consumers.

Seaweed as a meat substitutes and dumplings filled with weeds and wild flowers. This travelling exhibition curated by the Dutch Institute of Food and Design and presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, will have you going “hmmmm” over your next meal.

LA based retailer “Poketo” will have a pop-up this weekend. They are best known for their exhibitions and workshops that foster their local creative community. Hear from their founders and shop a selection of their design-conscious goods.

“Seeds” is a sea of sented ribbon to wade through. Dutch eating designer Marjie Vogelzang. It tells a story from seed to bread, where the kitchen’s functions are broken down to reveal the ways that the preparation and sharing food drives human connection.

One I am excited about, that wasn’t at its full construction was “The Bistro and Wine Bar” presented by Kim Crawford. A sampling bar that takes guest through five distinct varietals in a visual setting reflective of its aroma and taste.

The “VIP Lounge” is designed by “LIV”, an award winning design studio that incorporates all aspects of design into their practice, including branding, animation, illustration, and CG artistry. This resting place has curated furnishings and accents to help create and “regal and relaxing” VIP experience.

“Prototype” is a curated showcase of the next generation of designers. It features products and objects not currently in production. You as an attendee can vote for your favourite and between these votes and a panel of judges, the winning design gets its own feature at Studio North.

The “Restock Central Bar” highlights the waste from the residential construction industry. Its goal is to bring awareness to the message of salvaging and reusing to help build a more non-toxic future. This space has been created with 80-84% recycled material, 15% has been salvaged, and only 5-1% will go to the landfill. It has been erected with no cutting and no drilling, but instead, connecting materials with clips or straps so that it is intact for future use. “Restock” was designed by “measured architecture”, and built by “powers construction” with salvage materials by “unbuiler”.

Here are some additional visuals that caught my eye.

In short there is plenty to see and do at this unique trade show. Treat yours eyes and your senses at the Interior Design Show from the September 26-29th, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Luxury & Supercar Weekend 2019

The first weekend of September marks another “Luxury & Supercar Weekend”. And this year the weather was on our side. With a bold sun and cloud free skies we made our way down to VanDusen garden for this year’s set up and roll in. A behind the scenes look and guided tour by Vice President, Nadia Ladisernia. She led us around the site, introducing us to key manufacturers. The following is a look at the highlights, and a few of the luxury vehicles you can expect.

For its 10th year, the “Luxury and Supercar Weekend” has become a “pinnacle occasion” to showcase the world’s most lavish supercars. A one of a kind stage that includes gourmet food trucks, a champagne vending machine, pop up restaurants and bars, and a live Supercar auction. The 17 acres of the botanical garden gives ticket holders much to see and much more to explore, as the most exclusive outdoor event in Canada.

For 2019, the following will be firsts for Canada. The first time in Canada you can lay eyes on and get close to the 2020 PININFARINA BATTISTA, the 2020 PAGANI HUAYRA BC ROADSTER, the PORSCHE 992, the KARMA REVERO GT, the BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT, the JAGUAR XE PROJECT 8, the RANGE ROVER SV AUTOBIOGRAPHY, the MCLAREN GT; and a limited edition, unique to Canada BMW.

For the cinematic recap and manufacturer speeches, check out my latest vlog, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

Our tour began at the “BMW Canada” and the unveiling of their unique-to-Canada vehicle. The “M8 Individual Manufaktur Limited Edition” is the first of 20 released in and for Canada. Canada holds a special place in BMW’s heart, given we are one of the top 5 countries for BMW sales, internationally and globally. An impressive stat considering our population. This speaks to the loyalty the brand holds in Canada.

Right across from it was the “Karma” booth, showcasing the 2020 Revero GT, with a BMW motor and the title of “most elegant luxury EV”.

It wasn’t there when we were, but make sure you stop by the “Lamborghini Vancouver” booth to witness the Pininfarina Battista. A full electric supercar named after its founder Battista Farina; the man better known for designing the most beloved and well received Ferraris to have ever hit the road.

We did get to take in the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ though. “With its enhanced aerodynamic profile, a fully redesigned front, larger side skirts, the omega-shaped rear wing; and lighter, higher exhaust outlets implanted into the featherlight carbon fiber chassis.”

At the Ducati booth their line up included the Diavel 1260s, Scrambler, and the Panigale.

Rolls Royce had their Phantom with its long wheel base, valued at 3/4 of a million. Their flagship model that is synonymous with luxury.

The Cullinan was humoursly described as the “Rolls Royce of all SUVs”. It is the most luxurious SUV, named after the largest raw diamond found in South Africa. The names a tribute to it being a diamond in the rough, with its ability to go anywhere. Any where in comfort with a glass partition between driver and passenger, starlight ceiling feature (as with the phantom), and a tailgate with an electronic pull out seat.

Pagani gave us the official Canadian public launch of the 2020 Pagani Huayra BC Roadster. A track vehicle with a body kit and spoiler befitting of it. To be an eligible owner of one, you must have had to already own a Pagani in the past.

And this is the street version of the Pagani Huayra roadster. This one is on loan from its owner, who only just received it 3 months prior. It is a special order, manufactured to your specifications, with a 2-3 year wait for completion. Each one is considered a work of art.

Representing McLaren are two versions of the Senna. One is in their champion’s livery in red. “Inspired by one of McLaren’s greatest racing drivers, the McLaren Senna is utterly dedicated to allowing the driver to be the best they can possibly be.” It is most extreme road legal car from McLaren.

And new is the Mclaren GT. “Engineered for continent-crossing capability, combining power and performance, to create the lightest, quickest accelerating car in its class”.

And at Porsche they had two of the brand new porsche 911, 992 generation to get close to and in to. And for those who visit their hospitality space this weekend, not only are there beverages and furniture for guests to enjoy. But at their “Exclusive Manufaktur” area, they will be embossing pieces of leather with their logo, for fans of the brand.

For more information and how to get tickets to this weekend’s event visit the link.

www.luxurysupercar.com

 

The Fair at the PNE 2019, food edition

The most anticipated two weeks of the season is finally here, The Fair at the PNE is open and running daily. And as always, it is serving up live entertainment, one of kind exhibits, a fully stocked marketplace, and of course plenty of new and interesting carnival eats. And in this post, I was invited down bright and early to check out the latter. So here is what is new and noteworthy, and what you can expect at this year’s Fair, for food.

For the more visual review, click the link below for my latest video, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

Our morning started out at the “Elotes and Totchos” where we had the perfect breakfast dish. Tater tots dressed like nachos in three different flavours. This is the “carnitas” with saucy pulled pork, onion, tomato, cilantro, and chipotle mayo. It tasted exactly as you expect it to: delicious! Crispy potato nuggets, juicy salsa, and luscious cream.

At the new “Revel District”, in the “Mexican zone” is the “Cerveza Bar” where you can get Mexican beers and fun cocktails. The former also included a limited edition release beer by local Vancouver brewery, “Parallel 49”. In honour of The Fair the brewmasters at “Parallel 49”, have created an easy drinking Mexican style beer. Made with GMO-free corn, a Mexican yeast, and a lower alcohol content. It fits the booth they are available at, and offers Fair goers and easy drinking beer. It is only available at their taproom and at the PNE, for the duration of The Fair.

If you are looking for a cocktail, they have one that is both tasty and fun. The “Tipsy unicorn” is glittery liquer flavoured in either an orange mango or blue raspberry. Each is mixed with vodka, and served with a billowing trail of smoke. This head turner drinks like juice.

At “Corn Dog King” they were playing off the popularity of ramen, by coating their dogs on a stick with it. Pork hot dogs, wrapped in cheese, dipped in a cakey batter, rolled in crushed up raw ramen noodles; and then deep fried for a salty, sweet, and crunchy treat. I was surprised by how much I liked this! This one is worth trying, the ramen adds something to it, besides calories.

“Rick’s Pizza” sells pizza by the slice, and this year they have more than just pepperoni and cheese. This is the “dill pickle pizza”, a thin crust with white cheese, plenty of tangy pickle slices, and a heavy dusting of dill. You must like pickles to enjoy this one. There is no masking itss distinct taste and no way to avoid it. This would be great with some beer and/or as a side to some barbecue.

At “Tin Lizzy Concessions” they are offering Fair goers “deep fried chicken skin”. Described as the best part of the chicken, coated and deep fried in an airy and crunchy crust. It was tasty, but a little too greasy and ashy for my tastes. I missed the juiciness that you get from fried chicken, after you have eaten the skin.

At “Jimmy’s Lunch” they were celebrating 90 years at The Fair, across 4 generations. Here we had their grilled onion beef burger with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and their ketchup relish. So simple, yet so good. If you are looking for something more filling, this is what I would recommend. Not to mention they have plenty of covered seated to shield you from either the sun or the rain.

At “Freakk Fries” you can enjoy the longest fries in North America. To date, they are  the only place to get fries that are almost 5x longer than your regular sticks. Each order of crispy footlong fries is available in one of six different dressings and/or seasonings.

The garlic Parmesan is their most popular.

Chipotle mayo gives you double the spice with heat in the drizzle, and a shake or two of chilli flakes.

And the ranch bacon reminded me of eating a baked potato, but more travel-ready. They also have butter chicken, sour cream and cheese; and chocolate drizzled fries, for those with a sweet tooth.

At the “Rice burger” truck we enjoyed Japanese flavours sandwiched between two “buns” made from pressed and grilled white rice. It was basically a more portable way to enjoy “chicken katsu” and/or “beef yakiniku” over rice. The latter was easier to eat, but left me wanting more sauce, and a crunchy element like fried onions to give it some texture.

I preferred the flavour of the chicken rice burger with crispy fried chicken and tangy mayo, but it required you unhinging your jaw, in order to get the perfect full bite.

For even more pickles we headed to the “A Sweet Mind Candy Co.” booth to try their newest cotton candy flavour: pickles. A green tuft of fluff that smelled like pickles, but didn’t quite deliver on the punch of tangy, sour pickles. Great for those who actually don’t like pickles, you can enjoy its faint essence.

At the soft serve hut they were doling out butterbeer flavoured ice cream. I splurged and ordered it with smoke for whimsy, but was still disappointed by its presentation. I expected better branding, a cup more aligned with the “Harry Potter” franchise (where the flavour originated from). Or at least something similar to the photo on the booth itself. Though just as well, as I didn’t get to enjoy most of it. The clerk struggled to complete the dessert, flighting against how quickly it melted. It was messy well before it got to me, and as a result I wasn’t able to finish it. I don’t like trying to catch up to melting ice cream; most of it ended up over my hand. As for the flavours, it was like a watered down butterscotch, and the green wafer roll was coconut pandan; great on its own, but not complimentary to the soft serve.

In short, there are plenty of reasons to visit The Fair, and plenty to see and eat to keep you there the whole day. Come once a year, if not a handful during their very limited, two week run. Don’t deny your cravings.

PNE, THE FAIR
2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 5J1
604-251-7717
pne.ca

PNE Pre-Fair Press Conference & Preview 2019

Today I was invited down to the PNE, 2 days before The Fair’s opening season. I was here for a sneak peak of what guests can expect from this year’s run from August 17th to September 2nd, 2019.

Along with traditional media, I joined a tour around the fair grounds. The following is what is new and noteworthy, so that you can better plan your upcoming visit.

We started with a Press Conference announcing all the shows and exhibits for the 109th year. PNE’s The Fair continues to serve as an affordable and fun family event, for all ages and all interests. An occasion that brings everyone in the city out, and a way to welcome visitors from out of town. This year there will be hundreds of shows, performances, and exhibits throughout the 2 weeks. An estimated 700,000 individuals will walk through the front gate, as the largest ticketed event in BC.

New is “Revel District”, an outdoor area with a “Western zone” that includes beer booths, barbecue, and a bucking mechanical bull. As well as a “Mexican zone” with tacos and margaritas. Daily, its stage will host comedians, a strong-woman performance, and a nightly drag show.

Sure to be The Fair’s most well received exhibit, is “Snap Happy”. This gives event goers the ability to capture the perfect memory with stationary photo ops. More on that below.

At the Garden Auditorium guest’s can walk through the evolution of gaming with a self guided museum-esque tour.

Historically renown hypnotist Reeven comes back to The Fair, with the next generation. Son taking over for father: Reveen the impossiblist 2.0. People from the audience volunteer to become stars on stage. They are hypnotized into carrying out crazy actions, thus giving the crowd watching, the “World’s most funniest and most amazing stage show”. A must see!

Each night ends with “Electric Fire”. The closing show that sends rockets and fire into the dark sky, and coupling it with great music.

And speaking of great music the Summer concert series at the Chevrolet stage is taking you back to the 90’s with the likes of the Beach Boys, 98degrees, TLC, Vanilla Ice, and MC Hammer hosting his own house party.

Fan favourite shows like the Super Dogs, Knights of Valour, and Duelling Pianos return. And families can once again grab a seat in the park and watch a family friendly movies together.

There will now be tractor races for the kids at the agriculture and all the baby animals to pet and coo at will be back.

And of course, the prize home lottery returns, celebrating its 85th year. All this and more, all free with admission.

And for those looking to save further The Fair is made more accessible with various ticket promotions. Downloading the new PNE phone app get you in for only $2 on opening weekend, this Saturday August 17th and Sunday August 18th. Tuesday August 20th and 27th offers free admission for those visiting between 11-1pm. Thursday August 22nd is free admission for seniors. And on both Fridays August 23 and 30th, if you visit using translink, show your compass card at the gate and get two for one fair admission.

After the press conference, we were given a go of the “Snap Happy” exhibit before the crowds converged and there is a need to wait in queue for your unobstructed photo. They suggest taking many selfies here, however majority of the props do require a photographer. Like the pinwheel garden right as you enter.

Or if you want to ride the individual merry-go-round horse or hop into the single bumper car.

You can straddle a pink polka dot cow, or channel your inner super dog with this kennel with hydrant. Or maybe pop your head in to a game of whack a mole, which includes paddle. Or dawn a feather boa and strap on a guitar, and pretend you are head lining your own concert.

A 2D black and white roller coaster gives you the photo image, without the fear.

The wall of stuff animals explained what they did to the ones that the children don’t win.

The wall of colour changing sequins allowed you to customize your backdrop. But I preferred the wall of tinsel that gave you a rainbow sparkle backdrop.

Or you could wait for the crown of neon lights to change to the perfect hue.

The mysterious box that you could walk under, made selfies easier with 360 degree mirrors, and twinkling lights surrounding you.

For the foodie, you can sandwich yourself between two burger patties in this specialty couch.

Or give yourself cartoon ice cream cone wings or pizza wings with matching halo. They even have backdrops of mini doughnuts and swirling lollipops.

Across from this is a fully stocked concession. Here, you can see how it’s like to serve the fair candy and treats, instead of eating them. Giant lollipops and gummy bears, fully stocked pop machines, and cotton candy bags in a row.

There was also unique furniture crafted with whimsical poses and arms, giving them animated life. And pink sugar coated clouds with matching cushion to think sweet thoughts on, ended the hall of photo ops.

Next, at the “Transport 2050” booth they spoke to the future of transit and wanting to solicit the city more through surveys. You can help decide the direction that translink will take in future expansion. And to help get your here, they will have 5 extra buses shuttling people from Renfrew skytrain station to the PNE grounds.

Adjacent was showcase of buses, including Vancouver’s first double decker bus, launching in October. And the new Rapid Bus with its specialty route.

And the most unique of them all is the 1950 GMC refurbished into a travelling museum. Once the doors are opened you can head inside to learn more about the history of transportation from horse and buggy to ride sharing.

A similar story was also told across a scale model of the city, and a projector that brought it to life. This is the “Micro City” exhibit. A recording talked about the evolution of travel in our fair city, and the need to start planning for the future as more and more people converge. As the first of the public to see this, I definitely recommend checking this out.

Our tour started with all the newness to The Fair this year, and ended with one of the oldest at The Fair, year after year: “Jimmy’s Lunch”. Owned and operated by the Parson’s family, who have been serving their iconic hamburgers, most notably topped with mounds of fried onions, since 1929. They first opened opened in 1929, serving as a sit down dining establishment. At the time it was the largest restaurant under canvas in North America, and sat 200. Today, they are one of the most well known stands in PNE history. And to celebrate this history and their 90th year at The Fair, they were presented with permanent picnic bench and stand location. A ceremony and occasion we were here to witness.

A new lovely setting marked with the inscription “Presented to the Parsons Family in recognition of the 90th anniversary of Jimmy’s Lunch at the Fair”. A welcomed addition for family and friends to enjoy a burger on.

And lucky for us, we would get to do just that. Fun fact, approximately 900 tonnes of onions have been peeled over the 90 years, served across 4 generations of the family. And at the turn of the century, these very fried onions were actually named one of the 10 most memorable things to come of the 1900’s by “Vancouver Magazine”. And after getting a taste, I can see why they earned the recognition.

I would get the very second burger they have made for this 2019 season. An all beef patty kept warm and moist under a mound of well seasoned, fried onions. With it I had all the toppings including cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and a ketchup relish between two white buns. It was delicious, best paired with their crispy fries. I wolfed everything down, slurping up strands of onions and licking the juices that ran down my hands.

And thus ended this little teaser. I will be back to cover all the new food stuffs next week, so be sure to stay tuned for that post and vlog. For more on the events and going ons, visit the link below.

PNE, THE FAIR
2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 5J1
604-251-7717
pne.ca

#WastetoWonder, Metropolis at Metrotown

Metropolis at Metrotown has done it again, they have yet another great feature in their Grand Court worth visiting. From August 8 – September 8, 2019 mall goers can marvel at the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit. The “largest flip flop and animal art exhibit in the world”, a one of a kind installation handcrafted by “Ocean Sole Africa”.

“Ocean Sole” is a not of profit focusing on environmental protection. “Not only are they creating employment for a country that has an unemployment rate of 40%, but they are also sending a message about how we can help our planet, our oceans and people; through creating beautiful art.”

They are making a difference by bringing awareness to both the amount of waste in our oceans and the need to protect endangered animals. Volunteers out of Kenya walk rivers, lakes, and oceans in search of loss and discarded flip flops that they can turn into works of art. So stunning are these installations that they are available for purchasing through an auction. The proceeds of which will go to the “Variety Children’s Charity”, helping kids in BC with special needs.

 The narwhal.

 The orca.

 The bison.

 The grizzly.

 And the caribou.

All five animals together are made from over 6,500 flip flops, requiring 2,500+ hours of work, by more than two dozen artists. Their gathering here is “Ocean Sole’s” largest exhibit to date.

There is also a beaver, an additional animal that has been commissioned. He has already been spotted “wandering around” downtown, but is now settling in Metrotown’s grand court for the month. This one you are able to get close to and take a photo with.

And as usual, Metrotown has created a fun way for visitors to win a $1,000 shopping spree. At either of the available kiosks, you can guess how many flip flops went into making the orca for a chance to win. Additionally you can win a prize package or a $500 Metropolis giftcard by visiting the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit, snapping a photo and sharing on line with the tags “METWastetoWonder and @metropolisatmet.

There are also a variety of different events to take part in during the duration of the showcase. The link with all the details will be provided below. For now, here are the dates and their brief descriptions.

August 8th: 1-3pm.
You can meet one of the “Ocean Sole” artists who will show you how he does! There are only 100 spots available for this and resignation is required. Each participant gets a souvenir and a keep sake photo.

August 14th and 18th: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm.
The upcycle bracelet workshop teaches kids of all ages how to make their own beaded braclet, crafted from the same materials as the animals today: discarded flip flops.

August 15th, 22nd, 29th: 12-4pm
Metropolis is having a plastic drive. Drop off any clean, one time use plastic container, straws, and/or plastic bag to help get them out of landfills. The first 800 customers who donates a full grocery bag of plastics each day will receive an reusable gift.

August 21st: 3 and 4pm.
Kiehl’s upcycle workshop. Bring your old Kiehl make up containers, and learn how to make them into green planters. This too has limited availability and requires registering.

I attended the media launch which included live music, various beverages, small bites, and a live demonstration from “Ocean Sole”. Our visit also included a closer than normal look and the rubber animals. When the exhibit opens tomorrow, they will be sectioned off to ensure they are kept safe and in good condition, for those who purchase them for a good cause.

The following are the small bites courtesy of “Forage” we was catering.


Beets with blue cheese.


Blue lemonade and Fruit punch. Non alcoholic.


Mac and cheese croquettes with house made ketchup.


Birch with maple syrup jelly over an heirloom tomato salad.


Chicken satay over rocks.

“MET Waste to Wonder” is open during mall hours daily August 8th to September 8th, 2019 and is a free experience for everyone to enjoy. Even more reason to visit the mall, outside of its air conditioning. Come by for a photo op, to learn something about each endangered animal, to take part in a unique workshop, and for the ability to win a shopping spree!

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)

#METWastetoWonder
@metropolisatme
https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/event/waste-wonder/

 

Superpower Dogs IMAX, Science World

This year I have already visited Science World a handful of times. On each occasion it was after hours and adult themed. So today it was a whole new experience visiting during a busy day in summer, with a toddler.

We came to watch their newest IMAX movie, “Superpower Dogs”, but definitely took advantage of being able to explore the dome before and after it. Our guide and leader today was a 3 year old little girl, the child of my friend. And today’s post will be written from her perspective, covering the exhibits and showcases she was most interested in.

I was surprised by how busy it was on a random Friday. There were several youth camps and tour groups running around. Although everyone was cordial for the most part. Majority of the children playing knew to wait their turn and their parents helped to organize shared play. It was the pre-teens in those tour groups that pushed their way through and walked without consideration of those below their knees. My friend admitted that it is because of this increase in traffic and the additional “big kids” present, that during the summer months she avoids such hubs.

Luckily there is a section just for little kids, and one that I never got to see until today. The area comes with stroller parking, in a “lot” that is humoursly sponsored by “Impark”. It has painted stall lines on the ground and meters on the wall for the full “parking lot” experience. And I never realized how many areas around Science World had such spaces to park your stroller at, and how convenient doing so is for a family.

Entry to this play area comes with a height restriction and a nod of approval from a volunteer, helping to regulate it and how many are within it. Once inside, our little leader was immediately drawn to the climbing structure that centred the place. A netted structure that allowed her to climb up a spiralling staircase, scale up a slide, and crawl through a levelled tower. We were able to watch her through the netting as she popped up now and again. She climbed up and down, around and around multiple times, which also helped to tire her out.

This and all the other experiences were labeled, educating parents and caregivers on how much such play helped the development of children. Here, it was how climbing allowed children to see from different vantage points. That their understanding of how others have different view points develop between the ages of 3-4.

She considered playing in the water area that included a dome that released smoke, with buttons to push that made taps run, and a bevy of water toys bobbing about. However, she much rather play alone or with her mother than have to interact or get close to other children.

So instead, we played with clear building blocks on a surface that was lit with transitioning lights. But mom and I had to start playing first for her to be enticed into joining.

Next, we headed to the movie. Grabbing some popcorn on the way. It isn’t popped fresh, but it is at least healthy. They use sunflower oil which is better for you, with 80% less saturated fat.

Heading up to the IMAX theatre was a trek, but our toddler loved it. Walking up and down on the carpeted ramp became a game. I chased her, she chased mom, mom and her chased me. This proved to be more fun for her than the movie itself.

I on the other hand fully loved the show. Though we sat closer to the bottom of the screen, and spent majority of the movie cranking our heads around to take it all in. I can only imagine how much our little viewer could see. Luckily it was only a 50 minute long movie, but it was fully entertaining.

“Superpower Dogs” was narrated by Chris Evans who played the voice of one of the dogs, Henry; introducing other equally impressive dogs to the viewer. Henry works out of BC. He and his human partner are sent in after an avalanche occurs at Whistler mountain. They are dropped off by helicopter and start sniffing out any bodies hidden under the snow. We then followed a puppy named Halo who would under go similar training that Henry did, to get certified for the search and rescue team with her partner/owner. We also met dogs that helped patrol the oceans of Italy, saving those who fall over board. We learning about their autonomy and how they were built for such endurance work. There was also a dog that surfed and helped people and children with PTSD and anxiety. I was most impressed by the dogs that helped to hunt illegal hunters and poachers on the plains of Africa, being able to track their scent for up to 5 days.

Overall, this was a really well shot and well produced movie. The large screen and multiple subwoofers helped to draw you into the experience with a 180 degree view. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, especially being a cat person. I learned so much, and would absolutely recommend it.

Next, it was slow enough to visit their feature exhibit, the Mirror Maze. But even with evenly timed entry intervals, it got crowded in the maze. It is already hard to find your way through with all the reflections, but more so as a smaller toddler, with those larger than you not seeing you. Although we were able to get out eventually.

We were able to pet, poke, and turn plenty in the nature exhibit, a science world staple and a section I myself remember visiting and enjoying when I was younger. Although as their staple exhibit that doesn’t change, I haven’t gone out of my way to return or go through it since. But for a toddler there was so much to see and do.

Wildlife pelts to pet, a scale to see how much you weight in comparison to other animals, and the memorable beaver damn that you can crawl into.

She especially loved the hollow tree that she and her mother could enter and climb together. And she marvelled at the wind machine, allowing her turn a wheel and direct where the wind blew and how the sand dunes in it were formed.

We also were interested in the bees flying in and out of science world and how they made honey.

She is at the age that loves balls, so spent the most time in the discovery area playing with them. We gathered rainbow balls and put them in to a series of tubes with streams of air that sends them through a maze of plastic, only to be shot out of it from the top. We spent the most time here chasing balls and gathering as many as we could

Then continued our ball play with the plastic ones in water. We threw them up and watched them slide down.

Around 4pm we were getting hungry and cranky, so mom knew it was time to go. But there was still so much to see and even more to do. There were also sections we didn’t get a chance to step into, so we complained and expressed how upset we were to leave. And in order to console us, we were told we would be able to return soon.

It was here, that I fully understood the appeal of an annual membership, and how Science World makes for a great afternoon for a young family. A place to go on a rainy day, or where you can to retreat to when it’s too hot and you need air conditioning. There is so much to see and do, with themed shows and live workshops, giving you plenty of reason to return often. For more information on the featured exhibits and all the IMAX movies available, or how you can get an annual pass for yourself, visit the link below.

SCIENCE WORLD at TELUS World of Science
1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 3Z7
scienceworld.ca
https://www.scienceworld.ca/

Snack ‘N Snap at Metrotown

Metropolis at Metrotown is back with a new instagram-able showcase, offering everyone a fun backdrop to take selfies with. Where other places charge for such an attraction, it is free at their Grand Court.

From July 11th to the 28th 2019, you can “Snack ‘N Snap” your way through “larger-than-life food art displays”, coupled with sweet events and tasty samplings from retailers within the mall. Expect pop-up treat carts, cookie workshops, and plenty of giveaways.

The giant sprinkle donut is back, along with the 10-foot lollipop tree, the giant gumball machine, gummy bears in a row, rainbow cupcake, and ginger bread house. New is the 8-foot salted pretzel and two melting popsicles.

Even the garbage cans are wrapped as snacks: popcorn, soda, and layered cake.

Metrotown is inviting all visitors to take photos in front of their food displays and share them on Instagram by tagging @metropolisatmet and #METSNACKNSNAP. This enters you for a chance to win a weekly prize pack or a $500 Metropolis at Metrotown gift card.

You can also get a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree by guessing the jellybeans. How many jellybeans are in the display case? Enter your guess on the kiosks adjacent to win. Regulars can enter daily, to better their odds.

  • For additional snack related fun on Monday July 15 & 22 a pop-up treat cart will be giving out samples.
  • On Tuesday July 16 & 23 if you follow Metropolis’ Facebook and Instagram accounts @metropolisatmet, you may be rewarded with a surprise giveaway.
  • On Wednesday July 17 & 24 there are workshops you can register for that includes decorating your own sugar cookies.
  • On Thursdays & Fridays July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26 between 2-3pm; more snack samples will be given out on a first come first served basis, while quantities last.

For more details and how to sign up for the workshop visit the Metropolis website with the link below. https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/events/2019/07/11/snack-and-snap/

Snack N’ Snap is open during mall hours daily fro July 11th to the 28th, 2019. It is a free experience for everyone to enjoy.

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)

#METSnackNSnap
@metropolisatmet

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