The Georgia Straight - - Front Page - | Il­lus­tra­tion by Ja­son Harper

Some­times, it seems there just isn’t enough time in the day for many of us. With school, work, com­mut­ing, and fam­ily du­ties—not to men­tion the high cost of hous­ing and re­lent­less tax­a­tion—it can feel like the fun is be­ing sucked out of our lives in Van­cou­ver. We’re like ham­sters on a wheel, run­ning ever faster just to stay in the same place.

This year, there are elec­tions tak­ing place in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties across the re­gion, but it’s hard to keep up with who’s run­ning when there are so many can­di­dates. Some of us might like to re­lax and watch more Canucks games this sea­son, but that’s not pos­si­ble if you’re work­ing two jobs to make ends meet. Oth­ers, no doubt, want to see more screen­ings at the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, which re­mains one of the mar­quee events on the city’s cal­en­dar. It’s hard to be­lieve that VIFF is ap­proach­ing mid­dle age, but if you think of it in an­other way, this smor­gas­bord of cin­ema is just reach­ing its prime.

In this year’s Best of Van­cou­ver is­sue, our 23rd, we’re fea­tur­ing no short­age of Van­cou­ver res­i­dents and or­ga­ni­za­tions that can also be con­sid­ered to have reached their prime. Our an­nual on­line bal­lot elic­its a mas­sive re­sponse every year—in fact, the num­ber of votes ex­ceeds those that will be cast in quite a few lo­cal elec­tions tak­ing place across the prov­ince on Oc­to­ber 20.

The win­ners of our elec­tion are listed in read­ers’-choice boxes through­out this is­sue in broad sub­ject ar­eas rang­ing from city life to food and drink, and from life­style to me­dia, arts, and cul­ture. When you come across these lists, re­mem­ber that these are the peo­ple’s choices.

And the Straight is 100 per­cent for the peo­ple—to para­phrase one of our lo­cal may­oral can­di­dates.

But the Straight is also pop­u­lated by writ­ers with their own takes on what’s best about our city. The Best of Van­cou­ver is not merely pop­ulism run amok. For them, there’s con­sid­er­able thought that goes into high­light­ing what’s worth cel­e­brat­ing and cher­ish­ing.

In the fol­low­ing pages, you can read their re­flec­tions on what in­spires, amuses, en­cour­ages, en­thralls, shocks, and even ap­palls them about liv­ing in our vil­lage by the sea.

These writ­ers rec­og­nize that peo­ple don’t al­ways have the time to ex­plore every neigh­bur­hood or sam­ple cui­sine that came from recipes de­vel­oped a half a world away. On oc­ca­sion, they just want to read about them.

So set aside a few min­utes, grab a cup of java or tea, and for­get about all your stresses as you take in this year’s edi­tion of the Best of Van­cou­ver.



The NPA blood­bath was a sight to be­hold this year. First, for­mer Con­ser­va­tive MP Wai Young de­clared that she had no faith in the process, so she didn’t even seek the party’s may­oral nom­i­na­tion. Coun. Hec­tor Brem­ner jumped in, only to be told that he hadn’t been green-lit to put his name be­fore the mem­ber­ship. The even­tual win­ner of the NPA may­oral nom­i­na­tion, busi­ness­man Ken Sim, now risks go­ing down to de­feat be­cause tra­di­tional NPA vot­ers have mi­grated to Brem­ner’s Yes Van­cou­ver and Young’s Coali­tion Van­cou­ver. Nei­ther party would have ex­isted had these can­di­dates been per­suaded to re­main inside the NPA tent by the party board. At the start of the year, it looked like the NPA di­rec­tors had this elec­tion in the bag. By Oc­to­ber 20, we’ll know if they’ve blown it big­time. If so, it will be the NPA’S fourth straight loss since 2008. And you thought the Canucks were bad.

BEST DOU­BLE-DOG DARE YA Van­cou­ver may­oral can­di­date Hec­tor Brem­ner made a first-class dare in this year’s elec­tion sea­son. Re­jected by the Non-par­ti­san As­so­ci­a­tion as an ap­pli­cant for the NPA’S may­oral con­test, Brem­ner left and formed his own party, Yes Van­cou­ver. Asked if there was a chance he would go back and run for city coun­cil with NPA may­oral pick Ken Sim’s team, Brem­ner didn’t hes­i­tate with an an­swer. “If Ken [Sim] would face a [NPA] runoff against us,” Brem­ner said. “You know, we were un­fairly ex­cluded from the race.” Sim would not com­ment on that is­sue.

BEST SIGN THAT VAN­COU­VER’S NEXT MAYOR MIGHT BE A NERD These days, nerds have be­come hip. It’s ev­i­dent all over the place, and not just on The Big Bang The­ory. The Storm Crow Ale­house brags that it’s the city’s hottest nerd bar. Later this month, Fan Expo Van­cou­ver will bring hordes of geeks to the Van­cou­ver Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, some in cos­tumes, in a cel­e­bra­tion of sci-fi shows like Bat­tlestar Galac­tica. But the big­gest test of the city’s nerdi­ness will come on Oc­to­ber 20, when an SFU elec­toral-sys­tem re­searcher and for­mer MP, Kennedy Ste­wart, will find out if he’ll re­place Gre­gor Robert­son as Van­cou­ver’s next mayor. Last year, Ste­wart coedited a book with Con­ser­va­tive MP Michael Chong and Scott Simms called Turn­ing Par­lia­ment Inside Out: Prac­ti­cal Ideas for Re­form­ing Canada’s Democ­racy. Ste­wart’s chap­ter is en­ti­tled “Em­pow­er­ing the Back­bench: The Story of Elec­tronic Pe­ti­tions”. In politics, things don’t get any nerdier than this. In light of the cur­rent ma­nia around nerds, it’s sur­pris­ing that Ste­wart’s cam­paign isn’t cap­i­tal­iz­ing on this with T-shirts pro­claim­ing that Van­cou­ver needs a geeky mayor to solve its most wrench­ing so­cial prob­lems. Enough of those pretty-boy politi­cians. Justin, Gre­gor, and Barack are so passé. And ev­ery­one knows that Trump is plain ob­nox­ious. But Kennedy Ste­wart: hey, that’s some­one who’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the norm. SE­COND-BEST SIGN THAT VAN­COU­VER’S NEXT MAYOR MIGHT BE A NERD

Shauna Sylvester is an­other book­ish SFU pol­icy wonk run­ning to re­place Gre­gor Robert­son. The pro­fes­sor of pub­lic prac­tice is not quite as nerdy as Ste­wart, and it’s in­con­ceiv­able to think of her show­ing up look­ing like an X-files char­ac­ter at Fan Expo Van­cou­ver. But she still has a geeky side when it comes to re­search­ing so­lu­tions to the climate cri­sis. And she once su­per­vised a group of stu­dents who compiled a “Green History of Van­cou­ver Timeline” us­ing Timeglider soft­ware. It high­lighted ev­ery­thing from the cre­ation of Har­land Bartholomew’s orig­i­nal town plan to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Agri­cul­tural Land Re­serve and Green­peace to the pro­tec­tion of Metro Van­cou­ver’s wa­ter­sheds from log­ging in­ter­ests. That’s kind of nerdy.


Coali­tion Van­cou­ver can­di­date Wai Young is wag­ing a war on “ide­o­log­i­cal bike lanes”. Hmmm… We never knew that civic in­fra­struc­ture had a po­lit­i­cal dis­po­si­tion un­til now. What’s next? Ide­o­log­i­cal com­mu­nity cen­tres? Ide­o­log­i­cal sew­ers? Or our favourite: ide­o­log­i­cal heat­ing and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems? Don’t you just love it when po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates ascribe hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics to con­crete bar­ri­ers? Thanks, Wai.


The City of Van­cou­ver can­not al­ways be taken at its word. It says one thing and does the other. It claims to sup­port build­ing new rental homes but acts like it does not. The cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing a rental de­vel­op­ment in Mar­pole may be the best ex­am­ple. On ac­count of lot frontage that was 42 inches short of qual­i­fy­ing for a cer­tain floor-space ra­tio, city hall took its own board of vari­ance to court to stop the de­vel­op­ment of a four-storey rental build­ing at 308 West 62nd Av­enue. Never mind that the board of vari­ance has the author­ity un­der the Van­cou­ver Char­ter to

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de­cide ap­peals to de­ci­sions by the city’s plan­ning depart­ment. For­tu­nately for the prop­erty owner, the court ruled against the city, al­low­ing the rental project to pro­ceed.


When it comes to land­lords and renters, have you ever won­dered on whose side the City of Van­cou­ver re­ally stands? Nathalie Baker, a lit­i­ga­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in mu­nic­i­pal law, seems to have a spot-on ex­am­ple. Ac­cord­ing to her, the city has the author­ity un­der the Van­cou­ver Char­ter to en­ter into hous­ing agree­ments with de­vel­op­ers of rental hous­ing. Sec­tion 565.2 of the char­ter pro­vides that these agree­ments can in­clude terms on “rents that may be charged and the rates at which rents may be in­creased over time”. But Baker notes that the city doesn’t use this par­tic­u­lar sec­tion. The re­sult is that de­vel­op­ers get to charge prac­ti­cally what­ever they want.


The West Van­cou­ver Po­lice Depart­ment has one of the light­est work­loads of any law-en­force­ment agency in Canada. Sure, there’s the oc­ca­sional fraud case and some­times they have to re­spond to do­mes­tic dis­putes in Canada’s rich­est com­mu­nity (av­er­age house­hold net worth: $4.5 mil­lion). But what re­ally keeps the West Van cops busy is im­pound­ing speed­ing ve­hi­cles on the Up­per Lev­els High­way. On one Mon­day night in Fe­bru­ary, three of them were hauled away, in­clud­ing one that was clocked at 187 kilo­me­tres per hour. In­ci­dents like this get the happy drops flow­ing in TV news­rooms be­cause they at­tract larger au­di­ences. Who doesn’t love see­ing some young punk los­ing his Lam­borgh­ini for a while af­ter dis­re­spect­ing the rules of the road? Es­pe­cially when the cops are so ea­ger to show the

of­fend­ing ve­hi­cle in the im­pound lot. But the les­son is clear to mo­torists. Don’t put your pedal to the me­tal in the re­gion’s sleepi­est burgh un­less you want to rely on Tran­slink to help get you around in the fu­ture.


At the Ge­or­gia Straight’s re­cent Grass­roots Expo, for­mer traf­fic cop

(and court-rec­og­nized ex­pert in po­lice radar) Grant Gottge­treu was asked about drug-im­paired driv­ing. He boldly pre­dicted that the B.C. gov­ern­ment will even­tu­ally al­low of­fi­cers to dish out im­me­di­ate road­side pro­hi­bi­tions to those sus­pected of be­ing high on cannabis while be­hind the wheel. That will avoid the has­sle of hav­ing to drag peo­ple back to po­lice sta­tions to de­ter­mine if they’re truly stoned. But there’s a prob­lem

with IRPS, as they’re also called. They’re at­tached to peo­ple’s driv­ing records, which means this in­for­ma­tion is avail­able to law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers who merely punch li­cen­ce­plate in­for­ma­tion into a data­base. Gottge­treu ex­plained at the con­fer­ence that U.S. bor­der agents have ac­cess to these types of data­bases. That means any­one with an IRP for driv­ing high could be pre­vented from en­ter­ing the United States for life with­out even be­ing con­victed in a court of law. Ouch!

BEST B.C. CANNABIS TWEETER The hon­our goes to Kirk Tou­saw. The lawyer for all things cannabis un­der­stands that Twit­ter has be­come an ideal pub­lic fo­rum for re­spond­ing in a con­cise way to the news of the day. And there’s no short­age of cannabis news as the coun­try heads to­ward le­gal­iza­tion on Oc­to­ber 17. Fol­low him @kirk­tou saw. You’ll learn a great deal, and not just about cannabis.


That’s easy. It’s Tommy Chong. The world-fa­mous stoner, co­me­dian, and direc­tor reg­u­larly skew­ers Don­ald Trump, to the de­light of his 480,000 fol­low­ers. “I do en­joy trolling the Don­ald,” Chong de­clared in May. “So ob­vi­ous and so evil.” Fol­low him @tom­my­chong and find out why he thinks Agent Orange is go­ing to end up in the crow­bar ho­tel. BEST REA­SON TO HOPE OUR HISTORY CAN CHANGE AMER­ICA The dan­ger­ous syn­thetic opi­oid fen­tanyl ar­rived in B.C. in 2013. Since then, fa­tal over­doses have soared, from 333 across the prov­ince that year to more than 1,450 in 2017. Van­cou­ver ex­pe­ri­enced an epi­demic like this once be­fore. Though not as se­vere, a drug cri­sis in the 1990s killed thou­sands in Van­cou­ver. The city re­sponded in in­cred­i­ble ways, es­tab­lish­ing North Amer­ica’s first sanc­tioned su­per­vised-in­jec­tion fa­cil­ity, In­site, and suc­cess­fully re­duc­ing over­dose deaths. The Ge­or­gia Straight’s Travis Lupick asked him­self what lessons from that cri­sis of the ’90s could be ap­plied to save lives to­day as he wrote the book Fight­ing for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Trans­formed One City’s Strug­gle With Ad­dic­tion. It shares the sto­ries of Down­town East­side ac­tivists

like the Port­land Ho­tel So­ci­ety’s Liz Evans and Mark Townsend, and the Van­cou­ver Area Net­work of Drug Users’ Bud Os­born, Ann Liv­ingston, and Dean Wil­son, re­count­ing how they marched in the streets to de­mand that the gov­ern­ment re­spond with the ur­gency that was re­quired. Lupick won the Ge­orge Ryga Award for So­cial Aware­ness in Lit­er­a­ture and has gone on to tour parts of the United States where harm-re­duc­tion ad­vo­cates are be­ing in­spired by Van­cou­ver’s ex­pe­ri­ence. BEST UN­EX­PECTED LO­CAL BEST­SELLER Who would have guessed that a primer on 19th-cen­tury leg­is­la­tion could be­come one of B.C.’S most pop­u­lar lo­cal books of the year? Ed­u­ca­tor Bob Joseph wrote

21 Things You May Not Know About the In­dian Act: Help­ing Cana­di­ans Make Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with In­dige­nous Peo­ples a Re­al­ity

to help Cana­di­ans bet­ter un­der­stand what led to cultural geno­cide, the res­i­den­tial-school sys­tem, and other hor­rors in­flicted on First Na­tions. Joseph, a mem­ber of the Gwawaenuk Nation, lays it out in crisp, clear prose in a small book that can fit in some­one’s back pocket. Ac­cord­ing to the Read Lo­cal B.C. web­site, 21 Things You May Not Know About the In­dian Act

has re­mained a B.C. best­seller for 24 weeks. Per­haps this will en­cour­age pub­lish­ers to pro­duce sim­i­lar books on laws that kept South Asians and Chi­nese from mov­ing to Canada, as well as other leg­is­lated acts of white supremacy in Cana­dian history. “The legacy of the res­i­den­tial school sys­tem con­tin­ues to im­pact In­dige­nous peo­ple, fam­i­lies, and com­mu­ni­ties,” Joseph writes in his book. “On its doorstep we can lay the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the high poverty rates, the large num­ber of In­dige­nous chil­dren in foster care, the dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of In­car­cer­ated In­dige­nous peo­ple, and the hun­dreds of miss­ing and mur­dered In­dige­nous women.” BEST JUS­TI­FI­CA­TION FOR MOV­ING TO MAR­POLE Van­cou­ver’s 2019–22 cap­i­tal plan in­cludes plenty of good­ies for what has tra­di­tion­ally been seen as the city’s only West Side neigh­bour­hood with an East Side feel. If vot­ers ap­prove the cap­i­tal plan on Oc­to­ber 20, the city will spend $23.8 mil­lion re­new­ing the li­brary branch near Granville Street and West 67th Av­enue. As part of the up­grade, the city is adding so­cial hous­ing and a 69-space child­care cen­tre. There’s also $15 mil­lion ear­marked for an out­door pool in Mar­pole. Plus, an­other $36.7 mil­lion will be in­vested in the Mar­poleoakridge Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Oak Park. Con­sider it hush money for those an­gry NIMBYS who didn’t want tem­po­rary mod­u­lar hous­ing for the home­less in that part of town. Change is com­ing. And won’t it be won­der­ful know­ing that those for­merly home­less peo­ple will have spank­ing new recre­ational and read­ing rooms in that part of the neigh­bour­hood? BEST WAY TO PESTER THE FEDERAL GOV­ERN­MENT For the du­ra­tion of 2018, Dan Small has been on a one-man mis­sion. The co­founder of North Amer­ica’s first su­per­vised-in­jec­tion fa­cil­ity, In­site, has ob­sti­nately pushed the federal gov­ern­ment to con­vene a royal com­mis­sion for a de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion of Canada’s opi­oid epi­demic and the root causes that have con­trib­uted to a sharp rise in over­dose deaths. Small, a med­i­cal an­thro­pol­o­gist and ad­junct pro­fes­sor at UBC, be­gan his ef­forts with a let­ter to the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice. From there, he was re­ferred to Canada’s health min­is­ter. Her of­fice sug­gested that Small di­rect his re­quest to the gover­nor gen­eral’s of­fice, so he did. If a royal com­mis­sion is even­tu­ally es­tab­lished to in­ves­ti­gate the causes of Canada’s opi­oid epi­demic, it will likely fo­cus on the years that for­mer prime min­is­ter Stephen Harper and the Con­ser­va­tive party held power in Ot­tawa. “We need a royal com­mis­sion that ac­count­ably in­ves­ti­gates our nation’s val­ues as they have im­pacted, and con­tinue to im­pact, so­ci­etal ap­proaches to opi­oid use,” Small con­tin­ued. “A royal com­mis­sion would al­low us to look back­wards at the mis­takes we’ve made.” BEST REA­SON TO GO TO WAR WITH YOUR NEIGH­BOUR To chil­dren vis­it­ing a zoo, pea­cocks are big, colour­ful an­i­mals that elicit fas­ci­na­tion. But to some res­i­dents of Sur­rey, B.C., the bird’s re­splen­dent plumage isn’t so im­pres­sive. A num­ber of pea­cocks have ap­par­ently roamed wild in Sur­rey for some time, cre­at­ing noise and, in some res­i­dents’ yards, a good deal of ex­cre­ment. In May 2018, one home­owner be­came so frus­trated with the an­i­mals that he cut down a tree on his prop­erty where pea­cocks were roost­ing. That at­tracted the ire of some neigh­bours, who said they en­joyed hav­ing the siz­able peafowl around. With more than 100 of the an­i­mals oc­cu­py­ing the Sur­rey neigh­bour­hood of Sul­li­van Heights, ten­sions sim­mered among res­i­dents. Then, in June, things came to a boil when a city by­law of­fi­cer claimed to have been as­saulted af­ter re­spond­ing to a re­port of some­one feed­ing the pea­cocks. “It’s a very in­tense sit­u­a­tion on all sides,” Sur­rey’s pub­lic-safety man­ager told me­dia. “The com­mu­nity is def­i­nitely di­vided on this is­sue. BEST NAME FOR A NEW PO­LIT­I­CAL PARTY No, it’s not Yes Van­cou­ver or Coali­tion Van­cou­ver. This hon­our goes to Proudly Sur­rey, which is the brain­child of for­mer B.C. Green party leader Stu­art Parker and Fleet­wood res­i­dent Dean Mcgee. It un­abashedly bor­rowed Bri­tish Labour Party Leader Jeremy Cor­byn’s slo­gan, “For the Many, not the Few”, to ad­vance a vi­sion of so­cial jus­tice that’s not been ar­tic­u­lated be­fore by politi­cians south of the Fraser River. Cor­byn him­self mod­i­fied the fi­nal line of Percy Bysshe Shel­ley’s fa­mous poem “The Masque of An­ar­chy”, which in­cluded this stanza: “Rise like lions af­ter slum­ber/ In un­van­quish­able num­ber!/shake your chains to earth like dew/which in sleep had fallen on you/ye are many, they are few!” Proudly Sur­rey is urg­ing res­i­dents to sup­port its vi­sion of be­com­ing “Masters in our Own Do­main”, which in­volves pulling out of Tran­slink and re­ject­ing provincewide teacher bar­gain­ing in favour of ne­go­ti­at­ing its own con­tracts. Proudly Sur­rey also pledges to in­vest in arts “like no pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion”, mak­ing this an eco­nomic en­gine of

the city. Imag­ine that. A po­lit­i­cal party that puts cul­ture at the top of its agenda. In Sur­rey, no less.


This hon­our goes to Der­rick O’keefe, who is run­ning for city coun­cil with the Coali­tion of Pro­gres­sive Elec­tors. A ten­ants’-rights ac­tivist and ar­dent pro­po­nent of a rent freeze, O’keefe shares some of Labour Leader Jeremy Cor­byn’s views about the Mid­dle East. Think of O’keefe as the city’s friendly left­ist. He smiles more eas­ily than Cor­byn and has a quick wit. O’keefe writes well­re­searched ar­ti­cles and books. And un­like many politi­cians, he ea­gerly picks up a plac­ard and par­tic­i­pates in protests against mil­i­tarism and im­pe­ri­al­ism. If he’s elected to coun­cil, the NDP gov­ern­ment in Vic­to­ria will soon re­al­ize that it will be fac­ing new de­mands for so­cial jus­tice from an elected of­fi­cial. He’s not one to sim­ply ask for what the prov­ince is pre­pared to give. In­stead, O’keefe seeks what he thinks the prov­ince ought to pro­vide. So do his fel­low COPE can­di­dates for coun­cil, Anne Roberts and Jean Swan­son, who also have things in com­mon with U.K. politi­cian. But O’keefe’s the only one of the trio who had lunch with Cor­byn in Bri­tain’s par­lia­men­tary cafe­te­ria be­fore he en­tered politics.



Mellow and low-key, Dun­bar some­times seems like it’s frozen in time— un­like so many other parts of the city. Re­fresh­ingly de­void of chain stores, chain restau­rants, and even chain movie the­atres, this patch of the West Side is an ex­cel­lent spot for those who just want to get away from it all. Grab a bag of pop­corn at a sin­gle-screen cin­ema house. For lovers of cook­books, the Dun­bar li­brary branch is an ideal des­ti­na­tion. Se­ri­ous read­ers can head south on Dun­bar Street to Lawrence Books, where B.C. ti­tles from by­gone eras are avail­able at bar­gain prices in its nar­row aisles. And while the new and im­proved lo­cal Stong’s Mar­ket has all the deli de­lights found in mod­ern gro­cery stores, it hasn’t lost its quaint touch. For proof, check out the his­tor­i­cal images on the wall in its cof­fee shop.


Visit Van­cou­ver’s prop­erty-list­ings web­sites.


For a year or so now, pa­tients of Pier Health Re­source Cen­tre, a phar­macy in the Down­town East­side, have made reg­u­lar out­ings with clinic staff. Pier’s direc­tor, Bobby Mil­roy, says the trips to Metro Van­cou­ver’s great out­doors are all about men­tal health—and not only the men­tal health of his pa­tients, many of whom strug­gle with ad­dic­tion. Mil­roy notes the trips have also proven to boost the spir­its of his staff. “This gave me a chance to get out in na­ture and just re­lax,” he says. Mil­roy gives all credit for the pro­gram to one of his pa­tients, Alex Gibb. “One can eas­ily be­come com­pla­cent or fall into a rou­tine or neg­a­tive rut,” Gibb tells the Straight. “So it’s good to change your en­vi­ron­ment .... It trig­gers pos­i­tive things within your­self.” Mil­roy adds that a few hours fishing on the Capi­lano River or a hike up the North Shore moun­tains is just what the doc­tor or­dered. BEST CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE

Lit­tle things can make a big dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives. Take the case of par­ents who need to change chil­dren’s di­a­pers in pub­lic. Not all wash­rooms are equipped with di­a­per-chang­ing ta­bles. Van­cou­ver park com­mis­sioner Erin Shum, who is a new mom, wants to change that by hav­ing all wash­rooms op­er­ated by the park board in­stalled with these con­trap­tions. Shum has also sug­gested that all City of Van­cou­ver wash­rooms should have the same.


Blame Don­ald Trump and the MAGA red-hat horde (look­ing at you, Kanye!), but, in­creas­ingly, we’re in a world where apol­o­giz­ing is a lost art. Why ad­mit you’ve messed up when it’s easier to re­turn fire on Twit­ter? A big hats off, then, to Red Truck Beer Com­pany for re­spond­ing to crit­i­cisms that its Red Truck Con­cert Se­ries this year was some­thing of a sausage party. When the lineup for the 2018 edi­tion of the three-week­ends-in-sum­mer fes­ti­val was an­nounced, lo­cal artists—in­clud­ing Juno Award– winning Jill Bar­ber—ques­tioned why al­most all the acts were men. (The head­lin­ers were Cole­man Hell, Allen Stone, and Michael Ray, the un­der­card al­most ex­clu­sively dude.) Rather than ig­nore the is­sue, Red Truck showed that it was ac­tu­ally lis­ten­ing. It re­leased a state­ment on Face­book that started with an apol­ogy for the lack of di­ver­sity, then in­cluded: “We have rec­og­nized our fail­ure to be ad­e­quately sen­si­tive and proac­tive with re­gards to the is­sues of di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in our pro­gram­ming.” This was fol­lowed by the an­nounc­ing of sup­port for Girls Rock Camp Van­cou­ver and a pledge of “We prom­ise to do bet­ter.” Dif­fi­cult as it is these days to keep the faith, some­times there are folks who seem gen­uinely de­ter­mined to make the world a more eq­ui­table place.


The Van­cou­ver Pub­lic Li­brary cen­tral branch’s newly opened rooftop gar­den is an oa­sis amid the roar of the ur­ban core. Grab a book from one of the lower floors and head up to the tiled, leafy pa­tio, high above the busy streets, with your lunch bag and ther­mos. At 7,400 square feet, de­signed by land­scape ar­chi­tect Cor­nelia Hahn Ober­lan­der, the ex­pan­sive new deck—com­plete with ta­bles and chairs—will make go­ing back to work a lit­tle harder.


Have you ever had to sit on a bus on a steam­ingly hu­mid day that’s full of men who haven’t show­ered in a week, aren’t wear­ing de­odor­ant, and have just ex­er­cised? Think you haven’t? Well, if you’ve been in this city for any rain­less stretch that has spanned more than a few days, you might as well have. Think of the rain as the shower that keeps the city not only clean and green but also smellable.


B.C. is pretty spoiled when it comes to sus­pen­sion bridges, but the new Cloudraker Skybridge in Whistler may be the scari­est one to cross. The long, swing­ing struc­ture stretches 130 me­tres from Whistler Peak to the West Ridge, of­fer­ing heart-pound­ing views of Whistler Bowl be­low. You can def­i­nitely feel that sucker mov­ing once the wind picks up, cre­at­ing a thrilling and ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence once you’ve made it far enough to re­al­ize that turn­ing back would take as much ef­fort as just cross­ing the damn thing. Wanna keep your adren­a­line up? Make a pit stop at the Sea to Sky Gon­dola—and maybe Whistler Bungee—on your drive back to Van­cou­ver.


211 Keefer Street

What hap­pens when a small in­die dance com­pany takes on the dream of ren­o­vat­ing a 1,500-square-foot, 100-year-old aban­doned dim-sum restau­rant in Chi­na­town? A much­needed af­ford­able stu­dio opens up not just for lo­cal re­hearsals, but for in­o­va­tive, in­ti­mate per­for­mances. Plas­tic orchid fac­tory staged its 10thanniver­sary show, i miss do­ing noth­ing, here in the sum­mer, a piece that rev­elled in its set­ting, with the Chi­na­town street noise and the nat­u­ral play of sun­light through the win­dows. Novem­ber 13 to 24, dumb in­stru­ment dance stages Pub­lic & Pri­vate, a work ac­com­pa­nied by thun­der­ous live taiko drum­ming. At the same time, Left of Main stu­dio is now head­quar­ters and of­fice space for not only plas­tic orchid fac­tory but MACHINENOISY and Tara Cheyenne Per­for­mance. Funded by ev­ery­thing from a city cultural-in­fra­struc­ture grant to Cana­dian Her­itage cul­tur­alspaces fund­ing, the four-year project proves that artists re­ally can cre­ate their own spa­ces and come up with af­ford­able so­lu­tions—and, un­think­ably, that dancers can also be de­vel­op­ers.

LGBT COM­MU­NITY’S BEST BE­HIND-THE-SCENES PUB­LI­CIST As the for­mer cochair of Vi­sion Van­cou­ver, Paul Nixey helped elect Canada’s most Lgbt–friendly mayor, Gre­gor Robert­son. Nixey has also ad­vised Canada’s most LGBT– friendly Lib­eral MP, Hedy Fry, as she’s ad­vanced many measures to bring about greater equal­ity, re­gard­less of a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. But what many peo­ple don’t know is that Nixey also qui­etly pro­motes im­por­tant health ini­tia­tives ben­e­fit­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity by con­tact­ing me­dia out­lets to keep these is­sues in the pub­lic eye. This in­cludes ex­panded ac­cess to pre-ex­po­sure pro­phy­laxis and post-ex­po­sure pro­phy­laxis (known as PREP and PEP), which re­duce trans­mis­sion of HIV. He also tried to am­plify the voices of young folks at Youthco to have their views heard on sex ed­u­ca­tion. Van­cou­ver is a world leader in measures to make a city a wel­com­ing, healthy, and safe place for LGBT peo­ple, whether in the schools, at park-board fa­cil­i­ties, or in var­i­ous med­i­cal cen­tres. Nixey is one of the rea­sons why. BEST NAME CHANGE OF A CIVIC SITE/AS­SET

Strath­cona’s Keefer Street Pedes­trian Over­pass—which con­nects Ray­mur Av­enue to Keefer over the rail­way tracks—is be­ing re­named the Mil­i­tant Mothers of Ray­mur Over­pass as part of a re­cent city ini­tia­tive to hon­our con­tri­bu­tions by Van­cou­ver cit­i­zens. In Jan­uary 1971, mothers who had de­manded the rail­road cease op­er­a­tions dur­ing the hours their chil­dren would be cross­ing the tracks to get to and from the school near­est to Stamps Place Hous­ing—a so­cial-hous­ing com­plex that opened in 1968—took mat­ters into their own hands when the city and school board stalled and the rail­road re­neged on its prom­ise to do so. Twenty-five of them risked their own safety (and some were ar­rested) by sit­ting upon and then camp­ing on the tracks un­til the var­i­ous par­ties agreed to build an

over­pass, which was com­pleted later that year.


De­spite what your par­ents and em­ployer have been re­peat­edly telling you, com­plain­ing on the In­ter­net isn’t a com­plete waste of time and, in fact, does get shit done—if said shit in­volves get­ting B.C. na­tive and bawdy box-of­fice star Seth Ro­gen onto the air­waves of our re­gional tran­sit author­ity, that is. Take it from the Van­cou­verites who took to so­cial me­dia in May to pro­pose Ro­gen as the voice of Tran­slink af­ter a Visa-backed cam­paign with Mor­gan Free­man was axed. The sug­ges­tions seemed only half-se­ri­ous at first, but, two months later, Ro­gen was ad­vis­ing pas­sen­gers to keep their feet off the seats of Sky­trains. Never stop be­liev­ing (and tweet­ing), kids.


If you don’t want to spend your golden years in the B.C. Pen­i­ten­tiary, your best shot at in­hal­ing the scent of rot­ting flesh comes from a trip to the Bloedel Con­ser­va­tory. This year, Un­cle Fes­ter—the green­house’s Ti­tan arum (or “corpse flower” to the grue­some)—sur­prised ev­ery­one by bloom­ing four years early, re­leas­ing a stench that drew hun­dreds to the doors of the dome. There’s no ac­count­ing for cu­rios­ity.


Be­fore you start screech­ing about global warm­ing, peak oil, and the in­dis­putable fact that Gre­gor Robert­son looks kinda hot in span­dex

rid­ing shorts, rest as­sured we’re on your side. As long as it’s not rain­ing like mon­soon sea­son in Mum­bai, we bike to work. That has given us valu­able per­spec­tive on why peo­ple hate cy­clists in this city. Criticize mo­torists all you want, but you don’t see four out of five of them run­ning stop signs, roar­ing through red lights, and rip­ping through oc­cu­pied cross­walks. The vast ma­jor­ity of cy­clists, on the other hand, seem to think the rules of the road don’t ap­ply to them. It’s on the False Creek sea­wall in front of Sci­ence World where things are at their worst. The city has made a noble ef­fort to get cy­clists to pay at­ten­tion to the new des­ig­nated cross­walks in­clud­ing set­ting up yield signs and in­stalling bar­ri­ers. But de­spite said cross­walk be­ing per­pet­u­ally busy with young fam­i­lies, tourists, and as­sorted oth­ers, eight out of 10 twowheeled id­iots roar right through it with­out even slow­ing down. That forces those on two legs in­stead of two wheels to weave their way through the traf­fic like they’re cross­ing the street in Saigon. Dear cy­clists of Van­cou­ver: if you re­ally want to make the world a bet­ter place, start by look­ing at your­self.


Com­mer­cial Drive’s Dude Chill­ing Park—site of mul­ti­ple sign thefts and Jimmy Fal­lon jokes—saw a ri­val sign in­stalled by a group of ded­i­cated pranksters. Riff­ing on the art project turned bona fide lo­ca­tion, or­ga­niz­ers for Van­cou­ver’s an­nual Dyke March in­stalled a sign for Dyke Chill­ing Park in the same area. Al­though it has since been re­moved, a pe­ti­tion is still cir­cu­lat­ing on­line for its per­ma­nent place­ment—a move that or­ga­niz­ers say will hon­our the LGBT com­mu­nity in Mount Pleas­ant.


Af­ter Van­cou­ver-bred Hol­ly­wood star Seth Ro­gen did a guest spot voic­ing an­nounce­ments on Tran­slink ser­vices, he went on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fal­lon and chat­ted about it. Which recorded an­nounce­ment shocked Ro­gen? Ask­ing rid­ers not to clip their toe­nails. In the wise words of Jimmy Fal­lon’s Sara: “Ew!”

BEST SHINE OF RAIN­BOWS Rain­bow cross­walks and Pride cel­e­bra­tions serve nu­mer­ous pur­poses. They of­fer vis­i­bil­ity for LGBT peo­ple who may oth­er­wise not be rep­re­sented; they help to re­in­force the idea that LGBT peo­ple are ev­ery­where, not just in spe­cific ar­eas; and they’re up­lift­ing in so many ways. That’s why it’s great to see that Burn­aby held its first Pride fes­tiv­i­ties, and White Rock, Co­quit­lam, and Sur­rey joined the rain­bow-cross­walk party. As for van­dal­ism and de­face­ment of cross­walks: well, that just re­in­forces why they need to be there in the first place.


When it comes to out LGBT history in this city, it’s only a few decades old. But with nu­mer­ous LGBT or­ga­ni­za­tions cel­e­brat­ing mile­stone an­niver­saries, it’s an en­cour­ag­ing in­di­ca­tion of how far things have pro­gressed. Among those cel­e­brat­ing this year were Out on Screen, Qmu­nity, AIDS Van­cou­ver, Lit­tle Sis­ter’s Book and Art Em­po­rium, Pride in Art So­ci­ety, and the Van­cou­ver Pride So­ci­ety, just to name a few. So the City of Van­cou­ver of­fi­cially de­clared 2018 as the Year of the Queer. Cheers to all the hard work by lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als, or­ga­ni­za­tions, and busi­nesses, and here’s to many more years to come. BEST REA­SON FOR VAN­COU­VER’S DUDES TO DITCH THE CARGOS AND SPORTS­WEAR

Van­cou­ver may not ex­actly be known for its trend­set­ting styles, but a cou­ple of open­ings in Yale­town are giv­ing the city’s guys one less ex­cuse to reach for the sweat-wick­ing T-shirts and cargo shorts. Ex­hibit A: Emile Cloth­ing Co., a men’scloth­ing bou­tique that stocks qual­ity Euro­pean la­bels and tailored yet ca­sual and af­ford­able pieces like

merino-wool crew­necks and cropped trousers. And then there’s Surmesur, a made-to-mea­sure menswear store from Mon­treal that of­fers cus­tom shirts and suits. Add the In­dochino flag­ship into the mix, and it’s fair to say that Yale­town has be­come the gen­tle­men’s fash­ion des­ti­na­tion.


Van­cou­ver’s fas­ci­na­tion with beau­ti­ful, hand­crafted Ja­panese ob­jects shows no signs of dis­si­pat­ing with the launch of Out & About, a bou­tique in Gas­town that of­fers a won­der­fully cu­rated se­lec­tion of ceram­ics, sta­tionery, can­dles, and more—the ma­jor­ity of them de­signed and pro­duced in the Land of the Ris­ing Sun. Along­side the min­i­mal­ist drip ket­tles, gor­geous glass jew­ellery, and re­cy­cled­cot­ton socks, you’ll also find stacks of stun­ning de­sign books and cof­feetable tomes, mak­ing Out & About one of those one-stop, has-a-lit­tle-bit-ofevery­thing shops in which—de­spite its mod­est size—you can ex­pect to spend hours.


Hav­ing a bad day? Drive down Sey­mour Street to check out the Pent­house Night Club mar­quee sig­nage. Dis­play­ing top­i­cal one-lin­ers, in­clud­ing “Poles more re­li­able than CNN pre­dic­tions,” “Rare Poké­mon inside,” and, our per­sonal favourite, “Less fake news, more fake boobs,” the sign boasts bet­ter jokes than some lo­cal standups.


Tak­ing the plunge on a cus­tom-made bike at a store usu­ally means a wait­ing pe­riod of a week or more. For those

into in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, there’s no bet­ter place to find a freshly as­sem­bled ride than on Union Street a block west of Main, some­times un­der the viaduct and some­times at the Mur­rin Sub­sta­tion. Sure, the hours are a bit spotty—there were times this past sum­mer (usu­ally af­ter a po­lice visit) when the on-site tech­ni­cians would dis­ap­pear for days. But when things are busy, they are super busy. Work typ­i­cally starts around 9 a.m., when a rag­tag crew starts break­ing down what, weirdly looks like per­fectly good bikes into ran­dom parts. Those parts are then as­sem­bled, mix-and­match-style, into new bikes over the course of the day—un­be­liev­ably, in broad day­light. The new rides are quickly spray-painted right be­fore they are ready to roll. That’s ei­ther be­cause ev­ery­one loves a shiny new bike or so the poor guy who just had his Gestalt X10 boosted from his Yale­town lux­ury condo bike lock­ers can’t ac­cu­rately iden­tify the Franken­stein atroc­ity of which his prized pur­chase has just be­come part. Look for the blue tarps on the side of the street— es­pe­cially if your bike has just been heisted. And re­mem­ber to bring cash, be­cause some­times the last thing you want to do is give a stranger your credit-card num­ber. BEST PLACE TO GET TIN­NI­TUS Ever won­dered why the down­town core is plagued by ear-bust­ing horns at noon every day? Spoiler: it’s not the cruise ships. The Her­itage Horns, as they are known, were de­signed in 1967 to play the first four notes of the Cana­dian na­tional an­them every day at 12 p.m. Orig­i­nally placed on the roof of the B.C. Hy­dro Build­ing at Bur­rard and Nel­son streets, they were moved in the 1990s. Canada

Place Cor­po­ra­tion fixed them up and at­tached them to the roof of the Pan Pa­cific Ho­tel, where they’ve been sound­ing every day since 1994. The horns are so noisy that the blast trav­els through down­town and be­yond the North Shore—which, to be hon­est, is prob­a­bly about as loud as the sub­woofer at the back of Celebri­ties.

Ware­house was abuzz again In SPY BEST early ON back LO­CA­TION with at AC/DC the Au­gust, in the Stu­dio town, Bryan ru­mour FROM Van­cou­ver record­ing Adams–owned in that WHICH Gas­town, AC/DC once TO was where made made the its the past ru­mour leg­endary three par­tic­u­larly hard-rock al­bums. What band juicy was the AC/DC pos­si­bil­ity singer that Brian both John­son long­time and drum­mer Phil Rudd—who’d both been fa­mously ab­sent dur­ing the band’s last tour—were back in the lineup. (John­son, suf­fer­ing from hear­ing prob­lems, had been re­placed by Axl Rose, while Rudd had lost his spot be­hind the drum kit af­ter run­ning afoul of the law back in Aus­tralia.) The gos­sip caught fire when pa­parazzi-style pho­tos of the ex-mem­bers, taken by lo­cal shut­ter­bug Glenn Slavens, were pub­lished in the Ge­or­gia Straight. Lucky for Slavens, his friend Crys­tal Lam­bert has an apart­ment with a bird’seye view of the Ware­house’s out­side deck, which is where the AC/DC mem­bers were spot­ted hang­ing out, smok­ing cig­a­rettes, and sip­ping some­thing from white cof­fee mugs. Ru­mours of an un­ex­pected new AC/DC al­bum in the works drew head­lines world­wide. “Let There Be Rock”, in­deed. BEST REA­SON TO DO­NATE CLOTHES TO CHAR­ITY

If the idea of help­ing to save the Earth is too big for you to han­dle, cut­ting down on waste is a good place to start. Be­ing mind­ful about wan­tonly throw­ing away clothes is a good ex­am­ple. Ac­cord­ing to a Metro Van­cou­ver staff re­port, about 20,000 tons of un­wanted clothes end up in dumps in the re­gion each year.


It can be ar­gued that “poor doors” are the per­fect ex­am­ple of the di­vide be­tween the haves and the have-nots. As the term de­notes, poor doors are en­trances in res­i­den­tial build­ings used by peo­ple of hum­bler means. In Van­cou­ver de­vel­op­ments, it is com­mon to have sep­a­rate en­trances for so­cial-hous­ing res­i­dents and condo own­ers. City coun­cil doesn’t seem to mind at all. For ex­am­ple, on July 31 this year, coun­cil ap­proved a 30-storey high-rise project at the south­east corner of Burn­aby and Thur­low streets. Condo res­i­dents will come in through the lobby on Burn­aby Street, and peo­ple in so­cial hous­ing will en­ter through an­other pas­sage on Thur­low Street. De­vel­oper plans have even called for chil­dren’s play ar­eas to be seg­re­gated.


Parq Van­cou­ver, the glitzy new ho­tel re­sort–casino–din­ing des­ti­na­tion hy­brid, opened one year ago. Most peo­ple visit the en­ter­tain­ment com­plex in hopes of winning some money; oth­ers check in be­cause they are tourists who can af­ford Van­cou­ver’s ex­pen­sive lodg­ing rates. But for those who don’t gam­ble and aren’t in­ter­ested in up­scale com­fort food, there’s a charm­ing lit­tle spot you can check out. Tucked away in D/6 Bar and Lounge on the sixth floor is a large book­shelf. If you push hard enough, it swings open and leads you into a speakeasy. The hid­den space is usu­ally a venue for pri­vate book­ings, but when it’s not taken, it can be an in­trigu­ing place in which to hang out. BEST LOW-RISE TOWER OF BA­BEL A strata dis­pute shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of build­ing har­mony in mul­ti­cul­tural set­tings. In Oc­to­ber this year, the B.C. Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal is sched­uled to hear a com­plaint by a num­ber of cur­rent and for­mer own­ers at a Rich­mond town­house com­plex about the lan­guage used to con­duct strata-coun­cil meet­ings. The meet­ings, ap­par­ently, are not held in English be­cause it might sound for­eign to some peo­ple of Chi­nese her­itage. Rather, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, strata busi­ness is con­ducted in Man­darin, which some speak­ers of English and other lan­guages can­not un­der­stand.


Who can seam­lessly in­ter­act with peo­ple from a mul­ti­tude of coun­tries while avoid­ing the type of faux pas that would trip up the best of us? There are a few can­di­dates, in­clud­ing the mayor’s direc­tor of com­mu­nity re­la­tions, Naveen Girn, and Vi­sion Van­cou­ver coun­cil­lor Ray­mond Louie. But this year, our choice for the city’s best cultural nav­i­ga­tor is Win­nie Cheung, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of in­ter­na­tional ser­vices at UBC and a long-time cham­pion of in­ter­cul­tural un­der­stand­ing. The Hong Kong–born Cheung’s mis­sion in re­cent years has been to bring about a Mu­seum of Mi­gra­tion so that sto­ries and heir­looms of im­mi­gra­tion across the Pa­cific Ocean can be shared with Cana­di­ans and tourists alike. Cheung, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Pa­cific Canada Her­itage Cen­tre–mu­seum of Mi­gra­tion So­ci­ety, doesn’t seek the lime­light. She just gets things done. Pay at­ten­tion to this ini­tia­tive. We’re likely to hear a great deal more about it in the years to come.


BEST WAY TO GET THE LED OUT Other than that one time back in 2007 when he took part in a Led Zep­pelin re­u­nion as a trib­ute to leg­endary record exec Ah­met Erte­gun, Robert Plant has al­ways ar­gued against the idea of “get­ting the band back to­gether”. The singer has scoffed at the idea of tour­ing with sur­viv­ing band­mates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones— and a re­place­ment for late Zep­pelin drum­mer John Bon­ham, most likely his son, Ja­son—even though such an un­der­tak­ing would cer­tainly boost his bank ac­count by sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars. But much to the de­light of diehard Zep fans ev­ery­where, Plant is not averse to rekin­dling the spirit of the band while on-stage with his cur­rent group, the Sen­sa­tional Space Shifters. Dur­ing their thrilling jazz-fest show at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Theatre last June, Plant pep­pered the set with half a dozen tunes from his old band’s hey­day, and the Zep­starved crowd re­sponded with a whole lotta love.


It took seven months of hard-core fundrais­ing ef­forts, but the op­er­a­tors of the Rio Theatre man­aged to raise the nec­es­sary moun­tain of dough to pur­chase the $7.9-mil­lion prop­erty af­ter the East Van­cou­ver site at Broad­way and Com­mer­cial Drive was put up for sale in Jan­uary. Thanks to more than 190 com­mu­nity mem­bers, a grant from the City of Van­cou­ver, a mort­gage from Vancity Credit Union, and celebrity sup­port from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Seth Ro­gen, and Kevin Smith, the deal was com­pleted ear­lier this month. And how did they cel­e­brate? By hold­ing free screen­ings of The Big Le­bowski, of course.


The first Deadpool spent $40 mil­lion on film­ing in B.C. Deadpool 2 then spent more than $100 mil­lion on pro­duc­tion here. Be­sides a gi­nor­mous thank-you to Van­cou­ver’s home­town star Ryan Reynolds, need we say any­thing else?


The fu­ture of the Hol­ly­wood Theatre has been un­clear since the art-deco

Kit­si­lano venue, which opened in

1935, closed in 2011. On July 24, the

City of Van­cou­ver ap­proved plans to re­de­velop the site as an arts cen­tre.

Thanks to a cam­paign by the Hol­ly­wood Cin­ema Net­work, com­prised of lo­cal film-in­dus­try or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­fes­sion­als, doc­u­men­tary screen­ings will be fea­tured at the venue in ad­di­tion to live mu­sic and arts per­for­mances. Hap­pily, the show must go on. BEST LO­CAL WAY TO RE­LIVE THE VIBE OF A LONG-GONE GUI­TAR HERO

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been slagged many times for re­fus­ing to in­duct cer­tain artists that have had a pro­found ef­fect on mu­sic lovers. For some bizarre rea­son, the much-bal­ly­hooed in­sti­tu­tion in Cleve­land has con­tin­ued to over­look such leg­endary gui­tar heroes as Link Wray, Johnny Win­ter, and Rory Gal­lagher. They’ve all passed away, un­for­tu­nately, but in the case of Gal­lagher, at least, there’s still a way to ex­pe­ri­ence what he was all about in a live set­ting. The Ir­ish Strat­slinger’s for­mer rhythm sec­tion of bassist Gerry Mcavoy and drum­mer Ted Mckenna has hooked up with gui­tar wiz­ard Davy Knowles to form a group called Band of Friends that per­forms Gal­lagher’s rowdy old tunes for the faith­ful. Lucky for Van­cou­ver’s most de­voted Gal­lagher fa­nat­ics, the trio’s itin­er­ary in­cludes a stop at the Fox Cabaret on De­cem­ber 14. Luck­ily, as well, that’s a Fri­day night.

BEST NEW THEATRE VENUE Up­stairs at the Pent­house Night Club

1019 Sey­mour Street

It has housed a steak club, a box­ing ring, punk-rock con­certs, and, of course, strip­pers; now the sto­ried Pent­house Night Club is about to bring you plays by the likes of Samuel Beck­ett and John Pa­trick Shan­ley. Seven Tyrants has launched a full sea­son in a new 45-seat black-box theatre in the sto­ried club’s up­stairs. How lofty has the loft be­come? There will even be a new Shake­speare adap­ta­tion by Cam­yar Chai de­but­ing there next spring. Un­der the um­brella name of Tyrants Stu­dios, the Seven Tyrants Theatre joins the ad­ja­cent lounge stage, which has been host­ing com­edy nights and con­certs since May.


If you’re a fan of hor­ror films—es­pe­cially the stylish, old-school ones from the 1970s—then the Cine­math­eque is the place to be dur­ing the last week of Oc­to­ber. The down­town Van­cou­ver movie house is pre­sent­ing the se­ries “Don’t Lose Your Head!”, which fea­tures screen­ings of three of Ital­ian fear­mon­ger Dario Ar­gento’s finest works. Be­tween Oc­to­ber 26 and 31, lo­cal fright-flick fa­nat­ics can check out restora­tions of Ar­gento’s The Bird With the Crys­tal Plumage (1970), Deep Red (1975), and Sus­piria (1977). On Hal­loween night, the screen­ing of Sus­piria will in­clude a cos­tume party, cash bar, and a spe­cially chore­ographed, Goblin-scored bal­let by Dancin­ema. As Count Floyd would say “That’s scary stuff, kids!”


BEST SLICE OF MOROCCO IN VAN­COU­VER If you go to Paris, Moroc­can cul­ture is on dis­play all over the place. Moroc­can mint tea with sugar is poured from on high by servers in many neigh­bour­hoods. A bright tra­di­tional dress with hood and long sleeves, called a djellaba, isn’t hard to find in stores cater­ing to Moroc­can clien­tele. And the sounds of North African clas­si­cal mu­sic waft through many restau­rants. But it was only this year that Van­cou­verites could ex­pe­ri­ence a true taste of Mar­rakesh in an up­scale eatery cater­ing to those with a love of tagines served pip­ing hot un­der the cone-shaped Moroc­can earth­en­ware of the same name. Mimo Bucko’s Moltaqa (51 West Hast­ings Street) is un­like any­thing else in the city’s din­ing scene. And, yes, his servers will pour sweet­ened Moroc­can tea from on high with­out splash­ing a drop, just like they do in Paris.


The 75-seat Bodega on Main is like tak­ing a trip to Spain. The walls are fes­tooned with pho­tos cel­e­brat­ing life in the coun­try that Spa­niards some­times re­fer to as La Piel de Toro. But what stands out for any­one glanc­ing up at the south wall are the eyes of Pi­casso—in­tense and filled with in­tel­li­gence. He’s still the most fa­mous per­son from Málaga. Oh, and if you want to see some of his art, head off to Oakridge Cen­tre’s West Gallery, where it’s on dis­play along­side the work of Sal­vador Dalí un­til Oc­to­ber 14.


Wild Sweets

2145–12191 Ham­mer­smith Way, Rich­mond

Lo­cal choco­late mak­ers Do­minique and Cindy Duby are among the best choco­late mak­ers in the world. Most choco­late shops are “melters”, mean­ing they pur­chase their key in­gre­di­ent from global in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ers. The Dubys, pioneers in the molec­u­lar-gas­tron­omy move­ment, call their process “bean to bar”: they make their own choco­late right on­site, us­ing co­coa beans they source from di­rect-trade farms all over the world, in­clud­ing Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mada­gas­car. In fact, Wild Sweets is the only sci­ence-based bean-to-bar choco­late maker in Canada. The com­pany col­lab­o­rates with UBC in re­search into the in­ten­sive pro­ce­dure. You can visit their fac­tory to watch or even book a ses­sion

at its lab for a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of where choco­late comes from and what goes into cre­at­ing the world’s most pop­u­lar treat.


When the City of Van­cou­ver an­nounced ear­lier this year that a plas­tic-straw ban would go into ef­fect in 2019, many en­vi­ron­men­tally minded lo­cals re­joiced. But then came the ques­tions: what will this mean for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties who rely on such tools to eat and drink? And how will we con­sume our bub­ble tea—the beloved Tai­wanese bev­er­age that, thanks to the in­clu­sion of tasty top­pings like tapi­oca balls, grass jelly, and pud­ding, of­ten re­quires the use of an over­sized straw? The city has yet to of­fer an­swers to ei­ther in­quiry, though it’s nice to see that Van­cou­verites have their pri­or­i­ties in or­der. Now does any­one know where one can go to buy a stain­less-steel straw?


For the first time, the 2018 fair fea­tured a Granny Smith ap­ple smoth­ered in thick caramel sauce then dipped in whole, dried crick­ets. The Sweet Mind Candy Co. crew got the idea af­ter see­ing the over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive re­sponse to the pre­ced­ing sea­son’s cricket burger at Gourmet Burger. The crunchy candy ap­ples will be back next year.


Veg­gie corn dog

Colony North­woods (2100 Dol­lar­ton High­way, North Van­cou­ver)

Why should car­ni­vores get all the deep­fried fun? The newly opened Colony North­woods bar has launched a veg­gie corn dog, bat­tered in-house and served with ketchup and mus­tard. BEST THING TO EAT IF YOU’RE NOT ON A GLUTEN-FREE DIET

No dis­re­spect to those who have to (or choose to) main­tain a gluten-free diet, but this is what you’re miss­ing out on: Lee’s Donuts. Specif­i­cally, the honey-dip dough­nut from the ven­er­a­ble Granville Is­land Mar­ket ven­dor. It’s like a slice of heaven when you get your hands on one of these freshly made treats, iden­ti­fied by its warm and flakey ex­te­rior, with a cloud­like in­te­rior. They’re so sweet and de­li­cious, you can’t re­ally blame non–gluten-free folks for rav­ing about these deep-fried good­ies.


With all the neigh­bour­hood-favourite eater­ies shut­ting down due to re­de­vel­op­ment, it’s al­ways heart­en­ing to hear that an es­tab­lish­ment is find­ing ways to rein­vent it­self and con­tinue on, even if in slightly dif­fer­ent

forms. One of the most en­cour­ag­ing was in the West End when the un­cer­tain fu­ture of Ham­burger Mary’s

Diner finally found foot­ing and it was re­born as Mary’s on Davie. It re­vi­tal­ized the Mary ol’ so­cial heart of the Davie Vil­lage, aside the Jim Deva

Plaza and the rain­bow cross­walks.

With new own­er­ship, a re­vamped menu of burg­ers and milk­shakes, and fresh pink-and-turquoise dé­cor, the party is back in full swing to keep the LGBT com­mu­nity spirit go­ing strong. Be­cause, af­ter all, isn’t ev­ery­one a lit­tle Mary? BEST RE­MINDER THAT METRO VAN­COU­VER HAS SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST CHI­NESE FOOD Re­peat­edly, in­ter­na­tional crit­ics and din­ers have praised Metro Van­cou­ver for the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of our Chi­nese culi­nary es­tab­lish­ments. The lat­est ex­am­ple came on June 4 when the New York Times ran an ar­ti­cle by writer Taras Grescoe en­ti­tled “The Best Asian Food in North Amer­ica? Try Bri­tish Columbia”. Grescoe mostly ex­plored the world of Chi­nese cui­sine on of­fer, pri­mar­ily fo­cused on Rich­mond. Now ex­cuse us as we run out to grab a bite of har gow and siu mai. BEST FILIPINO DIN­ING TREND THAT’S CATCH­ING ON WITH THE MAIN­STREAM No­body needs serv­ing dishes, cut­lery, or plates when they go to a boo­dle fight. Le­gend has it that Philip­pine sol­diers be­gan the prac­tice of din­ing com­mu­nally with all the food spread on a layer of banana leaves. When they said “dig in” they meant it lit­er­ally—with their hands. Now, boo­dle fights are a sta­ple in sev­eral Lower Main­land restau­rants and they’re be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with peo­ple who don’t trace their

There was a new voice in the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of Bri­tish Columbia last March. A very new voice, in fact. One that only man­aged a few squeaks and gib­ber­ish but which was still heard. It be­longed to Dev Juno Chan­dra Her­bert, who was only 13 months old when he took a seat in the leg­is­la­ture. Baby Dev was in Vic­to­ria with his fa­ther, Spencer Chan­dra Her­bert, who is the NDP MLA rep­re­sent­ing Van­cou­ver–west End. Chan­dra Her­bert brought his son to work to il­lus­trate a change in cham­ber rules that now al­lows MLAS to sit with chil­dren two years old and younger. “MLAS voted to change the rules to make the Leg­is­la­ture more friendly for MLAS with ba­bies to­day,” Chan­dra Her­bert wrote on Face­book along­side a photo of Dev look­ing slightly con­fused by the whole af­fair. “In­fants un­der two in the care of their par­ent are now wel­come on the floor and com­mit­tee rooms of the leg­is­la­ture.”

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