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KK Law

Vancouver Mural Festival Brightens Up City Spaces

The writing—graffiti, street art and more—is on the wall

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Visit The Arts Factory to see this nature-infused mural by Ola Volo

Visit The Arts Factory to see this nature-infused mural by Ola Volo. (Photo: KK Law)

Aug. 7 to 12, 2017 Artists are painting the town red—and every other colour of the rainbow—at the second annual Vancouver Mural Festival. Last year, the inaugural event added a splash of colour to the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood by way of 35 eye-catching murals. This year’s festival adds to that colourful legacy, transforming more than 50 additional walls around East Van into large-scale canvases. The line-up includes artists from Vancouver and around the globe, with an emphasis on graffiti artists like AA Crew, and First Nations artists such as Corey Bulpitt and Sharifah Marsden. The paint-flecked celebrations include a vibrant street festival, live musical performances, walking tours, artists talks and a beer garden. If your trip wasn’t timed quite right, don’t fret: on Saturdays, take in the city’s largest display of street art on a guided tour. Or simply download a map for a self-guided stroll of alfresco art.

Tasty Take-out at English Bay

By TIM PAWSEY

Crispy cod tacos, Manhattan-style chowder and halibut 'n' chips at The Daily Catch

Crispy cod tacos, Manhattan-style chowder and halibut ‘n’ chips at The Daily Catch (Photo: KK Law)

The city’s oceanside epicentre offers beach bites in every shape and size. For fish ’n’ chips featuring all-sustainable seafood, such as wild halibut, salmon and cod, drop by the take-out counter at The Daily Catch on Denman. Almost right on the sand, the Cactus Club concession obliges with Angus beef burgers, beer-battered Ocean Wise ling cod tacos, veggie burgers, and a panko-crusted chicken sandwich. Nearby Beach Bay Café and Patio sports a convenient location for take-out fish ’n’ chips and other handy bites. For sweet treats and the ultimate in pure fruit flavours, wander by award-winning D’oro Gelato, for handmade gelato and sorbetto based on traditional Sicilian recipes.

For more from Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Take a Bite Out of Lower Lonsdale

By TIM PAWSEY

At Fishworks, chef Shallaw Kadir creates dishes such as scallops with ponzu-marinated eggplant (R) and lingcod with ginger, lemongrass and mussels (L). (Photo: KK Law)

At Fishworks, chef Shallaw Kadir creates dishes such as scallops with ponzu-marinated eggplant (R) and lingcod with ginger, lemongrass and mussels (L). (Photo: KK Law)

From downtown, a short trip on the SeaBus lands you in Lower Lonsdale, with myriad tastes a few steps away. At Fishworks, chef Shallaw Kadir creates West Coast seafood with flair. Crab cakes come with wasabi-lime-cilantro mayo, while Egmont white sturgeon is served with butternut squash purée. West Coast bouillabaisse and paella are popular mainstays, and smart wines complete the picture. Almost next door, The District serves Belgian flavours in a casual setting. Timeless Gusto di Quattro lures with plentiful pastas and classics such as veal marsala. Bustling waterside Tap & Barrel revels in BC wines and brews, plus bites to match. Just east, enjoy wide-ranging seafood at Pier 7, against a breathtaking backdrop of the harbour and downtown. Also not to be missed: the wealth of flavours at Lonsdale Quay Market, whose food court encompasses everything from sushi and souvlaki to burgers and pizza—for British-inspired pub fare, grab a spot waterside at The Cheshire Cheese, or work through a flight of tasters at Green Leaf Brewing.

Andina Brewing Joins the Local Beer Scene

By TIM PAWSEY

Sample a few of the unique beers at Andina Brewing. (Photo: KK Law)

Sample a few of the unique beers at Andina Brewing. (Photo: KK Law)

The latest addition to the city’s burgeoning beer scene, Andina Brewing makes beer with a difference. The Amaya family, who hail from Columbia, take great pride in blending their native culture with that of their adopted home. The brewery is the first in Canada to use Patagonia Malt—and the results are impressive: Totuma, a well-balanced, refreshing Kölsch; the heartily hopped but also gently honeyed Monita Blonde IPA; Melcocha Andean Mild Ale, with a hint of molasses; and easy-drinking, copper-toned and malty Ay Ay Ay. Sample them all and more, including wines and cocktails in the tasting lounge, which also serves excellent Columbian bites. Don’t overlook the revolving selection of ceviches, with plantain chips. Vivid yellow, with its 18-m- (60-ft-) tall mural of “La Pola” girl, Andina’s building is hard to miss—and already a popular East Van landmark.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

A+ Activities: Our Favourite Reasons to Visit UBC

Find the best places to eat, explore and be entertained at the University of British Columbia. School may be out for summer, but this lush coastal campus is packed with hidden gems for every visitor, from orchestra aficionados and art connoisseurs to golfers and nature lovers

By CHLOË LAI

The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

Art History

Fancy a bit of a scavenger hunt? This campus is a veritable outdoor gallery, featuring an ever-evolving collection of art installations just waiting to be discovered. The most recent addition is the Reconciliation Pole, a towering 17-m (55-ft) totem pole carved by James Hart, a Haida master carver and hereditary chief. Intricate details etched into the 800-year-old red cedar tell the story of First Nations communities’ experiences before, during and after the traumatic residential school system—thousands of copper nails are hammered into the wood, each commemorating a child who died at a residential school. Other totem poles around campus include the Musqueam Post by Brent Sparrow Jr., and the Victory Through Honour pole by Calvin Hunt and Merv Child.

For contemporary art, step into the crisp white rooms of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, where avant-garde artists and innovative exhibitions take centre stage. Download or print their info sheet to take a sunny self-guided outdoor art tour—and keep an eye out for the delightful Classical Toy Boat by Glenn Lewis, which isn’t on the list. If you’ve only got time for one destination, venture across Marine Drive to find the Museum of Anthropology tucked away amongst the trees. With one of the finest collections of First Nations art and artifacts in the world, as well as impressive exhibits spanning every culture from Asia to the Amazon, it’s an absolute must-see. (more…)

North of Robson: Downtown Dining

By TIM PAWSEY

French fare at Tableau Bar Bistro tastes as good as it looks. (Photo: KK Law)

French fare at Tableau Bar Bistro tastes as good as it looks. (Photo: KK Law)

Some of the city’s best tastes are found just a block or two off Robson Street. For elevated French bistro fare, wander north to Melville, to Tableau Bar Bistro (pictured) for onion soup, moules frites, chicken supreme and addictive mushrooms on toast in an authentic setting. A block north on Denman, Nook is a popular haunt for Italian fare with fresh pasta made daily, plus pizza, good charcuterie and smart wines. Or, for excellent ramen, head to Marutama, a bustling spot a few steps along Bidwell, where fans return for the flavourful house chicken broth and especially the tamago original bowl. Order it mild or, for purists, robustly spiced.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

2017 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Seafood tower at Ancora. (Photo by KK Law)

Seafood tower at Ancora. (Photo by KK Law)

Welcome to our 21st annual awards issue. Much more than merely a contest, Where to Dine celebrates Vancouver as a global dining destination. This is a city that validates the openness, cultural awareness and exuberant curiosity that define Canada, through acceptance and exploration of all cuisines. We salute the chefs, servers, sommeliers and restaurateurs who make this place such a food-lover’s paradise.

Critics’ Choice 

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Ancora

When it comes to the inside scoop, the concierge is your best friend. Vancouver’s Les Clefs d’Or are tireless in their search for dining excellence—and happily recommend those who consistently over-deliver.

This waterfront gem on the downtown side of False Creek blends Peruvian, Japanese and other influences with fresh West Coast ingredients. Such licence yields Aji-panca-glazed sablefish, seared scallops with pork belly, and grilled steak with yuca fries, autumn vegetables and chimichurri. (more…)

Beyond Sushi

By TIM PAWSEY

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Long-running Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood House preceded the sushi craze by a few decades. Ingredients are freshly prepared, presented tableside and cooked teppanyaki style with tremendous flair. Go for the impossibly tender Wagyu beef, teriyaki chicken, and seafood combo. For more casual fare, head to pub-style Zakkushi on Denman to find an abundance of charcoal-grilled meat, seafood and vegetable skewers. Hunker down at local faves Gyoza King or Guu, both on Robson, for good Japanese home-style dishes in a cheerful and friendly setting.

For more by Tim Pawsey www.hiredbelly.com

A Sweet Story

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Biting into a perfectly crisp, flaky pastry can certainly feel like a life-changing experience, but in the case of Jackie Kai Ellis, that indulgence actually helped the Beaucoup Bakery owner whip up a new life. When Ellis flew to Paris to study pastry making at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, she left behind her life as a graphic designer with her own firm. The catalyst? A cookie. (more…)

Downtown Delight

By TIM PAWSEY

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away in the Moda Hotel, Cibo Trattoria is a gem of a bistro in a sensitively restored heritage setting. The classic Italian dishes have a bit of a modern twist and use organic ingredients. House favourites include chitarra con vongole of saffron pasta with Salt Spring Island clams, an excellent charcuterie and salumi platter, short ribs braised with tomatoes and red wine, and pan-seared Mediterranean sea bass. The cellar yields a wealth of serious Italian drops, as well as regional and global offerings.

For more by Tim Pawsey visit www.hiredbelly.com

Elegant Interval

By TIM PAWSEY

Holts Cafe serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

Holts Café serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

For the ultimate in-store sustenance, newly landed Holts Café (in Holt Renfrew) obliges with an impressive array of plates, from quick bites to mains and desserts. The smart and elegant room invites lingering over the lobster and Pacific shrimp roll, tuna seared rare on brioche with roasted red pepper relish, or Salt Spring Island mussels, perhaps with a glass of wine. Desserts are equally tempting, as is the extensive selection of teas and organic juices, plus well-chosen wines from BC and around the world.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Bold & Bright

By SHERI RADFORD

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery even on grey days. (Photo: KK Law)

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery. (Photo: KK Law)

Is the wet winter weather getting you down? For a reprieve, head to Ian Tan Gallery on South Granville. On the outside wall you’ll find a kaleidoscopic mural sure to brighten even the drabbest of grey Vancouver days—and make a blue-sky day even better. The cheerful mural is based on a piece by Ontario artist Kristofir Dean, whose vibrant paintings are displayed inside the gallery. According to Dean, colour “stirs the mind, heart and spirit.” We couldn’t agree more.