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Vancouver

Main Event: Charlie’s Little Italian

By TIM PAWSEY

Bolognese pizza at Charlie's Little Italian. (Photo: KK Law)

Bolognese pizza at Charlie’s Little Italian. (Photo: KK Law)

A down-home, no-nonsense neighbourhood favourite, Charlie’s Little Italian draws a loyal Main Street crowd to a friendly room that doubles as an unabashed salute to Michael Caine’s Italian Job movie. Rustic plates and well-matched glasses of wine are smartly priced, along with pizzas, salads, pastas, creative side dishes and classics such as linguine vongole, or spaghetti with Pemberton beef meatballs.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Win! $100 to Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

IMG_JoeFortes

Vancouver’s diverse culinary scene is a foodie’s paradise, but in this water-bound town, seafood still reigns supreme. Since 1985, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House has been serving up ocean favourites San Francisco–style. And $100 to the city’s seafood stalwart will quench any marine cuisine craving. (Just imagine how many buck-a-shuck oysters that would buy during happy hour.)

We’re giving away $100 to Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House! Here’s how to win:

1. Retweet the following on Twitter (1 entry): “#Win $100 @JoeFortesVan from @wherevancouver! RT & share your fave #yvrseafood. #contest http://ow.ly/JYWhk”

2. Follow @wherevancouver and @joefortesvan on Instagram and share a snap of your fave #yvrseafood (1 entry). Be sure to tag @wherevancouver, @joefortesvan and #yvrseafood in your post!

Contest rules and regulations

Mouth-Watering Movies at MARKET

By SHERI RADFORD

The Shangri-La Hotel's Blue Moon Theatre

The Shangri-La Hotel’s Blue Moon Theatre

Looking for the perfect date night? MARKET by Jean-Georges can help, with its popular Movies at MARKET evenings. Each one starts in the Shangri-La Hotel’s private Blue Moon Theatre (pictured) with the viewing of a food-focussed film, which inspires the four-course dinner that follows. Upcoming selections include The Hundred-Foot Journey (Mar. 6 and 7), about an upstart Indian restaurant that opens 100 feet from a classical—and very snooty—French restaurant; and Entre les Bras (Apr. 3 and 4), a French documentary about a star chef handing over his award-winning restaurant to his son. Film fans and foodies couldn’t ask for a more perfect evening.

Cultural Evolution: Contemporary Chinese Art

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Bang" by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. (Photo: Ai Weiwei)

“Bang” by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. (Photo: Ai Weiwei)

Age-old Asian art meets modern master at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art (to Apr. 6). Works in a wide range of media—from large-scale installations to paintings and porcelain—turn tradition on its head. See pieces such as “Bang” (pictured) by celebrated artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The explosive collection of 866 antique wooden stools captures the country’s shift to mass-produced plastic furniture. Proof that everything old can be new again.

A Night at the Opera: Die Fledermaus

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Scene from Johann Strauss, Jr.'s Die Fledermaus

Scene from Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, it’s also served with champagne. At a lavish soirée attended by Vienna’s high society, the dapper Dr. Falke repays his friend Eisenstein for abandoning him one night, drunk and dressed as a bat, or fledermaus. Staged by the Vancouver Opera, this effervescent comedy is punctuated by laughter, love, music, waltzing and plenty of bubbly. Don’t miss it, Mar. 5 to 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Chloë Angus: A Life in Design

Chloë Angus’s winding path from small-town girl to fashion designer

By SHERI RADFORD

Chloë Angus, hard at  work in her gorgeous  new studio and showroom  on East 6th Avenue. (Photo: KK Law)

Chloë Angus, hard at work in her gorgeous new studio and showroom on East 6th Avenue. (Photo: KK Law)

The best way to fuel creativity is to grow up without a television, a phone or even electricity. At least, that’s how it worked for Chloë Angus. What the local fashion designer did have as a child was a small Singer sewing machine—and encouragement from her mother. “There were five kids in my family,” Angus says. “I think my mom was just happy to keep us busy doing different things.” Angus sewed clothes for herself and her dolls, along with “anything I could talk my brothers into wearing on Halloween.”

The family ran an organic seafood farm on the Sunshine Coast, 13.5 km (8.5 mi) by boat from the nearest small town, Egmont. When Angus was 12, she got a summer job working in Egmont’s one consignment store, but she made more money selling t-shirts she’d designed than from her wage. “I would catch live fish and paint them with some fabric paint, and I would press them into the shirt. And I signed on it that it was from Egmont, BC.”

After graduating high school, the bright lights of the big city drew Angus to Vancouver. “I spent most of my childhood scheming how I was going to get out of the small town and into the city. It’s funny, because now I spend most of my adult life scheming how I’m going to get back,” she says. After travelling around and exploring the world a bit, she—almost on a whim—started up a landscaping company and built it into a successful business. “Landscaping is about colour and balance and fitting into somebody else’s ideas with your own aesthetic. And a lot of hard work.”

As her 30th birthday loomed ever closer on the horizon, Angus did some soul searching and decided it was time to revisit her first love, fashion. She signed up for a one-year program at the prestigious Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design. Angus credits her farming background with giving her the work ethic (not to mention the stamina) to juggle a demanding school program, a thriving landscaping business, and a new marriage.

As a newly minted fashion graduate, Angus caught the attention of a buyer for The Bay, Canada’s most venerated retail institution. She designed several collections for The Bay’s Canadian by Design department. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sketch for a spring design. (Photo: KK Law)

Sketch for a spring design. (Photo: KK Law)

Over the past 11 years, Angus has gone from toiling away on her designs in her basement, to a small office downtown, to a larger studio on Dunbar Street, to her current 280-sq-m (3,000-sq-ft) studio on 6th Avenue. She designs everything from t-shirts to fancy wedding dresses (just two or three each summer, for a few lucky brides), and an extraordinary amount of time and care go into each one: “We spend weeks on fitting a simple t-shirt—a t-shirt that looks as good on an extra-small as it does on a triple-extra-large.” Best known are her Spirit Wraps, the result of a creative collaboration with local First Nations artists such as Clarence Mills (Haida) and Corrine Hunt (Tlingit). Angus is also the fashion sponsor for the Leo Awards (BC’s version of the Academy Awards) here in Vancouver, and she loves dressing the trophy models and some of the actresses: “It gives me the opportunity to be over-the-top creative in any way that I want to be.” When actresses sometimes hesitate at the fancier gowns, “I always tell them it never hurts to be the best dressed lady at the party.” Recently, Angus had her first chance to design all of the costumes for a movie, a shot-in-Vancouver short comedy called I Wanna Date U.

Even as Chloë Angus Design grows and evolves, one thing that will never change is Angus’s commitment to staying in Vancouver. She finds design inspiration in the city’s natural beauty, and she loves the climate here compared to the rest of the country: “It might be raining really hard out today, but it’s not snowing,” she says. “I am a true Vancouverite. I own a nice collection of gumboots. I like umbrellas. I have a really fabulous raincoat coming out for fall 2015. I don’t like parkas. I think the rest of Canada is pretty much uninhabitable most of the year.”

The other place Angus finds inspiration? Beautiful fabrics. “Often I see a piece of fabric and it just talks to me. It says, ‘Make me into this.’ And I know right away what I will do with it.”

With any luck, Angus will continue finding inspiration for many decades to come.

Find Spirit Wraps at The Gallery Store and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. To see an array of Angus’s creations, visit Chloë Angus Design.

A Must for Travellers

By SHERI RADFORD

The ultra-handy Moshi IonBank 10k

The ultra-handy Moshi IonBank 10k

If you rely on your electronics—whether for an important phone call or for entertaining a cranky kid—there’s nothing worse than watching the battery indicator drop to zero. Frequent travellers know to bring Moshi’s IonBank 10K on every trip. This handy device can charge a smartphone multiple times and give a tablet enough juice for an extra seven or eight hours. It can even charge two devices at a time. And it’s easy-peasy to recharge this mobile battery: simply plug it into any USB wall or car charger. Crisis averted. Available at Mac Station or www.moshi.com.

4 Cozy Corners

By TIM PAWSEY

Franco Felice, at Cafe Il Nido

Franco Felice, at Cafe Il Nido. (Photo: KK Law)

1. Cafe Il Nido Franco Felice’s long-running Italian resto is tucked into a courtyard within the heritage Manhattan building at Thurlow and Robson. Savour inventive Northern Italian plates such as balsamic-glazed wild sockeye salmon or penne with sautéed wild mushrooms and thyme cream sauce. Most pastas are also offered gluten-free. Read more…

Public Art in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jonathan Borofsky's "Human Structures Vancouver"

Jonathan Borofsky’s “Human Structures Vancouver.” (Photo: KK Law)

The great outdoors just got a little greater. Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, alfresco art installations are popping up around the city, transforming ordinary outdoor spaces into cool cultural attractions. A tour along the Granville Island and False Creek waterfront takes art aficionados past three recent works: Jonathan Borofsky’s interconnected “Human Structures Vancouver” (pictured above), Cosimo Cavallaro’s playful “Love Your Beans,” and Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo’s massive “Giants” (pictured below)—perhaps the most buzzed-about addition.

"Giants" by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

“Giants” by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

Spanning six cylindrical cement silos, the larger-than-life graffiti mural may be the most ambitious project yet by the Brazilian twin brothers known as OSGEMEOS. At the very least, Vancouver has some colourful new residents.

East Meets West

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Beautiful Bambudda

Bambudda’s contemporary space. (Photo: KK Law)

A trendy Gastown gem, Bambudda boasts artfully conceived Cantonese cuisine in a smart space. Modern banana-leaf wallpaper and a hopping street-side bar perfectly match the contemporary Asian tapas. Former Top Chef Canada contender Curtis Luk serves up dishes such as pork belly with taro and salt-and-pepper Humboldt squid. Or, from Feb. 19 to 22, ring in the Year of the Sheep with a special dumplings menu. This traditional dish symbolizes togetherness and prosperity, making it a perfectly delicious way to celebrate Chinese New Year. Gung hay fat choy!

Vancouver’s Marine Cuisine

By TIM PAWSEY

Herring, an unsung hero found at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar (Photo: KK Law)

Herring, an unsung hero found at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

No surprise that seafood abounds in this ocean-bound town. Drop by bustling Sun Sui Wah for mid-day dim sum, or go later for the Alaskan king crab, squab, Peking duck or chilled seafood platter. For those wanting to try less familiar tastes, Yaletown’s Blue Water Cafe obliges with its annual Unsung Heroes menu, featuring the likes of barnacles, mackerel and herring, in addition to seasonal staples such as arctic char, ling cod and sablefish. Right downtown? Drop by Yew in the Four Seasons for a bowl of chef Ned Bell’s corn “chowda,” overflowing with smoked black cod and Okanagan apples. It was the big winner in the recent Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown.

For more from Tim Pawsey visit hiredbelly.com

Inuit Imagery: Ningeokuluk Teevee

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ningeokuluk Teevee's "A Lot of Bull"

Ningeokuluk Teevee’s “A Lot of Bull”

In Beyond the Surface: Drawings by Ningeokuluk Teevee (Feb. 14 to Mar. 6), the Cape Dorset artist creates vibrant coloured-pencil and graphite drawings that bring Inuit mythology and stories to life. See works such as “A Lot of Bull” (pictured) in the 25 drawings on display at Inuit Gallery.