Apr
24

California Wine Fair hits the mark

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The last two evenings have been a blast, celebrating the fine wines of California with a duo of sold-out events from a massive tasting to an intimate dinner.

On Tuesday, 550 guests came out to sip, sample, and savour wines from across the Golden State at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.

The line-up went out into the street, filled with eager wine lovers. Photo by Mark Halliday

The lineup, filled with eager wine lovers, stretched out to the street!
Photo by Mark Halliday

Arts Club's Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd, former board member Lisa Seed and Director California Wines Canada Rick Slomka. Photo by Sarah England

Arts Club’s Artistic Managing Director, Bill Millerd, former board member Lisa Seed, and California Wines Canada’s Director, Rick Slomka. Photo by Sarah England

A packed ballroom with over 110 wineries represented

A packed ballroom with over 110 wineries represented surveying the diverse region.
Photo by Mark Halliday

The board makes a toast. From left to right: Photo by Mark Halliday

Our board makes a toast! From left to right: board chair Ross Paul, Bill Millerd and board members Jane Brindley, Michele Collins, Mark Stafford, Kerry Suffolk and Eugen Klein. Photo by Mark Halliday

Our fabulous volunteer raffle ticket sellers Amanda and Chris from the RBC Day of Service program hard at work!
Photo by Mark Halliday

Art Club's Dawn Padget shows off her silent auction purchase. Photo by Mark Halliday

Art Club’s Dawn Padget shows off her silent auction purchase. Photo by Mark Halliday

For more about the tastings, check out Michelle Da Silva’s write-up in The Georgia Straight. Read Full Article here

Next up, our Winemakers dinner was a very special opportunity to hone in and taste select wines paired with a very elegant five-course dinner at West Restaurant on South Granville. 

Guests wait for the first sip of the night. Photo by Megan Verhey

Guests watch and anticipate the first sip of the night.
Photo by Megan Verhey

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Arts Club’s Executive Director Howard R. Jang welcomes guests.
Photo by Megan Verhey

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Diners get ready for an evening celebrating California wine.
Photo by Megan Verhey

Guests wait for the first sip of the night.  Photo by Megan Verhey

Brand ambassador Peter Marshall talks about the wines to be poured. Photo by Megan Verhey

Proceeds from the California Wine Fair benefit our youth programs and artistic development initiatives. Thanks to everyone who came out on Tuesday and Wednesday night to support us!

And we aren’t done yet with our popular food + wine fundraisers for this season. Join us on May 22 for our Best of BC Winemakers Dinner at Provence Marineside. MORE INFO

california-winesThe California Wine Fair is an Arts Club fundraising event, presented in partnership with California Wines and generously sponsored by BFL Canada, the US Consulate, Holland America Line, Konet Systems and the Vancouver Courier.

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Apr
22

Guest post: Ken MacKenzie, KIM’S CONVENIENCE set and costume designer

I remember, as a kid in Toronto, my neighbourhood seemed huge. My school was a fifteen minute walk away and it constituted a whole other continent. The geography was a scale I could barely comprehend and it was conceivable to me that if you kept walking down the sidewalk of some streets, eventually, you’d circle the globe and end up right where you started.

Intuitively, you’d expect the centre of a child’s mental map of their neighbourhood to be their home. Mine wasn’t. The centre of the map was the convenience store at the end of my street: Donwood Variety Store. That was the geographic and social centre of my neighbourhood.

Chantelle Han and Andre Sills. Photo by Bruce Monk

Chantelle Han and Andre Sills. Photo by Bruce Monk

It was where I would gleefully spend hours trying to figure out how to get the most candy I could for 50¢. It was where my friends and I would meet on our bikes to get freezies in the summer. It was the store that sponsored my hockey team in the local house league in the winter. It was where I spent an awful amount of money on baseball cards, sure that my fortune lay in the next pack. My sense of humour was formed in the magazine isle reading MAD. It was open on Sundays and until eleven at night. Donwood Variety was a fixture of my youth.

The proprietors of Donwood Variety for the entire time that I lived in that neighbourhood, were two Korean brothers, Clement and James. Clement and James watched me, and all of my friends grow up, and, in turn, we watched as James got married and his wife started to work at the store. Eventually, they had a baby and a few years after that, James and his wife bought a store downtown and left Clement to run the store at the centre of my neighbourhood.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Andre Sills. Photo by Bruce Monk

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Andre Sills. Photo by Bruce Monk

I moved away from the neighbourhood in my late teens and haven’t been a fixture there since but anytime I’m there, Clement recognizes me and greets me with a big smile on his face almost like I was there just last week.

So when Ins approached me about designing for Kim’s Convenience, my mind went immediately to Donwood Variety, James, and Clement. I thought about how everybody has a convenience store at the centre of their neighbourhood. And everybody knows a James or Clement. People remember trying to get as much penny candy as possible with the 50¢ they found. My hope has always been that when you walk into the theatre, you feel as though you recognize the space and that whatever memory that provides is a rich and detailed one. And then the story of Kim’s Convenience plays out over top of those memories.

The cast of Kim's Convenience. Photo by Bruce Monk

The cast of Kim’s Convenience. Photo by Bruce Monk

Kim’s Convenience starts April 24 at the Granville Island Stage. Buy tickets to this corner store comedy online or call the box office at 604.687.1644.

 

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Apr
21

Introducing…Monty Python’s Spamalot

Whether or not you’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy GrailSpamalot will make you laughalot. Favourites old and new—the Knights Who Say “Ni!” and the Laker Girls among them—appear in this highly irreverent and ironic musical that parodies not only the legend of King Arthur but also well-tread Broadway theatrical conventions.

The cast of Spamalot. Photo by David Cooper

The cast of Spamalot. Photo by David Cooper

“This show has all the ingredients to take you on a funny journey and send you out of the theatre humming a little something about the bright side of life,” said Dean Paul Gibson, director. “There is a good reason that this show is such an enormous hit, and not just with the people that grew up watching Monty Python. After all, Monty Python has been off the air since 1974, but its influence and style have endured for decades both here and across the pond.”

David Marr and Andrew Cownden. Photo by David Cooper

David Marr and Andrew Cownden. Photo by David Cooper

Spamalot was conceived by Eric Idle, a founding member of the Python troupe. In 2005, the show received 14 Tony Award nominations, winning three, including Best Musical. Since 2012, due in part to Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s prominent place in pop culture and the success of Spamalot, would-be citizens of the United Kingdom must pass a citizenship test featuring questions about Monty Python.

Jay Hindle, David Marr, Josh Epstein, and Jonathan Winsby. Photo by David Cooper

Jay Hindle, David Marr, Josh Epstein, and Jonathan Winsby. Photo by David Cooper

Spamalot starts May 8 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Tickets start at just $29Buy online or call the box office at 604.687.1644.

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