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Tow Truck Drivers: Villains or roes or Just M is understood? 50* Years!




E S TA BL ISH E D 1967

Architecture x Wine in the Okanagan B.C.’s Wild West of Wine Regions Sussing Out Deals at the Liquor Store Who Has the Best Wine List in Town? How Do You Pronounce Vosne? Lambrusco? Why Not! The Veuve-O-Meter Burgundy for Real Dummies

The Wine Issue

The City’s Top Wine Pros Share the Inside Scoop on the What, When and Where to Sip in Vancouver, from Albariño to Zinfandel.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wine

Best bottles, hot wine lists, your winery start-up guide, the ultimate Okanagan map and much more.


Towing the Line

Are Vancouver’s tow truck drivers vultures on wheels? Or simply misunderstood-butdecent guys? Riding along with Vancouver’s Most Hated.







11 At Issue SFU researchers put a next-gen prosthesis to the ultimate test.

25 The Dish An over-the-top dish at Le Crocodile is well worth the splurge.

65 Travel Don’t be overwhelmed by L.A.’s sprawl: we’ve got the best places to eat, stay and play.


16 City Informer Where the heck is Saskatchewan Street?

26 Reviews Raisu joins the Kingyo family; Breakfast Table brings new life to South Granville.

18 Snapshot The city’s best beach is for the dogs.


20 Future of the City An earthquake expert tells us what to expect when the Big One hits.



28 Taste Test Which locally brewed kombucha is king? 30 Moveable Feast Port Moody morphs into a foodie haven.

68 Personal Space Inside one interior designer’s eclectic home base.


70 On Trend Tech’s latest disruption? The fashion industry. 72 Hot Take Slick styles to beat stormy winter days.

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Welcome To Getaway FROM EVERYTHING

Editorial Director Anicka Quin Art Director Paul Roelofs Executive Editor Stacey McLachlan Food Editor Neal McLennan Associate Art Director Natalie Gagnon Associate Editor Julia Dilworth Assistant Art Director Jenny Reed Staff Writer Kaitlyn Gendemann Videographer Mark Philps Contributing Editor Amanda Ross Editorial Interns Daniela Rodriguez Chevalier, Andrea Garza, Tiff any C. Lockhart

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VANCOUVER MAGAZINE is published 10 times a year by Yellow Pages Homes Ltd. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Not responsible for unsolicited editorial material. Privacy Policy: On occasion, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened organizations whose product or service might interest you. If you prefer that we not share your name and address (postal and/or email), you can easily remove your name from our mailing lists by reaching us at any of the listed contact points. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at Indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index by Micromedia Ltd. and also in the Canadian Periodical Index. International standard serial no. ISSN 0380-9552. Canadian publications mail product sales agreement #40068973. Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing G.P. (LGM Graphics), 737 Moray St., Winnipeg, MB, R3J 3S9. All reproduction requests must be made to: COPIBEC (paper reproductions) 800-717-2022, or CEDROM-SNi (electronic reproductions) 800-563-5665. Distributed by Coast to Coast Ltd.

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“I Was the Shah’s Dog Catcher” On 50 years of storytelling at VanMag.

i was at a friend’s 50th birthday celebration the other night and, not surprisingly, a good part of the evening was spent sharing stories about the host’s youthful escapades. That time he showed up in a three-piece suit for a Dairy Queen interview. The moment when he met his future husband on a dance floor, thanks to being dragged into a club by another friend, who wanted to extend the night by one last drink. His willingness to always make time for friends and family, despite being that Type-A kind of guy who somehow manages to hold down two full-time jobs. Like my good friend, Vancouver magazine is also approaching its golden anniversary, and for the past 50 years we too have been sharing stories—ones that have at times revealed and inspired this city and the people who live here. Back in 1967, Dick MacLean’s Greater Vancouver Greeter Guide was just a digest-sized newborn that wouldn’t hold on to its early, cumbersome title. When Agency Press purchased it a few years later, it was rebranded Vancouver Leisure—until our iconic past editor Malcolm “Mac” Parry took over and lopped off the “Leisure.” Mac was known for getting interesting stories out of people who weren’t writers, and as former art director Rick Staehling shared with our readers a few years ago, in doing so he created fodder for many, many excellent headlines. “My favourite was ‘I Was the Shah’s Dog Catcher,’” said Staehling. “True headline, true story.” Through the decades, this magazine has reflected our changing city, and surfing through our back issues offers a time machine-like look at both the publication and Vancouver itself. The late Sean Rossiter, who wrote his 12th and Cambie column


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from the ’70s into the ’90s, was one of the few journalists of his time to cover civic issues and architecture—a look at his columns reveals that complaints about the rising costs of real estate surfaced around the ’80s (a personal fave: “How the Fairview Slopes Got Expensive, Trendy and Kinda Messed Up”). The great Douglas Coupland started his career as an editor here and came back to guest edit our new millennium issue, with humorous takes on what the future might bring (including an excellent photo essay featuring clones turning 50, and a Rolling Stones concert in 2040). You’ll catch a glimpse of that issue on our back page in a new feature running each month this year—a look back at the rich history of this magazine. We’ll also be looking forward, with a special Future of the City series of Q&As that Petti Fong will be conducting with thought leaders in their fields. And this summer we’ll have an entire issue dedicated to these 50 years in the city—and what the next 50 will bring. It’s a privilege to have been a part of this city, and a part of our readers’ lives, for fifty years—an honour we plan to earn for at least another six decades onward. Of course, it’s not insignificant that our first issue in our 50th year is also our wine issue. May I offer food editor Neal McLennan’s Veuve-OMeter on page 41 as your opportunity to find something great to celebrate with at a reasonable price?

Coming Up Next Issue I’m on a Boat In the age of sky-high real estate, City Informer asks: just how much does it cost to live on the water? 25 Ways to Live Forever From transhumanists to 89-year-old marathoners, these folks may have the secrets of eternal life figured out.


Anicka Quin editorial director

anick a . quin @vanmag . com




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The Bionic Arm

How a team of SFU researchers aims to change the future of prostheses. BY

Kerry Banks

DANNY LETAIN’S LEFT FOREARM is a glistening black shell of carbon-fibre weave and fibreglass laid over a thermoplastic inner socket. There is a raised compartment packed with custom electronics, and, at the wrist, the arm connects to a black hand with long, spidery fingers and titanium joints. As amazing as the prosthesis looks, the technology behind it is even more impressive. Letain just has to think about closing his fingers—which flexes the muscles in his stump—and his bionic hand responds by curling into a fist. The device is powered by a new type of technology, called “force myography,” that a crew of Simon Fraser University biomedical engineering and kinesiology students has developed. Originally used for rehabilitating stroke j

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victims, the technology comprises an arm band packed with micro-sensors that are fitted inside the prosthetic socket. These sensors monitor the movements of the muscles in Letain’s stump as he carries out tasks. This data is then converted into a sensor map by computer algorithms that decode Letain’s intentions and send an electrical message to the hand, telling it how to move. “I’ve always had the sensation of having fingers at the end of my stump. I’ve just never been able to use it—until now,” says Letain, a former locomotive engineer, who lost his

been practising with the bionic technology for a year, preparing for an international competition that pits disabled athletes wearing prostheses and exoskeletons against one another in timed races. In Letain’s event, competitors must perform a series of tasks, such as carrying objects, opening a jar, slicing bread and hanging laundry, within an eight-minute span. “It may all sound really mundane, but it’s extremely challenging when you’re powering new technology,” he explains. Taking place in Zurich, Switzerland, the inaugural event

Recently retired, he had the time to devote to the project, and he was also physically fit, giving him a potential advantage when navigating the Cybathlon course. A former professional skier, he had worked as a coach and ski instructor before and after his injury—he currently teaches adaptive skiing at Kamloops’ Sun Peaks Resort—and in 1992, he raced for Canada at the Winter Paralympics in France. Letain notes that there is a real need for improved technology for arm amputees because of design shortcomings in prostheses. According to Brittany Pousett, head of research and development at Barber Prosthetics, about 30 percent of is known as the Cybathlon— upper limb amputees don’t use a nicknamed the Bionic Olympics. prosthesis. The technology has been Organizers hope the showcase will slow to evolve both because it’s hard spur innovations that will allow to mimic the complexity of a human people with disabilities to regain independence. In total, the Cybathlon hand and because there are far will feature 66 teams competing from fewer arm amputees than those with missing legs. 25 countries, but SFU’s team is the The main alternative to cableonly Canadian entry. The project is a collaborative effort operated limbs are myoelectric arms that use sensors to detect with two other parties. The arm electrical signals from the muscles. was provided by Barber Prosthetics However, the drawback with this of Vancouver, while the high-tech myoelectric method is its complexity. robotic hand, the Bebionic3, was donated by its British manufacturer, Because it measures only two electrical signals in the limb, the Steeper Prosthetics. The SFU team user must learn to isolate specific launched a crowdfunding campaign and signed up several sponsors to pay muscles in the biceps or triceps and then flex them repeatedly to for the trip to Switzerland. make robotic fingers open or close. Letain, who was recruited in May Normally, we unconsciously use 2015, was the perfect candidate.

— LU K A S - K A R I M


left arm just below the elbow in a rail yard accident in 1980. Ever since, he has used a traditional pincer-andhook prosthesis that can be opened or closed by pulling cables attached to the opposite shoulder. The hook is durable and quick to respond, but controlling it with straps isn’t natural and it’s physically taxing. But with this new high-tech prosthesis, Letain feels like he’s actually opening and closing his hand. “The most exciting moment for me was feeling my left index finger and the little finger for the first time since my accident. With the hook you don’t use those muscles at all. This system puts my mind to work in a whole new way.” It is early fall and the 59-yearold Maple Ridge resident has


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The more data you give it, the more it will learn.”






One woman’s entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of the Pacific Autism Family Centre—North America’s first. The M Power Speaker series brought in CEO and philanthrophist Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia in to share how she did it with a rapt audience of attendees at the extravagant Brian Jessel BMW dealership on November 15. Watch the highlights at

Editorial Director Anicka Quinn with Speaker Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, and Brian Jessel Marketing Manager Diana Zoppa

Brian Jessel BMW’s 2016 650 Grand Coupé

Wendy discusses the incredible support offered at the new Pacific Autism Family Centre in Vancouver

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Guests’ enjoy Culmina Family Estate Winery’s Decora, Dilemma and Hypothesis

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multiple muscles at the same time to complete a movement. The advantage of SFU’s force myography system is that it is much more intuitive and natural, according to SFU alumnus Lukas-Karim Merhi, who leads the interdisciplinary team, which calls itself M.A.S.S. Impact (Mass Activity Sensor Strip). “Our sensors recognize the pressure map for a specific grip pattern and then tell the hand to move that way,” he says. Merhi notes that this technology also collects computer models to use for future activities: “The more data you give it, the more it will learn.” Pousett says the SFU innovation “is a completely new approach to picking up signals and controlling an electric prosthesis from someone’s body.” She believes it has the potential to increase the motion currently available to prosthesis users. Merhi admits that the SFU technology still needs refining before it can be commercially applied, which is the ultimate goal. The prototype was tested at a Cybathlon trial in the summer of 2015 and placed second, but the team has made several refinements since then. “At the trials, one of the team members was literally running alongside me with his Bluetooth and laptop as I moved from station to station,” says Letain. Today, that computer has been reduced to a Chiclets-sized packet that fits inside the prosthetic arm. “We feel good about our chances,” Letain says, shortly before leaving for the Cybathlon. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. It’s October, the day before the SFU team is set to fly to Switzerland, and the Bebionic3 hand has stopped working, knocked out of commission by a faulty main electronic board. By sheer luck, the team manages to borrow a replacement from Barber Prosthetics, but there is a problem—


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this prosthetic hand is a medium and Letain has done all of his training with the large model. “This had a huge impact on my performance since we didn’t have sufficient time to practise with the new hand and could only train the software (provide it with data) once before leaving,” he says. Letain completes the course, but his precision has been disrupted and he doesn’t make the finals. In an ironic twist, a Dutch team using a conventional hook-and-pincer prosthesis wins the event, defeating eight teams that are all using myoelectric technology. Despite the disappointing result, Merhi is proud of what his team has accomplished. “We’ve only been working on this for a year and a half and it’s all been volunteer,” he says. To affirm his point, he describes how some of the technologies they were competing against have benefited from years of research and billions of dollars in funding. Looking ahead, Merhi hopes to continue to improve the functioning of the prosthetic arm and perhaps compete in the next Cybathlon in 2020 in Tokyo, when it will be held in conjunction with the Paralympics. Exactly how the team will proceed from here is still being discussed. Merhi estimates that advancing the sensing technology to a commercial state will take several years. “Additional tests would have to be conducted with multiple amputees, and running these sorts of feasibility studies requires at least a year and considerable funding,” he says. In the meantime, the SFU team leader is focusing on the positive aspects of the Cybathlon experience. “I feel privileged to have attended the event. Watching paralyzed people stand and walk in their exoskeletons was incredibly inspiring. It’s made us even more determined to make a difference.”


Michael White


All Our Wrong Todays Vancouver-born Elan Mastai stepped away from his primary vocation of writing and producing for the screen—his latest film, the Daniel Radcliffe-starring What If, was shot in his adopted home of Toronto—to draw advance praise for his debut novel, about a man’s discovery that achieving time travel can be a double-edged sword. Available February 7 LISTEN

Adam Ant As founder and front man of Adam and the Ants, he was one of the most iconic (and eccentric) British pop stars of the early 1980s. Now 62, Ant is performing his former band’s breakthrough album, Kings of the Wild Frontier, in its entirety, alongside other fan favourites and new songs. Vogue Theatre, February 4


The Audience Starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, the original London and New York productions of this play—a decades-spanning dramatization of the Queen’s weekly meetings with her prime ministers—have won numerous awards, including a Tony for Mirren. Long-time Arts Club actress Anna Galvin steps into the royal role here. Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, January 26 to February 26


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Where the Heck Is Saskatchewan Street? by

Stacey McLachlan Byron Eggenschwiler

illustration by

You know when someone does a juice cleanse and it’s all they want to talk about? That’s kind of how Dr. Israel Powell was about Canadian Confederation. He was a man obsessed, helping broker the deal to get B.C. in the mix, bringing a Canadian flag out West for the first time and instigating the original prime minister bromance with Sir John A. Macdonald. Everyone else was probably all, “Yes, I’m sure Confederation is good for the economy and gets rid of toxins, but we’re trying to build a railroad here. Can we talk about this later?” So you can see why the guy—for whom Powell Street and Powell River were named, because he was an incredibly


I imagine if you were paying by the letter for street signs, it wasn’t a hard cut to make.

accomplished man in addition to being a Canada fanboy—decided in 1888 to name some streets after his top crushes, the seven provinces of the Great White North. He arranged them in geographical order, west to east—

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(British) Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, (Nova) Scotia, (New) Brunswick, Prince Edward (Island)—with a brief interruption for the pre-existing Westminster Avenue, which later evolved, like some sort of

brewery-themed Pokémon, into the Main Street we know today. Ontario Street was placed in the middle of the pentagon-shaped zone that was Mount Pleasant, dividing the east side of Vancouver from the west, because it represented

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Central Canada and, therefore, as any Torontonian would tell you, the centre of the universe. When Alberta, Yukon and Saskatchewan joined Confederation several years later, city council tried to squeeze the newcomers into the neighbourhood—but unfortunately, three was a crowd, and Saskatchewan Street wasn’t included. I imagine if you were paying by the letter for your street signs, it wasn’t a hard cut to make. As a concession, a small stretch of land up by Marine Drive was appointed Saskatchewan Avenue in 1908, but just seven years later it was changed to the much snappier “West 72nd Avenue.” Then, for basically a century, we just all pretended there wasn’t a huge trapezoid-shaped hole in our lives . . . until a few years ago, when both Sask and Nunavut both got lanes to call their own, north of 70th Avenue. At just a block each, they’re perhaps not as fierce a declaration of love as Dr. Powell would have made were he still with us, but better than what we’ve done for Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories, which are still conspicuously absent from our maps (but not our hearts).

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Dog Days of Winter

Vancouver’s outdoor lifestyle isn’t strictly limited to its human residents. On the perfect West Coast weekend (read: bleak and drizzly), local pups hit one of the city’s most popular canine stomping grounds: Kitsilano's off-leash beach. Jenni Baynham photos by Evaan Kheraj



as told to

1. Sarah and her sister Shannon brought their parents’ miniature Australian shepherds, Emma (pictured) and Amy, to the dog beach while their mom cooks dinner at home. “Our parents bought these dogs as replacement daughters after we moved away from home,” says Sarah. “They now refer to the dogs as ‘the girls’ or ‘your sisters.’” 2. Though Jessica and Kyle live in Surrey, they frequently bring 10-month-old rescue dog Taco to the off-leash area at Kits Beach. Originally from Mexico, Taco now serves as the face of the couple’s button-up shirt company, making him a qualified international model. 3. Toby the black lab comes to the beach every day with owner Ayden (pictured) and his family. He performs a valued public service by swimming out as far as the boats to rescue other dogs’ balls—an exercise regimen his owners hope will enhance the results of his new diet plan.

4. Slightly more active than her sister Emma, Amy (pictured) has no qualms about going for a dip—even on a cold day like today. 5. You might not think it to look at him, but Frank, an 11-yearold chihuahua, is an avid hiker, currently working on a new personal best for the Chief. 6. Nine-monthold bulldog Archer returns to his owner triumphantly with that day’s stick. “He’s the result of breeders trying to create healthier bulldogs—that’s why he’s not stocky,” says his owner, David. “He’s currently 70 pounds, but his dad is 100 pounds so I’m waiting to see how big he gets.”


7. Michael Cunningham is a familiar sight in these parts, due largely to the three miniature dachshunds with whom he has patrolled the streets over the last two decades. Now he’s down to just one canine companion: Solo. “I called her ‘Solo’ because she’s so low to the

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ground,” laughs Michael. “I stole the name from some guy who made that joke on this very beach over 10 years ago.” 8. Zola is more of a “people dog” than a “dog’s dog,” evident by her wagging tail as she makes the rounds. “We rescued her from the States when she was six months,” explains her owner, Chris. “She’s just so happy all the time.”


9. This sheepdoglabradoodle hybrid—known as a “sheepadoodle”—is the most energetic canine at the beach. “We named Kirby after a girl in some movie that we can’t remember the name of,” says owner David. “She’s usually big and fluffy like a traditional English sheepdog, but we’ve just had her trimmed.” 10. Kirby and two blue Staffordshire bull terriers (who did not arrive at the beach together) tear around one last time before leaving.







Is Vancouver Ready for the Big One?

In the first instalment of our Q&A series looking at the future of Vancouver, we talk to Canada’s earthquake expert, seismologist John Cassidy. by

Petti Fong

illustration by

Carl Wiens

Be thankful for the little earthquakes that shake us—they serve as much-needed reminders that a 7- to 9-magnitude event looms. The treacherous Juan de Fuca plate will eventually buck up and the ground will move, a lot more destructively than the 4.7-magnitude quake felt across Vancouver and Vancouver Island in December 2015. There are reasons to be nervous. Especially when earthquakes still scare one of the country’s foremost experts, John Cassidy, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada. It’s Cassidy’s job to better understand earthquake hazards through research, including looking for hidden faults and mapping the forces that cause earthquakes. His realization after 30 years of doing this: there’s no way to predict when the Big One will hit.


What is the reaction you get when people meet you for the first time and find out you’re an earthquake expert?


Q: What has been the greatest advancement of tools or techniques in understanding earthquakes in your lifetime?

A: Very precise GPS that Everyone I meet is can track tiny movements really appreciative of the earth’s surface. That of the work—because it does just started 20 to 25 years protect people’s lives and ago, with instruments structures and ultimately deployed where you our economy—and they’re can start tracking the really interested in what movement of how the kinds of earthquakes surface of the earth is being we’ve had in the past. Most formed. That’s part of don’t know there was a 7.3 how we discovered the earthquake in 1946 and a Cascadia subduction zone magnitude-9 back in 1700, where these magnitudeand we know energy is 9 earthquakes occur. being stored for another big We didn’t know they earthquake to occur here. occurred off our coast.


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DAVID BLACKWOOD A Compelling Narrative January 23 - February 10, 2017

Please join us Opening Reception: January 26, 6 - 8 pm

The Pendulum Gallery

HSBC Building, 885 W. Georgia RSVP by January 18: Catering by Hawksworth Exhibition presented by Winchester Galleries




Packing List

People are happy to hear earthquake scientists live in earthquake zones.” Q: What’s better to have: instruments or tools that can predict earthquakes, or an informed public who knows what to do when an earthquake hits? A: At this point in time we can’t predict earthquakes. We can assess where earthquakes can occur; we can model and say this is the level of shaking we can expect. That’s the information we can use in building codes. It may be that we can never predict earthquakes. So I believe the most important thing is having an informed public and having well-designed building codes that incorporate the latest earthquake science. Q: Why can’t we predict earthquakes? A: We’ve heard of animals in China that may exhibit strange behaviour before an earthquake, but that doesn’t happen before every earthquake and not in every area. There have been some interesting observations at different times. The real challenge is finding something that is consistent and works all the time. Q: Do you know right away, “I am in an earthquake,” or do you wonder, “What just happened?” A: With small earthquakes, it can be hard to tell. It can feel like a gust of wind or a big truck. With bigger earthquakes there’s no doubt and it’s very frightening because earthquakes occur without warning. The first shaking we feel is the P-wave, a sound wave that travels,


and that’s not the strongest shaking, it’s the up-and-down shaking. The shaking that causes damage are S-waves—that’s the side-to-side shaking—and they travel slower than P-waves. Q: What’s the future of seismic preparedness and what does that look like for Vancouver?

A: I think back to when I was growing up in Victoria and there were no earthquake drills in school, there was no talk about seismic upgrades. Now we see bridges being retrofitted and, in Victoria, the old buildings being retrofitted. Before, we only had fire drills, and now we’re regularly doing things like ShakeOut. It’s all good progress. It’s important for individuals to have earthquake kits and to know what to expect; that’s at the personal level of preparedness. As a scientist, the work we’re doing in earthquake research and working with engineers to design buildings and bridges and infrastructure that prevents shaking is working. As federal government scientists, our research feeds into national codes and standards used every day by engineers and regulators and decision makers. Q: What is something people don’t know about earthquakes? A: Knowing what to expect is the best thing you can do. Large earthquakes are followed by smaller shocks. I was in Chile and for days, even weeks, you feel non-stop aftershocks, and up in Haida Gwaii in 2012, there were hundreds and hundreds of aftershocks. It’s always frightening. You feel the ground shake every hour,

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every half an hour. In Chile, I was in a store and a can fell off the shelf and I just about jumped. You’re on edge and you experience this feeling of being very frightened. Q: Hearing that you’re afraid of earthquakes makes me even more nervous. A: The key message is that we can protect ourselves from earthquakes. You asked how people react when they meet earthquake scientists, and one of the things that comes through is that people are really happy to hear earthquake scientists live in earthquake zones and we’re not in Saskatchewan, where earthquakes don’t happen. We live here, where earthquakes have occurred and will occur. Q: What is the future for us here in Vancouver, and in B.C., if we can’t predict earthquakes? Do we just live with uncertainty until the Big One? A: What is known is that there has been a great deal of data that has been supplied and used. Engineers have used that information; there have been upgrades made to infrastructure, building codes. We are much better off now than we were even 20 years ago because we have that much more research— even something like more detailed maps that allow us to see through vegetation and trees. We have new tools that allow us to get very detailed images of the sea floor to identify active faults. Every day we know more, and when people are prepared, we can now know what to expect. If people know what to expect, and they’re prepared and they know what to do after the earthquake occurs, that will minimize the impact of future earthquakes. And there will be future earthquakes.

Though having a doomsday bunker to retreat to in an emergency would be nice, it’s just not realistic with these real estate prices. Instead, we’ll have to rely on a well-packed emergency kit to get us through those first post-quake days. Here are the essentials you’ll need.


Items that won’t spoil, such as canned goods, energy bars or dried foods. We hope you like fruit leather. WATER

At least two litres per person per day. You’re going to need a few more S’well bottles.


Crank or battery-powered flashlight—for navigating your way through the likely power outages. Please try to refrain from shadow puppetry. Crank or battery-powered radio. Your fave drive-time DJ probably won’t be there, but it’ll be handy for weather and disaster alerts. First aid kit. (Bonus points if you’ve taken a first aid class and actually know how to use it.)

sandra meigs En Trance January 24 - February 11, 2017 An exclusive selection of paintings by Gershon Iskowitz Prize winner Sandra Meigs.

Room for Mystics, No.3, a/c, 72"x58"

All of these works will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario in September 2017.

WinCHesTer gaLLeries 2260 Oak Bay avenue, Victoria, BC 250-595-2777

STEAK FRITES chargrilled sirloin, kale salad, horseradish cream, sea salted fries

U N B I A S E D R E V I E WS / W I N E S PE C I A L / P O R T M O O DY





I FIRST BECAME aware of Le Crocodile’s foie gras crème brûlée when I spied a famous chef (and Le Croc alum) across the room and his entire lunch apparently consisted of a dish of duck liver topped with a beautifully caramelized crust the size of a small Frisbee. I scanned the menu but could find no trace of the dish (it lives today only as one half of a foie gras duo in the appetizer section of the dinner menu). But if you know to ask, you can get the dish in a small size ($17, feeds two) or large ($30, feeds four to six, or one hungry chef) whenever you want. Either way, it’s a dish that’s both nostalgic and, in its damn-thetorpedoes adherence to hot-again classical French technique, also very au courant. Especially if you go full Frisbee.—Neal McLennan 100–909 Burrard St.,

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Raisu, the new spot from the Kingyo/Suika/Rajio Group has, for better or worse, a lot going on. by

Alexandra Gill Luis Valdizon

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Shabu shabu

Tiger prawn croquette Sake flight



2340 W 4th Ave. 604-620-1564 Hours: Dinner 5:30-10:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays Shokado bento box


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Breakfast Table 1481 W Broadway 604-805-1900

SOME MIGHT shrug it off as Youngest Child Syndrome. Less tolerant diners—me, for one—will be tempted to storm out during dinner. Raisu, the latest izakaya from the team behind Kingyo, Suika and Rajio, is the most interesting—yet exasperating—offspring in the whole Group Restaurant family. The serene second-storey Kits walk-up has so much going for it:

many of the specialties are made in limited quantities. Some must be ordered in advance, if you can get through on the phone (it took me six attempts). Others are firstcome, first-served (so you’ll have to join the lineups that start forming before the doors open at 5:30 p.m.). Much like a multi-tasking millennial switching between numerous apps, dinner streams out of the kitchen in one big interactive swoop. We were already busy with a full table of participatory dishes—grinding the sesame seeds for panko-crusted barley-fed pork, stirring a hot clay pot of sea urchin and snow crab, dipping thin slices of wagyu in a cauldron of shabu shabu-style udon—when a gorgeous Zen design (including a out came the two pre-ordered window-wrapped balcony with hori Zen bento boxes with their nine kotatsu tables set over a recessed, compartments of delicate lotus root heated floor), a serious sake list sandwiches, fried tofu patties with (more than 50 varieties, including some daily flights) and an abundance orange-grated daikon, etc., etc. No! Take it back. Food this of intriguing specialties (elaborate intricate needs to be slowly meat and vegetarian bento savoured, not piled on and tossed boxes, teishoku tray set meals, around like any old ebi mayo or sizzling hot-stone bowls and the immensely Instagrammable Oceans chicken karaage. Raisu is more refined than a happy-go-lucky, pubOffering checkerboard of various like izakaya. It deserves elevated, pressed sushi). grown-up service to match. The main frustration is that

Raisu is more refined than a happy-golucky, pub-like izakaya.

The crowd bumping elbows at the tightly packed Breakfast Table is a loud and clear cry for help on South Granville. In any other part of the city, the farm-to-table spot would be a forgettable blip on the hollandaise-splattered brunch landscape, but with little competition in restaurantstarved SoGra (we’re calling it that now, right?), it’s been instantly elevated to 30-minute-lineup status… perhaps a little hastily. The owners, Mike Lee and chef George Koay, have some decent experience under their belts (with stints at Boulevard and Lift, respectively), so it’s a little surprising that BT feels like an amateur project. The menu is definitely intriguing on first glance, peppered with inventive twists on the brunch essentials (think coffeecrusted pork belly hash, hot smoked trout benedict and challah French toast) and showing a dedication to locally sourced ingredients. But in practice, dishes come out slightly bland—the seasonal veggies are fresh but underseasoned, and the beef bulgogi hash relies on a too-small splash of kimchi to do the heavy lifting. And without a slam-dunk menu, it’s a little hard to forgive the awkward design of the space: the ceiling is unfortunately decked out with off ice-style tiles and too-bright track lighting (though a friendly coat of teal paint and a collage of vegetable crates have been added to the wall in an attempt to distract the eye). But there are moments here that hint at potential, like the creamy, cauliflowerbased hollandaise. A few more weekends feeding the South Granville hordes, and BT might just polish its game and prove itself worthy of the attention. Fingers crossed they upgrade their light fixtures while they’re at it.—Stacey McLachlan

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Kombucha dates back to a time when fermentation was a by-product of cleaning your kitchen once a year, but these days Vancouverites can’t get enough of the golden elixir. The drink, made from tea and a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” is delightfully tart and effervescent—plus it’s widely believed to improve digestion and overall gut health. We tasted six of B.C.’s best brews to see which kombucha rises to the top. by

05 Tea

Oriental Beauty The base of this unpasteurized kombucha—an oolong tea from China—resulted in a fruity but unidentifiable flavour (“Is it pear or apple?”) and a delicious, earthy quality that reminded our judges of spiced cider.

Kaitlyn Gendemann Clinton Hussey

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Spark Kombucha

Raincoast Kombucha

This was the top choice for Welch, who liked the combination of mint and lime in this cocktail-inspired kombucha. Though our other judges disagreed (“The mint just doesn’t work”), Welch was pleased with the strong, fermented flavour: “It tastes like home brew.”

The judges loved the unique colour (“It looks like a rosé wine!”) and taste of this Powell River brew. Made from a mix of green rooibos and sencha green tea, dried cherries and rose petals, this kombucha is “really light but full of flavour,” said Nakamura Nguyen.



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Ferrytale Rose

Bucha Brew



This “light and refreshing” kombucha took home the win for its balanced flavour and smooth finish. “The ginger is there, but it’s not overpowering,” said Loukas, who admitted she could easily drink a full bottle of the stuff. Our other judges agreed, praising its tart, “not too sweet” aftertaste and natural carbonation.

Meet the Judges Cory Welch is lead cook at vegetarian eatery the Arbor and a real kombucha enthusiast—he makes his own brew at home and drinks it on the daily.

Oddity Kombucha

Hoochy ’Booch

“Whoa,” exclaimed one judge upon taking a first sip. This kombucha has an “aggressive” profile that packs a powerful “gingery punch," and though there are some sweeter notes—our judges detected a hint of honey—it’s not for the faint of heart.

This Earl Grey, vanilla and lavender variety, made in East Vancouver, failed to really impress our judges. They called it “slightly too sweet” and “flatter than most kombuchas,” but worth trying if you’re new to the scene.


Lady Grey

Lia Loukas is the director of marketing at Chinatown’s plantbased pizzeria Virtuous Pie, where she can enjoy a glass of kombucha straight from the bar’s tap. Lisa Nakamura Nguyen is the program manager at Nourish Cafe and Cooking School. She drinks kombucha for its health benefits and enjoys trying new blends.

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Port Moody is rife with new restaurants, ocean views and more craft breweries than you can shake a stick at. It’s time to head east to source some of this burg’s charismatic charm. by

Jenni Baynham Ariana Gillrie

Caffé Divano Brew Street Craft and Kitchen

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DRIVE TO PORT MOODY this weekend—go on, we dare you. Where you might have expected nothing but burbs—and you’ll pass through a few to get there— you could be surprised at what awaits you: exposed brick, high ceilings and open-plan industrial rooms are coming into their own in a spot that has morphed from peripheral town to hipster haven.

The Parkside Brewery

Moody Ales



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3 1 10 CLARKE ST 15


8 4

6 5




2 14




For prime evidence of just how Instagrammable Port Moody has become, make newly opened 1 Gabi and Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness (2302B Clarke St., the first stop on your route. From housemade granola (served in Mason jars, of course) to pies that seem fresh from your grandma’s oven, this bakery has brought a new flavour to the old town. If you’re looking for a good coffee and a savoury snack, head to the pie shop’s sister location, 2 Caffé Divano (101–101 Klahanie Dr.,, where owners Patrick and Lisa have been serving locals for nearly a decade.

Original’s Café Mexicano


Yellow Dog Brewing Co.

St. James’s Well

Rocky Point Ice Cream Store offers free-range and ethically raised meat alongside shelves full of delicious treats worthy of a Friday-night charcuterie board. Just a few blocks away, 8 Salumist (2723 Murray St., offers cured meat bento boxes from its position conveniently smack bang in the middle of Brewer’s Row.

Spacca Napoli

DINNER TIME 9 Spacca Napoli (2801 Saint Johns St., might have been around for only six months, but it has some real wood-fired pizza chops, and a swell decor, with subway tiles and a brightred oval-shaped pizza oven decor that pops even the greyest day. Ask for oregano and basil underneath the cheese on your order—trust us. 10 Original’s Café Mexicano (2231 Clarke St., originalscafe serves up good coffee, cake and solid Mexican food from a characterstyle home, and 11 Pajo’s (2800 Murray St., is the local go-to shack for fish and chips (though it closes in the winter). Head to 12 Rocky Point Ice Cream Store (2800 Murray St., for a scoop of blueberry-lemon-Greekyogurt ice cream to cleanse your palate.

Meat Craft Urban Butchery

Gabi and Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness

AFTERNOON BREW If there’s ever been one thing to tempt a Vancouverite out of the city, it’s four industrial-style craft breweries on one block adjacent to the water—aptly titled Brewer’s Row. If you’re looking for a triedand-tested bevvy, try the Moody Brown at local stalwart 3 Moody Ales (2601 Murray St., at the end of the street. 4 The Parkside Brewery (2731 Murray St., offers a larger, busier room with a good nighttime vibe, whereas 5 Twin Sails Brewing’s (2821 Murray St., dark room and red-brick-lined walls are

Twin Sails Brewing

perfect for a quiet drink. For VanMagaward-winning beer, head to 6 Yellow Dog Brewing Co. (2817 Murray St., and try the Chase My Tail Pale Ale. The town’s food trucks have cottoned on to this gem of a block, so don’t be surprised to see Cheese Crust or Island Time parked outside.

THE MEAT SCENE If you asked Port Moody locals 10 years ago what an “urban butchery” was, you might have received some strange looks and quickly been steered back onto Barnet Highway. Now 7 Meat Craft Urban Butchery (114 Moody St.,

LATE NIGHT If you’ve decided to make a weekend of it, then stop by 13 St. James’s Well (248 Newport Dr., for standard pub grub and a good pint of Guinness. 14 Brew Street Craft and Kitchen (3224 Saint Johns St., has everything you would expect from a pub with “craft” in the title, including a cutesy fairy light-adorned beer garden, though locals miss the dingy interior of the spot’s previous iteration, the Golden Spike, where you could get a $1 sleeve of beer every time the Canucks scored. 15 Rocky Point Taphouse (2524 Saint Johns St., has live music and a good tap selection, but rumours around town say the place has been bought by the owners of Brew Street, who have plans to turn it into an oyster bar.

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The Year of the Fire Rooster The Chinese Zodiac promises a year of fresh starts and opportunity


hen many people think of a new year, it’s New Years Eve that comes to mind. But in Chinese culture the changing calendar means more than party hats, noisemakers, a countdown to midnight and soon-to-beabandoned resolutions. It’s a time to honour deities, reflect on ancestors, cleanse your home and prepare for the year ahead. The annual celebration is particularly important within our coastal city.

IN WORK The Year of the Rooster marks a time of efficiency and justice. All those working in administrative or judicial roles are poised for greatest success. Those who have invested time and energy into new projects will also see the fruits of their labour, while others will find themselves inspired by the opportunity of a fresh start and change the course of their career altogether. This year take time to enjoy your accomplishments and determine how to build upon them.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE CHINESE NEW YEAR Unlike its Western counterpart, the Chinese New Year doesn’t consist of a single night of indulgence (and resulting hangover). Celebrations continue for over two weeks, as the attributes of the coming year are recognized and plans are made accordingly.

IN LOVE As a symbol of new beginnings, the Year of the Rooster is an opportune time to begin a romantic relationship. However, the dawn of new circumstances in other aspects of life can negatively impact marriages or other long-standing partnerships. Put extra care into the maintenance and protection of your most prized relationships. Demonstrate your love through thoughtful gestures and tokens of admiration, and consider loved ones as you make drastic changes.

HOW THE FIRE ROOSTER WILL IMPACT 2017 Known for its awakening trumpet-like calls, the rooster represents a new dawn. The hopeful symbol of fresh beginnings represents the success that awaits the hardworking and the opportunity that will reward the innovative. This year, the rooster is associated with the element of fire, placing a particular emphasis on leadership, confidence and the courage to try something different.

IN LIFE As a righteous and transparent animal, the fire rooster rewards those who are observant, courageous, talented, honest, amusing, outspoken and loyal. As a result, those born in the Year of the Rooster thrive in social settings and jobs that require a combination of charm and focus. By making wise investments in the first and second lunar months, misfortunes and bad luck will be transformed into blessings.



LUCKY COLOURS: Gold, Brown and Yellow

SHEN YUN: January 21-31 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

LUCKY NUMBERS: 5, 7 and 8 LUCKY FLOWERS: Gladiola and Cockscomb BIRTHDAYS: Those born on the 4th of any month will lead upright and honest lives; those born on the 26th of any month will have a propensity for successful business


The Gift

They’ll Never Forget… This season, give your loved ones an experience that will leave them in awe!

“Stage magic! A must see!” — Broadway World LA

Authentic Chinese Culture

Made in the U.S.A.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre JAN 29-31

Tickets: | 888-974-3698 Sold-out shows across North America SECURE YOUR SEATS NOW!

Promo code: VANMGZ

Experience Heavenly Realms Travel to celestial realms to experience magical and magnificent kingdoms, where flowers of blessing for all of humankind are scattered by heavenly maidens. Their beauty, purity, and grace will touch your heart and soul with joy.

“If heaven is the way we saw it tonight, count me in!” — Nathaniel Kahn, renowned filmmaker

Travel Back to Grand Dynasties The two-hour Shen Yun performance consists of about 20 pieces, moving from one story, region, and dynasty to the next. Stunning animated backdrops, exquisite handmade costumes, high-flying leaps, and thunderous battle drums all serve to transport you to another world.

“An amazing experience! Exciting to watch and really inspirational!” — Stewart F. Lane, Six-time Tony Award–winning producer

Myths & Legends Come to Life Timeless stories from ancient records and classics told through classical Chinese dance are not only fun to watch, but also celebrate traditional values like loyalty, filial piety, compassion, selflessness, and tolerance, bringing joy and inspiration to children and adults alike.

“5,000 years of Chinese music and dance, in one night!” — The New York Times

Enchanting Melodies by Ancient Chinese Instruments The ability to seamlessly harmonize the disparate sounds of Chinese

instruments and a Western symphony orchestra is what makes the Shen Yun Orchestra unique.

“Beautiful Sound, Strikingly intricate melodies.” —

Join our wine club today. Join THE BIG EASY CLUB and receive 20% off your order. Winery owners Chris and Betty Jentsch

Visit 4522 Hwy 97 I 778.493.2091 I







(and needed!)


Here’s what happened when Master of Wine Rhys Pender decided to start a winery.


Our list of eight wineries in B.C. that knock it out of the park—architecturally speaking.


We love the Okanagan, but these days wineries are springing up everywhere in the province.


Best wine list in town? Easy, it’s Vij’s. No, wait, it’s Burdock and Co. We ponder the merits of both.


Lambrusco is fizzy red wine that people used to make fun of. Turns out, people are idiots.


DJ Kearney on five wines that represent their countries better than Donald Trump represents his.

How do you pronounce “aglianico”? How much cash does it take to start a winery? We’ve assembled an oenological dream team to spill their expertise on all things vino. by Sid Cross, DJ Kearney, Kurtis Kolt, Rhys Pender, Neal McLennan and Michaela Morris

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How to Start a Winery Rhys Pender is one of the world’s 354 Masters of Wine, but his education really began when he started his own winery. by Rhys Pender, Owner/ Winemaker, Little Farm Winery illustration by Chris Madden

I couldn’t not get into making wine. With all the study I

had done toward my Master of Wine and having worked in vineyards and wineries, I had learned and knew every reason why we (my wife and I) shouldn’t have gone into making wine—but it was inevitable. There’s something about doing the entire process, from planting the vines through to bottling the wine, that’s somehow magical. We both felt the same way: we just had to do it. It’s the most absolute link possible to making something. You plant the vine, farm it for years, harvest its fruit and then turn it into wine. Then you get to taste it, having participated in every single step of the process. I’ve been around wine since I was a teenager. My family

wasn’t involved in the wine business but one of my first jobs, when I was 14, was in a liquor store. By default, I started to learn something about wine. It was food, though, that got me into wine in a serious way. My wife and I both did professional culinary training at Dubrulle in Vancouver, and I took my first wine course through


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The Easy Way

them. After that, I couldn’t stop and did all the courses of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and then the Master of Wine. It’s hard for young, passionate wine people to get into making wine.

A big worry in our industry in B.C. right now is that it’s almost impossible for those without unlimited funds to get into the business and make their own wine. And that’s a problem, because these are the people who will bring innovation and the crazy new ideas, and will help take us to the next level. But they are shut out: the entry fee is simply too high. We were lucky to get into the business—and even then, it was a stretch. In 2008,

we sold our little house in Peachland for $370,000 (we had bought it in 2000 for $115,000). We put that money into a five-acre property with a 100-yearold house in Cawston in the Similkameen Valley. It cost $490,000. The house needed lots of work so we still had to borrow a fair bit, plus it cost us about $26,000 per acre to establish the vineyard. Then you’ve got equipment purchases, years of labour and then the winery and all the production equipment. The Similkameen was and still is less expensive than the Okanagan. It might have cost two to three times as much to buy five acres somewhere like Naramata. My business (Wine Plus) writing, judging and teaching people about wine had to pay for everything until we had enough wine to start actually making some money off the winery. All this while we were both working nearly full-time on the vineyard and winery.



11.2 acres in Oak Knoll, near the famed Silverado Trail. $4.7 million

136 acres of vines with a 16th-century château. Not bad. $6.3 million

We did it on the cheap and still do nearly everything by hand.

We were able to build and equip the winery for about $60,000, initially. For most wineries starting out, that wouldn’t even get them one piece of equipment. Of that, $12,000 was concrete and $6,000 electrical, then my father-in-law and I built the winery building ourselves. Some used tanks, a little basket press, a pump and a lot of sore muscles and, voilà, we were in business. We finally bought a forklift in October! The thing with winemaking is that none of the fancy equipment really makes the wine better; it just makes it easier to process. It’s the grapes that matter most for quality.

Take it easy on the swirl for bubbles.

FLUTES ARE FOR AMATEURS DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER, but you know those lovely Champagne flutes Aunt Bertie gave you for your wedding? Ditch ’em. Here’s the problem: the slim, tapered design of the classic flute was created to concentrate the bubbles in a beautiful, constant stream, and they are excellent at doing this—but not much else. The design sacrifices the ability to take in the wine’s distinct nose, which, on a bottle of wine that might be $300, is a travesty. Instead, source one of the new breed of glasses, like Riedel’s Veritas Champagne glass, which allows you to appreciate all aspects of the wine. And if you order a bottle at a restaurant and they have only flutes? Ask for white wine glasses while looking askance at the somm.

I had to learn a lot on the fly.

Someone once said to me that having a winery is the most complicated small business you can get into. You are involved in every possible aspect of the business. You are in farming, production, marketing, public relations, administration and sales, plus there is all the legal side to deal with because you are making alcohol. I don’t know if there are many, if any, businesses that are so involved in so many fields. Who specializes in all of those things?

$90 $70.60

It has to be about quality wine.

For many people, wine is just another business and I think that’s what really divides this industry. Some producers are just happy to make whatever they can easily sell, despite the fact it might not be the best wine they can make. That’s not me. I believe that any future the B.C. wine industry has will be linked to top-quality wines. We are such a small region that making top-class premium-priced wine is the only way to go.


Rogue Wet Bar





Joe Fortes


$150 Mosaic at the Hyatt

Bistro Pastis

The Keg



Legacy Liquor Store




($45 U.S.) BC Liquor BevMo, Stores Bellingham

$50 Real Canadian

Liquor Store, Calgary

90 75 60



Lift Bar and Grill





165 180

How much for Veuve? The classic yellow-labelled Champagne is a stalwart of wine lists—here’s where it lands—$$$-wise—at some top spots.

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The Okanagan’s 8 Most Stunning Wineries Whether it’s Frank Gehry in Rioja or Herzog and de Meuron in Napa, hotshot architects have gravitated to wineries as reputationboosting statement buildings. And while dozens of wineries in the Okanagan have jaw-dropping views, these are the eight that have amped up their vineyards with buildings as beautiful as the surroundings.


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1 Mission Hill, Kelowna Architect: Tom Kundig, 2002 When Anthony von Mandl hired Seattle’s Tom Kundig 20 years ago, he was something of a hidden gem in the architecture world. Now he’s one of the best-known residential architects in North America and his work on Mission Hill—all warm modernism mixed with awe—is the anchor piece of architecture in the entire Valley. Von Mandl has re-engaged Kundig for the new Martin’s Lane winery and he’s rumoured to be redesigning CedarCreek in the coming years, too.

2 Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland Architect: Brad Tone, 2011 There is no principle more classic than “form follows function”, and this custom crush pad didn’t have the luxury of grand public spaces. Co-owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie (a former builder) worked with Brad Tone to create a triumph of utilitarian chic—everything moves, everything can be hosed down, and a visit here offers the chance to see a beautiful showcase of the hard work of making wine.



Owner John Skinner’s Painted Rock winery is on the Skaha Bluffs, which means when driving from Penticton you head south to get there, as opposed to north to get to the Naramata Bench wineries (like Terravista).






3 Terravista, Naramata Architect: Nick Bevanda, CEI Architecture, 2012 Bob and Senka Tennant grew Black Hills into one of the Valley’s first cult wines, but with their new venture they wanted to keep production small and focused—and Nick Bevanda built them a winery to match. It’s purpose-built and compact but has enough zip, like those Mondrian-esque windows, to excite. (And it cost only $600,000.)

4 Painted Rock, Skaha Bluffs Designer: Dominic Unsworth; Architect: Robert Mackenzie Architect, 2013 Painted Rock has achieved huge success in a relatively short period of time, so it showed amazing restraint to eschew a big flashy tasting room in favour of this model of elegant simplicity. Its gleaming white facade channels Richard Meier and, at a compact 1,700 square feet, it modestly complements the perfect setting of vines that terrace down to Skaha Lake.

5 Culmina, Oliver Architect: Cedric Burgers, 2013 Owner and industry legend Don Triggs spared no expense on his new endeavour— the vineyard planting and management is unreal—but for his winery and tasting room, he had Burgers create a more downto-earth vibe of modern farmhouse, albeit the nicest farmhouse you’ll likely ever see. A mix of clean, modern lines and warm cladding, its low-slung rooflines are set off to the side so as to not dominate the site.

6 Black Hills Tasting Room, Oliver Architect: Nick Bevanda, CEI Architecture, 2012 Bevanda’s second entry on this list (we could easily have included his impressive work at Road 13 as well) is a jewel box of a public space for guests to interact with Black Hills’ high-end wines. The spare interiors are offset by dramatic, soaring rooflines, which lets you know this is not your everyday wine experience.

7 Liquidity, Okanagan Falls Designer: Ritchie Contracting and Design, 2012 There’s not much the slick, modern Liquidity winery visitor centre has in common with the adobe-style house that used to sit on the lot before owner Ian MacDonald took over—except the stunning view of Vaseux Lake. But the modern update may be even more eye-catching than the Okanagan backdrop, thanks to clean lines, minimalist interiors and a sprawling concrete patio.

8 Fort Berens, Lillooet Architects: David Agro and Richard Newell, 2014 It’s Lillooet’s first winery, so it’s not like Fort Berens really had pressure to build a rustic-chic tasting room . . . but they did anyway. The modern interpretation of the region’s agriculture combines mixed concrete, steel and glass with warm Douglas fir beams and doors, sourced locally; windows from the tasting room give visitors a peek into the winemaking process, while garage-style doors pull up to let the sunshine in.

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5 Bottles of Wine That Are Actually a Good Deal in B.C. I know, no one likes the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, but every once in a (long) while you’ve got to give them props for keeping it real on the pricing. Here’s how they stack up on some international bottles against well-priced U.S. mega-retailer


$70 U.S. ($93.36 Cdn) at, $55 at BCLDB

The Wild West of B.C. Wine B.C.’s wine regions used to be easy to corral: start in Vernon and drive south until you hit the border and that was that. Then came Vancouver Island, a few on the Gulf Islands and the Similkameen. But these days, brand-new regions are popping up all over the place, offering value and surprising quality. Here’s your annotated map to help keep score. ILLUSTRATION BY

Paul Dotey

The Skinny You know what’s past Whistler? No, not Pemberton—past that. It’s Lillooet, a region that has towering mountains but also the summer heat required to properly ripen grapes. The sole pioneers here are Dutch ex-pats Rolf de Bruin and Heleen Pannekoek, who have single-handedly turned Fort Berens—with a new, beautiful tasting room and restaurant—into one of the great B.C. wine success stories of the past five years.

The Bottle Riesling 2015, $17. $17? Seriously? This is how you build a winery, folks: low price for a wine that over-delivers with an off-dry take on crisp apples.

The Skinny: While the Cowichan Valley is already firmly entrenched as one of the province’s key wine regions, the Comox Valley, two hours north on the Island Highway, is still largely unknown—or at least it was until Titanic’s James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis rolled into town a few years back and bought the Beaufort Winery.


The Bottle 40 Knots L’Orange 2015, $43. A natural wine take on the Schönberger grape, this bracing orange wine was one of the most exciting bottles made in B.C. last year.


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$100 U.S. ($133.40 Cdn) at, $86 at BCLDB

$90 U.S. ($120.05 Cdn) at, $87 at BCLDB

K RUG 2003

$300 U.S. ($400.12 Cdn) at, $280 at BCLDB


$52 U.S. ($69.35 Cdn) at, $53 at BCLDB

The Skinny The ’Loops has long played the role of Andrew Ridgeley to Kelowna’s George Michael in the public’s affection, but of late the town is making up the stagger in the wine department. Two standout wineries— Harper’s Trail and Monte Creek —are leading the quality charge. The Bottle Harper’s Trail Cabernet Franc 2015, $26. A fresh, impossibly bright wine that tastes like it was born in the Loire Valley. Monte Creek’s Rosé (made of 100-percent marquette) is also a wonderful standout.


The Skinny While technically not an emerging region —they’ve been growing grapes since 1991— the Fraser Valley is emerging as a good wine region. Recent upgrades in both winemaking talent and varietal selection mean that Vancouverites now have a bona fide wine region in our backyard.

The Bottle Estate Pinot Noir 2013, $22. A ripe, fruitforward expression of the heartbreak grape.

The Skinny Creston is famous as the home of Kokanee, but it’s also the epicentre of a burgeoning wine region. And while Columbia Gardens was the first to make wine in these parts, it was the 2006 arrival of Baillie-Grohman and their ambitious wines that really put this isolated area on the map.

The Bottle Singletree Siegerrebe 2015, $19. Luxuriously perfumed with peach and lychee, this off-dry example comes from grapes actually grown here. The gamay from Chaberton is also worth a visit.

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French Wine Pronunciation Guide Vosne-Romanée: V-OWN rahm-a-knee // Beaune: BONE // Bourgogne: BURR-goy-nyah Moët: Moe-et (never, ever moe-ay) // Taittinger: Tat-in-jer (English) or Tay-ton-zhey (French) Roederer: Roe-DER-er // Reims: Rahs (not reems, not rhymes). Don’t ask why.

The Best Wine List in Vancouver Two wine wonks thoughts on whose selection reigns supreme. by

Kurtis Kolt


How easy is it to build one of the very best wine programs in Vancouver? Well, if you’re the crew behind Mount Pleasant’s Burdock and Co., it’s actually quite simple. First, just ensure you have an incredibly passionate chef/owner, Andrea Carlson. After a quick 20 years toiling in some of British Columbia’s best kitchens (Sooke Harbour House, Bishop’s) and playing a significant part in a locavore movement that has grown exponentially in that time, she’s making some of the best food in the city, in collaboration with local growers, farmers and foragers. (Also, it can’t hurt to ensure that culinary royalty like Nigella Lawson rave about her cooking.) Then, work with a well-versed wine director in the form of Matthew Sherlock, who is also a partner and winemaker in the Okanagan’s Lock and Worth Winery and co-owns an import agency sourcing some of the most interesting natural wines—that is to say handcrafted wines made with minimal intervention—from Europe. Then get Jesse Walters, the friendliest sommelier in town, to be your wine guy on the floor, ensuring every guest enjoys some of the most honest, delicious, intriguing wines available in Vancouver, perfectly matching the authenticity and integrity of the dishes on the menu. Finally, ignore those who say you need white linen, piles of Champagne and a fancy-schmancy cellar to have one of the best wine programs out there. You just need everything to be legit, and that’s what you have right here.

Burdock and Co.


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Neal McLennan

For starters, I want to be clear —it’s not all about money. There are always places that will sell a bottle of Veuve for $90 (like Rogue Wet Bar, see page 41), but that just takes a corporate owner willing to run a loss leader. But it is a little bit about the money, isn’t it? There can be no doubt that the 40,000 bottles at Cioppino’s are breathtaking, but they often come with an equally rarefied price point. But for me, the nexus between


value and selection sits in the finally opened Vij’s at Cambie and 15th. I don’t really know wine director Mike Bernardo, but he always had one of the great small lists at Vij’s old South Granville location, and now, with some more room, he’s crafted a model for all wine lists in the city. Not only does he sell one of the world’s great Champagnes— Krug Grande Cuvée—for a jaw-dropping 19 percent over retail (in a city where 250 percent is standard), to show he’s not just a name-dropper he also brings in cult sparkler Benjamin Bridge Brut from Nova Scotia and still can’t bring himself to mark it up more than double. Page after page of the list shows great selections— Lopez de Haro Rioja, Kanazawa Rosé—at or less than two times retail. And if you want to nerd out he has grower Champagnes, furmints from Austria and a kékfrankos from Hungary (I had to look that one up). It’s a list that anyone— snob, cheapskate, newbie or souse—can find something to love on. That being said, the ginger lemon drink—at $5.50—is a tad pricey.

. . . t s li s ’ e n o y r e v e n o Haywire is

2016 BC Lieutenant Governor’s

Awards for Excellence In BC Wines

Visit for a list of retailers and restaurants where our wines are available.



Michaela Morris

ARE YOU A FAN of red wine? What about bubbles? And do you like eating salami? Most importantly, do you want to feel happy? Surely there’s no shame in any of these. Furthermore, if you answered yes to all of the above, then you should also be drinking lambrusco. A family of related red grape varieties, the lambrusco clan is native to the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy’s cuisine mecca (think Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese). They produce frothy reds ranging from dry to off-dry and occasionally sweet. All offer mouth-filling mousse and jaunty acidity, both extremely useful in scrubbing the palate between enthusiastic bites of rich, hearty fare. Lambrusco di Sorbara gives the palest and lightest wines but also the most intensely fragrant and lip-smackingly gulpable. At the opposite end of the spectrum, lambrusco grasparossa is brooding, dark in colour and flavours, and full-bodied with a decidedly tannic grip. The evocatively named lambrusco salamino (its cylinder-shaped bunches resemble the form of salami) bridges the two extremes with a medium weight and characterful expression. Whichever lambrusco you choose, it’s a guaranteed shortcut to putting a smile on your face.

Emilia-Romagna, Italy


Crafted from 100-percent lambrusco salamino, the Concerto explodes with raspberry and cherries. Dry, creamy and fleshy, it can easily take on tagliatelle in a rich Bolognese ragu.


This 70-percent Sorbara and 30-percent salamino blend has a pretty pink hue with gorgeous violet aromas, crunchy strawberry and tangy cranberry notes. Sheer bliss with a margherita pizza.

How to Read a Burgundian Wine Label


The most generic, cheapest offering. Simply means the grapes can come from any part of Burgundy.



One step up. You now have grapes that come from the identifiable, if large, region of Beaune.

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Now the grapes come exclusively from the 16 communes in the Côte de Beaune.

Here the grapes are coming solely from one village, the well-regarded Aloxe-Corton.

From a particular vineyard in AloxeCorton, the Premier Cru planting of “Les Chaillots.”


From an even more highly regarded vineyard in AloxeCorton, the Grand Cru “Clos du Roi.”


Famed producer Louis Latour makes hundreds of wines each year and, like most Burgundies, they look almost identical except some are $25 and some are $250. Here’s how to tell the good from the divine.

1234 HORNBY ST., VANCOUVER Join us for a unique wine experience in downtown Vancouver at Cavino ® Bistro Wine Bar, open 4–10pm daily. Enjoy our West Coast-inspired menu, local craft beers, and best of all, an extensive wine list specializing in BCVQA Wines. BISTRO



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Italian Wine Pronunciation Guide Aglianico: Ahl-EE-ahn-ee-ko // Bolgheri: Bowl-gare-ee // Ornellaia: Or-Nel-ay-uh // Gaia: Guy-uh // Valdobbiadene: Vahl-doh-bee-ah-DAY-nay

5 Bottles, 5 Countries

Our head wine judge and wine director at New District fills your wine passport with some new entries. by

DJ Kearney


Sans Liege Côtes-duCoast 2013 $39 Why There’s life after chardonnay in the Golden State. This baby is big, rich, opulent, warm, exotic, extravagant—this is, like, so totally Californian—it just uses classic Rhône grapes to get there. Fragrant, peachy and sumptuously mouth-filling, this wine has a textural dimension—plush and creamy, yet still fresh and lively. Pairing Deserves the very best fresh seafood.



Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2015 $23

AA Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend 2012 $31.50

Why Trentino-Alto Adige is the chilly northern Italian region that this estate calls home, where the land is steeply hilly and cooled by alpine breezes. The limestone-rich Dolomite Mountains provide the soil backdrop for Lageder wines, and you’ll note a fine, chalky presence in this special pinot grigio. You’ll also find lip-smacking citrus flavours, with crisp green apple, a hint of peach and high, mouth-watering acidity. Pairing Salt Spring Island mussels with white wine and garlic.

Why From rugged, unspoiled Swartland, north of Capetown, where old bush vines grow on granite slopes, this wine is made by Adi Badenhorst, one of the great characters of the wine world—irrepressible, energetic and irreverent. This is a no-holdsbarred (and utterly improper) blend of shiraz, cinsault, tinta barroca, mourvèdre and grenache that can very safely be referred to as unique. It is smoky, earthy, gamey, feral and deliciously gulpable. Pairing A decent piece of well-charred meat.



E. Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône $23

Terras Gauda Rias Baixas “O Rosal” Albariño 2015 $32.50

Why Guigal’s mighty Côtes-Rôties are among the world’s rarest and most expensive bottles, but it’s this Côtes-du-Rhône that brings the value, capturing the essence of the Rhône region and echoing the style and character of the great wines at a fraction of their lofty prices. A classic blend of grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, it manages to transcend mere “varietal character,” powerfully evoking the dry, dusty and heady aromatics of the countryside garrigue. Pairing Daube-braised beef gently simmered in red wine.

Sauternes’ Second Act?

Why Rías Baixas is in Galicia, the green, rocky and cold extreme northwest corner of Spain that juts out into the blustery Atlantic Ocean, a world away from the palm trees and Moorish architecture of the picture-postcard south. The granite-grown wines are crisp, lemony and raspingly dry—perfect for Galicia’s legendary shellfish. Their steely freshness makes them a classic aperitif: this one combines aromas and flavours of peaches and almonds, a lovely wild yeastiness from plenty of lees contact, and a wonderfully crisp finish of green apples, pears and salt tang. Pairing Gooseneck barnacles.

A century ago, Sauternes, the sweet wine of Bordeaux, was prized as one of the great wines of the world, and while it’s never been better, its sales have been on a long downward slump. I recently met with the Cathiard family, who are working to turn around the sweet wine’s fortune with their SO Sauternes project. Mixing Sauternes from the younger vines of 100-percent sémillon off their recently purchased Château Bastor-Lamontagne, they’re trying to make a younger—dare I say hipper—take on the classic, and their hope is that the new generation will mix it with Perrier. It’s a long way from the wine’s heights, but it might also be its salvation.—Sid Cross


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Mix ingredients. Season to taste. Serve over 17 days. PRESENTED BY



JANUARY 20 to FEBRUARY 5, 2017


™ Trademark of Tourism Vancouver, The Metro Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau. ™ YP Dine and the Walking Fingers & Design are a trademarks of Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited in Canada.

AllStar Wings & Ribs is Vancouver’s #1 sports viewing restaurant & lounge. Located in the heart of downtown, on 808 Bute, this restaurant features burgers, sandwiches, ribs...and over 200 styles of chicken wings! Our Dine Out menu highlights our feature products, and we look forward to hosting you soon.

ALLSTAR WINGS & RIBS 808 Bute Street Reservations 604.563.4477

Simply inspired, handcrafted fare presented in a relaxed West Coast setting. Life is complicated. Good food shouldn’t be.


900 Canada Place Way At the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel 604.691.1818

Ancora’s mission is to embrace the harmony of Peruvian and Japanese cultures while incorporating the bounty of the West Coast. The cuisine’s manifesto hinges on sustainable seafood, locally sourced and international ingredients, while also drawing inspiration from our Pacific Northwestern surroundings.

ANCORA WATERFRONT DINING AND PATIO 1600 Howe Street 604.681.1164

Nestled in Vancouver’s only Relais and Châteaux property, Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge compliments the luxurious Wedgewood Hotel & Spa’s reputation for excellence. Its talented culinary team offers a truly gourmet experience in warm and romantic surroundings with live entertainment. Dine Out Package includes accommodation, valet parking, and three-course dinner from $288 sgl or dbl occupancy excluding taxes.


845 Hornby Street | 604.608.5319 restaurant-lounge/

Banana Leaf has proudly served Vancouver since 1995. We have increased to five locations and become an icon of Malaysian food in Vancouver. The perennial favourite of many local restaurant awards, honoured with the title of “Best Asian Restaurant” time and again. Experience our warm and cheerful atmosphere, enjoy our friendly service, and indulge yourself with our spicy rendang beef, fluffy roti canai and more...

Celebrating the Pacific Northwest – Enjoy classic West Coast cuisine in a picturesque beach-side setting. Our menu features only the freshest and highestquality ingredients carefully curated from trusted local suppliers and meticulously prepared to exacting culinary standards. We are a proud partner of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program.


1193 Denman Street 604.685.7337

Multiple locations


Restaurants. Events. Hotels. 17 Days. January 20 to February 5, 2017

Bufala is an independent restaurant born out of a passion for pizza and the belief that all communities need a great restaurant. We prepare fresh scratch-made classic & contemporary pizzas in the Napolitana style - blistered to perfection in our 800 degree stone oven - along with a tasty selection of Italian inspired small plates and desserts.


5395 West Boulevard 604.267.7499

Rob’s Hunter Chicken (shown here) is one of many Chef Feenie signature creations on Cactus Club Cafe’s threecourse Dine Out. Cactus Club’s addictive flavours, award-winning service and stunning restaurant design guarantee an unparalleled dining experience. Visit any of the 12 participating locations across the Lower Mainland: Coal Harbour, Yaletown, Bentall, English Bay, Robson, Ash, West Broadway (Granville), North Burnaby, Metrotown, Byrne Road, Park Royal and North Vancouver.

Reflected in its sumptuous menu offerings, C|Prime uses the finest cuts of local meats, seafood, vegetables and cheeses paired with innovative, rich sauces and salts unlike anything Vancouver diners have tasted in the city. A New York Italian steakhouse in the heart of downtown Vancouver invites guests to savour otherworldly flavours without leaving home.


1015 Burrard Street 604.684.3474

The Chewies Crew is a loud, fun group of highly skilled Shuckers & Chefs proudly known as Vancouver’s experts on quality oysters, seafood and New Orleans inspired soul food. Our menus boast a variety of traditional dishes like classic jambalaya and our award winning southern fried chicken made with fresh, local ingredients, and served in a lively, casual setting.


110 - 1055 West Hastings Street 604.620.7634

Chewies is famous in Vancouver for its lively Happy Hour and BuckAShuck Oysters, along with our delicious house made Cajun & Creole recipes. Our 3 course Dine Out menus are the perfect opportunity to taste a variety of dishes offered at both locations.

Fishworks is alive with bustling energy, an environment which is both warm and welcoming with vaulted ceilings and careful attention to detail. Chef Shallaw has made it a priority to bring fresh seafood from our unique and celebrated West Coast featuring timeless classics as well as contemporary, modern cuisine.




2201 West 1st Avenue 604.558.4448

™Trademark of Tourism Vancouver, The Metro Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau.

91 Lonsdale Avenue North Vancouver 778.340.3449

Fine Dining To Food Trucks. 17 Days of Culinary Adventure. January 20 to February 5, 2017

Overlooking the city’s vibrant Library Square inside the newly renovated Westin Grand, Vancouver, Hendricks Resto-Lounge is the latest addition to Vancouver’s culinary scene. A remix of the past and the present, Hendricks is both an old-school cocktail lounge with decadently crafted cocktails and a full-service restaurant featuring modern interpretations of classic dishes. Grand Opening: Friday, January 20, on the first night of Dine Out Vancouver!


On the Lobby Level of The Westin Grand, Vancouver | 433 Robson Street 604.647.2521 Mission Kits is a tasting menu restaurant. During Dine Out Vancouver we will be serving our regular four course menu so our guests can experience what Mission does everyday. This is available in a full vegetarian version as well. We have a true nose-to-tail, root-to-tip philosophy that results in outstanding value for the quality and presentation of our food. Recently shortlisted by EnRoute as one of the best new restaurants to open in Canada for 2016.

MISSION KITSILANO 2042 West 4th Avenue 604.739.2042

Nestled beside the seawall and False Creek on the edge of Yaletown, Provence Marinaside offers one of Vancouver’s most delicious, social, and refined dining experiences. Provence has an Award winning wine list with over 100 wines by the glass. It’s like a visit to the South of France without the jet lag.

PROVENCE MARINASIDE 1177 Marinaside Cresent

Located in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown neighbourhood, Juniper Kitchen & Bar features handcrafted cocktails and Cascadian-inspired fare that celebrates the best of the West Coast and Canada.

JUNIPER KITCHEN & BAR 185 Keefer Street 604.681.1695

Our chefs are leading the farm-to-table revolution with dishes crafted from fresh, local products. Join us for Dine Out and enjoy a unique three-course dinner with a stunning waterfront view. Pier 73 – Your Natural Choice.

PIER 73 RESTAURANT 3500 Cessna Drive Richmond 604.276.1954

Sorella is the sister restaurant to westside’s La Buca. Serving seasonal, rustic Italian fare in the heart of Vancouver’s Cambie Village, we welcome you into our intimate dining room for an authentic experience for locals and visitors alike. Dinner from 5pm daily


3369 Cambie Street 604.873.3131

Quality, comfort and value. Three key ingredients that make The Keg experience unlike any other. Our three course Dine Out Vancouver menu includes delicious appetizers, mouthwatering steaks and seafood, and classic desserts. See you tonight!


Dine Out Vancouver menu is available at 11 Lower Mainland locations.

West Oak restaurant is located in the heart of historic Yaletown in a modern, yet rustic space. We pride ourselves on our food, service and atmosphere. Our entire menu has been sourced as locally as possible with all natural, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, Ocean Wise seafood, and fresh produce delivered daily straight from the farm. West Oak’s chefs ensure that only the freshest and best ingredients our beautiful British Columbia has to offer.

WEST OAK RESTAURANT 1035 Mainland Street 604.629.8808

Contemporary vision. Traditional roots. These are the qualities that highlight a dining experience at Zen. A fixture on the West Vancouver dining scene for more than twenty years, Zen continues to thrive because of an unyielding commitment to quality food and service. Enjoy edible art in a sleek, stylish dining room that offers spectacular ocean and sunset views. This is more than just a meal. It is a true culinary experience that is simply...Zen.


101 2232 Marine Drive West Vancouver 604.925.0667 |

From the moment you step inside, until your very last bite, you’ll be well taken care of by the superior service and outstanding West Coast-inspired cuisine at Tramonto. Situated in River Rock Casino Resort, Tramonto’s picturesque dining room overlooks the Fraser River and the River Rock Marina.


We invite you to experience unabashedly adventurous yet simple cooking at its finest, set against the heritage of the Vancouver neighbourhood of Gastown. Explore seasonally fresh, farmer-direct cookery paired with a diverse selection of Old and New World wines and a carefully crafted, award-winning cocktail list.


120 West Hastings Steet 604.687.6880


“A guy came at me one time with a tire iron,” says Derek Brown, an operator with Busters Towing for 25 years. “Who wants to come to work and have people try and attack you?”

Are Vancouver’s tow truck drivers vultures on wheels? Or simply misunderstood-butdecent guys? Riding along with Vancouver’s Most Hated.

Towing the Line by Drew Clarke

photographs by Carlo Ricci

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t’s 7 a.m. and the crows overhead are still flying to their day jobs, but Derek Brown, 58, is already on the clock, navigating his bulky white Busters tow truck through the streets of Vancouver. “It’s an interesting business; it certainly keeps me on my toes,” he says candidly. “I’ve had people spit in my face, push me, you know, things like that. I can take care of myself, but who wants to come to work and have people try and attack you?” He’s a solid man, with boyish good looks, a heavy brow and forearms like Christmas hams. “A guy came at me one time with a tire iron,” says Brown. “He didn’t hit me with it because I told him, ‘You might hit me once, but the next half-dozen hits will be on you, good buddy. You might hurt me a little bit, but I’m going to hurt you more.’” After 25 years of towing for Busters, Brown has seen his fair share of grisly fatal accidents and once discovered a dead body in a vehicle—the result of a gangland hit. “I’ve encountered almost everything you can imagine in towing. It sticks with you quite a bit.” As he cruises along Broadway for the morning rush, Brown acknowledges his fellow tow truck drivers with a wave of his thick hand as they trawl up and down the street like giant white sharks. “Certain streets through


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the city are designated as rush routes. Between 7 and 9:30 a.m. we tow all the illegally parked cars to keep the traffic moving—otherwise you’d have gridlock,” he explains. “It’s bad enough as it is, because they’ve changed a lot of the streets to accommodate bike routes; it’s really starting to slow down the movement of traffic.” Much like Drake and Unitow, Busters offers private towing and roadside assistance, but since 1999, they’ve also held the City of Vancouver contract to provide tow services for emergency and roadwork crews, event preparation for marathons and fireworks and, of course, the removal of vehicles that are guilty of bylaw infringement. As soon as a parking enforcement officer has electronically issued an order to tow, Busters dispatch is alerted, and a driver is immediately notified. The two-way radio crackles to life with the coordinates for the next job and Brown swings his truck over to the 1000 block of West 12th. “There has to be a ticket,” he says. “I’m not just driving around picking up cars. If that was the case, I’d be a millionaire.” As he reverses toward an illegally parked Acura, Brown simultaneously lowers the hydraulic arm on the rear of his truck, which glides under the vehicle and lifts the front wheels off the ground. Jumping out of the cab, Brown smoothly performs his daily routine of hooking chains to the chassis and attaching magnetized brake lights to the roof of the vehicle. “I don’t get too excited if someone starts yelling while I’m loading their car,” says Brown as he ratchets down one of the wheels. “I’ll say, ‘Listen, this is just the way it is. I didn’t put the ticket on your car and I didn’t park your car here. I’m just doing the job that I’ve been asked to do.’” A quick glance reveals that the parking brake is on, so Brown grabs two large plastic wedges and forcibly shoves them into the jamb, opening the door just a crack. He then inserts a flexible strip of plastic attached to a string, which he manipulates around the push-button lock, pulls tight and lifts up, unlocking the door. The earsplitting wail of the Acura’s car alarm fills the morning air as Brown releases the parking brake, jumps back in his truck and drives away.

Ali Shokri has been with Busters since 2004. “Sometimes you’re in danger. Same as a drug dealer. Good money, but always people are coming to shoot you.”

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They perform a service that people often don’t want—unless it’s their driveway being blocked." — ta ry n

s c o l l a r d , va n c o u v e r ’ s d i r e c t o r o f s t r e e t s

Robbie Singh knows his job comes with a negative reputation, despite how he can help in times of distress. “People hate this name; they say ‘Busters’ should be ‘'Bastards.’”


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from her office at city hall, Vancouver’s director of streets, Taryn Scollard, empathizes with the Busters tow truck drivers. “They’re unfortunately disliked, usually for all the wrong reasons,” she explains. “They perform a service that people often don’t want—unless it’s their driveway being blocked or they’re the ones stuck in traffic on a Friday afternoon.” The city regulates parking by implementing myriad rules and regulations, and motorists who don’t fall in line are liable to be slapped with a fine. In 2015 alone, the City of Vancouver issued almost 383,000 tickets, generating $16.7 million in revenue. But Scollard refutes the public perception that ticketing vehicles is a cash grab. “We make way more money from parking meters than we do from people paying their parking tickets,” says Scollard, who explains that last year, Vancouver’s 10,000 parking meters collected more than $49 million. “The obvious thing is to jump to the revenue it generates, but it actually only represents about one percent of the city’s total income.” Of the vehicles issued with a ticket and an authorization to tow, more than 60 percent end up in the Busters impound lot, which is a necessary evil, says Scollard. “The majority of our tows are from rushhour zones, and as much as we often curse a tow truck driver or cars being towed, if we didn’t clear the street blockages, it’d be even more frustrating for all those people stuck in traffic.” Eliot Scott is the personification of frustration as he bows down to be heard through the small hole in the Plexiglas window at the Busters impound office, located just a short walk of shame from the Main Street SkyTrain station. “I was parked out front of my own house!” he says. Scott, 22, had parked a grey 1985 Volvo in front of his father’s house on West King Edward Avenue while he attended classes at Langara, but the car had boxed in the vehicles belonging to his father and brother. “I was freaking out. I thought it was stolen. This is my mother’s car. I was parked literally on the entrance of our property. . .” meanwhile, outside in the impound lot, in truck number 31, Ali Shokri is rolling out for the 3 p.m. rush. “This job is all about the commission,” says Shokri, who’s been towing with Busters since 2004. “I keep my energy for rush hour. At 3 p.m. I become a coyote, because the coyote just grabs it and goes. I have to be fast to clean the city.” Each Busters driver works on commission, collecting 67 percent of the tow fee, the remainder going to Busters. Shokri, 48, is the proud

owner of three tow trucks and a $1.8 million North Vancouver home that he shares with 11 pets. “We make that money with our blood. Sometimes you’re in danger. Same as a drug dealer. A drug dealer makes good money, but always people are coming to shoot you.” Shokri pulls in front of a ticketed blue Toyota Camry on West Georgia and twists his oil-stained figure to peer out the back window as he reverses. Within minutes the Camry is lifted, hooked and secured, and truck number 31 is headed back to the impound lot. “To be honest, 50 percent of the public doesn’t like us, but they don’t understand,” he says. “If you do the illegal thing, you have to get a fine. If you follow the rules, you’re always winning. If you take the shortcut, you’re always losing.” saphira de gobeo, 24, found herself the victim of a shortcut after a Busters driver towed her 2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD. “I was parked on the corner of Scotia and 5th and I was too close to the stop sign; whatever, it’s the law. When I realized my vehicle was gone, I went straight down to Busters and when I opened my car door it just reeked of burning.” After an inspection, it was found that the transmission on de Gobeo’s car had been ruined after her vehicle was towed from the front while in park. Although the vehicle is small and could easily be mistaken for a front-wheel drive, the letters AWD are clearly printed on the rear. “I didn’t want to be a bitch, but I was very assertive and called Busters every day until they paid the bill for $3,650. The tow truck driver had to pay for everything.” It’s a mistake that Mopinder “Robbie” Singh in truck number 25 tries to avoid at all costs. “I’m not stupid. I’m not gonna pull an AWD without a dolly and just drag it all the way,” says Singh. “What’s the point, if I have to pay $3,000? It’s like working a whole month for free.” He’s just hooked a Jeep Grand Cherokee onto the back of his truck and is clomping around in his heavy steel-toed boots, working feverishly to assemble the dolly frame around the rear wheels of the Jeep. Singh inserts a heavy iron bar into the pivot point and employs the full weight of his lanky frame to lever each of the Jeep’s rear tires up onto the two smaller wheels of the dolly. “If someone gets a flat tire and I help them, they’re happy and it feels so good,” he says. “It’s only bylaw enforcement that is the bad part. It’s a tough job. People hate this name; they say ‘Busters’ should be ‘Bastards.’” Singh extends his middle finger and waves his arm around slowly in the air. “This is my good morning. People say: ‘Fuck you, Busters.’ That’s my good morning. It’s tough.”

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4 8 H O U R S I N LO S A N G E L E S / T E C H - L E I S U R E / S TO R M - PR O O F I N G





Frances Bula

TOURISTS INTIMIDATED by Los Angeles’s size and freeways often default to the Santa Monica Pier as the easiest option. But this endlessly interesting city has many other clusters of visitorworthy attractions. The trick is to target one area per day. j

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Join the lineups for Intelligentsia Coffee—on Sunset Boulevard on the east side or Abbot Kinney Boulevard on the west side—for java and eye-poppingly rich pastries. For brunch, the recently renovated Rose Cafe in the heart of Venice elevates the humble egg, baking it with polenta and mushroom marmalade. For lunch or dinner, an eternal favourite is Gjelina on Abbot Kinney in Venice: truly great vegetable dishes that rotate with the seasons (roasted romanesco with anchovies and Fresno chili, yes please), along with the classics like wild black bass with confit shallots. In East Hollywood, Jitlada, southern Thai cooking that’s nothing like the wimpy stuff you’ve had in Canada, is the place to go. (Yes, in a mini-mall.) Downtown, Bäco Mercat is the fun, hot, lively hangout with a big selection of Spanish-inspired dishes: boquerones, grilled castelfranco, quail with sumac.


Heath Ceramics, a California institution since 1948, is famous for its elegant but hefty pottery tableware. Farther along Beverly Boulevard is Oak, a New York-based fashion store that has come to the West with its oh-so-hip minimalist grey, black, beige and white clothing lines. Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood (not far


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Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park


Bäco Mercat

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Heath Ceramics


Rose Cafe

from Jitlada) is a temple of records that is still thriving in the age of streaming. And, for multiple-hit window-shopping experiences, the blocks on Abbot Kinney and Sunset near the Intelligentsia outlets, as well as Melrose between La Cienega and Fairfax, are packed with shops selling everything from local high design (Heist) to concrete containers shaped to look like Savoy cabbages (Mohawk General Store).

STAY The Upstairs Bar Ace Hotel, a grand old 1927 building that was the United Artists headquarters, is the epicentre of the emerging south downtown. There’s a gorgeous theatre attached and a café off the lobby, but the real attraction is the Upstairs Bar on the roof. It’s a substantial space with big, comfortable sofas and chairs scattered around, where you can have your special drink while watching the sun set behind the faraway Santa Monica Mountains.

The Millennium Biltmore downtown, a couple of blocks from Pershing Square, is a grand old dame from 1923 that has been mostly restored to its former glory, and the Hollywood Roosevelt is of a similar vintage in central Hollywood. Or you could go ironic hipster and stay at the repurposed Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in the central city (LACMA, Heath and the Farmers Market are nearby), which blends modern cool with retro-rustic charm—think denim bedspreads and Nespresso machines.


Spend a day on the east side of Los Angeles, starting with a morning walk at Griffith Park (the one just to the east of the Hollywood sign), which has kilometres of trails through the Santa Monica Mountains. A visit to the lovely independent Skylight Books, down the hill in Los Feliz, and breakfast or lunch afterward in this little stretch of north Vermont Avenue is in order. From there, a quick drive along Sunset Boulevard will take you straight downtown and to The Broad, the city’s glitzy, recently opened contemporary art museum. On the day you decide to go to central Los Angeles and/or Beverly Hills, the must-do is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This large complex has six art galleries, a theatre and an auditorium showcasing everything from Western Guinea canoes to cutting-edge modern art.



The Gallery Ben Leavitt’s second terracotta warrior from China (the first smashed in transit) stands guard next to cheery-coloured 1970s Communist prints he bought in Ho Chi Minh City (above). The framed “poutine” towel by Douglas Coupland also shares a wall with a paint-bynumbers-style collage of Chairman Mao: one portrait for every year he was in power. To the Maxim “If you don’t have to move a pillow to sit on your sofa, then you don’t have enough pillows on your sofa,” explains Leavitt (he’s pictured opposite, top left). Do It Yourself The designer painted a Craigslist picnic table white (seen left) using boat paint; it’s a pain to put on, but “lasts forever.” Family Ties The engine order telegraph (opposite, right) is an antique gift from his mother, a native Nova Scotian.


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THE CURIOSITY CLOSET A life well travelled calls for an apartment to match. by

Julia Dilworth Janis Nicolay

photographs by

AfricAn mAsks, a vintage City of Chilliwack fire hydrant, a life-sized terracotta warrior, taxidermy—“If I like it, I’ll make it work,” explains interior designer Ben Leavitt. The Fox Design Studio founder moved into his Gastown rental three years ago and quickly populated it with all of his favourite finds from thrifting, Craigslisting and more than a decade of heavy travelling. “In my 20s I decided that I was going to go to 30 countries before I was 30”— which he finished with time to spare—“and I wanted every square inch of my apartment to remind me of somewhere I’d been.” Leavitt still travels constantly for business and pleasure, so every 1970s Communist art print, every Buddha bust is either vintage or something he’s collected along the way—be it from a back alley in India or a Fraser Valley front yard. His curated wall of 14 cartoon-like masks (from all-over places like Borneo, Tibet, Namibia and Peru) is only a fraction of what’s

hidden in cupboards and storage lockers. That goes for much of his rotating collection of furniture and curios: what you see today may not be there next month, let alone next year. “I’m not the type of person to decorate it once and leave it forever. I fall in love with a new sofa, so I ditch the last sofa.” (This grey velvet number is his third in six months.) Custom silk pillows, palm leaf-print drapes and a polka-dot Bambi aren’t quiet players in the vibrant 800-square-foot space, but somehow nothing seems to clash. White paint and accents create a common thread throughout a neutral base, but above all Leavitt’s space works because it’s entirely personal. He didn’t think twice about painting walls, installing grasscloth wallpaper or drilling holes into the heritage brick to mount his art collection or into the ceiling to hang a five-tiered chandelier. “I just think people need to let loose and have way more fun in their houses.”

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Someone’s been watching Back to the Future II.

DIGITAL LOVE When fashion and technology merge. by

Kendra Hagerman

THE BUTTON first made its big splash on the sartorial scene back in the 13th century. The zipper? It debuted at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Most technological advancement since has come in the form of making better fasteners (burrs inspired Velcro in 1941), better fabrics (the miracle of stretchy denim: 1978)—but now a digital revolution is pushing past the production line and integrating tech gadgetry right into the products themselves. Andhra Goundrey, faculty coordinator of the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, believes the “fashion x technology”



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of how clothing looks, fits and wears on the individual—without you ever having to leave the house. As a leader of the next wave of fashion designers, Mezzi Mini Cosima Goundrey says her students are encouraged to think about fashion and technoltrend is exploding right now. “There is a purposeful ogy in a new light to solve current problems—and merging of function and style as consumers are seek- work on design solutions for ing more performance and the future. Finding jeans versatility in apparel,” says that fit was at the top of LikeAGlove’s list. The inGoundrey. “This includes advancement in areas such ternational e-outfitter has as wearable technology and designed smart leggings innovation in fabrications.” that measure body shape in seconds and upload the Vancouver-based weardata to a free app. The app able tech company Mezzi has built its entire business then compares measurements to the LikeAGlove around this concept. The denim database and churns brand’s luxury leather out a customized list of the goods integrate everyday best brands, models and tech, like in-bag phone charging, alerts to help you sizes, selected specifically for your body. On the find your misplaced bag, interior lighting (never lose shoe front, Nike’s new HyperAdapt 1.0 is the first a lipstick to the crevasse commercially available selfagain!) and wireless Bluelacing shoe, using sensors tooth speakers. Online shopping gave us and small built-in motors to detect your foot and a way out of change rooms, but local innovator Modern automatically adjust to fit. (Someone’s been watching Mirror is making this opBack to the Future II.) tion increasingly viable. Goundrey says what’s The fashion tech start-up really exciting is the potenis developing a virtual change room that uses body tial for the health sector: smart fabrics that could imaging software to scan a customer’s physique. A spe- detect illnesses or even heal cialized fitting room would diseases. How’s that for project a customized image retail therapy?



Explore the Best of the City under one roof with this exclusive culinary experience.

OD O F E Restaurant Award winning chefs create oneN of-a-kind dishes paired with the best wine and WI R E beer in the city at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. BE 7 01 2 , For ticket information visit 24 S Y T R A E E L K RU B B C FE TI LA





Amanda Ross

i Fashion and utility rarely intersect, but the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II boot manages to check off both. The street brand’s first fully waterproof boot comes with a 360-degree heat barrier to keep feet not only dry but toasty warm, too. $140,

STORM TROUPERS Weather the storm with these winter-proof pieces.

l Made for the open road with Rainshield (an eco-friendly paraff in wax coating), the vintage-wash Stay Dry Trucker jacket also includes reflective stitching, zippered pockets and temperature control for an Easy Rider approach. $199,

k If it’s strong enough for the WWII British military for which it was created, the Longines Heritage Military COSD watch in a 40-millimetre steel case with khaki NATO strap is strong enough for West Coast winters. $2,050,

NOW OPEN Beauty Central When Newport Beach-based Wende Zomnir wanted badass makeup in the mid-1990s, she couldn’t find anything outside of standard beige and pink. And so the purple-forward cruelty-free Urban Decay cosmetics line was born. Fast-forward to the recent opening of the brand’s first free-standing store in Canada at Metropolis at Metrotown. If you’re “the edgiest girl in the room, but the nicest,” says Zomnir, then head to the new boutique, which carries more than 600 different SKUs (and exclusive launches), an interactive mirror for selfies (with live streaming) and beauty stations to try out every shade.


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m Don’t let the elements slow you down: MEC’s quickdry Sanctuary tights are designed for running and stretching with their wide waistband and flat-lock stitching (no chafing!). $58,


j Korres’ Black Pine Anti-Wrinkle Firming and Lifting sleeping oil’s blend of black pine, grape seed, apricot and cold-pressed sweet almond, jojoba and organic argan help combat dry skin and winter wear with essential moisture. $79,

Russ Lacate

Riaz Meghi

Dawn Chubai


For Vancouver magazine's 50th year, we're taking a look back through the archives and sharing a few classic covers each month. Just like the city, we’ve changed a lot over the past few decades.

February 1986 Surprisingly, Bryan Adams in tights is not the highlight of this issue. Rather, it's the fur coat ad starring Sylvester Stallone. Simpler times.

Jan/Feb 1994 In this edgy issue: instructions for switching the BowMac sign on and off, a guide to graffiti slang (in case you were wondering what a “tag” was) and a portrait series of people's hands.

February 1981 Our February 1981 issue reveals that some things never change: Vancouverites have always been obsessed with housing. In ’81, the city was experiencing some serious anxiety as housing prices climbed 30 to 50 percent from the previous year, but there was hope for the future: experts predicted it “unlikely that another year will see the drastic upswing in real estate that Vancouver experienced in 1981.” For those lucky enough to have a place to call their own, this issue also promoted hot decor trends: “a refined country look of press-back chairs and chintz slipcovers.”

Jan/Feb 2000 No surprise that an issue guest edited by Douglas Coupland contained a photo essay of an imagined Vancouver future, with one image captioned “August 2031: Rhiannon enters the bodies of her favourite band members for a few minutes.”

#vanmagturns50 For more vintage VanMag all year long, follow us on Instagram at @vanmag_com


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Photo Michel Gibert. Special thanks : TASCHEN. *Conditions apply, ask your store for more details.

French Art de Vivre

Symbole. Modular seating, design Sacha Lakic. Radian. Pedestal tables, design CĂŠdric Ragot. Basket. Cocktail table, design Renaud Thiry. Robin. Floor lamps, design Carlo Zerbaro Manufactured in Europe.

VANCOUVER - 716 West Hastings - Tel. 604-633-5005 - - CALGARY - 225 10 th Avenue SW - Tel. 403-532-4401 -

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Vancouver Magazine, JanFeb2017  

Engaging articles, reviews and stories all about Vancouver. Vancouver Magazine informs, guides and entertains people who engage with the cit...

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