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Forget Housing: Child Care Is the Next Big Affordability Crisis 50* Years!

WHAT B.C. VOTERS REALLY WANT THIS ELECTION T H E U LT I M AT E K AYA K T R I P // W H Y I N DI E R E STAU R AT E U R S A R E F IGH T I NG A N U PH I L L BAT T L E // & MOR E

Best

Restaurants *

E S TA BL ISH E D 1967

It’s finally here! Our 2017 Restaurant Awards celebrate the hottest new rooms, the top chefs and most creative menus in the city. Plus, the coveted title of Restaurant of the Year. Hope you’re hungry.

Our Best New Restaurant winner gets next level with a roast chicken dinner.


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Aroma Indian Restaurant & Lounge 50 Queens Street, Port Moody 604 917-0150

Cristos Greek Taverna 4624 East Hastings Street, Burnaby 604 299-0008

Burgoo Bistro Multiple locations to choose from.

Calabash Bistro 428 Carrall Street, Vancouver 604 568-5882

Fortune House Seafood Restaurant Handi Cuisine of India Metropolis at Metrotown 1579 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver 2199A - 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby 604 925-5262 604 438-8686

Cazba Restaurant 1103 Davie Street, Vancouver 604 428-4747

Mahony & Sons Public House 5990 University Boulevard, Vancouver 604 827-4444

Mamie Taylor’s 251 East Georgia Street, Vancouver 604 620-8818

Masaladobo Cantina 433 Granville Street, Vancouver 604 620-3212

Mission Kitsilano 2042 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver 604 739-2042

Peckinpah Carolina Style Barbeque 2 Water Street, Vancouver 604 681-5411

Rocky Point Taphouse 2524 Saint Johns Street, Port Moody 604 492-2419

Sala Thai Restaurant 102 - 888 Burrard Street, Vancouver 604 683-7999

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Senova 1864 West 57th Avenue, Vancouver 604 266-8643

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The Bennett Craft Kitchen 187 - 176th Street, Surrey 778 294-1080

The Burke Beer House 2099 Lougheed Highway Port Coquitlam 604 554-0198

The Five Point Restaurant & Pub 3124 Main Street, Vancouver 604 876-5810

The Kitchen Table 1618 Yew Street, Vancouver 604 738-6966

The Whip Restaurant & Gallery 209 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver 604 874-4687

Topanga Cafe 2904 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver 604 733-3713

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SPONSORED REPORT

CIOPPINO’S: Tradition and evolution in the art of fine Italian Cuisine, in the true spirit of Canada West Coast Quality Italian Cuisine from one of Vancouver’s Premier Chefs Chef Giuseppe (Pino) Posteraro

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hef Giuseppe Posteraro feels he has achieved what he set out to do. “The mission was to create a world class Italian/Mediterranean restaurant,” explains Pino, as he is known among locals. “I wanted to provide customers with creative meals and excellent service in a relaxed environment. Vancouverites were behind us all the way.” Posteraro opened Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca in 1999, following stints at reputed restaurants around Europe and in Singapore. He believes that it is a perfect balance of tradition and evolution that brings people back. “It’s that mix of personable service and familiar faces with the highest standard of professionalism and consistency.” Of course most would argue that the chef’s extraordinary skill plays a key role in Cioppino’s success. Renowned for his exceptionally light Italian-inspired dishes, including house-made pastas, the 2008 and 2014 Vancouver Magazine Chef of the Year has long been

garnering attention and acclaim as one of the city’s top culinary talents. Posteraro believes that Vancouver’s small-town vibe and unparalleled access to local products make working in the city more fun, although he says that ultimately inspiration comes from within. Long list of accolades considered, Posteraro is still most proud at the end of a long night. “A successful evening with perfect food creations, great service and happy customers; that is what makes me happy,” he shares humbly. You’d be hard pressed to find this award-winning chef without a smile from ear to ear. “How lucky am I to do what I love and never have to work a day in my life?”

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THE ART OF TRUE HOSPITALITY For more than three decades, Toptable Group has defined elegant yet approachable dining. At our diverse collection of restaurants, we continually reinvent ourselves – all in the name of being truly hospitable and creating long-lasting and cherished memories. We’re very proud to be a part of British Columbia’s vibrant restaurant scene, and send our congratulations to all of the hard working men and women who make it so great – and especially to those whose achievements have been saluted in this year’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.

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SPONSORED REPORT

MAY: WHISTLER’S BEST KEPT SECRET Whistler and Blackcomb’s peaks are still covered with snow in May, while summer sports and culture are breathing renewed life into the valley, lakes, and village.

W

histler insiders know that May is a unique time here, a time when possibilities multiply as the days grow longer. They know that it’s an extraordinary time when they can enjoy everything they love over the course of a single day, at unbeatable prices. Still, somehow, May remains Whistler’s best-kept secret.

DELICIOUS DINING SPECIALS In May, those in the know

make the most of Whistler’s outstanding dining scene, since this is the month in which the Indulge in Whistler program sees an array of restaurants offering multi-course menus and dining specials. Not only is there something for every palate on Whistler’s May menus—from low-key pub food, to pull-out-all-the-stops, award-winning fine dining—but there’s also something for every pocketbook.

MULTISPORT DAYS Multisport enthusiasts find that there’s no better time to make the most of all Whistler has to offer than the month of May. May’s long days provide plenty of daylight hours to go from the slopes to the golf course (or from the spa to patio meetups with the après ski gang, if that’s more your speed). The Whistler Mountain Bike Park opens in May, too, and as temperatures rise, the Whistler Valley’s five freshwater lakes beckon. SPRING IN WHISTLER: WORTH WAITING FOR

Not only do May days stretch longer, but vacation dollars also stretch further thanks to spring discounts on everything from accommodation to golf. From shredding the slopes in the morning, to teeing off in the afternoon, to enjoying a drink with friends on a sunny patio in the late afternoon, to a spa visit before dinner, a day in Whistler in May is full of all the things you love at a price your accountant will love, too.

GO Fest: WHISTLER’S GREAT OUTDOOR FESTIVAL

Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest) returns for its fourth year over May’s Victoria Day Long Weekend. This summer kick-off features an abundance of free programming that celebrates life in the great outdoors, including open-air concerts, sports events and clinics, film showings and more. The May long weekend also brings the Bici Gusti Gourmet Ride: a feast for the senses that takes 70 cyclists on a 70-kilometre journey through the scenic Whistler and Callaghan Valleys and culminates in a decadent—and welldeserved—dinner.

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VA N M AG . C O M

COVER PHOTO AND RESTAURANT AWARDS: LUIS VALDIZON; AT ISSUE: K AMIL BIALOUS; CIT Y INFORMER: BYRON EGGENSCHWILER; MODERN FAMILY: CARLO RICCI; TRAVEL: BROKEN GROUP UCLUELET; PERSONAL SPACE: EMA PETER

M AY 2 0 1 7 // VO LU M E 5 0 // N U M B E R 4

FE ATURES

34

28th Annual Restaurant Awards For the 28th year running, it’s our definitive ranking of the best places to eat in Vancouver right now.

72

Eastward Ho! Are skyrocketing commercial rents crushing a new generation of restaurant innovation?

80

Adults Only Faced with crazy wait-lists and even crazier prices for child care in Vancouver, young families are left with few options.

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30

21

26

32

City

Play

21 At Issue Could millennials sway the election?

89 Travel Hop in a kayak to find an island to call your own.

89

94

26 Battleground Suburbia Fighting for votes in the burbs.

92 On the Town Snapshots from our annual contributors’ party.

30 Informer How can I make a living as a busker?

94 Personal Space Inside PR maven Shannon Heth’s art-filled home.

32 Modern Family Syrian refugees feeding the community.

92

96

96 Hot Take Camping-inspired fashion pieces for spring.

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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Editorial Director Anicka Quin Art Director Paul Roelofs Executive Editor Stacey McLachlan Senior Editor Jessica Barrett 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 Gabrielle Lakusta, Maansi Pandya, Carly Whetter Art Intern Eva Lu Editorial Email mail@vanmag.com General Manager & Publisher Dee Dhaliwal Account Managers Judy Johnson, Manon Paradis Sales Coordinator Theresa Tran Production Manager Lee Tidsbury Advertising Designer Swin Nung Chai Marketing & Events Manager Dale McCarthy Marketing Assistant Kaitlyn Lush Sales Email t.tran@vanmag.com Western Media Group Suite 560, 2608 Granville St. Vancouver, B.C., V6H 3V3 604-877-7732, vanmag.com National Media Sales Representation, Mediative Senior Account Manager, National Sales Ian Lederer U.S. Sales Representation, Media-Corps 1-866-744-9890, info@media-corps.com Yellow Pages Digital and Media Solutions Ltd. Vice-President & Chief Publishing Officer Caroline Andrews

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VANCOUVER MAGAZINE is published 10 times a year by 9778748 Canada Inc. Copyright 2017. 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 Vanmag. com. 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.


1706 WEST 1ST AVE ARMOURY DISTRICT VANCOUVER 604 683 1116 LIVINGSPACE.COM


There’s Going to Be a Lot of Eating The challenge: to sample all of the winners of our 28th annual restaurant awards.

because we’re celebrating our 50th this year at VanMag, we’ve all been spending a fair bit of time in the magazine’s archives. As with any backward reflection, we’ve been marvelling at how much things have changed in what feels like a short period of time. Fashion is particularly glorious—one excellent men’s photo shoot from 1985 features both paper-bag-waist white shorts and, in another photo, the caption “yes, you can mix print and plaid, especially when the print is a paisley shirt.” And our Restaurant Awards have naturally evolved over time as well. They began nearly three decades ago as a oneman show, with then-Associate Editor Scott Mowbray tackling the entire dining scene solo and awarding honours in 11 categories. In that first year, Le Crocodile took top honours and, 28 years later, it still reigns in the Best French category. But despite a few standout consistencies, the awards, like our food scene, have grown in scope and depth over the decades—and for 2017 you’ll see yet a few more shifts that are keeping us up to date with the city’s everchanging dining culture. We’ve condensed a few categories (combining several “upscale” and “casual” into just “best”) while further differentiating others—Casual Japanese is now Best Sushi and Best Izakaya. And there are brand-new categories, too: Best Bakery, Best Vegan/Vegetarian and Best Pacific Northwest make their debut, along with one we-can’t-believe-it-hasn’t-appeared-yet award: Best Brunch. And even if our list of judges has expanded to 18, what hasn’t changed is the

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VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

seriousness with which they approach the task, dining in hundreds of restaurants all year, quietly (and less quietly) debating on the merits of the shortlisted entries in their designated categories. Under the guidance of our food editor, Neal McLennan, their final ballots make their way to the careful calculators at Crowe MacKay, our chartered accountants, who tabulate the final golds, silvers and bronzes in each category with the same gravity (but more accuracy) of an Academy Awards’ tally. They tabulate all the final medals, that is, but one. To be eligible for our Restaurant of the Year award, you need to have won your category—be it Best French, Best Pacific Northwest or Best Latin. So our judges get together for one last night of debate and secret ballots to choose our top honour. And though the discussions get heated, we’re all pretty thrilled for this year’s winner. (You’ll have to turn to page 34 to find out who that is.) But palates are personal, and every year our awards are followed by public discussions as fierce as those held by our judges. So have a look at this list of where to eat in 2017—and then share with us your personal favourites, whether it’s the winners in these pages or the secret spots that are winners for you. The post-awards debates start today on Facebook.

Coming Up Next Issue The Drinking Issue We’re toasting the summer with our definitive list of the best places to drink in Vancouver, with editors’ picks, the coolest weekly pub nights, local haunts and bartender secrets. Cheers!

FOLLOW US ON

Anicka Quin editorial director

anick a . quin @vanmag . com

PORTRAIT: EVA AN KHERA J; ST YLING BY LUISA RINO, MAKEUP BY MEL ANIE NEUFELD; DRESS COURTESY NORDSTROM; WATCH COURTESY TIFFANY & CO. PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE AVIARY, THEAVIARY.CA . BOT TOM: TRACE Y KUSIEWICZ .

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VA N M AG .C O M/C I T Y

City

Trending Topic With one tweet, Eveline Xia accidentally became the voice of a generation.

AT ISSUE

Generation Meh

Millennials could determine the outcome of the provincial election—if they bother to vote. BY

Jessica Barrett Kamil Bialous

PORTRAIT BY

WHEN EVELINE XIA fired off a tweet—her first ever—back in spring 2015, it was out of sheer frustration with Vancouver’s soaring housing prices and the smarmy refrain from certain (older) members of the media, the real estate industry, and the political sphere asserting that if young people couldn’t afford to live in Vancouver, they should just leave. Xia hadn’t planned on her #donthave1million hashtag going viral, nor on it installing her as de facto leader of an apparent millennial uprising—at least for a time. Then 29, Xia became the face of the affordability crisis, regularly fielding media requests and speaking at rallies and events. j

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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City

AT I S S U E

But two years later, the crowds have dispersed, Xia has retreated from the spotlight and it’s unclear whether the online outrage she ignited will translate beyond Twitter in the provincial election. Now a constituency assistant for NDP MLA and former party leader Adrian Dix, Xia acknowledges past precedent gives plenty of reason to be skeptical that younger generations will turn up to vote on May 9. “It was a huge impact on the last election when they didn’t,” she says. Indeed. After predicting a decisive NDP victory in 2013, pollsters blamed low turnout among those under 35 for the upset win by the BC Liberals. Young people had expressed overwhelming support for the Opposition in pre-election surveys, said the pollsters, but they epically failed to show up on election day. Just 48 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 40 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds voted, compared to a total voter turnout of 57 percent, and nearly 67 percent among those aged 55 to 64. The dismal track record of younger voters vexes those working to convince politicians to appeal to populations on the south side of 50. Paul Kershaw, the Gen-X founder of the group Generation Squeeze, which advocates for the interests of younger Canadians, says millennials have plenty of reasons to demand the attention. Aside from higher housing costs, pay for full-time work in B.C. is $8,500 lower today than in the late 1970s, adjusted for inflation, while university tuition and child care costs have increased significantly. Young

SURVEY SAYS From top issues to the Trump effect, we asked B.C. residents what’s influencing their vote. survey commissioned by vanmag from insights west

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folks today are balancing record student debt, sputtering careers and small kids with higher costs and fewer resources than the baby boomers had at the same age and life stage. “The data show that for younger generations, B.C. is the province where our hard work pays off the least,” says Kershaw, 42. Yet his calculations show the Liberals’ pre-election budget allocated just $165 in new social spending for every person under 45, compared with $564 for those 65 and over. Even the NDP, perhaps feeling scorned by the 2013 defeat, has failed to make bold appeals to the young; the party’s chief complaint about the budget was that it didn’t do enough for seniors. Despite these inequities, coaxing young people to come together as a voting bloc has proven an unwieldy task. While apathy plays a role, Kershaw says a bigger issue is that his target market lacks the time and money to volunteer or donate to political organizations. Even Generation Squeeze has had trouble attracting sustained support. “We are growing momentum over time,” he says, “but we are starting from a small place and our growth is just not fast enough.” Further complicating matters, solutions to the problems young people face are “politically radioactive,” adds Stephen Price, a 36-year-old teacher from West Vancouver whose two-part treatise on the generational divide was published earlier this year by Maclean’s. “Every time we take $1 million away from the value of a house from a senior, because we want

Solutions to the problems young people face are ‘politically radioactive.’ to bring housing prices down, that’s someone whose retirement plans just got totally upended,” he says. Few politicians are willing to wage that war in order to become a champion for the young, even though doing so may mobilize a sizable base of support. There are now more than one million British Columbians aged 18 to 34, nearly equal the number of those aged 55 to 74. But then there’s the issue of trust. Justin Trudeau owes his solid majority in part to the record numbers of young people who voted in the last federal election, but his flip-flop on democratic reform and pipelines has left many of them feeling betrayed. “Every time a politician jades a young person, that’s one more jaded voter,” says Price, who sits on the executive council for his Liberal MP. Xia also worries Trudeau may have poisoned the well, but she takes heart from the response to the U.S. election. Many people dismayed by Donald Trump’s win have awoken to the fact that their vote, or the absence of it, matters. “I think that’s shaken a whole lot of people out of complacency,” she says. Whether that’s enough to turn tweets into votes, however, remains to be seen.

Southern Discomfort: The U.S. election was a wake-up call

27% of respondents 39% of those 18 to 34 10% of respondents 14% of low-income households

Say Donald Trump’s win has led to a greater resolve to participate in politics and that voting is important. Say they have a more negative view of politics now that Trump is in the White House and voting seems pointless.


THE OUTSIDERS

Not into voting for the usual suspects? A look around the province offers plenty of alternative parties that will gladly take your vote—just don’t call them “fringe.” VANCOUVER ISL AND PART Y

The flag outside Robin Richardson’s trailer in Nanaimo depicts a pine cone, a beaver, a caduceus (a staff with two snakes on it) and the Union Jack. It’s rarely seen on Vancouver Island, much less elsewhere in B.C., but Richardson, a one-time MP for the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario, believes it should be the flag of a whole new province: an independent Vancouver Island. He founded the party about a year ago, aiming to galvanize support for a separatist Island agenda. YOUR POLITICAL PART Y OF B .C.

Vancouver electrician James Filippelli grew up glued to the television on every election night, whether it was for the next American president, B.C. premier or Vancouver mayor. He decided to start his own party to add more options to the dominant provincial roster of either the BC Liberals or the NDP. His party promises to boost transparency by making all government documents and communications freely accessible without filing an access request.

LOTTIE (35 – 42)

B .C. SOCIAL CREDIT PART Y

H

AN

SH

DM AD BY BY

MASTER

E

Carrol Woolsey doesn’t want to run again for the Social Credit Party, but she’ll keep doing it if it keeps the party alive. After seeing the party deregistered in 2013 for failing to field enough candidates, Woolsey is hoping the Socreds can make a comeback by appealing to the political nostalgia of folks old enough to remember when the party won 11 of B.C.’s 31 elections. Meanwhile, she hopes younger voters will be wooed by the Socreds’ possible status as an alternative to the BC Liberals and the NDP with its goals of rejecting the 15 percent foreign homebuyers tax and keeping more schools open. —Petti Fong

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City

ELECTION

Battleground Suburbia

With big-city problems creeping into the land of cul-de-sacs and single-family homes, no incumbent is safe. Frances Bula

BRITISH COLUMBIA’S 2017 provincial election will not be decided in Vancouver or Victoria, where the pipeline-hating urbanites often vote NDP or Green. Nor will it be decided in Kelowna or Fort St. John, where the latte-disdaining pro-LNG residents steadily vote right. The election will be won in places like the Pantry in Guildford Town Centre. On a busy Saturday, the mall buzzes like an electrical transformer and cars and minivans circle the maze-like parking lots. Two Surrey parents, who helped lead a monthslong campaign to get more money from Premier Christy Clark for their public schools, are sitting over popcorn shrimp and fries, assessing which party they think is the most likely to help their cause. The NDP MLAs listened to their presentation, yes, say Lisa Garner and Karen Tan. But their promise to get rid of all the portable classrooms in just four months wasn’t realistic. And

SURVEY SAYS

VOTE HERE

?

24

the education critic guy, Rob Fleming, faded away from meetings for reasons they still don’t understand. The Liberal MLAs, that was a different story. Sure, there was one guy who got all defensive and tried to make it sound like there was no problem with having 7,000 Surrey kids in portables. But Peter Fassbender and Stephanie Cadieux, both cabinet ministers, they really listened. “Those MLAs now understand our problems,” says Tan, an accountant who helped analyze the local school budget and long-range capital plan. Garner, who runs a before- and afterschool daycare in her home and works with people with disabilities, adds another level of analysis: “I think they did understand, but we didn’t have the right group of people [lobbying]

Parsing the Party (Un)Faithful

69%

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

Are We Headed for a Sea Change?

of decided voters say they will not change their mind before the election. This includes

48%

But only of Green voters say they’re set on their vote.

74% 73% of BC Liberal of BC NDP voters.

before. And I think they paid attention because of the number of voters.” Then Clark came through, just five months before the election, with $217 million dedicated to building new schools and additions. Of course she did. Those Surrey ridings are key. Fassbender won his seat in Surrey–Fleetwood by only 200 votes in 2013, against the NDP’s Jagrup Brar. This time around he’ll be facing Brar again, and the boundaries of his riding have been redrawn, not to his advantage. It’s not just Surrey that will see hard skirmishing. Rumblings of discontent have risen to high decibels in Maple Ridge. Coquitlam. Burnaby. Richmond. Those growing suburbs east and south of Vancouver are uniquely poised to see swings among

voters.

62% 38%

Say it’s time for a change of government in B.C.—including 67% of voters aged 35 to 54 and 31% of those who voted for the BC Liberals in 2013. Are happy to stay with the status quo.

HOME PHOTO: GORD MCKENNA

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City

ELECTION

their voters. They’re the places where urban problems like homelessness and drug addiction, poverty and immigrant enclaves, unaffordable housing, crime and traffic congestion have migrated steadily in the last couple of decades, while social services—schools, health care, transit—haven’t come anywhere near to coping with the growth. Meanwhile, tides of newcomers have arrived since 2013. These new immigrants, downsizing boomers, young couples driven out of the city by high prices, and job seekers from Alberta and Ontario weren’t around to vote last time. Their political affiliations may be very different from what has been the norm. “There have been demographic changes out in the suburbs. Younger professionals are moving out, bringing progressive values,” says Hamish Telford, a political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley and an Abbotsford resident. Those new suburbanites are more impatient about the problems. Telford’s own son has been going to school in a portable for two years because of the lack of money for new buildings, even while the area booms. South of Fraser residents are angry about having to pay a toll on the Port Mann Bridge and possibly a new one coming up for the Pattullo Bridge, while transit options continue to disappoint. And the increase in housing costs in the suburbs have been, in some cases, even more dramatic than in Vancouver. “The

SURVEY SAYS What are the top issues facing B.C. today?

property assessments in Abbotsford are up more than 35 percent, which has made housing much less affordable,” says Telford. Then there’s the fact that the suburbs are at another important crossroads. One analysis of the 2012 American presidential election by analyst Dave Troy showed that voter behaviour followed density. A place with more than 800 people per square

Younger professionals are moving out [to the suburbs], bringing progressive values.” —h a m ish

t e l f or d , p ol i t ic a l s c i e nc e prof e s s or at u f v

mile (in Canadian terms, 308 people per square kilometre) was significantly more likely to vote Democrat. One with fewer than that was significantly more likely to vote Republican. That same dynamic played out again in 2016 and Canadian federal elections show similar patterns, according to a study by Vancouver demographer Andy Yan. The suburbs, especially the newer ones that are seeing townhouses and condos sprout just as fast as singlefamily homes, are right at the tipping point. “The more dense an area becomes, the more likely it is going to vote like East Vancouver,” says Greg Lyle, whose company, Innovative Research, has done polling for years for conservative parties. But will that make those urbanizing suburbanites vote NDP or Green?

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

they’re anxious about schools, but as Lisa Garner and Karen Tan demonstrate in Surrey, that anxiety can be eased with what looks like a solid plan to invest in them. Or the NDP could play on their anxieties by reminding them of how many times the Liberals have promised improvements and then abandoned them post-election. “This is a government in power for 16 years,” says Lyle. A few weeks of bad news for the Liberals just before the election are all it would take to put the NDP in front. And then, of course, there’s a third, distant option. “Suburban voters are not going to vote Green for the environment. What defines them is the car,” he says. “But they could vote Green as a ‘pox on both your houses.’”

The Personal Is Political: top issues transform when viewed through a different lens

32%

Say: Housing, Homelessness & Poverty

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That depends on what they are the most emotional about, says Lyle. Yes, suburban voters are running on high levels of cortisol. But the Liberals have been doing plenty to allay that. Economists might think moves like the interest-free loans for down payments are fiscally ridiculous, but polling shows that people love them— especially in the suburbs, where they’re the most likely to qualify. Yes,

23% Say: Health Care

16%

Say: Economy & Jobs


O F F T O T H E R AC E S

Watch these ridings for a nail-biting contest.

Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows Doug Bing won for the Liberals in 2013 by only 620 votes. He faces the NDP’s Lisa Beare, a popular school trustee in a part of the suburbs where development, homelessness, drug overdose deaths and traffic mayhem are on the rise. Expect a fierce battle.

Vancouver–Fraserview With its winding streets and singlefamily homes, it’s a little slice of the suburbs right here in the city. Suzanne Anton won it for the Liberals in 2013 by only 546 votes. Popular former city councillor George Chow is trying to edge her out for the NDP.

BOATING (5½ – 12½)

Coquitlam–Maillardville

MAPLE RIDGE HOMES: HOUSTON MARSH

What are the top issues facing you in your dayto-day life?

30% Say:

22% Say:

18% Say:

Health Care Economy & Jobs Housing, Homelessness & Poverty

H

AN

SH

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MASTER

E

Former city councillor Selina Robinson won this riding for the NDP by only 41 votes, after a recount. The Liberals will be fighting hard to take it back with small-business owner Steve Kim.

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City

ELECTION

The Winning Smile “There are certain muscles in the face that get activated for real enjoyment smiles and others for forced smiles. People can often pick up on these forced smiles,” says Witkower. That being said: “Even a fake smile can increase likability as it indicates the person wants to be warm, which is also very important.”

The Head Tilt In a dominant politician, who may influence behaviour through aggression and intimidation, “we see a downward head tilt with a directed gaze, which gives a menacing and aggressive sort of vibe,” says Witkower. Alternatively, there’s the “boss you really look up to,” a.k.a the politician you might actually want to hang out with. Those people often use the upward head tilt, which also has the effect of increasing your apparent size. “You often see the combination of an upward head tilt with a smile, which has very large effects on perceptions of prestige.”

The Personal Bubble Donald Trump’s lurking gait and signature handshake “yank” have become the butt of jokes, but those traits may be advantageous to his image. “Those who encroach on others’ personal space tend to be colder, angry or more controlling,” says Witkower. “The fact that this has received so much public attention shows that people perceive this behaviour as dominant.”

Perfecting the Candidate

Their Physical Size “Non-verbal expansiveness— behaviour that increases your apparent physical size, such as having your arms extended away from your body, or puff ing out your chest—has huge implications for how competent someone is perceived to be by others,” says Witkower.

In the popularity contest that is politics, winning requires more than just juicy campaign promises: you also need people to like you. Here, two experts weigh in on what makes a politician appealing on a gut level. by

Carly Whetter

THE E XPERTS

The Real Deal “One of the single most important factors is authenticity. Media training is important but you can’t make a person likable and you can’t make someone into Barack Obama,” says Young. “Voters are smart and they realize when politicians are trying to be something they’re not.”

Bruce Young, managing principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, specializing in counselling public servants and corporate leaders in B.C. and Alberta. Zachary Witkower, psychology graduate student at UBC and expert in non-verbal behaviour.

SURVEY SAYS The fine print: Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from February 23 to February 26, 2017, among 801 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

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Follow the Leader? Not Necessarily

28%

Say they would never vote for the NDP in a provincial election, no matter who the leader is.

77%

49%

Say they’d never vote for the BC Liberals with Christy Clark as their leader, no matter what the party’s policies are.

Agree: “I wish we had better people serving as leaders of B.C.’s main political parties.”


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Emily Carr The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase), (detail) c. 1928-30

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LISTEN

The Smugglers

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Best known as a host on CBC Radio, Grant Lawrence fronted this globetrotting garage-punk band from 1988 to 2004. Untitled-3 1 Persuaded to play a reunion in California early this year, The Smugglers now take to a hometown stage to coincide with the publication of Dirty Windshields, Lawrence’s memoir about his touring years with the group. Commodore Ballroom, May 13

2017-03-20 2:40

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SEE

Art! Vancouver 2017 Returning for a third edition, this exhibit and sale brings works from dozens of up-and-coming international artists—spanning sculpture, painting, photography and more— to the Convention Centre. Also included are guest speakers, off-site gallery and studio tours, and auctions that benefit local charities. artvancouver.net, May 25 to 28 —Michael White Four Diamond AAA/CAA Awarded Grill Room Restaurant

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City

INFORMER

What Does It Take to Become a Professional Busker? by

Stacey McLachlan Byron Eggenschwiler

illustration by

Whether you’ve been laid off from a Gastown start-up or are struggling to afford your foreignbuyers tax, busking is here for you. It’s Vancouver’s truest equal opportunity employer: as long as you can strum a guitar or stand perfectly still while covered in silver paint, you are ready to lean in to a new career in the arts. Depending on the weather, the location and—minor detail—your talent, take-home pay can fluctuate wildly, though online sources self-report an hourly average of over $20 on a good day. It would likely be more if Vancouver would just relent on its nanny-state rules against juggling chainsaws, but that’s classic “No Fun City” for you. Luckily, you don’t necessarily have to spend money to make money. Yes, to busk on most sidewalks here you need a street entertainment permit, which will cost you $39.90 for four months, or $118.41 if you want to

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If you want an amplified flute licence, you’d better get in line. commit to your keytar act for a full year. But you can also haunt certain public spaces sans permit, like outside the Vancouver Art Gallery or library square (not the Donnelly pub—I cannot stress this enough). If you’ve perfected your steel-drum rendition of “Take on Me” and are looking for a more elite venue, snag a yearlong SkyTrain licence ($75) to perform at one of eight stations. The catch?

They’re available by audition only. Auditions are held each November — it’s a public transit version of American Idol, only with a criminal record check. But even more prestigious is earning a spot on the Granville Island busker roster. It’s an exclusive list: the dark arts (tarot card readers and balloon artists) are strictly forbidden, and a twofold audition is required. Accepted buskers

pay anywhere from $80 (acoustic acts) to $400 (groups) to register, then performance slots are assigned via lottery daily. And after all that, if you want an amplified pan flute licence, you’d better get in line; numbers are strictly limited, presumably to avoid flute-related gang warfare from overtaking the island. Got a question for City Informer? stacey.mclachlan@vanmag.com


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Untitled-7 1

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1 “When I came to Canada for the first time, I was afraid, because it was new people, a new language—everything. But when I came, I saw all Canadians are very nice people.”—Rawaa Mahouk

2 “I’m going to school to learn English. I’ve gone to the museum and I went to the opera in Surrey—I’d never been to the opera before. The one thing I’m excited about the most is learning English.”—Heba Najib

3 “I’m the eldest of us. That means I’ve cooked for many, many years, since the day I got married. I never bought anything from outside. I cooked everything myself. So I have a lot of experience to share.”—Hasna Shekh Omar share.”—

4 “The first dinner was a buffet, and we were sitting there waiting to see people’s reactions. People went up twice and three times to serve themselves and we were like, ‘Whoa, people really like this food.’”—Leena Alahmad with daughter Loubana

2 1

3

Find out when the next dinner is at

Facebook.com/Tayybeh

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5 “[My favourite part is] getting

to know these ladies and their families . . . and seeing that we’re providing them with the opportunity to generate an income for themselves and their families. And to become friends with other Syrian ladies, because maybe they haven’t had the opportunity to do that.”—Nihal Elwan, international development professional and organizer of Tayybeh

5

6 “I don’t speak the language;

I don’t know anyone. I’m new, so it’s good to join this group . . . I’d much rather be working than sit there and think about where we came from and what happened to our country.”—Raghda country.”— Hassan with daughter Solar

City

M O D E R N FA M I LY

Food for Thought

The women of Tayybeh: A Celebration of Syrian Cuisine are adjusting to life in Canada by coming together to cook. The catered events and pop-up dinners hosted by these newly arrived refugees have been a hit, with tickets selling out within the hour. In the process, the women are building a source of income and a sense of community, and they’re introducing Vancouver to some of the best food to come out of Syria. Dominika Lirette Nihal Elwan PHoto by Carlo Ricci as tolD to

WitH translation by

Group portrait taken at Shaughnessy United Church, January 30, 2017

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IMAGE CREDIT


RESTAURANT IMAGE CREDIT

AWARDS 28 After 12 months of dining out, the results are in! Our judges tell you the dishes, the rooms and the chefs you need to visit this year. 47 WINNERS, 171 CONTENDERS

th

ANNUAL

Luis Valdizon, Ariana Gillrie, Kamil Bialous Aaron Sacco ILLUSTRATIONS BY Eva Lu

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

PORTRAIT ILLUSTRATIONS BY STAR

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IMAGE CREDIT

RESTAURANT AWARDS

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RESTAURANT

OF THE YEAR

IMAGE CREDIT

Dynasty Seafood

Crowded House It’s located on a nondescript section of West Broadway and its decor won’t win any design awards, but the food from chef Sam Leung’s kitchen sets the standard for Chinese cuisine in North America.

VANCOUVER, renowned for having the best Chinese food outside of China, is still a city of two solitudes. For over a century and throughout successive waves of immigration, Chinese restaurants in the Lower Mainland have rarely reached out to non-Chinese diners or been fully embraced by them in return. Not until now, that is. Dynasty Seafood has bridged that gap like no other by becoming an adventurous culinary innovator, a community collaborator, a favourite among oenophiles and a mainstream institution for everyone. “I don’t know of any other authentically Chinese restaurant that is as accessible to Western palates and accommodating of Western diners, without one iota of compromise to the integrity of its traditional dishes,” says one of our judges. A huge part of the restaurant’s success is due to executive chef Sam Leung, a curious culinary magpie who began his apprenticeship in Guangzhou and immigrated to Canada in 1985. “His classic Chiuchow cuisine has an attention to detail like no one else’s,” says one judge. His light and bright vegetarian dishes blew another judge “out of the water.” When not presiding over Dynasty’s stately West Broadway dining room—with its sweeping view of the North Shore Mountains—Leung can often be found feasting at many of the city’s best French, farmto-table and Italian restaurants (La Quercia is one of his favourites). “Sam is very ambitious about taking new influences and using them to reflect a West Coast sensibility in his cooking. He doesn’t just throw lemon into his BBQ pork cha siu bao because it’s a Western ingredient; he incorporates citrus to give the palate something vivacious.” After winning numerous Critics’ Choice Signature Awards from the Chinese Restaurant Awards, Leung was named their Master Chef for 2017. Dynasty’s many unconventional collaborations over the last 12 months have included East Meets West, a fundraising dinner for the Chinese Restaurant Awards Scholarship at Vancouver Community College with chef Ned Bell from the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program , the fifth annual Royal Sake Feast for That’s Life Gourmet Ltd., a dinner for the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and a feature spot on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations with host Andrew Zimmern. In an era when big restaurants from Mainland China and Hong Kong are increasingly populating the city with high gloss and extravagant prices, Dynasty is doubling down on Vancouver. Thus, we are extremely proud to present the first Chinese restaurant to win Restaurant of the Year.

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LUIS VALDIZON

RESTAURANT AWARDS


CHEF OF

THE YEAR

ILLUSTRATIONS: A ARON SACCO

Joël Watanabe GROWING UP IN Ottawa with early onset alopecia (an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss), Joël Watanabe faced constant teasing from the age of six and often swung back with his fists. “I wasn’t afraid to stand up for myself,” says our Chef of the Year, shortly after returning from Toronto, where he scooped yet another national award for his Japanese-Italian knockout, Kissa Tanto. While it might be difficult to reconcile this portrait of a young scrapper with the “gracious, humble” culinary artist hailed for his “quiet confidence” and “lack of ego”—both in person and on the plate—it is kind of funny that one of our judges described the chef’s breakout moment, the 2010 launch of Chinatown’s Bao Bei, as “a big, hairy deal for Vancouver.” That Taiwanese-Shanghaiese brasserie was “borderline revelatory” in the way it modernized traditional Chinese dishes by grounding them in classic French techniques and local ingredients. Still, those delicious handmade dumplings and steamed mantou buns stuffed with free-range meats and organic produce were also misunderstood. “There was a backlash,” recalls Watanabe, who was again forced to defend himself. “People said, ‘This isn’t Chinese.’ I had to say, ‘Look, I’m not cooking your grandmother’s food.’” The transition from Bao Bei to Kissa Tanto, where Watanabe now has some skin in the game as one of three owners, was a smooth progression that brought the chef closer to his roots, both personally (his heritage is half Japanese, half CorsicanItalian French Canadian) and professionally (the refined fusion cooking—“humming with clarity,” “honesty,” and “elegance”—is a better reflection of his classic training in French, Italian and Japanese fine dining). “In every dish, he is able to find a thread of what the two disparate cuisines are trying to communicate and distill it into a cohesive whole that never feels forced,” says one judge. “There is aha-ness in his food,” adds another. This time, there hasn’t been any blowback from customers. “We’ve had a lot of compliments from Italians,” says Watanabe. “Japanese people think it’s odd, but they love it.” And the chef is feeling much more relaxed, as he rightly should. “I love to cook. That’s why I’m here. There’s not much need for me to be angry.”

Bartender of the Year

Sabrine Dhaliwal

Complexity without being complicated. It’s Sabrine Dhaliwal’s mantra when crafting a drink, and her refined, intellectual approach to cocktails has vaulted her well beyond bartending’s traditional gender imbalance into the local and global spotlight. Dhaliwal has developed an ineffable grace and ease over the course of her career. From early stints behind the wood at Reflections at Rosewood Hotel Georgia and West to her current bar manager duties at Uva, creating individually memorable experiences for her guests has always been a top priority. As a Certified Spirits Specialist with a Level 3 Wine and Spirits Education Certificate under her belt, she brings an elegant sense of balance to her libations that charmed this year’s judges. The bartending world sat up and took notice of Dhaliwal in 2015—as the only female finalist, she won top honours at Belvedere Vodka’s international martini competition. Now the Canadian brand ambassador for Belvedere, she’s also a “Bitter Babe” ambassador for Vancouver-born producer Bittered Sling. Yet Dhaliwal’s future is looking sweet as she continues to enlighten people about the intricate wonders of spirits, one beautifully nuanced cocktail at a time.

Sommelier of the Year Lisa Haley

Lisa Haley landed on the West Coast a few years ago, bringing with her some Montreal savoir faire, a passion for natural and authentic wines, and a scholarly bent. She first dove in to the wine scene at the natural wine temple that is Burdock and Co. before leaving to launch Boulevard’s ample and serious wine program. These days you’ll find her managing the masterfully concise list and elite team at L’Abattoir. A great champion of her staff and customers, she walks the floor with calm assurance and no-nonsense style.

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RESTAURANT AWARDS

IS SAVIO VOLPE really new? Somehow in the short time it’s been Nightingale open, it’s woven itself 3 1017 W Hastings St. so inextricably into the hawknightingale.com fabric of our food scene HONOURABLE MENTIONS Café Ça Va, Vij’s that, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, it seems like it’s always been with us. It wasn’t the first spot to open in the now-burgeoning Fraserhood (Les Faux Bourgeois was there pre-Olympics), but it’s tough to imagine that triangle of hipness without it as the anchor. Nor was it first to go for a neighbourhood take on regional Italian cuisine—La Quercia already had the high end, Ask for Luigi, the low—but it somehow already seems the leading player in this genre. It’s brought to us by an Avengersesque dream team of talented partners: L’Abattoir’s Paul Grunberg, who is quite simply the hardest-working restaurateur in town (see page 72 for proof); Craig Stanghetta, who first carved out the niche of restaurant design, and then so thoroughly dominated it that it’s rare

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Kissa Tanto 263 E Pender St. kissatanto.com

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when a high-profile new room isn’t designed by him; and chef Mark Perrier, whose solid CV (he spent the previous two and a half years at Two Rivers Meats, and time before in supporting postions at CinCin, West and London’s Le Gavroche) gave scant indication that he was not only ready to helm his own room but to absolutely knock it out of the park in one that’s been packed seven nights a week since the first day it opened. The fluid menu changes frequently, but already there are some stalwart dishes that have become sought-after signatures: a bagna cauda of such warmth and depth that it grounds the entire dining experience as a joint venture between diner and chef, an old-school garlic bread that shows a kitchen confident enough to put delicious before stylish, a take on rosemary-lemon grilled chicken that sets the city’s standard with its balance of rusticity and class (take a look at our cover if you doubt us on this)—all backed by old country-inspired cocktails that, at $9, are 25-percent less than what similar spots charge, and a hyperfocused all-Italian wine list that’s only slightly more dense than Dante’s Inferno (but far more rewarding).

IMAGE CREDIT

BEST NEW RESTAURANT Savio Volpe


Best New Design Kissa Tanto

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Savio Volpe 615 Kingsway saviovolpe.com

Past the faded Chinatown facade and up a narrow set of stairs, there’s a vision so romantic, so complete, HONOURABLE MENTIONS it could be a film set: a 1960s jazu Nightingale, Juniper kissa (Japanese jazz café) dripping with romance and whisky. The judges were unanimous in their love for gold winner Kissa Tanto. This 80-seat Japanese-Italian restaurant, designed by Ste. Marie Art and Design, is atmospheric perfection: a glossy domed ceiling pearls with light; pink vinyl banquettes invite tête-à-têtes; and modernist tilework is inspired by the cover of a Haruki Murakami novel. A beautifully considered 14-seat bar dominates half the room, reminding diners this is a boozy destination, and perfect decorations (a Noguchi paper lamp, vintage tchotchkes) add heart. Silver goes to another Ste. Marie project, Savio Volpe, for its thoughtful rendition of “Italian farmhouse modern.” Pleated oak wall treatments and quarry tile suggest modesty, but nobody’s fooled: this room is as tailored and sophisticated as it is rustic.

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Producer of the Year

Ask even dedicated Vancouver diners to name a local vegetable, and dollars to doughnuts you’ll get either silence or something from Pemberton’s North Arm North Arm Farm Farm. Founded in 1995 by Pemberton, B.C. Trish and Jordan Sturdy northarmfarm.com (the latter now an MLA), North Arm, with its 60 acres, wasn’t the first to take advantage of the fertile ground north of Whistler, but it was the first to trumpet the location and to throw open its doors so average urban diners on a day trip could really understand where their food was coming from (and maybe pick a few berries or pumpkins while they’re there). These days, the entire Pemberton Valley has become sort of a mountain Provence, with distillers and winemakers and lots of farmers drawing crowds to the experience—all of which started with the Sturdy clan and the amazing dirt of North Arm Farm.

ABOVE, LEF T: LUIS VALDIZON; ABOVE, RIGHT: KNAUF AND BROWN

RESTAURANT AWARDS


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RESTAURANT AWARDS

Premier Crew Chefs get accolades, owners (hopefully) get profits, but it’s the front-of-house team who makes sure that the diner experience is just so. And so here, they get some of our love.

A

Server, Giardino Front-of-house veteran Patrick Patterson is unquestionably a server’s server. As a member of the top-notch team at Il Giardino, he delivers a consummate dining experience, his love for food as evident as his sparkling wit and effortless charm. And, according to one of our judges, he goes out of his way to ensure that each restaurant visitor feels special, “as if they were guests in his own home.”

Lindsay Otto

D

B C

B

Manager, Bistro Wagon Rouge Lindsay Otto’s effervescent personality and million-watt smile instantly put people at ease when they walk through the door of Bistro Wagon Rouge. Her genuine love for people, coupled with 17 years of industry experience, helps Otto keep the bustling noreservations neighbourhood spot humming smoothly and seamlessly. “She’s the glue that holds all the pieces together,” summarized one of our judges.

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E

A

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Sherry Diggle

C

Chen-Wei Lee

D

Server, Nook Manitoba-born Sherry Diggle towers behind the bar at Kits’s Nook (yes, she’s well over six feet tall), dispensing her considerable wine knowledge as a certified sommelier. Smart—with a wicked sense of humour—she always knows just the right beverage to go with that pizza. Manager, Royal Dinette A teenaged Chen-Wei Lee worked his way up in restaurant kitchens

from dishwasher to head prep cook, but his desire to “help shape people’s dining experiences more directly” prompted a shift to front of house. As Royal Dinette’s general manager, he deftly conveys the narrative of a meal, skillfully complementing dishes with inventive wine pairings. Lee’s impeccable professionalism, refined over 10 years in the industry, “balances hustle and volume with finesse,” says one of our judges, while building lasting relationships with guests.

Jaier Vlessing

E

Server, Gotham Steakhouse If there’s such a thing as a classic steakhouse waiter, Jaier Vlessing is it. He’s been taking care of business at Gotham for 18 years, and the pride he takes in putting on the white jacket is evident in everything he does. Beloved by the restaurant’s family for his dry wit and the way he delivers great experiences to guests each time he works, Vlessing is a true pro.

A ARON SACCO

Patrick Patterson


RESTAURANT AWARDS

The Acorn has not only defined the category in Vancouver, but also across the entire country.

Best Vegan/ Vegetarian The Acorn

3995 Main St. theacornrestaurant.com

2

Spicy Vegetarian Cuisine 4200 No. 3 Rd., Richmond

3

Chau Veggie Express 5052 Victoria Dr. chowatchau.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Bandidas Taqueria, Zend Conscious Lounge

Best Japanese Zest

2775 W 16th Ave. zestjapanese.com

2

Masayoshi 4376 Fraser St. masayoshi.ca

3

Kinome Japanese Kitchen 2511 W Broadway HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Tojo’s, Marutama

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Our judges covered a lot of culinary ground this year, and the category winners reflect a broad spectrum of price points and approaches. Gold winner Zest has “a classic Tokyo vibe.” Its “understated modern serenity is an elegant backdrop for chef Yoshiaki Maniwa and Tatsuya Katagiri’s sharply executed dishes,” says one judge. Their menu reflects “a sense of elevated rigour in which all the details matter,” adding up to a “singular dining experience.” At Masayoshi (Silver), the focus is on omakase; in the words of one judge, “it’s all about surrendering yourself to chef Masayoshi Baba’s meticulous, mindful culinary journey.” Kinome (Bronze) has fun with sushi and izakaya dishes, but judges unanimously praised “the serious passion that’s poured into their handmade soba noodles and dashi.”

This new category taps into one of the big trends grabbing the city right now. The winner is scant surprise: since it opened in 2012, Shira Blustein’s The Acorn has not only defined the category in Vancouver, but also across the entire country. And a city of hungry vegetarians and non-vegetarians agree —a line snakes out of this spot almost every night of the week. More surprising is the Silver medal winner—but Richmond’s Spicy Vegetarian Cuisine underscores the fact that our Chinese restaurants nailed no-meat cooking long before it became fashionable. Bronze goes to Victoria Drive’s Chau Veggie Express, which is bringing them in in droves with its Vietnamese take on (mostly) vegan cuisine.


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RESTAURANT AWARDS

Last year’s Restaurant of the Year continues to impress the judges.

Best Sushi

Best Thai

Zest

Maenam

2775 W 16th Ave. zestjapanese.com

2

Masayoshi 4376 Fraser St. masayoshi.ca

3

Sushi Bar Maumi 1226 Bute St. HONOURABLE MENTIONS

1938 W 4th Ave. maenam.ca

2 3

Kishimoto, Minami, Miku

Longtail Kitchen 810 Quayside Dr., New Westminster longtailkitchen.com Thai Cuisine by Montri 2585 W Broadway thaicuisinebymontri.com

If you were the betting type, there was probably no more sure a thing than Angus An’s Maenam winning this category. Last year’s Restaurant of the Year continues to impress the judges with its seamless and modern take on Thai fare. And proof of An’s mastery is reinforced with the Silver winner, Longtail Kitchen—his more casual outpost in New Westminster’s River Market. Bronze goes to the trailblazing Montri, where Montri Rattanaraj pioneered modern Thai in Vancouver in the 1980s and is still very much on the top of his game.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

We have such a high concentration of exceptional, multifaceted Japanese restaurants, we thought it was time to break the genre down to its component parts. But it turns out, for the most part, our judges think the Best Japanese restaurants are also the Best Sushi spots: with the now-dominant Zest taking Gold in both categories for its elegantly classical approach, and Fraser Street’s small and zoned-in Masayoshi nabbing both Silver medals. The Bronze goes to Davie’s tiny (10 seats) sushi-only Bar Maumi.

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Best Chinese Dynasty Seafood

777 W Broadway dynasty-restaurant.com

2

Chef Tony Seafood 4600 No. 3 Rd., Richmond cheftonycanada.com

3

The Jade Seafood 8511 Alexandra Rd., Richmond jaderestaurant.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Landmark Hot Pot, Yue Delicacy

Our Restaurant of the Year, Dynasty Seafood (Gold) reached out to new diners and embraced innovation while staying wonderfully true to the clean, light, elegant ideals of upscale Cantonese cooking. “A perfect match for wine geeks,” said one judge. Others applauded “meaty” steamed eggplant that “turns a traditional dish on its head” and the “many pleasure points” of spicy-garlic Dungeness crab over sticky rice. Chef Tony Seafood (Silver) “toned down” its reputation for ostentatious luxury (though we still love the black truffle-gilded roast chicken), offering more sophisticated comfort foods like steamed pork belly with house-salted lemons and local ling-cod-tail hot pot. The Jade Seafood’s (Bronze) “exceptionally suave service” continues to impress, along with exemplary cooking skill, evidenced in “smooth and wobbly, clean and pure” steamed savoury custard with seafood.

MAENAM: CARLO RICCI

Jitlada, Thai Pudpong


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Brilliantly reimagined Indian food that pays tribute to its roots.

Best Indian My Shanti

2 3

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Best Vietnamese Mr. Red Café

Mr. Red Café (Gold) continues its winning streak from last year, Chau Veggie Express thanks to its stellar 5052 Victoria Dr. Northern Vietnamese chowatchau.ca menu that our judges Anh and Chi say “delights the pal3388 Main St. ate with its crisp, anhandchi.com clean and aromatic HONOURABLE MENTIONS flavours,” along with Hai Phong, Café Xu Hue the warm hospitality of owner Rose Nguyen. The vegan “fish” sauce and heady broths helped Chau Veggie Express (Silver) jump up from its honourable mention last year. And newcomer Anh and Chi (Bronze) shows that families who cook together, rock together. 2234 E Hastings St., 2680 W Broadway

2 3

ARIANA GILLRIE

Vikram Vij’s shimmering My Shanti takes this year’s golden crown in true Vij’s “over-the-top Bollywood 3106 Cambie St. style.” Judges lauded it vijs.ca as “fearlessly offering auRangoli thentic flavours true to the 1480 W 11th Ave. subcontinent” with dishes vijsrangoli.ca ranging from reinvented HONOURABLE MENTIONS Udaipur chaat to Kerala Apna Chaat, duck biryani. Now in its Sachdeva Sweets new Cambie Street outpost, Vij’s (Silver) returns to deliver “the combined vision of Vikram, host par excellence, and Meeru Dhalwala, the perfectionist in the kitchen.” A significant size-up from its previous digs, oftentimes with lineups to match, it’s still grounded in “brilliantly reimagined Indian food that pays tribute to its roots.” Rangoli (Bronze) continues to hold court (still in its original location at the time of these awards) as the Vij triumvirate’s remaining South Granville stalwart, its “intricately spiced,” smartly priced dishes especially popular with lunchtime diners. 15869 Croydon Dr., Surrey myshanti.com


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RESTAURANT AWARDS

It introduced izakaya in an elevated setting that hadn’t been seen in Vancouver.

Best Pan-Asian Kissa Tanto

2635 E Pender St. kissatanto.com

2 3

Torafuku 958 Main St. torafuku.com Freebird 810 Quayside Dr., New Westminster freebirdchickens.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Fat Mao Noodles, Phnom Penh

Best Dim Sum

Best Korean

Dynasty Seafood

777 W Broadway dynasty-restaurant.ca

Royal Seoul House 1215 W Broadway royalseoulhouse.com

2

Hanwoori 5740 Imperial St., Burnaby

3

Maru Korean Bistro 125 2nd St. E, North Vancouver marukoreanbistro.com

2

Golden Paramount 8071 Park Rd., Richmond

3

Yue Delicacy 8077 Alexandra Rd., Richmond HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Chef Tony Seafood, The Jade Seafood

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Damso, Seoul Doogbaegi

Royal Seoul House proves its staying power after almost 30 years in operation with its repeat gold this year. The service here isn’t notable, but “it executes traditional Korean food with a level of sophistication and consistency that surpasses others in this category,” says one judge. Its location might not be the most welcoming, but Hanwoori (Silver) continues to deliver “consistently excellent value and quality,” and newcomer Maru Korean Bistro (Bronze) wowed our judges with its crispy rice rolls, friendly service and stone bowls.

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Best Izakaya Kingyo

871 Denman St. kingyo-izakaya.ca

2

Guu Multiple locations guu-izakaya.com

3

Rajio 3763 W 10th Ave. rajiopublichouse.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Zakkushi, Suika

When you look at Japanese and Italian cuisine, there is a common sensibility between them that focuses on seasonality, incredible technique and balance. The seamlessness and finesse with which Kissa Tanto has integrated techniques and ingredients made it an easy choice for gold. The bold playfulness of the menu at Torafuku (Silver) has our judges lusting over the deep-fried mochi and “kickass rice.” It may focus only on one thing (Asian-style rotisserie chicken), but Freebird (Bronze) got multiple slow claps for its Hainanese poached chicken and umami-rich dipping sauces.

For many non-Chinese people, their first experience with the lure of Chinese cuisine came at dim sum while a steam cart navigated through the tables, piled high with bamboo baskets. Proof that Vancouver has come a long way since those days is exemplified in the elegant menu that dim sum chef Garley Leung creates at Gold winner Dynasty Seafood. It’s more akin to a tasting menu, with recognizable classics like pan-fried pork buns elevated to heights beyond their steam-table past. Silver goes to Richmond’s Golden Paramount, whose outward old-school signs—bamboo baskets, banquet chairs, strip mall location—belie the sophisticated take on Cantonese cuisine. Taking Bronze is Yue Delicacy, with its muted posh interior and legendary har gow (shrimp dumplings).

Kingyo bounces back to its previous Gold status after last year’s Silver (for Casual Japanese), thanks to the perennial excellence of dishes like its stone-grilled beef tongue. “It introduced izakaya in an elevated setting that hadn’t been seen in Vancouver before,” says one judge. “The subtle nuances in their dishes took izakaya from cheap and cheerful to elegant and refined.” Guu (Silver) has always impressed our judges with inventive dishes like deep-fried chicken knee cartilage, and Rajio’s heavenly skewers and hot stone crab bibimbap are only a few of the many dishes that have earned this hip pub a Bronze.


Andrew Chang for CBC Vancouver News


RESTAURANT AWARDS

Café Medina

780 Richards St. medinacafe.com

2

Burdock and Co. 2702 Main St. burdockandco.com

3

Au Comptoir 2278 W 4th Ave. aucomptoir.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Jam Café, Ask for Luigi

Ingredient of the Year

Vancouverites are nuts for brunch, a fact celebrated by this new category. We won’t cross the street to see George Clooney save a child from a speeding bus, but for Café Medina’s legendary tagine—we’re happy as a clam to stand in the rain for an hour. Ditto dishes like silver winner Burdock and Co.’s crispy fried chicken or Au Comptoir’s (Bronze) authentic omelette aux fines herbes.

For Café Medina’s legendary tagine— we’re happy as a clam to stand in the rain for an hour.

The Chef’s Table Society of B.C. helps with this award and member Chris Whittaker of Forage couldn’t stop in his love of bison. “ I have witnessed how they can transform fallow land into lush pastures and a much more diverse ecosystem than they began with, with increases in insects, Bison birds and small mammal populations. They have restored the soil to a biodiverse state that allows the photosynthesis process to flourish, creating much more water retention and thus massive amounts of carbon capture. Beyond this, healthy pastures create less unwanted runoff into our salmon-bearing rivers and streams and, with proper plant forage diversity, eliminate the need for grain finishing in just four years. Bison, ounce for ounce, is the most nutrient-dense red meat, and with our new program with Thompson Rivers University, we will be getting it tested, anticipating to find it has more Omega-3s than most fish available to market.”

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MEDINA: ARIANA GILLRIE; BISON: A ARON SACCO

Best Brunch


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CinCin

1154 Robson St. cincin.net

2

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca 1133 Hamilton St. cioppinosyaletown.com

3

La Quercia 3689 W 4th Ave. laquercia.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Cinara, Giardino

Best French Le Crocodile

909 Burrard St. lecrocodilerestaurant.com

2

L’Abattoir 217 Carrall St. labattoir.ca

3

Au Comptoir 2278 W 4th Ave. aucomptoir.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Bistro Wagon Rouge, Les Faux Bourgeois

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Well, this is a surprise. This year we combined the best upscale Italian and best casual Italian categories, and the end result is that neither defending champion triumphed. Instead it’s CinCin, a Vancouver institution that most judges agreed was only a few years ago verging on tourist-trap territory. Chef Andrew Richardson has reinvigorated the Robson Street room with a combo of open flame and attention to detail. Runner-up Cioppino’s still for many sets the standard for classically prepared Italian dishes, while the regional La Quercia (Bronze) continues to rule the west side with its mixture of rustic and refined.

French food was once the forgotten cuisine in our town, but the last few years have seen a great resurgence in a more casual take on Gallic fare. Yet when push comes to shove, the judges still bow to the classical perfection practised by Michel Jacob and his team at the superlative Le Crocodile. Silver goes to L’Abattoir’s decidedly more modern take on French, whereas the bronze will go nicely with Au Comptoir’s zinc-topped bar in the excellent brasserie.

Best Upscale Hawksworth

801 W Georgia St. hawksworthrestaurant.com

2

CinCin 1154 Robson St. cincin.net

3

Bauhaus 1 W Cordova St. bauhaus-restaurant.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Pear Tree, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca

One might imagine that in a year that saw many key individuals spending time at chef David Hawksworth’s upstart Nightingale, the chef’s namesake restaurant might slip just a bit. Not a chance. Hawksworth, this category’s reigning champ (it’s won Best Upscale every year since it opened in 2011) continues to perfect a mélange of imaginative food, an amazing wine list and note-perfect service that make it the obvious choice when the occasion—be it a 50th wedding anniversary or an impromptu Tuesday night—demands that everything be just so. Silver goes to the resurgent CinCin, which proves that a dedicated team can turn any room around, while bronze goes to the often-overlooked Bauhaus, a restaurant that’s working hard to bring an elevated experience to uber-casual Gastown.

CINCIN: ARIANA GILLRIE; HAWKSWORTH: MARTIN TESSLER

Best Italian


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RESTAURANT AWARDS

Best Latin TIE

El Santo/La Mezcaleria

680 Columbia St., New Westminster elsanto.ca; Multiple locations lamezcaleria.ca

3

Molli Cafe 1225 Burrard St. mollicafe.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

La Taqueria, Cacao

A surprising tie for Gold between newcomer El Santo and La Mezcaleria shows the growing presence of Latin cuisine on Vancouver’s restaurant scene. El Santo’s hibiscus and jicama enchiladas and serious bar program kept our judges coming back time and again, while La Mezcaleria’s queso fundido and mezcal-based cocktails make for what one judge describes as “the best Friday night on the Drive.” Casual lunch spot Molli Cafe nabs the Bronze, thanks to its deeply earthy pulled lamb tacos and two-fister tortas.

La Mezcaleria

El Santo

Sid and Joan Cross

IF YOU TRAVEL anywhere people love food and wine, and you tell someone you’re from Vancouver, the common response is, “How’s my friend Sid?” or “Please say hi to Joan for me.” Long before you couldn’t visit a restaurant without a smartphone in tow or have a meal without “reviewing” it online, there was but a small cadre of people who dedicated themselves to seeking out and celebrating those pioneering folks who were changing the way we were eating and drinking. And in the then-provincial town that was Vancouver, there were two who stood out above all others: Sid, a high-powered lawyer at Ladner Downs by profession but an oenophile with an encyclopedic knowledge of the world of

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wine by passion; and Joan, a cookbook editor and tester who shepherded many a culinary tome from idea to fruition. Together—and even after almost five decades, they’re always together—they not only raised the bar for what was possible for B.C.’s hospitality industry, they also used their frequent travels to preach the gospel of this up-and-coming city on the Pacific to chefs, winemakers and producers throughout the world. They’ve judged almost every event worth judging in B.C., and the awards and decorations that are the result of these efforts are notable: Sid is an officer of France’s prestigious Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Jacques Pepin and Jacques Chirac are only knights) and the only Canadian to be inducted into Bordeaux’s L’Académie du Vin, and both have received the highest honour from the International Food and Wine Society. We now proudly add the Vancouver magazine Lifetime Achievement Award to that list.

EL SANTO: TRACE Y KUSIEWICZ; SID & JOAN CROSS: A ARON SACCO

Lifetime Achievement


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Best Seafood Blue Water Cafe 1095 Hamilton St. bluewatercafe.net

2

Ancora 1600 Howe St. ancoradining.com

3

Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar 845 Burrard St. boulevardvancouver.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

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Two things are true: for an oceanfront city, Vancouver doesn’t have nearly enough seafood restaurants…but the ones we do have are amazing. To wit, Blue Water Cafe, which has owned this category since 2008, again tops the judges’ ballots for its blend of consistency and creativity, typified by chef Frank Pabst’s continual pushing of the seafood boundaries with his use of limpets and jellyfish. But hot on its heels is Silver winner Ancora, led by chef Ricardo Valverde, who blends his native Peruvian cuisine and Japanese influences with local B.C. ingredients to great effect. Taking Bronze is the elegant Boulevard, with its ever-present seafood towers and oysters galore.

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Go Fish, Tojo’s


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Bâtard 3958 Fraser St. batard.com

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Notwithstanding this is a new category, it’s a familiar face that topped our judges’ ballots. Whether we call it best pastry chef or best bakery, Thomas Haas, he of the double-baked almond croissants, quark danish and sparkle cookies, remains on the top of the bread basket for all things leavened. Grabbing the Silver is Fraser Street’s paean to a classic boulangerie, Bâtard, while Bronze goes to the exquisite chocolates and viennoiserie of Burnaby’s Chez Christophe.

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VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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+ Some things are simply better together . . .

Cactus Club Cafe Multiple locations cactusclubcafe.com

2

Kirin Multiple locations kirinrestaurants.com

3

Guu Multiple locations guu-izakaya.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Joey, The Flying Pig

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Best Food Truck Tacofino

tacofino.com

2

Le Tigre letigrecuisine.ca

3

Vij’s Railway Express vijsrailwayexpress.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Chickpea, Feastro

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Our chains are better than their chains. If we needed any proof of this, look no further than gold winner Cactus Club Cafe, who spent last year absolutely schooling our Toronto friends on how to run a hopping restaurant in the heart of the Big Smoke’s downtown. (They’re opening another T.O. outpost later this year.) The judges praised the chain’s infallible consistency, be it at the swanky Coal Harbour flagship or the Kamloops branch. Silver goes to the too-elegant-to-be-a-chain Kirin, whose four rooms never fail to disappoint, while Bronze belongs to the too-fun-to-be-a-chain team at Guu, who are likewise doing the turning-Toronto-on-its-head routine with their new Guu Izakaya location on Queen Street.

Not that long ago we were expecting food trucks on every block, but the realities of licensing, maintenance and having to make hay, mostly at lunch, mean that our three winners are the forebears of the business and all have bricks-and-mortar establishments to help defray the costs of the truck. Taking gold is our paragon of trucks—the born-in-Tofino legend that is Tacofino, where their take on fish tacos continues to set the standard. Close behind is Le Tigre, with its Chinese and West Coast mash-up typified by the legendary crack salad which hasn’t slipped despite their growth into a restaurant (Torafuku). Bronze is Vij’s Railway Express, where the high prices are offset by attention to detail and high-end ingredients uncommon on four wheels.

CARLO RICCI

Best Chain


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Caffè Umbria is an artisan Italian coffee roasting company. Our master roaster, Emanuele Bizzarri, is the third generation of a family of roasters from Perugia, Italy. Combining state-of-the-art equipment and traditional Italian coffee roasting style, Caffè Umbria has been serving fine dining outlets in North America for 15 years.

Best Pacific Northwest

Please contact us at: 604-733-9847.

Royal Dinette

905 Dunsmuir St. royaldinette.ca

2

Farmer’s Apprentice 1535 W 6th Ave. farmersapprentice.ca

3

Burdock and Co. 2702 Main St. burdockandco.com HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Hawksworth, Latab (closed)

In its second year, Royal Dinette earns top marks from our judges as “a place of real, quiet creativity.” Chef Jack Chen (now relocated to L’Abattoir) cooks with a “true sense of fun and purpose, articulating local ingredients with confident clarity.” Lunch and dinner services “successfully balance the tricky tightrope between more mainstream midday diners and adventurous foodies in the evening.” At Farmer’s Apprentice (Silver), David Gunawan has “taken a reductive path” with his dishes, “delving into ingredients with more depth and honesty and stripping them away to express the core of their true flavours.” Chef Andrea Carlson “cooks good food with honesty and integrity” at Burdock and Co. (Bronze), creating “comforting dishes that are rooted in the classics with flavours that are luscious, rounded and balanced.”

Best Victoria

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Agrius

732 Yates St. agriusrestaurant.com

2

Part and Parcel 2656 Quadra St. partandparcel.ca

3

Nourish Kitchen and Café 225 Quebec St. nourishkitchen.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Stage Wine Bar, Pizzeria Prima Strada

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It’s a wholesale changing of the guards in Victoria as an entire new slate of young’uns captures the podium this year. First up is the tiny Agrius, where Cliff Leir presides over a jewel box of a room. In the words of one judge: “A young, unpretentious, ingredients-focused team sources local and focuses on flavourful, and is also home to the best bakery in the capital city (oh, the breads). Cocktails are sharp, and the wine list is naturalist; this is the hippest room in town.” Silver goes to Part and Parcel, an ultra-low-key, supremely wallet-friendly Quadra Street spot that also zones in on the local, while bronze sees the Island’s reigning wholefood champ Nourish show its leafy chops.

CARLO RICCI

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RESTAURANT AWARDS

Hester Creek, Lake Breeze, Noble Ridge, Elephant Island, Thornhaven

The mountain version of the Hatfields and the McCoys is again the theme of this year’s Whistler category.

604.689.9462

peacockandmartinimports.com

Consistently Exceptional. Always memorable.

Best Whistler

Wine Shop Restaurant Guest House

Araxi

110-4222 Village Square araxi.com

500 Burrowing Owl Place, Oliver, BC. 877-498-0620

ENCE SPRING

gnée, Unicus, and Decora are now available.

burrowingowlwine.ca

2

Bearfoot Bistro 4121 Village Green bearfootbistro.com

3

Bar Oso 150-4222 Village Square baroso.ca HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Alta Bistro, Christine’s on Blackcomb

EXPERIENCE SPRING

The mountain version of the Hatfields and the McCoys is again the theme of this year’s Whistler category, with Araxi (winner of the award every time but once since 2000) and Bearfoot Bistro (the “but once”) presenting their different takes on high-alpine fine dining. Gold is Araxi: its supreme consistency and flawless presentation continue to impress our judges. But there’s also love for the controlled excess of silver winner Bearfoot, where the steady hand of chef Melissa Craig keeps the high-wire operation in check. Bronze was snagged by newcomer (and Top Table stablemate to Araxi) Bar Oso, where authentic Spanish tapas, a vibe-y room and a much lower price point than the other medallists make it the hardest table to get right now.

Culmina’s new vintages of Saignée, Unicus, and Decora are now available.

4790 Wild Rose Street, Oliver BC | 250.498.0789 | info@culmina.ca | culmina.ca

WINE-ON-TAP

Wine-on-tap: a smarter, fresher, friendlier glass of wine

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STEVE STEVELI

WWW.FRESHTAP.COM

EVOLUTION OF WINE BY-THE-GLASS


a boutique winery pouring only the best of each harvest

3033–232nd Street, Langley, BC 604 539 9463 | 1 866 233 9463 Tasting Room & Wine Shop: 11am–5pm daily backyardvineyards.ca

Best Okanagan Waterfront Wines

1180 Sunset Dr., Kelowna waterfrontrestaurant.ca

2

Miradoro 537 Tinhorn Creek Rd., Oliver tinhorn.com

3

Old Vines 3303 Boucherie Rd., Kelowna quailsgate.com

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HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Craft Corner Kitchen, Salted Brick

The Okanagan food scene has exploded in the past few years, but, in the eyes of our judges, no one has yet ascended to the level of unseating chef Mark Filatow as the Valley’s top dog—this is Waterfront Wines’ eighth consecutive win in this category, but it remains perhaps the most unpretentious finedining spot in the province. Nudging in second is chef Jeff Van Geest’s beautiful room Miradoro, attached to Oliver’s Tinhorn Creek winery, where the former Aurora Bistro owner serves up his take on the local bounty of the Okanagan. Nabbing Bronze is the stunning Old Vines located at Quails’ Gate.

Congratulations to the nominees and winners of this year’s awards Crowe MacKay LLP is proud to be the official accountants of the 2017 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant awards. Our Hospitality Team provides innovative strategies and sound business advice to help our clients succeed.

Smart decisions. Lasting value. Craig Elliott , CPA, CGA, MBA, Certified Chef P. (604) 687- 4511 1100 - 1177 West Hastings ST Vancouver, BC craig.elliott@crowemackay.ca crowemackay.ca VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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2

RESTAURANT AWARDS

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MARINE DRIV

E

1

North Shore Café Ça Va

2

Terroir Kitchen

3

Indian Fusion HONOURABLE MENTIONS

WA Y9

9

m

HI

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Maru Korean Bistro Olive and Anchor

1

West End

1

Nook/Tavola

2

Kingyo

3

Amici Miei

Ask for Luigi

3

Pidgin

2

Downtown Cinara

DA VI

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Heritage Asian Eatery Tableau Bar Bistro

E

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2

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1

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3

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Latab (closed)

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Royal Dinette

Belgard Kitchen The Mackenzie Room

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2

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The Fat Badger (closed) Adesso Bistro Damso

RR

L'Abattoir

2

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Gastown/Railtown

EAST HASTINGS STREET

2

3

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WEST 4TH AVENUE

West Side 3

L'Ufficio

3

Farmer's Apprentice

WEST BROADWAY

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

• l

Lupo

2

La Pentola

3

Bistro Sakana HONOURABLE MENTIONS

House Special Homer Street Cafe

Bao Bei

2

Bestie

3

Campagnolo Upstairs HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Pizzeria Farina Harvest Community Foods

1 MAIN STREET

Bufala Grapes and Soda

Yaletown

CAMBIE STREET

Au Comptoir

GRANVILLE STREET

2

1

Chinatown

CAFÉ ÇA VA: LUIS VALDIZON


3 j

2015 VINTNER’S RESERVE

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CHARDONNAY

POINTS kj.com @kjwines D

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©2015 Kendall-Jackson Winery, Santa Rosa, CA KJ17_31140

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Royal Dinette

BEST OF THE NEIGHBOURHOODS THERE’S NO CORNER of this city where you can’t find some good eats, and these winners took home the trophies in their ’hoods.

A Proud Sponsor of the 28th Annual Restaurant Awards ponderosa-mushrooms.com

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TH ANNIVERSARY

3

P OW

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2

1 •

EAST HASTINGS STREET

East Side Burdock and Co.

2

Campagnolo Roma

3

Bistro Wagon Rouge HONOURABLE MENTIONS

EAST 1ST AVENUE

• COMMERCIAL DRIVE

ROYAL DINET TE: CARLO RICCI

3R

March 2017

Via Tevere Merchant's Oyster Bar

K I N ’S

FA R M M A R K E T 29 locations to serve you kinsfarmmarket.com

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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RESTAURANT AWARDS Acclaimed, hand-crafted wines and farm-to-table dining experiences overlooking the vineyard. Visit our tasting room & restaurant, follow a self-guided tour, relax with a glass on the patio or share a bottle with friends. Just 30 min north of downtown Victoria at the south end of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley.

unsworthvineyards.com

MEET THE JUDGES The unsung hero awards go to these 18 brave souls who spent last year hitting more restaurants than is recommended by Health Canada (or Revenue Canada, for that matter). We thank you for your service.

★ Joie Alvaro Kent is a freelance

writer whose work has appeared in Best Places Vancouver, Vancouver magazine, Montecristo and Nuvo.

★ Christina Burridge is

executive director of the BC Seafood Alliance.

★ Sid Cross continues his lifeCongrats to all of the 2017 Winners & Nominees

long passion for and pursuit of high-quality food and wine, and is admired around the world for his encyclopedic knowledge, experience and continuing enthusiasm.

★ Alexandra Gill is the Vancouver

restaurant critic for the Globe and Mail and a freelance writer. She also judges Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.

freshpointcanada.ca

★ Jackie Kai Ellis is the owner

of Beaucoup Bakery and the Paris Tours, a travel writer, and author of upcoming food memoir The Measure of My Powers.

★ DJ Kearney, wine columnist for Vancouver magazine, is also a sommelier instructor, wine writer, and critic with chef training. She is the director of wine at New District.

Our wines yield enough mouth-watering meatiness to give a vegan second thoughts.

★ Anya Levykh is a food, drink and

travel writer who covers all things ingestible and is the restaurant critic for the Westender newspaper.

columbiacrest.com

★ Lee Man is a regular contributor

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to Vancouver magazine and a founding judge of the Chinese Restaurant Awards.

★ Brendon Mathews is a freelance

food writer with expertise in Chinese cuisine and a judge of the Chinese Restaurant Awards.

★ Robert McCullough is

vice-president of Penguin

Random House of Canada and the Vancouver-based publisher of its food and lifestyle imprint, Appetite.

★ Heather Odendaal is a

Whistler-based wine sales and marketing professional who spends more time in restaurants than on the mountain.

★ Tim Pawsey eats, drinks, writes

and shoots at hiredbelly .com, North Shore News, Where and others, as well as on Instagram and Twitter @hiredbelly.

★ Treve Ring is a wine writer, judge, traveller, geek; when not tasting at the Trevehouse, she will be found on a plane or in a vineyard.

★ Jennifer Schell is the author

of award-winning cookbook series The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker, editor of Food and Wine Trails magazine and co-founder of Garagiste North Wine Festivals.

★ David Scholefield is a wine

expert and consultant. He is also vice-president of strategy for Trialto Wine Group.

★ Mia Stainsby is the food writer and

restaurant critic for the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province.

★ Stephen Wong is a food and

wine writer and consultant, cookbook author and founding chair and judge of the Chinese Restaurant Awards.

★ Iris Yim writes travel and

gourmet articles for different magazines and blogs, including her gourmetvancouver.com blog. She is a founding judge of the Chinese Restaurant Awards and a contributor to EliteGen Sing Tao Magazine.

★ thanks to our best new design panelists Winner of Canada’s Overall Best Red 4078 Black Sage Road, Oliver, BC (250) 498-6664 deserthills.ca

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Kelly Deck, principal at Kelly Deck Design; Michael Leckie, principal at Leckie Studio; and Michael Harris, design writer and Governor General Award-winning author.


PLATING BY ANNALENA

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EASTWARD HO!

While we panic about the cost of housing in Vancouver, commercial rents have quietly skyrocketed. Why should you care? Because the economics of your local restaurant depend on them and the bottom line doesn’t look good. Matt O’Grady delves into the troubling numbers.

by Matt O’Grady

photographs by Andrew Querner


includes neighbouring Salty Tongue, Shebeen Whiskey House (in the back of the Irish Heather) and Salt Tasting Room, in Blood Alley, within sight of where we’re speaking. While Heather has managed to build a diverse portfolio of restaurants, he wonders what the future is for the area—and the business. “Our industry—with a few exceptions—is in danger of becoming a bunch of businesses owned by old fogeys and chains. There might be places in Mount Pleasant, places like that, but even there the rents are starting to scream up. I don’t know where in the downtown core, like Gastown, this kind of opportunity presents itself for young people.” When he launched the Irish meet Seán Heather on a snowy Friday two weeks before Heather in 1997, he was paying $16 Christmas in his flagship gastropub, the Irish Heather. a square foot; it’s now more than It’s 10:30 in the morning and already he says he’s had double that amount. “I’ve been over a dozen cancellations for dinner because of the renewing (my leases) at current weather. Not that he’s worried: “I have 160 seats here,” market rates. It’s dramatically gone says the gruff 50-year-old, who insists on doing the interview at the bar, standing up, in the still-unlit room. up. But I’ve been able to develop my business to where I can afford those “We’ll easily do 400 people through the door tonight.” rents. If I were starting out at those When he opened the Irish Heather in Gastown two decades ago, success was no sure thing. Heather was born rates? Well, I just wouldn’t have done it. I couldn’t have done it.” in Toronto but moved to Ireland as a toddler, and had only returned to his mother’s native Canada—this time, to Vancouver—in his early 20s to launch his restaurant he story of Vancouver’s career. After managing Benny’s Bagels in Kitsilano otherworldly real estate for four years, the ambitious Limerickman decided he market has been told in wanted to open his own place. “I knew everybody in media around the world Kits, so it made the most sense for me to open something in recent years, but only now are there. But there was nothing I could afford anywhere in we hearing about the trickle-down Kits. I almost gave up.” effect on quotidian cornerstones At the last minute, his real estate agent suggested of the local economy: the gas he consider Gastown—then, much more so than now, stations closing to be redeveloped a haven for drug users and petty crime. “I’d never as condos, the garden centres been to Gastown in the seven or eight years I’d been in fleeing for greener pastures on the Vancouver,” recalls Heather. But he says it reminded him city’s fringes, the restaurateurs of the streets of Dublin or London, where he’d worked as pushed east as rents push north. a dishwasher, and he found a great lease in the historic While Heather laments what’s Alhambra building—across the road from his current happening around him, the man location. He initially built his business on what he now who inherited the original site for calls the “naive” concept of “serving the perfect pint of the Irish Heather—Paul Grunberg, Guinness,” but in time the Irish Heather was earning co-owner of L’Abattoir—has a more equal acclaim for its food program. (It moved across Darwinian take on the restaurants the road in 2008, when the Alhambra had to undergo that will survive in the competitive seismic upgrading.) downtown scene. Twenty years after opening the restaurant, he’s “If you want to make more money, the undisputed godfather of Gastown. He, along with you’ve got to go out and work harder. wife and business partner Erin, has parlayed that one I know that may come across as being restaurant into a thriving mini-empire—one that also insensitive, but from a guy who’s

T

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“I’d never been to Gastown in the seven or eight years I’d been in Vancouver,” recalls Heather.

Seán Heather’s journey from washing dishes in Dublin to running a mini-Gastown empire was not without its bumps, but the industry veteran wonders how new restaurateurs will make a go of it in today’s climate.


In addition to L’Abattoir, Paul Grunberg is also a partner in Savio Volpe in the Fraser neighbourhood, where he lives with his wife and two young kids.

worked his tail off for a very long time, I know for a fact that the more I want, I’ve gotta make more money, I’ve gotta work harder, I have to push my team harder, I have to drive my guest experience,” says Grunberg, the animated 36-year-old son of a Romanianimmigrant litigator. “I have to make sure my product is better than yours. That’s competition. That’s healthy. And I think that as Vancouver grows, competition is going to get more fierce—and people are going to have to open up their concepts with that in mind. I need to be the best. I can’t go at it half-assed, or else I’ll get swallowed up.” L’Abattoir opened in 2010 (after Seán Heather had moved out and seismic upgrades had been completed), and in short order the “French-influenced West Coast fare” establishment became one of the city’s most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants. Grunberg, who had previously been GM at Chambar and worked with Rob Feenie at Lumière, says he’d always wanted to have his own restaurant— and, along with partners chef Lee Cooper and Nin Rai, he worked 16-hour days, seven days a week, to make it happen. With a regularly packed house, expansion came naturally. “We just grew out of L’Abattoir and were really busy, and we had an idea to open up a private dining room,” says Grunberg as we sit at the long table in the sleek 50-seat brick-and-beam space, just behind the main restaurant. “We thought, well, we could open up another restaurant—but why not open up another venue that can create the same kind of revenue that piggybacks off the concept we already have?” This spring, after just over three years running the private dining room, L’Abattoir will launch a monthly “restaurant within

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a restaurant” concept called No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews—transforming the lower-level kitchen area into an exclusive chef’s table-style dining experience for a limited number of guests. L’Abattoir has found a way to grow its empire without extending its footprint— testament to the limitations, even for a successful restaurateur like Grunberg, of expanding downtown. “It would be my goal to take a concept like L’Abattoir and be able to compete on Alberni, compete with Nightingale and Cactus Club and Joey. I think we’d do very well downtown,” he says. “But where, as a modest restaurateur, do you get the capital? Where do you get that $5 million or that $10 million? Do I even want to do that, given the risk involved and how long it would take me to pay it back?” For many other restaurateurs—especially those who can’t get away with charging $40plus for an entrée—the possibility of setting up in Gastown, or anywhere downtown, is a ship that sailed long ago. Ron Oliver and Simon Kaulback are two Gastown graduates who’ve found success further east, on the fringes of Chinatown. The late-30s duo behind Mamie Taylor’s met a decade ago while working at Century House and went on to work the front of house at the Diamond (Oliver) and the former Boneta (Kaulback). When they decided to launch their southern-style American restaurant in 2013, they wanted to do it in the neighbourhood they knew best—but Gastown rents, says Oliver, were two to three times what they were able to secure in Chinatown. That said, the move east four years ago was a big gamble. “Back then, Chinatown was a bit of a closed market,” says Oliver as we chat at one of the homey restaurant’s high tables, with Kaulback in the background talking to a supplier on the phone. “There wasn’t much of an opportunity for non-Chinese to come in and open businesses.” They found the property through their friends James Iranzad and Josh Pape, the restaurateurs behind Wildebeest, whose landlords—Steven Lippman and Christian Willows, of Living Balance Investment Group—had helped them get established on a gritty stretch of West Hastings in 2012. Now the developers were shopping a former bakery on East Georgia as a linchpin to the “next new ’hood” for aspiring restaurateurs. “When we came down here, we said to [Lippman], ‘You need to invest in us like we’re investing in the neighbourhood.’ And


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stretch of West Hastings that now houses Wildebeest, Catch 122 and Noodle Box. “We did the equivalent of seven buildings there,” says Willows. “At that point in time, 2008, Woodwards was three-quarters done and there was a lot of uncertainty in what was going to happen in the market.” Adds Lippman, in his still-thick Queens accent (he moved to Vancouver in the 1970s): “And that building—it was really fucking scary, all full of rats and garbage and shit.” Lippman, 61, and Willows, 47, met 25 years ago while working out at the same gym, Ron Zalko, and quickly struck up a friendship. Willows, a recent Kootenays émigré, went to work for Lippman’s latest start-up, Polaris Water, maker of the Whistler Water brand. Lippman sold the business in 1999, and for the Oliver and Kaulback: “The past decade the men have paired up doing what next thing, if Willows calls “renovations”: Lippman scours there is a next thing—well, the city with real estate brokers for hot deals, the likelihood and then Willows goes in and fixes them up. of it being in More often than not, they put an ambitious Chinatown is getting slimmer young restaurateur on street level to bring buzz by the year.” and excitement to the property. “Wildebeest is where it all began,” says Willows. “Where we started to get into heritage restorations.” Their list of tenants, past and present, is a veritable who’s who of Vancouver’s restaurant scene: Wildebeest, Catch 122, Cuchillo, Kissa Tanto, they were more than happy to do that. Steve has been nothing but fantastic for us. He’s been really generous and helpful at the times Torafuku, La Bodega and Mamie Taylor’s. when we’ve needed it the most.” Oliver and Kaulback say they have “There are a lot of landlords that have cool buildings, but they don’t want to do the work,” a long-term “10 and two 5s” lease (a 10-year lease, with two fivesays Willows. “We put in the infrastructure, year renewable terms), which has allowed them to lock in a good rate. (“Some of the guys coming in now are paying $8 or $9 a square get the change-of-use permits, redo the foot more than what we were paying when we started,” says Oliver.) ductwork.” On average, he estimates, they “When we started, everywhere on the block, with the exception spend $400,000 to $450,000 to bring each building up to snuff. of Phnom Penh, was 6 p.m. shutters down—gone,” he says. “I Lippman—whose early career includes his don’t even know if the streetlights came on.” Now with a flurry own short-lived restaurant at Broadway and of new restaurants opening within blocks—including the most Manitoba, Lippy’s Bar-B-Q, and stints as a talked-about addition from the past year, Kissa Tanto, due north on East Pender—Chinatown basks in the limelight as Vancouver’s waiter, busboy and dishwasher at Kettle of Fish, Victoria Station and Hy’s Mansion—has new foodie nexus. Like Gastown, though, Chinatown also risks a clear affinity for the restaurant trade. And as becoming a victim of its own success, says Oliver. much as he aims to make a profit (one of rom their fourth-floor offices overlooking the 100 block of the reasons he’s since sold the buildings Powell Street, Steven Lippman and Christian Willows are where Cuchillo and Catch 122 are located), he also sees nurturing young entrepreneurs flipping through a folder of old photos. The before-andwith favourable long-term leases and generous after shots detail the transformation of the once-derelict

F

T H E O T H E R C U L P R I T ? TA X E S! For Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Food and Restaurant Services Association, the main culprit in this real estate squeeze is city hall. “The major thing has been the increased property taxes. It’s staggering,” he says. He cites an example of a restaurant in South Granville that recently closed: “Their property taxes—for maybe an 80-seat restaurant—were $120,000 a year. The property taxes were more than the business owner was earning—about three times as much.” And in an industry where a six- or seven-percent profit is considered healthy, that’s a burden fewer and fewer can bear. “There’s too little margin in this business to manage that incredible commitment—the taxation—while still fighting to find staff to run your business,” says Tostenson. “I think there’s an awareness that Vancouver is becoming so bloody expensive that there’s going to be a revolt from taxpayers saying, enough’s enough.”

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PROMOTION tenant improvements as key to his mission. “I want to make sure that, whoever the tenant is, they’re not just paying my mortgage,” he says, glancing at his buzzing Motorola flip phone. “That they can make money and then eventually buy their own building and pay their own mortgage. We nurture their future—it’s a win-win.” Of course, it’s not always a win-win. One of Living Balance’s tenants, Ray Loy of the contemporary Chinese restaurant Bambudda—across the road at 99 Powell Street—was told late in 2016 that he’d have to vacate the space in 2017 as the landlords remodelled the building: adding two floors on top, underground parking and an elevator. When I reach Loy, he’s winding down Dine Out Vancouver and trying to plan a special “last supper” for closing day at the end of February. “I’ve looked at trying to find a new space, but when you consider the prices—the cost of relocation, and look at what people are charging per square foot now— it’s not very promising,” says the 45-year-old Loy, who was part of the opening team at Market by Jean-Georges before launching Bambudda in July 2013. “I’m going to take a break for now. I haven’t had a vacation for four years, so it’s time for a vacation.” Even battle-scarred veterans like Heather aren’t sure how long they can stick it out. “People like me may become victims. I was one of the original people down here, but if rents keep going up and up and up? Will it make sense for me to stay here, or does it make sense to move on? I’ve got five kids, and I’d like for some of them to be in this business, but am I going to hand over a business that’s paying massive amounts of rent? That would be unfair to them. It’s going to be interesting to see it play out. I don’t know that we’ve plateaued yet—not even close.”

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Chef Chris Andraza highlights fresh, local, sustainable oysters from British Columbia with his Oyster Trio. This dish always features Fanny Bay Oysters cooked three different ways showcasing seasonal ingredients that pair well with our oysters. You’ll enjoy oysters smoked, baked, grilled, fried, or even pickled. A few of Chef Chris’s favourite ways will feature his house smoked oysters on roasted beets with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon and kale, or covered in his signature Devil’s Advocate sauce.

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White Spot restaurants have been an iconic West Coast brand since 1928. Serving fresh, local, and unique tasting food in a comfortable and welcoming environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re 1 or 101– we take pride in having something on the menu for everyone. From comfort food to lifestyle choices, brunch and more, we hope to serve you soon!

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A D U LT S With a shortage of roughly 12,000 child care spaces in Vancouver, parents are forced to find creative ways to balance their careers and their kids. Ceramics designer Diane Espiritu adapted to motherhood by childproofing her studio and learning to work with her daughter by her side.


by Aaron Scott Hildebrandt

photographs by Gillian Stevens

The housing crisis isn’t the only factor squeezing out Vancouver families. A critical lack of child care spaces and through-the-roof rates are creating an exodus among our littlest citizens.

O N LY


W

hen we found out we were expecting, we assumed we’d raise our daughter exactly where we were—in our 450-square-foot apartment in the West End. Our place had an incredible view of English Bay and, thanks to an ancient lease that refused to die between tenants, reasonable rent. It was tiny, but it was our home. Yes, we’d have to upgrade to a larger place at some point, but leaving Vancouver was never an option. Parenthood is full of so many unknowns; the least we could do was not throw a move into the mix. But there were many other reasons we wanted to raise our family in Vancouver. The city has educational and vocational possibilities that are hard to find elsewhere. There are excellent services to assist both new and expecting parents. (When my wife struggled with severe antepartum depression, the city produced support groups and people willing to help.) And then there’s the lifestyle. During the six years we lived in Vancouver, I never stopped adoring it. I loved the people, the long walks on the seawall, the Sunday afternoons on the beach. I even loved the tension that seems to run under the surface of the city, this force driving people to punch above their professional weight. My daughter adored Vancouver, too. Even before she turned one, she was an incredibly social animal, begging to be taken on the bus so she could wave and smile at all the people. She’s almost three now and still asks on occasion if we can take her on a bus. Staying in Vancouver would mean we could keep our jobs and careers and friends. It was the obvious choice, until it wasn’t. A lot of people were shocked last summer when a City of Vancouver staff report found that more than half of Vancouver’s families were thinking of leaving the city in the next two years. Not us—we read the news from our new home on Vancouver Island, early casualties of a brutal conundrum that is a fact of life for families in Vancouver: it’s nearly impossible to find child care. And if you do manage to find it, you almost certainly can’t afford it.

The Catch-22 of Child Care To survive in the city, most families need to consistently pull in two incomes, making child care an imperative. Daycares in the city cater to this, offering lunch

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“I can’t help but feel displaced.” Writer Aaron Scott Hildebrandt and daughter Maeve are adjusting to life in the Comox Valley after a fruitless search for affordable child care forced the family out of Vancouver.

programs, early drop-offs and late pickups. Some offer evening care or weekend care, or can prepare supper to bring home with you. If you have to pull graveyard shifts, there are even places that will watch your kid overnight. But many families don’t even get that far, because there aren’t nearly enough daycare spots in the city for all the children who need them. Wait-lists can be thousands of names long, and it can take several years to land a spot anywhere. A 2014 report by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit found there were 363,800 children across the province in need of some form of care, and only 106,719 licensed child care spots. That means the majority of families looking for child care won’t find it. It simply doesn’t exist. They’re left to survive on a single income, find an alternative form of care—or leave. And leaving is a popular choice. According to Statistics Canada, the city’s population is growing by about 5,000 people each year, but it’s mostly an influx of the young, single and childless. If you comb through census data, you’ll find that every year the city grows by only about 16 new families, while the Vancouver School Board reports that school enrolment is shrinking by roughly 600 students each year. Janine Reid and her husband abandoned the city for Ottawa last year, in part due to the lack of child care


A lot of people were shocked last summer when a City of Vancouver staff report found that more than half of Vancouver’s families were thinking of leaving the city in the next two years. Not us—we read the news from our new home on Vancouver Island. in Vancouver. “I went to visit my first home daycare when I was 18 weeks pregnant,” says Reid, a 37-year-old registered veterinary technician. “I pretty much Googled any daycare that was close to me and added my name to their list.” That’s one of the tricks of expectant parents in the know—there are some wait-lists you can get on from the moment you have a doctor’s note confirming the pregnancy. If you wait until you have your infant physically in your arms before you start filling out forms, like we did, you’re too late. Early registry gives you only a slight edge, though. A year and a half later, Reid has yet to get a single callback from any of the wait-lists. “My daughter is almost 14 months old and to date I have heard nothing from any of the daycares I contacted. Not even an email.” But as much as finding a daycare spot in Vancouver can feel like a Sisyphean task, paying for it is another problem altogether. A lot of the time, it’s mathematically impossible. In addition to Vancouver’s dubious distinction as one of the most expensive places to live in the country, it also boasts some of the lowest salaries of any major Canadian city. The disparity between what you earn and what child care costs can be insurmountable. Statistics Canada data from 2014 show the median family income in Vancouver was $76,000—several thousand below much of the rest of the country—while the Childcare Resource and Research Unit found the median yearly cost of child care for preschool-aged kids is $13,320. Compare that to Edmonton, where the family income is $25,430 higher and daycare costs are $4,368 lower, or Montreal, where the median income of $75,000 easily covers subsidized daycare fees of only $1,824 a year. That means Vancouver families spend nearly 20 percent of their income on child care, compared to eight per cent in Edmonton and roughly two percent in Montreal. And for a lot of families, even 20 percent is optimistic. Those who can’t wait two or three years for a daycare spot often pay double the going rate. Not surprisingly, the shortest wait-lists are often found at the most expensive centres, with some charging more than $2,000 a month—with two months due up front.

A Gendered Problem Ultimately, the lack of child care spaces in Vancouver

has a disproportionate effect on women. While we never set out to be one of those families where, by default, the woman ended up at home, economic circumstances led us to fall back on this tired cliché. Our daughter was born while my wife was in the middle of her grad project at Emily Carr. Even though she’d been working multiple jobs while a full-time student (and managed to win an international design award on the side), she hadn’t clocked enough hours to qualify for any sort of leave. I took my paternity leave—nine months in total. We thought that would be plenty of time to figure out the next stage of life. But nine months and over 50 daycare waitlists later, we weren’t any closer to finding child care and my wife’s job prospects weren’t looking promising, even with a shelf of awards. When my paternity leave ran out, one of us had to be earning money. I returned to my salaried job as a technical director in the visual effects industry, while my wife stayed home. When we finally got a call back from a private daycare with fees that amounted to double our rent, we started another countdown. This time, my wife had to find a job that could cover the cost of daycare before we ran out of money and had to pull our daughter out. Three months later, there was no job and no more money. We packed up for the Island. Given this reality, it’s easy to see how so many women end up at home. Even if you do have a job, your maternity leave will probably run out before you find child care. Years can pass before the stars align and you can return to work. In the meantime, educated women are either sidelined from the workforce or forced to get extremely creative—and, either way, women are almost always the ones tasked with figuring out the family balancing act. For Diane Espiritu, keeping her career momentum going in the face of motherhood requires her to coordinate many moving parts. Working out of her Chinatown studio, Espiritu has made a name for herself as a ceramics designer and consultant. When her daughter was born, she knew she’d have to work with her infant literally by her side, and that’s exactly what she did. Espiritu baby-proofed her studio, devoting a corner to a crib, change table and play area. When things got too busy for her to keep one eye on her daughter, she hired a friend to come help. Once, when working on a particularly large contract, she flew in a cousin for a

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few weeks. It’s an arrangement that’s worked, but she wonders if their lives would be better somewhere else. “We talk about moving to the Interior, to Kelowna or a smaller town to grow vegetables, raise sheep and have a ceramics studio,” she says. “We talk about living somewhere warm or where the cost of living doesn’t burn you out.”

A City Without Support You can hear the frustration in Mary Clare Zak’s voice. As the city’s director of social policy, she’s been working hard to find ways to help new parents, and it’s an uphill battle. The City of Vancouver set a target of creating 1,000 new child care spaces between 2015 and 2018. They’re about 70 percent of the way there, but even that’s not enough. “When it’s a shortage of roughly 12,000 spaces, what is 1,000?” says Zak. “My own staff—some of them have three different arrangements. They’ve got two days a week at the daycare, one day a week they have an arrangement with another family, one day a week they have a relative who can take care of the child. That’s stressful. That’s very hard on families.” The need is exponentially greater than what the city can provide, says Zak, especially with very little support. “As a city—and I know this surprises some people, but I have to say it every time I talk to anybody—social services are not our mandate,” says Zak. “That belongs to the province and the federal government. But the vast majority of the capital, I would say 90 percent, has come from the City of Vancouver.” One successful local initiative has been getting daycares into schools. Empty classrooms are prime real estate for child care, and with attendance down at a lot of schools, it’s a brilliant use of space. It can also be costeffective when the required renovations coincide with scheduled seismic upgrades. It makes these schools more desirable, too: enrolment sees a boost when daycares are added. So far, hundreds of new daycare spots have opened at 13 different schools, and the benefits go beyond child care. Daycares foster a sense of community and support the city’s ecological goals—parents will travel less when dropping their kids off at a single location. Considering all the pluses, you’d think it would be easy to get the province on board. But when the city decided to build two new in-school daycares, the province chipped in less than 10 percent of the funds. Over 90 percent of the infrastructure costs ended up being covered by the city, with non-profit societies providing operating funds. A spokesperson for the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development explained the disparity: on large infrastructure projects like these, the province’s contribution is capped at $500,000, regardless of the scope. “The City of Vancouver is working on several large

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multi-million-dollar projects that require major capital investments. The large scope of those projects and the resulting high costs are a decision that the city has made and has no bearing on the maximum provincial investment allowed under our capital program,” he said. Since 2014, the province has also invested $3.1 million toward new licensed child care spaces in Vancouver—but kept away from the city’s own initiatives. Over the last three years, the province has been directly responsible for the creation of just 343 new spaces in the city. John Horgan, leader of the BC NDP, is unimpressed with this approach. He argues that child care in B.C. needs a massive overhaul, with a $10-a-day child care plan a key point in his party’s provincial election platform. “The Liberals, ironically, don’t get what this is all about. They believe that scraps here and scraps there to give the impression of an overall plan is a better way to go rather than having a concerted, focused effort in making sure that we’re providing spaces,” he says. But the criticism goes beyond the province. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $7 billion over 10 years for child care in March’s federal budget; however, it’s unclear how that money will be distributed among the provinces, and we won’t see the first of it until 2018. City staff move ahead now because they understand how important improving child care is to Vancouver’s future—even if they’re aiming for a goal they know they can’t reach alone. Vancouver’s constant evolution has led to some unexpected opportunities, however. With fewer people driving into downtown each year, the Water Street parkade in Gastown has become increasingly empty. The roof has been slated for conversion to two new daycares. It’s a start, but Zak stresses that the city needs more help to make a real dent in the demand for child care. “It’s not enough,” she says. “Until other orders of government step up, we’re not going to see the kind of impact we really need.”

The Cost of Staying For those who stay in Vancouver, survival takes ingenuity—and luck. I’ve watched parents in the city attend business conferences with babies on their back, split nannies between multiple families, or work from home with a newborn. While we hounded 50 daycares relentlessly in search of a spot, Espiritu and her husband eventually scored full-time care after only moderately harassing a long list of daycares on a daily basis. Even so, Espiritu wonders if it’s all worth it. “When you can no longer find the energy or time to enjoy the things that made you come here in the first place,” she says, “it makes it easier to contemplate leaving.”


JUNE 15, 2017 6 PM

Celebrate Our Oceans and Canada’s 150th Anniversary Join us for a spectacular evening at Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s Night at the Aquarium in honour of our oceans and Canada’s momentous milestone. The festivities begin with cocktails and canapés amidst the stunning backdrop of aquatic creatures followed by a collaborative Ocean Wise® four-course dinner prepared by Vancouver’s top chefs, paired with premier wines and spirits. All proceeds directly support our ocean conservation, education and research initiatives.

Restaurant Partners Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar blue water café + raw bar Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Fanny Bay Oysters Fish Counter The Pointe Restaurant Wickaninnish Inn Vancouver Aquarium YEW seafood + bar

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Reid, meanwhile, has done more than contemplate. “Being able to send our child to daycare [in Vancouver] was like this magical dream that we’d likely never be able to turn into a reality,” she says. When she relocated to Ottawa, within two months she was able to interview six daycares that could take her child. “I could choose one that I really liked, rather than just choosing one that had a space available,” she says. She might miss the beauty of Vancouver, but she has no regrets about leaving. It’s been a little over a year since our own family left Vancouver. We landed safely in the Comox Valley, close enough to see the mainland, but far enough away that it feels like a different world entirely—the town smells like a campfire when the weather is cold, and you can’t leave your garbage can outside because it attracts bears. We’ve been lucky. I was able to keep the same job I had when we left Vancouver, working out of an office here on the Island. It’s enough to keep us afloat while my wife finds a foothold with her career. We found multiple child care options within the first few months for a fraction of what we’d been paying in Vancouver. We found a daycare that our daughter loves. We haven’t undone the financial damage Vancouver inflicted on us, but we have stability again. Still, I can’t help but feel displaced. I wanted Vancouver to work. At least there’s some comfort in knowing that we weren’t the first family to go through this. Sadly, we’re also far from the last. Right before I sat down to write the conclusion to this article, my phone buzzed with an email from friends in Vancouver. They’ve lived in the city for a decade and recently found out they’re expecting their first child. Like clockwork: they’re putting their condo up for sale and starting to plan their move.


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The $10 Dream Both the City of Vancouver and the BC NDP have advocated for a $10-a-day child care plan put together by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC. The plan seeks to establish a regulated, province-wide child care framework that includes: n

n n

n

n

$10-a-day full-time care and $7-a-day part-time care; families earning less than $40,000 annually would pay no fees Before- and after-school care Extending parental leave to 18 months, up from 12 Raising wages for child care workers to an average of $25 an hour and increasing educational requirements for child care workers Creating a provincial early learning and care division, which would operate under the Ministry of Education

The plan follows Quebec’s $7-a-day child care strategy, which has been in place since the 1990s and has been credited with huge economic benefits. A 2008 University of Toronto study found that the program allowed 70,000 mothers to participate in the workforce that year, resulting in a $5-billion boost to the province’s GDP—more than double the cost of the subsidy. B.C.’s plan would likely see a similar return. A study published by the Early Childhood Educators of BC found the program would initially cost $1.2 billion per year—growing to $1.9 billion annually over time— but would pay for itself in under three years. The resulting boost to B.C.’s workforce would yield a twopercent increase to the province’s GDP, or roughly $5.8 billion annually, by 2025.

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Child Care Costs Across Canada Median monthly fee for a toddler, as of 2016

Vancouver Edmonton

$1,325 $835

Toronto

$1,375

Montreal $164

*

Source: “A Growing Concern,” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, December 2016

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* This introductory BlueSky TV and Internet 150 offer includes the Small TV plan and applies to new customers only. New customers must not have subscribed to the selected Shaw service (Internet, Video or Phone) or bundle in the past 90 days. Offer subject to change without notice. Price shown does not include tax. Promotional first-year pricing of $79.90/mo. is only available to new customers, existing customers receive Internet 150 and BlueSky TV for promotional two-year pricing of $129.90/mo. on a 2-year ValuePlan. Regular rates apply after promotional period and are subject to change. Not all Shaw services are available in all regions. The BlueSky TV equipment and modem you rent or purchase may be new or refurbished. Equipment not purchased by you must be returned to Shaw if any of your services are cancelled. A maximum of twelve (12) TVs can be connected, requiring three (3) BlueSky TV HDPVRs with three (3) portals for each. You may not resell any Shaw services. ^ The 2-year ValuePlan is available only as an Internet and TV agreement when including BlueSky TV. Internet and BlueSky TV agreements require a minimum entry service level of Limited TV combined with Internet 150. Shaw Phone services may be added or removed at any time outside of the 2-year ValuePlan. Under the Internet and BlueSky TV 2-year ValuePlan, customers receive a complimentary BlueSky TV HDPVR and BlueSky TV portal when subscribed to Internet 150 and Small TV or higher. Otherwise, a monthly rental fee of $15 per month per BlueSky TV HDPVR and a monthly rental fee of $5 per month per BlueSky TV portal will apply. Free installation as part of a 2-year ValuePlan. Early cancellation fees apply and will be calculated based on the number of months remaining in the 2-year ValuePlan multiplied by the early cancellation fee ($20 per month for the Internet and BlueSky TV agreement). Details on 2-year ValuePlans can be found at shaw.ca/valueplandetails. © 2017 All Shaw services are subject to our Joint Terms of Use and Privacy Policy located at www.shaw.ca.


B R O K E N G R O U P I S L A N D S / H O M E SW E E T E A S T VA N / G O N E CA M PI N G

VA N M AG .C O M/G O

Play Bay Watch Sure, you have to pack in food and water, but the payoff is a remote archipelago all to yourself. This stop, Hand Island.

BOOMER JERRIT T/ TOURISM VANCOUVER ISL AND

TR AVEL

ADVENTURE ISLANDS

A kayak trip to B.C.’s Broken Group Islands, just southeast of Ucluelet, uncovers white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters within reach. by

Margaret de Silva

It’s a game that’s easy enough to play: What would you take if marooned on a desert island? But a four-day kayaking trip to the Broken Group Islands proves an even greater packing challenge, where wind, blanket fog, torrential rain and glorious sunshine are all possibilities. j

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The Broken Group is a cluster of more than 90 islands nestled in the calm waters of Barkley Sound in Pacific Rim National Park. For beginner paddlers, it doesn’t get any better—pristine waters, white-sand beaches and an oasis of stillness in the notoriously rough Pacific Ocean, all accessible for a long-weekend getaway from Vancouver. However, the secluded location (the islands can be reached only by boat from Port Alberni, Ucluelet or Torquart Bay) and the lack of drinking water, electricity and shelter mean it’s a trip that requires preparation. Lured by the promise of Robinson Crusoe-like adventures on deserted beaches, our group of seven novice kayakers sets its sights on a self-guided tour through this remote archipelago. What the hell do we even bring? I wonder, mentally trying to squeeze in food and water, plus everything from toques and mitts to bikinis and flip-flops. Dad-chic cargo pants with zip-off legs help carve out more room for snacks. But drinking water, bug spray, first aid kits, fire starter, headlamps, tents, sleeping bags and pads, layers of clothing (and a surprising amount of chocolate) are the real necessities. We set out from Sechart Lodge, the quaint bed and breakfast where our water taxi dropped us an hour earlier, about a kilometre north of the Pacific Rim National Park Boundary in Sechart Channel. We have barely cleared the launch and I spot seal heads bobbing two metres from the bow of the double kayak I share with my husband. Suddenly everyone in our group of paddlers is screaming out wildlife sightings like excitable kids on a first trip to the zoo: sea urchin and starfish in the shallows; mussels and crabs hanging off exposed rocks; bald eagles flying overhead. I scan the horizon for the big guns (sea lions visit in late summer and early fall, while grey and humpback whales cruise the coast from February to October), but no dice. We take a meandering route through the Tiny Group—an island cluster in the middle of Broken Group, about 10 kilometres from Sechart Lodge—nestled in shallow water so clear and turquoise that it looks like a tropical Thai lagoon. With the sun beating down on our backs, it’s hard to believe we’re still in Canada. But appearances can be deceiving, and shocked shrieks confirm our locale when we brave the ocean for a freezing dip.

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Majestic Ocean Kayaking

Sechart Lodge

Kayakers in Ucluelet

Stopping for a snack break on dry land, my husband opens the main hatch between us. “That’s strange,” he says. “I think we’ve sprung a leak.” Sure enough, an alarming amount of water is lapping around our dry bags. But it’s fresh water, not salt. A review of our supplies quickly reveals we’ve lost nearly four litres of drinking water due to a slow leak in one container. It’s not quite the doomsday scenario that it could have been, since we’ve overestimated supply. (The best advice I can offer: always be prepared. It’s better to come back with extra water than struggle to find any on the islands.) Designated campsites exist on seven Broken Group Islands: Hand, Turret, Gibraltar, Willis, Dodd, Clarke and Gilbert. Our plan is to island-hop in a clockwise direction over three nights, starting at Clarke and ending at Gibraltar. Our hull makes a satisfying scrape as it beaches nose-first on Clarke Island—a destination well worth the 15-kilometre paddle. This vast white-sand strip stretches end to end across the island and

serves as the perfect backdrop for our waterfront digs for the night. Over a flask of victory whisky (day one, still alive!), we lazily admire the killer sunset pouring over the rocky west side of the island. That night, we meet our only neighbours for the trip: solo kayaker Martin and two older gents who are completing the journey for the umpteenth time. The crew makes for a fun evening of s’mores and tall tales spun around the fire. Even though it’s a national park, fishing is permitted with a licence and we jealously listen to their stories of crabs, sea urchins and fish caught for fresh seafood feasts. Overnight, the soothing sound of gentle rain pattering against the tent’s fly lulls me to sleep, but by morning the weather shifts. At 9 a.m. our friends from the night before are already pushing their kayaks into the ocean, gesturing wildly at the clouds darkening overhead while we blearily roll out of our sleeping bags. We scramble to pack up—our idyllic paradise has gone very Deadliest Catch, and we have the longest crossing ahead.

MA JESTIC OCEAN K AYAKING: DOUG LUDWIG; SECHART LODGE: L ADY ROSE MARINE SERVICES; K AYAKERS IN UCLUELET: MA JESTIC OCEAN K AYAKING

Play


Coaster Channel

FIELD NOTES

Getting There FROM VANCOUVER

Catch a BC Ferries sailing from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen to Nanaimo, or fly direct to Nanaimo or Tofino. FROM VANCOUVER ISL AND

Taking a boat from Vancouver Island to the Broken Group Islands is recommended for beginners, to avoid the open water crossing. Lady Rose Marine Services (ladyrosemarine .com) runs trips from Port Alberni and Ucluelet to

Sechart Lodge, north of the national park, and offers kayak rentals. GUIDED TOUR

Providers: Majestic Ocean Kayaking (oceankayaking .com), Wildheart Adventures (kayakbc.com), DSK Guiding (dskguiding.com) and Batstar Adventures (batstar.com). PRO TIP

Peak season is mid-July through August. To avoid crowds visit May to April, or September to early October.

Be Prepared Pack a compass, nautical charts #3670 and #3671, and tide and current tables (refer to Tofino tables). A cellphone, GPS and marine VHF radio are recommended. See the Parks Canada Broken Group Islands 2016 Paddler’s Preparation Guide (pc .gc.ca) for more info.

K AYAK COASTER CHANNEL: BOOMER JERRIT T/TOURISM VANCOUVER ISL AND; SEA LIONS: TOM HARTLE Y; STARFISH: R . BERGSMA

Fresh water is not guaranteed; plan for four litres per person, per day.

My stomach churns at the thought of battling swells. I’m prone to seasickness and the whitecapped waves lapping in the distance do not look inviting. We decide to stick to the shoreline, but we still have to cross the Coaster Channel to reach the protected inner islands. The first part is the worst. Straining with each stroke, I shoulder-check for the shore and we are barely moving. I’m not the only one struggling. I catch sight of my friend Chloe, the least experienced paddler in the group, and see my own silent terror reflected in her colourless face. At one stage, the lurching swell picks up her kayak and she nearly disappears from sight. We somehow make the crossing unscathed, friendships and marriages intact. It’s easy to laugh about your fears from the safety of the shallows, but battling the wind makes me uncomfortably aware of nature’s hazardous power. This is truly the wilderness—there isn’t a soul in sight. We agree to avoid open water and instead spend the afternoon exploring

beaches and sea caves on Dicebox and Effingham. Reaching the Gilbert Island campsite, we see it’s completely deserted except for one surprised deer. Sunlight breaks through the island’s thick forest canopy in soft streams, giving the area a sparkling, almost fairy-like feel. And then we hear it: that eerie, highpitched buzzing just on the edge of our ears’ capabilities. At just 10 minutes in, jumping around wildly, we christen the campsite “Mosquito Island.” The bloodsuckers are undeterred by our bug spray, so we quickly build a smoky fire to ward them off. Still, armed with the day’s stories and a bag of cheap red wine, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. Calm seas and sunshine greet us on day three, so our party of seven shoves off early for Gibraltar Island. We encounter a river otter fighting a spunky crab on land and a sea otter casually lolling on its back in the ocean as we slowly navigate to our final campsite. By the time we reach Gibraltar, we feel like old hands—salty sea dogs who can navigate a web of islands, start campfires,

All group members should have basic paddling skills and be able to read weather conditions, maps and tide charts. MEC North Vancouver (events.mec.ca) runs free introductory marine navigation courses. Camping fees apply May 1 to September 30 (but all national parks are free for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017).

spin stories, paddle through wind and waves, and, most importantly, stay alive. The local Tseshaht First Nation beachkeepers drop by to check our permits and share the story of how the first Tseshaht man and woman brought life to the area: a cut from the man’s side created the “life pulse” and the population of children created the scattered islands. We celebrate our last night with a smorgasbord of food (smokies, cheese, packet curry and at least four types of candy), card games, and an evening paddle on still waters. My paddle dips into the black, and much to my amazement, the ocean below instantly explodes with blue fireworks of bioluminescence. Each stroke sprays illuminated droplets that cascade off the kayak and streak back into the water. Our short moonlit journey to a protected cove highlights the magic of Broken Group: it’s at once silent and teeming with life, big and empty, beautiful and terrifying. This is the perfect ending to a truly West Coast adventure—all on our own steam.

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Play

O N T H E TOW N

Party People

On February 7, our editorial team put deadlines on pause to toast our talented contributors. Playing host with the most was Tableau Bar Bistro, who kept our gaggle of writers, photographers and illustrators fuelled for a lively night with smart cocktails and Frenchinspired bites (like the lemon tarts we’re still dreaming about). photos by

Author Michael Harris, publicist Nicola Humphrey and society reporter Fred Lee (left to right)

Allison Kuhl

Senior Editor Jessica Barrett (left) with writer Matt O’Grady

Executive Editor Stacey McLachlan

Photographer Janis Nicolay

Food Editor Neal McLennan with contributors Jim Sutherland and Steve Burgess(left to right)

The custom cocktails flowed all night

Staff Writer Kaitlyn Gendemann (left) and Associate Editor Julia Dilworth 92

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Publisher Dee Dhaliwal (left) with Editorial Director Anicka Quin

Photographer Clinton Hussey


Play

P E R S O N A L S PAC E

Settle In Nestled between a large-scale yellow and grey Peter Schuyff and a decades-old Curious George pillow (handmade by husband George Vergette’s mom), Shannon Heth gets in some story time with her youngest son, Xavier.

Dream Scenario After spending years renovating their old house, the family was delighted to move into this newly updated heritage home with lots of light, wooden beams and a modern kitchen —no assembly required (opposite right). Gallery Wall “We have a lot of artwork,” says Vergette (seen far right in his backyard studio), “so it’s just a matter of curating your house how you want it. What pieces do you want together; what groupings do you like? It’s no different than hanging a show.” Star Power The telltale blooms of a Bocci 21 Series chandelier hang above a much-beloved Christian Woo dining table— all with Vergette’s Three Star Portrait in Gold (a new work showing in Toronto this summer) as the backdrop.

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ALL IN THE FAMILY

In Shannon Heth’s East Van heritage home, every piece tells a story. by

Julia Dilworth Ema Peter

photographs by

In a tIme of open-concept everything, local PR maven Shannon Heth is thankful for the cozy corners found throughout her family’s updated heritage house in East Vancouver. “There are all these little areas of refuge,” says the Milk Creative Communications founder, who shares this suburban-like slice of Hastings–Sunrise with her husband, artist George Vergette, and their two boys, Mauritz and Xavier. From the second-storey balcony off their bedroom (“I have my morning coffee up here on weekends”) to the TV room they tuck into behind sliding doors, to the kitchen’s cushioned reading nook (decorated with hand-embroidered pillows procured on a recent trip to Sardinia), there’s ample opportunity for private(ish) moments within the bright and open reno. “I think when you live in a smaller space, it’s important to have those site-specific areas where you can kind of

get away, even if there’s not a lot of space to be totally hidden,” she says with a smile, as the little ones are never too far away. An eclectic art collection covers all free walls, comprising Vergette’s own work and pieces from a network of local artists (Evan Lee’s Lighted Bush hangs over the fireplace, a Peter Schuyff painting punches up the living room), but there are touches of the family’s creative pedigree everywhere. An inherited coffee table lives on, re-topped in white marble; a black metal Michael Steiner sculpture near the entryway was a childhood gift from Heth’s parents; a great horned owl represents Grandpa Vergette’s early experiments in taxidermy at age 13. “He was playing around with teaching himself taxidermy and so he stuffed the owl and put in the eyes and the whole thing and it’s been in the family ever since,” she laughs. “Boys, right? This is what I have to look forward to.”

VA N M A G . C O M M AY 2 0 1 7

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Play

T H E H O T TA K E

THE URBAN HIKER

As the snow melts and the skies brighten, it’s time to stock your packs and secure the gear that’ll take you through the season’s mountain hikes and evening campfires.

n Unhook the straps, tuck them in and suddenly your army green canvas-andleather backpack by Poppy Barley converts to a briefcase with padded laptop sleeve inside. On the mountain, a reinforced base and padded straps make it a sturdy trail pack. $375, poppybarley.com

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by

k With MEC’s Handpresso Pump, you’re never more than a squeeze away from a caffeine fix. Just one hit and this gadgety conversation starter delivers a perfect shot of espresso with crema. $129, mec.ca

Amanda Ross

l Whether hunting or gathering (in the wild or with friends at the bar), channel your inner lumberjack with the Banana Republic men’s plaid linen madras shirt. $95, bananarepublic.ca

i Sunscreen is either too heavy on zinc (hello, lifeguard nose) or not strong enough (hello, cancer!), but Shiseido remedies this with its new hybrid Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. With WetForce technology (the more you sweat, the stronger the protection), the novel formula acts as a powerful sunscreen and tinted BB cream all in one. $48, thebay.com


j Fjällräven, that outdoorsy Swedish juggernaut, has always known how to dovetail rugged with cool, starting with their first classic rucksack launched in 1960. No different, the down-filled Singi three-season sleeping bag is built for cold (extra down on head, core and feet) and includes leather zipper detailing and a front pocket for easy-to-reach items. $450, fjallravencanada.com

n This spring, Herschel unveils its new water-resistant Albert cap in timeless Realtree, that iconic camo print, for a Duck Dynasty-meets-Main-Street-hipster mash-up. $45, herschelsupply.com

k Teleport to the woods with just one whiff—the Woodland Springs candle by Saje leaves the concrete jungle behind with its forest-inspired blend of essential oils (eucalyptus, cedarwood, peppermint) in a soy wax base. It’s a lead-free, bleach-free and chemical-free scent—just the way nature intended. $20, saje.ca

k The reimagined Coach 1941

Roccasin in pink is part sneaker, part slipper and all homage to the ultimate exploration shoe. $340, coach.com

NOW OPEN

COS

18 Water St., cosstores.com Why we’re excited: H&M’s high-end-fashion sister store cracks the Vancouver market with modern, functional pieces (think a more tailored Oak and Fort, or if Club Monaco went to Emily Carr). Timeless classics—tops from $19 to $135, outerwear at $115 to $450—mean you won’t have to shell out more cash for a new coat once the trend fades. —Christine Bortolin

m As far as knife-making traditions go, the Japanese pretty much have the market cornered on strength, substance and style, and this is no exception. The Aogami mini-folding knife—in all its lightweight and durable glory—makes short work of whittling marshmallow sticks. $55, litchfieldtheshop.com

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THROW B AC K

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.

May 1970 McLean’s Guide was one of many titles the magazine had before settling on Vancouver in 1976, and at this point, it was just a digest of event listings, with highlights including the Canadian Judo Championship, a new play called There’s a Girl in My Soup and Reveen (“one of the foremost hypnotists of our time”) at the Orpheum.

May 2007 There are plenty of restaurants on our 2007 Restaurant Awards list that have survived the decade and remain at the top of their game and on our list today (Kingyo, Cioppino’s, Vij’s and Phnom Penh, to name a few), but the number of excellent rooms that are no longer with us (RIP Fuel and Aurora) is a sobering reminder about the volatility of the restaurant industry; enjoy your favourites while you can. Also in this issue: a rallying cry for the then-devastated Stanley Park and a former student’s unnerving first-person account of a charming teacher who happened to also be a sexual predator.

May 1976 It’s hard to choose the best bedroom from this photo essay, but a crochet-draped ceiling and an 8x8 mirrored headboard lose out to the gold-velvet-enrobed backseat sleeping quarters of a 1976 Chevrolet van (additional features include a heartshaped passage to the front seat).

May 1987 Rick Hansen graces the cover here, but he gets only two measly pages inside. A fashion story on swimwear shot at West Edmonton Mall’s World Water Park, however, goes on for nine, featuring pieces like a “reggae jazz halter top and capri pant in the wild and wonderful colours of a Jamaican sunset.”

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

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Vancouver magazine, May 2017  

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

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