Events & Celebrations

The Festival Of The Season

Christmas is almost here! I just took a look at the calendar today only to realize that Christmas is next week and I haven’t even started my holiday shopping yet. Oops! That said, are you in the festive spirit as much as I am? My tree is up, the lights are out, and the stockings are hanging. All I need now is some snow.. (I know, I know, but it’s been ages since we’ve had snow around Christmas time!).

If you had a chance to read my previous blog post about the Hootenanny over at VanDusen, I’m happy to announce that Anna the Hummingbird and her friends have successfully lifted the Halloween spell! Now, as the season transitions from Fall to Winter, so too does the experience at the Botanical Garden. As the snow begins to cap our local mountains with the sun setting earlier each day, VanDusen has brightened Vancouver once again with their annual Festival of Lights.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

What should you expect this year? If you haven’t seen the light show on Livingstone Lake paired with the music – all choreographed – it is amazing! Worry not, the show happens every 20 minutes, so you have several opportunities to catch the show and have it on your ‘gram. 

Carousel rides are another fun family treat for all ages. The ticket you purchase for entry grants you one free ride on the carousel, so be sure to check that out. Santa’s Lodge in the Visitor Centre is another free experience where choirs, bands, and singers perform on select nights. In addition, there is the Fireside Lounge, a Candle Grotto, and many more activities.

Getting hungry? Worry not because the Truffles Cafe and Truffles Hot Drink Hut is open at VanDusen on the regular and available to satisfy your taste buds! Be sure to stop by for some hot beverages or freshly prepared snacks as you see fit.

Planning Your Trip

As per their website, it is strongly encouraged that tickets are purchased ahead of time because it will save you money, bypass the lengthy lineups, and ensure you get through the gates. There is also a maximum number of tickets sold each night to avoid overcrowding, so make sure you plan ahead. The closer to Christmas, the busier it usually gets. If you don’t have any luck online, there will be limited tickets available at the gate and it is suggested that you arrive after 8pm. One tip I tell all my friends is to arrive early as parking is limited in the lot and fills up quickly!

Events & Celebrations

SKOOKUM: A Festival of Music, Food, and Art

As our beloved summer season slowly begins to pave the way for autumn, I would like to think that Vancouverites always manage to find a way to make the most out of the situation. Although the weather has not been as sweltering as the heat wave we experienced back in July/August, at least the haze of smoke has dissipated, right? I am always trying to find ways to look for the silver lining as we transition toward the rainy season, and I think I found it!

Are you ready for a last Summer 2018 hurrah? Are you ready for a final get-together with your friends to celebrate the outdoors before the umbrellas are brought out? If so, I encourage you to grab tickets to the SKOOKUM Festival – a weekend filled with music, food, and the arts. Working with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and located on the traditional and unceded territory of Vancouver’s beautiful and majestic Stanley Park, the SKOOKUM festival is a weekend filled with good eats, fun, and a host of musical legends.

Truffles Fine Foods and Coquille

Building on my previous blog post on reasons why you should check out Coquille in Gastown, I was delighted to learn that their culinary talent will be present at the festival amongst a whole list of other food vendors! I wish I would be able to disclose what seafood and westcoast treats they will be serving up, but even I am not entitled to those secrets. The only solution to this mystery is buying tickets and paying them a visit! That being said, there are tons of other food vendors present at SKOOKUM, too. From food trucks, to burgers and pizza – cheeses to gelato and donuts. Whatever tickles your fancy, there is bound to be something for you to eat, drink, and be merry. Here’s another secret I will let you in on: Truffles Fine Foods is also catering at the event! So, if you haven’t had a chance to visit us at our locations, this would be the perfect opportunity!

A Rocking Musical Lineup

What is a festival without live music? Not a festival, that is for sure. If food is not a good enough reason for you to attend SKOOKUM, what about an awesome lineup of performers? Check out this schedule and I dare you to tell me that it is not rocking enough for you. Performing live to all festival attendees are award-winning bands and artists including Milky Chance, XAmbassadors, Hey Ocean, The Arkells, Mother Mother, and my personal favourite, The Killers. Needless to say, concert organizers were not messing around when they planned this event!

The Arts and After Dark

Another wonderful aspect to Vancouver and local festivals alike is our vibrant art scene. On location will also be an Art Pavilion showcasing and selling various crafts made by our talented local artists, so be sure to show them some love, too! If you haven’t partied hard enough, there are several events happening after dark, too. Hosted at the Imperial, Rickshaw, Guilt & Co. (to name a few), there will be other events taking place to ensure that your night of fun continues on throughout the night.
So, have I convinced you to check out the SKOOKUM festival yet? Is this enough reason to close off Summer 2018 with a group of friends? I hope so! It will take place September 7 to 9 and tickets can be found on the event website. See you there!

Photo credits: SKOOKUM Festival.