The Vancouver International Wine Festival, formerly known as the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, offers opportunities for connoisseurs and those not so familiar with wine to gain knowledge on everything from pairings to varietals to growing grapes. But it also raises money and publicizes worthy cultural organizations. The festival launched in 1979 as a fundraising initiative for the then-Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company and featured sole vintner Robert Mondavi. That inaugural event saw 1,000 people attend the two-day event at Hycroft Mansion. Unfortunately, the Playhouse ceased operations last year after almost five decades. Over 34 years, the festival raised more than $7.8 million for the Playhouse. The newly named Vancouver International Wine Festival announced last September its new charitable partner is Bard on the Beach Theatre Society.
Some of the events for the 2013 wine festival are sold out, but there are still lots to choose from, including Blind Tasting Challenge and Bella Napa. The festival runs Feb. 25 to March 3. Visit playhousewinefest.com for a complete schedule.
West Point Grey
The Lord Byng Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Scott MacLennan, is in concert March 1 celebrating several great composers. The ambitious program includes Mozart Clarinet Concerto featuring Sam Min and Schumann Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Edwin Sy. The orchestra is composed of the top students from Lord Byng secondary's string and wind ensembles and supported by an innovative program that includes a partnership with the Byng Arts Mini School in the Performing and Visual Arts. Lord Byng Theatre is located at West 15th Avenue at Crown Street. For more information, visit lbso.ca.
SUCCESS has organized free tax services, sponsored by KPMG, for low-income residents and members of the social service centre, which has a mandate to assist new immigrants and citizens overcome language and cultural barriers to help them become participating and contributing members of society. The clinics run every Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 11 to 20 by appointment. The clinics won't be offered March 30 or April 1. You can make an appointment by calling 604-408-7260. To see if you qualify, visit successbc.ca.
CocoaNymph East is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Sarah McLachlan School of Music at 4 West Seventh Ave.
The event, dubbed Sweet Temptations, will offer a combination of chocolate, treats, appies and drinks from 7 to 9:30 p.m. March 1, with Reid Jamieson and Johnny Gallant providing live music. An auction offers packages, including a weekend in Whistler, a private dining experience for six to eight friends from Farm to Folk and chocolate-themed delights. Tickets are $35 and include wine by Okanagan Crush Pad, beer by Stanley Park Brewery, canap‚s and chocolate by CocoaNymph. For tickets, check out CocoaNymph on Facebook.