Fred UnLEEshed: Aug. 18, 2015

HORSING AROUND: Last year, the Vancouver Polo Club was formed to bring the royal sport to the city, offering clinics and lessons for beginners and aficionados alike. The society also staged its first ever Pacific Polo Cup. Hundreds in their sartorial best made their way to Southlands Riding Club in the heart of the city’s equestrian community to take in the sophomore edition. Event chair Kimberley St. Pierre welcomed a glamorous crowd for a day of  polo watching, champagne sipping and brunching. Holders of VIP tickets were treated to a gourmet luncheon prepared by David Hawksworth on one side of the field, while other spectators lounged on blankets and picnicked on fare from a variety of local food trucks. Guests took to the grass at intermission for the traditional divot stomp, but as always the main attraction was the thrilling polo action. Proceeds from the day of riding — anticipated to be upwards of $20,000 — will benefit the Southlands Riding Society.

QUEER AS FOLK: In 1988, the first iteration of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival was held as a small event among friends. Twenty-seven years later, the film fest has grown to become the city’s second largest cinematic celebration, showcasing movies illuminating the lives of queer people. Executive director Drew Dennis has been at the helm of the organization for the past 15 years, advancing queer lives through film, education and dialogue. Dennis formally stepped down last month, but bid adieu to fans at the festival opener, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, which kick-started the 11days of 80 films, forums and pink carpet parties.

THAI-ING ONE ON: Thailand Consul-General Surrhiluck Sa-ngarmangkang promoted her country’s riches at her annual summer garden party, staged at her official residence on Matthew Street. Guests included dignitaries, politicos and media, who enjoyed a showcase of Thailand’s performing and culinary arts. The nation’s renowned chef Phonganan Siriseangphaiwan — flown over for the occasion — provided the many tasting plates. Larger versions will be served Sept. 19, when the consulate, in partnership with the Canadian International Education Assistance Foundation, hosts a fundraising dinner to provide children back home living in the remotest areas of the country access to education at Baan Mae Ramoeng School, situated along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Learning of the distances some kids have to walk to go to school — reportedly up to 40 kilometres — party goer Jenny Ip, a Thai-native, pledged $50,000 to go towards creation of more student housing. The benefit gala will be staged at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

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