LOUD AND PROUD: Making some serious noise, the Cultch kicked off 2018 with a series of plays at the York Theatre dedicated to celebrating the power of women. Femme January consists of three productions created by women addressing and speaking to the experiences, challenges and triumphs of women. The Australian touring show Hot Brown Honey by Briefs Factory launched the January program of female-centric works. Part circus, part burlesque and part cabaret, the high-octane show features six talented Indigenous women buzzing around a giant hive. Perched at the top is the Queen Bee DJ Busty Beatz who leads the hive of fierce women in a series of dance, circus and musical numbers tackling heavy subject matter such as racial stereotypes, colonialization and white privilege. The themes are put through a blistering 75-minute workout as each woman takes a swipe at a stereotype. It’s a no-holds barred performance cranked to the highest decibels (earplugs are provided to the sonically challenged).
EATING OUT: Resolutions can wait, reservations can’t. Canada's largest dining celebration returns for its 16th staging. Dine Out Vancouver has become a widely popular tradition for local and visiting food enthusiasts to experience this city’s diverse culinary scene. Over 17 days, a record 307 Metro Vancouver restaurants will tempt foodies with $20, $30 and $40 prix fixe menus. In addition to indulging in multicourse meals, this year’s festival will once again feature food and drink-themed events — including the World Chef Exchange (collaborative dinners between local and visiting chefs), B.C. VQA Wine Brunches (plates paired with B.C.’s best wines) and Dine Out Grand Tasting, an inaugural opening gala event benefitting the BC Hospitality Foundation. Tourism Vancouver launched this year’s campaign at the new HJU:Z Lounge in the Westin Bayshore Hotel. More than 100,000 people are expected to participate in the Jan. 19 to Feb. 4 festivities, said Dine Out coordinator Lucas Pavan at the festival launch.
POURING IT ON: The city’s first major tipple fest of the year saw 350 food and drink enthusiasts convene at the Pan Pacific Hotel for Taste BC, a celebration of British Columbia’s finest wine, beer and spirits. Liberty Wine Merchants hosted the 23rd annual affair — an opportunity for attendees to experience the province’s finest without having to leave the cozy confines of the Crystal Pavilion. Guests enjoyed an array of food and drinks, while supporting BC Children’s Hospital’s Oak Tree Clinic, a unique facility providing specialized care and support for HIV infected women and their families. To date the event has raised a collective total of $234,000 since 1995, said event creator Robert Simpson. Speaking in front of the sold-out crowd, Simpson hopes this year’s effort will see total funds raised surpass the quarter million dollar mark.