Cultivating local and fair-trade ingredients, Truffles Fine Foods celebrates the revered lunch break with hot gourmet meals prepared in its eco-friendly kitchen. Up to 10 colleagues or one package of 10 inflatable friends may glean The Hot Drop menu (a $15/person value), which evolves daily and always features two fresh entrees to choose between. Possible specialties include grilled wild coho salmon blanketed in maple glaze, beef moussaka layered with cheesy béchamel, and pulled pork sauced by chipotle barbecue. Each dish entails a savoury side at no extra charge, such as sun-dried-tomato gnocchi or cobb salad.
MAB Ventures Inc., an arts and entertainment agency, does whatever it can to expose the local community to art. In its staff's hands, that could mean connecting clients with a collective of artists seeking custom commissions, hosting art workshops, or organizing art exhibitions that allow the general public to interact with local artists.
One such exhibition is the annual Art World Expo, which showcases everything from painting and photography to fashion and jewelry. The exhibitions often follow a theme?such as 2014's circus theme?and feature live musical performances, fashion shows, and body-painting competitions. After browsing the wares of various artists, expo attendees can purchase their favourite pieces or award the creators with homemade Best in Show ribbons. Proceeds from Monstars and Beasts Haunted House support the Make and Break Arts Foundation, which support arts initiatives like Art World Expo in BC.
Though it’s only been open less than one year, Supernal Arts has already amassed an impressive cache of art in its private gallery. Paintings burst from their canvases in the form of an impressionist-style bouquet of red and white roses, a riverbed dotted with copper-hued stones and cascading water, and a wintry forest full of stark, bare trees. Visitors to the space can peruse paintings or take one of the many classes that teach the skills needed to craft such pieces. The instructors, all experienced artists themselves, harness their backgrounds and skills to lead students of all ages toward their own artistic goals, such as becoming a professional painter or exhibiting works somewhere other than inside the lion cage of the local zoo.
At Jonah's Ark Doggie Playcare & Training, play is the key term. In this 2,000-square-foot indoor playground, dogs romp freely, toss toys into the air, and clamber on and off agility obstacles. Plenty of lounge space offers tired pups quiet time as well. According to co-owner Saro Boghozian, wrestling and chasing other dogs not only teaches pups how to behave better, but also aids in their mental development. For further canine education, owners can enroll dogs in the center's training courses. During classes, the staff appeals to each dog's natural intelligence; owners are taught to train their dog with praise, rather than coax them with treats or discipline them with a rolled-up newspaper.
Faranak’s two-day weekend styling workshop at Restyle Today provides a crash course in women's fashion while enhancing students' styling confidence and familiarity with current trends. Groups meet on Saturday for three hours' worth of instruction on the art of wardrobe overhaul, with Faranak imparting lessons in applied fashion basics and how to organize closets to produce well-informed, consistently chic ensembles. Faranak also grants each attendee a makeup and hairstyle analysis, bestowing the same image-augmenting tips she’s given to celebrities and top-rated rodeo clowns. Sunday sessions summon students to one of the city’s top fashion districts—to be revealed at Saturday's workshop—for a two- to three-hour guided shopping excursion. Capped at five to seven students, the course allows for close, individualized attention and personalized souvenir limericks.
The Lobby Restaurant and Lounge at Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier occupies a window-walled space on the hotel's ground floor, adjacent to the harbor. The proximity of the water provides pleasant views, but also ensures the chefs get fresh ingredients for their locally-sourced, sustainably-focused menu. They specialize in using Vancouver's abundant seafood to their fullest advantage, creating dishes such as pan-seared halibut with pan-fried yams, sweet corn, and asparagus. Of course, they work with some of the fruits of the land, too, encrusting roasted racks of lamb in herbs and dousing them in rosemary brandy jus.