Victoria Fringe Festival 2019 and 12 Picks!

August 21 to Sept 1
Victoria, BC

The last days of Summer are almost here, and it’ll soon be time to do the Victoria Fringe Festival! This event has been defining the local arts scene for the past 34 or so years now with its unjuried selection of local and travelling acts. To see fond favourite performers return is always a joy.

However, to end the month, this party is one way to lounge around in the garden city (located on the tip of Vancouver Island). I try to grab a snack between shows and next up will be an updated list of where to get quick bites. On Labour Day—the busiest time of the 12 day event—the fuel runs are needed to keep anyone going. Some theatre-goers like to Fringe Binge.

Personally, I like to space my thrills out.

This year, my list of must see shows include (to buy tickets, please click on link): Continue reading

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Come Aboard for Feast! Food+Film June 13-15, 2019

FEAST-Logo-design-website-4-02Feast Food+Film is the Victoria Film Festival‘s love letter to all things culinary and it will be spotlighting the best treats that the Capital Region can offer. This event runs June 13-15, 2019 and the movies featured has Ed endorsing the search for Shangri-La with Himalayan Gold Rush. There’s a reason: variations of this fungus is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Does it work? Ed says some of it does, if you can stomach the taste. A lot of manufactured medications work the same way as those harvested in the wilds. The only difference is in purity and concentration, and the belief that it does the body good than the gross out factor of, say, consuming bugs.

The film line-up features five documentaries and one feature film that explores the flavours, stories, and people behind a particular cuisine. The line-up and menus include:

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Ramen Teh to Play at the Victoria Film Festival

Playing at the
Victoria Film Festival
Victoria, British Columbia

Feb 1 to 10th

Tue | Feb 5 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3
Thur | Feb 7 | 6:15 PM | SilverCity #3

Back in 2011, I saw Chef of the South Polar (review link) at the Victoria Film Festival (VFF), and I learned a good noodle consists of a lot more than the love put into kneading the dough and creating the strands. Kansui is one part sodium bicarbonate and many other parts other trace minerals. To put them together in perfect harmony is part of many an Asian culture.

This year marks this event’s 25th anniversary (Taking place from Feb 1 to 10) and Ramen Shop (Ramen Teh) will continue to teach me something new in terms of how to celebrate life and food. Life lessons are often part of the theme in these movies, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s crop of films will offer.

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Paper Street Theatre’s Halloween Treats!

Runs Oct 24th-27th at the Intrepid Theatre
Address: 1609 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 2J5

Victoria, British Columbia’s Paper Street Theatre knows their pop culture. As an improv group, they enjoy getting audiences to laugh. Some might arrive already in giggles because they enjoy their shows far too much. Their performances take place throughout the year and are themed. That is, they are spiced with a little bit of every literary or oral tradition out there. This themed night had fog machines and ambient lighting room straight out of The Exorcist to get everyone into the mood for supernatural delights!

During this weekend leading up to Halloween, the team has supernatural campfire stories to tell. Some have the taste of urban legend spread all over it and others are truly creepy, Twilight Zone style. Ideas for story titles are taken from a community bucket, and the more bizarre they sound, the more challenging it is to put into a coherent narrative. With improv, the performers do not have time to consult with one another to decide on how the story can go, and everyone has to think quickly as they are under many peering eyes. Under the dimming light, not every glance will glow red.

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Victoria Fringe Festival 2018: Quick Bites & Where to Find Them

 

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Runs Aug 27 to Sept 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Even active Fringers need a moment to snack in between shows. With the long weekend coming up, that may be tough to do as the time in between shows is at most 30 minutes. Where can folks go to refuel? Unless a timeout is used for a proper meal, nibbling in line is what I tend to do instead of sitting for a spell.

The official event guide offers three places to hit. By showing your button, a 10% discount is applied, but one of these stops is for dine-in than take-out. Hardly many eateries are mentioned in this year’s booklet.

I offer an expanded list for those looking for quick meals to have while waiting in line. This list is organized by close proximity to the venues. Sadly, not a lot of options exist within a short walking distance of Langham Court (Venue 5). Bubby Rose’s (1022 Cook Street) can satisfy with their pizzas and pastries, but on evenings when most of the shows take place during the weekday, they are closed. Cook St. Village proper is approximately 10 minutes away and not many folks are willing to run.

Venues One (Victoria Event Center) to Four (VCM Wood Hall)

For sweets like macaroons, La Roux Patisserie (519 Fisgard St), Fol Epi (732 Yates Street, they serve sandwiches too) and Empire Donuts (736 Yates Street, inside the mall) are worth the diversion to stop into. They provide ample recharge options for performers too if they have yet to find these two operations.

Superbaba (1325 Blanshard), Efes (788 Yates) and Brickyard Pizza (784 Yates) are also viable options for warmer meals. All of them offer delicious toasted bites. My personal preference for Middle Eastern food is with Efes. Their döners always tickle my fancy over Superbaba’s shawarmas. As for falafels, the jury is still out.

Sakura Grocery (1213 Quadra) is closer to The Metro on Quadra and VCM Wood Hall for those not wanting to venture far. While their sushi prices are mildly high, the extra cost is worth it! Standard staples like California, spicy tuna or salmon rolls are available can be found. This operation is under new management and the quality has vastly improved since my visits from years ago.

Another option is a sandwich or pastry from the Deli in The Market on Yates (903 Yates). I always stop here for a drink as they have a huge variety to choose from.

Venue Six (Roxy Theatre)

Part and Parcel’s (2645 Quadra) many delectable take-out options are made fresh and orders hardly take over 10 minutes to make. This place always gets busy during the Fringe Festival season, so it is often best to arrive earlier than usual to avoid disappointment. Dine in options include 5th Street Bar & Grill (1028 Hillside Ave)

Venue Seven (St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall)

When bouncing between one side of town to another, a stop by The Dutch Bakery (718 Fort Street) for their pies is a must. These buttery delights are the reason why I’m rotund! The crust is oh so wonderful, and the window display of their many tarts … Oh my! Although this secret is mostly known to locals, Noodlebox (818 Douglas Street) has been the top pick for take-out for many an event in town—especially near the Inner Harbour. Their quality is great, and options include no spice to the extreme. Plus, you can dine-in too! This establishment is just one of two franchise operations worth mentioning. Beavertails (602 Broughton) for fried bread (with your choice of cinnamon or Nutella) or poutine is worth a stop.

Victoria Fringe Festival 2018, on Death and Fake Ghost Tours!

Amazing things are happening at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. More touring acts are starting (Tues night offered a quick preview at The Metro Studio), and if Death from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal is waiting on the wings, I doubt he’d want to hang out with comedian Rob Gee. This figure would fall apart in laughter. I digress. The rhythms from this slam poet and the fact he can keep it up for close to an hour is simply amazing in itself.

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Location:
VCM Wood Hall
900 Johnson Street
Victoria, BC

Remaining shows:
Aug 30 8pm
Aug 31 7:30pm
Sept 1 10:45pm
Sept 2 8:15pm

Death, a Romantic Comedy certainly positions Rob Gee as a tour de force! His past work, Kevin, King of Egypt and Pandemonium, are gonzo. This year’s Death, A Romantic Comedy is intriguing enough and I wonder if my appreciation of gallows humour is why I’m drawn to such a morbid subject.

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