Archive for October, 2014

Murder Mystery and the Paranormal at the Cannery

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Murder at the CanneryThis Halloween at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a ‘murder’ will take place – and audience choices will determine the victim! Our first choose-your-own-adventure style Halloween tour is set amid pre-Cold War tensions and even colder temperatures. All we know for sure is that trouble is brewing at the Cannery… On Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, 2014 join us to search for clues throughout the massive Cannery to help solve the mystery!

Tours will start daily at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 5:30 pm, with advance booking required.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $5 for youth, and may be purchased in person at the Cannery, or by phone 604-664-9009. Online tickets are also available at:

Also to get you in the Halloween mood:
Is it just chilly in the Cannery, or are those chills down your spine? Staff are often asked if the Cannery is haunted, but we don’t know for sure. Now there’s a chance for you to find out!

This summer, Northern Paranormal Investigations conducted two overnight investigations at the Cannery. Join us for a presentation as their discoveries are revealed!

The Paranormal Presentations will take place at the Cannery at 7pm on Friday, October 24 and Thursday, October 30, 2014. Ticket prices are $10, and may be purchased in person at the Cannery, or by phone 604-664-9009. Online tickets are also available at:

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada is operated by the non-profit Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, on behalf of Parks Canada. Location: 12138 Fourth Avenue at Moncton, Richmond (Steveston Village). www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.comGulf Of Georgia Cannery in Steveston

Craft Beer in Steveston

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

An Insider’s Guide on Where to Find the Hoppy Brew

Craft_Beer_StevestonHot on the heels of the 2nd annual Steveston Beer Fest and entering the month of October, which is officially B.C. Craft Beer Month, I was given the assignment to source locations in Steveston village where craft beer is sold.

Grant and Erinn Bryan operate O’Hare’s GastroPub and Liquor Store. Grant Bryan says Steveston is a hot spot for craft beer drinkers and attracts people from across Metro Vancouver. What is the fuss about? He says craft beer is cool, quirky and fun. He calls it “an equalizer,” providing an opportunity for people to converse about what they are drinking and share their recommendations. It also makes people feel good to support local producers.

While those in the know will laugh to think that craft beer needs defining, I discovered that the meaning is not common knowledge, and requires some explanation.

Craft beers are made by hand in small batches. The Brewers Association of Canada defines a microbrewer as one that produces no more than 250,000 hectolitres of beer annually. Currently B.C. has approximately 80 microbreweries and the numbers are continuing to climb annually.

The focus is on distinctive full-bodied taste and aroma achieved by using the best ingredients. Generally craft beer is made locally, although some establishments also carry craft beer from the United States and Europe.

A number of Steveston’s restaurateurs are passionate about the unique and distinct beer being produced by microbreweries, and are eager to share these flavourful bevvies with their customers.

Craft_Beer_Ohares_StevestonO’Hare’s has been instrumental in driving the local craft beer business. The Gastropub dedicates over half of their twenty taps to craft beer, of which five are rotating guest taps. Be sure to consult the chalkboard for their latest offerings.
Inside O’Hare’s Liquor Store you will find a full wall dedicated to single bottles. In addition you will find B.C. craft beer in cases, along with American, French, Belgian and German selections although Bryan says the majority of the beer is from North America. Their two-year-old O’Hare’s Craft Beer Club now has over 130 members who receive approximately 10 craft beers every two months along with tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Another way to learn about craft beer is to attend O’Hare’s Friday Night Beer tastings.

O’Hare’s Gastropub dedicates over half of their twenty taps to craft beer

Grant Bryan was kind enough to give me a crash course in Craft Beer 101. He is passionate about the topic and eagerly shared his enthusiasm and knowledge. He introduced me to a variety of styles including Parallel 49’s Tricycle Grapefruit Radler, which he jokingly describes as a “breakfast drink.” This seasonal low alcohol beer is comprised of 50% grapefruit juice and is a great patio sipper. I worked my way up the hoppy ladder to Elysian’s Superfuzz Blood Orange pale ale with an orange taste and a dry and bitter finish. Four Winds is a Delta microbrewery. Bryan describes their delicious pilsner as malty and full bodied. The final beer I tasted was Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA. This brewery is located on Vancouver Island. Sold year round at O’Hare’s, this bitter and full-bodied brew pairs well with spicy or Asian food.

Pairing food with craft beer is all the rage, and the myriad of different tastes lend themselves to considering what beer you should drink alongside curry, burgers, sushi or even some desserts.

Everyone has his or her personal favourite. Steveston Insider’s publisher Carolynne Palla is drawn to Chainbreaker White Indian Pale Ale (IPA) brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. You can find it on tap at Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant where you can also enjoy a fabulous water view to go with your craft beer.

At O’Hares, Carolynne Palla seeks out Mill Street Brewery’s Original Organic Lager, which can be found in bottles in the Gastropub and liquor store. Whenever she drinks beer she prefers to drink from a frosty stem glass (no mugs please). Her husband, Karel Palla, likes to quench his thirst with a pint of Occidental’s Hefeweizen sold seasonally at Blue Canoe.

Some craft beers are seasonal, so be open minded to priming your taste buds for whatever the season has to offer.

Craft_Beer_Blue_Canoe_StevestonBlue Canoe owner Jim van der Tas points out that some craft beers are seasonal, so be open minded to priming your taste buds for whatever the season has to offer, wherever you choose to drink craft beer.

When van der Tas opened Blue Canoe in 2008 he committed to offering Steveston new and different food and beverage choices. Each year he has seen growth in craft beer sales as more and more clients are trying microbrewery creations and are curious to pair these drinks with their meals.

Blue Canoe’s current craft beer menu includes Steam Whistle’s pilsner, Tree Brewing’s Cutthroat West Coast ale, Phillips’ Slipstream Cream ale, Dead Frog’s The Bold Belgian pale, Anchor Steam ale, Fat Tire’s Amber ale, Black Butte’s porter, Pyramid Apricot Ale, Mirror Pond Pale ale, Green Flash IPA, Parallel 49, Muskoka and Driftwood (one on tap and three bottled varieties).

Hog Shack Cook House is Metro Vancouver’s only establishment offering a 100% craft beer brew list. Tongue in cheek, owners John Lim Hing and Allan Yeo apologize for not offering any mass-market beers as they feel passionately about selling flavourful beers that pair with their menu.

Here you will find craft beer in a variety of styles from Canada, the United States (Washington, Oregon, California) as well some German and Belgian beers. They offer a huge beer list from lagers and wheat beers, to fruit beers, pale ales, amber and ruby ales, IPA’s, ultra hoppy, Belgian style, porters and stouts, and even one gluten free beer form the Netherlands. Hog Shack offers six rotating taps and an impressive bottle selection. In addition, the restaurant’s reserve list boasts 11 craft beer including Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout from the United Kingdom.

Hog Shack Cook House is Metro Vancouver’s only establishment offering a 100% craft beer brew list.

Craft_Beer_HogShack_StevestonWhile Tapenade Bistro is best known for its excellent wine list, restaurant owner Vince Morlet carries a few craft beers including East Vancouver’s R&B Brewing Company on tap along with the following bottled offerings: Switchback’s IPA, Lighthouse’s Numbskull, Pyramid apricot ale, Parallel 49’s Seedspitter Watermelon Wit, Deschutes’ Pale Ale and Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA.

The Buck & Ear Pub, a Steveston fixture for years, has a selection of local craft beer on tap including Four Winds IPA, Four Winds Pale Ale, Four Winds Farmhouse Ale, Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale, Parallel 49 Filthy Dirty IPA, and Phillips Blue Buck.

Their neighbouring liquor store at the Steveston Hotel has a large selection of chilled craft beer for sale in both single cans and cases. A good seasonal choice to welcome autumn is Howe Sound’s Pumpkin Eater ale. Other options include Howe Sound King Hefty and Garibaldi Honey, Amarillo ale, Phillips Brewery’s Unicorn, Longboat Chocolate Porter and Ginger Beer. The chilled case is filled with many other singles to pick and choose from.

If you are looking for a six-pack, some of the store’s selections include Phillips Brewery’s Bottle Rocket, Wheatking Hefeweizen, HopCircle IPA, and Blue Buck. Russell Brewing Co. offerings include Eastern Promises, Blood Alley and Hop Therapy India Session Ale (ISA), Red Racer’s ISA, Pale Ale and Extra Special Bitter.

Craft_Beer_Buck_Ear_StevestonGudrun Tasting Room carries a selection of craft beer to pair with their cheeses and charcuterie. Gudrun staff tipped me off that the restaurant will be hosting a dinner with Brassneck Brewery in October. Contact Gudrun for more details.

Finally, as the new B.C. Liquor Policy Review changes came into effect earlier this summer, the Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market can now allow made in B.C. beer to be sampled and sold alongside the produce.

A good seasonal choice to welcome autumn is Howe Sound’s Pumpkin Eater ale.

Four Winds was a steady presence at the bi-weekly market where they offered tastings and sales of their four-pack bottled beer. Steveston resident Doug Kobylanski, considers himself to be a “beeroissuer” (beer connoisseur). He says Four Winds’ Wildflower Saison is one of the best craft beers he has ever tasted.

Ultimately what it comes down to is acquainting yourself with the wide variety of styles being produced, discovering your personal preferences, and enjoying the camaraderie of this craft beer phenomenon, which Jim van der Tas predicts “is here to stay.”

We can feel proud that Steveston village stands out as a destination that craft beer fans have on their radar screen. They travel far and wide to hang out at our local restaurants and pubs that are committed to sharing their passion for the hoppy brew.

Cannery Farmers’ Market

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Cannery Farmers MarketThis fall the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society is very pleased to take over operation of Steveston’s winter farmers’ market. Taking place in the unique Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, the newly-branded Cannery Farmers’ Market will open its doors Sunday, October 5th and operate every other Sunday to the end of April 2015.

From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., visitors can enjoy a cozy atmosphere, fresh food, and a variety of vendors showcasing products that follow the “make it, bake it, catch it, grow it” credo. Building on the work of the Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market, the Cannery Farmers’ Market is committed to offering even more local food and creating a welcoming community space.

Society Chair, Dave Semple is excited about this new undertaking. “We are committed to working with the community to offer events that appeal to locals and to help keep the village lively through the winter months. We are looking forward to creating a place where neighbours can come together to get to know each other better and do a little shopping at the same time.”

Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston BCThe Cannery Farmers’ market is not only a great place to purchase local foods and crafts, but is also a place to enjoy the day with family and friends. Varied vendors and featured entertainment have something to offer everyone. A kids’ area, surprise demonstrations and workshops from “foodies” and experts will keep young and old interested. Vendors and public mingle in a social environment designed to become a traditional winter Sunday hangout.

Free to the public each market day, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site provides a unique one-of-a-kind space for a community event. To create an intimate and friendly atmosphere, the Cannery has installed additional overhead heaters and will offer other touches of comfort. Helping make this happen is team of local volunteers, dedicated vendors, faithful visitors and Cannery staff. You are invited to join in the commitment to build a unique and Steveston-enhancing, sustainable event.

For more information and market dates please visit To join the market team please contact Patricia Toti, Special Event Coordinator, at 604-664-9261 or

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site showcases the history of fishing and canning in B.C., and is located in Steveston, at Moncton Street and Third Avenue.

Market dates for 2014 – 2015 are: 

October 5 & 19
November 2, 16 & 30
December 14
January 18
February 1 & 15
March 1, 15, 29 (March 29th Spring Break)
April 12 & 26

Hours: 10 am to 3 pm

Treasures Boutique

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

From Cabbagetown to Steveston

Once the West Coast is in your blood it is hard not to be Treasures_Barb_Corder_Palla_Media_Stevestondrawn back. The sea air, the mountains, and the mild climate were things that Barbara Corder (owner of Treasures Boutique) waved goodbye to when she set off from her hometown of New Westminster for Toronto in the 1980s.

She spent 25 years working in the city’s fast-paced financial district as an executive assistant at KPMG and Dutch bank ABN AMRO. She loved her work and all that Toronto had to offer, and she especially enjoyed Cabbagetown, the historical neighbourhood that she called home. She says the area has a similar feel to Steveston with its heritage buildings, boutiques, restaurants and community events.

In 2004 she returned home to tend to family matters. Polar opposite from her Bay Street career, she began to work at her friend Lynda Moore’s White Rock clothing store. This appealed to her, as she has always loved fashion. She recalls as a teenager being very industrious and “sewing up a storm.”

It was a natural progression to go into business with Moore and open a boutique. More difficult was determining where to situate the shop. They spent eight months searching Metro Vancouver for the perfect location. One night at a friend’s Academy Award party it was suggested Steveston might be a good fit.

Corder’s experience of the area was limited to her childhood visits when her father would bring her here for fish and chips, however her friend assured her Steveston had transformed and was an up and coming area.

After visiting Steveston on a busy sunny day they were sold on the village and found the current location. The friends were partners for two years, and while Moore is no longer an owner she continues to work at Treasures once a week. Corder says her friend is a brilliant merchandiser who has an innate ability to creatively transform displays. After a day off Corder will come back to find the store has magically shifted around, and it always looks fabulous.

Stylish, fun clothing at an affordable price point can be found at Treasures.

She delights in owning a clothing boutique and jokes that before opening her business she had not even run a lemonade stand. She takes great pleasure in having women drop in to discover the unique ‘treasures’ that she sources for the 40 to 60 year old demographic. She points out that while her initial concept was to provide clothing for this age group her clients span the entire adult spectrum from 19-year-olds to a 92-year-old customer who discovered, through Corder’s encouragement, the comfort of wearing leggings.

Treasures_Steveston_Palla_MediaStylish, fun clothing at an affordable price point can be found at Treasures. Corder strives to provide funky and versatile attire. She searches out unique and unusual pieces. Corder says, “There are no white t-shirts here!”

Fabrics have come a long way since the day of cotton, linen and wool. Corder points out that easy care wear (such as spandex) has opened up a whole new world for the clothing industry.

She is eager to help customers find a variety of ways to wear outfits by quite literally turning things around. She says the relaxed lines in some tops offer opportunities to achieve a new look. Depending on the way the shoulder and neckline hang you may be able to spin it around and wear it backwards. She recalls how teens wore cardigans buttoned down the back in the 1950s.

Whenever possible, Corder looks for two to three ways to wear a garment when she purchases clothing for her shop. She suggests changing the look of an outfit by wearing it off the shoulder, belting it, or adding a scarf. She is able to go on a two week vacation with only carry on luggage by transforming clothing from beachwear into evening attire. She advises clients to think beyond the obvious purpose of an outfit, and accessorizing will always add extra mileage and help change the look.

Approximately 50 percent of the clothing sold at Treasures is made in Canada. The remainder is largely from the United States, Indonesia and India. Corder says XCVI from California is one of her top selling lines and works well with our mild climate.

What fashion trends can we expect to see this autumn? Corder says animal prints (zebra and leopard) are hot in both garments and accessories. Pleather is popular, peplum tops and dresses continue to be in vogue, and tartan is a must have print this season. Year round she sells her personal favourite colours, black and white, as they are so easy to mix and match.

Animal prints (zebra and leopard) are hot … and tartan is a must have print this season.

Treasures exTreasures_Steveston_Palla_Mediacellent customer service extends beyond the storefront. If you have a particular item or colour that you are searching for Corder will look out for it when she is on her regular buying expeditions.

Living and working in Steveston makes this business owner feel very connected to the community. She instantly felt at home when she moved to the village. Having been away from the West Coast for so many years she missed being by the water and the area’s natural splendour.

She enjoys the variety of coffee shops in Steveston, and makes a point of starting her day with her morning java from Pierside Deli where she enjoys people watching and working on her daily crossword puzzle. Corder is living the Steveston dream. She likes visiting the farmers market, cycling along the dike, attending yoga classes, dining at numerous restaurants and shopping locally. She takes in as many musical offerings as possible including Steveston Folk Guild’s monthly concerts at Britannia Shipyard and the Music at the Cannery each summer.

As our interview concludes Corder reaffirms her passion for this unique waterfront village. “Within a couple of minutes I can walk from my shop to the wharf and purchase a freshly caught sockeye salmon for dinner. What’s not to love about that?”

Treasures Boutique
140-12240 Second Avenue
Richmond BC V7E 3L8
Telephone: 604-275-7119