Vancouver's best-kept restaurant secrets

Food Vancouver
British Columbia Travel News  
July 27th, 2011

Directly from the Mission Hill Family Estate Press Release:

Pairing Passions with Art + Wine Tour at Mission Hill Family Estate

More than 50 important sculptural works by globally acclaimed French artist Nathalie Decoster are presented in the vineyards against a backdrop of mountainous beauty.  New Sommelier-led tour divulges — over Mission Hill wines — the meaning behind the art.

A total of 53 sculptures by Parisian artist Nathalie Decoster are newly installed in the Okanagan Valley, on full display at Mission Hill Family Estate. The large-scale sculptures, made from bronze, stainless steel and concrete, convey philosophical messages about universal human conditions. The Mission Hill exhibition marks the first public installation in Canada by Decoster.

Through October, the renowned winery is offering an Art + Wine Tour to guide guests through the exhibit and expand on the meaning behind each piece. Offered Friday through Sunday, the sommelier-led tour is narrated to a selection of Mission Hill flagship wines. Each inspired tasting tour can accommodate up to 12 guests.

A veritable fine-art treasure hunt, guests will discover Decoster’s works at every turn, with pieces placed both indoors and out, making excellent use of the expansive space. Surprising, with a touch of playful whimsy, expect the unexpected from the exhibit: A swing set suspended from the walls of the Barrel Cellar; a fabric-covered box-spring studded with stainless steel figures in the Chagall Room; and, the piece currently greeting visitors under the keystone entrance to the winery, the striking ‘Air du Temps.’

“A uniquely Okanagan experience, the Art + Wine Tour will provide insight and inspiration as a tribute to Ms. Decoster’s work,” says Anthony von Mandl, Proprietor at Mission Hill Family Estate. “With our knowledgeable sommeliers at the ready, we invite guests to savour the fitting marriage of beautiful art and fine wine.”

For more information or to book the Art + Wine Tour online, visit

To view the Nathalie Decoster sculpture exhibit at Mission Hill Family Estate, visit

Directly from the Horne Lake Caves Press Release:

Caving For All - Above and Below the Ground

New Interpretive Centre at Horne Lake Caves will feature Canada’s First Fully Wheelchair Accessible Cave Theatre

Horne Lake Caves, QUALICUM Beach, BC - - The notion that you have to go into a cave to learn about it is getting turned inside out. Now that Horne Lake Caves is opening an interpretive centre on site, you don’t have to be a cave dweller to appreciate the underground world on Vancouver Island.

“This is a much needed and much welcomed step forward for Horne Lake Caves and for the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region,” says Richard Varela, Director of Island Pacific Adventures, the company that manages operations at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park.

“This will be Canada’s first fully wheelchair accessible cave theatre. We will be able to share the cave environment with so many people that would never have had the ability to go into a cave, or who have been slightly uncomfortable doing so, and they can now learn about our caves, see how magnificent they are and learn why they’re so important to protect.”

The interpretive centre will feature an educational centre, a cave museum and a cave theatre where visitors can watch a video of Horne Lake Caves that remain for the most part undeveloped and in their natural state. The caves have no permanent lighting or man-made walkways and were voted the Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC by Attractions Canada.

Varela estimates that of the 30,000 visitors that come to Horne Lake Provincial Park each year, a full two-thirds, or 20,000 people, never get to see the caves. He adds that the educational aspect of the interpretive centre will grow into a necessary part of the long term sustainability of the caves and the responsibility that each caver will need to take on.

“To minimize our impact on caves we need to treat them delicately to ensure their long term use and protection, and that means educating people how to use them,” says Varela.

Funding for the interpretive centre came by way of BC Parks Community Legacy Fund, aimed at supporting improvements to 27 parks across the province. The funds were applied for by the Canadian Cave Conservancy (CCC), sponsors of the cave theatre. Also involved were the Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group and the BC Speleological Federation.

“We’re really pleased to be partnering with the CCC who really started it all - they really were a leader in this project,” says Varela. “They are the only national organization to protect and preserve cave resources and their sponsorship of the cave theatre is magnificent.”

In addition to the interpretive centre, there will also be upgrades to the park, including new signage and an improved trail system.

The public is welcome to attend an opening of the interpretive centre scheduled for August 9, 2011. A Grand Opening celebration is planned for the spring of 2012.

Special Event  

Vancouver Events

Vancouver Events

The following is a list of various Vancouver food, wine, music and sporting events that occur on an annual basis: The Eat! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival, Fraser Valley Food Show, Dine Out Vancouver, Whistler Cornucopia, Vancouver International Wine Festival, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Jazz Festival, B.C. Lions Football and Vancouver Canucks Hockey.


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