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Click for Video!
Rick Antonson,
CEO Tourism Vancouver invites the travel industry to
Cruise 3 Sixty. Watch for a major feature on World Cruises in both of our magazines - coming soon.


Scroll for other events to promote Africa Tourism in Vancouver, Canada's Olympic City


Candid Camera at Globe 2010, Vancouver


Vancouver has been named the world’s most reputable city, according to an international poll conducted by the Reputation Institute. Every year, the Copenhagen-based organization surveys more than 18,700 people on the reputations of the world’s top 100 cities. The findings are then analyzed and published in an annual report called the City RepTrak. This year, Vancouver beat out world cities like Vienna and Sydney to earn top spot. The destination scored highest in reputation drivers that include effective administration; adequate infrastructure of transportation, communications and public institutes; adherence to progressive social, economic and environmental policies; and best overall destination in which to live and work. Read the full release here.


Diamonds are a hotel’s best friend – and Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver is swimming in them. The hotel is now the only property in Vancouver to hold the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, the travel authority’s highest rating for lodgings and restaurants. According to AAA’s stringent criteria, hotels are awarded Five Diamonds for exceptional service, luxurious accommodation, superior facilities and personalized amenities. In 2012, only 126 properties and 53 restaurants received the rating, accounting for just 0.3 percent of the total AAA Approved and Diamond Rated establishments in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. www.shangri-la.com/vancouver


Let them drink wine! Vancouver Urban Winery – which opened for public tastings in spring 2012 – is the city’s first commercial urban winery, offering local and visiting aficionados the opportunity to learn about B.C. wines and the winemaking process without having to travel to the vineyard. Located in the historic Railtown district, the 7,700-square-foot cavernous building features a wine-on-tap tasting bar that serves as many as 36 premium "kegged" varietals at a time. Guests can enjoy a wine flight consisting of five 1-oz pours for $12 (plus tax), and add a cheese and charcuterie plate for an additional $10 (plus tax). Visitors that like what they taste can also browse the in-house artisanal retail store and pick up their favourite bottle of local flavour.

Vancouver Urban Winery is a fully operational winery that packages, imports and distributes vino for a number of local and international brands under a subsidiary company called FreshTAP. The first of its kind in Canada, FreshTAP packages wine in stainless steel kegs and distributes them to local restaurants and bars – a concept that reduces costs (wine by the glass means zero spoilage) and provides an eco-friendly alternative to buying by the bottle (less packaging). Now that’s something to raise your glass to.www.vancouverurbanwinery.com


The Eastside Culture Crawl is a free, three-day visual arts festival that encourages the curious to poke their noses into 300-plus studios in some 75 buildings and visit with the city’s widespread community of artists. More than 10,000 people venture out to the East Vancouver-based Crawl each year, resulting in 500,000 studio visits with artists that include local painters, jewelers, sculptors, photographers, musicians and more. During the popular festival, which runs November 16 to 18, attendees can purchase whatever artworks strike their fancy, commission a piece to be uniquely theirs or just browse through the studios and meet the artists.www.eastsideculturecrawl.com


Teatime is the new cocktail hour in Vancouver, with tea-infused cocktails debuting at restaurants and bars throughout the city. Now that days are growing cooler and nights becoming longer, these creative concoctions are the perfect way to warm up this fall. Our top picks:

L’Abattoir. Shaun Layton – head bartender at Gastown hot spot L’Abattoir – is widely known as one of the city’s top cocktail creators, and his tasty teas are no exception. The top pick among restaurant regulars is A Spot of Tea (English Breakfast tea, gin, orange marmalade, bitters and lemon).

Urban Tea Merchant. Located in the downtown core, Urban Tea Merchant serves teas that are 100 percent natural and sourced from the finest tea estates around the world. The intricately designed cocktail menu includes favourites like the Pink Flamingo Cosmopolitan (vodka, cranberry, lime, and Pink Flamingo tea) and Sweet France (cava and Sweet France tea). But our hearts – and taste buds – warmed up to the Matcha Sour (bourbon, lime and Matcha).

The Refinery. From ingredients like Coconut Black tea to tea-infused tinctures and bitters, The Refinery’s bartenders use a variety of tea-themed ingredients in their creative drinks. Head bartender Graham Racich’s top pick is The Thistle (vanilla infused tequila, Blackcurrant tea, lemon and crème de mure).

Thierry.  A spiked tea is the perfect complement to one of chef Thierry’s mouthwatering macarons or decadent chocolate desserts. Next time you visit the café, pair a tasty treat with the Madagascar (Honeybush Vanilla tea spiked with Frangelico).


Featured Vancouverite: Reza Nasooti

Occupation: Resident tea sommelier at The Urban Tea Merchant (located in downtown Vancouver).

How long have you been a Vancouverite? Since 1995

Favourite way to spend a Saturday in the city? Saturdays start with brunch: my wife and I will dine at a great restaurant in one of our many frequented neighbourhoods – Lonsdale or Ambleside (located on Vancouver’s North Shore), the West End, Yaletown, Coal Harbour, Gastown or South Granville. After breakfast, we take our dog Bijouu for a bike ride through the beautiful trails of the Lynn Headwaters in North Vancouver – one of Vancouver’s many riches is its array of outdoor offerings.

Favourite autumn experience in Vancouver? Catching the sunset from Lions Gate Bridge, soaking up the city’s stunning views while biking to and from work, and smelling the crisp, fresh air while jogging around Stanley Park.

Where’s your favourite place to have tea? I have to say that – even though I work here – I like The Urban Tea Merchant. We feature an impressive list of 200-plus TWG Teas – the finest tea brand in the world – and offer complimentary tea tastings with a certified tea sommelier (me!). I also think the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Wedgewood Hotel do a great job offering unique afternoon tea experiences. 

Recipe for Pink Flamingo Cosmopolitan:

 1.5 oz tea vodka concentrate *(see below for recipe)
2 oz cranberry cocktail
¼ oz lime juice
Splash of Cointreau
*Tea Vodka Concentrate
25 grams Pink Flaming tea
1 litre vodka (the higher the quality, the smoother the flavour!)

To make Tea Vodka concentrate, infuse Pink Flamingo Tea in vodka for up to 48 hours. In a Boston Shaker, add Tea Vodka concentrate, cranberry cocktail, lime juice and Cointreau. Vigorously shake for 20 seconds and double strain into a martini glass. Garnish with flamed orange cheek and enjoy.


Winter Farmers’ Market

Saturdays, November 3 to April 27 (closed December 29)

If you thought Vancouver’s farmers’ markets were just a spring and summertime affair, think again. The Winter Farmers’ Market, located at Nat Bailey Stadium (Ontario Street and East 30th Avenue), gives attendees a chance to chow down on scrumptious street food, browse an assortment of handmade trinkets and shop for locally produced goodies – including seasonal produce, meat, cheese and seafood. Best of all, attendees can meet the colourful personalities who grow, catch, bake and make what they sell.

Hopscotch FestivalNovember 12 to 18Hopscotch Festival – Canada’s premiere scotch, whisky, beer and spirits event – returns for its 16th year, November 12 to 18. Highlights include the highly popular Grand Tasting Hall event (featuring 90 exhibitors and more than 250 products), a variety of satellite events (ranging from whisky and beer tasting dinners to cigar samplings) and an array of master classes (lectures led by world-class whisky, beer and spirit experts). Attendees can enjoy the full festival experience by booking the St. Regis Hotel’s Taste and Stay package, which includes one night’s accommodation, two tickets to the Grand Tasting Hall event, breakfast for two and more (starting at $239 per night).

Paul McCartney: On the Run tourNovember 25Legendary music icon Paul McCartney performs a sold-out show at BC Place Stadium on November 25. This is the first time Sir McCartney has returned to Vancouver since 1964, when The Beatles played their first Canadian gig in front of 20,000 screaming fans at Empire Stadium. This time around, McCartney performs an encyclopedia of hits spanning his years with The Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist.

For more information and event listings, visit Tourism Vancouver’s online Calendar of Events.


BC Media Centre, Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Marketing to North America and Asia Pacific
Greater Vancouver Begins at the United States Border, World's Longest Undefended Boundary

Having been active during the 2010 Olympics and Paralympic Games and Globe 2010, our attention now turns to three major events coming to Vancouver - and taking place a few blocks from our door. This is definitely Vancouver's year and we are proud to show our city to the world - most especially our friends from Africa. Our magazine has covered every Globe Foundation event since the organization began and await each new occasion with great anticipation. We feel there are many great ideas and applications for Africa - much of which applies to its tourism and transportation sectors. If you would like to explore this topic further please write the Editor. Coming events we invite you to include the World Culinary Expo in May, followed by the Cruise3Sixty Expo in June, and the World Airline Industry Routes Forum in September. You can click to view videos of each of these exciting events. We have welcomed African delegations and visitors many times , one of the most impressive was the United Nations WORLD URBAN FORUM where we toured several groups of African mayors. The Africa Travel Association Canada Chapter welcomes you as a member and provides FULL SUPPORT in your business - locally and at events around the world. This edition covers past and future events where the ATA CANADA CHAPTER played a key role. To apply for membership click here - or contact us direct - airhwy@smartt. com

Africa's Active Mayors Are Ambassadors Abroad

What a memorable week. After 30 years United Nations Habitat returned to the seaport city of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. as over 10,000 delegates participated in the UN World Urban Forum 3. Since many were from Africa, our editors had the pleasure of taking several groups of mayors from different African countries on a cultural tour - our way to repay the wonderful hospitality we have enjoyed in fourteen years with the Africa Travel Association as its media voice in North America and Worldwide. The twin goals of UN Habitat are "Adequate shelter for all" and "sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world. " We carried the message for Africa Tourism and its ability to reduce poverty, enhance the environment and generate long term employment. More->

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African Canadians
Alberta cowboy
John Ware, Vancouver icons Joe Fortes and Harry Jerome, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and many more. Watch for this special feature.
The Afro News, Western Canada

Jeni LeGon\
Tapping the color bar

African Canadian Heritage

The African Canadian Heritage Association is an African Heritage and language program operating out of a new location at Centennial College Progress Campus (at Markham Rd. and Hwy 401) The ACHA program features African history lessons, arts and crafts, special events for students, who range in age from 5 to 16 years of age. Classes run from September to June. Most notable ACHA special events include : the Youth Retreat (for children 11 Years and older ). Entrepreneur's Day and the Black History Challenge.

Africans in Vancouver Area

Africans, estimated at some 20,000 to 30,000 in the Lower Mainland, tend to organize themselves into social and cultural groups based on their national origin. However, efforts have been made to organize them under a broader, single association embracing Africans from all over the African continent without regard to their race, nationality or ethnic or cultural backgrounds. In 1983 the African-Canadian Association of British Columbia was formed. Alberta rancher John Ware, Vancouver icons Joe Fortes and Harry Jerome, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and many more. Watch for this special feature.


Hon. Peter Mackay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada.

Our presence in Dartmouth today underlines the Coady Institute's international convening power, as well as the importance of microcredit and the integration of women and youth as partners for the future of Africa. The Institute and CIDA's Youth Actions' International Youth Internship Program sponsored 10 young leaders. The goal is to develop and support innovative and effective programs that build a sense of global citizenship and empower and inspire Canadian youth to be active in poverty reduction, health, education and social services promotion. This year, Canadian interns worked in places like Kenya and Ethiopia.

Nova Scotia has, of course, a place in African history. It was to Halifax and other areas of the province that former slaves fled from the United States seeking their freedom following the War of Independence. And it was from Halifax in the late 18th century that they set sail to found Freetown, Sierra Leone. Even today you can see the influence of the style of houses, the street names and places in that country.

And here in Nova Scotia, African descendants make up one of the pillars of our society along with Aboriginal, Acadian and European peoples. For a small province, we are rich in culture and diversity tapestry of multiculturalism.

 Late last year, Her Excellency Right Honourable Michelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, paid her first series of State visits to five African countries at the request of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

Canada's future partnerships, whether diplomatic, security-related, developmental or private sector, will recognize African leadership and African ownership, along with mutual responsibility and accountability. In the spirit of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which we support, and under the African Union, Africa is increasingly taking charge of its own destiny. Canada has been one of the top contributors to the African Union Mission in Sudan and will continue to provide critical support until a transition to an African Union-UN mission can be accomplished.


The Adventure Travel World Summit held at Whistler Resort north of Vancouver

Our editors joined hundreds from the cream of the Adventure Travel world at the Whistler Conference Centre, British Columbia, Canada. The ATTA Adventure Travel World Summit was designed to encourage open dialogue and candid discussions of challenging issues and visionary opportunities. This outstanding success led to the selection of Quebec Province as host of the Adventure Travel World Summit in October 2009. For more information visit our website - www.africa-ata.org/venues.htm or contact the editor and africa@smartt.com /



Footloose in Vancouver'
by Jerry W. Bird 

Having been footloose in Vancouver, British Columbia since the days of streetcars, interurban trams, White Lunch Cafeteria on Hastings, Woodwards Toyland and Union Steamships, I consider the West End my special domain. Morning, noon or night, it's always an inviting place for rubber neckers, casual strollers, browsers, grazers and window shoppers. A sea of umbrellas one moment, local denizens decked in everything from beachwear to high fashion the next. It's a passing parade, minus the 76 trombones-just waiting for you to follow along.

Recently, we walked Vancouver Harbor's new stretch of Seawall for the third time since the massive construction project began. From historic Gastown, we headed west to English Bay via the Pan Pacific Hotel and Canada Place Cruise Ship Centre, Coal Harbor Marina, Cardero's and the newly renovated Westin Bayshore Resort Hotel. Next time we'll continue the full stretch to Stanley Park (another 5 minutes) and beyond. What a marvelous change with all the landscaping, shops and upscale condos. I made my rendezvous at the Coast Hotel at English Bay in exactly 45 minutes, allowing for a leisurely pace. 5n my opinion, Vancouver's West end extends from Burrard Street to English Bay, taking in Coal Harbor, Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, English Bay, Sunset Beach and the entrance to False Creek at Burrard Bridge. On a tight schedule? Save a few minutes via SkyTrain, from Waterfront Station (by Canada Place) to Burrard Station, with transfers to BC Transit buses. Otherwise it's more fun walking, with lots to see and do.

From cruising the fjords to cruising the streets
My first view of Vancouver's West End was from the deck of the Princess Louise, one of CPR's fleet of steamships that plied the Inside Passage to and from Skagway Alaska. What better introduction to a great city after four days of wilderness, waves and whales, than the vision of Lion's Gate Bridge and Stanley Park. So, if you've disembarked from one of this year's 250 Alaska Cruises, or gone footloose from a convention at Canada Place, the West End begins half a block away.

On the corner, the Marine Building stands like a royal guard, its 1930s art deco facade every bit as elegant as it was I attended the Faulkner Smith Art School there years ago as an aspiring cartoonist. Once touted as Vancouver's skyscraper, tallest in the British Empire at the time, it's now dwarfed by the glass towers of the city's growing financial district. On the Marine Building's ground floor is the Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant, one of the classiest oriental dining spots in town, graced by a sweeping harbor view, with float planes, helijets and marine craft of every description. A snowcapped mountain backdrop completes the panorama.

Here at the foot of Burrard Street, you might start your trek after a quick stop at at the Tourism Vancouver Info Center, leaving with some maps and brochures. And as you look at the float planes landing from Victoria, Nanaimo and points beyond, you'll spot a new stretch of seawalk that links the downtown's waterfront hotels with Stanley Park, English Bay and False Creek. We took the walk and viewed the upscale housing developments near the Westin Bayshore Hotel and Coal Harbor. Naturally, we stopped at the Marina and Carderos, a new waterfront restaurant that's got class, a reputation for great food, and a million dollar view.

Vancouver, home of Globe 2010, the World's Leading Enviro-Business Conference

During this 3-day event, we've conducted interviews with delegates from Cameroon, South Africa and Ghana. Interest in Africa by Canadian government and industry sources is high, and many exhibitors and participants from Globe 2004 plan to participate in the coming event. Africa Travel Magazine will produce a special supplement "Eco Solutions" for that event , plus our "Ecotourism Showcase" edition. An Eco success story of international proportions involves Mamsco, a Ghana-based company which has developed a major system step-by-step over the past 10 years. Recognized at highest government levels and leaders of ECOWAS, the project now includes 16 West African Countries. The company's pilot project ; a Waste Oil Treatment Plant at the Tema Port facility near Accra, Ghana will be replicated in the 15 other West African countries under the auspices of UNEDO's "Gulf Current Large Marine Ecosystems" project

Lotus Land's laid-back lifestyle
At close to two million population, Greater Vancouver is Canada's third largest city, yet its unique West End community has retained that same visitor-friendly, small town atmosphere I've always enjoyed. That's why our staff does most of its banking, entertaining, routine business and shopping there. Aside from a bevy of bookstores, the West End's Joe Fortes Library on Denman Street is my favorite spot for researching articles. Adjacent to King George High School, the complex houses a community center, and for those who yearn to strap on the blades ... an indoor ice skating rink . Several local figures skaters were proud to perform a "spinnerama" for Air Highways camera.

Head for the nearest water or green space and you'll see that West Enders are more into tennis, water sports and physical fitness than their fellow Canadians. They read, shop and dine out more often too ... and take longer coffee and cappuccino breaks. Small wonder Starbucks and Pastels dominate 3 corners at Robson and Thurlow, or that the local Bread Garden is Denman's top spot. Next to Manhattan Island, Vancouver's West End is the continent's most densely populated residential area, yet one of its most relaxed, laid back inner-city communities.

Speaking of Manhattan ... a gingerbread apartment block of that same name still stands at the above-mentioned corner. It houses a secluded Italian cafe and a neat bookstore, built for those with narrow shoulders. Rivaling Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro as the world's most beautiful physical setting, Vancouver has become Hollywood North, ranking third after LA and New York as a film and TV production center. The West End alone has more unique locations and beautiful backdrops than anywhere else in the city.

Visitors are attracted to the city for the same reasons most residents remain ... a spectacular outdoor setting, a clean and safe urban environment and a culture that celebrates and invites diversity. For centuries this area was home to the Coast Salish people of the Musqueam, Kwantlen, Tsawwassen and Capilano bands as reflected by the totems standing proudly in Stanley Park. It was these tribes who greeted Captain George Vancouver in 1792. His comment must have referred to the forest and mountain backdrop of Burrard Inlet., "This is the most lovely country that could be imagined." I n the late 1880s, Vancouver's first mayor drafted a petition to lease a 1,000 acre military reserve from the federal government ... an area that later became Stanley Park. Named for Governor General Lord Stanley, it's Canada's largest urban park, with its string of inner-city beaches and miles of walking trails that skirt Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon, with its fountain of dancing waters and graceful swans.

Stands of stately Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock grow in profusion along with a jungle-like growth of ferns. Open 365 days a year, the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park features killer and beluga whales, dolphins and sea otters ... a total of 650 species. There's underwater whale viewing and outdoor terraces (Information line 604-268-9900).

One of my top perennial attractions is Theatre Under the Stars, where local performances of Broadway shows and operettas fill the summer evenings with song at Malkin Bowl. The surrounding gardens, statues and 1920s Pavilion are as beautiful as ever. Returning to Vancouver after a twenty year absence, this is one venue that continues to remind me of Stanley Park at its greatest. There's no better place for a picnic than Stanley Park, with a profusion of specialty shops, food markets and delis on nearby streets.

The inner-city's most popular loop
On foot or breezing along on skates or a rented bicycle, the 6 mile route around Stanley Park seawall is a stimulating experience, a feast for the eyes, and a mighty lift for the soul. You can start at either end. From the Georgia Street entrance, you pass such landmarks as the Vancouver Rowing Club, Deadman's Island, Coal Harbor, the totem poles, the nine o'clock gun, Brockton Point lighthouse, Lumberman's Arch, Prospect Point, Siwash Rock, Third Beach, and Second Beach.

Leaving the park at English Bay, the seawall continues on to Sunset Beach, Vancouver Aquatic Center and Burrard Bridge, connecting to a network of urban trails on both shores of False Creek, site of Expo '86. Stanley Park Cycle is on Robson near Denman, Bayshore Bicycle & Skate Rentals has locations at both entrances to Stanley Park. Give yourself plenty of time, from 2 to 4 hours.

Westin Bayshore Resort Hotel: We had the privilege of being invited along with the who's who of Vancouver, to help the Westin Bayshore celebrate its official reopening after a multi million dollar renovation. As a follow-up, we enjoyed a seafood dinner at the Seawall Bar & Bistro, on the site of the former Trader Vics. The Seawall offers one of the world's most breathtaking panoramas - Coal Harbor Marina and Stanley Park, Alaska Cruise ships pulling into dock at Canada Place, float planes and helijets taking off, and a splendid new waterfront promenade. The Bayshore has been a favorite for decades; now now there's even more reason to recommend this great inner city resort hotel. Call 800-WESTIN-1 or visit or www.westinbayshore.com.  

The Sands of English Bay: From English Bay and adjoining beaches, you can see a panorama of tanker ships and freighters awaiting unloading by a fleet of tugboats, sailboats of every description, kayaks, canoes, power boats, float planes, helicopters, wind surfers and paragliders. Multicolored water taxis skim the waves from the Aquatic Center on Beach Avenue to Vancouver Maritime Museum at Kitsilano Point and on to Granville Island. Over 3,000 foreign ships dock at Vancouver's sheltered port each year &emdash; and all can be seen coming and going from one of many West End vantage points. Footloose travelers from near and far, agree that the West End's best known rendezvous for the young and young at heart, is the corner of Davie and Denman Streets.

Shangri-La selects Vancouver for new luxury hotel

Asian Pacific's leading luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, is supporting its expansion with a management agreement for a five-star deluxe hotel in Vancouver slated for opening early 2007. Set in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the hotel is an easy walk to all amenities.

Occupying fifteen floors of a new 60-story landmark building, the 120-room hotel will be the tallest in Vancouver with cutting edge architectural design. The entire multi purpose complex will showcase the best of cosmopolitan West Coast life. Guest rooms will be an average of 550 square feet and amongst the largest in Canada.

YVR Offers $300 Million for Rapid Transit

Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) is prepared to invest up to $300 million to build the airport portion of the proposed rapid transit line between Richmond, downtown Vancouver and the Vancouver International Airport. The YVR connector portion - approximately 4km (2.5 miles) of the 19.5 km (12.2 miles) line - would include between three to five airport stops to accommodate people working at the airport, as well as arriving and departing passengers.

Civic Tourism