Handmade Holidays: Giving Gifts & Co

December 15th, 2014

Giving Gifts & Co is one of Main Street’s best kept secrets! This little gem began as a pop-up in spring of 2013, and proved popular enough to become a permanent fixture on the street. The collective has grown in the last year and a half from a dozen artists and vendors to more than twenty, resulting in a range of goodies that will help you cover all your last-minute shopping this holiday season: they host everything from jewelers, to floral designers, to photographers, to chocolate makers, and beyond!


Giving Gifts & Co provides a year-round home for some of the artisans you might otherwise only find at a market or fair, like Golem Ceramics, Green With Envy, Tracy Tomtene Photography, and Inner Fire yoga apparel.


Their roster of artisans and vendors also includes Ayala Moriel Natural Perfumes, DIY or Die!!!, Made by Lex, and -of course!- Giving Gifts.


This Thursday (December 18th), Giving Gifts & Co is hosting a holiday sale for last-minute shoppers! Drop by between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. for light refreshments and 15% off everything in the store.

For more information about Giving Gifts & Co, check out their website or follow them on Facebook.

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith Appearing Live at Red Cat Records

December 12th, 2014

Dan Mangan

Red Cat Records is breaking in their new stage with a local favourite! Dan Mangan + Blacksmith will be performing songs from their soon-to-be-released album Club Meds this Saturday (December 13). Refreshments will be served! The event is free, but space is limited. The line-up starts outside the store at 5:30 p.m., and they’ll let folks in at 6 p.m. for the show.


Handmade Holidays: Nineteen Ten

November 20th, 2014

It’s that time of year again! Time to finish up those sweaters you’ve been knitting all year for your loved ones, time to slap fancy labels on the blackberry jam you slaved over in a hot kitchen one weekend in late summer, time to put the finishing touches on the cookies/ornaments/candles/jewelry you’ve been in a frenzy to finish before party season hits.

We all love giving and getting handmade goodies for the holidays -but let’s face it, we don’t all get around to completing our projects, whether it’s due to lack of time, lack of interest, or a perceived lack of talent. Never fear, Main Street has a heap of shops that can help you out! Over the next few weeks, our “Handmade Holidays” posts will feature a few of our favourite boutiques that can supply you with handmade goodies this holiday season.


_nineteen-ten-2Nineteen Ten Home Boutique (4366 Main Street) is home to a selection of home decor items that range from small gifts to mid-sized furniture pieces and lighting. Their passion for beautifully made, functional, and entirely special items make your holiday shopping easy, and their eclectic collection of modern, vintage, upcycled, and handmade items by local and international designers mean you can feel good about your purchases.



As an added bonus, this year Nineteen Ten is hosting a series of “Meet The Maker” events -the next best thing to making something yourself is getting to know the person behind the product!


DW Leatherworks
November 29th 2:00-4:00 
DW Leatherworks goodies are handmade from start to finish using high quality leather and waxed linen threads. Founder Derrick Wong will be setting up in the shop and taking orders for complimentary stamping on pre-paid key fobs and wallets.


East Van Jam
December 6th 12:00-2:00
Meet the force behind East Van Jam! East Van Jam produces fun food using local and mostly organic ingredients. And less sugar means MORE FRUIT.  Natalie will have selection of her delicious jams available to try and buy!


Bare Knitwear
December 13th 10:00-6:00
Bare Knitwear is a handmade luxury alpaca knitwear brand born in North Vancouver.  Kelsey is the maker of Nineteen Ten’s exclusive Everdeen throw and will be showcasing her new collection of Peruvian alpaca scarves and toques.

For more information about Nineteen Ten, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, or check out their website.

Rovers and Drifters Taking Over Main Street Again!

September 30th, 2014

There’s always a tonne of original art to be found on Main Street -many of our awesome eateries, boutiques, and coffee shops host a regular rotation of works by local artists. This week, there will be even more to check out, as two of our favourite events are returning: Rove happens October 2nd, followed by The Drift on October 4th.rove-flyer

ROVE is a wandering art-opening tour of Main Street and the surrounding area. Rovers grab a map at any of the participating locations and rove between 8 venues showcasing awesome local artists. Don’t forget to get your map stamped at each opening you visit! Rovers with at least four stamps on their map can enter the draw for a prize at the end of the night.


Guests will meet talented local artists in person, and maybe even take home a new piece of original art! ROVE guarantees an evening of community, art, and culture, and is a brilliantly unique way to spend a fall night in Vancouver. Rovers can follow the suggested route on their free maps to end their art opening tour at the final art show called “Four by Four” at Meccanica (#102 East 1st Ave @ Quebec Street), where artist and Rove founder Jamie Smith has teamed up with local painters Donna Giraud, April Lacheur and Sarah Clement for a group show.


ROVE starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends  at 10:00 p.m., with the prize draw taking place at Cressey’s Meccanica Presentation Centre at 9:30 p.m. ROVE is free, open to the public, and a fun event for art collectors and enthusiasts of all kinds. Come out and meet the artists, hear their stories, and be a part of supporting local talent! For more information, maps, and a list of participating artists and venues, visit

Also happening this week is the 2014 incarnation of The Drift. This year, The Drift is taking place on Saturday, October 4th at Renegade Arts Company. This year’s show features live music in addition to a great selection of local artists! Admission is free from 2:00-7:30; the show re-opens at 8:00 with a special evening show and an admission fee of $5 (get advance tickets here).


Fore more information, visit The Drift’s Facebook event, email, or phone 604-685-0435.

Wrap Up the Summer at the 5th Annual Autumn Shift Festival

September 10th, 2014

Another gorgeous Vancouver summer has come and (nearly) gone, and what better way to celebrate the changing seasons than a visit to the 5th Annual Autumn Shift festival this weekend?


The family-friendly festival hosted by the Mount Pleasant BIA will feature no less than THREE stages, a market, the much-anticipated Annual Smoking Sausage BBQ Cook-off (proceeds to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank), a BLIM fashion show, a mini SNAG, a flash mob organized by ImproVancouver, and free cotton candy, free popcorn, and free pony rides. Yes, you read that correctly. FREE PONY RIDES.

The festival takes place on and around Main Street from 7th Avenue to Broadway from noon to 6 on Sunday, September 14th, 2014; please check the Mount Pleasant BIA website for more information.

What’s Happening On Main

August 12th, 2014
Hey, Vancouver! Our latest heatwave has broken, and there’s rain in the forecast. It’s time to head indoors for a few days!  Main Street has a tonne of things happening this month to help keep you occupied while you wait for the return of the sun.

Hawkers Market and The Eastside Flea at The Independent (188 Kingsway)
Saturday, August 16th, 10:00-4:00 and 6:00-late
Hawkers Market is a monthly dose of local food, drink, and music in Mount Pleasant. The August incarnation of this vibrant event sees them pairing with The Eastside Flea for a double-whammy of awesomness; the Eastside Flea runs from 10-4, and Hawkers Market takes over the space from 6-late. Check out the food and music lineup and get advance tickets for just ten bucks on Eventbrite.

Parkour Competition and Freestyle Tournament at Origins Parkour (2655 Main)
Saturday, August 16th from 10:00-6:00
The 2014 Origins Summer Open is open to spectators! Register for your seat here.
An Evening of BC Crime Fiction at The Book Warehouse (4118 Main)
Saturday, August 16th at 7:00 p.m.
An evening of readings from crime writers E.R. Brown, author of Almost CriminalR.J. Harlick, author of Silver Totem of Shame, one of the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Summer Crime Reads; and Sam Wiebe, author of The Last of the Independents.
Go-Go Bungalow at The Shameful Tiki Room (4362 Main)
Sunday, August 17th at 8:00 p.m.
Three world-class, Vancouver-based Go-Go dancers will thrill you with their wicked moves.
WOO HOO! Classic Simpson’s Trivia at Simply Delicious (4316 Main)
Monday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m.
Woo Hoo! Classic Simpsons Trivia is 50 cromulent questions from seasons 1-9, three classic Simpsons episodes, and probably the most fun you’ll ever have on a Monday night. Form a team of up to 6 players and test your knowledge and whispering skills! Game starts at 7pm.
$5 entry fee per participant.

Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School at Hot Art Wet City (2206 Main)
Tuesday, August 19th, from 7:00-10:00pm (doors 6:30)
Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School is what happens when a simple question is asked: why can’t figure drawing be sexy? Part art class, part cabaret, drop by Hot Art Wet City for 3 hours of drawing and decadence! Check for more information or to purchase tickets. Advance tickets also available at the gallery. Bring your own drawing materials or buy them at Hot Art Wet City.
Dungeons & Dragons for Kids at Strategies (3878 Main)
Sunday, August 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; ages 10 to teen
Sign up to play Dungeons and Dragons. New to D&D? This is a perfect event for you! Everything will be provided.
Reading, Q&A, and book signing with Judy McFarlane at The Book Warehouse (4118 Main)
Tuesday August 26th at 6:30 pm
“Put her away and forget about her.” was the blunt advice Grace Chen’s grandfather gave Grace’s parents when she was born with Down syndrome. Twenty-four years later, Grace writes “I always dream to be a famous writer.” When Judy McFarlane is asked if she will help Grace, she realizes she holds deep, unacknowledged fears—that Grace will be a dull-eyed young woman who can’t read, let alone write; that she might become agitated, even lash out. But the idea that Grace wants to be a writer, a dream McFarlane gave up when she was young, captures McFarlane. She helps Grace write her book and travels with Grace when she gives a copy of it to her grandfather. Writing With Grace is the inspiring and informative story of the journey Grace and Judy have taken together. It relates the often dark history of Down Syndrome, something the Canadian Down Syndrome Society maintains is “not a birth defect or illness” but “a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been part of the human condition.” With honest introspection and keen insight, McFarlane delves into what it takes to face one’s own prejudice, and what it means to live a full life. From a young woman who is marginalized by society, McFarlane learns how much courage it takes to follow a dream, even when everyone tells you it’s impossible.
The Fox Cabaret has been busy, busy, busy since the porn-theater-turned-hotspot opened its doors this spring.

The Fox Cabaret has been busy, busy, busy since the porn-theater-turned-hotspot opened its doors this spring.

Main Street is, of course, home to a plethora of live music venues, hosting a huge variety of acts. The Fox Cabaret has a busy calendar, as does the Cottage Bistro. The Shameful Tiki Room and Chai Lounge/East Is East both regularly host live music great live music and dance acts, and The Main is rapidly becoming one of the ‘hoods favourite spots for catching a band while downing a pint or two.
If you’re looking for a mellower activity, there are plenty of things happening! Everyone is welcome at the Friday Night Crafter’s Club at Bird On A Wire Creations; bring your project, or start one when you get there from supplies they have for sale. Also on Fridays: Open Board Game Night at Strategies. Drop into a game or show up with your favourite game and recruit some people to play – they have lots of open games for you to try. Swing on by and get in on the fun! Strategies also has a regular schedule of RPG games you can drop in for; check their event guide for more information. And no Main Street list would be complete without The Legion, well-loved by regulars for shuffleboard, darts, pool, pinball, trivia night, and (infamously) karaoke.
For regular updates and Main Street news, follow ShopMain on Twitter and Facebook.

Locasity Brings Online Shopping to Main Street

August 6th, 2014

Have you ever found yourself caught between your desire to support local businesses and the temptingly easy process of online and big-box store shopping? Maybe you ordered an item from Amazon, and suppressed a twinge of guilt that you weren’t picking it up from a local retailer instead, or maybe you grabbed something mass-produced at a big-box because it was convenient, when what you really wanted was something local and handmade. Help is at hand! Vancouver-based startup Locasity has partnered with more than 30 local businesses to completely revamp the shopping experience.


The process couldn’t be easier – choose what you want, select a delivery time and location, and get what you want, when you want it. And if the delivery address falls within Vancouver city limits, everything gets even more awesome – orders placed before 4:00 p.m. are eligible for free, same-day delivery!


Main Street retailers like LütLifetime CollectiveNineteen Ten, and Giving Gifts & Co have embraced the concept, and you’ll find chicethical, and just plain awesome items on the site. Order something for yourself, or treat someone else – why send flowers when you could send jewelry instead?

To learn more about Locasity and to receive a first hand experience of their service, please visit

It’s time to ROVE!

July 29th, 2014

If you’ve been to one art opening, you’ve been to them all, right? Think again! ROVE is Vancouver’s only recurring multi-venue art opening event, and it’s happening again on Thursday, August 7th, from 6-10 p.m.

ROVE includes eight opening night receptions taking place on and around Main Street, giving art enthusiasts a chance to explore a variety of work and to meet the artists in person.


“Art galleries and art venues all around Main Street are currently working hard to get artists and the community together. ROVE is a great way for people to experience all the art, venues, and artists around Main Street in one fun and interactive night out,” said artist and organizer Jamie Smith.

You can grab a free ROVE map at the first location, Meccanica (102 East 1st Ave), and then walk, cycle, bus, or drive between locations along and around Main Street. At each location be sure to take a picture of the featured ROVE art and tweet it with the hashtag #roveYVR. Every tweet enters you into the draw to win an original painting by Jamie Smith.

Locations and artists involved in the tour are:

MeccanicaJamie Smith

WAAP – Various artists

Hot Art Wet CitySophia Ahamed and Jose Rivas

Rebecca Chaperon

Kafka’s CoffeeSean Karemaker

Bird on a Wire CreationsLisa Geddes, Amy Hazeldine, Caterina Reid

MakerLabs – Various Makers

The Archer and the Horseman – Raymond Chow and more



To find out more about the locations and artists involved visit This is event is in collaboration with Cressey’s Revolving Door Project.


Masha Archer Trunk Show at Magpie

July 28th, 2014

Join Magpie on Main Street next month for a trunk show from artist, fashion designer, and jewelry designer Masha Archer! The trunk show runs for three days only -August 8th, 9th, and 10th 2014, from 12-6 each day. There will be hundreds of Masha’s one-of-a-kind creations available.

Masha Archer at Magpie

Masha Archer has been creating dramatic and gorgeous pieces of wearable art for decades. Her works feature coral, amber, bone, jade, and antique African trade beads, as well as Czech and Chinese glass and Tibetan silver. Her creations are highly sought after and collected by discerning people the world over, including Barbara Walters, Beyonce Knowles, HRH Princess Turki Bin Nasser, and Oprah Winfrey, among others.


The event will also feature a book signing by Masha Archer’s daughter, Larissa Archer. Larissa’s book of photographs, The Ritual of the Eye, chronicles Masha’s life and career.

Whip It (Whip It Good)

June 22nd, 2014

Tucked just off Main Street on 6th Avenue is The Whip, a laid-back favourite destination for locals seeking brunch, burgers, and beers. The brick walls and exposed beams provide a warm atmosphere, and the option to grab a seat at the communal table adds to the friendliness of the joint. And now that summer’s officially arrived, the patio is a great spot to put your feet up and enjoy a craft beer on a warm evening.


The Whip is also well-loved for their annual spring Show n’ Shine, and their rotating displays of work by local artists. From now until July 8th, drop by and take a peek at what’s on display from multi-media artists Jason Neve. Since 2008, Jason’s main creative focus has been Disposable Landscapes; a compilation of photography, graphic design, and street poetry collected and inspired by Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It’s a raw look into the doorways and alleyways of the city’s grittiest neighborhood – a record of messages that have come and gone.jason-neve

For more information about The Whip or the artists they host, check out their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.