Town Talk: Bottles washed down for the Bard on The Beach

 

Toasting Shakespeare: Wine-tasting event a grape effort for theatre company

 
 
 
 
Lithium X Energy Corp. president Brian Paes-Braga showed a Tesla car motor for which his firm hopes to help furnish battery power.
 
 

Lithium X Energy Corp. president Brian Paes-Braga showed a Tesla car motor for which his firm hopes to help furnish battery power.

Photograph by: Malcolm Parry

POUR IT ON: As effervescent as just-poured prosecco, executive director Harry Hertscheg previewed the Vancouver International Wine Festival’s Feb. 20 to 28 running with a 30-wine tasting at CinCin. That restaurant’s name, perfect for toasting an Italian-themed festival, would provoke giggles in Japan, where it means … let’s say, “pee-pee.” The 54-event festival will benefit the Bard on The Beach theatre company, represented at CinCin by artistic and administrative directors Christopher Gaze and Claire Sakaki. Also present, lumber sales executive Marta Chiavacci rated Rocca Delle Macie the tasting’s top red, and Famille Perrin the leading white. Her connoisseur credentials? Coquitlam-born Chiavacci outpointed seven male finalists to take Italy’s 2007 Sommelier of The Year title.

HAVE ANOTHER: Complementing the festival’s theme nation, Bard on The Beach’s four-play season will include Italy-set Romeo and Juliet and Othello, the Moor of Venice. The latter has Shakespeare’s wickedest character, Iago, con nice-guy Cassio into a drunken, career-damaging scrap that benefits Iago himself. His soothing if manipulative words to Cassio remain relevant for those savouring the festival’s 700 vintages: “Come, come. Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used. Exclaim no more against it.”

WINEFEST MEMORIES: Bibulous bonhomie when Australian mogul Wolf Blass bought 1981 Petrus Pomerol and Chateau Lafite Rothschild at the Bachanalia-gala auction, then uncorked and poured them for super-connoisseur Sid Cross and others … Get-me-a-beer relief after André St. Jacques spent seemingly thousands on dozens of auction lots, including a Doudet-Naudin Clos Vougeot ’29, for Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro … Carefree glamour when Bacchanalia co-chair Nancy Burke and agent Valerie Fabré deftly shovel-passed a double magnum of Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2000 … Despair when a dropped bottle of the same wine’s 1878 vintage soaked restaurateur Bud Kanke’s socks and loafers.

VALUE ADDED: Trekkies and Warsies dress as their favourite characters for movie-enthusiast jamborees. So, in a way, did fans of When Calls The Heart, a.k.a. Hearties, who wore conservatively gracious dresses for high tea at Hycroft recently. That reputedly haunted 1910 Shaughnessy mansion is a location for the same-era TV series based on Janette Oke’s book. The show’s confirmed third season proves “there’s a place in the market for values television,” said executive producer Brian Bird. Tea over, the 200 mostly female Canadian, American and international Hearties looked forward to visiting Langley, where the series’ main set replicates a century-ago coal-mining town. Sadly, genuine ones like Crowsnest Highway’s Michel and Natal aren’t even ghost towns today.

ABOUT TIME: Sculptor-author Parviz Tanavoli is feted more in New York, London and his native Tehran than in West Vancouver, where he has resided for decades. That may change at the Kay Meek Centre Jan. 28, when Terrence Turner’s Poetry In Bronze documentary is followed by a Q&A with Tanavoli.

FORTUNE SMILED: Garret Louie and Rob Rizk chose the right name when their Fortune Sound Club set out to help resurrect Chinatown’s after-hours brio. Fifteen fellow deejays worked shifts at a characteristically sold-out sixth anniversary party recently. Rizk himself spun ’em until 2:30 closing time. Late-night crowds were the norm during Pender Street’s neon era, when the club’s present premises housed Ming’s restaurant, with the Bamboo Terrace next door, WK Gardens down the block and many other Cantonese-cuisine joints steps away.

CHECK THE OIL: February’s menu at Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room will reproduce that of modern Italian filling stations, not the two-pump diner near Ashcroft whose weather-beaten sign read: “Eat here, get gas.”

HIGH ON LI: As Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets learn to land on their own feet, some mining-exploration executives likely hope the 13-times-billionaire will do the same for them. Not with space hardware, but with Tesla automobiles that store their go-juice in lithium-ion batteries. One local outfit, Lithium X Energy Corp., entertained investment-biz folk in Robson Street’s Tesla showroom recently. Guests learned that the firm, chaired by single-digit billionaire (and Tesla driver) Frank Giustra, owns ground near Silver Peak, Nevada. That’s the U.S.’s only operating lithium source, and likely supplier to Tesla’s a-building “gigafactory.”

Lithium X was formerly a Giustra shell company named Royce Resources. Emerging from his own shell, too, philanthropist Giustra accepted the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival’s first Screen Industry Builder award. He also joined brokerage biggie Peter Brown and music-biz mogul Sam Feldman (Giustra is a part-time songwriter) to fund Umberto Menghi’s reborn Giardino restaurant. Lithium X president Brian Paes-Braga, 27, is the son of much-respected former Four Seasons hotel GM-VP Ruy Paes-Braga, who favoured Jaguars.

COME BACK, GO FORWARD: Courage To Come Back awards founder Lorne Segal fronted a recent nominations launch for the Coast Mental Health benefit gala May 5. He intends to outperform last year’s 17th annual event that saw 1,400 attendees honour six recipients in categories from Addiction to Medical.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: For those unhinged by our nosediving dollar, any incremental regains may also be loonie ticks.

malcolmparry@shaw.ca

604-929-8456

 
 
 
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Lithium X Energy Corp. president Brian Paes-Braga showed a Tesla car motor for which his firm hopes to help furnish battery power.
 

Lithium X Energy Corp. president Brian Paes-Braga showed a Tesla car motor for which his firm hopes to help furnish battery power.

Photograph by: Malcolm Parry

 
Lithium X Energy Corp. president Brian Paes-Braga showed a Tesla car motor for which his firm hopes to help furnish battery power.
Coquitlam-raised Italian Sommelier of The Year Marta Chiavacci rated Famille Perrin the leading white at a wine festival preview tasting.
Known globally more than in West Vancouver, sculptor-author Parviz Tanavoli will be profiled in a Kay Meek Centre documentary Jan. 28.
Frank Giustra’s Lithium X Energy Corp. may serve Tesla Motors and help him approach its founder Elon Musk’s $13-billion net worth.
Sid Cross brought his educated nose to Vancouver International Wine Festival chief Harry Hertscheg’s preview tasting at CinCin restaurant.
For a past wine festival gala, Nancy Burke and Valerie Fabré toted a double magnum of  Mouton Rothschild Pauillac as easily as a thimbleful.
Garret Louie and Rob Rizk marked the sixth anniversary of their Fortune Sound Club that helped resurrect Chinatown’s late-night activities.
Winefest beneficiary Bard on The Beach’s Christopher Gaze and Claire Sakaki will stage two Italy-related Shakespeare plays this season.
Star Lori Loughlin and executive director Brian Bird welcomed fans of When Calls The Heart to high tea at the Hycroft mansion which is also a location for that third-season TV series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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