Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s New Axis Mundi Harvest Festival

Axis Mundi Harvest: A mythical place where heaven meets earth, the four compass points join, and where arts & culture, adventure, the environment, and community connect. Join The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort this autumn for a celebration of music and culture as well as autumn and winter adventure sports.

Axis Mundi Harvest, the first in a biannual festival cycle launching in Revelstoke this September, has released its jam-packed event schedule for the three days of the festival, September 18-20, 2015.

Axis Mundi festivalFestival Friday: catch a free concert at Grizzly Plaza, downtown Revelstoke, featuring bluesman Sherman TANK Doucette, followed by the roots rock reggae of Buckman Coe, all while enjoying a bevy in the beer garden. Or take in the Radical Reels Film Tour showing at the RPAC at 7pm. Later on, attendees can take in a music crawl happening at seven different venues throughout the city centre, with performances from artists like Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, The Walkervilles, Rodney DeCroo, Rachelle van Zanten, and more.

Revelstoke

Celebrate all things sport, art, and nature during the Axis Mundi Harvest festival.
Photo provided by Tourism Revelstoke

Saturday daytime: take in the Axis Mundi Adventure Market on Mackenzie Avenue (closed to traffic during the festival weekend). The Adventure Market will showcase adventure sport gear and services alongside non-profit run information booths. Add to the mix, sport demos and street performances, like a kid-interactive telling of the Stone Soup tale or the Kid’s Drumming Workshop with David Thiaw. Down the street, find local, organic, and healthy foods and handcrafted goods at the Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market at Grizzly Plaza. Workshops and lectures in venues around the city are also part of the Saturday daytime fare. Festival attendees can catch Adham Shaikh and Buckman Coe in the Electro-Acoustic Shakedown Workshop and walk to other performances happening at different venues around the city. They can get inspired by speakers like mountaineer and survivor Jamie Andrew or Olympic medalist and motivator, Chandra Crawford. At the end of the day, attendees are invited to share in a ‘by donation’ community meal in aid of the Revelstoke Soup & a Smile program and food bank. Enjoy delicious ‘Stone Soup’ and a bun, prepared by the Revelstoke United Church volunteers before heading to Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) to take the gondola up to the Revelation Amphitheatre, for the Teen’s and a Women’s Devil’s Club Challenge race. Then settle back for a full night of live music with superstars, Walk Off The Earth, headlining an amazing show.

Revelstoke has the perfect backdrop for the Axis Mundi Harvest Festival. Photo provided by Tourism Revelstoke

Revelstoke Mountain Resort has an absolutely stunning backdrop for the Axis Mundi Harvest festival. Photo provided by Tourism Revelstoke

Sunday daytime: the Adventure Market continues with more sport demos, up the street from the Hundred Mile Harvest Food Fair at Grizzly Plaza. The Food Fair features food from regional producers from within a 100 mile (ish) radius of the festival. An epicurean extravaganza, expect an atmosphere where festivalgoers and foodies can sample, learn about, and purchase the many amazing products the region has to offer. An edible mushroom walking tour and preservation demo is also part of Sunday’s appetizing action. Workshops and lectures continue on Sunday. Catch Ashley MacIsaac up close and personal in the Trad to Rad workshop with Baskery or take in the amazing Nyundo School Road Show in an inspirational gospel performance at the United Church. Get motivated by speakers like extreme skiing legend Greg Hill or inspired by environmental activist Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s talk ‘Coming Back to Earth: Charting a Course Through the Transition’. At the end of the day head up to RMR for the Men’s and Kid’s Devil’s Club Challenge race then get ready for an electric evening with music by Australian superstars Sticky Fingers, headliner Ashley MacIsaac, and electro funk duo The Floozies, whose high energy music will bring it all home.

White-water rafting is just one of the many outdoor activities around Revelstoke. Photo provided by Tourism Revelstoke.

White water rafting is just one of the many outdoor activities surrounding Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo provided by Tourism Revelstoke.


Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this amazing fall festival at The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Package includes:
• Luxurious accommodations at The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort
• 1 adult 3-day pass to Axis Mundi Harvest Festival
• Complimentary admission to all festival events for children 12 years and under
• Complimentary parking

For more information, click here.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort Building 11-Acre Terrain Park

Revelstoke terrain park

The Terrain Park’s location on Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s upper mountain.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is excited to announce the addition of an 11-acre terrain park for the 2015-16 season. Work is already underway clearing the park area which will run directly under the Stoke Chair.

When complete, the park will be nearly 450 metres long and 100 metres wide. Including more than 20 jib features, the park will also have a range of jumps that will be expanded throughout the season.

After getting great response to a ‘teaser park’ built last spring, Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Vice President Peter Nielsen said this is the highly-anticipated next step.

“Our guests have been asking for a terrain park for quite some time, so we are really thrilled to have the resources and team in place to build a full-size progression park,” Nielsen explained.

“We are designing the park to appeal to a wide range of ages and abilities, and I think it is going to be a great addition to our winter offerings.”

Along with expanding the legendary groomed runs Revelstoke is known for, the Resort has also invested in increasing the existing grooming fleet to enable maintenance standards necessary for a high quality terrain park.

The Terrain Park is scheduled to open this winter.

Revelstoke terrain park

Proposed Terrain Park layout (not to scale).

Spending the Day Heli Biking Mt. Cartier

Words: Devin Knopf
Photos: Ian Houghton

Any day that includes a 7,000ft. (straight) descent on a mountain bike is going to be a good one.

Throw in a rad group of guys and a helicopter ride to get you to the top and it’s going to be amazing.

Visible from pretty much anywhere in town, Mt. Cartier looms in the distance enticing adventurers to come explore, and since moving to Revelstoke last fall, the mountain had been beckoning me. So, when Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing announced they would be offering guided heli tours to the Cartier trail starting this summer, I knew I needed to be on the first flight and I knew who I needed to invite. Lachlan Sillitoe is an Australian living in Kamloops, he loves riding in Revelstoke and since he had never been in a helicopter before, I knew he’d be stoked.

Dropping off the second group on the ridge of Mt. Cartier

The trail up Mt. Cartier was originally built around 1920 to access a forestry lookout at the top of the mountain. Since those days, Cartier has evolved into a trail that has attracted many hikers, and in recent years, dedicated mountain bikers willing to spend eight hours pushing their bikes up the gruelling incline for the downhill reward. I would have eventually sucked it up and gone the hike-a-bike route, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was stoked when the heli-option presented itself.

The best way to start a day that will be dropping 7,000 feet over an 18km trail is with a lot of bacon and lucky for us Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Revelation Lodge was happy to oblige. We joined the rest of our crew for a breakfast buffet and some great views to get us fuelled and amped for the day, before meeting our guides and pilot at the base of the gondola.

The final approach to Mt. Cartier

No one in our crew had been on a heli mountain bike tour before and Lachlan was going up in a heli for the first time, so the collective stoke levels were high. Minds were unanimously blown as our heli took flight across the valley before reaching our final landing point exposing the amazing views of the surrounding mountain ranges. With the clear view of what seemed like mountains all the way to the East and West borders of B.C., it was clear why this spot was chosen as a fire lookout.

Dropping off the bike rack on Mt. Cartier

We quickly scrambled to the summit to get the best views possible (and add a few 100 more ft. to our final descent) and check out the still standing fire lookout. I’m very scared of heights but the small hike was just fine for me. Revelstoke is right in between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges and from that vantage point you can take in all its beauty.

Scrambling to Mt. Cartier’s summit

Once geared back up again, we headed down the trail. Since the trail was initially built as a hiking trail, you definitely need to be an advanced mountain biker to enjoy its full potential, but if you have the skills to navigate it, you are rewarded by breathtaking views and high alpine singletrack.

Enjoying pure alpine singletrack

Trying to stay on the trail is not easy, but that’s just because you are constantly stopping to check out the ever changing view.

Long benched straights in the alpine

Further down the trail, the alpine singletrack gives way to an amazing ridge line, with Cartier peak bearing down on you and Revelstoke Mountain Resort as the foreground. Our mate Lachlan did some freeriding and found a really cool steep drop in, pretty safe to say that no one had ever done it before!

Freeriding on Mt. Cartier’s rocky ridgeline

The singletrack was amazing. Considering the long life of this trail and the hiking history, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but with over 100 hours of work on the trail to get it ready for tours, it’s safe to say it was running perfectly. You could really get your speed up and there were even a few good lips to launch yourself off.

High speed singletrack through alpine meadows

After a pit stop at the midpoint cabin, the singletrack was back on. There are a few small pedalling sections, but anyone would be happy bringing a downhill bike or an all mountain bike. My only recommendation would be to bring what the rest of the crew has – If your buddies are all on downhill bikes, bring your downhill bike and vice versa.

Taking a pit stop and enjoying a packed lunch at a lovely creek

Crossing the creek before the last climb and descent

The singletrack never gave up and was uninterrupted the whole way down to our shuttle, and I couldn’t have been happier to get delivered right back to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort Village where a well-deserved Begbie pint was waiting!

Shuttling back to the Resort village

Well deserved cold beer at Rockford wok | bar | grill

Film Festival Welcomes Films From All Over The World: September 25 – October 10, 2014

viff2A fall fixture on the international film festival calendar, Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is a microcosm of its home city: cosmopolitan, innovative, friendly, culturally complex, and very accessible. As the host hotel for the festival, The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver loves watching all the creative, innovative, and entertaining films that make their way to the city during VIFF.

Critically acclaimed as “an unspoiled celebration of world cinema,” VIFF presents approximately 575 screenings of films from over 70 countries. An international team of expert programmers view hundreds of films and travel to some of the biggest festival to bring Vancouver the best of cinema from around the world.

VIFF is internationally renowned by filmmakers and fans as an event that succeeds in connecting filmmakers with large, attentive and eager audiences.

With exceptional, entertaining and diverse programming, numerous guest filmmakers hosting lively post-screening discussions and accessible special events, VIFF is truly a film-lovers festival!

Film Series and Awards

The Vancouver International Film Festival has long been one of the largest and most successful film festivals in North America. In 2013, 341 films played on nine screens in seven venues. By the time the 16-day festival had wrapped, 130,000 attendees had been dazzled by the top films from more than 75 countries.

Last year, VIFF offered $19,500 in cash prizes plus another $25,000 in services and prize packs as part of five adjudicated awards. Audience Awards were announced in an additional six categories, including the Rogers People’s Choice Award, Most Popular Documentary Film Award and Most Popular First Feature Award.

Films selected for the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival will be presented in a diverse selection of series.

International Series

Cinema of Our Time A spectacular showcase of narrative films from around the globe featuring both today’s masters and tomorrow’s visionaries.
The Cinemas of East Asia For over 25 years, VIFF has presented one of the world’s largest and most adventurous collections of East Asian cinema.
Nonfiction Features Documentary and essay films embrace the spotlight in this acclaimed series, which sees over 75 nonfiction features play to almost 50,000 engaged viewers.
Arts & Letters A cinematic celebration of visual and performing arts with a strong focus on films in which music takes centre stage.
Spotlight on France VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to thrive in France by highlighting that nation’s finest big-screen offerings.
Altered States A late night series featuring international genre films, as well as fantastic cinema that defies ready classification.
International Shorts VIFF introduces you to exceptional international artists who push short-form storytelling to its limits.

Canadian Series

Canadian Images One of the world’s largest annual public exhibitions of new Canadian cinema. Incredibly well-attended, it’s truly a point of pride for VIFF. This series is also home to the B.C. Spotlight which focuses on our homegrown talent.
Canadian Images Shorts Carefully curated short film programs showcase both established Canadian filmmakers and emerging artists we’ll be seeing more from in the future.

Vancouver Keeps Hollywood North Title

ClapboardGreater Vancouver spends a lot of time recreating other cities. It’s served as everything from New York and Forks to a town in Maine populated by fairy tale characters.

What attracts tourists to the area—the cultural diversity, the views, the food — also attracts Hollywood A-listers and their film crews. And, if you know where to look, you can follow in their footsteps.

One of the great things we hear from celebrities is the reason they love Vancouver… they’re allowed to be themselves. However, spotting stars on Vancouver’s streets can be an entirely different matter. When Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart were spied while filming The Twilight Saga, the Twittersphere went berserk over their whereabouts.

It’s not only Vancouver proper that gets the spotlight. The historic cannery village of Steveston in Richmond was transformed into Storybrooke, Maine, the setting for ABC’s hit Once Upon a Time. Walk down Moncton Street and you’ll see signs for Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer and Storybrooke Country Bread. It’s a movie set come to life.

In fact, many TV series have made Vancouver their home base over the years — Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, 21 Jump Street (the original TV series with Johnny Depp), even The X-Files. So the next time you’re in town, keep your eyes open. Your favourite film or TV star could be just around the corner.

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Edmonton’s Old Strathcona is a Must-Visit Neighbourhood

Whyte AvenueHome to trendy Whyte Avenue, the busy University of Alberta, and a history that extends back over 117 years, Edmonton’s Old Strathcona District is the cultural, fashion, and culinary epicentre of the capital region. This neighbourhood, located on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, is one of the few regions of Edmonton where heritage buildings are preserved and celebrated. The brickwork of the shops along Whyte Avenue, the centre of Old Strathcona, hints at a history extending back to the late 1800s. Originally called “South Edmonton,” the area was chosen as the northern terminus for a railway that extended from Calgary, completed in 1891. It is said the railway company wanted to capitalize on any future land value of the railroad terminus, so rather than extending the tracks over the North Saskatchewan River into then-Edmonton, they stopped on the riverbanks and created the new South Edmonton. It turned out to be a wise business move — South Edmonton soon overtook Edmonton as the region’s commerce centre, and land valued increased as expected.

Edmonton trainThe trains brought settlers; South Edmonton was a town by 1899 and designated “The City of Strathcona” in 1907. Construction of the first buildings began around today’s 103rd street — many of which still stand today. In fact, today’s Strathcona Hotel was one of the first buildings erected. Growth continued, and in 1912, the citizens of Strathcona voted themselves into Edmonton.

Growth in the area ebbed and flowed for the next few decades — but Strathcona’s fortunes changed in the 1970s, when, during an economic upswing, Edmonton’s downtown core was essentially demolished and rebuilt anew. Strathcona was spared this “revitalization.” This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it set the area up for its historic designation in the coming decades. Old StrathconaAs the area transformed from “run-down” to “heritage,” today’s Old Strathcona was born. In 2007, The Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area was created — ensuring the preservation neighbourhood’s character for future generations to enjoy.

When staying at The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton, Old Strathcona is a must-visit neighbourhood. Within about 30 square blocks, you can enjoy more than 100 places to eat and drink, 54 clothing shops, 40 hair and body care stores, nine book and magazine stores, 25 health and wellness services, and the most live theatre per capita in Canada.

Old Strathcona Farmer's MarketBeyond the storefronts and eateries, though, there are some great community attractions in the neighbourhood as well. Every Saturday, year-round, residents and visitors alike flock to the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market (10310 – 83 Ave.) to pick up fresh baked goods, organic produce and meat, arts and crafts, and generally enjoy the hustle bustle. Also, from May 20 to September 4, one can take in a sky-high ride aboard the Edmonton Radial Railway Society High Level Streetcar — a throwback to the days when Edmontonians travelled in style aboard San Francisco-like streetcars. (The sky high part comes when you cross the North Saskatchewan River from 46 metres above, atop of the High Level Bridge.) There are also bus tours, guided walking tours and heritage museums and houses to explore.

Edmonton Fashion WeekSeveral of Edmonton’s signature events take place in Old Strathcona. The beginning of April brings Edmonton Fashion Week, where local, Canadian and international designers have their haute couture on display at the Transalta Arts Barn (10330-83 Ave). Also in the first week of April is the Night Of Artists, where more than 200 musicians, dancers, poets, storytellers and more get together in the Transalta Arts Barn. Beyond that, summer brings the Jazz Festival and Canada’s Largest Fringe Festival and winter brings the annual Ice on Whyte ice carving competition, among so many other events.

But perhaps the best pleasure Old Strathcona brings is also its simplest: just enjoying the atmosphere of Edmonton’s trendiest, most historic, and most culturally diverse neighbourhood. It is people watching at its finest!

Holiday Heaven for all Wine lovers

Wine GrapesCanada’s wine-making history is relatively short. Beginning in the early 1800s, some of the early European settlers experimented with planting vinifera species from their home country, but these often succumbed to vine diseases in the heat and humidity of summers, and froze to death in the frigid winters. However, indigenous grapes could withstand these conditions. European varietals were still being tested, but labrusca and riparia grapes and their hybrids such as Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir, Concord, Niagara, Duchess and Maréchal Foch made up the majority of the wines. Suffice to say, these were not the stuff of global acclaim.

In the early 1900s, Canada saw a sweeping temperance movement that enacted a Prohibition in most of the provinces from 1901 in Prince Edward Island, ending for most of the country in 1930 (Prince Edward Island finally relented in 1948). This had similar consequences and black-market equivocations as the American one.

It wasn’t until after the World Wars and the consumer shift from preferring sweet wines to drier styles that the Canadian wine industry stepped things up. In the 1960s, better technology in wine-growing and production allowed local wine-makers to work with better quality, cool-climate vinifera grapes. Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier could be planted and maintained for whites. Reds consist of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Merlot and Syrah.

VineyardThrough the latter part of the 20th century into the 21st, Canadian wines saw vast improvements in production and quality. Wine societies were formed in the provinces to support and promote the local wine industries.

Ontario Rieslings were the first to garner attention for their excellence. These are produced in every style from dry to sweet, including Botrytis (“noble rot”) dessert wines and Icewines from frozen late harvest grapes. The Vidal grape is also suited to late harvest wines and Icewine styles and has become a notable regional specialty.

Cabernet Franc has become the starring red grape throughout most of Canada, finding its own expressions in different regions. While it is only used as a blending grape in Bordeaux, as in the Loire, Cabernet Franc is capable of high quality solo work as a single varietal release. These range from medium-bodied fruity and herbal versions to styles with denser cassis and chocolate characteristics through extended oak ageing.

Gamay Noir is the specialty of Ontario. These range from young, fruity wines in the carbonic maceration style of Beaujolais Nouveaux to those with more extensive ageing and richer flavors. Bordeaux varietals and blends are also popular in Ontario and British Columbia.

From The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, there are a handful of wineries, such as LuLu Island, located within a half hour’s drive south near Richmond and New Westminster.pinot noir grapesThese boutique operations often source grapes from the Okanagan Valley and other growing regions, crushing and making whites, reds, and Icewines on site at the winery. Vancouver Island is home to more than two dozen vineyards, too. Popular grapes include pinot noir, Ortega, gewürztraminer, and several colder-climate grapes. Most Vancouver Island wineries are located on the Saanich Peninsula or in the Cowichan Valley. A unique way to embark on a wine-tasting experience across the Strait of Georgia is by taking a floatplane to Victoria.

Boasting nearly 82 per cent of the total vineyard acreage in British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grape growing region.  An ever-changing panorama, the valley stretches over 250 kilometres, across distinct sub-regions, each with different soil and climate conditions suited to a growing range of varietals. With more than 150 B.C wineries located in the Okanagan Valley, The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort is an easy hour and a half drive to the vineyard. The valley itself is known for its picturesque wineries overlooking Okanagan Lake and for producing some of the best Icewines in the world plus a variety of other wines covering everything from sparkling to red, white, and dessert. From world-class operations to family-run boutique vineyards, Okanagan wineries are rich with character and consistently ranked among the world’s best at International competitions.

A Sutton Guide to Scotch

Envision a lychee infused martini with a hint of lemon zest and subtle notes of angostura bitters. That is a complex drink. Yet as fancy as it looks in your hand, nothing says ‘I’m a refined spirits connoisseur’ more than a solid glass of Scotch. Long hailed as the manliest of man drinks, the fiery liquid has been a source of gentlemanly pride for ages. 

Yet, when you really think about it, do you know what Scotch is? 

Furthermore, do you know what the difference between Scotch and whisky is? 

It’s okay if you don’t, because even some veteran bartenders get stumped by these questions. Perhaps that’s because in some ways, Scotch and whisky are the same, but in other ways, they are not. What we mean is: 

  • Scotch is whisky that is produced in Scotland (hence the name) 
  • That means whisky made in other nations, is American whiskey, or Irish Whisky etc.
  • All whisky, even Scotch whisky, is made from a variety of grains including: corn, barley, rye or wheat
  • The grain is mashed, fermented and then aged in wooden barrels for many years, decades or even centuries
  • The spelling of the term “whisky” is often debated by journalists and consumers. Scottish and Canadian whiskies use “whisky”; Irish whiskies use “whisky”, while American and other styles tend to use “whiskey”.
  • Each nation has their own whisky regulation rules; some argue that Scotland’s are the most strict enabling them to produce the best quality whisky or Scotch whisky
    • In addition to requiring that Scotch whisky be distilled in Scotland, the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 (SWR) require that it also be bottled and labeled in Scotland.
    • All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years.

 

Fairly simple stuff until you factor in the whole single malt vs. single grain vs. single cask vs. blended malt vs. pure malt classifications. Yes, there is a difference and it’s a mouthful.

Here are the facts:

  • A Single Malt Whisky is whisky that is entirely produced from malt in one distillery
  • A Single Cask Whisky is one that comes entirely from one cask
  • Blended Malt Whiskies are single malt whiskies from different distilleries that are blended into one bottle
  • Pure Malt Whisky is used to describe some single malt bottles. The term essentially was just another fancy way for people to say that their whisky was derived from malt only. However, this ‘label’ was controversial among many whisky governing bodies and resulted in the Scotch Whisky Association declaring that a mixture of single malt whiskies must be labeled “blended malt.” Thus, the term “pure malt” is no longer used.
  • Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a Scotch whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation.
  • Single Grain Scotch Whisky means a Scotch whisky distilled at a single distillery but, in addition to water and malted barley, it has other grains too (i.e.: corn, rye etc.). “Single grain” does not mean that only a single type of grain is used to produce the whisky—rather, the “single” refers to the single distillery that it was made in (kind of misleading isn’t it?)

The list of intricacies goes on and on, but all you really need to know is that the fine glass of tawny liquid in your hand really does take a lot of effort to create. It’s not that run of the mill fire water your ancestors chugged back, and it deserves its accolades. This is carefully crafted art my friend.

That’s why every Thursday at the Gerard Lounge we feature Scotch Flight Thursdays – an ode to the drink that makes life grand. Featuring only the best blends, single malts, single grains and every other variation you can imagine, you can sniff, swirl and savour the historic flavours (with a little bit of knowledge in your arsenal to boot).

Now that’s smooth.

For more information on the Gerard lounge click here.