Bianca Maria

Posted on: September 3rd, 2015 by The East Village


Arguably one of the oldest original businesses in the neighbourhood, Bianca Maria opened its doors to the public at 2469 East Hastings Street on January 4th 1963. The store was originally owned by two Italian women, Bianca and Maria. The original name of the store was “Bianca Maria Delicatessen”, which later changed to just Bianca Maria once its current owners took over the store in 2001. Bianca is still a regular customer at the store, and is close with the family to this day.

We spoke with Nina, who has been with the family-owned shop for eight years now. “I love the interaction with the customers,” Nina tells us. “I love being able to educate the public about all the authentic product and recipes.”


With a loyal clientele that spans generations, Nina says her customers are at the heart of what they do. “I enjoy the one on one relationship I build with my customers. They are not just customers, you get to really know them - build that rapport, and continue to have a relationship with them.”

Nina’s aunt took over the store in 2001, and has worked there ever since. “My mum also worked with my aunt so the store has been in the family for quite some time now,” she says.

“I love that this area still has a small atmosphere to it,” says Nina. “It’s not filled with big box stores. Here you can do a one stop shop. You can go to the deli, and then go to specialty stores for all your groceries. You can complete all of your shopping within a couple of blocks, while supporting local business. I enjoy how it is smaller scale, and how the area is connected.”

Bianca Maria is open Monday through Saturday, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.

Community Corner: The Sunrise Patrol Team

Posted on: September 1st, 2015 by The East Village


The Sunrise Patrol Team (SPT) works to develop relationships with our local community members (especially in the business district), with the aim of deterring crime and increasing public safety, as well as helping homeless and other disadvantaged people to access services and support. The two-person team patrols our area four hours per day, five days a week.

While on patrol, the volunteers look for signs of potential crime or disorder, and visit businesses to discuss any safety concerns. Patrollers report to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre (HSCPC) to identify crime trends. Patrollers are trained by both the VPD and the HSCPC, and the program is operated in partnership with the Hastings North Business Improvement Association (HNBIA).

We recently spoke with Raymond, who started working with the CPC Safety Patrol Team back in 2010. Raymond is a perfect example of the Sunrise Patrol Team’s dedicated street presence, acting as the eyes and ears for the local police and community.

raymond - spt

“I wanted to be part of the community and give back,” Raymond says about initially volunteering. “I have lived in this area for over 20 years. It’s a quiet neighbourhood, (with) a lot of shops and restaurants. It’s all close in proximity so it’s super convenient.”

Raymond now works closely with Sunrise Patrol Team, and says he really enjoys being so involved in his own community. “I started because I really wanted to interact with businesses and people on a more personal level than you get just through regular volunteering at the CPC,” he says. “I really enjoy building that connection and rapport with businesses we visit on a regular basis.”

Raymond is passionate about his role on The Sunrise Patrol Team, and that’s something which makes it so valuable in our district. “Businesses are able to connect with one another and with us and find out everything that is happening in the community,” Raymond says. “If they have an issue, they have a safe group of individuals they can speak with to help resolve that issue, (and) they also learn ways to keep themselves and their businesses safe.”

For more information about the Sunrise Patrol Team and the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre, click here, and don’t forget to stay social on Twitter and Facebook.

PNE Fair Food

Posted on: August 31st, 2015 by The East Village


" From the deep fried to add-bacon-to-anything school of cooking, food has become as important to the overall experience as a ride on the Wooden Roller Coaster or a Superdogs show. The PNE works throughout the year to select the newest and most interesting food offereings from across North America. This Year, 30% of the food vendors are new, and have selected a range of interesting products to taste as part of this year's food showcase."

Community Corner: The Pandora Park Fall Fair

Posted on: August 28th, 2015 by The East Village


Save the date! The Pandora Park Fall Fair returns on Sunday, September 20th from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. This western-themed community event is rain or shine, and is brought to you by the Hastings North Community Partners Group the same wonderful folks who help plan much-loved neighbourhood events like the LightWaterDrums Lantern Festival in Hastings Park, the monthly “Meaningful Movie” documentary showings and the Community Small Grants Project.

pandora park sac races
Come by with the kids for a fun afternoon and enjoy a country fair in the city, filled with fun for all ages. There will be arts and crafts, live music, dance, games and activities, a BBQ, and more! RSVP on our Facebook event page, and feel free to invite your friends and family, too. We’ll see you there!


Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by The East Village


Have you ever dreamed of running away and joining the circus?

CircusWest is our city’s leading performance arts society for all ages - offering children, teens and adults alike an opportunity to learn valuable skills in Circus Arts in a positive, encouraging, and non-competitive environment.

“CircusWest’s programs encourage respect for oneself and others and provide an environment to learn responsible risk-taking,” their website explains. “As a collaborative community in which everyone can develop skills, find their artistic voice, and realize their potential, CircusWest is a creative space where individuals can dream big, push limits, and defy gravity – all while having fun.”


Beginning as Vancouver Children’s Circus Society, CircusWest has grown significantly since its beginnings in 1984. Inspired by circus performances at Vancouver Children’s Festival, a small, non-profit circus school was begun in a south Vancouver gym. Outgrowing that space, a new site was needed and in 2003, CircusWest moved to its current home in the PNE Garden Auditorium, at Hastings Park. Renamed CircusWest Performing Arts Society in 2008 to reflect a much wider and more comprehensive organizational mandate, CircusWest is a registered charity, governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported by over 400 community members.

The not-for-profit registered charity is likely best known for its youth training and performance program, CirKids. “Over the years, CircusWest has developed additional programming to meet the needs of the community, becoming a centre for recreational adult circus as well.”
CIRUSWEST2CircusWest also offers outreach to local schools and communities in need, as well as corporate circus workshops, bringing laughter and teamwork to the working world. “Through a wide variety of classes and circus experiences – and performances, too, everyone is able to partake in the fun and feats of circus.”

To learn more about CircusWest, visit their website, and don’t forget to stay social on Twitter and Facebook .

Image source:

The Princeton Pub & Grill

Posted on: August 21st, 2015 by The East Village


Dubbed as a friendly place to eat, drink, and listen to live music in the ‘hood, The Princeton Pub & Grill is located inside of the Princeton Hotel, which has roots dating back to 1912. It was designed by a man named J H Bowman, and built for a mere $17,000.

princeton pub

They do live entertainment nightly at The Princeton, with karaoke on Thursday and Sunday, Trivia on Wednesday, an “End of the Line Jam” every Tuesday, and live entertainment artists on Friday and Saturday. There’s also a Meat Draw every Friday and Saturday night.

Feeling hungry? The restaurant now does breakfast 7:30am-2:00pm with daily specials. Choose from staples like steak and eggs, two eggs any style, or a the hearty Princeton Omelette, a 3 egger made with diced ham, mixed cheeses, bell peppers and green onions, served with hash browns and toast. There’s also plenty of great veggie options available, too.

Visit The Princeton Pub & Grill’s website for more information about this Vancouver icon, and to check out their menu and event calendar.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4190