MIDNIGHT OIL: Open a $65 stainless-steel bottle of Domenica Fiore Novello di Notte extra-virgin olive oil and its 500-ml contents should blink. That’s because three varieties of olives therein were harvested from an Italian hillside in the cool of night, promptly cold-pressed, and kept in the dark ever since.
“Olive oil’s big enemy is light,” production director Cesare Bianchini said at Commercial Drive’s Caffe La Tana where he and Domenica Fiore president Anna Wallner, the former Shopping Bags TV co-host, launched Novello di Notte and $9.95 jars of Datterino tomatoes. Both come from the Umbrian operation city-based global tycoon Frank Giustra bought and named for his mother.
WE NIGHT: Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger welcomed 20,000 youngsters to their 10th-annual WE Day rally in Rogers Arena, then dined with 70 adults at Lorne and Melita Segal’s Southlands home. First Lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and mother-in-law Margaret Trudeau attended by day. The latter stayed for supper chez Segal as, in earlier years, had Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and British global tycoon Sir Richard Branson.
The Segals occupy one half of the 14,000-square-foot house and host charitable and similar events in the other. Such functions can place 150 participants on a swimming pool’s temporary transparent covering with floodlit water gurgling below. This time, guests dined wholly indoors, some close enough to a six-metre-long gas fireplace to toast their personal hams while dining on sablefish, sweet spuds and wilted spinach.
Accustomed to gridirons, gay-disclosed NFL defensive tackle, author and WE Day speaker Esera Tuaolo had a cooler seat. So did former CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge. Freed from being shaved, made up and suit-and-tied for 29 on-camera years, he’d grown grizzled white whiskers and, although furthest from it, dressed for a casual at-home night beside the fire.
CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS ONWARD: To launch a $2,499-to-$3,499-a-month “subscription service” for nine makes of Asian, German and British luxury cars, Open Road dealer Christian Chia had Pear Tree restaurant owner-chef Scott Jaeger prepare matching snacks. They included marinated seaweed, pork-jowl schnitzel and hash-like bubble and squeak. No raisin-and-currant-studded spotted dick pudding, though, which would have complemented the paint job on an unlamented British Hillman Imp coupe. Portfolio clients may switch between 25 models up to four times monthly while driving 2,500 km. subject to “likely removal from the program if driving habits consisting of high volume proceed.” No Palm Springs back-and-forthing, that is.
HERE’S TAE US: With fitting respect for accuracy, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation sidestepped evasive names to call an annual $60,000-range fundraiser City Drinks. Toasts were raised when foundation board chair David Dove and executive director Judith Mosley welcomed guests to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada’s recently renovated 1936 armory. Archivist James Calhoun spoke about the regiment’s past. Venerable artworks and artifacts displayed included a table bearing a Lewis machine gun, bagpipes and other lethal devices. Less belligerently, a large portrait depicted railway contractor turned brigadier-general Jack Stewart who commanded all Canadian and British military railway units in 1917-1918 wartime France and became the Seaforths’ honorary colonel.
BOLL WEAVING: Uwe Boll was in Whistler recently, but not to replace the closed Bavaria restaurant with a satellite of his feted Cordova-at-Carrall Bauhaus. It was for the premiere of moviemaker Sean Patrick Shaul’s F*** You: The Uwe Boll Story. The documentary addresses the 15-or-so feature films Boll made that incensed critics but made money for, among others, Brightlight Pictures founder and former Whistler festival chair Shawn Williamson. Boll recently addressed indie filmmakers at Vancouver’s 21-year-old Celluloid Social Club that screens their productions. Some doubtless applauded his having challenged harsher reviewers to meet him in the boxing ring.
ROSY PARKER: Director-producer Keith Cunningham’s debut feature-length documentary is about collaborative folk, not scrappers. Living History: 1000 Parker warmly examines that 105-year-old building’s past as a mattress and furniture factory. It also pictures some of the many artists and artisans there today who constitute the annual Eastside Culture Crawl’s largest participating group. Longest-term tenant Judson Beaumont established Straight Line Design in 1985 to produce child-oriented furnishings with barely a straight line in them. Cunningham hopes to film a documentary about Jacqui Cohen whose properties include the 1898 Army & Navy Stores complex and nearby 1910 Dominion Building.
TEN YEARS AGO: Seventeen days after being elected mayor and pledging that he and eight Vision party councillors would end homelessness, Gregor Robertson had Concord Pacific president Terry Hui greet him at the firm’s 20th anniversary party. That development company resulted from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing acquiring Expo 86’s 82-hectare False Creek site in a 1988 deal reportedly worth $145 million. Today, possibly planning to attend Concord Pacific’s 30th anniversary celebration Dec. 12, former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart has succeeded former NDP MLA Robertson. The Vision party is history, there are more homeless than ever, and Concord Pacific does multi-billion-dollar business in Canada, the U.S. and U.K.
DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Not all speakers deliver high fidelity.