Fred Lee’s Social Network: Long table dinners support UBC Farm projects | Tech Social

University of B.C. staffers Darran Fernandez and Amanda Reaume were among the fortunate few lucky enough to snap up tickets to UBC Farm’s popular long table dinner.

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Summer is prime time for long table dinners and magnificent meals under the stars.

Summer is prime time for long table dinners and magnificent meals under the stars.

Following the success of its inaugural alfresco dinner last year, UBC Farm followed up with an even longer table and two opportunities this season (the second dinner takes place August 11) for foodies to enjoy a spectacular farm-to-table dining experience on the Point Grey grounds.

One of the more reasonable dinner tickets in town at $100 a head, this sumptuous soirée intended to showcase University of B.C.’s research farm and the talents of UBC’s culinary team led by executive chef David Speight, was fronted by event founder Clare Cullen, operations director at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems.

Nestled within the farm’s beautiful Poplar Grove, two beautiful white long tables were set with strings of twinkly lights and a bunting banner that spelled “community” was strung overhead. Flawless weather greeted the 120 fortunate guests lucky enough to snap up tickets to the sold-out soirée.

Following many selfies and Instagram worthy photos, attendees eventually took their seats under the tree canopy to enjoy a delicious five-course, family-style dinner using products from local producers and seasonal ingredients, with the greens and berries grown just steps away.

A party with a purpose, proceeds from the two-date outdoor-do will support programs and activities at the UBC Farm, including research, teaching, and community engagement programs such as kids camps, workshops and Indigenous-led initiatives.


Westberry Farms Parm and Satwinder Bains enjoyed a family-style meal that incorporated seasonal, locally sourced ingredients grown at the UBC Farm.

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From left, Dean Ricky Yada from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Clare Cullen, operations director at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and UBC executive chef David Speight fronted the alfresco charity dinner at the research farm.

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Entertaining guests out at the UBC Farm were members of the Wooly Bears, from left, Amos Rosen, Damian Ritchie and Christopher Suen.

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Save-On-Foods director of produce merchandising Jim Waites escorted his wife Lori Ann to the farm fundraiser.

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UBC alumni Ray Fong and Angelique Leung, and Chrystal and Jan Palaty supported the farm’s continuing work toward understanding sustainable food systems by attending the farm-to-table fundraiser.

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JESSIES PLAY BILL: Arts Club Theatre Company patriarch Bill Millerd was feted at the 36th annual Jessie Richardson Live Theatre Awards, Vanhattan’s equivalent to the Tony’s.

Canada’s longest serving and most accomplished artistic director — he built the Arts Club into the biggest theatre company in Western Canada — received a standing ovation from Vancouver’s theatre community for his many achievements, mentorship and contributions building a vibrant theatre scene in the city. Hosting the first Jessie Awards at the Seymour Stage, there were only three professional theatre companies, Millerd recalled. Today, there are 66, he exclaimed.

Fitting for his 46th and final season as artistic director, Arts Club productions would take home a leading seven Jessies in the large theatre category. Box office blockbuster Angels in America earned one statue, while Hand of God and Misery each receive three. Misery actors Andrew McNee and Lucia Frangione picked up the night’s top acting awards for their outstanding performances in the adapted Stephen King thriller.

In the small theatre category, Rumble Theatre was the big winner earning a total of six awards for its original production of Titus Bouffonius. Stephen Drover took home bookends securing outstanding direction nods for Titus Bouffonius and Hand of God. Venerable Green Thumb Theatre and its presentation of The Code and Jabber swept the Theatre for Young Audiences categories.

In all, 37 envelopes were opened at this year’s Jessies jamboree. Returning to its theatrical roots, the marathon awards ceremony celebrating excellence in professional theatre was held at Bard on the Beach on the BMO Mainstage.


Arts Club Theatre scion Bill Millerd was honoured at the 33rd Jessie Richardson Live Theatre Awards. His theatre company would go home with a leading seven Jessies.

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Returning to its theatrical roots, Claire Sakaki’s Bard on the Beach BMO Mainstage hosted the annual awards show. Her Sixties As You Like It set serving as a backdrop for the marathon ceremonies.

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Double Jessie award winner, director Stephen Drover celebrated with first time Jessie recipient Sophie Tang (lighting design for Titus Bouffonius).

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Tetsuro Shigematsu and Steve Charles celebrated Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s first Jessie win. The company’s 1 Hour Photo scored a Jessie for significant artistic achievement (outstanding technical design and execution for the purpose of historical storytelling).

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ENDURING DRAMA: The year 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the Kate Linder Tea. The popular Young and the Restless soap siren, who plays Esther Valentine on the top rated daytime drama, once again enlisted once her cast mates to give up their weekend to attend the Vancouver charity tea benefiting the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Familiar names to diehard Y & R fans — leading men and women  Marla Adams, Doug Davidson, David Lago, Christian LeBlanc, Abhi Sinha, and Jess Walton — joined Linder at the Four Seasons Hotel for the afternoon tell-all and meet and greet with members of the Emmy Award-winning soap, now celebrating its 45th season.

Spirits were high as the mostly female audience packed the hotel ballroom for the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite soap star. The star-studded cast waded through the room to kibitz with adoring fans and mug for photos, even slow dancing with a fan or two during the two-hour Q&A and charity fundraiser.

Through ticket sales, sponsorships and auction proceeds, Y & R fans would raise a reported $70,000 for charity. Among the hotly coveted items: a Y & R signed Canucks Jersey and an original artwork created by Leblanc in commemoration of Linder’s 20th anniversary.

“The tea has been an enduring tradition and a memorable way for my Y & R cast mates to come together,” says Linder. “Our fans have made a difference for so many charities over the 20 teas, from the B.C. Cancer agency to the Canadian Cancer Society and Canucks for Kids Fund,” she adds.


Robin Wyss, executive director of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni, and Abhi Sinha, who plays Ravi Shapur on the popular soap auctioned off a signed Y & R Canucks Jersey that sold for $1800 twice.

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Doug Davidson and Jess Walton were among the leading men and women that donated their time to join Kate Linder for her annual Vancouver High Tea fundraiser, benefiting the Canucks for Kids Fund.

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Young and the Restless staple Kate Linder handled front of house duties with local broadcaster Jim Gordon. This year’s high tea event poured a reported $70,000 into the coffers of the Canucks for Kids Fund.

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Christian LeBlanc’s original artwork created to commemorate the 20th anniversary tea fetched the afternoon’s top bid.

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