Harmony Arts Festival brings cocktail culture, food and wine pairings to Ambleside Pier

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      Having launched more than two decades, Harmony Arts Festival has grown into a cultural extravaganza that draws more than 100,000 visitors annually.  

      The 10-day waterfront event, which takes place at Ambleside from July 29 to August 7, will see more than 400 established and emerging visual artists and 150 performing artists take part this year, the festival’s 26th.

      Besides live music and a huge art market, the festival is also offering two culinary events.

      The BEST of the WEST food and wine pairing event has become one of the most popular attractions of the festival. Twelve of the North Shore’s best restaurants and 12 B.C. wineries wil be paired up, with guests voting on their favourite match.

      Participating restos include Mangia E Bevi, Pier 7 Restaurant + Bar, Terroir, Thomas Haas, and Zen Japanese Restaurant. Among the wineries involved are Black Hills Estate Winery, Blue Mountain Winery, Haywire, Poplar Grove, Quail’s Gate, and Road 13 Vineyards.

      BEST of the WEST takes place on Ambleside Pier on August 3; last year, tickets sold out six weeks in advance.

      The next night, on August 4, the festival will celebrate the rebirth of cocktail culture by hosting its Mixology Night on the Pier, with bar stations, small bites, and live music, all while the sun sets.

      Participating bartenders include Sabrine Dhaliwal from UVA Wine Bar, Juniper’s Olivia Povarchook, Grant Sceney of Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge, the Tiki Lounge’s Shea Hogan, and L’Abattoir’s Katie Ingram. Tickets for each event are $105 each; people wanting to go to both can get a duo ticket for $175.

      More information is at harmonyarts.ca/.