Atlantic Canada House

AtlanticCanadaHouseENDED FEB 28, 2010: Atlantic Canada's best will hit the world stage during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador along with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency present Atlantic Canada House at Granville Island's Arts Club Theatre from February 13 to 28.

For two weeks, Canada's West Coast will come alive with East Coast performers on one of Vancouver's most historic sites, Granville Island. A popular local venue, Granville Island is expecting over 35,000 visitors daily. It is easily accessible by water taxis, bus, bicycle, streetcar and foot. It is highly recommended you do not drive on to Granville Island as there will be limited parking available. A Canada Line to Bombardier streetcar connection would be easiest.

Once at Atlantic Canada House, guests will find an authentic and inspiring setting. It's here you'll be treated to East Coast culinary delights, discover the region's culture and spirit, and share in Atlantic Canadian hospitality. Within the pavilion space, you'll find the Granville Island Stage, the Revue Stage and the Backstage Lounge. Atlantic Canadian artists will be featured nightly, and daily performances on the Revue Stage will celebrate the region and welcome guests to the Atlantic Canadian way of life.

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70 Comments

This place is not worth lining up for in the evening! They say they will let someone in for every person that leaves but they do not. The people inside the venue seemed shocked to come outside and see that a line-up had formed... many seemed to have been there all day with no intentions of leaving. And the music line-up that they had planned last night would not compose a "Kitchen Party", IMO. This appears to be an exclusive venue that hardly seems worth your time queueing up for... go somewhere else!

We went there yesterday and lined up for the Atlantic house Pavillion....entire waste of time. I took my 8 year old daughter to offer her some education....but sadly was let down as there was nothing interactive just brochures and signage...very disappointing. A much better job could have been done, as I believe it is a place where culture and the people are very warm and vibrant.

We took the Aquabus across to Livecity Yaletown, had something to eat and came back on a round trip ticket.

The best part was "Come On In" held at the Theatre on Granville Island. A definite worthwhile event. But line up on the dot of the hour....1 hour before, as it gets full really fast and they only allow 100 people. But worth the wait. That show made our day!

DO NOT line up here at night!!! They let in 2 people for every 15, not 1 to 1 as they claim. When I think of Atlantic Canada, I think of fun times and good food, you will get neither here in the evening. We waited for 2h - starting at 7:30pm, when we got inside the place was dead and they stopped serving food at 9pm without telling anyone waiting outside - all of which had intentions of eating. I have been in Atlantic pubs in tiny hamlets in the prairies with better atmospheres... Brutaaaaal.

We arrived at the lineup at 11:00 and it was moving so we thought - Great! But then we were told that the pavillion was not available for admission until 12:30 due to some VIP inside. So a whole of lot of people just left. I think our time was more important than standing in line for just food sampling.

A staffer was handing out entry card for a chance to win a trip to the East Coast, but SOME PEOPLE were entering multiple entry cards on the touch-screen kiosks. HOW ANNOYING. While the rest of us poor souls were freezing, standing on line waiting and another staffer never informed people that it was one entry per person. He just kept giving away the musical spoons to the same person that won 3 times in a roll. Let's just say alot of us were not impressed. And left with a bad experience of the whole thing.

I went there on New Brunswick Day and I didn't have any problems getting in. Not sure what time you went but we had no problems at all.

The New Brunswick food samples were amazing. Lobster, Shrimp cakes, Mussels, and Oysters. We got 7 rounds of samples, which I thought was quite generous considering it was all free.

New Brunswick Day at Atlantic Canada House should have been advertised for what it was - a private VIP reception that almost filled the Arts Club Theatre and left very few seats for the large crowd who lined up in the rain to get into the show. I would not have made the trek to Granville Island if I knew my home province was not throwing open the doors for me! The Security Guards were friendly but said they were not permitted to say who was hosting the reception or who was invited. Come on N.B., transparency is way of life on the west coast.

Atlantic House has been tops for entertainment since opening. Last night's New Brunswick night raised the roof of the Arts Club Theatre !!! Measha B-G is a DIVA extraordinaire. Even though she now performs in Opera Houses all over the world she has not forgotten her NB roots. All the diverse talent combined to make it a fabulous evening. Two of the performers are regulars in the 'Come On In' daytime features which I have seen 3 times. Don't miss it ... definitely worth the wait!!!

I just read through the comments and cannot believe the negatives. I recognize we were fortunate enough to get in through 'side door' due to NB relations. Music and display of NB talent absolutely off the charts for entertainment and a great recommendation to include NB in any Maritime travel plans. Most of the groups only did two pieces and segued on to the next. Our California guests (one a professional musician herself) said 'wow, spectacular and worth seeing again again and again. Fun, energetc, versatile, diverse people and music. Going online to find CDs by them.'

I highly recommend the Come On In! show - I went to see it today - it was great - the first house actually showing something more than just pictures. I wait in line about 45 min so it was not so bad.

darlin' settle down, its just a pavillion, NOT a complete depiction of the Maritimes...if one little "house" makes you not want to go to the East Coast then I guess life in general must be pretty disappointing to you. Lighten up =)

Great idea Don - I am VERY homesick for our down-home friendliness and hospitality...count me in if such an organization exists!!
Nancy

Don't bother lining up for the Backstage Lounge. We waited 3 hours in line in order to watch the Canada vs. US Mens hockey game, but the Bar Manager was letting people in 1-2 people at a time, while there were clearly lots of empty tables. They were so worried about making sure there was enough samples for the people already inside who came for the food tasting that they kept out the people who mattered... those who wanted to see the Olympics! Thanks for giving the legendary Atlantic hospitality such a black eye! By the way, heard the food samples were small and forgettable, but I wouldn't know, since they ran out.

Yeah. Went and stood in the food tasting lineup for 2 hours. 50 people were shown in at a time (ostensibly 25, but they let in 2 groups at a time). Went up to the top floor and snagged a canape on the way to mussels. Was given 3 mussels, then found that all the rest of the tasties weren't there yet - they were coming up on trays one type at a time.

I felt like the room was full of hungry dogs. In order to get the bite-size morsels at all, I had to throw my arm in over masses of people. In an attempt to deal with the crowd, one woman walked the tray in over her head to the other side of the room, where she was nevertheless mobbed (and I missed getting anything because she walked past the entrance where I was waiting, as that was the last place the mob had taken place).

It was pretty demeaning to the Atlantic House employees and to the visitors alike. Nobody looked very happy about it. The food for the tasting really should have been there already, so you could grab one of each from the lineup instead of having to fight for your bites. Besides, while I was waiting in line I saw masses of tasty food moving past the line, going to the Backstage Lounge I would assume. I'm guessing that's the better part of the venue. Skip the tasting. Maybe go to the market next door - we have awesome seafood in BC too, right?

Are we in North Korea? Making people wait in line for 3 tiny bites?

This poor venue probably costs several millions of taxpayers' money. It's ridiculous.

My 4 year old daughter, my husband and I went to the Saturday 6pm "Come on In!" songs & stories venue. Really really loved it and would highly recommend it. We waited one and a half hours because we wanted to wait inside where it was warmer. They were giving samples of fresh oysters - yummmmm!! You could buy drinks (including orange juice for our daughter) at the bar, and the wait wasn't bad at all. You could also get pictures of yourself at Peggies Cove and they will e-mail it to you. The music, singing, and especially the stories the musicians told of their Atlantic homes were excellent. I have lived over there for 2 years and tonights experience made me really want to go back and re-visit the areas with our daughter. We didn't bother with the tasting as the line up was too long.

Normally, Nadine, I'd agree wholeheartedly with you.... don't expect to find what you're looking for at Atlantic House.

Yes, Anne, you're right, the lines are very confusing and not at all well-marked. If you are going to go, make sure you know which line-up you're getting into first.....
Organization is very very poor.

Hey... if Costco puts them to shame.... and Costco has better ambience... it's not worth attending.

There are other pavilions that do a much better job with the food and drink....
Give Atlantic House a miss for food tasting, trust me.

I have read some of the comments about the food-tasting. Those of you telling people who were disappointed not to complain don't know what they're talking about. I wasn't expecting large portions, and I'm pretty laidback about things, but this was a horrible experience. I was very angry, never mind disappointed.

I would recommend you not waste your time. Perhaps the other events are fun (but from the sounds of it, maybe not) but definitely give the food tasting a miss.

I waited in line for over 2 hours and came away having consumed exactly three mussels. There were other things on offer… tarts from what I could tell, but I couldn’t get at them. The event was so poorly organized, people kept walking in with trays of food and a mob of hungry people would push and crowd to get in and the tarts would be gone. Three trays came by and three times I got pushed out of the way and got nothing. When I said something to one of the organizers on the way out that it was disappointing and poorly organized, he looked at me as if to say “what is your problem?” And instead of finding out what was wrong, he said “Thanks for coming”…. Thanks for coming? Sarcasm? Are you kidding me? That left the worst taste of all in my mouth. I guess he forgot he was supposed to be garnering good will towards his region of Canada. I’ve always found Easterners I’ve met before to be hospitable… this goof who someone thought was a good representative to send all the way across the country to represent Atlantic Canada was anything but hospitable. Thanks for coming, yourself…. thanks for nothing… now go back home and stay there… I won’t be going past Quebec any time soon.
DON”T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH ATLANTIC HOUSE!!!

Howard, how do you know Costco is organized? Wow! You cheap bastard using no name tissue to wipe your behind?

Lauren,
Maybe you should try costco for free bits of food.I hear they are really well organized and don't mind if you stay and stuff your face all day. Bon appitite!!!!

I can highly recommend the "Come On In" show held at the Arts Club Review Stage. We went on 19 Feb and lined up front of line at 4:30pm for the 6pm show. The front of line is in the lobby and you can get a drink from the bar while you wait. The staff were very welcoming and oysters were served by chefs in the lobby nearer to showtime. The show lasted 40mins performed by delightful musicians from each of the 4 Atlantic Provinces. This was my best experience so far. Why wait in food lineups for hours when Granville Island Market next door has a huge variety of food to buy?

If you had any manners you wouldn't have told someone off!

went to atlantic house very lousey waited 3 hours to get into kitchen party garbage music no party just boring music no experience just crap no transit running had to pay for a cab out

K seriously, I havent been to the Atlantic Canada house yet, but Im planning to on tuesday. Im ver dissapointed in all the greedy people on here complaining of the "small bite sized food" that I might add is FREE!!! What do you expect? A meal?? They are serving seafood and stuff which is expensive and your not paying for it! Get over it and take it for what it is!!! If you cant be greatful, then dont go!

I for one am greatly looking forward to the Atlantic Canada house...and unless I experience rude staffers I wont be complaining, but rather having a fantastic time!!! Not everything can be perfect!

My two preschoolers and I arrived at 11am today for the 11:30am tasting but it was already full-- the line up was huge! We were advised to go line up for the 12:30 "Come on In" Show right away and did. We were finally let into the theatre just after 12pm-- thank goodness, it was sunny BUT cold outside! (Make sure to have your winter gear for those lineups). The show was worth it though-- great music, great personal stories-- my kids had a lot of fun and because we had lots of snacks, they did fine with the 1 1/2 hour wait. The show finished just after 1pm and we rushed over to line up for the 2pm tasting. There are two lineups for the tasting-- one that is offered in the bar (we got in after waiting 5 minutes!) and the other tasting that is offered in the Exhibits area (the lineup was huge). I heard that the exhibits weren't that amazing so would suggest that if you're wanting to go do the food tasting, go to the "Bar" food tasting lineup.

At 4:30 this afternoon we got into a short line-up... and didn't get in for 2 hours.

Missed the whole hockey game. Capacity for the Backstage lounge is 170 however they were only letting in 100. When we finally got in, it was so dull that we left after 1 beer.

A waste of our time... I don't know what the management was thinking - this bar is normally packed.

Wonderful!! My husband and I brought our 2 preschoolers to the Atlantic Canada on Deck featuring Confed. Centre's young comp., Vishten and Lennie Gallant and we had an awesome night!! Great music, entourage and entertainment!! Great family experience if your children will sit (or stand in row as it is a theatre) and be entertained (they can dance in the row:)

This is just a pub. Went in the afternoon - small line up and friendly people but no music, no food, no atmosphere. Really,this is nothing Olympic at all. Left here at 6pm and wne to the Francaphone pavillion - no line up, huge stage, good music, empty beer gardens - something is ascew here.

the lineup to the bar was ridiculous and the food sucked! what a joke to think this was a 'true' atlantic experience. the manager at the bar was rude and i would never go back if i return to vancouvER@

Went to Atlantic Canada House on Feb. 17th for Nova Scotia night. Waited SIX hours to get in! Had a great time and met some old friends from Nova Scotia but it's a shame that this venue was chosen (by either the CoV or the Province) for Atlantic Canada House. The lineups were long and the venue was small (170 capacity). They could have made so much more money if a larger venue had been chosen - there are many Bluenosers out west who wanted to feel the salt air in their hair again and this was disappointing. The music was good but not east coast music. All-in-all, we did have a good time, would have liked to have a larger venue. ALl those people waiting in line could have been spending their hard earned cash to help our economy rather than getting frustrated in a long line-up that wasn't moving. Not a good PR move for Vancouver.
And to the spoiled young lady in the white cap who kept trying to but in line numerous times, we are not BITTER old people who told you off, we just have MANNERS. You might want to learn that, in CANADA, we use them.

I was here for Ashley MacIsaac on Feb 13 and it was awesome! Yea the line was long and a bit slow but I didn't expect anything else for the chance to see Ashley MacIaasc for free! And in true East Coast hospitality fashion Ashley even came out and played on the sidewalk for those waiting in line but couldn't get in! How cool is that!

Staff in the bar were great and everyone I was with had a blast. I will be going back here before the Olympics are over!

Sorry to read all the negative comments. I went to the 2pm tasting and was totally impressed.Only waited for 10 minutes. The food was fantastic. I'm not sure why the lineup didn't move faster because there was lots of room inside.. can't people stand around in a bar and have a drink and taste bite sized food?

It's not worth it.

I thought there was going to be displays, stores, games, and entertainment in the house. Nope. Just few bites of stupid food, are we in 3rd world country? We have to wait for a few free bites for 1 hour? It's embarrassing. If that's how they organize an Olympic events, I will travel to Atlantic Canada as a tourist. It will be a sucky trip for sure.

It's really not worth your time to wait half and hour to 1 hour for 3 to 4 free bites (literally 4 bite-size little thingy). I am not that cheap. I will pay for my food if there's great displays and entertainment inside.

Sometimes the staffers tell people they no longer let people in and staffers ask you to wait for extra 45 minutes for the next group of tasting. Very bad event planning and organization.

Disapponted!! Waited in line for 11am food tasting and just about to the doorway when we are told "sorry but all 200 spots for the tasting are gone" We never would have waited in line if they had told us about the limited spaces. They didn;'t win any votes on how to handle those waiting in line. Why not count out 200 people and tell the rest you can wait but your not getting to sample the cuisine. I think they could use some help in how to handle visitor relations. Never did make it inside as we refused to except their poor hospitality and left us with a bad taste of the maritimes.

Was the stage indoors or out? We're heading out today and want to know how to dress:)

I don't know where you all have been living. I've been a west coast girl all my life and the community spirit here is amazing. It doesn't matter if I'm in my own town or the other side of Vancouver, everyone is so hospitable and friendly. Alternatively, I was in Newfoundland a few years ago and I found the people suspicious and frankly a little rude. Same sort of environment was found here last night. I'd like to say I was disappointed but what else did I expect?

There has been lots of parking on Granville Island!

For any locals who are even remotely contemplating driving into Granville Island - don't. The entire island is all paid parking. Here's the official word from granvilleisland.com:

"During February 2010: Parking is limited on the Island during February 2010. Please consider alternative transportation to travel to Granville Island. Between 10am and 10pm, paid parking will be available for a maximum of two hours, for $3.00 per hour. All available parking will be designated paid parking during this period."

There are a lot of tow trucks and parking enforcement workers patrolling the island so they're really clamping down on those who try to go beyond the 2 hour mark.

While some locals may be used to vendors validating parking for the first hour if you spend a certain amount (like they do at City Centre Mall by City Hall), they don't do that here, even for locals. It's best to walk, bike, or bus.

While standing in line to get in many friendly young reps handed out white scarves and toques (white and blue plaid) and a variety of pins. When we went in there was live music and lots of delicious appetizers made from Atlantic recipes. We loved the experience.

While standing in line to get in many friendly young reps handed out white scarves and toques

They are offering Free tastings of foods from the Atlantic Canada region, 3 times a day. This is awesome, crowded so expect to wait or go early. Great value, good food.
http://vancouverfoodster.com/2010/02/15/taste-the-food-of-atlantic-canada-house/

Took in the 3pm "Come on In! songs & stories venue in the Revue Stage. Would recommend.. worth the 40 minute line-up. Great performance from artists/singers from the various atlantic provinces, heartwarming, upbeat and informative..
Was told by the house volunteers that for the food sampling "a taste of Atlantic Canada" you need to line-up at least an hour prior to the event times posted.

Went today. The staff are super friendly but not very organized. Waited for 20 to 25 minutes in line, only to find it was not the line to get in to the venue, just to play a contest.

Went to On Deck show last night and it was a great east coast show with Shaun Majumder from 22 Minutes hosting. Venue holds about 400 people. No food but there is a bar.

Im born and raised in NB, but have lived out west here for quite a few years now. I am volunteering with the Olympics and hoping to experience that close knit feeling with people that makes it so special being from the Maritimes. I really miss the genuine and warm hearted people from back east. People on the west coast have a lot to learn from from people on the east coast. East meets West. I do hope Atlantic House reminds me of being back home.

Spent a few hours at Atlantic Canada House this afternoon and be warned food is not available to buy. Bite-size servings are served free at special times in very limited amounts.

To the lady beatin up on the islander for the spelling christ b'y you should know we can't spell a lick

and we call it newfunlun phonetically, not New FOUND land like you west coasters

regardless, we'll all be havin a time at atlantic canada house

anyone know if there will be oland, schooner, clancys or alpine available?!

Je suis from new brunswick mon aussi.Et je suis fiere .Je demeur in the beautiful british columbia

Oh,

I miss the East Coast! NS born and raised, but Ive been travelling for over 6 months now, and have a few more months before I can make it back east for the festival scene this summer.

I miss all you friendly maritimers!!

Whether you're an East coaster or not, this is guaranteed to be a great time. As a Nova Scotian myself, I look forward to the food, music, dancing and of course - that East coast charm!

Vancouver, mixed with the East coast - sure to be an exciting time!!!

Whether you're an East coaster or not, this is guaranteed to be a great time. As a Nova Scotian myself, I look forward to the food, music, dancing and of course - that East coast charm!

Vancouver, mixed with the East coast - sure to be an exciting time!!!

Ive been to NS, PEI and NB three times and this past summer took my first trip to NL.... It's very beautiful back there and I would go back again for sure... Friendly people, great food and beautiful scenery!!!

Hey guys !
It seems that there are a lot of us "East Coasters" out here in the Vancouver area.

I am from NB and like all others miss the friendly nature of Atlantic Canada.

Perhaps we should form a "Society" of Atlantic Canadians and meet on a frequent basis ? We could share music, jokes and tall tales from "Down Home".

Any interest out there for such a proposal ?

Don

Shawn, being from PEI you should really know it's Atlantic, not Atlandic! And that big island across the gulf from PEI is Newfoundland, not NewFound. Regardless, it's the real "Best Place on Earth"!

'favorite' group.......darn eyes :-)

does anybody know when Hey Rosetta will be playing? They have become my favotite group since my sister in SJ gave me two CD's of theirs for Christmas.

East coast culinary delights sound awesome:) I'll be sure to visit!

If somebody is planning on visiting to Atlandic Province. Just, google- Prince Edward Island Tourism.ca or Nova Scotia Tourism.ca or New Brunswick Tourism.ca or finnally NewFound and Labrador Tourism.ca and you can get all the infromation you will ever need to plan your trip/vacation.Just like l did..

I am a P.E.Ier living and working in Burnaby, which is next to beautiful Vancouver for the last ten years. I will be going to the Atlandic Canada House every day. I will be having some of the beautiful food from my beautiful home province. Don't get me wrong, Vancouver is a beautiful place. But one can not help, but get home sick. There are lots of things to do on P.E.I. I am going home this summer for three beautiful weeks. Every province has its own beauty in Atlandic Canada. Any body can get a seat sell, which make's the trip down to Atlandic Canada really reasonable on the wallet. The Atlandic Province's have to be seen to be enjoyed. The people of P.E.I as well as the other Atlandic Province are very friendly and helpful.

I'm from NB and have been living in Vancouver for almost 2 years. I've been homesick lately, so I can't wait to spend several late nights at my home venue! Whoahoo weeeelcome to the Maaaritimes!!!!

Many say we have the best kept secret here in Newfoundland and Labrador! Check out this website and you will be glad to include the far east of the western world in your travel plans!!
http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/

If you are in New Brunswick for September be sure to check out the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton. You will not be disappointed! I'm and east coaster (in Vancouver to volunteer for the Olympics) and I could go on and on about things to do in every Atlantic province but the Harvest Festival is a must-do if you are there in September.
It really is a beautiful part of the country in the fall.

www.harvestjazzandblues.com


Thanks for the great links to the different free events!

Check out this website for all things Nova Scotian: https://novascotia.com/en/home/planatrip/travel_guides/default.aspx

Will I get a chance to try some of that world famous Newfoundland Screach?

As a born and raised Nova Scotian now living in the west I will be sure to frequent the Atlantic Canada House.

Connie: for travel to Atlantic Canada, try the Tourism department or authorities for the various provinces.
Just google around a bit. Each province will send you a ton of paper info if you wish, or just view the official tourism website. PEI sent me lots from a form I filled out on their website.
Just stick to the official govt website initially until you get a feel for it. The web is full of useless rebooking engines with incomplete info.

I'm planning on coming to Atlantic Canada this summer but am having a hard time getting any info - Travel agents here don't seem to have anything past Montreal

I wish I could report that we're having real winter weather like they are out east, but it's pretty wet and mild this week. We've got our fingers and toes crossed that it cools down next week.

We're planning on coming up the coast to Vancouver for the Olympics. Great site you have designed for us tourists. This Atlantic Canada House looks like one we will be visiting. Sounds like fun for all of us. Can't wait to make the trip up. Is it snowing up there?

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