Cork & Canvas - Propose a Toast to your Orchestra

[slideshow] Last night saw the kick-off of the annual Cork & Canvas Festival- a month of wine, drink, and art.  Pick your poison, whether it be wine, beer, whisky, or tea, there is something catered to stimulate senses and support local live music.  The festival is filled with enjoyment of the finer things, but also incorporates love of all styles of music- including, yes... the Barenaked Ladies.

The crowd was lively and spirits were high last night.  As we worked our way around the room, the tasting stations were spread out with wines from various regions and food stations.  I will let most of the photos do the talking.  With each event that I attend, I try to take notes on what I'm tasting and eating, but I'm really starting to gain an appreciation for how difficult it is to keep track of everything.

Great Events Catering offered:

Moroccan Lamb Tajine - black sesame cone topped with bamboo rice fritters.

Ahi tuna Fish Tacos with wasabi aioli, soy reduction and pickled ginger - I felt like this was the Alberta special, the ahi tuna trend that is often the card played as the crowd pleaser.

Basil Marinated Scallops breaded with panko and served with a sake injection shot- Now THIS, was an interesting experience!

Hotel Arts served:

Beet root Cured Sokeye salmon with Fairwinds goat cheeese and house-grown micro greens- Delicious cured salmon was the bed for the surprisingly flavour rich goat cheese.  Chef Duncan Ly topped this dish with smoked Maldon salt, what an interesting dimension!

Belgo's team plated:

Pan Seared Scallop with lentil salad, truffle culiflower purree, port caramel, and crispy smoked bacon - this was a very sweet dish with the predictable but a nice contrast to the wine.

The evening wouldn't complete without the serenading and folk sounds of Cellist, Morag Northey- creatively strumming her cello like a guitar and singing rhythmic lyrics, she created a mood of alluring exploration and expression.   I should add that each time she played, she was introduced by the clanging of a large gong.

The silent and live auctions were varied in cultural adventures and vintage wines and ports.  I missed out on bidding as I was too busy tasting and honing the palate- and failing.  Honestly, who wouldn't want to bid on a 7-nights accommodation in France including a wine tour?  Folk fest tickets anyone? How about a meet and greet with the Barenaked Ladies? or an Urban getaway, in my backyard at Hotel Arts.  It all came to an abrupt end, way too fast, and before you knew, there was money all over the floor! - kaput!

What an evening! - even ran in to some unexpected friends :)

UPCOMING events for Cork & Canvas: [click for tickets]

“Beer is the New Wine” on Mar. 8 @ 7 p.m. at Willow Park Wines & Spirits.  Craft beers with top local restaurants, check.

High Tea at the Fairmont Palliser. Mar. 10 @ 2 p.m. The event will feature specialty blended teas, pastries and sandwiches, and a live classical serenade ** there may even be TWO quartets!

Four-course luncheon at La Chaumiere restaurant.  Mar. 14 @ 12 p.m. The meal will feature vintage wines and a live auction

The Art of Whisky through 100 of the world’s finest whiskies Mar. 21 @ 7 p.m. at Willow Park Wines & Spirits

Winemaker’s Dinner on Mar. 31 at 6:30 pm