VanMag has been a big fan of the Vancouver Writers Fest for decades. This is the non-profit organization that has brought us Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris and Malcolm Gladwell—and that’s all just in the last six months. We're such big fans that we’ve decided to come onboard as sponsor of their annual fundraiser, Whisky & Words, on Friday, April 24th. In particular, we love how intimate this event is: it's held down at the VWF stomping grounds of Granville Island and there are only 350 tickets. To boot, you'd be hard-pressed to find a whisky—Glenmorangie, Jura, Ardbeg, Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet, The Balvenie, The Dalmore, Bruichladdich, even niche like Compass Box— that's not on the ticket. It's fantastically more intimate than so many of the other whisky festivals, that, to be honest, have morphed into behemoths that are often brutal to navigate and impossible to have any one-on-one time with the brand ambassadors.
We also love that it's more than just Scotch. Liquidity, one of our fave Okanagan wineries will debut their new rosé there and Bomber Brewing will be pulling pints. And then there's the whisky/whiskey from parts outside of Scotland. There's Shelter Point from Vancouver Island, that's been on a tear the past few years racking up global awards for their Canadian take on single malt. There's Irish whiskey from Glendalough, a passion project from five lads from Wicklow and Dublin that's taken off in the past few years. And in particular—we're dying to taste the new whisky from BC's Bearface, the One Eleven Oaxaca Series as it's like no whisky we've ever heard of. Their Master Blender, Andres Faustinelli, teamed up with maestro Mezcalero Pedro Hernández from the sierras of San Baltazar Guelavila in central Oaxaca to make a smoky whisky that's 10 parts Canadian Whisky to one part Agave Espadín. Mind. Blown.
But last year we had one small suggestion—your tickets are priced to low, we said—which they promptly ignored. Surprise, surprise, they sold. But of course they did—they were lower than numerous inferior festivals and you still get 75 percent of the value tax receipt because you're supporting one of our city's great arts organizations. So this year when it came to renewing our sponsorship we said sure—but raise your prices, will ya? Tickets to the main event are still ridiculously low at $120. That means once you factor in the tax receipt you're paying $30. Bonkers. Seriously you can spend that in 45 harried minutes at the Hopscotch festival and this is all you can taste whisky all night. VIP tickets, which let you in an hour early, are $160. So consider this less a call to arms and more a P.S.A.: the tickets are going to sell out in the next few weeks (even though the event isn't until April 24).
So there: we've warned them and they ignored us. We're now warning you—please take our advice. Tickets are here.