Who better to turn to for a small taste of Vancouver's cultural scene than journalist Robin Gill? The Global National Weekend anchor has spent nearly a decade there as a national reporter.
Some of Gill's biggest stories involve Vancouver's lowest moments — the 2011 Stanley Cup Riots and the inquiry into the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport — but to know a city is to know it at its best and worst, right?
After taking a momentary break from the stresses of daily journalism, we ask Gill about her favourite restaurants, wines and what kind of art she collects at home.
Robin Gill I love perusing the Bau-Xi gallery on South Granville. It features both established and up and coming artists. I try to go to Bard on the Beach every year. I sat on the [Vancouver International] Wine Festival gala committee this year to raise money for Bard because I really believe in supporting the arts.
[This is] in no particular order: Nightingale for its casual cuisine and fun vibe; Giardino for a special night out with friends if you want to see and be seen; Savio Volpe is a great neighbourhood place serving excellent Italian; L’abbatoir is a cozy spot for excellent French food; and Anna Lena has great cocktails and interesting food combinations.
I just kind of buy what I like. For a long time, I was into impressionism and cubism. I have a scenery of Sicily done by Italian artist Giuseppe de Luca. I also bought an interesting nude by Eva Claessens, she's a Belgian artist based in Uruguay, and commissioned gold Mylar pieces by Canadian Zoe Pawlak — who is such a gem when you meet her in person.
My first piece of art was given to me by a very good friend. It’s a photograph of Germany’s Reichstag by Christo. A friend of mine, Krista Cooper, who is an art consultant with amazing taste, recently found a massive photograph for me by Formento & Formento, which shows a woman lying on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s so dramatic and edgy!
Actually, I buy wine wherever I travel so it is not confined to Canada. I’ve bought from the Okanagan and Jordan, Ontario — and Italy, France and Napa, too. But it doesn’t last long!
About Robert J. Ballantyne
Robert J.Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star.