Robin Gill shares her top Vancouver cultural spots

Supplied photo
Robin Gill of 'Global National Weekend' Supplied photo

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.

What are your personal highlights among Vancouver's many cultural events?

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.

Speaking of wine, let's pair it up with some food. What are your top five favourite local restaurants?

[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.

You're an art collector, too. What are some of the pieces you own?

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.

Do you remember the first piece of art you owned?

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!

You're a wine lover, too, clearly, as evidenced by your being on the Vancouver International Wine Festival committee. Do you buy mostly Canadian wine?

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!

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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.

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