Thank you for the past 17 years

The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is the first of its kind in North America. Here you experience a taste of an authentic Asian night market where a public street is transformed into a festival. It is hosted by the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, which is a non-profit group, with the mandate to energize our neighbourhood.

Unfortunately the expense of setting up and taking down our Night Market has increased over the years to a point that we are unable to maintain it. With a heavy heart, we are unable to bring to you the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market this year. We thank all of the vendors, participants, and guests who have supported us over the past 17 years.

Currently, Chinatown is undergoing an exciting and dramatic facelift, with new developments and demolition near our venue. We hope that we will be able to bring back this attraction which has been an integral component of Vancouver summers once this construction is complete.   

For enquiries, please contact Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association via or phone at 604-682-8998.


Thank You!

The summer came and went in a blink of an eye — we can’t believe it’s over. With
autumn in full swing, we’re looking back at the great things that happened on Keefer
Street this summer. You came out to the Chinatown Night Market in record numbers.
You supported our incredible array of events and vendors. It was amazing, so thank you.

This great experiment, reinventing the market, was our chance to begin making sense of Chinatown’s current evolution. We were eager to form new bonds while strengthening old ones. All of us on the market team — Michelle Fu, Megan Lau, Hannah Reinhart, Michele Guimond, Angela Loh, Edmund Ma and Paige Cowan — wanted to share our love of Chinatown with you.

Getting here was a learning process — tough, no doubt — but we thrived off of witnessing moments that were uniquely Chinatown: people cheering for Bruce Lee at our screening of Enter the Dragon, the enthusiastic shuffling of ping pong players during an outdoor game of ’round-the-world, hundreds of you tasting the memorable new flavours at the dumpling cook-off, the hilarious commentary overheard during Night Vision, the unbridled joy of watching the Project Limelight talent show and so much more. It was in those moments that we felt the generosity of your support, and it encouraged us to keep going.

We’re especially grateful that vendors, performers and our collaborators and sponsors took a chance on a new idea, and trusted that we would do something memorable together. And we did. In our humble opinion, this season of the Chinatown Night Market was unlike any other.

So , that’s a wrap for this year, but keep your eye out for us, and thank you for making the 2013 Vancouver Chinatown Night Market a big success.

— Tannis Ling and Ken Tsui


BACKYARD CÀ PHÊ did awesome at their first night at the market and has quickly earned some fans. Here is an interview with them about making their first sale and being inspired by the restorative power of hangover pho. Meet Andy Au, Gary Wong & Ryan McClanaghan

by Market Correspondent Alice Honiqin


Meet Andy Au, Gary Wong & Ryan McClanaghan   

Meet Andy Au, Gary Wong & Ryan McClanaghan 


How did your first night at the market go?
Gary: It was a really fantastic experience. Felt really good to make that first sale and put a kit into someone’s hands –– Thanks, Robert!  We had a great reception and it was awesome to see so many people interested in our product. In fact, we sold out of our coffee kits on the first night and we’ve been preparing all week to make sure that we have enough this week!

How did you guys come up with the idea of BACKYARD CÀ PHÊ?
Andy: The idea came up when the three of us were putting away some hangover pho and drinking Vietnamese coffees after a night out. Anyone who believes in the restorative power of hangover pho knows you need to combine it with some Vietnamese coffee for full recovery.

There is something a little bit foreign and mysterious about Vietnamese coffee.  If you’ve been to a pho restaurant, chances are you’ve seen one of those little metal hats dripping black coffee. The coffee is delicious and we wondered why more people weren’t having this at home. We thought that a “starter” kit with instructions would help make Vietnamese coffee a little more approachable and decided to do our own take on Vietnamese coffee.

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And the name?
Ryan: We come from a very different place than other roasters in Vancouver and wanted that bit of our character to shine through in our brand. We don’t roast hundreds of pounds of coffee a week – we hand roast one pound at a time. Vancouver has an amazing coffee scene and we’re not looking to blend in with everyone else.

Your product packaging is pretty awesome, how did that come about?
Ryan: Thanks! We visualized a kit that would give you everything you needed to make a cà phê but also kept it together in one place. Something you can throw in your backpack and take camping but also something that wouldn’t look out of place in your kitchen.

We also wanted to capture the love that goes into each kit. Everything from roasting the beans, to the little stickers to keep the lids on the phin filters, we wanted our customers to know that someone took the time to individually build this kit just for them.

As for the graphic design, our friend Jane Koo helped us with the logo and instruction cards. She’s also an ace cook and is selling homemade Korean savouries like kim chi and seaweed in our booth.

How would you explain Vietnamese coffee to someone who’s never tried it before?
Andy: It’s delicious and bold. It’s like an espresso paired with the sweetness and creaminess of sweetened condensed milk. Have it warm, or serve it over ice for the best damn iced coffee you’ve ever had.

The roast seems to be an important part of the Vietnamese coffee experience; can you tell us a bit more about the Backyard Cà Phê roast?
Gary: Absolutely. A light, weak roast isn’t going to cut it. You need something bold to stand up next to the condensed milk – which adds a lot of creaminess, and sweetness.

Vietnamese coffees are dark, strong, and aromatic. The Backyard Cà Phê roast is made up of a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans, butter, coconut oil and a whole lotta don’t worry about it. Our blend leans heavily towards Robusta beans, which we import from Vietnam.

What distinguishes the all-star Vietnamese coffee from the middling ones?
Andy: The interplay between the espresso-like coffee and the sweetened condensed milk requires a lot from a roast. We had to find a balance between bitterness, acidity to pair the coffee best with the sweetened condensed milk to create an enjoyable progression of flavour as you sip it.

What attracted Backyard Cà Phê to the Chinatown Night Market?
Ryan: It is the perfect venue for our kits. Our take on Vietnamese coffee has roots in Asian culture but like this year’s night market has, it’s been injected with some new vitality and freshness.

And finally, what are your coffee dreams?
Ryan: We roast coffee. We don’t sleep. 

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Andy Au, Gary Wong and Ryan McClanaghan are three guys developing and roasting their own version of Vietnamese coffee.  It's unlike anything happening in Vancouver  and it's great to see some Asian Canadian kids owning something as unique and fun as this.  We think they can really get into an untapped niche market in coffee. 



Their own specially roasted coffee beans and a kit containing everything you need to create your own Vietnamese coffee experience will be available at the night market.

Every Saturday starting Aug. 3rd to Aug. 24th




by Market Correspondent Alice Honiqin

The Night Vision show this summer was a massive success for us and drew a crowd of roughly five hundred people to the parking lot of Chinatown’s The Keefer Hotel. AWESOME! Singles, couples, friends, the young and young at heart were all treated to Night Vision’s brilliant photography showcase. Featuring Fred Herzog’s vivid shots of Chinatown in the 1950s and 60s and work from over 40 other local photographers, the show was a heady mix of image, sound and community.  It was definitely a miss it and you’ll regret it type of event and what you’ll definitely regret not hearing is some of the great social chatter. Here's some great little sound bites: 

Ken Tsui Program Director doing some directing. Photos by Leigh Eldridge

Ken Tsui Program Director doing some directing. Photos by Leigh Eldridge

“I work at the courthouse and people are like I want to fake this ticket and I’m like it’s 30 bucks, get over it!”

"Yeah, I think all the food is closing now. Quick better grab a doughnut"

“It’s a gay pride pool party! I know! Talk about motivation right?”

"I think they're over there, it's hard to see"

"I went to Emily Carr with that guy"

"When did they paint the wall?"

“Hey there they are. Hey Guys! We made it.”

“Every- everything’s vibrating.”

“So don’t ever live at home.”

“Awkward awkoo awkwai awkwa awkward.”

“He draws on skateboards, I’ll try to get more people.”

 “There’s a lot of Emily Carr people here.”

“Should we just walk into a bar and get a bunch of –“

“Yes I like your style.”

“What is this?”

“A slideshow.”

Thanks to everyone who came out. Photos by Leigh Eldridge.

Thanks to everyone who came out. Photos by Leigh Eldridge.


This weekend we welcome back the wonderful folks from We Are Local who are taking 3 stalls spaces to make one giant pop up with treasures and fun stuff galore!  Check out this video from the last time they were here. 

Nice things available: 

Tank tops from Vancouver Special 

Tank tops from Vancouver Special 

Can't get enough of these spoons and seed collections with beautiful hand painted packages.

Can't get enough of these spoons and seed collections with beautiful hand painted packages.

Cheap and cheerful

Cheap and cheerful



“I’ve got mad love for Chinatown!” artist Janice Wu exclaims as she reminisces on her childhood memories of the neighbourhood.  For Wu, Chinatown evokes memories of weekend visits with family for groceries, dim sum (“yum cha”) and of course, marveling at all things Sanrio and Pochacco in her once favorite stationary and toy shop “Novelty Gifts Express.” The store no longer stands on Pender Street and she no longer tags along on the weekend grocery trips, but she’s come to embrace Chinatown in a new way now. 


 “I still love the Hong Kong style diners that have the ‘western mini meal combos’ with iced milk tea and the always jam-packed and colourful arts and craft stores that sell precious paper cuttings alongside kitschy trinkets, and the gorgeous and tranquil Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden” she says.  She also has a particular affinity for Chinatown’s beautiful entrance. Wu had the honour of illustrating the Millenium Gate for a Canada Post stamp, which is included in this year’s Chinatown Gate Series.


Janice Wu is the artist behind the Chinatown canvas bags. Ping-pong came to mind since it is seen as a classic Chinese sport and because she wanted the design to be playful, bright and dynamic. “What’s more amusing than a game of ping-pong?” she asks, “Not much.”

Except for maybe eating siu mai and curry fish balls, two of her favourite nightmarket treats.

 When she’s asked to imagine the Chinatown Night Market five years from now, she expresses hopes for it to continue as an interesting intersection for emerging businesses and the long-standing community in Chinatown. “I can see the Chinatown Night Market grow into more than a marketplace, but also a society that strives to celebrate and cultivate Chinese Canadian arts and culture by promoting and celebrating emerging, contemporary artists as well as maintaining traditional art forms and heritage,” Wu says. 

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Without a doubt, we hope the same. Come support Janice and her work by purchasing a signed, limited-edition canvas bag at the market for only $15 a piece at the info booth on Keefer and Main. You can also find them in:

Much and Little
Eugene Choo
Vancouver Special
The Soap Dispensary

You can see more of her work on her online portfolio at or in person at the group exhibitionMONOMANIA II: Vancouver Emerging currently showing at Trench Contemporary Art Gallery until August 31st.


What's summer without outdoor movie classic's? And what's more classic than Bruce Lee!  Come down Saturday July 13th at 9:45pm for the final film screening of the Chinatown Night Market season for Hollywood kung-fu classic  Enter the Dragon, the presented by Fresh Air Cinema. It's BYOC (bring your own chair), so grab some friends, pick up some food and set up to watch epic classic at the Keefer parking lot. 

Oh and here's 10 facts about Bruce Lee the master himself. Makes you feel like you need to do some training huh? 

Poster by the ever talented Miss Ellen Lee. 

Poster by the ever talented Miss Ellen Lee. 

1)      Lee could break wooden boards 6 inches (15 cm) thick.
2)      He could land a punch in around five hundredths of a second (0.05 second) from 3 feet away
3)      He could throw grains of rice up into the air and then catch them in mid-flight using chopsticks.
4)      He could perform one-hand push-ups using only the thumb and index finger (and he performed 50 reps)
5)      Lee could cause a 300-lb (136.08 kg) bag to fly towards and thump the ceiling with a sidekick.
6)      Lee could hold an elevated v-sit position for 30 minutes or longer
7)      Lee performed a sidekick while training with James Coburn and broke a 150 lb (68 kg) punching bag
8)      In a move that has been dubbed "Dragon Flag", Lee could perform leg lifts with only his shoulder blades resting on the edge of a bench and suspend his legs and torso horizontal midair
9)      Bruce Lee was able to jump 8 feet from a stand still
10)   Lee could thrust his fingers through unopened cans of Coca-Cola




Hand-painted nail art and gold plated chains.



Woo to see you takes joy in gathering stylish, high quality, and affordable women's fashion garments and accessories. We believe cultural differences make life beautiful. Fashion travels from one place to another, wrinkling the fabric of society, and offering us a fresh perspective on things we've grown accustom to.



The kids of Project Limelight have created beautiful tumbled-marble Photo Tiles, handcrafted from photographs of iconic Vancouver landmarks.  The photographs, some generously supplied by talented local photographer Clayton Perry, and some taken by the kids themselves, are unique decorative keepsakes.  Project Limelight Society, is a free performing arts program for kids from the downtown eastside and all proceeds from the sale of the Limelight Photo Tiles go towards supporting the program.




Functional porcelain pieces bring delight to the everyday.




Unicorn Dreams is all about finding, re-creating and sharing unique crystals, stones, and treasures. Unicorn Dreams offers a wide variety of quality products such as vintage art and clothing, crystal necklaces, rings, bracelets etc....And nothing is over $25!



Sugo Sauce’s mission is to love;
to love and to connect through food.

Sugo Sauce was born as the result of a relationship between nonna and nipote (grandmother and grand-daughter in Italian). At the early stages Sugo Sauce was just ‘sugo’ (the common Italian name for sauce). Nonna and nipote bonded and connected through the act of teaching and learning how to make nonna’s version of a common simple sugo recipe ‘Classico’.  As time passed, Maya made alterations to nonna’s sugo recipe through inspirations and influences of living in the multicultural city of Vancouver BC.

‘Sugo Sauce’ is simply sauce in Italian and English. Its name is memorable, approachable so anyone can get to know it and bring it home to share with their loved ones.



Mellifera Bees produces distinctive, hand-crafted honey infusions of exceptional quality. Each jar contains unprocessed honey harvested from ethically managed hives in backyards just like yours, in neighbourhoods not so far from where you live, across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Each ingredient is chosen for quality and freshness and sourced exclusively from small, independently owned British Columbia companies specializing in certified Organic comestibles.



Come hang out with three pretty girls doing big things! Check out Deez Nails, a local Nail Artist, providing discounted nail art services on site. She's also teamed up with Pretty.Girl.Swag, a local company selling a huge line of urban-influenced jewelry as well as Kopacetik, a local artisan who sells her own home-made jewelry. Together, these girls know and have the right things to accesorize your overall look!



We will be providing all sorts of services for your hair. We're offering men's and women's cuts, neck trims and bang clean ups, blow outs and styles to get your weekend started.  

Our specialty is styling glamorously sculpted vintage hair but if that's not your thing we'll be offering braided styles, soft beachy waves and flat iron straightening.  Just bring us a picture! 

If you have questions or aren't ready to commit we'd be happy to give you a consultation.


Email us @ to book an appointment


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POPPYTALK is an online "curated" and monthly-themed marketplace exhibition site which showcases handmade and vintage goods from around the world.  Founders, Jan and Earl, bring in their favourite designers/makers, with a camping/outdoor theme.



EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY the visual artists of the China Cloud studio showcase their work (as well as occasional guest artists) 

featuring: brad RH∆DWOODEglantine ShinesInterdependence Creations



OLLA Urban Flower Project is a socially and environmentally progressive plant and flower shop located in Vancouver's Gastown District. 

They will be selling potted succulents, air plant terrariums, and local flowers.



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The Pie Shoppe located at 721 Gore Ave. Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver's smallest Pie Shoppe making handmade fruit pies!

We wheel over our little cart to the market & sell fresh personals filled with seasonal ingredients. 

Menu changes weekly- all pies range between $4-8 each.

Accept Cash & Credit Cards.



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Fun, affordable, and slightly nerdy plastic-free goods. You'll find glass Erlenmeyer flasks, wooden toothbrushes, glass straws, natural soaps and more. There will also be bulk hand soap on tap for refilling and custom scenting and we will be launching some new products too!





SEWN Goods provides responsibly made and ethically sourced leather carry goods that are made by someone who loves what they do. Originally from the east coast, SEWN Goods recently established a studio in Vancouver's East Side. As an interdisciplinary artist who praises traditional handcrafting techniques SEWN strives at creating a meaningful correlation between craftsmanship and innovation. Each article is hand sewn and organically treated in the absence of dyes and chemicals. SEWN believes in craft, and making objects with an honest approach to design. Simple is beautiful.


Come visit the We Are Local Market Stand this Friday & Saturday at the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market. Find accessories, totes, candles, t-shirts, ukuleles and so much more! And everything is $35 or less!


Adhesif Clothing // Ainsworth Custom Design // Board of Trade Co.
Bonerattle Music // Devil May Wear // Dilly Dally Kids // Dream
gravitypope // Jac&Jil // Kali // Kroma Artist’s Acrylics // Lüt Boutique 
Maai Living // Make // much&little // Nineteen Ten Home Boutique
Noble & Co. // One of a Few // Storm Salon  // Vancouver Special
Vincent Park // Visamexicana // Welk’s General Store // Ystävä Studios 

and many more!


Every Friday and Saturday, the visual artists of the China Cloud studio showcase their work (as well as occasional guest artists) 

featuring: brad RH∆DWOODEglantine ShinesInterdependence Creations 



Woo to see you-takes joy in gathering stylish, high quality, and affordable women's fashion garments and accessories. We believe cultural differences make life beautiful. Fashion travels from one place to another, wrinkling the fabric of society, and offering us a fresh perspective on things we've grown accustom to.



Porcelain pieces that delight in the everyday. 


POPPYTALK is an online "curated" and monthly-themed marketplace exhibition site which showcases handmade and vintage goods from around the world.  Founders, Jan and Earl, bring in their favourite designers/makers, with a camping/outdoor theme.



SAFE IN CAMP - nautical vintage, painting and cards


The term "Locals Only" originated from the 1960-1970 surf and skateboard culture. The term was used as a warning to outsiders that turf was taken.

Locals Only Crew clothing line and lifestyle was born from that culture.

The culture and era of Live FAST and Live FREE!   



OLLA is a socially and environmentally progressive plant and flower shop located in Vancouver's Gastown District.    


Cocolico is a specialty chocolate company offering hand-made, small-batch chocolates and fine dessert sauces. With delicately balanced flavors and contrasting textures, Cocolico’s unique creations entertain the palette and seduce the senses.

Cocolico’s uncompromising quality standards and commitment to using only the finest ingredients can be tasted in every bite. Cocolico supports local farmers, businesses and suppliers and uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible.

A small company with big aspirations, chocolate-lovers can look forward to sweet additions to the Cocolico collection with each coming season.


The Window is a social enterprise art and craft showcase in Vancouver's downtown eastside. Created, owned and operated by PHS Community Services Society.



by Alice Honiqin market correspondent

Like most in the city, we love food trucks.  Who doesn’t like delicious, fast food on wheels? Here in Vancouver, we are blessed with some of the best in the continent and this week, we sat down with Zach Berman of the Juice Truck to get an insider’s perspective on Vancouver’s food truck hustle.

Don't forget when you come to the market to check out Columbia Street before you make your final foodie decision!

Don't forget when you come to the market to check out Columbia Street before you make your final foodie decision!

First things first, why juice?
On a trip to the Himalayas, we became interested in the super fruits like the Sea Buckthorn berries that locals were juicing. We also loved the communal aspect of the juice carts where locals gathered every day. My friend, Ryan, and I have always wanted to go into business together and we saw an opportunity in juice to bring something healthy, accessible and communal to people.  We make cold-pressed juices. What that means is we basically use a slow moving, two tonne hydraulic juicer – the Cadillac of juicers- to preserve the awesome nutrients and enzymes in fruits.

Sweet! What did you guys do before juice?
Ryan and I both worked as project managers at an architectural glass firm, Joel Berman’s – my dad actually - Glass studios. I have a painting degree from Emily Carr and he has a city planning degree from UVIC. We both come from a family background of small business so we try to bring that approach to the Juice Truck.

Now we know the Juice Truck is part of a great Vancouver food scene. Can you tell us a bit about the food truck community in Vancouver?
The food truck community in Vancouver is very strong. We are at a smaller scale than say Portland, so everyone works together and everybody wants to see each other succeed. The food trucks are great and they create gathering hubs that enliven various corners of city.

The city’s also done a good job of curating the direction of street food. It’s actually like American Idol with food-tasting judges and an extensive application process so only the really good ones get to run and there’s an emphasis on quality.

What attracted the Juice Truck to the Chinatown Night Market?
We really like the approach of the market. I keep repeating the communal aspect of the Juice Truck so I enjoy how the market is putting more emphasis on the interactive and event elements like Rain City Chronicles and Ping Pong tournaments. We like the hybridity of the traditional night market with aspects of the modern festival.

Ryan Slater & Zach Berman owners of the fantabulous Juice Truck! 

Ryan Slater & Zach Berman owners of the fantabulous Juice Truck! 

That’s great and to end, where do you see food truck community going in the future?
Solar panels, plugged in versus generators and hopefully, a continued balance of different trucks to keep people interested.

Thanks Zach!

Drinks more juice here:


Photo: Vlad Voloshin Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Photo: Vlad Voloshin

Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors

We're extremely excited to welcome new vendor Rock Paper Scissors to the market today, Friday, June 21st.  A truly imaginative way to use her stall space, Michelle will be setting up a pop up hair salon for 8 nights over the summer.  If you feel like a haircut is in order or you'd like some pretty braids, Michelle will be in her market stall down by Columbia St. on June 21st, 22nd, 23rd, July 5th, 6th, 7th, 19th, and 20th.

Read on to find out why we love Michelle and her contribution to the market:

 What made you want to become involved in the night market this year?

When I read about the new vision for the night market, merging the old and the new, it struck me...that's exactly what I do in my craft! Looking to the past to gain inspiration and a new way of thinking for the future. 

Also, being a newcomer to Vancouver, I wanted to tap into its sense of community and see what other creative minds are thinking and doing. 

Describe the plan for your stall this summer at the night market.

We will be providing all sorts of services for your hair. We're offering Men's and Women's cuts, Neck trims and Bang clean ups, Blow outs and Styles to get your weekend started.  

Our specialty is styling glamorously sculpted vintage hair but if that's not your thing we'll be offering braided styles, soft beachy waves and flat iron straightening.  Just bring us a picture! 

If you have questions or aren't ready to commit we'd be happy to give you a consultation.

Photo: Vlad Voloshin Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors  

Photo: Vlad Voloshin

Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors


What aspects of the night market excite you the most?

It's vibrant! I enjoy the people and energy they bring, tasting all the great smelling food and the unpredictable sounds of Karaoke! 

What do you love about Chinatown?

I love wandering the shops and seeing what curiosities you can find with the change jingling in your wallet or dropping into a drawing class or workshop at Blim.  Chinatown is a lot to take in visually;  I appreciate the architecture, bright colors and signage to keep my curiosity going.

 How do you think this night market will set itself apart from the Richmond night markets?

Hopefully our salon will help! I've never been to the Richmond night markets so I'm not sure what they offer there but I don't think a pop up hair salon has been done anywhere else in Vancouver before.

Where do you see the Chinatown Night Market in 5 years?

I see it as a space for the innovative and unique.  I hope it continues to embrace it's traditional roots while welcoming the newcomers. I see the Market as cultural hub of neighborly mingling, cuisine, hand made goods and services.

 What are some of the best markets you have been to around the world and what made them so special?

Lang Dao night market in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand for local cuisine unlike anywhere else including deep fried crickets!

The Puces de St Ouen flea market in Paris for Vintage jewelry, old perfume bottles and oddities

Portobello Road in London for old books, miss matched tea cups and saucers... not to mention all the record shops on the walk to the market 

The Brooklyn Flea for hand made jewelry, vintage eyeglasses and checking out the locals   

Do you have a favorite street snack?

I have really been looking forward to trying Vij's food truck. I usually can't resist anything sweet...especially if it contains Nutella!  I'm also a sucker for Tacos. 

 What is your (other) favourite event in Vancouver and why?

I really enjoy all the outdoor movie events around Vancouver, I'm looking forward to checking something out on the wall of the Keefer Bar if I get a chance.

Photo: Vlad Voloshin Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors  

Photo: Vlad Voloshin

Hair: Rock, Paper, Scissors


What do you love about summer in Vancouver?

The Beach, bike rides, Less rain and more sunshine!

Any advice for creative makers out there who are hoping to create a successful business?

Just be brave and and go for it. Don't be afraid to ask for help with things you don't understand and enjoy the process and learning curves. Stick with it!




Email us @ to book an appointment

Follow us!

Michelle is a freelance hair stylist. Her keen eye for design led her to New York, where she cultivated her unique style of dressing and cutting hair over the past decade. The latter five years found her working in fashion with Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs.

Michelle taught at the Makeup Designory while working on photoshoots, NY Fashion Week, music videos and independent art based projects.

Her latest project is a pop up hair salon located in the newly revitalized Chinatown Night Market incorporating her passion for vintage with modern styles.  




When you arrive at the night market, you know you’re in the heart of one of the city’s most special and historic neighbourhoods. It’s ripe with stories and memories.  So, this year, we're launching the Love Letters to Chinatown podcast project with modo the car co-op and Local journalist Tanya Hill (Co-op Radio) will be recording the sounds and stories of the night market. She’ll be talking with vendors, tasting the food, chatting one-on-one with Chinatown’s old guard. You'll hear their stories and voices every other week on the podcast. We'll post all 10 episodes of Love Letters here on our blog. 


We want you to share your story, too, in the Chinatown Story Booth presented by Modo the Car Co-op.  Tanya will be on the northwest corner of Main and Keefer this Friday. Along with capturing your stories, she'll also be talking to new vendors and digging into the history of the area. Tell Tanya what your new favourite vendor is and why, or give us your best story about the neighbourhood's past. If your story is featured on the  podcast, you'll win a free modo registration, plus $25 in free driving!

To get you in the storytelling spirit, here's the first episode of the podcast: In this episode, Tanya talks to Ken, the night market's Program Director; chicken dinner purveyors Chen-Wei Lee and Stanley Yung of Winner Winner, and Ping Ping, one of the market volunteers. And of course, there's food. What's the crowd's favourite eat on Keefer Street? Does the potato tornado prevail? Find out in the inaugural episode of the Love Letters to Chinatown podcast.

 Click here to check out all the episodes.


Come down this Saturday, June 22 with a blanket and/or chair to get a good spot to watch a kick ass movie! This is the first of 2 outdoors movies being brought to you by our collaboration with FreshAirCinema. Show starts when the moon comes out - about 9:30pm.

Yuen Woo-Ping is the O.G. (original grandmaster/Godfather/goliath) of Hong Kong kung-fu cinema and The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is proud to present a free, outdoor screening his greatest film, Iron Monkey. Projected on a 40-foot screen painted on the side of the Keefer Building, this martial arts version of Robin Hood pulls out all the stops with practically every able-bodied person throwing or receiving perfectly executed punches and kicks. Evil Shaolin monks, corrupt government officials, herbalist doctors, lady assassins and a ten year old boy all deal out an insane dose of jaw dropping, gravity defying kick-ass. With a mix of over-the-top action and campy comedy, Iron Monkey is legendary in the pantheon of kung-fu film and one hell of a fun movie to watch on a warm summer night with friends.


Poster by Cameron Mckague

Poster by Cameron Mckague


We couldn't be more excited about having Vancouver's most famous storytellers, Rain City Chronicles at the market this weekend. Great line up, great atmosphere! 

As you may have noticed they had developed a pretty rad custom poster for the event and we were curious about the designer behind it. 

Designed by John Holdsworth

Designed by John Holdsworth

And here he is John Holdsworth @pikeveryday, the creative genius behind this and all Rain City Chronicles promo. 

Great poster, how long have you been a designer?

Thank you, I've been working professionally for just over 10 years now. I initially thought I'd go to art school, get a fine arts degree and become an illustrator/animator or industrial designer but ended up in communications and interaction design. I've had the chance to work on some pretty interesting stuff over the years, from homegrown start-ups like Rain City Chronicles to Art Directing MMA television and live events in St. Petersburg, Russia. I'm currently working as both a partner and Creative Director for Pike; a local design, content and communications company: ( blog:

I hear you design all of the graphics for Rain City Chronicles, awesome, how did you start that and connect with Lizzy?

I do indeed, and it is pretty awesome: Lizzy is the ideal client. We met right after her and Pat (newly engaged btw) moved out here from Toronto. Pat and I both grew up in Calgary and re-connected out here when he made the leap. Our first encounter was at their housewarming party, we were both bombed off red wine, struck up a conversation that lasted the better part of the evening and the rest is history. We've been working together ever since. 

What inspired you in the development of this poster?

I'd have to say the bright lights, big city aspect of Shanghai. I've never actually been but it popped into my head instantly from an episode of No Reservations. Anthony Bourdain hits up all the street food vendors in that episode and I've been dying to go ever since. That was my jumping off point. I was originally all about the food cart being part of the poster but gravitated to the Chinese take-away box due to it's iconic nature. I like posters that reinforce the theme through imagery and the visual was really working for me. I was also inspired by the patterns used in the amazing gif you guys had created for this year's Night Market. I wanted to play off that theme for this poster, and I think they fit well.

Have you ever been up on stage to tell a story at one of their nights?

I have not, I'm much more of a behind the scenes type of person. I love to go and listen to all the stories but prefer my voyeuristic ways, observing and enjoying what Lizzy & Cory put together for us.

Got a favourite market snack?

Oh jeez, I've yet to go to this years and actually haven't been in a few years so this Saturday will be my time to pick a favourite. Generally I go for dumplings or anything golden and deep fried.




By market correspondent Alice Honiqin

If we were limited to a word in the English language to describe the Grand Opening of the Chinatown Night Market, it would be AWESOME! Vendors like Duchesse Vintage, Don’t Look Artist Community, Pacific North Best and Tiger Ping Pong created a lively atmosphere that had our many visitors buzzing with excitement.  Mixed with Sunshine, tunes and the smell of cooking food and there was a real kick ass community block party feel. 

Ken Tsui Program Director on the right side of the net with little Superman. 

Ken Tsui Program Director on the right side of the net with little Superman. 

The AM1320 opening ceremony showed Chinatown roots as traditional dancers took to the stage. Our super-cool Mayor, Gregor Robertson joined the VCMA for the annual carving of a whole roasted pig.  Shoulder-to-shoulder on Saturday, the crowd gathered around for Chinese dancing, the hyper-popular food trucks, and grabbed sun and beer on Bao Bei’s Patio. What more could you want?

Photo courtesy of @missyhelly

Photo courtesy of @missyhelly

Well, we could always have more PING PONG! It was great to see how enthusiastically everyone grabbed a racket to get their ping pong on for the first night of the Chinatown Night Market Ping Pong Club. Keeping it loose this week gave young and old, table sharks and newbies, the opportunity for a friendly battle to the tune of old-school beats.  A real highlight to the night, the atmosphere couldn’t have been better and it was all thanks to our host Michael Unger and sponsors Tiger Ping Pong.

Photo courtesy of @missyhelly

Photo courtesy of @missyhelly

Continuing the communal theme, many of our vendors like Pacific North Best, Lydia Fu, Art Shop, and the Don’t look Artist Community are simply groups of friends who decided to show their work together and meet fellow artists/craftspeople. It was great to see the response they received from visitors and the interest people showed in work as wide ranging as gouache illustrations, and glass work to fabric pieces and fresh pressed juice.

Thanks again Michael Unger our ping pong host with the most. 

Thanks again Michael Unger our ping pong host with the most. 

All in all, it was an overwhelmingly great start to summer nights on Keefer. Tiger Ping Pong will be back at various dates throughout the summer but if you can’t get enough of ping pong, stellar tunes and Michael’s signature bow tie, be sure to visit the club at the Biltmore for their monthly events. For this week, we are looking forward to Rain City Chronicles leading the event calendar with stories sure to delight and move. See you there!



Report by Market Correspondent Alice Honiqin

This past weekend, gorgeous afternoon sunshine and a multitude of dedicated and casual night market fans joined us in week 2 of Chinatown Night Market’s soft launch. Visitors browsed stalls, chowed down on spicy won-tons, got a preview of Bao Bei’s upcoming super-fabulous pastel patio and met the neighbours. 

Courtesy of the most amazing @missyhelly.

Courtesy of the most amazing @missyhelly


It was great to see visitors and vendors getting to know each other too. Experience of market vendors in other parts of the world has been that they are a chatty bunch. Now, we’re not saying you have to tell our vendors your top five most embarrassing OK-Cupid dates but feel free to really get to know the old and new members of the community like the super awesome, Diane Espiritu of Espiritu Design Studio. Diane is a maker of well-crafted porcelain pieces from objects that are sourced in Chinatown like Koi cast from old-school mango pudding molds! She loves Chinatown’s unpretentiousness and she is a big believer in the community as well as in growing that community – Diane along with other Vancouver Design Bureau industrial designers have an upcoming design show at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
 Garden June 8th.

Also on June 8th, the market is playing host to Rain City Chronicles. So, if sharing your best secrets with the egg waffle guy is no longer fulfilling,  sign up to tell a story on stage or come down and hear the city's best.

At the Chinatown market, we’re all about having a good time outdoors with friends and neighbours while keeping it real. And what’s more real than a multi-coloured pile of simple underpants – 8 for $10 – heaped on a table? It should go without saying, but get them while they're still here. See June 1st for the GRAND OPENING! 


We’ve been overwhelmed by all the talent that’s offered to sell, sing, perform, host and teach at the market and being the curators of all this is by far the best bit! But really we’re amateurs compared to the most prolific 'curators of all things handmade, decayed, and beautiful' Vancouver’s very own Poppytalk. We couldn’t be happier that Poppytalk’s founders Jan Halvarson and Earl Einarson felt inspired to introduce their online community to the great outdoors and public space through warm summer evenings at the market. Here’s what they have to say about their love for Chinatown, hopes for the market and their food truck of choice:

Tell us about Poppytalk!
Poppytalk is a design blog focusing on the beautiful, the decayed and the handmade.  We initially started the blog as a source/reference for our own design studies back in 2005 and since then, it has become our main focus as we try to be a voice for the handmade, design community.

What made you want to become involved in the night market this year?
Having been online for the past 8 years, it feels only natural to bring Poppytalk to a more public space.  We believe it will be a really unique way to showcase some of our favourite designers in a socially engaging public space and we loved what the organizers are planning to do with it. We love the revitalization happening in Chinatown currently and along with supporting the local community, we also think it'll be fun to meet visitors to the street market experience. It'll be fun to bring our handmade world to this newly revitalized night market concept.

Describe the plan for your stall this summer at the night market.
We're super excited to be bringing in some of our favourite designers/makers to the night market  and so we thought it would be fun to give it a camping/patio feel. Some of our products will have that sort of theme - camping - like merit badges, campers, etc. We found some really fun industrial-style string patio lighting that we're looking forward to hanging - and with that we hope to kind of give it a fun relaxed camping/patio feel.

What type of products are you planning to bring to the market?
Starting with some really amazing letterpress out of Louisiana that are cards that you can turn into 3D (think vintage station wagons, campers and even merit badges); we also have local designs from Cabin and Cub - bamboo crests, badges and pins with images like pinecones etched onto them, and some really fun DIY kits and stamps from one of my favourite designers Yellow Owl Workshop out of San Francisco.  So a variety of easy to carry  items, but unique and something you don't normally see at a night market atmosphere.


What makes you excited about the local design scene here in Vancouver?
Everything! We love seeing what work students are creating at shows at Emily Carr, or Future Masters 4 at IDSWest, and of course stores like Walrus, Inform, Provide who create a place for artists to sell.

What aspects of the night market excite you the most?
The night!  And being in Chinatown!  We love both and there's something romantic about the architecture and culture in Chinatown.

What do you love about Chinatown?
The architecture and signage, and all the fun shops there.  It sort of makes you feel like you've been on a vacation in your own city.

How do you think this night market will set itself apart from the Richmond night markets?
We love the modern approach to an old idea - offering a chance for different communities to engage within a night market experience, bringing in the handmade (for instance), along with fun activities and workshops.

Where do you see the Chinatown Night Market in 5 years?
I would hope that it would continue to cultivate a great community - bringing in quality vendors and a really fun place to meet up at during the summer months.

Do you have a favourite street snack?
We both love taco trucks the most

What is your (other) favourite event in Vancouver and why?
We love the shows and sales at Emily Carr University of Design, a good craft show like Got Craft? or One of a Kind - and of course IDSwest.

What do you love about summer in Vancouver?
It kind of always has a feel like a vacation destination I find.  The beaches open up, everyone's out and about - eating, meeting friends, enjoying the weather.  It's just a nice place to be.

Any advice for creative makers out there who are hoping to create a successful business?
Make sure you love what you're doing (first and foremost). Be reasonable with your goals. Then "stick with it" and don't give up.  Things don't happen overnight.  It's a lot of work, takes huge dedication, but if you are committed and passionate and are open to opportunities, it's surprising what can happen! Also be nice.


Here's our first weekend report by Market Correspondent Alice Honiqin!

With a planned humble start this past weekend marked the kickoff of the market season. However, despite the weekend drizzle and our intentions, we may have very well underestimated the hardiness of Vancouverites and were overwhelmed by the number of people who came out! Our early line up included porcelain shot glasses by Espiritu Design, hybrid Churros, classic blueberry pie by The Pie Shoppe, Singaporean Winner Winner chicken dinners and handmade letterpress goods curated Poppytalk. It was great to see the sizeable crowds of long time market goers and new visitors who all turned up to shop, eat, find old favourites and be surprised by something new. Community bonding began with one long-time visitor offering hilarious pricing advice to new vendor, Diane Espiritu, for her super cool porcelain Koi.    

Food is a major draw at any night market and the jewel-like pies from The Pie Shoppe cart had us all mesmerized. Who wants fresh, baked, fruit pies using only locally sourced ingredients? Apparently, everyone and their friends as the pies sold out long before Friday night’s closing. 

The Pie Shoppe's bejewelled pies 

The Pie Shoppe's bejewelled pies 

We’re also pretty psyched for people to try out Cycone’s experimental Churros.  How else would you describe Durian flavoured Churros? (Other than tasty obviously.) New vendor, Chen-Wei Lee and Stanley Yung’s Winner Winner launched their savoury treat in twice the winner chicken dinners.The Singaporean style chicken on Jasmine rice with homemade ginger and - bright orange - hot sauce was a party for the taste buds and a mega success. Long time market fans also filled up on lamb skewers, the infamous tornado potatoes and dim –sum.

Wiinner Winner getting set up

Wiinner Winner getting set up

For those looking for the traditional knick-knacks to accessorize their badass selves, we saw quite a few market goers peruse stalls with the usual bejewelled iPhone cases, and colourful scarves.  In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to expanding our awesome 'accessories section’ with new school market vendors Sharks and Hammers, Woo2cu and China Cloud to name a few.All in all, it was an energetic rather than soft opening thanks to all the visitors and vendors that came out and a great start for this summer’s market season. We’re already anticipating June’s official kickoff with more vendors, launch of the much anticipated events program and like all the foodies out there, the fantastic food truck lineup. See you then!!!

Poppytalk brings their online community outside 

Poppytalk brings their online community outside