Vancouver magazine’s Restaurant Awards will look a little different this year (again)

And good news—you are invited to the virtual ceremony.

And good news—you’re invited to the virtual ceremony

To hold an event in-person or not to? That seems to be the question of our (of course unprecedented) times.

Our friends at sister publication Vancouver magazine (quick q: are we the brother in that relationship, or are publications, like boats, always female?) dealt with this recently in regard to its hallowed Restaurant Awards. In the end, the team decided to go online for the second year in a row. 

“The more we thought about it, the more we realized that the true spirit of the Restaurant Awards is not the actual awards themselves, but the coming together of the industry to celebrate all thats great about hospitality in our city,” says Vancouver magazine food editor Neal McLennan. 

The usual awards feature certain things that the industry has become accustomed to—the darkened basement, the hard pre-gaming with sample-sized pours, the bottles stashed under the folding chairs, that weird feeling of emerging from said basement at 4 to realize its sunny and evening hasnt even started yet.

And trying to shoehorn all that into something that complies with the local regs seemed like a losing endeavour. “Were going to channel what was one of our first of many pivots—our Takeout Thursdays, where I sat in my home office and shot the shit with some industry friends—and do these odd awards the same way,” McLennan says. 

Vanmags 32nd Restaurant Awards wont be the same as previous editions, but, uh, nothing is the same these days; not sure if youve noticed. 

In any event, the winners will be announced, and—hopefully—the 33rd edition will be back with the old-fashioned hell-raising event that this citys restaurant industry deserves. 

The 32nd annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards are on Monday, September 20, at 2 p.m. on Instagram.