On Saturday October 30th, some of my friends and I attended the Waldorf Hotel opening in Vancouver. This multi-room Halloween party showcased the entire complex including their renovated hotel rooms and lobby, two dining areas, a freshly restored 1950s tiki bar and both nightclub and banquet spaces (the Cabaret and the Leeteg Room). This was an opening party like none other and I have been to many restaurant openings in the past, produced in collaboration with some of Vancouver’s most interesting artists and musicians.

Musician Thomas Anselmi and restaurateur Ernesto Gomez have taken over operations of the hotel, working with Scott Cohen to reimagine the property. Collectively the team had turned the Waldorf into a creative hub in the heart of East Vancouver where contemporary art, music, food and culture convene under one roof. I am especially looking forward to Executive Chef Ned Bell and his cooking, his menus will be Latin American inspired in both the dining room and café! A Chefs in Residency program will see chefs from around the world coming to the Waldorf to develop collaborative menus in the Waldorf Dining Room.

There were all sorts of Performances by local artists, DJ sets by several of the city’s top DJ’s including Stan Douglas, Mr Pablo, Ryan Moore, Phil Western and David Wisdom. There was a Visual Presentation by David Wisdom and the Presentation House Gallery and a Dance Party with Ice Cream Social!

We took in all the features of the party that night including our favourite, the  Installation by Paul Wong dubbed “The Hotel”, that took place in the rooms in the hotel, each room had a different theme and the costumed guests were welcome to enter any of the rooms to be a part of that theme. There was room 115 which we liked, there was the Chelsea Hotel, The Maid, the Knotted Sheets, The Crossdresser, the 5 minute show and more.

Paul Wong, is self-invented video pioneer and one of Canada’s most renowned multimedia artists, he is an award-winning artist, curator, and organizer of events and public interventions since the mid-1970s. Wong’s work is varied and eclectic, ranging from conceptual performances to complex narratives, meshing video, photography, installation and performance with rare Chinese-Canadian meets cutting edge counter culture perspectives. Described as a Chinese-Canadian Warhol, Wong’s work is in your face, radical, eccentric, sexy, campy, shocking, experimental and spontaneous.

See more photos @ Flickr

The Waldorf Hotel is located at 1489 East Hastings in Vancouver and online at www.WaldorfHotel.com

By: Richard Wolak

Photos by: Noam Dehan