Five things to check out at this weekend’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival!

Check out these great guests at VanCAF 2024, this year’s Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, May 18 & 19 FREE at the Roundhouse.

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‘Whiskey. Always and forever, whiskey.”

Shirley Gnome in Where the Rhubarb Meets the Road

Shirley Gnome shares her thoughts. Photo by Christopher Edmonstone.

Shirley Gnome in Where the Rhubarb Meets the Road

Is this going to be the year of the Gnome?

For years, Shirley Gnome has been building a cult-size following in Canada, the U.S, Australia, the UK, and just about anywhere the English word for vagina (that would be “vagina”) is spoken. 

But with the release of a new album, Taking It Up the Notch, the beloved Vancouver entertainer is on the verge of converting thousands more to her brand of foul-mouthed humour and explicit lyrics.

Released on superstar-packed (well, Carly Rae Jepsen!) Vancouver-based indie label 604 Records, Taking It Up the Notch features more songs about sex, sex, and female sexuality (sex). But even insatiable musical sex goddesses have to eat. So what’s in Gnome’s (figurative) pantry?

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward photo.

Do you or any band members have any special food needs, allergies or eating disorders?

I have a very sexy gluten intolerance. Why is it sexy? Because some people are turned on by farts. Look, I’m not here to judge.

What/where was the last great meal you had?

La Fromagerie of the Grill – a grilled cheese sandwich at The Heatley. It’s a local East Hastings bar and restaurant in Vancouver, very near 604 Records where my producer Kevvy and I recorded my album. We’d go there almost every session, and those sandwiches give me life. Also, a glorious fat ass.

Are you, or someone else in the band, what you might call a “foodie”? If so, in what way is s/he a foodie? (i.e., “So-and-so has to find a farmer’s market in every city we visit…”)

I am typing this answer with one hand because the other one is busy shoving food into my mouthhole. Yes. I am a foodie. A huge part of touring for me is eating whatever city/town I am. I like to seek out recommendations (by asking someone FACE TO FACE instead of Googling, can you believe it?) of locally owned healthy grub shacks. I am vegan, not because I am an ethical person but because I want my body to taste amazing. Finding the vegetarian/vegan place, or the one with those options, makes this puss into a tropical dessert. Boom!

What is the one most important thing that you’ve learned about eating while touring?

To do it. It’s easy to forget because things get wild. Oh, and that drinking your dinner is a bad idea (i.e. alcohol instead of food all night).

Shirley Gnome in Where the Rhubarb Meets the Road

Kira Rae photo.

What is the meal-of-last-resort when on the road?

Protein bars. I always keep them on me in case I get into a situation where no food is available (with a gluten intolerance, that is often the case). Also, rock hard dick.

How do you find places to eat–crowd-sourced via social media, restaurant reviews, Yelp?

I already said I ask people face-to-face, weren’t you listening? I also use an app called HappyCow for vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options.

Any shout-outs to venues that are especially memorable due to extraordinary food that comes with playing a show?

Absolutely without a doubt The Green Door in Kimberley, BC. They are a catering company that runs a venue. The food is absolutely incredible. Duane, Jamie, and their team are absolute foodie powerhouses. I also love The Royal in Nelson BC – try the kale teaser and find yourself revelling in pitch-perfect poops. I’ve also been to numerous music festivals where a team of incredible chefs feed the crew and musicians as if we were honoured monarchs. Sh’bang, Robson Valley, Campbell Bay come to mind.

Locally-made craft IPA vs. a PBR (or, if neither, beverage of choice):

Whiskey. Always and forever, whiskey.

Shirley Gnome in Where the Rhubarb Meets the Road

Kira Rae photo.

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