Brunch with Dawn Chubai at Bistro Pastis

Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.

For my nineteenth brunch in this series, I was joined by TV Host & Vocalist Dawn Chubai at Bistro Pastis in Vancouver talking about Television, Singing, Jazz and more!

Dawn Chubai

Dawn Chubai was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. after competing in several local talent competitions, she began singing with the Edmonton Musical Theatre Group as a teenager. Following her muse, Dawn then started singing jazz, her singing jump-started her work in television. In 1999, she spent five years with A-Channel in Edmonton as a weather broadcaster and then relocated to Vancouver in 2004. Dawn is currently the Live Eye Host for CITY TV’s Breakfast Television. Dawn has also hosted CityTV’s CityLine and hosted several seasons of the popular Realty Television. In addition to tv, she also performs with her own jazz group as well as with Dal Richards.

Dawn also uses her celebrity status to help local charities in Vancouver. In cooperation with City TV, Dawn emcees as many as 40 events per year, helping to raise money for many worthwhile causes such as Big Sisters of the Lower Mainland, the Children’s Wish Foundation and SOS Childrens Charities.

What got you working in TV?

I was a singer in Edmonton and used to perform on “ The Big Breakfast” tv show. My profile as a singer gave me the opportunity to have an in, in television.

Tell me who some of your most notable guests that you have interviewed for Breakfast Television?

1)    Dr. Jane Goodall

2)    Mike Holmes

3)    Georgia Nichols

What are some of your craziest experiences you have had on Breakfast Television when you have been leading out & about segments?

1)    Repelling down a building 20 stories wearing a latex suit dressed as Cat Woman.

2)    Asked to hold a tarantula even though I have always been scared of spiders.

How long have you been singing?

All of my life, but singing professionally since 1998. When I released my first independent cd in 1999 “New Chapters for an Old Book” – won award ARIA best jazz artist.

What style of music do you sing and perform?

Big band with Dal Richards, and on my own jazz funk style, unique arrangements.

Do you come from a musical family?

All of my dad’s siblings grew up on a farm and are all singers and play instruments.

Are there any musicians who have influenced your musical career? If so who?

  • Cassandra Wilson – alternative arrangements – jazz singer
  • Mark Jordan – Canadian singer and song writer
  • Dianna Krall
  • Holly Cole

When did you form the Dawn Chubai Jazz Group? And how often does your jazz group perform?

We started in 1998, and we form when we can.

Where was your first musical trip?

Korea for their International Travel Expo in 1999 representing Alberta.

Where is your next musical trip?

Edmonton on April 6th

How did you become involved performing with bandleader Dal Richards?

For the BC Business Top 100 – I sang the anthem, Dal was sitting next to me at the event. He knew by how I sang O Canada that I could sing, and he then hired me to sing with his group as one of Dal’s gals.

Name some of the films and tv movies you have had acting roles in?

Feature films such as Twilight: Eclipse, Mission Impossible 4 (starring Tom Cruise), and Fantastic Four 2 (starring Jessica Alba) along with several made for TV movies (movies of the week). I have also appeared on several TV series such as V, the The L Word, Caprica, Stargate SG-1 (starring Richard Dean Anderson) and The Dead Zone (starring Anthony Michael Hall).

What is your favourite food?

Shepperds Pie

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • YEW
  • The Flying Pig
  • L’Abbotioir

Amuse Bouche

Ham & Gruyere Cheese Omelet

Braised Short Rib Sandwich

Basket of Madeleines

Dawn had a Mimosa ($8) to be start, followed by a Ham and Gruyere Cheese Omelet ($13.50) served with hash browns and then a coffee. Richard had a Perrier to start, followed by the Braised Short Rib Sandwich ($16) with fries and an espresso. We both shared the Madeleines.

What do you do in your off time?

  • Sleep
  • Play scrabble
  • Watch tv
  • Hot yoga
  • Listening to music
  • Having a glass of wine with my husband

Who are your top 3 favourite jazz artists?

  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Cassandra Wilson
  • Dianna Krall

How did you become involved as an emcee for charity events?

Stemmed from Television, I always want to support the community that supports me. 30-40 events per year.

Is there an event or two which you have been emcee of that has been memorable?

  • Starlight Gala – Richmond Hospital Foundation at the Riverrock
  • Medallian Awards – Real estate board of Vancouver

You embraced Social Media early on, how have you been able to utilize Social Media in your tv and musical over the years?

Yes – I have such access to a wide audience and the ability to encourage people to be exposed to me. It is the single best way to promote what you do, how others engage with you. One stop shop.

Who are your mentors?

Dr. Dasha Goody –she was the Artistic Director and Founder of the Edmonton Musical Theatre

What’s next for you or what’s on the horizon?

I love doing my job, but if I could do it somewhere like NY I would love that.

Playing Mothers Day at the Boulevard Casino.


Style: A La Carte

Attire: Smart Casual

Time: Saturday & Sunday 11:00am – 2pm

Bistro Pastis

2153 West 4th Ave, Vancouver


For Reservations call 604-731-5020

Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Photo credit: Toranj Kayvon

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