• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

British Columbia

Mountain Magic: Vallea Lumina

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
June 2019

At Vallea Lumina (Jun. 7 to Oct. 13), a nighttime walk in the woods isn’t eerie—it’s enchanting. Located on Cougar Mountain, this immersive after-dark experience transforms the old-growth forest into a magical trail, where the trees talk and campfires come to life. The after-dark alchemy is another of The Adventure Group’s memorable offerings, although they had a little help from Montreal-based Moment Factory, a multimedia studio that’s collaborated on everything from Cirque du Soleil to Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Visitors to this interactive light-and-sound display are first sworn in as rangers, tasked with finding two hikers who mysteriously disappeared into the woods. Follow their trail deeper into the forest, and take note as it transforms, becoming more ethereal with every step. The 1.5-km (0.8-mi) trail takes about an hour to complete—it all depends on how much ooh-ing and ahh-ing you do along the way. And to make the trek even easier, a free shuttle operates from Whistler. Let the magic begin.

A Sweet Partnership: Meet the Twins Behind Loulou Lollipop

The twin sisters who created Loulou Lollipop are making the world a cuter place, one teether and swaddle at a time

By SHERI RADFORD
Jun. 2019

Angel Kho (L) and Eleanor Lee (R) in their Richmond office (Photo by KK Law)

Sometimes the sweetest ideas are born from a life event that seems cataclysmic.

Eleanor Lee was eight months pregnant when she learned her employer was bankrupt and everyone was out of a job. “It was a really scary situation,” Lee says, with a baby on the way and no post-maternity-leave job prospects. Lee and her husband knew they couldn’t survive on one income in the pricey Lower Mainland.

When the baby was about six months old and started teething, she often played with Lee’s necklaces, chewing on them and breaking them in the process. Lee worried whether the necklaces were safe for a baby—and she was upset to have her necklaces broken—so she started looking for wearable-teether alternatives. She wasn’t impressed with what she found. “Nothing really spoke to me,” she says. “They weren’t fun enough.” That’s when her interior-design skills kicked in, and the idea for Loulou Lollipop was born. (more…)

10 Years of Beers: Vancouver Craft Beer Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Mark Yue

To Jun. 9, 2019 British Columbia was once known for its lumber industry, but these days our calling card is of a frothier, more festive variety: craft beer. Score a pint (or three) of BC’s finest brews at venues across the city during Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Canada’s first-ever craft beer week turns 10 this year—and it’s spent that decade ramping up our city’s reputation for world-class suds. Raise a glass to more than 100 breweries and cideries, including Vancouver’s Postmark Brewing, Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing Co. and Cobble Hill’s Merridale Cidery & Distillery. Plus, it’s all paired with live music, food trucks, mural painting, and beer tours on 15-passenger bikes. Craft-beer fans, welcome to your hoppy place.

Summer Adventures Unleashed

Awesome outdoor activities for every type of traveller

By CHLOË LAI
June 2019

Sometimes, the best place to kick off the journey to inner peace is a deserted dock on a mountain lake (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The Laid-Back Explorer

Every inch of Whistler is packed with showstopping views, but some vantage points are extra awe-inspiring. Lace up those walking shoes to explore the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk, home to postcard-worthy backdrops such as the inukshuk (a stone figure traditionally used by the Inuit) and Black Tusk. Or step into an iconic red gondola at the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak for 360-degree views of, well, everything. (Pro tip: catch the glass-bottomed gondola.) Want to soak up scenery, serenity and sunshine all at once?  Unroll your yoga mat at one of the many local parks for solo asanas, or call Whistler Eco Tours for group classes at picturesque Alta Lake—on stand-up paddleboards, no less. (more…)

Get the Scoop: Local Artisanal Ice Cream

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2019

Photo ©Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com

Vancouver has a sweet side—and it’s stocked with artisanal ice cream. Handmade small-batch scoops crafted from local ingredients are common to this trend, as are fun flavour combos and vegan options. Rain or Shine serves up handcrafted flavours like Blueberry Balsamic. On Taco Tuesday, get it in a delightfully messy taco-shaped waffle cone. Expect round-the-block queues at Earnest Ice Cream, where hyper-local, seasonal scoops like Spruce Bud are complemented by classic from-scratch flavours like Salted Caramel. When the folks at Mister say “small batch,” they mean it—everything is made to order using liquid nitrogen. Plant-based and dairy-free gelato in an astonishing number of flavours are Umaluma’s claim to fame. On the other side of the spectrum, La Glace’s pretty parlour churns up French-style scoops, meaning more eggs and more cream. Founded by award-winning gelato maestro James Coleridge, Uno Gelato is always adding new flavours to perennial favourites like Akbar Mashti (saffron) and Amarena Cherry. Sweet stuff.

Superb Sips: A Taste of BC’s Thriving Wine Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Photo ©Klarka0608/shutterstock.com

Fancy a glass of BC pinot gris, pinot noir or bacchus? No problem! But it wasn’t always that way.

The local wine scene is blossoming, in part thanks to a changing climate, but also due to significant advances in viticulture. As well, winemaking expertise from regions around the world has contributed much to BC’s relatively new wine scene. Just 45 minutes from downtown, the Fraser Valley is home to some 15 grape wineries (as well as fruit wineries, cideries and meaderies). They include Chaberton Estate (the valley’s first winery, established in 1991), Township 7, Backyard Vineyards and Vista d’Oro, all in Langley, as well as Abbottsford’s Singletree Winery. Chaberton is also home to a delightful French bistro and ideal lunch stop, adjacent to the vineyard and rolling hills. (more…)

Swordplay 101: Academie Duello

By CHLOË LAI
May 2019

Unleash the warrior within with beginner-friendly courses at Academie Duello

Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of Game of Thrones has wondered what it might be like to prepare for battle. Gastown’s Academie Duello, the largest school of European swordplay in the world, has the answer. (Spoiler alert: it’s awesome.) Sign up for an Adventure program to get a 90-minute crash course in combat, wielding the weapon of your choice—anything from a mighty pole-axe to a two-handed longsword. To finish off, channel your inner Jaime Lannister or Brienne of Tarth in a daring duel against a fellow recruit. Fancy yourself a true knight? Head to Langley, just an hour’s drive away, for a longer session to hone your sword-fighting skills on horseback. For glory!

Gastown Con Gusto: Italian Fare at Di Beppe

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Margherita pizza with mozzarella di bufala, and spaghetti amatriciana with guanciale, tomato and pecorino, at Di Beppe (Photo by KK Law)

Just a block from Gassy Jack’s statue, Di Beppe celebrates all things Italian. The lively corner cafe, with its bentwood chairs and intricately tiled floor, is busy all day. Locals drop by for good coffee and a bite of delicious sfogliatelle, or perhaps a bowl of gelato. Come evenings, the buzz spreads to the slightly-more-formal adjacent dining room, with its wide selection of classics: bruschetta with artichoke tapenade and pecorino, plates of steaming carbonara or amatriciana, and tempting pizzas. Flavours are rustic and robust, cocktails authentic (including an easy-sipping Aperol Spritz) and the service genuinely friendly. Inside scoop? Ask about their occasional family-style polenta nights.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

More for Locavores

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2019

Dig into noodle bowls at Harvest Community Foods

In an eco-friendly city known as the birthplace of the 100-mile diet, chef/restaurateur Andrea Carlson is the undisputed queen of local, sustainable fare. Burdock & Co., her destination restaurant on the East Side, is renowned for its dishes made from organic and regional ingredients. Fewer people know about Harvest Community Foods, her tucked-away spot in Chinatown. It combines a gourmet grocery store selling seasonal produce and local artisan foods with a cozy restaurant dishing up hearty rice and noodle bowls (pictured). The bowls change regularly, depending on which local ingredients are available, but they’re always memorable, thanks to Carlson at the helm. Who knew eating sustainably could taste so good?

Hoppy Hangouts: Vancouver’s Craft Beer Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Granville Island Brewing photo by KK Law

Thanks to the craft-beer revolution, a bevy of casual tasting rooms has emerged as neighbourhood anchors. Brewery Creek, near Main and Broadway, was the site of the city’s early industry. Close by, a cluster of modern-day haunts offers plenty of options. (more…)

Deep Dives at Bill Reid Gallery

By CHLOË LAI

“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan

Multiple dates, 2019 Pick up almost any postcard of the West Coast, and you’ll find glamour shots of beaches, glaciers, salmon, orcas and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Our identity is deeply shaped by British Columbia’s connection to water. Go beneath the surface at the Bill Reid Gallery’s qa y xw – water honours us: womxn and waterways (“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan, pictured; to Oct. 2). Nine Indigenous female artists explore historical practices and tackle modern-day threats to our coastal ecosystems through women-centred works in video, printmaking, carving, performance and more. And don’t miss Counternarratives (to Jun. 2), which makes waves by contrasting idyllic 20th-century paintings by Archibald Fairbairn with contemporary Indigenous critique. We’re hooked.

The French Connection: Interview with Chef Michel Jacob

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

At Le Crocodile, Michel Jacob serves specialties such as filet de boeuf tartare (Photos by KK Law)

In an industry not short of egos, there are few “name” chefs more under-the-radar than Michel Jacob. The unassuming owner of Le Crocodile, arguably the éminence grise of the culinary scene, stays very much in the background—as in, the kitchen. For it’s from here he can ensure that every plate meets or exceeds expectations. (more…)