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British Columbia

Culinary Adventurer: Mijune Pak

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Mijune Pak takes a break in Coal Harbour Bar, overlooking the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre (Photo by KK Law)

“I’ve always loved food,” Mijune Pak says with a laugh. “I’ve always had a big appetite.” The vivacious Vancouverite doesn’t look like someone who eats for a living. Her slim build, flawless skin and perfectly stylish outfits, always matched with sky-high heels, suggest a model, not a voracious eater who visited 524 restaurants last year. (more…)

In Peak Spirits: Mountaintop Cocktails

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Oct. 2018

The London Mountain cocktail at Sidecut at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler

If there ain’t no mountain high enough to keep you from a great cocktail, you’re in luck: Sidecut’s cocktail program features the talents of celebrity mixologist Lauren Mote. Inspired by mountain ranges from around the globe, the spirited round-up includes the London Mountain (Whistler Mountain’s original name), spiked with vodka, “hygge chai,” black currant, aromatized wine and wildflower honey. Or the Volcan de Fuego, a delicate rum creation that comes enveloped in a cloud of applewood smoke. They’re sips worth climbing a mountain for—luckily you can find them right here.

Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Balkan Shmalkan at Victory Square (Photo by Tom Quirk)

Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, 2018 Craving a true community vibe? The 15th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival celebrates the neighbourhood’s triumphs, challenges and ongoing activist efforts with over 100 events. Take a deep dive into powerful accounts of the violence faced by Indigenous women in Material Witness. Or kick up your heels with Balkan Shmalkan (pictured)—a self-described “sweet dance party orchestra”—between performances by gospel and blues singers, fiery poets and captivating speakers. Bring a friend, or better yet, make new ones.

Review: Mustard

By SHERI RADFORD

Heidi Damayo and Andrew McNee. Set design by Kevin McAllister, costume design by Carmen Alatorre, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by Mark Halliday.

Time is running out to see Mustard. This darkly funny play centres on 16-year-old Thai (Heidi Damayo) and her imaginary friend, Mustard (Andrew McNee). Though Thai is almost grown and it’s clearly time for Mustard to move on, he’s reluctant to leave Thai and her mother, Sadie (Jenny Wasko-Paterson), who are struggling to cope after the departure of Thai’s father. McNee brings his usual comedic brilliance to a role that demands a huge emotional range, from comic pratfalls to existential angst. Damayo and Wasko-Paterson deliver solid performances as a daughter and mother caught in grief and constant conflict. Less successful are the secondary characters: Chirag Naik as Jay, the histrionic boyfriend, and Shekhar Paleja and Brett Harris as a pair of fantastical goons with a puzzling penchant for both light-hearted wordplay and gory violence. Although uneven, the show is entertaining throughout.

Chirag Naik, Heidi Damayo, and Jenny Wasko-Paterson. Set design by Kevin McAllister, costume design by Carmen Alatorre, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by Mark Halliday.

Written by Kat Sandler, Mustard won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2016. It runs until Oct. 20, 2018, at the Granville Island Stage.

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

Not sure where to start when it comes to Vancouver’s craft beer scene? In two of the city’s hoppiest hoods, plenty of local breweries are just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN + Photos by KK LAW
Oct. 2018

33 Acres

Brewery Creek

Anchored by trendy Main Street, Brewery Creek is the epicentre of Vancouver’s craft brewing revival. It’s a fitting evolution for the historic area, as the city’s first brewery was established here—Vancouver Brewery, in 1889. Now the edgy neighbourhood is studded with chic tasting rooms and more beer varieties than you can shake a stout at.

33 Acres

The pristine aesthetic of this brewery’s tasting room could be lifted from the pages of Architectural Digest magazine, the perfect backdrop for the line-up of approachable brews on tap. Quench your thirst with sips like 33 Acres of Life, a California-common-style beer, or 33 Acres of Darkness, a toasty dark lager. Plus, the extensive menu pleases all palates with espresso beverages and locally sourced bites that range from warm German pretzels to poached eggs to steak sandwiches. 

Brassneck

A rotating roster of small-batch, experimental beers—they’ve brewed more than 100 different varieties so far, and counting—keeps this lively tasting room hopping, while reclaimed wood and zany artwork make it an ideal spot to sit and sip awhile. This is a great place to bend your beer boundaries, but be sure to add the flagship Passive Aggressive to your tasting paddle. Still a fan favourite, the dry-hopped pale ale was the first beer ever brewed here. 

Red Truck

Red Truck

Thirsty? Luckily, finding this no-nonsense brewery is easy—a 24-m- (79-ft-) tall water tower marks the spot. The retro-meets-industrial taproom pours no-fuss favourites like the Road Trip Classic Lager, Czech Point Red Pilsner and Round Trip Amber Ale. If you’re hungry too, pair your sipper with diner-style dishes like loaded hot dogs, chilli, burgers and wings. Or for a throwback treat with an adults-only update, try a beer-and-ice-cream float. 

Main Street

Situated in a cheerful-looking heritage building, this bustling brewery’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls lend it a laid-back feel. A rotating menu of cask-conditioned beers complements seasonal selections and year-round staples, like the Main Street Pilsner and the Old Knights Pale Ale, with its subtle splash of pine and citrus. The casual menu features a range of beer-appropriate bites, like soft pretzels, nachos and tacos, that are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon spent sipping. 

Parallel 49

East Vancouver

More than a dozen breweries and taprooms dot this up-and-coming neighbourhood—also known as Yeast Van—including local stalwarts that led the craft beer charge. Exploring on foot? Note that this area is more spread out than its Brewery Creek counterpart, so plan for longer distances between pints. Other options include tours with companies like Vancouver Brewery Tours (page 64), or doing as the locals do and using pedal power.

Parallel 49

Cartoony labels and tongue-in-cheek names—like the Trash Panda Hazy IPA, Wobbly Pop Pale Ale, and Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest—have been this microbrewery’s calling card since they opened their doors in 2012. The recently revamped tasting room is just as eye-catching: a food truck parked inside the brewery will crush any food cravings, while the rotating taps keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new brews. 

Strathcona Beer Company

This concrete-and-wood-trimmed brewery is decked out with communal tables and cozy booths—choose your seat depending on how friendly you’re feeling. On tap, the ever-changing offerings may include favourites like the well-balanced Premium Pilsner, the lemon-and-mandarin-infused Beach Radler or the hazy N.E. IPA. If you’re planning to stay awhile, the food menu features gourmet thin-crust pizzas, alongside seasonal salads and snacks like popcorn and charcuterie. 

Andina Brewing Company

Andina

The yellow façade adorned with the brewery’s female mascot—known as La Pola, after a Colombian heroine who helped the country gain independence—makes this cheerful taproom hard to miss. The South American flavour extends to the brewery, the first in Canada to use Patagonia malt. For the full experience, pair a sugarcane-spiked Melcocha Andean Ale with one of the many varieties of ceviche or plantain chips. 

Storm Brewing

Looking for a truly unique tasting room experience? This pint-sized brewery delivers just that. Established long before the craft beer craze, this unpretentious space is famous for seriously inventive small-batch beers (appropriately called “brainstorms”) that include past pours like Peanut Butter Cup Stout, Cherry Bomb Ale and Pineapple Paradise Pilsner. But take note: this madcap brewery is a gritty, standing-room-only space that offers samples of their beers—no pints or flights—served in plastic cups for a cash donation. Now that’s an experience. 

Dreamy Designs at the Vancouver Fall Home Show

By CHLOË LAI

Love It or List It, Vancouver’s award-winning host Todd Talbot headlines this year’s Vancouver Fall Home Show

Oct. 18 to 21, 2018 A cozy escape from the world. A place to entertain family and friends. A staging area for creative projects. Dream homes take many forms, so it’s no surprise that design devotees flock to the Vancouver Fall Home Show for how-to guidance. Get tips, tricks and insights into the latest trends from industry experts such as Todd Talbot (pictured) of HGTV Canada’s Love It or List It Vancouver, then be inspired by products from more than 300 vendors. Welcome home.

Public Art: Paradise Has Many Gates

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Photo by Caroline Toth

Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, locals are accustomed to eye-catching artwork springing up all over the city, everything from an upside-down church to a totem pole made of cars. The fourth iteration of this outdoor art exhibition, which runs from 2018 to 2020, kicked off in the summer with “Paradise Has Many Gates” (pictured). Saudi Arabian artist Ajlan Gharem constructed his version of an Islamic mosque from chain-link fence. By evoking thoughts about religion, freedom, imprisonment and interculturalism, this provocative piece fits perfectly into the Biennale’s theme, “re-IMAGE-n.” And its location in Vanier Park guarantees that it is accessible to all, whether for a scholarly discussion about what makes a space sacred, or a leisurely outdoor picnic, or both.

Little Juke: Fowl Play at its Best

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Chow down on gloriously gluten-free fried chicken and a whole host of other delicious dishes at Little Juke

Vancouverites have been flocking to Juke in Chinatown ever since it opened two years ago, to devour the crispy fried chicken, spicy coleslaw and French fries. Now local foodies are all atwitter about the second location, in the West End. Little Juke may be smaller than the original, but it has even more mouth-watering offerings, including rotisserie chicken, fried chicken sandwiches, Vietnamese-inspired nuoc cham ribs and mac-and-cheese poppers. Some weekend-morning advice: the early bird gets the fried chicken and waffles, while the sleepyhead gets to wait in line for brunch.

Tee Time for Teens and Tweens

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Mini golf at the Family Adventure Zone (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

No babysitter? No problem. At Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler Golf Club and Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, juniors can play for free when accompanied by a paying adult (check with each club for rules and restrictions). For even more putting time, the Family Adventure Zone at the base of Blackcomb Mountain offers mini golf (pictured)—along with trampolines, go-karts, a batting cage and more, so there’s no chance of hearing the dreaded childhood refrain of “I’m bored!”

Spirited Sightseeing: Halloween-themed Tours and Activities

By CHLOË LAI
Oct. 2018

The Gastown Steam Clock is located on Water St., one of the most haunted streets in town (Photo ©James Wheeler/Dreamstime.com)

It’s officially spectre-seeking season. Revel in eerie tales of local hauntings with Ghostly Vancouver Tours, hop aboard Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours to see spooky sites—including the city’s first morgue—or solve a cold-case murder with Vancouver Mysteries. Forbidden Vancouver’s Lost Souls of Gastown tour weaves grisly historical anecdotes into a roving theatre experience, while nightmarish characters, haunted houses and scream-worthy rides await at Fright Nights at Playland. For family-friendly frights, ride The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train. Happy haunting!

Geek Power: Fan Expo Vancouver 2018

By SHERI RADFORD

Fan Expo Vancouver gathers more than 30,000 dedicated fans for four days of faraway-galaxy fun

Oct. 12 to 14, 2018 Whether you belong to the “May the Force be with you” or the “Live long and prosper” galaxy of geekdom—or another one entirely—you’re sure to find likeminded uber-nerds at the annual Fan Expo Vancouver. More than 30,000 fanboys and fangirls don elaborate costumes and line up to meet celebs such Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). Will you try to be there? As Yoda said, “Do or do not; there is no try.”

Clowning Around: Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Costumes by Dominique Lemieux

Oct. 10 to 14, 2018 Corteo is staged around a once-in-a-lifetime event: the funeral of Mauro the clown. The colourful character dreams his own circus-themed celebration of life, which includes acrobats bouncing off beds, a live marionette, aerialists swinging from chandeliers, and a performer who floats above the crowd aided by gigantic helium balloons. It’s all the death-defying feats, eye-catching costumes and mesmerizing music that Cirque du Soleil is famous for. Definitely worth adding to your bucket list.