Bring the entire family to the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, held in picturesque Vanier Park from May 17 – 24. This celebration of childlike fantasy and wonder showcases everything from dance to storytelling to puppet shows—the life-sized Princess and the Pea puppets are a must-see. The DOXA Documentary Film Festival showcases independent, innovative documentaries from around the world.
The world’s largest annual photography event returns to Toronto this month: the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival presents hundreds of Canadian and international images examining the medium’s “pervasive influence” (this year’s festival theme) on society and human behaviour. If your entertainment needs are more three-dimensional, head to the Royal Alexandra Theatre to watch a big-city boy fall for a small-town girl while jamming to your favourite 1980s power ballads in Rock of Ages, a musical comedy in the tradition of Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You.
Let Belle and the Beast—along with Lumiere and his furniture pals—light up your family life with some Disney magic with Beauty and the Beast. This beloved musical tells the story of a spellbound Prince trying to find love before the last petal falls off his enchanted rose, dooming him to be a beast forever. It’s on May 1 – 30 at the Citadel Theatre. After recent travels around the globe, straight-talking actor, author and radio host Henry Rollins shares his worldview with edgy humour and a spoken-word brilliance that has won him legions of fans around the globe. May 21 at the Winspear Centre.
Chamber music lovers take note: Halifax is the place to be from May 30 to June 13. Various venues around the city host the Scotia Festival of Music, a two-week celebration of all that’s great in Chamber music, featuring local talents and visiting musicians from around the world. This year, the lineup includes pianist Simon Docking, violinist Elmar Oliviera and cellist Matt Haimovitz.
Every year, thousands of people flock to the Great Glebe Garage Sale in search of fantastic finds. On May 29, join the crowd at this hunt where furniture, artwork, clothes, jewellery, electronics, sports equipment and more are up for grabs. Beginning May 23, run, walk, rollerblade or bike on more than 50 kilometres of road that is closed to cars on Sunday mornings, and explore Ottawa’s most scenic routes without fighting traffic.
Restaurants around Whistler are offering three-course menus priced at $25, $35 and $45 during its annual Dine In event.
Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are just some of the household names lacing up for the 20th anniversary Stars on Ice. Podium favourites Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, and Kurt Browning also show off their sharp edges in this family-friendly show, May 6. The crack of the bat, the crunch of peanuts, and the roar of the crowd are all part of the action during a Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball game. Gunning for the Northern League championship, cheer on the team with the aid of wacky mascot Goldie. Up to bat first are the Fargo-Moorehead Redhawks in a pair of exhibition games May 14 & 15.
While spring has sprung, recent mountain snowfalls make for great ski conditions at Sunshine Village, open to May 24. Weekend events entice skiers and boarders to hit the slopes and beer gardens: May 8 – 9 Redneck Rodeo (hubcap hurl, cowboy costume prizes, hillbilly downhill race) and One More Girl concerts; May 15 – 16 Party Like a Rockstar (prizes for best rockstar costume) and BC/DC concerts; May 22 Bikinis for Breast Cancer fundraiser; May 24 Slush Cup season closer where costumed riders brave the jump into slushy cold water.
Don’t miss Victoria’s Uno Fest–the groundbreaking solo performance festival that boasts a terrific line-up of shows for 2010. From returning Fringe favourites to fresh new work by innovative emerging artists, this singular live theatre event will fill Victoria stages May 20 – 30.
Fans of Elton John can experience his music in a new way with Love Lies Bleeding, a production by Alberta Ballet May 6 – 9, performed to 14 of John’s classic songs. The show takes place in an abandoned theatre, and explores “the painful sacrifices made to attain and maintain the status of super stardom.” Every May, kids across southern Alberta head to the Calgary International Children’s Festival to enjoy performances from singers, puppeteers, actors, dancers, martial artists and acrobats. Highlights for 2010 include a production of Alice in Wonderland, the stunts of Gustavo the Impossibilist, and a retelling of the ancient Greek tale Jason and the Argonauts with action figures. May 25 – 29, Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts.