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Attractions Vancouver

Science World: Ripley’s Believe It or Not

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Interact with a vast collection of fascinating artifacts, discoveries and displays from around the world at Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

To Apr. 22, 2018 Step right up! At Science World, kids of all ages can explore the unbelievable at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit. Inside this “odditorium” of artifacts, discover the science behind the truly amazing and absurd, such as micro-sculptures that can pass through the eye of a needle, and a life-size model of a prehistoric snake. Or stand on your tiptoes to see how you measure up against the world’s tallest man. Experiments, specimens, challenges and multimedia installations help budding explorers glimpse the weird and wonderful world of Robert Ripley. Strange, but true.

Best Places to Spot Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2018

Cherry blossoms mark the beginning of springtime in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival)

When it comes to springtime celebrations, no one paints the town pink quite like the cherry blossom. The city is home to more than 40,000 cherry trees, which line streets and populate parks with dazzling rosy-hued displays. Sakura spotters make a beeline for Stanley Park, VanDusen and Nitobe Memorial Garden for some of the city’s best bloom-filled views. For more flower-themed fun, head to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Apr. 3 to 29) for haiku contests, picnics, concerts, arts and culture events, and much more. A perfect bash to celebrate the beautiful buds.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Takashi Murakami

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo of Takashi Murakami by Maria Ponce Berre/MCA Chicago

To May 6, 2018 Even if you’re not familiar with Takashi Murakami, you probably know his art. When his bright, whimsical works aren’t being exhibited in the MoMA or Palace of Versailles, they’re splashed across Louis Vuitton purses and Kanye West album covers. Now, one of Japan’s most imaginative and important artists brings his anime-inspired pieces to the Vancouver Art Gallery for Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. The first-ever Canadian retrospective of the esteemed artist’s work features 55 playful paintings and sculptures that pair pop art with traditional Japanese culture. It’s the perfect intro.

Cute Creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Feb. 2018

Hardy, one of the Vancouver Aquarium’s rescued sea otter pups, strikes an adorable pose. (Photos courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

You don’t have to deep-sea dive to discover the wonders of the ocean—simply ride the tides to the Vancouver Aquarium. Inside, find 50,000 incredible animals ranging from sloths to sea otters. Roll up your sleeve and pet a stingray, pop over to Penguin Point, tour the tropics, and discover all the life flourishing right here on BC’s coast. And don’t just bring home memories—the gift shop carries an array of souvenirs such as jewellery, Inuit art, plush toys, local cookbooks and upcycled glass sea stars that are worth the suitcase space. Bonus: gift-shop purchases fund aquarium programs that keep oceans wonderful. Now that’s deep.

Art: Masters of the Northwest Coast

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Get a glimpse of something truly spectacular at the Masters of the Northwest Coast exhibit.

To Sep. 30, 2017 There’s no denying that the Pacific Northwest is easy on the eyes. There are stunning coastlines, majestic mountains and, of course, eye-catching First Nations art. To see works by some of the best Indigenous artists in the West, head to Douglas Reynolds Gallery for Masters of the Northwest Coast. The exhibit features masks, sculptures, jewellery, carvings and more by famed artists like Bill Reid, Beau Dick and Robert Davidson. Pure eye candy.

Schmooze with Sea Lions

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

It’s always a roarin’ good time at Steller’s Bay. (Photo: Vancouver Aquarium)

Looking to meet some locals? Then head to the Vancouver Aquarium for an introduction to some of the most sociable West Coasters around: Steller sea lions. Like any true local, they love seafood, sunbathing and ocean swims. Find them enjoying all their favourite things at Steller’s Bay, the Aquarium’s latest exhibit. Not only is it the perfect place to meet and greet these charismatic creatures, but it’s also an active research station that helps scientists understand why wild Steller sea lions are disappearing. We can’t think of a better reason to get up close and personal.

Alfresco Art

Get a glimpse of Vancouver’s most beloved sculptures without ever leaving the sunshine

By CHLOË LAI + Photos by KK LAW

Golden Spruce 002 KKLaw Sept17

Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland’s “Golden Tree”, a 13-m- (43-ft-) high sculpture made of steel-reinforced resin and fibreglass with a hand-finished gold exterior, awaits an audience near the Marine Drive SkyTrain station. Step inside this to-scale replica of the beloved 800-year-old Stanley Park Hollow Tree for souvenir snaps that echo through the centuries. (more…)

Masterworks at the Museum of Anthropology

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Gaagm sasoo (Chief's rattle). (Photo: MOA/Ken Mayer)

Gaagm sasoo (Chief’s rattle). (Photo: MOA/Ken Mayer)

To spring 2019 There are over 530,000 reasons to make a trip to the Museum of Anthropology. That’s how many archaeological objects are housed in the award-winning, Arthur Erickson–designed building. Now there’s another reason to visit: the groundbreaking new Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks. The stunning new display space features cutting-edge technology, including lighting that adjusts to local weather patterns. The gallery’s inaugural exhibit, In a Different Light: Reflecting on Northwest Coast Art, looks into the histories of more than 110 Indigenous works—from personal belongings to legal documents. It all adds up to one amazing experience.

Fair Attractions at the PNE

By SHERI RADFORD

At the PNE, every day is a holiday.

At The Fair at the PNE, every day is a holiday.

Aug. 19 to Sep. 4, 2017 One day is never enough to take in all the sights, sounds and smells of The Fair at the PNE. For over a century, this summertime fair has been entertaining both the young and young-at-heart with rides, outdoor concerts and mouth-watering food. Cheer on the SuperDogs, visit farm animals and wander through the PNE Prize Home. And we dare you to resist the aroma of Those Little Donuts—a scent guaranteed to send Vancouverites into a feeding frenzy.

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Fireworks light up Coal Harbour.

Fireworks light up Coal Harbour.

Jul. 1 to 2, 2017 This year, Canada blows out 150 candles—and everyone’s invited to the birthday bash. For the country’s largest sesquicentennial celebrations outside of Ottawa, head to Canada Day at Canada Place for festivities that include five stages of music and performances, fireworks, a pancake breakfast, a parade and more. Take in famed Canuck musicians like Sam Roberts, Hey Ocean! and Dragonette, explore the armed forces exhibits, and help welcome 150 new Canadians in a group citizenship ceremony. It’s not to be missed—this party’s been a century and a half in the making.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival 2017

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoy your Shakespeare shows with a side of ocean and mountains.

Enjoy your Shakespeare shows with a side of ocean and mountain views.

Jun. 1 to Sep. 23, 2017 All the world’s a stage—but perhaps none is more picturesque than seaside Vanier Park, where open-air tents pop up every summer for Bard on the Beach. The popular Shakespeare festival features four different plays, such as The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice, and even transports wisecracking Much Ado About Nothing to 1950s Italy. Also taking centre stage: lectures, live music and family nights, plus a peekaboo panorama of ocean and mountains. It’s a theatre-goer’s dream that lasts far longer than a midsummer’s night—it goes all summer long.

A+ Activities: Our Favourite Reasons to Visit UBC

Find the best places to eat, explore and be entertained at the University of British Columbia. School may be out for summer, but this lush coastal campus is packed with hidden gems for every visitor, from orchestra aficionados and art connoisseurs to golfers and nature lovers

By CHLOË LAI

The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

Art History

Fancy a bit of a scavenger hunt? This campus is a veritable outdoor gallery, featuring an ever-evolving collection of art installations just waiting to be discovered. The most recent addition is the Reconciliation Pole, a towering 17-m (55-ft) totem pole carved by James Hart, a Haida master carver and hereditary chief. Intricate details etched into the 800-year-old red cedar tell the story of First Nations communities’ experiences before, during and after the traumatic residential school system—thousands of copper nails are hammered into the wood, each commemorating a child who died at a residential school. Other totem poles around campus include the Musqueam Post by Brent Sparrow Jr., and the Victory Through Honour pole by Calvin Hunt and Merv Child.

For contemporary art, step into the crisp white rooms of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, where avant-garde artists and innovative exhibitions take centre stage. Download or print their info sheet to take a sunny self-guided outdoor art tour—and keep an eye out for the delightful Classical Toy Boat by Glenn Lewis, which isn’t on the list. If you’ve only got time for one destination, venture across Marine Drive to find the Museum of Anthropology tucked away amongst the trees. With one of the finest collections of First Nations art and artifacts in the world, as well as impressive exhibits spanning every culture from Asia to the Amazon, it’s an absolute must-see. (more…)