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Chloe Lai

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…)

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!

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.

2019 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Provence Marinaside, the whole Dungeness crab provençale with seasonal vegetables and seven-grain rice is as attractive as it is delicious (Photo by KK Law)

We salute the restaurants and people who make Vancouver such a foodie paradise

By TIM PAWSEY, SHERI RADFORD & CHLOË LAI
MAY 2019

Critics’ Choice

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Provence Marinaside

No one makes more reservations in a year than a hotel concierge. And few have their fingers on the city’s dining pulse as firmly as Vancouver’s Les Clefs d’Or. Always in the loop, they can recommend the ultimate experience—and often secure that hard-to-find last-minute table. This year, their nod goes to Provence Marinaside, a waterside delight on False Creek’s Yaletown shore. Marine-inclined fare marries South of France classics with West Coast flair, such as bouillabaisse, Dungeness crab provençale and olive-dusted seared tuna, using the freshest of local ingredients. Savour smaller bites at the adjacent TWB — The Wine Bar.—TP (more…)

The Polygon Gallery: A Handful of Dust

By CHLOË LAI

“The Library of Holland House Library, Kensington, London, after air raid, 1940,” by photographer unknown

To Apr. 28, 2019 Dust is everywhere, but it often goes unnoticed. Not so in The Polygon Gallery’s latest exhibit. This striking collection of visual works from the past hundred years—including photographs by visionaries such as John Divola and Marcel Duchamp—zeroes in on the ubiquitous particles, using them to highlight larger themes such as the passage of time or the devastation of war. Get swept away at A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic.

Fun & Frugal in Whistler

By CHLOË LAI
Mar. 2019

Sledding at Whistler Olympic Plaza (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

It doesn’t take much to have a great time in Whistler: this winter wonderland is packed with wallet-friendly fun for all. Hop aboard the free Village Shuttle and get off at Olympic Plaza to skate on the outdoor rink, let kiddos play in the sledding area and pose for souvenir snaps with the Olympic rings. Stick around for family-friendly après activities, or head to Skier’s Plaza for the Fire and Ice Show, where skilled skiers and snowboarders soar, twist and flip through flaming hoops. Visit www.whistler.ca to download a self-guided podcast tour of Whistler Village, or a map that points out spectacular public art pieces. The best things in life really are free.

Signature Scents by Valmont

By CHLOË LAI
Feb. 2019

Gaggia Medio I, one of the five fragrances in La Maison Valmont’s Storie Veneziane collection

Move over, Chanel No. 5: Valmont’s latest collection of fragrances has arrived. The Swiss beauty brand—best known for its powerful anti-aging skincare products—whisks patrons away on an olfactory adventure with Storie Veneziane, five perfumes inspired by Italy’s most romantic city. Delicate notes of jasmine, sandalwood and damask rose are guaranteed to make even the most levelheaded lady swoon. And the bottles are works of art too, adorned with handcrafted Murano glass masks and Venetian leather in coordinating colours. Get yours at La Maison ValmontBellissima!

Look Sharp: Solid Brass Safety Razors by Well Kept

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2019

Local company Well Kept crafts elegant safety razors that’ll last a lifetime

Disposable razors just not cutting it? There’s no smoother operator than the sleek safety razor by local company Well Kept. Each one is equipped with a double-edged platinum blade that’s more effective and less irritating than its multi-blade counterparts. The razor’s handle unscrews for easy blade replacement, and it’s compatible with most standard safety razor blades. Plus, it’s crafted from solid brass and designed to last a lifetime—great news for those of us whose stubble shows no signs of vanishing on its own. At Nineteen Ten.

New Year, New Healthy Nibbles by Naked Snacks

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2019

Healthy, travel-friendly treats from Naked Snacks

For those about to snack, Naked Snacks salutes you. This Vancouver company lures recovering junk-food fans away from artificial flavours and trans fats with healthy munchies made of 80 percent whole foods and 20 percent indulgent treats. Head to Urban Fare and take a walk on the sweet side with the Morning Bestie mix—featuring roasted edamame, cranberries and dark chocolate—or heat things up with Wasabi-Me, packed with spicy peas and wild-rice sticks. Snack on!

Local Lore: High-Priority Powder

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2019

Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Ever hear of the 30-cm (1-ft) rule? Rumour has it that when that amount of fresh powder falls overnight, some businesses open late to give lucky locals a chance to get a few rides and ski runs in before work. The luckiest folks, however, are visitors who get to stay out in the snow all day. Ride on!

KISS’s End of the Road Tour Hits Rogers Arena

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Jen Rosenstein

Jan. 31, 2019 If you’ve been waiting your whole life to “Rock & Roll All Nite,” wait no longer. This month, KISS  explodes onto the stage at Rogers Arena for the very last time. The legendary fire-breathing, blood-spitting, pyrotechnics-loving rock stars are kicking off their End of the Road farewell tour, which means this may be your last chance to see them in all their costumed glory. “Creatures of the Night,” take note: the time to rock is now.