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Chloe Lai

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.

Mind-Bending Magic: The Illusionists

By CHLOË LAI

The Illusionists dazzle audiences at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Jan. 15 to 20

Jan. 15 to 20, 2019 The explosive entertainers behind The Illusionists have more than a few mind-blowing tricks up their sleeves. Styled as eccentric characters with names like The Escapologist and The Anti-Conjuror, these masters of deception have been astonishing sold-out audiences all over the world with their high-tech hijinks, fiery pyrotechnics and seemingly impossible physical feats. Catch their amazing act at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre—and try not to let your jaw hit the floor too hard.

Dine Out Vancouver Festival is a Foodie’s Dream Come True

By CHLOË LAI

Fine fare at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge (Photo by KK Law)

Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, 2019 Oyster-shucking workshops. Behind-the-scenes sips at craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. Dim sum tours of Chinatown. Welcome to the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest celebration of food and drink. Sample sustainable seafood at the Ocean Wise Pop-Up Restaurant inside the Vancouver Aquarium, or head to Bauhaus for a five-course meal by a Michelin-starred guest chef. The most appetizing offer of all? Superb prix-fixe menus at some 300 restaurants give guests a rare chance to sample top-notch local cuisine at bargain prices. Bon appétit!

Mountaintop Tastes at Whistler Blackcomb

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2019

Roundhouse Umbrella Bar (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Even the most dedicated skiers and snowboarders need to refuel. Fortunately, there’s no need to abandon the scenic slopes—there are plenty of delicious options at high altitude, all offering great views. On Blackcomb, indulge in fully loaded Belgian waffles at Crystal Hut or fine cuisine and flights of wine at Christine’s. On Whistler, sample Ocean Wise seafood at Steeps Grill & Wine Bar or I-can’t-believe-it’s-all-veggie fare at Raven’s Nest. Looking for a liquid lunch? Sip a Caesar cocktail at the glass-walled Roundhouse Umbrella Bar (pictured) while soaking up 360 degrees of Coast Mountain scenery. You may never want to come down.

The Sweetest Resolution: Chocolates in Vancouver

This year, we resolve to eat better…chocolate

By CHLOË LAI
Jan. 2018

Photo by KK Law

The science is in: eating chocolate lowers cholesterol and reduces age-related memory loss—hey, we’re not getting any younger. Plus, it releases endorphins that make us feel like we’re falling in love. West Coasters are big on wellness (and love!), so we take these sweets seriously. Vancouver’s cacao connoisseurs craft the finest melt-in-your-mouth magic this side of Willy Wonka’s factory. Ask your chocolatier if these chocolates are right for you. Clockwise from top left: Crave-worthy cocktail chocolates from Beta5. Gourmet ganache-filled chocolate bars from Mink. Mini milk chocolate hedgehogs with creamy hazelnut filling from Purdys. Chic chocolates and truffles from Thomas Haas. Solid dark chocolate medallions with Haida designs, from Chocolate Arts. Beautifully bite-sized chocolate bonbons from Thierry.

Style-Savvy Shopping

By CHLOË LAI
Dec. 2018

Kimono-inspired top by Karen Kane

It’s officially holiday-party season. When a suitcase-based wardrobe just won’t cut it, stock up on designer apparel at Fashion Addition 14+. Curvy fashionistas find soirée-ready styles by labels such as Eileen Fisher, Dex and Karen Kane (pictured), with pieces that range from chic to showstopping. Party on!

New Gondola and Chairlifts at Whistler Blackcomb

By CHLOË LAI
Dec. 2018

Fresh bluebird powder turns under the Whistler Gondola (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Blackcomb is no slouch. The resort regularly occupies top spots in SKI magazine’s annual rankings, scoring points for everything from awesome après activities to great terrain variety. And they just keep raising the bar. A recent $66-million upgrade gives snow-seekers faster access to fresh powder on both mountains via improved Catskinner and Emerald chairlifts and an all-new Blackcomb Gondola. The gondola’s sleek 10-passenger cabins shuttle 4,000 people up the mountain every hour—over 25,000 people a day—the highest capacity in North America. Looks like there’s room for everyone at the top.