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Chloe Lai

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.

Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Maureen Washington performs with the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir

Dec. 14 and 15, 2018 Vancouver’s favourite hand-clapping, foot-stomping holiday concert is back. Follow your dancin’ feet over to Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas. The 90-voice gospel choir—which has performed with the likes of Barbra Streisand and Josh Groban—joins forces with award-winning Canadian jazz powerhouse Maureen Washington to belt out beloved Christmas songs in the spectacular Christ Church Cathedral. It’ll have you dancing in your seat (or in the aisles).

Holiday Cheer at Vancouver Christmas Market 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Lindsay Elliott

To Dec. 24, 2018 There are plenty of ways to make merry at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Take photos inside the brightly lit walk-in Christmas tree or mistletoe-laden Lovers’ Lane tunnel, each decked out with tens of thousands of dazzling lights. Find treasures for all, from Käthe Wohlfahrt’s classic ornaments to Provence en Couleur’s luxe olive-wood kitchenware. Refuel with mulled wine in the heated lounge, sing seasonal tunes on select karaoke nights, or hop aboard the carousel—there’s no age limit for holiday spirit.

Ultimate Relaxation at Float House

By CHLOË LAI
Nov. 2018

Photo by Amandalproductions

Tired after a day of sightseeing? Sore from a long flight? Soothe busy minds and travel-weary bodies at Float House, where sensory deprivation tanks take rest, relaxation and recovery to the next level. Soak up the serenity—along with a healthy dose of stress- and pain-relieving magnesium sulfate—with 90 blissful minutes of effortless flotation in body-temperature water infused with nearly half a ton of Epsom salts. First-timers can even request gentle music to help ease the transition to absolute silence. Afterwards, sip tea in the post-float lounge before stepping back out into the world. Ready, set, glow.

Guo Pei’s Stunning Couture at the Vancouver Art Gallery

By CHLOË LAI

Photo courtesy of SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

To Jan. 20, 2019 Recognize this stunning yellow silk cape (pictured)? Rihanna wore it to the Met Gala in 2015, propelling Beijing’s top couturière, Guo Pei, into the international spotlight. Resurrecting pre–Cultural Revolution tailoring techniques, Pei crafts gowns that combine imperial Chinese opulence with avant-garde aesthetics. Explore her stunning styles at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Guo Pei: Couture Beyond.

The Greatest Gift: Seasonal Shopping

By CHLOË LAI

Illustration ©Svetlana Chistobeva/iStockphoto.com

Nov. 7 to Dec. 24, 2018 It may be too early to hear sleigh bells ring, but it’s never too early to start whittling away at your shopping list. Make spirits bright with locally crafted treasures from one of the many studios and shops on Granville Island, or fill stockings with offerings from more than 300 Canadian artisans at the Circle Craft Christmas Market (Nov. 7 to 11). Nostalgic merrymakers love Christmas at Hycroft (Nov. 15 to 18), where festive vendors fill every nook and cranny of an Edwardian mansion decked out in traditional finery, and revel in the open-air magic of the German-themed Vancouver Christmas Market (Nov. 21 to Dec. 24). An exemption from the panic of last-minute shopping? That’s the greatest gift of all.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre: Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

By CHLOË LAI
Oct. 2018

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Nov. 13-18, 2018 She was the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. She’s won four Grammy Awards, and been inducted into the Hall of Fame for songwriting and rock ’n’ roll. At the Tony Award–winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, fans sing along to the pop icon’s greatest hits—including “You’ve Got a Friend”—while retracing her humble beginnings. It’s got us feeling “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

In My Kitchen: Cooking with Locals

By CHLOË LAI
Oct. 2018

Swiss home cook shows guests how to make spaetzle

Have an appetite for culinary adventure? Don an apron and step up to the stove with In My Kitchen. Local home cooks open their doors to small groups, sharing traditional family recipes for everything from perfect Swiss spaetzle noodles to tasty Middle Eastern tabbouleh. Cook up a storm from scratch, then take a seat at the host’s dinner table to enjoy the fruits of your labour, served with a side of lively conversation and new friends. The icing on the cake? Everyone takes home a recipe booklet and shopping list, so they can recreate their favourite dishes. It’s Canadian hospitality at its finest.

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.

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.

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!

Where to Celebrate Diwali in Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Arno Kamolika performs a Bharatanatyam interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Shyama

Oct. 3-Nov. 17, 2018 Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, brightens long autumn nights. Fire up your cooking and mosaic-painting skills at Diwali Fest or catch one of Diwali in BC’s trailblazing performances: A Vancouver Guldasta illuminates the challenges faced by the Sikh diaspora in the ’80s, while The Believers Are But Brothers shines a light on online extremism. A fresh take on Bengali dance drama Shyama (pictured) pays tribute to its original creator, the first non-European Nobel Laureate poet. Truly dazzling.