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Chloe Lai

Skookum Festival Takes Over Stanley Park

By CHLOË LAI

The Killers (Photo by Stephen Schulcz)

Sep. 7 to 9, 2018 Go big before you go home: this month, heavy hitters from the worlds of music, food and art gather in Stanley Park for the first-ever Skookum Festival. For three days, the urban forest is alive with the sounds of international legends such as Florence and the Machine, Metric, Buffy Sainte-Marie and The Killers (pictured). Show-stopping cuisine fuels the fun with offerings from top local eateries—including Kissa Tanto, Bel Café and Vij’s—served amid larger-than-life murals and interactive art installations. When the sun goes down, Skookum After Dark events ramp up at various venues downtown. World-class concerts all day and night? It’s music to our ears.

Sail Away in Style

By CHLOË LAI
Aug. 2018

The V2V Empress is decked out in eye-catching art by Kwakwaka’wakw artist William Cook

Road trips are fun, but boat trips—especially the luxury catamaran kind—are even better. Set sail for Victoria aboard V2V Vacations’ sleek high-speed vessel, which is docked right downtown. Spend three scenic hours cruising the Salish Sea, with 360-degree views of the Gulf Islands and West Coast wildlife from the upper deck, fresh BC fare to snack on, and plush reclining leather seats that are perfect for a mid-cruise snooze. The V2V Empress arrives right in the heart of Victoria, and those travelling in Royal Class can head straight to their concierge-organized activities. Smooth sailing, guaranteed.

First-Ever Vancouver International Bird Festival Takes Wing

By CHLOË LAI

Photo ©Aquamarine4/Dreamstime.com

To Aug. 26, 2018 “Everybody knows that the bird is the word!” The Trashmen’s catchy tune is especially apt this month, when the first-ever Vancouver International Bird Festival swoops into town. Aviary-themed activities include a Coast Salish canoe journey that explores shoreline restoration efforts for feathered friends, stilt walkers in bird costumes, world-class wildlife art exhibitions, scavenger hunts for kids and more. Whether you’re a fledgling nature lover or an aspiring ornithologist, it’s sure to be a real hoot.

Jack White at Rogers Arena

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by David James Swanson

Aug. 12, 2018 Jack White’s latest album, Boarding House Reach, has been making waves since its release. Debuting at number one in both Canada and the USA, it traipses between an unusually wide range of genres—from heavy metal to jazz to spoken word reminiscent of old-school rap—that showcase the Grammy Award–winning rocker’s unapologetically experimental approach. Ride along on White’s madcap musical exploration at Rogers Arena.

Party in the Park: Harmony Arts Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Outdoor movies at Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Aug. 3 to 12, 2018 The Harmony Arts Festival is the ultimate all-in-one alfresco experience. Sunshine? Check. Free concerts and movies? Check. Art exhibitions, world-class cuisine and waterfront wine pairings? You betcha. Catch afro-funk and Latin soul jams by Coco Jafro (Aug. 12) and watch plein air painters in action at Ambleside Pier. New this year is the Indigenous Feast (Aug. 7), with slow-cooked bison short ribs and more by Salmon n’ Bannock, served with a side of live blues music. Who says you can’t have it all?

25 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities

Live music, outdoor movies and bathtub races—here are 25 of the best things in life that truly are free, and a few that come pretty darn close

Sunset Beach is home to ocean views and public art, including “217.5 Arx x 13,” a steel sculpture by French artist Bernar Venet (Photo by KK Law)

By CHLOË LAI

1. Braving the crisp waters of English Bay to reach the floating dock waterslide, which rockets you right back into the waves from whence you came.

2. Clambering all over public art pieces from the Vancouver Biennale, like the curved “217.5 Arc x 13” at Sunset Beach, cast-bronze “A-maze-ing Laughter” figures at English Bay and oversized “Public Furniture | Urban Trees” at Spanish Banks Beach.

3. Hiking the 2,830 steps of the Grouse Grind, locally known as the best way to build buns of steel, and gaining a new appreciation for the scenic (and sweat-free) gondola ride down Grouse Mountain afterwards. (more…)

Non-Stop Fun: Vancouver Pride Weekend 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver

Aug. 3 to 5, 2018 Forget sleep: Vancouver Pride‘s finale weekend has events from dusk to dawn—and dawn to dusk. Hopelessly devoted to drag? Sing along to hit songs at Grease the Drag Show Remix, or head to Parq to meet RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni. Fuel up at the Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast (Aug. 4), dance all night at Celebrities, then join rainbow revellers at the 40th annual Pride Parade (Aug. 5) and Sunset Beach Festival (Aug. 5). Now that’s a party marathon to be proud of.

Feel-Good Festival: Wanderlust Whistler

By CHLOË LAI

Photo courtesy Wanderlust

Aug. 2 to 5, 2018 Ever wondered what it might be like to meditate on top of a mountain? Head up to Whistler for Wanderlust. This four-day celebration of all things wellness includes guided meditations, yoga classes—hosted on stand-up paddleboards, aerial silks, slacklines and good old-fashioned mats—mindfulness-themed wilderness walks and more. And for music that moves your soul, find your zen on the dance floor, where local and international acts keep the good vibes going late into the night. Pure bliss.

Fireworks Festival: Honda Celebration of Light 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Fireworks light up English Bay (Photo by Rishad Daroowala/Tourism Vancouver)

Aug. 1 and 4, 2018 Summer nights kick off with a bang at the Honda Celebration of Light, when fireworks light up the sky over English Bay. Gaze up in awe as pyrotechnic pros from Sweden (Aug. 1) and South Korea (Aug. 4) compete for bragging rights by setting off stunning displays synchronized to music. Arrive early, because the party fires up in the afternoon: outdoor stages showcase hot acts like R&B queen Jully Black and fun-fuelled Five Alarm Funk. Plus, daredevil pilots blaze death-defying trails overhead during the nightly airshow. Talk about explosive entertainment.

The Scoop: Five Spots for Scream-Worthy Ice Cream

By CHLOË LAI
Jul. 2018

Photo ©Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com

Ice cream fans, here’s the scoop: sink your sweet tooth into local, seasonal ingredients at Earnest Ice Cream and Rain or Shine, or take a walk on the wild side with Perverted Ice Cream to sample soft-serve with cheeky names like “Beg For S’more.” Artisanal offerings are flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen at Mister, while Umaluma brings impossibly creamy dairy-free gelato to the mindful masses, and packs it into crunchy gluten-free waffle cones. No wonder summer’s our favourite season.

Splash into Summer: Making the Most of Vancouver’s Ocean Playground

In this seaside city, there’s more than one way to hit the water

By CHLOË LAI

Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres’ kayaks provide the perfect vantage point for stunning souvenir snaps (Photo by KK Law)

Power Up Your Paddle

Truth is, the best seat in the house isn’t in the house at all: it’s out on the water. Set out on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres and glide through False Creek to soak up prime views of the city. Say hello to herons and seals as you navigate between the daydream-inspiring yachts and sailboats—as well as the occasional pirate ship—that cruise around Granville Island. For more peaceful paddling, join one of Ecomarine’s sunset tours, or head up to Deep Cove Kayak Centre to explore the tree-lined Indian Arm fjord. (more…)

Granville Island Stage: Once

By CHLOË LAI

The ArtsClub’s production of Once takes over the Granville Island Stage until Jul. 29 (Photo by David Cooper)

To Aug. 5, 2018 Eleven years ago, an indie film about Guy, an Irish busker, and Girl, a Czech immigrant, won hearts all over the world for its soulful songs. Now you can feel the love in person at Once on the Granville Island Stage. The Tony Award–winning musical features a multitalented cast who play every heartbreaking, foot-stomping song—including the Academy Award–winning “Falling Slowly”—on mandolins, violins, accordions and more. Plus, the pub set is a functional bar, so you can step onstage for a pre-show pint. Live music, drinks and a chance to fall in love with Guy and Girl all over again? We’ll raise a glass to that.