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Events Vancouver

Funny Business at Improv Ecology

By SHERI RADFORD

See improv artists Gorilla Theatre perform in Vancouver as part of Improv Ecology

Oct. 14 to 20, 2019 Looking for laughs? You’ll find them at Improv Ecology, the International Theatresports Institute’s 2019 conference and festival. That’s a long way of saying that funny folks are descending on the city. Improv artists from six continents are meeting to discuss and hone their craft—and perform it in front of lucky Vancouverites and visitors. The 50 performances feature improvisers not normally seen outside their home countries. Usually business isn’t a laughing matter, but in this case it definitely is. 

Chutzpah! Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Chutzpah! Festival features performances by musicians Yemen Blues (Photo by Tim Matheson)

Oct 24-Nov 24, 2019 Have you heard the one about the festival that grows every year? It’s no joke—but the Chutzpah! Festival is filled with jokes, as well as dance, drama and music, all by internationally renowned performers. This year’s celebration of Jewish culture features comedians Sandra Bernhard and Iris Bahr, musical storyteller Daniel Cainer, musicians Yemen Blues (pictured) and a screening of The Rescue: A Live Film Concerto. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy all the entertainment on offer, but you can’t be a putz or totally meshuggeneh, either.

Literary Festivals in Vancouver

BY CHLOË LAI

Sep. 2019

The central branch of the Vancouver Public Library is a hub for literary events throughout the year (Photo © Rebecca Brown/dreamstime.com)

Local bookstores and libraries host author readings and book launches year-round, but autumn is literary festival season. Here are five events that celebrate the written word in all its forms. Fair warning: your list of must-read books is about to get a lot longer.

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Fiery Flamenco Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Manuel Liñán Company performs Baile De Autor

Sep 13-29, 2019 There’s no need to fly to Madrid or Barcelona to experience the raw emotional power of Spanish dance. The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival features artists from around the world, including Manuel Liñán Company performing Baile De Autor, which offers a glimpse into the creative process; and La Caramelita Company performing Nritya, which explores the connections between flamenco and India; as well as Canadian performers such as Flamenco Rosario. The best part? No passport required.

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.

Focal Point: Capture Photography Festival

By CAROLINE TOTH

“Untitled, from Acts of Appearance Series” by Gauri Gill (Courtesy the artist)

Apr. 3 to 30, 2019 Every year, the Capture Photography Festival brings into focus works by both established and emerging artists, with exhibits and events throughout the city. For those who like to mix their media, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Moving Still (pictured; Apr. 19 to Sep. 2) draws on India’s long history of experimental photography. The exhibit showcases contemporary artists who place themselves in their own photos, providing insight on wide-ranging social and political themes.

A Fan-Tastic Weekend: Fan Expo Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Fan Expo Vancouver is the perfect time to break out your best costumes

Mar. 1 to 3, 2019 Whether you belong to the “May the Force be with you” or the “Live long and prosper” galaxy of geekdom—or another one entirely—you’re sure to find like-minded uber-nerds at Fan Expo Vancouver. Fanboys and fangirls of all ages don elaborate costumes and line up to meet celebs such as George Takei (Star Trek), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Pamela Anderson (Baywatch), and Cary Elwes and Wallace Shawn (both from The Princess Bride). Will you try to be there? As Yoda said, “Do or do not; there is no try.”

Truly Elevated Dining: Dinner in the Sky

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Award-winning chef Ned Bell (right) at Dinner in the Sky

Aug. 4 to Sep. 3, 2018 Suspend your disbelief: Dinner in the Sky really does whisk diners 30 m (100 ft) above picturesque Ambleside Park. Hoisted to heart-stopping heights by crane, the “dining room” has 360-degree ocean, mountain and city views. For additional thrills, the adventurous can lean their seats back for a fresh perspective. Award-winning chef Ned Bell (pictured at right) is along for the ride, so the gourmet and gravity-defying menu highlights local and sustainable fare. One thing’s certain: it’ll be a meal to remember.

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.