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Events Vancouver

In the Spotlight: Vancouver International Film Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo ©Ulia Koltyrina/Fotolia.com

Sep. 27 to Oct. 12, 2018 Grab some popcorn and settle in—the Vancouver International Film Festival is on silver screens across the city. In the limelight this year are over 200 features and 100 short films hailing from more than 70 countries, plus a host of events, workshops and live performances. It’s one of the largest showcases of Canuck films in the world, so it’s guaranteed to have fans of Canadian cinema on their feet. Documentaries and East Asian films also play strong supporting roles. In that case, better make that popcorn a large.

Sean William Randall: In the Blue Future Exhibit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“In the Future” by Sean William Randall (Courtesy the artist)

Sep. 8 to 30, 2018 “Garden variety” isn’t how you’d describe Sean William Randall’s paintings. His super-saturated acrylic-on-canvas works are imbued with a strong sense of place—a nod to the Canadian artist’s former career as an architect—which, coupled with his keen colour sense, makes Randall one to watch. For an earthly garden of works that delight, visit Ian Tan Gallery’s In the Blue Future. The exhibit is an oasis of detailed acrylic-on-canvas pieces such as “In the Future” (pictured). This is one garden path we don’t mind being led down.

Comedian Jim Jefferies Takes a Crack at Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Art Streiber

Sep. 14, 2018 For Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies, everything is a laughing matter. The famously foul-mouthed comic is best known for his viral segment on gun control, and for his hilarious handling of controversial topics on The Jim Jefferies Show. In The Night Talker Tour, Jefferies unleashes a fresh new onslaught of jokes about everything from American politics to awkward parenting moments. Laugh it up at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Make a Move at the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House

By CHLOË LAI

Photo courtesy Kababayang Pilipino

Sep. 15, 2018 Dream of busting a move, but don’t know the difference between hip hop and Highland? Head to the annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House. More than a dozen dance companies offer free classes for every aspiring Fred Astaire and would-be Bruno Mars. Get sassy with swing moves from Dancing Bee Dance Studios, tap into First Nations traditions with powwow lessons from Nyla Carpentier and Raven Spirit Dance, or explore festive folk-dance steps with Kababayang Pilipino (pictured). Time to strut your stuff.

On the Brink: Vancouver Fringe Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Diana Bang in Self-ish

Sep. 6 to 16, 2018 For a theatre experience on the edge—of your seat, that is—don’t miss the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Over 11 days, more than 700 shows and 90 artists take over every nook, cranny and stage on Granville Island and beyond. Catch groundbreaking performances such as Self-ish (pictured). This one-woman play featuring Vancouver actor Diana Bang brings a comedic touch to universal themes of grief and tragedy. Get ready to bend some boundaries.

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.

Fun at The Fair at the PNE

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo courtesy PNE

To Sep. 3, 2018 For over a century, the young—and young-at-heart—have flocked to The Fair at the PNE for dizzying rides, mouth-watering fare, outdoor concerts and more. Watch the SuperDogs perform new tricks, sink your sweet tooth into Those Little Donuts, shop the Marketplace, ride the wooden rollercoaster, and try your luck at the games. (Whac-a-Mole, anyone?)

Enchanted Evenings at Theatre Under the Stars

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Theatre Under the Stars, at Malkin Bowl (Photo by Tim Matheson)

To Aug. 25, 2018 Open-air theatre hosted in Stanley Park’s beautiful Malkin Bowl is no fairy tale—but it’s still a dream come true. This year, Theatre Under the Stars brings a classic rags-to-riches musical to the stage in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which alternates nights with 42nd Street, the story of a chorus girl’s shot at stardom. So bring a blanket, grab some popcorn, and get ready to make magical memories. The best part? No fairy godmother required.

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?

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…)