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Jill Von Sprecken

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

From left: Craft Lager, Filthy Dirty IPA, Trash Panda IPA and Ruby Tears NW Red Ale, at Parallel 49 (Photo by KK Law)

From easy drinking to just plain experimental, a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options in hop-heavy neighbourhoods like Brewery Creek or East Village, where craft breweries are all a hop, sip and jump away. Start with local stalwarts like Brassneck and Parallel 49. For an even larger concentration of breweries, tap into Vancouver Craft Beer Week (May 25 to Jun. 3). This frothy celebration of beer, live music and special events culminates with a festival where 100 breweries pour over 300 beers and ciders. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Hot Ticket: Three Premieres at Ballet BC

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ballet BC photo by Cindi Wicklund

May 10 to 12, 2018 The final presentation of Ballet BC’s 32nd season unveils one Canadian and two world premieres—a triple-threat performance that’s sure to be en pointe. Program 3 brings to the stage for the first time Cayetano Soto’s haunting Beginning After, and New Work by the company’s own artistic director, Emily Molnar. Plus, for the first time in Canada, Bill presents the raw energy of Israeli choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. See all three at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Get Crafty: Locally Distilled Spirits

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

Toast your travels with Schramm Gin from Pemberton Distillery

Would you like to take your time in Whistler and bottle it? Then save suitcase space for small-batch spirits with local flavour. At Gillespie’s Fine Spirits, savour tipples such as Sin Gin with its locally foraged botanicals, and Raspberry Gin that’s crafted with BC berries. Pemberton Distillery is famed for the award-winning Schramm Vodka—made from potatoes sourced from just down the road—as well as more creative options like the Barrel-Aged Apple Brandy that boasts BC-based fruit. Now that’s souvenir-savvy.

2018 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Five Sails, enjoy pan-seared bass piccata, vegetables and golden fingerling potatoes in a lemon-and-caper butter sauce—and, of course, the incredible view of Coal Harbour

Our annual Where to Dine Awards pay tribute to the hardworking folks who make Vancouver such a food-lover’s paradise

By TIM PAWSEY, SHERI RADFORD, JILL VON SPRECKEN & CHLOË LAI
Photos by KK LAW

Critics’ Choice

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Five Sails Restaurant

Vancouver’s abundant dining options can overwhelm a hungry traveller, but Les Clefs d’Or always know the newest hotspots, the tried-and-true stalwarts and the hidden gems. These dedicated concierges won’t steer you wrong, and this year their top pick is Five Sails. Perched right on the waterfront, this perennial favourite expertly combines stellar West Coast cuisine with warm service and stunning views of the mountains, inner harbour and Stanley Park. Linger over poached lobster, roasted sablefish or smoked duck breast while watching floatplanes land and cruise ships depart. And make sure to peruse the wine list, which showcases selections from BC’s Okanagan region.—SR (more…)

Thousands Hit the Streets for the Vancouver Sun Run 2018

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Every year, more than 40,000 runners of all ages and abilities lace up for the Vancouver Sun Run

Apr. 22, 2018 Lace up your runners and join over 40,000 of your closest friends at the Vancouver Sun Run. The annual road race was launched in 1985, and took off—now it’s Canada’s largest 10-km (6.2-mi) race, and the third-largest race of its kind worldwide. It attracts elite runners from around the globe, as well as costumed competitors, wheelchair athletes and sprinters of all ages. Along the picturesque route are podium-worthy views of Stanley Park and False Creek, as well as morale-boosting live entertainment. Trust us: it’s the most fun you can have with your running shoes on.

Northern Exposure: Capture Photography Festival 2018

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Apr. 2018

“Subduction Study #7” by Kapwani Kiwanga. (Photo by Victor Sguaresso courtesy Kapwani Kiwanga/Goodman Gallery)

Various dates The Capture Photography Festival is ready for its close-up. From Apr. 3 to 30, the snapshot spectacular focuses on top photographic talent at events, public art projects and gallery exhibits across the city. To see snaps by shutterbugs in all stages of their careers, head to the Contemporary Art Gallery’s The Blue Hour (Apr. 6 to Jun. 24). The exhibit highlights photography by five international and Canadian artists, such as Kapwani Kiwanga (“Subduction Study #7,” pictured), who explores the possible collision of the African and European continents. Now that’s a new angle.

Best Places to Spot Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2018

Cherry blossoms mark the beginning of springtime in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival)

When it comes to springtime celebrations, no one paints the town pink quite like the cherry blossom. The city is home to more than 40,000 cherry trees, which line streets and populate parks with dazzling rosy-hued displays. Sakura spotters make a beeline for Stanley Park, VanDusen and Nitobe Memorial Garden for some of the city’s best bloom-filled views. For more flower-themed fun, head to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Apr. 3 to 29) for haiku contests, picnics, concerts, arts and culture events, and much more. A perfect bash to celebrate the beautiful buds.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Takashi Murakami

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo of Takashi Murakami by Maria Ponce Berre/MCA Chicago

To May 6, 2018 Even if you’re not familiar with Takashi Murakami, you probably know his art. When his bright, whimsical works aren’t being exhibited in the MoMA or Palace of Versailles, they’re splashed across Louis Vuitton purses and Kanye West album covers. Now, one of Japan’s most imaginative and important artists brings his anime-inspired pieces to the Vancouver Art Gallery for Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. The first-ever Canadian retrospective of the esteemed artist’s work features 55 playful paintings and sculptures that pair pop art with traditional Japanese culture. It’s the perfect intro.

Legendary Local Artist: Canada’s First Female War Artist

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Cornish Town #2” by Molly Lamb Bobak (Photo by Rachel Topham/Vancouver Art Gallery)

To Apr. 8, 2018 See landscapes through the eyes of Canada’s first female war artist in Molly Lamb Bobak: Talk of the Town. The Burnaby-raised artist is known for delicate watercolour wildflowers and dynamic crowd scenes, but her cityscapes are just as stunning. The distinctive buildings, all carefully realized, contrast the human chaos experienced during the Second World War (“Cornish Town #2,” pictured). Back in Canada, Bobak had an extraordinary career—from studying with luminary Jack Shadbolt, to receiving the Order of Canada. Explore her vibrant world at Burnaby Art Gallery.

Interactive Exhibit: Mend Piece by Yoko Ono

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo of Mend Piece by Pierre Le Hors/The Rennie Museum

To Apr. 15, 2018 Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece has arrived in Vancouver—in pieces, of course. The interactive exhibit invites viewers to reassemble shattered ceramic cups and saucers using twine, tape and glue. Once “repaired,” the completed projects are displayed on nearby shelves. First conceptualized in 1966, the work parallels the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an aesthetic that finds beauty in imperfection. The small act of mending is linked to larger ideas of repair: how to pick up the pieces left by war, violence and hate. Chip in at the Rennie Collection.

 

VIP Dining at No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

L’Abattoir exterior by Hamid Attie Photography

Mar. 23 and Apr. 27, 2018 History and haute cuisine collide at No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews. Tucked into a 19th-century heritage building, behind local favourite L’Abattoir, the space hosts exclusive evenings once a month, sharing its neighbour’s celebrated chefs and sommelier. These intimate chef’s-table dinners host just eight patrons, who are seated bar-style for front-row seats to the open kitchen and all the delectable drama within. The 10-course menu comes with all the trimmings, including wine pairings and keepsake gifts. It routinely sells out, so act quickly if you want to savour this culinary spectacle.

Singin’ in the Rain: Springtime Activities

Put up your hood and open your umbrella for 20 activities that can be enjoyed rain or shine

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2018

The seawall is scenic in every weather. (Photo by KK Law)

1. Stroll through Stanley Park. The city’s 400-hectare (1,000-acre) forested oasis is a can’t-miss activity. On a drizzly day, skip the seawall and head into the park’s interior for extra protection from the green canopy above. (more…)