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Jill Von Sprecken

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.

Enchanted Woods: Vallea Lumina

Mountain forest turned magical

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

At Vallea Lumina, magic awaits at every turn

To Oct 15, 2018 At Vallea Lumina, a nighttime walk in the woods isn’t eerie—it’s enchanting. Located just outside Whistler on Cougar Mountain, this immersive evening experience transforms the old-growth forest into a magical trail, where the trees talk and campfires come to life. The after-dark alchemy is another of The Adventure Group’s memorable offerings, although they had a little help from Montreal-based Moment Factory, a multimedia studio that’s collaborated on everything from Cirque du Soleil to Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show. (more…)

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.

Fashion Designers Laurence & Chico’s Weird, Wonderful Cafe

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Inside Laurence & Chico Café (Photo by Leila Kwok)

If you’ve ever wanted to peek inside the mind of a fashion designer, head to Laurence & Chico Café. The Vancouver- and New York–based duo is known for weird and wonderful couture collections, and their cafe offers a glimpse into their world. Stepping inside is like falling down the rabbit hole—think plush chairs adorned with tentacle armrests, fringe-embellished stools and a bathroom bursting with 2,000 rubber ducks. On the menu, find local coffees, house-made pastries, fresh-pressed juices and an afternoon tea that would earn the Mad Hatter’s approval. Welcome to Wonderland.

Toronto-based Beauty Brand Deciem in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Deciem’s Vancouver location

Tired of run-of-the-mill skincare? It’s time to try something a little, well… abnormal. Toronto-based beauty brand Deciem, aka The Abnormal Beauty Company, has set up shop in Vancouver, bringing the bulk of its 10 sub-brands along. Among them: immensely popular The Ordinary, known for cutting-edge science at teeny-tiny price points—think retinol serums for the price of a latte. Also find Fountain’s sippable supplements, HIF’s haircare and AB Crew’s grooming for men. Now that’s extraordinary.

Get Steppin’: Self-Guided Tour of Whistler Village

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Whistler Village in the summer (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

If your boots are made for walking, put in your earbuds for a self-guided podcast tour of Whistler Village. Two narrators, including CBC Radio’s Shelagh Rogers, take listeners on a journey through the Village, sharing stories and anecdotes every step of the way. By the tour’s end, you’ll have fun and useful facts on everything from public art to historic bank heists to Whistler’s sister city in Japan. Are you ready, boots? Then start walking. Click here to download the tour.

One Perfect Day: Fun for Foodies, Shopaholics & More

Whether you get fired up about food or are delighted by the outdoors, here’s how to make the most of your time in Vancouver

Vancouver’s northern waterfront at sunset (Photo by Barbershop Films/Tourism Vancouver)

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

FOR FOODIES

Beat the crowds and kick off the day at Granville Island Public Market, a foodie’s paradise stocked with smoked salmon, gourmet cheese, baked goods and more. Peruse the wares while munching Lee’s Donuts or a croissant, but save space for a sit-down brunch at downtown’s popular Café Medina, known for heavenly Liège waffles and lavender lattes. (more…)

Move Over, Après-Ski: It’s Time for Après-Bike

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Photo ©Miroslav_1/istockphoto.com

After a day spent tearing up trails on two wheels, bikers head down the mountain for après festivities—a ritual that’s thankfully no longer reserved just for skiers. For the full experience, find a bustling patio a sliding-stop’s distance from the base of Whistler Mountain to watch downhillers make their final descent. Top spots include Garibaldi Lift Co. and Longhorn Saloon for pub fare and pitchers, and Black’s Pub for the line-up of craft beer. Trust us: it’s the most fun you can have with your bike armour on.

A Taste of Italy in Whistler

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Beautifully plated halibut at Il Caminetto (Photo by Leila Kwok Photography)

If you’re dreaming of la dolce vita, look no further than Il Caminetto. The Whistler stalwart recently underwent a makeover, and the result is a room as fresh and contemporary as the modern Italian cuisine. Under the careful eye of executive chef James Walt, who also oversees the award-winning kitchen at Araxi, the reimagined menu is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. Buon appetito!

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.