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Jill Von Sprecken

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.

Deep Roots: First Nations Art in Whistler

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Whistler Mountain officially opened in 1966, but its history goes back much further—thousands of years, in fact. Explore the area’s roots at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (pictured). Here, hand-carved canoes, baskets, art and First Nations–inspired fare are complemented by traditional drumming and storytelling. Next, visit the Audain Art Museum for the incredible collection of First Nations art, both historical and contemporary. And just across from the museum, spot “A Timeless Circle” by Coast Salish artist Susan Point. First carved in cedar, then cast in bronze, each of the 86 faces is unique—a celebration of diversity.

 

David Milne Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“White Trees in a Green Valley” by David Milne (Photo by Leif Norman)

To Sep. 9, 2018 Have paintbrush, will travel. A phrase that neatly sums up David Milne’s half-century career, which took the prolific painter from New York to European battlefields to the Canadian wilderness. The artist is famous for his “war watercolours,” created as an official war artist in WWI, which used an innovative drybrush technique to quickly craft the vibrant works. See pioneering paintings such as “White Trees in a Green Valley” (pictured) at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s David Milne: Modern Painting.

Stylish & Sustainable: Swimsuits by The Saltwater Collective

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
July 2018

Being eco-friendly has never looked so good

Searching for swimwear that’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the ocean? Then dive in with Canadian brand The Saltwater Collective. These figure-flattering suits make a splash, thanks to eco-friendly fabrics woven from nylon waste like discarded fishing nets. Shop online or at Zebraclub.

Bold & Beautiful: Audain Art Museum

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)” by James Hart (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Amazing architecture, history and natural wonders—oh yes, and inspiring art—can all be found at the Audain Art Museum. On the walls: Michael Audain’s stunning private collection, which highlights the philanthropist’s profound fascination with BC art from the past 200 years. See Emily Carr’s exquisite landscapes, contemporary photographs by Rodney Graham, and rare First Nations art, including James Hart’s monumental “The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)” (pictured). Even the building itself is noteworthy, designed to defer to, rather than dominate, the natural surroundings. Consider it a cultural tour de force.

A Winning Wardrobe for the Deighton Cup

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Illustration ©Isaxar/Shutterstock.com

Jul. 21, 2018 The city’s style-savvy are off to the races. The Kentucky Derby–style Deighton Cup is devoted to fashion and frivolity (and horse racing, too, we hear). But all bets are off when it comes to sartorial style—expect to see over-the-top hats, fascinators and fedoras alongside silk bowties, fancy frocks and three-piece suits. (more…)

Bau-Xi Gallery: A Deeper Shade of Blue

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Inner Light” by Mel Gausden

To Jul. 21, 2018 Bau-Xi Gallery has the blues—from aquamarine to azure, and everything in-between. Explore the sapphire shade in works such as “Inner Light” (pictured) by Mel Gausden, who is known for a vibrant palette that recalls Instagram-esque digital colour filters and results in convincing-yet-dreamy landscapes. Gallery artists in this group show explore the cool hue not only through cerulean colouring, but also through its metaphoric and symbolic significance. Dive into A Deeper Shade of Blue this summer.

30th Annual Dancing on the Edge Spotlights Contemporary Dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Catch Co.ERASGA’s “Passages and Rhythms” at Dancing on the Edge (Photo by Yasuhiro Okada)

Jul. 5 to 14, 2018 Devoted to dance? Crazy about choreography? Then don’t miss Dancing on the Edge. This year, the annual festival celebrates three decades of busting a move with nearly 30 performances and over 20 innovative dance companies. Boundary-bending works such as Co.ERASGA’s Passages and Rhythms (pictured), Liz Kinoshita’s VOLCANO and Lara Kramer Danse’s Windigo are the perfect way to see contemporary dancers strut their stuff.

By the Numbers: Mountain Biking

Mountain biking has picked up speed in Whistler, and there’s little wonder why: the terrain and trail systems are some of North America’s most epic

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jun. 2018

Adrenaline-seekers of all ages tackle the trails in Whistler Mountain Bike Park (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

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When it comes to terrain, Whistler Mountain Bike Park comes out on top—the alpine playground boasts more than any other bike park in North America.

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The bike park has 70 trails serviced by five lifts, and in 2018, the Creekside expansion will add another five trails to the already impressive line-up. (more…)

Exhibit: Cultural Tattooing at Bill Reid Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest (Photo by Aaron Leonen)

To Jan. 13, 2019 Art goes beyond skin-deep in Bill Reid Gallery’s Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest. For the exhibit’s five Indigenous tattoo practitioners, skin is more than just a canvas—it communicates history and traditions, too. They are working to revive traditional techniques, once integral to conveying identity and social status, by exploring the symbolism, oral traditions and artistry behind epidermal art. The first in the gallery’s newly renovated space, this is one exhibit that’s sure to make an impression.

5 Scenic Sites for Souvenir Snaps

Must-see public art, natural wonders and cultural icons

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jun. 2018

Photo ©JamesVancouver/istock.com

Siwash Rock
Stanley Park Seawall

The ribbon of seawall that winds its way around Stanley Park has plenty of sublime sights, but chief among them is iconic Siwash Rock. Located between Lions Gate Bridge and Third Beach, the outcropping has stood sentinel at this spot for an estimated 32 million years—long (like really, really long) before Captain George Vancouver sailed these waters. According to Squamish First Nations legend, the stone is a man who was transformed by supernatural beings, forever immortalized as a reward for being unselfish. A noble legend, and one that may explain why Siwash remains completely unruffled by all the attention. (more…)

First Nations Art Exhibit at Uno Langmann

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Door Carving” by Charlie James

Jun. 1 to 30, 2018 History buffs and art enthusiasts alike will appreciate First Nations Art at Uno Langmann. Chock-full of for-the-ages artworks, the exhibit chronicles Aboriginal culture and heritage through Salish, Haida, Musqueam and Kwakwaka’wakw artists like Charlie James (“Door Carving,” pictured). Also showcased are non-Indigenous artists like Thomas Harold Beament, whose broad brushstrokes captured traditional settlements and practices. In short, prepare to be fascinated.