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Jill Von Sprecken

Artistic Keepsakes: Douglas Reynolds Gallery’s Haida Repoussé Jewelry

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Eagle & Frog repoussé bracelet by Jesse Brillon

To Dec. 31, 2018 Add a little sparkle to your Christmas by placing a piece of jewellery (or two, or three) by Jesse Brillon under the tree. The Haida carver’s bold silver and gold bracelets are created using repoussé, a technique where a design is formed in relief by hammering or moulding the material. And you never know what the gift may spark—the artist’s own career was inspired by a bracelet carved by Don Yeomans, who Brillon would later study under. Discover all his beautiful bangles at Douglas Reynolds Gallery’s Haida Repoussé Jewelry.

Merry Magic at the Aurora Winter Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Experience the merry magic of the Aurora Winter Festival

To Dec. 30, 2018 We hear the North Pole is beautiful this time of year, but the Aurora Winter Festival offers a holly-jolly Arctic experience, too—and it’s just a smidge closer. This winter wonderland brings brilliant light displays, carnival rides, ice skating and even Santa’s workshop to the city. Introduce yourself to a yeti, race to the bottom of the tube park, peruse the market, ooh and ahh at aurora borealis in the light dome, and indulge in delicious food truck fare. Trust us: the North Pole’s got nothin’ on this.

Winter Wonderland at Granville Island

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Dec. 2018

On weekends, take a tour of Granville Island, guided by Santa’s elves

Various dates Hear those sleigh bells jinglin’? Follow them to Granville Island, where festive frolics await. Hunt for perfect presents on Santa’s Village Tour (Dec. 1 to 16). On weekends, Santa’s elves take shoppers on guided tours of the island’s stores and galleries for a chance to win prizes. (On weekdays, the tour is self-guided.) Enjoy seasonal shows like A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill or Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (both to Dec. 30). And share breakfast—and Christmas wishes—with Kris Kringle himself on Dec. 15 at Dockside. What are you waiting for? Giddy up, let’s go!

Retro Revival: Let Your Nation’s Flag Fly

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Nov. 2018

The World Shirt by Mondetta Originals, featuring an Irish flag

Everything old is new again—especially in the world of fashion. Sometimes that means scrunchies and fanny packs, but other times something refreshingly retro makes a comeback. Like the World Shirt by Canadian sportswear brand Mondetta Originals. The iconic flag sweatshirt’s updated look means you can wear your heritage on your sleeve—literally. The collection represents seven nations, including Canada, and has a removable sleeve patch with over 170 country options. We’ll take that over a tube top any day. Find it at Below the Belt

Multitasking Makeup for Travel

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Nov. 2018

Short on suitcase space? Multitasking make-up from IT Cosmetics has the answer. The cult-favourite beauty brand’s skincare-and-make-up hybrids deliver truly transformative results. Top sellers include the Superhero Mascara that flies off shelves thanks to the buildable formula and volumizing collagen, and the CC+ Oil-Free Matte (pictured), a triple threat that delivers full coverage, anti-aging skincare ingredients and SPF 40—all in one. Stock up at Sephora.

NHL’s Erik Karlsson Suits Up with RW&CO.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Nov. 2018

Karlsson wears The Traveler Suit from RW&CO.

When NHL hockey defenseman Erik Karlsson isn’t blocking shots on the ice, he’s scoring style points in a suit from RW&CO. The Canadian retailer’s latest collection of high-performance suits features three on-the-go options, all crafted with comfort in mind. The Traveler Suit is a power play for those on the road—it boasts inner pockets for passports and earbuds, and can withstand airport dashes and overstuffed suitcases thanks to wrinkle-resistant, shape-recovering fabric. Plus, the sleek, tailored look helps every man look like a winner. Score!

Ski Heaven: Upcycled Souvenirs

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Nov. 2018

Wine rack by Ski Heaven

Here’s just the thing for those eagerly awaiting powder-covered peaks: Ski Heaven. The local company aims to keep discarded skis and snowboards out of landfills, and in homes where they inspire a love of schussing year-round. The upcycled objects range from wall-hangings and picture frames to wine racks and coat hooks. The best part? Ready-made pieces can be delivered anywhere in Whistler within a day. And customized pieces can be shipped worldwide. Better set aside some suitcase space. Find them online here.

Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery: All in the Family

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“The Space Between” by Corrine Hunt

Nov. 17 to Dec. 29, 2018 Some vases hold water, others hold history. Such as “The Space Between” (pictured) by famed First Nations artist Corrine Hunt. The vibrant wood-and-acrylic vessel features an inherited raven crest, a treasure included in the dowry of Hunt’s great-great- grandmother. Her ancestor was also considered the first notable artist in a long line of celebrated artists—a legacy also captured in the vase’s design. For more of Hunt’s remarkable works—and history—see Resilience at Coastal Peoples.

Meet the Artists: Eastside Culture Crawl

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Suspended Disbelief” by Vanessa Lam (Photo by Kris Graves)

Nov. 15 to 18, 2018 Want to get up close and personal with Vancouver’s vibrant art scene? Peek into the homes and studios of local talent. No, it’s not snooping. It’s the 22nd-annual Eastside Culture Crawl, where 500-plus artists open their doors to more than 35,000 art admirers. Start your self-guided tour by downloading a map from the Crawl’s website, then peruse one-of-a-kind pieces by artists like Vanessa Lam (“Suspended Disbelief,” pictured).

In Peak Spirits: Mountaintop Cocktails

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Oct. 2018

The London Mountain cocktail at Sidecut at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler

If there ain’t no mountain high enough to keep you from a great cocktail, you’re in luck: Sidecut’s cocktail program features the talents of celebrity mixologist Lauren Mote. Inspired by mountain ranges from around the globe, the spirited round-up includes the London Mountain (Whistler Mountain’s original name), spiked with vodka, “hygge chai,” black currant, aromatized wine and wildflower honey. Or the Volcan de Fuego, a delicate rum creation that comes enveloped in a cloud of applewood smoke. They’re sips worth climbing a mountain for—luckily you can find them right here.

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

Not sure where to start when it comes to Vancouver’s craft beer scene? In two of the city’s hoppiest hoods, plenty of local breweries are just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN + Photos by KK LAW
Oct. 2018

33 Acres

Brewery Creek

Anchored by trendy Main Street, Brewery Creek is the epicentre of Vancouver’s craft brewing revival. It’s a fitting evolution for the historic area, as the city’s first brewery was established here—Vancouver Brewery, in 1889. Now the edgy neighbourhood is studded with chic tasting rooms and more beer varieties than you can shake a stout at.

33 Acres

The pristine aesthetic of this brewery’s tasting room could be lifted from the pages of Architectural Digest magazine, the perfect backdrop for the line-up of approachable brews on tap. Quench your thirst with sips like 33 Acres of Life, a California-common-style beer, or 33 Acres of Darkness, a toasty dark lager. Plus, the extensive menu pleases all palates with espresso beverages and locally sourced bites that range from warm German pretzels to poached eggs to steak sandwiches. 

Brassneck

A rotating roster of small-batch, experimental beers—they’ve brewed more than 100 different varieties so far, and counting—keeps this lively tasting room hopping, while reclaimed wood and zany artwork make it an ideal spot to sit and sip awhile. This is a great place to bend your beer boundaries, but be sure to add the flagship Passive Aggressive to your tasting paddle. Still a fan favourite, the dry-hopped pale ale was the first beer ever brewed here. 

Red Truck

Red Truck

Thirsty? Luckily, finding this no-nonsense brewery is easy—a 24-m- (79-ft-) tall water tower marks the spot. The retro-meets-industrial taproom pours no-fuss favourites like the Road Trip Classic Lager, Czech Point Red Pilsner and Round Trip Amber Ale. If you’re hungry too, pair your sipper with diner-style dishes like loaded hot dogs, chilli, burgers and wings. Or for a throwback treat with an adults-only update, try a beer-and-ice-cream float. 

Main Street

Situated in a cheerful-looking heritage building, this bustling brewery’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls lend it a laid-back feel. A rotating menu of cask-conditioned beers complements seasonal selections and year-round staples, like the Main Street Pilsner and the Old Knights Pale Ale, with its subtle splash of pine and citrus. The casual menu features a range of beer-appropriate bites, like soft pretzels, nachos and tacos, that are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon spent sipping. 

Parallel 49

East Vancouver

More than a dozen breweries and taprooms dot this up-and-coming neighbourhood—also known as Yeast Van—including local stalwarts that led the craft beer charge. Exploring on foot? Note that this area is more spread out than its Brewery Creek counterpart, so plan for longer distances between pints. Other options include tours with companies like Vancouver Brewery Tours (page 64), or doing as the locals do and using pedal power.

Parallel 49

Cartoony labels and tongue-in-cheek names—like the Trash Panda Hazy IPA, Wobbly Pop Pale Ale, and Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest—have been this microbrewery’s calling card since they opened their doors in 2012. The recently revamped tasting room is just as eye-catching: a food truck parked inside the brewery will crush any food cravings, while the rotating taps keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new brews. 

Strathcona Beer Company

This concrete-and-wood-trimmed brewery is decked out with communal tables and cozy booths—choose your seat depending on how friendly you’re feeling. On tap, the ever-changing offerings may include favourites like the well-balanced Premium Pilsner, the lemon-and-mandarin-infused Beach Radler or the hazy N.E. IPA. If you’re planning to stay awhile, the food menu features gourmet thin-crust pizzas, alongside seasonal salads and snacks like popcorn and charcuterie. 

Andina Brewing Company

Andina

The yellow façade adorned with the brewery’s female mascot—known as La Pola, after a Colombian heroine who helped the country gain independence—makes this cheerful taproom hard to miss. The South American flavour extends to the brewery, the first in Canada to use Patagonia malt. For the full experience, pair a sugarcane-spiked Melcocha Andean Ale with one of the many varieties of ceviche or plantain chips. 

Storm Brewing

Looking for a truly unique tasting room experience? This pint-sized brewery delivers just that. Established long before the craft beer craze, this unpretentious space is famous for seriously inventive small-batch beers (appropriately called “brainstorms”) that include past pours like Peanut Butter Cup Stout, Cherry Bomb Ale and Pineapple Paradise Pilsner. But take note: this madcap brewery is a gritty, standing-room-only space that offers samples of their beers—no pints or flights—served in plastic cups for a cash donation. Now that’s an experience. 

Clowning Around: Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Costumes by Dominique Lemieux

Oct. 10 to 14, 2018 Corteo is staged around a once-in-a-lifetime event: the funeral of Mauro the clown. The colourful character dreams his own circus-themed celebration of life, which includes acrobats bouncing off beds, a live marionette, aerialists swinging from chandeliers, and a performer who floats above the crowd aided by gigantic helium balloons. It’s all the death-defying feats, eye-catching costumes and mesmerizing music that Cirque du Soleil is famous for. Definitely worth adding to your bucket list.