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Things to Do Vancouver

KISS’s End of the Road Tour Hits Rogers Arena

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Jen Rosenstein

Jan. 31, 2019 If you’ve been waiting your whole life to “Rock & Roll All Nite,” wait no longer. This month, KISS  explodes onto the stage at Rogers Arena for the very last time. The legendary fire-breathing, blood-spitting, pyrotechnics-loving rock stars are kicking off their End of the Road farewell tour, which means this may be your last chance to see them in all their costumed glory. “Creatures of the Night,” take note: the time to rock is now.

Like a Local: Ice Skating at Robson Square

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Robson Square Ice Rink (Photo by KK Law)

To Feb. 28, 2019 Besides saying “sorry,” ice skating may be one of the most Canadian activities out there. Take part in this patriotic tradition at Robson Square Ice Rink, which appeals to aspiring Sidney Crosbys and Patrick Chans alike. And aside from showing off your triple lutz to all your new (and very polite) Canuck friends, the best part is entry is free and skate rentals are only $5. Prefer to stick to the sidelines? Watch all the action with a warm drink from the concession. Get ready to glide.

Canadian Artist Paul Ygartua’s Vivid Works at Ukama Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Fiesta” by Paul Ygartua (Image courtesy the artist)

Jan. 18 to 31, 2019 Depth of colour and feeling combine in vibrant works by Canadian artist Paul Ygartua. His pieces create dimension through a unique backdrop of canvas and plexiglass—a medium he developed back in 1980 (“Fiesta,” pictured). Peruse his paintings at Ukama Gallery’s Primordial Abstraction: Depth & Illusion.

Mind-Bending Magic: The Illusionists

By CHLOË LAI

The Illusionists dazzle audiences at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Jan. 15 to 20

Jan. 15 to 20, 2019 The explosive entertainers behind The Illusionists have more than a few mind-blowing tricks up their sleeves. Styled as eccentric characters with names like The Escapologist and The Anti-Conjuror, these masters of deception have been astonishing sold-out audiences all over the world with their high-tech hijinks, fiery pyrotechnics and seemingly impossible physical feats. Catch their amazing act at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre—and try not to let your jaw hit the floor too hard.

Happy, Healthy New Year: Vancouver Edition

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy—keeping them is a little harder. Here’s how to make them stick while enjoying the wellness-friendly West Coast

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jan. 2018

YYoga’s airy Northshore Elements studio is ideal for breaking a sweat or finding your Zen (Photo by KK Law)

EXERCISE

Yoga Ready to get your om on? Mat-toting locals abound in yoga-obsessed Vancouver. At YYoga, say namaste to sleek studios that offer more than a dozen different styles of yoga, 800 classes per week, and (at select studios) infrared sauna. Prefer to mix it up? Spin classes, Pilates, floor barre and more can be found here, too. Semperviva also boasts bright and airy studios around the city, with 10 different styles of yoga on offer. Our advice: salute the sun at the Sea Studio on Granville Island where gorgeous waterfront views can be enjoyed from your mat. (more…)

Seasonal Sparkle at Capilano Suspension Bridge

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Festive holiday photo opportunities await at Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights

To Jan. 27, 2019 For that festive feeling, head to Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights. There, brilliant light displays take hundreds of thousands of twinkling bulbs to new heights—from the glittering bridge to dazzling decked-out Douglas firs, eight of the world’s tallest Christmas trees. To keep the whole family merry and bright, there’s gingerbread decorating, scavenger hunts and sing-along carols. And with partial proceeds supporting the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, the real spirit of the season is celebrated, too. Very merry.

Review: Blind Date

By SHERI RADFORD

Dec. 2018

Imagine the most memorable blind date of your life. Now imagine that date unfolding in front of 300 spectators. That, in a nutshell, is Blind Date.

Mimi sits alone in a restaurant, waiting for a potential beau who never arrives. Instead of despairing, she cheerfully ventures into the audience, where she plucks a male onlooker out of the safety of the dark theatre and propels him into the centre of the action. What follows is 90 minutes of awkwardness and hilarity in equal doses, thanks largely to the skill and comedic timing of Mimi (played on different nights by Tess Degenstein, Lili Beaudoin or Ali Froggatt). From start to finish, Mimi is control of everything happening on stage, even when her hapless date blurts out something particularly odd or rambling. And she manages to turn the completely improvised experience into an entertaining show with a solid beginning, middle and end. After more than 7,000 performances, Mimi has clearly learned a thing or two about comedy—and the magic of two people meeting for the first time.

Blind Date runs to Dec. 30 at the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre. It’s definitely worth repeat viewings, since no two shows are ever the same.

On the Ice: Hockey Championships and Figure Skating Finals in Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD
Dec. 2018

Fans of figure skating and ice hockey, you’ve come to the right place (Photo ©Inhabitant/iStockphoto.com)

Various Dates Ice hockey and figure skating are the hottest tickets in town this month. From Dec. 6 to 9, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final takes place at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, with men, women and pairs from around the world competing. And from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship takes place in both Vancouver and Victoria. Hopes are running high that Canada’s National Junior Team can bring home the hockey glory.

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!

Ultimate Relaxation at Float House

By CHLOË LAI
Nov. 2018

Photo by Amandalproductions

Tired after a day of sightseeing? Sore from a long flight? Soothe busy minds and travel-weary bodies at Float House, where sensory deprivation tanks take rest, relaxation and recovery to the next level. Soak up the serenity—along with a healthy dose of stress- and pain-relieving magnesium sulfate—with 90 blissful minutes of effortless flotation in body-temperature water infused with nearly half a ton of Epsom salts. First-timers can even request gentle music to help ease the transition to absolute silence. Afterwards, sip tea in the post-float lounge before stepping back out into the world. Ready, set, glow.

In My Kitchen: Cooking with Locals

By CHLOË LAI
Oct. 2018

Swiss home cook shows guests how to make spaetzle

Have an appetite for culinary adventure? Don an apron and step up to the stove with In My Kitchen. Local home cooks open their doors to small groups, sharing traditional family recipes for everything from perfect Swiss spaetzle noodles to tasty Middle Eastern tabbouleh. Cook up a storm from scratch, then take a seat at the host’s dinner table to enjoy the fruits of your labour, served with a side of lively conversation and new friends. The icing on the cake? Everyone takes home a recipe booklet and shopping list, so they can recreate their favourite dishes. It’s Canadian hospitality at its finest.

Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Balkan Shmalkan at Victory Square (Photo by Tom Quirk)

Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, 2018 Craving a true community vibe? The 15th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival celebrates the neighbourhood’s triumphs, challenges and ongoing activist efforts with over 100 events. Take a deep dive into powerful accounts of the violence faced by Indigenous women in Material Witness. Or kick up your heels with Balkan Shmalkan (pictured)—a self-described “sweet dance party orchestra”—between performances by gospel and blues singers, fiery poets and captivating speakers. Bring a friend, or better yet, make new ones.