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Things to Do Vancouver

The Magic of Mexico with Cirque du Soleil

By CHLOË LAI

Cirque du Soleil: Luzia (Photo by Matt Beard. Costume by Giovanna Buzzi)


Oct 1-Dec 15, 2019
In the mood for something truly spectacular? Cirque du Soleil: Luzia transports audiences to a dreamy, otherworldly vision of Mexico, complete with breakdancing soccer players, hoop-diving “birds” and a galloping, life-sized stallion puppet. It’s also the first touring production in Cirque history to incorporate rain, adding a splash of drama to the already dazzling aerial stunts—acrobats twist, twirl and flip through strategically placed downpours as they soar from one dizzying perch to another. Espectacular!

A Tour for Every Taste

Hesitant to explore Vancouver solo? Let a guide lead the way on 10 of our favourite city tours. Make sure to wear your comfiest walking shoes—and stretchy pants for the foodie outings.

By SHERI RADFORD

Sep. 2019

Gastown is full of historic landmarks, such as the flatiron-style Hotel Europe in Maple Tree Square (Photo by KK Law)

Walk This Way (or Run)

Forbidden Vancouver peeks below Vancouver’s glittering surface to expose the seedy (and captivating) underbelly. Learn about crime, revenge, fire and disease on the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour. Discover hidden cemeteries, notorious crime scenes and the ghost stories of Deadman’s Island on the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour. Or hear about murder, scandal, financial strife and bootlegging—while sampling sinfully good treats—on the Art Deco and Chocolate Tasting Tour. The guides are so entertaining, it’s almost criminal.

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Friday Night, Market Night

By SHERI RADFORD

Friday nights are lively at the Shipyards Night Market

To Sep. 27, 2019 The hottest place to be on a Friday evening isn’t an underground nightclub—it’s the Shipyards Night Market. This lively spot on the North Shore buzzes with activities for the whole family. Local bands perform, encouraging spectators to shimmy and shake. More than 30 food trucks feed the hungry hordes, while a 19+ beer garden guarantees plenty of top tipples from BC breweries and wineries, to wash down all those delicious meals. An artisan marketplace has a wealth of local products to discover, from jewellery to baked goods. And the best part? No secret handshake (or cover charge) required.

Real Adventures in Vancouver

Turn off the TV and live out your own reality show this summer

By LUCAS AYKROYD
Aug. 2019

Kayaking in False Creek offers unique views of landmarks such as BC Place Stadium (Photo © Leonu/istock.com)

Are you addicted to reality-TV shows? With their glamorous settings, pulsating soundtracks and over-the-top personality conflicts, it’s easy to understand why you might be. However, on a beautiful summer day, it’s time to switch off the set, get outside and explore Metro Vancouver’s amazing adventures. To help you make the transition, we’ve themed each of our five suggested activities around one of our favourite guilty-pleasure shows. And you won’t get eliminated!

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Hanging out with Caroline MacGillivray

The fun-fuelled fitness instructor talks about the joys of hanging upside down, the age limit for pole-dance fitness classes (spoiler alert: there isn’t one) and the best ways to get the most out of summer in the city

By CHLOË LAI + Photos by KK LAW
Aug. 2019

Caroline MacGillivray hangs upside down at Tantra Fitness

There are two kinds of people who show up to fitness classes: those looking for fun ways to stay fit, and those seeking an instructor who can trick them into getting fit without them noticing. (Guess which one we are.) For both of these groups, Caroline MacGillivray is the holy grail of instructors. 

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Last Hurrah: 35 Ways for Kids to Enjoy Summer

35 ways for kids to enjoy the dog days of summer. Some activities are also suitable for adults—with kiddo supervision, of course

By CHLOË LAI

Aug. 2019

Fun at Creekside Park (Photo: KK Law)

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Where There’s a Will

By CHLOË LAI

The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival at Vanier Park

To Sep. 21, 2019 The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival turns 30 this year, and it’s coming out with (prop) guns blazing. A Wild West–themed The Taming of the Shrew transports the comedic battle of wills to cowboy country. A young woman defies the societal norms of 1940s India in All’s Well That Ends Well. A ruthless warrior reclaims her honour in a postmodern rendition of Coriolanus. Witty one-liners and a lawbreaking lover take centre stage in a delightful adaptation of Oscar Award–winning Shakespeare in Love. Performed beneath the big white tents at waterfront Vanier Park, this season promises to go off with a bang.

Artsy Adventures for All

10 Pieces of Quirky Public Art + 10 Fun Activities= A Good Time for Everyone 

By LUCAS AYKROYD
Jul. 2019

“The Birds” make for delightfully dramatic souvernir-photo companions. (Photo: KK Law)

Art appreciation isn’t always easy. Whether you’re standing in an endless Louvre line-up in Paris or staring at a piece of plywood called “Bogus No. 46” at some no-name gallery, you could wind up with cantankerous kids, a sulky spouse or a lonely feeling of “Why did I come here?” Happily, Vancouver’s quirky public art offers enough fun to enliven any summer day. Double your pleasure by hitting up nearby stores, restaurants or other attractions. Here are 10 suggested pairings.

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Swordplay 101: Academie Duello

By CHLOË LAI
May 2019

Unleash the warrior within with beginner-friendly courses at Academie Duello

Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of Game of Thrones has wondered what it might be like to prepare for battle. Gastown’s Academie Duello, the largest school of European swordplay in the world, has the answer. (Spoiler alert: it’s awesome.) Sign up for an Adventure program to get a 90-minute crash course in combat, wielding the weapon of your choice—anything from a mighty pole-axe to a two-handed longsword. To finish off, channel your inner Jaime Lannister or Brienne of Tarth in a daring duel against a fellow recruit. Fancy yourself a true knight? Head to Langley, just an hour’s drive away, for a longer session to hone your sword-fighting skills on horseback. For glory!

Deep Dives at Bill Reid Gallery

By CHLOË LAI

“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan

Multiple dates, 2019 Pick up almost any postcard of the West Coast, and you’ll find glamour shots of beaches, glaciers, salmon, orcas and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Our identity is deeply shaped by British Columbia’s connection to water. Go beneath the surface at the Bill Reid Gallery’s qa y xw – water honours us: womxn and waterways (“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan, pictured; to Oct. 2). Nine Indigenous female artists explore historical practices and tackle modern-day threats to our coastal ecosystems through women-centred works in video, printmaking, carving, performance and more. And don’t miss Counternarratives (to Jun. 2), which makes waves by contrasting idyllic 20th-century paintings by Archibald Fairbairn with contemporary Indigenous critique. We’re hooked.

Focal Point: Capture Photography Festival

By CAROLINE TOTH

“Untitled, from Acts of Appearance Series” by Gauri Gill (Courtesy the artist)

Apr. 3 to 30, 2019 Every year, the Capture Photography Festival brings into focus works by both established and emerging artists, with exhibits and events throughout the city. For those who like to mix their media, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Moving Still (pictured; Apr. 19 to Sep. 2) draws on India’s long history of experimental photography. The exhibit showcases contemporary artists who place themselves in their own photos, providing insight on wide-ranging social and political themes.

Huge Art Fair Takes Over Vancouver Convention Centre East

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo courtesy Art Vancouver

Apr. 25 to 28, 2019 The city’s annual art extravaganza is returning for its fifth year, and it’s bringing plenty of eye candy along. Art Vancouver showcases cutting-edge works by over 100 sculptors, painters and photographers from around the world. Last year’s show drew more than 8,000 art admirers for a weekend of exhibits and events like the popular Face of Art runway show, where artists display their work to a crowd via catwalk. Speaker series, after-parties, workshops and a city-wide art crawl round out the experience. It promises to be a fair to remember.