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Things to Do Vancouver

Interactive Exhibit: Mend Piece by Yoko Ono


Photo of Mend Piece by Pierre Le Hors/The Rennie Museum

To Apr. 15, 2018 Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece has arrived in Vancouver—in pieces, of course. The interactive exhibit invites viewers to reassemble shattered ceramic cups and saucers using twine, tape and glue. Once “repaired,” the completed projects are displayed on nearby shelves. First conceptualized in 1966, the work parallels the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an aesthetic that finds beauty in imperfection. The small act of mending is linked to larger ideas of repair: how to pick up the pieces left by war, violence and hate. Chip in at the Rennie Collection.


Singin’ in the Rain: Springtime Activities

Put up your hood and open your umbrella for 20 activities that can be enjoyed rain or shine

Mar. 2018

The seawall is scenic in every weather. (Photo by KK Law)

1. Stroll through Stanley Park. The city’s 400-hectare (1,000-acre) forested oasis is a can’t-miss activity. On a drizzly day, skip the seawall and head into the park’s interior for extra protection from the green canopy above. (more…)

Making Moves: Vancouver International Dance Festival 2018


The Goh Ballet presents a selection of excerpts from classical and contemporary works

Mar. 1 to 24, 2018 Newbies and aficionados alike always find much to love at the Vancouver International Dance Festival. This annual fest takes over local stages for three weeks, showcasing everything from ballet to butoh. Don’t miss Vancouver’s own Goh Ballet (pictured), performing both traditional ballet and contemporary works; Shen Wei Dance Arts, which always incorporates striking design to create fascinating kinetic stagescapes; and White Wave Dance, which interweaves music, poetry, visual arts and dance.

Pitch-Perfect Performances at Chutzpah! Festival


“An Evening with Mary Walsh” features the comedian’s best comedic bits and characters

To Mar. 15, 2018 No kvetching allowed: whatever you’re in the mood for, the Chutzpah! Festival’s international line-up of acclaimed Jewish comedians, musicians, dancers and actors is sure to hit the spot. Hone in on the humour with shows like An Evening with Mary Walsh (pictured), featuring the award-winning Canadian performer and co-creator of CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Catch the world premiere of Salomé: Woman of Valor, a fearless spoken-word opera. Or rock out to Troker, a genre-busting Mexican band that fuses jazz, funk, mariachi and more to create perfectly blended chaos. At Chutzpah!, every spectacle is spot-on.

Laugh It Up: JFL NorthWest


Trevor Noah fuels the fun at JFL Northwest 2018

Mar. 1 to 10, 2018 Have you heard the one about…? The JFL NorthWest festival is bringing belly laughs to multiple venues across Metro Vancouver. Prepare to have your funny bone tickled by the likes of Trevor Noah (pictured), host of The Daily Show; Bill Burr, best known for Chappelle’s Show and Breaking Bad; Maria Bamford, with her self-deprecating jokes about depression and anxiety; and lots more stand-up folks.

Review: Fun Home

February 2018

By Sheri Radford

Sara-Jeanne Hosie, Eric Craig, and Jaime MacLean. Set design by Amir Ofek, costume design by Amy McDougall, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by David Cooper.

A funeral home may seem like a strange place to set a musical, but that’s not the end of strange things afoot in Fun Home, the Tony Award–winning show based on the popular memoir/graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. As a grown-up Alison looks back on her childhood years and first months away at university, her English-teacher father’s troubling behaviour makes more sense in retrospect. His interest in his young male students. His trouble with the law. His ultimate suicide shortly after Alison comes out as a lesbian. And, permeating all of Alison’s memories, her mother’s unhappiness.

Glen Gordon, Nolan Dubuc, and Jaime MacLean. Set design by Amir Ofek, costume design by Amy McDougall, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by David Cooper.

Jaime MacLean portrays the youngest version of Alison with a charm and talent that belie her young age. She, along with her two perky onstage siblings (played by Glen Gordon and Nolen Dubuc), brings the house down with a showstopper of a rendition of “Come to the Fun Home” (“We take dead bodies every day of the week / So you’ve got no reason to roam / Use the Bechdel Funeral Home”).

Kelli Ogmundson and Sara-Jeanne Hosie. Set design by Amir Ofek, costume design by Amy McDougall, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by David Cooper.

Kelli Ogmundson brings a touching honestly to the portrayal of university-aged Alison, especially in “Changing My Major,” sung immediately after her first sexual experience with another woman. Adult Alison, in the ever-capable hands of Sara-Jeanne Hosie, is the perfect combination of confident yet still haunted by memories. Eric Craig deftly handles the most challenging role in the show, that of Alison’s tormented father. Rounding out the cast are Janet Gigliotti as Alison’s long-suffering mother, who shines in the gut-wrenching “Days and Days;” Sara Vickruck, a veritable force of nature in the role of Joan, Alison’s first love; and Nick Fontaine in a handful of smaller roles.

Despite its heartbreaking subject matter, Fun Home is a hilarious show filled with tunes that get toes tapping. Don’t miss it, at the Granville Island Stage until March 10.

Cute Creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium

Feb. 2018

Hardy, one of the Vancouver Aquarium’s rescued sea otter pups, strikes an adorable pose. (Photos courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

You don’t have to deep-sea dive to discover the wonders of the ocean—simply ride the tides to the Vancouver Aquarium. Inside, find 50,000 incredible animals ranging from sloths to sea otters. Roll up your sleeve and pet a stingray, pop over to Penguin Point, tour the tropics, and discover all the life flourishing right here on BC’s coast. And don’t just bring home memories—the gift shop carries an array of souvenirs such as jewellery, Inuit art, plush toys, local cookbooks and upcycled glass sea stars that are worth the suitcase space. Bonus: gift-shop purchases fund aquarium programs that keep oceans wonderful. Now that’s deep.

Vancouver’s Perfect Proposal Spot

Feb. 2018

Dennis Oppenheim’s “Engagement” comments on the balancing act that is any successful marriage. (Photo by Sheri Radford)

Ready to pop the question? The city’s most picturesque spot for proposals is at Sunset Beach (Map 1: C3), with the ocean and giant Engagement sculpture as a backdrop. For maximum romance, time it all for sunset.

Relive Vancouver’s Gold-Medal Glory

The 2010 Winter Games may have been eight years ago, but when it comes to Olympic activities, the city is ready for its victory lap

Feb. 2018

The Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza was lit by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. (Photo by KK Law)

In 2010, Vancouver had a gold-medal year. World-class athletes and their spirited fans crowded the streets to gasp and cheer over every triumph and defeat—from the mechanical malfunctions at the opening ceremonies to Sidney Crosby’s gold medal–clinching overtime goal.

From Feb. 9 to 25, the world is turning its attention to PyeongChang, South Korea, the official venue of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. But in Vancouver, the legacy still lives on. Here’s where to recapture that Olympic spirit. (more…)

Vancouver Art Gallery: Murakami


“Flowers, flowers, flowers” by Takashi Murakami. (Photo: Collection of the Chang Family, Taiwan/Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd)

Feb. 3 to May 6, 2018 Bright, whimsical and never, ever boring—Takashi Murakami is one of Japan’s most imaginative and important artists. Over the course of his career, he’s partnered with powerhouses like Louis Vuitton and Kanye West, exhibited at the Palace of Versailles, and been compared to Andy Warhol. Now, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts the first-ever retrospective of his anime-inspired work in Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. See 55 playful paintings (“Flowers, flowers, flowers,” pictured) and sculptures that pair pop art with traditional Japanese culture. Colour us impressed.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre: Motown the Musical


Motown the Musical comes to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. (Photo copyright Joan Marcus)

Feb. 6 to 11, 2018 If there’s one thing Motown produced in abundance, it’s hits, from “ABC” to “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.” Hear all the big ones in Motown the Musical (Queen Elizabeth Theatre), based on Berry Gordy’s autobiography. The songwriter and record producer founded the legendary label, which launched the careers of luminaries such as Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.

The Comic Strippers: Shirtless Improv-Comedy Shenanigans


The Comic Strippers leave it all on the stage.

Feb. 3, 2018 If you’re a fan of both exotic dancers and improv comedy, then this is definitely the show for you. Partially undressed and totally unscripted, The Comic Strippers elevate comedy to new heights by taking off (most of) their clothes, whipping out new jokes and exposing the comedic underbelly of stripping. Catch this extremely revealing show at York Theatre.