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Things to Do Vancouver

First-Ever Vancouver International Bird Festival Takes Wing

By CHLOË LAI

Photo ©Aquamarine4/Dreamstime.com

To Aug. 26, 2018 “Everybody knows that the bird is the word!” The Trashmen’s catchy tune is especially apt this month, when the first-ever Vancouver International Bird Festival swoops into town. Aviary-themed activities include a Coast Salish canoe journey that explores shoreline restoration efforts for feathered friends, stilt walkers in bird costumes, world-class wildlife art exhibitions, scavenger hunts for kids and more. Whether you’re a fledgling nature lover or an aspiring ornithologist, it’s sure to be a real hoot.

Fun at The Fair at the PNE

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Photo courtesy PNE

To Sep. 3, 2018 For over a century, the young—and young-at-heart—have flocked to The Fair at the PNE for dizzying rides, mouth-watering fare, outdoor concerts and more. Watch the SuperDogs perform new tricks, sink your sweet tooth into Those Little Donuts, shop the Marketplace, ride the wooden rollercoaster, and try your luck at the games. (Whac-a-Mole, anyone?)

Enchanted Evenings at Theatre Under the Stars

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Theatre Under the Stars, at Malkin Bowl (Photo by Tim Matheson)

To Aug. 25, 2018 Open-air theatre hosted in Stanley Park’s beautiful Malkin Bowl is no fairy tale—but it’s still a dream come true. This year, Theatre Under the Stars brings a classic rags-to-riches musical to the stage in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which alternates nights with 42nd Street, the story of a chorus girl’s shot at stardom. So bring a blanket, grab some popcorn, and get ready to make magical memories. The best part? No fairy godmother required.

Party in the Park: Harmony Arts Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Outdoor movies at Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Aug. 3 to 12, 2018 The Harmony Arts Festival is the ultimate all-in-one alfresco experience. Sunshine? Check. Free concerts and movies? Check. Art exhibitions, world-class cuisine and waterfront wine pairings? You betcha. Catch afro-funk and Latin soul jams by Coco Jafro (Aug. 12) and watch plein air painters in action at Ambleside Pier. New this year is the Indigenous Feast (Aug. 7), with slow-cooked bison short ribs and more by Salmon n’ Bannock, served with a side of live blues music. Who says you can’t have it all?

25 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities

Live music, outdoor movies and bathtub races—here are 25 of the best things in life that truly are free, and a few that come pretty darn close

Sunset Beach is home to ocean views and public art, including “217.5 Arx x 13,” a steel sculpture by French artist Bernar Venet (Photo by KK Law)

By CHLOË LAI

1. Braving the crisp waters of English Bay to reach the floating dock waterslide, which rockets you right back into the waves from whence you came.

2. Clambering all over public art pieces from the Vancouver Biennale, like the curved “217.5 Arc x 13” at Sunset Beach, cast-bronze “A-maze-ing Laughter” figures at English Bay and oversized “Public Furniture | Urban Trees” at Spanish Banks Beach.

3. Hiking the 2,830 steps of the Grouse Grind, locally known as the best way to build buns of steel, and gaining a new appreciation for the scenic (and sweat-free) gondola ride down Grouse Mountain afterwards. (more…)

Non-Stop Fun: Vancouver Pride Weekend 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver

Aug. 3 to 5, 2018 Forget sleep: Vancouver Pride‘s finale weekend has events from dusk to dawn—and dawn to dusk. Hopelessly devoted to drag? Sing along to hit songs at Grease the Drag Show Remix, or head to Parq to meet RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni. Fuel up at the Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast (Aug. 4), dance all night at Celebrities, then join rainbow revellers at the 40th annual Pride Parade (Aug. 5) and Sunset Beach Festival (Aug. 5). Now that’s a party marathon to be proud of.

Feel-Good Festival: Wanderlust Whistler

By CHLOË LAI

Photo courtesy Wanderlust

Aug. 2 to 5, 2018 Ever wondered what it might be like to meditate on top of a mountain? Head up to Whistler for Wanderlust. This four-day celebration of all things wellness includes guided meditations, yoga classes—hosted on stand-up paddleboards, aerial silks, slacklines and good old-fashioned mats—mindfulness-themed wilderness walks and more. And for music that moves your soul, find your zen on the dance floor, where local and international acts keep the good vibes going late into the night. Pure bliss.

Fireworks Festival: Honda Celebration of Light 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Fireworks light up English Bay (Photo by Rishad Daroowala/Tourism Vancouver)

Aug. 1 and 4, 2018 Summer nights kick off with a bang at the Honda Celebration of Light, when fireworks light up the sky over English Bay. Gaze up in awe as pyrotechnic pros from Sweden (Aug. 1) and South Korea (Aug. 4) compete for bragging rights by setting off stunning displays synchronized to music. Arrive early, because the party fires up in the afternoon: outdoor stages showcase hot acts like R&B queen Jully Black and fun-fuelled Five Alarm Funk. Plus, daredevil pilots blaze death-defying trails overhead during the nightly airshow. Talk about explosive entertainment.

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.

Adventures by SkyTrain: Vancouver’s Trains Take You to Exciting Places

By LUCAS AYKROYD
July 2018

Photo by Edgar Bullon/Dreamstime.com

Exploring Metro Vancouver by SkyTrain this summer is a fast, fun, and family-friendly way to go beyond the downtown core. (more…)

Splash into Summer: Making the Most of Vancouver’s Ocean Playground

In this seaside city, there’s more than one way to hit the water

By CHLOË LAI

Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres’ kayaks provide the perfect vantage point for stunning souvenir snaps (Photo by KK Law)

Power Up Your Paddle

Truth is, the best seat in the house isn’t in the house at all: it’s out on the water. Set out on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres and glide through False Creek to soak up prime views of the city. Say hello to herons and seals as you navigate between the daydream-inspiring yachts and sailboats—as well as the occasional pirate ship—that cruise around Granville Island. For more peaceful paddling, join one of Ecomarine’s sunset tours, or head up to Deep Cove Kayak Centre to explore the tree-lined Indian Arm fjord. (more…)

Granville Island Stage: Once

By CHLOË LAI

The ArtsClub’s production of Once takes over the Granville Island Stage until Jul. 29 (Photo by David Cooper)

To Aug. 5, 2018 Eleven years ago, an indie film about Guy, an Irish busker, and Girl, a Czech immigrant, won hearts all over the world for its soulful songs. Now you can feel the love in person at Once on the Granville Island Stage. The Tony Award–winning musical features a multitalented cast who play every heartbreaking, foot-stomping song—including the Academy Award–winning “Falling Slowly”—on mandolins, violins, accordions and more. Plus, the pub set is a functional bar, so you can step onstage for a pre-show pint. Live music, drinks and a chance to fall in love with Guy and Girl all over again? We’ll raise a glass to that.