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What to See 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!

Literary Festivals in Vancouver

BY CHLOË LAI

Sep. 2019

The central branch of the Vancouver Public Library is a hub for literary events throughout the year (Photo © Rebecca Brown/dreamstime.com)

Local bookstores and libraries host author readings and book launches year-round, but autumn is literary festival season. Here are five events that celebrate the written word in all its forms. Fair warning: your list of must-read books is about to get a lot longer.

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Before Ever After at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Sep. 2019

“Twelve Giraffes, Maasai Mara, Kenya” by David Burdeny

African animals and their wild homes take centre stage in David Burdeny’s Before Ever After: Photographs from Kenya and Tanzania. Motivated by the threat of mass extinction, Burdeny is on a mission to show that animals are worthy of our attention—and our protection. Against stunning backdrops, a coalition of cheetahs lines up in formation.  A mini-pride of lion cubs basks in the sun. An elephant wanders through grassy plains with her calf. A tower of giraffes—yes, that’s what a group of giraffes is called—struts across the Maasai Mara National Reserve. If you’ve ever been on safari, you’ll recognize these sights. But there’s no need for a flight to Africa: Burdeny’s striking collection of photographs is on display from Sep. 13 to Oct. 6, at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery. 

Fiery Flamenco Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Manuel Liñán Company performs Baile De Autor

Sep 13-29, 2019 There’s no need to fly to Madrid or Barcelona to experience the raw emotional power of Spanish dance. The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival features artists from around the world, including Manuel Liñán Company performing Baile De Autor, which offers a glimpse into the creative process; and La Caramelita Company performing Nritya, which explores the connections between flamenco and India; as well as Canadian performers such as Flamenco Rosario. The best part? No passport required.

Definitely Dalí: Another Dimension

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Sep. 2019

“Dalinian Dancer” can be found at Thurlow Street and Alberni (Photo by Caroline Toth)

Seen anything strange recently? Two large Dalí sculptures have spent the summer on Vancouver’s sidewalks as part of Chali-Rosso Gallery’s annual Definitely Dalí exhibit. “Space Venus,” hard to miss at 3.5 m (11 ft) tall, towers over visitors at the corner of West Hastings Street and Hornby until mid-January 2020.  At Thurlow Street and Alberni, “Dalinian Dancer” (pictured) comes to life thanks to augmented reality: download the dedicated app for an uncanny experience. Check out this swirly sculpture at its sidewalk location until Sep. 18, or follow it to Oakridge Centre, where it will be on display from Sep. 19 to Oct. 14 as part of Meet the Masters: From Picasso to Pop Art. Dreaming of more Dalí? Take a peek inside Chali-Rosso Gallery, where over 100 works by the Spanish artist are on display. So surreal. 

 

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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Vancouver Art Gallery: Ways of Seeing

By CAROLINE TOTH

“Obsession” by Vikky Alexander (Gift of the artist, Dr. Doug Foster, Bill Jeffries and Ian Wallace. Image courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery)

To Jan. 26, 2019 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer exhibits are sure to have you seeing things differently. Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty (to Jan. 26) is the Canadian artist’s first retrospective, featuring over 80 works from throughout her career. Alexander’s photographs, collages and installations explore themes of nature and artificiality, critiquing consumer culture and subverting public spaces such as shopping malls and designer gardens. Robert Rauschenberg 1965-1980 (to Jan. 26) highlights pieces that Rauschenberg produced as his focus shifted from New York–inspired collages—made using media clippings and found objects—to more overtly abstract textile works. In both shows, the artists blur the lines between mediums to reimagine how we see the world. Now that’s a beautiful sight to behold.

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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The Really Gay History Tour

By SHERI RADFORD

The Really Gay History Tour led by Glenn Tkach

To Nov. 2019 It’s hard to miss Glenn Tkach. Dressed head to toe in pink, he leads groups around downtown and the West End on The Really Gay History Tour. He tells the wild history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community, from outrageous drag queens to the gayest beer parlour in town. The tour celebrates gay pride but doesn’t shy away from Vancouver’s less-than-perfect past, including police raids and bookstore bombings. Forbidden Vancouver runs the tour on Sundays until Nov., plus every day during Pride (to Aug. 7).

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.