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What to See Vancouver

Bill Reid Gallery’s Centennial Exhibition

Exhibition highlights the legacy of an iconic Haida artist

By CHLOË LAI 

Mar. 2020

Carver and multimedia artist Gwaii Edenshaw is Bill Reid’s last apprentice (Photo by KK Law)

“[Bill Reid] had this rich voice that was made for storytelling,” says Gwaai Edenshaw (pictured). “After dinner, he’d pull a book of poems off the shelf and read a passage.” Carver and multimedia artist Edenshaw is Reid’s last apprentice, and the guest curator behind To Speak With a Golden Voice at the Bill Reid Gallery (Apr. 22 to Oct. 4). The exhibition celebrates what would have been Reid’s 100th birthday, showcasing his work and drawing from the “intimidatingly large” pool of Northwest Coast artists influenced by the 1920-born master goldsmith, carver and sculptor. Artifacts include masterpieces by Robert Davidson and Beau Dick, specially commissioned sound-based works that integrate Reid’s voice, and a never-before-displayed paddle built during the making of his famed “Spirit of Haida Gwaii” sculpture. 

“One of the biggest challenges is trying to narrow it down,” says Edenshaw. “There are so many things we’d like to do, and a hundredth birthday only comes around once.” 

North Shore Escape

Lower Lonsdale, once home to the largest shipyard in Western Canada, is now chock-full of shops, restaurants and activities—making it well worth the 12-minute SeaBus journey from downtown

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Mar. 2020

 

Lonsdale Quay Market (Photo by KK Law)

Shop till you drop

Shopaholics, take note! The world is your oyster at Lonsdale Quay Market, where there are over 80 boutique shops and services just waiting to be discovered. Browse the stunning selection of fashion accessories at Allure, or grab a bottle of your favourite BC wine from Artisan Wine Shop. On your way out, don’t forget to climb the Q tower’s 77 steps for breathtaking bird’s-eye views of Vancouver. Over at the Shipyard Commons, pick up un-bee-lievable beeswax candles and Fraser Valley berry-blossom honey from Main Street Honey Shoppe.

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Fun & Fascinating Indoor Adventures

The weather outside is frightful, but these indoor activities are so delightful

By SHERI RADFORD

Jan. 2020

Vancouver Aquarium (Photo by KK Law)

Vancouver Aquarium (Photo by KK Law)

1. Get a panoramic view of the city from inside the cozy chalet on Grouse Mountain—with a sinfully indulgent pastry from BeaverTails in hand, of course.

2. Wander through the new COS on Robson Street—the brand’s largest store in Canada—and find an outfit that’s the perfect mix of modern but timeless. While on Robson, check out all the other trendy stores and restaurants.

3. Experience a moment of zen while watching the mesmerizing jellyfish at the Vancouver Aquarium. 

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Relive the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver

A decade has passed since Vancouver and Whistler hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, where Team Canada secured a record-breaking number of gold medals and finished third overall. Here are 10 ways to recapture the city’s most memorable moments.

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Jan. 2019

The Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza (Photo by KK Law)

1. Gaze upon the 10-m- (33-ft-) tall Olympic cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza, with the North Shore mountains in the distance.

2. Take a peek at the Olympic display, which features torches and a full set of shiny medals, inside the Vancouver Convention Centre.

3. Pick up a pair of limited-edition 10-year-anniversary Team Canada mittens from Hudson’s Bay.

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PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Don’t miss FRONTERA at the PuSh Festival (Photo by Adrián Morillo)

Jan. 21 to Feb. 9, 2020 Cross-pollination fuels creativity, and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is positively buzzing with genius. More than 20 companies from nine countries showcase boundary-breaking contemporary dance, music and theatre. Don’t miss FRONTERA, a masterful collaboration between dance company Animals of Distinction, post-rock band Fly Pan Am, and UK-based scenographers United Visual Artists.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Transits and Returns

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

“Skin Country” by Carol McGregor (Photo by Louis Lim. Image courtesy the artist)

To Feb. 23, 2019 For a unique insight into the nations of the Pacific region, stroll over to Transits and Returns at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In collaboration with Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art, this transportive exhibit connects 21 Indigenous artists—including local First Nations—who tackle themes of movement, kinship, territory and representation. Carol McGregor’s remarkable possum-skin map, “Skin Country,” depicts indigenous plants used by Aboriginal communities near Brisbane, while Taloi Havini’s four-channel video “Habitat III” reveals the tense relationship between Australia and Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Chantal Fraser, of Samoan descent, manipulates objects to challenge cultural interpretations: don’t miss “The Way,” a dazzling rhinestone-studded wind turbine. Through their practices, the artists dive headfirst into ancestral roots and travel routes. And it’s a trip worth taking.

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Greg Hill pursues a carbon-neutral path to outdoor adventure in Electric Greg

Nov. 14 to 19, 2019 Deep alpine powder. Steep granite walls. Rugged backcountry bike trails. At the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, adrenaline-fuelled documentaries, photography exhibits and multimedia presentations take audiences deep into nature’s most spectacular—and challenging—terrain, led by legendary athletes. Highlights include: superstar climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold race a dizzying 914 m (3,000 ft) up Yosemite’s El Capitan in The Nose Speed Record; a trio of intrepid bikers takes an unprecedented approach to Africa’s two highest peaks in Mt. Kilimanjaro & Mt. Kenya on MTB; and acclaimed skier Greg Hill pursues a carbon-neutral path to outdoor adventure in Electric Greg (pictured). Talk about next-level entertainment.

Spirited Stories

Fancy a fright? Vancouver’s tour guides have plenty of spooky tales to tell. Here are a few local ghost stories to haunt your holidays. 

By CHLOË LAI

Oct. 2019

Have dinner with ghostly guests at The Old Spaghetti Factory (Photo © Jerry Coli/dreamstime.com)

Heeere’s Jennie! 

If you’re checking into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and there’s a strange woman in a red gown in your room, you haven’t been double-booked. According to local legend, you’ve just met the ghost of Jennie Pearl Cox—aka the Lady in Red—a regular at the hotel’s ballroom dances until she was killed in a car accident in 1944. Guests report seeing her pass through elevator doors, particularly on the 14th floor. When an episode of The X-Files was filmed at the hotel, she hovered outside the window, frightening a cameraman so badly that he fled the set and refused to return. 

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Open-Air Art

By SHERI RADFORD

Oct. 2019

“217.5 Arc x 13” by Bernar Venet, at Sunset Beach (Photo by KK Law)

Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, locals are accustomed to larger-than-life artwork springing up all around the city. Some of the pieces remain on a permanent basis, such as Marcus Bowcott’s “Trans Am Totem” near Science World, while others eventually move on to the next destination. The fourth iteration of this alfresco exhibition runs from 2018 to 2020, and it includes works such as “Paradise Has Many Gates” by Ajlan Gharem, which appears to be a mosque constructed from chain-link fence, right in Vanier Park. Another visiting piece is Maskull Lasserre’s “Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea,” a colossal installation in Leg-In-Boot Square. The outdoor locations guarantee accessibility for all. Just remember to pack your walking shoes—and an umbrella.

Talking Trees: Cultural Tour and Dining Experience

By SHERI RADFORD

Oct. 2019

ALL YEAR Vancouver is known as the modern and sparkling City of Glass, but it also has an ancient forest right in its heart. Stanley Park is a must-see, and to experience it in an unusual way, Talaysay Tours has teamed up with Arc Restaurant in the Fairmont Waterfront to offer Talking Trees. This unique cultural experience takes visitors into the heart of the park with an Indigenous guide, in order to learn about traditional uses for local trees and plants. Afterwards, dinner at Arc features an Indigenous-inspired menu that brings the day’s lessons to life—in the most delicious way possible. Who knew local history could be so fascinating, and taste so good? 

Elissa Cristall Gallery: From Here

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Oct. 2019

“From Here #1” by Lesley Finlayson

Painting may not be on your list of outdoor hobbies, but after seeing Lesley Finlayson’s work, you might be tempted to branch out. The Scottish-born artist is a fan of the French en plein air technique, meaning the landscape is both her subject and her studio. From Here at Elissa Cristall Gallery (Oct. 3 to 26) focuses on the relationships between light, land and water. Streams of colour splash across each canvas, and it’s not hard to imagine Finlayson embracing every type of weather. Want to give it a whirl? Set up your easel now, before Raincouver—Vancouver’s soggy alter ego—strikes again.

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!