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What to See Vancouver

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.

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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10 Years of Beers: Vancouver Craft Beer Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Mark Yue

To Jun. 9, 2019 British Columbia was once known for its lumber industry, but these days our calling card is of a frothier, more festive variety: craft beer. Score a pint (or three) of BC’s finest brews at venues across the city during Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Canada’s first-ever craft beer week turns 10 this year—and it’s spent that decade ramping up our city’s reputation for world-class suds. Raise a glass to more than 100 breweries and cideries, including Vancouver’s Postmark Brewing, Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing Co. and Cobble Hill’s Merridale Cidery & Distillery. Plus, it’s all paired with live music, food trucks, mural painting, and beer tours on 15-passenger bikes. Craft-beer fans, welcome to your hoppy place.

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.

The Polygon Gallery: A Handful of Dust

By CHLOË LAI

“The Library of Holland House Library, Kensington, London, after air raid, 1940,” by photographer unknown

To Apr. 28, 2019 Dust is everywhere, but it often goes unnoticed. Not so in The Polygon Gallery’s latest exhibit. This striking collection of visual works from the past hundred years—including photographs by visionaries such as John Divola and Marcel Duchamp—zeroes in on the ubiquitous particles, using them to highlight larger themes such as the passage of time or the devastation of war. Get swept away at A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic.

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.