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What to See Vancouver

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.

Bau-Xi Gallery: A Deeper Shade of Blue

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Inner Light” by Mel Gausden

To Jul. 21, 2018 Bau-Xi Gallery has the blues—from aquamarine to azure, and everything in-between. Explore the sapphire shade in works such as “Inner Light” (pictured) by Mel Gausden, who is known for a vibrant palette that recalls Instagram-esque digital colour filters and results in convincing-yet-dreamy landscapes. Gallery artists in this group show explore the cool hue not only through cerulean colouring, but also through its metaphoric and symbolic significance. Dive into A Deeper Shade of Blue this summer.

30th Annual Dancing on the Edge Spotlights Contemporary Dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Catch Co.ERASGA’s “Passages and Rhythms” at Dancing on the Edge (Photo by Yasuhiro Okada)

Jul. 5 to 14, 2018 Devoted to dance? Crazy about choreography? Then don’t miss Dancing on the Edge. This year, the annual festival celebrates three decades of busting a move with nearly 30 performances and over 20 innovative dance companies. Boundary-bending works such as Co.ERASGA’s Passages and Rhythms (pictured), Liz Kinoshita’s VOLCANO and Lara Kramer Danse’s Windigo are the perfect way to see contemporary dancers strut their stuff.

Comedian David Cross at the Vogue Theatre

By SHERI RADFORD

Expect hilarious rants when David Cross takes the stage at the Vogue Theatre

Jul. 4, 2018 The man who brought the hilariously oblivious Dr. Tobias Fünke to life on Arrested Development is also known for his side-splitting stand-up. David Cross fills his act with rants about the current political system, observations on the vagaries of modern life, old favourites such as “squagels” (square bagels) and a whole lot more. This month at the Vogue Theatre, you can find out for yourself why Comedy Central named him one of the 100 greatest comedians of all time. Squagel, anyone?

Explore Science World’s Pixar Exhibit

By SHERI RADFORD

Find out how Pixar’s popular animations come to life, at Science World

To Jan. 6, 2018 If you’ve ever wondered how characters such as Buzz Lightyear and Elastigirl were brought to life, then this is the exhibit for you. The Science Behind Pixar explores the science, technology and math that go into making Pixar’s computer-animated films. Learn about concept art, lighting, modelling, rendering and more, at Science World. “To infinity and beyond!”