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Where to Go Vancouver

Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Balkan Shmalkan at Victory Square (Photo by Tom Quirk)

Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, 2018 Craving a true community vibe? The 15th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival celebrates the neighbourhood’s triumphs, challenges and ongoing activist efforts with over 100 events. Take a deep dive into powerful accounts of the violence faced by Indigenous women in Material Witness. Or kick up your heels with Balkan Shmalkan (pictured)—a self-described “sweet dance party orchestra”—between performances by gospel and blues singers, fiery poets and captivating speakers. Bring a friend, or better yet, make new ones.

Where to Celebrate Diwali in Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Arno Kamolika performs a Bharatanatyam interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Shyama

Oct. 3-Nov. 17, 2018 Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, brightens long autumn nights. Fire up your cooking and mosaic-painting skills at Diwali Fest or catch one of Diwali in BC’s trailblazing performances: A Vancouver Guldasta illuminates the challenges faced by the Sikh diaspora in the ’80s, while The Believers Are But Brothers shines a light on online extremism. A fresh take on Bengali dance drama Shyama (pictured) pays tribute to its original creator, the first non-European Nobel Laureate poet. Truly dazzling.

Coolest Concerts of Autumn: From JT to Jay-Z

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Oct/Nov 2018

Photo by Ryan McGinley

On Nov. 8 and 9, Justin Timberlake brings sexy back to Rogers Arena. The pop powerhouse is taking hits like “Rock Your Body” and “Cry Me a River” on the road to promote his chart-topping album Man of the Woods. He’s in good company, too, as a steady stream of pop and rock icons raise the roof at the arena and BC Place: Def Leppard and Journey (Oct. 1), Jay-Z and Beyoncé (Oct. 2), Luke Bryan (Oct. 13), Drake (Nov. 3 and 4) and Fleetwood Mac (Nov. 14). With a line-up like that, it’s hard not to “Let the Groove Get In.” 

On the Brink: Vancouver Fringe Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Diana Bang in Self-ish

Sep. 6 to 16, 2018 For a theatre experience on the edge—of your seat, that is—don’t miss the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Over 11 days, more than 700 shows and 90 artists take over every nook, cranny and stage on Granville Island and beyond. Catch groundbreaking performances such as Self-ish (pictured). This one-woman play featuring Vancouver actor Diana Bang brings a comedic touch to universal themes of grief and tragedy. Get ready to bend some boundaries.

Skookum Festival Takes Over Stanley Park

By CHLOË LAI

The Killers (Photo by Stephen Schulcz)

Sep. 7 to 9, 2018 Go big before you go home: this month, heavy hitters from the worlds of music, food and art gather in Stanley Park for the first-ever Skookum Festival. For three days, the urban forest is alive with the sounds of international legends such as Florence and the Machine, Metric, Buffy Sainte-Marie and The Killers (pictured). Show-stopping cuisine fuels the fun with offerings from top local eateries—including Kissa Tanto, Bel Café and Vij’s—served amid larger-than-life murals and interactive art installations. When the sun goes down, Skookum After Dark events ramp up at various venues downtown. World-class concerts all day and night? It’s music to our ears.

One Perfect Day: Fun for Foodies, Shopaholics & More

Whether you get fired up about food or are delighted by the outdoors, here’s how to make the most of your time in Vancouver

Vancouver’s northern waterfront at sunset (Photo by Barbershop Films/Tourism Vancouver)

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

FOR FOODIES

Beat the crowds and kick off the day at Granville Island Public Market, a foodie’s paradise stocked with smoked salmon, gourmet cheese, baked goods and more. Peruse the wares while munching Lee’s Donuts or a croissant, but save space for a sit-down brunch at downtown’s popular Café Medina, known for heavenly Liège waffles and lavender lattes. (more…)

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.

Jack White at Rogers Arena

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by David James Swanson

Aug. 12, 2018 Jack White’s latest album, Boarding House Reach, has been making waves since its release. Debuting at number one in both Canada and the USA, it traipses between an unusually wide range of genres—from heavy metal to jazz to spoken word reminiscent of old-school rap—that showcase the Grammy Award–winning rocker’s unapologetically experimental approach. Ride along on White’s madcap musical exploration at Rogers Arena.

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…)

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.