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Where to Go Vancouver

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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Live on Stage at the Arts Club

By SHERI RADFORD

Jan. 2019

See a show at the Arts Club this winter (Photo ©Baytunc/istockphoto.com)

Various Dates The Arts Club’s three stages have something for everyone right now. At the Stanley, Noises Off (Jan. 23 to Feb. 23) is a classic farce that’s been delighting audiences for almost four decades. At the Goldcorp Stage, The Wedding Party (Feb. 27 to Mar. 22) shows all the hilarious confusion of one couple’s big day. And at the Granville Island Stage, the world premiere of Cipher (Feb. 6 to Mar. 7) will keep you guessing.

Making Spirits Bright: Holiday Lights

By SHERI RADFORD

Nov. 2019

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

For an illuminating experience this holiday season, visit Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge or Bright Nights in Stanley Park, both of which display thousands of twinkling lights in charming forest settings and raise money for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Each event has entertainment for the whole family, with tasty treats, Christmas carols and more. The Lights of Hope turn St. Paul’s Hospital into downtown’s brightest attraction and raise much-needed funds for the hospital. Other seasonal lights worth bundling up for include the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden, the Carol Ships Parade of Lights, Aurora Winter Festival and Lumière.

Disney on Ice in Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Disney On Ice: Mickey’s Search Party

Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2019 Magic is in the air—quite literally—when Disney On Ice: Mickey’s Search Party glides into the Pacific Coliseum. This extravaganza features more than just ice skating as Disney characters perform acrobatic and aerial stunts, too, taking the entertainment high into the air above the audience. Mickey Mouse leads the way on a quest to find Tinker Bell, who has been kidnapped by Captain Hook. Immerse yourself in the enchanting worlds of Frozen, Coco, Moana and other beloved Disney-Pixar stories. Happily ever after, guaranteed.

Broadway Across Canada: Waitress

By SHERI RADFORD

See Waitress at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre this November (Photo by Rene Cervantes)

Nov 12 to 17, 2019 Jenna is a pregnant waitress who dreams of a better life, far away from her small town and her abusive husband. The only thing that gives her solace is baking pies. She learns about a pie-making contest that might just be the answer to her prayers—but an affair with her gynecologist muddles her situation even more. Waitress is based on the beloved 2007 film starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion. The Broadway production made history when it debuted in 2016, thanks to the show’s all-female creative team. Experience this empowering and uplifting musical at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and enjoy a little slice of happiness at the same time. The best part? Zero calories.

Funny Business at Improv Ecology

By SHERI RADFORD

See improv artists Gorilla Theatre perform in Vancouver as part of Improv Ecology

Oct. 14 to 20, 2019 Looking for laughs? You’ll find them at Improv Ecology, the International Theatresports Institute’s 2019 conference and festival. That’s a long way of saying that funny folks are descending on the city. Improv artists from six continents are meeting to discuss and hone their craft—and perform it in front of lucky Vancouverites and visitors. The 50 performances feature improvisers not normally seen outside their home countries. Usually business isn’t a laughing matter, but in this case it definitely is. 

Chutzpah! Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Chutzpah! Festival features performances by musicians Yemen Blues (Photo by Tim Matheson)

Oct 24-Nov 24, 2019 Have you heard the one about the festival that grows every year? It’s no joke—but the Chutzpah! Festival is filled with jokes, as well as dance, drama and music, all by internationally renowned performers. This year’s celebration of Jewish culture features comedians Sandra Bernhard and Iris Bahr, musical storyteller Daniel Cainer, musicians Yemen Blues (pictured) and a screening of The Rescue: A Live Film Concerto. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy all the entertainment on offer, but you can’t be a putz or totally meshuggeneh, either.

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.

Friday Night, Market Night

By SHERI RADFORD

Friday nights are lively at the Shipyards Night Market

To Sep. 27, 2019 The hottest place to be on a Friday evening isn’t an underground nightclub—it’s the Shipyards Night Market. This lively spot on the North Shore buzzes with activities for the whole family. Local bands perform, encouraging spectators to shimmy and shake. More than 30 food trucks feed the hungry hordes, while a 19+ beer garden guarantees plenty of top tipples from BC breweries and wineries, to wash down all those delicious meals. An artisan marketplace has a wealth of local products to discover, from jewellery to baked goods. And the best part? No secret handshake (or cover charge) required.

Alto Alfresco: Perfect Outdoor Dining

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

Lift’s picture-perfect patio (Photo: KK Law)

Looking for that perfect table outdoors? Some of the best are out of sight, even upstairs. On the Coal Harbour seawall, Lift Bar-Grill-View dazzles with panoramic views and all creature comforts. Drop by for lunch of fish ‘n‘ chips or red crab salad sandwich. Linger over dinner of prawns tempura, smoked duck breast or ahi tuna with deep-fried avocado and apple chutney. Well-matched wines play a strong BC suit. Find more uplifting tastes at Joe Fortes , Black + Blue and the Earls on Robson Street. Or, for the ultimate in “elevated” dining, head to Altitudes Bistro atop Grouse Mountain.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

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.