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Where to Go Vancouver

Interview: Cirque du Soleil Aerialist Anne Weissbecker

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Aerialist Anne Weissbecker performs acrobatics on a flying bicycle for Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios (Photo by Martin Girard/ShootStudio.ca. Costume by Philippe Guillotel)

Oct. 19 to Dec. 31, 2017 “We all have, I’m sure, weird luggage,” laughs Anne Weissbecker. The aerialist is talking about what it’s like to travel with Cirque du Soleil—around six cities a year, with two months spent in each location. “Your whole life is in your suitcase,” she says. “I am French, so I always have my coffee machine, and some pans to cook. You have to find things that make you happy.” (more…)

Ghosts of Vancouver

Haunted hot spots for spectre-seekers

By CHLOË LAI
Oct. 2017

Gastown is the oldest area of the city, and it’s rumoured to be the most haunted part, too. (Photo by James Wheeler/Dreamstime)

Heeere’s Jennie!

If you’re checking into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and there’s a 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.

It’s Alive!

Get more than you bargained for at Salmagundi West, and not only because the antiques-and-oddities emporium often stocks unusual treasures like taxidermy, tarot cards and actual magic wands. There are whispered voices. Displaced and disappearing objects. Encounters with departed beings. Like the woman in black who begs customers to find her photograph, or the former owner’s partner, whose unhappy energy has been felt in the storage room. Local paranormal investigators reportedly encountered the ghost of a man with a bushy moustache and blood running down his cheek. With all this otherworldly activity, it’s a good thing they have a professional psychic on staff.

Silence of the Trams

Where there’s a vortex, there’s a very real chance of ghostly visitations. The Old Spaghetti Factory, supposedly located near a portal to another dimension, is said to house four ghosts. The most well-known spirit is the uniformed tram conductor who staff report seeing late at night, seated at a table in the decommissioned streetcar that occupies the dining room. Then there’s Looky-Loo, a mischievous red-haired man who wreaks havoc in the kitchen and ladies’ room. Rounding out the phantom family are a cutlery-bending boy with empty eye sockets, and a little girl with a balloon, looking for her mother.

Discover the dark side of the city with Ghostly Vancouver Tours, Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours and Forbidden Vancouver’s Lost Souls of Gastown Tour.

Firehall Arts Centre: Hyperlink

By CHLOË LAI

Itai Erdal and TJ Dawe explore the limitations of digital life in Hyperlink.

Oct. 4 to 14. 2017 Do you have friends on Facebook? Acquaintances on Instagram? Whether you embrace or avoid the Internet, there’s no escaping it—digital communication is the new norm for human interaction. We can keep up with world events, Skype our families and text our friends any time, from anywhere. So why are we still lonely? Find out at the world premiere of Hyperlink, when two acclaimed storytellers take audiences on a lively tour of a life spent online. Spoiler alert: it’s not all retweets and “likes.”

In Good Spirits: Meet Four Award-Winning Vancouver Bartenders

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2017

Raise a glass to four bartenders who are shaking up the local cocktail scene. (Photo by KK Law)

“Sweetheart, do you know how to make an Old Fashioned?” 

Female bartenders hear a variation of this question every day—proof that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to gender assumptions. But Vancouver has a bevy of fierce females who are defying stereotypes and shattering glass ceilings.

The first woman to win the Diageo World Class Canada bartending competition, and Vancouver magazine’s Bartender of the Year for 2015, Lauren Mote has revamped the cocktail lists at Yew, Café Medina and Burdock & Co. and spent years behind the pine at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. She’s also the co-founder of Bittered Sling Bitters, which makes award-winning bitters and extracts, and the Diageo Reserve & World Class Global Cocktailian. (more…)

Pacific Theatre Opens Season with “The Christians”

By SHERI RADFORD

The Christians photo by Emily Cooper

To Oct. 7, 2017 What happens when a pastor suddenly announces a change in doctrine? In The Christians (page 58), that radical change sends one church on the path to schism. But, miraculously, the two sides express their views in a loving and respectful way. Pacific Theatre’s season opener continues its tradition of staging thought-provoking plays that encourage dialogue about faith and religion.

Renaissance of the Railway Stage & Beer Café

By TIM PAWSEY

Rack up the good times at one of the oldest venues in town. (Photo by KK Law)

When the long-running Railway Club (dating from the 1930s) closed, a furor erupted over the loss of the downtown venue. After a year’s hiatus, the upstairs club was reincarnated as the Railway Stage & Beer Café. The remodelled-but-quirky space maintains its heritage feel, paying tribute to its forerunner with bric-a-brac recalling its long musical past. The new edition ups the suds ante with an impressive, mainly local 24 taps and—continuing the tradition of live acts—often blends beer with blues, boogie, jazz and joke nights. All-day fare includes freshly made soups, sandwiches and salads, such as a kale and romaine Caesar that can be topped with smoked turkey sausage, grilled avocado or blackened chicken.

Coldplay’s Head Full of Dreams Tour Comes to BC Place

By SHERI RADFORD

Fill your head with dreams when Coldplay comes to BC Place. (Photo by Sam Neill)

Sep. 29, 2017 It’s hard to ignore the media circus surrounding Chris Martin’s personal life. The marriage to Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The naming of his daughter, Apple, and his son, Moses. The description he gave of himself as an “all-theist,” meaning he believes in all religions. The “conscious uncoupling” and divorce from Paltrow. With all the noise, it’s easy to forget where Martin’s fame originated: in the chart-topping music he creates with Coldplay. At BC Place this month, the Head Full Of Dreams Tour—not to mention 50,000 screaming fans—provides a vivid reminder of why Martin and Coldplay still top the charts today.

Janet Jackson: Unbreakable Tour

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Be a part of the rhythm nation at Janet Jackson’s show on Sep. 26.

Sep. 26, 2017 It’s music to fans’ ears. Janet Jackson is hitting the road to promote her Unbreakable album—again. The last tour was postponed so the Grammy Award–winning singer could add “mom” to her already impressive resume. Now, the rebooted State of the World tour brings chart-topping hits from across the acclaimed artist’s career, plus hit singles like “No Sleeep” and “Dammn Baby” to Rogers Arena.

Vancouver Fashion Week: Evan Clayton

Collections by local designer Evan Clayton hit the catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

(L) The Devil In Miss Jones collection was inspired by the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. (R) Evan Clayton.

(L) The Devil In Miss Jones collection was inspired by the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. (R) Evan Clayton.

Sep. 18 to 24, 2017 Vancouver-based fashion designer Evan Clayton is only 25, but he already has a wealth of experience under his—presumably very chic—belt. His show-stopping collections have ruled the runways at Vancouver Fashion Week for eight seasons, been featured on British Vogue online, and graced the catwalk in Vienna, Austria. (more…)

Westward Music Festival Hits Downtown Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Get down with homegrown heroes A Tribe Called Red at the Westward Music Festival.

Get down with great sounds from A Tribe Called Red at the Westward Music Festival.

Sep. 14 to 17, 2017 If your favourite kind of music is “every kind!” then the Westward Music Festival is your jam. Fourteen genre-busting events feature local and international greats like electro-mashup legends A Tribe Called Red (pictured), rapper Vince Staples, R&B artist Charlotte Day Wilson and punk rockers PUP. Spread across downtown venues within easy reach of each other—one of them open to fans of all ages—this party really is the best of all worlds.

The Sound of Music Returns to the Stage

By SHERI RADFORD

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre will be alive with The Sound of Music from Sep. 12-17.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre will be alive with The Sound of Music from Sep. 12-17.

Sep. 12 to 17, 2017 Few folks recall that The Sound of Music started out as a Rodgers & Hammerstein show on Broadway, because the 1965 film version starring Julie Andrews captured hearts so completely. Now the beloved story of Maria, a plucky nun-turned-governess, and Captain von Trapp is returning to its live-theatre roots. It takes over the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for six days, filling it with timeless tunes such as “My Favourite Things” and “Edelweiss.”

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival 2017

By SHERI RADFORD

Fire up the party with flamenco performances, classes and workshops at Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. (Photo: Audrey Bow)

Fire up the party with flamenco performances, classes and workshops at Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. (Photo: Audrey Bow)

Sep. 11 to 24, 2017 There’s no need to fly all the way to Madrid or Barcelona to experience the raw emotional power of Spanish dance. The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival features international artists, including headliner La Moneta of Spain, as well as Canadian performers such as Calle Verde (pictured), Flamenco Rosario and Christina Tremblay. The best part? No passport required.