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British Columbia

Gifts That Give Back

Support charities with presents that make both the giver and the receiver feel great



Olympic mittens from Hudson’s Bay

Raise your hand if you want to show pride for the “True North Strong and Free.” This year marks the 7th edition of the iconic Olympic Red Mittens from Hudson’s Bay. Thirty percent of sales go to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which raises funds for current and future high-level athletes. Go Canada go! (more…)

Vancouver Life: Framing the City



Alan Chung Hung’s “Gate to the Northwest Package”

In a twist on convention, the monumental “Gate to the Northwest Passage” seems to be the frame—and the city view, the art. Crafted to commemorate the arrival of the city’s namesake, Captain George Vancouver, the weathered steel sculpture made waves when it was first installed in Vanier Park in 1980. Even the Globe and Mail chimed in, teasing that it could be “the world’s largest paper clip.” In reality, the piece was inspired by two—rather more impressive—instruments: a plane table and Davis quadrant, likely used by Captain Vancouver when navigating his 18th-century explorations. These days, the sculpture by Alan Chung Hung is nothing short of iconic. And regardless of what you see—tools, frame or paper clip—the view through its centre is always spectacular.

Wearable Art: NoMiNoU Clothing


Vancouver-based NoMiNoU clothing

Vancouver-based, eco-friendly NoMiNoU clothing

After Jullianna Smith’s mother died, Smith found a wealth of her art. The Vancouverite brings this art to life by transferring the images to yoga pants and tops (constructed mainly from eco-friendly materials), then she pairs the imagery with inspirational quotes. NoMiNoU clothing is available online.

Swiss Quality: Watches by Rado


Swiss-made, scratch resistant watch by Rado

Swiss-made, scratch resistant watch by Rado

Switzerland is world-renowned for its meticulously crafted timepieces and tempting chocolates. Combining the best of both, Rado has launched three models of its high-tech ceramic watches in a brand-new colour: rich chocolate brown. They feature the scratch resistance the brand is revered for. The best part? Zero calories. At Holt Renfrew and Rodeo Jewellers.

Local Knowledge: Great Guides



Field guides that offer information on BC’s flora and fauna

Curious about local plants, seaweed or fish? Available at local Chapters/Indigo, these informative laminated pamphlets are filled with colour photos and are perfectly sized to fit in a pocket or purse

A Field Guide to Common Fishes of the Pacific Northwest (Harbour Publishing; $7.95) by Andy Lamb, Bernard P. Hanby and Phil Edgell: Learn about the mysterious creatures of the deep, from sockeye salmon and dogfish to longnose skate and walleye Pollock.

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens (Harbour Publishing; $7.95) by Michelle Catherine Nelson: A surprising number of edible greens can be found in urban areas. Find out how to tell dandelion from daylily, sheep sorrel from curly dock, and more

A Field Guide to Seaweeds of the Pacific Northwest (Harbour Publishing; $7.95) by Dr. Bridgette Clarkston: Discover how to harvest seaweeds, what eelgrass meadows do for the environment, and the differences between seaweeds and seagrasses.

4 Draught Picks


A cold pint and a snack at Central City on Beatty

Brisket plate with pit beans, coleslaw and ricotta-stuffed jalapeño cornbread, at Central City on Beatty

The city’s brew scene is booming. No more proof is needed than these perfect pubby haunts.

CENTRAL CITY ON BEATTY Pulled pork and the formidable Zeus burger complement a truly impressive range of taps, including a dozen Red Racer beers as well as other leading local brews, all served in an artfully restored Yaletown warehouse. (more…)

Local Art: Eastside Culture Crawl



“Ali’s Bachelorette” by Jessie McNeil, one of many works by participating local artists

Want to get up close and personal with Vancouver’s vibrant art scene? Then get ready to take a peek into the homes and studios of local talent. No, it’s not snooping. It’s the Eastside Culture Crawl (Nov. 19 to 22), back for its 19th year. Download a map from the Crawl’s website and join more than 20,000 art admirers as they rub shoulders with artists in their workspaces on this free, self-guided tour. Explore edgy East Van and peruse original works, including pieces by mixed-media artist Jessie McNeil (“Ali’s Bachelorette,” pictured).

Stylish Stroller: Bugaboo by Diesel


Baby can ride in style in a stroller from Bugaboo by Diesel

Baby can ride in style in a stroller from Bugaboo by Diesel

Even the most masculine of macho men enjoys pushing a stroller from the Bugaboo by Diesel collection. These baby carriages pair the virtually indestructible design of Bugaboo with the rugged durability of Diesel denim, complete with blue wheel rims and handlebars that look like black leather, resulting in styles that please fathers and mothers alike. Find them at Crocodile.

Music to Your Ears: Once at Queen Elizabeth Theatre


See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What do you get when a Dublin street musician and a young Czech woman make beautiful music together? Once, the Tony– and Grammy Award–winning musical. This charming tale of a musician ready to abandon his craft, and the woman who inspires him to continue, strikes a chord with any audience. The talented cast bring their instruments onstage, acting as both the show’s band and its characters. See this play hit all the right notes at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov. 17 to 22.

Cute Cafe: Truffles Fine Foods


Tempting options at Truffles, from sandwiches to dessert

Tempting options at Truffles

Caterer to the stars, idyllic garden cafe, bustling downtown gem—Truffles has myriad incarnations, with each one just as delicious as the last. New to downtown, the latest location may be pocket-sized, but its offerings are big on flavour. Drop in for fresh house-made sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. And be sure to scope out the celebrity wall to see which stars savoured the fare here. If David Hasselhoff gives it a thumbs-up, then count us in.

Win! Canyon Lights Prize Package


During Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, the park is aglow with thousands of sparkling lights and there are plenty of family-friendly activities, including cookie decorating and scavenger hunts. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to support the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, so you can feel even merrier while ogling the world’s largest living Christmas tree or joining in a sing-a-long.

Celebrate the season with the whole family with a Canyon Lights prize package from Capilano Suspension Bridge! Here’s how to win:

1. On Twitter (1 entry): “Retweet to #win a family prize package from @CapSuspBridge! #WinCanyonLights @WhereVancouver http://ow.ly/UAxTG

2. On Instagram (1 entry): Follow @WhereVancouver, follow @CapilanoSuspensionBridge, and regram the contest post on Instagram. Be sure to include #WinCanyonLights, @CapilanoSuspensionBridge and @WhereVancouver in your post.

Contest closes November 26, 2015.

Contest rules and regulations

UPDATE: contest now closed. Thank you for entering!

The Dog Days of Whistler


A dog-tired pooch at Summit Lodge

A dog-tired pooch at Summit Lodge

If you think Whistler isn’t a pet-friendly town, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Whether it’s the middle of winter or the dog days of summer, many hotels are happy to offer all the creature comforts to Rover or Spot, for a small fee. Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel (1-888-913-8811) doesn’t charge extra for dogs, all of whom are treated like VIPs (Very Important Pets), and provides special beds, bowls and treats. Plus resident dog Talitha is always on hand to accept treats and cuddles.

Fun in the sun (and snow) with Alpine Dogs

Fun in the sun (and snow) with Alpine Dogs

To make sure your own top dog stays happy and healthy—and becomes dog-tired by day’s end—head to one of the many parks with designated off-leash times, such as Rainbow Park, Lost Lake Park, Alpha Lake Park and Meadow Park. (And since doggie-do is definitely a doggie don’t, be sure to tuck a few plastic bags into your pocket before heading out.) To give your pampered pooch extra exercise and a chance to socialize with canine chums, call Alpine Dogs (604-902-9663). Their adventure hikes are great for high-energy hounds who feel comfortable in a group, while their private walks and in-room sitting are ideal for pups with special needs or who just want a little extra attention.

Bathtime with Shampooch

Bathtime with Shampooch

After running around on muddy or snowy trails, Fido definitely needs a bath. The deluxe bathing area at W.A.G. (604-935-8364), Whistler’s animal shelter, can be rented by donation. If you’d rather leave that whole wet and wiggly process to the pros, call Shampooch Mobile Dog Grooming (604-902-5512). Shayla Libin brings her fully contained grooming van to your four-legged friend and washes, brushes, plucks and trims, magically turning dirty dogs into pristine pups. Consider it a doggie day at the spa, complete with pawdicure.

It’s true that every dog has its day—especially in Whistler.