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British Columbia

Happy BC Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

August 2 to 4

As the temperature rises, we present our top 10 ways to celebrate the BC Day long weekend.

1. Oohing and aahing as the Honda Celebration of Light (Aug. 2) fireworks illuminate city skies.

2. Practising our savasana and downward-facing dog with world-renowned yogis—and listening to Hannah, Matthew Schoening and The Soul Rebels—at the Wanderlust Festival (to Aug. 4) in nearby Whistler.

3. Making a splash at local beaches, pools and water parks.

4. Watching live theatre outside at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (to Sep. 20) and Theatre Under the Stars (to Aug. 23).

Folks enjoy the variety of food truck fare at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a variety of bites at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

5. Pleasing our palates at the Food Cart Fest, every Sunday.

6. Celebrating gay pride at the Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3) and Queer Arts Festival (to Aug. 9).

7. Enjoying food, family activities, music, visual arts and more at the Powell Street Festival (Aug. 1 to 3) and Harmony Arts Festival (Aug. 1 to 10).

8. Taking in the Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Sep. 1).

9. Screaming with delight/terror on all the rides at Playland (to Sep. 21).

10. Picking up local produce and handmade crafts at farmers’ markets around the city.

Relax at Dude Chilling Park

By KRISTEN MORAN

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouverites are known for being laid-back and having a good sense of humour, but the loss of a beloved sign was no laughing matter.

When the Dude Chilling Park sign appeared two years ago at Guelph Park, it instantly captured the hearts of locals. As a prank, artist Viktor Briestensky designed and created this replica of a Vancouver Park Board sign, because he thought the park’s original name didn’t reflect its true essence. The new name also captured the vibe of Michael Dennis’s wooden sculpture “Reclining Figure,” which has been relaxing in the green space since 1991. (more…)

Cheers to Summer Beers!

By KRISTEN MORAN

Vancouver’s craft beer scene has grown at an impressive rate, with microbreweries popping up all over Metro Vancouver and with them a slew of on-site tasting rooms. Drink it by the glass or pick up a growler (a large, refillable glass bottle) to take home

Order your brew in a jar, glass or sampler, at 33 Acres Brewing Co. (Photo: Joshua Michnik)

Order your brew in a jar, glass or sampler, at 33 Acres Brewing Co. (Photo: Joshua Michnik)

R&B Brewing 

This East Van brewery has been creating handcrafted lagers and ales since 1997, and its award-winning concoctions never fail to impress. The growler station is open Friday through Sunday, with five taps that rotate regularly with brews like Sun God Wheat Ale and Red Devil Pale Ale. Seasonal favourite Birra Fresca Cucumber Mint IPA rolls out this month, and Nettle Mint Ginger has just arrived.

Green Leaf Brewing Co.

This new brewery is nestled in the heart of Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, making it the perfect spot to quench your thirst while shopping around the waterfront market on a hot summer day. Constantly rolling out new creations, Green Leaf usually has four brews on tap including an IPA, a hefeweizen, a Berliner weizen and the year-round brew Pie Hole Pale Ale. Taster flights, glasses and growlers are all available to buy in the tasting room.

Parallel 49 Brewing Co. 

Known for its artistic labels and uniquely named brews, Parallel 49 has become one of the top breweries in Vancouver. Try a glass of the Hoparazzi India Pale Ale or seasonal brews like Seedspitter, Banana Hammock Summer Hefeweizen and the new Tricycle Grapefruit Rattler, or try several in flight samplers of four. Fill up your growler or purchase select six-packs on site.

33 Acres Brewing Co.

Not even a year old yet and this hip little brewery is pouring beer in 26 restaurants around Vancouver and is selling its brews in numerous liquor stores. The tasting room at 33 Acres allows beer enthusiasts to sample creations, such as summer brew 33 Acres of Sunshine, in a glass, 709-ml (24-oz) jar or 1.89-L (64-oz) growler. Set up a group tour and get an exclusive look at brewing while enjoying snacks and sampling the sudsy sensations.

What a Doll: Maplelea Girl

By SHERI RADFORD

Maplelea dolls offer an educational playtime experience.

The Alexi doll hails from Toronto, Ontario, and helps kids learn about Canada

Can a toy teach kids about Canada’s culture, history and geography? This doll can. Each Maplelea Girl comes dressed in clothing appropriate to her region, such as the jeans and t-shirt for Alexi’s Toronto, Ontario (pictured); cozy turtleneck and hiking boots for Taryn’s Banff, Alberta; and vest and kamiik (traditional Inuit footwear) for Saila’s Nunavut. Accompanying each soft, huggable, 46-cm (18-in) Maplelea Girl is a journal overflowing with fascinating photos and tidbits about the doll’s hometown, with room for kids to add their own thoughts and doodles. Who says learning can’t be fun? Order online at www.maplelea.com.

Yaletown’s Tuscan Terrace

By TIM PAWSEY

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Unabashedly romantic, Yaletown’s La Terrazza offers superb classic and contemporary Italian fare in a sumptuous setting. Regulars return for the strozzapreti beef ragout and scaloppini di vitello (tenderized veal medallions with crispy prosciutto sage butter), as well as pan-seared diver scallops and oven-roasted sablefish, with superlative wines from a prodigious cellar. Best-kept secrets: the tucked-away private wine room and the namesake well-concealed terrace for early evening cocktails and snacks.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Light ‘Em Up: Honda Celebration of Light

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Get ready to ooh and aah as the Honda Celebration of Light illuminates city skies. This year, the United States (Jul. 26), France (Jul. 30) and Japan (Aug. 2) compete for worldwide bragging rights. Who will create the best fireworks display set to music? Find out when the winner is announced on Aug. 4.

Day at the Races: Deighton Cup

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Fancy frocks, dapper duds and mint juleps can mean only one thing: we’re off to the races. The Kentucky Derby–style Deighton Cup (Jul. 26) promises a day of high-stakes horse racing, fashion and cocktails. Dandies kick it off with The Big Smoke, for cigars, scotch and whisky tastings, while tipplers join the revelry at The Julep for the Mint Julep Craft Cocktail Competition. The rest don cufflinks and fascinators for a chance to win “Best Dressed,” take in the luxury car collection, and enjoy the action on the racecourse. Champing at the bit? We are, too.

A Bright Idea: Lise Watier Nails It

By SHERI RADFORD

This ingenious nail polish comes in summery colours such as Coral Paradise

This ingenious nail polish comes in summery colours such as Coral Paradise

When trying to avoid smudges and smears while applying nail polish, there’s never enough light. That’s why Montreal company Lise Watier produces nail lacquers with ingenious light-up caps. Featuring a long-lasting LED, the cap shines the spotlight exactly where you need it most while perfecting your polish: on your fingernail. Find this summer’s limited-edition shades, Rose Eden and Coral Paradise (pictured), at Shoppers Drug Mart. Brilliant!

Sweet Souvenirs From Starbucks

By SHERI RADFORD

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver's skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver’s skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Java junkies who are jonesing for both a cuppa joe and a Vancouver souvenir head straight to Starbucks. Hot and cold caffeinated drinks fill the menu, while the city mugs are sure to invoke recollections of a Vancouver vacation over morning coffee back at home.

Link Love: Oyama Sausage Company

By TIM PAWSEY

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Look for the busiest store in the Granville Island Market, and chances are you’ll find yourself at Oyama Sausage Company, lured by the seductive aromas of this fifth-generation smokehouse and modern charcuterie. Pick up some cheese smokies, paper-thin speck (German prosciutto), Toulouse pork sausage, elk pepperoni, or silky smooth, rich, “creamy” porcini pâté, all made in house. A plentiful local and imported cheese selection adds up to the perfect picnic or barbecue shopping stop.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Life’s a Beach

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Which way to the beach? With Vancouver’s wrap-around shoreline, a stretch of sand can be found in any direction

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves.                                    (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

English Bay

This palm tree–lined sunbathing spot is popular with the downtown crowd, and for good reason: lively eateries vie for views along Beach Avenue and bustling Denman Street, and the seawall leads a constant stream of amblers, joggers and cyclists into nearby Stanley Park. Join the crowds for photo ops with public art, or just enjoy the views. (more…)

Buzz-Worthy Jewellery

By SHERI RADFORD

Birks new bee-inspired collection

Birks new bee-inspired collection

The busy bees at Birks have been hard at work. To celebrate its 135th anniversary, the Canadian jeweller created three new collections inspired by honey bees. Crafted from yellow gold, silver, gemstones and diamonds, the pieces pay homage to the hardworking creatures that pollinate one-third of all the food that humans consume. Birks also announced a partnership with Ontario’s Honey Bee Research Centre, as well as an urban beekeeping installation at its flagship boutique in Montreal. Definitely the bee’s knees.