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British Columbia

Stickboy

By SHERI RADFORD

Spoken-word artist, Shane Koyczan

Spoken-word artist, Shane Koyczan

What happens when the bullied becomes the bully? Canada’s best-known spoken-word artist, BC’s own Shane Koyczan (pictured), explored this idea in his novel-in-verse Stickboy. Koyczan and composer Neil Weisensel have now adapted the much-lauded book into a visually innovative and musically memorable opera. Catch the world premiere Oct. 23 to Nov. 7 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

A Peek at Peaked Pies

By SHERI RADFORD

Savoury meat pie found at Peaked Pies

Savoury meat pie with all the fixings, at Peaked Pies

It’s impossible to spend a day in Whistler without hearing Australian accents aplenty. Before Peaked Pies opened, all those homesick Aussies couldn’t find one of their favourite foods here: meat pies. But these savoury delicacies aren’t just for folks from Down Under. Choices ranging from beef curry to chunky pepper steak to chicken with mushroom and leek—all “peaked” with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy—appeal to taste buds of every nationality. Consider it a United Nations of flavours.

Write On!

By SHERI RADFORD

Author Emma Donoghue. (Photo: by Andrew Bainbridge)

Author Emma Donoghue. (Photo: by Andrew Bainbridge)

Bookworms and bibliophiles, rejoice: the Vancouver Writers Fest is back for its 27th year, and it’s bigger than ever, with more than 100 authors coming to Granville Island from Oct. 21 to 26. This year’s highlights: Ireland’s Colm Tóibín, Norway’s Karl Ove Knausgaard, France’s Maylis de Kerangal, and Herman Koch from the Netherlands. Home-grown talent includes Emma Donoghue (pictured), William Gibson and Miriam Toews. The festival’s signature mix of big-name writers and newly discovered gems is sure to set any book-lover’s heart aflutter—and guarantees a heavy bag filled with new must-reads for the trip home.

Tasty Tome

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The humble tin can goes gourmet with the help of this unique cookbook

The humble tin can goes gourmet with this unique cookbook

Keep can openers at the ready: Tin Fish Gourmet (Arsenal Pulp Press; $21.95) by Vancouverite Barbara-Jo McIntosh has been re-released to the delight of time-pressed chefs everywhere. Imaginative recipes transform humble tins of oysters, tuna, mackerel and more into mouth-watering dishes. Find classic staples and inventive offerings alike, ranging from tuna casserole to clam and fontina pizza. Gorgeous colour photos and a stamp of approval from three-star Michelin chef Michel Roux make this the perfect fishy find. At local bookstores, including the author’s own Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.

Treasures From the Forbidden City

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities." (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

“Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities.” (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

Indulge your inner voyeur and cross the threshold into the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (Oct. 18 to Jan. 11). The exhibition showcases nearly 200 awe-inspiring artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum, a historic site that mysteriously closed its gates to the world for 500 years. The array of rare treasures includes 80 that have never travelled beyond the palace walls, and ranges from paintings and ivory to ceramics and textiles. It’s a peek into the past that’s impossible to resist.

Dress-Up for Grown-Ups

By KRISTEN MORAN

(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

Superheroes, villains, ghosts and Imperial Stormtroopers dancing down Granville Street? The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo (Oct. 18 and 19) must be in town. This fanciful, family-friendly event takes place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre and features costume-clad characters, horror film screenings, games, anime, performances and celebrity guests, such as the man who designed and portrayed the original movie character Alien and the actor who voiced Gohan from Dragon Ball. Come to the parade (Oct. 19) and admire the elaborate outfits, or dress up as your favourite mythical character and join in.

Science World’s Silver Anniversary

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

Science World at Telus World of Science. (Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

For 25 years, Science World at Telus World of Science has been turning challenging concepts into fun hands-on exhibits for youngsters and oldsters alike. On Oct. 17, a full year of anniversary celebrations culminates in a swanky soiree showcasing the past, present and future of the popular attraction housed in Vancouver’s most recognizable building. The evening features culinary creations, fine wines and cool cocktails under the geodesic dome, along with music, memories and more. Here’s to the next quarter-century.

Vancouver Home + Design Show

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cottage Life TV's Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Dorothy’s right: there’s no place like home. But arriving at the perfect living space isn’t as easy as clicking your ruby slippers. That’s where the Vancouver Home + Design Show (Oct. 16 to 19) comes in. Designers and DIYers find inspiration from over 325 exhibitors, with advice on home improvements, decor, entertaining and more. Discover pro tips from celebrity guests such as HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan (pictured). Time for dreams to become reality.

Fall Foliage at Art Beatus

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

With its clear blue skies and crisp hues, autumn already tops our list of stunning seasons. Add a little imagination and the influence of Gustav Klimt, and you have the vibrantly hued landscapes of Jack Zhou. His love of colour and light shines through in Impressionist-style paintings inspired by the birch forests of northern Ontario (“Birch Woods,” pictured). See Zhou’s colourful creations in Resplendence at Art Beatus, to Nov. 7.

All Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

By SHERI RADFORD

Rocky Mountaineer train allows for breathtaking views

It’s all aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for breathtaking views along the Sea to Sky Climb

Travel between Whistler and Vancouver the picturesque way with Rocky Mountaineer’s Whistler Sea to Sky Climb. Stunning scenery abounds, including Howe Sound, the Coast Mountains, Brandywine Falls, Mount Garibaldi and Cheakamus Canyon. Make sure your camera is charged beforehand, because the breathtaking views are guaranteed.

Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good

By SHERI RADFORD

Support a good cause in these leggings by Daub + Design

Leggings by Daub + Design

Breast cancer is a cause close to Lexi Soukoreff’s heart. The West Coast–based textile designer, founder of activewear company Daub + Design, has watched friends and family members battle the disease. For the month of October, she’s selling one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed, pink-and-black leggings, shorts and capris in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Find them at Dream Apparel.

In the Bag

By SHERI RADFORD

This fabulous Gucci tote helps provide education through UNICEF's Schools for Africa

This fabulous Gucci tote helps provide education through UNICEF’s Schools for Africa

Starting Oct. 8, fashionistas-with-heart can help a worthy charity and get a new bag at the same time when Holt Renfrew launches 20 limited-edition Gucci totes in python with bamboo handles. Each one retails for $2,900, and $500 of that goes to UNICEF’s Schools for Africa, which provides education to millions of African children. Consider it retail therapy at its best.