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British Columbia

The Eyes Have It

By SHERI RADFORD

C4-Lily Shiny Black

Geek-glasses are so chic at C4

These are not your granny’s reading glasses: the latest C4 collection features four edgy styles that make a bold fashion statement. And $5 from each pair goes to the Cause We Care Foundation, a Vancouver-based charity that helps single mothers and their children. Who knew charitable giving could look so good? Available at Nordstrom or online.

Craft Beer Circuit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

VBT_Group_Table2

Vancouver’s craft beer scene is hopping.

Want a craft beer experience that goes well beyond popping the top on a bottle of suds? Then imbibe in Vancouver Brewery Tours. Beer-loving raconteurs tour hop-heads around three local craft breweries, offering history and a behind-the-scenes look into what happens beyond the tasting room walls. The faithful steed—a big white van—whisks groups between breweries, and has room to take a few souvenir suds along for the ride. Sample a bevy of brews at destinations like Main Street Brewing, Brassneck and Big Rock Urban. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Called to the Barre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

PureBarre

Striving for a dancers body at Pure Barre

Ready to raise the bar on your workout routine? Pure Barre, North America’s biggest barre chain, recently opened its doors in fitness-friendly Kitsilano. The popular dance-inspired toning technique promises a ballerina’s body—even for those with two left feet. Take muscles from lethargic to lean as you plié, plank and stretch your way through the 55-minute classes. Tutu-toting not required.

DBelt: Clever and Comfy

By SHERI RADFORD

DBelt Pink On Model

Keep essentials cleverly concealed with DBelt

Need a cunning spot to stash your cash while travelling? The DBelt can hold money, keys, a cellphone (even the large iPhone 6 Plus) and more, and it hugs the body, hiding comfortably underneath clothing.

Beautiful Baubles at Van Cleef & Arpels

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

VanCleef

Van Cleef & Arpels shop within the Birks boutique

Grace Kelly. Elizabeth Taylor. Marlene Dietrich. Van Cleef & Arpels jewels are nearly as iconic as the leading ladies photographed wearing them. The Paris-based brand recently opened a jewel-box boutique inside Birks, and brought its seminal sparklers, timepieces and that certain je ne sais quoi along. Collectors and fashionistas will find the famed jewels in an elegant setting of black and gold, plus a private library for getting to know the sparkling selection a little better.

Winter is Coming

By SHERI RADFORD

VTSL-Jon Snow 25

Throne and Games – A Chance of Snow

Stormy with a chance of hilarity. That’s the forecast this month as Throne and Games – A Chance of Snow continues on Granville Island, presented by the Vancouver TheatreSports League (to May 28). Lightning-quick improvisers battle for comedic supremacy, until just one of the great families of Westeros remains to claim the Iron Throne. Weather may be unpredictable, but with this show, the belly laughs are guaranteed.

That’s Amore

By SHERI RADFORD

VCC

The Vancouver Chamber Choir. (Photo: Vancouver Chamber Choir)

What do you get when you take delizioso Italian food and wine, add in fantastico prizes and a silent auction, and set it all against a background of bellissimo music? Divertimento. This fundraiser for the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s community outreach and education programs takes place May 25 at La Piazza Dario Ristorante Italiano. Salute!

Spring Fling

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pousette5

Spring in bloom captured in a painting

A palette of spring hues blooms at Pousette Gallery’s Spring Group Show (to May 28), where pretty petals, bold colours and softly lit landscapes are in season. Warm-weather works by gallery artists include Vancouver-based painter Leanne Christie and her expressive oil-on-canvas pieces (“Cambie From Granville,” pictured). Also on the exhibit’s roster: plein-air paintings by Jean Claude Roy, bold brushstrokes by Roger Ricard and super-saturated canvases by Denis Chiasson.

Nail Polish Pilgrimage

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Joyride

A professional manicure by Joyride

Getting there should be half the fun. At Joyride, the journey to top-notch tips is just as enjoyable as the end result. Peruse the rainbow of over 350 au courant colours, and settle into the lavender-hued loungers with a cold-pressed juice or espresso. Then, let the expert esthetician take the wheel—from cuticle care and exfoliation, to massage and the perfect colour application. The house products are plant-based and organic, and the nail polish options include toxin-free varieties. All that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Small Diner, Big Flavour

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Locals and visitors alike pack into teeny Fergie's Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

Locals and visitors alike pack into teeny Fergie’s Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

A gastronomic gem on the Sea-to-Sky strip, Fergie’s Cafe regularly packs its teeny interior with brunchgoers who spill out onto the patio and lawn. And who can blame them? Locally sourced, homemade fare such as buttermilk biscuits, house-smoked sausage and eggs from just down the road are found in bennies, hashes, sandwiches and breakfast bowls worth setting an alarm for—no matter how early the hour. It just goes to show: good things do come in small packages.

For the Love of Books

By SHERI RADFORD

PBN Notebooks

Novelty notebooks at Paperbacknote

Old books get a second life thanks to a pair of Vancouver designers. Herman Kao and Helen Pang lovingly dismantle old, unwanted paperbacks and upcycle them into three new products: a notebook, which hides new, blank pages inside an existing book cover; a coaster, which uses the original inside pages and binding to create a conversation piece that goes under your drink; and a hanging ornament using the remaining parts. Who could ask for a happier ending? Look for Paperbacknote products at local markets or online.

Ballet BC’s Program 3

By SHERI RADFORD

BalletBC-MichaelSlobodian

Ballet BC celebrates its 30th anniversary

Dance fans are in for a triple treat this month as Ballet BC celebrates the end of its 30th anniversary with Program 3. The captivating show includes remounts of Emily Molnar’s 16 + a room and Jorma Elo’s I and I am You, plus the Canadian premiere of Bill by Sharon Eyal, an Israeli choreographer known for her daring, sensual works. See all three at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 12-14.