• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

British Columbia

Waiting for Beckett

By SHERI RADFORD

A radio play on stage: All That Fall (Photo: Tim Matheson)

A radio play on stage: All That Fall. (Photo: Tim Matheson)

For half a century, no one was allowed to watch All That Fall. Samuel Beckett refused all requests to turn his radio play into a stage play. Finally, in 2012, the playwright’s estate relented, and audiences in London and New York have been lucky enough to see the show, which is staged as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a radio play being performed. Now Beckett’s creation comes to Canadian soil for the first time, with a production Dec. 29 to Jan. 24 at the Historic Theatre at the Cultch. What are you waiting for?

4 Asian Adventures

By TIM PAWSEY

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen (Photo: KK Law)

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen. (Photo: KK Law)

In this cosmopolitan town, myriad Pacific Rim flavours tempt at every turn.

1 Gyoza Bar + Ramen Find an edgy but cozy updated take on traditional ramen and gyoza in a warmly refurbished heritage setting. Go for the teppan gyoza served in a sizzling cast-iron pan, but don’t miss the kaisen tomato ramen brimming with fresh Ocean Wise seafood (pictured).

2 Banana Leaf This friendly, brightly decorated, casual chain celebrates all things Malaysian with wide-ranging cuisine from the heart of the Spice Route, such as rendang beef and Singapore chilli crab.

3 Kingyo Always hopping, this West End izakaya caters to a loyal following with polished small plates ranging from tantan noodles to miso-marinated black cod to pork tenderloin tempura.

4 Pink Elephant Thai Boldly fuchsia-toned, this Alberni Street haunt lures a lively crowd for smart cocktails, fusion dishes, and classic Thai tastes such as chicken satay, hot and sour soup, spring rolls, and spicy lettuce wraps with a choice of meats and tofu.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Location, Location, Location

By SHERI RADFORD

The expansive new location of L'Occitane en Provence

The expansive new location of L’Occitane en Provence

Long considered Vancouver’s mecca for savvy shoppers, Robson Street now ups the ante even more with recent additions to the intersection of Robson and Burrard. Anchored by Canadian stalwart Roots, the corner also boasts a Victoria’s Secret, for alluring lingerie; Lululemon, for stylish yogawear; and L’Occitane en Provence (pictured), for luxury skincare and fragrances. Nearby, find new Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart locations, both filled with popular make-up brands. It’s enough to set a shopaholic’s heart aflutter.

‘Tis the Season

By SHERI RADFORD

Festive treats from Thomas Haas

Festive treats from Thomas Haas

Everyone knows that calories consumed during the holidays don’t count, right? Follow your festive sweet tooth to Bel Café, then sip an eggnog latte while choosing between the spiced whipped shortbread, butter tarts, raspberry linzer cookies, Christmas cakes, chocolate Santas and macaron trees. For even more seasonal sweets, visit Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie for confections such as chocolate trees (pictured), Christmas stollen, vanilla kipferl, Yule logs, chocolate sparkle cookies and holiday marshmallows. Here’s to a flavourful festive season (diets can wait until the new year).

Bella Gelateria’s Sweet Treats

By TIM PAWSEY

Award winning James Coleridge

Award winning James Coleridge (Photo: KK Law)

The first full-service room from gelato maestro James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria in Yaletown offers his celebrated gelato with other Italian treats such as Neapolitan pizza. Coleridge’s latest invention is the Gelatini: think affogato but with gelato instead of ice cream and a martini in lieu of coffee. Tiddly temptations abound, from Saffron Persia to Matcha Smasha to Wild Evita (salted caramel with scotch).

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors

By LAURA DENNIS

"Portrait of Emporer Qianlong's Concubine"

“Portrait of Emporer Qianlong’s Concubine” from the Beijing Palace Museum

Go to a time of mystery that has captivated the world since the 1400s. At the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (to Jan. 11), peek behind gates that were closed for 500 years. Many of the artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum—including paintings (pictured) and armour—have never left the city. Don’t miss this rare glimpse into Imperial China.

Mahony & Sons: Irish Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons (Photo: KK Law)

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons. (Photo: KK Law)

Hop aboard the Aquabus (directly from the foot of Davie Street in Yaletown) to reach this newly unveiled, lavish Mahony & Sons, right on the False Creek waterfront at Stamp’s Landing. Drop by for casual bites such as fresh oysters on the half shell, thin-crust pizzas and burgers. Or tuck into classics such as Irish stew, Guinness-battered fish ’n’ chips, (Irish) bangers and mash, and plentiful West Coast chowder. Best-kept secret: the upstairs private room.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

CONTACT Winter Music Festival

By LAURA DENNIS

Catch Zedd at CONTACT Winter Music Festival

Catch Zedd at this popular music fest

Sports fans in foam fingers are replaced with partygoers in furry boots and glow sticks when BC Place Stadium hosts the largest indoor music fest in Western Canada. CONTACT Winter Music Festival (Dec. 26 and 27) features some of the world’s most-coveted DJs, including headliners Armin van Buuren and Zedd (pictured), spinning at the state-of-the-art stadium. Lose yourself in a light show using all the latest technology or step out for some fresh air and catch more artists playing on the tented outdoor stage.

Shopping Spree for Kids

By SHERI RADFORD

Cute kicks from Converse

Cute kicks from Converse

Even the smallest family members can enjoy a big shopping spree, as long as they go to the right stores.

1 GapKids Pint-sized fashionistas scoop up the latest eye-catching collection, a collaboration with Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade.

2 Town Shoes Kids put their best foot forward in the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Simple Slip, which brings cars and animals to life in cute lace-free designs (pictured).

3 The Bay Youngsters and oldsters alike love the iconic HBC stripes on everything from onesies, toques and baby socks to t-shirts, sweaters and coats.

4 Junior philanthropists find inspiration aplenty in Anne Jankeliowitch’s Kids Who Are Changing the World, which shares the stories of 45 young activists—including four from Canada—who are working to reverse climate change, protect animals and more.

A Christmas Tradition

By SHERI RADFORD

Young Clara and the Nutcracker (Photo: Vince Pahkala)

Young Clara and the Nutcracker (Photo: Vince Pahkala)

When the Nutcracker ballet returns to Vancouver this month, expect your old favourites—Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker Prince, the exquisite music of Tchaikovsky—along with a few uniquely Canadian additions: a hockey game on a snowy pond, a battle on Parliament Hill. Catch all the fun Dec. 12 to 14 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Bobbie Burgers’s Pretty Petals

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"The Lure of Magical Thinking" by Bobbie Burgers

“The Lure of Magical Thinking” by Bobbie Burgers

At this time of year, the most gorgeous gardens are indoors, not out. Especially at Bau-Xi Gallery, where a room of bold-hued blooms by Bobbie Burgers can be found in The Lure of Magical Thinking (Dec. 11 to 24). The Vancouver-based artist is known for her fresh florals, and her most recent works explore mature and dying flowers with thick, layered colours and lush sculptural elements (“The Lure of Magical Thinking #1,” pictured). It’s the same beautiful blossoms, just in a different light.

Gifts That Give Back

By SHERI RADFORD

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

Maud, the 10th annual Charity Heritage Bear

Maud, the 10th annual Charity Heritage Bear

1. Show your true stripes with Maud, the 10th annual Charity Heritage Bear from The Bay. The stuffed creature pays tribute to Maud Watt, Quebec’s first female game warden. Net proceeds go to the HBC Foundation, which supports charities such as The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Canada. Don’t delay: only 15,000 bears are available, and they always prove to be a popular holiday gift.

TOMS shoes

TOMS shoes

2. We’d gladly walk a mile in these: for every pair of TOMS shoes sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need. The kids’ styles are especially adorable, in patterns such as plaid, polka dots and dinosaurs; find them at Hip Baby and Crocodile.

EQ3 Generation Art capsule collection pillow

EQ3 Generation Art capsule collection pillow

3. For its second Generation Art capsule collection, EQ3 asked Canadians of all ages to submit artwork that represents diversity. The seven artists chosen range from 11 to 59 years old, and their art—which now adorns pillows, mugs, ottomans and more—runs the gamut from simple to intricate, serious to whimsical. All proceeds go to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which supports youth arts initiatives that transform lives and revitalize underserved communities.

Wireless earbuds from Outdoor Tech

Wireless earbuds from Outdoor Tech

4. Save the whales! For those who like to work up a sweat, Outdoor Tech’s new Orcas are the perfect wireless earbuds—lightweight, water-resistant and comfortable, thanks to the customizable fit. Bonus: $1 from each pair purchased goes to the Whaleman Foundation, a research, education, conservation and wildlife-film-production organization dedicated to protecting our oceans. Available at London Drugs.

This inspirational talisman from Pyrrah

The Inspiration Talisman from Pyrrah

5. In Lumine Luce (“Shine in the Light” in Latin) reads the diamond-set Inspiration Talisman from Pyrrha. For each one sold, the company donates $25 to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, which provides palliative care for terminally ill children and support for their families. Every Pyrrha talisman is handcrafted in Vancouver: designed using an original wax seal from the 1800s, then cast in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze. Available at Blue Ruby or online at www.pyrrha.com.

Sunglasses from AYA Eyewear and the OneXOne Foundation

Sunglasses from AYA Eyewear and the OneXOne Foundation

6. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. AYA Eyewear has partnered with the OneXOne Foundation to create the Hope Belongs to Everyone Gift Set, which includes a pair of aviator sunglasses, an embossed hard case and a cleaning cloth, all decorated with First Nations artwork, as well as a donation to feed one child for one week. Available online at www.claudia
alanstore.com.

Handcrafted wood ornaments

Handcrafted wood ornaments

7. ’Tis the season to deck the halls and trim the tree. Add a heart-warming touch to decorating with Christmas Canadiana or 12 Days of Christmas ornaments made from recycled wood, handcrafted by at-risk youth and inner-city women with multiple barriers to employment. Tradeworks provides training in both life and employment skills, plus hands-on experience in trade carpentry. Order online at www.tradeworks.bc.ca.

Style, culture and art combine to create Spirit Wraps

Style, culture and art combine to create Spirit Wraps

8. Ancient First Nations techniques plus modern style equals Spirit Wraps, the result of a creative collaboration between Chloë Angus Design and Native artists such as Corrine Hunt (Tlingit) and Clarence Mills (Haida). Partial proceeds go to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.

Help athletes with iconic Olympic Red Mittens

Help athletes with iconic Olympic Red Mittens

9. Go Canada go! Hands stay toasty warm in fleece-lined Olympic Red Mittens from The Bay. For each $10 pair sold, the store donates $3.33 to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which raises funds to help high-level athletes compete.

The East Van Cross has evolved from graffiti to jewellery

The East Van Cross has evolved from graffiti to jewellery

10. From graffiti to art to jewellery, the East Van Cross has come a long way, baby. It started decades ago as graffiti, then became a public art piece (“Monument for East Vancouver” by Ken Lum), and now has been turned into jewellery by Canadian designer Susan Fiedler (best known for her F Cancer Embrace Life initiative). For each pendant sold, $25 goes to the Pivot Legal Society, which uses the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada. Purchase online at www.eastvancrossproject.com.

Get a pair and give a pair of snuggly mittens

Get a pair and give a pair of snuggly mittens

11. Put your hands together for Canadian company CherryT Knit & Co., which uses soft wools and plush sherpa linings to create snuggly, hand-knit mittens in vintage-inspired cable-knit patterns. For each pair sold, the company gives a pair to a child in need. Purchase online at www.cherrytco.com.

Cute and charitable critter from La Vie En Rose

Cute and charitable critter from La Vie En Rose

12. Several times each year, La Vie En Rose introduces an adorable stuffed critter. For each one sold, the store donates $5 to the Roses of Hope Foundation, which supports charities that improve the lives of Canadian women, in particular groups dedicated to breast cancer research.

Help animals with Happy Spritz

Help animals with Happy Spritz

13. Make your home sweet home smell even sweeter with Happy Spritz, an artisan line of natural, handcrafted aromatherapy sprays. Adding to the charm: beautiful packaging and whimsical names such as ’Tis the Season and Feeling Mighty Pine. Partial proceeds benefit animal-rescue organizations. Available at Delish General Store.

Reclaimed wood LSTN Headphones

Reclaimed wood LSTN Headphones

14. Listen up: LSTN headphones aren’t just great looking—they’re also made from reclaimed wood from high-end furniture and floor manufacturers, and each pair sold helps the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to people in need all around the world. Available at Experience Headphones.

Italian designed and Maasai made necklace

Italian designed and Maasai made necklace

15. High fashion from Italy—and Tanzania? Lotusland Imports sells a range of meticulously beaded necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and belts that are designed by students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, then handcrafted by 200 Maasai tribeswomen who used to live in poverty, subsisting by cutting down trees to make charcoal. Available at Bodacious and The Gallery Store, or visit the Lotusland pop-up shop, Dec. 1 to 21 in City Square.

Stationary from Moleskin and RED help in the fight against AIDS

Stationary from Moleskin and RED help in the fight against AIDS

16. Write on: make a stationery statement and raise money to fight AIDS at the same time with the Moleskine RED Special Edition Collection, which includes a hardcover notebook, luggage tag and 2015 weekly planner, each with a red elastic band closure, as well as a red pen. Five percent of each purchase goes to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Available at Target or online at www.moleskine.com or www.red.org.

T-shirts from David Suzuki and Roots

T-shirt from David Suzuki and Roots

17. Surprisingly, the right to a healthy environment is not guaranteed in Canada. David Suzuki wants to change that. The world-renowned environmentalist, who lives right here in Vancouver, has partnered with Canadian company Roots to create a line of t-shirts (made from organic cotton), along with hoodies and toques (made from recycled yarns), to help fight for environmental protection to be included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Available at select Roots stores.

Procedes from these Tweezers help cheer up sick kids

Proceeds from these Tweezers help cheer up sick kids

18. Banish unwanted hairs and help sick children at the same time with the new limited-edition mini slant tweezers from Tweezerman. For each one sold, $1 goes to The Art of Elysium, a charity that encourages actors, artists and musicians to share their time and talent with hospitalized children battling serious medical conditions. Available at Sephora.