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British Columbia

Chic Boutique: much&little

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Delphine's designs exude a casual, West Coast vibe

Delphine’s designs exude a casual, West Coast vibe

Main Street’s much&little is a treasure trove, boasting shelves studded with gems that range from housewares to handicrafts. The bounty of beautiful goods favours unique items, and includes a selection of ladies’ apparel by independent and emerging designers such as LA-based Black Crane and Delphine (pictured). The light fabrics and elegant-yet-casual silhouettes will whip wardrobes into springtime shape, all with an unmistakable West Coast vibe.

Food for Thought

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

A selection of Thai dishes, at Maenam

A selection of Thai dishes, at Maenam

There are plenty of reasons to dine out: first-class cuisine, stimulating company and, best of all, no clean-up required. Dining Out For Life gives us another reason to make a reservation. On Mar. 26, restaurants across North America raise money to support people living with HIV/AIDS by donating 25 percent of their sales to not-for-profits Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful. Eateries range from mainstays such as Maenam (pictured) to newcomers like Nicli’s Next Door. Eating well and doing good—we’ll order that for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Indoor Adventures

It’s no secret that Vancouver tends to rain much of the year—approximately 1,588 mm (62.5 inches) of the wet stuff falls per annum. That means creative ways must be found to beat the rainy day blues.

By LAURA DENNIS

Simulated golf at One Under. (Photo: Joann Pai)

Simulated golf at One Under. (Photo: Joann Pai)

INDOOR GOLF
Hidden beneath Granville Street is One Under, with its six state-of-the-art golf simulation bays. Play a round or two at one of the best courses in the world without worrying about the weather. Create some friendly competition in a closest-to-the-pin contest, or blow off steam by smacking balls at an abandoned building. If all that swinging works up an appetite, grab a charcuterie plate or pizza—try Italian sausage and fennel—from the menu. Wash it down with one of the many craft beers on offer, or sip a scotch from the extensive list.

SWORDFIGHTING
Join the experts at Academie Duello, the world’s largest school of Western swordplay, where they combine the traditional European martial art with fitness. Workshops involve the use of deadly tools like the longsword, rapier, dagger, sword and shield, and spear. Scared of sharp objects? Try an umbrella self-defence class—Vancouver’s most used accessory can also help keep assailants at bay. Strike and block while using the brolly sword-style or as a fearsome bayonet or club.

ESCAPE ROOM
Fight fear, claustrophobia and time itself at Smarty Pantz. Get locked in one of five themed rooms—from a doomed Soviet submarine to a serial killer’s basement—each with an extensive backstory. The detailed rooms found inside a Gastown heritage building were designed by professional prop masters in the film industry. Solve puzzles as a team and use logic to escape before the 45-minute time limit is up.

Beach volleyball at 6Pack Indoor Beach

ARCHERY TAG
Any day can be a beach day: 6Pack Indoor Beach has enough sand to cover five full-sized volleyball courts and satisfy summer cravings without having to wait for sunnier months. Young ’uns visit the Kidz Beach for sandcastle building, while the more rambunctious try archery tag, which combines paintball, dodgeball and archery as teams battle it out with bows and foam-tipped arrows.

BIG AIR
Literally bounce off the walls at this playground for kids of all ages. The 3,902 sq m (42,000 sq ft) of interconnected trampolines at Extreme Air Park allow for endless—and bouncy—entertainment. Practise flips into a foam pit, or dunk like the pros on the zero-gravity basketball court. For those with a competitive streak, drop in for a spirited game of 3D dodgeball: hurl balls at opponents while executing impressive dekes on a trampoline court.

Ballet BC: Trace

By SHERI RADFORD

Dancer from Ballet BC's Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dancer from Ballet BC’s Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dance fans get triple the enjoyment for the price of one ticket with Trace. Presented by Ballet BC, this don’t-miss evening includes the Canadian premiere of William Forsythe’s workwithinwork; the world premiere of a new work by Walter Matteini; and the return of Medhi Walerski’s Petite Cérémonie, a mix of dance and theatre that has been an audience favourite since its 2011 premiere. Mar. 26 to 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Makes Scents: Vancouver Candle Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Nick Rabuchin has always loved scented candles; what he’s never liked are the toxic chemicals most of them emit. He created the Vancouver Candle Co. as an eco-friendly alternative. Using the traditional methods of olden days, he makes small batches of soy-wax candles by hand, using 100% cotton wicks and perfume-grade fragrance oils. Each candle’s scent evokes a specific area of the city, such as jasmine, tuberose, lemon and sandalwood for Kitsilano, or white tea, black currant, lavender and thyme for Strathcona. Follow your nose to Kiss & Makeup or Holt Renfrew.

Weekend Brunch at L’Abattoir

By SHERI RADFORD

An array of brunch items at L'Abattoir

An array of brunch items at L’Abattoir

If you’re more of a late riser than an early bird, then this is for you. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., L’Abattoir dishes up mouth-watering meals such as buttermilk pancakes, poached eggs with smoked pork belly, and Dungeness crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Can’t-miss selections from the bar include the Bloody Alley (a variation on the classic Bloody Mary) and the Bourbon Cinnamon Toast Milk Punch (with cereal-infused cream, bourbon and cocoa bitters). The early bird may get the worm, but it’s the sleepyheads and late risers who get the tasty brunch.

H&M Loves Coachella

By SHERI RADFORD

Bright t-shirt from the H&M Loves Coachella clothing collection

Bright t-shirt from the H&M Loves Coachella clothing collection

Even if a trip to the Golden State isn’t part of next month’s travel plans, you can still look like you’ve been to Coachella to hear AC/DC, Jack White and Drake perform. In H&M stores starting Mar. 19, the H&M Loves Coachella collection includes everything necessary for a bohemian music-festival look, from tops to pants to shorts, with fringe and lace aplenty. Rock on.

Entertaining Appetites

By TIM PAWSEY

Fresh Italian mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, teardrop peppers and local beets, at Lupo. (Photo: KK Law)

Fresh Italian mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, teardrop peppers and local beets, at Lupo. (Photo: KK Law)

Pre- and post-theatre or hockey haunts abound—all with an eye on curtain- or puck-dropping time. Lupo caters to more formal tastes with polished Italian fare such as lamb shank ossobucco or rib-eye Fiorentina, served with flair in a charming, late-Victorian-era home. For more casual bites and good craft beers and spirits, head to the Yaletown Brewing Co. For post-game late-night bites, try expansive and upbeat Earls in Yaletown for myriad flavours, from kung pao noodles to Santa Fe Cajun chicken salad, with key lime pie for dessert.

TransMigration’s Cool Choreography

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

The late, great Norval Morrisseau’s bold, whimsical works take centre stage in TransMigration. The dance-theatre piece is inspired by the First Nations artist and shaman, and draws on both his life and paintings. The choreography, music and design capture Morrisseau’s brilliance as an artist, while also touching on his struggles and triumphs. Catch this feast for the eyes, and spirit, at The Historic Theatre, Mar. 17 to 21.

Rest & Relaxation

By SHERI RADFORD

After (or even instead of) a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing like a little R&R

Stretch it out at YYoga

Stretch it out at YYoga

Say “Om”
Students of yoga are drawn to Whistler by the laid-back vibe and stunning natural beauty, but practising outdoors isn’t very appealing amidst the snowdrifts at this time of year. Instead, head inside to get your downward dog on—or just skip straight to savasana. YYoga, Yama Yoga and Yogacara all offer an assortment of styles to suit every taste, everything from intense power to sweaty hot to meditative yin, and the Lululemon store here regularly offers free classes.

Enjoy the outdoors at Scandinave Spa (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy outdoor luxury at Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Get Pampered
Who doesn’t love to get cosseted like a queen? Vida Spa, The Spa, The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge and Avello Spa all offer massages, facials and other indulgences. To get treated like royalty—quite literally—head to Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, which specializes in treatments inspired by the ancient royal court traditions of Java and Bali. If outdoor luxury is more your style, Scandinave Spa obliges with alfresco Scandinavian baths, waterfalls and saunas.

Enjoy pure relaxation in a sensory deprivation pod

Pure relaxation can be found in a sensory deprivation pod

Do Nothing
Reduced gravity plus sensory deprivation plus a whole lot of Epsom salt equals unparalleled relaxation. Imagine floating peacefully in warm, heavily salted water for 90 minutes, with no sights, no sounds, no smells. That’s what West Coast Float has to offer, and Whistler’s only floatation therapy centre has been proving immensely popular with locals and visitors alike who want to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and recover from injuries. Who’d have guessed nothingness could be so enriching?

5 Seawall Rewards

By TIM PAWSEY

TWB dishes up seafood salad with mussels, clams, squid, scallops and shrimp (front), along with gnocchi du jour (L) and crispy calamari (R). (Photo: KK Law)

TWB dishes up seafood salad with mussels, clams, squid, scallops and shrimp (front), along with gnocchi du jour (L) and crispy calamari (R). (Photo: KK Law)

These shoreside haunts are perfect for pampering after a brisk walk.

TWB — The Wine Bar (pictured) This compact, well-equipped bistro dispenses well-chosen wines by the glass and small plates with a Gallic twist. At the foot of Davie Street.

Cactus Club Cafe Smart tastes include “Iron Chef” Rob Feenie’s tuna tataki, and the ravioli and prawn trio. At Vancouver Convention Centre West and English Bay.

Go Fish Savour fish ’n’ chips and other fresh seafood at this bare-bones outdoor eatery close to Fishermen’s Wharf.

Ten Ten Tapas Find locally inspired creative small plates matched with local wines, craft beer and cocktails—plus live music Thursday through Saturday. Under the Burrard Street Bridge.

Tap & Barrel These spacious emporia offer solid pub fare with a plentiful selection of FreshTap BC wines by the glass along with an extensive offering of BC pints and cocktails. At Vancouver Convention Centre West and Olympic Village.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Nickelback at Rogers Arena

By SHERI RADFORD

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Are you ready to rock? On Mar. 15, Nickelback raises the roof of Rogers Arena. The local boys bring their distinctive hybrid of grunge, alternative and metal to their home base of Vancouver, playing hits such as “How You Remind Me.” Though they started their career as a cover band called the Village Idiots, way back in the 1990s, they’ve come a long way since then, selling more than 50 million records worldwide. “Rockstar”? Absolutely.