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Events Vancouver

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Buddy Guy

Performer Buddy Guy

Summer comes a few days early this year, as the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off Jun. 18, enveloping the city with cool tunes and hot shows. The hottest tickets? Buddy Guy (pictured; Jun. 19), Erykah Badu (Jun. 23), Pink Martini (Jun. 27) and The Roots (Jun. 30). And because all good things must come to an end, the fest wraps up on Canada Day (Jul. 1).

6th Annual Vancouver Draw Down

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Delighted by design? Enchanted by illustration? Then make your mark at the 6th annual Vancouver Draw Down (Jun. 20), a day-long celebration of creativity. Sketch and scribble at over 30 free hands-on workshops found in art galleries, museums, community centres, parks and more. Plus, keeners prime their skills to Jun. 19 with the online daily drawing challenge. So go ahead: dare to doodle.

Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show

By SHERI RADFORD

An interactive installation at MOV's The Happy Show

An interactive installation at MOV’s The Happy Show

On the surface, Stefan Sagmeister seems like a genuinely happy person, with his quick smile, ready laugh and easy-going charm. In reality, the award-winning designer has struggled with depression, weight gain, alcohol and drugs. He says he developed Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show in order “to create something meaningful.” It uses bold design and entertaining information—plus gumball machines, a giant inflatable monkey and quotes tucked away in the downstairs bathrooms—to delve deeply into the universal human desire for happiness. Visitors’ reactions have been unequivocally positive. Sagmeister recounts one with particular delight: “I got a letter from a 13-year-old boy who kissed his first girl—a girl he’d had a crush on for two years—because the show somehow gave him the power to go up to her.” The show has also inspired “many many many marriage proposals.” Catch the wave of happiness to Sep. 7 at the Museum of Vancouver.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Every summer, colourful tents pop up for Bard on the Beach

Every summer, colourful tents pop up for Bard on the Beach

All the world’s a stage—but perhaps none is more picturesque than seaside Vanier Park, where open-air tents pop up every summer for Bard on the Beach (Jun. 4 to Sep. 26). The popular Shakespeare festival features four different shows: The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel. Lectures and family nights, plus a peekaboo panorama of ocean and mountains, make this fest a dream that doesn’t end midsummer.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Hits Vancouver

Don your best red-and-white gear and get ready to cheer for Team Canada as FIFA fever sweeps the country

By SHERI RADFORD

Canada vs. Japan, Oct. 2014 in BC Place Stadium. (Photo: Bob Frid/©CanadaSoccer)

Canada vs. Japan, Oct. 2014 in BC Place Stadium. (Photo: Bob Frid/©CanadaSoccer)

From Jun. 6 to Jul. 5, the world’s largest women’s sporting event takes over the country from coast to coast, as Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton together host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. A total of 24 teams are participating, but (we confess) we’ll be rooting hardest for Team Canada to emerge triumphant in the final match, taking place here in BC Place Stadium on Jul. 5. (more…)

Getting Cheeky: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

A musical match-up between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga may seem unlikely, but as the Grammy Award–winning Cheek to Cheek album proves, they’re making beautiful music together. Both famed in their own right, the iconic vocalists each add their own distinctive spin to the Great American Songbook. Hear songs like “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life” and—perhaps most appropriately—“Anything Goes” as the pair promotes their jazzy album at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 25 and 26.

Kids in the Hall

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Kids in the Hall. (Photo: David Hawe)

The Kids in the Hall. (Photo: David Hawe)

The Head Crusher. Cabbage Head. Chicken Lady. In the ’80s and ’90s, The Kids in the Hall earned a cult following for bizarre skits featuring TV’s quirkiest characters. Now, the Canadian comedy troupe is on tour, and they’re bringing old and new material along for the ride. Join the five original cast members—and a host of alter egos—for an evening of wacky and irreverent comedy at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 20.

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

Deep within the forest lies a magical world where anything seems possible. This extraordinary place is called Varekai, which means “wherever” in the Romany language of the wandering gypsies. A young man drops from the sky into this strange world, and so begins the show. Varekai has everything Cirque du Soleil is famous for: jaw-dropping acrobatics, amazing visual effects, side-splitting comedy and powerful live music. Don’t miss it, May 20 to 24 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Double the Fun: U2 in Concert

By SHERI RADFORD

Worldwide sensation U2, on stage. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

(Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

What could possibly be better than a U2 concert? Two U2 concerts. For the first time in a decade, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are hitting the road to play indoor arenas, and each lucky city is getting a pair of shows. The North American portion of the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour kicks off May 14 and 15 at Rogers Arena.

Fred Schiffer: A Life in Photos

By SHERI RADFORD

A portrait by Fred Schiffer

Portrait of Argentinian actress Mirtha Legrand by Fred Schiffer

Fred Schiffer’s early life was anything but picture perfect: born into a Jewish family, he had to flee Austria to escape Hitler’s invading army. Later, he fled again, this time out of the tense political climate of Argentina, with wife and children in tow. The family settled in Vancouver in 1958, and Schiffer’s career as a photographer flourished. For the next 40 years, he captured on film Vancouver’s transformation from small town to big city. He also did portraits of locals from every walk of life as well as visiting dignitaries, including Louis Armstrong and Queen Elizabeth II. Fred Schiffer: Lives in Photos is the first major exhibition of the artist’s works in a quarter of a century. Don’t miss this rare chance to see photos by the man dubbed the Yousuf Karsh of Vancouver. At Make Gallery to May 31.

EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

EAT! Vancouver is Canada's largest food festival

EAT! Vancouver is Canada’s largest food festival

Forget your diet and remember to wear stretchy pants for the 2015 EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival, taking place Apr. 26 to May 3. This feast for the senses brings together foodies, farmers, winemakers, craft brewers, distillers and artisans for eight days of eating, drinking, sharing and learning. Vancouver’s culinary culture is showcased in dinners with acclaimed local chefs, hands-on workshops, a pastry tasting and more. Good thing calories consumed while on vacation don’t count.

Pound the Pavement: Vancouver Sun Run

By SHERI RADFORD

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada's largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada’s largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

Losing weight isn’t easy. Each year, thousands of Vancouverites make a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and many set their sights on the Vancouver Sun Run (Apr. 19). In 2014, more than 45,000 participants signed up for Canada’s largest 10K road race. Along its picturesque route, live entertainment and the gorgeous backdrop of ocean and mountains—not to mention throngs of cheering spectators—help to take competitors’ minds off the hard work of completing 10 km (6.2 mi). And running through this city’s gorgeous scenery is always better than a day at the office.