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Events Vancouver

Write On!


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.

Treasures From the Forbidden City


"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


(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


(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 Roaster Celebrates 25 Years


This fall, the folks at Bean Around the World are raising a glass—better yet, a mug—to 25 years of top-notch coffee with West Coast roots

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Some leave their heart in San Francisco, but founder Pete Boëda found his when he spotted his first coffee roaster while visiting the Golden City in 1978. Though it took over a decade, Boëda’s newfound love came to fruition when he opened a small cafe complete with in-house roaster—not a common sight at the time. Now, 22 independently owned cafes, each with their own unique style and flavour, bear the Bean Around the World name. (more…)

Fond Farewell: Douglas Udell Gallery


See works such as "Paintscape" by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

See works such as “Paintscape” by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

For the last 28 years, Douglas Udell Gallery has hosted contemporary Canadian artists on the celebrated South Granville strip. In October, the space bids adieu to our fair city—but not without a last hurrah. See Montreal-based Dominique Gaucher’s thought-provoking works in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17 (“Paintscape,” pictured). Or join art aficionados for final farewells Oct. 18 to 31 at Closing Show: Celebrating 28 Years in Vancouver. Hate saying goodbye? So do we.

50 Things We Love About Yaletown


Nestled between False Creek and the bustling downtown core, in what used to be the warehouse district, trendy Yaletown is filled with upscale restaurants, high-end stores, fashionistas—and tiny purse dogs

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

1. Strolling the seawall and checking out the gorgeous boats in the marina.

2. Getting pampered from head to toe at Blo, Noir Lash Lounge, Pure Nail Bar and Bombay Brow Bar.

3. Shooting pool at Soho Cafe & Billiards.

4. Divine Italian cuisine at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, La Terrazza and La Pentola della Quercia.

5. Taking a ride to or from Yaletown on the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

6. Finding the perfect headgear from Goorin Bros., which carries everything from baseball caps to fedoras to fascinators.

7. Locally brewed beer at Yaletown Brewing Co. and Prohibition Tasting Room.

8. Checking out the newest exhibits at Contemporary Art Gallery.

9. Public art pieces along the water: Coopers Mews, Lookout, Brush with Illumination, Street Light and A False Creek.

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

10. Buying our four-legged friends a new toy or spa treatment at Barking Babies.

11. Unleashing our inner artist and enjoying a meal under the same roof at Raw Canvas.

12. Getting in the holiday spirit at CandyTown, a free outdoor Christmas festival on Nov. 22.

13. Vintage treasures at Joyce Williams Antique Prints & Maps.

14. Finding accent pieces for our homes at Chintz & Company.

15. Popping in to The Flying Pig for some delicious eats during appy hour.

16. Gorgeous First Nations artwork at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.

17. Elegant desserts and pastries at Footo Croissant and Ganache Patisserie.

18. Brunch served with a side of sass at The Elbow Room Cafe.

19. Browsing through everything from clothing to knick-knacks at Fine Finds.

20. Fine French cuisine at Provence Marinaside.

21. Stretching out tired muscles at YYoga or Westcoast Hot Yoga.

22. Indulging in Italian foods and a whole range of fancy cocktails crafted from locally made spirits at The Distillery Bar  + Kitchen.

Rodney's Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

Rodney’s Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

23. Slurping raw oysters out of the half shell at Rodney’s Oyster House.

24. Treating our skin to some TLC at Spruce Body Lab and Skn Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic.

25. The flavour-rich cuisine at Urban Thai Bistro.

26. Dancing the night away at Bar None.

27. Spotting celebrities while dining in style at West Oak.

28. Shopping for male-specific goods at Contraband, Masc and Revolucion Cigars & Fine Gifts.

29. Pairing Pacific Northwest cuisine with one of 60 wines at Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar.

30. Sampling some of the city’s finest seafood at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar.

31. Viewing Philip Jarmain’s American Beauty (to Oct. 19), and Alex Couwenberg and Matt Devine’s California (Oct. 16 to Nov. 16), at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.

32. The classic old-world charm of Farzad’s Barbershop.

33. Treating ourselves to a juicy steak at Hamilton Street Grill.

34. Watching pups play in the dog park or sitting by the mosaic-lined stream at Emery Barnes Park.

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

35. The steam engine that pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887, now showcased at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

36. Sipping first-class cocktails while relaxing in a laid-back setting at George Lounge.

37. Handmade Indian treasures at Kaarigar Handicrafts.

38. Washing down delectable Japanese cuisine with a variety of sake at Bistro Sakana.

39. Trying an assortment of restaurants during Taste of Yaletown, Oct. 16 to 30.

40. Practical yet fashionable womenswear at Nygård.

41. Drinking crafted cocktails at upscale Opus Bar.

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

42. Sipping a cotton candy martini or spiked milkshake under the pink chandeliers of Society.

43. Mouth-watering, made-from-scratch gelato at Bella Gelateria.

44. Catching a live show at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

45. Taking the tots trick-or-treating on Halloween (Oct. 31) at Yaletown businesses.

46. Delicious West Coast fare at Good Wolf.

47. Commuting easily thanks to the Canada Line SkyTrain.

48. Creations from Canadian artisans at Art Works Gallery.

49. Stopping at David Lam Park to people- and puppy-watch.

50. The fascinating mix of old and new architecture.

The Reel Deal


Catch Everything Will Be Alright at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Catch Everything Will Be at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Grab some popcorn and settle in. The Vancouver International Film Festival (Sep. 25 to Oct. 10) screens little-seen gems such as Everything Will Be (pictured), about the transition that Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing; Walking Under Water, which features gorgeous underwater photography in a non-fiction tale about Mabul Island’s last compressor diver; and Mr. Turner, a biographical drama that explores the life of artist J.M.W. Turner. Lights, camera, action!

Talk Like a Pirate Day


Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

No need to walk the plank: landlubbers and salty dogs alike take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which happens every year on Sep. 19. And there’s a treasure trove of pirate-themed fun in Vancouver.

Brush up on your facts with I Wonder Why Pirates Wore Earrings by Pat Jacobs and Wow! Surprising Facts About Pirates by Philip Steele (at local bookstores). Put your new knowledge to use composing a sonnet or haiku with a Pirate Magnetic Poetry Kit—though perhaps a ribald sea shanty would be more apropos. Discover all sorts of nautical lore at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and if swashbuckling swordplay is more your thing, visit Academie Duello to learn how to use a rapier, longsword and more.

Look the part in a skull t-shirt by Strellson (at The Bay), an anchor ring handmade by Vancouver company Lacar (at Cavalier) and an anchor pendant from Thomas Sabo. Deck out your abode with an anchor doormat from Kikkerland and a Jolly Roger from The Flag Shop. Carry your buccaneer booty home in a tote bag from Make.

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress a pint-sized pirate in an adorable shirt made from ultra-soft bamboo/cotton by local company Pineapple Pete Kids and a Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates watch by Flik Flak (at Swatch The Store). Then keep the rapscallions and scallywags busy with Pirate Adventure Dice (at www.amazon.ca), a sailing trip around False Creek with Pirate Adventures or a visit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which on Sep. 19 features a pirate-themed scavenger hunt with the grand prize of a chocolate treasure chest. Also popular with the 10-and-under crowd is a Pirate Pak meal from White Spot, served in a cardboard boat.

Pillaging and plundering are hard work, so bring your appetite to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Known as Vancouver’s pirate pub, this charming eatery goes overboard for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with themed contests, drink specials, swag, trivia and a photo booth, plus a prize for the best-dressed pirate.

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! If no grog is handy to wash down your rations, try some Crystal Head Vodka. Manufactured in Canada, this additive-free spirit was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the distinctive skull bottle (at local liquor stores).

Shiver me timbers, if only this day came around more than once a year!

Decked-Out Decor


Dine amongst beautiful decor, and all for a good cause

Dine amongst beautiful decor, and all for a good cause

September 21 and 22

Dining at lavish, whimsical tablescapes and sipping elegant cocktails while supporting a good cause? Monogram Dinner by Design really sets the bar high for an unforgettable culinary experience. The event sees 15 interior designers transform small spaces into inventive dining rooms, in themes ranging from ultra-chic to fanciful, creating a feast for the eyes. Come to the Cocktail Art evening (Sep. 21) for mingling, drinks and live entertainment, or opt for the Gala Dinner (Sep. 22) to enjoy a delectable meal at one of the extraordinary tables, with proceeds going to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

Happy Feet: Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House


Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Were you born to boogie? Made to mambo? Compelled to calypso? Then head to the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House on Sep. 13. Each year, this free day of workshops and open classes satisfies budding ballerinas and modern dancers alike.

Rocket Man


(Photo: Rebecca Taylor)

(Photo: Rebecca Taylor)

After five decades of chart-topping hits and unforgettable performances, the Rocket Man has still got it. Don’t miss the chance to see Elton John light up the night at Rogers Arena, in back-to-back performances Sept. 13 and 14 that are guaranteed to evoke feelings of nostalgia and have you swaying to the sounds of his timeless classics. Grab your best dance partner and get ready to rock the night away.