JANUARY 16-FEBRUARY 3 The 13th annual Master Playwright Festival salutes Stephen Sondheim. The celebrated composer and lyricist has won an Academy Award, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and eight Tony Awards — more than any other composer. SondheimFest features 14 full productions, including such famous works as Assassins (pictured). Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, 174 Market Ave, 204-942-6537.
Diva at the Met photo by KK Law
January 18 to February 3
Attention, foodies: the largest restaurant festival in Canada, Dine Out Vancouver, celebrates its 11th year with cabaret dinners, food and cocktail tours, street food markets and prix fixe menus with optional wine or beer pairings at hundreds of eateries, from humble bistros to casual favourites to Vancouver’s most elegant dining establishments. Click here for details, and get ready to delight your taste buds.—Sheri Radford
deadmau5 plays Vancouver Dec. 26
You might recognize electronic DJ deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”) for the massive mouse head he usually wears during performances (pictured). But for the Canadian sensation’s “deadmau5 Unhooked” concert at BC Place’s Contact Winter Music Festival (Dec. 26), it’s all about the music as he sheds his trademark costume and laser light show for a stripped-down evening. Don’t worry—his pounding beats remain, so you can still dance the night away.—Kristina Urquhart
The Main Street Vinyl Record Fair
In the age of mp3 and mp4, gone must be the golden days of vinyl records, right? Wrong. Vinyl lovers, you’re not alone.
Music aficionados, collectors and even the mildly musically curious are gearing up for the all-ages Main Street Vinyl Record Fair on Nov.10 at the Cambrian Hall in Vancouver, eager to find hidden gems and stock up on classics. There’s even a place for the non-collector. Those fed up with tripping over a pile of random, dust-covered vinyls from Uncle Robbie’s last Christmas gift can rest assured: someone will find value in them.
Bonus: you’ll get to rock out to live tunes from the Vancouver-based Knights of the Turntable, and there will be chances to win some fantastic prizes. Check out the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair on Facebook for more details.—Nicole Capelo
“And the oak tree told the chicken about the day the sky fell” by Ross den Otter
November 16 to 18
Art lovers, lace up your walking shoes for this weekend-long East Vancouver festival that combines aesthetics with exercise. Download a map from the Crawl’s website and embark on a self-guided walking tour to 75 venues, where you’ll meet painters, photographers, jewellers and sculptors in their own workspaces. Support our homegrown talent by purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces, including those by local artist Ross den Otter (pictured). You won’t find a better Vancouver souvenir.—Kristina Urquhart
Margaret Atwood photo by George Whiteside
For a quarter of a century, the Vancouver Writers Fest (Oct. 16 to 21) has been entertaining readers. Back in 1988, the fledgling festival was able to attract literary superstar Margaret Atwood—and she’s back this year, with dozens of other authors who keep you up late, turning pages long after bedtime. Sci-fi fans snatch up tickets at warp speed to hear Cory Doctorow in conversation with William Gibson. Teens and tweens flock to see Kenneth Oppel, Susan Juby and Susin Nielsen. David Suzuki and Tim Flannery attract scientists, eco-warriors and anyone else concerned about the future of the planet. Fans of the whodunit sleuth their way to see Anne Perry. Lorna Crozier and Patrick Friesen bring poetry to life, while Chip Kidd and Douglas Coupland discuss the design of books. Consider it heaven for bookworms and bibliophiles.—Sheri Radford
Film reel photo copyright Pagadesign/istockphoto.com
Whether you’re looking for something moving, thought-provoking or just plain entertaining, you’ll find it at the Vancouver International Film Festival (to Oct. 12). Taking over local movie screens every autumn, the popular festival features an eclectic mix of films from Canada and around the world.—Sheri Radford
Calgary’s annual BBQ On The Bow is this Sunday. Photo: John Rajic.
Friday, August 31 After a stellar opening last weekend, the international Hidden Gems Film Festival continues this weekend at the Cardel Theatre with three film screenings. On Friday at 7 pm, the award-winning Bengali film Ranjana, Ami Aar Asbo Na tells the story of an unconventional relationship between an arrogant, aging celebrity singer and an aspiring small-town songstress. On Saturday, Graamam tells the story of a widow challenging the patriarchal system in India in the mid 1900s, and in the Bangladeshi MeherJaan, a girl who fell in love with an enemy soldier reunites with her daughter almost four decades later. Tickets $12 per film, call 403-457-3036 for more information.
Friday also marks the grand opening of Canada’s second Free People clothing boutique at Chinook Centre. The American label is known for it’s bohemian California-chic apparel and accessories. (more…)
The Tragically Hip
Before the sun sets on summer 2012, there’s time for one last weekend of tents and tunes. Canny campers claim their spots early at Live at Squamish (Aug. 24 to 26), then settle in for three days of good times and good music by the likes of The Tragically Hip, Wintersleep, Mother Mother, and City and Colour. More than 40 bands and DJs on multiple stages keep the party going until late. Not keen on roughing it? Glamping (glamorous camping) packages are available.—Sheri Radford
What do you get when you mix yoga led by world-renowned yogis with a music festival headlined by Michael Franti & Spearhead, then throw in some top chefs and winemakers, and set it all against Whistler’s awe-inspiring natural scenery? It’s the first-ever Wanderlust Festival to be held outside the United States. From Aug. 23 to 26, you can downward dog all day, then dance the night away, along with thousands of other wellness seekers. Who knew achieving health and inner peace could be so much fun? —Sheri Radford
La Bottine Souriante perform at MusicFest Vancouver
The 12th annual MusicFest Vancouver (Aug. 10 to 19) hits all the right notes with a pitch-perfect line-up of musicians performing live classical, world and jazz. For 10 days, at various venues around town, there’s rhythm in the air as stellar acts such as Pink Martini, Sylvia McNair, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Québécois troupe La Bottine Souriante (pictured) take the stage.—Jennifer Patterson
Contestants charge down the mountainside in pursuit of a rolling wheel of cheese
By Karina Palmitesta
Get a whole lot more than your daily dose of calcium at the fifth annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival (Aug. 18, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.). This all-ages celebration of Canadian cheese takes place outside at beautiful Whistler Blackcomb. (more…)