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Jill Von Sprecken

Oscar-Worthy Theatre



Cineplex Theatres have raised the movie-experience bar

Prefer a glass of pinot with your popcorn? Then raise a glass to the newly launched Cineplex VIP Cinemas at Marine Gateway. The second-floor, VIP theatre serves up a menu of classic movie snacks, as well as full-on entrées and appetizers. Indulge in crispy calamari, artisanal cheeses or burgers in the modern lounge and patio, or have your meal delivered right to the plush, recliner-style seats. Wine and cocktails round out the swish adults-only experience. It’s dinner and a movie, in red-carpet style.

Catch Some Rays


12 (Credit-VanAqua)

Experience sea life at the Vancouver Aquarium

Meeting sea creatures isn’t always so easy on dry land. But at the Vancouver Aquarium’s interactive Discover Rays exhibit, it’s possible to get up close and personal with cownose rays and southern stingrays. Just roll up your sleeve and take the plunge: the rays will let you touch their smooth skin as they swim past. Then, explore the exhibit to learn more about your newfound friends, and even take a behind-the-scenes peek at the tank’s life-support system. Go ahead—we’re certain you’ll hit it off.

For All Senses



From Teeez Cosmetics Sugar Rush collection, at The Bay

An oh-so-sweet colour palette and eye-popping packaging are just the start for Teeez Cosmetics. The cherry on top? The brand’s interactive counter set to arrive at the downtown location of Hudson’s Bay in early May. Alongside a veritable candy bar of cosmetics such as the Sugar Rush collection, find a video booth for recording make-up applications and a “play bar.” The future of make-up is a real treat.

Hook, Line & Sinker: ‘ONO Raw Bar


'ONO Raw Bar | Kalu Interiors

Settle in at the bar for the chef’s tasting menu

There’s no shortage of sushi here, but Vancouverites are always on the lookout for the next raw-fish fix. ‘ONO Raw Bar, and its mix of East-meets-West flavours, recently dropped anchor in Gastown. Belly up to the bar for the Omakase (chef’s choice) menu, and watch chefs slice and prepare fresh fish that’s flown in daily. Or snag a table to sample share plates such as octopus carpaccio, served alongside classic rolls and delicate sashimi. Sushi cravings? Consider them crushed.

Craft Beer Circuit



Vancouver’s craft beer scene is hopping.

Want a craft beer experience that goes well beyond popping the top on a bottle of suds? Then imbibe in Vancouver Brewery Tours. Beer-loving raconteurs tour hop-heads around three local craft breweries, offering history and a behind-the-scenes look into what happens beyond the tasting room walls. The faithful steed—a big white van—whisks groups between breweries, and has room to take a few souvenir suds along for the ride. Sample a bevy of brews at destinations like Main Street Brewing, Brassneck and Big Rock Urban. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Called to the Barre



Striving for a dancers body at Pure Barre

Ready to raise the bar on your workout routine? Pure Barre, North America’s biggest barre chain, recently opened its doors in fitness-friendly Kitsilano. The popular dance-inspired toning technique promises a ballerina’s body—even for those with two left feet. Take muscles from lethargic to lean as you plié, plank and stretch your way through the 55-minute classes. Tutu-toting not required.

Spring Fling



Spring in bloom captured in a painting

A palette of spring hues blooms at Pousette Gallery’s Spring Group Show (to May 28), where pretty petals, bold colours and softly lit landscapes are in season. Warm-weather works by gallery artists include Vancouver-based painter Leanne Christie and her expressive oil-on-canvas pieces (“Cambie From Granville,” pictured). Also on the exhibit’s roster: plein-air paintings by Jean Claude Roy, bold brushstrokes by Roger Ricard and super-saturated canvases by Denis Chiasson.

Nail Polish Pilgrimage



A professional manicure by Joyride

Getting there should be half the fun. At Joyride, the journey to top-notch tips is just as enjoyable as the end result. Peruse the rainbow of over 350 au courant colours, and settle into the lavender-hued loungers with a cold-pressed juice or espresso. Then, let the expert esthetician take the wheel—from cuticle care and exfoliation, to massage and the perfect colour application. The house products are plant-based and organic, and the nail polish options include toxin-free varieties. All that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Small Diner, Big Flavour


Locals and visitors alike pack into teeny Fergie's Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

Locals and visitors alike pack into teeny Fergie’s Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

A gastronomic gem on the Sea-to-Sky strip, Fergie’s Cafe regularly packs its teeny interior with brunchgoers who spill out onto the patio and lawn. And who can blame them? Locally sourced, homemade fare such as buttermilk biscuits, house-smoked sausage and eggs from just down the road are found in bennies, hashes, sandwiches and breakfast bowls worth setting an alarm for—no matter how early the hour. It just goes to show: good things do come in small packages.

Raise a Glass: A Dram Come True



Whisky lovers sample global offerings

A Dram Come True —a malt-centric event perfect for any whisky-worshipper—brings a globetrotting array of the hard liquor to elegant Hycroft mansion on May 13. There’s no prohibition on choice, with more than 40 varieties to sample, including renowned names such as Glenfiddich served alongside local offerings from Odd Society and Pemberton Distillery. Plus, all proceeds go towards Vancouver Writers Fest programming. Drinking for a good cause? Now that’s the spirit.

Wine and Dine at Bearfoot Bistro


Guests sabre a bottle of champagne at Bearfoot Bistro

Guests sabre a bottle of champagne at Bearfoot Bistro

Want your flute of champagne, and to sabre the bottle too? Head into the jaw-dropping 20,000-bottle wine cellar at Bearfoot Bistro, and channel your inner swashbuckler by opening a bottle of bubbly with a swipe of a sword for a spectacular toast. Next, don a parka to sip 50 varieties of vodka in the Ketel One Ice Room—the coldest vodka-tasting room in the world. To finish, indulge in ice cream crafted tableside using liquid nitrogen, for eye candy that doubles as dessert.

Indie Designs at Nifty for Fifty


Find clothing by local designer Adhesif at Nifty for Fifty

Find clothing by local designer Adhesif at Nifty for Fifty

Sometimes the name says it all. Nifty for Fifty (Apr. 10) is a budget-friendly bonanza, where local goods can be scooped up for $50 or less. Thirty Vancouver designers, jewellers and artists assemble under one roof with their one-of-a-kind wares, including hand-dyed textiles from Daub + Design, playful upcycled clothing from Adhesif (pictured), and handcrafted leather goods from Bronsino. Nifty and thrifty? No need to tell us twice.