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Jill Von Sprecken

Guide to Outside

Plot out an itinerary for one of the world’s most pristine adventure playgrounds

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

MAKE TRACKS
Once ski season is over, the peaks here turn into a mountain-bike mecca. Downhillers and freeriders flock to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, which boasts 1,500 vertical metres (4,900 vertical feet) of lift-serviced descending trails. Pedal through sprawling terrain that ranges from beginner to heart-stopping. Those with gold-medal dreams head to the Whistler Sliding Centre, the venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Even in summer, it’s possible to rocket down a track on Rolling Thunder, a bobsleigh equipped with wheels that reaches speeds of up to 90 km (56 mi) per hour. (more…)

The City of Bhangra Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

(Photo: Joe Carlson)

Let the beats move you at the City of Bhangra Festival. (Photo: Joe Carlson)

The City of Bhangra Festival—a sequined, spangled, Bollywood-esque blowout—arrives on the streets of Vancouver and Surrey from Jun. 11 to 18, 2016. It’s the largest festival of its kind in North America, drawing a globetrotting array of DJs, filmmakers, musicians and dancers. Break out the bangles and bindis at the Crash an Indian Wedding kick-off party; laugh until your sides hurt at Where Not to Do Bhangra; listen to women share their stories of struggle and success; or let the beats move you at the open-stage celebrations.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun at the Museum of Anthropology

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Killer Whale Has a Vision and Comes to Talk to me about Proximological Encroachments of Civilizations in the Oceans.” (Photo: William Eakin/Plug In Editions)

“Killer Whale Has a Vision and Comes to Talk to me about Proximological Encroachments of Civilizations in the Oceans.” (Photo: William Eakin/Plug In Editions)

Playful yet polemical, traditional yet innovative—works by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun defy definition. Surrealist elements infuse the Coast Salish artist’s works, turning conventional notions of Northwest Coast art upside down. The result? Politically charged canvases that blend brilliant hues and pressing First Nations issues. See his career-spanning works at the Museum of Anthropology’s Unceded Territories (to Oct 16, 2016).

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

With 23 craft breweries in the city limits—and more brewing all the time—a hoppy haven is always just a hop, sip and jump away. Ready to raise your glass to the wealth of choice? Here are a few ways to dive into the city’s craft beer circuit.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Tote your brews in a custom-designed growler by Sigil & Growler. (Photo: KK Law)

A custom-designed growler from Sigil & Growler shows off Vancouver’s beloved landmarks. (Photo: KK Law)

Tapped In
Brewery Creek, once the turn-of-the-century hub of the local brewing scene, is enjoying a renaissance that has put the historic area back on the map. Anchored by hip-and-happening Main Street, a cluster of breweries offer sippers ranging from easy drinking to experimental. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for exploring craft beer by the flight or pint, and easily accessed on foot or—to really blend in with the locals—by bicycle. (more…)

Cheers to Local Beers!

With 23 craft breweries in the city limits—and more brewing all the time—a hoppy haven is always just a hop, sip and jump away. Ready to raise your glass to the wealth of choice? Here are a few ways to dive into the city’s craft beer circuit.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Tote your brews in a custom-designed growler by Sigil & Growler. (Photo: KK Law)

A custom-designed growler from Sigil & Growler shows off Vancouver’s beloved landmarks. (Photo: KK Law)

Tapped In
Brewery Creek, once the turn-of-the-century hub of the local brewing scene, is enjoying a renaissance that has put the historic area back on the map. Anchored by hip-and-happening Main Street, a cluster of breweries offer sippers ranging from easy drinking to experimental. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for exploring craft beer by the flight or pint, and easily accessed on foot or—to really blend in with the locals—by bicycle. (more…)

Oscar-Worthy Theatre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

VIPTheatre

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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

'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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

VBT_Group_Table2

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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

PureBarre

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

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pousette5

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.