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Sheri Radford

Happy Easter!

By SHERI RADFORD

Celebrate Easter with a carrot soap from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Celebrate Easter with a carrot soap from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

April 20

Trying to keep the calorie count down this Easter? Skip the decadent chocolates and head to Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for bunny bubble bars, made with shea butter and coconut oil, to fill bath time with candy-scented bubbles. Also pick up some carrot-shaped soap, with moisturizing carrot oil on the outside and softening cocoa butter on the inside. The best part: zero calories.

Run for It

By SHERI RADFORD

It’s hard not to be a runner in a city with routes as spectacular as the seawall and Stanley Park. Whether you’re a newbie jogger or an Olympic-level sprinter, Vancouver has much to offer

The Vancouver Sun Run draws big crowds. (Photo: ©MajaPhoto/Istockphoto.com)

The Vancouver Sun Run draws big crowds. (Photo: ©MajaPhoto/Istockphoto.com)

RACE
Canada’s largest 10K road race, the Vancouver Sun Run (pictured; Apr. 27) attracts more than 48,000 walkers, joggers, runners and wheelchair athletes. The route showcases breathtaking views of Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek and, off in the distance, snow-capped mountains. A longer race that also makes full use of the scenery is the BMO Vancouver Marathon (May 4), which Forbes magazine recently named one of the world’s top 10 marathons worth travelling for. Of particular note? An abundance of both on-course entertainment and spectacular shoreline views. Those not ready to go the full distance can choose a more manageable half marathon or 8K instead.

Lightweight clothing by local company Lululemon keeps its wearer cool and dry

Lightweight clothing by local company Lululemon keeps its wearer cool and dry

WEAR
Running on the wet West Coast requires adaptable clothes that dry quickly. Local company Lululemon (pictured) makes a range of lightweight wicking clothing with anti-stink panels; many pieces include reflectors, thumbholes and zip pockets. The GT technical sports collection from New Zealand’s Icebreaker includes ultra-lightweight styles made from fine merino wool, ideal for warm-weather exercise.

Runners on Vancouver's spectacular seawall. (Photo: Bob Young/Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism)

Runners on Vancouver’s spectacular seawall. (Photo: Bob Young/Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism)

RUN
Figuring out the best routes in a new city can be challenging. Both Lululemon and The Running Room offer free running sessions every week, so you can learn where to go and make new friends at the same time.

Afraid of coming undone? Try Lock Laces

Afraid of coming undone? Try Lock Laces

LOCK
Want to turn your favourite running shoes into slip-ons? Replace your shoelaces with a set of stretchy Lock Laces from Nathan, and you’ll never again have to deal with laces coming untied mid-race. At New Balance.

What Makes Olga Run by Bruce Gierson

What Makes Olga Run by Bruce Gierson

READ
Don’t dismiss Olga Kotelko as a little old lady. At 95, the spry Vancouverite still regularly competes in 11 track-and-field events, including sprinting, long jump, shot put and javelin—and she holds more than two dozen world records, despite not starting training until age 77. Fellow Vancouver resident Bruce Grierson became so fascinated with the retired schoolteacher that he wrote What Makes Olga Run? (Random House; $29.95). Following Kotelko to track meets and research facilities over several years, the book tries to unlock the secrets to living a long and healthy life. If Kotelko’s example inspires you to get active, pick up a copy of Ben Kaplan’s Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now: The Rogue’s Guide to Running the Marathon (Greystone Books; $19.95), which outlines a week-by-week program to go from couch potato to marathon competitor in one year. It also features heart-pumping exercise-music recommendations from 29 artists as varied as will.i.am, Marilyn Manson, Dolly Parton and yet another Vancouverite, Michael Bublé. At local bookstores.

UPCOMING RACES & RUNS
Apr. 27
Vancouver Sun Run
May 4 BMO Vancouver Marathon
Jun. 7 Whistler Half Marathon
Jun. 22 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K
Jul. 5 The Underwear Affair
Aug. 23 SeaWheeze Half Marathon
Sep. 14 Terry Fox Run
Oct. 5 CIBC Run for the Cure
Oct. 26 Rock ’n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon and Cunningham Seawall 10K
Nov. 16 New Balance Fall Classic

Sets and the City

By SHERI RADFORD

Rachel Nichols (Kiera) in action on the Continuum set

Rachel Nichols (Kiera) in action on the Continuum set

Vancouver excels at portraying other places: Seattle, New York, Chicago and more in movies ranging from Juno and Mission Impossible 4 to Superman: Man of Steel and most of The Twilight Saga series. But rarely can it throw off its fake American mailboxes and license plates, stop hiding its glorious mountains, and just be itself.

When Simon Barry and Pat Williams started developing their time-travel TV series Continuum, they expected someone would make them change the setting to “Unnamed North American City”—or, at the very least, Toronto. Barry says, “Pat and I worked as cameramen for years on movies that were trying to hide Vancouver. A lot of effort and energy went into that.” He adds, “We live here and we love the city.” As time passed and no one raised objections, eventually Barry began to write the city into the series mythology, noting that the plethora of fresh water and hi-tech companies here, coupled with the low population density, make it the ideal city of the future. Barry films the series in the colder, rainier months of the year, so the little free time he does get is in the summer. “Vancouver is probably the best place in the world to be in the spring and summer and fall,” he says. “Winter is not, unless you’re a skier, and then it’s fantastic.”

The Continuum actors have also grown to appreciate Vancouver. Rachel Nichols, an American, had never been here before landing the starring role of time-travelling law-enforcement agent Kiera, but she fell in love with both the location and the Vancouverite who is now her fiancé. “I’ve applied for permanent resident status,” she says. “I’m really setting up shop in Vancouver.” She praises almost all of the outdoor activities, from biking in Stanley Park to skiing in Whistler, with one notable exception: the Grouse Grind. “I did it once,” she says with a laugh. “I’m in shape. I enjoy working out. But that is an hour and 15 minutes of hell!” Other things she praises about Vancouver? Dining at Yaletown’s Blue Water Cafe, shopping at Holt Renfrew and watching the Vancouver Canucks play: “I’d never really watched hockey until I came to Canada, and I started watching Canucks games, and I thought, my god, this game is fantastic.” She’s even managed to turn her Boston Bruins–loving father into a Canucks fan.

Actors Victor Webster (Carlos) and Rachel Nichols (Kiera) filming Continuum in front of CBC Vancouver

Actors Victor Webster (Carlos) and Rachel Nichols (Kiera) filming Continuum ouside of CBC Vancouver

Fellow actor Erik Knudsen, who plays the reclusive computer genius Alec, hails from Toronto but is smitten with his new home: “Vancouver is a beautiful city. Great food. People are smart. Everyone is health-conscious,” he says. “Eventually I want to move to Vancouver. It’s my favourite city now.” He especially loves getting outdoors: hiking, fishing on Rice Lake, snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour, and visiting Whistler. He also raves about the restaurants, especially Romer’s Burger Bar, Crave India and Earls.

Ryan Robbins, who plays the new and mysterious John Doe character, was born in nearby Victoria and has nothing but praise for Vancouver: “We don’t have to play the humility card anymore. We’re a kick-ass city. Why should we think that no one’s going to watch a show because it’s set in Vancouver?” After living all around the world, in places as far flung as New York, Los Angeles and Southeast Asia—and even travelling around Australia for a while, working as a circus performer—his heart still belongs to Vancouver, especially the foodie scene. His top spots include hole-in-the-wall sushi places such as Shizenya and java-aficionado favourites such as the Greenhorn Espresso Bar, with its Moja coffee and enticing nibbles that “take comfort food to a whole new level.” His loyalty to the city extends to its troubled hockey team: “Am I rooting for the Canucks? Hell, yes! I am a Canucks lifer. I will root for that team until the day I die, despite how bad they are.”

The city has clearly won the hearts of the show’s actors, and Continuum viewers in 133 countries seem to agree: Vancouver is ready for its time in the spotlight.

Season three of Continuum began airing last month. Visit www.showcase.ca/continuum for more info.

Amy Grant

By SHERI RADFORD

Christian pop artist, Amy Grant

Christian pop artist, Amy Grant

After more than 25 years in the biz, Amy Grant is practically synonymous with Christian pop music. In addition to her string of Grammy Awards and Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, she’s one of only two Christian artists with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See this legendary artist perform live with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Apr. 14 at the Orpheum Theatre.

Ken Diamond: Leather is Better

By SHERI RADFORD

Moccasins, at Ken Diamond

Moccasins, at Ken Diamond

Leather work may be a dying art, but you wouldn’t know it from the gorgeous moccasins (pictured), belts, wallets and key chains handmade by Ken Diamond in his Vancouver studio. He uses only high-quality leather and classic designs to create his timeless pieces. Find them at The Block and Sharks and Hammers, or shop online.

Il Divo: Broadway’s Best

By SHERI RADFORD

This quartet is well-versed in making beautiful music

This international quartet is well-versed in making beautiful music together

“Some Enchanted Evening.” “Tonight.” “Memory.” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” Hear these hits from South Pacific, West Side Story, Cats, The Lion King—and more—as Il Divo brings A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs of Broadway Live to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Apr. 10. Joining the international quartet on stage is Lea Salonga, the Tony Award–winning actress and singer. Making beautiful music together? Sounds like a winning combination to us.

Vancouver Canucks Fans Can Win a Trip to Los Cabos

By SHERI RADFORD

ME Cabo Hotel in Los Cabo San Lucas

Poolside, at ME Cabo resort  in Los Cabos

Though the Vancouver Canucks have been knocked out of playoff contention for the 2013-14 season, they’re still hard at work. With three games left in the regular season (Apr. 10, 12, 13), it’s not time for them to go on vacation just yet. Loyal fans, on the other hand, will definitely be dreaming of warm-weather holidays during the final game of the season, Apr. 13 at Rogers Arena, when Los Cabos Tourism gives away an all-expenses-paid trip that includes a three-night stay at ME Cabo resort in Cabo San Lucas.

Land's End in Los Cabos

Land’s End in Los Cabos

Want to escape the cold Canadian climate for the white sandy beaches of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula? Entering the contest is easy. On Sunday night, while the Vancouver Canucks take on their long-time rivals the Calgary Flames, simply tweet a photo of the game from inside Rogers Arena using #MyCanucksView and include both @VanCanucks and @LosCabosTourism. One Baja-bound winner will be announced at the end of the second intermission.

The sun setting on paradise, in Los Cabos

The sun setting on paradise, in Los Cabos

Fans can even get a taste of the Baja right here in rainy Vancouver. Before Sunday night’s game, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., popular food truck Tacofino will be handing out free Baja-style tacos to those heading into the north entrance of Rogers Arena.

Let the Baja daydreams begin.

Sea Up Close

By SHERI RADFORD

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Budding biologists, this one’s for you: until Apr. 30 at the Vancouver Aquarium, visitors can experience the facility’s 50,000 aquatic creatures like never before. Vancouver Aquarium Up Close offers a host of unique adventures, including the chance to step into the role of a marine mammal trainer, go behind the scenes to the jellyfish area or the shark penthouse, and visit the Wet Lab, with its more than 6,000 invertebrates, including crabs, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. It’s kind of like school, but way more fun.

Film Noir, Live

By SHERI RADFORD

Helen Lawrence is film noir like you've never seen it before. (Photo: David Cooper)

Helen Lawrence is film noir like you’ve never seen it before. (Photo: David Cooper)

To April 13

Equal parts theatre, film and visual art, Helen Lawrence uses computer-generated sets as the backdrop for a hard-boiled film noir tale set in 1948 Vancouver. Bring your favourite femme fatale—or hardworking private detective—to this world premiere. At the Stanley.

A Bear of a Nap

By SHERI RADFORD

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

In Metro Vancouver, winter hasn’t truly ended until Grinder and Coola emerge from hibernation. These two grizzly bears, who aren’t related but who were each orphaned and rescued in 2001, live at the 2-hectare (5-acre) Refuge for Endangered Wildlife on Grouse Mountain. Every autumn, after steadily gaining weight all summer, the two bear buddies climb into their den to begin several months of snoozing. They usually reappear in April, significantly slimmer but ready to frolic in the snow and sunshine, with easygoing Coola tending to follow high-spirited Grinder’s lead. If you can’t squeeze in a visit to Grouse—or if you miss the bears after returning home—you can watch all their ursine antics via webcam.

Cherry Blossom Season

By SHERI RADFORD

Cherry blossoms by the water. (Photo: Tom Ryan/Destination BC)

Cherry blossoms by the water. (Photo: Tom Ryan/Destination BC)

What do you get when you bring together five of Vancouver’s top Japanese chefs for an evening of extraordinary Japanese cuisine? Sakura Night, which kicks off the eighth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Apr. 3 to 28). This enticing evening takes place at Tojo’s, and all money raised goes to support the festival—the only one of its kind in Canada.

Chinatown’s Best of Brunch

By SHERI RADFORD

Guests enjoying brunch at the Emerald

Guests enjoying brunch at the Emerald

If a leisurely brunch is on the menu this weekend, head to Chinatown and climb the worn but welcoming steps to The Emerald. Vintage decor, stylish banquettes and soul music set the backdrop for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Choose from pastries, canapés, bacon, sausages, waffles and salads—plus the build-your-own omelette station—but save room for a visit to the sweets table, with its colourful candy station and array of desserts.