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Sheri Radford

Pound the Pavement: Vancouver Sun Run

By SHERI RADFORD

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada's largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada’s largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

Losing weight isn’t easy. Each year, thousands of Vancouverites make a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and many set their sights on the Vancouver Sun Run (Apr. 19). In 2014, more than 45,000 participants signed up for Canada’s largest 10K road race. Along its picturesque route, live entertainment and the gorgeous backdrop of ocean and mountains—not to mention throngs of cheering spectators—help to take competitors’ minds off the hard work of completing 10 km (6.2 mi). And running through this city’s gorgeous scenery is always better than a day at the office.

More Than Just Books

By SHERI RADFORD

Cozy Whistler Public Library (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Cozy Whistler Public Library. (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Sink into a comfy chair in Whistler’s living room, better known as the Whistler Public Library. Part community hub, part resource centre, this spectacular building—with even more spectacular views—features an abundance of free events, such as story time for kids, workshops, games nights and film screenings. Visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia can borrow materials using the free BC OneCard program, while those from farther afield need to purchase a $10 temporary membership. Bonus: all guests can make use of the Wi-Fi, printer and scanner. Just like home? Even better, because most homes don’t contain thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Eco-Friendly Art at Reclaimed Print Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Who says sustainability has to be boring and serious? The Reclaimed Print Co. uses locally milled sustainable wood in all of its quirky creations. Kat Walker, along with her brother-in-law, husband and father, handcrafts charming wood canvasses and coasters. Our fave designs have a Canadian theme: Raincouver (pictured), the East Van Cross, an inukshuk and ice hockey. Trendier folks prefer the hipster coaster collection, with its beard, bicycle, bow tie, glasses, moustache and pipe designs. And no one can resist the tall, skinny Grouse Lumberjack canvas.

Proud at the Firehall Arts Centre

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: Emily Cooper)

(Photo: Emily Cooper)

Not all politicians are skilled (or lucky) enough to win a second term in office. Proud (Apr. 7 to 25), however, has earned its second run at the Firehall Arts Centre after being a runaway hit there last year. Focussing on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the play reimagines the outcome of the last federal election—with hilarious results. O Canada indeed!

Fan Expo Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: Billy Lazarou)

(Photo: Billy Lazarou)

Calling all fanboys and fangirls: want to meet Captain Kirk and Princess Leia? You’re in luck, because William Shatner and Carrie Fisher are on the roster of the fourth annual Fan Expo Vancouver, along with Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills, 90210), Lance Henriksen (Aliens; Millennium) and a trio of Walking Dead cast members: Chad Coleman, Scott Wilson and Sarah Wayne Callies. See them all—and a host of other pop-culture legends—Apr. 3 to 5 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Spa Days

Three luxurious local spots offer the max in relax

By SHERI RADFORD + JILL VON SPRECKEN

Relaxation goes beyond the treatment rooms at Willow Stream Spa. (Photo: KK Law)

Relaxation goes beyond the treatment rooms at Willow Stream Spa. (Photo: KK Law)

Willow Stream Spa
Serenity can be found at Willow Stream Spa’s lofty locale, five floors above the hustle and bustle of the city’s downtown core. Decked out in plenty of marble and warm wood—a nod to the coastal rainforest setting—this spa offers a dose of Zen with postcard-worthy water views. The airy and bright space offers three lounges (men, women and couples) for sipping pineapple-infused water, snacking on fruit and nuts, and relaxing fireside in fluffy robes before, between or after treatments. Choosing from the array of massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps is simplified through treatment categories: relieve, restore or results. Simply select the type based on the desired result. A signature “restorative” pick, the Energy Deep Cleanse facial combines K-Lift light therapy technology with the know-how of the therapist to combat aging and to plump up skin. Sightseers with tired gams opt for the Van Active Feet, which targets lower legs and feet with a soak, warm exfoliation and cooling massage. Ingredients such as maple butter and Bio-Maple compound give treatments such as the Coastal Mountain Body Wrap and Pacific Rim Body Buffer a Canadian twist. Afterwards, bask in the post-treatment glow on the terrace, where jacuzzis, an infrared sauna and meditation pods complete the experience. Back inside the change room, don’t pass up the luxurious Hydrotherapy Experience Shower and its 20 showerheads. Trust us: the real world is still out there. But there’s no better way to ignore it for awhile.—JVS (more…)

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

By SHERI RADFORD

Puppets bite the dust in the comedy, Famous Puppet Death Scenes

Puppets bite the dust in the comedy Famous Puppet Death Scenes

Dying for a laugh: the characters in Famous Puppet Death Scenes re-enact every manner of croaking, biting the dust, going belly-up, kicking the bucket and shuffling off this mortal coil. They draw their scenes from all genres, from grim Irish drama to Victorian melodrama to screwball comedy. Who knew death could be so entertaining? Mar. 31 to Apr. 19 at the York Theatre.

Makes Scents: Vancouver Candle Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Inhale the scents of Point Grey and Gastown with these handmade candles from Vancouver Candle Co.

Nick Rabuchin has always loved scented candles; what he’s never liked are the toxic chemicals most of them emit. He created the Vancouver Candle Co. as an eco-friendly alternative. Using the traditional methods of olden days, he makes small batches of soy-wax candles by hand, using 100% cotton wicks and perfume-grade fragrance oils. Each candle’s scent evokes a specific area of the city, such as jasmine, tuberose, lemon and sandalwood for Kitsilano, or white tea, black currant, lavender and thyme for Strathcona. Follow your nose to Kiss & Makeup or Holt Renfrew.

Weekend Brunch at L’Abattoir

By SHERI RADFORD

An array of brunch items at L'Abattoir

An array of brunch items at L’Abattoir

If you’re more of a late riser than an early bird, then this is for you. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., L’Abattoir dishes up mouth-watering meals such as buttermilk pancakes, poached eggs with smoked pork belly, and Dungeness crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Can’t-miss selections from the bar include the Bloody Alley (a variation on the classic Bloody Mary) and the Bourbon Cinnamon Toast Milk Punch (with cereal-infused cream, bourbon and cocoa bitters). The early bird may get the worm, but it’s the sleepyheads and late risers who get the tasty brunch.

H&M Loves Coachella

By SHERI RADFORD

Bright t-shirt from the H&M Loves Coachella clothing collection

Bright t-shirt from the H&M Loves Coachella clothing collection

Even if a trip to the Golden State isn’t part of next month’s travel plans, you can still look like you’ve been to Coachella to hear AC/DC, Jack White and Drake perform. In H&M stores starting Mar. 19, the H&M Loves Coachella collection includes everything necessary for a bohemian music-festival look, from tops to pants to shorts, with fringe and lace aplenty. Rock on.

Rest & Relaxation

By SHERI RADFORD

After (or even instead of) a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing like a little R&R

Stretch it out at YYoga

Stretch it out at YYoga

Say “Om”
Students of yoga are drawn to Whistler by the laid-back vibe and stunning natural beauty, but practising outdoors isn’t very appealing amidst the snowdrifts at this time of year. Instead, head inside to get your downward dog on—or just skip straight to savasana. YYoga, Yama Yoga and Yogacara all offer an assortment of styles to suit every taste, everything from intense power to sweaty hot to meditative yin, and the Lululemon store here regularly offers free classes.

Enjoy the outdoors at Scandinave Spa (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy outdoor luxury at Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Get Pampered
Who doesn’t love to get cosseted like a queen? Vida Spa, The Spa, The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge and Avello Spa all offer massages, facials and other indulgences. To get treated like royalty—quite literally—head to Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, which specializes in treatments inspired by the ancient royal court traditions of Java and Bali. If outdoor luxury is more your style, Scandinave Spa obliges with alfresco Scandinavian baths, waterfalls and saunas.

Enjoy pure relaxation in a sensory deprivation pod

Pure relaxation can be found in a sensory deprivation pod

Do Nothing
Reduced gravity plus sensory deprivation plus a whole lot of Epsom salt equals unparalleled relaxation. Imagine floating peacefully in warm, heavily salted water for 90 minutes, with no sights, no sounds, no smells. That’s what West Coast Float has to offer, and Whistler’s only floatation therapy centre has been proving immensely popular with locals and visitors alike who want to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and recover from injuries. Who’d have guessed nothingness could be so enriching?

Nickelback at Rogers Arena

By SHERI RADFORD

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Are you ready to rock? On Mar. 15, Nickelback raises the roof of Rogers Arena. The local boys bring their distinctive hybrid of grunge, alternative and metal to their home base of Vancouver, playing hits such as “How You Remind Me.” Though they started their career as a cover band called the Village Idiots, way back in the 1990s, they’ve come a long way since then, selling more than 50 million records worldwide. “Rockstar”? Absolutely.