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Sheri Radford

Made In Canada: Etsy Vancouver Market

By SHERI RADFORD

The Etsy Vancouver Market: Made in Canada. (Photo: JuMi Story)

The Etsy Vancouver Market: Made in Canada. (Photo: JuMi Story)

Seeking a special souvenir? Circle Sep. 24 and 25, 2016 on your calendar, because that’s when The Etsy Vancouver Market: Made in Canada returns. Newly expanded to two days, and now taking place in the spacious Pipe Shop Building, this year’s marketplace is bigger than ever. Browse all the quirky creations by local artists and artisans, including wooden coasters from Reclaimed Print Co., cozy toques from Woolvan Knits, sweatshirts from My Cat Is People and pocket squares from Vancity Squares.

Word Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Word Vancovuer. (Photo: Monica Miller)

Word Vancovuer. (Photo: Monica Miller)

Bookworms and bibliophiles, this one’s for you: Word Vancouver (Sep. 21 to 25, 2016) celebrates the written word with five days of free events for both adults and children, everything from author readings and panel discussions to comics displays and slam poetry. This year’s featured authors include Lynn Johnston, Joy Kogawa, Anosh Irani, Ujjal Dosanjh, Paul Yee, Wayde Compton and Bif Naked. Write on!

Unique Umbrellas From Pluvio

By SHERI RADFORD

A unique umbrella from Pluvio

An umbrella from Pluvio

Vancouver is known for its stunning scenery, eco-friendly ethos, plethora of outdoor activities all year round—and rain. Lots of rain. Before you lament the abundant liquid sunshine, consider it an excuse to buy a fancy new umbrella. Jonathan Bonder, a Vancouverite who was fed up with boring brollies, started Pluvio to create well-constructed, limited-edition bumbershoots. He partnered with various artists to build these cool creations. End result? Umbrellas so eye-catching that you’ll be looking forward to rainy days.

Where the Wild Things Are

Orcas and parrots and bears, oh my! Take a walk on the wild side to spot awe-inspiring—and downright adorable—animals at locations around Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD and JILL VON SPRECKEN

Grinder shows off his balancing skills in the grizzly bear enclosure at Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

Grinder shows off his balancing skills in the grizzly bear enclosure at Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

Grouse Mountain
For close encounters of the furry and feathered kind, set your sights on Grouse Mountain. At the mountaintop, find grizzlies Grinder and Coola roaming and splashing around their 2-hectare (5-acre) wildlife refuge. The two bears aren’t related, but they do share a similar backstory: both were found orphaned as cubs, then rescued in 2001. For a meal that’s more than memorable, watch the bears’ morning feeding, then tuck into your own bear-themed breakfast (to Oct. 9, 2016). Those inclined to flights of fancy head to the Birds in Motion demonstration to meet the resident raptors, including hawks, owls and a golden eagle. On the way back down the Skyride—or from the parking lot—try to spot timber wolf Alpha, a retired movie star, who cuts an imposing figure as he roams his habitat.—JVS

Vancouver Aquarium
All that’s wet and wild—on the West Coast and beyond—can be found at the Vancouver Aquarium, where more than 50,000 animals from around the world make a splash with visitors and locals alike. Be mesmerized by jellyfish, roll up your sleeves and pet a stingray, watch acrobatic Pacific white-sided dolphins, and come face-to-fin with many other aquatic residents. But the menagerie of marine life goes way past penguins and beyond belugas: see salamanders and frogs, slow-moving sloths and even Amazonian insects. The aquarium’s intent is to inspire and educate ocean admirers of all ages, but it just so happens to be a ton of fun, too.—JVS

Whale Watching
When it comes to awe-inspiring sights, glimpsing whales in their natural habitat ranks as high as the watery giants dive deep. In the Strait of Georgia, orcas can be spotted breaching and spy-hopping for onlookers, an impressive sight when considering their massive size—5,400 kg or 6 tons—and striking black-and-white dress. And these playful members of the dolphin family aren’t the only species that call the local waters home: grey whales, minke whales, humpbacks and dolphins can also be found in the area, as they feed, frolic and ultimately charm visitors. To see whales in the wild, book a tour with one of the many local whale watching companies.—JVS

Catfe. (Photo: KK Law)

One of Catfé’s furry residents. (Photo: KK Law)

Catfé
Vancouver’s first cat cafe has the purr-fect combination of coffee to sip, treats to nibble and kitties to cuddle. Home to a rotating selection of eight to twelve friendly felines, all available for adoption, Catfé offers a safe space for homeless cats to meet an array of people—even pop superstar Adele, who stopped by in July. Since opening late last year, Catfé has found forever homes for more than 160 cats, including Larry and Darla (who didn’t let Adele’s attention go to their heads), along with Mr. Whiskers, Cornelius, Pitter Pat and Ron Furgandy. The cafe also stocks an assortment of “meowchandise.” It’s definitely the cat’s pyjamas.—SR

Maplewood Farm
More than 200 animals call Maplewood Farm home, everything from horses and cows to birds and rabbits. Kids can experience what it’s like to live on a farm by riding a pony, watching a milking demonstration and feeding the chickens, ducks and bunnies. Call ahead to find out about special behind-the-scenes opportunities to groom the animals, collect eggs, set up feed and more. It might be enough to turn an urban-dwelling child into a budding Old MacDonald.—SR

Bloedel Conservatory
Stepping into the Bloedel Conservatory is like entering another country, a lush paradise filled with 500 exotic plants and flowers and 200 free-flying birds, all under one dome. Say hello to finches, cockatoos, doves, partridges, parakeets, Chinese pheasants, dwarf macaws and African parrots—and don’t be surprised if one says hello right back. The three different climate zones (tropical rainforest, subtropical rainforest and desert) make the whole experience feel like an overseas vacation, all without leaving Vancouver.—SR

Buy Local: Hold My Unicorn Apparel

By SHERI RADFORD

Find one-of-a-kind apparel at Hold My Unicorn

Find unique clothing at Hold My Unicorn Apparel

If you’re looking for mass-produced garments just like everyone else’s clothes, then Hold My Unicorn Apparel is definitely not for you. Amy Rafferty sews one-of-a-kind hoodies, shirts and hats right here in Whistler, then sells them at markets and at stores such as Evolution. Browse her unique creations online.

Hot Styles for Summer

Spruce up your summer wardrobe with these festival-friendly fashions that work equally well at the beach or cabin

By SHERI RADFORD

Cotton mochilla from Hudson’s Bay

Cotton mochilla from Hudson’s Bay

1. Hand-woven by the women of the Wayuu tribe in Colombia, and featuring the iconic HBC stripes, a colourful cotton mochilla from Hudson’s Bay is the perfect way to carry warm-weather essentials. (more…)

Skyride Surf Adventure at Grouse Mountain

By SHERI RADFORD

Skyride Surf Adventure  at Grouse Mountain

Skyride Surf Adventure at Grouse Mountain

Even if you’ve already visited Grouse Mountain, there’s a brand-new reason to return: the Skyride Surf Adventure (to Oct. 10, 2016). Six guests at a time can ride up the mountain on top of the Skyride gondola. Unobstructed views in every direction guarantee an unparalleled experience—and magnificent photo ops—during the 1,610-m (one-mile) ascent. (But those with acrophobia might want to skip this one.) Activities galore await at the peak. Visit Grinder and Coola, two orphaned grizzly bears who reside in the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. Watch raptors in action at the Birds in Motion show. See log rolling, axe throwing and more in the suspenseful—not to mention hilarious—lumberjack show. Soar high above the mountain on a paragliding flight or helicopter tour. Step inside a wind turbine at The Eye of the Wind. The only challenge? Trying to fit everything into a single day.

The SeaWheeze Half Marathon

By SHERI RADFORD

The SeaWheeze. (Photo: Lululemon)

The SeaWheeze. (Photo: Lululemon)

One of the world’s prettiest half marathons, the SeaWheeze (Aug. 13) winds around spectacular scenery such as the seawall and Stanley Park. The race sold out months ago, but there are still ways to participate in the weekend’s fun. Tickets are available for the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park, featuring outdoor yoga and a concert by Chromeo. And as you’d expect of any event organized by Lululemon, cute apparel is for sale—meaning both you and your credit card can get a workout.

The Must List: Summer

With the warm weather finally upon us, we present this season’s must-do activities and must-see attractions

By SHERI RADFORD

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

See black bears up close on a tour.

Relax in a spa.

Travel between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Stroll through the Village while window-shopping and savouring an ice cream cone.

Whiz down Whistler at breakneck speed on a mountain bike. (more…)

5 Places to Find Your Bliss

Want to practise your downward-facing dog and warrior poses in the great outdoors? Grab a yoga mat or beach towel and head to these picturesque spots for alfresco asanas and seaside savasanas

By SHERI RADFORD

Free outdoor class in Jack Poole Plaza, part of the SeaWheeze

Free outdoor class in Jack Poole Plaza, part of the SeaWheeze

Kitsilano Beach
WHERE  Near Cornwall Ave. at Arbutus St., between the pool and tennis courts
WHEN  To Aug. 31: M/W/F 7 p.m., Tu/Th 9 a.m.
WHY  Spectacular views of the ocean and downtown
COST  Free, but tips are welcome
INFO  www.facebook.com/kits.space (more…)

Shoreside Beach Bay Café

By SHERI RADFORD

Nova Scotia Lobster at Beach Bay Café

Nova Scotia Lobster at Beach Bay Café

In a city blessed with an abundance of great patios, the one at Beach Bay Café manages to stand out. It looks out over English Bay, with its sunbathers, swimmers, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. Just as impressive is what’s on the table: seafood such as Nova Scotia lobster (pictured) and prawn ceviche paired with summery cocktails. And if you can’t bear to be even a few metres away from the sand and ocean, the take-out window obliges with fish ’n’ chips and calamari, perfect for a seaside picnic.

Sounds of Summer: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Gorgeous views are part of the package at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Gorgeous views are part of the package at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Everyone knows summer starts in June, but for some Vancouverites, it doesn’t truly arrive until the beginning of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival (Jul. 15 to 17, 2016). For three sunny days each July, Jericho Beach Park overflows with sweet sounds ranging from folk to roots to bluegrass. Highlights of the 39th annual seaside festival include Bruce Cockburn, Nahko and Medicine for the People, The Wainwright Sisters, Oysterband and Lord Huron.