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Vancouver

24 Hours of Action at Grouse Mountain

By SPENCER VAN VLOTEN

Speed down the mountain while the stars come out. (Photo: Lijuan Guo/Dreamstime)

Speed down the mountain while the stars come out. (Photo: Lijuan Guo/Dreamstime)

Hit the slopes at sunrise and keep shredding through the night. On Feb. 11, Grouse Mountain is open around the clock for 24 Hours of Winter. Snow junkies can enjoy a full day of all their favourite alpine action, including skiing, snowboarding and mountaintop ice skating, while live music, games and giveaways provide plenty of fun between runs. Whatever your sport, make sure you don’t stop till you get enough!

Elegant Interval

By TIM PAWSEY

Holts Cafe serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

Holts Café serves dishes such as beetroots with goat cheese cannelloni. (Photo: KK Law)

For the ultimate in-store sustenance, newly landed Holts Café (in Holt Renfrew) obliges with an impressive array of plates, from quick bites to mains and desserts. The smart and elegant room invites lingering over the lobster and Pacific shrimp roll, tuna seared rare on brioche with roasted red pepper relish, or Salt Spring Island mussels, perhaps with a glass of wine. Desserts are equally tempting, as is the extensive selection of teas and organic juices, plus well-chosen wines from BC and around the world.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Larger than Life

By SHERI RADFORD

Cavalia: Odysseo rides into Olympic Village. (Photo: Dan Harper)

Cavalia: Odysseo rides into Vancouver. (Photo: Dan Harper)

Jan 31-Feb 26 There’s no horsing around in Cavalia: Odysseo. The largest touring show on the planet comes to the Olympic Village and features precise choreography of 65 horses and 48 riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians. The end result is an epic production filled with breathtaking moments: horses galloping through sweeping vistas (thanks to the world’s largest projection screen), a giant merry-go-round filled with live horses, and an on-stage lake for the water-filled grand finale. You heard that straight from the horse’s mouth.

Glorious Gluttony at Dine Out Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Some of Vancouver's top food trucks are part of the Dine Out Festival.

Some of the city’s top food trucks are part of Dine Out

Jan 20-Feb 5 In this city’s dining scene, the start of the new year means one thing: Dine Out! Over the last 15 years, the 17-day Dine Out Vancouver Festival has turned into Canada’s biggest celebration of food and drink, and for good reason. With a wealth of special events, tours, tastings and, above all, dinner deals, this all-things-comestible festival adds up to one enormous celebration of Vancouver’s blossoming dining culture. Every year the number of restaurants offering set menus grows, with three-course dinners offered at $20, $30 and $40, as well as some lunches. Many include optional wine pairings, yielding a chance to discover BC VQA wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

By SPENCER VAN VLOTEN

Aberdeen Centre boasts activities galore for Chinese New Year

Aberdeen Centre boasts activities galore for Chinese New Year

The Year of the Rooster arrives on Jan. 28, and from the fiery to the tranquil, Chinese New Year festivities abound across the region. The annual Chinese New Year Parade fills the streets of Chinatown with lively lion dances and martial arts performances, while LunarFest’s cultural exhibitions, games and craft-making lessons are at Oakridge Centre from Jan. 17 to Feb. 5. In Richmond, a huge selection of festive goodies and beautiful flowers are on offer at Aberdeen Centre’s Chinese New Year Flower & Gift Fair, while the International Buddhist Temple’s restful New Year’s Eve celebrations are a great option for those seeking something Zen.

Bold & Bright

By SHERI RADFORD

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery even on grey days. (Photo: KK Law)

A bright mural lights up Ian Tan Gallery. (Photo: KK Law)

Is the wet winter weather getting you down? For a reprieve, head to Ian Tan Gallery on South Granville. On the outside wall you’ll find a kaleidoscopic mural sure to brighten even the drabbest of grey Vancouver days—and make a blue-sky day even better. The cheerful mural is based on a piece by Ontario artist Kristofir Dean, whose vibrant paintings are displayed inside the gallery. According to Dean, colour “stirs the mind, heart and spirit.” We couldn’t agree more.

Flexible Foodies

By SPENCER VAN VLOTEN

Catch food and flips at Cuisine & Confessions

Catch food and flips at Cuisine & Confessions (Photo: Alexandre Galliez)

What happens when you combine food, acrobats and intimacy? You get Cuisine & Confessions, which tumbles into the Vancouver Playhouse from Jan. 25 to 29. In this meld of dance, theatre and circus, an acrobatic troupe takes over a giant kitchen to craft a meal. Bodies bend, fold and fly as utensils pass around the room and ingredients are creatively mixed. Amidst the culinary gymnastics, acrobats share family recipes, childhood memories and other personal recollections, making the night one to remember.

Man on a Mission

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Curtis Luk delivers tasty bites at Mission. (Photo by: KK Law)

Chef Curtis Luk delivers tasty bites at Mission. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Curtis Luk doggedly abides by his sustainable mantra. At Mission, in the heart of Kitsilano, Luk’s forte is four- and six-course tasting menus, offered with a vegetarian option, as well as well-matched wine pairings. The à la carte menu shifts weekly but typical highlights are duck croquettes, roasted cauliflower with pumpkin-seed dressing, Humboldt squid risotto, and braised beef cheek.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Aquatic Affection

By SPENCER VAN VLOTEN

The Vancouver Aquarium has couples covered this Valentine's.

The Vancouver Aquarium has couples covered this Valentine’s.

On Feb. 11, treat your valentine to good food and fishy fun at the Hugs & Fishes Dinner & Sleepover at the Vancouver Aquarium. Couples start with a three-course meal, then meet with veterinarians for a lively lesson on how sea animals get frisky. An up-close-and-personal look at the aquarium’s marine residents follows, and a sizzling couples’ cooking competition tops off the night’s activities. Once you’ve flaunted your culinary chops, snuggle up and doze off together, and after dreaming of seals and sea otters rise and shine to a hot breakfast buffet.

Chocolate Chronicle

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Delicious Crunchetti clusters from Brockmann's Chocolates

Delicious Crunchetti clusters from Brockmann’s Chocolates

Once upon a time there was a chocolate-maker named Willy. Only in this particular story, his tempting confections were brought from Europe to Canada, where they were crafted with care for another 30 years. The third-generation chocolatiers now offer two locally made treats: the creamy Truffini truffles, which are available in 11 flavours, including Canadian maple; and the addictive Crunchetti clusters, with toasted almonds and cranberries. Indulge your sweet tooth with treats by Brockmann’s Chocolates at Urban Fare and Nesters.

On the Brink: PuSh Festival 2017

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Mess is showing at the PuSh Festival. (Photo: Edmund Collier)

Mess is showing at the PuSh Festival. (Photo: Edmund Collier)

Jan 16-Feb 5 Ready to bend your boundaries? Then head to the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Now in its 13th year, the annual fest celebrates groundbreaking theatre, dance, music and visual arts in over 27 works by artists from 11 countries. See works such as Mess, Sweat Baby Sweat or Macbeth: Third World Bunfight, a provocative piece that sets Verdi’s opera in the Congo, with machete-sharp results. It’s an evening spent on the edge—of your seat, that is.

Fine Lines

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

'Aquatic #2' by Pat O'Hara

‘Aquatic #2’ by Pat O’Hara

Jan 7-18 Some pull strings, others paint them. Contemporary artist Pat O’Hara uses energetic brushstrokes to apply strings of paint on canvas, finishing the super-saturated works with a glossy resin finish. The BC native, who now lives in Vancouver, often draws from her own environment and experiences to create her varied, layered pieces. She favours a bold, playful palette, using shades that evoke nature, from sunrise to seaside. See the artist’s abstract acrylic-on-canvas pieces in Linearity at Bau-Xi Gallery.