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Vancouver

Sweet Souvenirs From Starbucks

By SHERI RADFORD

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver's skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Take home a porcelain version of Vancouver’s skyline. (Photo: KK Law)

Java junkies who are jonesing for both a cuppa joe and a Vancouver souvenir head straight to Starbucks. Hot and cold caffeinated drinks fill the menu, while the city mugs are sure to invoke recollections of a Vancouver vacation over morning coffee back at home.

Link Love: Oyama Sausage Company

By TIM PAWSEY

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a wide selection of meat at Oyama Sausage Company. (Photo: KK Law)

Look for the busiest store in the Granville Island Market, and chances are you’ll find yourself at Oyama Sausage Company, lured by the seductive aromas of this fifth-generation smokehouse and modern charcuterie. Pick up some cheese smokies, paper-thin speck (German prosciutto), Toulouse pork sausage, elk pepperoni, or silky smooth, rich, “creamy” porcini pâté, all made in house. A plentiful local and imported cheese selection adds up to the perfect picnic or barbecue shopping stop.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Life’s a Beach

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Which way to the beach? With Vancouver’s wrap-around shoreline, a stretch of sand can be found in any direction

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves.                                    (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

English Bay

This palm tree–lined sunbathing spot is popular with the downtown crowd, and for good reason: lively eateries vie for views along Beach Avenue and bustling Denman Street, and the seawall leads a constant stream of amblers, joggers and cyclists into nearby Stanley Park. Join the crowds for photo ops with public art, or just enjoy the views. (more…)

Buzz-Worthy Jewellery

By SHERI RADFORD

Birks new bee-inspired collection

Birks new bee-inspired collection

The busy bees at Birks have been hard at work. To celebrate its 135th anniversary, the Canadian jeweller created three new collections inspired by honey bees. Crafted from yellow gold, silver, gemstones and diamonds, the pieces pay homage to the hardworking creatures that pollinate one-third of all the food that humans consume. Birks also announced a partnership with Ontario’s Honey Bee Research Centre, as well as an urban beekeeping installation at its flagship boutique in Montreal. Definitely the bee’s knees.

Sounds of Summer: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Crowds gather at Jericho Beach for the annual music fest. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

Crowds gather at Jericho Beach for the annual music fest. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

July 18 to 20

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival may take place at Jericho Beach Park, but this is no ordinary day at the beach. Back for its 37th year, the much-loved fest brings a toe-tapping line-up of music to a seaside setting. Over 60 artists from 12 countries share their eclectic sounds, ranging from the folk songs of Joan Baez to the Afrobeats of Nigerian Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. It’s not only music, either: shop the artisans’ market, sample food-vendor fare, and keep wee ones occupied in the Little Folks area. It’s fun in the sun, guaranteed.

5 Fishy Finds

By TIM PAWSEY

Fish 'n' Chips with a view at Go Fish. (Photo: KK Law)

Fish ‘n’ Chips with a view, at Go Fish. (Photo: KK Law)

The city boasts no shortage of pescetarian options, often in sparkling shoreside settings.

1. Go Fish Line up for fish tacos, seared tuna burgers and more, served dock-side with a dash of creativity, just a few steps west of Granville Island.

2. Pajo’s These bare-bones waterside fish ’n’ chipperies in Steveston, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam serve some of the best halibut, cod and salmon you’ll taste anywhere.

3. Troll’s Restaurant This family-friendly spot opened in 1946, predating the nearby Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Find more seafood than you can shake a prawn at, plus buckets of nostalgia.

4. Mr. Pickwick’s Fish & Chips Landlocked but still worthy, this Marpole fave wins rave reviews for its British-style F&C, plus deep-fried Mars bars—and gluten-free batter on request.

5. Raincity Grill This quintessential West Coast room dispenses excellent fish ’n’ chips from its handy Denman Street take-out window right across from English Bay.

City of Douglas Coupland

By SHERI RADFORD

The local author, artist and visionary is taking over Vancouver, and there’s no sense fighting assimilation when it’s this much fun

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to "straddling the line between collector and hoarder.

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to “straddling the line between collector and hoarder”

Most folks know Douglas Coupland as an author. His first novel, 1991’s international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized the now-ubiquitous term “Generation X.” Since then he has published 13 more novels along with an eclectic assortment of non-fiction works, including City of Glass, a collection of essays about Vancouver; Souvenir of Canada, which covers experiences and objects unique to the True North Strong and Free, from Baffin Island to poutine to zed; and Terry, a pictorial biography of Terry Fox. (more…)

Fabulous Must-Have Beach Accessories

By SHERI RADFORD

Sunglasses? Check. Towel? Check. How about everything else necessary for a long, lazy day at the beach? Don’t forget these warm-weather essentials

Keep your beach umbrella firmly planted with this innovative invention

Keep your beach umbrella firmly planted with this innovative invention

Beach umbrellas provide shade from the hot summer sun, but if gusts of wind make them go airborne, they can cause serious injuries. Fortunately, the ingenious Noblo Umbrella Buddy stops accidents before they happen. Simply fill it with sand, Velcro it to the umbrella and relax.  (more…)

Weiner Takes All

By SHERI RADFORD

Owners meet their four-legged friends at the finish line. (Photo: Caroline Toth)

Owners meet their four-legged friends at the finish line. (Photo: Caroline Toth)

On Jul. 12 and 13, Hastings Racecourse is going to the dogs. At the annual Wiener Dog Races, a plethora of petite pooches vie for the title of top dog. How fast can dachshunds dash? Fast enough to work the crowd into a frenzy. Betting is encouraged; the toughest part is predicting which of the competitors will cross the finish line first—and which will get distracted and wander off the course. Win or lose, it’s doggone fun for all.

Jimi Hendrix Shrine’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots

By KRISTEN MORAN

Inside the tiny Jimi Hendrix tribute house off Main Street.

Inside the tiny Jimi Hendrix tribute house off Main Street.

Come pay your respects to the late, great rock ’n’ roll legend Jimi Hendrix at his shrine, located in the Strathcona neighbourhood. The brightly coloured little building used to house Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, where Jimi’s grandmother Nora Hendrix worked as a cook and where a young Jimi spent his summers and practised his music. It now serves as a tribute to the deceased rock star and is filled with family photos, artwork, memorabilia and sheets of written lyrics from the man himself. This memorial will transport you back in time to the ’60s, when Hendrix was in his heyday.

Himalayan Tastes at Yak & Yeti

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef displays dishes served up at Yak & Yeti. (Photo: KK Law)

Himalayan and Nepalese flavours rule at Yak & Yeti. (Photo: KK Law)

Popular Kitsilano haunt Yak & Yeti serves delicious Nepalese and Himalayan tastes in a laid-back bistro setting. Spicing is cautiously understated, with a wide range of meat and vegetarian options. House faves roam from Himalayan-style yak momo dumplings to tender char-grilled lamb kebabs to sizzled chicken with crunchy vegetables on a piping-hot cast-iron skillet. For dessert, don’t miss the poached spiced pears with ice cream and caramel. To complete the picture: good local brews, such as Driftwood Fat Tug and Russell Blood Alley Bitter, and smartly chosen BC wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Pedal Power: Gastown Grand Prix

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Participants pedal their way through Gastown to the finish line.

Participants pedal their way through Gastown to the finish line

July 9

One day a year, the cobblestoned streets of Gastown transform into a thrilling racecourse for the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. The challenging race attracts Olympic-calibre riders from around the world to a route that loops around landmarks such as the Gastown Steam Clock and the statue of Gassy Jack. The free and fast-paced excitement begins at 5:45 p.m., but arrive early to secure the perfect spectating spot.