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Vancouver

Abstract Artworks by Julia Dault

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Drama Queen" by abstract artist Julia Dault. (Photo: Jason Wyche courtesy the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York)

“Drama Queen” by abstract artist Julia Dault. (Photo: Jason Wyche courtesy the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York)

Playful and psychedelic, Julia Dault’s avant-garde abstracts may seem to break rules, but the New York–based artist is actually making them—for herself. Her elegant sculptural works are single-handedly wrestled into place on-site, sans nails or glue. And her paintings’ pop-art palette? It’s a combination of unmixed paint applied with unconventional materials such as squeegees and sea sponges, no paintbrushes allowed (“Drama Queen,” pictured in detail). See her dizzying designs at Contemporary Art Gallery’s Blame It on the Rain until Jun. 28.

Craft Beer Circuit

Easy drinking, hoppy or just plain experimental—a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options at these breweries, all just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

1. BIG ROCK URBAN This Alberta outpost’s proximity to the SkyTrain makes it an ideal starting point. On tap: the brand’s stalwart brews alongside sips such as Hollow Tree Pacific Northwest Red Ale, inspired by the Lower Mainland and developed to please West Coast palates.

2. 33 ACRES The pristine aesthetic at this brewery and tasting room is a design buff’s dream, and the perfect locale for sipping 33 Acres of Sunshine, an unfiltered white ale, or 33 Acres of Life, a smooth California Common–style beer. Refuel with food truck fare or an espresso-based bevvy.

3. MAIN STREET BREWING Tucked away just east of Main Street, this industrial heritage space serves a rotating menu of cask-conditioned beer alongside a solid selection of regular draft options such as the Westminster Brown and the Saison No. 7, with its subtle splash of pepper and citrus.

4. BRASSNECK Reclaimed wood and zany artwork line the walls, while the frequently rotating taps attempt to keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new and inventive brews. Nano batches keep the pours fresh and eclectic, reflected in the eight or more offerings on tap.

5. STEEL TOAD This refurbished industrial space boasts an airy mix of glass and wood, and brews that range from the authentic Yorkshire Best Bitter to the more adventurous East Coast “Nineties” IPA with spicy rye undertones. Stay for inventive bites from the menu, then hop the SkyTrain for a quick—and perhaps wobbly—exit.

Fly in Style: YVR’s Plaza Premium Lounge

By SHERI RADFORD

PremiumLounge

The Plaza Premium lounge in YVR’s domestic departures terminal adds some luxury to your flight

No matter which section of the plane you’re booked into, pampering awaits once you touch down at YVR. Just head to the Plaza Premium Lounge in the Domestic Departures Terminal. For $40, you can spend two hours relaxing in large, comfy chairs, enjoying an assortment of food and drinks, watching TV, using high-speed Wi-Fi, charging your electronic devices, reading a magazine or newspaper, or even showering. For an extra fee, you can sink into a recliner in a semi-private room. Consider it first-class luxury with an economy price tag.

Getting Cheeky: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

A musical match-up between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga may seem unlikely, but as the Grammy Award–winning Cheek to Cheek album proves, they’re making beautiful music together. Both famed in their own right, the iconic vocalists each add their own distinctive spin to the Great American Songbook. Hear songs like “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life” and—perhaps most appropriately—“Anything Goes” as the pair promotes their jazzy album at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 25 and 26.

Scream for Ice Cream

By SHERI RADFORD

Soft Peaks offers their delicious soft serve in a variety of flavours

Soft Peaks offers their delicious soft serve in a variety of flavours

What kid doesn’t dream of owning an ice cream shop? For brothers Dan and Ken Kim, that childhood dream became a reality back in February, when they opened Soft Peaks in Gastown. An immediate hit, the shop attracted line-ups around the block for the siblings’ organic soft-serve ice cream made from scratch every day. For customers, the most difficult part is trying to choose just one of the nine flavours. There’s the signature Honeycomb Peak, with its local honeycomb on top, or the Sunrise in California, topped with sweet-and-sour Yuzu marmalade, or the Salty Himalayan, which is sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and finished with a choice of syrups: liquid honey, organic maple, chocolate or caramel. The only possible solution is to return for a second (or third) visit.

A Few of Our Favourite Things

Along with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of the things we can’t live without this month

By SHERI RADFORD

Outfit little ones in the iconic HBC stripes

Outfit little ones in the iconic HBC stripes

Hudson’s Bay
Youngsters and oldsters alike love the iconic HBC stripes on everything from onesies, polo shirts and running shoes to beach towels, lawn chairs and patio umbrellas. At Hudson’s Bay. (more…)

Kids in the Hall

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Kids in the Hall. (Photo: David Hawe)

The Kids in the Hall. (Photo: David Hawe)

The Head Crusher. Cabbage Head. Chicken Lady. In the ’80s and ’90s, The Kids in the Hall earned a cult following for bizarre skits featuring TV’s quirkiest characters. Now, the Canadian comedy troupe is on tour, and they’re bringing old and new material along for the ride. Join the five original cast members—and a host of alter egos—for an evening of wacky and irreverent comedy at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 20.

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

Deep within the forest lies a magical world where anything seems possible. This extraordinary place is called Varekai, which means “wherever” in the Romany language of the wandering gypsies. A young man drops from the sky into this strange world, and so begins the show. Varekai has everything Cirque du Soleil is famous for: jaw-dropping acrobatics, amazing visual effects, side-splitting comedy and powerful live music. Don’t miss it, May 20 to 24 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Simple Luxuries at Le fil rouge Textiles

By SHERI RADFORD

Indulgently soft textiles from Le fil rouge

Luxurious textiles from Le fil rouge

When Ellen Walde couldn’t find the natural-textile accessories she was seeking, she decided to make them herself. The result is Le fil rouge Textiles. Walde’s company uses eco-friendly linen in pillows, tablecloths and bedding that are produced in North Vancouver, and sustainable but luxurious baby alpaca in scarves and blankets that are produced in a fair-trade-certified production facility in Peru. The fabrics look great, feel amazing and don’t harm the environment, so you can indulge guilt-free.

Eat Right: The Green Moustache

By SHERI RADFORD

Nicolette Richer of The Green Moustache

Nicolette Richer of The Green Moustache

It’s difficult to imagine anyone more passionate about healthy eating than Nicolette Richer (pictured). A cancer and chronic disease consultant, she created The Green Moustache as a place for folks to find food and juices that promote health and fight disease. If it isn’t organic (and delicious), Richer won’t serve it. The most popular dish on the menu is the Buddha Bowl, which overflows with rice, quinoa, fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts and avocado—plus an utterly addictive house dressing. Other faves include collard wraps, no-cheese cheesecake, and raw vegan chilli that will convert even the most staunch carnivore. Healthy eating sure is easy when it tastes this good.

Satya Balm

By SHERI RADFORD

Satya's calendula balm is certified-organic, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Satya’s calendula balm is certified-organic, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Patrice Mousseau faced a challenge: her baby had developed eczema, and the only remedy offered by doctors was a steroid cream. Mousseau, an experienced journalist based in Metro Vancouver, employed her researching skills to seek a safe but effective alternative. Soon she discovered the flower Calendula officinalis, and she used it as the starting point to create Satya calendula balm. This certified-organic, chemical-free, fragrance-free balm relieves inflammation, soothes irritations and reduces itching, making it ideal for treating eczema, psoriasis, burns, rashes, chafing, insect bites and chapped lips. It comes in a 50-ml jar or a 7-ml travel-sized sliding tin (pictured) that can be refilled easily, so relief is always on hand. At Dandelion Kids and Lussobaby.

Double the Fun: U2 in Concert

By SHERI RADFORD

Worldwide sensation U2, on stage. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

(Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

What could possibly be better than a U2 concert? Two U2 concerts. For the first time in a decade, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are hitting the road to play indoor arenas, and each lucky city is getting a pair of shows. The North American portion of the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour kicks off May 14 and 15 at Rogers Arena.