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Vancouver

The Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel

By SHERI RADFORD

The relaxation room at The Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel

The relaxation room at The Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel

Whether your goal is rejuvenation, wellness or pampering, you’ll find it at The Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel. Leave your troubles behind as you unwind with a cup of tea in the luxurious relaxation room, then head to a treatment room for your choice of R&R. A customized facial targets exactly what your skin needs, while a massage works out aches and stiffness after a long flight. Also on the spa menu: body scrubs, body wraps, manicures, pedicures, waxing and more. Ready, set, relax.

Weird & Wonderful: This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven

By SHERI RADFORD

Find a collection of curios at This Monkey's Gone to Heaven

Find a collection of curios at This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven

If you’ve ever wondered where to buy a voodoo doll, taxidermic baby rat, edible-ant lollipop or knitted version of a dissected frog, you’re in luck: This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven opened recently on Main Street. Filled with oddities and curios, the shop caters to those seeking something a little (or a lot) peculiar. As Alice in Wonderland would say, “Curiouser and curiouser!”

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.

French Fare at Tableau Bar Bistro

By TIM PAWSEY

Niçoise salad (front left) and steak frites at Tableau Bar Bistro. (Photo: KK Law)

Niçoise salad (front left) and steak frites at Tableau Bar Bistro. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away beside the Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro delivers French cuisine in a relaxed but polished setting. The menu shifts seasonally, but some stalwarts always prevail, such as grilled flat iron steak frites, free-range chicken supreme, moules frites and albacore tuna niçoise, as well as irresistible mushrooms on toast. For dessert: coconut crème brûlée, chocolate mousse and other surprises. Wines are smartly chosen, cocktails are classic, and brews range from local on tap to specialty French and Belgian.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

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!

A Stand-Up Guy: Colin Mochrie

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Comedian Colin Mochrie

Comedian Colin Mochrie

Off-the-cuff comedian Colin Mochrie returns to his improv roots with back-to-back shows alongside the Vancouver TheatreSports League, the ensemble that first helped him flex his funny bone over 35 years ago. From there, the VTSL veteran went on to find fame on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with fellow Vancouver-raised comic Ryan Stiles. On Sep. 23 and 24, 2016, get ready to chuckle, chortle and guffaw as the ad-lib artist takes to the stage at The Improv Centre and the Vogue Theatre. Consider your funny bone tickled.

Terrific Thai

By TIM PAWSEY

Chu-chee salmon at U & I Thai. (Photo: KK Law)

Chu-chee salmon at U & I Thai. (Photo: KK Law)

Cleverly monikered U & I Thai stands for Ui Ratsomjit, who calls on her upbringing and experience running a food cart in Bangkok to offer authentic dishes using fresh local ingredients. Friendly servers in traditional costumes bring mainstays ranging from green papaya salad to stuffed chicken wings to pad thai with prawns and satays, plus coconut with crème brûlée for dessert.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Drake’s Hip Hop Comes to Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Canadian rapper Drake

Canadian rapper Drake

What hasn’t Drake done? The Degrassi star-turned-rapper and unofficial ambassador of The 6ix—his nickname for his hometown of Toronto—is only the fourth performer in history to rack up 100 entries on the Billboard Hot 100. His multi-platinum single “Hotline Bling,” and the video’s so-bad-they’re-good dance moves, topped the charts and inspired countless memes and parodies along the way. He’s also shared a kiss with Madonna onstage and coached Canada to victory in the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game. What will he do next? Find out when his Summer Sixteen tour arrives at Rogers Arena, Sep. 17 and 18, 2016.

Green Grocer: Be Fresh Local Market

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Produce at Be Fresh Local Market

Produce at Be Fresh Local Market

Picking up provisions can feel like a chore, especially when on the quest for healthy, convenient cuisine. That’s why Be Fresh Local Market’s diminutive cafes and grocery store really pack a punch. Local products—think Nice Vice ice cream and Erin Ireland’s To Die For banana bread—a juice bar, bakery and to-go meals line the carefully curated shelves, for a fresh take on refuelling. Plus, the Kitsilano location boasts a grocery shop on-site, with plenty of farm-fresh produce and artisan fare. Added bonus: the focus on sustainability. Over-ripe produce gets slated for the juicer, and grocery delivery by bike through partner SPUD is on offer. Easy as (organic) pie.

4 Oyster Emporiums

By TIM PAWSEY

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar has something for every bivalve enthusiast. (Photo: KK Law)

The city celebrates the first of the “R” months in style.

1. Fanny Bay Oyster Bar This just-launched tide-to-table room brings in several kinds of fresh oysters and more from pristine local waters. Go for the salmon burger, hangtown fry or battered lingcod, but don’t miss the daily buck-a-shuck: 12 for $12, from 3 to 6 p.m. (more…)

New Works by Artist Wim Blom

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"The Small White Table," by Wim Blom. (Photo: David Borrowman)

“The Small White Table,” by Wim Blom. (Photo: David Borrowman)

At 89 years old, BC-based artist Wim Blom knows a little something about time. His serene, sculptural still lifes take two to three months to complete, meaning it’s years before he’s crafted the number of works required to exhibit. It’s worth the wait. Each piece beautifully balances simplicity and precision, for an effect that’s as compelling as it is timeless. Marvel and linger, but certainly don’t wait to see pieces like “The Small White Table” (pictured) at Ian Tan Gallery’s New Works (Sep. 10 to 29, 2016).

Contemporary Cuisine in Chinatown

By TIM PAWSEY

The charcuterie board at Juniper is brimming with bison peppercorn salami, chicken liver parfait, pickles and more. (Photo: KK Law)

The charcuterie board at Juniper brims with bison peppercorn salami, chicken liver parfait, pickles and more. (Photo: KK Law)

One of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, Chinatown is home to a clutch of edgy restos. Juniper celebrates all things Cascadian, such as Salish Sea mussels, seared black cod with sungolds, Fraser Valley pork chops with cheesy polenta and bean succotash, and a BC cheese board with local honey. Cocktails, too, are inventive, from variations on classics made with BC gins to the lemon-and-ginger-toned Wing Sang whisky sour. Wander by Sai Woo for casual contemporary Asian bites matched with smart sips in a dramatically refurbished 1930s chop suey house. Or, head to bustling Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie for crossover Sichuan and Shanghai small plates, and more good cocktails.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com