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What to See Vancouver

Fair Fun at the PNE

By SHERI RADFORD

Ride the PNE's newest ride: The Beast

Ride the PNE’s newest ride: The Beast

Tops on our list of summertime activities is visiting The Fair at the PNE (Aug. 22 to Sep. 7), with its impossible-to-resist deep-fried foods, outdoor concerts and hair-raising rides. New this year: The Beast (pictured). This scream-inducing ride has speed, height and both side-to-side and circular motion. Who can resist?

Urban Art: From Forest to Furniture

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

(Photo: KK Law)

“Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver” by Hugo França. (Photo: KK Law)

Hugo França is no stranger to second chances. For 20 years, the Brazilian artist has transformed cast-off trees into magnificent furnishings and works of art. Knotted, gnarled and cracked, these elegant pieces highlight the beauty of the wood’s natural shape. Local species such as Douglas fir mark França’s transition from tropical to temperate rainforest—his work for the Vancouver Biennale marks the artist’s first attempt at sculpting trees native to the West Coast. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Spanish Banks beach, “Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver” is perfect for lounging, climbing or just plain admiring. Talk about turning over a new leaf.

Sun, Surf and Speed

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cruise Vancouver's waterways on one of Sea Vancouver's open-air Zodiac

Cruise Vancouver’s waterways on one of Sea Vancouver’s open-air Zodiacs

Soak up the scenery—and the saltwater spray—as you zip around Vancouver’s waters with Sea Vancouver. The open-air Zodiacs offer up seal’s-eye views of Coal Harbour, the Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park before heading into False Creek for a water-bound tour around Granville Island and English Bay. The skipper shares fascinating facts about the city, while stunning views keep camera shutters snapping. Time flies when you’re having fun, but the memories last long after docking on dry land.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Documentary In the Turn

Documentary In the Turn

Inspiring, reflective and just plain fabulous, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival takes over city theatres Aug. 13 to 23. Western Canada’s largest queer event, and Vancouver’s second-largest film festival, fêtes its 27th year with performances, panels, workshops and, of course, captivating cinema. From animated to experimental, the over 80 movies from 20 countries have one thing in common: LGBTQ folks are firmly in the spotlight. Catch all the action, including documentary In the Turn (pictured).

Game On!

Summer is an ideal time to check out spectator sports in Vancouver

By LUCAS AYKROYD

(Photo: KK Law)

On clear days, the roof of BC Place Stadium is opened up to let the sun shine in. (Photo: KK Law)

When you think about going to “the big game” in Vancouver, you likely think about NHL hockey. However, there’s more to this city’s spectator sports scene than Canada’s national winter sport. While the Vancouver Canucks are still in off-season training for another run at the Stanley Cup, you can enjoy exciting summer events, including soccer, football, baseball, horse racing and tennis. (more…)

Jon Bon Jovi in Stanley Park

By SHERI RADFORD

See Jon Bon Jovi and The Kings of Suburbia in picturesque Stanley Park

See Jon Bon Jovi and The Kings of Suburbia in picturesque Stanley Park

When you think of Stanley Park, you naturally think of totem poles, towering trees, ocean views—and rocking out with Jon Bon Jovi. On Aug. 22, the legendary rock star and his personal band, The Kings of Suburbia, take over the park’s Brockton Field for an outdoor concert filled with old favourites such as “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” plus hits by some of Bon Jovi’s favourite musicians. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the rocker up close in one of Vancouver’s most stunning settings.

Come Fly With Me

Go ahead, take off into the blue. The air may be rarefied, but stunning views certainly aren’t in short supply

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

(Photo: KK Law)

From this vantage point, the city stretches out before you. (Photo: KK Law)

Mountains, shorelines and city skylines keep Vancouver looking sharp. But from on high, when everything is laid out at once, the vista is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Harbour Air’s aptly named Panorama Tour takes high-flyers on the wing for a vantage point that only a camera can properly describe. (more…)

Squamish Valley Music Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Canadian rapper Drake

Canadian rapper Drake

Once again, summer’s hottest ticket is for the Squamish Valley Music Festival (Aug. 7 to 9). The stellar line-up features headliners Sam Smith, Mumford & Sons, and Canada’s own Drake (pictured), plus a whole host of other acts: Of Monsters and Men, Alabama Shakes, Brandon Flowers, Kaskade and more. It’s three days of fun in the sun against a stunning natural backdrop.

Les Misérables

By SHERI RADFORD

Come and hear the people sing at Les Misérables. (Photo: Ross den Otter)

Come and hear the people sing at Les Misérables. (Photo: Ross den Otter)

When Victor Hugo first published Les Misérables back in 1862, it’s doubtful he envisioned his novel’s astounding longevity. Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Cosette and all of Hugo’s other literary creations live on in (among other things) an Oscar-winning movie and one of the longest-running Broadway musicals of all time. Catch the uplifting show to Aug. 16 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Save the City With Vancouver Mysteries

By SHERI RADFORD

Save (and see) the city with Vancouver Mysteries

Save (and see) the city with Vancouver Mysteries

Do you have what it takes to be a super spy? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save Vancouver. Your adventure starts from a top-secret downtown location, then your team has just two hours to break codes and find hidden clues, in order to stop a criminal mastermind from detonating a bomb. Along the way, you learn about local history and landmarks—and walk a couple of kilometres. Vancouver Mysteries may be all fun and games, but if you set a new speed record for solving this spy puzzle, the bragging rights are real.

Bill Reid Gallery: Bold and Beautiful

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Hamatsa mask, at Bill Reid Gallery. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Hamatsa mask, at Bill Reid Gallery. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Come face-to-face with an astonishing cast of characters at The Box of Treasures: Gifts From the Supernatural. The masks and regalia on display are made by master carvers, including Kwakwaka’wakw artist and chief Beau Dick. The eye-catching creations have a short lifespan—they’re worn in dances four times, then burned to send them back to the spirit world. Meet these masterpieces at Bill Reid Gallery, to Sep. 27.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Gorgeous views from the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. (Photo:  Joe Perez)

Gorgeous views from the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. (Photo: Joe Perez)

Said the Whale. Hawksley Workman. Blind Pilot. Adam Cohen. Phosphorescent. Taj Mahal. That’s just a small sample of the bands scheduled to perform at the 38th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival (Jul. 17 to 19). Every year, this seaside fest takes over Jericho Beach Park for three days of fun in the sun, attracting 40,000 folks who want to shop at the artisan market, eat mouth-watering food from around the world and, most of all, hear great music.