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What to See Vancouver

East Meets West: Chinese New Year

In honour of Chinese New Year on Feb. 8, we present our top ways to experience the best of Chinese culture in Metro Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen  Classical Chinese  Garden. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/iStock)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/iStock)

Ring in the year of the monkey at the 43rd Chinatown Spring Festival Parade, which winds its way through downtown on Feb. 14. Gung hay fat choy! (more…)

Spiritual Journey: MOA’s (In)visible Exhibit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Miao” by Li Jiun-Yang

“Miao” by Taiwanese artist Li Jiun-Yang

Take a trip into another world—no passport required—at the Museum of Anthropology’s (In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art (to Apr. 3). Ghosts, spirits and deities reign supreme in Taiwan, a tiny island nation with a fascinating history. For millennia, trade and colonialism have contributed to the complex spiritual landscape, which encompasses Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and animism, to name just a few. Now, seven artists explore the otherworldly through art, such as Li Jiun-Yang’s “Miao” (pictured), an installation piece that resembles a Buddhist temple. Certainly a worthy addition to any itinerary.

On the Brink: PuSh Festival 2016

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See  at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. (Photo: John Lauener)

See Century Song at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. (Photo: John Lauener)

Ready to bend your boundaries? Then head to the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (Jan. 19 to Feb. 7). Now in its 12th year, the annual fest celebrates groundbreaking theatre, dance, music and visual arts in over 150 performances by an array of globetrotting artists. See works such as Century Song (pictured), a provocative piece that uses voice and body to move audiences through the 20th century. It’s an evening spent on the edge—of your seat, that is.

Heathers The Musical

By SHERI RADFORD

Heathers the Musical

Heathers The Musical

Heather Chandler, Heather McNamara and Heather Duke comprise the most powerful and cruel clique at Westerberg High School. When brainy misfit Veronica infiltrates the group, goaded on by her bad-boy boyfriend J.D., the result is murder and mayhem—and musical numbers such as “My Dead Gay Son,” “Dead Girl Walking” and “Prom or Hell?” Based on the 1988 cult film, Heathers The Musical goes on a killing spree in The York Theatre from Jan. 6 to 17.

Opera Warriors at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See Opera Warriors at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. (Photo: Image China)

See Opera Warriors at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. (Photo: Image China)

Opera Warriors has everything a theatre-goer could ask for: gravity-defying acrobatics, amazing martial arts and jaw-dropping dance. The spellbinding spectacle follows three young martial arts protégés, who join a theatrical troupe to find their fortunes onstage. If the thrilling story of life, death and beauty doesn’t dazzle, the over 200 extravagant costumes and 40 masterful dancers certainly will. See it at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Jan. 5 to 6.

Hit the Ice

Winter in Vancouver may be mild, but skating options abound

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

In wintertime, youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between can't resist the allure of the Robson Square Ice Rink. (Photo: KK Law)

In wintertime, youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between can’t resist the allure of the Robson Square Ice Rink. (Photo: KK Law)

URBAN ESCAPE
Ditch the downtown crowds for some wintry fun at Robson Square Ice Rink. Skating is free and open to the public until the end of February, with rental skates and helmets available. When the mini Zamboni cleans the ice, grab a hot chocolate or snack. The rink is directly below Robson Street’s iconic glass domes, which allow for a unique view of downtown. The result is the best of both worlds—the unmistakable feeling of skating outdoors, but without the risk of Vancouver rain. (more…)

Lee Bul at the Vancouver Art Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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“Untitled” by Lee Bul (Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein courtesy of Lehman Maupin Gallery, New York)

Stepping into Lee Bul’s self-titled exhibition is like falling down the rabbit hole. From coloured drawings of monstrous cyborgs to mirrored labyrinths to glittering installation pieces, the acclaimed Korean artist’s retrospective creates a world that would earn the Mad Hatter’s approval. Take a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Jan. 10) for works such as “Untitled” (pictured), a chandelier-like sculpture that evokes both utopia and chaos in one seductive-yet-ruinous sculpture. Welcome to Wonderland.

Theatre: (Not your) Family Feud

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

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War for the Holidays opens December 12th

This immersive theatre performance will change the way you look at family gatherings—it’s also your best chance to live though a Christmas dinner circa 1915. Set at the Roedde House Museum, War for the Holidays (Dec. 12 to 19) examines wartime tensions on the home front and includes a cocktail and plum pudding dessert, served by the cast, who you interact with throughout the show. There’s drama aplenty during this holiday get-together, but for once this is a good thing: you get to leave this family behind after.

Canyon Lights: Making Spirits Bright

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

CapSuspBridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is all lit up until January 3

If you’re hoping to spend some quality time with the family this season and support a worthy charity, then look no further. During Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (to Jan. 3), the park is lit up with thousands of sparkling lights and there are plenty of family-friendly activities, including cookie decorating and scavenger hunts. A portion of the proceeds support the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, so you can feel even merrier while ogling the world’s largest living Christmas tree or joining a sing-a-long. Beautiful setting, family fun and a great cause? Sign us up.

Vancouver Life: Framing the City

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

PacGateway

Alan Chung Hung’s “Gate to the Northwest Package”

In a twist on convention, the monumental “Gate to the Northwest Passage” seems to be the frame—and the city view, the art. Crafted to commemorate the arrival of the city’s namesake, Captain George Vancouver, the weathered steel sculpture made waves when it was first installed in Vanier Park in 1980. Even the Globe and Mail chimed in, teasing that it could be “the world’s largest paper clip.” In reality, the piece was inspired by two—rather more impressive—instruments: a plane table and Davis quadrant, likely used by Captain Vancouver when navigating his 18th-century explorations. These days, the sculpture by Alan Chung Hung is nothing short of iconic. And regardless of what you see—tools, frame or paper clip—the view through its centre is always spectacular.

Local Art: Eastside Culture Crawl

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

CultureCrawl

“Ali’s Bachelorette” by Jessie McNeil, one of many works by participating local artists

Want to get up close and personal with Vancouver’s vibrant art scene? Then get ready to take a peek into the homes and studios of local talent. No, it’s not snooping. It’s the Eastside Culture Crawl (Nov. 19 to 22), back for its 19th year. Download a map from the Crawl’s website and join more than 20,000 art admirers as they rub shoulders with artists in their workspaces on this free, self-guided tour. Explore edgy East Van and peruse original works, including pieces by mixed-media artist Jessie McNeil (“Ali’s Bachelorette,” pictured).

Music to Your Ears: Once at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What do you get when a Dublin street musician and a young Czech woman make beautiful music together? Once, the Tony– and Grammy Award–winning musical. This charming tale of a musician ready to abandon his craft, and the woman who inspires him to continue, strikes a chord with any audience. The talented cast bring their instruments onstage, acting as both the show’s band and its characters. See this play hit all the right notes at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov. 17 to 22.