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What to See Vancouver

Happy BC Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

August 2 to 4

As the temperature rises, we present our top 10 ways to celebrate the BC Day long weekend.

1. Oohing and aahing as the Honda Celebration of Light (Aug. 2) fireworks illuminate city skies.

2. Practising our savasana and downward-facing dog with world-renowned yogis—and listening to Hannah, Matthew Schoening and The Soul Rebels—at the Wanderlust Festival (to Aug. 4) in nearby Whistler.

3. Making a splash at local beaches, pools and water parks.

4. Watching live theatre outside at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (to Sep. 20) and Theatre Under the Stars (to Aug. 23).

Folks enjoy the variety of food truck fare at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a variety of bites at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

5. Pleasing our palates at the Food Cart Fest, every Sunday.

6. Celebrating gay pride at the Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3) and Queer Arts Festival (to Aug. 9).

7. Enjoying food, family activities, music, visual arts and more at the Powell Street Festival (Aug. 1 to 3) and Harmony Arts Festival (Aug. 1 to 10).

8. Taking in the Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Sep. 1).

9. Screaming with delight/terror on all the rides at Playland (to Sep. 21).

10. Picking up local produce and handmade crafts at farmers’ markets around the city.

Relax at Dude Chilling Park

By KRISTEN MORAN

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

New sign has been dubbed a public art piece. (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouverites are known for being laid-back and having a good sense of humour, but the loss of a beloved sign was no laughing matter.

When the Dude Chilling Park sign appeared two years ago at Guelph Park, it instantly captured the hearts of locals. As a prank, artist Viktor Briestensky designed and created this replica of a Vancouver Park Board sign, because he thought the park’s original name didn’t reflect its true essence. The new name also captured the vibe of Michael Dennis’s wooden sculpture “Reclining Figure,” which has been relaxing in the green space since 1991. (more…)

Cheers to Summer Beers!

By KRISTEN MORAN

Vancouver’s craft beer scene has grown at an impressive rate, with microbreweries popping up all over Metro Vancouver and with them a slew of on-site tasting rooms. Drink it by the glass or pick up a growler (a large, refillable glass bottle) to take home

Order your brew in a jar, glass or sampler, at 33 Acres Brewing Co. (Photo: Joshua Michnik)

Order your brew in a jar, glass or sampler, at 33 Acres Brewing Co. (Photo: Joshua Michnik)

R&B Brewing 

This East Van brewery has been creating handcrafted lagers and ales since 1997, and its award-winning concoctions never fail to impress. The growler station is open Friday through Sunday, with five taps that rotate regularly with brews like Sun God Wheat Ale and Red Devil Pale Ale. Seasonal favourite Birra Fresca Cucumber Mint IPA rolls out this month, and Nettle Mint Ginger has just arrived.

Green Leaf Brewing Co.

This new brewery is nestled in the heart of Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, making it the perfect spot to quench your thirst while shopping around the waterfront market on a hot summer day. Constantly rolling out new creations, Green Leaf usually has four brews on tap including an IPA, a hefeweizen, a Berliner weizen and the year-round brew Pie Hole Pale Ale. Taster flights, glasses and growlers are all available to buy in the tasting room.

Parallel 49 Brewing Co. 

Known for its artistic labels and uniquely named brews, Parallel 49 has become one of the top breweries in Vancouver. Try a glass of the Hoparazzi India Pale Ale or seasonal brews like Seedspitter, Banana Hammock Summer Hefeweizen and the new Tricycle Grapefruit Rattler, or try several in flight samplers of four. Fill up your growler or purchase select six-packs on site.

33 Acres Brewing Co.

Not even a year old yet and this hip little brewery is pouring beer in 26 restaurants around Vancouver and is selling its brews in numerous liquor stores. The tasting room at 33 Acres allows beer enthusiasts to sample creations, such as summer brew 33 Acres of Sunshine, in a glass, 709-ml (24-oz) jar or 1.89-L (64-oz) growler. Set up a group tour and get an exclusive look at brewing while enjoying snacks and sampling the sudsy sensations.

Light ‘Em Up: Honda Celebration of Light

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Get ready to ooh and aah as the Honda Celebration of Light illuminates city skies. This year, the United States (Jul. 26), France (Jul. 30) and Japan (Aug. 2) compete for worldwide bragging rights. Who will create the best fireworks display set to music? Find out when the winner is announced on Aug. 4.

Day at the Races: Deighton Cup

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Fancy frocks, dapper duds and mint juleps can mean only one thing: we’re off to the races. The Kentucky Derby–style Deighton Cup (Jul. 26) promises a day of high-stakes horse racing, fashion and cocktails. Dandies kick it off with The Big Smoke, for cigars, scotch and whisky tastings, while tipplers join the revelry at The Julep for the Mint Julep Craft Cocktail Competition. The rest don cufflinks and fascinators for a chance to win “Best Dressed,” take in the luxury car collection, and enjoy the action on the racecourse. Champing at the bit? We are, too.

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…)

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.

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…)

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.

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.

Dancing on the Edge

By SHERI RADFORD

Ziyian Kwan's a slow awkward (Photo: Chris Randle)

Ziyian Kwan’s a slow awkward. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Dancing on air. That describes how fans of contemporary choreography and boundary-pushing works feel during the Dancing on the Edge Festival. This annual fest, the longest running of its kind in Canada, brings more than 70 dancers to town to perform in 30 works, including Ziyian Kwan’s a slow awkward (pictured), Kate DeVries’ Feast, and the premieres of Matthew Romantini’s Crumbling and MascallDance’s The Three Cornered Hat. Catch the action Jul. 3 to 12 at indoor and outdoor venues around the city.