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What to See Vancouver

Indoor Adventures

It’s no secret that Vancouver tends to rain much of the year—approximately 1,588 mm (62.5 inches) of the wet stuff falls per annum. That means creative ways must be found to beat the rainy day blues.

By LAURA DENNIS

Simulated golf at One Under. (Photo: Joann Pai)

Simulated golf at One Under. (Photo: Joann Pai)

INDOOR GOLF
Hidden beneath Granville Street is One Under, with its six state-of-the-art golf simulation bays. Play a round or two at one of the best courses in the world without worrying about the weather. Create some friendly competition in a closest-to-the-pin contest, or blow off steam by smacking balls at an abandoned building. If all that swinging works up an appetite, grab a charcuterie plate or pizza—try Italian sausage and fennel—from the menu. Wash it down with one of the many craft beers on offer, or sip a scotch from the extensive list.

SWORDFIGHTING
Join the experts at Academie Duello, the world’s largest school of Western swordplay, where they combine the traditional European martial art with fitness. Workshops involve the use of deadly tools like the longsword, rapier, dagger, sword and shield, and spear. Scared of sharp objects? Try an umbrella self-defence class—Vancouver’s most used accessory can also help keep assailants at bay. Strike and block while using the brolly sword-style or as a fearsome bayonet or club.

ESCAPE ROOM
Fight fear, claustrophobia and time itself at Smarty Pantz. Get locked in one of five themed rooms—from a doomed Soviet submarine to a serial killer’s basement—each with an extensive backstory. The detailed rooms found inside a Gastown heritage building were designed by professional prop masters in the film industry. Solve puzzles as a team and use logic to escape before the 45-minute time limit is up.

Beach volleyball at 6Pack Indoor Beach

ARCHERY TAG
Any day can be a beach day: 6Pack Indoor Beach has enough sand to cover five full-sized volleyball courts and satisfy summer cravings without having to wait for sunnier months. Young ’uns visit the Kidz Beach for sandcastle building, while the more rambunctious try archery tag, which combines paintball, dodgeball and archery as teams battle it out with bows and foam-tipped arrows.

BIG AIR
Literally bounce off the walls at this playground for kids of all ages. The 3,902 sq m (42,000 sq ft) of interconnected trampolines at Extreme Air Park allow for endless—and bouncy—entertainment. Practise flips into a foam pit, or dunk like the pros on the zero-gravity basketball court. For those with a competitive streak, drop in for a spirited game of 3D dodgeball: hurl balls at opponents while executing impressive dekes on a trampoline court.

Ballet BC: Trace

By SHERI RADFORD

Dancer from Ballet BC's Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dancer from Ballet BC’s Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dance fans get triple the enjoyment for the price of one ticket with Trace. Presented by Ballet BC, this don’t-miss evening includes the Canadian premiere of William Forsythe’s workwithinwork; the world premiere of a new work by Walter Matteini; and the return of Medhi Walerski’s Petite Cérémonie, a mix of dance and theatre that has been an audience favourite since its 2011 premiere. Mar. 26 to 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

TransMigration’s Cool Choreography

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

The late, great Norval Morrisseau’s bold, whimsical works take centre stage in TransMigration. The dance-theatre piece is inspired by the First Nations artist and shaman, and draws on both his life and paintings. The choreography, music and design capture Morrisseau’s brilliance as an artist, while also touching on his struggles and triumphs. Catch this feast for the eyes, and spirit, at The Historic Theatre, Mar. 17 to 21.

A Night at the Opera: Die Fledermaus

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Scene from Johann Strauss, Jr.'s Die Fledermaus

Scene from Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, it’s also served with champagne. At a lavish soirée attended by Vienna’s high society, the dapper Dr. Falke repays his friend Eisenstein for abandoning him one night, drunk and dressed as a bat, or fledermaus. Staged by the Vancouver Opera, this effervescent comedy is punctuated by laughter, love, music, waltzing and plenty of bubbly. Don’t miss it, Mar. 5 to 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Hollywood North

By LAURA DENNIS

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle (Photo: KK Law)

  

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver (Photo: Lilly3/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

While strolling through downtown, you may feel the persistent tingle of déjà vu. Don’t worry: the architecture seems eerily familiar because for over a century, Vancouver has been used as a skilled stunt double in film. The city, which can replicate anywhere from Seattle to Mumbai to outer space, can be credited with many pivotal scenes in cinematic history. Vancouver follows Los Angeles and New York as the third-largest film production centre in the world—there is a catalogue of 20,000 locations for filmmakers to choose from. Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Convention Centre, Marine Building or Vancouver Public Library for a souvenir shot, and keep your eyes peeled for the many movies and TV shows currently in production. You might even make the blooper reel.

 

Public Art in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jonathan Borofsky's "Human Structures Vancouver"

Jonathan Borofsky’s “Human Structures Vancouver.” (Photo: KK Law)

The great outdoors just got a little greater. Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, alfresco art installations are popping up around the city, transforming ordinary outdoor spaces into cool cultural attractions. A tour along the Granville Island and False Creek waterfront takes art aficionados past three recent works: Jonathan Borofsky’s interconnected “Human Structures Vancouver” (pictured above), Cosimo Cavallaro’s playful “Love Your Beans,” and Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo’s massive “Giants” (pictured below)—perhaps the most buzzed-about addition.

"Giants" by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

“Giants” by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

Spanning six cylindrical cement silos, the larger-than-life graffiti mural may be the most ambitious project yet by the Brazilian twin brothers known as OSGEMEOS. At the very least, Vancouver has some colourful new residents.

Inuit Imagery: Ningeokuluk Teevee

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ningeokuluk Teevee's "A Lot of Bull"

Ningeokuluk Teevee’s “A Lot of Bull”

In Beyond the Surface: Drawings by Ningeokuluk Teevee (Feb. 14 to Mar. 6), the Cape Dorset artist creates vibrant coloured-pencil and graphite drawings that bring Inuit mythology and stories to life. See works such as “A Lot of Bull” (pictured) in the 25 drawings on display at Inuit Gallery.

Balanchine‘s Bold Ballet

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Beautiful and bold ballet by George Balanchine

Beautiful and bold ballet by George Balanchine

Graceful and groundbreaking, George Balanchine’s choreography revolutionized dance. Now, Miami City Ballet salutes the famed 20th-century choreographer in Balanchine, a sweeping triple bill that showcases his acclaimed career through Serenade, Symphony in Three Movements and Ballo della Regina. Known for his ability to express music through movement, he created ballets that feature works by celebrated composers such as Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Verdi. See this showcase of virtuosity at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Feb. 19 to 21.

Pop’s New Princess Comes to Vancouver

By LAURA DENNIS

Meghan Trainor starts her tour in Vancouver

Meghan Trainor starts her tour in Vancouver

You can’t tune out Meghan Trainor. Her self-love anthem “All About That Bass” topped the charts for eight weeks last year and has been stuck in our heads ever since. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter kicks off her first headlining tour Feb. 11 at the Vogue Theatre. Come for the catchy hooks and stay for unapologetically honest girl-power.

The Addams Family Musical

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Get to know The Addams Family all over again

Get to know The Addams Family all over again

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. In fact, the oddball family is just as you remember, only now they’ve taken their antics onstage in The Addams Family: A New Musical. Anyone who feels their family is a bit, well… bizarre, will relate to Wednesday Addams when she brings her “normal” boyfriend and his parents home to dinner. Catch all the quirkiness at the Michael J. Fox Theatre, Feb. 6 to 21.

Beauty and the Beast

By SHERI RADFORD

A Tale as Old as Time - Beauty and the Beast

A Tale as Old as Time – Beauty and the Beast

Though it’s been around since the 1700s, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast is, for most people, synonymous with the 1991 Disney movie and its memorable songs and soaring musical score. Hear all of your favourite tunes brought to life on stage, everything from the Academy Award–winning title song to the irresistibly catchy “Gaston” to the guaranteed crowd-pleaser “Be Our Guest,” when the hit Broadway musical based on the film returns to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Feb. 3 to 8.

Eagle Float in Brackendale

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Spot iconic bald eagles during a float down Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. (Photo: Logan/Sunwolf)

Spot iconic bald eagles during a float down Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. (Photo: Logan/Sunwolf)

Every winter, a very different sort of visitor flocks to beautiful Brackendale: bald eagles. The tiny town outside Squamish hosts one of the largest populations of the iconic bird worldwide, all thanks to a fantastic feast of spawning salmon. To catch a glimpse of the feathered arrivals, take an idyllic float down the Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. Expect to see dozens of eagles perched along the glacier-fed river, often occupying the same tree—unusual behaviour for the über-territorial bird.

(Photo: Bob/Sunwolf)

(Photo: Bob/Sunwolf)

Equally breathtaking are the views of the Tantalus Mountain Range and surrounding scenery, certain to inspire nature enthusiasts and shutterbugs alike. Afterwards, cozy up in the riverside lodge by the wood stove and warm up with hearty homemade chilli. Avian enthusiasts should note that this rare opportunity is over in the blink of an eye—the season only lasts from mid-Nov. through Feb.