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What to See Vancouver

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.

50 Things We Love About Granville Island

By SHERI RADFORD and JILL VON SPRECKEN

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

1. Commuting via Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

2. SeaVillage, a charming collection of floating homes.

3. Browsing for fresh produce, bread and seafood in the Granville Island Public Market.

4. Spotting orcas with Wild Whales Vancouver.

5. Ocean Concrete, the oldest and largest tenant on the island. It’s been there since 1917.

6. Edible Canada at the Market, with its fresh regional fare on the menu, plus foodie tours and a gourmet artisan retail shop.

7. Watching buskers perform: musicians, jugglers, magicians and more.

8. Hand-pressed, hand-bottled sake from Artisan SakeMaker.

9. Splashing around in the Granville Island Waterpark.

10. Watching artisans hard at work in their studios.

(more…)

Happy Canada Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Annual Canada Day celebrations at Granville Island. (Photo: by Tim Matheson courtesy Granville Island)

Annual Canada Day celebrations at Granville Island. (Photo: Tim Matheson/Granville Island)

Grab a flag, don some red and white gear, and get ready to belt out the national anthem on our country’s 147th birthday.

On Jul. 1, free festivities—including parades, concerts and face painting—take over Canada Place, Granville Island, Burnaby and Whistler. The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival concludes its 29th fest with outdoor concerts on Granville Island. The Britannia Mine Museum has organized a LEGO scavenger hunt and an interactive storytelling experience to celebrate both Canada’s birthday and its own 110-year anniversary. (more…)

Christopher Bates: Man of Style

By SHERI RADFORD

A naval-inspired blazer from Christopher Bates' new clothing line

A naval-inspired blazer from Christopher Bates’ new clothing line

Christopher Bates never travels without his favourite pair of pants, which he designed himself and describes as “tight, black, Turkish-waxed-denim jeans.” The former Vancouverite says, “They almost look like rubber or leather. They’re really bad-ass. And they look great with a crisp white dress shirt. Or you could go all black with it and be more aggressive.” Bonus: they never wrinkle, even when crammed into overstuffed luggage. (more…)

Susan Point: Works on Paper

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Artist Susan Point creating one of her limited edition prints for her Works on Paper exhibit. (Photo: Bill Reid Gallery)

Artist Susan Point creating a limited edition print for her Works on Paper exhibit. (Photo: Bill Reid Gallery)

Everything old is new again—especially in the hands of celebrated artist Susan Point, famed for eye-catching Coast Salish art that blends her ancestors’ stories with non-traditional techniques. To see a near-complete collection of her limited-edition prints, assembled from 1981 to present, head to Gastown and visit Spirit Wrestler Gallery’s Susan Point: Works on Paper (Jun. 28 to Jul. 19; preview Jun. 25 to 27). Bonus: on Jun. 28, don’t miss the chance to meet Point in person.

All That Jazz

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival had over half a million in attendance last year

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival had over half a million in attendance last year

To really tune into the rhythm of the city, take in the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival from June 20 to July 1. Now in its 29th year, the fest promises 300 performances that feature a lineup of musical luminaries such as Bobby McFerrin (Jun. 22), Jill Barber (Jun. 24), Hiromi: The Trio Project (Jun. 21) and the Charles Lloyd Quartet (Jun. 27). Plus, the festival jazzes up the opening weekend with free and family-friendly activities, including artisan markets, three music stages, a community fair and more in downtown’s Robson Square, Jun. 21 and 22. Guaranteed to have toes tapping, citywide.