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What to See Vancouver

Spirit Wrestler’s Cool Carvings

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Once a Warrior" by by Rex Homan. (Photo: Kenji Nagai/Spirit Wrestler Gallery)

“Once a Warrior” by Rex Homan. (Photo: Kenji Nagai/Spirit Wrestler Gallery)

September 20 to October 11

Fifteen years and three acclaimed artists add up to one remarkable exhibition. Spirit Wrestler’s Wero: Pacific Challenge celebrates the gallery’s quindecennial as a leading venue of Maori art. The exhibit highlights wood and jade carvings by three renowned sculptors, including “Once A Warrior” (pictured) by Rex Homan. Like the Northwest Coast First Nations, aboriginals of New Zealand share a proficiency for carving, often using the works to share legends and cultural history. Fantastically detailed and always stunning, these pieces from across the Pacific are certain to inspire. Here’s to the next 15 years.

Happy Feet: Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House

By SHERI RADFORD

Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Were you born to boogie? Made to mambo? Compelled to calypso? Then head to the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House on Sep. 13. Each year, this free day of workshops and open classes satisfies budding ballerinas and modern dancers alike.

Cool Creatures at the Aquarium

By SHERI RADFORD

Beluga whale greeting guests at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Noel Hendrickson/Vancouver Aquarium)

Beluga whale greeting guests at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Noel Hendrickson/Vancouver Aquarium)

There are 50,000 reasons to visit the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. That’s how many weird, wonderful aquatic creatures call the aquarium home, including salmon, beluga whales and sea otters. Now it’s easier than ever to see them all, thanks to a recent expansion that includes new exhibits, galleries, a children’s play area and a cafe overlooking the crown jewel of the city, Stanley Park. Earlier this summer, TripAdvisor travellers named this green space the best park in the world—for the second year in a row. Better make that 50,001 reasons.

SeaWheeze: Sea, Sun, Sweat & Smiles

By SHERI RADFORD

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon's half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon’s half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

One of the world’s prettiest half marathons, the SeaWheeze winds around spectacular downtown scenery such as the seawall and Stanley Park, encouraging runners to forget about setting a new personal best and instead snap plenty of photos. Along the route, over-the-top entertainers—including stilt walkers, TheatreSports improvisers and yogis on paddle boards—also encourage dawdling. Too bad all 10,015 spots in this year’s race sold out in under an hour. But there are still ways to get in on the weekend’s fun.

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

All are welcome at the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. First Eoin Finn leads a sunset yoga practice, perfect for stretching out tired muscles after the morning’s long run, then The Colourist and headliner Capital Cities fill the park with their pop sounds.

Limited edition athletic gear from Lululemon

Tracker-Short

Any event organized by Lululemon isn’t complete without apparel. The day before and the day of the race, a pop-up store featuring exclusive SeaWheeze clothing and accessories takes over the Vancouver Convention Centre. Lengthy line-ups don’t deter diehard shoppers, who scoop up the limited-edition tees, tanks, shorts, crops and more, none of which can be purchased in any other stores or online.

It’s a weekend of great workouts—whether for bodies or credit cards (or both) is up to you.

The SeaWheeze and Sunset Festival take place Aug. 23. The pop-up store is open Aug. 22 and 23.  Register for next year’s SeaWheeze in Jan. 2015. 

The PNE by the Numbers

By SHERI RADFORD

Whether you go for just one day of the Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition or all 15 days, it adds up to a memorable experience

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE and Tourism Vancouver)

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

1910 - year of the first PNE

2,000 – times per day a PNE Prize Home ticket seller says, “Win a house, win a car!”

2,000 – calories in the Vortex Burger from Gourmet Burgers

860 - pounds of food consumed by the 45 Superdogs*

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

74 - years that local big-band leader Dal Richards has performed at the PNE

712,049 - visitors*

200,000 - people saw the Superdogs show*

250,000 - stuffed animal prizes won at the games*

22 - dumpster loads of dung taken away from the livestock barns*

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

3,750 - deep-fried Mars bars sold*

81 - age of the oldest person to ride the AtmosFEAR*

2,000,000 - Those Little Donuts sold*

 

*During 2013 Fair at the PNE

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

By SHERI RADFORD

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have still got it.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers continue to rock the stage nearly 40 years after the group formed.

“The Waiting.” “You Got Lucky.” “Learning to Fly.” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers started making hit songs in the 1970s, and they haven’t slowed down a bit since then. See them live, along with opener Steve Winwood, Aug. 14 at Rogers Arena. And remember, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

Red Rock Diner Brings the ’50s Back

By SHERI RADFORD

The 1950s come back to life with Red Rock Diner. (Photo: David Cooper)

The 1950s come back to life with Red Rock Diner. (Photo: David Cooper)

Local legend Red Robinson was just 16 when he began his career as a DJ at radio station CJOR, playing hits by the likes of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. Inspired by Robinson’s early days, Red Rock Diner follows the young DJ and five singing, dancing teenagers against a toe-tapping backdrop of 1957 hit music, everything from “Diana” to “Great Balls of Fire.” See the lively musical until Aug. 23 at the Granville Island Stage.

Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit

By SHERI RADFORD

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, which opened in 1959, sits in seaside Vanier Park

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, which opened in 1959, sits in seaside Vanier Park

To November 2

Best known for displaying model ships, maritime art and the RCMP vessel St. Roch, the Vancouver Maritime Museum presents a more revealing exhibition this summer: Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit. Running the gamut from modest to outrageous, the swimming costumes and teeny-weeny bikinis on display show the evolution of Vancouver’s seaside fashions from 1890 to 1980. And they just might inspire you to don a one-piece, tankini or Speedo and hit the local beaches.

Gone Fishin’

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Sure, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. And luckily for eager anglers, the Pacific Ocean just happens to be Vancouver’s backyard

There'll be no stories about the one that got away: Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler with a fish on his hook. (Photo: KK Law)

There’ll be no stories about the one that got away: Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler with a fish on his hook. (Photo: KK Law)

Hook, Line & Sinker

Top-notch spots to catch coho, chinook and sockeye salmon—not to mention delectable Dungeness crabs—are just minutes from the city’s bustling downtown core. Jason Tonelli of Pacific Angler, who’s reeled in catches from as far away as Argentina and Chile, says that Vancouver’s proximity to great fishing sets it apart. “Nowhere else in the world can you fish this close to a metro area,” he says, gesturing to the skyline behind the boat.

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Vancouver Pride: Rainbow Power

By KRISTEN MORAN

Crowds enjoying the Vancouver Pride festivities. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

Crowds of people enjoying the Vancouver Pride festivities. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

Come join the fun along with half a million other partygoers at the annual Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3). What began as a peaceful protest march for gay rights 36 years ago has transformed into quite the spectacle, with colourful floats and hundreds of parade enthusiasts twirling and dancing their way through downtown dressed in brightly coloured, over-the-top costumes. Starting at Robson Street and Thurlow, participants frolic through the downtown core and along the waterfront strip of Pacific Street and Beach Avenue before ending at Sunset Beach, where a festival and market are held. The celebration includes over 100 booths and food vendors, a beer garden, a family zone with kid-friendly activities and live music. Grab your rainbow flag and party on!

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…)