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What to See Vancouver

Ballet BC: UN/A

By SHERI RADFORD

Three world premiers dance onto the stage in Ballet BC's UN/A. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Three world premieres dance onto the stage in Ballet BC’s UN/A. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

What’s better than one world premiere in an evening? Three. In its final production of the season, Ballet BC presents UN/A, which showcases innovative new works by a trio of renowned international choreographers: Gioconda Barbuto, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Cayetano Soto. It’s triple the entertainment, Apr. 24 to 26 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

New Views: Lawren Harris

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Island, MacCallum Lake," by Lawren Harris. (Photo: Trevor Mills/Vancouver Art Gallery)

“Island, MacCallum Lake,” by Lawren Harris. (Photo: Trevor Mills/Vancouver Art Gallery)

Sometimes, change is good. It’s certainly true of celebrated painter Lawren Harris, whose 60-year career charted a course from vibrant landscapes to eccentric abstracts. Trace his artistic evolution at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Lawren Harris: Canadian Visionary (to May 4). Striking works by the Group of Seven member, such as “Island, MacCallum Lake” (pictured), focus on the spirituality of the place rather than the details—a stunning example of his journey into abstraction.

Run for It

By SHERI RADFORD

It’s hard not to be a runner in a city with routes as spectacular as the seawall and Stanley Park. Whether you’re a newbie jogger or an Olympic-level sprinter, Vancouver has much to offer

The Vancouver Sun Run draws big crowds. (Photo: ©MajaPhoto/Istockphoto.com)

The Vancouver Sun Run draws big crowds. (Photo: ©MajaPhoto/Istockphoto.com)

RACE
Canada’s largest 10K road race, the Vancouver Sun Run (pictured; Apr. 27) attracts more than 48,000 walkers, joggers, runners and wheelchair athletes. The route showcases breathtaking views of Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek and, off in the distance, snow-capped mountains. A longer race that also makes full use of the scenery is the BMO Vancouver Marathon (May 4), which Forbes magazine recently named one of the world’s top 10 marathons worth travelling for. Of particular note? An abundance of both on-course entertainment and spectacular shoreline views. Those not ready to go the full distance can choose a more manageable half marathon or 8K instead. (more…)

Sets and the City

By SHERI RADFORD

Rachel Nichols (Kiera) in action on the Continuum set

Rachel Nichols (Kiera) in action on the Continuum set

Vancouver excels at portraying other places: Seattle, New York, Chicago and more in movies ranging from Juno and Mission Impossible 4 to Superman: Man of Steel and most of The Twilight Saga series. But rarely can it throw off its fake American mailboxes and license plates, stop hiding its glorious mountains, and just be itself. (more…)

Sea Up Close

By SHERI RADFORD

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Budding biologists, this one’s for you: until Apr. 30 at the Vancouver Aquarium, visitors can experience the facility’s 50,000 aquatic creatures like never before. Vancouver Aquarium Up Close offers a host of unique adventures, including the chance to step into the role of a marine mammal trainer, go behind the scenes to the jellyfish area or the shark penthouse, and visit the Wet Lab, with its more than 6,000 invertebrates, including crabs, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. It’s kind of like school, but way more fun.

Film Noir, Live

By SHERI RADFORD

Helen Lawrence is film noir like you've never seen it before. (Photo: David Cooper)

Helen Lawrence is film noir like you’ve never seen it before. (Photo: David Cooper)

To April 13

Equal parts theatre, film and visual art, Helen Lawrence uses computer-generated sets as the backdrop for a hard-boiled film noir tale set in 1948 Vancouver. Bring your favourite femme fatale—or hardworking private detective—to this world premiere. At the Stanley.

A Bear of a Nap

By SHERI RADFORD

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

In Metro Vancouver, winter hasn’t truly ended until Grinder and Coola emerge from hibernation. These two grizzly bears, who aren’t related but who were each orphaned and rescued in 2001, live at the 2-hectare (5-acre) Refuge for Endangered Wildlife on Grouse Mountain. Every autumn, after steadily gaining weight all summer, the two bear buddies climb into their den to begin several months of snoozing. They usually reappear in April, significantly slimmer but ready to frolic in the snow and sunshine, with easygoing Coola tending to follow high-spirited Grinder’s lead. If you can’t squeeze in a visit to Grouse—or if you miss the bears after returning home—you can watch all their ursine antics via webcam.

Cherry Blossom Season

By SHERI RADFORD

Cherry blossoms by the water. (Photo: Tom Ryan/Destination BC)

Cherry blossoms by the water. (Photo: Tom Ryan/Destination BC)

What do you get when you bring together five of Vancouver’s top Japanese chefs for an evening of extraordinary Japanese cuisine? Sakura Night, which kicks off the eighth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Apr. 3 to 28). This enticing evening takes place at Tojo’s, and all money raised goes to support the festival—the only one of its kind in Canada.

Bright Lights: 30 Years of TED

By RACHAELA VAN BOREK

Abha Dawesar, a past TED presenter. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

Abha Dawesar, a past TED presenter. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

It’s official. After 30 years of spreading worthy ideas, the monumentally popular Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference known as TED is leaving its California base and coming to Vancouver. The main event is being hosted at the city’s exceptionally sustainable convention centre from Mar. 17 to 21, with a live simulcast feeding to Whistler’s TEDActive Conference. The five-day retreat themed “The Next Chapter” is expected to bring thousands of ingenious thinkers to the downtown core. Ticket or no ticket, visitors can expect some compelling seaside conversation.

Absolutely Abstract: Elissa Cristall Gallery

By MICHAEL LEUNG

"Transparent" by James Wyper

“Transparent” by James Wyper

To March 22

Tired of photorealistic scenic paintings? Elissa Cristall Gallery’s Landscape into Abstraction exhibit offers the perfect alternative. Artists from the West Coast and the rest of Canada weave colours and shapes together to form concealed yet visually arresting landscape paintings, such as James Wyper’s “Transparent” (pictured). The question “what do you see” has never been more relevant.

Vancouver International Dance Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

China’s Guangdong Modern Dance Company. (Photo: Guilherme Rafols)

China’s Guangdong Modern Dance Company. (Photo: Guilherme Rafols)

Even (perhaps especially) those with two left feet can appreciate the skill and grace of the performers in the Vancouver International Dance Festival (Mar. 7 to 29). This annual fest showcases dancers from both around the world and around the block, including China’s Guangdong Modern Dance Company (pictured) and Germany’s Yui Kawaguchi and Aki Takase. Dance on!

Outdoor Adventures

By SHERI RADFORD

The cliché is, indeed, true: you can snowboard, golf and sail all on the same day in Vancouver—plus admire the cherry blossoms

A picture-perfect day at on Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

A picture-perfect day at on Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

Spring snowboarding and skiing at Grouse Mountain, a 15-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, offer spectacular views of the city and ocean.

Wind and waves make for an exhilarating day on the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Kevin Arnold/Destination BC)

Wind and waves make for an exhilarating day on the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Kevin Arnold/Destination BC)

Landlubbers and salty dogs alike enjoy sailing in the picturesque waters around Vancouver

The beautiful cherry blossoms signal the beginning of spring. (Photo: iStock/Maxvis)

Beautiful cherry blossoms signal the beginning of spring. (Photo: iStock/Maxvis)

Every spring, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the thousands of flowering cherry trees on city streets.

A golfer attempts a birdie on the 14th hole at Furry Creek. (Photo: KK Law)

A golfer attempts a birdie on the 14th hole at Furry Creek. (Photo: KK Law)

Fore! It doesn’t get any more relaxing than 18 holes at Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, a half-hour drive from Vancouver.