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What to See Vancouver

Treasures From the Forbidden City

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities." (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

“Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities.” (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

Indulge your inner voyeur and cross the threshold into the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (Oct. 18 to Jan. 11). The exhibition showcases nearly 200 awe-inspiring artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum, a historic site that mysteriously closed its gates to the world for 500 years. The array of rare treasures includes 80 that have never travelled beyond the palace walls, and ranges from paintings and ivory to ceramics and textiles. It’s a peek into the past that’s impossible to resist.

Dress-Up for Grown-Ups

By KRISTEN MORAN

(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

Superheroes, villains, ghosts and Imperial Stormtroopers dancing down Granville Street? The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo (Oct. 18 and 19) must be in town. This fanciful, family-friendly event takes place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre and features costume-clad characters, horror film screenings, games, anime, performances and celebrity guests, such as the man who designed and portrayed the original movie character Alien and the actor who voiced Gohan from Dragon Ball. Come to the parade (Oct. 19) and admire the elaborate outfits, or dress up as your favourite mythical character and join in.

Science World’s Silver Anniversary

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

Science World at Telus World of Science. (Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

For 25 years, Science World at Telus World of Science has been turning challenging concepts into fun hands-on exhibits for youngsters and oldsters alike. On Oct. 17, a full year of anniversary celebrations culminates in a swanky soiree showcasing the past, present and future of the popular attraction housed in Vancouver’s most recognizable building. The evening features culinary creations, fine wines and cool cocktails under the geodesic dome, along with music, memories and more. Here’s to the next quarter-century.

Vancouver Home + Design Show

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cottage Life TV's Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Dorothy’s right: there’s no place like home. But arriving at the perfect living space isn’t as easy as clicking your ruby slippers. That’s where the Vancouver Home + Design Show (Oct. 16 to 19) comes in. Designers and DIYers find inspiration from over 325 exhibitors, with advice on home improvements, decor, entertaining and more. Discover pro tips from celebrity guests such as HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan (pictured). Time for dreams to become reality.

Fall Foliage at Art Beatus

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

With its clear blue skies and crisp hues, autumn already tops our list of stunning seasons. Add a little imagination and the influence of Gustav Klimt, and you have the vibrantly hued landscapes of Jack Zhou. His love of colour and light shines through in Impressionist-style paintings inspired by the birch forests of northern Ontario (“Birch Woods,” pictured). See Zhou’s colourful creations in Resplendence at Art Beatus, to Nov. 7.

Pumpkin Patches

By SHERI RADFORD

A pumpkin patch in Richmond readies for Halloween. (Photo:  ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/Istockphoto.com)

A pumpkin patch in Richmond readies for Halloween. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/Istockphoto.com)

Bring the whole family for fall fun such as wagon rides, petting zoos, corn mazes and, of course, pumpkin picking. Phone ahead for info on specific activities, admission fees, hours of operation and more.

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch at Gabriel Farms   
18507 20th Ave., Surrey
604-992-7748
October 1 – 31

KJM Country Gardens
7226 Blenheim St., past 55th Ave.
604-266-1397
October 4 – 31

Laity Pumpkin Patch
21145 128th Ave., Maple Ridge
604-467-4302
October 4 – 31

Port Kells
18730 88th Ave., Surrey
604-882-1344
October 1 – 31

Reynelda Farms 
2485 Westham Island Rd., Delta
604-946-7152
October 14 – 31

Richmond Country Farms
12900 Steveston Hwy, Richmond
604-274-0522
October 6 – 31

Southlands Farm Pumpkin Patch
6767 Balaclava St. at W. 51st Ave.
778-772-7328
October 1 – 31

Taves Family Farms Applebarn    
333 Gladwin Rd., Abbotsford
604-853-3108
October 1 – 31

Westham Island Herb Farm  
4690 Kirkland Rd., Delta
604-946-4393
October 1 – 31

Fond Farewell: Douglas Udell Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See works such as "Paintscape" by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

See works such as “Paintscape” by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

For the last 28 years, Douglas Udell Gallery has hosted contemporary Canadian artists on the celebrated South Granville strip. In October, the space bids adieu to our fair city—but not without a last hurrah. See Montreal-based Dominique Gaucher’s thought-provoking works in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17 (“Paintscape,” pictured). Or join art aficionados for final farewells Oct. 18 to 31 at Closing Show: Celebrating 28 Years in Vancouver. Hate saying goodbye? So do we.

50 Things We Love About Yaletown

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled between False Creek and the bustling downtown core, in what used to be the warehouse district, trendy Yaletown is filled with upscale restaurants, high-end stores, fashionistas—and tiny purse dogs

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

1. Strolling the seawall and checking out the gorgeous boats in the marina.

2. Getting pampered from head to toe at Blo, Noir Lash Lounge, Pure Nail Bar and Bombay Brow Bar.

3. Shooting pool at Soho Cafe & Billiards.

4. Divine Italian cuisine at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, La Terrazza and La Pentola della Quercia.

5. Taking a ride to or from Yaletown on the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

6. Finding the perfect headgear from Goorin Bros., which carries everything from baseball caps to fedoras to fascinators.

7. Locally brewed beer at Yaletown Brewing Co. and Prohibition Tasting Room.

8. Checking out the newest exhibits at Contemporary Art Gallery.

9. Public art pieces along the water: Coopers Mews, Lookout, Brush with Illumination, Street Light and A False Creek.

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

10. Buying our four-legged friends a new toy or spa treatment at Barking Babies.

11. Unleashing our inner artist and enjoying a meal under the same roof at Raw Canvas.

12. Getting in the holiday spirit at CandyTown, a free outdoor Christmas festival on Nov. 22.

13. Vintage treasures at Joyce Williams Antique Prints & Maps.

14. Finding accent pieces for our homes at Chintz & Company.

15. Popping in to The Flying Pig for some delicious eats during appy hour.

16. Gorgeous First Nations artwork at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.

17. Elegant desserts and pastries at Footo Croissant and Ganache Patisserie.

18. Brunch served with a side of sass at The Elbow Room Cafe.

19. Browsing through everything from clothing to knick-knacks at Fine Finds.

20. Fine French cuisine at Provence Marinaside.

21. Stretching out tired muscles at YYoga or Westcoast Hot Yoga.

22. Indulging in Italian foods and a whole range of fancy cocktails crafted from locally made spirits at The Distillery Bar  + Kitchen.

Rodney's Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

Rodney’s Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

23. Slurping raw oysters out of the half shell at Rodney’s Oyster House.

24. Treating our skin to some TLC at Spruce Body Lab and Skn Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic.

25. The flavour-rich cuisine at Urban Thai Bistro.

26. Dancing the night away at Bar None.

27. Spotting celebrities while dining in style at West Oak.

28. Shopping for male-specific goods at Contraband, Masc and Revolucion Cigars & Fine Gifts.

29. Pairing Pacific Northwest cuisine with one of 60 wines at Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar.

30. Sampling some of the city’s finest seafood at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar.

31. Viewing Philip Jarmain’s American Beauty (to Oct. 19), and Alex Couwenberg and Matt Devine’s California (Oct. 16 to Nov. 16), at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.

32. The classic old-world charm of Farzad’s Barbershop.

33. Treating ourselves to a juicy steak at Hamilton Street Grill.

34. Watching pups play in the dog park or sitting by the mosaic-lined stream at Emery Barnes Park.

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

35. The steam engine that pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887, now showcased at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

36. Sipping first-class cocktails while relaxing in a laid-back setting at George Lounge.

37. Handmade Indian treasures at Kaarigar Handicrafts.

38. Washing down delectable Japanese cuisine with a variety of sake at Bistro Sakana.

39. Trying an assortment of restaurants during Taste of Yaletown, Oct. 16 to 30.

40. Practical yet fashionable womenswear at Nygård.

41. Drinking crafted cocktails at upscale Opus Bar.

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

42. Sipping a cotton candy martini or spiked milkshake under the pink chandeliers of Society.

43. Mouth-watering, made-from-scratch gelato at Bella Gelateria.

44. Catching a live show at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

45. Taking the tots trick-or-treating on Halloween (Oct. 31) at Yaletown businesses.

46. Delicious West Coast fare at Good Wolf.

47. Commuting easily thanks to the Canada Line SkyTrain.

48. Creations from Canadian artisans at Art Works Gallery.

49. Stopping at David Lam Park to people- and puppy-watch.

50. The fascinating mix of old and new architecture.

The Reel Deal

By SHERI RADFORD

Catch Everything Will Be Alright at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Catch Everything Will Be at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Grab some popcorn and settle in. The Vancouver International Film Festival (Sep. 25 to Oct. 10) screens little-seen gems such as Everything Will Be (pictured), about the transition that Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing; Walking Under Water, which features gorgeous underwater photography in a non-fiction tale about Mabul Island’s last compressor diver; and Mr. Turner, a biographical drama that explores the life of artist J.M.W. Turner. Lights, camera, action!

50 Things We Love About Vancouver’s Granville Island

By JILL VON SPRECKEN and SHERI RADFORD

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…)

Talk Like a Pirate Day

By SHERI RADFORD

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

No need to walk the plank: landlubbers and salty dogs alike take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which happens every year on Sep. 19. And there’s a treasure trove of pirate-themed fun in Vancouver.

Brush up on your facts with I Wonder Why Pirates Wore Earrings by Pat Jacobs and Wow! Surprising Facts About Pirates by Philip Steele (at local bookstores). Put your new knowledge to use composing a sonnet or haiku with a Pirate Magnetic Poetry Kit—though perhaps a ribald sea shanty would be more apropos. Discover all sorts of nautical lore at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and if swashbuckling swordplay is more your thing, visit Academie Duello to learn how to use a rapier, longsword and more.

Look the part in a skull t-shirt by Strellson (at The Bay), an anchor ring handmade by Vancouver company Lacar (at Cavalier) and an anchor pendant from Thomas Sabo. Deck out your abode with an anchor doormat from Kikkerland and a Jolly Roger from The Flag Shop. Carry your buccaneer booty home in a tote bag from Make.

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress a pint-sized pirate in an adorable shirt made from ultra-soft bamboo/cotton by local company Pineapple Pete Kids and a Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates watch by Flik Flak (at Swatch The Store). Then keep the rapscallions and scallywags busy with Pirate Adventure Dice (at www.amazon.ca), a sailing trip around False Creek with Pirate Adventures or a visit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which on Sep. 19 features a pirate-themed scavenger hunt with the grand prize of a chocolate treasure chest. Also popular with the 10-and-under crowd is a Pirate Pak meal from White Spot, served in a cardboard boat.

Pillaging and plundering are hard work, so bring your appetite to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Known as Vancouver’s pirate pub, this charming eatery goes overboard for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with themed contests, drink specials, swag, trivia and a photo booth, plus a prize for the best-dressed pirate.

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! If no grog is handy to wash down your rations, try some Crystal Head Vodka. Manufactured in Canada, this additive-free spirit was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the distinctive skull bottle (at local liquor stores).

Shiver me timbers, if only this day came around more than once a year!

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.