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Where to Go Vancouver

Karaoke Fever

Sing your heart out at Vancouver’s hottest karaoke nights

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Step into the spotlight at these karaoke spots

Step into the spotlight at these karaoke spots

Let’s face it: we can’t all be rock stars. But at Vancouver’s numerous karaoke nights, it’s easy to show off your singing in the spotlight, or just amuse your friends with your earnest—if off-key and possibly alcohol-influenced—warbling. (more…)

Pemberton Music Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Black Keys

The Black Keys

From Jul. 16 to 19, the mountains of Pemberton are alive with the sound of music. Simply swap out Julie Andrews’ warbling notes with lively hip-hop from Kendrick Lamar and Missy Elliott, blues-infused rock from The Black Keys and cheeky alt-rock from Weezer. With the scenic Mt. Currie as backdrop, the four-day Pemberton Music Festival features five stages with over 80 acts that range from crooners to comedians. It’s an event worth adding to your list of favourite things.

50 Things We Love About Kitsilano

By SHERI RADFORD

Kids can't resist the allure of Kids Beach. (Photo: KK Law)

Kids can’t resist the allure of Kids Beach. (Photo: KK Law)

1. The elegant, art deco–style Burrard Bridge, which marks the eastern boundary of the Kitsilano area. The region is also bounded by the ocean on the north, Alma Street on the west, and 16th Avenue on the south. (more…)

Craft Beer Circuit

Easy drinking, hoppy or just plain experimental—a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options at these breweries, all just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

1. BIG ROCK URBAN This Alberta outpost’s proximity to the SkyTrain makes it an ideal starting point. On tap: the brand’s stalwart brews alongside sips such as Hollow Tree Pacific Northwest Red Ale, inspired by the Lower Mainland and developed to please West Coast palates.

2. 33 ACRES The pristine aesthetic at this brewery and tasting room is a design buff’s dream, and the perfect locale for sipping 33 Acres of Sunshine, an unfiltered white ale, or 33 Acres of Life, a smooth California Common–style beer. Refuel with food truck fare or an espresso-based bevvy.

3. MAIN STREET BREWING Tucked away just east of Main Street, this industrial heritage space serves a rotating menu of cask-conditioned beer alongside a solid selection of regular draft options such as the Westminster Brown and the Saison No. 7, with its subtle splash of pepper and citrus.

4. BRASSNECK Reclaimed wood and zany artwork line the walls, while the frequently rotating taps attempt to keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new and inventive brews. Nano batches keep the pours fresh and eclectic, reflected in the eight or more offerings on tap.

5. STEEL TOAD This refurbished industrial space boasts an airy mix of glass and wood, and brews that range from the authentic Yorkshire Best Bitter to the more adventurous East Coast “Nineties” IPA with spicy rye undertones. Stay for inventive bites from the menu, then hop the SkyTrain for a quick—and perhaps wobbly—exit.

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

Easy drinking, hoppy or just plain experimental—a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options at these breweries, all just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

1. BIG ROCK URBAN This Alberta outpost’s proximity to the SkyTrain makes it an ideal starting point. On tap: the brand’s stalwart brews alongside sips such as Hollow Tree Pacific Northwest Red Ale, inspired by the Lower Mainland and developed to please West Coast palates.

2. 33 ACRES The pristine aesthetic at this brewery and tasting room is a design buff’s dream, and the perfect locale for sipping 33 Acres of Sunshine, an unfiltered white ale, or 33 Acres of Life, a smooth California Common–style beer. Refuel with food truck fare or an espresso-based bevvy.

3. MAIN STREET BREWING Tucked away just east of Main Street, this industrial heritage space serves a rotating menu of cask-conditioned beer alongside a solid selection of regular draft options such as the Westminster Brown and the Saison No. 7, with its subtle splash of pepper and citrus.

4. BRASSNECK Reclaimed wood and zany artwork line the walls, while the frequently rotating taps attempt to keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new and inventive brews. Nano batches keep the pours fresh and eclectic, reflected in the eight or more offerings on tap.

5. STEEL TOAD This refurbished industrial space boasts an airy mix of glass and wood, and brews that range from the authentic Yorkshire Best Bitter to the more adventurous East Coast “Nineties” IPA with spicy rye undertones. Stay for inventive bites from the menu, then hop the SkyTrain for a quick—and perhaps wobbly—exit.

Getting Cheeky: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

These two musical powerhouses collaborated on a jazzy album, Cheek to Cheek

A musical match-up between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga may seem unlikely, but as the Grammy Award–winning Cheek to Cheek album proves, they’re making beautiful music together. Both famed in their own right, the iconic vocalists each add their own distinctive spin to the Great American Songbook. Hear songs like “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life” and—perhaps most appropriately—“Anything Goes” as the pair promotes their jazzy album at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 25 and 26.

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

(Photo: John Davis/©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

Deep within the forest lies a magical world where anything seems possible. This extraordinary place is called Varekai, which means “wherever” in the Romany language of the wandering gypsies. A young man drops from the sky into this strange world, and so begins the show. Varekai has everything Cirque du Soleil is famous for: jaw-dropping acrobatics, amazing visual effects, side-splitting comedy and powerful live music. Don’t miss it, May 20 to 24 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Double the Fun: U2 in Concert

By SHERI RADFORD

Worldwide sensation U2, on stage. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

(Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

What could possibly be better than a U2 concert? Two U2 concerts. For the first time in a decade, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are hitting the road to play indoor arenas, and each lucky city is getting a pair of shows. The North American portion of the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour kicks off May 14 and 15 at Rogers Arena.

Ready to Roar: Prohibition

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Sleek digs at Prohibition

The sleek digs at Prohibition

Newly opened Prohibition, a posh lair hidden below the city streets, evokes the 1920s in a sumptuous, speakeasy-inspired setting. Live entertainment, ebony ceilings and curving blue vinyl banquettes create the perfect atmosphere for bespoke-cocktail sipping—whether a vintage tipple or a custom creation featuring house-made bitters. The adventurous seek out the absinthe fountain, while others favour coupes of champagne. It’s a slice of Jazz Age style, minus the bathtub gin.

Kung Fu Tea at Shangri-La’s Xi Shi Lounge

By SHERI RADFORD

Tea sommelier Che Huadong performs kung fu tea

Kung fu tea by sommelier Che Huadong

Imagine afternoon tea. Did you think of boring old biddies in a stuffy room taking part in a dull tradition? Think again. Xi Shi Lounge recently added tea sommelier Che Huadong to its staff, and his specialties include two performance arts rarely seen outside China: kung fu tea—which is every bit as incredible as it sounds—and face-changing opera. You’ll never think of teatime the same way again. See Huadong’s full shows Sat. and Sun. afternoons, or enjoy shorter performances of just kung fu tea during afternoon tea services from Wed. to Sun.

All Hail the Checkmate Caesar

By SHERI RADFORD

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score on Davie

“I came; I saw; I conquered.” Some strategizing is required before attempting to conquer a Checkmate Caesar. First, make sure you’re not a vegetarian. Second, bring a friend. And most important of all, arrive hungry. In a true feat of culinary engineering, this daring drink is garnished with a roasted chicken, a burger, a pulled-pork slider, onion rings, chicken wings, and a hot dog topped with both pulled pork and mac ’n’ cheese. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so there’s even a precariously perched brownie. Find it at Score on Davie. Let the eating and drinking begin!

Ariana Grande at Rogers Arena

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pop superstar Ariana Grande. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

Pop superstar Ariana Grande. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

Make no mistake about it: diminutive pop diva Ariana Grande has a voice that is larger than life. Her smash single “Problem” topped the charts in 65 countries and catapulted Grande to superstardom. The singer-songwriter is taking hits like “Bang Bang” and “Love Me Harder” on the road to promote her latest album, My Everything. Catch the pint-sized powerhouse at Rogers Arena, Apr. 16.