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Where to Go Vancouver

Making Spirits Bright in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Fireworks kick off the annual Lights of Hope display at St. Paul's Hospital. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Fireworks kick off the annual Lights of Hope display at St. Paul’s Hospital. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Around the city, festive light displays make Vancouver merry and bright. In downtown, the Lights of Hope dazzle with 100,000 twinkling bulbs, while the Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting brings a 15-m (50-ft) tree to Robson Square. Bright Nights in Stanley Park is a magical display of three million sparkling lights. Near Olympic Village, Enchant brings festive fun for the whole family with the world’s largest Christmas light maze. Farther flung but worth the trip, Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge raises hundreds of thousands of lights to spectacular new heights.

Oktoberfest-Themed Fun at Harvest Haus

By SHERI RADFORD

Harvest Haus. (Photo: Jonathan Evans, jonnypicture.com)

Harvest Haus. (Photo: Jonathan Evans, jonnypicture.com)

Raise a bierstein to Harvest Haus (Sep. 29 to Oct. 9, 2016), which returns to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza this fall for its third annual Oktoberfest-inspired party. The full German experience includes beer, bratwurst and brass oompah bands—plus pretzels, spaetzle, lederhosen, lip-syncing competitions and more. The best part? No passport required.

A Stand-Up Guy: Colin Mochrie

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Comedian Colin Mochrie

Comedian Colin Mochrie

Off-the-cuff comedian Colin Mochrie returns to his improv roots with back-to-back shows alongside the Vancouver TheatreSports League, the ensemble that first helped him flex his funny bone over 35 years ago. From there, the VTSL veteran went on to find fame on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with fellow Vancouver-raised comic Ryan Stiles. On Sep. 23 and 24, 2016, get ready to chuckle, chortle and guffaw as the ad-lib artist takes to the stage at The Improv Centre and the Vogue Theatre. Consider your funny bone tickled.

Drake’s Hip Hop Comes to Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Canadian rapper Drake

Canadian rapper Drake

What hasn’t Drake done? The Degrassi star-turned-rapper and unofficial ambassador of The 6ix—his nickname for his hometown of Toronto—is only the fourth performer in history to rack up 100 entries on the Billboard Hot 100. His multi-platinum single “Hotline Bling,” and the video’s so-bad-they’re-good dance moves, topped the charts and inspired countless memes and parodies along the way. He’s also shared a kiss with Madonna onstage and coached Canada to victory in the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game. What will he do next? Find out when his Summer Sixteen tour arrives at Rogers Arena, Sep. 17 and 18, 2016.

The Must List: September

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Take in spectacular views of the city on a flightseeing tour. (Photo: KK Law)

Take in spectacular views of the city on a flightseeing tour. (Photo: KK Law)

Give two thumbs up to top-notch performances at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (Sep. 8 to 18, 2016) and the Vancouver International Film Festival (Sep. 29 to Oct. 14, 2016).

Fill your camera with photos of landmarks such as the Gastown Steam Clock, Olympic Cauldron, Inukshuk, Digital Orca, Canada Place and A-maze-ing Laughter.

Eat sushi. (more…)

Fun on the Water

From jet skiing to kayaking to fishing, Vancouver is a water sports paradise

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Jet skiing fun on the calm waters near downtown with Vancouver Water Adventures. (Photo: KK Law)

Jet skiing fun on the calm waters near downtown with Vancouver Water Adventures. (Photo: KK Law)

Long known as the Gateway to the Pacific, Vancouver is the place to play this summer for those eager to hit the water. And the ocean is just the beginning.

Burgeoning with salmon and sturgeon, the Fraser River, British Columbia’s longest river (at 1,375 km/855 mi), flows into the Strait of Georgia south of Vancouver. Other nearby rivers, creeks and lakes offer recreational opportunities for the whole family, from whooping it up at the famous Cultus Lake Waterpark waterslides to gazing awestruck at turquoise, glacier-fed Garibaldi Lake during a hike.

Ready to make a splash? Multiple options are readily available here.

(more…)

25 Things We Love About Summertime in Vancouver

As the temperature rises, so does our passion for this sun-kissed city

By SHERI RADFORD

A stroll through downtown’s magnificent Stanley Park. (Photo: KK Law)

A stroll through downtown’s magnificent Stanley Park. (Photo: KK Law)

1. Long evenings that end in glorious sunsets.

2. Kayaking, canoeing, dragon boating, stand-up paddle boarding and any other water-based activity.

3. Spending a leisurely morning at a farmers’ market.

4. The abundance of outdoor festivals.

5. Seeing orcas in the wild on a whale-watching adventure. (more…)

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

With 23 craft breweries in the city limits—and more brewing all the time—a hoppy haven is always just a hop, sip and jump away. Ready to raise your glass to the wealth of choice? Here are a few ways to dive into the city’s craft beer circuit.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Tote your brews in a custom-designed growler by Sigil & Growler. (Photo: KK Law)

A custom-designed growler from Sigil & Growler shows off Vancouver’s beloved landmarks. (Photo: KK Law)

Tapped In
Brewery Creek, once the turn-of-the-century hub of the local brewing scene, is enjoying a renaissance that has put the historic area back on the map. Anchored by hip-and-happening Main Street, a cluster of breweries offer sippers ranging from easy drinking to experimental. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for exploring craft beer by the flight or pint, and easily accessed on foot or—to really blend in with the locals—by bicycle. (more…)

Cheers to Local Beers!

With 23 craft breweries in the city limits—and more brewing all the time—a hoppy haven is always just a hop, sip and jump away. Ready to raise your glass to the wealth of choice? Here are a few ways to dive into the city’s craft beer circuit.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Tote your brews in a custom-designed growler by Sigil & Growler. (Photo: KK Law)

A custom-designed growler from Sigil & Growler shows off Vancouver’s beloved landmarks. (Photo: KK Law)

Tapped In
Brewery Creek, once the turn-of-the-century hub of the local brewing scene, is enjoying a renaissance that has put the historic area back on the map. Anchored by hip-and-happening Main Street, a cluster of breweries offer sippers ranging from easy drinking to experimental. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for exploring craft beer by the flight or pint, and easily accessed on foot or—to really blend in with the locals—by bicycle. (more…)

Craft Beer Circuit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

VBT_Group_Table2

Vancouver’s craft beer scene is hopping.

Want a craft beer experience that goes well beyond popping the top on a bottle of suds? Then imbibe in Vancouver Brewery Tours. Beer-loving raconteurs tour hop-heads around three local craft breweries, offering history and a behind-the-scenes look into what happens beyond the tasting room walls. The faithful steed—a big white van—whisks groups between breweries, and has room to take a few souvenir suds along for the ride. Sample a bevy of brews at destinations like Main Street Brewing, Brassneck and Big Rock Urban. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Pure Gold: The Who

By SHERI RADFORD

The Who-089

The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Not many rock bands make it to the half-century mark, but The Who isn’t just any group. Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and their backing musicians have sold more than 100 million records and racked up countless hits, including “Substitute,” “Magic Bus,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “I Can See For Miles,” “Who Are You,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “You Better You Bet,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Pinball Wizard.” Catch the band’s golden-anniversary tour—dubbed The Who Hits 50!—at Rogers Arena on May 13. And rock on.

Long Live the King

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo:  RTG Productions)

Return to Grace pays tribute to the king of rock ‘n’ roll. (Photo: RTG Productions)

Pull on your bobby socks, slide on your saddle shoes, and get ready to relive the glory days of rock ’n’ roll. When you see the Man from Memphis’s unmistakeable swivel and swagger in Return to Grace (Mar. 22-27), you’ll forget it isn’t Elvis Presley himself on stage performing all his greatest hits, from “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Suspicious Minds” to “Love Me Tender” and “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.”