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Where to Go Vancouver

A Toast to Juniper

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Head to Juniper for the Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Newly launched Juniper is shaking up Chinatown with a potent mix of charisma, cocktail creativity and Cascadia-inspired, down-home dishes. The spirited space features Pacific Northwest flavours that range from Fraser Valley pork to juniper-cured salmon, and lively libations such as no-nonsense negronis—on tap, no less—regional wines, and over 30 gins for matching with an array of aromatic tonics. We’ll raise a glass to that (mostly so we can order another).

Shark Club’s Winning Strategy

By SHERI RAFORD

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Left sitting on the bench? Not this sports bar. Shark Club is back in the game and better than ever after a year and a half of extensive renovations, including a new look, revamped menu, expanded selection of beers, and creative cocktails dreamed up by some of Vancouver’s top mixologists—plus 59 televisions and two huge media walls. Game on!

A Peach of a Show

By SHERI RADFORD

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James and the Giant Peach returns to the Waterfront Theatre December 6th

Did you ever wonder what it might be like to inhabit a magical piece of fruit alongside fantastical creatures? No? Well, children’s author Roald Dahl did. His charmingly quirky book James and the Giant Peach is brought to life in a musical for young audiences. Back by popular demand, it returns to the Waterfront Theatre and runs to Jan. 3.

Theatre: (Not your) Family Feud

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

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War for the Holidays opens December 12th

This immersive theatre performance will change the way you look at family gatherings—it’s also your best chance to live though a Christmas dinner circa 1915. Set at the Roedde House Museum, War for the Holidays (Dec. 12 to 19) examines wartime tensions on the home front and includes a cocktail and plum pudding dessert, served by the cast, who you interact with throughout the show. There’s drama aplenty during this holiday get-together, but for once this is a good thing: you get to leave this family behind after.

Get Snow Globed!

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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Hop in a snow globe and snap a few pictures for charity at Harbour Centre

Even if flakes aren’t falling on temperate Vancouver, it’s possible to step into a winter wonderland. Just head to Harbour Centre to Get Snow Globed (to Dec. 24). The set-up is perfect for shaking up traditional holiday snaps—sitting on Saint Nick’s knee not required. Plus, all proceeds go to the Kettle Society, a program that provides support to those living with mental illness. Cool keepsake, warm heart.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

By SHERI RADFORD

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Santa’s coming to town December 6th

Everyone loves a parade, almost as much as everyone loves Old Saint Nick. On Dec. 6, Father Christmas visits downtown for the 12th annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Vancouver’s unofficial kick-off to the festive season. The jolly old elf always spreads good cheer, while volunteers collect donations for the food bank. Those seeking pre-parade fun head to the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square for gingerbread decorating, face painting, music and dance.

Music to Our Ears: Festive Concerts

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

The Vancouver Cantata singers present Christmas Reprise XIII

The Vancouver Cantata singers present Christmas Reprise XIII December 19th

The streets of Vancouver are alive with the sound of festive music. This may be most evident at the city’s first ever street-carolling competition, the Yule Duel (Dec. 3). More than 20 choirs go head to head in Gastown in an awesome display of festive cheer, all for charity. The Vancouver Bach Choir is more traditional, celebrating its 85th anniversary with Christmas with the Bach Choir (Dec. 6) at the Orpheum Theatre, with 400 singers of all ages—the Piccolos start at five years old. The award-winning Vancouver Cantata Singers (pictured) perform time-honoured and contemporary carols during Christmas Reprise XIII (Dec. 19) at the Holy Rosary Cathedral. Music lovers, rejoice!

4 Draught Picks

By TIM PAWSEY

A cold pint and a snack at Central City on Beatty

Brisket plate with pit beans, coleslaw and ricotta-stuffed jalapeño cornbread, at Central City on Beatty

The city’s brew scene is booming. No more proof is needed than these perfect pubby haunts.

CENTRAL CITY ON BEATTY Pulled pork and the formidable Zeus burger complement a truly impressive range of taps, including a dozen Red Racer beers as well as other leading local brews, all served in an artfully restored Yaletown warehouse. (more…)

Music to Your Ears: Once at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What do you get when a Dublin street musician and a young Czech woman make beautiful music together? Once, the Tony– and Grammy Award–winning musical. This charming tale of a musician ready to abandon his craft, and the woman who inspires him to continue, strikes a chord with any audience. The talented cast bring their instruments onstage, acting as both the show’s band and its characters. See this play hit all the right notes at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov. 17 to 22.

Yada Yada: Seinfeld Comes to Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

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Festivus comes early when Jerry Seinfeld brings his act to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld? He turned a “show about nothing” into one of the most successful sitcoms in television history, but he still loves touring as a stand-up comedian. He brings his act to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a marathon four shows in two nights (Nov. 13 and 14). So grab an urban sombrero, put on your best puffy shirt, fill up on Junior Mints and get ready to laugh. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Triple Bill: Ballet BC’s Program 1

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Dancers perform in Program 1. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dancers perform in Program 1. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

They say that three’s a crowd, but when it comes to Program 1’s triple bill of contemporary choreographers, it’s the perfect number. The opening program in Ballet BC’s 30th-anniversary season features the critically acclaimed Twenty Eight Thousand Waves (pictured) by resident choreographer Cayetano Soto, alongside Solo Echo by Vancouver’s own Crystal Pite and a world premiere by Belgian-born Stijn Celis set to local all-male choir Chor Leoni. See this showcase of virtuosity at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov. 5 to 7.

Globetrotting with La Carmina

Never judge a book by its cover—or a travel blogger by her hair colour. Whatever you may conclude about La Carmina based on her rainbow-coloured coif and striking sartorial choices is probably wrong. This twenty-something Vancouverite is an astute businessperson with a thriving career as a blogger, author and television host, not to mention a degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Yale. We talked to La Carmina about the possibilities of virtual reality travel, why customs agents sometimes search her hair, and her most unusual travel destination so far (hint: it’s in Wisconsin).

By SHERI RADFORD

La Carmina chills out in Stanley Park. Hair styling by Stephanie Hoy of Stratosphere Hair. (Photo: Kristin Thorogood)

La Carmina chills out in Stanley Park. Hair styling by Stephanie Hoy of Stratosphere Hair. (Photo: Kristin Thorogood)

Back in 2007 and 2008, La Carmina was studying law, but she had an inkling it wouldn’t be the career for her. Almost on a whim, she started her blog, www.lacarmina.com. “Initially the site was more focussed on Japanese street fashion and pop culture,” she says. “I had no game plan.” She discovered that she loved telling stories and connecting with like-minded readers. Soon Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods invited her to be on their show in Tokyo, a lucky break that led to other television gigs with Discovery, National Geographic and Food Network Canada. As her media presence grew, her blog’s focus expanded outside Japan to all international travel, but always with an emphasis on underground culture and street style. (more…)