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Where to Go Vancouver

Stickboy

By SHERI RADFORD

Spoken-word artist, Shane Koyczan

Spoken-word artist, Shane Koyczan

What happens when the bullied becomes the bully? Canada’s best-known spoken-word artist, BC’s own Shane Koyczan (pictured), explored this idea in his novel-in-verse Stickboy. Koyczan and composer Neil Weisensel have now adapted the much-lauded book into a visually innovative and musically memorable opera. Catch the world premiere Oct. 23 to Nov. 7 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

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.

Sealed & Delivered: Postmark Brewing

By TIM PAWSEY

Fill a growler or stop in for a pint at Postmark Brewing, located in the Settlement Building

Fill a growler or stop in for a pint at Postmark Brewing, located in the Settlement Building

The craft beer boom continues unabated, with the arrival of Postmark Brewing (pictured) in Railtown’s already well-populated Settlement Building, home to Vancouver Urban Winery, The Belgard Kitchen and others. Chief brewmaster at this notable newcomer is award-winning filmmaker Craig Noble, whose recent successes include CRAFT, a documentary about the craft brewing scene across North America. Noble, a certified cicerone (beer sommelier), is often on hand to pour tastes of Postmark Pilsner, Stout, Red IPA and others, perfect before—or with—a bite at The Belgard.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Rocket Man

By KRISTEN MORAN

(Photo: Rebecca Taylor)

(Photo: Rebecca Taylor)

After five decades of chart-topping hits and unforgettable performances, the Rocket Man has still got it. Don’t miss the chance to see Elton John light up the night at Rogers Arena, in back-to-back performances Sept. 13 and 14 that are guaranteed to evoke feelings of nostalgia and have you swaying to the sounds of his timeless classics. Grab your best dance partner and get ready to rock the night away.

Pop Star Katy Perry

By SHERI RADFORD

Pop superstar Katy Perry

American pop superstar Katy Perry

She’s sung about kissing a girl and unforgettable “California gurls.” She isn’t afraid to colour her hair pink or purple and dress up in a gown shaped like a carousel or Christmas tree. And she had a highly publicized—if brief—marriage to comedian Russell Brand. Katy Perry definitely knows how to attract attention, and this time it’s for her tour in support of her newest release, Prism. Don’t miss her over-the-top shows Sep. 9 and 10 at Rogers Arena.

Jann Arden: Songs and Stories

By SHERI RADFORD

Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden

Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden

September 6

“Will You Remember Me.” “I Would Die for You.” “Insensitive.” “Unloved.” Though Jann Arden is best known for her heartbreaking ballads overflowing with angst, the Canadian singer-songwriter sparkles in her live shows, telling frank, funny stories and just generally charming the audience. Find out for yourself why she’s been a local favourite for more than two decades when her cross-country tour hits the Orpheum Theatre this month.

Tour de Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cycle City Tour guide shows participants Coal Harbour

Guide from Cycle City Tours shows participants Coal Harbour

Pedal pushers, take note: a bicycle is the perfect way to see Vancouver. Put up your kickstand and push off with Cycle City Tours. There are plenty of excursions to choose from, including The Grand Tour, which gets cameras clicking with city highlights that range from Stanley Park to Chinatown—and everything in in-between. Beer aficionados can take The Brewery Tour for a sampling of the city’s hopping craft beer scene. What are you waiting for? Ride on!

The PNE by the Numbers

By SHERI RADFORD

Whether you go for just one day of the Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition or all 15 days, it adds up to a memorable experience

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE and Tourism Vancouver)

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

1910 - year of the first PNE

2,000 – times per day a PNE Prize Home ticket seller says, “Win a house, win a car!”

2,000 – calories in the Vortex Burger from Gourmet Burgers

860 - pounds of food consumed by the 45 Superdogs*

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

74 - years that local big-band leader Dal Richards has performed at the PNE

712,049 - visitors*

200,000 - people saw the Superdogs show*

250,000 - stuffed animal prizes won at the games*

22 - dumpster loads of dung taken away from the livestock barns*

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

3,750 - deep-fried Mars bars sold*

81 - age of the oldest person to ride the AtmosFEAR*

2,000,000 - Those Little Donuts sold*

 

*During 2013 Fair at the PNE

Vancouver’s Cool Commercial Drive

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled in the heart of East Vancouver, Commercial Drive boasts nearly 350 shops and restaurants along a 22-block strip, but we focussed on a few blocks in the centre of the action

Deliciously authentic pizza from Lombardo's Pizzeria & Ristorante. (Photo: Daniel Henshaw)

Deliciously authentic pizza from Lombardo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante. (Photo: Daniel Henshaw)

No place better captures the essence of the neighbourhood known as Little Italy than Lombardo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante. Stop in for mouthwatering thin-crust pizzas that are made with fresh, local ingredients and cooked in a wood oven. La Grotta Del Formaggio is a delightful little deli that serves more than just your average sandwich. Choose from an array of delicious toppings like roasted red peppers, tapenade and havarti cheese, and create an unforgettable custom-made sandwich. (more…)

Best of the Fests

By SHERI RADFORD

Thousands gather to enjoy top musical acts at the Squamish Valley Music Festival

Thousands gather to enjoy top musical acts at the Squamish Valley Music Festival

Spectacular scenery, world-class camping and a musical line-up of more than 70 performers, including Eminem, Bruno Mars and Canada’s own Arcade Fire. Think it’s too good to be true? Think again. The Squamish Valley Music Festival (Aug. 8 to 10) always attracts an astounding list of both international and local talent, and this year is shaping up to be bigger than ever, with Arctic Monkeys, Tokyo Police Club, Foster the People and more.

Vancouver Pride: Rainbow Power

By KRISTEN MORAN

Crowds enjoying the Vancouver Pride festivities. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

Crowds of people enjoying the Vancouver Pride festivities. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

Come join the fun along with half a million other partygoers at the annual Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3). What began as a peaceful protest march for gay rights 36 years ago has transformed into quite the spectacle, with colourful floats and hundreds of parade enthusiasts twirling and dancing their way through downtown dressed in brightly coloured, over-the-top costumes. Starting at Robson Street and Thurlow, participants frolic through the downtown core and along the waterfront strip of Pacific Street and Beach Avenue before ending at Sunset Beach, where a festival and market are held. The celebration includes over 100 booths and food vendors, a beer garden, a family zone with kid-friendly activities and live music. Grab your rainbow flag and party on!

Happy BC Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

August 2 to 4

As the temperature rises, we present our top 10 ways to celebrate the BC Day long weekend.

1. Oohing and aahing as the Honda Celebration of Light (Aug. 2) fireworks illuminate city skies.

2. Practising our savasana and downward-facing dog with world-renowned yogis—and listening to Hannah, Matthew Schoening and The Soul Rebels—at the Wanderlust Festival (to Aug. 4) in nearby Whistler.

3. Making a splash at local beaches, pools and water parks.

4. Watching live theatre outside at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (to Sep. 20) and Theatre Under the Stars (to Aug. 23).

Folks enjoy the variety of food truck fare at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a variety of bites at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

5. Pleasing our palates at the Food Cart Fest, every Sunday.

6. Celebrating gay pride at the Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3) and Queer Arts Festival (to Aug. 9).

7. Enjoying food, family activities, music, visual arts and more at the Powell Street Festival (Aug. 1 to 3) and Harmony Arts Festival (Aug. 1 to 10).

8. Taking in the Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Sep. 1).

9. Screaming with delight/terror on all the rides at Playland (to Sep. 21).

10. Picking up local produce and handmade crafts at farmers’ markets around the city.