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Where to Go Vancouver

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.

Ballet BC: Trace

By SHERI RADFORD

Dancer from Ballet BC's Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dancer from Ballet BC’s Trace. (Photo: Michael Slobodian)

Dance fans get triple the enjoyment for the price of one ticket with Trace. Presented by Ballet BC, this don’t-miss evening includes the Canadian premiere of William Forsythe’s workwithinwork; the world premiere of a new work by Walter Matteini; and the return of Medhi Walerski’s Petite Cérémonie, a mix of dance and theatre that has been an audience favourite since its 2011 premiere. Mar. 26 to 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

TransMigration’s Cool Choreography

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

TransMigration pays homage to First Nations artist and shaman, Norval Morrisseau

The late, great Norval Morrisseau’s bold, whimsical works take centre stage in TransMigration. The dance-theatre piece is inspired by the First Nations artist and shaman, and draws on both his life and paintings. The choreography, music and design capture Morrisseau’s brilliance as an artist, while also touching on his struggles and triumphs. Catch this feast for the eyes, and spirit, at The Historic Theatre, Mar. 17 to 21.

Nickelback at Rogers Arena

By SHERI RADFORD

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Local rockers Nickelback head to Rogers Arena. (Photo: Michael Muller)

Are you ready to rock? On Mar. 15, Nickelback raises the roof of Rogers Arena. The local boys bring their distinctive hybrid of grunge, alternative and metal to their home base of Vancouver, playing hits such as “How You Remind Me.” Though they started their career as a cover band called the Village Idiots, way back in the 1990s, they’ve come a long way since then, selling more than 50 million records worldwide. “Rockstar”? Absolutely.

Mouth-Watering Movies at MARKET

By SHERI RADFORD

The Shangri-La Hotel's Blue Moon Theatre

The Shangri-La Hotel’s Blue Moon Theatre

Looking for the perfect date night? MARKET by Jean-Georges can help, with its popular Movies at MARKET evenings. Each one starts in the Shangri-La Hotel’s private Blue Moon Theatre (pictured) with the viewing of a food-focussed film, which inspires the four-course dinner that follows. Upcoming selections include The Hundred-Foot Journey (Mar. 6 and 7), about an upstart Indian restaurant that opens 100 feet from a classical—and very snooty—French restaurant; and Entre les Bras (Apr. 3 and 4), a French documentary about a star chef handing over his award-winning restaurant to his son. Film fans and foodies couldn’t ask for a more perfect evening.

Cultural Evolution: Contemporary Chinese Art

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Bang" by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. (Photo: Ai Weiwei)

“Bang” by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. (Photo: Ai Weiwei)

Age-old Asian art meets modern master at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art (to Apr. 6). Works in a wide range of media—from large-scale installations to paintings and porcelain—turn tradition on its head. See pieces such as “Bang” (pictured) by celebrated artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The explosive collection of 866 antique wooden stools captures the country’s shift to mass-produced plastic furniture. Proof that everything old can be new again.

Hollywood North

By LAURA DENNIS

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle (Photo: KK Law)

  

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver (Photo: Lilly3/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

While strolling through downtown, you may feel the persistent tingle of déjà vu. Don’t worry: the architecture seems eerily familiar because for over a century, Vancouver has been used as a skilled stunt double in film. The city, which can replicate anywhere from Seattle to Mumbai to outer space, can be credited with many pivotal scenes in cinematic history. Vancouver follows Los Angeles and New York as the third-largest film production centre in the world—there is a catalogue of 20,000 locations for filmmakers to choose from. Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Convention Centre, Marine Building or Vancouver Public Library for a souvenir shot, and keep your eyes peeled for the many movies and TV shows currently in production. You might even make the blooper reel.

 

Public Art in Vancouver

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jonathan Borofsky's "Human Structures Vancouver"

Jonathan Borofsky’s “Human Structures Vancouver.” (Photo: KK Law)

The great outdoors just got a little greater. Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, alfresco art installations are popping up around the city, transforming ordinary outdoor spaces into cool cultural attractions. A tour along the Granville Island and False Creek waterfront takes art aficionados past three recent works: Jonathan Borofsky’s interconnected “Human Structures Vancouver” (pictured above), Cosimo Cavallaro’s playful “Love Your Beans,” and Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo’s massive “Giants” (pictured below)—perhaps the most buzzed-about addition.

"Giants" by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

“Giants” by OSGEMEOS. (Photo: KK Law)

Spanning six cylindrical cement silos, the larger-than-life graffiti mural may be the most ambitious project yet by the Brazilian twin brothers known as OSGEMEOS. At the very least, Vancouver has some colourful new residents.

Romantic Vancouver

With its backdrop of misty mountains and stunning shorelines, this city was made for sweethearts

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoying the sunset at English Bay (Photo: KK Law)

Enjoying the sunset at English Bay. (Photo: KK Law)

9 Things to do for Sweethearts

1 Show off your triple Lutz while gliding around the outdoor rinks at Robson Square and Grouse Mountain.

2 Whip up a delectable meal in a couples cooking class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School.

3 Soak up a spectacular sunset at English Bay.

4 Tour Stanley Park and the seawall on a tandem bike from Spokes Bicycle Rentals.

5 Snuggle up on a sleigh ride through Grouse Mountain’s winter wonderland. Afterwards, warm up next to the fireplace with a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

6 Escape to Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, an enchanting oasis in the heart of Chinatown.

7 Snowshoe through Cypress Mountain’s snow-covered terrain, then warm up with cheese and chocolate fondue in historic Hollyburn Lodge.

8 Admire art, preferably hand in hand, at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

9 Share a canvas and hand-crafted cocktail at Raw Canvas while creating a masterpiece in the “painting pit.”

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