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Where to Go Vancouver

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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Pop’s New Princess Comes to Vancouver

By LAURA DENNIS

Meghan Trainor starts her tour in Vancouver

Meghan Trainor starts her tour in Vancouver

You can’t tune out Meghan Trainor. Her self-love anthem “All About That Bass” topped the charts for eight weeks last year and has been stuck in our heads ever since. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter kicks off her first headlining tour Feb. 11 at the Vogue Theatre. Come for the catchy hooks and stay for unapologetically honest girl-power.

Beautiful Brewpub

By TIM PAWSEY

Stunning industrial architecture at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall

Stunning industrial architecture at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall

The hottest new destination in the ongoing craft brew revolution is Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall, housed in the impressively restored former Opsal Steel Building. The ceiling is high and the surroundings airy and bright in this one-time industrial space. The brewery itself is on full view behind a glass wall, where British-style bitter, saison, stout and other beers are made in small-batch tanks. On the menu: inventive pizza, sandwiches, shepherd’s pie, rillettes, steak frites and more.

For more from Tim Pawsey visit hiredbelly.com

Celebrating Celebrities Nightclub

By LAURA DENNIS

Celebrities Nightclub got a facelift

Celebrities Nightclub got a facelift

Now a piece of party history, Celebrities almost didn’t survive its early years. Built in 1908 to house one of Vancouver’s first dancehalls, the building was later condemned. After a lengthy battle, the doors stayed open, allowing the club to evolve from go-to gay spot to a truly mixed club. It is now celebrating 30 years in Davie Village and has been rewarded with heritage-site recognition and a million-dollar makeover. Party on!

Tee Off at One Under Urban Golf Club

By SHERI RADFORD

Don't worry about the weather at One Under

Don’t worry about the weather at One Under

Winter golf comes with three big drawbacks in Vancouver: rain, showers and intermittent drizzles. The solution? Take it inside. One Under Urban Golf Club boasts six simulation bays, so you can experience what it’s like to tee off at some of the world’s finest courses—no umbrella required. And the menu of pizzas, salads and snacks, complemented by a comprehensive drinks selection, means the festivities can continue long after the last round of golf is played.

Pop a Cork at Twelvewest

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The extravagant twelvewest

Bottles of bubbly and much more can be found at extravagant twelvewest

Frank Sinatra may get no kick from champagne, but the rest of us certainly do. And at twelvewest, it’s always an effervescent evening. The main attraction at this luxe lounge is the 300-bottle champagne fridge, but bottles of bubbly aren’t the only extravagance. The beau monde get a ride from nearby West Oak to the club via a Cadillac Escalade, then settle into the VIP lounge among French damask wallpaper and Swarovski-crystal chandeliers. Others prefer to listen to DJs spin from the dance floor, where revellers dance the night away. Now that’s an evening with kick.

Elevated Pub Fare at The Abbey

By TIM PAWSEY

Try modern comfort food at The Abbey

Try modern comfort food at The Abbey

The Abbey, a clean-lined, sexily lit modern room, close to theatres and arenas, offers a riff on the contemporary British gastropub, with good draught beer on tap (Bomber ESB, Driftwood Fat Tug and Red Racer Pale Ale), smart wines and cocktails. Sophisticated comfort food revels in local flavours and ingredients, including herbed roast chicken, seared rare albacore tuna Niçoise, and Toulouse sausage and mash, as well as classics such as Welsh rarebit and sausage rolls with de rigueur Colman’s mustard.

For more from Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Waiting for Beckett

By SHERI RADFORD

A radio play on stage: All That Fall (Photo: Tim Matheson)

A radio play on stage: All That Fall. (Photo: Tim Matheson)

For half a century, no one was allowed to watch All That Fall. Samuel Beckett refused all requests to turn his radio play into a stage play. Finally, in 2012, the playwright’s estate relented, and audiences in London and New York have been lucky enough to see the show, which is staged as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a radio play being performed. Now Beckett’s creation comes to Canadian soil for the first time, with a production Dec. 29 to Jan. 24 at the Historic Theatre at the Cultch. What are you waiting for?

Mahony & Sons: Irish Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons (Photo: KK Law)

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons. (Photo: KK Law)

Hop aboard the Aquabus (directly from the foot of Davie Street in Yaletown) to reach this newly unveiled, lavish Mahony & Sons, right on the False Creek waterfront at Stamp’s Landing. Drop by for casual bites such as fresh oysters on the half shell, thin-crust pizzas and burgers. Or tuck into classics such as Irish stew, Guinness-battered fish ’n’ chips, (Irish) bangers and mash, and plentiful West Coast chowder. Best-kept secret: the upstairs private room.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

CONTACT Winter Music Festival

By LAURA DENNIS

Catch Zedd at CONTACT Winter Music Festival

Catch Zedd at this popular music fest

Sports fans in foam fingers are replaced with partygoers in furry boots and glow sticks when BC Place Stadium hosts the largest indoor music fest in Western Canada. CONTACT Winter Music Festival (Dec. 26 and 27) features some of the world’s most-coveted DJs, including headliners Armin van Buuren and Zedd (pictured), spinning at the state-of-the-art stadium. Lose yourself in a light show using all the latest technology or step out for some fresh air and catch more artists playing on the tented outdoor stage.