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Write On!


Author Emma Donoghue. (Photo: by Andrew Bainbridge)

Author Emma Donoghue. (Photo: by Andrew Bainbridge)

Bookworms and bibliophiles, rejoice: the Vancouver Writers Fest is back for its 27th year, and it’s bigger than ever, with more than 100 authors coming to Granville Island from Oct. 21 to 26. This year’s highlights: Ireland’s Colm Tóibín, Norway’s Karl Ove Knausgaard, France’s Maylis de Kerangal, and Herman Koch from the Netherlands. Home-grown talent includes Emma Donoghue (pictured), William Gibson and Miriam Toews. The festival’s signature mix of big-name writers and newly discovered gems is sure to set any book-lover’s heart aflutter—and guarantees a heavy bag filled with new must-reads for the trip home.

Tasty Tome


The humble tin can goes gourmet with the help of this unique cookbook

The humble tin can goes gourmet with this unique cookbook

Keep can openers at the ready: Tin Fish Gourmet (Arsenal Pulp Press; $21.95) by Vancouverite Barbara-Jo McIntosh has been re-released to the delight of time-pressed chefs everywhere. Imaginative recipes transform humble tins of oysters, tuna, mackerel and more into mouth-watering dishes. Find classic staples and inventive offerings alike, ranging from tuna casserole to clam and fontina pizza. Gorgeous colour photos and a stamp of approval from three-star Michelin chef Michel Roux make this the perfect fishy find. At local bookstores, including the author’s own Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.

Treasures From the Forbidden City


"Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities." (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

“Album of Twelve Months of Seasonal Activities.” (Photo: © The Palace Museum)

Indulge your inner voyeur and cross the threshold into the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (Oct. 18 to Jan. 11). The exhibition showcases nearly 200 awe-inspiring artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum, a historic site that mysteriously closed its gates to the world for 500 years. The array of rare treasures includes 80 that have never travelled beyond the palace walls, and ranges from paintings and ivory to ceramics and textiles. It’s a peek into the past that’s impossible to resist.

Dress-Up for Grown-Ups


(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

(Photo: ©Sergeibach/Dreamstime.com)

Superheroes, villains, ghosts and Imperial Stormtroopers dancing down Granville Street? The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo (Oct. 18 and 19) must be in town. This fanciful, family-friendly event takes place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre and features costume-clad characters, horror film screenings, games, anime, performances and celebrity guests, such as the man who designed and portrayed the original movie character Alien and the actor who voiced Gohan from Dragon Ball. Come to the parade (Oct. 19) and admire the elaborate outfits, or dress up as your favourite mythical character and join in.

Science World’s Silver Anniversary


(Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

Science World at Telus World of Science. (Photo: ©gregobagel/isotckphoto.com)

For 25 years, Science World at Telus World of Science has been turning challenging concepts into fun hands-on exhibits for youngsters and oldsters alike. On Oct. 17, a full year of anniversary celebrations culminates in a swanky soiree showcasing the past, present and future of the popular attraction housed in Vancouver’s most recognizable building. The evening features culinary creations, fine wines and cool cocktails under the geodesic dome, along with music, memories and more. Here’s to the next quarter-century.

Vancouver Home + Design Show


Cottage Life TV's Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Dorothy’s right: there’s no place like home. But arriving at the perfect living space isn’t as easy as clicking your ruby slippers. That’s where the Vancouver Home + Design Show (Oct. 16 to 19) comes in. Designers and DIYers find inspiration from over 325 exhibitors, with advice on home improvements, decor, entertaining and more. Discover pro tips from celebrity guests such as HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and Cottage Life TV’s Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan (pictured). Time for dreams to become reality.

Fall Foliage at Art Beatus


“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

“Birch Woods” by Jack Zhou

With its clear blue skies and crisp hues, autumn already tops our list of stunning seasons. Add a little imagination and the influence of Gustav Klimt, and you have the vibrantly hued landscapes of Jack Zhou. His love of colour and light shines through in Impressionist-style paintings inspired by the birch forests of northern Ontario (“Birch Woods,” pictured). See Zhou’s colourful creations in Resplendence at Art Beatus, to Nov. 7.

Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good


Support a good cause in these leggings by Daub + Design

Leggings by Daub + Design

Breast cancer is a cause close to Lexi Soukoreff’s heart. The West Coast–based textile designer, founder of activewear company Daub + Design, has watched friends and family members battle the disease. For the month of October, she’s selling one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed, pink-and-black leggings, shorts and capris in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Find them at Dream Apparel.

In the Bag


This fabulous Gucci tote helps provide education through UNICEF's Schools for Africa

This fabulous Gucci tote helps provide education through UNICEF’s Schools for Africa

Starting Oct. 8, fashionistas-with-heart can help a worthy charity and get a new bag at the same time when Holt Renfrew launches 20 limited-edition Gucci totes in python with bamboo handles. Each one retails for $2,900, and $500 of that goes to UNICEF’s Schools for Africa, which provides education to millions of African children. Consider it retail therapy at its best.

Pumpkin Patches


A pumpkin patch in Richmond readies for Halloween. (Photo:  ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/Istockphoto.com)

A pumpkin patch in Richmond readies for Halloween. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/Istockphoto.com)

Bring the whole family for fall fun such as wagon rides, petting zoos, corn mazes and, of course, pumpkin picking. Phone ahead for info on specific activities, admission fees, hours of operation and more.

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch at Gabriel Farms   
18507 20th Ave., Surrey
October 1 – 31

KJM Country Gardens
7226 Blenheim St., past 55th Ave.
October 4 – 31

Laity Pumpkin Patch
21145 128th Ave., Maple Ridge
October 4 – 31

Port Kells
18730 88th Ave., Surrey
October 1 – 31

Reynelda Farms 
2485 Westham Island Rd., Delta
October 14 – 31

Richmond Country Farms
12900 Steveston Hwy, Richmond
October 6 – 31

Southlands Farm Pumpkin Patch
6767 Balaclava St. at W. 51st Ave.
October 1 – 31

Taves Family Farms Applebarn    
333 Gladwin Rd., Abbotsford
October 1 – 31

Westham Island Herb Farm  
4690 Kirkland Rd., Delta
October 1 – 31

Notable Newbie: Boulevard Kitchen


Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

With reams of Italian marble, white oak floors and sparkling chandeliers, the newly unwrapped Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at the Sutton Place Hotel is as stylish and polished as anticipated. On the seafood-inclined menu: marine specialties with contemporary flair, such as a cornucopian seafood tower, caramelized jumbo scallops and roasted sablefish, as well as grilled rib-eye, a premium burger and more. Expect meticulous but friendly service from one of the city’s most well-honed crews.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Fond Farewell: Douglas Udell Gallery


See works such as "Paintscape" by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

See works such as “Paintscape” by Dominique Gaucher in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17

For the last 28 years, Douglas Udell Gallery has hosted contemporary Canadian artists on the celebrated South Granville strip. In October, the space bids adieu to our fair city—but not without a last hurrah. See Montreal-based Dominique Gaucher’s thought-provoking works in Hybris Nemesis, Oct. 4 to 17 (“Paintscape,” pictured). Or join art aficionados for final farewells Oct. 18 to 31 at Closing Show: Celebrating 28 Years in Vancouver. Hate saying goodbye? So do we.