Archive for the ‘Vancouver events’ Category

Top Spring Break ideas in beautiful British Columbia

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Sure, you could decide to spend spring break doing your annual domestic deep-clean. But explain that to your kids, who just heard their friends are heading out on exciting spring break escapes in regions across the province. Here are just a few excursions the whole family can enjoy:

1. Surf the coast

If you thought surfing was a uniquely southern sport, think again. The sport is booming on beach breaks in and around Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The apex is located just south of Tofino, but Ucluelet — known as Ukee by locals — is gaining a reputation as a jumping off point on the shoulder of the wave.

Lessons: Surf schools abound, with lessons starting around $75 per person per session, including board and wetsuit. Alternatively, rent a long board and suit from $15 each per day. Among the many suppliers are Live to Surf, the granddaddy of the area’s surf shops, or Canadian pro Sepp Bruhwiler’s Westside Surf.

2. Carve it up

Spring is upon us, but the snow hasn’t gone anywhere in the higher reaches. Warmer temperatures lend themselves to sun-soaked resort patios and sunburnt faces — both of which may come as a welcome change after winter. With resorts across the province, this is one activity that can be done in nearly everyone’s backyard.

Day lift passes: Consider Sun Peaks near Kamloops (adults from $79), Revelstoke ($80), Big White near Kelowna ($79), Mount Washington near Victoria ($75), or Whistler/Blackcomb near Vancouver ($115).

Lessons and equipment: Many resorts have learning sessions starting from under $60 and equipment rentals from $40. Some mountains offer package deals.

3. Swim Harrison Hot Springs

If you need to rejuvenate those sore muscles and that bone-tired soul, head to the indoor and outdoor mineral pools at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. The kids will have too much fun to interrupt your relaxation, and if you’re not a parent, don’t fret — some pools are adults only.

Admission: Access to the resort’s five pools is only for guests, with two-night spring break family packages starting from $449, and bed and breakfast from $139. If you stay elsewhere in the area there is a public hot pool in the centre of town that costs $9 per swim for adults, or about $13 for the day.

4. Flip a coin in the capital

Victoria’s mild year-round climate makes it an obvious choice for a spring getaway for the family. Wind permitting, try taking the helm of a sailboat as you brave the Strait of Juan de Fuca or round the Discovery and Chatham islands. On a calm day, opt instead for a motorized harbour tour, then one of the city’s indoor activities like the Royal BC Museum and its current exhibition on wildlife photography.

Prices: Charter a boat for a half day for $400, or for $675, take it for the day at Blackfish Sailing Adventures. Harbour tours are $22 for adults, and museum admission is $16 for adults, or $25.80 including a screening at the Imax.

5. Go for a ride

March is not always known for its blue skies, so to up your chances of fair weather, head to the Sunshine Coast and pedal some of the area’s dozens of scenic bike routes. There’s no guarantee you’ll end up with a tan, but you’ll have a great time whatever the weather, and whatever your style of riding or skill level. Should it happen to rain, there is plenty to do and explore indoors.

Costs: Ferry fees from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast are $50 per vehicle and $15 per passenger. If you’re renting bikes or want a tour, try Off the Edge Adventure Sports, where rides start at $40 per day and guided trips from $130 per person.

7. Get back into hibernation

Tired of above-ground activities? Try spelunking. Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, located just west of Parksville on Vancouver Island, is home to an explorable network of caves packed with crystal formations and fossils. The caves can be a wet at times, but caving is the kind of activity that demands getting out of your comfort zone.

Costs: Self-guided caves are open daily, and helmets with lights can be rented for $8.50 from Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre. They also offer three-hour spelunking tours for $69 for adults, with all equipment included.

8. Make your footprint

Snowshoeing is a relatively inexpensive way to see some pristine backcountry all across the province. If you simply can’t get away for spring break, take a few hours and head to your local hills. For something further flung, try Fernie in the East Kootenay region.

Costs: Rent a pair of snowshoes for around $22 a day, or head out on a tour.

8. Rediscover our coastal heritage

Haida Gwaii is far from most B.C. cities, but getting there is a key part of this serious adventure and there’s plenty to do when you arrive. Catch a ferry along the Inside Passage before BC Ferries cuts this legendary route, then cross the Hecate Strait. Once the multi-day journey is through, stretch your legs and explore Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site or visit the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay. Your family will surely remember this trip.

Fares: Ferry fees for a one-way trip from Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert, then on to Skidegate are around $175 per person and flights between Masset and Vancouver start around $250.

Source: Matt Robinson, Vancouver Sun

Top 10 romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day in Vancouver

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Lacking ideas for fun, lovey-dovey things to do this Valentine’s Day? Miranda Post at Inside Vancouver has got you covered if you fancy beer, are looking for flower alternatives or want to relive the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Check out her selection of 10 Valentine’s Day to-dos below.

Go on a neighbourhood-centric date
Are you an East end boy trying to woo a West end girl? Meet in the middle and go on a neighbourhood-centric date. Don’t know where to start? Check out these date ideas for Mt. Pleasant, Commercial Drive, North Shore and Downtown.

Channel Don and Megan Draper
It’s time to feather your finery gents or slip into that slinky little dress ladies. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver celebrates it’s 75th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the hotel is opening a swanky pop-up bar dubbed ‘The Roof’ on its top floor. Enjoy Mad Men-era cocktails with your arm candy under the green copper roof starting February 14.

Don’t be a tart
Just eat one. From February 10-14, Hawksworth and Bel Cafe’s pastry chef Wayne Kozinko is producing Valentine’s Day inspired raspberry chocolate tarts. The tarts are a perfect finish to a decadent dinner or a to-go item to surprise your food-focused guy or gal at home. The pretty little cups are layered with Valrhona Caraibe dark chocolate, a tangy raspberry creme, another namelaka or daub of Valrhona, fresh raspberries and a white chocolate heart.

Relive the Vancouver 2010 Olympics courtesy of Edible Canada
From February 14-16, Edible Canada House will host a 2010-esque, Olympic-style house party under the Granville Bridge in their 2nd annual Festival Under the Bridge. Watch Canadian athletes vie for gold as you sample nouveau Canuck cuisine like bison chilli or beef brisket and maple flapjacks. Got wee tykes? They’re welcome too and could leave tuckered out with painted faces if the Granville Island Toy Company has anything to do with it.

I’m on a boat!
Can’t afford to charter a yacht? Try an Aquabus tour instead. Bring a thermos full of something warm, a snack and hop on an Aquabus. They travel between the WestEnd, Granville Island, Science World and Edgewater Casino. Ships ahoy lovers!

Feast on Fruits de Mer
Every February Blue Water Cafe and Rawbar chef Frank Pabst creates a menu of unsung heroes. Urchin, mackerel, herring, sea cucumber and whelk all populate the menu this year. It will be a delicious and do-gooder style Valentine’s Day, 10% of all proceeds support the Vancouver Aquarium’s Oceanwise program.

Give your sweetheart an Archimallow bouquet

Located in Holt Renfrew’s H Project, Archimallows satiates Vancouver’s newest dessert love affair: flavoured, handmade marshmallows. Instead of that bouquet of tired roses grab your sweetheart an edible bouquet of Archimallows. Archimallow ‘stems’ are $3 each and come with three marshmallows on each in flavours like champagne, strawberry cream, lemon or vanilla.

Check out a former SYTYCD choreographer
If only my friends Gayle and Chris lived in Vancouver. They’re two of my most athletic (read: super jock) friends who are also die hard fans of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). If they did live here, I would take them to go see SYTYCD choreographer Peter Chu perform at Dances for a Small Stage 30 from February 13-15 at the Ukranian Centre of East 10th Street.

Drink Beer
Brewery tours are a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Don’t feel like walking or transiting through Vancouver and beyond on the hunt for the perfect mug of hoppy deliciousness? Then book you and your date a chauffeured brewery tour, sit back and sample as many frothy brews as you like.

Indulge in ethical Eastside Chocolate
Nothing makes lovers feel more warm and fuzzy knowing that their Valentine’s day gift is both yummy and ethical. East Van Roasters is awesome for two reasons: they employ ladies from the Rainer Hotel in a program that provides training in the art of chocolate making and their goods are organic. East Van Roasters has crafted a variety of single-origin chocolate treats just in time for Valentine’s Day. Flavours include: Pistachio Rose or Cayenne Toffee and Fennel.

Bonus: Catch a free Concert
Every Thursday and Friday throughout this month CBC hosts its free concert series, the CBC Toque Sessions, in Studio One. Check out Juno award-winning Blackie and the Rodeo Kings February 14.

Satisfy your curiosity with a look inside Vancouver’s most modern homes

Friday, August 30th, 2013

How many times have you driven by “that” house, and wondered what’s inside? Find out on Saturday, September 14, when some of Vancouver’s most creative homeowners, architects and designers are opening their doors to you as part of the 2013 Vancouver Modern Home Tour!

What’s a MODERN home? We’ve scoured the area and had creative homeowners, designers, architects and builders submit some of the most interesting Vancouver residences. We’ve curated them to ensure a well-balanced tour featuring the most cutting-edge contemporary design that takes advantage of the stunning landscape.

Purchase advance tickets for $30 to get into all of the homes on the tour. Advance tickets are on sale until 8:00 pm on Friday, September 13. Day of event tickets will be available at any of the tour properties beginning at 11:00 am on September 14 for $40 each. Advance tickets may be picked up at specified will call locations (3 of the homes on the tour) beginning at 11:00 am on September 14.

Here’s a list of the participating homes.

Don’t miss the music, food and cultural festival at Winterruption this weekend!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Get rid of the rainy blahs and get yourself down to Granville Island this weekend for the 8th annual Winterruption festival-palooza!

Parlez-Vous Français? You won’t need to speak the language to enjoy Vive Vendredi! a celebration of Francophone flavours, comedy, cinema and music! Savour French food and wine tastings, Juste Pour Rire stand-up comedy, bilingual artists and performers.

Hungry? Street Eats & Beats, featuring Vancouver’s top food trucks, a live dj and local beverages will be under the Granville Street Bridge for two nights only, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $35.

Granville Island loves kids! Visit the Kids Zone to make a mask or make music. Clown around with Ben la Barouette, sing along with Will Stroet and his Backyard Band, and join Mortal Coil’s colourful towering stiltwalkers and The Brotherhood of Brass Band as they wind their way through the streets of Granville Island.

At Performance Works, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society presents amazing music all weekend long.

Love original, local art? You’ll want to spend all weekend visiting exhibits and touring artists’ studios. Join [ART]ifacts: The Granville Island Story, a tour exploring art and culture through a mosaic of eye-catching, unique, historic and innovative creations. Red Hot Press is presented by Dundarave Print Workshop in the Net Loft, Western Canada’s oldest artist run cooperative printmaking studio and gallery, and Emily Carr University along with Opus Art Supplies offer tours and workshops all weekend.

The Island is alive with theatre and dance. See where the magic begins – behind the scenes – in the costume and production shop. Expect the unexpected as some of Vancouver’s favourite dancers pop up in unusual spaces all over the Island, or take the little ones to Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat presented by Carousel Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre.

For further information, please see Winterruption Granville Island.

Renew, Refresh, Renovate at this year’s BC Home + Garden Show

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The BC Home & Garden Show takes place this year from February 20th-24th.

The BC Home + Garden Show is the most trusted resource for every home improvement project, inside and out. Enjoy five days of insight and inspiration for making every house a home, featuring HGTV stars like Bryan Baeumler of Leave It To Bryan, Paul Lafrance from Decked Out and Vancouver’s own Philip DuMoulin & Sarah Daniels of Urban Suburban, 425 retailers and a full line-up of new features, all under one roof.

OPENING NIGHT is Wednesday, February 20th, 4pm – 9pm where the show kicks off with a night of perks, refreshments and entertainment tailored to every designing woman. Start at the Home Cooking Stage and catch the SHAW Cooking with Fire Chili Cook-off featuring the kitchen talents of firefighters from across the Lower Mainland, then stick around for a ladies-only beer tasting seminar presented by Just Here for the Beer. Add lots of female-friendly social media giveaways, free swag bags for the first 100 show-goers and plenty of surprises!

Don’t miss Family-friendly on Thursday, Spring Fashion Show on Saturday, Around the World in Eight Gardens, artwork, Portobello West, and so much more!

For further information, please see BC Home & Garden Show.

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