Canada 150! Where to Celebrate Canada Day 2017

After a year long build up Canada 150 celebrations reach their peak this weekend.  With Canada Day, July 1st falling on Saturday there’s plenty of time to relax after your celebrations. Here’s a few of the events happening around Metro Vancouver this Canada Day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Canada Day at Canada Place: 9:45am – 10pm July 1 / 8:30am – 6:30pm July 2 Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and Canada Place Way.
For Canada 150, Western Canada’s largest celebrations spread over two days, July 1 & 2, featuring the Canada Day parade, Citizenship Ceremony, Canadian Forces Displays, Kids Zones, Pancake Breakfast, five Concert Stages with Sam Roberts, FEFE, Emerson Drive, Hey Ocean!, Dragonette and more.

 

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

Canada Day Fireworks: 10:30pm two barges; Coal Harbour off Canada Place and off shore of Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver
Ticketed viewing available on Canadian Trail at Canada Place, tickets $15 open from 8:30pm
Best free viewing locations; Coal Harbour, Vancouver Convention Centre, Stanley Park (near 9 o’clock gun), Crab Park or Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver.

Canada Day on Granville Island: All-Day Granville Island
Fun and festivities for the whole family fill Granville Island on Canada Day. First Nations performers, Buskers, Parade, Kayak demonstrations, Lobster Man Cook Out, Water Park & Picnic Areas, Kids Market activities, Artisan Markets, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival performances throughout the day.

North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations: noon – 4pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Artisan Craft Market, Food Trucks, Kids Play Area, and performances including Lions Gate Chorus, Axé Capoeira, Pro Arté, Mazacote, and many more.

North Vancouver Canada 150 Evening: 6:30pm – 10:30pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Canada 150 event sponsored by Rotary Club of Lions Gate featuring a free concert with Dreams; Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band and Arrival; Abba Tribute Band plus Tom Lanvin & the Legendary Powder Blues Band. After, watch the Canada Day Fireworks

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum: 11am – 4:30pm Burnaby Village Museum
A historic Canada Day deserves a day with history, experience how things were done in the 1920s with photo stops, RCMP Red Serge, entertainment from Coast Salish Singers and Dancers, Tian-Jin Temple Drummers, Kokomo African Heritage Ensemble, Acadamie Duello, and much more

Canada 150 at Queen’s Park: 11:30am – 3:30pm Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Art, music, demonstrations, displays and activities for the whole family at Queens Park. Plus evening Fireworks at 10pm on the Fraser River between River Market and Inn at the Quay.

Richmond Canada Day in Steveston: 10:00am – 10:30pm Steveston Village, Richmond
Combined with Steveston Salmon Festival, the village is packed with food trucks, entertainment and activities.  The Concert Stage features Wintersleep, Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Youngblood, DJ Seko, Watasun and more. Then Fireworks Show along the Steveston Waterfront at 10:15pm

Canada Day Surrey: 10am – 10:30pm Bill Reid Amphitheatre, Surrey.
Amusement Rides, Toddler Town & Kids Zone, Strawberry Tea, Demos, Sports Zone, plus day-long concerts stage featuring Chilliwack, Magic!, Hedley and many more wrapping up the day with Fireworks at 10:30pm

The Winter’s Tale Opens at Bard on the Beach

This week, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale joined the schedule at Bard On The Beach.  Director Dean Paul Gibson, a Bard veteran, has crafted a classic interpretation of the complex play.  Part tragedy, part romance, part comedy, the production is divided into two acts, two eras and two locations.

The Winter’s Tale

Opening in Sicilia, the simple staging finds five columns serving duty to form the multiple locations within the island. Designer Pam Johnson’s stripped down set allows the graceful Greco-Roman costuming, by Carmen Alatorre, to shine, bringing a regal air to the court of Leontes, King of Sicilia (Kevin MacDonald). Noble woman Paulina, charismatically played by the multiple Jessie Award-winning Lois Anderson, serves as narrator and a central player moving the play through its 16 year narrative.   The rest first act plays out like a typical tragedy; lust, jealousy, betrayal, judgement, death all rear their heads.

Act two move ahead 16 years and begins in Bohemia, focusing on the homeland of King Polixenes, also the mood of the play shifts greatly, from the tragic first act. In the rural, free-spirited setting of Bohemia, The Winter’s Tale becomes much lighter and comedic as we meet Autolycus, played by Ben Elliott in a slapstick turn reminiscent of Jim Carrey.  The Shepherd and Son also provide lighthearted diversion, from the more romantic act, as do their sheep and farm maids.  The Second act also brought music into the production, with Autolycus, Prince Florizel and his beloved Perdita all add songs, to varying effectiveness.  Shifting back to Sicily, the final scenes of The Winter’s Tale tie the stories together and bring the play back to the beginning and the end.

While Lois Anderson shines as the anchor of the play, the whole company of The Winter’s Tale fit nicely into their characters and believably carry the regal roles and costumes.  While nearly 3 hours, Dean Paul Gibson has kept The Winter’s Tale moving, entertaining and visually appealing that it doesn’t feel long.

The Winter’s Tale alternates with Much Ado About Nothing on the BMO Mainstage at Bard On The Beach until September 22, 2017.

Introducing Adult-Only Playland Nights for 2017

Have you ever visited Playland and felt the dilemma of having to choose between sitting in the beer garden or enjoying fairgrounds? This July you no longer have to choose, with the introduction of Playland Nights : Adult-Only Friday Nights.

Now your only choice is what pairs best with craft beer – Beaver Tails or mini-donuts? Will you have red or white wine with your corn dog? Throughout July, Playland Nights – the first ever adult-only Friday nights run from 7 pm to midnight.  

Kicking off Friday, July 7, then every Friday for the month, Playland will host evenings dedicated to adults-only, complete with craft beer, wine, Playland themed cocktails like a candy floss martini, and fresh squeezed hard lemonade, food, midway games and of course, the exhilarating rides.

The whole Playland grounds will be licensed so 19+ guests can enjoy their favourite beverage anywhere onsite instead of being confined behind the walls of a beer garden. Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition says, “we are thrilled to offer this new addition to our Playland schedule for the first time this year. We strive to continue to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy Playland and we are sure these 19+ nights will be a huge success.”

Guest DJ’s, axe throwing, special activations and more will accompany the already exciting features Playland offers.  Advance tickets are $26 ($29 at the gate) and include unlimited access to 25+ rides and attractions around the Park.

Tickets for Playland Nights are on sale now online at: ticketleader.ca/events/playland-nights

Picks of the Week – June 21, 2017

Finally, Summer is upon us, with the long days that gives us more time for more picks of the week

Comedy: It’s Thursday Night Live when SNL comedian Michael Che takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre

Seeds: Australian act Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds bring down under to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday night

Tents:  Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing is playing now and The Winter’s Tale comes to the tents starting Thursday night.

Rhythm: West Coast Hip Hoppers Jurassic 5 bring their unique brand of hip hop to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday and Saturday nights.

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Roar: The BC Lions 2017 regular season home schedule kicks off with Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place on Saturday night.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company has a pair of shows on now; Million Dollar Quartet at The Stanley Stage, extended until July 16th, Hand To God at The Goldcorp Stage, until June 25th and Bittergirl The Musical running until July 29th at Granville Island Stage

Ring: The WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour comes to Rogers Arena on Saturday night

Artifacts: The Museum of Vancouver has a quirky, exhibition running throughout the summer, Unbelievable demonstrating the stories behind some unique artifacts

Van Foodster’s Tasting Plates Stadium District coming July 12

The next in Vancouver Foodster’s busy summer of foodie events is, Tasting Plates – Stadium District.  The ever evolving and steadily growing neighbourhood is oft forgotten except during events at Rogers Arena or BC Place but there are plenty of tasty spots to visit year-round.

Roughly centred on Cambie & Robson, to Expo Blvd and Abbott Street, grab your friends and join other food fans as they explore the ‘hood on July 12 from 6pm to 10pm.  More than just pizza joints or fast food places to grab on the way to a concert or game, the area offers everything from fine dining to ethnic fusion cafes.  The line-up for Tasting Plates – Stadium District is still being finalized but a few restaurants have started planning their tasting plates and cups to show the tasting platers what their chefs and teams can create.

Signed up so far are:

  • Hendricks Resto-Lounge, 433 Robson (in Westin Grand Hotel)
  • Papparoti, 193 Keefer Street
  • Stretch Roman Pizza, 415 Abbott Street

More restaurants will be added in the coming weeks.

Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite:
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person before June 30, 2017
Advance Tickets $45 per person after June 30, 2017
Regular $60 per person after July 9, 2017

For more information visit tastingplatesyvr.com

TUTS 2017 season brings laughter to Malkin Bowl

Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) returns July 7th for another summer of entertaining Vancouverites with world-class theatre at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. This season, Mary Poppins & The Drowsy Chaperone, join the ranks of performances performed at the iconic outdoor bandshell since the 1940s.  Surrounded by nature the tranquil setting will be contrast by the stage’s alternating productions; one, an iconic family musical starring an ever so enchanting nanny; the other, a riotous Broadway sensation and tribute to the Roaring Twenties. 

“Last year was our most successful summer on record – more than 45,000 guests passed through our gates!” says Naveen Kapahi, TUTS Board President. “In 2017, we will build on this momentum by putting our patrons in the talented hands of two of the Lower Mainland’s most celebrated directors. Shel Piercy will follow-up last summer’s epic Beauty and the Beast with Mary Poppins; and we are thrilled to welcome Capilano University’s theatre luminary Gillian Barber as director of The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Mary Poppins photo: Tim Matheson

Mary Poppins, one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, filled with it’s family-friendly story and memorable songs finds the practically perfect nanny open up her carpet bag of tricks as she teach the Banks family a lesson or two about love & imagination.  Favourites like ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’, and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ are brought to life with with brand-new dance numbers and staging.

Making her TUTS debut as Mary Poppins is Ranae Miller who is joined by Victor Hunter (Bert), returning following his hilarious portrayal as Lumière in 2016’s Beauty and the Beast. Mr. & Mrs. Banks are played by Russell Roberts and Lalainia Lindbjerg-Strelau. Nine-year-old TUTS newcomer Nolen Dubuc performs as Michael Banks alongside 11-year-old Lola Marshall (Jane Banks) taking part in her third TUTS production.

If director Shel Piercy, along with choreographer Nicol Spinola, and musical director Wendy Bross Stuart, can replicate the spectacle of last summer’s Beauty and the Beast, TUTS may have another record-breaking season.

The Drowsy Chaperone photo: Tim Matheson

On alternating nights, The Drowsy Chaperone, bursts forth with show-stopping song and dance and the energy of its Roaring Twenties setting. The Canadian musical parody & five-time Tony Award-winner takes audiences away on a Jazz Age journey of love, laughter, and libation.

Alone in his modest, one-bedroom apartment, a musical theatre fan puts on his treasured cast recording. As the record spins, the colourful & chaotic characters of a fictitious 1928 musical spring to life – filling his living room with all manner of movie stars, gangsters, divas, and more.

Starring as Man in Chair is five-time Jessie Award-winner Shawn Macdonald who takes the stage with TUTS newcomer and lauded actor Caitriona Murphy (The Drowsy Chaperone) as well as Shannon Hanbury, who makes her ninth TUTS appearance as Janet van de Graaff.  Joining them are Stuart Barkley (Robert Martin), Blake Sartin (George), and Dimitrios Stephanoy as the Latin lothario Aldolpho.

Directed by Gillian Barber, The Drowsy Chaperone features choreography by Shelley Stewart Hunt, with musical direction by Kevin Michael Cripps.

Theatre Under The Stars: Mary Poppins & The Drowsy Chaperone take the stage at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, 610 Pipeline Road, on alternating evenings starting July 7 running to August 19, 2017
Showtime at 8pm, except on Fireworks Nights, July 29, August 2, August 5, when shows begin at 7pm

Tickets are available online at tuts.ca from $30 – $49

Hotel Calipolis – Sitges, Spain

On our recent vacation to the UK, we took a few days out to get some sun in Sitges, Spain, a quaint beachfront town on the Costa Barcelona.
Renowned for it’s 17 beaches, for our first visit we wanted to stay on the beachfront and selected Hotel Calipolis, and we’re pleased we did.

Hotel Calipolis; Sitges, Spain

Located centrally along the Passeig Maritim, Hotel Calipolis is a spacious, modern hotel, with plenty of amenities to make any stay more than comfortable.  Even though you won’t be spending a lot of time in them, the bright rooms, mostly with water views, are large and comfortable. The big balconies connect guests with the fresh air, retractable screens filter the beaming Mediterranean sun to allow the windows to be open all hours.

From the sumptuous breakfast buffet in the Mirador Restaurant, full of fresh local flavours and breakfast staples to the sunny, pool-side Terrace Bar the Hotel’s five restaurants, bars and lounges keep guests satiated throughout the day.  Passeig Maritim is filled with restaurants so there’s plenty of dining and drinking options nearby when you want to venture away from Hotel Calipolis.

The Hotel’s many meeting rooms were busy during our stay, businesses taking advantage of the quieter shoulder season to have conferences and meetings away from the big cities.  The small but well equipped fitness centre lets you get a workout before meetings or hitting the beach, across the street.  If, like during our stay, the wind picks up at the beach, move to the sheltered but sun-filled pool deck to work on your tan.

The Hotel’s location, 15 minutes walk from the train station, allowed us to easily explore the town’s central streets and the beautiful beach promenade.  Being about 30 minutes by train from Barcelona-El Prat Airport, and 40 minutes from the heart of Barcelona city centre, makes a visit to the City easy too.  We look forward to making another, and longer, visit to Sitges and Hotel Calipolis will be on top of our accommodation options.

Hotel Calipolis is located at the corner of Av Sofia and Passeig Maritim in Sitges, Spain.

Visit hotelcalipolis.com for more information.