What to do in BC this week
Join the 9th Annual B.C. Cultural Crawl - Aug 1-31
Sure, Canada is a young country, but that doesn’t mean we lack for culture. Underscoring the point is the ninth annual B.C. Cultural Crawl, a cross-community arts extravaganza taking place across the province from August 1 to 31. More than 80 communities — from Nanaimo, Nelson and Nanoose Bay to Kamloops, Quesnel and Coquitlam — celebrate their unique cultural footprints in an array of events open to the public, including music, theatre, dance and visual arts.
Attend a Tibetan Feast - August 21
Earlier this year, Tibet suffered a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people and injured several thousand more. Now the Tibetan Cultural Society of Vancouver Island is lending a proverbial hand by hosting a Tibetan Feast on August 21 at Si’em Lelum Gym (5574 River Road) on the Cowichan Tribes land in Duncan. Everyone is invited to drop by and enjoy some Tibetan-style food, tea and live music from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help raise funds for the victims of this natural disaster. Tickets are $25 per person, with further information available by calling 250-748-6028.
Fill up at the Okanagan Feast of Fields - August 22
You don’t have to go too far afield to enjoy farm-fresh food. Just head to Okanagan Feast of Fields on August 22 for a gourmet food festival that showcases the best of B.C.’s bounty, courtesy of chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers and food artisans from across the province. Held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Brock Farm in Okanagan Falls, this 16th annual fundraiser for FarmFolk/CityFolk is guaranteed to delight gastronomes by serving up the cream of the crop in the form of an alfresco feast backed by the sounds of live music. Tickets are $85 per person, $15 for children aged 7 to 12 and free for kids 6 and under.
Enjoy a Free CBC Lunchtime Concert - Wednesdays until August 25
Who says nothing in life is free? Tell that to CBC Vancouver, now injecting a little more harmony into your lunch hour with a free lineup of live concerts every Wednesday until August 25. Check it out from noon to 1 p.m. at CBC’s outdoor plaza (700 Hamilton Street, between Robson & Georgia) to enjoy a fresh slate of local talent. Up this week? Joanna Chapman-Smith, a Canadian singer-songwriter who is winning raves (and legions of fans, both here and abroad) for her signature take on folk-style jazz.
See an Outdoor Movie at the Commercial Drive Summer Cinema in the Parks - August 25
It’s been eons since Back to the Future, 1985’s biggest blockbuster, graced the big screen, but this time-travel tale starring Burnaby’s Michael J. Fox is guaranteed to keep you on the edge-of-your-DeLorean-seat when it unspools August 25 as the finale film in the Commercial Drive Summer Cinema in the Parks, an initiative by the district’s Business Improvement Society. This fundraising film festival, starting at 9 p.m., is free to the public, with proceeds from concession sales and non-perishable food donations earmarked for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, now stocking up its food shelves for winter. Don’t forget to visit the concession table to enter to win dinner and a movie on the Drive, too.
Walk with Dinosaurs at Rogers Arena - Aug 26-29
A show 65 million years in the making, Walking with Dinosaurs brings the Jurassic-era giants to Rogers Arena, formerly GM Place, (800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver) from August 26 to 29. And don’t think you’ll be seeing mere static statues — but rather "highly realistic, life-sized robotic dinosaurs walking around the floor of the arena." Barring any miraculous breakthroughs in DNA engineering, it’s likely the closest we’ll ever get (In this lifetime at least) to bringing Michael Crichton’s vision of Jurassic Park to life. In all, the touring attraction — which has been seen by nearly four million North Americans since 2007 — includes 17 dinosaurs, including a baby Tyrannosaurus-Rex, whose super-sized fangs won’t exactly inspire your parental instincts. For more details or tickets, visit Ticketmaster or call 604-280-3311.
See Tanya Tucker in Concert - August 27
Tanya Tucker might not be getting as much press these days as fellow country queens Taylor Swift and Shania Twain, but she’s still got a voice that can belt out twangy tunes with the best of ’em. Get a reminder on August 27 when the award-winning country artist, whose heyday of hits made her one of the top acts of the ’70s and ’80s, takes the stage at the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond) for a one-night show where she’ll roll out all her Top 40 numbers, including "Lizzie and the Rainman," "San Antonio Stroll" and "Down to My Last Teardrop." Purchase tickets, priced at $49.50 and $59.50, by visiting Ticketmaster or calling 604-280-4444.
See the Fireworks Display at Butchart Gardens - Saturdays until Aug 28
Not much can outshine the summer flowers at The Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay), but the on-site fireworks show just might come a close second. Every summer Saturday until August 28, visitors can finish off their day among the flowers with a nighttime fireworks display whose kaleidoscope of colours just about overshadows those on the 55-acre grounds. Another option? Seafaring naturalists can take a 45-minute eco-friendly tour onboard a 12-passenger electric boat to explore the history and wildlife of Tod Inlet and the waters of Brentwood Bay, until September 15. For more information call 250-652-5256.
Go Horseback Riding - this summer
Yee-haw! You’ll almost feel like you’ve been transported back to the Wild West when you hop aboard the horses at Glen Valley Stables (8045-252nd. Street, Fort Langley). The ranch offers one- to two-hour trail rides that’ll guarantee city slickers a great time — along with a requisite sore rear. Experienced riders who are eager to get back in the saddle again can visit Glen Valley Stables or call 604-888-5516 for more information. And if you’ve only ever ridden horses of the carousel kind, don’t worry, beginners can sign up for introductory lessons for $30 per half-hour, a semi-private one-hour lesson for $35 or a one-hour private lesson for $40.
Go Whale Watching - this summer
Wild about whales? Board a boat at Wild Whales Vancouver on Granville Island (1806 Mast Tower Road) and journey from the busy Vancouver cityscape out into the Gulf of Georgia and beyond in search of the southern resident orca pods. You can borrow the onboard binoculars or even eavesdrop on the underwater hydrophones while scanning the waves for a glimpse of nature’s most stunning whale. And bonus: if you don’t spot one, you’ll get to ride again for free on this three- to seven-hour tour at a time of your choosing. For reservations on this tour, running until October 31, call 604-699-2011 or visit Wild Whales Vancouver.
Take Your Kids to Funland - this summer
School bells will soon be ringing again, so, parents, you don’t have much longer to make the summer holidays kickin’ for your kids. But don't stress — your mission can be accomplished at Funland, a suburban theme park located across from Cultus Lake Waterpark (4150 Columbia Valley Hwy.). Little ones can enjoy paddleboats, train rides and mini-golf, along with treehouse games, an interactive maze and a giant ball room. And did we mention it's also home to Frosty's Ice Cream Parlour, which scoops up 50 delicious flavours? For more information, on the park, open daily until September 6, call 604-858-3457.
Retreat to Okanagan Wine Country - anytime
What inspired the name of God’s Mountain Estate (4898 Lakeside/Eastside Road, Penticton)? Maybe it’s because this charming, family-owned bed-and-breakfast is situated in God’s country — on a cliffside vineyard overlooking Skaha Lake, no less. What’s more, the 115-acre retreat offers guests a rustic, Mediterranean-style escape smack in the heart of Okanagan wine country. Romantics will love the Roofless Room, outfitted with a canopy bed, hot tub, pots of fresh lavender and an unobstructed view of the night sky, while gourmands will be tempted by the Winery Series Dinners on Thursdays and four-course alfresco feasts on Sundays. For further details, call 250-490-4800.