What to do in BC this week
Dare to be Scared at Enchanted Halloween - October 28-30
Trust the city of Victoria, known as "the most haunted place in the Pacific Northwest," to be home to one of B.C.’s best Halloween attractions. Every October, fear-mongers flock to Heritage Acres (7321 Lochside Drive, Saanichton) for a fright-fest full of costumed performers, live music and artistic installations, all eerily backlit by flickering pumpkins and old-fashioned lanterns. Dare to be scared? Catch Enchanted Halloween from October 28 to 30, with pre-booking strongly recommended.
Be Dazzled at the Starlight Gala - October 29
Putting the "fun" in fundraiser, the 13th annual Starlight Gala in support of the Richmond Hospital Foundation’s Emergency Department Fund, is a black-tie bash featuring a champagne reception, a decadent five-course dinner, silent and live auctions plus live entertainment. This do-gooding gala, hosted by Citytv’s Dawn Chubai, takes place on October 29 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight at River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Rd, Richmond).
Get the Scoop on Anthony Bourdain - October 29
Dubbed “the bad boy of cuisine,” Anthony Bourdain — chef, best-selling author and host of the Emmy nominated TV series No Reservations — steps out from behind the stove to visit The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts (777 Homer St, Vancouver) on October 29 at 8 p.m. The famously candid culinary king, who’s known for skewering fellow celebrity chefs, will dish on his life’s work and travels then open up the floor for a Q&A with the crowd.
Join the Secret Souls Walk - October 29
Spooked by spectres? Don’t let that stop you from joining the Secret Souls Walk in East Vancouver on October 29. After all, there’s safety in numbers, and more than 60,000 thrill-seekers are expected to turn out for this ghoulish guided tour that meanders through decorated streets, alleys and green spaces teeming with dancers, musicians, stilt-walkers and street performers. Go online on the day of the event to uncover the secret meeting location.
Have a Harry Potter Halloween - October 29-30
Is there a Muggle among us who hasn’t been enchanted by the world of Harry Potter? Good news: Witch and wizard wannabes are invited to break out their wands at Kilby Historic Site (215 Kilby Rd, Harrison Mills) for a Harry Potter Halloween on October 29 and 30. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., guests can enjoy a day of Hogwart’s-inspired fun that includes strolling down Diagon Alley, attending a Potions class and even playing a game of Quidditch.
Take Your Tot to the Victoria Toy Show - October 30
Tots love toys. That’s as universal a truth as, say, death or taxes. So imagine how happy they’ll be if you trot them off to the Victoria Toy Show, taking place on October 30 at Mary Winspear Centre (2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney). Don’t expect to be there for a brief browse, though, ‘cause you’ll find over a hundred tables stacked with everything from dolls and dinky toys to collectibles and comics to barbies and beanies. After all, there’s a reason it’s considered the "biggest toy show in Western Canada."
Help Out the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - October 30
It’s said money is the root of all evil, but we beg to differ — especially when it comes to supporting causes like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Donations are desperately needed to help kick this debilitating disease to the curb, and you can help by shelling out $25 for admission to the Backstage Lounge (1585 Johnston St, Vancouver), site of an October 30 fundraiser featuring live music by David Hay and House Arrest. For tickets, call Marnie Wilson at 604-836-2409. Tax-deductible donations are also gratefully accepted.
Get into the Spirit at Yaletown Trick or Treat - October 31
You know how Yaletowners are always running around dressed to the nines? Expect the same on October 31 — except that many of them will be swapping the high-end couture for Halloween costumes. Parents and kids from all over the Lower Mainland are invited to Yaletown Trick or Treat to scare up some goodies at participating merchants, including the Hamilton Street Grill, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. First stop: Roundhouse Community Centre to pick up a route map.
Improve Your Health at Vitamin D Day - November 2
Are you feeling D-prived? You’re not alone: Most Canadians — especially rain-plagued Vancouverites — have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D. That’s scary because studies suggest deficient amounts of this “sunshine vitamin” puts us at greater risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, depression and even the flu. So protect yourself by picking up free samples, coupons and info at the second annual Vitamin D Day on November 2 at Choices Markets in Vancouver and various SkyTrain stations.
Catch a Flick at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival - November 3-6
Where better than a place called International Village (88 W. Pender St, Vancouver) to stage an ethnic extravaganza like the 15th annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival? Unspooling from November 3 to 6, this cinematic showcase celebrates diversity in film through the work of independent North American-Asian filmmakers. Catch everything from shorts and feature films to animation and documentaries — something to suit all attention spans, at Cinemark Tinseltown.
Sample Ocean Wise Fare at Toast to the Coast - November 4
The Vancouver Aquarium (845 Avison Way) is always a good bet for delivering a great time. That’s especially true on November 4 when 500 food and wine lovers will be raising a glass for Toast to the Coast, a gala fundraiser to support the Aquarium’s conservation, education and research efforts. From 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., you can nibble on canapés from leading Ocean Wise restaurants, sample the best of B.C.’s local wines and tap your toes to live music, all for $85 per person.
Enjoy a Treat at Thierry - anytime
Why should kids get all the treats this Halloween? Grownups can satisfy their sweet tooth at Thierry (1059 Alberni St, Vancouver), a new chocolaterie and pâtisserie that’s equal parts café, shop and atelier. The best part? It features the finest fare of Thierry Busset, known as “one of the best pastry chefs in the world.” Plus, this high-end dessert den is fully licensed so you can enjoy both sweets and savouries over a snifter of Cognac, a sip of spirited liquid chocolate or a glass of wine.