From haunted maze walks to immersive theatre and more, here are our top picks for October
1. Maan Farms Haunted Attractions – now until Monday, October 31
Maan FarmsNot for the faint of heart, Maan Farms invites guests to experience spooky attractions that include full-contact haunted experiences; a hooded haunt (guests must place a fabric hood on their heads before entering); and of course, Canada's scariest corn maze where "guests will run for their lives as the flesh-eating pigs are unleashed to feast upon those who fall behind." Before you buy tickets, ask yourself one very important question: Can you handle it?
790 McKenzie Rd Abbotsford; Tickets from $40; Details online
2. Pumpkins After Dark – now until Monday, October 31
Facebook/Pumpkins After Dark BurnabyThis award-winning outdoor Halloween event features more than 6,000 hand-carved pumpkins in a one-of-a-kind walk-through experience. Explore the magical pathway decorated with lit pumpkin sculptures and displays, classic Halloween characters, dinosaurs and dragons, as well as movie and pop culture icons, with music, sounds and special effects. This family-friendly event has something for everyone and is sure to become your new fall tradition.
Swangard Stadium and Central Park, Burnaby; From $17.95; Details online
3. The Café – Tuesday, October 11 to Saturday, October 22
Photo Credit: Chelsey StuytFollowing the cancellation of all shows due to COVID earlier this year, ITSAZOO Productions and Aphotic Theatre in partnership with PuSh present the hotly anticipated world premiere of The Café, inviting audiences to be voyeurs of seven intimate conversations set within a working Vancouver coffee shop (Kafka's on Great Northern Way). The production is a day-in-the-life exploration of the cultural mosaic of a Vancouver coffee shop and touches on themes of loneliness, racism, depression, marital tension, sexual identity and love. Audiences of up to 40 people per performance are encouraged to sit at or near one of seven "performance tables" and watch the play unfold. Structured as a narrative "choose-your-own-adventure," audiences can decide in which order to watch each scene, as they repeat several times throughout the evening performance.
Kafka’s (577 Great Northern Way); Tickets from $15; Details online
4. Whistler Writers Festival – Thursday, October 13 to Sunday, October 16
Facebook/Whistler Writers FestivalBack for its 21st instalment, the Whistler Writers Festival returns in-person and online, and features the best local, Canadian and international writers. With 13 author reading events, the festival includes favourites like the Booklovers’ Literary Salon, the Literary Cabaret, the Thrills and Chills Mystery and Crime Writers Panel, plus the Saturday Night Gala, featuring Iain Reid and Méira Cook. They've also introduced some exciting new features, including an event called Sharing Traditions: An Evening of Oral Storytelling with Indigenous storytellers Tsawaysia Spukwus and Tanina Williams.
Various locations; Details online
5. Bad Parent – Thursday, October 13 to Sunday, October 23
Photo Credit: Emily CooperThis fall, the Cultch theatre will be presenting deep conversations from some of Canada’s best playwrights including Ins Choi, the creator of the hit CBC sitcom and play Kim’s Convenience and the mind behind Bad Parent, an honest, no-holds-barred portrait of young parents struggling to find their way. The story follows Norah and Charles as they try to navigate their lives as parents of a toddler, all while still trying to figure out who they are in relation to their son, to each other and to the audience.
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (Vancouver); Tickets from $29; Details online
6. Pitch: Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival – Friday, October 14 to Sunday, October 16
Vancouver Outsider Arts FestivalHead to the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown this October for the sixth annual Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival. Showcasing pieces from visual and performing artists from all over Metro Vancouver, this year's festival will focus on self-identified "outsider" artists—established artists who often face social barriers to showing their work in mainstream spaces and markets.
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews); Details online
7. The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour – Friday, October 14 to Monday, October 31
Facebook/Forbidden Vancouver Walking ToursFollowing the lamplight of your guide, the popular Lost Souls of Gastown Tour is a unique performance theatre experience where audiences will explore the back streets and alleyways of Victorian Gastown. The one-person play weaves together the fictional account of an early Gastown resident with the most gothic real-life stories from our city's earliest history, and is led by one of the company's cast of professional actors, dressed in period costume as if they just stepped out of the 1890s.
Outside Buro Coffee – 356 Water Street, Gastown; $32 per person; Details online
8. Vancouver Fall Home Show – Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23
Facebook/Vancouver Home ShowsReturning for its 40th year with Canada’s favourite designers, renovators and experts, Vancouver's Fall Home Show will showcase this season’s top trends to transform your space. Must-see presenters include Sebastian Clovis, renovator and host of HGTV Canada’s Gut Job; Tiffany Pratt, designer, author and co-host of Food Network’s Project Bake-Over and designer on multiple HGTV Canada shows; plus Megan Golightly, professional organizer and owner of GoSimplified. Show-goers can also expect to hear from local experts who will offer advice and insight to elevate and inspire any project.
Vancouver Convention Centre; Tickets from $8; Details online
9. Heart of the City Festival – Wednesday, October 26 to Sunday, November 6
Facebook/Heart of the City FestivalThe 19th annual Downtown Eastside (DTES) Heart of the City Festival features more than 100 events and includes 12 days of live and online events. The theme this year is 'Community Is Our Mentor' in response to the extreme stress the DTES continues to be under. The focus of the festival will be on listening and learning from the lived wisdom and cultural practices of community organizations, artists and ancestors—and engaging the transformative power of story, song, music, film, theatre, dance, visual arts and ceremony to illuminate pathways of resistance and resilience.
Various locations; Details online
10. Touchstone Theatre: Yaga – Thursday, October 27 to Sunday, November 5
Photo Credit: Colleen WheelerKicking off Touchstone Theatre's 2022/23 theatre season, Yaga is written by award-winning playwright Kat Sandler and follows the search into the mysterious disappearance of yogurt empire heir and infamous college boy Lothario, Henry Kalles. World premiering to rave reviews at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre in 2019, Yaga is a revisioning of a legendary folk anti-hero through Sandler's razor-sharp feminist wit. Part thriller, part comedy, part nightmare fairy tale, Yaga leads us into an unforgettable world of trickery and revenge—just in time for Halloween!
Historic Theatre, The Cultch; Tickets from $39; Details online