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This week in BC: Hunt for Easter eggs, see a play, play the races or ride a pony, and more
Mambo Italiano plays at the Firehall Arts Centre until April 30
Spot the Easter Bunny at VanDusen Garden – April 23
One of the spring season’s major personalities is set to come out of hibernation. The Easter Bunny will make a guest appearance, laden with a load of Purdy’s treats, at VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak Street, Vancouver) for The Great A-mazing Egg Hunt on April 23. Taking place in the park’s Elizabethan Maze from 10 a.m. to noon, the hunt is open to kids aged two to 10 accompanied by an adult. Planning to go? Not so fast — participants must pre-purchase tickets in advance, in person, from the VanDusen Garden Shop.
Hunt for Eggs in Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo – April 24
You won’t have any problem egging on the kids to make a visit to the Milner Gardens (2179 West Island Highway, Qualicum Beach) this Sunday. Not when you tell them that it’s slated to be the site of an Easter Bunny Search, where kids can earn a tasty treat by navigating the forested trails, map in hand, to find the reclusive rabbits. Admission is free for kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult. Check it out from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with more info at 250-752-6153. In Nanaimo? Swing by the Nanaimo Yacht Club (400 Newcastle Avenue) for a Grand Easter Egg Hunt, starting at noon on April 24. Just catch the Newcastle Ferry, offering free passage for kids 12 and under, from 10 a.m. at the Maffeo Sutton dock. For details, call 250-754-7011.
Attend the Daffodil Day Celebration – April 27
Every three minutes cancer picks a fight with another Canadian. In 2011 alone, an estimated 170,000 of us will suffer from this dreaded disease. That’s why the Canadian Cancer Society is stepping up the fight this month with a little bit of flower power. On April 27, Daffodil Day will be proclaimed across the country to help raise awareness and much-needed funds for this killer cause. All you have to do is don a by-donation daffodil pin, and you’ll help remind sufferers that they are not alone on their cancer journey. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? So does the free Daffodil Day celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street), taking place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more details, go to fightback.ca
Pair Your Beer
– April 28
If there is one thing that’s constant, it’s change. That’s especially true at the Granville Room Kitchen & Cocktail Bar (957 Granville Street, Vancouver), a place known for mixing it up nightly with a roster of weekly events like Bump and Hustle Sundays, Manchester Midnight Wednesdays and Reverb Thursdays. The latest special event in store, though, is the Innis & Gunn Pairing Dinner, a three-course feast on April 28 hosted by the Edinburgh-based ale company’s international brand ambassador Nicol Rennie. And, beer lovers take note: You can bet that every course will be accompanied by the world-class brewery’s best. Tickets for the dinner, starting at 6:30 p.m., are available via email at email@example.com.
Take Home Chef Curtis Stone – April 29
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone has gained worldwide acclaim as much for his good looks as for his great cooking. The former Celebrity Apprentice contestant and current judge of America’s Next Great Restaurant, a new primetime reality cooking competition, is set to show off his culinary skills to Lower Mainland audiences at Boulevard Casino’s Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam) on April 29, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for this live cooking show, which also includes audience participation and a Q&A segment, are priced at $49.50 and $59.50 at all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 604-280-4444.
at International Dance Day – April 29
If your idea of dance consists of the ol’ arm-swinging two-step that was all the rage on ’80s-era dance floors, then it’s high time you modernized your moves. On April 29 you’ll get your chance with International Dance Day, featuring 20 local, national and international artists showcasing everything from flamenco and swing to hip hop at various Vancouver venues, including the Scotiabank Centre and Library Square. This adrenalin-driven all-day event rolls out a lineup of afternoon and evening performances, including the world premiere of a new work by award-winning choreographer Sara Coffin. For info and showtimes, call 604-606-6400.
Check out the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival – April 29 – May 8
Back in the day, B.C.’s contribution to the global wine market was Baby Duck. Exactly. Times sure have changed, ’cause the province is now known for producing some great product, especially in Okanagan Wine Country. That’s why the desert destination is the site of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival from April 29 to May 8, where you can raise a glass at over 100 events taking place throughout the region. And with events in store like chocolate and wine seminars, light lunches and gourmet dinners, it’s no wonder last year’s fest attracted 40,000 visitors from across North America.
See Fiddler on the Roof – April 29 – May 1
“Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof,” announces Tevye, a humble villager in turn-of-the-century Tsarist Russia. And so begins an epic tale of love and laughter, devotion and defiance that has charmed audiences everywhere since it premiered to rave reviews on Broadway back in 1964. The Tony Award-winning musical is sure to do the same here from April 29 to May 1 when it stops at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts (777 Homer Street) for just five performances. Tickets for this touching family drama, featuring such toe-tappers as “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition,” are $45 to $70 plus applicable fees at Ticketmaster.
Catch Mambo Italiano – until April 30
You don’t have to be gay to get a kick out of Mambo Italiano, described as My Big Fat Greek Wedding with a same-sex twist. Penned by Canadian playwright Steve Galluccio, this Montreal-based comedy — about the hysteria that ensues after old-school Italian parents learn that their 30-something son is set to wed his boyfriend — was such a hit with audiences that it was made into a 2003 movie of the same name. But no need to rent it from Netflix when you can catch this feel-good comedy, praised by the Los Angeles Times for “deftly mixing comedy and substance,” until April 30 at Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver).
Book a Pony – anytime
My Little Pony? Why treat your horse-loving tots to a plastic toy when they can get the real thing delivered right to your door? Just make a call to the Laughing Stock Horse Ranch (4050 224th Street, Langley) and a long-maned mammal can be the star of your next celebration. Way cuter than some run-of-the-mill clown, it’s a perfect way to make a kid’s birthday bash, company picnic or community block party memorable. Just don’t forget to bring a shovel. For more information, or to book a horse, call 604-856-3772.
Stay and Play at the Races – now
If you’re expecting a visit from horse-racing relatives, here’s a tip: Tell them about the Stay ’n’ Play promotion at the Holiday Inn Express Vancouver (2889 East Hastings Street). The pet-friendly hotel has teamed up with Hastings Racecourse to offer guests a special nightly rate, along with extra perks like a welcome gift, continental breakfast, shuttle service and a Buy $5 Get $10 coupon redeemable at the neighbouring racetrack. To book, call 604-254-1000. And don’t worry, hometowners can enjoy perks at Hastings Park, too: Just bring your Vancouver Giants game-night ticket stub to The Lounge and chow down on two-for-one wings.
Eat at Butchart Gardens – until May 14
Talk about an appetizing deal: From now until May 14, The Butchart Gardens in Victoria (800 Benvenuto Ave.) is offering a Spring Lunch Package that includes admission to the site plus a tasty two-course meal at the Dining Room Restaurant for $43.35 per person. What’s on the menu? Everything from Caesar salad, spring leek soup and calamari appetizers to entrées like clam linguine, Waldorf steak salad, leek quiche and rotisserie chicken wraps. Or, for another equally appetizing idea, check out the Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, serving up scads of savory sandwiches, house-made sweets, assorted brews and more for $31.95 per person. For reservations, call 250-652-8222.
Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.