BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for April 9 – 15

This week in BC: Celebrate Vancouver's 125th, walk for MS, think ink, and more

Ballet BC presents three world premieres all in one night April 14-16

What to do in BC this week

Celebrate Vancouver’s 125th Birthday – April 7-10

Did you know that 2011 marks Vancouver’s 125th birthday? To celebrate, the Downtown Eastside is rolling out We Are the People, a song-and-dance spectacle that commemorates 125 years of highs and lows in the historical heart of our city. Held from April 7 to 10 at Ukrainian Hall (805 E. Pender St.), the concert uses original and period songs to dramatize current inner-city issues like poverty, prostitution and addiction plus past problems like Vancouver’s 1886 fire, the 1907 anti-Asian riot and depression-era labour struggles, along with profiles of some of the legendary lives that have called the ‘hood home — from Gassy Jack Deighton to Andrew Carnegie. Tickets are priced at $20, with discounts for seniors and students, by calling 604-689-0929 or visiting firehallartscentre.ca.

See the Forbidden Phoenix – April 7-23

Playwright Marty Chan once described The Forbidden Phoenix as “too big, too complicated; the most ambitious project ever,” and doubted it would ever be produced. But there was an important story he felt compelled to tell, so seven years and 38 drafts later The Forbidden Phoenix takes flight at Gateway Theatre’s Mainstage (6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond) from April 7 to 23. What’s it about? Think Peking opera and Western musical liberally sprinkled with comedy, acrobatics and martial arts, and you’ll have a sense of this giant neo-operatic spectacle that was described by one critic as “eye-popping.” Even bigger accolades, though, came from The Toronto Sun, which declared that: “shows for any audience are rarely as spectacular as this.” Tickets are available online or by phone at 604-270-1812. 

Look up, Way up, at the Planetarium – April 9
It’s been exactly 50 years — a cosmic eye blink — since humankind first set off into outer space. To celebrate, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver) is hosting Yuri’s Night in honour of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who became the first human in history to orbit Earth back in April 1961. So stop by on April 9 to enjoy a fundraising fete full of Planetarium shows, glow-in-the-dark rocket launches, human gyroscope spins, a Cosmic Courtyard Disco and even hot bowls of Russian borscht. Tickets for this celestial shindig, running from 8 p.m. to midnight, are $30 per person in advance by calling 604-738-7827 or by emailing info@spacecentre.ca.

See the Best in Bloom – April 9
In a sure sign that spring has definitely sprung, the View Royal Garden Club in Victoria is unveiling its first flower show of the season on April 9. Displaying the kind of perfection that only Mother Nature can muster, this garden-variety beauty contest rates the city’s best spring blooms. Who will win the trophy for best daffodil, tulip or crocus? See for yourself at Shoreline Community School (2750 Shoreline Drive) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The $5 admission price also includes refreshments and door prizes. For more details, call 250-478-5880 or visit gardenwiseonlne.ca/whatsup.

Walk for MS – April 9-10
We all know walking is good for you. But it’ll have even more far-reaching health benefits if you opt to get moving on April 9 and 10 for the Scotiabank MS Walk, a family-oriented fundraiser taking place in over 26 B.C. communities, including Langley, Surrey, White Rock and Powell River. The bi-annual event brings together over 6,000 participants, all with a common aim of helping to drum up dollars to combat this devastating disease. To register for the walk, also slated for May 1 in certain communities, go to mssociety.ca.

Detox at Saje – April 12-13

Question: Does your body feel light, healthy and full of energy? If you answered, “no, no and no,” don’t worry: wellness coach and Saje co-founder Jean-Pierre LeBlanc is here to help. Just check out his free seminar called Detox Made Easy on April 12 at Saje in Coquitlam Centre (2929 Barnet Highway) and on April 13 at Lonsdale Quay (203 – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver). You’ll learn all about the detoxifying power of essential oils and how they can help purify your body, home and office. Equally awesome: you’ll receive a 25 per cent discount on all product purchases made on the evening of the seminar. Check it out from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with more details at 1-877-275-7253 or at saje.ca

See Three Ballet Premieres in One Night – April 14-16

Dance fans, what’s better than catching a world premiere of a brand-new ballet? How about catching three world premieres all in one night? That’s exactly what’s in store at Ballet BC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration at Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Hamilton & Georgia streets, Vancouver) from April 14 to 16. This ambitious program of three new works by acclaimed Canadian choreographers is backed by live music from the Turning Point Ensemble, one of the country’s leading chamber orchestras. Tickets are priced from $35 to $70, including HST, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 604-280-3311.

Catch Paul Anka – April 15 

If you came of age to a soundtrack of love songs like “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “Puppy Love” and “You Are My Destiny,” you’re no stranger to the early works of Paul Anka. The Ottawa-born ex-teen idol, the proud possessor of an Order of Canada, later upped his cool quotient and secured bona fide songwriter status by penning “My Way” for Frank Sinatra and “She’s a Lady” for Tom Jones. See this veteran vocalist for one night only on April 15 at River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond), starting at 8 p.m. Tickets, priced at $94.50 and $109.50, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or charge-by-phone at 604-280-4444.

Think Ink
 at the West Coast Tattoo & Culture Show – April 15-17
Think ink. That’s the name of the game at the third annual West Coast Tattoo & Culture Show from April 15 to 17 at the PNE Forum (East Hastings & Renfrew, Vancouver). Not only will you catch over 100 of the world’s top tattoo artists in action, but the exhibition also includes a pin-up pageant, burlesque show, live music and Vancouver’s own Terminal City Roller Girls. What’s more, you can check out on-site clinics, competitions, an art show by world-renowned graffiti master Er’Naste Nasimo and an appearance by inkster Steve Moore, described as “the tattoo artist that other tattooists go to.” Admission is $15, with discounts for youth and no charge for kids six and under. Swing by Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

See Another Home Invasion at the Arts Club – until April 23

“It’s plays like this, a small gem, that motivated the opening of the Revue Stage,” says Arts Club Theatre artistic managing director Bill Millerd of Another Home Invasion, a Governor General’s Award-nominated work by acclaimed Canadian playwright Nicola Lipman. And not only did she pen this piece, but the talented multi-tasker also stars in this intimate one-woman show about a senior who’s reluctantly relocated from her home to a home. Catch it until April 23 at The Revue Stage (1601 Johnston Street, Granville Island), starting at 8 p.m. For tickets call 604-687-1644. 

Eat Authentic Italian – now

The Italian entrepreneurs behind BiBo Restaurant (1835 West 4th Avenue) had one major goal in mind when they opened their brand-new eatery: “to bring the real Italy to Vancouver for the first time.” So if you think you’ve been eating authentic Italiano; chances are, it’s been only imitators. Case in point: BiBo coaxed one of the best pizza makers from his hometown in sunny Naples to relocate to the blustery Wet Coast, where he’s now cooking up age-old secret recipes to titillate local tastebuds. The pasta is said to be equally primo, with each dish made from “the best quality ingredients selected from the far corners of Italy.” Hungry? Swing by for lunch, dinner or an after-work drink, and be sure to taste-test the exclusive wines produced at the proprietor’s own Italian estate.

Take a Guys’ Getaway – now
What Canadian boy hasn’t dreamed of becoming a hockey star, astronaut or cowboy? Now one of those dreams can come true, at least for a few days, with the “Dude” Ranch Weekender package at Elkin Creek Guest Ranch inn Chilcotin. Urban cowboys can go all Wild West with a guided fishing tour on motorized aluminum, pontoon or belly boats, plus enjoy horseback riding, roping lessons, hiking and archery, followed by a steak barbecue and drinks in a lakeside hot tub. The package includes three chef-made meals per day, two- bedroom log cabin accommodations and full use of a sauna, games room and fishing gear. And bonus: boys will also go home with a souvenir cowboy hat – no bull! For further details, email info@adventurewestresorts.com or call 1-877-3-GO WEST.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.