BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for August 14 – 20

This week in BC: cuddle kittens, marvel at sandcastles, cheer on lacrosse players, see a magic show and pick your favourite festival

Aché Brasil — Capoeira performs at Granville Island August 15

What to do in BC this week

Boogie over to the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival – August 14
Burnaby may be a green city, but it’s got a big-time case of the blues. That’s the case on August 14, anyway — the date of the 11th annual Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival, taking place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the grounds of Deer Lake Park (6450 Deer Lake Avenue). No need to sing the blues when you’ve got the likes of Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Serena Ryder and Lukas Nelson, among many others, doing it for you on two outdoor stages. And while you’re in for a riot, don’t worry; the crowd is far from rowdy as the fest boats a family-friendly feel complete with kids’ activities, marketplace and loads of food vendors. Buy advance tickets for $60 by phone at 604-205-3000 or at the gate for $65, with further information available by visiting burnabybluesfestival.com.

Have Your Pick of the Litter at the BC Cat Show – Aug 14-15
If you’re of the mind that nothing’s cuter than a kitty, you won’t want to miss the BC Cat Show, taking place on August 14 and 15 at George Preston Centre (20699 42 Avenue, Langley). Check it out from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily to get your feline fix with a four-footed beauty pageant and a vendor marketplace selling all manner of pet paraphernalia. And, best of all, if you’re in the market for a new pussycat, you’ll find the pick of the litter here, thanks to a bevy of breeds up for adoption courtesy of the TLC Cat Rescue. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children and free for kids under six. For further information, call John at 604-576-9359 or send an email to

Stock up on Berries at the Powell River Blackberry Festival – Aug 14-20
Long live the blackberry! No, not the electronic gadget, but one of BC’s favourite fruits. It’s set to be lauded big-time at the Powell River Blackberry Festival, a juicy jubilee from August 14 to 20 that culminates in a blowout street bash. Be sure to check out the Open Air Market for heaping helpings of food, festivities and family-friendly fun, as well as the Blackberry Wine and Cheese Party on August 18 for an evening of entertainment, prizes, demos and a silent auction. For further info, visit discoverpowellriver.com or call Tourism Powell River at 1-877-817-8669.

Hear the Sounds of Australia at MusicFest Vancouver
 – August 15
It won’t just be the birds singing in VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak Street, Vancouver) on August 15. It’ll also be the performers at the 10th annual MusicFest Vancouver, saying sayonara for another year with a finale concert featuring the Sounds of Australia. Five top Oz musicians, including virtuoso didgeridoo player William Barton and a cappella quartet The Idea of North, are tuning up to transport you Down Under with a collection of homeland ditties at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., if you want to squeeze in a leisurely pre-concert stroll or an open-air picnic on the lush garden grounds. Tickets are available by phone at 604-280-3311 or online at ticketmaster.ca, with more information at musicfestvancouver.ca.

See Aché Brasil — Capoeira at Granville Island – August 15
Psst: Shoppers at Vancouver’s Granville Island Market are in for a treat on August 15. While they won’t be bagging up any free gourmet groceries, they will have the chance to enjoy a freebie performance of Aché Brasil — Capoeira, a group combining acrobatics with the fiery rhythms of Afro-Brazilian dance, starting at 2 p.m. at Ron Basford Park, Granville Island. This acclaimed company merges dance, martial arts, music and spectacle into one explosive, awe-inspiring show, the latest concert in All Over the Map’s seventh annual outdoor dance and music series. For more details, go to granvilleisland.com or visit newworks.ca for a complete schedule of free upcoming performances.

Participate in the Slow Food Cycle Sunday – August 15
It’s said that the future of food is local. Get a jumpstart on the trend with the sixth annual Slow Food Cycle Sunday, the Sea to Sky region’s signature agritourism event. This pedal-powered 26-km trip on August 15 blows the fast-food drive-thru away as cyclists savour the sensory smorgasbord of Pemberton Meadows. You’ll cycle a scenic farmland route suitable for all fitness levels to meet local growers and sample produce fresh from the field. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration available by calling 604-894-6477 or by visiting choosepemberton.com.

Vote for Your Favourite Sandcastles at Parkville’s Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition – until Aug 15
Remember all those sandcastles you spent hours labouring over each summer? Sorry, but they’ll look a little lame compared to the masterpieces you’ll see at the 11th annual Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition at the Parksville Beach Festival. Competitors from around the globe have gotten down and dirty in a 24-hour quest to transform thousand-pound blocks of sand into awe-inspiring sculptures. The result of their efforts — everything from sea serpents to hot rods to mythical creatures — are on display from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Parksville Community Park until August 15. Opinionated types who want a say in the matter can fill out a ballot and help crown the “People’s Choice” champ. For further information, visit parksvillebeachfest.ca or call 250-951-2678.

Send Your Kids to Gardener Summer Camp at Glendale Gardens – Aug 16-20
Kids love to get their hands dirty. And where better to do it than at the Junior Master Gardener Summer Camps at Glendale Gardens (505 Quayle Road, Victoria) from August 16 to 20. Geared for kids aged 7 to 11, the classes are full of fun and informative activities, including crafts, projects and hands-on gardening, all designed to ignite a passion for learning, a respect for the environment and an understanding of the importance and uses of plants. In fact, the tagline for this international gardening program is “growing good kids.” Bonus for parents? Creating your own little gardener’s helper! Fee for the daycamp, running Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, is $100 per child, with registration details available by calling 250-479-6162 or visiting glendalegardens.ca.

Don’t Miss the 2010 Presidents’ Cup Lacrosse Finals – Aug 16-21
Compared to hockey, baseball or soccer, lacrosse is a fringe sport, but it won’t lack for fans at the 2010 Presidents’ Cup, happening August 16 to 21 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre (3676 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby). That’s where Canada’s top lacrosse teams, including the Burnaby Burrards, will compete in a round-robin-style tournament to net the league’s top prize and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Tickets for daytime matches are $10 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under; and $13 and $10, respectively, for evening games. Tickets are available at the door, with tournament schedules and more information at presidentscup2010.com.

Catch the Sensation of Magic at Havana – Aug 17-21
Abracadabra! Check your skepticism at the door because the Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver) will be the site of hocus pocus aplenty when Belarus-born magician Vitaly Beckman takes the stage from August 17 to 21 with Sensation of Magic: An Evening of Wonders. You’ll witness 70 minutes of mind-bending magic and illusions, including levitating objects, improbable escapes and even a self-drawing paintbrush. The most jaw-dropping moment, though, comes when the magician reads borrowed newspapers and books from a distance of 50 feet. It was enough to leave one mind-boggled audience member to declare that she was “blown the bleep away!” Buy tickets, priced at $15 in advance at Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Drive) or for $20 at the door. The show starts at 8 p.m., with more information at 778-228-5291 or sensationofmagic.com.

Make a Splash at the 
Richmond Maritime Festival – Aug 20-22
Set to make a splash on seafarers and landlubbers alike, the seventh annual Richmond Maritime Festival drops anchor August 20 to 22 with oceans of family-friendly fun to celebrate the suburban city’s connection to the sea. Taking place at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard National Historic Site in Steveston (5180 Westwater Drive), this seaworthy shindig is guaranteed to make waves on both young and old with live entertainment, hands-on demonstrations, exhibitions, heritage boats and, of course, plenty of on-site food vendors. Check it out Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with more information available by calling 

Take a Vancouver City Highlights Tour – this summer
Can’t afford a real vacation this summer? You can always plan a daycation instead. It’s easy: just play tourist in your own town on a Vancouver City Highlights Tour, escorting natives and newbies alike on a guided 3.5-hour bus excursion to the town’s top attractions in and around Gastown, Chinatown and Robson Street to Canada Place, Stanley Park and Granville Island. Even if you’ve seen it all before, it never hurts to have a reminder of what a pretty city we call home. Tours run twice daily at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and cost $69 for adults and $45 for children. For more information or to book, call 1-877-669-2277 or visit vancouvertours.com

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