BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for August 7 – 13

This week in BC: Tailgate at Empire Field, catch some air at Kokanee Crankworx and take your pick of arts fests

See the world’s best mountain bikers at Kokanee Crankworx in Whistler

What to do in BC this week

Attend a Tailgate Party at Empire Field – August 7

It’s never a good idea to tailgate, unless you’re talking about the old football-fan tradition of partying it up pre-game in the parking lot. Now you can do just that at the newly constructed Empire Field (Hastings Park, Vancouver) for the BC Lions’ entire Canadian Football League season. Tailgate parties are permitted on all five PNE on-site parking lots during Lions home games (including this week’s August 7 game), so bring your barbecue but leave the booze at home (remember, public consumption of alcohol is banned in B.C.). Pay parking is $25, but if you’d rather party hearty in the full-service venue, which recently reopened after a 28-year hiatus, you can do that, too. For a full game schedule, go to bclions.com.

Go-kart at the Race for Life Family & Friends Fun Day – August 7
As if you need an excuse to go go-kart riding…but here’s one anyway: the Race for Life Family & Friends Fun Day on August 7 in support of the Richmond Hospital Foundation. The site of this play day is Richmond Go-Karts (6631 Sidaway Road), where you can put pedal to the medal with unlimited rides, plus chow down on hot dogs, ice cream and popcorn from 9 a.m. to noon. And don’t worry; tots too wee to take the wheel won’t be whining once they see the special on-site activities like face painting and balloon making. Tickets are $30 per person or $100 for a group of four. For more details or to buy tickets, call 604-244-5252 or go online at richmondhospitalfoundation.com. 

Attend the West End Cultural Celebration – August 7
Party crasher alert! Residency is not required to attend the West End Cultural Celebration on August 7, an annual summer shindig hosted by Gordon Neighbourhood House. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the 1000-block of Broughton Street, this outdoor exposition features live street entertainment — everything from Latin music to taiko drummers — plus a multicultural craft fair, youth corner and children’s carnival with games, prizes, face painting, tattoo booths and even a token clown. Don’t forget to bring your change purse because hot dogs will be on sale for 25 cents, along with seniors’ tea and tarts. For further information, contact Agata at 604-683-2554.

See the World’s Best Mountain Bikers at Kokanee Crankworx – Aug 7-15
Cranky people. Crank calls. Forget all the negative associations of the “c” word because it’ll be nothing but good times at Kokanee Crankworx, a world-famous festival boasting nine days of gravity-fuelled mountain biking from August 7 to 15. From air-infused downhills to dirt dominatrix dual slaloms, massive slopestyle stunts to epic enduros, it all happens at Whistler Mountain Bike Park, a supercharged magnet for the world’s best mountain bike athletes. And this year, organizers say Crankworx promises to do what it’s become so famous for: blowing away the past with the future. P.S. Check out Whistler’s Stay & Ride packages for special rates on accommodation and Bike Park lift tickets by calling 1-800-WHISTLER (1-800-944-7853) or visiting whistler.com.

Check out Vancouver Island’s Glendale Gardens Arts & Music Fest – Aug 7-8
The Butchart Gardens might get all the hype, but Vancouver Island’s Glendale Gardens (505 Quayle Road, Victoria) definitely deserves a visit, too. That’s especially true on August 7 and 8, when it’ll be the site of the 16th annual Arts & Music Festival, a fundraiser that invites guests to mingle with 60 local artists, artisans and musicians while checking out handcrafted fare in a variety of media, including everything from ceramics and jewelry to painting and glassworks. Along with live music, visitors can also purchase new plants at the nursery, quiz the experts on gardening issues or just sit back and enjoy the eats at Café Nourish. There’s an abundance of children’s activities, too, so feel free to tote along the tots. For further details on the fest, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., go to glendalegardens.ca or call 250-479-6162. 

Bring Your Pooch to the Western Dachshund Club’s Wiener Walk and Picnic – August 8
Talk about a dog day afternoon. If you’ve got any kind of pooch other than a wiener dog, you’ll be barking up the wrong tree if you try to crash the Western Dachshund Club’s Wiener Walk and Picnic on August 8 at Winskill Park, Tsawwassen (56th Street and 9A Avenue). This family-oriented pooch party, running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features fun and games like wiener-on-a-stick races, musical hula hoops, wiener dunking, along with a costume parade and silent auction. Bring your appetite, too, ’cause you can also snack on your fill of hot dogs. Entry fee is $5 per pooch, with more information available by emailing tildy38@shaw.ca.

Go Country at the Rockin’ River Music Festival – Aug 13-14
This week all roads lead to the hottest country music party in town: the Rockin’ River Music Festival on August 13 and 14 at Mission Raceway Park (32670 Dyke Road). Guests can get their groove on with the likes of musical acts including Johnny Reid (shown), Crystal Shawanda, Aaron Pritchett, Ridley Bent and Jessie Farrell, while checking out the food concessions and the largest beverage garden in the Lower Mainland. If you’re big on booze, you might want to consider camping out for the weekend, but if not, you can always buy single-day admission tickets starting from $49, with no charge for kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult. For tickets, visit rockinriver.com or call 1-877-307-4837.

Don’t Miss the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – Aug 13-15
Salmon Arm may be a small town, but it’ll be the site of a big-time music festival from August 13 to 15. Considered the region’s “most anticipated summer music event,” the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival features nearly 50 performers, including big names like Joan Armatrading, K’naan, Martha Wainwright and Gord Downie, rocking out with world, folk, alternative and blues on six daytime and two evening stages at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds. Aside from the tunes, you’ll also find craft and food vendors, an artisan market, children’s activities and a beverage garden. Cycle to the site, which offers a bike lock-up, or camp out for all three nights for $75. Buy tickets online at rootsandblues.ca, by phone at 250-833-4096 or at the gate.

See the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s Saturday Night Astronomy Show – now
You don’t need to travel to Hollywood to see the stars. The biggest and brightest ones are right overhead, courtesy of H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s (1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver) Saturday Night Astronomy Show. For $10.75 per person, star gazers will enjoy a triple feature that includes a screening of Quest for Origins, a film exploring questions such as the age of the universe and the formation of stars, followed by an astronomer-led presentation and a hands-on session scoping out the constellations through a massive telescope. Now is the best time of year to sky-watch, too, thanks to the annual mid-August meteor showers. For more information, visit spacecentre.ca or call 604-738-7827.

Groove on at MusicFest Vancouver – until Aug 15

It’s back…MusicFest Vancouver, the international festival that lights up local stages every August, is returning for its 10th year of bringing extraordinary classical, world and jazz artists from around the globe to Vancouver audiences. The festival opens on August 6 with Grammy-winner Poncho Sanchez and his Latin jazz band at the Orpheum, followed by more than 40 performances and events throughout the week at various venues until August 15, including a full chamber orchestra from Germany, a swinging jazz trio from Buenos Aires and an acclaimed Renaissance vocal sextet from France. For all the details, plus videos and music samples, check out musicfestvancouver.ca.

Have a Peak Experience at Whistler – anytime
Want to see Whistler from a whole new perspective? Check out the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, offering a one-of-a-kind alpine experience that spans the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Assuming fear of heights isn’t an issue, adventurers will enjoy this 4.4-kilometre aerial journey aboard the world’s longest Gondola, which boasts 360-degree views of ancient peaks and glaciers, along with access to 18 hiking and walking trails and an array of mountaintop activities, including tours of a black bear habitat, high tea at an alpine hut and wine tasting on an open-air patio. Sound fun? Find further information and booking details at whistlerblackcomb.com or 1-800-766-0449.

Eat Italian at Adesso Bistro – anytime

Say buon giorno to authentic Italian cuisine, Ligurian-style, thanks to Adesso Bistro (1906 Haro Street, Vancouver). This intimate eatery offers a contemporary take on traditional dishes using fresh, local and organic ingredients, all prepared to perfection by executive chef Sean Sylvestre, formerly of Cioppino’s. Until August 21, diners can taste-test a special three-course Theatre Under the Stars menu, offered daily from 5 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. for $29.95. Afterwards, it’s an easy stroll over to Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl to catch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat or Singin’ in the Rain. For reservations, available daily from 5 p.m., with brunch service on Saturday and Sunday, visit adessobistro.net or call 604-568-9975.

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