BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for February 5 – 11

This week in BC: Get on a boat, catch a mountain film, see a Valentine's Day massacre and more

Pick a boat, any boat at the Vancouver International Boat Show

What to do in BC this week

Catch Fräulein Maria at the Vancouver Playhouse – February 3-5
Why is New York’s Doug Elkins considered “one of the most musical, witty and inventive choreographers of his generation?” Two words: Fräulein Maria, a unique take on The Sound of Music that one New York Times critic declared offers “about as much visceral pleasure as it’s possible to have in a theatre.” Catch this spirited dance performance, set to the familiar Rodgers & Hammerstein songs, at the Vancouver Playhouse (Hamilton & Dunsmuir streets) from February 3 to 5, starting at 8 p.m. And if you swing by a little bit earlier, you can catch a free pre-show chat with company members in the upper lobby at 7:15 p.m. For tickets, call 604-280-3311 or go to ticketmaster.ca, or for more info, visit dancehouse.ca.

Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Hotel Grand Pacific – February 3-10
According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit brings good luck, peace and harmony. A quick hop over to the Hotel Grand Pacific (463 Belleville St.) in Victoria can do the same. The award-winning property, named the top hotel in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine in 2008, is celebrating the Lunar New Year with a special three-course feast in its Pacific Restaurant, designed by executive chef Rick Choy to invite “good fortune, good health and abundance for the coming year.” This special dinner is offered, in addition to the standard menus, from February 3 to 10, for $38.88 per person. Dinner service is available nightly from 5 p.m. and reservations are recommended by calling 250-380-4458.

See ’60s Sensation Paula Clark – February 5

The name Petula Clark might draw a blank among members of the iPod generation, but baby boomers will recall that the English songstress was the voice behind some of the biggest hits of the swinging ’60s. While The Beatles were topping the charts with “She Loves You,” Clark was right up there with them thanks to her 1964 hit “Downtown,” which won her the first of two Grammy Awards. On February 5, the “Kiss Me Goodbye” singer, whose voice has been called “as sweet as chapel bells,” makes a stop at River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond) to promote her latest album Open Your Heart: A Love Song Collection, starting at 8 p.m. For tickets, priced from $49.50 to $59.50, go to ticketmaster.ca or call 604-280-4444.

Don’t Miss Juno Award-winning Pianist Andre Laplante – February 7 

Vancouver Island’s classical music lovers can add one more thing to their to-do Lizst this week. On February 7, Juno Award-winning pianist Andre Laplante sits down for a solo recital to celebrate the 200th birthday of Franz Liszt. Held at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre (125 Front Street), the concert also includes the works of fellow 19th-century composers Franz Schubert and Frédéric Chopin. So why not just slip in a classical music CD instead? Because Laplante — considered “one of the great romantic virtuosos” — is set to show off the towering talent that earned him a spot as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are priced at $30 per person, with discounts for students, at ncmusic.ca.

Have Breakfast with the Heart & Stroke Foundation – February 9

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s just one of the good reasons to belly up to the 26th annual Heart & Stroke Celebrity Breakfast on February 9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre Ballroom (East Building, 1055 Canada Place). Taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., this heart-smart spread also serves up entertainment, auction prizes and even a live interview with local hockey hero Trevor Linden by sportscaster Tom Larscheid. All proceeds from this philanthropic feast go toward research, prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke, making the $125 ticket price much easier to swallow. Call 604-736-4404 (ext. 225) for more details.

Get on a Boat at the Vancouver International Boat Show – February 9-13

If seafaring floats your boat, then you’ll be in ship-shape at the Vancouver International Boat Show, making a splash from February 9 to 13 at the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) and the False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville St., Vancouver). As Western Canada’s premier boat show, it features more than 300 exhibitors showcasing all the latest marine products on the market with the best deals of the year. Plus, you can also check out a seminar lineup of top boating experts offering tips on everything from do-it-yourself repairs and maintenance to navigation and pleasure trips. Save $3 on admission tickets by buying them online before February 9.

Get Reel
 at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival – February 11-19
The 14th annual Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, happening at various venues from February 11 to 19, takes a different tack to movies than your average film fest. While you won’t necessarily find any future blockbusters, you will find plenty of flicks full of alpine adventure, along with presentations from the likes of some of the world’s best big wall explorers, rock climbers, backcountry skiers and wild river paddlers. Among the notable names on the roster? Timmy O’Neill, dubbed America’s “most outrageous climber,” and British biker Dominic Gill who tandem-cycled all the way from Alaska to Patagonia, picking up hitchhikers along the way.

Warm up at the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival – until February 13

Here’s one sweet way to warm up the dark days of winter: the first Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, taking place at various venues around town until February 13. Six top chocolatiers and one gelato maker are spiking mugs of the soul-soothing elixir with more than 50 of the wildest, most delicious flavours they can dream up, all in support of their favourite charities. Where to take part in this sipping spree? Choose from Mink Chocolates Café, Cocoa Nymph, Schokolade Artisan Chocolates & Café, Thomas Haas Patisserie, Campagnolo Caffè, Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France or Bella Gelateria, pouring flavours like orange blossom, caramelized coriander and rose petal. Don’t be surprised if you never settle for plain old marshmallows again! For details, go to cityfood.com/events.

See a Valentine’s Day Killer Comedy
 – until February 14
Seems not everyone gets all Hallmark-like on Valentine’s Day. Just take a look at the tagline for the latest show by the Vancouver Theatresports League: “No Flowers. No Hearts. No Mercy.” That’s the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in a nutshell, a seasonal show full of cutthroat competitive comedy running until February 14 at The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Vancouver). Settle in for some bloody good fun as top improv teams from across the continent sharpen their rapier wits in a round-robin war of words during Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances.

Book the Rocky Mountaineer’s Stay & Play Package
 – until March 31
Who can resist a freebie? Not many of us, it seems — which explains the popularity of Rocky Mountaineer’s new Stay & Play offer, which qualifies guests for a free one-night hotel stay plus a daytrip adventure on bookings of rail tours lasting at least six days. This penny-pinching package is valid on new 2011 bookings for trips made by March 31 (for travel from April to October), and features such adventures as floatplane flightseeing, whale watching, Columbia Icefield excursions and glacier helicopter tours. Can’t swing a six-nighter? The offer is also valid on four- and five-night trips for an additional cost of $99 per person. For more details, call 1-877-460-3200.

Get Away to Galiano Inn’s Yoga Retreat – now
Proving that it’s sometimes good to get bent out of shape, yoga offers bountiful benefits for body, mind and soul. Hence the popularity of Galiano Inn’s Yoga Retreat, featuring a getaway full of fitness, fun and food held on various weekends throughout the year. Between sun salutations and downward dogs, you can enjoy some holistic healing as you munch on gourmet vegetarian meals, head out on hikes, enjoy discounted spa services or melt your cares away in the on-site sea-mineral sauna. Sound good? Call 1-877-530-3939.

Fall in Love with Ucluelet – anytime
Ucluelet may be known for its rugged seaside setting, but don’t be surprised if it gains acclaim for the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort (596 Marine Drive.), perched on a promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island. When not in your suite, outfitted with all the amenities of home, sample the fresh-made fare at Fetch or drink in the ocean views at Float Lounge. Right now, nature lovers can also check out a special Storm Warming package available throughout February for $212 per person. For more information or to book, call 1-877-762-5011.

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