BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for January 8-14

This week in BC: Ride free, go to the symphony, catch Brian Eno, have chocolate fondue, and more

Brian Eno presents An Illustrated Talk at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver

What to do in BC this week

See Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 – January 8-9

For a guy with a bum ear, Beethoven sure could make some beautiful music. And the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is set to present one of his best pieces of work ever, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (a.k.a. “Ode to Joy”), at the Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe Street, Vancouver) on January 8 and 9, starting at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. The Vancouver Bach Choir and four outstanding soloists join the VSO in this special presentation of a work that has been called “a magnificent statement of hope, joy and brotherhood.” Tickets, priced from $26.75 to $84 per person, are available online or by calling 604-876-3434.

Watch Megan Follows in This
 – January 8-29
What has Megan Follows been up to these days? This and that, quite literally. The Toronto-born actress, best known for playing Anne Shirley in the acclaimed 1985 miniseries Anne of Green Gables, is all grown up and starring in This, running from January 8 to 29 
at the Vancouver Playhouse (Hamilton & Dunsmuir). Described as “a crisp, smart, urban comedy about modern relationships in crisis, the play captures the uncertain steps of a circle of friends backing their way into middle age.” Tickets are priced from $32 to $59 and available online, by phone at 604-873-3311, or in person at the theatre box office.

Get a Personalized Diet Plan – January 10-11
Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Eat better? Join the club. Or better yet, join the posse of health-conscious peeps expected to turn out at Choices Market in Kelowna (1937 Harvey Avenue) on January 10 and 11 for expert-approved tips on how to detoxify your diet. Nutrition consultant Nadene Shirtliff will be on hand for 45-minute one-on-ones from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help interested eaters design their own personalized diet plan. Call 250-862-4864 to book your time slot.

Catch Brian Eno in Conversation – January 10

Who knew Brian Eno was such an egghead? The Roxy Music co-founder, whose collaborations with artists like David Byrne, U2, David Bowie and Coldplay have opened up new vistas in music for 40 years, is also an esteemed futurologist, making him a sought-after lecturer, writer and contributor to think tanks around the world. You can hear his innovative ideas and observations, ranging from topics as diverse as urban futures, the concept of time and the history of art, at Brian Eno: An Illustrated Talk, taking place on January 10 at the Vogue Theatre starting at 8 p.m. Buy tickets, priced at $55 and $50, plus service charges online or by phone at 604-569-1144.

Ride Free at Seymour – January 10 – March 14 (Monday evenings)
Sorry guys, it’s true: sometimes women do get a free ride. At least that’s the case at Mount Seymour, where women can hit the slopes without taking a hit to the wallet thanks to Guys Night Out, Girls Ride Free, taking place on Monday evenings after 6 p.m. from January 10 until March 14. But don’t feel too left out, fellas, because the Rock Chute Inn will be featuring unisex food and drink specials, along with plenty of prize draws, starting at 8 p.m. All proceeds from this alpine outing, presented by Granville Island Brewing, will go to fund breast cancer research in B.C. For details on where to pick up your free lift voucher, 
go to the website or call Guest Services at 

Check out Ann Goldberg’s Transparencies Exhibit – January 13 – February 5
From Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes to Jeff Koons’ household appliances, artists have elevated the everyday into an art form. Vancouver mathematician, architect and artist Ann Goldberg continues the tradition in her new exhibition, Transparencies, which gets us to think twice about objects we wouldn’t normally think twice about. Whether she’s painting candy apples, lollipops or swimming rodents, Goldberg loves the alchemy that comes from transforming life into art. “There’s a part of me that has to be quite precise,” she says. “The mathematical side of me is always trying to figure it out.” Check out the exhibit at Winsor Gallery (3025 Granville Street, Vancouver) from January 13 to February 5, with more info by calling 604-681-4870.

Take a Chocolate Fondue Tour – every Saturday
So what if your New Year’s resolution was to shun sweets — you just may want to make an exception for Mount Seymour’s Chocolate Fondue Tours. Every Saturday starting at 7 p.m., you can take a two-hour trek beneath a canopy of snowy trees then warm up afterwards in a hand-carved snow lounge with a hot beverage and a gooey Belgian chocolate fondue, served with slices of fresh fruit. Tours are $55 per person, and include an interpretive guide, snowshoe rental and trail pass. Not a chocoholic? You can also tramp through the terrain, minus the follow-up fondue, every Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. for $33 per person, with discounts for seniors and children. Tip: You’ll save $5 if you bring your own snowshoes! Call 604-986-2261 (option 3) to book.

Socialize at Grouse Mountain – every Wednesday evening
Find the bar scene boring? Join the club, or better yet, join Grouse Mountain’s Winter Social Nights, taking place at Altitudes Bistro every Wednesday from 6 p.m. starting January 5. Throughout the ski season, sporty types can meet fellow outdoor enthusiasts, or just gather up a group of your own pals to eat up the deals while drinking in the spectacular alpine atmosphere. While you’re there, why not hop aboard an eco-conscious, gravity-powered chauffeur-driven Sno-Limo, which takes guests on a frosty foray through snowy, tree-lined trails. Call 
604-980-9311 for details.

Try The New Oxford – anytime

Many a local watering hole has tried, but most have failed, to imitate the ambience of an authentic English pub. There’s just something about the Canadian copycats, as any transplanted Brit would attest, that somehow seems to miss the mark. The New Oxford (1144 Homer Street, Vancouver), the latest hot spot from the Donnelly Group, just might change their mind. This new night spot takes its cue from old-world England, featuring classic pub-style furniture and rustic grey millwork, accented by vintage touring bikes, original print hardcover books and portraits of famous Oxford alumni, including Oscar Wilde. Equal attention was paid to the menu, too, which features fresh local ingredients like Ocean Wise seafood and a vast drinks list.

Enjoy the Works of Emily Carr – until December 31, 2011
Although Emily Carr described herself as an “isolated little old woman on the edge of nowhere,” her work has an appeal that is universal in its messages. See the work of one of Canada’s most acclaimed artists at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss Street), now exhibiting Emily Carr: On the Edge of Nowhere until December 31, 2011. This historical survey of Carr’s work, held in the late artist’s own hometown, features a variety of media and styles, plus examines some of her greatest inspirations, including First Nations and Group of Seven artists. For more details, call 250-384-4171.

Play Paintball – anytime

Guys, guns and games. This divine trinity for the testosterone set finds perfect expression at Tsawwassen Paintball (100 Tsawwassen Drive, South Delta). In fact, it just might feel like you’ve stepped into a virtual video game — until you get thwacked in the back by a semi-automatic paintball gun, that is. But not to worry: with a giant firebase, acres of woodland and loads of bunkers, you’ll find plenty of places to hunker down and hide. One of the Lower Mainland’s best paintball experiences, it’s open for private mid-week and weekend bookings, plus public drop-in games on weekends, with advance reservations required. Dial 604-501-9966 for details.

Take a Paradise Camp Dinner Tour at Silverstar – Fridays & Saturdays
Silver Star Resort is already one of the best-kept secrets among alpine enthusiasts. So it’s not surprising that this rustic Okanagan retreat, located 12 miles from Vernon, would come up with yet another way to stray off the beaten path. Every Friday and Saturday night, guests can satisfy their appetite for adventure on a Paradise Camp Dinner Tour, which transports diners via Snow Cat to a cozy cabin for fab fixin’s and fine wine. Bundle up the buddies or trundle out the tots, but don’t miss the tours departing hourly from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for $20 per person, not including meal, alcohol or gratuities. To book, call 250-558-6019.

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