BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for July 16 – 22

This week in BC: Go play in the suburbs at the Mission Folk Fest, the Aldergrove Fair Days, the Surrey Fusion Festival and more

Credit: TVWeek

Catch a free concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Deer Lake Park July 17

What to do in BC this week

Sip Summer in the Okanagan – July 9-17

Leave Kool-Aid to the kids. For grown-ups, there’s nothing finer than quaffing a cold one on a hot summer night. And the perfect place to do it? How about the inaugural Summer Okanagan Wine Festival, taking place from July 9 to 17 at various venues throughout the region. This nine-day oenophile exposition features over 20 events showcasing the region’s 103 wineries with everything from outdoor tastings and wine-and-cheese beach parties to a Granfondo bike race party and even a Spoken Word performance paired with feisty Okanagan vintages.

Head to the Harrison Festival of the Arts – July 9-17
Get outta town! Folks are doing just that for the 33rd annual Harrison Festival of the Arts, taking place from July 9 to 17 at various venues around the lakeside locale. A hip hodgepodge of theatre, art and music, this fine-arts fling includes Irish, African and Louisiana-based bands, plus a Literary Café, Music on the Beach and an Art Market. Check it out at Harrison Hall and other venues, with more info at 604-796-3664.

Crank it up at Crankworx – July 15-24

Birthplace of legends. Evolution of air. Homage to speed. Kokanee Crankworx, running from July 15 to 24 in Whistler, has been called all these things and more, including “the most ground-breaking gravity-fuelled mountain bike festival in the history of all things bad-ass.” Over 10 action-packed days, you’ll witness the sport’s most fearless superstars wage war for freeride glory at Whistler Bike Park, with enough backflippin’, tailwhippin’ and 720 huckin’ to keep you cranked. And upping the entertainment ante, this eighth annual festival also includes evening concerts by the likes of K’naan, Kostaman, Hot Hot Heat and Current Swell.

Enjoy Midsummer Magic at Mission Hill – July 16
Mission Hill Family Estate (1730 Mission Hill Rd.) is serving up more than just wine this summer. The award-winning West Kelowna winery is also uncorking a series of evening entertainment — everything from multi-course meals to musical performances — on selected dates through August. This week, guests can enjoy a little Midsummer Magic, Music & Wine, a gala fundraiser to support the Okanagan Symphony. Tickets for this black-and-white themed benefit, taking place July 16 from 6 p.m., are $250 per person. And bonus, you can also take in a free Nathalie Decoster sculpture exhibition on display throughout the grounds until October

Mix It Up
 at the Surrey Fusion Festival – July 16-17
What’s in store at the Surrey Fusion Festival? Only the “ultimate celebration of music, food and culture,” say organizers. See for yourself on July 16 and 17 when Holland Park (13428 Old Yale Road) hosts this rockin’ roundup featuring a guitar-lickin’ lineup of international and local artists, including Bedouin Soundclash, Jay Sean, Bombino, Jordon Cook and the Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble. Plus, check out the 30-plus international pavilions showcasing world culture, along with a multi-culti food fair and an authentic Aboriginal Pow Wow. And good news if you plan on toting the tots — there’s a Kids World and Toddler Town, too. Admission to the festival is free.

See the Symphony in the Park – July 17
We all know that heading to the symphony in shorts and flip-flops would likely get you barred at the door of any upscale establishment. But not to worry, those rules don’t apply at the 23rd annual Symphony in the Park, where dressy duds are definitely not de rigueur. On July 17, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is tuning up for a free outdoor concert set amidst the grassy fields of Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the two-hour show hits all the right notes with a program featuring everything from light classics to popular favourites. So bring a blanket, a picnic basket and settle in for an evening of first-class entertainment.

See the Simmons Clan – July 22
Gene Simmons, the legendary, tongue-wagging demon of KISS, is coming to the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond) — and he’s bringing his family with him! On July 22, this ’70s-era superstar, subject of the A&E reality series Gene Simmons Family Jewels, will appear live on stage with his family for the first time ever, starting at 8 p.m. Along for the ride are Simmons’ partner Shannon Tweed and the couple’s college-age kids Nick and Sophie, who’ll be sharing personal stories and some laughs followed by a Q&A with the audience. Tickets are available by telephone at 1-855-985-5000 or at Ticketmaster for $49.50, $69.50 or $149.50 for the VIP package, which includes a private reception and souvenir photo taken with the kooky clan

Taste Victoria – July 21-24
Planning a grape escape? You won’t find anything more appetizing than Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food & Wine from July 21 to 24 at various local venues. Offering way more than just the usual sniff, swirl and sip, this third annual affair helps define the vine with a slate of seminars, trade tastings and gourmet dinners. This year’s big-ticket tasting, called The Main Event, uncorks on July 21 at Crystal Garden (713 Douglas Street), starting at 6 p.m. Other equally appealing options? Take your pick from “A Guided Tea Journey” at Silk Road to “Swine and the Vine” at Hotel Grand Pacific or “Band, Bubbles & Bennys” at Vista 18 Restaurant.

Check out the Mission Folk Music Fest – July 21-24

On a mission to enjoy a good time this week? Why not embark on a musical meander around the world at the 24th annual Mission Folk Music Festival from July 21 to 24 at Fraser River Heritage Park (7494 Mary Street)? Featuring more than 20 artists from around the globe — everywhere from Spain and Siberia to Quebec and California — this musical mash-up invites audiences to indulge their aural appetite for Celtic jigs and Louisiana lilts, along with some of the world’s finest folk and roots rhythms. What’s more, visitors can enjoy plenty of other on-site action, too, including an artisans’ market, food vendors and even a licensed bistro.

Head to the Aldergrove Fair Days – July 22-24 

Shattering the stereotype about sleepy suburbs, Aldergrove is set to be the centre of some all-ages action from July 22 to 24. Those are the dates of the 99th annual Aldergrove Fair Days, unleashing a jam-packed agenda full of family-style fun that includes an agricultural exposition, Canadian Fastdraw Championships, tractor pull, lawn-mower races, chili cook-off and live mainstage entertainment. And that’s not even touching on the talent contest, fireworks display and beer gardens. There’s lots for the tots, too — from a petting zoo and parade to a Kids’ Zone and the Fraser Valley’s largest midway. Admission is “by reasonable donation” at Aldergrove Athletic Park (26770 29th Avenue).

Check out the Lillooet Apricot & Tsaqwen Festival – July 22-24
Seems the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1856 yielded treasure of a different sort – apricots. When they weren’t digging for gold, European settlers of the day planted some non-traditional trees, including orchards of apricots. This juicy history is saluted each summer with the fourth annual Lillooet Apricot & Tsaqwen Festival, featuring a crop of live music, great food and much more from July 22 to 24. For details on this free community carnival, visit lillooetbc.com or 604pulse.com.

Take a Free Meditation Class – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

When life runs you ragged, it’s hard to find time to catch your breath. No news flash there, but remember: You can’t take proper care of anyone else until you first take care of yourself. Here to help is Saje Natural Wellness, an aromatherapy emporium offering free weekly meditation sessions at participating locations. Think it’s all hooey? Consider this: Meditation has been proven to increase physical, spiritual and mental well-being by boosting immunity, decreasing blood pressure and reducing stress. Just drop by — no reservation required — to the Coquitlam Saje location on Tuesdays, Vancouver’s West 4th Avenue on Wednesdays and White Rock on Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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