BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for July 3 – 9

This week in BC: polka dance, batter up, think ink, shop late and have the ultimate girls' night out

See Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Singin’ in the Rain at Theatre Under the Stars this summer

Polka on the Plaza
 at the Kimberley International Oldtime Accordion Championships – July 5-10
Unless you’re an accordion aficionado, or hail from the hills of Bavaria, you’d probably assume that a soiree devoted to the humble squeezebox would be a yawner. You’d be wrong, though — at least when it comes to the Kimberley International Oldtime Accordion Championships, which draws its fair share of fans to the East Kootenay community each summer. This year’s party, running from July 5 to 10, turns the alpine town into B.C.’s own version of Bavaria with loads of wiener schnitzel, beer and polka by the likes of Grammy-winning accordionist Walter Ostanek. Check it out on the platzl, a pedestrian square located in the city’s centre, but if you get lost, just follow the dudes in lederhosen. For more information, go to kiotac.ca.

Batter up at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship – July 5-11
For some high-speed women’s softball action, check out the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship from July 5 to 11 at Softball City (2201 148 St.) and Cloverdale Athletic Park (6330 168 St.) in Surrey. This seven-day pitch-fest will feature several elite-level youth teams, all vying for the championship title. With a roster of top national teams, along with a chance to catch prospective future big-leaguers in action (we hope!), the event promises to hit a home run for baseball fans. For everyone else, you’ll still be assured a good time thanks to a lineup of live music, food vendors and kid-friendly fun. For additional information, go to canadianopenfastpitch.com.

See Dancing on the Edge – July 8-18

With a name like Dancing on the Edge, you know you’re in for some cutting-edge choreography. And this 22nd annual festival doesn’t disappoint, with B.C. dancers taking their art to the edge in new works staged in and around the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St., Vancouver) from July 8 to 18. In all, dance fans can catch 20 different performances over the 11-day festival, including a site-specific show, a clutch of Canadian premieres and a new choreographic commission, along with dance talks and other events. Tickets range from $20 to $26, and are available at Firehall Arts Centre at 604-689-0926 or online at firehallartscentre.ca. For a complete schedule of performances, visit dancingontheedge.org.

Send Your Kid to Horticulture Camp
 – July/August
Who doesn’t love a cultivated kid? They’re guaranteed to get heaps of cultivation, in the horticultural sense, at VanDusen Botanical Garden’s (5251 Oak St., Vancouver) summer camps for kids, which nurture a love of nature through a blend of activities, lessons, gardening, games and crafts. The four- and five-day camps, running from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. throughout July and August, have kid-approved names like Bugs, Slugs and Thugs, Habitat Hunters, Art in the Garden and Growing and Living Green, all designed for children aged five to 11. Download registration forms at vandusengarden.org, or call 
604-718-5898 for more information.

Go off to See the Wizard of Oz Pantomime Style – July 6-11

Maybe it’s the Munchkins but it’ll be pretty obvious you’re not in Kansas anymore if you follow the yellow brick road to Maple Ridge’s ACT Theatre (11944 Haney Place) for a non-traditional take on The Wizard of Oz. The classic tale has been rebooted into a musical pantomime full of pop tunes, dancing and a wonderful cast of up-and-coming actors. And in true pantomime tradition, you’re invited to get in on the act by booing the Wicked Witch of the West and cheering on Dorothy who, with the help of her misfit sidekicks, embarks on a magical journey to Emerald City. Tickets for this Oz adventure, running from July 6 to 11, are $15, with $5 discounts for students and seniors, by calling 604-476-2787 or visiting theactmapleridge.org.

Groove to the Vancouver Island MusicFest – July 9-11

Comox has more to offer than just a Canadian Forces Base. Every summer, the town is also host to the Vancouver Island MusicFest, an outdoor extravaganza that’s said to “put Comox Valley on the cultural map.” The show, which celebrates roots and world music, runs from July 9 to 11 at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, features 200 performers on six stages, including Joan Osborne, Roberta Flack, Little Feat and Nanci Griffith. And while a beer garden may be de rigueur, you’ll also find yoga sessions, arts and craft displays, instructional workshops, an interactive Kidzzone, and, of course, loads of food vendors. The rural, riverside retreat also offers on-site camping, with more information at islandmusicfest.com.

Think Ink at the West Coast Tattoo Culture Show – July 9-11
Think ink. That’s the name of the game at the second annual West Coast Tattoo Culture Show from July 9 to 11 at the Langley Events Centre (7888 200 St.). The exhibition focuses on all things ink, metal and music, with 25,000 square feet of exhibitor space packed with more than 100 of the world’s premier tattoo artists and custom vehicle designers, including hot-rod hero Cole Foster of Salinas Boys Customs. What’s more, you can check out on-site clinics, competitions and an appearance by world-renowned graffiti artist Ernesto Nasimo, all set to the backdrop of live music. Swing by Friday from noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5:15 p.m., with more details at westcoasttattooshow.com.

Have the Ultimate Girls Night Out – July 9-10

It’s never okay to objectify the opposite sex, right? Well, we’ll make one teeny exception for Chippendales, known as “the world’s best male strip show.” The buff band of boys is guaranteed to get gals giddy with their exclusive Ultimate Girls Night Out Tour, which heats up Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam) on July 9 and River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Road, Richmond) on July 10, starting at 8 p.m. Capturing the perfect balance of sex appeal and tasteful teasing, this risqué revue rolls out all the studly stereotypes from men in uniform to dusty cowboys. So, if you’ve got a craving for Grade-A guy candy, book your seat by calling 604-280-4444 or visiting ticketmaster.ca.

Catch Some Theatre Under the Stars – July 9-Aug. 21
After the cyclists, rollerbladers and beach bums have gone home for the day, Stanley Park doesn’t fall into a peaceful slumber. At least not during the summer months, when Theatre Under the Stars draws hundreds of families to the field around Malkin Bowl for a night of outdoor entertainment. This season kicks off on July 9 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a musical retelling of the biblical story of Joseph, running alternating nights until August 20. And, on July 10, Singin’ in the Rain, called “the world’s favourite movie musical,” hopefully won’t prove prophetic during its run on alternating nights until August 21. Book your tickets by calling 1-877-840-0457, or, for further details, go to tuts.ca.

Shop Late at Richmond’s Summer Night Market – Fridays to Sundays until Sept. 26
Most markets around town usually close up shop by 9 p.m., but the Summer Night Market in Richmond (12631 Vulcan Way) is just getting started. An estimated 20,000 people wander through the site each night to bargain-hunt at 200 vendor stalls selling everything from electronics accessories to shoes and jewellery. The biggest draw, though, is the 60-stall food court that sells international eats, including Asian hot dogs, corn on the cob and sushi. There’s also nightly entertainment on an outdoor stage, an oxygen bar, and, if you swing by on July 3, you can kick up your heels for Korean Heritage Day, too. Drop by Fridays to Sundays and holidays from 7 p.m. until September 26. For further information, call 604-278-8000 or visit summernightmarket.com.

Chill out in the Chilcotin – this summer
Maybe we’re biased, but we’re willing to bet that, of all of Canada’s provinces, BC has the best, most boast-worthy backyard. Need convincing? Check out the summer vacation packages offered by Chilcotin Holidays, where guests can experience the spirit of Canada’s Wild West in an alpine retreat roaming with enough indigenous animals – everything from moose and mountain goats to wolves and black bears – to keep amateur photogs snap-happy. At night, adventurers can bed down in their choice of a spacious guest ranch, mountain cabin or cozy chalet while, by day, they can opt for outdoor activities like horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking or exploring a real-life grizzly den. (Don’t worry; the den’s denizens are all out fattening up for winter). All trips are customized, so you can choose from packages that are leisurely, action-packed or a little bit of both. For a full list of ranch- and camp-based trips, visit chilcotinholidays.com or call 250-238-2274.

Book Victoria’s Epicurean Escape Package – until Oct. 31
If you’re of the opinion that one of the best things about travelling is all the unbridled eating, you’re sure to be satiated by the Epicurean Escape Package offered by Victoria’s Historic Inns, a collection of heritage mansions located throughout BC’s capitol. Offering all the ingredients for a great escape, the package entitles you to two nights of first-class comfort in one of Victoria’s heritage inns, a three-course dinner a deux at an award-winning restaurant (either Café Brio or Paprika Bistro), a take-home gourmet gift basket, plus an insiders’ list of the city’s top places to taste and tipple – whether you’re hungering for phenomenal fish tacos or the perfect pasta. This two-night package, available from June 25 to October 31, starts from $189 per person based on double occupancy, with additional details at victoriahistoricinns.com/epicurean-escape-package.

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