BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for June 11-17

This week in BC: Walk for diabetes, practice your swing, explore Surrealist art, and more

Cheer on your favourite team at North America’s largest dragon-boat festival

What to do in BC this week

Watch North America’s Biggest Dragon Boat Festival – June 10-12
Do sea sports float your boat? Then you’ll want to check out the 23rd annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, taking place on June 11 and 12 on the shores of False Creek. Let’s hope you like crowds ’cause the sea-faring fest — recognized as North America’s biggest and best — attracts more than 100,000 people and close to 180 dragon-boat teams from around the globe. It all kicks off on Friday night (June 10) with an Eye Dotting Ceremony to “awaken the dragon” then rolls out two full days of non-stop entertainment on the World Beat Stage, along with fab food, shopping, a beer garden and, of course, buckets of boat racing. For more details call 604-688-2382.

Wine and Dine in Burnaby – June 11
Savvy shoppers know that Lougheed Town Centre is a great place to bag bargains, but did you know that it’s also set to be the site of a Wine, Food & Music Festival on June 11? The bustling mall is bound to get busier when it plays host to the Rotary Club of Burnaby-Metrotown’s 10th annual WineFest, a gala event featuring live music, top tipples and an array of eats supplied by some of the area’s best restaurants. Tickets to the bash, running from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., are $40 per person, and can be purchased by phone at 604-431-0400.

Show Your Support for Japan – June 12
Philanthropy may be its own reward, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a fab time at Tojo and Friends, a fundraiser to support Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. On June 12, Vicki Gabereau emcees this entertaining evening that features an all-star culinary cast including the likes of John Bishop, Thomas Haas and other top-notch chefs from Vancouver’s favourite chomping grounds, along with performances by Jann Arden and the Canadian Tenors. You’ll need a wallet as big as your heart, though, ’cause tickets cost $1,000 per person, with a portion tax-receipted through the Canadian Red Cross. Check it out at Tojo’s (1133 W. Broadway, Vancouver) from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., with tickets available by phone at 778-877-2390 or by emailing tojosforjapan@gmail.com.

Check out the Sapperton Day Steet Festival – June 12

Let’s face it, Sapperton doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a happening ’hood. The bedroom burb keeps a low profile most of the year, but that’s all set to change on June 12 when the New Westminster neighbourhood hosts the annual Sapperton Day Street Festival. This family funfest will stir up plenty of hoopla with a day of all-ages activities ranging from bike stunts and live stage shows to clowns, bouncy castles and a pancake breakfast. Another good reason to go? The shindig helps support the good work of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Catch it along 400-block East Columbia Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Walk the Talk
 for Diabetes – June 12

Talk about strength in numbers: Last year’s TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes united over 48,000 Canadians, who together raised more than $7.5 million to help fight the disease. On June 12, we can help researchers move one step closer to a cure by signing up for this annual cross-Canada event, a major fundraiser to improve the lives of the 300,000 Canadian kids living with Type 1 diabetes. Sound like a plan? Take a step in the right direction by heading to the walk nearest you, including locations in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George and Victoria. Start times vary by location, so call 604-320-1937 for the kick-off time in your community.

Unleash Your Inner Francophone at Festival d’été – June 16-24

Vive la France! Why go to Quebec this summer when you can celebrate all things French right here at home with Festival d’été? Imagine an outdoor concert, family party and children’s festival all rolled into one, and you’ll get a feel for this 22nd annual francophone frolic running from June 16 to 24 at various venues. Along with musical highlights from La Belle Province — Ensemble Absinthe and Les Loco Locass, anyone? — fans de français won’t want to miss the Piknik Electronik concert on June 24 at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, starting at 5 p.m. It’s one way to find your joie de vivre fast! For information, call 604-736-9806.

Watch a Risqué Performance from the Pussycat Dolls  – June 17
Burlesque lovers know that the Pussycat Dolls, starring former Baywatch babe Carmen Electra, are the cat’s meow. The foxy felines will leave audiences purring as they strut across the stage, singing and dancing to a mash-up of Top 10 mixes including “Don’t Cha” and traditional tunes from the ’50s and ’60s. “It’s almost like a party mix,” say organizers. “Twisted but well thought out.” Catch this risqué revue for one night only on June 17 at the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road, Richmond), starting at 8 p.m. Buy tickets, priced at $59.50 and $69.50, at ticketmaster.ca, all Ticketmaster outlets, or call to charge-by-phone at 1-855-985-5000.

See the Best in Surrealist Art – until September 25

Culture vultures, take note: The most comprehensive exhibition of Surrealist art ever to be shown in Canada is now on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street) until September 25. The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art features 350 works by more than 80 leading artists, including André Breton, Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst, to name but a few. Two other good reasons to go? This epic exhibition provides a stunning overview of one of the most important movements of the 20th century, plus recent studies show that art lovers are less prone to depression than their non gallery-going counterparts. Who knew? For hours and rates, call 604-662-4719.

Shop the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market – until September 11
On the hunt for a cheap summer handbag? A rock-bottom-priced watch? Or maybe discount DVDs? You’ll find all these things and more at the 16th annual Vancouver Chinatown Night Market, a bargain-friendly bazaar chock full of cheap chic. Hundreds of booths along Keefer and Main streets will provide ample hunting ground to wheel and deal on everything remotely retail-worthy. And, along with plenty of ethnic eats, the marketplace also features dragon dances, martial arts, horsedrawn carriage rides and other family-style fun. Catch it every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., until September 11. For more details, call 604-682-8998.

Plan a Ranch Reunion – this summer
Despite the multi-pronged pressures of modern life, or maybe because of them, studies show that family reunions are on the rise. So Elkin Creek Guest Ranch in Chilcotin is completely on-trend with its Family Reunion Package, which offers a host of backcountry activities for all ages and interests. Available from June through October for a minimum three-night stay, your rural reunion includes spacious log-cabin accommodation, three chef-made meals daily, horseback riding, nightly campfires, a kids’ cooking class and organized team-building activities such as relays and scavenger hunts. And of course you’ll also have full use of all the 28,000-acre ranch’s facilities, including a hot tub, sauna and games room. For details, call 1-877-346-9378.

Taste Test Tea – this June
Something’s always brewing at Silk Road (1624 Government Street), a top tea boutique in the heart of Victoria. Until the end of June, you can drink up at special weekend tea tastings, taking place every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. You’ll taste-test a selection of exceptional brews, explore tea culture plus discover insider secrets on how to assess for freshness and quality. Check out the other in-store events, too, including health and wellness seminars and aromatherapy workshops, where you’ll learn to make 100 per cent natural bath and body-care products. Want more information? Call 250-704-2688.

Improve your Golf Swing – anytime

So what if your swing’s sorry and your putt’s pathetic? Lower Mainlanders can lick that problem right on the links with summer golf lessons at Vancouver’s Fraserview and McCleery golf courses, two full-length fairways that offer game improvement opportunities for all ages and skill levels. We all know it’s easy to get enraged on the range — club tossers and ball bashers, you know who you are — so if you’re ready to quit grousing about your game, you can amp up your abilities with the help of a pro by signing up for lessons at vancouverparksgolf.ca or by calling the Golf Institute at Fraserview at 604-257-6923, or McCleery Golf Academy at 604-257-8191.

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