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

This week in BC: Experience the thrill of river rafting, kick off festival season, take mom to yoga, and more

25th Annual Charity BBQ at M&M Meats — May 11

Anyone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome knows it’s a huge pain in the, well, butt. If you’re among the thousands of Canadians afflicted with this digestive disorder—or even if you’re not—why not help M&M Meat Shops cook up a cure? On May 11, you can buy a burger or hot dog at the 25th annual Charity BBQ at M&M shops across the country, and your minimum $3 donation will benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

Credit: Ken Howard

Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul — May 11

Prefer coffee to tea? Who cares—your thirst for quality entertainment will be quenched by the Canadian premiere of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul, an opulent opera described as “one of the most intriguing musical and theatrical events of the season.” Held at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre until May 11, this haunting production by the composer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fuses Eastern myth with Western opera to create a visual and auditory experience unlike anything ever produced by the Vancouver Opera.

Embrace a Discarded Animal Society Opening Gala 
— May 11

When it comes to best friends, you’ll always have their back, right? The same goes for our furry friends, which is why Breakfast Television’s pet-loving presenter Dawn Chubai is emceeing the Embrace a Discarded Animal Society Opening Gala on May 11. For $100 per person, you can help support abandoned animals across B.C. while enjoying cocktails, dinner, music and live and silent auctions at Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre, starting at 6 p.m. Call 604-376-7101 for tickets.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Great Canadian Craft’s Spring Fling! — May 11-12

There must be something in our water that gives rise to artistic expression considering just how much talent resides on the West Coast. For proof, look no further than Great Canadian Craft’s Spring Fling!, held May 11 and 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. One of the biggest artisan expos this side of the Rockies, it features more than 500 indie exhibitors showcasing everything from jewellery to chocolate, plus live music, demos, door prizes and a farmers’ market. It opens at 10 a.m., but be among the first 100 guests in line to win a free swag bag.

Credit: GoToVan

Free Mother’s Day Yoga Class at Semperviva City Studio — May 12

On Mother’s Day, what would you do for the woman who gave you life? Most people would bend over backwards—and some of them will be doing just that on May 12 at a free yoga class at Vancouver’s Semperviva City Studio (1985 W. Broadway), one of the best places in BC to strike a pose. A fun alternative to brunch, this special class gives moms of all fitness levels a chance to hit the mat without taking a hit to the wallet. Call 604-739-2009 for details. 

Meadowlark Nature Festival — May 16-20

What is it about the Meadowlark Nature Festival that routinely ranks it as the “Best Annual Community Event in the South Okanagan”? Chalk it up to the 80-plus activities ranging from wildflower walks, art exhibits and bird-watching to canoe trips, cultural tours and astronomy talks. And, given that the region boasts some of BC’s best backdrops, it’s no wonder visitors from around the world come for the eco-oriented tours led by well-known naturalists, educators, artists and scientists, from May 16 to 20.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair — May 17-20

Kiss off, Cowtown. Vancouver’s answer to the Calgary Stampede is the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, voted the best show in its class for eight straight years. Revisiting our region’s rustic roots, it rolls out all the wonders of the Wild West, including bucking broncos, bull-riding and barrel racing by the world’s top cowfolk, along with scads of family-friendly fun like a parade, Agri Zone, rides, kids’ area and the Fraser Valley’s largest midway. Check it out at Cloverdale Fairgrounds from May 17 to 20, for $12 at the gate.

Hyack Festival — May 25

Bedroom community it may be, but New Westminster sure won’t resemble sleepy suburbia during the Hyack Festival, taking place from May 17 to 26. Some of the 60-plus events in store during this community carnival, a 42nd annual ode to BC’s original capital, include a street fair, live entertainment, rides and an antique show. Plus, you can bond with your brood at Hyack Family Days in Queen’s Park or check out BC’s biggest family-friendly parade on May 25, starting at 11 a.m. along Columbia Street.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Asian Heritage Month Festival — Until May 31

Did you know that Asians invented ice cream, toilet paper and pasta? For that, they deserve props aplenty, which is just what’s in store at the annual Asian Heritage Month Festival, taking place at various Vancouver venues until May 31. The Far East fun includes everything from a Taiwanese-Canadian music concert and Indonesian Film Festival to a Chinese Soul Food cooking class and a Korean Dance Festival, with more options listed online.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Chilliwack River Rafting Adventures 

If you’re looking for a heart-stopping hobby, Chilliwack River Rafting Adventures will practically land you on life support. After climbing aboard a rubber raft or kayak, you’ll experience non-stop whitewater (and white-knuckle!) action racing down roaring rapids with names like Gun Barrel, Double Whammy, Pinball, Carousel and Godzilla. Not feeling a need for speed? Don’t worry, you can always opt for tamer alternatives instead, with full details on day trips and overnight packages available online. 

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.