BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for May 21 – 27

This week in BC: Attend a festival, a rodeo, a fundraiser, a play, a comedy show and more

Mom’s the Word: Remixed plays at the Arts Club May 26-July 23

What to do in BC this week

Head to the South Okanagan Meadowlark Festival – May 19-23
It won’t just be tree-huggers heading to the 14th annual South Okanagan Meadowlark Festival, a so-called “ecological museum under the sky” from May 19 to 23. Thanks to a packed program of fun and informative events, the festival has been voted the “Best Annual Community Event in the South Okanagan” for more than 80 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 B.C.’s best backdrops, it’s no surprise that visitors from around the world come for the eco-oriented tours, lectures and workshops led by prominent naturalists, educators, artists and scientists.

Don’t Miss the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – May 20-23
Vancouver’s answer to the Calgary Stampede, Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair has been voted the best show in its class across North America for the past seven years. It’ll roll 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, from May 20 to 23 at Cloverdale Fairgrounds (6050 176 Street). Rodeo tickets available onsite for $20 per person and country fair tickets priced at $12 per person at participating London Drugs and White Spot Triple-O’s locations. For more details, call 604-576-9461.

Don Your Kilt for the Victoria Highland Games – May 21-22
Boxers, briefs or bare-nekked: Ever wondered what Scottish dudes really wear under those kilts? You’ve got a chance to find out at the 148th annual Victoria Highland Games, taking place on May 21 and 22 at Topaz Park (Blanshard & Finlayson, across from Mayfair Mall). What’s in store? Only the most bona fide Celtic activities, of course – Highland dancing, cabers toss, 100-yard kilted dash, and lots and lots of bagpipes. Not a Scot? No worries: Everyone’s welcome to check out the action at this high-energy hoe-down, running daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, with $2 discounts for students and seniors.

Celebrate the Hyack Festival – May 22, 23 & 28
Sparks are set to fly, quite literally, in New Westminster at noon on May 22 as a shower of fireworks heralds the start of the Hyack Festival. A sampling of the 60-plus events in store during this eight-day community carnival, a 40th annual ode to B.C.’s original capital, includes 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 on May 22 and 23, an outdoor extravaganza offering plenty of free all-ages activities, or check out B.C.’s biggest family-oriented parade along Columbia Street on May 28. For more info, call 604-522-6894.

Prep Yourself for Bard on the Beach
 – May 24
What’s so great about Shakespeare? SFU professor Dr. Paul Budra is set to tell you at Shakespeare 201, a free preseason primer for the 22nd annual Bard on the Beach Festival, running from June 2 to September 24 at Vanier Park with productions of As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VI and Richard III. On May 24, Dr. Budra will bring his signature charm and extensive expertise to delve deep into the works of the 16th-century scribe at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodwards Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver), starting at 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling the Bard box office at 604-739-0559 or registering online.

Attend a Mad
 Men Themed Fundraiser – May 26
Wish you could dress in ’60s-era finery like a Mad Men character? Good news, you can: Just head to skoah Yaletown (1011 Hamilton Street, Vancouver) on May 26 for a Mad Men-themed fundraiser hosted by Urban Rush’s Michael Eckford and Fiona Forbes. It’s all to benefit the Hopeful Hand, a charity that supports the parents of terminally ill kids through BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Alberta Children’s Hospital. So bring on the tailored suits, chic pencil dresses, ruby-red lipstick and swing by from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to enjoy classic cocktails, appetizers by some of Vancouver’s top restaurants and retro remixes spun by DJ Leanne. To buy tickets, priced at $125 each with a portion eligible for a tax receipt, buy online or drop by skoah Yaletown.

Try a Tango – May 26-30

It only takes two to tango, but you can bet many more people than that will turn out for the second annual Vantangofest from May 26 to 30 at various Vancouver venues. Catch a slate of daily dance workshops geared for all levels that run the range from “Body Language” to “Mind Bending Leg Wraps,” all led by expert instructors, at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver). And on May 28, the venue will also be the backdrop for the Grand Ball, where nine world-class Argentine dancers will deliver a night full of phenomenal footwork. For a schedule of events and ticket information, call 778-999-4280.

See Mom’s the Word: Remixed – May 26 – July 23

The mother of all shows is back by popular demand: Mom’s the Word: Remixed, a hit comedy about the pitfalls of parenting, returns to the Arts Club’s Revue Stage (1601 Johnston Street, Granville Island) from May 26 to July 23. Outrageously outspoken moms share true, intimate tales of the heartache and joy of parenthood — from bun in the oven to the terrible twos to the terrifying teens — in a show blending the best bits of smash-hit prequels Mom’s the Word and Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged, both of which earned rave reviews and standing ovations in Vancouver and across the province. Tickets available online or call 604-687-1644.

See Craig Ferguson Live – May 27-28
For once, you don’t have to stay up way late to catch a monologue by freewheeling funnyman Craig Ferguson. The Glasgow-born host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, who you may remember as Nigel Wick from The Drew Carey Show, is bringing his tart-tongued stand-up routine to the River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Road, Richmond) on May 27 and Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam) on May 28. The hilarious Highlander, who’s also a critically acclaimed director and best-selling author, is a first-class mimic, too, known for his dead-on impressions of Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Prince Charles. For tickets to the show, priced at $69.50 and up plus service charges, visit any Ticketmaster outlet or charge-by-phone at 1-855-985-5000.

Catch Hairspray – until July 10
Arriving in an aerosol fog of advance hype, Hairspray more than lives up to its promise. That’s the word of one theatre critic, who added that the bubble-gum-flavoured confection is “as sweet as a show can be without promoting tooth decay.” Catch this eight-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, starring Best in Show’s Jay Brazeau, until July 10 at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville Street, Vancouver). And though the story weaves in plenty of social commentary on racial injustice, it’s non-preachily presented amidst the doo-wop and sock-hops of ’60s Baltimore, where a pleasantly plump teen with big ideas and an even bigger bouffant auditions to dance on a TV variety show. Tickets available online or call 604-687-1644.

See Vancouver by Air – anytime

Forget traditional tour buses. If you want to see Vancouver in high style, check out the flightseeing tours by West Coast Air. You’ll get out of gridlock in the most glorious way while enjoying a bird’s eye view of spectacular scenery offered by B.C.’s biggest city. On the 20-minute flight, you’ll soar over Stanley Park, the North Shore Mountains and the downtown core, as well as Horseshoe Bay, English Bay and False Creek. Cost for this city-sweeping tour is $99 per person. The memories? Priceless! For more information about this or other tours, including a Fly ’n’ Dine to Victoria’s Butchart Gardens and an Orca Whales Photo Safari, call 604-274-1277.

Take a Self-guided Fort St. James Tour – anytime
A 90-minute drive from Prince George lands you on the shores of Stuart Lake — and two centuries back in time at Fort St. James National Historic Park, a former fur-trading post founded in 1806 by explorer Simon Fraser. This meticulously preserved heritage site boasts the largest group of original wooden buildings from the 19th century fur trade in all of Canada, along with costumed interpreters who’ll show you what life was like back in B.C.’s early years. Swing by for a self-guided walk or an interpretive tour daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning May 21 until September 30. For more details, go to pc.gc.ca, call 250-996-7191 or email stjames@pc.gc.ca.

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