BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for May 22 – 28

This week in BC: a little soccer, a little Streetcar, six festivals, a circus and a tea party. Have fun!

See the Vancouver Whitecaps battle the Rochester Rhinos at Swangard Stadium

Catch the Whitecaps vs. the Rochester Rhinos
 – May 22
So Team Canada didn’t qualify for the FIFA World Cup this year, but at least the Vancouver Whitecaps are still in the game. The team, led by soccer star-turned-GM Bob Lenarduzzi, will be kickin’ it against the Rochester Rhinos on May 22 at Swangard Stadium in Central Park (Kingsway and Boundary Road, Burnaby). Just remember: if our boys start whupping the Rhinos, it’s considered de rigueur to do the Whitecaps’ signature wave. Tickets for the game, starting at 7 p.m. are $25.50 to $44 per person through ticketmaster.ca. And if you’re game for women’s soccer, you’ll be happy to know the Whitecaps boast some world-class ball busters of the female persuasion, too. For a full season schedule, running until early October, visit whitecapsfc.com.

See A Streetcar Named Desire – From the Street – May 19-22
Put down the phone! That pack of people you see peering through the windows of an East Vancouver home aren’t casing the place. Those Peeping Toms are just the audience of Leaky Heaven Circus’s site-specific production of A Streetcar Named Desire, which infuses Tennessee Williams’ classic play with an East Van edge by setting it in a small alley house off Commercial Drive. Interested? Better bring your coat ’cause you’ll be sitting in the street while watching the steamy action unfold through the windows of the home, located at 820 Woodland Drive (enter at Adanac and Woodland). Tickets for the show, running from May 19 to 22 at 9 p.m., are available for $18 to $22 at the door or in advance at 604-488-0003. For more details, go to leakyheaven.com

Attend Hyack Fest
 – May 22-29
Sparks are set to fly, quite literally, in New Westminster on May 22 as a shower of fireworks signals the start of the Hyack Festival, an annual ode to B.C.’s original capital. A sampling of the 60-plus events in store during this eight-day community carnival include a street fair, live entertainment, rides and an antiques show. Plus, you can bond with your brood at Hyack Family Days in Queen’s Park on May 23 and 24, an outdoor extravaganza offering plenty of free all-ages activities, or check out B.C.’s biggest family-oriented parade on May 29, complete with championship marching bands, floats and a clutch of clowns along Columbia Street. For further info, call 604-522-6894 or visit hyack.bc.ca

Check out the BC Buds Spring Arts Fair at the Firehall Arts Centre – May 21-23
Something’s smoking down at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St., Vancouver) these days. It’s the sixth annual BC Buds Spring Arts Fair, running from May 21 to 23 with everything from magic and music to dance and drama by emerging and established performing artists. This free festival, taking place at St. James Church, Ironworks, Vancouver Police Museum, and, of course, that venerable old firehall-turned-arts centre, offers something for all ages, including fun family programming on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. For information, call 604-689-0926 or go online to firehallartscentre.ca for a complete schedule.

Try the Bar Method at Lululemon – May 23 & 30

Ever heard of The Bar exercise method? You will. The core-strengthening program that’s reportedly “taking North America by storm” is set to be introduced to local exercise enthusiasts in a series of free fitness classes at Lululemon Lab (511 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-708-1126) on May 23 and 30, starting at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The world-class workout combines yoga, Pilates and ballet to yield full body-sculpting benefits, and if you like it, good news: The Bar Method Vancouver is slated to launch a studio in Yaletown in early fall (location TBA). Class size is limited to 20 people, so pre-register by calling 604-708-1126. For more information, go to barmethod.com.

Go See the CircusWest
 – May 27-30
Jules Verne may have journeyed around the world in 80 days, but you can do it all in one evening at CircusWest from May 27 to 30 at the PNE Gardens (East Hastings and Renfrew streets, Vancouver). This acrobatic adaptation of Verne’s classic sci-fi novel follows the adventures of Phileas Fogg as he gallivants around the globe on a magical journey — from Europe and India to Hong Kong and Canada — and witnesses exotic acrobats in action. It won’t just be the troupe who’ll be flipping out; audiences will be awed by their jaw-dropping, gravity-defying gyrations. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students/seniors and $12 for youth aged 18 and under. For tickets and information, visit circuswest.com or call 604-737-7408.

Fill up at EAT! Vancouver
 – May 28-30
Whether you live to eat or just eat to live, you’ll find something to drool over at the city’s most appetizing event, EAT! Vancouver: The Everything Food + Cooking Festival at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre (999 Canada Place). Running from May 28 to 30, this eighth annual exposition features more than 250 top-name vendors, making it Western Canada’s largest consumer food show. And, as always, there will be loads of culinary competitions and cooking demos, featuring the likes of celebrity chef Rob Feenie, Food Network Canada’s Chuck Hughes and Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi Larry Thomas. Bring your appetite and swing by on Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. 
to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tickets available online for $12 at eat-vancouver.com or for $15 at the gate.

Get Sustainable at EPIC – May 28-30

Do you religiously recycle? Pooh-pooh plastics? Then you’re the perfect candidate to visit EPIC: The Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo, running from May 28 to 30 at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre (999 Canada Place). Eco-conscious consumers will discover new ways to shrink their carbon footprint thanks to more than 300 vendors and celebrity speakers including HGTV star Mike Holmes, who’ll be hammering home tips on green construction. And don’t miss the cooking stage, fashion show and food and beverage samplings, either. For info call 604-689-8232. Tickets are $15 at the door or $10 online at epicexpo.com

Celebrate Asian Culture – until May 31

As the inventors of ice cream, toilet paper and Playstation, we have lots of reasons to be thankful for Asia. Here’s another: the 14th annual Asian Heritage Month Festival, taking place at various Vancouver venues until May 31. Some of the Far East fun in store includes a free art exhibition at the City of Vancouver Archives called Chinatown: Past, Present and Future, an Indonesian Film Festival on May 22 and 23 at Pacific Cinematheque, free Asian cooking classes on May 27 at Garrett Wellness Centre, and Vancouver Opera’s lavish production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, beginning May 29. For more info on this cultural carnival, visit explorasian.org

Have an Oak Bay Tea Party – June 5-6
Whether it’s the Mad Hatter’s or Boston’s, tea parties have taken some odd forms over the years. But there’s nothing unusual about the 48th annual Oak Bay Tea Party on June 5 and 6 in Victoria – unless, of course, you count the racing wheelchairs, floating tea cups and ladies’ nail-driving competition. More than just a weekend of tea tasting, it features live music, kayak paddling, carnival rides, a military air show and, of course, scads of awesome eats. Plus, don’t miss the opening day Tea Party Parade, a 45-minute procession starting from Windsor Park at 10:30 a.m. and ending at Willows Park (Estevan and Beach streets), the centre of the festivities. For more information, visit oakbayteaparty.com.

Dine in Whistler – until June 30

So many restaurants, so little time. That could easily be the motto of Dine in Whistler, a great deal on meals offering three-course spring menus for $25, $35 and $45 at 20 top restaurants until June 30. It’s a perfect chance for wallet watchers to enjoy exceptional dining value at A-list eateries like Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro and Hy’s Steakhouse, where bills could otherwise run up into three figures. And, bonus: if you pay with your Visa card, you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win a return trip to Whistler that includes 10 nights’ accommodation and a dinner certificate from each participating Dine-in restaurant. Tempted to make a weekend out of it? Book a room starting from $99 by calling 1.800.WHISTLER (1-800-944-7853) or visiting whistler.com/dinein.

Book the Dude Ranch Weekender Package at Elkin Creek Guest Ranch – now
What Canadian boy hasn’t dreamed of becoming a hockey star, astronaut or cowboy? Now one of those dreams can come true, at least for a few days, with the “Dude” Ranch Weekender package at Elkin Creek Guest Ranch in Chilcotin. Urban cowboys can go all Wild West with a guided fishing tour on motorized aluminum, belly or pontoon boats, plus enjoy horseback riding, roping lessons, hiking and archery, followed by a steak BBQ and drinks in a lakeside hot tub. The package includes three chef-made meals per day, two-bedroom log cabin accommodations, and full use of a sauna, games room and fishing gear. And, bonus, boys will also go home with a souvenir cowboy hat — no bull! For rates and further details, email info@adventurewestresorts.com or call 1-877-3-GO-WEST.

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