BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for May 29 – June 4

This week in BC: sing, ride, play, eat and shop in style at myriad events for all ages

Bard on the Beach opens at Vanier Park on June 3

Rock This Town with the Maple Leaf Singers – May 29-30
It’s said that music soothes the soul. But it’s likely to have the opposite effect, in a good way, at the Maple Leaf Singers’ 42nd annual spring show on May 29 and 30 at the Massey Theatre (735 Eighth Ave., New Westminster). And, as befits a show called Rock This Town, it does just that with everything from classics to pop, including Gershwin, The Beatles and Billy Joel, along with movie scores from The Music Man and Spider-Man plus ’60s standards like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Catch it May 29 at 8 p.m. and May 30 at 2 p.m., with tickets priced at $20 per person or $18 for seniors and students. To book your seats, call 604-521-5050 or visit masseytheatre.com.

Attend the Wild Lillies Fundraising Gala for Breast Cancer – May 29
Veteran radio and television personality Vicki Gabereau (aka “Canada’s motor mouth”) steps up to the mic as host of the Wild Lilies Gala, a fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation on May 29 at Crystal Garden (721 Douglas Street, Victoria). The backstory for this bash? Canada’s pre-eminent artist Emily Carr created a painting of wild lilies that was a favourite of her elder sister, Elizabeth. When Lizzie, as she was affectionately dubbed, died from breast cancer, Carr donated the painting to the Sisters of Saint Ann, a Victoria hospice where she lived out her final days. The 19th century oil painting, which has been in a private collection and not widely seen by the public, will be unveiled, along with a reproduction that’ll go under the hammer at the gala’s live auction. Guests will also enjoy a cocktail reception starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by a fabulous dinner and lineup of entertainment, all to help raise awareness and funds for a future without breast cancer. For further information and tickets, priced at $150 per person, call 250-384-3328.

Raise Money for Prostate Cancer Research at the Ride to Live
 – May 30
What’s the point of the West Coast Motorcycle Ride to Live? You’re sitting on it. Well, if you’re a guy, that is. On May 30, 2,000 participants across the Lower Mainland are expected to board their bikes and hit the road to make tracks toward a future without prostate cancer. This fundraising foray, which begins at Trev Deeley Motorcycles (1875 Boundary Rd., Vancouver) and blasts out to Harrison and Cloverdale before concluding at Honda Canada (13240 Worster Court, Richmond) for a 3 p.m. after-party that includes a family barbecue, live band and vintage vehicle show. Cost is $25 per rider and $25 per passenger, with all funds supporting prostate cancer research, support and education programs. For more details, go to ridetolive.ca

Get Stylish at Portobello West – May 30
If your sense of style turns heads, but for all the wrong reasons, you can find the fix for all your fashion foibles at Portobello West on May 30 at Rocky Mountaineer Station (1755 Cottrell St., Vancouver). From noon to 6 p.m., you can browse the wares of more than 110 local artists and designers, featuring loads of looks to suit all styles. Equally great? Admission is only $2, with children 12 and under free. Plus, there’s free on-site parking and even a handy shuttle to escort you right to the door. For further info on this massive fashion and art market, visit portobellowest.com

Discover the Sounds of NessaV – June 3
If you haven’t yet heard of NessaV, it’s a sure bet you will. The Canadian-born Brazilian is set to release her debut album, Aché, on June 3 with a CD release party at Fortune Sound Club (147 E. Pender St., Vancouver). Everybody (19 years or older) is invited to catch this star on the rise, who’ll demonstrate why she’s been winning raves for a trademark sound that blends hip-hop, pop and samba. The singer, songwriter and capoeirista has already had plenty of experience charming audiences, too, after touring the world as one of the lead voices of the internationally acclaimed ensemble Aché Brasil. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are available for $10 in advance at clubzone.com or $15 at the door.

Golf for Charity at the Women’s Media Gold Tournament – June 3

There’s usually no benefit to being talent-less, but it’ll come in handy at the Women’s Media Golf Classic Tournament on June 3 at the Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy (3904 W. 51 Ave, Vancouver). Hopeless swingers will fit right in at this no-talent-required tourney that raises funds for the Pacific Autism Family Centre & Mediated Learning Academy. Check it out at noon, then, afterwards, head to Beyond Restaurant & Lounge (1015 Burrard St.) for a gala dinner, where you’ll mingle with local celebs, pro athletes and other folk as they bid on live and silent auction items. To date, this 23rd annual event has raised more than $2 million for B.C.’s special children. You can help boost the bucks even more by calling Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia at 604-697-5302 or e-mailing wendy@crewmanagement.com to register.

Entertain Your Kids at the Surrey Children’s Fest
 – June 3-5
It’s a tough job coming up with new ways to stimulate young minds. One easy shortcut is to take them to the sixth annual Surrey Children’s Festival from June 3 to 5. But be forewarned: with attractions like a Paint Studio, Storytelling Tent, Adventure Zone and Big Top Circus station, it just might give your kids a case of ADD for the day. Plus, roving performers will be mingling throughout the site, which also features a Community Spirit Stage with all-day music, song and dance. For tickets to the festival, taking place at Bear Creek Park (13750 88 Ave.) and the Surrey Arts Centre, call 604-501-5566 or visit surrey.ca for more information.

See the Bard on the Beach – June 3-Sept 25 

Wondering why all those candy-striped tents are staked out at Vanier Park these days? No, it’s not some big barbershop convention; it’s Bard on the Beach, back for its 21st successful season. You’ll have opportunity aplenty to brush up on your iambic pentameter while enjoying performances of Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Falstaff and Henry V from 
June 3 to September 25. Be sure to check out all the special events this summer, too, the most explosive of which is undoubtedly Bard-B-Q and Fireworks — a thrilling threesome that combines a play, salmon barbecue and the Celebration of Light show. Tickets for performances, running Tuesdays through Sundays, start at $18.75 and are available by calling 604-739-0559 (toll-free at 1-877-739-0559) or visiting bardonthebeach.org.

Go Deep with Deepak Chopra
 – June 4
Misleading moniker aside, there’s nothing new about the New Age movement. In fact, it’s a 5,000-year-old practice whose benefits are only now being embraced by Westerners. You can learn all about it from one of its pre-eminent practitioners, Deepak Chopra, best-selling author and celebrity self-help guru, when he appears at Queen Elizabeth Theatre (649 Cambie St., Vancouver) on June 4. The world-class wellness expert, who is also an American medical doctor, will offer insights on alternative approaches to holistic health, including the art of Ayurveda, spirituality and mind-body medicine. Book a seat at ticketmaster.ca, and 10 per cent of proceeds will go to AIDS Vancouver if you enter “AIDS” in the promo code.

Go for a Ride in Becky’s New Car at the Arts Club Theatre
 – until June 5
Finding the on-ramp to happiness is the theme of Becky’s New Car, roaring onto the Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston St., Vancouver) until June 5. To all appearances, married, middle-aged mom Becky is leading a perfectly fulfilling life, right? Wrong. She wants more. And when an unexpected offer for just that — from a dashing millionaire, no less — falls into her lap, she shifts gears to embark on a comic joyride that just may cure her midlife crisis or, if she’s not careful, cause her to crash and burn. The show boasts a cast of notable names, too, including The Beachcombers’ Jackson Davies, Corner Gas’s Cavan Cunningham and Deborah Williams, best known for her work in Mom’s the Word. For information, go to artsclub.com or call 604-687-1644 for tickets.

Stay & Play at the Best Western in Penticton – this summer
For a swinging deal, check out the Stay & Play Package at Best Western Inn at Penticton (3180 Skaha Lake Road), a golf getaway that entitles you to accommodation, a bottle of Okanagan wine, complimentary green fees and a deluxe continental breakfast. Golfers will feel like Tiger Woods himself (minus the gazillion mistresses) on meticulously crafted, 18-hole championship courses surrounded by sweeping desert scenery. Similar packages, starting from $199.99 plus tax, are also available at other B.C. Best Westerns, including the Westerly Hotel in Courtenay and Sunrise Inn in Osoyoos. For further details or to book, visit bestwesternbc.com or call 1-800-780-7234.

Grab a 
Sandwich at Sweeney’s in Yaletown – anytime

When people hear that a new eatery named Sweeney’s (1091 Hamilton St., Vancouver) has opened up in Yaletown, the inevitable question is: “Do they serve meat pies?” The answer, thankfully, is no. There’s no mystery meat, no razor-wielding Johnny Depp and no pretense, either. What you will find is “slow-cooked fast food” with personality, including sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods, all made fresh with local ingredients. Call for take-away, or dine in (see if you can grab a seat on the patio) and wash down the fab fare with equally outstanding coffee or a selection of bottled beer and wine. For more information, call 604-689-4505 or follow Sweeney’s on Twitter.