BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for May 4-10

This week in BC: See some burlesque legends, get your thrills on at Playland, shop at Secret Location, and more

Credit: Vancouver International Burlesque Festival

Vancouver International Burlesque Festival — May 2-4

Tassels will be twirling and feathers flying when the eighth annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival brings some of the best acts in the biz to town from May 2 to 4. Drop by the Rio, Vogue and Cellar to feast your eyes on legendary burlesque queens like Imogen Kelly, Foxy Tann and Judith Stein, not to mention outrageously edgy acts like boylesque wonder Russel Bruner, retro dancers The Hot Pants and a steamy production of Gypsy Rose Lee.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Playland Opens — May 4 to June 30

Prepare yourself, parents, it’s that time of year when kids start pestering you about Playland. And, yes, a day at the fair may cost a pretty penny, but it just might be worth it to give your kids a chance to earn bragging rights for braving dozens of pulse-pounding rides, and sharpening their sporting skills at a climbing wall, mini-golf course and shooting gallery. Buy discounted PlayPasses online then swing by weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 4 to June 30.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Burnaby Rhododendron Festival — May 5

Believe it or not, in some countries the rhododendron is considered a nuisance plant. Not so in Burnaby, where it’s long been celebrated as the city’s official flower. And for 25 years, the Burnaby Rhododendron Festival has amped up our appreciation for the shrub with an annual expo that includes garden tours, art activities, roving performers, a plant sale and silent auction. Check it out at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake Park on May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Ballroom With a Twist — May 8

For fans of Dancing With the Stars there’s only one thing better than tuning in to the hit show on TV — and that’s seeing it live on stage. Do just that on May 8 at the Orpheum when the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents Ballroom With a Twist, a critically acclaimed show choreographed by Louis Van Amstel himself. It features all your favourite pros and finalists in action, not just from Dancing With the Stars but also from So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. Buy tickets online or by phone at 604-876-3434.

Credit: Arts Club

Dreamgirls — May 9 to July 7

From stage to screen and back again, Dreamgirls is the rags-to-riches tale of a 1960s girl group, loosely based on The Supremes. Hopeful divas Effie, Deena and Lorrell fantasize about playing Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, and after getting their big break, The Dreamettes seem an unstoppable force on the road to superstardom — until rivalry and betrayal cause the trio to hit all the wrong notes. See it from May 9 to July 7 at Vancouver’s Stanley Theatre.

Credit: David Cooper

Let Me Call You Sweetheart — Until May 19

The golden years may too often be tarnished with tragedy, but you won’t find anything remotely depressing about Let Me Call You Sweetheart, celebrating its world premiere at Victoria’s Belfy Theatre until May 19. Sure, it’s about an 85-year-old woman facing the prospect of moving into an extended care facility, but that’s about as gloomy as it gets, thanks to an upbeat ending and a toe-tapping score by composer Bruce Ruddell and former Chilliwack rocker Bill Henderson.

Credit: Secret Location

Secret Location

You can’t be all things to all people. Clearly, Secret Location (1 Water St, Vancouver) didn’t get the memo. This one-stop shop, “purveyors of fashion, books, housewares, gadgets and many other delights,” also boasts a top-notch tasting room, serving artisanal coffee, housemade pastries and delicious farm-to-table savouries. The store opens daily at 11 a.m., or call 604-685-0090 for tasting room reservations.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

The Roof 
at Black+Blue

Take a deep breath ’cause you’re about to hit The Roof. But only in a good way because the city’s newest hot spot (at Black+Blue, 1032 Alberni St, Vancouver) is attracting revellers from all over the Lower Mainland. The fun begins the moment you step aboard a private glass elevator whisking you up to the city’s largest rooftop retreat, a 120-seat space ablaze with fireplace walls and a menu that’s just as hot, with everything from prime meats and seafood to freshly baked forno flatbreads and sharing plates. It’s open daily from 11:30 am to 10 p.m., and be sure to check out the weekend brunch, too.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

Milano Coffee

How do you say coffee in Italian? Our guess: “Milano” (various Vancouver locations). That’s because the local java joint knows the centuries-old secret to brewing authentic Italian-style coffee. As they proclaim: “Very few outside of Italy can masterfully balance and harmonize 100 per cent Arabica coffee into 9-10-11 (or even 12) bean blends.” Plus, they offer Vancouver’s only espresso tasting bar, pouring eight different varieties “on tap.”

Credit: richtpt

Events in Prince George

Not just a northern outpost with polar temperatures and plug-in cars, Prince George offers “more than you can imagine.” That’s the tagline of Tourism PG, and it’s sticking to that story—for good reason—by offering a slate of spring activities that just might tempt you to hit the highway. This week alone, visitors can check out a Latin Dance Party, Monster Truck Show, Outdoor Farmers Market, Pilsner Bush Bash and Cantata Sings Broadway . . . and that’s just for starters!

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.