BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for November 27 – December 3

This week in BC: Buy eco-apparel for cheap, see a Santa Claus parade, catch the Lord of the Rings symphony and more

Dancers Dancing use choreographic language in Extra Extra at the Firehall Arts Centre

What to do in BC this week

Hit up the Eco Apparel Sample Sale – November 20 – December 17

What do ski, snowboard and yoga wear have in common? They are all up for grabs at the Eco Apparel Sample Sale, running from November 20 to December 17. Get ready to tackle your Christmas list in one fell swoop because this local design and manufacturing company has slashed prices so deeply that you’re guaranteed to find blowout bargains on all its Canadian-made products. Arm yourself with cash or credit cards only and swing by from 11 a.m. to 
5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays at 1201 Franklin St. (near Clark and Hastings streets). More information at boardroomecoapparel.com or echorain.ca.

Catch the Edmonds Santa Claus Parade – November 27
Christmas is still more than a month away, but that’s not stopping Santa Claus from coming to town. He’ll be headlining the 7th annual Edmonds Santa Claus Parade in Burnaby on November 27 to help support Rotary Coats 4 Kids, a charitable initiative that supplies outerwear to disadvantaged children throughout the community. Whether or not the heavens choose to rain on this parade, it’s set to march west along Edmonds Street, from Canada Way to Linden Avenue, then over to Richmond Park (Elwell and Humphries streets) for a kids’ carnival, complete with refreshments. Donations of coats of all sizes and types will be accepted following the 1 p.m. parade at designated collection locations.

Don’t Miss The Lord of the Rings Symphony – November 27-28
J.R.R. Tolkien fans, take note: Middle-earth is coming to the Orpheum Theatre (884 Granville St., Vancouver) with The Lord of the Rings Symphony on November 27 and 28. Uniting the talents of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Bach Children’s Chorus, this cinematic, six-movement symphony evokes “sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas and grand journeys” while unspooling awe-inspiring imagery of renowned Tolkien artists Alan Lee and John Howe, guaranteeing audiences a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Catch it Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with more information available at 604-876-3434. 

Catch Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter – November 27 – December 23
“Moving,” “funny,” “jaw-droppingly inventive!” That’s what critics have had to say about Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, a witty work that makes its Canadian debut at the Vancouver Playhouse (Hamilton & Dunsmuir streets) from November 27 to December 23. Set in 1945, the envelope-pushing play breaks out an array of theatrical styles and technical effects to dramatize the lives and loves of three couples stranded at a railway station. And, aside from characters jumping in and out of film screens, you can also expect an appearance by live musicians playing such songs as “Mad About the Boy,” “Any Little Fish” and “A Room with a View.” Tickets can be reserved by calling 604-873-3311.

See Dancers Dancing Extra Extra
 – December 1-4
Most communication is expressed through body language. So don’t be surprised that Extra Extra is set to make a big statement. This fast-paced powerhouse of a performance by Dancers Dancing uses choreographic language — along with images from newspapers, ad campaigns and political propaganda — to reflect, magnify and then fracture our perceptions of contemporary society. This full-length work pumps vividly, from beginning to end, and resonates with the frenetic energy of our 21st-century world. See it from December 1 to 4 at Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St., Vancouver), starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by phone at 604-689-0926.

Don’t Miss The Secret in the Wings – until December 5
There’s only one place where the impossible is possible, and that’s in fairy tales. The Secret in the Wings weaves this notion into a spellbinding yarn that’s equal parts sweet and scary at Studio 58, Langara College (100 W. 49th Ave., Vancouver), until December 5. Taking a “captivating and quirky contemporary look” at rarely told fairy tales, it takes audiences on a hypnotic voyage to unexpected lands, places of both magic and menace, for an experience that the Chicago Sun-Times called “visually captivating and surprise-filled.” Tickets available through Tickets Tonight, 604-684-2787.

Go Behind the Scenes at Rogers Arena – Wednesdays and Fridays

Want to ply the same floorboards as Lady Gaga? Walk in the footsteps of Justin Bieber, Mick Jagger or Gwen Stefani? Then check out Behind the Scenes at Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver), where you’ll set off on a guided backstage tour of the state-of-the-art venue, formerly called GM Place. Check out the view from the stage — a montage most of us will never experience — and even poke around the VIP boxes and dressing rooms where big-ticket rock stars munch on M&Ms (no brown ones, please!) while prepping for a performance. Tickets for the tour, running every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., are $12 per person, with discounts for students and seniors. For further details, call 604-899-7400.

Enjoy the German Christmas Market
 – until December 24
German visitors to Vancouver hoping to experience an authentic Canadian Christmas might feel a flash of déjà vu if they happen to wander into the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (W. Georgia and Hamilton streets) between now and December 24. The reason? It’s the site of the first Vancouver Christmas Market, a replica of the world-famous German varieties that feature eats from the old country plus over 30 unique vendors, all set in a festive outdoor village full of illuminated wooden huts, twinkling lights, jingling bells, trumpeters and the heady aromas of mulled wine and gingerbread. Catch it from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Wear Pink, Attend Diva Fridays – throughout the holidays

Here’s a deal guaranteed to get social drinkers tickled pink: YEW Restaurant + Bar (791 W. Georgia St., Vancouver) is hosting Diva Fridays each week throughout the holiday season. What does that mean to you? From 2:30 p.m. to close, ladies and gents wearing pink — whether in the form of all-over outerwear or just the tiniest of touches — can enjoy free signature appetizers and specially priced pink drinks. Choose from a great selection of rose-hued libations from the classic Cosmo to custom-made creations like Diva Bubbles and Feng Shui, each priced at $9. For more information, call 604-692-4939.

Save on Dinner at the Fairmont – until December 17
Think there are no perks to getting older? The Fairmont Waterfront (900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver) is aiming to change your mind by offering a special deal for vacationers aged 55-plus. For every night you bunk at the high-end hotel, you’ll receive a $50 food and beverage credit to satisfy your hunger for savings — whether you choose dinner at Herons Restaurant, a leisurely breakfast-in-bed or just nightcaps in the lounge. Room rates are $199 per night based on double occupancy, with an option to upgrade to exclusive Fairmont Gold for $269, until December 17 for stays up to February 28, 2011. Now that you’ve got 55-plus reasons to book a visit, call 1-888-270-6649.

Take a Stroll along the Nanaimo Bar Trail – now
We all know that the seaside city of Nanaimo boasts many fab qualities — but none so awesome, in our opinion, as its status as the acknowledged birthplace of the world-famous Nanaimo Bar. It’s a fact not lost on the PR folks at Tourism Nanaimo, either, who’ve come up with a tasty way to capitalize on the town’s sweet history. How so? By inviting visitors to take a stroll along the “Nanaimo Bar Trail,” which weaves through the town’s downtown core and Old Quarter, stopping at various shops and establishments serving up all manner of Nanaimo Bar-flavoured fare — everything from squares to cupcakes to martinis. For more information on this and other tours, call 250-756-0106.

See the Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens – until January 6
Planning on visiting The Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay) this holiday season? Tickets can be pricey, so here’s how to get a little more bang for your buck: Swing by on December 1 for the Magic of Christmas, which kicks off the holiday season with a night of all-ages entertainment that includes free rides on the Rose Carousel, outdoor ice skating, live brass band and the big unveil of the Twelve Days of Christmas display, all starting at 5 p.m. And, kids: be sure to bring along a homemade paper snowflake to exchange at the Visitor Information Centre for a free hot chocolate voucher redeemable at the coffee shop. Check it out daily until January 6.

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