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This week in BC: celebrate Halloween, see Japanese butoh dancers, catch an American Idol, plan your big day, and more
Tokyo-based butoh company Sankai Juku performs on November 5 and 6
Take the Kids to The Great Big Boo! – October 28-30
Despite its name, The Great Big Boo! delivers pint-sized thrills that won’t traumatize the tots. This family-friendly outdoor musical uses high-kicking dance numbers and theatrical special effects to show how Wendella the Witch discovers the true meaning of Halloween, alongside paranormal pals Vinnie the Vampire, Wolfgang the Werewolf and Sammy Joe the Scarecrow. After the 40-minute show, kids can meet, greet and even trick-or-treat with the zany cast of characters. Catch it at Fort Langley National Historic Site (23433 Mavis Ave.) from October 28 to 30 at 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.70 per person, with further details at 604-513-4777.
Spend Halloween at the Burnaby Village Museum – October 28-30
Burnaby Village Museum, a living replica of a roaring ’20s town, has temporarily transformed into a haunted hamlet this Halloween season. Kids can trick or treat, enjoy a circus sideshow, watch roving performers, consult a fortune teller and even get measured for their very own coffin. And if you need to rest your feet, head to the Voodoo Café, where you can savour hot chocolate, treats and — if you’re not squeamish — some surprisingly tasty “toes.” Wear your costumes, bring your flashlights and stop by from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from October 28 to 30. Tickets, priced at $14 for adults and $9 for kids aged 2 to 12, include unlimited rides on the 1912 carousel, with further details at 604-293-6500.
Join the Parade of Lost Souls – October 30
Life is for the living, but every autumn the Parade of Lost Souls takes a night to honour the dead. On October 30, a troupe of stilt walkers, jugglers, dancers and musicians — along with a hodgepodge of hobgoblins, witches and vampires — will wend through Vancouver’s Commercial Drive neighbourhood in a torch-lit procession that’s enough to wake the dead. Along with things that go bump in the night, this family-friendly festival — aimed to awaken the “spirit” of the community — is capped with a fireworks finale at Grandview Park (1200 Commercial Drive). Catch it from 5 p.m. at Victoria Drive and Templeton Street, between Second and Fifth avenues.
See American Idol Finalist Danny Gokey
– October 30
American Idol season-eight alumnus Danny Gokey impressed the judges with a vocal versatility that enables him to sing any style of music. Record companies obviously concurred, because the Milwaukee native was offered a contract, which resulted in his recently released first album, My Best Days, which hit a respectable No. 4 on the Billboard charts. Catch up with Gokey on October 30 when he performs for one night only at Boulevard Casino’s Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd., Coquitlam), starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 for orchestra seats and $49.50 for golden circle, and are available at Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone 604-280-4444.
Trick or Treat at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
– October 30
What child wouldn’t love to trick-or-treat twice in one day? And candy-crazy kids can do just that at H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut St., Vancouver), where they’ll enjoy treats and a special screening of E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial on October 31, starting at noon. And, as an added treat — this time for cash-strapped parents — costumed kids aged 17 and under will get in for free. If you really want to make a weekend out of it, swing by on October 30 for a special presentation by UFO BC experts John Tanner and Gord Heath on unidentified flying objects and other unexplained sky sightings, starting at 8 p.m. For more information, call 604-738-7827.
Get a Taste of the New Galloway’s Fine Foods
– until October 30
Chances are, gastronomes have already sniffed out the new Galloway’s Specialty Foods (#110-8620 Glenlyon Parkway), which recently opened in Burnaby. But, for everyone else, you may not know that the edible emporium is offering a week of special tastings and in-store presentations until October 30. Swing by for A Taste of Galloway’s to receive cooking tips from a variety of vendors, suppliers and experts, including chef Ian Lai of the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver on October 30 at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. One thing’s certain, foodies won’t lack for inspiration as they browse the store’s 9,000 hard-to-find food items and more than 300 spices.
Plan Your Big Day at the Crème de la Crème Grand Wedding Showcase – October 30
Forget blushing brides. Most are just plain befuddled when it comes to planning their big day. But help is at hand with the Crème de la Crème Grand Wedding Showcase, billed as “the most opulent event of the year.” This bridal bonanza includes an haute-couture fashion show plus a showcase of trend-setting products and services. It all happens October 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver (791 W. Georgia St.). Tickets are $45 and include a deluxe gift bag, food tastings and full-scale pampering, or, for $20 more, you’ll also receive a special keepsake bag and exclusive consult with a wedding stylist.
See Butoh Dance at DanceHouse – November 5-6
Called “one of the most original and startling dance theatre groups” by the New York Times, DanceHouse — Vancouver’s international contemporary dance series — begins its third season with a rare visit from Tokyo-based butoh company Sankai Juku, who’ll perform Tobari: As if in an Inexhaustible Flux on November 5 and 6 at the Vancouver Playhouse (Hamilton and Dunsmuir streets), starting at 8 p.m. Now,
if your next question is, “What’s butoh?” The answer is:
an expressionist contemporary dance form that originated in late-1950s Japan. For more information, call 604-801-6225. Tickets are available for $38 to $70 at 604-683-0222 or at Ticketmaster.
Catch Team Vampire vs. Team Werewolf at Fangcover TheatreSports
– until November 13
Count Dracula, resident bloodsucker of the Fangcouver TheatreSports League, is fed up with brooding vampires who sparkle in the sunlight and werewolves who are always taking off their shirts — yes, Edward and Jacob from Twilight, we’re talking about you! — so he’s pitting Team Vampire against Team Werewolf in a match of supernatural improv action called Bite Me! that will leave audiences, ahem, “howling” with laughter. Catch it on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. until November 13 at
the Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau St.), Vancouver TheatreSports’ new, fully licensed venue on Granville Island.
Visit Nanaimo – anytime
When it comes to Vancouver Island, Victoria may get all the press, but savvy travellers are smart not to overlook Nanaimo. After all, the Harbour City offers some great escapes, including a chance to Snorkel with the Seals on a two-night adventure with Sundown Diving for $490 per couple. If that sounds all wet, you can always set off on a Glacier & Alpine Lakes Flightseeing Tour offered by Westcoast Air. A $269 ticket buys you a priceless aerial adventure that wings you over valleys, rivers and waterfalls before landing atop a remote glacier. For details on these and other Nanaimo adventures, visit amazingnanaimo.com.
Ascend Grouse Mountain’s Eye of the Wind – anytime
Sure, England may have the London Eye, but so what? Vancouver now has The Eye of the Wind. This 20-storey wind turbine atop Grouse Mountain invites thrill-seekers to ascend via elevator to a glass-encased, 36-person viewPOD™, where you’ll experience jaw-dropping 360-degree vistas of the Lower Mainland, the Coastal Mountains and, on a clear day, Vancouver Island and Mount Rainier. Whatever the weather – and at this time of year, you may have to settle for seeing silver-gray storms blowing in off the Pacific – the experience is said to be “like walking on the wind.” Ready to be blown away? Visit grousemountain.com or call 604-980-9311 for more info.
Eat Oysters – anytime
Humans have been crazy about oysters ever since prehistoric times. But thankfully, unlike our big-browed brothers, most of us don’t have to catch them ourselves. Not when we have places around like Oyster Seafood & Raw Bar (475 Howe St.), downtown Vancouver’s newest seafood hot spot. Though tiny, the 25-seat nook serves up big taste, with a range of Ocean Wise products sourced mainly from local waters. So whether you’re craving sushi or salmon, oysters or mussels, you’ll find them all here, along with a wine menu boasting some of B.C.’s best vintages. Swing by for lunch or dinner, with more information at 604-899-0323.
Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.