BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for August 11-17

This week in BC: Salsa in Vancouver, see an outdoor film in Victoria or sing along to roots and blues in Salmon Arm

Enjoy all the shows at the TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival 2012

What to do in BC this week

Rock out at the Rockin’ River Music Fest – August 9-11
This week all roads lead to the hottest country carnival in town, the Rockin’ River Music Fest at Mission Raceway Park (32670 Dyke Rd). From August 9 to 11, music fans can get their groove on with the likes of Aaron Pritchett, Blue Rodeo, Dwight Yoakam, Randy Bachman and George Canyon, among others. And no need to pack a picnic, either, ’cause the festivities also include a food fair and beer garden.

Catch a Show at MusicFest Vancouver – August 10-19
It’s said that music soothes the soul. So just imagine how good you’ll feel at MusicFest Vancouver, celebrating its 12th season from August 10 to 19 with more than 40 performances by classical, jazz and world artists at 13 venues around town. In the mood for Beethoven’s best? Check out the Gryphon Trio on August 15. Or how about gypsy swing or jazz piano? Van Django and Mark Eisenman have got it covered on August 15 and 16, respectively.

Attend the TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival – August 11-12
Just how popular is the TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival? To give you a hint, 50,000 revelers turned out for last summer’s sidewalk shindig. You should probably expect the same again this year, when Canada’s biggest Chinatown rolls out its 13th annual expo on August 11 and 12, along Columbia and Keefer streets. And no need to be of Asian persuasion to enjoy the fun, which includes historical walking tours, an open-air market, multi-culti stage shows, kids’ corner, a youth talent contest, and, of course, plenty of eats!

Fill up at the Okanagan Feast of Fields Festival – August 12
You don’t have to go too far afield to enjoy farm-fresh food. Just head to the Okanagan Feast of Fields on August 12 for a gourmet food festival that showcases the best of BC’s bounty, courtesy of chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers, and food artisans from across the province. Held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Claremont Ranch Organics, 20 minutes north of Kelowna, this fourth annual fundraiser for FarmFolk/CityFolk is guaranteed to delight gastronomes by serving up the cream of the crop in the form of an alfresco feast backed by the sounds of live music.

Get Arty at Inspiring Minds Fine Art Studio – August 13-17
Can you become an artist in five days? Sounds too good to be true, but it just might become a reality at Inspiring Minds Fine Art Studio (3900 Broadwater Rd, Castlegar). That’s where wannabe artists will learn the surprisingly simple secrets to drawing and painting, one step at a time, from August 13 to 17. Led by acclaimed B.C. artist Mirja Vahala, this five-day workshop, priced at $300 per person, includes accommodation at Windborne B&B. To register, call 250-365-1208.
Go on a Silent Retreat with Paradise Yoga – August 16-20
We hear it all the time, “All you need to know is within you.” It’s a good message but often drowned out by our own internal chatter. Paradise Yoga’s Silent Retreat on Salt Spring Island will teach you how to tune out the noise and tune in to your inner wisdom from August 16 to 20. And while it may be tough to zip your lips, the benefits of this practice are said to be powerful. Call 778-999-9642 to book the retreat, which includes accommodation, two daily yoga sessions and vegetarian meals.

Sing Along at the Roots & Blues Festival – August 17-19
Sure, Salmon Arm is a small town, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the site of one of B.C.’s biggest music festivals. From August 17 to 19, the Roots & Blues Festival brings more than 40 world-class artists — Delhi 2 Dublin, Serena Ryder and Kid Koala, among them — to multiple outdoor stages at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds. Either cycle to the site or camp out for the weekend, and be sure to check out the artisan stalls, food vendors, kids’ activities and beer garden, too!

Watch a Japadog Eating Contest at YVR – August 17
Thought you had a big appetite? It’s probably nothing compared to what you’ll see at the inaugural Japadog Eating Contest on August 17 at Vancouver International Airport (International Departures, Level 3). Emceed by DJ extraordinaire Alibaba, the gobbling gets underway at 12:30 p.m., when six competitors attempt to out-eat each other by consuming the most Japadogs in 10 minutes. Word of advice: you might want to stand back while the grand prize is awarded ’cause it’s not unheard of for these marathon munchers to hurl.

Take a Free Dance Class at Robson Square – until August 26 
Sorry, Tostidos, but the hottest salsa in town doesn’t come in a jar. It comes in the form of Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square (Hornby and Robson streets, Vancouver). On Sundays until August 26, booty shakers of all levels can enjoy free 30-minute lessons from top instructors at 3 p.m., followed by performances by seasoned salsa artists at 5 p.m., and ending with social dancing for all until 7:30 p.m.

See an Outdoor Film at Free-B Film Festival – Saturdays in August
You’ve got all year long to curl up on your couch to watch movies. So why not take advantage of these sultry summer nights by checking out the Free-B Film Festival at Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. On Saturdays throughout August, families can stake out a spot in front of Cameron Bandshell to check out free, supersize screenings of PG-rated films, starting at 9 p.m. Bring a blanket, maybe a few snacks, and check out this week’s offering of Harry in Your Pocket.

Work out on the Waves with Windsure Adventure Watersports – all of August
It might be effective, but it’s rarely fun to sweat your buns off at bootcamp. One exception? When you take this gruelling regimen out of the gym and into the water, as in the stand-up paddleboat classes offered by Windsure Adventure Watersports (1300 Discovery St, Vancouver). This refreshing workout sculpts your body, strengthens your core and improves your overall fitness level, all while you enjoy the sun, sand and surf at Jericho Beach. Book lessons online, or drop in for a class, priced at $30 per person.

Enjoy a Free Night’s Hotel Stay Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver – until December
Country folk craving an urban excursion can save big bucks by snapping up the latest offer from Tourism Vancouver. Just book a three-night stay at a participating Vancouver hotel — including the Westin Grand, Coast Plaza and Radisson Airport — and you’ll enjoy the final night for free. After all, who couldn’t use a bit more money to spend on our city’s world-class culinary, couture and cultural scene? Book this offer, valid through December 31 (except September 1 and 2), by calling 1-877-826-1717.

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.