Vancouver Adventures: April 18 to 24

This week: revive Mario Kart 64, clean up the beach, run a 10K + more

North Shore Writers Festival – April 17 to 18

Readers and writers of all ages and levels are invited to take part in the 16th annual North Shore Writers Festival, which takes place on April 17 and 18 at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver). This year’s lineup features presentations and workshops by freelance writer John Vaillant (The Golden Spruce), CBC Canada Reads winner Heather O’Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals), Zsuzsi Gartner (All the Anxious Girls on Earth), CBC Radio host Grant Lawrence (Adventures in Solitude) and many more. All events are free, with no registration required, so check out the schedule and get the ink flowing.

Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo – April 18

If you’re a real Mario Kart 64 fan, you won’t want to miss the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo, coming to the Columbia Theatre in New Westminster (530 Columbia Street) for its fourth year on April 18. From 9 a.m. to midnight, enter all-new tournaments with the best retro games, collect swag and memorabilia from numerous vendors, and test your gaming knowledge in the Video Game Trivia contest hosted by West Coast Geeks versus Nerds. Performances by Opus Arise, The Runaway Four, and missingno will keep the venue hopping. Tickets are $20 (but kids under 10 enter for free with an adult ticket), available at the door or online.

Visual Effects Career Fair – April 18

Vancouver’s largest annual career fair, hosted by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and the Visual Effects Society Vancouver Section (VES), hits the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) on April 18. This free event is a fantastic networking opportunity for local artists, programmers, designers and production management talent seeking job openings and projects. It’s also a great chance for students to view the works of close to 40 featured companies and learn about the latest training and development programs in the industry.

Earth Day Beach Cleanup – April 18

Surfrider Foundation Vancouver will be hosting its annual Earth Day Cleanup on April 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In light of the recent oil spill in English Bay, this year’s cleanup will be focused on Kitsilano Beach Park, Vanier Park and the Burrard Street Bridge. Participants will meet at the Boathouse at Kits Beach (1305 Arbutus Street) and begin with a Safety Talk before proceeding to beautify the seawall by removing litter and collecting cigarette butts for an upcoming Science World exhibit. The event will conclude with a Surfrider Social at the Kitsilano Yacht Club, complete with food, drinks and prizes for all participants. Sign up for free through the Surfrider EventBrite page.

The Franchise & Own Your Own Business Show – April 18 to 19

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial itch that needs scratching, visit the East Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place) on April 18 and 19 for The Franchise & Own Your Own Business Show. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, representatives from the fastest growing franchises in North America, including M&M Meat Shops, Bosley’s, Little Caesars and Flip Out will showcase their business strategies and lead seminars on topics like selecting the right franchise opportunity for you. Industry experts will be on site all weekend to offer free legal, financial and business planning advice Tickets are $8 at the door or $6 online.

Ukrainian Arts & Culture Festival – April 18 to 19

Create traditional bead jewelry, explore the folk music traditions of Eastern Europe, learn to make Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter) eggs and feast on perogies at the Ukrainian Arts & Culture Festival. This celebration of Ukrainian tradition, held at the Ukrainian Culture Centre (805 East Pender Street) on April 18 and 19, will feature a number of workshops led by local artists and instructors, along with a culinary and artisanal bazaar. See the full schedule and register for tickets at the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians website.

The 31st Annual Vancouver Sun Run – April 19

Last-minute registration for this yearly 10K race closes at BC Place at 5 p.m. on April 18, so if you’ve been dragging your heels, better get on it. Canada’s largest 10K road race (and the third-largest timed 10K in North America) begins at 9 a.m. on April 19 downtown, after the 2.5K Shaw Mini Sun Run takes off at 8 a.m. Everyone, from international elite competitors to school groups, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair competitors, is welcome to participate. If you’re racing or spectating, check out the Course Map so you know where all the action will be; otherwise, take a peak at the list of road closures so you won’t be caught off guard on your morning commute.

Spring Dress Sunday – April 19

Music, refreshments and giveaways will mark the first SOS Children’s Village Thrift Store Spring Dress Sunday, where the organization will unveil its summer collection in support of B.C. kids and their foster families. Sixteen-year-old Vancouver singer-songwriter Alyssa Baker (pictured) will perform for guests as they peruse displays of fashion finds ranging from ’70s caftans to ’90s boho blouses. Brenda McGuire, former owner of Commercial Drive’s Riot Clothing, will be on hand to share her expert fashion advice. Head down to the Kerrisdale SOS Children’s Village (2319 W. 41st Avenue) at noon on April 19 in your “ninja shopping outfit” (tights, tank top and slip-on shoes) for some serious dress shopping fun. All proceeds from the spring dress sale will support foster parent families at the SOS Children’s Village and children in need in the Metro Vancouver community.

2 for 1 Lunch Specials at Joe Fortes – April 20 to 24

It’s Administrative Professionals Week, and to honour the essential contributions of office professionals to the workplace, Joe Fortes (777 Thurlow Street) is offering two-for-one lunch specials from April 20 to 24. Bring your friend or co-worker to lunch, flash your business card, and receive two entrees for the price of one (minimum value of $35.95). There’s no better time to treat yourself and a guest to lobster for lunch. Book online or call 604-669-1940.

Campagnolo’s “Just Like Dinner at Nonna’s” – April 21

Inspired by memories of springtime family gatherings, Campagnolo Chef de Cuisine Nathan Lowey will be serving a special dish to honour Nonna every Tuesday from April 14 to May 5. This week’s meal features Slow Roasted Berkshire Pork Shoulder accompanied by juicy pan drippings, Anise Polenta and a Celebration Salad. Dinner will be paired with a specially selected draght beer and served in the Campagnolo wine lounge (1020 Main Street) at 6 p.m. for $22 each. Book seats in advance by calling 604-484-6018.