Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for September 20 to 26

This week: celebrate sea otters, savour the delicacies of Salt Spring Island and get interior design inspiration at IDSwest

Celebrate Sea Otters at the Vancouver Aquarium – September 19 to November 11

From now until November, the Vancouver Aquarium is shining a spotlight on its cutest residents: the sea otters. Best described by Canadian poet Al Purdy as “comically serious,” these teddy bears of the sea have been charming locals and tourists for decades.

“Celebrate Sea Otters” kicks off in time for the 12th Annual Sea Otter Awareness week, which runs from September 21 to 27. Expect fun activities for the kids (face painting and a craft corner) as well as educational presentations about the marine mammals and their habitat.

View the daily schedule of programs and events at


If you’re looking for a behind-the-scenes experience with the otters, the Vancouver Aquarium offers a special Encounters package. For $35, you will participate in an otter training session and have the opportunity to actually feed them.

Sip and Savour Salt Spring – September 19 to 21

Nibble on the province’s finest nosh at Sip and Savour Salt Spring during National Organic Week. This three-day festival is jam-packed with markets, harvest dinners, and farm-to-table foodie events that celebrate B.C.’s freshest foods paired with local wines and craft beer. Dinners will be taking places in various locations around Salt Spring, so check out the participating vendors and grab tickets online.

Wesbrook Village Festival – September 20

Just because summer festival season is over doesn’t meant there aren’t still tons of family-friendly events around the Lower Mainland to enjoy. UBC’s Wesbrook Village is celebrating its annual festival with live music from William Stroet and His Backyard Band, performances by UBC Dance Team and UBC A Capella. There will be bouncy castles, face painters, balloon twisters and a rock wall for kids to enjoy as well as a free BBQ that’s sure to hit the spot for both the young and the old.

Oktoberfest Party – September 20

If you just can’t wait till October for all your beer-drinking fun, then this is the party for you. Steam Whistle’s Oktoberfest bash takes place this Saturday and features a night of authentic Bavarian entertainment by the Rheinlander Oom-pah Band and AVC Edelweiss Dancers, as well as a set by DJ Mike Woodhouse. Vancouver’s go-to sausage parlour Bestie will be serving up food and, of course, the beer will be flowing into customized Steam Whistle steins.

1 School 1 Day – September 20

Get your sweat on for a good cause with the best workout in town at 1 School 1 Day. You can sign up on your own, or in a team of five, to take part in this fundraising event to build schools in Ethiopia. The day will start out with flow yoga, then a core workout and the workout will end with a group run. You can recharge after with a healthy, delicious lunch courtesy of Culver City Salads and The Juice Truck.

RiverFest New West – September 21 to 27

The Fraser River is one of the Lower Mainland’s more underrated natural features, but it’ll be the centre of attention for RiverFest New West. The week will be kicked off with a little beautification from the Great Canadian Shore Clean Up and end off with a free, fun festival. The festival will have art exhibits, live music, crafts, a salmon chowder cook-off and more.

Dinner by Design – September 21 to 22

Prepare to be dazzled by some truly stunning table settings at Dinner by Design. This event challenges international and local designers to create gorgeous dining installations to raise money for the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. The first chance to get a glimpse of the tables is at their Cocktail Art party on the 21st. If you want to really immerse yourself, then grab tickets for the multi-course Gala Dinner on the 22, or come to the public viewing later that night. You can get tickets for all three viewings online.

North Van Bicycle Treasure Hunt – September 21

Pump your tires and toss on your helmet for North Vancouver’s Bicycle Treasure Hunt. You can pick up a clue sheet at Shipbuilder Square to start off your adventure. Solve the mysterious clues, find checkpoints scattered around lower Lonsdale and claim your treasure. Prizes will be given out for first group, first individual, best-dressed bike and last place. 

The Food Connection Harvest Feast – September 24

Forget everything you’ve been told about not playing with your food at The Food Connection’s Harvest Feast. This fun feast celebrates local, seasonal food in a potluck style dinner. They’ll have four different experimentation stations (soup, salad, pizza, and ice cream) set up to learn different ways to prepare your favourite foods. RSVP online as soon as possible to make sure you know what to bring.

IDSwest – September 25 to 28

Western Canada’s definitive interior design tradeshow is returning to the Vancouver Convention Centre from September 25 to 28. IDSwest will showcase the hottest trends in interior design for thousands of designers, buyers, architects, builders and industry experts. It’s also the perfect place to get inspiration for your own projects and learn all about design. You can find tickets and information on their website.