What to do in BC this week
Fill Your Glass at the Alpine Wine & Food Festival - August 24
Is your glass half full or half empty? Whatever the case, you can fill it to the brim at the 14th annual Alpine Wine & Food Festival at Raven Lodge at Mt. Washington Resort, an alpine playground near Comox. On August 24, guests can enjoy wine from various vineyards, tastings from local food producers, a silent auction benefiting the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society and live music by the Wire Choir Jazz Trio, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The next night, check out a Wine Pairing Dinner at the Alpine Lodge, featuring a five- to six-course feast and a presentation by a sommelier.
Rock out at LIVE at Squamish - August 24 - 26
September’s right around the corner, but you’ve got another chance to celebrate summer at LIVE at Squamish, an outdoor music festival featuring over 40 local and international artists — including The Sheepdogs, Tragically Hip, Wintersleep and Chromeo — appearing on three stages from August 24 to 26 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. You can even catch a shuttle bus from Vancouver to Squamish and back, with all the details online.
Visit Africa in Vancouver - August 25
If you’ve never been to Africa, you can experience the next best thing — without the 17-hour plane ride — at an authentic African Market on August 25 on the grounds of the Canadian Network for International Surgery (1985 W. Broadway, Vancouver). From noon to 6 p.m., the courtyard will be hopping, as hundreds of shoppers check out goods from 25 artisans, vendors, chefs and performers, representing more than a dozen African countries.
Attend Barkerville's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival - August 25
If you’ve never been to Barkerville, now is a great time to go. Why, you ask? Because the 19th century gold-rush town is celebrating its 150th anniversary this month with a Mid-Autumn Moon Festival to honour its Chinese heritage. Held on August 25, the family-friendly fest includes all-day activities, a Lung Duck Tong banquet and a lantern parade at dusk. Don’t forget to try your hand at gold-panning, too! Reserve your seat at the banquet by calling 1-250-994-3458.
Attend Eurosmash! at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre - August 28 - September 2
If you loved This Is Spinal Tap and Flight of the Conchords, you won’t want to miss Die Roten Punkte — Eurosmash! Following sold-out shows in New York, Montreal and Dublin, Otto and Astrid Rot — a.k.a. Berlin’s prince and princess of Europop — will have you busting a gut as the two squabbling sibs bust out beats at Vancouver East Cultural Centre, on select dates from August 28 to September 2.
Marvel at Cirque du Soleil's Acrobatic Feats - August 29 - September 2
What happens to gymnasts when they’re too old for the Olympics? Some of them bring their acrobatic excellence to world-class spectacles like Canada’s Cirque du Soleil, now presenting Quidam from August 29 to September 2 at Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. And if you can’t make it, no worries: You’ve got another chance to see this critically acclaimed extravaganza from September 5 to 9 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.
Go on a Retro Guided Walking Tour of Vancouver - August 31
Few streets in Canada offer such an abundance of architectural styles as Vancouver’s very own Burrard. That’s because it’s home to everything from a French château and an English country cathedral to an Art Deco masterpiece and a prize-winning Bauhaus tower. And that’s not all: You’ll see a retro motel and a Victorian-inspired hospital, too, on a Vancouver Heritage Foundation guided walking tour of Vancouver’s financial district on August 31, starting at noon. Tickets are available online for $12.
Tap Your Way to the International Tap Dance Festival - August 31 - September 2
You can bet that toes will be tapping big-time at the 13th annual Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival from August 31 to September 2 at various venues, including the Scotiabank Dance Centre and Norman Rothstein Theatre. Along with tip-top performances, people of all ages will have a chance to learn how to tap from a group of expert teachers hosting 45 classes in all, from choreography to soft shoe to swing. And be sure to check out Souls of Our Feet, an homage to tap-dance history by a Texas-based troupe on August 31, starting at 8 p.m.
Attend a Summer Concert at Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden - August 31
As if being designated the “World’s Top City Garden” by National Geographic wasn’t enough, now Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall St, Vancouver) is upping the entertainment ante even further by hosting an Enchanted Evening on August 31. That’s when Juno-winning bluesman Jim Byrnes takes the stage for the last summer-night concert of the season, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at 604-662-3207.
Hike or Canoe at Bowron Lake Park - this summer
If you’ve had a sedentary summer, redeem yourself by exercising your options (and everything else) on an outdoor adventure. Our recommendation? Strike off on a trip to Bowron Lake Park, a sprawling wilderness situated on the slopes of the Cariboo Mountain Range. The pristine park is said to boast “many moods, from bright sunshine and placid blue lakes to angry grey waters and torrential rains.” Explore it on foot via winding walkways or, if you’ve got days to spare, try the world-renowned, 116-km Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit.
Go Underground at the Britannia Mine Museum - this summer
Whether you want to beat the heat or just diverge from the beaten track, the Britannia Mine Museum offers an unbeatable way to do both. The award-winning National Historic Site, situated along the Sea to Sky Highway, is about the only place around where you can hop aboard an underground railway or set off on a guided tour of a mining tunnel, while also having a chance to pan for real gold and check out engaging exhibits, a gift shop and on-site eateries. Book your tour online or by calling 1-800-896-4044.
Take in the Sights with a Vancouver City Highlights Tour - this summer
Couldn’t afford a real vacation this summer? Play tourist in your own town by booking a Vancouver City Highlights Tour, a guided four-hour bus excursion to the city’s top attractions, including Robson Street, Canada Place, Stanley Park and Granville Island. Even if you’ve seen it all before, it never hurts to have a reminder of what a pretty place we call home. Tours run twice daily at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.