Situated in trendy Yaletown — and just a short cycle away from the False Creek seawall — Opus Hotel Vancouver is the perfect starting point for guests seeking the ultimate urban cycling experience. The Weekend Escape Package includes a one-night stay, valet parking, breakfast at award-winning La Pentola, late check-out and complimentary bikes, starting at $199, based on double occupancy.
If the frayed fishnets, abandoned sheds and rusty tools at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard could talk, Salmon Row is the story they would tell. Thanks to Vancouver’s Mortal Coil Performance Society, the empty buildings of the once-thriving Steveston shipyard have sprung to life once again in a show that’s as colourful as the history it’s recounting. Running until September 1, the play resurrects old-time rum-runners, salmon fishers and cannery workers on a trip down the community’s collective memory lane, a shady place haunted by crime, labour strife and ethnic conflict. Catch it nightly at 8 p.m., with tickets at 604-270-1812 or tickets.gatewaytheatre.com
Cycle City Tours' Art Wheelers — Until September 30
Biking the Stanley Park seawall is super, but why not combine art with exercise at Cycle City Tours’ Art Wheelers. This two-hour bike bonanza takes you from Coal Harbour to False Creek to the downtown core to learn about Vancouver’s diverse outdoor public art, including sculptural installations murals and architecture. The tour is available now through September 30, Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., for $25 per person, plus tax.
From Vancouver and Vanderhoof to Whistler and Westbank, “Every community has its own unique cultural footprint.” And back again to prove it is the annual B.C. Cultural Crawl, a month-long celebration of local arts, culture and heritage, running until August 31 in over 70 communities province-wide. And if you think it’s all about gallivanting through art galleries, you’re in for a surprise because the all-ages itinerary ranges from culinary events and community parties to art walks and heritage lectures.
2013 Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival — August 29 to September 1
Some things never go out of style — and it seems tap dancing is one of ’em. The evidence? The 2013 Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival, taking place at various venues from August 29 to September 1. Expect master classes and fancy footwork by the world’s most talented tappers, including So You Think You Can Dance alums Chloe Arnold and Sarah Reich. Our personal pick? The opening-night cruise on the Queen of Diamonds, a three-hour adventure for $58 that includes a buffet dinner and an “improv tap jam,” sailing at 7 p.m. from the Plaza of Nations marina.
RCMP Musical Ride — August 27
One of Canada’s most iconic national symbols is undoubtedly the Mounties. And if the RCMP are known worldwide for “always catching their man,” they’re also known for performing the Musical Ride. This old-time spectacle, from back in the days when cops cruised around on horses rather than squad cars, involves a troop of Mounties astride steeds performing a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Catch it on August 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium, with tickets available for $10 per person at 604-205-3000.
It all comes down to simple math: Why shell out big bucks for a concert when you can catch them for free at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park? And you’ve got one last chance to do so at the Summer Sunday Concert Series, wrapping up a season-long lineup with a performance by local bluesters Brickhouse on August 25, starting at 2 p.m. Another reason to go? The family-friendly fun also includes giveaways and prizes, while the by-donation admission fees help support the Crossroads Hospice Society.
Movies Under the Stars "The Croods"— August 24
The usual reason to swing by Central City in Surrey? To explore the namesake mall’s 140 shops, restaurants and services, of course. But on Saturdays through August, you’ve got one more reason to visit the ’hood: Movies Under the Stars, unspooling free family films on a super-size screen at Holland Park. Catch The Croods on August 24 starting at dusk, but get there early for free family fun from 5 p.m.
An old B.C. ghost town rediscovers its “spirit” on August 24 when Harrison Mills hosts the Kilby Kids’ Festival, rolling out a day’s worth of music, dance and crafts, along with face painting, clowns and friendly farm animals, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can whack candy-stuffed piñatas and climb aboard emergency vehicles, while adults can tour the old-time general store museum, post office and hotel at the five-acre Kilby Historic Site, just west of Agassiz.
Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival — August 24
Co-dependent relationships aren’t always bad. Take writers and readers, for example, who’ll unite for a day of mutual appreciation at the 10th annual Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival, held on August 24 at East Vancouver’s Trout Lake. Like joining B.C.’s biggest book club, you can meet and greet the likes of Joy Kogawa (shown) and Evelyn Lau while amping up your culture quotient with free workshops, panel discussions and multiculti readings, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Plus, why not kick things off early at the Literary Awards Gala on August 23 at CBC Studio 700, starting at 7:30 p.m.