Local

If you’re in the Metro Vancouver area, you can find anything from dining, to shopping and other events. There’s lots to see and do in Vancouver, and you’ll find some of it here. Be sure to view the Events Calendar for local celebrations.

Vancouver added as stop on Final Fantasy concert 2018 tour

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at the Orpheum in 2013.

The immense universe of music from the Final Fantasy franchise returns to Vancouver for another performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy on Friday, June 1st, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Led by conductor Arnie Roth, this 100-piece orchestra and chorus recreates the many themes, ballads, melodies and operas from more than 30 years of  this popular video game series. Complementing the live music are scenes from the Final Fantasy games, presented in HD, enveloping both the visual and aural senses.

Tickets for this single evening show go on sale at 10:00 am Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Vancouver is the only Canadian stop mentioned so far for 2018. Other cities on the tour include Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, St. Petersburg, FL, Portland, OR, Paris, France, Cleveland, OH, and San Francisco, CA.

Source: Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Festival of Lights returns to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for 2017

It’s that time of year when the lush VanDusen Botanical Gardens transforms into dazzling display of colourful lights just in time for Christmas.

Thousands of Christmas lights are strung along the garden’s many trees and bushes that brighten up the winding paths. There’s also live music and food trucks serving warm drinks and snacks, a carousel, musical instruments and more.

The Festival of Lights is on now until January 7th, 2018. Tickets are required for entry and available online or in person. Dress appropriately as it may be cold or wet. Parking is limited, but transit is always an option (either with the 17 bus or a short walk north from the 41 bus).

Can’t make it? Check out the photos from the this year’s event on Gallery.

Zelda symphony invades Vancouver like horde of Moblins

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The wildly popular The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses returned to Vancouver to delight fans of one of Nintendo’s popular franchises with an evening of music and magic. The concert was held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, instead of the Orpheum (as in years past) on Thursday, November 30th, 2017. Attendees of all ages filled the auditorium, many in costume or decked out in their favourite Zelda gear to show their love for the games.

Energetic local conductor Kevin Zakresky kept the crowd engaged with his performances leading the orchestra, turning to the audience for cheers and applause. He even broke out the Wind Waker baton for a few of the songs.

Tour producer Jason Michael Paul started the evening off with opening remarks, including a statement that the concert would go on hiatus for 2018. He added that if we’d like to see the tour start back up again, fans would need to contact Nintendo to let them know there’s still a demand for it.

The journey back into the many worlds of Zelda began with the overture, a compilation of the themes and motifs of Link, Princess Zelda and Ganon. From there, we launched into heaving Great Sea from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The calming music of the immersive Hyrule in the latest title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild captivated the crowd. Images from the games were shown on a giant screen behind the orchestra, adding to the wonder and nostalgia. Other compilations included selections from the 3D classics The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the renowned The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the colourful The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Of course, there was also a reprise of additional melodies from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The evening concluded with a classic, the Ballad of the Wind Fish from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It was a beautiful way to finish off the concert.

Merchandise this year included a new tour shirt, updated poster, music books and a replica of the Wind Waker baton. As usual, the line for these goodies snaked their way up to the second level of the theatre.

Merch booth at the Queen Elizabeth theatre for the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses #zeldasymphony

A post shared by Frederick Linsmeyer (@nephrus) on

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival for 2017 this Saturday

The 55 foot tree illuminates the plaza in 2016.

The 55 foot tree illuminates the plaza in 2016.

The annual tradition of illuminating Surrey’s largest Christmas tree returns Saturday, November 25th, 2017 at Surrey City Hall Plaza.

Enjoy live music, food trucks, a holiday market, fair rides and even a zip-line at this family-friendly event. Performances from over 20 different artists including Juno-winning artist Ruth B., alternative rock band Daysormay, and jazz-soul artist Krystle Dos Santos will take the stage next to choirs and other local acts. Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand with the city’s mayor and council to partake in the entertainment.

There’s no admission to watch the 55 foot (16.7 metre) tall tree when it’s lit at 6:30 pm. The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival begins at 12:00 noon and ends at 7:00 pm. Take transit for easy access to the venue, which is a short walk from the Surrey Central Expo Line station.

Remembrance Day 2017 photos

Vancouver’s Victory Square was packed with people for Saturday morning’s Remembrance Day ceremonies. The sombre mood was reflected by the grey clouds above, the silence pierced by the occasional crying child, the planes flying overhead and intermittent sounds of the 21-gun salute from Portside Park.

Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017
Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017

Remembrance Day 2017 services in Metro Vancouver

On Saturday, November 11th, 2017, communities throughout Metro Vancouver will hold ceremonies to honour the men and women who serve and have given their lives for Canada for Remembrance Day.

  • Vancouver – Ceremony and Parade at Victory Square (West Hastings Street between Cambie and Hamilton streets). Starts at 10:00 am PST.
  • Burnaby – Remembrance Day Ceremony at North Burnaby Cenotaph in Confederation Park (Willingdon Avenue and Penzance Drive). Starts at 10:30 am PST, followed by the ceremony at 11:00 am PST.
  • Burnaby – Remembrance Day Ceremony at South Burnaby Cenotaph in Bonsor Park (Imperial Street and Nelson Avenue). Parade starts at 10:30 am PST, followed by the ceremony at 11:00 am PST.
  • New Westminster – Ceremony at the Cenotaph in front of New Westminster City Hall (511 Royal Avenue). Starts at 10:30 am PST.
  • Surrey – Ceremony at Cloverdale Cenotaph at the Surrey Museum and Surrey Archives (17710 – 56A Avenue). Starts at 9:30 am PST.
  • Richmond – Ceremony and Parade at Richmond City Hall (6911 No. 3 Road). Parade leaves Minoru Park at 10:20 am PST followed by the ceremony at 10:40 am PST.
  • Coquitlam – A Remembrance Day service will be held at the Blue Mountain Park Cenotaph (975 King Albert Avenue) beginning at 9:45 am PST, followed by a parade from the Como Lake Middle School to the Cenotaph at 10:30 am PST and concluding with services at the Cenotaph in Blue Mountain Park (975 King Albert Avenue).
  • Delta – Ceremony at North Delta Social Heart Plaza (11415 84th Avenue). Starts at 10:40 am PST.
  • Delta – Parade and Ceremony at Ladner Memorial Park (5010 47th Avenue). Parade starts at 10:15 am PST followed by the ceremony at 10:45 am PST.

UBC Apple Festival returns for 26th year this October

Grimes Golden

A bag of Grimes Golden apples at the UBC Apple Festival.

Take a bite into fall with the UBC Apple Festival this October! On Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th, 2017, between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, you can sink your teeth into everything apple related at the UBC Botanical Gardens on the west side of the university campus.

Some 63 types of apples are lined up, with 70 varieties of trees for purchase. While a list of cultivars for this year won’t be posted until October, some of the ones served up last year included Ambrosia, Bramley’s Seedling, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Grimes Golden, and Salish.

In addition to the apple sales, this family-friendly event will include an apple tasting, food stalls, a kids play area, crafts, live music and entertainment. Plus, the gardens are open for exploration, with special pricing for the Greenheart TreeWalk.

Admission is $5 (cash only), or free for those aged 12 and under, which gets you access to the event and the botanical gardens. There is no parking at the gardens, but shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes between the Botanical Gardens and the West Parkade and the Fraser River Parkade on campus.

For more information, visit the UBC Botanical Garden web site.

Market Mexico comes to Robson Square on September 16, 2017

Viva Mexico!

On Saturday, September 16th, 2017, Robson Square in Downtown Vancouver (between the Vancouver Art Gallery and Law Courts) will host Market Mexico in celebration of the North American nation’s day of independence, which coincidentally, is the same day.

From 11:30 am until 12:00 midnight, stalls selling all sorts of traditional Mexican fare including tacos, tortas, elotes, pan dulce and churros. In addition to these tasty treats, cultural handicrafts and artwork will also be for sale. Live music and films will offer entertainment during the event, with the Grito being performed at 6:00 pm by the Mexican Consul General Berenice Diaz-Ceballos.

Market Mexico is a free event, on the ice rink level at 800 Robson Street.

Changes to BC Ferries polices regarding smoking, and staying inside vehicles

BC Ferries' vessel the Coastal Renaissance

BC Ferries’ vessel the Coastal Renaissance

Get ready for some big changes coming to BC Ferries if you like to stay in your car while sailing or go out for a smoke on the ships or at terminals.

Starting Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, passengers will be unable to stay in their vehicles on any enclosed decks on a ferry — this means the lower decks of the ships that are enclosed by the loading doors; upper vehicle decks are not affected by this directive. According to a release by BC Ferries, this is to be compliant with Transport Canada regulations for passenger safety, highlighted under section 152 of the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. BC Ferries added that passengers can ask the upper vehicle deck on a vessel with an enclosed vehicle deck when they pay for their fare at the ticket booths; though this may not be fulfilled due to demand, vessel or other situations.

A list of routes affected include:

  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Horseshoe Bay – Langdale
  • Powell River – Comox
  • Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
  • Port Hardy – Bella Coola
  • Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii

For smokers, as of Monday, January 22nd, 2018, you won’t be able to light up, or use an e-cigarette on any vessel or at any terminal or facility, even inside your own vehicle. This is due to changes to British Columbia law in 2016 that increased smoke free zone to 6 meters (19.6 feet) from 3 meters (9.8 feet) near any door, window or air intake. Because of the limited space on the decks, the increased buffer makes it hard to comply with this updated regulation.

Sources: BC Ferries [1, 2]

Naruto fans run Vancouver’s seawall like Naruto

If you’ve ever watched Naruto, you’ve probably noticed how the characters in the show run — with their arms stretched straight behind them. This method has garnered some interesting reactions from people (e.g. why do they run like this?) and even spurred some events online where people can meet up and run shinobi style. Well, in Vancouver, one such event was scheduled and, surprisingly enough, a crowd did show up at the tear drop sculpture by the Vancouver Convention Centre this afternoon to ninja dash along the city’s famed seawall.

1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style
1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style

So, how did it go? A handful of participants actually manage to hold up and made around the seawall to Science World on the False Creek side, and up to Kitsilano on the southern edge of English Bay. Others weren’t as energetic and stopped for a bowl of ramen instead.

But it was a great way to get outside, enjoy the sun, exercise and be with others who enjoy the Naruto series, and most importantly, have fun.

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